I don't own Junjou Romantica, Nakamura Shungiku does. I've written quite a bit fanfics about Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, but this is my first Junjou story. Isaka Ryuichiro is one of my favorite characters from both series, and I've wanted to write a story about him. Too bad this is an angst-story, lol! I'm also SUPER EXCITED that episode 6 of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi is Isaka's story with Asahina! This is an Isaka POV fanfic, and the story takes place roughly a year after Junjou Mistake.

Warnings: OOCness, angst, fluff, lemon, and Isaka being…Isaka.

Into the Storm

…I hated my life.

I bit back several curse words as I struggled to get comfortable. This was not how I wanted to spend my night after working my ass off all day!

Stupid Kushinn! I thought, wishing death and misfortune upon the man. Stupid fucking Kushinn!

Kushinn Eichiro was an associate from Marukawa's Business Affairs, and was entirely at fault for my current situation. We never got along anyways, but for him to do this to me? To ME? Apparently he didn't give a shit that I was going to be the boss of HIS BOSS in a few years!

Above me, the queen-sized bed creaked as its occupant turned over in her sleep. I grumbled to myself and shifted upon the floor. "Why do hotel room floors have to be so fucking hard?" I hissed to nobody in particular.

It was bad enough I was forced to go on an overnight business trip. A business trip with a female colleague, Sakano Mariko. If things weren't frustrating enough, Asahina was going on a trip with my father tomorrow and would be gone for three days! We wouldn't see each other for almost a week!

What made matters worse was that my cell phone completely died on this trip! I'd wanted to call Asahina, but I couldn't even turn the damn thing on! So it was left charging on the nearby desk, while I tried to call him via the hotel room phone. Unfortunately, making an outbound call proved to be too difficult and not worth the trouble it gave me!

But work was work, and I couldn't weasel out of this trip, as much as I wanted to. I didn't anticipate that Kushinn would be in charge of handling Mariko and mine's expenses for our short trip.

…Nor did I expect him to book us one room in an overbooked hotel! And not just a single room, but a single room with ONE BED!

So, I was stretched out on the floor. Even though I deserved to sleep in that large bed, I wasn't going to tell a woman to sleep on the floor. Floor that, despite the fact that it was carpeted and the room was heated, was so fucking cold and hard!

Fucking Kushinn! I rolled over onto my side and squeezed my eyes shut. I'd only been in this position for three hours, and my entire body was already sore. I was probably going to be feeling it for several days.

Somehow, I don't know how, I started to drift off to sleep. I wasn't even aware of it, either. I only knew this when the hotel room's phone rang!

"Fuck!" not caring that Mariko could hear me, I jabbed one of the two pillows underneath my head against my ear and curled up into a ball.

"Mmm…" Mariko came awake from the phone and my cursing. "W-What—"

"I don't care who it is, but tell them NOT to call back!" I told her sharply.

"Eh?" I heard Mariko sit up in the bed. "But what if it's—"

"I don't care who," I repeated harshly. "Tell me I said that I don't want to talk to anyone and don't call back!"

"…All right." Mariko sounded reluctant as she moved across the bed. I pressed the pillow tighter against my ear as she answered the phone. "Hello?"

I couldn't hear who the person was on the other line. At the moment, I didn't really care, either.

"I-I'm sorry, but Isaka-san is not taking any phone calls," Mariko told the caller. "No, he was very adamant that he wanted to talk to nobody. Hai, he emphasized this to me specifically. No, he doesn't want any calls whatsoever. Hai? I'm sorry, he told me no one under any circumstance."

God, why couldn't the moron take a fucking hint? It was three in the morning and I was sleeping on the floor! I didn't want to move from this position, lest I lose the spot that somehow got me to sleep!

"I-I understand. Arigato and good night." Mariko hung up the phone. "Isaka-san, the—"

"I don't care," I interrupted her. "All I want to do is go to sleep. Whoever that was can call me back tomorrow, if it's so urgent."

"…All right." Mariko slid back under the covers.

I bit down on my lower lip as I struggled to find my sleep again. I SWEAR I'm going to kill you, Kushinn!

…I should've taken that phone call. No matter how sore I was or how pissed off I was, I should've gotten up and answered the call.

If I had something as simple as that, it would've spared me the monumental trouble I was in for.

Three days later…

The thermometer beeped and I slid it out of my mouth. "38.7°C." I threw aside the thermometer and scrubbed at my face. "Shit…"

I had a mild fever. But why was I surprised? This was all because of that idiotic business trip, when I had to sleep on the floor. I woke up so sore that I could barely move; Mariko had to order a wheelchair to come up and get me out of there. The soreness only increased instead of going away. Just twisting my head was painful.

So, I ended up calling in sick for three days. This was hell because Asahina wasn't here and so I had to take care of myself. But after three days of rest my body didn't hurt as much as it had.

Only now I had a fever. How the hell did this work?

Fucking Kushinn!

I sighed heavily, and rubbed a hand over my face. I knew I had to go in today. Work had most likely piled up like crazy, and I was bound to get a lot of shit for it. And since I abused my absences without consequence, my coworkers were going to gossip about me again and grumble about me.

Fuck them.

I still had cognitive awareness, so it wasn't too much of a hassle to get my clothes on. But if I didn't hold myself absolutely steady then I got dizzy. I fucking hated getting sick for real!

You'll be fine, I ordered myself, sloppily tying my tie. Just get through today. Asahina is going to be back tonight and he can take care of you.

A part of me felt guilty about this thought, because it would mean I would be burdening him after he returned from a business trip. But hey; he'd been my caretaker for years anyway, so he would be use to it.

I pulled out my cell phone and dialed up Asahina. I'd tried calling him while I was sick; mostly to complain to him but also because I missed him and I wanted to hear his voice.

"The person you are trying to call is not avail—"

"Fuck." I hung up the phone and scoffed. Asahina hadn't answered any of my calls. He must've been somewhere with a shitty cell phone tower. But it was frustrating that I heard even heard his voice in nearly a week!

I ate some yogurt in the fridge before taking some medicine. I took a few deep breaths and brushed my suit out. It was going to be a long nine and a half hours, but I would get through it. It was just a matter of ignoring the morons around me.

As soon as I stepped out of the elevator onto my floor, a group of employees a few feet away stiffened and immediately stopped talking. I rolled my eyes and resisted the urge to flip them the bird as I moved past them towards the literature department. Just get through today…

It was odd, though. Maybe I was paranoid—or maybe my cold was causing me to hear things—but it felt like the other departments silenced when I walked past them. Once I was far enough away they would immediately begin speaking again.

Were they all talking about me? Granted, I was an awesome-enough person to be the focus of a conversation, but this was ridiculous! I was allowed to take a few sick-days, especially when I can't even move!

The gossip wasn't the worst of it, though. The minute I entered my department, it went silent like the others. Then I saw the faces of my coworkers as I reached my desk. The two sitting on either side of me looked…uncomfortable. I clenched my teeth as I sat down at my desk. I did have a lot of paperwork stacked up, but I was fairly confident I could get it all done by the end of the day.

One hour in, my irritation had flared out of control. All around me was stark silence, except the occasional phone call. I could blatantly hear conversations in other departments, but nobody was talking in mine. Generally I liked silence because it allowed me to focus, but this silence was distracting!

"THAT DOES IT!" I snapped, throwing down the manuscript I held. I stood up and glared at everyone around me. "Why is nobody talking? You were ALL talking before I came in here! That means you were all talking about ME! What, you feel confident to gossip about me in my father's building when I'm not here, but when I AM here you all are uncomfortable? So what is it? What have I done to piss you all off SO MUCH? I was sick, okay? Even Ideserve a sick day, even if it's three!"

The coworker sitting to my left stood up and bowed deeply. "F-Forgive me, Isaka-san!"

All around me my coworkers and even my boss stood up to apologize. It was surprising, but for some reason it didn't make me feel better. "All right, you're forgiven," I said irritably.

Everyone sat down and broke off into individual conversations. That was a bit of a relief, but I couldn't help but feel that it wasn't the answer to the problem.

Because the people in other departments were still talking about me.

I was leaving the bathroom when I spotted Mariko. "Sakano-san!" I called out, hurrying over to her.

Mariko visibly jumped, and she slowly looked over at me. She looked incredibly pale. "O…Ohayo gozaimasu, Isaka-san."

"Arigato, for taking care of the trip report for me," I said, smiling. "I wasn't…" I trailed off slowly when I realized she was holding a white envelope in her hands.

Mariko saw the look, and immediately hid the envelope behind her back. "W-What is it Isaka-san?"

"What's that envelope?" I asked. She tried to hide it from full-view, but I managed to snatch it away from her. I read the writing on the envelope and did a double-take. "Y-Y-You're resigning, Sakano-san?"

Mariko winced, and her smile became painful. "H…Hai, Isaka-san. It's something I've been giving a lot of thought to. I-I got married last year after all, and my husband has been wanting me to qu—"

I grabbed her by her wrist and dragged her over to a quiet area. "What's going on, Sakano-san?" I demanded. "You're a very hard worker and you're up for a promotion soon! I chose you to go on this trip with me because of your work ethic! Why would you decide to quit?"

"A-Ah…" Mariko looked incredibly uncomfortable by this conversation. "About the trip…"

"What about the trip?" I snapped. "Did you face trouble over the report?"

"Isaka-san…" she meekly raised her hands. "Please don't make a big deal out of this. Quitting was inevitable for me anyways after I got married."

"Are your coworkers giving you a hard time? I mean, everyone's talking about me!" I huffed and shook my head. "Maybe they're jealous because you got to go on some high-class trip with a high-class hotel…"

Slowly but surely, the dots connected. A cold feeling began to form in my stomach and I looked at Mariko in horror. "Sakano-san…do they know we shared a room?"

Mariko's face twisted up in pain, but she forced out a laugh. "I-It's nothing—"

"Oh, fuck." I pressed a hand to my forehead. "Because we were forced to share a room, people probably think we slept together! That's probably why they're talking about me, and not because of my absences! A-Are you being harassed because of it, Sakano-san? Is that why you're quitting?"

I could see tears welling up in Mariko's eyes. It was startling and infuriating for me. "L-Look, Sakano-san. I can fix this. All I need to do is—"

Mariko abruptly snatched her resignation notice from me. "Isaka-san," she said sternly, though her voice was shaking. "I've already told you that this was a decision made by both my husband and myself. This has nothing to do with you. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you, but I must put my family first." she bowed to me stiffly. "Thank you for being so kind to me this whole time."

Before I could say anything more, she turned on her heel and ran, leaving me gaping after her.

I heard a buzz of conversation behind me. I turned around and saw a group of people standing there. All of the conversations ceased the minute I turned around.

I snarled in rage. "Get back to work or else ALL OF YOU are fired!"

They immediately fled, but I could hear the buzz all around me. I was seething where I stood, knowing these idiots was gossiping about me supposedly screwing a fellow employee. And they're harassed her to the point that she was quitting. All in the course of the three days I wasn't here!

If I'd come in, I could've squashed this before it blew out of control! What will Otou-san say if he hears something like this?

I pulled out my cell phone and called Asahina for the umpteenth time. I needed someone to talk to, even though he was probably still en route back to Tokyo.

"The person you are trying to call is not avail—"

WHY wasn't he picking up his calls? He had to be back in the Tokyo area, where there were plenty of cell phone towers! There was no excuse for it now!

People thought I slept with an employee. The same employee was quitting. Asahina wasn't picking up his calls at all.

I shook my head and bit down on my lower lip. I nearly drew blood. I'm going to fucking kill you, Kushinn!

I stormed into the Business Affairs department, grinding my teeth. "Kushinn!"

There he was; Kushinn Eichiro, standing up slowly from his desk. "Isaka-san," he greeted me. I could hear his fake sincerity and it made me angrier. "What—"

"Come with me!" I snapped, jabbing my thumb over my shoulder. I didn't care that everyone, including Kushinn's boss, was staring at me.

Kushinn smiled thinly. "I'm sorry, but I have some important work I need to—"

"Are you refusing my order?" I shouted at him. Conversations ceased all around me. "Drop whatever you're doing and come with me!"

"Ah…" Kushinn looked at his boss, who gave him an impatient nod. "All right." he left his desk and followed me out of the department.

Once we rounded the corner and could no longer be seen by his coworkers, I grabbed a fistful of his sleeve and forcibly dragged him down the hall. "H-Hey!" Kushinn sputtered. "What are—"

"Shut up!" I snapped at him. I didn't care who saw me manhandling him. What was management going to do, FIRE ME?

The vending machine area was empty. I shoved him hard against the coffee vending machine. "I-I-Isaka-san!" Kushinn shouted, nursing his arm. "What are you doing?"

I jabbed him hard in the chest with my finger. "Who the fuck do you think you are?" I snapped at him. "You've created a scandal, you bastard!"

Kushinn rubbed at his chest. "What are you talking about?" he asked harshly. "If this is about that hotel booking, I already told you it was an accident!"

"It wasn't a fucking accident!" I shouted. "You deliberately booked one hotel room, knowing I was on a business trip with Sakano-san, to embarrass me in front of everyone here!"

Kushinn's brow rose slightly in surprise. But I didn't miss the smirk on his face. "You can't prove that, Isaka-san. Even my boss agrees it was an honest accident."

"You—!" I grabbed him by his collar and wrung his neck. "Sakano-san is quitting!"

The shock in his face was gratifying, but it also made me angrier. "Because of your cheap little trick, she's been harassed because everyone thinks we slept together! Because YOU booked one room with ONE BED! I don't care what kind of problems we have, but why did you have to involve HER? What did she do to you?"

Kushinn was silent for a long moment before he spoke. "…Nothing. She's done nothing to me."

"Then WHY create a situation that ruins her work environment?" I growled. "Why create a situation that ruins MY work environment? People are talking about me all the time, and NOT about my career! I'm not going to be the fodder of gossip over something I didn't even do!"

Kushinn didn't respond for a long time. Frustrated, I let go of his collar. He calmly fixed his collar and brushed the wrinkles out of his suit.

Then he spoke. "Do you remember the company party from last month, Isaka-san?"

I blinked at him. "…What?"

"No, of course you don't remember!" Kushinn responded sharply. "You were so drunk it's a miracle you weren't brain-damaged!"

"What does that have to do with anything?" I demanded.

"Let me refresh your memory," Kushinn hissed at me. "Isaka Ryuichiro, drunk off his ass! So drunk that his father's own secretary had to drag him home! And what did you do at said party, hmm? What did you say?

"I'll tell you what you did and said. You got up onstage, in front of the microphone, and told the entire company that you saw me French-kissing another MAN! You told everyone you took pictures and tried to auction off said pictures! You said that in front of my boss and my PARENTS!"

I stared at him for a long moment. Did I really do and say something like that? I could barely remember last month's party, only that the next morning I puked for three hours straight.

…Wait. Little patches of the incident were floating around in my memory. I was so drunk I clung to the microphone stand because I couldn't stand up straight. My mouth was all over the microphone, as if I were making out with it.

But before that…

I scoffed, and folded my arms over my chest. "I don't remember that whole night," I said hotly. "But I do remember overhearing you tell people that I pissed in the elevator at last year's New Year's party! This didn't happen, by the way!"

"Mine didn't happen either!" Kushinn snapped.

I laughed obnoxiously at him. "So it wasn't you I saw a couple months back sucking face with some random guy in front of a gay bar?"

The color drained from Kushinn's face. Seeing that expression made me explode in laughter, especially in light in what he'd done to me. "I kept quiet about that because that stuff is none of my business, but when you tell people I'm going to be leading in a few years that I pissed myself in my father's building, you have to expect retribution!"

"And consider this yours!" Kushinn snapped at me. "These little rumors that have been buzzing around you pales in comparison to the derision I'VE faced! So forgive me if I don't show ANY sympathy for you!"

He brushed passed me and stormed down the hall back to his office, leaving me standing there seething. Whatever his motive was, Kushinn had made it impossible for Mariko to continue working here. Why did he have to involve someone who had nothing to do with our strife?

It was irritating. More so because Asahina was still not answering my calls, and I needed someone to talk to about this!

When I got home that night, I heard loud noises inside the apartment. I was exhausted from all the shit I had to deal with today, in addition to my fever, so I didn't want to deal with an intruder!

But I saw the shoes in my entryway, and I recognized them. "Asahina!" I kicked off my shoes and rushed to Asahina's room. "Asahina, you're ba…"

I trailed off slowly as I crossed the threshold of Asahina's bedroom. A suitcase was open on the bed, and various article of clothing were strewn on the bed. I looked towards Asahina's closet and saw him emerge. He walked over to the suitcase and placed the clothes in his arms inside.

I blinked in confusion. "What are you doing, Asahina?"

Asahina didn't look at me. "I wasn't expecting home so early, Ryuichiro-sama. I'm not in the mood for talking, so I'll contact you some ot—"

"Why are you packing a suitcase?" I demanded, storming into the room. "You just got back from your business trip, right? Are you going on another one?"

Asahina spared me a glance. I saw anger in his eyes, and I self-consciously took a step back. "I'm leaving, Ryuichiro-sama."

"I sort of guessed that already," I said sarcastically. "Why are you leaving?"

"We will discuss this some other time." Asahina turned to head back into his closet. "Right now I do not want to speak to you."

"Why the fuck not?" I snapped. I grabbed Asahina by his arm. "Why are you so pissed off, anyways? I don't—"

I stopped. I thought back to everything I went through today. "…You've heard?"

Asahina said nothing, but his mouth was pressed together tightly. He looked incredibly pissed off, but he didn't move away from me.

I swallowed thickly and dug my fingers into his sleeve. "D-Don't tell me you believe such wild rumors, Asahina. I thought you were smarter than that."

Asahina remained silent, but he finally pulled his arm free from me and went back into his closet. "Why are you so pissed off?" I demanded. I took a seat on his bed beside the suitcase. "I just told you they were nothing but rumors!"

His silence was starting to get on my nerves. It felt like he was ignoring me. Most of all, it relayed everything that he felt about this situation.

He doesn't believe me.

"You really think I would fuck some woman?" I asked hotly, but my fingers dug into his bed sheets. A feeling of fear began to build inside of me. "You think I would cheat on you, Asahina? Especially with a woman?"

He thinks I cheated.

"Especially with somebody I work with? Give me a little credit here!"

I have to explain it to him.

"Don't you think if I were going to cheat on you that I would be a little more discreet?"

I have to make him believe me.

"Discretion has never been one of your strong points, Ryuichiro-sama," Asahina said finally, still inside the closet.

That little comment left me dumbstruck. He didn't believe me. Asahina believed those ugly rumors. He honestly thought that I used my shitty business trip as an opportunity to cheat on him with Mariko!

I remained silent as Asahina finally emerged from the closet. I watched, gaping at him as he placed more of the clothes inside of his suitcase. He seemed satisfied with it and began zipping it up.

W-What the fuck are you doing? STOP HIM!

I lunged forward and grabbed his hands. "Kaworu," I snapped, using Asahina's first name. "I'm not cheating on you."

Asahina tugged on his wrists. "Let me go, please."

"I'm NOT cheating on you!" I repeated myself harshly. "I don't know why you don't believe me, but I'm telling you the truth! And my truth matters more than a bunch of stupid rumors at the office! Now look at me!" I tugged on his hands. "Look at me and I dare you to tell me you don't believe me!"

Asahina didn't look at me for a long moment. His head was ducked, but I still saw the anger in his face. But…I also saw the pain in his face. I could feel my heart twist up at this.

Then, he looked at me. And the pain was gone. "I don't believe you."

My jaw dropped. He took advantage of my shock to pull himself free and finish zipping up his suitcase.

I regained my senses when he left the bedroom. "W-WAIT!" I jumped up from the bed and ran after. "I'm giving you an order you bastard, and I'm telling you to wait!"

Asahina slowly stopped. I ran to his sleeve and yanked hard on his arm. "How dare you say you don't believe me? I'm your lover! I'm your lover and your boss's son! And you can tell me I'm lying?" I jabbed him in the shoulder with my finger. "I'm telling the truth, and you're supposed to believe me!"

"…I don't believe you, Ryuichiro-sama," Asahina responded numbly.

"WHY?" I demanded. I fought the urge to punch him in the face, even as the pain spread throughout my insides. "Why don't you believe me? Why believe the rumors of those faceless idiots at Marukawa over me?"

"I haven't heard any rumors, Ryuichiro-sama."

I blinked very slowly. "W…What?"

Asahina turned to face me fully. He was glaring at me. "I said I didn't need to hear any rumors from the office about you. I hear rumors about you all the time. I confirmed it myself, Ryuichiro-sama."

My body began to turn cold, even as my head felt so hot. Was I blushing? I had to be, because Asahina's brow knitted tighter in anger. "I-I don't understand," I said quietly.

"Then let me refresh your memory. You, Ryuichiro-sama, took an overnight business trip with a female colleague you selected to go with you."

"Sakano-san is an excellent worker!" I sputtered. "That's why I chose her!"

"You didn't answer your cell phone the entire time you were gone."

"My cell phone died baka!" I snapped. "That's why I didn't answer it!"

"When I finally am able to get a hold of your hotel room, you refuse to come to the phone."

I cried out in shock. "That was you? You were the one who called the room?"

Asahina's upper lip rose in a snarl. "When I emphasized to Sakano-san of who I was, she told me you said that I shouldn't call back."

"A-Ah…" I was starting to see things from his perspective and that only made me more terrified about my current situation. "L-Look, Asahina, it was three in the morning and I was exhausted. I told her to say that to any caller, not YOU specifically!"

"And when I went over the billing information for your hotel room," Asahina continued. "I find out that it was a single room with one bed! And that both Sakano-san and you stayed in this room!"

"The hotel was overbooked! They wouldn't allow me another room!" I waved a hand in frustration. "Besides, I slept on the fucking floor! Do you have any idea how uncomfortable hotel room floors are?"

"When I contacted Business Affairs, they told me you requested these arrangements, Ryuichiro-sama."

"That's a fucking lie!" I shouted. I cursed Kushinn over and over again, wishing a hideous death upon him. "You know I don't get along with Kushinn, Asahina! He did that! He made these arrangements to piss me off and embarrass me! And it succeeded! People won't shut the fuck up about it, and Sakano-san is quitting her job!"

Asahina turned away from me. "I've reserved a hotel room for myself for the night. I will contact you tomorrow after work."

"Asa—Kaworu!" A frightening desperation flooded me. He still wasn't listening to me! What the fuck else could I do to make him believe me?

He started towards the apartment door. I couldn't help the wheezing noise that erupted out of me as I jumped on his back, hugging him as tightly as I could. "I didn't cheat on you."

"Let me go, Ryuichiro-sama," Asahina told me calmly.

I clenched his shirt in my fists. "I didn't cheat on you, Kaworu. I may have shared a room with Sakano-san, but I slept on the floor."

"I don't want to talk about this anymore." Asahina grabbed my hands. "Let me go."

I shook my head against his back. "No. I'm not going to let you leave." My voice was muffled by his back, but I didn't care. I hung onto him for dear life, because I knew if I let go I would lose him.

"I'm innocent, Kaworu. I don't love anyone else but you. I don't want anyone else but you. Why would I? You're all I need. All I've ever needed." I leaned up onto my tiptoes so that I could whisper into his ear. "I love you, Kaworu." He shivered involuntarily. "It really hurts me that you believe that I'm unfaithful, but if we talk about it then you'll see that I'm telling the truth. There's no reason for you to go."

I pulled on him, trying to ease him backwards. "Here, come on. Let's sit down and talk, okay? I know I'm an asshole and I treat you like shit a lot, but I'm telling you the truth. I would never cheat on you. Even if I tease Akihito or flirt with women, you're the only person I want in my bed. And you're the only person I want to ever come home to."

Asahina still remained silent, and his hands remained on mine. My heart was slamming against the wall of my chest. Please believe me. Please believe me!

Asahina's hands squeezed around mine…and pried them off his shirt.

I gasped, but my heart leapt into my throat. I couldn't speak as he removed my hands from him and stepped away from me. He slowly leaned over and picked up his suitcase. "I have a taxi waiting for me, Ryuichiro-sama. I'm going to spend the night at a hotel. Don't come and look for me."

"U-Uh…" I was frozen, standing there gaping after him as Asahina reached the door. "K-Kaworu."

He didn't look back as he closed the door behind him.

The apartment felt obscenely big all of a sudden. I looked around myself as though I were in a strange place and not in my home. A short gasp escaped my mouth, but otherwise the apartment was silent.

…What just happened? Did Asahina just walk out on me? Did he just…leave me over something that didn't happen?

He left me. My hand was trembling violently as I raised it up and touched my mouth. He really left me!

All of a sudden, I was angry. I ran for the door and whipped it open, not paying attention as it smacked the wall. I ran out and grabbed the rail. Far below me in the darkness, I could see a taxi waiting, and I could see Asahina walking towards it.

"I HOPE YOUR TAXI CRASHES, YOU BASTARD!" I screamed at the top of my lungs.

I stormed back into my apartment, my anger flaring out of control. I kicked the couch and knocked over a lamp. I was to absolutely destroy something!

Then I saw my house phone on the cradle. I snatched it up and punched in a specific phone number. I didn't care what time it was, but this person had better answer the phone!

They did on three rings. "Hello?"

"It's Isaka," I snapped into the phone. "When Kushinn Eichiro comes into work tomorrow, tell him he's fired and to clear out his desk!"

"…What?" the man on the other line was Eichiro's boss, and this news was probably surprising to him. "I-I don't understand, Isaka-san."

"Kushinn has created a hostile working environment and an employee is quitting because of him!" I said hotly. "So I'm ordering you to fire him!"

"B-But Isaka-san, we're in the middle of planning another function! If I fire Kushinn, then–"

"Then I'll take responsibility for the fall!" I shouted. "But I want Kushinn out of MY building! If I see him tomorrow, it will get very ugly! So fire him first thing tomorrow, and have him clear out his desk before I come in!"

There was silence on the other line for a long time before he spoke. "…All right, sir. I will fire Kushinn when he comes into work tomorrow."

"Arigato." I hung up the phone and let it drop out of my hand. There. Kushinn Eichiro was no longer a thorn in my side, and I would never have to deal with him again.


I felt light-headed and fell to my knees. My head now hurt so terribly…my cold must be getting out of control. It hardly compared to the pain in my chest. Kushinn was fired, but what did that matter anymore? Mariko was quitting, and Asahina walked out on me!

Bastard! I squeezed my eyes shut at the burning sensation there. But I couldn't stop the hot flood of tears down my cheeks. Baka, bastard! Not listening to me! How could he not believe me! I was telling the truth! That fucking bastard!

I scrubbed at my face as I choked on a sob. And I'm NOT crying for Asahina! I'm just frustrated and tired, because I slept on a fucking hotel floor and I have a cold! That's right, NONE of these tears are for Asahina!

I thought yesterday was one of the worst days of my life. That assumption was quickly corrected the following morning.

"Uuuuuugh…" my entire head was aching. When I opened my eyes, I had to squeeze them back shut because just having them open was physically painful. "Mmm…" I rubbed at my face with my hand, but my hand was cold and clammy. My whole body felt cold and clammy.

…Shit. My cold has spiraled out of control.

It seemed like an eternity before I could even muster the energy to lift my head. It took even longer to get up into a sitting position, but even then I was hunched over, my hands pressed into the bed. I took a deep breath, but clamped my mouth shut when I felt a wave of nausea.

Wow, I thought. Not even a hangover has ever left me this sick!

It must have been from all the shit I had to deal with. It was frustrating when you had to suffer for something that was somebody else's fault. I would have to call in sick, but how the hell was I even suppose to find my phone?

"Asahina!" I called out, and winced at how hoarse I sounded. "Asahina, make me something to eat! I have to call in sick!"

I didn't receive an answer. Confused, I swung my feet over the side of the bed. "Fuck!" the floor was fucking icy! I fell out of bed and ripped my slippers out from underneath it. I jabbed my feet into them, but they still felt like ice. Curing profusely, I grabbed a robe from a nearby chair and tied it around myself. Then I began the painful task of groping blindly through my bedroom for my door. "Asahina!" I shouted, but it only made me cough. I was seriously getting pissed off! Where the hell was Asahina?

I entered the main area of the apartment. I slid against the wall as I moved towards Asahina's room, using it to keep me upright. I tried to call out Asahina's name again, but I ended up having another coughing fit. Talking and opening my eyes hurt so much! And my head was aching terribly; I thought I might throw up standing there.

I finally reached Asahina's room. The door was open, so how the hell could he not hear me? Not wanting to shout again, I tapped the open door with my hand. No response. My anger grew as I stumbled into the room and found his light switch. "A—"

The room was empty, but messy. Clothes were all over his bed and on the floor.

I remembered it then in that moment. Asahina walked out on me. He'd thought I cheated on him, and he walked out on me.

I felt like crying all over again, and that only made me angrier. I couldn't help the tears that spilled out as I left his room and made my way towards the kitchen. I couldn't cook, but I needed to eat something before I took the medicine and then called in sick.

I gripped the side of the counter, panting for breath. The air felt heavy. I hunched over, feeling sick from my general illness and from my own emotions. I just…couldn't believe Asahina thought I cheated on him. I mean, I use to have a lot of girlfriends, but that was before I was in a relationship with him! He's the only person I've ever wanted as my partner! Why would I fuck up the only thing I wanted for myself?

"Bastard!" I hissed, and tried to maneuver around the counter.


I froze. Holy shit…did I really say something like that to Asahina? The nausea felt overpowering now. I pressed a hand over my mouth and braced myself against the counter. How could I say something so awful to Asahina? I knew his family tried to commit suicide when he was a kid by crashing their car! And I had to go and say something so shitty to him?

I sniffled, and scrubbed at my face. Asahina was totally in the wrong, but I shouldn't have said that. I knew I had to apologize to him the next time I saw him. But knowing this just pissed me off more! He was the one who was wrong! I was the one who was owed an apology!

But you still shouldn't have said that.

"…Fuck." I shook my head and turned back towards the fridge. I had to stop thinking about it. I was really sick, and since Asahina wasn't there I had to take care of myself for once.

I took two steps towards the fridge, and promptly vomited.

I collapsed onto the floor, clutching at my stomach. I couldn't even get a breath in before it ruptured out of me again. I coughed and gagged as I puked convulsively, trying with all my might not to fall over. I threw my body backwards and slammed back into the side of the counter, desperate to not slip in the mess I just made. The nausea was still there, but now my whole head felt floaty and it was harder to breathe.

Shit. I need someone to help me!

My breathing was ragged and I groaned in pain. I needed help…but Asahina wasn't there! I couldn't find my phone to call him, or anyone!

Unable to hold myself up anymore I slipped sideways and found myself on my side on the floor. The kitchen floor was ice-cold; it was too reminiscent of my sleep on the hotel room floor. I curled up as my body shivered, but my limbs felt like jelly. I couldn't really move anymore.

"Asahina…Kaworu…" my teeth clattered as I moaned pitifully. "Kaworu, where are you?"


Awareness came to me slowly. I was delirious and confused, not knowing what was going on. I groaned sharply and shifted—and I realized I was lying in my warm bed.

A hand pressed against my forehead. It may have been a warm hand, but it felt scorching hot against my skin. I tried to move away but I wasn't able to.

The hand was gone. I yelped as a stick was shoved into my mouth and coordinated underneath my tongue. I gagged and coughed, not knowing what it was or what was going on. Then I realized my mouth and throat felt like sandpaper. I was so thirsty

Something 'beeped' and that stupid stick was gone. I panted and coughed, trying to form words. I needed water. I needed something to drink…

"39.8° C. That's a pretty impressive fever."

Shock shook my body and I turned as best as I could towards that voice. "Asahina…"

"Take it easy, Ryuichiro-sama." I felt his hands on my shoulders and he pushed me onto my back. "You're really sick, Ryuichiro-sama, and you need to conserve your strength to recover."

"A…Kaworu." I still couldn't open my eyes, but my fingers found his sleeves and they dug into. Which unfortunately wasn't very tight because they kept slipping. "Wa…water."

"Water?" I felt Asahina pull away from me. I heard him fiddling with something on my side table. Did he have water for me?

Something wet and icy cold rubbed over my mouth. I gasped in confusion, and Asahina took the opportunity to shove whatever this thing was in my mouth. It chilled my teeth, but I found it gave relief to my dry mouth. It was an ice cube.

Not knowing what else I could do, I sucked on the ice cube lodged between his fingers. It wasn't the same as drinking water, but somehow it was easier for me. The ice cube though melted quickly and he tried to pull his fingers out of my mouth. I didn't want him to go and sucked on them, trying to grab for them with my hand. But Asahina proved to be stronger than me and pulled them free.

"If you're genuinely feeling sick, Ryuichiro-sama, then you need to tell someone and you won't be in these types of situations."

His words made me angry, but I could hear sadness in his voice. Why was he so sad? And why did he come back here if he thought I cheated on him?

…For the moment, I decided I didn't care. Asahina was there with me, and I didn't want him to leave again.

"Do you think you can eat something?" it was weird to hear Asahina talk. His voice sounded so muted. "You'll need to eat before taking your medicine."

He shifted, and I realized he was standing up. I panicked and lunged for him blindly. He was startled by my sudden movements that I was able to grab hold of his hand. "Ryuichiro—"

"Don't go." My voice was low and sluggish. I linked my fingers with his and pressed his hand to my face. "…Don't leave, Kaworu."

"Ryuichiro-sama, I have to get—"

"Don't leave me." I could feel tears building up again and I kept my eyes closed. "Please don't leave me again, Kaworu."

Asahina didn't respond for a long time. After awhile I felt him kneel down beside my bed. He rested his forehead against mine. "I'm not going anywhere, Ryuichiro-sama."

So Asahina was back? What changed his mind? For the moment I didn't care. To my embarrassment I choked on a sob and held onto his hand tighter. I wanted to open my eyes and look at him, but my vision swam when I tried.

"I'm not going to leave, but I do need to make you some food," Asahina said. "Some that you can hopefully keep down, Ryuichiro-sama."

I swallowed thickly, and pressed my fingers into his cheek. "Kaworu."

"What is it?"

"I-I'm sorry." I shook my head slightly. "I'm sorry I told you I hope your taxi crashed. I shouldn't have said that, especially to you."

Asahina was silent again before he spoke. "I know you spoke in anger and didn't mean it, Ryuichiro-sama. I'm not angry with you."

So he didn't hate me for it. That was a relief, even though I knew this didn't fix anything between us.

Then Asahina said, "Besides, you're not the one who should be apologizing. It's me that should be."

I woke up again, and my head was clear. I still had a splitting headache, but at least I could look at my surroundings without squinting.

"Ugh…" I slowly rolled over onto my side. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been so sick. It'd been terrifying to think I would have to take care of myself in such a terrible condition all alone.

But I hadn't been alone. Asahina had taken care of me.

I opened my eyes again as the sobering reality hit me. Asahina walked out on me, believing I'd cheated on him, and yet he came back to me to take care of me. It was all so…irritating.

"So, you're awake?"

I lifted my head to see Asahina bringing a tray of food in. For some reason, my anger only seemed to mount. My hands clenched my bed sheets and I gave him a hard look as he came to my bedside.

"It's some light porridge that won't disrupt your stomach," Asahina said, placing it in front of me. "You'll need to take some medicine after eating."

It was strange. I was relieved to see him back here with me, but I was also angry. And the nicer he was to me, the angrier I got. I ate the food in silence, not even looking at him. I thought I would be satisfied to see him come crawling back to me, but I wasn't

After taking the medicine, Asahina took the tray. "I'll go clean this up, Ryuichiro-sama." He started towards the door.

"What then?" I asked before I could stop myself. "Will you go back to your hotel room?"

Asahina paused at the doorway. He looked at me over his shoulder. "I will stay here because this is my home."

I snorted obnoxiously. "Could've fooled me."

Asahina suddenly placed the tray on a nearby table and came back over to me. "Ryuichiro-sama, we have a lot we need to talk about. But at the moment you're—"

"No, NOW is fine!" I shot back. "Why are you here, Kaworu? Aren't I the big bad person who fucked someone behind your back? Why are you wasting your time on me?"

Asahina took a seat beside my bed. "Because I believe you, Ryuichiro-sama."

My jaw dropped and I gaped at him. "…Really?"

"Yes, really," he said. "I believe you didn't cheat on me."

I'd wanted to hear those words from him so much! But hearing them now only made my anger spiral out of control.

"How convenient for you!" I spat out. "You make such a grand show out of not believing me and walking out on me, and then you decide to believe me! I guess finding an apartment in Tokyo is too much work! Or maybe you're afraid of being cut off from your cash-cow—ME!"

Asahina listened to my accusation with an expressionless face. "Ryuichiro-sama, I make plenty of good money on my own. I've been able to obtain my own apartment in the past."

He was right, of course, but I shook my head. "Why are you here?" I demanded again. "Did you think you could accuse me of cheating on you and then let it slide?"

Asahina rubbed at his forehead with the back of his hand. "If you'll recall, Ryuichiro-sama, we hadn't spoken to each other for a week. I knew my business trip was up, but I wanted to speak to you so badly. When you wouldn't answer the phone, I did assume that your cell phone died. However, the rooms were switched."

I gaped at him. "Eh?"

Asahina shrugged. "After being unable to contact your cell phone, I spent most of the early evening trying to call your room. But the rooms had been switched obviously from the one that you had given me, and I didn't know this until that room's occupants finally answered their phone."

"Ah…" I fidgeted slightly. "That was probably because Kushinn told us separate room numbers, when in fact he booked us in the same room."

"Probably. Admittedly when I finally got to your room it was late. But it was a complete shock to me to hear Sakano-san on the phone. I thought I then again had the wrong room, she confirmed that you were in there with her and that you didn't want to talk to anyone.

"I was confused about what happened, since it was odd that you share a hotel room with an acquaintance. On route to my business trip I called Business Affairs and they did tell me you made these arrangements."

"Did Kushinn tell you?" I demanded harshly.

"No, his boss did."

Great. Did I need to fire that asshole, too? I was completely surrounded by assholes who thought fucking with my personal life was funny!

…Maybe it's karma? I quickly shook my head. No, that couldn't be it.

"I assumed the worst, and I decided to be childish about it by not receiving your calls." Asahina shrugged. "I thought during the three days I could really think things through and get a grip on it. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Instead I just became angrier and jumped to my own conclusions."

"And then you decided to dump me," I pointed out coldly.

"I didn't want to," Asahina said defensively. "But I knew I was really angry and I couldn't stay in the same apartment as you when I felt like that. However it was after I left that creating distance between us didn't do us any good. What made the difference was talking about it, like we did. Although…not like we did. Overnight I really thought about it and I realized I was being unreasonable."

"Unreasonable," I echoed. I glared at him. "You accused me of cheating on you. You refused to believe me, listen to me, and talk to me. And all you can say is that you're unreasonable."

Asahina stared at me for a moment. "Actually, Ryuichiro-sama, that's exactly the correct adjective for my behavior."

"…Oh." I shook my head. "So what then?"

"In the morning I came back here to speak to you before we set off for work," Asahina said. "And I found you past out in the kitchen. It really drove the point home for me how stressful this situation was for you." He ducked his head slightly. "I know it won't make much of a difference now, Ryuichiro-sama, but I'm truly sorry."

I shook my head again. He really did sound remorseful and hurt for not being in me. But that didn't satisfy me at all! I was still too angry to just let him off the hook like this!

"Do you think you can just apologize and everything will be okay?" I snapped at him. "Kaworu, you thought I cheated on you! You refused to talk to me about ANY of it! And you only decided to believe in me when it was convenient for you!"

"Ryuichiro-sama—" Asahina reached for me then.

But seeing the pain in his face, and seeing him try to comfort me, made my anger spiral out of control. "You think you're so much better than I am just because you're older than me and are in better control!" I spat. I skitted across the bed to move away from him. "Even now you just continue to look down on me as some foul person, and you justify your own mistakes by blaming ME for everything!"

"That's not what I'm doing," Asahina insisted. "It was my own mistake that I didn't believe in you. I allowed my anger to control my judgment, and I know that's hurt you deeply, Ryuichiro-sama. I want to—"

"Should I expect this every time a rumor of infidelity pops up? Are you going to walk out on me each time?" I laughed scornfully, even as I felt tears sting my eyes. "Because if you're just going to keep throwing in the towel over every stupid little thing, I'm not going to put up with it! I deserve better than—"

Asahina grabbed my arm then, and dragged me across the floor. I was so shocked by his forcefulness that I didn't even fight him when he finally hugged me. I just sat there like an idiot, not knowing what to do.

He buried his nose into my scalp and sighed quietly. "I'm sorry."

I gritted my teeth, and formed a fist. I punched him in the shoulder as hard as I could. But Asahina didn't even flinch, and continued to hang onto me. A sharp pain filled me, replacing the anger. I couldn't stop the tears now as he grabbed him and hung onto him.

"This isn't fair…" I shook my head into his chest. "How can you just show up after hurting me and make me feel sorry for you? It's not fucking fair!"

"I know."

"I wouldn't have gotten this sick if you'd just believed in me!"

"I know."

I couldn't yell at him anymore. Little by little, the anger faded as I cried. Asahina didn't let me go even once. I don't know how long it went on for, but afterwards I felt sick.

I pulled away from him, and looked at the shoulder I'd punched. Unable to help myself I kissed the part I'd hit. "I'm sorry," I mumbled.

"It's fine, Ryuichiro-sama. It didn't hurt me."

I swallowed thickly before I could speak again. "…Don't doubt me again, okay? If you do, I'll completely break up with you."

"I understand." Asahina cupped my face, wiping away tears with his thumb. "I won't doubt you again, Ryuichiro-sama. I promise."

Before I could say anything more, he kissed me full on the mouth. I groaned involuntarily, and clung to his shoulders. It'd been over a week since I'd even kissed Asahina, and yesterday it wasn't even certain we would kiss again. So to feel it right now was strangely sweet.

Asahina pushed me down on the bed, and I broke the kiss. "W-Wait—" I hissed sharply when he kissed the side of my neck. "I'm still sick, Kaworu."

"I know." He nuzzled my ear. "Your point, Ryuichiro-sama?"

"I—mmm." He sank his teeth in very slightly into the curve of my neck. "You'll catch my cold—"

"I'll be careful." Asahina kissed his way back up to my jaw line, then my chin, and finally back to my mouth.

Despite my apprehension, I couldn't help but cling to him when he kissed me again. Maybe it was because I almost lost him to this terribly misunderstanding, but this moment was strangely more intimate than most kisses we've shared recently.

"Ah—!" I arched my head back, breaking the kiss as he swiftly unbuttoned my pajama top and slid his hands over my chest. The skin tingled from each caress. "Mmm…" I let out a short breath and stilled. The air felt too heavy in the room, making it hard to breathe. God…I could see why people say colds were huge cockblocks. "Kaworu—"

Asahina pressed a finger to my bottom lip. "I know. I won't go too far today. But I don't want to stop here, Ryuichiro-sama."

He nipped at one of my ears and I shivered when one of his hands slid down my stomach. I spread my legs and lifted my hips slightly when his fingers brushed over my growing erection. "Haa…" I kissed him again as he stroked me through my pajama pants with his palm. "Kaworu…" I closed my eyes as sensations rolled through me.

Though Asahina promised not to take things too far today he took his time with me. His tongue flicked over my nipples and his mouth kissed my skin with excruciating care. My hands rubbed over his shoulders as he moved down, my breathing becoming heavier with anticipation. When he set about removing my pants I lifted my hips again and helped him push them off me.

"Hrrrrhn…" my legs twitched when he surrounded me with his mouth. I bit into my hand hard as he began a slow sucking motion up and down around my cock. My other hand dug into his hair, encouraging him. Asahina always knew how to get the right sort of reactions out of me. I felt a wonderful jolt in my abdomen when his tongue scraped across the underside, and he slid up to suck hard at the tip. "Nnnnnngh!" my knees rose involuntarily when he squeezed my scrotum in his palm. "K-K-Kaworu…"

I could feel that familiar pooling heat start to form in my stomach. I rose up on my elbows, groaning sharply as I jerked my hips up, thrusting into his mouth. "Ka—ahhhhhh!" I didn't expect it so soon and I screamed as I shook with a powerful orgasm. I fell back onto the bed, shaking slightly as Asahina sucked me dry.

As he moved away from me, I still felt the heaviness in my head. I wanted to go further, but it would probably make my cold worse. Only slightly disappointed, I opened my eyes so I could see Asahina. I motioned for him to come to me and he did. I dug my fingers into his shirt as he kissed me again. I honestly wouldn't trade anything for this.

When the kiss broke though, I saw a problem. I looked down and I saw his own erection pressing up against his pants. Asahina was saying nothing though, and didn't even seem to be giving it much heed. As he held me, I reached down and grabbed it, repeating the motions he'd done to me minutes ago.

"A-Ah—" he stiffened against me and grabbed my hand. "Ryuichiro-sama, you don't—"

I kissed him and continued to rub him through his pants. He relaxed against me, groaning softly for a moment before he jerked away. "Ryuichiro-sama, t-this isn't necessary. I'm—"

"Kaworu." I slid my hand up to jerk at his belt. "Shut up."

Asahina closed his eyes, stretching out beside me as I undid his belt with both hands and opened his fly. "I-It's fine," he tried to reason with me, even as he did nothing to stop me. "I hurt you. I don't deserve—"

"Don't be a martyr," I told him sharply as I pulled his hard cock free from his pants. "Just be quiet and enjoy it."

Asahina said nothing further as I began to quickly jerk him off. He held onto me tightly, containing his voice as much as he could. I watched his face, and seeing him in so much pleasure was an incredible turn-on. Grinning to myself I leaned forward and began talking dirty into his ear. He bucked and tried to pull away, but I wouldn't let him. After awhile he gave up, leaving himself at my mercy.

He did hurt me, but I knew that he was just as much of a victim as I was. And he was man enough to admit that he was wrong and came back to me. Even though anger was what I thought I wanted at him, I was just so happy that this drama didn't stretch out. We'd already experienced enough of that already.

"I love you," I panted. I could feel his heat rising and he began thrusting into my hand. "I love you, Kaworu. And nobody else is going to do this with you but me."

"I know," he panted. His usually calm face was flushed and twisted in pleasure. "I love you too, Ryuichiro-sama."

Unable to help myself, I yanked his shirt up and licked at the areole surrounding one nipple. That seemed to be enough for Asahina as he gave out a sharp cry and came hard against me.

For a moment we just lay there, clinging to each other. I held onto tightly and it reminded me of when I hung onto him in the heat of my fever. Because I hadn't wanted him to leave me.

But I knew he wasn't going to leave me now.

I finally laughed, and rolled onto my back. "I need a bath. Carry me."

Asahina sighed heavily, but slowly sat up. "Don't fall asleep in the tub, Ryuichiro-sama."

"You're coming with me, so I can't."

Asahina's brow rose as he picked me up from the bed. "Am I now?"

"It's an order," I taunted him.

Asahina shook his head. "As you wish, Ryuichiro-sama."

I got better. I guess it helped that my lover was someone who'd been taking care of me for such a long time. I thought I would never be able to forgive Asahina for not believing in me, but I couldn't help but love him. I guess makes things like forgiveness easier.

Unfortunately, no matter how much I begged and pleaded, Mariko refused to stay with her job. She kept insisting to me that it was something her husband and her had planned on her to do, but it didn't make me feel any better. So, with some pressure on my end, she left the company with the best retirement package we give to employees, even though she'd only been working there for three years.

I'd like to say I felt bad about firing Kushinn in a fit of anger, but come on really? He totally had it coming. He should've just stuck to screwing around with me personally instead of sabotaging my work environment and Mariko's work environment. His boss was sad to see him go, but it certainly gave him a lot to think about to not play these kind of tricks on me.

Though it did piss me off that Kushinn found a brand-new job within two days. I wanted him to suffer just a little bit after everything he did.

Sadly though, people at the office wouldn't shut up about this make-believe scandal. Even with Mariko gone, and Kushinn fired, they kept talking about it! Seriously, didn't they have anything better to do?

I knew of only one way to fix this.

I was walking down the hall with Haruhiko one day. We were both so busy all the time that we didn't often have time to see each other. He was pretty eclectic with ideas for what he wanted to do with himself, but most of them coincided from what his father expected of him.

I saw some workers pause in conversation as we walked past, and I rolled my eyes. So, it really wouldn't be a dead topic. Well, what better way to kill a rumor than with another rumor?

"—really think that—" Haruhiko said about something I wasn't paying attention to.

"ABSOLUTELY, Haruhiko!" I shouted, throwing an arm around him. "Those terrible, awful rumors have caused me NOTHING but trouble!"

"…I'm sorry?" Haruhiko asked in confusion.

"Hai, hai!" I shouted, drowning out his confusion. "My precious significant other was so ANGRY over it! I thought I would end up in heartbreak! Especially when I'd spent that terrible night sleeping on the FLOOR!"

"What are you talking ab—"

"But I LOVE my partner with my whole body!" I started dragging Haruhiko down the hall so that nobody could see that he had no idea what I was talking about. "And I would never never never never never NEVER cheat on them! I would rather cut my own throat than do that!"

I smirked with satisfaction as we entered a nearby elevator. Conversations exploded behind us as the doors closed. I calmly brushed out my hands and snickered. So…that's the end of THAT…

Haruhiko fixed his suit and looked at me. "I would ask what that was all about, but I won't."

"Oh, just squashing annoying rumors!" I told him triumphantly. I began laughing loudly. "That'll give them something NEW to talk about!"

"…Maybe if you were discreet, then people wouldn't talk about you," Haruhiko muttered.

…All right. It looked fine.

"Kaworu!" I called out, carrying a tray of food into his room. "I made some porridge for you!"

Asahina admittedly didn't look as bad as I had, but he obviously flushed with a fever. "A…Arigato, Ryuichiro-sama."

"Just returning the favor. Though I did warn you that you would catch my cold." I gave him the tray. "Here, eat up!"

Asahina looked down at the porridge blankly. "…Ryuichiro-sama."


"Did you put black pepper in the porridge?"

"Eh?" I looked down at the bowl. "I thought those were raisins!"

Asahina sighed. "Since when do raisins come in a tiny pepper-shaker?"

I waved a dismissive hand. "There's one way to fix this." I flipped open my phone. "Easy take-out!"

Asahina blinked very slowly. "How very astute of you, Ryuichiro-sama."

I gave him a sideways glance. "What does that mean?"


"Never mind." I leaned down and gave him a quick peck on the mouth. "Just let me take of you just this once, okay?"

"…Just this once?" Asahina forced a small smile. "I only have myself to blame for being in this situation, but I appreciate the sentiment."

"But you won't doubt me again, right?"

"Never again, Ryuichiro-sama."

"Good. Hai, hello?" I spoke into the phone as someone answered the phone. "I want your teriyaki beef meal with extra beef. Hmm, and an oyakudon bowl. Oh—wait. Asahina?" I glanced back at him. "What do you want?"

Asahina sighed heavily. "Whatever you're having, Ryuichiro-sama."

"Good. Make that a double order for both." I ruffled Asahina's hair as I sat beside his bed. As bad as what'd happened was, I now only saw it as a hiccup in our relationship. He wasn't going to doubt me again, and it made me feel like we could survive anything now.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out episode 6 of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi to see Junjou Mistake!