The calm winds of summer's end whispered through Onodera's hair. Even though the hot season was just ending, people still needed jackets and winter attire to keep warm from the sudden cold that struck their town. Snow had fallen in August; it was extremely strange. It didn't seem to bother anyone too much, though.
The cold weather always allowed lovers to cuddle to stay warm, their white, foggy breath mingling as they murmured sweet nothings to each other. Onodera saw these people, and wondered whyHE couldn't be like that, snuggling and whispering to his lover. However this thought was quickly shot down, for he would always remember who that lover was...
"Onodera! Where were you? The printer called for you, and the manuscripts aren't done! Don't just take your sweet time getting here!" Onodera sat down at his desk, sighing as Takano yelled at him. He rested his head on his hand, too tired to retaliate. For some reason, the beginning of the cold seasons always made him feel sick. "ONODERA!" Takano slapped the manuscripts against his desk, making the smaller man jump in surprise.
"T-Takano-san!" Onodera retaliated, his anger boiling up. "Maybe I wouldn't have been late if YOU didn't put all of those boxes in my mailbox!"
Kisa and Hatori both looked at Onodera, suprise on their faces. "OoOoOohhh~ Rit-chan has a secret admirer~~~!" Kisa laughed, making Hatori grin slightly. Both men were ignored
Takano's facial expression changed quickly, from his usual, angry but joking face to a serious one. "I wouldn't do such a thing," Onodera's face turned slightly red at his tone of voice; It was like velvet to the man's ears. "NOW GET TO THAT PRINTER WITH THESE MANUSCRIPTS!" Onodera snapped back to reality as Takano changed back to his normal, work self. Onodera picked up the papers, standing.
"Y-Yes, sir..." Onodera left quickly, avoiding his boss' eyes. As he pushed the button for the elevator , he questioned whether or not Takano really put all of those boxes of various gifts in his mail slot. It seemed like something he would do, that crazy obsessed man... Onodera thought. The elevator made a ringing noise as it reached his floor. Looking up, all Onodera saw was a taller man. His face went from a normal, stoic expression to one of disgust quickly after realizing who was in front of him. Onodera immediately recognized Yokozawa, and looked away from the malicious expression.
"Is that how you greet your co-workers?" Yokozawa growled, barely letting out an intimidating tone of superiority.
"H-Hello, ..." Onodera muttered, moving into the elevator. "I have to go now." He avoided the other man's eyes, not wanting to talk to him. His enemy, for once, agreed it wasn't a time to talk to him. The elevator door had almost closed, but a hand quickly stopped the doors, making them open up again. Takano walked in, ignoring Yokozawa's calls.
"Masamune!" Yokozawa yelled as the doors fully closed. Onodera could feel his body shiver in jealousy. Jealousy? He thought, I'm not jealous of Yokozawa. It's not as if I love Takano…
"Onodera." Hearing his own name, Onodera forgot about his anger instantly. He looked at the source, a question showing on his face. "What were you talking about before? Someone sent you boxes?"
"Ah… W-Well…." Onodera looked away, turning slightly red. "I really don't know… I haven't opened them yet…" He lied. He seemed to be getting better at it, since Takano seemed convinced. The elevator reached the bottom floor. "N-Not as if it's any of your business!" Onodera shouted, rushing out the door. He heard Takano calling for him, but he knew the man wouldn't chase after him. There was too much work to do.
"Geez… That printer was ruthless…" Onodera spoke to himself, waiting for the elevator to reach his floor. He had gone there, and they instantly yelled about the manuscripts being late. No matter how much he apologized, they continued to rant at him. Tiring as it was, he knew they would have the magazine out on time, which relaxed Onodera. Looking at the time, he wondered if everyone went home. "If only Takano-"
"What about me?" Takano said, standing in front of the elevator. It had reached their level, and Onodera didn't realize the door opened.
"T-T-T-TAKANO-SAN!" Onodera yelled, surprised to see his boss at work this late. "W-What are you doing here?"
"…I work here."
"I MEANT THIS LATE." Onodera felt his frustration rising. He didn't need to be bothered by Takano right after getting screamed at by the printers.
"Oh. I was waiting for you." Heat rushed to Onodera's face, making him look away. Takano continued to stare at him, burning into his soul. "I was worried if you went home alone something might happen. You know what's been going on with the news, and after what you said today…" His voice drifted, and Onodera could see the stress on the other man's face. Takano was referring to a recent string of violent murders had been happening in the city at night. The attacker would send gifts, then attack the target when they were alone at night.
"I-I'm not a kid you know! I can defend myself!" Onodera grumbled, hurrying to drop off some papers on his desk. When he went back to the elevator, Takano was still there. He hated the fact they lived next to each other. They'd always be on the same route home, at the same time. It annoyed him to be around Takano so much, but there wasn't anything he could do except ignore him.
Once they were out on the street, Onodera was yet again reminded of the happy couples in their coats, cuddled together. The laughter reminded him of back when he and Takano were like that. Of course, Onodera was too nervous around Takano to act like that, but inside he knew that if they had stayed together, they would have… Onodera clenched his fist. He was angry that he thought back to that, especially when his ex-lover was right next to him.
"Onodera… I seriously think you should come over tonight," Takano said, looking at Onodera. "It's dangerous. I don't want you to get hurt…"
"I don't need your help…" Onodera murmured.
"Hm? What did you say?"
The stress from that day, every day, just boiled over. "I said I don't need your help! I can handle myself! Why don't you just go run off with-" Onodera regained control before he said the rest. His eyes wide and brimming with tears, he dashed away from Takano. He couldn't face him like this. He refused to.
"Onodera! Don't be stupid! Come ba-" Takano's cries were lost in the wind as Onodera ran faster. He turned rapidly, not paying attention to where he was going. He didn't care. He just wanted as far away from Takano as possible. He couldn't take these feelings anymore. Tears streaked down his face. Why was he so confused about these feelings?
Lost in his own thoughts, Onodera didn't realize he had run so far. When he stopped, he had no idea where he was. An eerie silence surrounded the area. Everything was dark, except the few and far between 24/7 stores and street lights. The clouds covered the moon, blocking the natural light. To Onodera, it seemed to be ripped from a horror movie.
"Excuse me…" Onodera turned to face the stranger, his voice coarse and deep. "Do you know where you are?" A shiver ran down his spine, but he shrugged it off.
"Ah… No… Can you help me find to the subway?" He asked politely. The smirk on the other man's face widened, and Onodera because frozen in fear. A sudden awareness hit him: This was the killer. "N-Nevermind. I'll just go to that store down the-" As he began to walk away, his arm was grabbed. He was yanked back, a cloth put over his mouth and nose. Onodera couldn't breathe, and his consciousness started to fade. Everything went pitch black in a matter of seconds. The last thing he remembered was his phone vibrating, and falling to the concrete.