New chapter! :D
Thanks for the lovely reviews on this story ^^ I would also like to say to guest reviewer 'A fellow reader' that I know the song and I love 'the Cab' :) All the chapter titles are lyrics from various songs, in case you hadn't noticed xD
Chapter 10 – Let's start over
Darkened silver hair stuck to Akihiko's face as he got out of the shower and took a plush yellow towel from the rail. The cold air gave him goose bumps, urging him to wrap the fabric around his body to keep warm. Even with the heat turned up, the cold from outside still managed to penetrate the building a little.
In that moment, Akihiko wanted nothing more than to crawl back in his bed and wrap thick blankets around himself. He brushed the thought off, presuming that Misaki was still at his place.
"Misaki…" the man whispered, "I have to talk to him." It was unacceptable to leave the situation as it was; Akihiko wanted Misaki to realize that he couldn't lose him. He didn't want to let Misaki slip away. Misaki wouldn't be the second love he lost.
Hastily, Akihiko dried his hair and body and got dressed. Leaving the bathroom, he scanned the floor for a sign of his angel. Disappointment welled up inside of him when Misaki was nowhere to be seen. Akihiko slowly descended the stairs to the living area, finding himself all alone.
The author turned his attention to the kitchen and noticed that the dishes had already been done. Usually, he would've glared at the dirty dishes, hoping that they would just magically become clean. This time was different; he was sad, because it made it obvious that Misaki had been there, in the kitchen, and had run away.
Akihiko lowered himself onto the couch and let out a sigh. Perhaps getting drunk with Misaki hadn't been such a good idea after all. He didn't regret having sex with the teen—it was a truly blissful and unforgettable experience—but Misaki's reactions afterwards bothered him to no end. It was never his intention to force himself on Misaki, but what if his beloved felt that way because of his carelessness?
Everything was confusing Akihiko. Misaki had allowed him to kiss him at the bar, and Akihiko knew for sure that the brunet remembered this. Yet, Misaki hadn't rejected him, or yelled at him for doing something stupid. Didn't that mean that Misaki liked him?
Another sigh filled the air within the room as the novelist leaned against the backrest. Misaki was easy to read, yet his true feelings were hard to understand. Akihiko could always see the emotions reflected in those emerald orbs, but he never knew if Misaki loved him.
Then again, the previous night had been…outstanding. Misaki had looked at him with lust and shame in his eyes, gasping and moaning his name so longingly. It was a combination of a passion and the influence of alcohol.
Losing himself in his erotic fantasies, Akihiko could picture that beautiful flushed face contorting with pleasure and ecstasy, accompanied by needy, angelic moans that evoked the desire within. He gave a disapproving grunt when his pants started to feel too tight and tried to push the images away.
"No, I can't keep sitting here. I have to go find him." Telling himself this, Akihiko shot up and quickly grabbed his coat and shoes, ignoring the pulsing between his legs. His physical needs could wait; he needed to get Misaki back first.
As Akihiko impatiently waited for the elevator to reach its destined floor, he thought about the things to say to get Misaki back. Considering Misaki's reactions, it didn't seem as though the boy really minded his affection, even if he did protest mildly. Somehow, Misaki's words didn't match his actions in the slightest, which was exactly what confused Akihiko so.
With a loud ping, the elevator came to a halt, and the author walked out determinedly, finding his car in no time. He quickly got in, put on his seatbelt and started the engine. The desperation to find Misaki affected his driving greatly, causing him to exceed the speed limit, but Akihiko couldn't be bothered by this.
On instinct, Akihiko headed for the bar, even though it was very unlikely for Misaki to be there. It wasn't as though Akihiko could predict where Misaki was; he didn't have some sort of tracking device, and GPS wasn't going to help either. He groaned in irritation, wondering why he hadn't asked for Misaki's number when he had the chance.
When he arrived at the gay bar, Akihiko parked his car and entered the building without being noticed. It wasn't very crowded yet, but he still couldn't find Misaki in the small group of people present. Fortunately, his eyes landed on a familiar male talking to one of the customers. He approached the brunet in large steps, clearing his throat when he stood behind the man.
"Excuse me, Ihara-san?"
The black haired man turned around as he heard his name, a smile plastered on his face. "What a delight to see you again, Usami-sensei," he said in a friendly tone, "What brings you here today?"
"I'm looking for Misaki," Akihiko replied, trying to keep his cool, "Have you seen him around here?"
Ihara shook his head before giving the other a serious look. "If I'm not mistaken, Sumi-kun told me that Takahashi-kun went home with you yesterday." There was a hint of irritation audible in his voice, which Akihiko noticed.
"Please forgive me for my carelessness the other day. Misaki just seemed very distressed, so I invited him over without really thinking about the consequences. I hope this didn't cause you any trouble." Akihiko nearly had to throw up because of the fake politeness, but he knew that Ihara was the man who was taking care of Misaki. He wouldn't want to get into a fight with this man.
As if to reassure Akihiko, Ihara raised his hand. "I'm not angry with you, Usami-sensei, but I'm very displeased that Takahashi-kun neglected his job. It's not like him to go away like that." The look in his eyes turned somewhat mischievous, even dangerous. "I would like to know what Takahashi-kun means to you."
Akihiko cocked an eyebrow. "I'm not sure what you're trying to say."
Ihara emitted a soft sigh before leaning on a table. "You and Takahashi-kun seem to get along great and you're always coming here to see him. Is it because you have special feelings for him?"
"What sort of 'special feelings' are we talking about here?"
"Love…" Ihara replied softly, "I want to know if you're in love with him."
There was faint hesitance growing within Akihiko. He could understand that Ihara was concerned about his relationship with Misaki, because it could influence the teen's will to go to work. However, the look the owner was giving him did nothing to quench Akihiko's mistrust.
"There is a possibility that I feel that way towards him, yes."
Ihara's expression didn't change, neither did her speak. With a simple nod, he showed that he understood the situation, and then turned away. Still, to Akihiko it was obvious that he wasn't very pleased with his answer.
Realizing that he had lost Ihara's interest, Akihiko walked to the exit and got out of the bar. If Ihara didn't know where Misaki was, then the chance that he would find his angel was minimal. Knowing this, Akihiko let a growl of frustration escape his mouth.
'That nickname…' Akihiko looked to his left to meet the surprised gaze of Takahiro, who was accompanied by his girlfriend. The couple stood there, staring at the author who just looked right back, unfazed.
"Oh, it's good to see you!" Takahiro suddenly exclaimed, taking a few steps closer.
"What do you mean? I thought that you never wanted to see me again." Akihiko's voice was as cold as the expression on his face, but Takahiro didn't seem to be scared by any of this.
Takahiro gave a sheepish smile, but Akihiko could easily tell it was a fake one. "I wanted to talk to you about the argument we had a while ago." He looked at the other with large, hopeful eyes.
"What about it?"
"Well…ah, maybe we should go inside and have a seat." Takahiro was about to walk into the bar, but Manami gently pulled at his sleeve, earning his attention. She shook her head.
"You shouldn't go in there," she said mysteriously, obviously knowing as much as Akihiko knew about the place, and then pointed towards another café, "Let's go there instead. We're familiar with that place; we went there on our first date, remember?"
A large grin appeared on her boyfriend's face. "Oh Manami, you want to bring back some good memories. I love you so much." He pulled the brunette in for a hug, causing Akihiko to roll his eyes. Manami noticed this and smiled faintly, as if to apologize for Takahiro's display of affection.
Once Takahiro had released his girlfriend, the couple made their way to the café, followed by a somewhat hesitant Akihiko. The author had no idea what Takahiro was about to say to him; ever since their fight, he had thought of Takahiro as an unpredictable person.
Manami glanced over her shoulder and looked into Akihiko's eyes, displaying a kindness which the man had only ever seen in Misaki's eyes. There was something very soothing about Manami, and Akihiko began to understand why Takahiro had fallen in love with her. After all, hadn't he fallen in love with his angel for the same reasons?
The three entered the café and looked for an empty seat, finding a table near the window. Manami sat down first and Takahiro took the seat on her left while Akihiko sat across from them. He could hear Takahiro clear his throat before speaking.
"Usagi, I would like to apologize for being so mean to you back then," the raven haired male began, holding Manami's hand underneath the table, "There are…things that you don't know about me or my past, but it was wrong to yell at you like that."
Akihiko gazed at the man, taken aback by the sudden apology he received. He could still picture the furious look in Takahiro's eyes when he told him about his sexuality. It was hard to believe that Takahiro had suddenly gotten over that anger.
Noticing the tension, Manami decided to explain the situation. "Usami, Takahiro told me about the fight you two had. I instantly knew that he regretted it, as he was very upset to have lost his friend because of his own stupidity. That's why I convinced him to apologize to you when he got the chance."
"That means that Takahiro wants us to be friends again?" Akihiko asked, not quite understanding what had suddenly changed Takahiro's way of thinking. As the other male nodded carefully, Akihiko could feel a smile tug at his lips. "I never meant to make Takahiro hate me in the first place, so I can forgive him."
"Really?" Takahiro asked hopefully.
"Yes, providing that you accept that I'm gay."
Nodding energetically, Takahiro smiled with his eyes closed. "Thank you, Usagi!"
Curiosity filled Akihiko's mind, and words slipped out of his mouth before he even realized.
"Yet, I must ask, what has caused your hatred towards gay people?"
At this question, Takahiro stiffened a little. However, when he felt Manami squeeze his hand, he looked into a pair of friendly chocolate eyes and gathered the courage to tell Akihiko about his rather traumatic experience. His gaze returned to his friend and he swallowed.
"It happened when I was twenty-six years old," Takahiro started, "It was only a few days before New Year's. Misaki had headed out for the store to buy some ingredients for a special meal, but he went all by himself because I wasn't feeling well. When I found out that he was gone, I quickly ran after him. Then…I…" He bit his lower lip, finding it hard to continue his story.
"I was walking to the convenience store when I heard two men whisper to one another in an alleyway. When I checked out what they were talking about, I saw that they had cornered Misaki." The man's voice cracked. "They had pushed Misaki against the wall and torn off his shirt, a-and they were touching him. I could hear Misaki's muffled sounds as he struggled to get away and—"
"Did something happen to Misaki?"
Takahiro glanced at Akihiko in surprise, but then shook his head. "No, I yelled at the men before they could really do something to him," he replied nervously, "I'm sure that they were trying to rape him, but they ran off when they heard me."
Akihiko noticed his friend's discomfort and cleared his throat. "I'm sorry for asking."
"It's fine," Takahiro assured him, "Besides, I've always kept it to myself, so it's good to have let it out. Even for Manami, it's the first time she hears about any of this."
Carefully, the brunette caressed Takahiro's cheek with the back of her hand, giving him an understanding smile. Akihiko could see in her eyes that she was sad that her boyfriend hadn't talked to her about his fears, but she didn't want to let him know. She understood that it was difficult to talk about it.
A relieved sigh came from Takahiro's lips. "You have no idea how awful I've felt since that argument, Usagi," he explained in a soft voice, "I really thought that you wouldn't forgive me, but I'm glad to have you back." Suddenly, a smile crossed his face. "We've got some great news to tell you!"
"Oh dear, do you really think we should—" Manami couldn't even finish her sentence as Takahiro enthusiastically told his friend the news.
"Manami and I are getting married in three months!"
Smiling, Akihiko congratulated his friend. It wasn't an unexpected turn of events, but he was still happy to see Takahiro so pumped. However, when he noticed the worried expression in the other's eyes, he cocked an eyebrow. "What's the matter, Takahiro?"
"It's just that…I was hoping that Misaki could be there on our wedding as well, but I haven't found out anything regarding his whereabouts." Takahiro looked down to the table. "I'm starting to believe that something bad happened."
Right then, Akihiko was debating with himself. Would it be wise to tell Takahiro about Misaki's job? He had recently accepted that Akihiko was gay, but wouldn't this be too much for him? On the other hand, Takahiro cared about Misaki. Wasn't it more important to know that his little brother wasn't missing?
Akihiko groaned in frustration and scratched the bridge of his nose, earning a confused look from the couple on the other side of the table.
"Listen Takahiro," he started, his tone serious, "I should've told you this sooner, but I never knew how you would react." His eyes met his friend's, the anticipation evident in those innocent brown orbs. "A few weeks ago, I ran into Misaki at the gay bar."
"Wait, you know where he is?! That's great to know! But…what is he doing at a gay bar?"
"Your brother is a singer," Akihiko replied, trying to make Misaki's occupation less questionable, "He performs every night, but according to his boss he doesn't work on Sundays."
Takahiro listened in utter fascination. "Still, wouldn't that mean that Misaki is a homosexual as well?"
"Not necessarily. He's told me that he once accidentally entered the bar, thinking that it was a normal bar, and then got a job there." Akihiko smiled faintly as he recalled the conversations with the teen. "From what I've heard, he's trying to get money to pay his tuition fees. He's currently living with Ihara Tatsuo, the owner of the bar."
Another nod on Takahiro's behalf followed. Then, the man suddenly rose from his seat. "I will keep an eye on that place. Thank you for telling me, Usagi; now I can find Misaki and tell him the good news!"
The three said their goodbyes before leaving the café. Akihiko returned to his car, feeling a little happier than before. He was relieved that his friendship with Takahiro had recovered from the setback.
Do you still hate Takahiro? :3
Thanks for reading and please review!