Usami Akihiko stared blankly up at the sky, his mind as far away as the stars that shone brightly against their black backdrop. He should probably have been working on his next manuscript, but he lacked both the motivation and inspiration to do so.
Aikawa really didn't understand that part of being a writer, Usami thought wryly. He couldn't just produce award-winning manuscripts to demand. There had to be ideas to work with, and the desire to write, to pour one's heart into a story, so that the readers could feel the words they read. If such a key component was missing, the audience would see nothing more than the poor attempt at writing it was. The story itself would be dry and boring, and one bad manuscript could ruin an author forever.
And so Usami sat in an alcove in front of large windows, staring up at the sky and waiting for inspiration to arrive. It had been well over four days since Aikawa had last visited, demanding that he have a manuscript written by the New Year. As it was now the beginning of October, that gave him three months to turn out a manuscript.
As deadlines went, this one was pretty generous. Then again, by the time he found the motivation to dedicate himself to the novel, he'd probably have about a month. Which would mean more sleepless nights and less time to spend with his live-in lover.
Usami hated having to lock himself away until he either collapsed from exhaustion or could no longer handle the separation from Misaki. And Misaki didn't make things easier, he thought ruefully, always throwing a fit and protesting at the top of his lungs, trying to push Usami away whenever he made an advance.
Speaking of noisy, unruly lovers, here he came now, padding quietly down the hallway, probably to get a drink of water or jot down a grocery list for the next day. Footsteps paused outside the room for a moment, and then the door creaked open as Misaki peeked in. Usami didn't turn around, not wanting the peace to be broken just yet.
"Usagi-san?" Misaki murmured, stepping into the room when Akihiko made no move to acknowledge his presence. His feet whispered softly over the carpet as he came to stand behind Usami, not touching him as they gazed up at the stars together in a comfortable silence.
Misaki was the first to break the calm, as Usami knew he would be. "Niichan and I used to watch the stars together like this," he offered quietly. Usami didn't respond, but he was attentive as Misaki spoke. It wasn't often that the younger man offered up information about himself, and Usami didn't want to miss a single precious moment of his openness.
Misaki sighed and fell silent for a moment, clearly debating with himself. Usami kept quiet, knowing that if he pressed Misaki to talk, the boy would clam up and leave Usami aching for the sound of his voice again. He didn't know when learning every small detail Misaki was willing to divulge had become so important to him, but it had happened, and he was helpless before it.
"Niichan told me that every star up in the sky represents the dreams and wishes of a single person down on earth," Misaki continued haltingly. "So we'd each pick a star and make a wish. Then we'd make sure that wish came true for each other." Usami could hear the smile in Misaki's voice as he spoke. "Of course, our wishes were always the same, so they were easily granted, I suppose."
Usami turned to star back at Misaki, but his lover was still looking up at the stars, his gaze steady even as his cheeks flushed. He was so cute, Usami thought before turning back around to gaze at the stars as well, his mind very firmly in the here and now. He wasn't sure what Misaki was offering – or even if he was offering anything – but he wanted to find out. And staring at Misaki while he was trying to spit out whatever it was that he had come here to say wasn't going to help him learn.
"And what did you wish for?" he asked quietly, afraid that Misaki might still bolt, regardless. Misaki bit his lip lightly, refusing to meet his eyes as he thought it over, debating whether or not to tell Usami such a personal, childish secret. Usami watched him, staring steadily through silver eyes that glittered in the moonlight, full of emotions that he couldn't hide, not tonight.
Misaki gave a rasping sigh at last and looked down, meeting Usami's gaze. "I wished to be by Niichan's side, always and forever," he admitted, almost ashamed. "And Niichan just wished for me to do my homework, and to always love him best." He smiled as he spoke, but then frowned, saddened, and Usami wondered what had caused the change. He thought back over Misaki's words, but couldn't pinpoint the exact moment his mood had dampened, unless…
Nope, that couldn't be it, he thought to himself angrily, refusing to get his hopes up. It couldn't possibly be that. Angry with himself now, Usami turned around to look outside, though he was no longer seeing the stars glittering brightly. Something had broken the serenity they had found tonight. Any moment now, Misaki was going to stutter something about what he was doing up this late, and he hadn't meant to intrude, and he was just going to go back to bed now, and then he'd stumble his way out of the room, tripping on things as he went.
Instead, Usami was surprised when thin arms wound around his neck, and Misaki leaned forward, so that he was hugging Usami from behind. "Maybe we can make wishes tonight," Misaki muttered, his body tense. Usami felt his eyes widen in surprise, and he turned to look at his lover, who steadfastly stared out the window.
Turning back to look at the stars, Usami really looked at them. Picking one out, he said, "That one's mine," and pointed to it. Misaki followed his pointing finger, and then huffed out a laugh, and Usami smiled. He had picked the North Star, the brightest star in the sky.
"Then make a wish," Misaki replied. Usami did so, and he could practically feel Misaki bracing himself. Moving his hand up to Usami's face, he turned the older man's head and then bent down and kissed him. Not a chaste kiss on the cheek. It wasn't even an indirect kiss, which was about as bold as he had gotten. This was a real kiss, and when he flicked his tongue out, Misaki opened his mouth, letting him in.
Surprised by this, Usami didn't protest when Misaki finally broke off, flushed and panting. Meeting Usami's eyes, he said clearly, with no mumbling, "I love you, Akihiko-san." Then, he turned and left the room just as quietly and calmly as he had entered, shutting it quietly behind him. A split second later, Usami heard him dash down the hallway, crash into a table, break something made of glass, and finally slam his bedroom door shut.
Happier than he could ever remember being, Usami laughed, the sound bright and joyous, shining like the stars that watched over from above, twinkling merrily. Perhaps, he thought, wishing on a star wasn't such a bad thing after all.