Happy New Year to all of you yaoi lovers! Hope you all like this multi-pairing fic!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
I dedicate this fic to my uncle, who lost his life today three years ago in a care crash. I love you and miss you every day.
The holiday crunch time was over and it was finally New Year's Eve. Everyone was finishing up on their work and heading out of Marakuwa. Takano-san refrained from yelling at the editors since he had done so much of that already. Besides, his voice was beginning to go and he preferred to have his voice. His eyes swiveled over to Ritsu, who was typing away on his computer. Takano-san propped his head up with the heel of his hand, a small smile on his face. His eyes softened as he got up. As he drew nearer, he saw that Ritsu hadn't changed anything about his posture like he normally did when Takano-san was around, indicating he was really into his work. Takano-san reached down and lightly ruffled Ritsu's hair before swiftly turning around the corner. Ritsu straightened up quickly, looking around wildly. He could see a flash of inky black hair turning around the corner. A blush dusted the brunette's cheeks as he forced his head down and ignored his rapid heartbeat.
'It's not love,' he chanted in his mind.
Chiaki twirled his pencil absentmindedly. His heart was not in his work. His mind was far from his manga. He was thinking about what he had planned for tonight. Hatori was supposed to come over and they would watch the New Years ball drop together. It was their first New Years together and Chiaki was determined to make sure everything went perfectly.
Of course, in reality, things were not going perfectly. He was to have at least the first six pages of his next volume completely sketched out. Right now, he had about two and a half. He sighed, putting the pencil down. He glanced out the window, his eyes falling on a couple the walked past the building, arm in arm.
"Chiaki," said a soft and deep voice. "How far are you on your pages?"
The dark-haired mangaka was brought back to reality at the mellifluous voice. The voice made his heart skip a beat and a light blush color his cheeks. He slowly turned around and was met with Hatori's stormy grey eyes.
"Ah! Tori!" exclaimed Chiaki, smiling nervously as he pushed his haphazard sketches away. "I didn't expect you to drop by so early."
Hatori raised an eyebrow, clearly suspicious of Chiaki's behavior. His eyes fell on the mostly blank pages Chiaki was trying to hide.
'He can never think straight. Let alone around the holidays...'
The brunette editor stared at Chiaki for a moment before pulling him up. "Come on. Let's go home," he said.
Chiaki was shocked. Hatori was not one to blow off work. The only time Hatori had ever taken time off from work was when Chiaki was sick-something that touched his heart to this day. He found himself smiling as he was led to Hatori's car.
"Tori, do you mind if we stop by a convenience store on the way home? I want to get a couple of things for the ball drop."
Hatori let a small smile grace his lips. "Sure."
Kisa stood in the elevator, shifting his weight on his right foot. He nervously pulled his phone out of his pocket and went to his inbox. He had sent a message to Yukina not too long ago saying that he was coming over for New Years. It was one of the rare times that he was inviting himself over to Yukina's apartment and he felt apprehensive about it. He felt like he was being pushy about it.
He flipped his phone shut and walked out of the elevator. He had planned on going to Yukina's for an "impromptu date", but he didn't want to intrude on Yukina's privacy.
He made his way to his car and slipped the key into the ignition. Suddenly his phone began vibrating. He plunged his hand into his pocket, anxious to see if it was Yukina. A large smile was plastered to his face.
From: Kou Yukina
Subject: New Years
Sure, Kisa-san! I'd love to have you over for New Years!
Kisa pocketed his phone before stepping on the accelerator, hurrying to Yukina's apartment.
Ritsu closed his laptop, reaching for his bag. He slowly slipped it in between his many manilla folders and many more loose pages. He double checked his desk, making sure he wasn't leaving anything behind. When he was satisfied, he turned around and found himself crashing into a hard and rock-like wall. The hard and rock-like wall seemed to have sprouted arms to catch him. For some strange reason, Ritsu found himself blushing again. He was wondering why his heart was racing when he looked up. His emerald irises locked with his boss's chocolate irises. Ritsu was momentarily rendered incapable of speaking.
Takano-san caught him just before Ritsu fell and was looking down at him. He felt Ritsu tense up under his touch. He made sure Ritsu was steady on his feet before letting go of him.
"Onodera, what are you still doing here?" he asked curiously. "Nearly all the other editors have left." A smirk was tugging at the very corner of his lips. "Or did you stay behind because you knew I hadn't left yet?"
He watched as the blush on Ritsu's cheeks quickly turned to a blotchy red color.
"That is not the reason, Takano-san!" shouted Ritsu indignantly. "I was finishing up on a couple of things. I'm done and I'll be going home now," he hastily added.
He gripped his bag tightly, marching toward the elevator. He was just about to hit the L button when he saw Takano-san squeeze past the sliding door and stand beside him in the elevator.
The said editor turned to Ritsu, looking like he was beginning to grow tired of the constant denial. "What? I want to go home too. It just so happens that we live in the same building."
Ritsu mentally slapped himself for forgetting that he and Takano-san were neighbors. 'Way to forget, Onodera! Now you have to deal with him on the train ride home. You shoulda just finished up that e-mail at home.'
He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't hear Takano-san calling his name. He was brought back to reality when he felt an incessant tapping on his shoulder. He pushed the hand away and rubbed his shoulder, annoyed. "What?"
"What is with you today? You have your head in the clouds. I was asking you what you were doing tonight for New Years."
Ritsu was slightly taken aback. His conversations with Takano-san usually ended up with Takano-san smirking before pinning him down and kissing him. He turned back to the elevator doors which had slid open. "I don't really have anything in mind. Why?"
Ritsu found himself being dragged out of the building. "Wha-TAKANO-SAN!"
"C'mon. Let's get a case of beer and watch the New Years ball drop together."
Ritsu tried to wriggle out of the older man's grasp, but he had a vice-grip on his wrist. Ritsu slowly surrendered and silently got into the car with Takano-san. "To the convenience store it is then," he said dully.
Yuu was walking out of his most recent job, rather tired. Editing the manga had taken more time than he thought. He felt drained. He wanted nothing more than to crack open a can of beer and laze around on his sofa. He knew for a fact that he wasn't going to have any more calls. Nearly every mangaka was already home, preparing for the New Year.
He pulled his right sleeve back a little and peered at the black watch that adorned his wrist.
It was nearly eleven. Yuu picked up his pace. He wanted to see Chiaki before the New Year. The year before he had made a resolution to tell Chiaki how he truly felt no matter what happened. He hadn't counted on Hatori entering the picture, but it didn't matter to him. He needed to know what Chiaki was going to say.
In his hurry, he bumped into a man who was going in the opposite direction as him. Yuu rubbed his forehead, glancing at the man he had bumped into. The man had a large smile plastered on his face and dark brown hair that almost hung in front of his eyes which appeared closed. The man knelt, picking up the pages that had most likely fallen when they had collided. Yuu picked up a few of the pages, handing them to the man.
"Sorry," he muttered.
The man waved his hand, still smiling. "Oh no. It's OK. No harm was done."
Yuu nodded, ready to make his way to see Chiaki when the man stopped him.
"I don't believe I've seen you around here. What's your name?"
Yuu was beginning to feel slightly unnerved by how large the smile on his face was. It was almost creepy. It was as if the smile was merely a mask. "Yanase Yuu. I'm a freelance editor."
The man held his hand out. "Kanade Mino. I'm an editor as well, but I belong to Marakuwa."
Yuu nodded absently. He was more focused on getting to Chiaki than he was on getting to know Mino.
Mino tilted his head to the right. "You look as if you're looking for someone."
'His eyes are closed. What does he know?' "Uh yeah. I'm looking for Yoshikawa Chiharu," he said nervously.
Mino raised an eyebrow. "You know about 'her' secret?"
Yuu was about to ask how Mino knew, but brushed it off. Mino and Chiaki might have met at one point. Especially if Mino was a Marakuwa editor. "Yeah. He and I went to the same middle and high school."
Mino nodded. "Ahh. That explains it. But he's not here. He left not too long ago."
Yuu's heart sank and he felt defeated. Chiaki, no doubt, went home with Hatori. He imagined them sitting on a sofa together, watching the New Years ball drop. Counting down. Leaning in at three. About to kiss at two. Yuu mentally shook his head, as if to dispel the thought. "Oh. Well. Then I guess I'll be going home."
Yuu made to turn around when he felt a hand on his wrist. He turned back to see Mino was holding onto his wrist.
"You look down," said Mino quietly. "Come on. I'll buy you a beer."
"A beer?" asked Yuu, feeling uncertain.
"Sure. Think of it as a peace-offering. For bumping into you."
Yuu thought about it for a moment. What did he have to lose? "Why not?"
"Kisa-san!" said Yukina excitedly. "You made it!"
Kisa smiled softly, stepping into the artist's apartment. He looked around, his heart melting with the canvases he saw. He couldn't really explain why, but he always loved seeing Yukina'a art. He supposed it was because anything art related made Yukina happy and that he loved seeing Yukina smile.
"Are these new?" he asked, gesturing at a group of canvases that has both warm colors and cool colors blended together."
Yukina poked his head out of the kitchen, his hair in a ponytail. He smiled, coming out. "Yeah. The one on the right is a sunset and the one on the left is a sunrise. My teacher wanted me to do a landscape with two different color schemes. What do you think of them, Kisa-san?"
Kisa knelt, admiring how the colors twisted and folded, creating the image. It was spot on to the time of day the brunette was describing. "They're both really good, Yukina. Honestly, I'm speechless."
Yukina gave Kisa a dazzling smile when the oven timer went off. He returned to the kitchen as Kisa followed him. "Yukina, why did you go to such trouble?" asked Kisa when he saw what Yukina was doing in the kitchen. There were plates upon plates of different sweets and finger food.
"C'mon Kisa-san. New Years comes once a year. And it's been a long time since you've come over. I want this night to be special."
Kisa felt a familiar warmth spread across his cheeks at his words. Yukina handed Kisa a plate of small cookies. "Here. Take these to the living room. I'll be out of the kitchen in a minute."
Kisa did as he was told. He placed the plate on the coffee table and looked around. His eyes fell on a slim black rectangle. He picked it up and switched the TV on. He flipped to channel seven where there was a live performance by Taylor Swift. Kisa rolled his eyes at the song.
"We are never ever getting back together. Yukina, is it just me or are all Taylor Swift's songs about heartbreak?"
Yukina joined him on the sofa with two mugs of coffee. He handed one to Kisa, smiling at the screen. "I don't know, Kisa-san. But she does have a nice voice."
Kisa almost rolled his eyes at the comment. He had never heard Yukina speak ill of someone before. Not even someone who deserved it.
"Well, on the bright side," Yukina said after sipping his coffee. "At least you didn't have to hear Gangam Style again. PSY was supposed to perform too."
Kisa sighed at the mention of the song. "Don't even mention that song. It annoys me."
Yukina laughed, pulling Kisa closer to him. "Alright. I won't. Oh, it's Train. And they're doing a cover of John Lennon's 'Imagine'!"
Kisa turned back to the screen, ignoring the blush that now colored his cheeks. He raised the mug to his lips and watched the New Years special with Yukina. Despite being a bit annoyed that Yukina had such an effect over him, he wouldn't trade this moment for anything.
He felt something touch the top of his head followed by a soft and deep "I love you, Kisa-san." He felt his heart swell at the words. "I love you too, Yukina," he said softly.
He felt the mug start to leave his hands. It was placed on the table and before Kisa knew what was happening, he was sharing a kiss with Yukina. He could taste the slight trace of coffee on the artist's lips. He mentally smiled at Yukina's hands on either side of his face.
"Happy new year," said Yukina when they pulled away.
Kisa nodded, thinking the pre-New Years kiss they had just had. "Happy new year, Yukina."
Chiaki and Hatori were sitting on the sofa, waiting for the crystal ball to drop. There were already several cans of beer that lay open and crushed. Hatori remained sober, but Chiaki was drunk out of his mind.
"Toriiiiii," slurred Chiaki. "I , hic, like John Lennon. When, hic, is his next, hic, concert?"
Hatori turned to Chiaki, who clumsily reached out for another can of beer. He gently pulled his hand away and pushed the beer farther away. He out his own can of beer down and turned up the volume of the TV.
"Don't drink anymore, Chiaki," he said softly. "You don't want to start the new year off drunk, do you?"
Chiaki bobbed his head, yawning. He stretched his arms over his head before collapsing next to Hatori, wrapping his arms around the editor's waist. He buried his nose in Hatori's side. "I'm tired, Tori. Wake me up when the crystal ball drops...nighty night."
Hatori smiled down at the man in his arms. He gently stroked his spiky, dark brown hair. Chiaki looked even more innocent in his sleep. He turned back to the screen, resting his chin on top of Chiaki's head. He reached for the remote, turning the volume down.
A few minutes passed and the ball was beginning to descend. Hatori lifted his head off of Chiaki's and gently shook the mangaka awake. "Chiaki. The ball drop," he whispered.
Chiaki rubbed his eyes, trying to focus his vision. "Ahhh. Tori. Look at the ball! It's so pretty! The countdown! Twenty...nineteen...eighteen...seventeen...sixteen...fiveteen..."
Hatori found himself silently chuckling. Chiaki was indeed drunk out of his mind. Hatori felt a tug at his sleeve. He looked down at Chiaki. He smiled, understanding what he wanted. He began to count down with him.
Before Hatori could say one, he felt a pair of lips muffle his own. His eyes widened when he realized Chiaki was kissing him. He felt his heart race at the thought of Chiaki starting the kiss for once, but he stayed still and refused his desires. He wouldn't take advantage of Chiaki when he was drunk. It was a sweet and chaste kiss nonetheless. When Chiaki pulled away, he smiled before burying his nose in Hatori's side again.
"Happy new year, Tori," he mumbled before shutting his eyes.
Hatori stayed still for a moment before leaning down and kissing Chiaki's forehead. "Happy new year, Chiaki."
Takano-san stared at Ritsu as he chug beer after beer. When Ritsu was done with a can, he crushed it in his hand before slamming it down on the coffee table and demanding for more.
"Tell me," started Takano-san. "Do people hate drinking with you?"
Ritsu's head crashed down on the coffee table and he repeatedly started banging the crushed can on the table. "MORE BEER!" he shouted.
Takano-san rolled his eyes, prying the can out of the younger man's hands and tossing it in the trash. "Onodera, you're drunk out of your mind. No more beer."
Ritsu began banging on the coffee table with both fists, throwing a temper tantrum much like a child's when they were told they could not have sweets before dinner.
Takano-san leaned back in his seat and casually sipped his own beer. He glanced at the small wall clock across from him. It read 11:58.
"What a great way to spend my New Year," he said sardonically. "With an annoying drunk."
Ritsu rose, wobbling. He stumbled toward Takano-san, plopping on the sofa next to the raven haired man. "Give me my beer, Senpai," he mumbled quietly.
When the words rolled off of Ritsu's lips, Takano-san felt his body seize up and his heart race. He hadn't heard Ritsu call him senpai in ten years. He turned to Ritsu, his chocolate-brown eyes widened in shock. "What did you call me?" he asked softly.
Ritsu took hold of Takano-san's beer and began chugging it. "Aha! I got Senpai's beer!" he exclaimed gleefully. When it was empty, he waved the can in the air and demanded a new one.
Takano-san sat on the sofa in complete and utter shock. What did this mean for their relationship? Did this mean Ritsu loved him back? He turned to the said brunette who had passed out on the sofa shortly after demanding another beer. A small smile flickered on his face.
"I love you...Ritsu."
Yuu sat across from Mino. He had to admit, he was having a pretty good time with the brunette editor. Once he got over his smile and how his eyes always appeared to be closed, Mino wasn't such a bad person.
He raised the can of beer to his lips, draining the last couple of drops in the can. He set the can down and glanced at Mino, who was finishing his own beer. He smiled softly. He could see himself actually becoming friends with Mino. He glanced down at his wrist, checking what time it was.
"Wow. 11:55. Time flies," he commented.
Mino rose from the table, taking both cans of beer in his hand and tossed them in the trash. "It was nice getting to know you, Yuu," he said with an even bigger smile.
Yuu mentally cringed. He hated when people made puns like that. He put on his best fake smile, not wanting to hurt the editor's feelings after he had bought a beer for him. "Same to you. Well I should get going," he said grabbing his bag. He began walking out of the restaurant when he heard Mino call his name.
Yuu turned around, curious. What happened? Did he leave something behind?
As soon as he turned around, he felt something crush his lips. He was completely caught off guard and immobilized when he saw Mino was the something that was crushing his lips. His heart rate sped up and he felt a tingle in his spine. When he regained his ability to move, he roughly pushed Mino off of him, gasping for air. He glared at Mino, tempted to give him a piece of his mind. Instead, he simply turned around and stomped away. He furiously rubbed the back of his hand over his mouth, as if it would erase Mino's kiss. He dropped his hand to his side, thinking about what had just happened. He was caught off guard. He was convinced it was because Mino had unexpectedly come onto him. But why did his heart race like that? He shook his head violently just as quickly and continued to stomp back to his apartment. There was no way he felt anything toward Mino Kanade.
Mino watched as Yuu stomped away. He straightened, still smiling. "Yuu Yanase," he whispered. He began walking toward his own house, replaying what had just happened in his mind. Yuu might have looked angry, but that didn't change that he had returned the kiss for a split second.
"Best New Years ever," he whispered to himself.