Spoilers for manga chapter six.
Onodera Ritsu is a terrible drunk.
Takano knows for a fact that he's not completely innocent either, as he provided the younger editor with alcohol knowing full-well how Onodera tends to behave when under the influence, but the chance to see the younger man all riled up and flustered wasn't easy to pass up.
That is how, by the grace of some deranged God, Takano Masamune has ended up, once again, with a belligerently drunk Onodera, head in his lap, arms wrapped about his waist like some sort of stubborn spider monkey, and he honestly doesn't even have it in him to laugh. He's simply too aroused by the sight.
If only Ritsu would cling to him this way sober.
"Y-y'know..." The younger man draws out clumsily, fingers inching across Takano's back as he attempts to pull himself up from the floor. "Y'know, you, you're an asshooole!"
Masamune sighs irritably, rolling his eyes and plucking the younger man off of himself, standing hastily and shoving him onto the couch.
'What have I gotten myself into?' He muses, self-deprecating as his young underling writhes on his furniture, completely unaware of his boss's angry, albeit hungry stare.
"Why am I an asshole again?" He questions, fetching a blanket from the linen closet and placing it atop his former lover. "Or is it just because of all the usual reasons?"
Onodera doesn't fuss. He doesn't screech or rage or even cause a scene. He stares down at the floor with bleary eyes, gripping his stomach beneath the blankets.
Silence stretches between them for a moment, which feels to Masamune like an hour. Ritsu's free hand- the one that isn't gripping his belly in a way that makes the older man rather nervous- trembles lightly against the blankets. He can see the young man's lips quiver.
"You ruined me."
Masamune almost isn't sure Onodera has spoken at all; his voice is so low and guarded. It takes him a moment to comprehend his words and, imaginary or not, the depth of them causes a chill to spread through his veins.
"I was so happy before I met you," Ritsu continues, voice impossibly unwavering as he avoids Takano's eyes, "I trusted you with all of me... and you ruined me."
Masamune isn't quite sure what to say. Onodera has said many things about their past, explained away why he's not willing to start anew. He's apologized for breaking Masamune's heart, mentioned certain dreams and aspirations that they've shared, but never has he spoken like this, with such sadness laced in his tiny voice. Never has he given any indication that their breakup may have hurt him too, even though the knowledge of his sudden transfer from school has hung in the air between them for the past ten years, neither quite willing to forget it, but neither willing to mention it either.
"Do you remember that day, in the library?" Onodera questions suddenly, blanket pulled to cover his face. His voice is muffled through the material.
Masamune runs a rand through his hair, clearing his throat awkwardly as he shuffles from foot to foot.
"There were a lot of days in the library, Onodera. You're going to have to help me out."
Ritsu laughs at this. It's a cold, bitter laugh. He rolls so that his back is turned to Takano, blanket still covering his face and hand still gripping his stomach.
"Don't tell me you've forgotten?" He whispers, "You called me gross. You called me annoying. Then you told me to leave, that you wanted to be alone."
Masamune does remember, actually, but decides to stay bite his tongue. He remembers a lot about that day: how Ritsu had apologized over and over again, even though he'd done nothing wrong. He remembers the magazine and how Ritsu had been so desperate to please him.
And, unfortunately, he also remembers that horrible, heart-wrenching hurt and humiliation that stained the poor boy's face when he had called him names.
He remembers never actually properly apologizing for it even though, in the end, poor little loyal, love-struck Ritsu had returned for him in the rain toting two umbrellas (just in case Senpai was too grossed out to share one, Takano realizes only now, disgusted with his younger self).
"You stayed in that library until they kicked you out," Ritsu continues, shoulders shaking slightly, "I always wondered if you'd simply gone back to reading as if nothing had happened."
'I didn't,' Takano wants to argue, but his voice is lodged somewhere deep beneath the gigantic lump that's formed in his throat, 'I thought about you until I was sickened with myself.'
"I cried, you know," Ritsu adds quietly, "Not at school… but when I got home, before it started raining... I cried for you."
'He said, "For you", not "because of you".'
"I wondered if your parents had come home yet. I could just see you walking home alone in the rain and that cat being the only one to welcome you back. I couldn't understand how that must have felt. I still couldn't imagine anything outside of my own perfect little world."
'But you only thought of me. You only thought of me and I was so far from perfect.'
"You called me gross." Onodera repeats, voice heavy as his figure shivers under the blankets. Takano wonders if he should get him another one, actually starts making his way toward the closet to grab one, but Onodera's voice stops him.
The younger man bolts upright, eyes hazy and red-rimmed as he sways back and forth on the couch.
"You called me gross!" He screeches, pointing an accusing finger at the older man.
"You know what?" He hollers, and Masamune braces himself for the worst: 'I hate you', 'you're heartless', 'I'll never love you again', before Onodera explodes, his voice booming so loud that it almost echoes in Takano's ears:
"YOU'RE GROSS, ASSHOLE!"
The older man takes a moment to fathom what has just occurred, but Ritsu isn't finished. The young editor throws his blanket aside, rising to unsteady feet as he yells at his older lover, barely able to keep his eyes open.
"You're the pervert who can't keep his hands to himself," he hiccups and Masamune holds back a nervous chuckle, "I'm a guy if you haven't noticed, and you can't even stop touching me at work! That's sexual harassment and that's gross!"
Takano bites his lip, stepping forward and catching Onodera by the elbow, leading him back to the couch and helping him settle in. The younger man grumbles but it compliant nonetheless, batting at the older man uselessly as he picks up the forgotten blanket and tucks him in.
"I'm cutting you off for the night." He announces, but Ritsu's already half asleep, thick lashes rested against the soft scarlet of his cheeks, peach lips parted as he breathes slowly in and out. Takano wants to kiss him, but refrains. Ritsu needs his sleep; he owes the younger editor at least that much.
As he rises to clean up the mess they're made, Ritsu surprises him once more, catching his shirt sleeve weakly between sluggish fingers, pulling him forward gently as his eyelids crack open to reveal a sleepy green.
"You're an idiot too, you know," He whispers, and before Takano can retort that Ritsu has absolutely no room to talk, he adds, "You seriously believed that I'd choose An-chan over you, that I could choose anyone over you..."
And Masamune allows himself to smile as his heart drums loudly against his ribcage and the cold in his veins begins to boil.
"Is that a confession?" He asks lightly, and if his voice shakes, Onodera doesn't seem to notice.
The younger man scoffs, releasing his sleeve and turning his back to the older man.
"As if." He snorts.
Masamune begins to throw away the empty cans of beer, collecting the news ones and stowing them away in the refrigerator for another day.
He smiles gently, watching the other man from the across the room before turning off the lights and sauntering into his bedroom for some well-deserved sleep. He wonders vaguely just how much longer it will be before Onodera Ritsu confesses.
And he laughs to himself in a way that says, "I've got him exactly where I want him" as he settles under his blankets and drifts into a dreamless sleep.
So I promised that I'd post a story for the series that's winning so far in the poll on my homepage (or whatever it's called on this site... I frequent far too many websites), and this series admittedly isn't in first place... but when inspiration hits, there's absolutely no stopping it, and anyway, I have the new story finished, I just need to type it up... which is absolute Hell... I'm really glad I don't have an editor. They'd absolutely despise me.
But anyway, I know Takano-san wouldn't usually leave poor Onodera on the couch while he took the bed, but even though Ritsu reassured him in the end, I think he'd still feel kind of guilty and want to give him his space. (And lull him into a false sense of security so he won't be expecting the impending molestation~)
So this is the very first story I've posted as a nineteen year old. My birthday was all the way back on October 10th, but I'm lazy and horrible and haven't posted anything...
Anywho, thank you so much for taking the time to read and please feel free to leave a review and let me know what you thought!