Author's note: This is a darker side to SIH. Warning: Heartbreak, Cussing, Yaoi & Yuri. Reviews welcomed, no reviews, not going to cry over it. Disclaimer: I owned nothing of SIH or Junjou, but my own creations, the formidable Nagasaki Raiu and now, the soulful Himura Aki. I'm simply unleashing my imagination!
P/S: The chapter's personal.
Chapter 17: Love Knows No Bounds
He was on his hands and knees.
Blood dripped down his lips and onto the floor in tiny crimson droplets.
His eyes were filled with tears as he looked up.
His head kept on ringing, a headache pounding between his eyes.
His eyes followed the heaving form of the malevolent assailant.
Why… that question reverberated in the air without words as he looked away, the pain in his newly healed ribs pounding at him and curled up on the floor.
"Ritsu, can I spend the day with Raiu? I know we usually spend the weekend together," Masamune asked in a small voice, his eyes were averted. There was sadness there.
"Of course Masamune, what makes you think I would say no?" Ritsu replied incredulously, pushing Masamune towards his waiting sister. They were in front of Raiu's apartment.
"I'll drop you home first, okay?" Masamune answered, a small smile on his lips as he opened the door to the car, waved to his sister who nodded and went up to her floor without him.
During the ride home to their apartment, Masamune was subdued. His eyes were still red from the cemetery. Ritsu kept his mouth shut but he leaned over to hold Masamune's free hand in his right. Masamune looked down to their entwined fingers and held it to his lips, kissed it and held the hand to his heart. He was thankful for the love of his life, and the life that death had spared him. He stole a look at the slim man sitting next to him in the passenger seat, his cheeks red as roses, his emerald eyes glittered in the late morning light.
Ritsu waved goodbye as Masamune drove off into the direction he had just come from. He made his way upstairs, feeling content. The silence between Masamune and him had grown comfortable. It used to feel like I needed to say something to him all the time. Now we just understand each other without needing words. Ritsu smiled at this thought. He took a deep breath and pressed the 12th button on the elevator door, tapping his foot to the beat of the elevator music emanating from the speaker above him.
The old emerald eyes looked out the windows of the 12th floor apartment number 1211. It had a good view of the ocean port in the distance and a good part of the town. Ritsu was out. He had expected the boy to be in today since it was the weekend but he had come into an empty apartment. He sighed inwardly in disappointment. His son was living in a bad shape all alone. He shouldn't have let his son live on his own. He was better off at home, the maids and butlers at his fingertips. He had all his needs catered to but no… at last… he decided that living on his own was for the best.
His old eyes surveyed the interior of the apartment. The tip of his boot nudged the strewn clothes on the floor gingerly. How could his son live like this? Like a commoner? He sighed even more. He cleared the sofa off the dirty laundry and sat down, his eyes on his watch. His flight was due in 2 hours. He should have plenty of time. He looked up at the sound of a key turning in the lock and watched as a young man with shiny brown hair and identical eyes sauntered in, dropping whatever plastic bags he was carrying on the floor.
"Otou-san! Y-You startled me!" Ritsu looked up, astonished to see his father, "H-How did you get in?"
"You gave your mother a spare key remember? I knocked on the door for quite sometime but no one opened it. I used the spare key then," the elder Onodera replied, nonchalantly, "I see you've been living well?"
The sarcasm and scorn did not escape Ritsu's ears and his face became inflamed, "I-I didn't know you would be coming Otou-san! I-I have just been very b-busy with work!" he stammered.
"And we agreed to let you live on your own to see this?" Onodera Sr. replied, the disdain in his voice increasing as his eyes surveyed the dirty apartment.
"Otou-san, I said I've been busy, work is a nightmare. I've a lot of catching up to do," Ritsu replied, clearing off some of the laundry on the floor and carrying it to a basket near the bathroom. When he returned, the floor was semi clean.
Ritsu knocked his own head mentally. He had come back from the cemetery with Masamune, Raiu and Aki. Masamune had been downcast the whole entire trip home, and had told Ritsu before dropping him off that he wanted to spend some time with his sister, to find out who his father was. Ritsu had obliged happily, and went home alone, confident it was going to be just another day for him.
As he stared back at his own father, he was struck again by the older Onodera's presence. His father had always had this affect on him. Being the only child, his father lavished everything on him but the older Onodera expected mountains out of molehills. His expectations had always been monumental and Ritsu had never said anything against it. His connections to Japan's world famous authors and publishing houses were unrivaled to many. He swallowed at the odd look his father was aiming at him. The look was thoughtful, determined even.
"Otou-san…" Ritsu inquired, timidly, afraid of asking further questions.
"I have thought long and hard about this Ritsu," his father began, a steely glint in is emerald eyes, "You're coming with me to America,"
"W-What?! W-Why?!" Ritsu stammered, shocked that his father had forced this decision on him, yet again. "Otou-san! I have a job here! You can't expect me to just drop everything and leave?!"
"Your resignation will be handed in tomorrow. My personal assistant will have a word with Isaka-san," Onodera Sr. replied, his voice cold, calm and calculating.
"Otou-san! I c-cannot! I-I…!" Ritsu protested, his eyes widening in apprehension and fear, "I can't just leave!"
His father stood up so quickly and crossed the space between them in three long strides, his eyes ablaze with anger. His right hand connected with Ritsu's cheek, sending the younger Onodera reeling to the floor, away from his father. Ritsu looked up sharply, his eyes widening as he stared into the emerald fires, shocked and astonished that his father would lay a hand on him. He had never laid a hand on him. Ever.
"You left suddenly ten years ago. It was easy for you to drop everything and just go. Why are you making excuses now?" his father said through gritted teeth.
"That was different Otou-san, I-I…" Ritsu stammered, his cheek stinging.
"It was because of Takano-san wasn't it? Your mother told me everything. Silly woman thinking it was true love! Paahh!" Onodera Sr. spit his disgust at Ritsu, "There is no such thing as true love! Don't be deluded! True love with a man even? How repulsive! What would society say if they find out my only son is gay?! I will not have it!"
"Otou-san…" he muttered, his voice broke a little, tears dotting his eyelashes. He had known his father had never truly accepted the fact that he was a homosexual although his mother had welcomed Masamune with open arms, "But I love him, I really do…" he whispered, his eyes looking away, "I'm sorry, I cannot leave Otou-san, I can't leave him,"
"How dare you defy me! How dare you! After the shame you put your family through! Y-you disgusting filth!" Onodera Sr. screamed at him, his eyes bulging in their sockets, a spittle of saliva dribbled down the corner of his malicious mouth at Ritsu's determination.
"What have I done, Otou-san? I have done everything you have asked for. Can't I be free to love someone at least? It's not wrong to love someone no? Even if it is a man?" Ritsu whispered, his eyes watering.
At that question, it seemed like something had snapped in the older Onodera, his eyes bulged even more as he sputtered his indignant protests at his son's ridiculous question. As if possessed by some unknown heretic demon, he advanced on his own son; his foot coming up to kicked the trembling young man in the ribs. Yells of pain and begging of stops could not appease the demon within the man.
"How dare you!" he screeched even more, his feet continued their abuse, their assaults on the now whimpering curled up body on the floor, "How dare you ask me what you have done! You- you disgusting homosexual insect! Y-you're sick in the head! I wished the accident had killed you! You have brought shame on our family name! Your ancestors will roll in their graves at what you have done! I will tolerate this no longer!"
After the rage had died down, the apartment was quiet save the sobs of the injured and the heavy breathing of the assailant. Otou-san, Ritsu thought in despair, how could he have hurt me… I am his son… Ritsu looked up, his teeth gritted tightly, pulling his arms away from where they had shielded his face. He looked up into the man he had called father for the 26 years of his life. He did not recognize this man with the red face, veins popping in his neck, eyes bulging, chest heaving in post-anger. He recognized none of the genial father that he knew and loved.
"You will pack only the necessary items. Your passport, a change of clothes, your identifications and whatever you think is necessary. I give you half an hour to get ready or I will drag you out of here myself. Do you hear me?" Onodera Sr. ordered in a harsh tone. He straightened his disheveled suit and stood up straight, towering above his son in malice.
"Otou-san…" Ritsu whispered, his world was closing in on him quickly. What should I do? He screamed inwardly. I cannot leave Masamune, it will kill him!
"You come with me, Ritsu," the older Onodera stated, a finale tone in his voice, his back facing his son, "Or I will disown you legally. You forget about Takano Masamune and everything else here in Japan. If you wished to stay,"
"Father…" Ritsu begged, pleaded, desperation in his voice.
"You will no longer be allowed in my house, I will not call you my son and you are banned from ever seeing your mother for the rest of our lives until we die!"
With those last harsh words, Onodera-sama slammed the door shut behind him, leaving a grief stricken Ritsu curled up on the floor, crying silently into his own arms. He became aware of the passing minutes and with a heavy heart, he slowly stood up and began packing everything he could grab hold of into two suitcases. Within ten minutes, his clothes were jammed tightly into his suitcases, his passport and identifications in his hand. The apartment seemed strangely clean without the clothes on the floor, littering the bedroom and living room.
Before stepping out the door, he left a note on the coffee table; certain in his heart that Masamune will read it. He looked away, his eyes brimming with fresh tears and closed the door behind him, turning the lock one last time. He walked a little further up and stood in front of apartment 1210, knelt down and with a deep breath, slid his apartment key under the door. He stood up again, dusted his pants and his hands off and with heavy footsteps, dragged the suitcases into the elevator and pressed the 'G' button.
The elevator closed with a small clang. Ritsu placed his forehead on the cool metal doors and waited for the inevitable to happen. It felt like the visit to the cemetery seemed like ages ago. The elevator shuddered to a stop and when the doors finally opened again, it felt like he was walking towards his doom. He could see his father's limousine waiting for him just beyond the glass doors and with a heavy sigh; he walked down the last few steps, to an unknown future.
Just as the limousine turn a corner; a pair of eyes followed its trail with worry. I must tell Takano-san, he thought, this doesn't look good…