The S&M Dilemma
Summary: When Nao finds the truth about S&M, the stalemate is solved.
Disclaimer: I do not own Liar Game.
Akiyama Shin'ichi was waiting for Nao at her apartment. After the end of the 3rd Round, he had decided it was best if they stuck together. She was still easily fooled and he had to protect her from getting involved in trouble once again.
Those were the reasons he presented to her. As usual, the things he didn't say far outweighed those he did. He left out the part of protecting her not because she was a hopelessly honest girl that resembled his late mother, but because she was a hopelessly honest girl that he had fallen in love with.
And so, Kanzaki Nao's home became Akiyama Shin'ichi's home.
Nao had gone to university for a new class and he was waiting for her to get home and start dinner. It was his favorite time of the day: she would tell him little stories and anecdotes of things that had happened to her or to her friends and he would half listen and half imagine other things she would be telling him. It was the time of the day that they most resembled a married couple.
She was running a little late and he assumed it was because someone asked something of her and, as usual, she accepted.
He heard the key enter its place and begin to turn so he turned his attention to the book. He didn't want to appear that he had spent the last hour entertaining thoughts of Nao and little children.
Nao was predictable in her routine.
That is why, when she didn't call his name as soon as she entered and she took more than 45 seconds to reach the living room he knew there was something amiss. When she finally made her entrance, she avoided looking him in the eye and he knew there was trouble ahead. When he found out who was it that had upset her, he would make him or she suffer new kinds of pain.
She entered the kitchen and he assumed his usual position at the table. Nao still hadn't said a word and Akiyama wasn't going to break the silence. He was still observing Nao in search of clues. He noticed that she wasn't upset, but embarrassed, like she knew a very dark secret of someone close to her.
For three minutes he panicked, thinking she had somehow figured out that he loved her, entertained dirty thoughts about her and wanted her to give him at least three children.
She didn't seem to be confronting him, and he assumed she would be more receptive.
"Akiyama-san… how was your day today? Did you find a new job? Hear anything from the LGT?"
It wasn't something related to him or she would be more nervous in talking to him and it wasn't something about the LGT or she wouldn't have mentioned it.
"Did something upset you today?"
"Ah… no. Nothing. I did meet with Fukunaga-san though…"
Fukunaga. That was a very bad sign. Many things could come from a meeting with Fukunaga. It didn't seem necessarily bad, though. It was very similar to when Fukunaga told Nao she had a crush on me, he thought. So perhaps Fukunaga told Nao something of a more sexual nature?
"What did Fukunaga tell you?"
She dropped the casserole on the floor and it made a deafening sound. Nao changed from rose to crimson. She hurriedly picked it up and turned her back to him, starting to cut ingredients for the miso soup.
Akiyama decided to question her after dinner. If he continued like this, she would hurt herself in some accident caused by embarrassment and Akiyama decided to interrogate her when she wasn't handling a knife bigger than her hand.
He changed the subject, inquiring after her father and she calmed down. After that, everything was as usual. But the curiosity was slowly drilling into Akiyama's brain, causing him to become more aloof than usual.
He was so deep in theories and probabilities that he didn't notice the small looks Nao would send him from time to time.
"Ne, Akiyama-san… Do you mind if I call you Shin'ichi?"
"Ah, well… Fukunaga asked me today why I still called you Akiyama-san, even though you called me Nao and we-!"
Nao abruptly stopped mid-sentence and covered her hand with her mouth.
"Nao… Just tell me what is wrong."
"More than when you stood fifteen hours waiting for me in the same spot?"
"Just tell me."
A little more pressure and she would break. She only needed the right push.
"Don't you trust me?"
He saw by the little sigh and the fall of her tense shoulders that she gave in.
"Fukunaga-san thought we were engaging in those activities… And… She explained to me what S&M is… And she said that I was the perfect M for your S and that must be the reason why we were still together… And she also said that an S was very protective of its M and it explains why you are always looking after me…"
Akiyama Shin'ichi was speechless. In one shot Fukunaga uncovered everything he had been hiding so preciously. Perhaps he underestimated Fukunaga. Or perhaps he needed to work better on his poker face. Nao had been drawing too many smiles from him recently.
And now he didn't know what to do. He could admit everything and risk being rejected and excluded from Nao's life or he could deny it all and have a forever awkward mood between them, the memory of this night forever etched into their minds.
"Ne… Shin'ichi-kun, do you really think I am your M?"
Her eyes were sparkling and she was looking at him with that face she always made before preaching her honesty and trust speeches.
To lie or not to lie.
To admit or to hide.
What should he do?
He stayed silent. After waiting for a couple of minutes, Nao gave up and began to clean the dishes. She had entertained hopes after hearing Fukunaga's talk. She had liked him during the 2nd Round of the LGT. On the 1st Revival Round, she was completely in love with him. When he proposed to live together, Nao believed things couldn't be any better and she tried her hardest to live without expecting too much and being satisfied with what she had. But this night, she had been greedy and now she was being punished by it.
The tears rolled down her face and fell among the water that was washing the dishes. Her heart was screaming in pain and she was trying her hardest not to break in front of him.
Through her tear-blurred eyes Nao saw two hands sneak around her waist and a familiar scent enveloped her along with those arms. He was so close Nao could feel his breathing on her neck.
"I would be more than happy to have you as my M. But only if you want to be it. I'm a very possessive S." he whispered on her ear. Nao turned, now crying for a completely different reason.
"Oh, Shin'ichi… I love you."
That night, he taught her what S&M meant in the most practical sense.
Don't you just love how clueless Nao is? And Akiyama... I love how his poker face could be hiding so many secrets...
Thanks for reading!