HI EVERYONE! Let me present to you the last chapter! This time, there's no way I managed to keep them in character but hopefully it won't be that bad :) The chapter came out overly emotional and I have nothing to my defence, sorry. Still, I'm glad I was able to make you laugh and keep you entertained all this time, thanks so much for every single review and PM! :D
(btw I know you don't eat scrambled eggs with a spoon, but I didn't know how to use the expression for a fork XD)
Now please enjoy while I'll go wash all this fluffiness off of myself. Too much cuteness can kill D:
Disclaimer: Sekaiichi Hatsukoi isss not mineee
"Could you mean this one?"
I was staring at the letter with mouth agape for a pretty long time, before he cleared his throat to get my attention. I think my brain shut down for a moment there… I'm speechless. I can't even shriek in terror or anything, my heart's beating so fast that I can hardly hear anything else, and he's looking at me so intensely… My eyes are itching again, and my throat's starting to hurt a little. It's all his fault!
"Have you…" I managed to whisper, afraid that if I try to say anything louder, he might notice my voice is trembling almost as hard as my hands. "Have you read it?"
He nodded hesitantly. No way… So it was too late, my mission failed. I fought the tears that were forming in the corners of my eyes, but I was losing. Why am I even crying? I should just deny everything, explaining it was meant to be delivered to my mother. It would take some persuasion, but eventually he'd believe me for sure, and the problem would be solved. So why can't I get any words out of my mouth…? He's gonna misunderstand it. I have to clear everything… Before-
"Onodera, why are you crying…?" I heard him say. I forced myself to look up at him, but seeing his bewildered face made me even more teary. Why does he have to be so surprised? Never seen a guy crying or what?
He read it. He thinks I love him b-but I don't! I hate him from the bottom of my heart, for he's an egoistic jerk, who never goes out of his way for anyone, being the frigging workaholic he is! Eh… who am I trying to kid? He may force him way on people sometimes, but… he's a genuinely good person, who looks after me all the time and…
A sob escaped my mouth before I could suppressed it. My chest is heavy and my throat burns, it's the worst. I shut my eyes close, to prevent myself from seeing that worried look of his. Why am I acting like that? Is it the stress being relieved or what?
"What the hell happened to you?" Takano-san groaned, obviously uncomfortable.
"You! You happened!" I screamed, letting my tears fall freely. I've been at my limit for too long already, all the pent up frustration has taken over me. I cannot stand this anymore. I wanted to tell him that I hate him. That I hate everything about him, and I always will, and I just want him to disappear from my life and never ever see him again… But I couldn't get any of these words out of my mouth.
I was never a good liar.
How could I ever crush him like that? I know he loves me, and now he thinks I return the feeling… am I even able to tell him it was a misunderstanding? He would… he would be so…
He was suddenly next to me, and the next thing I knew, he was holding me tightly. My face grew even hotter and I was pretty sure my heart is gonna literally jump out of my chest, it was beating so fast. I tried to push him away, but to no avail. Or maybe I wasn't really trying. Maybe, just maybe… it was a good thing that he's read it… Maybe I'm finally ready to admit the feeling I've been struggling with for the past months. The blushing, trembling hands… that warm feeling inside. Fighting something like that is extremely hard and tiring, but I kept at it since I knew I wouldn't be able to admit I… that I lo- ekhm, yeah. I probably never stopped loving him, but that could as well just be me in love with memories. And so I tried my best not to fall in love again, in the present Takano-san, but… I guess I failed…
"Ritsu, look at me"
No way, keep dreaming. Or force me to look up just like you're doing right now, you jerk. He was so close… My face couldn't get any redder. He gently placed one of his hands on my cheek and wiped off a lone tear with his thumb. I was starting to feel terrible for making him so worried. It showed in his eyes. I was sure he'd kiss me, but he just hugged me tightly and we stayed like that. His hand was circling on my back as he was whispering soothing words in my ear, and I just couldn't help but cling onto him with all my might. It was… safe in here.
I calmed down pretty fast, with his strong hands supporting me. This is incredibly embarrassing, so why is it that I feel a lot better now? When he realized I stopped crying, he dragged me to the couch and made me sit next to him. I've already made my decision, but I couldn't look him in the eyes. It'd be too hard for me to even think straight.
"Are you okay yet?" he asked me, his voice gentle and quiet. He keeps surprising me. I never knew he had such a caring side. Guess I really scared him when I freaked out like that.
"Yeah, I'm fine" I muttered, taking a deep breath. The letter was at a table, long forgotten. But Takano-san definitely… remembers its content. He probably expects me to say something… I could just say the truth, that it was a misunderstanding, but on the other hand, maybe it's my chance… And I really don't want to make him disappointed after all he put up with recently.
"You know…" I muttered, hiding my face in hands. I could feel him staring at me and it wasn't helping, at all. "I didn't want you to read it… because I thought I'm not exactly ready to admit it yet." I took a deep breath intending to look at him, but I found myself transfixed there. I forgot how scary confessing was. "But… I guess I'm ready to admit, but not to say it in a proper way.
I don't know where I got this unexpected strength from, but I suddenly felt an urge to smile and looked at him, with this warm feeling becoming a pretty hot one. My face was burning hot, my hands kept trembling, but I didn't care anymore. He seemed absolutely shocked, my expression must've confused him a little. I couldn't care less at the moment actually. It was… I don't know, I felt great.
"But since you already know, it's easier for me to s-say it." I closed my eyes for a moment, listening to my crazy heartbeat. Is it ever going to calm down? Ah but actually, I don't really mind anymore. "I love you." His eyes widened, but I didn't pay too much attention at that point. Even though I should have. "I don't think I'd be able to say it if it wasn't for the letter. Now I'm actually glad you ended up reading it. Ah, but… sorry to let you know in such way, confessions should be made face to face… but I guess I'm too much of a coward. I would probably never bring myself to tell you. Hm, but all's well that ends well, right? Ahahaha!"
Only then did I notice something was wrong. I didn't expect it to be so quiet. I was supposed to be told it took me way too long, to be forced into a kiss which I would then hesitantly return, to be laughing alongside him. Yet none of that happened… I didn't dare look at him now. I'd hate to see him amused at my pitiful attempt to voice my feelings.
"T-Takano-san?" Don't panic, I told myself. Don't repeat the same mistake… There's no w-way he's indifferent about it. Right? He can't be. But he didn't answer, so I had no choice but to see for myself what was wrong. "Hey, what the hell is your problem?" He was just sitting there and staring at me, with his mouth open and eyes slightly more wet than usual. He wasn't even blinking for a long moment. "W-what…? Answer me, idiot."
Finally, he budged. He looked away and laughed a little, covering his mouth with his hand. Not this again. I had the urge to jump to my feet and ran away, the farther the better, but I'm not as stupid as I was a decade ago. I clenched my teeth and waited for him to speak. It's not that I didn't get a little scared - I could already feel insecurity somewhere at the back of my mind - but it wouldn't make sense for him to reject me now since he read the letter and didn't make fun of me then. I don't get him. Just when I was about to ask him what's going on, I saw something glistening on his face.
"Takano-san? Are y-you… crying?"
His arms suddenly caught me and he pulled me in for a tight embrace before I had a chance to look at him closely. It wasn't easy to breath like this, but felt great. Felt safe. His lips soon found mine and I was shocked at the tender touch. He's stolen me lots of kisses recently, but none of them was this gentle yet somehow greedy. Or maybe the difference lay in me, as I returned it eagerly for the first time after ten years. It was a funny feeling, but soon I couldn't concentrate on anything anymore. I just knew that I was hot, on the verge of hysteria and… happy.
"Don't call me that" I groaned, hugging tightly my pillow. God, does he know what time it is? I want to sleep.
"Get up or we're be late." I felt the mattress sink a little when he sat on the bed, his hands playing with my hair. I barely stifled a content sigh.
"I'm staying home" I mumbled and opened one eye to spy on him, only to find his face right next to mine. I jumped away, surprised, but he caught me and kissed my forehead. His smile made me remember everything we did this night. I'm surprised I got to sleep at all, since it was already pretty late when we got home, and then… let's say, we found an entertaining activity to fill our night time. Or maybe I'm still dreaming… It's too beautiful to be true. After I confessed he kissed me, and then again, and again. And again. Inbetween I was listening to his own declaration of love, and even though I've heard it before, it still made my heart fill with joy. I wonder if it's safe to say it was the best night of my life.
"No, you're not" he snickered. Geez…
"But I can't move" I complained, but he just smiled wider. "My hips hurt."
"I'm glad you liked it."
What! That jerk! I'll show him- but later. Imagining revenge is pretty hard when you're being kissed. Some little part of me still remembers about rejecting every kind of affection he offers me, but the bigger and smarter part doesn't care. I think it's only a matter of time before I get used to this being natural.
"Get up. If we're late because of you, I'll assign you so much work you'd never sleep again" he said and went out of the room. Knowing him, it was possible… Having a boss for a boyfriend won't be easy. But I can also try and use it to my advantage, just wait… I yawned, trying my best to keep my eyes open, and crawled out of the warm bed to the shower and then kitchen. Breakfast was almost done and a coffee awaited me. Ah, that reminds me, I broke a mug… The floor is probably all sticky now, uh.
"You have to clean this mess" Takano-san sighed, serving me a plate of scrambled eggs. "I almost killed myself on my way to the bathroom. These piles of clothes are dangerous."
I chuckled, stuffing a spoonful into my mouth. If only I could rest some more, it would be a perfect morning. I still feel hot, my hands are trembling and heart pounds unnaturally fast… Perfect. All thanks to one stupid letter, it gave me courage. Sounds pretty pathetic, eh? But there's one thing that still bugs me.
"Hm?" He looked up from his own plate and locked his eyes with mine.
"I was just wondering… How did you get that letter?"
"I went to change clothes to my apartment when you fell asleep yesterday" He smirked and raised his eyebrows a little. "I mean, when you were sick."
I just pouted, deciding it'll be better if I keep quiet. I know he hates it when I lie, and even though this time it went unpunished, I shouldn't remind him about it. I was done eating in just moments later and we went to get ready for work. I was hurting all over, but nothing is gonna ruin my good mood today. It's been ages since I've been this proud of myself for actually not running away from happiness.
"Ritsu, I'll go ahead" Takano-san suddenly said, entering the room right after I was done changing. I could swear I saw a slight disappointment in his eyes.
"Because you need to calm down first, before we talk again."
"But I am calm. What are you going on about?
"Trust me" he laughed nervously - which is an extremely rare sight - handing me something and kissing lightly, then almost ran to the door. "It's better when I'm not around for some time now. I wanna live. Sorry, I just completely forgot to give it to you earlier. See you at the office, don't be late."
The door's click followed his hasty steps and I just stood there like an idiot, with absolutely no idea what he was talking about. A smile on my face thanks to him kissing me got smaller when I looked at the thing he gave me. A letter? Why would he… wait.
This can't be…
I torn the envelope even though it's already been opened and hastily took out a sheet of paper with my handwriting on it. This is what I put into his letter box. Why would he give it to me? It's not like I wanted it now. But… something's not right. This-
I clenched my fists on the paper as I was reading, cursing under my breath. Are you kidding me? Why didn't he tell me sooner? I can't believe him, that fucking bastard!
I'm glad you understood that it was clearly your mistake to send me a faulty vacuum cleaner. I expect the full refund to arrive this month and I will not tolerate any delay. Please watch the quality of your products and service next time.
So that's it! The end :D
Actually, I didn't plan on making Takano so touched, but my mom said there's just no other way if he hears a confession from someone whom he's been in love with for ten years... so yeah xD sue her, not me! But he didn't cry, really, he just had tears in his eyes and Ritsu noticed ^^
Ekhm... and sorry, I lied to you in author's comment after the first chapter. I had to make sure no one would pay attention to a third letter which suddenly vanished ;) I'm a terrible person, but here comes a short afterstory to make up for it! :D Remember when Ritsu tripped for the first time in the story and the letters and papers he was carrying got scattered all over the room?
"Phew, almost done!" I grinned, taking one of the last piles of clothes to the bathroom. I've been cleaning all weekend since Takano-san wouldn't shut up about it, he even threatened to stop cooking for me. He said he lost a storyboard in the mess and wants it back. Geez, just be more careful with your stuff, idiot. But, thanks to him being annoying I can finally walk around here with no danger of tripping every three steps.
I left the clothes in the bathroom where they will now wait for their turn in the washing machine and came back to the kitchen, where still some clothes lay under a table. How did I even get clothes here, the world shall never know, but it's high time to get rid of them. This one pile made me trip more often than all of the others together, since I always forget it's here. I dropped to my knees to take it, when I heard the door's click.
"Ritsu? Done cleaning yet?
I smiled warmly at the sound of his voice but as I was about to answer, something caught my eye. Among the clothes there was something white lying on the floor. It was pretty well hidden and I'd probably never noticed it if I didn't take half of the pile already. "Ritsu?" Just a sec, I wanted to say, but my brain was too busy thinking to give my mouth a command.
There, among clothes, was a letter.
Ohohoho~ here it is! Good job, Ritsu, you finally found it :D Takano advised you should tidy the apartment but noooo...
Sorry for the lame ending XD Thanks for sticking with me till the very end, I love you guys so much!