Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi by Shungiku Nakamura
Rated M: For mature content!
The Case of Onodera Ritsu
"Good morning, Ricchan!" Kisa greets Ritsu as he enters the office.
The Emerald department better known as the "Maiden" department is back to the beginning of the cycle. The office is pinker and sparkler than ever. Ritsu's imagination tells him that magical fairies came by in the middle of the night and transformed everything when no one was looking.
Sometimes Onodera has to squint from how over the top their work area is with the pink wallpaper with blue accents, the stuffed bunnies, bears, chicks, baby dolls, and even scented flowers that decorate the place. It makes him feel like it was their own twisted version of Alice in Wonderland but in the shoujo manga world.
"Good morning, Kisa-san," he yawns.
He sits down in his chair, adjusting it to a comfortable position and turns on his laptop. Ritsu is still getting used to bouncing back right after hell week, even though he's been with Marukawa Publishing for almost a year now. The rest of his coworkers seem to do it with little to no effort, the bags under their eyes completely erased, faces sparkling, relaxed, and rejuvenated like they just came back from the spa.
"Good morning, Onodera-kun!" Mino greets with his ever friendly smile. "Don't forget to put in your vote for our department vacation."
"Oh! I almost forgot. Thank you for reminding me!" he says.
Because their department had the highest consecutive sales within the last three months the company decided to give the department an all-expense paid vacation for one weekend. They have to vote where they want to go and run it by the CEO to see if he will approve their location and hotel. The deadline for their place of destination is due today so Takano scheduled a small meeting for them before the request needs to be submitted.
"Good morning," the editor-in-chief walks in with a blank expression behind his black-rimmed glasses.
"Good morning!" they all greet him back enthusiastically—except for Onodera.
Onodera never likes appearing too happy or friendly around his boss in case he gets the wrong impression that he's slowly falling back in love with him, which he feels Takano always assumes and tries to use to his advantage like so many times in the past few months.
Ritsu senses his presence behind him and starts panicking, his heart beating loudly in his chest.
What is he doing standing so close to me?
Takano slightly bends over, "Here—I figured you would need this after the last cycle."
He places a cup of coffee on the young editor's desk, taking the one he bought for himself and sips on it, before heading to his own desk without waiting for a reply from his subordinate.
Mino smiles at Onodera. "Aww…how sweet! I wish someone would bring me morning coffee like that."
"Ha?" Ritsu blushes at his comment, more so at his boss's unexpected gesture.
"Um…thank you," he hesitantly sips on the warm liquid. It is very welcoming but he keeps the thought to himself.
"That's no fair, Takano-san!" Kisa whines. "What about us? We went through hell week, too! A cup of coffee would have been a nice pick-me-up for today."
"The vending machine is just around the corner if you want coffee," he answers uncaringly.
"By the way, Kisa, you still owe me for the bento I ended up paying for last week when you left your wallet at home," Hatori leans sideways in his seat, showing himself from his side of the room.
Kisa cringes at his words. "Yeah…I know," he cowers deeper into his seat, hoping Hatori had forgotten all about it.
"I'm starting our meeting," Takano stands, adjusting his glasses on the bridge of his nose. He folds his arms in front of his chest before speaking again, "So, have you all decided where you want to go for our department vacation?"
"Anywhere is fine by me!" Mino smiles his response.
"Kisa?" Takano turns to him.
"Um…well, actually, I didn't have time to think of a place…ha ha ha…" he scratches his head, embarrassed. "I'm good anywhere, too."
Takano rolls his eyes. "What about you Onodera?"
"Well, um…it's supposed to be the season for cherry blossom viewings so I thought maybe we can go to a festival and have a hanami party while we're there."
The cherry blossom festivals and hanami are held all over Japan in the spring. In hanami parties, people usually celebrate by drinking, eating, and singing during the day or night. It's like having a picnic with booze under sakura trees.
"That sounds like fun," Mino nods his head, still smiling. "We could do a BBQ!"
"That actually works perfectly with my suggestion," Hatori says. Everyone turns to him. "I thought we could go to Hanamaki Onsen in the Tohoku region. It's a popular hot spring resort along a valley. It's supposed to be pretty relaxing. I hear they're also having cherry blossom viewings in the area."
"Perfect, we can do both!" Kisa exclaims.
After everyone agrees on combining Ritsu and Hatori's suggestion for their vacation, Takano calls Marukawa's assistant and asks to be transferred to him. After giving him the details and letting him think on their idea for a second, the CEO agrees and gives them a budget for their stay. Anything outside of their allowance they're responsible for.
"So, what did Marukawa-san say?" Kisa asks after he gets off the phone. Everyone is waiting for the editor-in-chief's response as they are all curious.
"The trip is set. Tori, since you're the most responsible one and you suggested the onsen, try to book rooms for us as soon as possible," he orders. "And find out where the closest cherry blossom viewing is."
"Until this vacation is set in stone, I don't want to see any of you slacking off on your work. We still have deadlines to meet and if I find one of you half-assing your assignments before then—no one is going on this trip! Is that understood?" Takano eyes them one-by-one with a serious death glare, his subordinates nodding their heads vigorously at this threat.
"Oh, man, I better check up on the mangaka I'm in charge of," Mino softly laughs. Ritsu and Kisa quickly follow in pursuit while Hatori makes his own phone calls.
Two weeks after the initial suggestion, the Emerald staff arrives at the Hanamaki Onsen in the Tohoku region in the early evening.
"Wow…this is a nice place!" Kisa marvels at the shoin-zukuri style Japanese architect with square posts and floors completely covered with tatami. "Makes me feel like we're back in the feudal period! Good choice, Tori."
"I'll go check us in," Takano says while the four wait in the front with their bags. A few minutes later, he comes back with their room assignments. "It looks like because of the festival, they accidentally gave one of our rooms away."
"Ha?" his subordinates give him exasperated looks.
"I guess it can't be helped, right?" Mino shrugs.
"Instead of five individual rooms, we only have four so two people have to share a space." He holds out the room keys for them to decide, keeping one for himself. Kisa, Mino, and Hatori grab the remaining keys before Ritsu even has time to blink.
"What!" Onodera's mouth drops open, looking at them back and forth as the three rejoice.
"Sorry, Onodera-san," Mino apologizes, "But it looks like you'll have to bunk with Takano-san," he giggles.
"W-why can't I bunk with one of you instead?" he asks, frustrated at the unfair outcome.
This whole thing is rigged!
His three coworkers look away, trying to avoid his question. None of them want to share rooms.
Kisa finally leans in and whispers, "You shouldn't have a problem being in the same room with Takano-san. I mean…you two did spend the night sharing that single double-sized bed when you went to the Toukhoku region on that business trip last month."
"That was Business Affairs' fault! And all the other rooms and hotels were booked!" Ritsu hisses, blushing.
He hates Takano for revealing the fact that they shared a bed together, which caught everyone's attention, especially the female staff in the other departments.
Onodera was even more embarrassed when Takano put him on the spot to explain the details of the trip they took to see his new mangaka, Kaitou-sensei. The entire staff keeps asking if anything happened while they were there, to which Ritsu profusely denies—even though he was taken advantage of again by Takano.
"Well, I'm going to my room," Hatori says quickly.
"Let's meet at the hot springs in thirty minutes!" Mino waves goodbye, also heading for his room.
Kisa yawns. "That was a long train ride. I think I'll take a quick nap first," he walks away.
Ritsu is left in the lobby area with Takano.
Why do I have to share a room with him again? This so unfair!
"Let's go, Onodera," Takano orders. After a few paces, he turns back around when his subordinate wasn't following him. "What's wrong with you?"
Ritsu is still debating on what to do with the situation. Maybe they have a spare rollaway bed he can use? Do onsens even have extra beds like hotels? "Um, maybe I can go see if we could get an extra bed in the room?" he says quietly.
"Are you an idiot? This isn't a hotel! They don't have those here. This is a traditional shoin-zukuri style establishment," he replies, clearly annoyed. "What are you embarrassed about? You act like we haven't shared a bed before. You were in my bed just the other night," he mumbles.
I hate him!
Takano continues walking without waiting this time. Ritsu sighs and slowly follows his boss.
I have a bad feeling about this…
By the time Ritsu and Takano reach the hot springs, the rest of the group are already there, sipping on sake.
Kisa is red in the face, giving them a goofy smile when they arrive. "There you guys are! We got lucky with this private spring so it'll be just us!"
They take off their robes and sink their naked bodies into the spring. "Here you go, Onodera-kun," Mino pours him a cup of warm sake. "Kisa-kun bought several bottles so we should be covered for the whole weekend."
"I have beer, too," Kisa smiles widely.
"We can always count on you to have alcohol," Hatori comments.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kisa furrows his eyebrows.
"Well, everyone knows you're a bit of a lush, Kisa-kun," Mino chuckles. He's known to have a stash of beer at his desk and is always up for drinks whenever someone invited him out, especially if they were paying.
"Hey! Alcohol relaxes me! Especially with all the deadlines and my author running behind with her storyboard…" he argues. "It's hard enough working at all hours of the day and always having to apologize to Yukina for not being able to meet up…although my apartment's never looked cleaner because of that stupid week-long sleepover thing—" Kisa suddenly covers his mouth, embarrassed for spilling too much about his personal life.
"Looks like alcohol also makes you ramble," Hatori smirks.
"Who's Yukina?" smiles Mino, nudging him. "Is that your…special someone?" he giggles.
Ritsu notices he's also turning red in the face. As a matter of fact, they all are from the sake in their systems. It's becoming easier for all of them to laugh at every little thing that someone says. Ritsu is in his good, happy place and feels relaxed in the soothing water.
"Y-yes," Kisa admits shyly. "But, I don't want to talk about it!"
"Why not?" Mino looks disappointed.
"It's not that serious," he lies, mumbling.
Yukina has already confessed his love for Kisa, several times as he did with him. Kisa's never felt so strongly for anyone before in his thirty years and doesn't want to mess this one up since Yukina seems to love him more than he could have ever imagined.
"Anyways," Kisa quickly tries to get the topic off of him, "what about you Tori? You're a bit of a ladies' man, aren't you? The author I'm in charge of still wants to go on a date with you."
"No, thank you," he flatly answers, taking another sip of sake. He already has someone he's in love with.
"Do you also have a special someone, Tori-kun?" Mino asks curiously.
"I'm currently too busy to hold a normal relationship. Trying to manage Yoshikawa Chiharu and keeping her on track with her deadlines is hard enough."
"She's a bit lazy, isn't she?" comments Kisa.
"You have no idea…" Hatori sighs with frustration in his voice.
He's had a secret crush on his childhood friend Yoshino Chiaki, the mangaka under the penname of Yoshikawa Chiharu, of whom he was also in charge of.
Yoshino doesn't want the public knowing he's a man writing shoujo manga. He often gets writer's block and does nothing productive for days. Hatori is always at his apartment cooking for him and sometimes, doing his laundry, while trying to inspire him with an idea. He recently confessed his love for him, which Yoshino has accepted. However, he wants to take things slow because he's still getting used to having an intimate relationship with a man. Only Takano and the higher ups know the mangaka's true identity.
"I wish I had someone special," Mino suddenly says. He pours the last remnants of sake in his cup and sips it. "Darn, empty."
"Not to worry!" Kisa takes another bottle out of his stash.
"Save some for tomorrow, Kisa," Takano hands him his cup for a refill.
"I know, I have plenty!" he pours him some more and hands it back. "So, Ricchan," he smirks at the young editor, "your turn!"
"Ha?" Ritsu blushes at the question, although you wouldn't be able to tell since he's already red in the face from the rice-based alcohol.
"Who's your special someone?" he starts giggling along with Mino. Even Hatori is looking at him curiously. Takano has an unreadable expression on his face so Ritsu has no idea what he's thinking.
I don't want to answer!
"I didn't say I had one!" he quickly replies. "I…I haven't loved anyone in years." He looks down at his cup, not wanting to see Takano's gaze on him.
"Aww, you're no fun, Onodera-kun," Mino frowns. "What about you, Takano-san? There are a lot of females at Marukawa always asking if you're seeing anyone. I never know what to tell them."
Ritsu's heart begins beating loudly in his chest again.
"You say you're not a player, Takano-san, so is there anyone special in your life?" Kisa adds. "Honestly, with your good looks, I bet you could get anyone you wanted."
Takano smirks at his comment. "You would think I could, but I'm having a difficult time trying to get the one I love to confess they love me back, especially when all the signs clearly point to it."
"What?" Ritsu suddenly blurts. They all turn to him unexpectedly. "I mean…how do you know? Maybe you're reading the signs wrong?" he continues quietly. "Maybe they really don't love you…"
"Oh, they do. This person is just being stubborn," he replies coolly.
Who's being stubborn? You're the one being stubborn! No means no!
"So, what are you going to do, Takano-san?" Mino asks.
"I'm a patient man. They'll confess their love to me…again…soon," he smiles toward Ritsu. Onodera looks away, chugging down the sake in his cup that burns in his throat. He realizes he shouldn't have done that since it makes him more inebriated than he already is.
"Sounds complicated," comments Hatori.
"Well, I don't think any of us has ever had a real, normal relationship," he replies, addressing each of his subordinates. They all grow silent, quietly agreeing, Kisa and Hatori suddenly missing the ones they love.
"Well, I hope you sleep well tonight, Takano-san! Ha ha ha…" Kisa giggles, which causes Mino to giggle along with him.
"Me, too," Mino snickers.
Ritsu glares at them both. What's that supposed to mean?
"Thanks, I'm counting on it," Takano answers with another small smirk playing on his lips.
"I'm getting out," Hatori suddenly says and steps out of the water, exposing his naked back to them. "I have to check up on my author." He wants to call Yoshino and see how he's doing; if he's eating the meals he's prepared for him for the weekend, and to tell him that he misses him.
"Me, too! I'm getting out!" Kisa practically runs out of the spring. "I have to check the other beer I bought. Make sure I really do have enough for tomorrow."
In actuality, he wants to call Yukina to hear his sweet, charming voice. Yukina said he's going to stay over at his apartment this weekend, even though he isn't there, so when he gets back home, he can see him right away. The young art student keeps texting Kisa on how much he misses him and that he'll be there waiting for him when he returns.
"Um, excuse me," a young man, dressed like a staff member enters their private room. "Forgive my intrusion, but Kanade-san…you said to let you know when my shift was over," he blushes.
"Great timing," Mino smiles. "Give me a second and I'll meet you out by the front."
"O-okay! Please take your time!" he bows and quickly leaves.
"Looks like I'll be getting out, too," he smiles at Onodera and Takano. "Higashi-kun said he would show me around the place a little. You two have a good night!" He takes one of the unopened sake bottles and leaves.
"This is interesting…" Takano says.
"W-what's interesting?" Ritsu asks hesitantly.
His heart is racing a marathon in his chest. He hates being alone with his former lover. He can never think straight, especially right now, and with him looking at him like that.
"It looks like it's just the two of us," Takano makes his way closer to Ritsu, who moves away to keep the distance between them. But Takano grabs his arm, sliding him smoothly through the water toward him.
This whole thing is rigged!
"Let's go finishing drinking in our room." He takes whatever remaining bottles of sake are left and stands up, letting his subordinate soak in his entire package.
Ritsu blushes and averts his eyes to the water. Takano finally gets out of the hot spring and puts on a robe. "You coming? Or are you going to stay in there until you're as wrinkled as a prune?"
The brown-haired male grumbles to himself, trying to hide his parts as he stands. He puts on his robe and quickly marches back to their room. "You can finish drinking by yourself. I'm done for the night and going to sleep. Please try to stay on your side of the bed!" he instructs.
I really hope he listens to me this time!
Takano sits cross-legged next to their floor mattress and takes a sip directly from the bottle. "Why won't you drink with me? You're more fun when you drink. You talk more, too."
"No, thank you!" Ritsu says sternly with his back to him on his side of the mattress.
Why did we have to share a room? I'm tired but I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight.
His heart is now beating in his ears.
Onodera feels Takano slide underneath the covers, scooting himself right next to him. Ritsu's heartbeat picking up, feeling his hard-on pressed against his lower back.
"You know, this is kind of like our second honeymoon. If you won't drink with me, I can think of other things we can do," Takano whispers in his ear.
He shivers at the feeling of his warm breath so close to him and scoots his body away even further toward the edge of the sleeping space. "Please, stop! I'm tired and want to sleep!"
He's doing it again…why can't he just leave me alone for once?
"We both know neither one of us will get any sleep tonight." He flips Ritsu over to face his side of the mattress so he can look at him. "You arouse me so much…" Takano's lips claim the man he loves.
"Ta…Takano-san, stop!" he tries to say in between his hard kisses.
Ritsu's body is tingling all over and he can't control the way his body arches to meet his. Takano is finally on top of him, in between his legs, his hard-on growing bigger as he rubs it on his subordinate's stomach.
Ritsu's thoughts are jumbled and all he can think about is the yearning he feels below for his ex-lover. The sake is coursing its way throughout his body, his desires seeping up to the surface. His desires and rational mind are always at a constant battle whenever Takano has him in this kind of compromising position.
"P-please…Takano-sa…" he tries again but he feels too weak to truly resist. He's barely pushing against Takano's warm body, mostly holding him up to keep the small gap between their bodies still visible.
"Stop resisting, Onodera," Takano moves his lips to his neck, lifting Ritsu's hips so he can get a better angle on where he wants their bodies to connect. Ritsu voluntarily slips his arms out of his robes since he's getting too hot underneath the man who is capable of making him feel like this. It's a mix of their body temperatures and the sake that's making his head spin. "That's more like it," he feels Takano smile against him.
"Why…why do you keep on doing this to me?" Ritsu breathes with his eyes half-closed. Takano's face is blurry from the different emotions he's feeling.
Takano stops for a second and lays himself down on Onodera's chest, his head resting in the crook of his neck. "You're really slow, aren't you?"
"Can't you see how much I love you? How I've always loved you? You're all I think about and the only person I want to be with. I get jealous when I see you laughing with other men…even women. Whenever I see you look that happy it makes me wish you can look at me the same way and…be happy with me."
Takano frowns against him, which Onodera hasn't noticed.
Ritsu's heart jumps into his throat, his face more flushed than ever. He remembers when he told Takano, his old beloved Saga-senpai, his own big love confession when they were still students.
Stop messing with me!
"Takano-san…h-how can I believe you?" he asks quietly.
Takano lifted himself, resting his arms on either side of Onodera's shoulders, his upper body hovering above his subordinate. "That's easy. Just confess your love for me. If my actions still aren't good enough for you, I'll show you ten times more on how much you mean to me. Just tell me you love me, Ritsu." He looks away, embarrassed and shied by his words. "Look at me properly, Onodera."
Ritsu slowly meets his gaze, the soft, tender features his ex-lover has on his face appear to show his true feelings. "I-I can't," Ritsu mumbles, turning away again.
You're just messing with me!
"But, you will. Like I said I'm a patient man, Onodera. I always get what I want. I don't want you loving anyone else but me!" Takano captures his mouth again, Ritsu squirming underneath him like before.
"Ta...Takano-san, someone will hear us!" he tries to warn him.
"Good. Let them," he says, lifting his hips even more, discarding his own robes in the process. Ritsu gasps when Takano slowly inserts himself into him.
The younger man's breathing becomes ragged and his mind is swirling all over the place again. "Ta-Takano-sa…" Ritsu grabs onto his strong arms, practically digging his nails into them.
"You're so tight, Ritsu…it feels so good around my cock," Takano growls lowly in his throat.
"D-don't say that!" he blushes.
Takano smiles and thrusts even deeper into the man he loves. Ritsu digs his nails into the skin on boss's arms again while moaning and twitching. Takano knows he's close to coming and repositions himself, taking a hold of Onodera's throbbing cock in his mouth and sucks on it vigorously.
"No! P-please…don't!" he begs. "I'm going to…co…come!" he explodes in his mouth. His body convulsing underneath him as Takano takes his time, savoring every last drop of him.
Ritsu's body finally relaxes and his breathing heavy after his climax. Takano is back into a sitting position in between his legs with a satisfied grin on his face. "We're not done yet," he says.
"Ha?" Onodera asks surprised.
What is he up to now?
The editor-in-chief stands up and walks around to the other end of him and stands right above his head. "W-what are you doing, Takano-san?" Ritsu asks nervously, looking up at him.
He has a perfect view of his boss's balls that are dangling right above his face. Takano takes his member and starts stroking it in his hand, his erection growing again. He bends down on his knees and has Onodera take his cock into his mouth while he reaches out for his again, stroking it, trying to get it up for a second time.
Onodera nearly chokes at the 69 position Takano has them in. "Make me come, Onodera," Takano pants, his voice pleading to be satisfied.
The editor-in-chief begins the thrusting motion in his mouth that makes Ritsu grab onto this hips because he's being too forceful with his actions. He's already having a hard time concentrating from Takano ministering his own actions toward him again.
Both men groan in ecstasy as they feel each other's warm tongues squeezing and sucking tightly on their sensitive areas.
Takano's upper body shoots upward, holding onto Ritsu's hands that are still on his hips and starts moving his body up and down, while the man he loves sucks him harder. Takano's knees are beginning to buckle. He swiftly changes direction, straddling the younger man's face, without making Ritsu stop what he's doing.
He thrusts his hips into his mouth even deeper. The new position allows Takano to rest his elbows on the mattress while his subordinate continues to please him. Ritsu moves his hands to his thighs, already able to taste his pre-cum.
"Ri…Rit…su!" he releases his seed into his mouth, letting out a long, satisfied moan from deep within his throat until there is nothing left in him. He rolls over next to Onodera, panting hard from their little work out. Even Ritsu matches his breathing.
Ritsu is dozing off when Takano takes his focus off the ceiling and onto the smaller man beside him. He rolls over again, but this time on top of Ritsu once more. "Ta-Takano-san…I'm tired," he whispers with his eyes fully closed.
"I know," he smiles at his half-sleeping form. "I just wanted to say that I love you."
"Do you love me, too?" Takano dares to ask.
"Uh-huh…" Ritsu replies, not really knowing what he's saying anymore as sleep takes over him. Takano smiles again and gives him a sweet peck on the cheek and cuddles close to his beloved, falling asleep with him securely in his arms.
The next morning, Ritsu wakes up with the sound of birds chirping outside and footsteps walking back and forth outside the hallway where their room is located.
A lot of people must be awake already. What time is it?
When he finally opens his eyes and adjusts his vision to his surroundings, he finds himself in Takano's arms. His breath catches in his throat after remembering the events of last night and how Takano gave him his big love confession. He swears Takano also said he loves him, but he thinks it's just a part of a dream he was having.
Takano is also still sound asleep and Onodera doesn't want to wake him so he carefully removes himself from his arms and tries to get ready as quietly as possible. It's better he doesn't wake up while he's still there to avoid the awkwardness of last night.
"There you are, Ricchan," Kisa waves to him, yawning. His three coworkers are already seated, waiting for their breakfast by the time Ritsu finds them.
"Where's Takano-san?" Mino asks, pouring himself a cup of coffee.
"Still…sleeping," he answers quietly, a small blush gracing his face.
"So, did you sleep well?" Kisa smirks.
"Um, yes," he focuses on the empty plate on the table.
"Man, what a night, huh!" Kisa laughs. Ritsu's heart kicks up a notch.
What does he mean by that?
"I agree…" Hatori nods, briefly glancing at him.
W-why are you looking at me like that?
Mino is softly laughing. "I hope tonight's festivities are more fun than last night! Wouldn't you agree, Onodera-kun?"
"Ha? Oh…um, sure," he nods nervously.
Did they hear us last night?
"There you are, Takano-san," Hatori says. Ritsu's body tenses.
"Hey…" he greets them and sits down next to Onodera, barely paying him attention.
Mino pours his boss some coffee. "You don't look so well, Takano-san."
"That's because I'm hung over," he replies, somewhat annoyed. He takes off his glasses and rubbed his temples with a sour face.
"Drank a little too much, huh?" chuckles Kisa. "Did you enjoy last night just as much as we did, Takano-san?" he leans into the table, looking at him curiously for his answer.
Ritsu is feeling even more embarrassed as if they were hinting at something. He swore his heart is about to burst out of his chest and run for the hills.
Takano sighs and slouches into his seat. "Actually, I don't remember much of anything from last night," he answers, taking a sip of his coffee.
"What?" Ritsu exclaims. They all turn to him with curious looks, even Takano who apparently doesn't remember anything.
How can you not remember anything? You had me in another compromising position and told me your big love confession!
"I mean, it must have been the sake…" he mumbles.
"Must have been," Takano answers nonchalantly, yawning. Onodera can't believe he didn't remember a thing. Not after the way he made him feel and his confession to him. And frankly, his loss of memory is starting to make him angry.
You're the worst!
"Hey, after breakfast, we should walk around and find a good spot for the cherry blossom viewing and claim it!" Mino suggests.
Hatori nods. "That's a good idea."
After they pay for their meals, everyone gets up to starts their day excursion. Ritsu and Takano are the last ones to leave the table. "Onodera."
"Huh?" he turns back around. He looks at his coworkers who are already out the door then back at Takano who is still taking his time. "We're going to be left behind if we don't hurry," he tells him.
"I want to ask you something."
"Um, what it is it?" he begins to turn red.
"How much of last night do you remember?"
"Ha? Um…well, not much either," he lies.
I'm not going to tell you!
"Is that so?" Takano's eyes narrows.
"Look, they're leaving. We might not be able to find them in the crowd if we don't get a move on. I'll see you outside!" He practically runs out the door to avoid dragging the conversation down a path he doesn't want to elaborate on.
Left alone, the editor-in-chief lifts the sleeve of his shirt and looks at the nail marks Onodera left on his arm from last night. "Liar," he smirks.
He puts his hands in his pockets and quietly laughs to himself, slowly making his way to where his subordinates are waiting.
Author's Note: I'm going to leave the ending a mystery. You can decide if Takano really remembers what happened and is just playing dumb, or if he really did forget like he says (hehe).
Btw, I did a tiny bit of research on the cherry blossom viewing and the onsen, but very briefly. There might be a few things I got wrong with it but, oh well. Minor details. :)