Tea for Two

By Raven S. Blackhawk

Akira stared despondently at his reflection in his bathroom mirror. There was nothing there for him to like, really. Actually, there was nothing there for anyone to like.

He stepped back with a sigh. "I wish I looked like Yuki," he said to the mirror. It was not the first time he had wished that, nor was it the first time he had directed those words at his reflection.

But to an outside observer, Akira's reflection would be considered quite an attractive one. He was tall and well-built with a splendid golden tan that accentuated his finely muscled body. His hair was a luxuriant mass of glossy, rich chocolate tresses and his eyes were matching emerald orbs. They glittered when he was angry and sparkled when he felt joy.

Right now, they neither glittered nor sparkled. They appeared dull, lifeless, behind his thin gold-rimmed glasses. With another sigh, Akira exited the bathroom, turning off the light as he went. He headed down the hall to his room when he heard laughter coming from downstairs.

For a moment, he felt his heart skip a beat before returning to its normal rhythm. He walked over to the landing and looked down over the railing to the living room below. No one occupied the room. They must be in the kitchen then, having tea.

"Where is Akira?"

Akira heard these words and closed his eyes. He knew that voice well. It belonged to Kagome and to Akira's ears the sound of her voice in his ears was like a delicate, tinkling little bell whenever she spoke. Every night he dreamed about it as it whispered into his ears, speaking words both loving and erogenous. Every morning he would awake with a start, his bedclothes a sticky mess and him in desperate need of a bath.

His brother's voice broke into his humiliating thoughts. Akira felt a streak of jealousy shoot through him, as it always did when he thought of his older brother Yuki. It was so unfair, for the vivacious Yuki was an exceedingly handsome man with his shining golden hair, a sultry smile and seductive, cat-like green eyes. No wonder Kagome liked hanging around him so much. The thought left Akira eternally depressed. He did not want to ruin Kagome's visit to their house by inserting himself unnecessarily. His presence was not needed. All she wanted was to be near his beautiful brother.

"Oh, he's upstairs somewhere," Yuki was saying nonchalantly. "Probably in his room. You know how he likes to hide in there, away from the world."

Yuki laughed and Akira resisted the urge to tell his big brother to fuck off. So what if he liked being cooped up in his room? What difference would that make to the rest of the world? He wasn't doing anything wrong and he wasn't hurting anyone.

"Leave him alone," muttered another voice and Akira couldn't help but smile. His other brother Hiro was always sticking up for him and in return, Akira loved him dearly for that.

"Well it wouldn't hurt for him to come downstairs and join us," Yuki retorted. "With all the time he spends alone up there, you'd think he didn't want to be around us. It's like he hates us or something."

Hiro clicked his tongue reproachfully. "Don't be ridiculous, Yuki. That's not it at all and you know it. Akira is a very private person, that's all. He is an introvert by nature, just like you are an extrovert by nature."

Akira scowled. 'More like a pervert by nature,' he added silently.

"I can't help being popular," was Yuki's airy reply, "just like Akira can't help being an unpopular, loner type." There was a munching sound before he continued; his voice muffled by whatever he was eating. "I wouldn't be surprised that if one day he'll end up going postal on someone's ass. It's always the quiet ones you gotta watch out for."

'Screw you, Yuki!' Akira thought angrily, before heading back to his room and slamming the door.

oooo

Above them, the three in the kitchen jumped when they heard a door being slammed shut.

"Great going, Yuki," murmured Hiro as he poured out some tea into his cup.

Yuki stared at his brother. "I think he might have heard me," he said, green eyes wide with innocent surprise.

"You think?" Hiro snorted.

Kagome watched Hiro pour out the tea in silence. She was not alone in Yuki's thinking, in that she too, wished that Akira would come down and join them. Every time she came over for tea, he was always in his room and would never leave it while she was there. Being with the Yamadera brothers was a highlight of her day; she just wished that it was with all three of them, instead of just the two elder ones. And some days, when she came to visit, she wished that she would find only Akira at home. But that never happened, for Yuki— so it seemed— was always attuned to her and would always manage to be home when she came over.

Not wanting to be rude to her hosts, Kagome took her time to finish her tea. After which she got to her feet. "May I go see him?" she asked— not to Yuki, the eldest— but to Hiro. She leaned over and whispered into Hiro's ear.

Joy lit up Hiro's gentle brown eyes as he smiled at her and nodded. He watched her exit the kitchen and go out into the living room. A moment later, he heard her soft footsteps ascend the stairs. When he turned back to his tea, he found Yuki glaring at him.

"Yes? What do you want to complain about now?"

The blond man's pretty face was set into a fearsome scowl. "Why did you let her go by herself?"

"Why? Because Kagome is a big girl, that's why. She can climb up a flight of stairs all by herself without any help from us."

"That isn't what I'm talking about."

"Then what are you talking about?"

Yuki poured out some tea for himself and took a thoughtful sip. "The danger isn't the damn staircase, you idiot. What I'm referring to is Akira. He is the danger."

Hiro stared at his brother uncomprehendingly. "What on earth are you going on about? Danger? Akira is a danger? To whom? Don't be absurd, Yuki, he wouldn't hurt a fly." He paused then added, almost spitefully, "Well, he most certainly isn't a danger to Kagome. After all, he's in love with her. Since that is the case, the only danger here is of your losing Kagome to him." Hiro then took a sip of tea, all the while watching his brother over the rim of his cup.

The comical look on Yuki's face nearly sent the tea shooting out of Hiro's nose.

"Now who's being absurd?" Yuki demanded, whose face was as red as a boiled lobster. "Kagome would never be with a guy like Akira. She's way out of his league."

Hiding his smile, Hiro took another sip. He didn't agree with Yuki's statement. Not at all.

ooooo

Akira's bedroom was situated at the end of a long, dark hallway. Kagome felt along the wall for a switch but could not find one. Instead, she felt her way against the wall to the end of the passage, where a sliver of light shone just beneath the door. She knocked on it gently.

After a moment, the door opened. The youngest Yamadera brother stood before her, his clothes rumpled and his hair a wild mess. He looked as if he had just awoken from a restless sleep.

"K-kagome!" The look on his face was one of utter shock. It was obvious he'd had no idea she would come up to look for him.

"Hi," she said with a sweet smile.

The look she gave him sent Akira's already heavily beating heart to racing. He felt as if his heart beat any faster, he would pass out.

"Wh-what are you doing here?" he stammered. His staggered back a couple of paces to let her into his room, which was a total disaster. Clothes and books were strewn all over the place and his bed looked like a rat's nest, with the bed sheets and pillows piled up against the headboard.

Kagome glanced perfunctorily around before settling her gaze on the owner of the room. "I wanted to know if you were coming down for tea," she said quietly. "In fact, I was hoping you would. I haven't seen you in awhile and I miss you."

She missed him.

Those words rang in Akira's head and his heart began to sing. Kagome said she missed him. He was left speechless.

"I was wondering," she began then stopped, her gaze dropping to the floor.

"You were wondering?" he prompted her. Akira swallowed hard. Kagome looked as though she wanted to say something rather important and he was dying to know what it could be.

Those lovely brown eyes lifted to his and she gave him one of her charming smiles. "I was wondering if you would like to come over to my house for tea."

He stared at her. "Tea?" he asked, bewildered.

She nodded. "Yes. Just the two of us."

"Tea?" Akira could only goggle at her uncomprehendingly. "Tea for two?"

"Well, yes, if that's alright."

Akira went over to his bed and sat down upon it heavily. "What about my brothers?" he asked gloomily. It was almost too much to bear. "Aren't they invited?"

Kagome shook her head. "No, not this time. It will just be the two of us, like I said."

Before Akira could decline this most wonderful invitation, Kagome began picking her way through his room to the door. "Come to my house at one o' clock tomorrow. I'll be expecting you." She glanced back over her shoulder to wink at him. "Bye!" Then she was gone, shutting the door behind her.

For a long, long time, Akira stared at the closed door, unable to process what had just happened. When it finally dawned on him that he would be having tea with her and that they would be quite alone and brother-free, he felt his heart begin its trip on the treadmill. The faster the treadmill went, the more he began to panic.

Falling backwards onto his unmade bed, he lay there for quite some time, his mind in a daze. Eventually, reality set in and he accepted it. Tomorrow, at one o' clock in the afternoon, he would have tea with Kagome and there would be no Yuki getting in the way.

ooooo

The next afternoon, promptly at one, Akira rang the bell at Kagome's front door. A moment later she appeared, dressed in a lovely silk kimono which had been dyed a delicate shade of shell pink.

"Please, come in," she said, opening the door for him to enter.

He stepped inside quickly, for it was cold outside and her kimono was rather thin, seeing how it was silk. Not that he was complaining, mind you, but he did not wish for her to catch a cold.

"Here, let me take this," she offered and helped him out of his coat.

"Thank you." He turned to see her hang up his coat in a small closet and as he did so, his eyes roamed appreciatively up and down her body. Truly, she looked divine in the silk gown, he thought as his body grew warm. Whether it was due to the warmth of the central heating in her house or his raging hormones, he was not quite sure.

When she turned to smile at him, his face was instantly scarlet at being discovered staring at her so intently. But if she noticed it, she gave no sign of it and instead, led him to a cozy little living room where a tray sat on a small, low table in the center of the room. On the tray were the usual tea things: a pot, two cups, a bowl of sugar cubes, a pot of cream and some small cakes.

With a wave of her hand, she indicated that she wanted him to sit wherever and he did so, getting down on his knees across the table from her.

As she began to pour out, she spoke. "I'm glad you came, Akira. I wondered if you might cancel on me." She sent one of her adorable smiles his way and he felt light-headed. One day he felt that he might faint dead away altogether, if she kept smiling at him like that.

"I wouldn't dream of doing something like that," he said. But even as he spoke the words, he felt a trifle guilty for he had thought about doing just that. He picked up one of the dainty little cakes, which had a slice of strawberry on the top and bit into it. "Forgive me," he said, licking away some of the icing from his lips, "but why did you invite only me and not my brothers? Yuki was extremely vexed to hear that he and Hiro had not been invited to come today."

Kagome, who was in the process of dropping a sugar cube into her tea, smiled. "Well, whenever I go over to your house for tea, you hardly ever come down to join us. That makes me a little sad, you know." She turned a solemn gaze up to his. "Sometimes I wonder if you are avoiding me."

"No!" he cried as his body hit the table. The table shook violently, causing all the porcelain tea things to rattle in the tray. Tea and cream spilled out of their containers and Akira immediately moved back, away from the table. "That isn't true, Kagome," he said, a bit more calmly. "I'm sorry I made you feel that way." He stared down at his lap, where his hands were clasped firmly together.

Small hands came into view, startling Akira. Kagome had moved over to kneel beside him and now her tiny little hands were holding onto his much larger ones.

"Then what? What's wrong?" she asked him, her dark eyes searching his. "If it isn't me then…?"

Akira hung his head. He would have to tell her eventually, he knew. To have her believe that he was avoiding her—

"It's not you I am avoiding," he said at last. "It's Yuki."

"I see."

He shook his head. "No, you don't."

"Then explain it to me." Kagome grabbed his chin and tilted his face up so that he was forced to look at her. "Please."

Now was the time, he thought. He could no longer hide behind his bedroom door. He could no longer hide from her, the one he loved the most.

"I know how Yuki feels about you," he told her in a hoarse, emotional voice. "He's in love with you." He paused then added, wincing as he did so, "As am I."

Kagome did not respond. Instead she watched him calmly, her gaze never wavering from his face.

Jumping to his feet, Akira burst out: "I was jealous, alright? Jealous of my own brother because he and I loved the same woman."

She frowned a little at these words. "But why would that keep you from having tea with us? Did you want Yuki to take me away?"

"No, of course not!" His voice was near to shouting. But seeing the startled look on her face, Akira lowered his voice to its normal register. "Of course not. It's just that I feel that Yuki has the advantage. I mean, he's so good looking and I'm not." Akira groaned and put his head in his hands. "My brother is so much better than me in every way. Forgive me for my outburst, Kagome. I never meant to reveal any of this to you. Let's just forget I said anything, okay?"

When he lowered his hands, he was startled to find Kagome standing before him, her head tilted back so that her hair flowed down her back.

"How can I?" she asked him as she rested her palms against his chest. "How can I forget when you've just confessed to being in love with me?"

He did not answer and she shoved him down onto a nearby sofa, where she promptly straddled his thighs. Akira stared helplessly up at her flushed face, with its curtain of black silk tresses framing it.

"Akira," she whispered and lowered her head, pressing her lips against his in a soul searing kiss.

Amidst the thunderous beating of his heart and the red mist that enveloped his brain, Akira felt one of her arms slip around his neck, while her free hand cupped and caressed the side of his face.

It was a miracle that Akira found he was able to move his arms. When he did so, he circled them around her body so that she would not be able to move very far away from him. But that did not appear to be the case at all, for, much to his delight, she pressed her body ever closer to his and he could feel the heat of her body through the fine silk kimono.

Without thinking, he began tugging the back of her gown so that the tops of her shoulders were exposed. A groan erupted from his throat and he pulled her closer so that he could nuzzle his face against her bared skin. Ecstasy flowed effortlessly through him as he shut his eyes and inhaled her scent. It was every bit as intoxicating and mouth-watering as in his dreams of her.

"Gods above, I've wanted you for so long," he whispered heatedly against her neck. He groaned again when she kissed him again and his passion flared to an unbearable degree. His arms locked around her and flipped his body over on top of her, so that she lay open and vulnerable beneath him. The front of the kimono slipped open and he laid eyes on the soft, pale breasts he had always wanted to lay his head on. With trembling hands, he opened the kimono further and he nearly sobbed when he discovered that she was completely naked beneath it.

"You are so beautiful," he murmured as his eyes ran over every inch of exposed flesh. He bent down and gently suckled one coral pink nipple. "I never, in my wildest dreams, ever thought that I would be the one to make love to you. You are truly a goddess, Kagome."

"I've been waiting for you," she moaned softly. She reached up and ran her fingers through his soft hair. "I've been waiting for this moment for a long time, Akira. Please, don't turn down my invitation."

"Your invitation?" He did not understand.

"Yes. Tea for two," she said and to his stunned horror, vanished before his eyes.

oooo

There was knocking on his bedroom door the moment Akira's dream ended. Feeling slightly disoriented and very disappointed, he got up and made his way to his bedroom door. He opened it.

"K-kagome!" He'd had no idea she would come up to look for him.

"Hi," she said with a sweet smile.

The look she gave him sent Akira's already heavily beating heart to racing. He felt as if his heart beat any faster, he would pass out.

"Wh-what are you doing here?" he stammered. His staggered back a couple of paces to let her into his room, which was a total disaster. Clothes and books were strewn all over the place and his bed looked like a rat's nest, with the bed sheets and pillows piled up against the headboard.

Kagome glanced perfunctorily around before settling her gaze on the owner of the room. "I wanted to know if you were coming down for tea," she said quietly. "In fact, I was hoping you would. I haven't seen you in awhile and I miss you."

She missed him.

Those words rang in Akira's head and his heart began to sing. Kagome said she missed him! He was left speechless.

"I was wondering," she began then stopped, her gaze dropping to the floor.

"You were wondering?" he prompted her. Akira swallowed hard. Kagome looked as though she wanted to say something rather important and he was dying to know what it could be.

Those lovely brown eyes lifted to his and she gave him one of her charming smiles. "I was wondering if you would like to come over to my house for tea."

He stared at her. "Tea?" he asked, bewildered.

She nodded. "Yes. Just the two of us."

"Tea?" Akira could only goggle at her uncomprehendingly. "Tea for two?"

"Well, yes, if that's alright."

Akira went over to his bed and sat down upon it heavily. "What about my brothers?" he asked gloomily. It was almost too much to bear. "Aren't they invited?"

Kagome shook her head. "No, not this time. It will just be the two of us, like I said."

Before Akira could decline this most wonderful invitation, Kagome began picking her way through his room to the door. "Come to my house at one o' clock tomorrow. I'll be expecting you." She glanced back over her shoulder to wink at him. "Bye!" Then she was gone, shutting the door behind her.

For a long, long time, Akira stared at the closed door, unable to process what had just happened. When it finally dawned on him that he would be having tea with her and that they would be quite alone and brother-free, he felt his heart begin its trip on the treadmill. The faster the treadmill went, the more he began to panic.

Falling backwards onto his unmade bed, he lay there for quite some time, his mind in a daze. Eventually, reality set in and he accepted it. Tomorrow, at one o' clock in the afternoon, he would have tea with Kagome and there would be no Yuki getting in the way.

But best of all, he would have Kagome all to himself.

There was a dream to finish.

The End.