This is something that came to me and I wanted to write it out. It's a pretty depressing story, but I suppose that's because I'm feeling down today. Either way, I hope that you can enjoy it nonetheless.

By the way, this story does not count for the poll.

I do not own Junjou Romantica.


Irreplaceable

The door to the condo opened as a tired brunet stepped inside, dropping his plastic bags on the ground as he kicked off his shoes. Another long, tiring day had passed and Misaki wanted nothing more than to flop down onto the bed and fall asleep. He didn't feel like cooking or doing the laundry like he was supposed to; those things were currently of little importance to him.

With a sigh, Misaki picked up the groceries and dragged himself to the kitchen. There were no shards of glass, no smell of coffee. There was no sign of that perverted author that could pounce on him any moment.

There was no sign of Akihiko, but it was only natural.

It was exactly three months since Akihiko passed away. The novelist had been diagnosed with lung cancer after years of smoking a package of cigarettes a day. Misaki was the one who found out about it after seeing Akihiko cough up blood multiple times in one day. As he panicked, the young male had called the doctor and forced Akihiko to go to the hospital.

Once it was confirmed that Akihiko had lung cancer, he was forced to stay in the hospital and undergo surgery. Much to Misaki's relief, everything went well, and for a moment Akihiko seemed to be safe.

Unfortunately, it was only for a moment.

Even after the surgery, the cancer began to spread again rapidly, until there was no chance for Akihiko to recover. No matter how much the surgeons wanted to help, there was nothing they could do to save the author. Not knowing what to do, Misaki only prayed. He wished every day for his lover to somehow heal—to be cured.

Days passed, but Akihiko's condition only worsened. All of his fans were so heartbroken by the awful news that they all sent the man flowers, and soon he had received enough bouquets to fill an entire room. Those gifts of compassion and pity meant absolutely nothing to him; he just wanted to be with the person he loved as much as possible.

Misaki, who was in no state to deny his beloved such a wish, spent every minute he could spare by Akihiko's side. He would scold the man for not listening to his advice about quitting, but all the while he would hold one of those large hands gently. More tears than ever were shed during those moments.

At the day that Akihiko left him for good, Misaki didn't utter a single word to anyone. There was absolutely nothing he wanted to say or do, so he returned to the house—his house—and went straight to bed.

"I guess I should have listened to you…"

"You 'guess'? Baka Usagi, you have lung cancer! What do you think will happen if they cannot cure you? Have you even thought of that, you jerk?!"

"Misaki…I'm sorry. I'm really sorry."

The words played inside Misaki's head like a broken record and each and every time they managed to bring him to tears. So many times Akihiko had claimed that he couldn't live without him, but could Misaki survive without Akihiko?

No, he couldn't, and he knew that very well.

It wasn't because he was short of money—Akihiko had given him nearly all the money he had—but it was too different without Akihiko's presence. There was no idiot who would break another glass by pouring coffee in it or who would carry Suzuki-san along to each and every corner of the house. There was no pervert who would embrace Misaki out of nowhere and push him against the wall.

Although he hated to admit it, Misaki was missing all the things he would usually hate about Akihiko, just because he knew they would never happen again.

Misaki hastily shook his head, feeling that his loneliness was driving him crazy for the nth time. His gaze traveled to the large rabbit hutch against the far wall, where a white and silver creature was studying him closely. A small smile tugged at his lips as he walked over it.

"I'm back, Usagi-san," he said to the rabbit. The small animal stood on his hind legs as Misaki held his hand in front of the cage bars, its nose twitching cutely. Misaki carefully ran one finger over the mammal's head and giggled softly.

It was only recently that Misaki had gone to a pet store to buy himself a suitable pet. The first thing that popped up in his head was a rabbit because of his lover's nickname. He was amazed by how much that name meant to him and wanted to treasure that feeling, so he looked around in the pet shop for rabbits. Only one of the animals actually caught his attention, mainly because of its color. One small bunny with a white fur and large silver spots kept following him as the brunet circled around the cage. Misaki couldn't take his eyes off the creature, not even for a moment, and so his decision was made quickly.

Using Akihiko's laptop, Misaki searched all over the internet for a rabbit hutch and information about keeping rabbits as pets. He wanted to treat his pets as something very precious, because it was one of the things that reminded him of Akihiko. As much as he hated the fact that Akihiko owned so many toys and bears, it was impossible for Misaki to throw anything away. All that once belonged to his lover held so many memories—it was too valuable.

'If Usagi-san saw me like this, he would've dragged me to the bedroom by now,' Misaki thought, actually smiling as he realized this. His hand kept caressing the innocent pet that carried the name of the person he loved until the doorbell rang. The male rose and made his way to the door, walking slowly as his energy was completely drained.

As Misaki opened the door, his brother greeted him.

"Hello Misaki, can I come in?"

Remaining silent, Misaki stepped aside and closed the door once Takahiro was inside. In all honesty, he wasn't in the mood to welcome any guests, but he knew his brother was worried about him. Ever since the day Akihiko died, Misaki had tried to avoid everyone and had isolated himself as much as possible. He still forced himself to go to work, but even there he refused to exchange pleasantries with his co-workers.

Takahiro looked at the young man as he sat down on the sofa.

"I just got home, so I still need to feed Usagi-san," Misaki pointed out, blushing mildly. For some reason, it felt a little weird to name his pet after Akihiko, but he didn't think any other name would suit the creature.

A sigh came from the other. "Misaki, I understand that you miss Usagi, but you have to move on," Takahiro said in a caring voice, "Do you really think I haven't noticed how much you have changed ever since that day? You barely even talk to me anymore!"

Misaki closed the tin with rabbit food and turned around. "Nii-chan, I hate to see you worry about me, but it isn't easy for me to move on. I don't want to let Usagi-san go…and I simply can't leave all this behind. If anything, I want to stay here, in this house."

"I know you and Usagi were close and I don't mind that, but I don't think it is okay to let his death restrain you." Takahiro folded his arms. "You're still young and you've got plenty of things to do. Why don't you try to find yourself a nice girl? It's about time you start thinking about your love life."

"You don't understand, Nii-chan."

"Yes, I do," Takahiro replied, "I miss Usagi as much as you do. He was one of my best friends, Misaki. I'm just worried that you won't be able to let go of him if you don't try. Staying here will only make things worse."

Silence filled the condo as the two brothers stared at one another. The hopeful look in Takahiro's eyes told Misaki that his brother definitely didn't understand was Akihiko meant to him. Then again, they had never told him about their relationship, and Misaki didn't feel the need to tell him now that Akihiko was gone.

Minutes passed until Takahiro finally gave up and rose from his seat. "Please think about what I said," he pleaded, giving his brother a quick hug before leaving the apartment. The door closed quietly, and Misaki was alone again. Or maybe…he wasn't entirely alone.

Turning back to the rabbit hutch, Misaki opened the door and carefully lifted his pet before pressing it against his chest, stroking its ears with one hand while the other supported the bunny. Usagi-san shut its eyes and Misaki smiled sadly.

No one would ever understand what he and Akihiko had.


I once had a pet bunny that died of cancer; maybe that's what triggered me.

Thanks for reading.