When FF did it's last purge I removed most of my stories, fearing for their safety. I am re-posting them now and hoping that they will stay up. New chapters will be added eventually.
The majority of these fics will be rated "T" though there may be an "M" scattered here or there. These chapters will also have warnings indicating their content. Should said content be beyond your comfort zone I respectfully ask that you click out of the story, rather than report it. This leaves the piece up for others who have differing tastes and sensibilities.
These pieces will be glimpses into the past of the various JR characters. This little "head canon" of mine allows me to better understand why the players might act as they do in the series. Plus I am a mad fool for backstory.
Disclaimer: I do not own Junjou Romantica or any of its characters
Misaki (Age Eight): New Word
Misaki slowly opened the door, once inside he closed it softly behind him and leaned heavily against it. He sighed and hung his jacket and his backpack up in the entry before kicking out of his shoes.
He still wasn't used to the new apartment. It was so much smaller than the one they'd lived in before the accident. Even more than this, though it still held some of their furnishings, it didn't smell like their home had when his parents were alive. Misaki had always loved coming home from school to the aromas of his mother's cooking and the undercurrent of his father pipe tobacco. Now it just smelled slightly damp and of burnt toast.
Misaki was beginning to equate these scents with despair.
The boy slipped into the side room he shared with Takahiro. Though at first he'd been kind of disappointed he couldn't have his own room any more, now that he woke up so often with the terror of his recurring nightmares, the eight-year-old was always grateful to discover his Nii-chan so close by. Not that Misaki ever woke Takahiro up if he could help it.
His brother was working two jobs right now to supplement the modest insurance policy payments that were currently keeping a roof over their heads. Misaki knew how tired this made him. Besides, he didn't want to be a bother, especially after what had happened the last time he'd been too needy.
The small boy quickly pulled out of his school uniform and slipped into a pair of knee length khaki shorts and an over-sized hoodie. He made sure to hang his clean clothes up and put the soiled ones in the hamper. It wasn't much, but Misaki wanted to do whatever he could to help out and he knew Nii-chan liked it when everything was neat. He once told Misaki it helped him to think better.
Padding back out into the main room Misaki wished he could think better. He frowned in the direction of his backpack where his homework waited. He'd never done very well in school: everything always seemed so complicated. He wished sometimes that his teachers would explain things more clearly. Misaki felt down deep somewhere that if they did he would surely be able to understand.
After all, he'd always done so much better when his mama or Takahiro had helped him. Now however, with his schedule, Nii-chan couldn't help nearly as much, though he still tried to. But it wasn't the same as before and Misaki was painfully aware that sometimes, despite his older brother's patience, Takahiro was frustrated by how slow he was.
Misaki's eyes dropped and his shoulders hunched slightly at these thoughts. "Who needed English anyway?" he grumbled under his breath. Then boy looked guiltily around the apartment. He'd made a promise after what had happened to never complain again. Still, sometimes when he was alone he couldn't help it.
"Takahashi Misaki. Eight years old. Grade school student. Failure. Dear Nii-chan please forgive your little brother," Misaki thought.
Then Misaki cocked his head as the sounds next door filtered through the apartment's thin walls. He could hear the voices of the boys fighting. That meant Tsuzuki-san must not be home. At this thought a sudden panic gripped him and his heart started beating wildly.
There was only one place Misaki could think of that Tsuzuki-san could be. He moved over to the entry, slipped back into his shoes and grabbed his thin jacket from its hook by the door. Out on the busy streets minutes later, Misaki dodged easily among the crowds. Sometimes there was a benefit to being small he supposed. Though it also meant he got pushed around a lot too.
After a dash across a couple busy streets Misaki found himself at a neighborhood market. He hung about the front nervously for about fifteen minutes. Then just when he thought he'd made a mistake by coming, Tsuzuki-san emerged, wheeling her wire cart with a couple additional cloth bags of groceries suspended from one of her arms.
"Mi-chan," Tsuzuki exclaimed seeing the small boy waiting at the store entrance. "What on earth are you doing here? Why aren't you at the apartment? Kato isn't being mean to you again is he?"
Misaki dropped his eyes and blushed. "No, Tsuzuki-san," he stammered. "I knew that today was your shopping day and I thought you might need some help carrying your groceries home."
Tsuzuki looked at the little boy's earnest green eyes. She knew she should scold him for coming out into the busy streets like this. His older brother Takahashi-kun would be beside himself if he'd known Misaki had traveled to the store by himself to find her, rather than go directly to her apartment as he was supposed to every day after school until the older boy got home from work.
But the woman also understood that given what had happened, Misaki had a difficult time waiting for people to come home and she knew that her absence had probably made the little boy nervous. So instead of a reprimand, Tsuzuki offered Misaki a slight nod and a smile.
"That's awfully sweet of you, Mi-chan, but you shouldn't be out here on the streets by yourself. If Takahiro knew what you'd done he'd be terribly worried."
Hearing this, the tentative smile Misaki had been wearing faltered. He dropped his eyes to the ground immediately and a hot blush of shame filled his pale cheeks. It was his fault already that Takahiro was worried so much of the time now as it was.
Seeing the effect of her words Tsuzuki sighed. She had such a hard time remembering that Misaki was not one of her own coarse sons. She clucked at the small boy's sensitivity wondering how a lamb like this would ever survive out in the wolfish world.
"But I bet Takahiro would be very proud to know that his little brother was so considerate, Mi-chan," Tsuzuki offered. "I wish my boys would take a lesson or two from you as well about helping their mother."
Misaki raised his eyes hesitantly at these words.
"Here, since you came all this way you might as well make yourself useful," the woman said holding out the cloth bags that weighted her arms. Tsuzuki watched the pain in Misaki's huge green eyes soften as the boy tentatively took the sacks.
The two walked back to the apartment in companionable silence. The streets were busy so the majority of their focus was spent on staying together and navigating the crowds. Once they reached the blocky apartment building both simultaneously let out a sigh of relief which caused Tsuzuki to smile and Misaki to giggle.
Reaching her apartment, Tsuzuki pushed into its crowded interior. It was a small, two bedroom unit she shared with her husband and three sons. Tsuzuki's husband traveled quite extensively as a low ranking salesman, so usually quite often it was just she and her boys.
Misaki watched Tsuzuki sigh again, only this time in exasperation as she took in the jumble of shoes, book bags, and jackets strewn around the floor of the entry. She stepped out of her shoes lining them up carefully against the wall before stepping into her slippers and heading with her cart in tow to the kitchen.
Misaki took his own shoes off and stepped into the slippers kept there for his afternoon stays. Then he carefully lined up all the other shoes in the entrance and hung up the bags and the coats.
"Mi-chan, where are you with my groceries?" Tsuzuki called from the kitchen.
Misaki grabbed the bags and scrambled out of the entry.
"Thank you, dear," Tsuzuki said taking the bags and setting them on the counter.
Misaki watched the woman put things away. Then he glanced over to where Tsuzuki's three boys were huddled around the TV playing video games. Whatever the ruckus had been earlier, things must have been settled as the three were now exclaiming loudly over what Kato, the oldest boy's character was doing.
"Do you need any help Tsuzuki-san?" Misaki asked shyly.
Tsuzuki's attention however was currently focused on her rambunctious sons. "Boys, keep it down now or it goes off!" She shouted at the trio.
"But, Mama!" Ryuu, the youngest boy whined," I haven't had my turn yet!" His tear-stained face clearly declared him the loser in the boys' earlier conflict.
"Kato, Naoto, share with your little brother!" Tsuzuki scolded.
Both older boys ignored her initially until she increased her volume. "Boys!"
"But he's always messes things up!" Kato, the oldest boy complained, his eyes finally leaving the screen for a minute to look crossly at his mother.
"Do not!" Ryuu cried indignantly.
"Shut up dumb ass," Naoto hissed, smacking Ryuu on the shoulder.
"Mama!" Ryuu shrieked now that his advocate was home. "Naoto hit me!"
Misaki cringed aside as Tsuzuki strode out from behind the counter and over to the TV. She hit the "power" button and the screen went blank eliciting a round of groans and wails from her sons.
"Enough!" the lady said sternly. "Homework now! I've had it with this noise!"
"I was almost at level eight!" Kato protested.
"Did you hear what I said?" Tsuzuki countered. "Or do you want me to tell you father how difficult you've been being?"
This silenced the boys effectively as, if he was troubled to get involved, their father was a strict disciplinarian. Misaki shivered at the danger implied in Tsuzuki's words. He knew a bit more than he would have liked to about the senior Tsuzuki-san as unfortunately the boy's rumblings were not the only sounds that bled through the thin walls regularly.
Tsuzuki went to retrieve her boys' backpacks as the disgruntled trio stumped reluctantly over to the table. As the woman returned with her three boy's school bags she stopped along the way and affectionately ruffled Misaki's already tousled overgrown bangs. "Thank you for straightening the entryway Mi-chan," she said kindly.
Misaki beamed at the praise and the touch until he looked over and saw Tsuzuki's three sons glaring at him. "And do you have homework, Mi-chan?" Tsuzuki inquired.
"Takahashi Misaki. Eight years old. Grade school student. Liar. Dear Nii-chan please forgive your little brother." Misaki muttered to himself.
"I did it already," he lied lamely, but Tsuzuki was already at the table now doling out her boy's homework.
Misaki stood at the edge of the kitchen watching Tsuzuki get her boys started. It reminded him so much of what his family had looked like when he and Takahiro used to come home from school and his mama was there.
The boy dropped his eyes as he felt unwanted tears come up. He hated crying, it made him feel like such a baby, even if Takahiro had told him it was okay to still be sad. Misaki wished sometimes that his brother understood. He didn't deserve to cry, the whole thing, what had happened, was his fault after all.
Tsuzuki looked up from where her settled brood had begun attacking their homework with far less zeal then they usually turned on each other. She saw Misaki's obvious sorrow. Moving away from the table and into the kitchen she murmured to Misaki, "Would you like to help me, Mi-chan? I could stand having some vegetables cut for dinner."
Without looking up, Misaki nodded. He followed her to the kitchen and listened carefully to her instructions. He brightened when he realized he could follow them. It was so much simpler than school.
Tsuzuki was surprised by the little boy's aptitude. With each task Misaki completed she offered him another. "You've rather got a knack for this cooking thing I think, Mi-chan," Tsuzuki smiled as she watched the youth stirring the pot on the stove a short time later.
Misaki smiled shyly at this. He'd never been particularly good at anything before.
"You watch the pot, okay? And keep stirring. I'm going to go check on the laundry in the meantime," Tsuzuki said picking up her basket and heading out to the apartment's tiny balcony.
No sooner had the sliding glass door shut than Misaki turned at eight-year-old Naoto's harsh whisper. "I know why you're good at cooking… It's because you're really a girl isn't it? Why else would your parents give you a girl's name."
Ten-year-old Kato followed this with a snicker, "If Misaki's not a girl then he's a homo. I bet that's why your parents named you that, because they could tell what you were you were born. You even look like one now.
"Homo," Six-year-old Ryuu echoed and then giggled.
Misaki turned away from the boys biting his bottom lip. He blushed fiercely, not knowing what the word meant, but understanding without a doubt it was something bad.
Two hours later there was a knock on the door and Misaki looked up hopefully from where he was tucked into a corner of the couch. He had his knobby knees drawn up to his chest, trying to make himself as small as possible. He'd been watching the other boy's play their endless video games now that homework had been finished.
Misaki's huge green eyes lit up at the sight of his brother in the entry. "Nii-chan!" he cried happily, immensely relieved that the world had delivered his brother back to him. He unfolded himself and headed over to Takahiro.
"Misaki!" Takahiro greeted, shaking the weariness from his voice at the sight of his baby brother.
"Takahashi-kun, here. This is for you," Tsuzuki-san offered, holding out a couple plastic containers to the elder Takahashi.
"Ah… Tsuzuki-san please, you've already done so much for us watching Misaki, you can't start feeding us too."
"Well you know it only seems fair since Mi-chan helped make it."
"Really?" Takahiro looked wide eyed at Misaki.
"He's got quite a knack for cooking," Tsuzuki supplied.
Misaki blushed at this as Takahiro reached out and ruffled Misaki's head. "Getting tired of your brother's, are you?"he teased.
Takahiro took the containers gratefully from Tsuzuki. "Thank you Tsuzuki-san. I meant to stop at the market, but I wanted to be sure and get home on time."
Misaki's head shot up at this. "Nii-chan you didn't rush home because of me did you?" he asked softly.
Takahiro just smiled at his little brother, "come on Misaki, let's go home."
Back at their apartment Takahiro watched Misaki warming things on the stove while he worked on papers from his job at their table. "You doing okay Mi?" he asked curiously.
"Ummhumm," Misaki nodded not looking up.
"You know it's nice to smell home cooking again, even nicer not to have to be the one making it," Takahiro murmured looking back down at his spread sheets.
Misaki turned his head at this comment. He studied his brother intently, watching as Takahiro slipped off his glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. "Nii-chan," Misaki said softly stepping towards the table. He grasped the back of one of the chairs so his hands wouldn't flutter nervously as they seemed drawn to do.
"Ummm" Takahiro said redonning his glasses without looking up.
"Tsuzuki –san shops on Tuesdays, if you left me some money I could go get groceries with her. Then you wouldn't have to do it."
Takahiro raised his eyes and tipped his head slightly looking at Misaki.
"I could learn to cook too. Tsuzuki said she would teach me," Misaki stammered.
"I don't know Mi, I don't want you taking on too much," Takahiro sighed.
"But I want to help," Misaki murmured.
Just then Takahiro's phone rang. "We'll talk about this later okay?"
Misaki watched as his brother stood up and moved over to the balcony door. "Usagi!" he greeted cheerfully stepping outside and closing the door behind him.
Misaki tried not to frown as he moved back over to the stove. He'd never met his brother's friend Usagi, but already the man annoyed him. Misaki felt bad for being so petty but the man called his brother almost every day and each time he called Takahiro would leave the room because of "grown up talk."
The boy sighed, as he resumed his stirring. He watched his brother's animated conversation through the glass door. Misaki knew Nii-chan needed to have friends but he felt quite confident if he ever had to meet this needy Usagi person he wouldn't like him.
"Takahashi Misaki. Eight years old. Grade school student. Selfish. Dear Nii-chan please forgive your little brother." Misaki frowned at his constant shortcomings.
Sighing at the weight of what a bad person he was for thinking such terrible things, Misaki turned the stove down and went to get his step stool so he could get the dishes down from the cupboard and set the table for dinner.
Later that night Misaki was sitting on his futon looking at a dog eared manga. After a soft knock on the door, Nii-chan came in and plopped down next to Misaki.
"I thought about what you said Misaki," Takahiro said looking at his little brother, the barest edges of his sorrow visible behind his smile. He pulled out his wallet and gave a number of bills to Misaki.
"Now you have Tsuzuki-san help you make a list and get just what we need. Okay? And you can cook if you want, but don't feel like you have to."
Misaki beamed at the trust this new responsibility demonstrated. There was nothing more in the world that Misaki wanted at this point than to make his brother proud of him.
"And I have something else for you," Takahiro murmured. He pulled out a magazine he had rolled up and hidden from view in his back pocket. "While I didn't make it to the store, I did manage to pick this up at a stand on the way home. There's the story that you've been following and a new one by an up and coming manga-ka named Ijuuin something. His drawings are kind of neat. I looked at it on the train ride home."
"Nii-chan, thank you!" Misaki breathed happily. Then his look of delight slipped a bit. "But you shouldn't be spending your money on stuff like this."
"Ah… well I'm the head of the house now, so I think I can decide what we should buy," Takahiro said with mock seriousness. "Besides I don't think an occasional magazine will break us."
Misaki looked at this brother, his green eyes filled with gratitude for the gift. He watched as Takahiro slid back further on the bed, until he was seated at its head, his back resting against the wall.
The older Takahashi patted the mattress next to him. "Come here, Misaki, and read to me for a bit," he coaxed.
"Really?" Misaki asked timidly. "But what about your work?"
"I'm done for the night, thankfully!" Takahiro breathed a sigh of relief and offered Misaki a warm smile.
Misaki wasted no time slipping over next to his brother. This reading of manga was something his father had done with him occasionally to help Misaki with his troubled reading.
Misaki leaned against his brother, basking in the older boy's warmth. Takahiro kindly helped Misaki every time he stumbled and never was critical. Soon Misaki forgot how nervous reading usually made him and fell into the story, unaware of how much easier his soft voice was flowing. As the two went through the issue together, feeling an old familiar sense of family, Misaki almost forgot for a moment that it was just the two of them.
Then there came a part in the tale when the characters were fighting. Remembering the events of the afternoon, Misaki suddenly stopped reading. He looked up at Takahiro.
A furrow creased his older brother's brow. "Everything okay Mi? Why did you stop? You were doing so well."
"Nii-chan, can I ask you a question?" Misaki ventured hesitantly.
"Sure kid," Takahiro smiled at his brother but the grin fell from his lips instantly when he heard Misaki ask, "What does 'homo' mean?"
Seeing the expression on his brother's face, Misaki was sure he'd just said something terrible.
"Where did you hear that word, Misaki?" Takahiro asked.
Misaki looked down blushing and shrugged. "I heard a boy call another boy it at school," whispered. "Is it really bad?"
Takahiro sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, thinking not for the first time, he was completely unprepared for this new role he had to fulfill.
"Misaki, I don't want to hear you ever using that word. Okay?" He said gently but firmly.
"But what does it mean, Nii-chan?" Misaki was now desperate to know.
Takahiro looked at Misaki seriously. "You know how boys like girls and eventually they get married and have a family," he said hesitantly.
Misaki looked at Takahiro wide eyed and nodded.
"Well sometimes some boys like other boys instead of girls and that word is not nice name for boys like that."
Misaki's small brow creased as he considered this. "So you mean those boys have a family with a boy instead of a girl?"
"Yeah, kind of," Takahiro said rather awkwardly, kicking himself for not explaining it better.
"Is that bad, Nii-chan?"
"Some people think it is," Takahiro answered softly.
Misaki frowned at his brother. "Do you think so?" he whispered.
Takahiro looked at Misaki, "Well, I don't know much about that kind of thing, but I don't know if that kind of lifestyle is really healthy for our society."
Misaki dropped his eyes hearing his brother's mild condemnation. "How does a boy know if that's what he is or not?" he asked. "Can other people tell by looking at him?"
Takahiro looked at Misaki curiously perplexed by his little brother's questions. "People say they just know Misaki, and as for whether or not other people can tell, that's hard to say."
Takahiro suddenly felt worried. Misaki had been forced to switch schools when they moved and the transition had been very hard on the younger boy.
At his old school, Misaki had been a happy child with lots of chums. Now, after the accident, it Misaki seemed much more quiet and nervous. His transition in his new school because of this hadn't been particularly smooth and the boy had been having difficulty making friends. Misaki never let on about this though, he acted as if everything was the same as before. It was a teacher who had relayed this information to Takahiro.
"Now I like I said, I don't want to ever hear you using names like that, Misaki, but maybe if other people are calling this boy that, perhaps it would be better for you to steer clear of him. Okay? You don't need to be getting into the middle of that kind of trouble."
At Takahiro's words Misaki felt a lump form in his throat. He looked down and smoothed a page of the open magazine in his lap. "Okay, Nii-chan, I won't. I promise." Misaki whispered.
"Good boy," Takahiro smiled, lightly ruffling Misaki's hair for about the tenth time that evening. "You want to read some more?"
"Um… actually I'm kind of tired," Misaki mumbled.
"You all ready for bed?"
"I still have to brush my teeth."
"Well, get to it champ," Takahiro prodded, giving his little brother a light poke in the ribs.
"Nii-chan!" Misaki squealed at the sensation, scrambling out of the bed before Takahiro got it in his mind to really tickle him seriously.
"Don't take too long in there; I want to get ready too. I need my beauty sleep you know," Takahiro called out after Misaki.
Misaki dashed into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. He stepped up to the vanity and grabbed his toothbrush. Looking in the mirror the lightness of spirit that the brothers' last exchange had brought quickly evaporated.
Misaki set his toothbrush down and studied himself in the mirror. The word Kato called him returned to the boy once more. He cocked his head to the side and heard his brother's words in his head again, "people say they just know Misaki."
Misaki sighed and dropped his eyes from the mirror.
"Takahashi Misaki. Eight years old. Grade school student. Homo. Dear Nii-chan please forgive your little brother."
Hey, Thank all you readers for the feedback on the last chapter! Hope this one pleases as well.