Chapter Thirty-Nine: Blunt Affect

Hisashi's slate blue eyes wandered the corners of the dinning hall he sat in with the Yanase family. The room was quite large, with a high ceiling made bright by a crystal chandelier that complimented the long glass table they were eating at. He had never seen a table like it before. Its edges were nearly transparent, but the further to center it became frosty and gray. Though for some reason he was glad for it, as it meant his baby bump was not entirely on display for everyone, though his appetite was.

But in the midst of his surroundings, Hisashi was actually surprised he could eat at all. Other than the occasional clink of a utensil or glass, everyone at the table was so silent you could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. Even the air felt thick with suppressed tension and the Yanase family barely made eye contact. Yuko and Yuu ate with their heads down as Kagura toyed boredly with her wine glass, the atmosphere not seeming to bother any of them.

Hisashi swallowed another bite of the rich food as he stole a glance at his boyfriend, whose poker face had risen to a level he had never seen. Yuu's warm eyes and subtle smile looked like someone had melted plastic over them and molded him into an expressionless doll. He carried to no emotion in any part of his body, not even the anger and hostility he had shown earlier. Hisashi chewed as his lower lip as the face haunted him, and he wondered why Yuu looked this way. If what Yuko said was true, Yuu would never comply to his mother's wishes, so why was he acting so submissive?

Hisashi's eyes twitched silently as he stumbled upon the answer. Maybe Yuu wasn't defying his mother at all. From the way Yuko talked it almost sounded as if Yuu was afraid and resentful of her...

He wasn't acting against her, he was protecting himself by not giving her anything to scrutinize. No words. No emotion. Just blunt affect.

All through the appetizers and entrée there was silence, and Hisashi's appetite was starting to dwindle with worry, though he kept up appearances as well as he could. This place, that too bright chandelier, the high ceiling that rang with no human speech…It was stifling.

The silence of it all made him want to panic, and the blonde clenched his teeth and tried to still his increasing heartbeat.

Was this what Yuu had felt every minute of every day when he lived here?

Hisashi swallowed his next bite uncomfortably, his guilt brimming at the thought that he had a hand in bringing the one he loved back to this awful place.

"Is the food not to your liking Araki-san?"

Hisashi looked up and stared into the face of Kagura, whose tone was mild even while her eyes were as calculating as her son's. It was like looking into the face of a lioness without knowing how long she'd been without a kill. Even still, he answered as he normally would.

"It's quite excellent, Yanase-san. Thank you."

Kagura's crimson eyes swept over his countenance and read it easily.

"Is it then that you are feeling ill?"

"No, I'm fine. I appreciate your concern." Hisashi said, bowing his chin respectfully. However at this little exchange between his mother and lover, a tiny spark had flashed in Yuu's eyes and he watched them carefully.

"I see. Have you ever had veal before Araki-san?" She asked, her gaze not decreasing in the least.

"Um, yes. I have."

"Where might I ask?"


"Interesting. Did you travel with your family?"

Yuu's eyes darkened. He gripped his knife tighter but remained silent.

"Yes, I've…traveled with my father."

"And what does your father do for a living?"

Hisashi's eyes flickered over to Yuu for a brief second as he remembered his warning, though under the sight of her flat eyes he found he could not heed it.

"He's… an assistant to the ambassador."

Kagura's eyebrow rose for a brief second.

"And what about your mother?"

"That's enough, mom." Yuu sharply hissed, their gaze meeting for the first time that evening.

"What exactly is the matter, Yuu?" She asked, remaining indifferent at her son's tone. Hisashi looked over at Yuu and could have sworn he flinched before replying.

"Hisashi doesn't need you badgering him during dinner. He's not one of your patients."

"What you call 'badgering' most would call conversation," Kagura answered. "If he's uncomfortable, he may say so."

Yuu clenched a fist under the table and was about to retort, when Hisashi slightly raised a palm.

"If you please Yanase-san, I would prefer not to talk about my family at this moment. I…am starting to feel a little ill."

Every eye turned to the blonde and he kept his face as stoic as he could. Yuu had to do the same to hide his amazement. Hisashi was being more assertive than Yuu had ever seen him, and he rarely admitted to feeling unwell in front of strangers. Was he…doing this to help him?

"My apologies Araki-san," Kagura replied smoothly. "It's just that I rarely get to meet any of my son's partners. A mother's curiosity is only natural."

Hisashi nodded, but in the corner of his eye he thought he saw Yuu bite down on his lower lip.

"If you don't mind me asking, how long have you been with my son?" Kagura asked, making her move once again.

"A year." Hisashi said.

"And how far along are you in pregnancy?"

Yuu gritted his teeth and tried to keep his face placid his mother began her assault from a different angle. The mask he'd slipped over his anger was falling with every second as he heard her flat, patronizing voice descend on his boyfriend. He knew this would happen. If she couldn't get anything out of him, she'd go for the weaker link and attack the only one here who didn't know her. It took everything Yuu had to keep from screaming. What right did she have to ask about his life when she'd opposed every decision he'd ever made and humiliated him at every turn?! She was lucky he was even here! And now he knew that all of this had been a mistake. He had to get them both out of here before he exploded. He couldn't let Hisashi see him like this.

"I see," Kagura said. "So you met at work. Yuu seems to find many potential crushes there."

Both Hisashi and the Yanase twins stiffened as they realized the implications of her words, and Hisashi became even more wary of her. Not only had she just made a very crass comment about Yuu's sensitive relationship with Chiaki, but she had also subtly implied that what the two of them shared, pregnancy and all, was little more than a crush!

Hisashi swallowed hard and decided to defer the subject once again, this time with a different tactic.

"Yuko-san says you're a psychiatrist. Does your work focus more on clientele or research?"

Kagura's eyes flickered behind her glasses, but it was nigh impossible to tell what she was thinking. However, Hisashi was so focused on her that he hadn't noticed Yuko stop eating. The elder twin's eyes went to Yuu, and her concern for the situation spiked. Without knowing it, Hisashi had just stepped on a landmine.

"I worked with clients as a main source of practice for most of my career," Kagura replied crisply. "But after obtaining my PH. D, I've done far more work with research of adolescents and Freudian theory. In fact, my dissertation focused on several individuals and the study of their growth." She stopped briefly and her gaze turned to Yuu, who had gone a shade paler even while his eyes blazed.

"You may be interested to know Araki-san, that Yuu—"

"STOP IT!" Yuu yelled, slamming his knife on the glass table and rising from his chair. Kagura regarded him indifferently.

"What on earth is the matter Yuu? A random outburst is not becoming of you."

"Random?" Yuu breathed furiously. "You think that subject is appropriate for casual conversation when you are entirely aware of my feelings on it?!"

"I don't see what is so upsetting Yuu, and I never have," She answered, this time with the slightest edge in her voice.

"Hah!" Yuu laughed without humor. "And you wonder why I don't want you in my life! You're nothing but a cold, bitter witch who can never see past anything but her career! No wonder you and HE were so perfect for each other!"

Yuko's eyes widened and even Kagura was taken aback as Yuu mentioned that person. Hisashi stared at his boyfriend intently. He had never seen him so enraged.

"I'm surprised to hear you bring him up," Kagura retorted. "After all, it would be interesting to see what he'd think of what you've made of your life. Or the lack of it."

"Funny," Yuu said, rising from his chair and shoving it away. "He'd say the same thing about you. Hisashi, let's go."

Hisashi quickly rose at Yuu's bidding and gave Kagura a brief bow before his hand was grabbed and he was led out of the dinning hall and back into the entryway. Yuu didn't say a word as he went to a closet, grabbed their coats, and took a set of keys from a small peg on the door. Instead of going out the way he came, Yuu led him down another hall and to a door that led to large garage with three expensive cars in it. Yuu opened the door to a silver sedan and helped the bewildered Hisashi in.

"Yuu," Hisashi murmured as his boyfriend got in the driver's seat and started the car. Yuu didn't answer, clicking a button on the dash to open the garage door. The car was parked so that he could get out easily and quickly, and he practically sped out of the garage and down the long driveway. But he was forced to suddenly brake as he saw a figure standing at the end of the driveway with her hand on her hip.

Yuu growled under his breath, stopping the car and begrudgingly getting out.

"What is it Yuko?" He spat.

"Yuu, you can't storm out of here like every other time." She spoke calmly, though her expression was far less composed than usual.

"Watch me."

"Yuu," She said, reaching forward and placing her hands on his shoulders. "Please listen to me. You two have to make amends."

"How on earth can the two of us possibly do that?! It's the same thing every time Yuko! That bitch in there will never show an ounce of love or remorse!"

"Mom does care about you, she just has a shitty way of showing it. You two have fought for too long and it's time to grow up! Accept the fact that she has her own shortcomings and will never be able to love you like you want!"

Yuu grimaced with fury and brushed her hands away, dropping his eyes and clenching his fists.

"Don't you tell me to grow up when you have no idea what it was like."

"What what was like Yuu?"

"Like you don't know," Yuu said, almost choking on his words. "I've read the signs my whole life Yuko. Mom and dad only wanted one child, but they got saddled with two. But mom got her wish, a girl who thought the same way she did and followed in her footsteps. Me, I was always just the misfitting oddball gay boy with daddy issues who fought with her at every turn! A live-in patient she could analyze whenever she wanted and then write about in her goddamned dissertation which the entire psychology world read!"

Yuu turned from her as his voice broke, resisting the urge to kick a dent in the bumper of the car. Yuko lowered her eyes as well, her eyes brimming with melancholy.

"I know Yuu." She murmured. "And what she did was unforgivable. But it's been six years and you still can't let it go. Stop trying to justify your anger and take your life back!"

Yuu glanced at her briefly before going back to the driver's door and opening it.

"I have. And I will." He stated before getting back in and speeding off into the darkness.

Hello flu lovers and thank you for being so patient with these updates. I think we have one more chapter of Artistica left. I know everyone is anxious to get back to Nostalgia and I appreciate your patience so so much. Please know that it will pay off, and what I have planned will make your darling fangirl (and boy) minds and noses bleed and explode with joy.

Anyways, more to be revealed on Yuu's family in the next segment along with some much needed comfort.

Sana Lama Sahama, Annalisse Rubisher, KiyameHikari-chan, sunset siren curse, sora yagami 4869, puppyfacetwo, SakuraFlowersFalling, Ricchan14, xMoonlight, The Guy Below Me Sucks, MEi, lovablechan100, Leigh's Last Laugh, my two guests, and my Darling Daniel Lazerus- your reviews make this all worthwhile. The one year anniversay of this fic was last month (sadly I forgot to mention it) and it is all because of your feedback and ideas that have made this fic what it is. I humbly thank you all for your support on my longest and most challenging story. BANZAI GROUP HUG! SQUEE!

Electrical Star- so happy I had the chance to change your mind about MPreg. The Junjou Romantica fic this is based off of: "The Uke Flu" by Cerberus Revised/Daniel Lazerus will be back up on the site soon and I hope you will give it a read to, as it is stunningly brilliant.

May 2013 be a great year for yaoi!