I'm really glad that you like this fic :) This story is more for me to be creative, while 'Close up the Hole in my Vein' is my baby, who has to be perfect when it gets updated again.
I'll shut up now, enjoy!
Two days after ordering the book, Takano was standing outside the bookstore at 10.45 in the morning. The tall man was on his way up the stairs but stopped himself before he even touched the first.
Since it was a Friday he would usually be at work, but 'Hell Week' had just ended, and he used this well-deserved day off to start his day at one of his new found favorite places in the world, (maybe he was even so lucky to be the only customer)?
He stood for a while, before deciding to smoke a cigarette. To his luck, the weather was in a better mood this day with the sun shining brightly. While he was puffing on the flavored stick, he wondered, 'why didn't I just walk straight in? What am I waiting for? Maybe I'm just not sure of what to say; besides asking for my book'.
Inside the bookstore, the young owner was resting his head on the counter. He was used to not having customers before noon, but he did always open the store 09.45 since you never knew if someone was in a rush to get their hands on the newest book.
Takano had finished his cigarette and walked up the three stairs to the door. The bell attached on top of the entrance door rang loudly and echoed through the whole store. No living soul was in sight. He made his way towards the modern fiction area and scanned some of the books.
The young owner was still resting on the counter but had fallen asleep. He was dreaming of books flying around in his store, unsatisfied customers and no one to sell books too.
The tall man didn't find any book to his liking and made his way to the counter, where he noticed a brown mop of hair lying on the counter.
While approaching quietly trying not to startle the resting person, he noticed that it was no one other than the young owner who was playing Sleeping Beauty.
Takano laughed quietly but thought that maybe the young owner would be embarrassed to have fallen asleep at work.
Clearing his throat he tried to wake him up, - "Good morning". The young owner made an unsatisfied groan from his throat and looked up.
The young man blinked once, then twice, and before Takano knew any of it, he was standing straight up and was arranging his clothes while greeting Takano with a hurried and embarrassed "G…good morning"!
He laughed and smiled but in an awkward manner. The editor-in-chief hadn't meant to embarrass the younger man, but he couldn't help but think how cute it was.
"I'm so sorry about that, I didn't mean to sleep on the job".
Takano shrugged it off, - "You're only human, and what it seems like, not a morning person", he said with a laugh. The young man laughed and scratched his head, "well yes, and the store is also very quiet, so it only adds to the tiredness".
The young man realized something, and exclaimed with a smile "oh yeah, you were the one that I saved that book for, right"? Takano couldn't help but smile back and was glad to know that the younger man could remember him. Since he hadn't been able to get the young man out of his head, - "Yes, I sure was".
The owner walked over to a cabinet that was brown and looked vintage, that fit perfectly in the store. Takano was still amazed by just how different the store was; compared to the chain bookstores in Japan. This place was defiantly rare and he felt lucky, that he had found something like this. He didn't notice before now that the young owner was wearing glasses. It must have been reading glasses, since last time the younger man was perfectly able to service Masamune without them on.
While the younger man was searching through the cabinet, he took the time to takeofff his glasses and rub his eyes. The older man thought he was endearing when he was tired.
'He's so cute that I'd come here every day, just to see him'.
Takano's want to know and see more of the man, made him feel like a stalker. It reminded him of the lovestruck boys and girls in the mangas he edits at work. The younger man wasn't cute in that sugary, Shoujo manga, girly way. It wasn't something fake. It was the way his cheeks would flush from embarrassment. The way he would get flustered if something went wrong; like when Masamune picked down the book for him the days before. The whole being of the younger man made him curious.
The young man walked over to Takano again and put the book and his glasses down on the counter. Again the older man was amazed by just how green, brilliant and beautiful the younger man's eyes were. It was rare to see that eye color on anybody who is of Asian descent.
While the younger man placed the book in one of the brown paper bags that he had used the days before (simple yet classy), Takano kept his eyes on his face. He was snapped out of his thoughts when the young man held the bag up and gave it to Takano,- "here you go".
Expecting to pay for his book, the older man was amazed and said with a surprised voice, -" for free? Are you sure?"
By the look on his face, the young man gave a small laugh and explained, -
"Yeah, don't you remember? I told you when you bought the other book, if you buy two, you get one for free"?
Masamune was a bit embarrassed by reacting in the way he did and covered it up with a smirk, "Oh yes, now I remember".
When he reached for his bag, their fingers brushed more obvious than yesterday and Takano thought the word 'soft'. This time the young man didn't seem too bothered though.
"Thank you very much for ordering the book for me and just this" he gestured to the book and the non-payment.
"I'm just doing my job with satisfying a customer. But I'm glad you like it", he said with a smile. He put his reading glasses on again and asked, - "anything else, I can help you with"?
"No, but before anyone else notices, I'd just like to mention…" – Masamune didn't finish his sentence right away, and the younger man tilted his head in a confused manner,– "you've got bed hair".
It took a second before there came a reaction from the young man, but in that moment Takano thought to himself that he had never seen persons face darken that fast with a bright red. He laughed a little when the young man arranged his hair to sit better, - "don't worry, it's cute".
Masamune didn't manage to stop himself before the words came out little brain vomit, but the young man was oblivious to his words, while he was engrossed with arranging his hair.
"I…Is this better"? The young man asked with a point to his hair while biting his lip.
"As much as I liked the bed hair, yes, it is better". He didn't know that inside the younger man's mind there was still a loud voice that yelling 'HOW EMBARRASSING'! The younger man's face was no longer red, but his cheeks were still lightly hooded with a pink blush, -"Oh, thank you".
"Well, I'll go home now and read this book", Takano said and tapped on it with his index finger – "and tomorrow I'll come again and try to find a new one, bye for now". He made his way to the door.
"Already a new book? You must be a fast reader, -" The young owner asked with a flushed face.
"The fastest", - Takano said turning around and looking at him with a self-confident smile.
When Takano exited the bookstore, he looked into the store through the window. He focused on the young owner who was still standing at the counter.
The younger man was staring off into space with a whimsical look on his face.
Hope you enjoyed the new chapter! Reviewing is appreciated. - cigarettesandlatte