Uhm... I really have no idea what to say to this. It just sort of... happened? Gah... I don't know. I guess this is sort of a sequel to 'Somehow'. Don't judge me! Just, please, don't kill me.
I don't own Sekaiichi Hatsukoi. Sadly. Don't remind me.
Why me? Why? What did I do wrong to put myself through this? Onodera Ritsu silently asked himself. Everyone in the world could go fall down a staircase. An awfully long, stone staircase.
Distractedly, he bit on his lower lip as he dragged his red pen along one of the storyboards. He just couldn't bring his mind to focus on the task at hand. He couldn't stop thinking about the person across the table, the only other person in the office.
Slowly and reluctantly, Ritsu dragged his gaze up to stare Takano Masamune, who was also working busily. He let his green eyed stare linger there for as long as he'd allow.
It had been about two weeks since Ritsu had admitted to himself that he... loved... the man. And, in fear of doing something unprofessional, he'd been trying to keep their ineractions to a minimum by avoiding him.
Ritsu was afraid that now that he was aware of his emotions, what would happen if he told Takano. Maybe it was because of the whole trauma from ten years ago, but he didn't want to put himself through all that again. All of those emotions and tears... He didn't think he could handle it.
Of course, now that they were alone, he had no idea what to do.
Ritsu eyed him with a steady gaze, staring at his silky, touseled black hair. Those clear, hazel eyes that were framed by dark glasses. His lips, which were pursed in concentration. Ritsu smiled softly. God, he loved him.
Then, suddenly, Takano glanced up. Almost instantly, Ritsu snapped his head down, a flush painting his pale cheeks. He saw me staring, didn't he? I'm blushing, aren't I? A sudden feeling of nostalgia washed over the younger man.
It felt familiar, watching him from a distance and overreacting everytime Takano noticed. And it almost bothered him.
An awkward silence hung in the air, and Ritsu could feel those eyes watching him, and he willed himself to not look up. He didn't know what he would do if he did.
"...Onodera, are you mad at me?" The editor in chief questioned, shattering the silence.
"Yes," Ritsu answered honestly, his eyes firmly glued to the paper in his hands.
"Because you are making me finish all my work here when I'd much rather be at home. You didn't make anyone else stay," he grumbled bitterly, fiddeling with a pen.
"Well, everyone else didn't have as much work as you," Takano pointed out, flipping through some papers.
His head popped up and he glared at him. "You're acting like it's my fault that sensei was lacking this time!"
"No, it's her fault and now you're suffering the consequences." Takano looked at his subordinate, before he lifted his glasses off his nose. "How many storyboards do you have left to finish?"
"Eh?" Ritsu asked, before glancing back down at the storyboards. "Two more. Why?"
His boss stood, and began to pack his things. "I'll wait for you, so we can head home together."
Ritsu quickly jumped to the defense. "T-that's not necessary-" his words stopped cold when he saw the pointed look Takano was giving him.
Understanding that his point had been taken, Takano strode past Ritsu, ruffling his hair as he went. "I'll wait outside, so don't take too long."
"Alright, then..." he murmered, trying to focus on his work and not about how anxious he felt.
Moments later, the two men were walking down the street towards the apartment complex and away from the station. Takano was a few steps ahead of him, with Ritsu trailing slowly behind. The only sounds were their footsteps, and, Ritsu's overreacting heart beat.
It's moments like this when I ask myself why I still love you, he thought, ducking his head.
It was almost childish, not telling his boss. He felt like he was fifteen all over again, hiding his feelings while he was always infront of him. There was always an opportunity. He just wasn't ready to take it again.
With a sigh, Ritsu took another step foward, before he collided with Takano. "Oh, sorry," he said quickly, rubbing his nose in embarrassement. "I wasn't paying attention."
Takano narrowed his eyes at his subordinate. "Are you okay? You're awfully quiet."
"Huh?" Ritsu blinked before shaking his head. "Just a little tired is all." He laughed awkwardly, before motioning for his boss to keep walking.
The older man's gaze didn't change, but he soon whipped his head foward and continued trekking towards their destination. The complex was getting closer, just around the corner.
Ritsu sighed inwardly. He'd be able to get out of this comprise soon.
At least, thats what he thought. Until Takano put a hand on his shoulder and whispered, "Why are you avoiding me?" Ritsu didn't move. He didn't know how to. His heart began to pound loud enough that his ears hurt. "It's because you love me, isn't-" It was those words that shook him out of his stupor.
With his heart on overdrive, he bolted down the street as fast as his feet would take him. "Onodera!" He heard footsteps echoing behind him, and he pushed himself to run faster. He couldn't think. He was letting his body move on its own. He pushed through the front doors, panicked.
His fist pounded into the up button, and thanked God when the doors opened immediately with a soft ding. He closed the door just as Takano entered through the entrance.
Ritsu's back slumped against the wall, his breathing labored. What am I going to do? He asked himself, putting his hand to his forehead. I just want to go home. His head ached with every second the tiny room lifted higher.
What am I going to do?
With a final ding, the doors slid open and Ritsu burst into the hallway, barely reaching room 1201. His shaky hands fumbled with the keys, just sliding the correct one into the hole before Takano sprinted in.
"Onodera." The voice gave the younger man shivers. He couldn't do this. He just couldn't.
Ritsu somehow managed to throw the door open, but not before Takano slipped in. "N-no!" He wasn't sure what he was protesting to. "Get out!" He backed away slowly, only to have his boss follow with every step.
He kept backing away until the back of his knees hit the arm of the couch. Takano narrowed his eyes, before shoving Ritsu onto the couch. Horror racked through him, and he scrambled backwards on the furniture. "Leave!" He stammered, when the man hovering over him gripped his ankle, dragging him back towards him.
Takano climbed onto the couch, straddeling the brunette's waist. "Why won't you tell me what I want to hear?" He asked, leaning down so that their lips were hardly a centimeter apart.
Ritsu squirmed, trying to get away. If Takano just tipped his head even slightly, they'd kiss. "W-why?" he breathed, his cheeks growing red. "Because this is nothing but a game to you," he gasped, closing his eyes.
At this, Takano paused, before letting out an airy chuckle. He moved his head towards his ear, his breath stirring Ritsu's hair. "Well," he mused, his teeth grazing his ear. "If this is just a game..." Ritsu could hear the smile in his voice, and felt his confidence slipping away. His eyes opened. "Let's just admit I won, right?"
And Ritsu wanted to. He wanted to pour out his heart, to kiss him, to hear him return his feelings. He wanted to be able to say 'I love you too'. For a moment, he put himself in Takano's shoes. How must he have felt? To spend ten years loving one person, and never forget them. And to finally be given a second chance, and never get what he wanted. To have the person he loved infront of him, to constantly be confessing, only to be answered with silence?
What if he did give him the answer he wanted? What did it matter at this point? He wanted to stop this game, to forfeit. He wanted to be the most important person in this man's life. All he had to do was open his mouth and...
"I... I love you," he squeaked, tears welling up behind his eyes. He saw Takano's jaw dropped, and his dark eyes widened, shimmering with unshed tears of his own. He looked like he was in so much shock, he couldn't function.
But Ritsu could. Once he started, he just couldn't stop. "I love you. I love you. I love you." Ritsu lifted his arms and put his hands on Takano cheeks. "I love you so much. And I'm sorry." Tears began to stream down his own cheeks, and he saw the older man's mouth form into a small, genuine smile. The older man's nimble finger's leaned down to swipe them away, but it didn't put an end to it.
"I'm so, so sorry. I wanted t-to tell you, but I've been scared. I'm s-sorry for avoiding you, a-and for putting you through this. I've been too stubborn, a-and I probably put you through s-so much and-" Takano leaned down slowly and pressed his lips to his subordinate's forehead, putting an end to his rambling.
"You talk too much," he breathed, slowly smiling wider. Ritsu gasped to himself when he saw the look on his face. The look of absolute joy, and it was astonishing to realize it was all because of him. That he could make some one this happy.
And when Takano hugged him, he held him back. He never felt as content as he did being held in the arms of the man he loved.
I don't like how this ended. Nope. But Ashley/Rosie did. And she doesn't lie, so I'm taking it.
Please review. Please, for me? I'll love you forever. And ever.