Everyone, after an almost 2-year hiatus, I am back to write another chapter. I deeply apologize to all the readers such a long wait. I cannot guarantee that I'll publish chapters on a more regular basis, but I will say that I will do my best.
Disclaimer: I do not own Junjou Romantica.
It felt soft, luxurious. Smooth. Completely decadent. The plush covers wrapped around his skin snugly, coolly. His body wanted to stay for a few more hours within the folds of white. But while his body revelled in the feel of cool fabric on his skin, his head still throbbed from last night.
He opened one, sleepy, amethyst eye to survey his surroundings.
Tan-colored curtains. A diagonally-placed pillow on a fancy couch. More or less a high-class hotel room. He must have stayed overnight, and judging from his current absence of memory, he must have fallen into a drunken stupor sometime in the evening. It wasn't that uncommon – after all, he had occasionally frequented bars after a long, tedious stretch of writer's block, or after one of those annoying award ceremonies that Aikawa had forced him into attending, where he had to plaster on a winning smile for the audience of swooning female fans.
And yet, there was something different about this morning. It was something that bothered him.
There was a sticky residue that had coated one specific organ that he had no recollection of ever using last night. Moreover, there was a slight ache that throbbed from his lower body, a sensation that gave evidence to sexually exerting himself somewhere within the last twelve hours. It had been so long that he had woken up to this specific sensation that he could scarcely make heads out of it.
He glanced at space beside him. It was empty – nothing lay in those tangled sheets.
Did he cause all of this himself?
He threw off the covers. His clothes lay scattered haphazardly on the floor. After throwing on his clothes, he grabbed the phone and dialed home. First, he needed to make sure Misaki was safe. Though he had been gone for less than a full day, who knew what the boy had been up to by now?
As the dial tone rang, Akihiko found himself silently praying.
Please. No fires. No floods. No electrical shocks. No injuries. No broken bones. No poisonous chemicals. And please, dear God, let him not go outside.
He felt himself increasingly impatient as the ringing continued. Why wasn't he answering?
It was then that Akihiko realized his stupidity. Of course Misaki wouldn't answer. The boy had probably never saw a phone in his life, nor heard one, for that matter. But wait… Akihiko's brow furrowed. Somehow, he had a feeling that Misaki wasn't at his apartment last night.
His heart nearly stopped. What if the boy was wandering around the streets, completely lost? Misaki had never experienced the outside world. He didn't even know how to use a sidewalk! He didn't know not to trust strangers. What if he followed someone else home? A swarm of possibilities, each successively worse, clouded the author's head.
The author made a mental note to purchase a cell phone for the boy, as soon as he had found him.
He quickly found his wallet, on the coffee table. He paused. A strip of crumpled paper lay beside the piece of leather. Upon unfurling the paper, he saw the address of the bar he stood at, written in unfamiliar handwriting.
So, someone had helped him to this room last night. Someone he might have…
He shook his head. No, this wasn't important. He had to find Misaki. If Misaki was hurt or injured…
The author closed his eyes. Why did he choose last night, of all times, to act irresponsibly? Moreover, did he have to indulge to that extent? The author admitted that he had a pretty impressive liquor tolerance. Yet, he also knew that even he had limits. And last night was most definitely an occasion where he had exceeded those limits.
Still, it was odd that he had no memories of that incident.
Akihiko grabbed his tuxedo jacket. He was determined to find the young boy, before he had gotten himself into too much trouble. Yet, as soon as he had opened the door, he had discovered that was completely unnecessary.
The chestnut-haired boy was curled up beside his door, fast asleep. Beside him was a plastic bag, which appeared to contain several take-out boxes. The boy's body curled around the plastic bag protectively, as if guarding the contents.
What was Misaki doing here?
Akihiko stood at the doorway. He squeezed his eyes shut. Bits and pieces of memories were beginning to surface. The thump of two bodies on the doorframe. The clatter of the hotel key. The faintest scent of vanilla. Nestling his face in that delicous neck. The softness of those brown locks, that hair he had buried his hands in. The quiver of the petite body underneath him. The high-pitched squeal of surprise, when he had unbuttoned that shirt; the moan that had escaped those pert lips when he had slipped his hands underneath those trousers.
No. When he had hungrily devoured the white expanse of skin on his torso. No. The widening of green eyes. No. The low growl that had escaped his lips, that had combined with soft, desperate pants. No. His lust-filled hands, which had roamed every nook of the boy's body. No. The tactile sensation of electricity that had jolted him. No. The tears that had begun to form underneath those beautiful eyelashes. No. The sighs of pleasure that had finally erupted from the body below him. No. The hips that had buckled beneath his own. No.
The author quietly closed the door and retreated in his room, feeling simultaneously angry and disgusted with himself. How could he do this? He had tained Misaki's innocence. Innocence?
He started laughing. What innocence did Misaki have? For Christ sake, he was a robot.
The author buried his head in his hands.
He must be going crazy. Yes, he must be crazy.
To have done this. He must have been out of his mind.
No, it was simple. He must have confused Misaki with Takahiro. It was a perfectly logical explanation. He was drunk. Misaki had merely been a substitute. Those caresses, those kisses, they had all been manifestations of his inner frustrations onto the wrong person. They were the result of the years he had spent depriving himself of emotional vulnerability and physical satisfaction. He had merely reached the limit, that was all.
But Akihiko knew himself that this was not true.
He knew that he was, at least on some emotional level, attracted to Misaki. That artificial heart, made up lifeless material, had moved him.
And that's what scared him the most.
No, he couldn't. He wouldn't. He wouldn't let himself fall in love with the android.
Yes. It was as simple as that. Akihiko remembered Aikawa's advice. He only had thirty days with the boy – two of which had already passed. As long as he had kept the boy at an arms-length until the submission deadline, as long as he refrained from consuming alcohol, he should be fine. Yet, even the author found it difficult to believe that he could restrain himself for so long. Afterall, he was undoubtedly very physically attracted to this green-eyed, brown-haired boy.
He had gotten up and paced back and forth in the room.
Wait. He stopped midstride.
If Misaki had managed to find him last night, that meant that he had managed to navigate the streets of Tokyo, by himself, at night. That meant that he had learned how to pick up a phone-call, learned how to find the address, learned how to call a cab. Akihiko mulled over the prototype's accelerated learning curve. Before long, Misaki would learn how to read, to write, to sing, to dance, to cook, to clean, to navigate the outside world. He would grow up to be like any normal eighteen-year-old.
Perhaps soon enough, Misaki wouldn't need him any more.
The author felt something painful stir in his heart.
The silver-haired author forced himself to abandon those depressing thoughts, and focus more importantly on the current situation. There was a sleeping boy outside his room, a sleeping boys who had memories of last night. Akihiko decided that the best course of action would be to forget about the whole ordeal. Yes, both of them could start fresh. They were merely author and muse, nothing more.
Akihiko hesitantly pushed the door open once again.
There, he was greeted with only a bag of takeout boxes. He stood there, perplexed. He reached down to pick up the bag of takeout, only to hear the sound of pattering footsteps. He looked up to find the brown-haired boy, slightly out of breath, clutching two cans of soda, one on each hand.
"Oh, you saw the takeout boxes? I didn't know what you would like, so I got a bit of everything. But I forgot to get drinks! So there's this black machine, that if you put in strange paper, gives you things to drink!"
The author could only stare at the boy, who was staring, expectantly at him.
Akihiko merely closed the door, and began walking to the elevator. "Come. Let's eat at home."
The boy obediently trotted after him. "Okay! But do you know…"
Akihiko found himself listening to the boy's morning excursion, as he had talked about the nice people he met at the restaurant, as he was ordering food. He responded little, his mind most pre-occupied. Was the boy not affected at all by his first sexual experience? Akihiko's brow furrowed.
Misaki's talkativeness gradually subsided, as he realized that most of his words were greeted with silence. As the two rode the taxi-cab back home, Misaki found the silence between him and the author to be almost deafening. It made him feel uncomfortable. Somehow, he had the feeling that the author disliked him.
Was it because of yesterday?
Misaki couldn't exactly describe the experience he had yesterday. He had experienced many bodily sensations since his activation time, including those with his nose, his mouth, and his fingers. Some of them had been incredibly painful, like the first time he had cut his finger. Other times had been incredibly pleasurable, like his first time tasting chocolate cake. This experience was a mixture of both pain and pleasure.
It was a pleasurable pain and a painful pleasure.
It was one which had never made him crave another human's body so much; it was one which made him yearn for closeness and fulfillment. Yet, that sweet, painful ache was something that he was admittedly be willing to experience again. Yet, contrary to how he had felt, the author had seemed dissatisfied with the experience.
Misaki's eyes widened.
Of course! That entire night had consisted of the author satisfying him. He was so swept up in the author's minstrations, that he had forgotten to reciprocate with some of his own. Misaki inwardly berated himself for his mistake.
Yet, Misaki immediately realized that he had no knowledge on how to give someone else pleasure.
Ever since he had experienced the world, the silver-haired man that sat beside him was Misaki's one source of happiness. The man had let him feel the comfort of being washed clean, had given him the experience of tasting such sweet delicacies, had protected him and forced him to face his fears of dangerous kitchen equipment, had gifted him with clothes to wear and a place to live, and most of all, had satisfied the sweet yearnings that he had within himself.
If anything, he was always giving the author trouble. Misaki recalled the expression of shock on the author's face, when he had accidentally opened all of the author's shampoo and conditioner bottles, and the flicker of pain behind those amethyst eyes when he had mentioned the author's nickname.
The boy looked up, realizing that they had already arrived outside the author's apartment.
"Eat first. I'm going to do some work this afternoon. Don't bother me until dinner."
Misaki watched the silver-haired author trod, almost wearily, upstairs to his study. The brown-haired boy felt a small tinge of disappointment well within him.
It was all his fault.
He had never once tried to make the author happy.
A wayward glance revealed the cookbook that the author had given him yesterday.
It was here that an idea had begun to form within Misaki's mind.
Apologies if my writing is a bit rusty! If there's a bit of a disjointedness, I apologize for that as well.
Thank you to all readers who still keep up with stories, your reviews mean so much to me.