Onodera made a point of never enquiring Takano about his family. He may not be the best at detecting human emotions, to say the least, but he never failed to notice the tension that inevitably arises when such a topic is brought up. Granted, he may be overreacting. Hell, he was probably the one who caused all the tension in the first place, what with all his awkwardness. That being said, whenever a conversation was steered towards that direction, the wistful glint in Takano's eyes never escaped Onodera's vision, however well he may play it off. He knew that this was a sensitive issue, and that it was better left untouched.
But this Sunday morning, Onodera all but gravitated towards Takano's apartment. Onodera wasn't the perky type of person who could cheer people up with the simple snap of a finger or the warmth of a smile, and he knew that. What he didn't know, was why he felt obligated to keep Takano company on a Sunday, the day intended for him to cut loose and relax.
Actually, he knew why. It was the 16th of June, Father's day. Onodera had sent a quick "Happy 25th Father's Day!" to his father and received a "Thanks." in a matter of seconds. He was satisfied with that. His father treated him with a courteous detachment, and he would not prefer it any other way. Still, he felt a small jab in his heart when he read the period. One might argue that the period hardly meant anything, and that it was probably just a habit from years and years of speaking formally. He could have at least used a smiley or something, though. Onodera mused.
This was particularly why Onodera was standing in front of Takano's apartment door at 8 in the morning, caught between a rock and a hard place. He concluded that if he was pulling his hair out over a tiny little dot at the end of his father's reply, he could only imagine how Takano felt. Bastard's probably not even awake yet, Onodera thought. How stupid will I look knocking on his apartment door at 8am, just for me to find out that I had interrupted his sleep and that he hardly gave a thought about today? And with that, Onodera turned on his heel, ready to leave.
Just as he was about to take a step back towards his apartment, he heard Takano's door open with a click. Onodera froze, his eyes slowly directing themselves towards Takano. Takano stared at him blankly, his raven hair wildly disheveled.
"Whatcha doing here?" Takano questioned.
"Oh! Uhh… nothing, just… checking to see if I got any mail. Why are you up so early?" Onodera made a terribly failed attempt at lying, and both of them were well aware of that.
"Just wanted to see you, go over to your apartment." Takano raised a suspicious brow at Onodera's poorly constructed lie, but decided to drop it. The poor guy didn't deserve to be hassled early in the morning. He'd leave it for later.
Now, on any other day, Onodera would stumble over his words, reject Takano, and slam the door in his face unforgivingly, without a moment of hesitance. But today, he thought otherwise. Onodera walked towards his apartment, swung his door wide open and glanced back at Takano. Takano seemed to be caught by surprise, and honestly, Onodera felt the same way. After coming to the conclusion that Onodera was probably still half-asleep, Takano took his chance and hurried into his apartment.
"Good to see that your apartment isn't a complete shithole. Yet." Takano sauntered around Onodera's apartment, leaning in towards the floor to inspect the cleanliness of it.
"I… I couldn't let one weekend of my hard work go to waste, now could I?" Onodera mumbled.
"That's good." Takano smiled. Onodera felt his heart skip a beat. It wasn't common to see Takano smile genuinely.
"A—anyways… What do we do now?"
"I'm hungry. But first…" Takano dove forward and planted a chaste kiss upon Onodera's lips.
"Now, let's take a look at your fridge." Takano announced, clasping his hands behind his head and heading towards the refrigerator. Onodera stood rooted to the ground, still in a daze. When he came to terms with what had just occurred, he slapped both hands on his mouth, emerald eyes considerably widened, exclaiming a muffled, "You sneaky bastard!"
While he was still recovering from the remnants of Takano's kiss, he heard the fridge door open and a thought struck his head.
"Don't open the—" Onodera yelped, knowing that it was too late.
"I thought I told you… not to stock up on energy drinks and instant food?" Takano reprimanded, pointing towards a fridge full of neatly stacked convenient store lunches, energy drinks and instant food.
"N—no! You're not getting the full picture!" Onodera dashed towards the Takano and pulled out the humidity drawer of the fridge, meant for storing vegetables.
"Look! Healthy stuff!" Onodera pointed towards the contents of the drawer, which was a single celery stick. A giant fake smile plastered to his face, Onodera stared at Takano for a few seconds, despite knowing that he would not relent.
"You… idiot." Takano enveloped half of his face with his right palm; eyes closed, and shook his head slowly. The corner of his lips, however, quirked upwards as he whispered, "So fucking cute…"
"Huh?" Onodera asked; he wasn't sure if he had heard Takano wrongly.
"Nothing. Come on, we're going to my apartment." Takano declared, slamming the fridge door, grabbing Onodera by the wrist and dragged him to his own apartment.
It was already late afternoon and Takano had not seemed to exhibit any sort behavior that could be considered out of the ordinary, to Onodera's relief. Yet, he still felt a little surprised that Takano had outright stated that he had wanted to see Onodera in the morning, not to mention a little content as well. Just a little bit. He knew that Takano was affected by today but he didn't have any excuse of bringing it up, especially since Takano was acting as he would any other day. Just as his thoughts boggled up his mind, Onodera heard Takano's voice.
"Onodera, help me get the blue coloured folder from my closet, an ex-author wants me to check something." Takano was lying on the couch when he received a text message from one of his previous authors. He was dialing a number on his phone as he asked Onodera.
Onodera would have told Takano to get it himself and reminded him that he wasn't his errand boy, if he wasn't already on the phone with the mystery author, his chivalrous façade activated. Onodera rolled his eyes and grumbled softly as he strolled into Takano's room.
God damn, this place is clean as a whistle, Onodera thought, feeling slightly embarrassed. He flung open the closet door and spotted the blue folder almost immediately. In a hurry to pull the folder out, he failed to notice the small shoebox sitting atop it. As he retrieved the folder, the box followed suit, flying out the closet and crashing on the floor.
"Damn it!" Onodera cursed, resting the folder on Takano's bed as he picked the box up. Why does he keep a shoebox in the closet anyway?! Onodera was about to stuff the box back in the closet when he spotted the tiny corner of an envelope sticking out of the box. His curiosity piqued.
Darting his eyes over to the living room, he saw Takano blabbering his mouth off with the ex-author on the phone. He exhaled a breath he wasn't even aware he had held. He lifted the lid of the box slowly. The envelope was the only thing in the box.
Takano was written in neat penmanship, the only word on the envelope. It didn't look like a love letter—or at least, Onodera didn't think so—it wasn't filled to the edges with hearts, nor was it sealed with a kiss. He realised that the envelope was still sealed. Takano had yet to open it.
Should I… he hasn't even read it yet… Onodera pondered. Ah, hell! Onodera went for it and gently opened the envelope, mindful of not tearing it. Enclosed were a folded, handwritten letter, and a picture.
I have watched you grow from a little boy to the charming young man you are today. I am extremely proud to witness how far you have come and how much you have achieved.
I'm sorry for not giving you the attention you deserved as a child. Your mother and I, we were not meant to be. We were arranged to marry each other by our parents. Your mother and I had our own separate lives, and because of them, we have neglected you. It was only a matter of time before we got divorced, and we all knew that. Love cannot be forced.
You are not aware of this, but I was present at your high school graduation. It was one of the proudest moments of my life to see you go up on stage and accept your certificate. It was also one of the most depressing moments of my life because you did not look at all content to have graduated.
Masamune, I'm deeply sorry for being an incompetent father. I know that the damage I have done cannot be repaired, but please know that I will always care for you. Now you are a man, and I trust you to make the right choices in your life, and learn from my mistakes.
Onodera folded the letter and put it back in the envelope. Re-sealing it, he put it back into the shoebox. If only his curiosity hadn't gotten to him. Onodera felt awful. He remembered Takano saying that his father was not his biological one. He remembered how Takano had a cat to keep him company the only things his parents had done at home was fight. He remembered the glint in Takano's eyes whenever such topics were brought up. He remembered how the envelope was sealed and untouched before he had opened it. I am a terrible person… Onodera reflected upon his reckless act and guilt welled up within him. He rested the box on his lap as he sat on Takano's bed. He stared at the box, the words in the envelope repeatedly flashing in his mind.
"Onodera? What's taking you so long?" he heard Takano call in the distance. He shot up, glanced down at the box and went into panic mode. He stood up anxiously, not knowing what to do. His mind was still in a haze.
When Takano entered the room, Onodera was standing up, shoebox in his hand. Shit.
"Umm… there's an envelope in here…" Onodera spoke, his eyes glazed over.
"Oh, yeah… that's from my dad. Just leave it in the closet." Takano said, picking up the blue folder and exiting the room nonchalantly.
"U—um! Don't… don't you want to read it?" Onodera asked, surprised at Takano's calmness.
"No, it's okay. I hardly care for what he has to say."
"Listen, if I wanted to, I would have opened it years ago." Takano interrupted with an assertive tone. His gaze turned stone cold as he turned and walked towards the living room again. Onodera remained in Takano's room. His chest constricted painfully, green eyes inflicted with hurt. He felt suffocated. For the second time in a day, he was caught between a rock and a hard place.
When Onodera finally exited Takano's room, he was ready to admit what he had done. He was ready for Takano to be royally pissed, scream at him, kick him out of his apartment and never talk to him again. It took him a long time and a lot of courage, but he was ready. What he wasn't ready for was what happened when he walked towards Takano.
"I'm sorry for being unreasonable," Takano pulled Onodera into a warm hug. Onodera felt the knots in his stomach begin to untangle as he melted into Takano's arms. He hugged back. "I just didn't wanna talk about it, you know? Especially today."
This realization hit Onodera like a ton of bricks. He had completely forgotten that it was Father's Day. I feel even shittier now, he thought. Takano pulled him onto the couch, still embracing him tightly.
They spent what seemed like hours cuddling on the couch. As they were doing so, a million thoughts raced through Onodera's head.
One day I'll tell him. Things might get ugly and he might never want to see me again. But that's okay. I can't tell him now.
Thanks for reading! Please review/favourite! :D
It has been so long! Sorry for being so late, I have been busy, and also I've had no inspiration at all! Father's Day was Sunday, and I recently watched an episode of The Big Bang Theory involving Howard's dad and just got this idea. It's not really fluffy or sweet or awwwww, but I felt like writing it J
P.S. You wouldn't BELIEVE how long it took me to find that chapter where Takano mentioned his father was not his biological one. Hours! Till next time, bye! :D