I'm sorry for being such a slow writer. Hopefully you'll like this chapter.
Thanks to the people who have reviewed, favorited and/or followed this fic, and a big hug for all of you!
Chapter 3 – What do you want from me
Akihiko sighed as he turned off the television, utterly bored out of his mind. Hiroki was at work and so was Takahiro, while Aikawa was ill, which left him with no one to talk to. 'I haven't seen Misaki in a while,' he thought to himself, memorizing the first and last time he'd spoken to the brunet. It had been four days since their first meeting and he actually wanted to see Misaki again.
"I guess I really am attracted to him," the author muttered in mild annoyance. He could hardly believe that he'd fall in love with someone he'd just met. Besides, he was still in love with Takahiro, so how could he fall in love with anyone else? 'You can't be in love with two people at the same time, right?' Despite those thoughts, Akihiko still had his doubts. Thinking of this as a valid reason to go see Misaki, he got up and quickly got himself ready, taking his car keys with him. Once he'd reached the parking lot, he got in his red sports car and drove out.
The radio was turned on, playing some sweet songs while Akihiko focused on the road. However, when a familiar song reached his ears, his eyes widened in surprise. It was the same song that Misaki performed last time. Listening to it made Akihiko memorize the beautiful voice of the brunet. He cursed under his breath, irritated by the fact that he kept thinking about Misaki. Yet, he was on his way to speak to that same boy.
A few mushy love songs later, Akihiko parked his car near the bar and carefully stepped out, locking his ridiculously expensive vehicle. He quickly crossed the road and entered the club again, being greeted by a smell that he didn't expect; the smell of sex. Just when he was walking forward, wondering what had happened in the bar, he noticed a used condom on one of the tables on his left. He narrowed his eyes in worry as the thought of Misaki being raped entered his mind.
"Usami-sensei, how delightful to see you here!" The loud voice snapped Akihiko out of his thoughts and he turned around to see a tall man with black hair and hazel eyes. He cocked an eyebrow as he studied the stranger who approached him, and the man seemed to notice his confusion. "How rude of me," he spoke in exaggerated politeness, "My name is Ihara Tatsuo. I'm the owner of this bar."
The name Ihara sounded familiar to Akihiko. 'So he's the guy Misaki is living with,' he thought, eyeing the man curiously.
"What brings you here?" Ihara asked innocently, but Akihiko to easily notice the weak smirk on the man's face. His amethyst eyes slowly darted towards the stage, but Misaki wasn't there yet.
Ihara seemed to notice his stare and smiled. "Takahashi-kun isn't here yet, Usami-sensei. He will probably arrive shortly." The owner invited the author to sit down with him, at a table that wasn't tainted by a filled piece of latex. Akihiko accepted this offer with a fake smile. "I must apologize for the mess in here, but it appears that some of our guests couldn't control themselves."
"I suppose that means that sexual activity is allowed in your bar?" Akihiko asked, both disgusted and excited by the thought. He'd never had sex in public with anyone.
The brunet nodded, not even displaying a tiny bit of shame.  "As long as my customers do not cause me any trouble, I'm willing to give them as much freedom as they desire." A smirk decorated his face again. "The same goes for you, of course."
"Are you saying that I can have my way with anyone here?"
"Yes, so I don't mind if you spend some more time with Takahashi-kun," Ihara replied casually, "I've already noticed that the two of you had a very friendly conversation during your last visit. You're free to talk to him whenever you want…or do other things." Akihiko cringed slightly as he heard those last words, but he tried to remain calm. Did this guy always give Misaki away to other men like that? What did that boy mean to him anyway?
"Excuse me Ihara-san, but I am not interested in having sex with Mi—Takahashi-kun." Akihiko cocked his head to the side, a little uncomfortable with where the conversation had headed. "However," he continued in a low voice, "I would like to get to know him better." He failed to notice the wide grin on the other's face.
"Well, Takahashi-kun has his own 'backstage' room here. Perhaps you'd be interested in having some time alone with him."
Akihiko's eyes shot up and he stared questioningly at Ihara, wondering whether the man was joking or not. "Don't you think that you should ask Takahashi-kun if he's okay with that too?" he asked carefully. He really didn't want to push his luck, but being able to get Misaki alone did sound great.
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind," the owner reassured him, slowly tapping his fingers on the table. He had the slyest expression on his face, one that even managed to give Akihiko the creeps. It was obvious that this man could not be trusted. Instead of turning the offer down, however, the novelist simply smiled at Ihara and nodded.
"Thank you, Ihara-san."
The two men continued their conversation and Akihiko failed to notice the arrival of the person he wanted to see the most. Misaki sighed in exhaustion as he came in, tiredly dragging himself towards Sumi, who was drying off some glasses. The student's eyes noticed the brunet and a small smile tainted his lips.
"Hello Misaki," he greeted in his usual calm voice, "You look tired."
"Yeah, it's been a long day," Misaki mumbled, "The teachers always give me way too much homework."
Sumi chuckled as he put the glass away. "How are you doing in school? Are your grades still that bad?" He sighed when the boy nodded slowly. "Maybe you should just get yourself a tutor."
"But I don't know anyone who could tutor me." The look in those green eyes saddened a little as Misaki sat down on a bar stool. He really had to get into M University, but at this rate there was no chance for him to pass his exams.
"Have you considered asking Usami-san? He graduated top of his class, so I'm sure he could help you out."
Right there, Misaki hesitated for a moment. Since he didn't know Akihiko all too well, he wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to ask him such a favor. Besides, he really didn't want to bother the author, as he was sure that the man already had a lot of work. On the other hand though, he really, desperately needed a tutor.
Too lost in his thoughts, the brunet didn't even realize that Sumi was still talking to him. That was, until the other suddenly tapped his shoulder.
"It's time for your show," he said, smiling a little. Sumi hardly ever smiled to someone, but Misaki managed to make him smile without even doing anything special. Although they had only known each other since Misaki started working at the bar, the two had become close friends. When Misaki found out that Sumi was a freshman at Mitsuhashi University, they started talking more and more to each other.
The smile on the ash haired teen grew wider when he saw his friend sit down at his beloved musical instrument. Even from afar, he could clearly see that Misaki was as nervous as he was right before his first performance. He remembered how the brunet worried about playing the wrong keys or forgetting the lyrics halfway through the song. He remembered how he'd comforted him, telling him that it was going to be fine.
Even though Sumi didn't show it to anyone else, he really cared about Misaki.
Sad, but dreamy tones came from the piano as it was played with utmost care and precision, by the most hardworking boy that Sumi had ever met.
"I always needed time on my own.
I never thought I'd need you there when I cry.
And the days feel like years when I'm alone,
and the bed where you lie is made up on your side."
Lavender irises were fixed on Misaki, who was too concentrated on playing the piano to even notice how everyone was looking at him. Akihiko had completely forgotten about the man sitting next to him and was studying the brunet carefully. Faint surprise dwelled up inside of him when he noticed the sad look in those green eyes. He knew that Misaki was singing a sad song, but he looked like he was about to cry.
"His voice is simply astonishing, isn't it?" Ihara asked, pulling Akihiko back to reality. The author could only nod in reply, his eyes still on the brunet on stage. Seeing this made the owner smirk in victory. It appeared that Misaki didn't even have to try to entice Akihiko so.
"When you walk away I count the steps that you take.
Do you see how much I need you right now?"
There was a soft, hardly audible crack in Misaki's voice, but he quickly composed himself and continued his singing. It was a song about losing someone who meant the world to you…a lover, but to Misaki, this song was about someone else. Whenever he heard the song on the radio, it reminded him of his parents. It reminded him of that dreadful day, ten years in the past, when he lost them for good. Every word that left his lips touched his heart, making it ache.
"And all I ever wanted was for you to know;
everything I'd do, I'd give my heart and soul.
I can hardly breathe, I need to feel you here with me."
Everyone in the bar had fallen silent, listening to the boy who sang the song from the bottom of his heart, the words laced with painful emotions; sad, guilt and loneliness. Some men had a hard time trying to fight back the tears as that voice touched them to the core. Even Akihiko, who had never cried in front of anyone, felt the urge to let the tears flow.
'How can I be swept away by him so easily?' the novelist wondered, finally being able to look into Misaki's eyes as the teen looked up from his sheet music. Those emerald orbs were watery, glistening in the light, but Akihiko also noticed a glint of happiness. His heart melted when Misaki's lips curved upward slightly, creating a small smile. It was a smile just for him.
"And when you're gone all the words I need to hear
will always get me through the day,
and make it ok…
I miss you."
Misaki's gaze returned to his sheet music as the last notes were being played, the smile still evident on his face. He didn't know why, but seeing Akihiko made him feel better. The worries he had simply disappeared as soon as that familiar silvery hair caught his attention. Akihiko had returned to see him again.
He was happy that someone came…for him.
After the song had ended, there was a short silence, as if the people were still trying to process everything. None of them knew what Misaki had gone through or how he really felt, but the performance had been heartbreaking, in a good way. The sounds of applause erupted slowly, yet it didn't take long before everyone was applauding. Their enthusiasm banished the feelings of hurt and the brunet cheered up as he got off the stage.
Akihiko was ready to walk into Misaki's direction, but stopped in his tracks as Ihara hurried towards the teen before him.
"That was your best performance yet!" the man said enthusiastically, "I should reward you." He ran off before Misaki could protest and returned with a bottle of red wine and two glasses.
"I didn't know we had wine here," Misaki said in surprise, studying the bottle before looking back at his boss.
Ihara snickered. "We have all sorts of alcoholic beverages here." Taking Misaki by the arm, he forcefully dragged the teen towards the table where Akihiko was still standing next to. The author smiled as he made eye contact with the young beauty, chuckling to himself when he noticed the rosy color on those cheeks.
As soon as the two had reached the table, Ihara forced the boy to sit down and quickly left. His sneaky behavior irritated Akihiko mildly, but he was happy that he could talk to Misaki again. Taking the bottle in his hand, he filled both of their glasses, not yet breaking the silence. He then stared at Misaki, who was looking questioningly at the red liquid in his wine glass.
"Have you never had wine before?" Akihiko asked, amused by the other's confused expression. When Misaki nodded, the man brought his glass to his own lips and took a sip. "It's really good," he stated, "You should try it."
The hesitation was easily noticeable in the brunet's eyes, but he complied anyway. He had to admit that the wine tasted very nice, though the flavor was still new and a bit odd to him. With his eyes closed, he took another big sip before placing the glass back onto the table.
"Uhm…Usami-san," Misaki spoke softly, "You haven't told Nii-chan that I work here, have you?" Akihiko shook his head, making the younger one sigh in relief. "That's good. I don't know how he would react if he found out that I work at a place like this."
"Misaki, don't you think that you should at least let Takahiro know that you're still alive?"
With hazy eyes, Misaki looked down, unsure how to respond. Of course he didn't want his brother to worry about him, but how could he explain to said man that he was working at a gay bar? 'Nii-chan would surely freak out and faint,' he told himself, drinking some more wine.
Akihiko sighed heavily. As much as he liked Misaki, the boy was pretty damn stubborn too. "Promise me that you'll tell him once you've made it into university," he said, trying to negotiate with the other, "You can't keep hiding from him forever."
Upon hearing this, Misaki bit his lip, still looking down. "I…I don't even know if I'll be able to make it this year," he replied truthfully, "My grades aren't as good as they should be and my exams will begin in a few months." His voice was laced with worry, but then he remembered what Sumi had told him. "Usami-san, w-would you mind becoming my tutor?"
Those thin lips curved upwards as Akihiko crossed his arms in pride. "So you know about my brilliance," he spoke confidently. The words 'arrogant bastard' ran through Misaki's head as he looked into the man's eyes, but he knew that Akihiko was his only choice. "All right, I'll help you, but I want something in return."
Misaki tilted his head in confusion. "What do you want from me?" he asked, praying that the author hadn't planned anything perverted or embarrassing.
"I want you to dedicate a song to me."
Brown brows furrowed. "What kind of song?"
"Any song you like," Akihiko replied plainly, "You can perform it whenever you want, but I want to hear it."
Although Misaki didn't really understand why the novelist would want him to do something like that, he didn't have a reason to turn down the offer. He liked singing, so dedicating a song to Akihiko wasn't that big of a deal. Picking the right song would be the hardest part of it all, but at least he didn't have to rush it.
"Deal." A smile played on Akihiko's lips as he looked right into the brunet's eyes.
"Then we will begin our tutoring session on Saturday." After these words, glasses were being refilled and the two continued to enjoy their time together. The feelings of loneliness were forgotten.
[1 – Basically, a person with either brown or black hair is considered a brunet(te).]
Sorry if this chapter was boring, but this story is a little...slow at first. I promise it will get better! The song is 'When you're gone' by Avril Lavigne.
So, I'd like to hear some suggestions on the song that Misaki has to dedicate to Akihiko. It can be any song, as long as it's played on the piano and in English (or it has an English translation). Please let me know what you'd like :)
Thank you for reading and please review!