By: Shin Sankai
Author's Notes: I was meant to bring out a different story then this small snippet, but this was bugging me first so...perhaps someone liked it? Its nothing major, just a quirky little idea that popped into my head. Completely unrelated to the novels as usual. Enjoy!
That face looked so familiar to him. Of course it had matured over the years they'd not seen each other, but still, he was certain his eyes were not deceiving him. The man's dress sense had definitely changed over the years, from a plain pair of jeans and polo shirt, as he was now dressed in a crisp navy blue suit, hand raising to pull away his suit jacket from his wrist to read the time on his watch.
Ah, there was a facial expression he knew, a sudden scowl marring his features. But then suddenly, it changed. What appeared to be a young girl, dressed in a school uniform, barrelled energetically into him, slender arms wrapping around his waist, the man only jolting slightly at the sudden "attack". Steely blue eyes, eyes that could never be forgotten dropped to look down to his side where the girl, no more then 14 or 15, was grinning up at him. He waited expectantly for the man to frown, curse, pull the girl off of him, but to his utmost surprise, neither happened. Instead, the tiniest of smiles graced his lips and his hand rested atop her head.
It was the girl who broke free of their contact first as they stood on the pavement chatting away as though waiting for someone else. This was definitely a surprise indeed. Was this his daughter? Were they waiting for their mother and wife perhaps? But that wasn't possible, because even if they've not seen each other in so long he knew that the very man he was currently starring at was definitely gay.
"Takkun," And suddenly he heard his voice call out to the man who was not paying any attention to his surroundings as he was completely focused on the girl at his side. Was he standing too far away to actually be heard? "Takkun?" Again he muttered the nickname he used to use from ten years ago and this time he watched as shoulders went straight and the man glanced his way. "Its definitely Takkun for sure, ne?" He watched those eyebrows furrow as though racking his brain to figure out just who the hell was referring to him in such a casual way and of course who the hell this very man was as well.
"Takashima-kun?" A grin formed on his lips. He hadn't been forgotten at all.
"Yo!" He raised his hand as greeting and decided to move just a little bit closer to the suit clad guy. "It's been awhile."
"Mm," Had his sudden appearance made the man uncomfortable?
"Ah, Father, you're late!" A pair of observant black eyes blinked as the girl removed herself from his acquaintances side and moved to stand in front of a tall man with light coloured scruffy hair and almond coloured eyes. He was dressed casually in a pair of black jeans and an open black button down shirt with a plain white one underneath.
"Sorry about that Hiyo-chan, but my subordinates just refused to let me leave."
"Father?" Suddenly the man had three pairs of eyes starring at him. "Aren't you her father?" He pointed rudely to the dark haired businessman.
"Of course not."
"Takafumi?" The salesman glanced over at him for a split second before clearing his throat.
"Takashima-kun, this is Kirishima Zen and Kirishima Hiyori."
"Hello," The man grinned warmly, but it appeared his greetings were not as well received as he had hoped.
"Takashima-kun and I went to the same College."
"The same College you and Takano went to?" Kirishima questioned calmly.
"Now that is a name I've not heard in awhile." Once again all eyes were on him. "I sometimes get together with the guys over some drinks and we reminisce. Your name usually comes up in conversation every now and then."
"Why?" Steely blue orbs watched the man shrug nonchalantly.
"So I take it you and Takano are still in contact?"
"Of course we are, we've been friends for years."
"Friends? But the two of you were..." The man began, stopping at the sudden glare coming from the businessman.
"We also work for the same company."
"Eh?" He watched the man point to the massive building behind him, to a sign which read Marukawa Shoten and then promptly pulled out a business card and handed it to him. Yokozawa was now head of the Sales Department, a promotion which occurred a year ago when his former boss had retired.
"Takano is the Editor-in-Chief of Emerald and Kirishima-san here is Editor-in-Chief of Japun at Marukawa."
"Manga publishing has never been my forte, but looks like the both of you are doing quite well."
"And what is it that you do Takashima-san?" Kirishima idly remarked, trying ever so hard to be friendly to a man who his lover had clearly known years back.
"Oh, well I'm an editor as well, but not in the manga field at all. Currently I'm working in the Thriller/Crime section of our company." He promptly produced a business card for each man. "That reminds me, back in College you had a thing for writing, did you ever get a book published?"
"Book, what book?" The two Kirishima's questioned at the same time just as another frown marred Yokozawa's face.
"If he wasn't with Takano, he was in the library writing. Ah, was that meant to be secret?"
"Not really a secret, I just haven't thought about the old days in a long time." The man was clearly uncomfortable. But this did not stop his "College friend" from prodding with a silent expectant look. "Ah, mm, I did get one published..."
"Eh? Takafumi you were an author?" Yokozawa scratched awkwardly at the back of his head at the surprised question from his older lover.
"Not really, it was just a compilation of short stories I randomly wrote. Only a handful were published, its nothing important to even remember since it was so long ago."
"But Father and I want to know everything about Oniichan, even if you think its nothing important that is for us to decide!"
"Hiyo..." The salesman mumbled softly as the teenager seemed to be upset with him now.
"Now, now Hiyo-chan, there is no need to be so rude in front of mixed company."
"Don't try and be cool about this. I know Father definitely thinks the same." Takashima found it was quite interesting to watch the three of them interact and suddenly it clicked.
"Ah, so the two of you are..." The man paused as he pointed between the two men.
"Its nice to see you again Takashima-kun, but we really need to be leaving, we've a prior engagement to keep." Yokozawa curtly cut in.
"Eh, um, sure..." The editor watched the three of them leave, walking down the pavement without a care in the world for what was around them, the teenager between the two of them. Their world was just the three of them it seemed. A grin formed over his lips. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you again."
"Do they look alright Oniichan?"
"Its a little late to be having second thoughts now considering its already happened." The salesman remarked as he stood at the bathroom door. The soon to be 15 year old was gazing in the large mirror, head turning from side to side as she got a good look at her newly pierced ears. It was an early present from her Father and Oniichan. She'd been pestering the two of them for a good couple of years now and they'd finally caved to her request.
"Just remember to use the spray and turn them every now and then alright?"
"How does Oniichan know what to do?"
"I...I was listening to the lady as she was telling you what to do."
"Liar!" Hiyori remarked casually. "I know when Oniichan is trying to hide something, we've been together for a long time now."
"Well..." The man fumbled as he headed back into the lounge room. "I-It was a long time ago."
"Father, Oniichan used to have pierced ears!" The teenager called out, watching her father coming from the bedroom as he was now dressed in a pair of shorts and just the white shirt.
"We are definitely learning several things about you since we ran into Takashima-san."
"Ah!" Both men jolted at the sudden cry from Hiyori and they turned to gaze over at her.
"I want to read Oniichan's work." She stubbornly voiced.
"Me too..." Kirishima grinned at his suddenly awkward lover.
"I'm sure the book has probably all been thrown away or recycled into something better...like toilet paper." The salesman listened to his older lover scoff at his reasoning.
"Did you use your real name or a pen name?"
"Zen..." He groaned the man's name in slight exasperation. When in the company of others he always referred to his lover by his last name, even if he didn't do the same in return, but then the man was a superior to him, even if he was the Head of Sales these days. However, when they were alone, in their home, it was always by his given name now. It had taken awhile, but these days calling the man by his last name seemed foreign and alien to him.
"Come on, please?" Those expectant almond eyes were pouting up at him from his seated position on the couch, phone within his hands, a search engine open, fingers at the ready to clack away as the man was clearly wanting to seek out a copy of his book.
"Please Oniichan?" Hiyori repeated, sitting next to her father, an equal hopeful pout on her face. The businessman sighed knowing there was no way they'd ever drop this and swiftly turned away and headed down the hallway and opened up a cupboard. From the darkness within he pulled a box out, prying it open and removing several books, reaching the bottom where two copies of a book lay wrapped in a plastic cover as though preserving them.
"Promise not to laugh?" He watched them both nod silently as though they were little children he was handing candy to.
"Why two copies?" Kirishima questioned while Hiyori pried the books from the plastic.
Yokozawa shrugged. "One was to keep for prosperity sake and the other I was meant to give to my father. We were constantly arguing about my future at the time, so I think I dived head first into my writing just to piss him off."
"Didn't want you to be an author?"
"He said there was no money in it."
"And he was right in a sense, considering I only got that one published by some no name company. But at the time I didn't care, it was something I wanted to do, to prove to him that no matter what path I chose, I'd give it my all."
"And what path did he want you to take?"
"Business of course."
"So he won then?"
"Its not really a matter of who won or not these days. I don't think I actually told him about it in the end. I like my current career so..." Yokozawa paused as he glanced at the two Kirishima's. "Don't read it in front of me!" He felt his face flush in sheer embarrassment. The man found two pouts, but the books were tucked away for now. "Hiyo, weren't you coming to get dinner with me?"
"Ah, I'll get ready!" She jumped off the couch and raced to her bedroom to change into casual clothing since she was still dressed in her uniform.
"Want me to come as well?"
"You look pretty tired." Yokozawa could see the dark circles under his lover's eyes. The cycle had just ended. "Just sit here with Sorata and wait patiently for our return." Their cat twitched his ears from his basket, but didn't move at all. And a smile that made the salesman's heart skip a beat was his answer.
"I'm ready. Father, please don't just sit there and read Oniichan's book, set the table for us."
"Hai, hai," The father remarked as he rose to his full height, bidding his little family farewell for now. Kirishima made his way back to the couch, sitting back down on it and flicked his eyes to the clock hanging on the wall. The two of them were heading to the Chinese restaurant which was a couple blocks away from their home. He calculated he had at least half an hour before they would be back and since setting the table literally took seconds, a little peak at his lover's secret book wouldn't hurt right?
"Your ears don't hurt do they?" Yokozawa questioned Hiyori as they entered the restaurant and waited to be served. They had pre-ordered and it usually only took about 20-30 minutes for their order to be ready and was usually sitting in the warmer waiting for them. The three of them had only moved into the neighbourhood about a year ago, right around the time Yokozawa was promoted. They'd only found this by sheer accident since it was in the opposite direction to the train station they constantly used, unless everyone was running late then they'd pile into Kirishima's car, which is how they came upon the shop.
"They're fine. Thank you for letting me get them done."
"Well, you don't really have to ask me for permission, such a decision rests with your father." Yokozawa handed over the cash, leaving a tip like he usually did for the elderly woman behind the counter who smiled at the both of them. They exited the shop and headed back down the quiet residential street they now called home.
"But Oniichan, Father and I are family so..."
"So the three of you are playing family then?" The darked haired businessman stopped instantly as he turned around on the softly lit footpath to see Takashima was behind them.
"What are you doing here?"
"I was just having dinner with some of the guys when I noticed you walk in. Why not come and join us?"
"Thanks, but perhaps another time." Yokozawa pointedly starred sown at the quiet Hiyori as though telling Takashima that he already had plans.
"Just let her run along home and come have a drink, its only one after all."
"Clearly your manners have not changed at all." Yokozawa remarked as he placed his hand on Hiyori's shoulder, directing her away from the other man.
"I wonder what the guys would think?"
"About what?" Yokozawa stopped once more, handing the plastic bag containing their dinner to Hiyori and made his way over to Takashima.
"I'm just saying." The man shrugged.
"Do you honestly think I care what you and the guys think of me? None of you bothered to keep in contact with me for the past ten years so what makes you think I'll drop whatever I'm doing to reminisce about times best left in the past."
"How sickening, doing it so out in the open."
"Excuse me?" Yokozawa felt his feathers beginning to ruffle.
"You aren't hiding it from Kirishima-san's wife very well..." The salesman didn't know what came over him as his hand instantly fisted and then he suddenly, within a blink of an eye, punched Takashima right in the face, steely blue orbs glaring down at the fallen man who was cradling his jaw and wiping blood from his cut lip.
"O-Oniichan!" Yokozawa took a step back, gazing down at his fisted hand before turning his head over his shoulder to see a shocked Hiyori gazing over at him.
"Don't spout shit you know nothing about." Yokozawa was crouched at the fallen Takashima's side, fishing a packet of tissues from his pocket and threw them at the man. "And stay away from them!" The salesman practically spat out in fury, rising to his full height and turning on his heel, pulling Hiyori away from the commotion he'd caused.
It was a silent stroll back to the house, until they reached the gate when Hiyori wrapped her hand around his, making him wince slightly. Her big brown eyes starred worriedly up at him as he pushed the gate open to allow them into their front yard."Hurts a little, I've not hit anyone in such a long time."
The teenager pushed the front door open, they not bothering to lock it considering her father was home. Hiyori kicked off her shoes, dashing into the open plan kitchen, living and lounge room area, depositing the bag of takeaway food on the table as she rushed to the freezer, pulling some cubes of ice from the freezer and wrapped them in a hand towel.
"What's the matter?" Kirishima was just placing the last plate on the table as his eyes darted between his worrying child and his lover who was slowly bringing up the rear, removing his wallet and phone from his back pockets and dumped them on the coffee table.
"That's not really necessary Hiyo."
"But what if it becomes swollen?" The girl questioned as she fastened the towel over his right hand.
"Will some one tell me what is going on?" Kirishima didn't like it when he was being ignored by the two most precious to him.
"Oniichan knocked out Takashima-san."
"He what?" Almond eyes were wide as he listened to Hiyori retell him what had happened while his quiet lover pulled the lids off the takeaway dishes and sat down. "I see..." The Editor-in-Chief softly voiced.
"I was really surprised that Oniichan did such a thing, but he was really cool!"
"Its not something to praise Hiyo, it was very stupid of me."
"But, Takashima-san was being rude!"
"Regardless of what he was saying, one should always be the more mature one and turn a blind eye to such talk. I lost my composure for a moment, it won't happen again." Yokozawa quietly bowed his head in silent apology to the Kirishima's that sat on the other side of the table to him.
"Its nothing to apologise to us about."
"If word got out, it may cause trouble for us...and we are still fairly new to the neighbourhood."
"It was dark and from what Hiyo-chan said I don't think there were any onlookers so we are fine." Kirishima grinned as he ruffled his hand through his lover's black hair. A pair of glaring steely blue orbs rose to look over at him. The glare was probably due to him messing up his hair and treating him like a little child. "Nothing will ever come between the three of us, no matter what anyone says, ne Hiyo-chan?"
"Hai!" A slight twitch of the lips was all the older man received from his young partner as he began to dish out even portions of food onto everyone's plates.
"Are you going to stop brooding about what happened?" Kirishima softly voiced, moving into the bedroom he and Takafumi shared (most of the time) and closed the door. Hiyori had gone to bed early, Takafumi's published book tucked under her arm, she trying to secretly hide it but of course both men knew she would read it as much as possible before dropping off to sleep. She had school tomorrow after all. "Are you in there?" Kirishima tapped his lover on the forehead as the man had been pondering quietly on his side of the queen size bed in a pair of black slacks and a singlet, which showed off the contours of his firm arms and chest.
"Ah, sorry, what did you say?" The Editor-in-Chief let out an exasperated sigh.
"What is done is done, so don't think about it anymore." He was going to continue reading Takafumi's book after the man dropped off to sleep, becoming sucked into his younger lover's writing style. He believed it would help him to become even more impossibly closer to the man who he didn't know ten years ago. After all, Takafumi wasn't really one to talk about his past much. However, the book would be forgotten (for now) as he decided to straddle the seated man, knees at his young lover's hips, large hands cupping his face, turning it up to gaze at him.
"If he contacts you, stay away from him."
"I'm not a girl Takafumi, I can protect myself."
"And I'm more then capable of protecting both you and Hiyo-chan as well."
"I never meant..."
"I have all the confidence in the world to stand up to some immature man who really just wants to gain your attention by ruffling your feathers."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Have you thought his attitude is to try and win you over?"
"He's what?" Kirishima repeated quietly as he brushed messy black strands of hair away as pressed his lips to Takafumi's forehead.
"Err...I'm not sure since I never paid that much attention to any of them back in College."
"See, perhaps he's liked you all this time and he's just jealous because back then all your attention was on Takano."
"Maybe, but he said its sickening. How can I take that as him being interested in me?"
Kirishima shrugged his shoulders while his hands moved down to pull the singlet from Takafumi's body. "Don't think about him being interested in you at all, only I can fill your mind and body."
"Can't we just have a serious conversation for once?" The salesman felt his body twitch when lips grazed the sensitive skin on his neck.
"I'm always serious when it comes to you." The younger man had no comeback and didn't fight back when he was lowered to the bed.
"This probably isn't over."
"Probably," Kirishima muttered a his lips grazed over his partner's. "For now, let me distract you." And he sealed his lips fully over his lover's rendering the man speechless.
A week had gone by without any incident. In truth Yokozawa had been so busy with work that any thoughts of Takashima had been forgotten. It was finally Friday and both he and Kirishima would be meeting out front to head to Hiyori's school and pick her up from her club activities. The three of them had decided to eat out for dinner tonight since they'd not had much time to chat over the past week. Hiyori was in three different clubs, which took up quite a bit of her time recently and Kirishima had been attending several meetings during the evening.
Yokozawa bid good afternoon to the reception stuff and made his way outside, moving down the stairs and it was then his steely gaze noticed Kirishima was already outside and waiting for him, but the man was not alone. His jaw set instantly and his long strides took him over, hand going out as he pushed the man away from his older lover, both men a little surprised at his sudden appearance.
"Are you stalking us now Takashima-kun?"
"Takafumi..." Kirishima placed his hand on his lover's shoulder but the man brushed it off as he stepped closer to the slightly shocked Takashima.
"If you keep up this behaviour I will report you to the authorities."
"No, I..." The man stammered as he was not expecting such a response from the guy he once knew. Clearly ten years was a long time and the man had definitely changed. It had to be because of the light haired older man behind him.
"Seeing you again has definitely brought back memories long since forgotten, both good ones and bad ones, but please do not interfere in our lives Takashima-kun." Kirishima was blinking silently as his younger lover who was standing half in front of him, hand out to his side as though trying to ward off any danger. The very thought made his heart pound wildly for his dark haired companion. "I don't care who you have feelings for, either me or Zen, but I will not sit idly by and watch you try and take what is mine." Almond eyes widened instantly.
"Takkun is definitely bolder then he used to be."
"Of course, it has been over ten years now." The salesman felt his own heart pounding in his ears. "I was never able to have what I wanted ten years ago."
"Takafumi..." Kirishima began, knowing his partner was referring to his unrequited love for his best friend.
"Instead I've been lucky enough to obtain something even better and I'll be damned if I let it slip away." Kirishima observed his lover's right hand clench into a fist and his eyes quickly glanced about the street. Even if Takafumi's blood was boiling there was no way he'd want to cause a commotion in front of the company, not when he was doing so well in his new position.
"If you had feelings for me back then, I apologise for not noticing." Black eyes widened. "The past is the past, it can never be revisited, nor do I want to have anything to do with it. My life is completely different from those times and I won't let anyone get in my way."
"Who said I was interested in you?" Steely blue orbs watched as black ones shifted to gaze over his shoulder to where Kirishima was standing.
"Eh?" The Editor-in-Chief had no idea that he was in fact the one being targeted! His young partner seemed to have caught on though.
"Don't you dare touch him." Almond eyes widened, just as black orbs did, both men freezing on the spot when such words were voiced so threateningly by the salesman. "The only man he'll ever have feelings for is me!" Kirishima suddenly felt a hand wrap around his wrist as he was pulled away. As he staggered behind his fuming lover, he stole a quick glance over his shoulder to see that Takashima was sitting on the concrete, knees obviously having gone weak at Yokozawa's words. Just what kind of look had his young lover shown the man to render his legs to jelly, he would never know, but his heart was hammering in his chest at such open feelings coming from his usually stiff partner.
They got on the train which would get them close to Hiyori's school and nothing was spoken between them. Kirishima was sitting down while Yokozawa stood, head bowed, long bangs covering his eyes from view as he was clearly lost in thought, probably reeling over what he'd just done. The man was probably thinking about consequences that would not occur since there was hardly any other pedestrians on their side of the footpath which were paying attention to them.
It was Kirishima who jolted Yokozawa from his hidden thoughts as he pulled the man out of the train as they'd reached their stop, merely a block from Hiyori's school. As the two men strolled quietly down the path, passing several shops, giggling school girls and boisterous school boys, it was then almond eyes took notice that his lover was in fact lagging behind. He stopped dead in his tracks waiting patiently for his brooding partner, only to watch him crash right into him. He raised his hands, resting them on his shoulders while Yokozawa darted his eyes to gaze up at him.
"Come on you, out with it." The older man ordered and suddenly realising they had an audience he dragged the quiet salesman towards a park which had some children running around kicking a soccer ball in it, but no one else.
"I know I told him I'd go to the authorities if he kept up his behaviour, but he could seriously do the same about mine."
"I doubt that." Steely blue orbs gazed over at his older partner who was sitting next to him on the bench seat. "You seriously scared the shit out of him." Yokozawa furrowed in confusion. "Threatening him was probably not a good thing, but I'm pretty sure he won't bother us ever again."
"A-Aa..." The businessman felt his breath hitch in his throat when the Editor-in-Chief cupped his chin within a firm grip. His eyes darted around to see if anyone was watching, but no one was within the vicinity of where they were sitting.
"And if he does, it will be my turn to proclaim that the only one I'll ever be with is you." Kirishima grinned when his lover blushed as he recalled his heated confessions. "Ah, I'm loved so passionately, so possessively, its an indescribable feeling." The Editor-in-Chief voiced aloud, arms wrapping around himself, he wanting to tease his lover just a little.
"I'll be sure to show you my feelings tonight." A grin formed on the older man's lips as even his lover's ears were turning red. "Takafumi," Yokozawa darted his eyes to his partner, who shockingly at this very moment, was kneeling in front of him, hands over his. Love was clearly within his gaze and a sweet hypnotic smile graced his lips. "Thank you for falling in love with us." The salesman was struck speechless. He had no words to respond with. Instead he rose from his seated position as Kirishima pulled him to his feet and they headed off, the setting sun casting its warm glow over the both of them. Every now and then their fingers lightly grazed each others as they walked closer then what they usually did in public.
Just off in the distance, standing at the school gates was the outline of their girl, waiting patiently for the both of them. "Hiyo," The two men had called out to her at the same time. Her expressive brown orbs darted their way, a big bright smile on her face as she came rushing over, giving each man a hug.
"I'm so hungry, where are we going?" Yokozawa took her backpack while Kirishima took her duffel bag which had her gym clothes in it. She smiled lovingly at them and linked her arms with both men, not caring that a couple people glanced their way.
"We'll go wherever Hiyo wants to eat." The salesman quipped. "And since its the weekend, do you want to have a sleep over at Yuki-chan's? We'll buy some pastries for you to take over as well." Yokozawa's eyes drifted to his lover's for a moment, feeling his face flush at the twinkling within that almond gaze. The man had definitely read into what he'd done. Tonight would be all about them and no one else.
"I'll call her now." As Hiyori walked ahead of them, a skip in her step, Kirishima dropped a hand on his lover's shoulder making the man stop dead in his tracks.
"I don't think I've ever said this before, but meeting you is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to Hiyo-chan and I." The Editor-in-Chief was suddenly whacked in the shoulder. "Ouch, what was that for?" He paused from complaining when Yokozawa coughed away his embarrassment, clearing his throat as he turned to gaze over at him.
"Same here." The salesman was certain that if they weren't on the street his older partner would have already smothered him within his strong embrace.
"Can you convince Hiyo-chan to get takeaway?"
"Because my control is slipping away. I want to hold you now." Yokozawa felt his own breath quicken at the heated gaze.
"Hiyo, lets get takeaway." The salesman called out to the teenager as he quickly walked away, fighting the urge to blush a deep shade of red and listened to his lover's hearty laugh in the background. His older lover finally caught up to them, he feeling that strong hand brush through his black hair before watching as it rested against Hiyori's shoulder, she beaming them both a smile, not sure what the two of them had been conversing about. Since her father had a big silly grin on his face and even her Oniichan had a tiny cute one on his, all was right in their little world and they continued on their way, heading towards the restaurant she wanted to try.