So I have been considering how to deal with my love for this Novelist couple and not wanting to do a never-ending story. Then my brilliant reader Barrettachante gave me the wonderful idea of ending "On Another Path" at chapter nineteen. And that's what I decided to do.

Now I get to continue on with this couple in storied volumes, like the original manga series.


On Another Path: Volume II

Chapter One: Heart

Several weeks had passed since Akihiko and Hiroki had reconciled.

Still, it seemed to Akihiko, although Hiroki had returned to him and things between them were far more than cordial, only recently had Hiroki begun to fully let his guard down again. Akihiko thought about this as he was fetching coffee for himself and Aikawa.

Had Sato been there, she would have brought the drinks to them but it was one of her days off. Given his last conversation with his father, however, Akihiko was uncertain of how much longer he'd be able to employ his housekeeper.

He'd been wanting to share the details of his last parental exchange with Hiroki, get his lover's response. Akihiko knew that Hiroki was aware things between he and his father were coming to a head. They had just spent so much time "making up" when they'd gotten back together they simply hadn't returned to this issue.

Akihiko was keenly aware too, that, when it came to family affairs, Hiroki wouldn't broach the subject without him making the opening foray into the topic.

A long exhale escaped the author. His father had called again, yesterday, demanding another meeting.

Akihiko swept these thought to the side as he emerged into the front room. A smile crept on over his handsome face as he watched Aikawa and Hiroki talking quietly over his new Novella. It was going to be serially published soon in one Marukawa's premiere magazines. The piece had burst forth from him almost effortlessly three days after Hiroki had returned to him.

The editor and the literature student were sitting facing each other, each occupying one of the main room's couches. Akihiko moved over and set Aikawa's coffee in front of her and then returned to his earlier seat next to Hiroki. Akihiko set his coffee on the low table before him and picked up his cigarettes. He tapped one out and lit up.

"Thank you so much for the coffee, Sensei," Aikawa smiled politely, though she eyed her cup with a bit of apprehension.

Seeing this Akihiko smirked around his cigarette. "Don't worry Aikawa-san, Hiroki made it earlier when he knew you were coming over." Aikawa blushed and grinned at this information; she took a sip much more easily now.

"That makes yet another thing I have to thank you for, Kamijou-san."

Akihiko glanced at Hiroki who immediately dropped his eyes down at the pages he was holding. A faint blush crept into Hiroki's cheeks.

"What were the other things, if I may ask?" Akihiko inquired.

"Well, for one, since you two lovebirds have gotten back together," Aikawa teased, her eyes shining, "you haven't missed a single deadline."

"What makes you think that's Hiroki's doing and not mine?" Akihiko managed to sound slightly wounded, and simultaneously playful.

Aikawa and Hiroki rolled their eyes in unison. Akihiko chuckled at their mirrored expression.

"Second," Aikawa continued, "Your manuscript is impeccable. With Kamijou-san editing, you hardly need me."

Akihiko noticed Hiroki's blush had increased in color each time Aikawa opened her mouth to add a new comment.

"It was far from impeccable, Aikawa-san," Hiroki mumbled. "There were at least half a dozen things you caught that I missed." He sounded annoyed to admit this.

"Ah… so humble, Kamijou-san," Aikawa smiled. "But seriously, you graduate soon. Have you ever considered editing as a profession? I'm sure Marukawa would hire you in a minute with the skills you have."

Hiroki stared at Aikawa, obviously shocked at the idea. He picked up the can of cold tea he'd been sipping from intermittently. After downing the last of it, he cleared his throat and set his can back on the table next to Akihiko's coffee cup.

"No, I don't think editing is for me."

"Why not?" Akihiko and Aikawa asked in stereo.

"Because I love doing it to too much," Hiroki blushed deeper at this admission.

"Please forgive me, Kamijou-san, but that doesn't make any sense," Aikawa objected. "If you can earn a living doing what you love; isn't that what you should pursue?"

"No," Hiroki said simply. "I do it for myself. The minute money is attached, you end up doing it for someone else and it is no longer yours."

"Unlike some people," he looked significantly at Akihiko as he said this, "I do not find many things in life so easily amusing."

Hiroki was making a veiled reference to his lover's ever expanding and increasingly eclectic collections. Akihiko had, in his opinion, wasted the entire morning rapturously studying an antique model car kit that had come in the post the previous day. He cast a significant look at Akihiko before dropping his dark eyes back to his pages.

"So, I beg your forgiveness if I seem foolish in guarding my pleasures."

The author had been about to make a ribald comment about his lover's guarded "pleasures," but after the last incident with Aikawa, he thought the better of it and remained silent. Akihiko was soon incredibly grateful he had, as a moment later Hiroki said something astonishing.

"Besides," Hiroki growled softly, his blush now magnificent, "There's really only one author I'm interested in." His eyes flickered back up to Akihiko for just the merest of moments, before he grabbed his can from the table, and stood up as he moved to take the empty into the kitchen.

Akihiko turned and reached his hand out as Hiroki passed by the back of the couch.

"I'm touched, Old Man." To his mind, this was the closest Hiroki had come to verbally confessing his love since they had gotten together.

Hiroki ignored Akihiko's hand and instead put his palm on the back of his lover's silvered head. Akihiko noticed Hiroki let his hand linger, however, before playfully pushing his head forward.

"Don't get ahead of yourself," Hiroki grumbled, seeing the look in Akihiko's eye.

"All I meant is that I don't think I could manage one more author than you, Dumb-ass… Even if he or she were only a quarter as bothersome as you are!"

Hiroki ducked out from under Akihiko's penetrating pale gaze into the kitchen.

"Ahhhh, of course. How silly of me," Akihiko smirked after the disappearing scowl, not believing Hiroki's snarl for even a minute.

Akihiko and Aikawa were finishing up a few final details when Hiroki re-emerged from the kitchen. He returned to the couch.

Seeing that Akihiko had nearly finished with his cigarette, Hiroki unconsciously plucked it from between his lips and took the last drag before stubbing it out in the panda head ashtray sitting on the coffee table in front of them. The ashtray was another of Akihiko's recent acquisitions.

Aikawa blushed furiously bearing witness to this indirect kiss: there was something in this simple action that struck her as so incredibly intimate. It was, in a way, more revealing than what she had glimpsed that morning going on between the two men in the kitchen.

Akihiko said nothing about his stolen smoke, but his handsome face flickered with a frown for a moment. Hiroki had not begun actively smoking yet, but this practice of finishing off his cigarettes was becoming unsettlingly common.

Catching her author's expression, Aikawa sensed a possible storm brewing. She stood and began to make some rather nervous noises about leaving, not wishing to be anywhere near any possible disturbances between her novelist couple. She allowed the two lovers to accompany her to the door, where she slipped quickly into her shoes and made a rather hasty departure.

Hiroki moved back into the main room and took up his seat on the couch once more. He picked up the copy of Akihiko's novella that Aikawa had gone over after his last edit and stared hard at the few red scrawls the young woman had made, as if by glaring at them long enough he could will them away.

"Hiroki," Akihiko stood at the end of the couch, his large hands tucked in the pockets of crisp tailored trousers.

"Ummmmm," Hiroki did not bother to look up from the papers.

Akihiko said nothing, waiting for him. He had learned long ago that one couldn't have a conversation with Hiroki if the man was even remotely engaged in some other activity. As brilliant as his lover was, multi-tasking was just not one of his gifts.

Finally Hiroki looked up.

"I just can't believe I missed those things… How stupid," he muttered, then seeing Akihiko standing there silently, he frowned. "What?"

"You're too hard on yourself, Kamijou," Akihiko murmured moving over to the couch and plopping his lanky frame down next to Hiroki. He withdrew his hands from his pockets, leaned over, plucked the manuscript from Hiroki, and set it on the table.

Large hands suddenly grasped broad shoulders and before he knew it, Hiroki found himself pulled down, his back flat against the cushions and his wild brown head resting on one of Akihiko's lean thighs. Looking up at Akihiko from his new vantage point, Hiroki's frown deepened.

"That serious, is it?" he sighed.

Akihiko was surprised Hiroki hadn't resisted more. He gently pressed a broad thumb between dark brows and tried to smooth out his lover's ever-present furrow.

"What are you talking about?"

"You only ever call me Kamijou when you have bad news... Or when you're seriously displeased with me." Hiroki's keen eyes searched the handsome face above him.

Now it was Akihiko's turn to sigh.

"I don't like you finishing my smokes… I think it just a matter of time before you start asking for one of your own and I don't want you getting addicted."

"Ummmm. And what did you say when I mentioned quitting to you the last time?"

Akihiko was startled that this was the response to his comment, not an outburst .

"I told you I'd quit when I was dead."

"Well then, I've decided to join you." Hiroki admitted, his cheeks pinking anew. "It's just they taste so blasted awful I haven't been able to catch up yet."

Akihiko pushed Hiroki up off his lap. His voice was incredulous. "You mean you've been trying to get addicted?"

"Well, I spend so much time around you these days I'm already breathing all your cigarettes anyway.

"And, like I said, since you've decided to kill yourself early… Regardless of how subtle you think the attempt is; if you think I'm sticking around here on my own, after you so needlessly kick off, you have another thing coming!" Hiroki's voice was as fierce as his blush now.

Akihiko was stunned. It was Hiroki's second declaration of the day about his significance.

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Akihiko snorted. "It doesn't work like that and you know it! None of us knows how long we have. I could live to be a hundred and five or step off the curb tomorrow and get hit by a bus. So could you."

Hiroki held his gaze. "Or die of lung cancer at forty."

"I…" Akihiko stopped before going any further; looking at Hiroki he could see he was serious.

Hiroki scooted closer. Then he leaned over and ran a rough hand through Akihiko's shaggy, silver mane before allowing it to drift down to his cheek.

"I'll tell you what, Akihiko; I'll stop if you will. If my starting is ridiculous, than let's invert it and say, therefore, that your stopping seems incredibly sensible."

Akihiko put his hand over Hiroki's, both amused and annoyed by his lover's manipulations.

"You planned this from the beginning didn't you, you sly bastard."

Hiroki dropped his hand and shrugged, then he unexpectedly turned and settled back down into the same position he'd held before Akihiko had pushed him back up.

"So what if I did?"

Akihiko tangled his fingers in Hiroki's light brown locks. "Okay, Hiroki, I'll try, but I'm not making any promises."

"It would seem then that we have reached a reasonable settlement, counselor," Hiroki mumbled, trying hard to keep his eyes open in the midst of his lover's sensual touch.

"Besides…" Hiroki finally allowed his eyes to close, "Maybe, if you quit, I'd let you come in my mouth more often."

"What's this?" Akihiko blinked in surprise. "What has my smoking got to with that?"

"Cigarettes makes your cum more bitter."

Hiroki opened one dark eye in protest that Akihiko had stopped petting him. "So does coffee and alcohol, meat, and pretty much everything else you seem to favor.

"I'm just glad you didn't pick up that awful European habit of ingesting dairy products while you were over there: that makes a man's juice taste horribly rancid."

"Quite the connoisseur, are you?" Akihiko heard himself sounding irritated. He'd found himself increasingly sensitive to any mention of his beloved's love life prior to his entrance into it.

"Honestly, Akihiko, you can't tell me you like it? Though I wonder, the way you consume me."

"I suppose it's an acquired taste," Akihiko conceded. Then he smiled, "What was that Stephen Crane poem you were so mad about?… You know, when you went on that American literature kick back in high school."

Hiroki frowned, trying to remember. "I memorized so many poems then."

"It's the one about the man in the desert."

"Ahhhh," Hiroki sighed with pleasure at the suddenly remembered poem. "Yes, that was a gem."

He closed his eye and recited the piece in a gravelly growl that went straight to Akihiko's cock:

In the desert

I saw a creature, naked, bestial,

Who, squatting upon the ground,

Held his heart in his hands,

And ate of it.

I said, "Is it good, friend?"

"It is bitter—bitter," he answered;

"But I like it

"Because it is bitter,

"And because it is my heart."*

Akihiko basked in the pleasure of his lover's tones. Then he leaned down and kissed a momentarily furrow-free forehead. "So that's my answer then, as you are my heart."

Both Hiroki's eyes opened at this. "How can you say such embarrassing things so freely?" It was not an uncommon question for him to ask, but his tone was much gentler than usual.

"Because I love you." Akihiko sighed, delighted with this truth. Then sensing he was getting into territory that might too soon make Hiroki withdraw from him, he opted to change the subject. "Besides, you're not that bitter. Well, attitude perhaps, at times, but not in taste."

"I work on that."

"You do?" Akihiko was amazed by how many times Hiroki had surprised him that day.

"Why do you think my mother is always sending me all that fruit?"

"Because she loves you and she wants you to be healthy?"

"That," Hiroki sorted, "and she read an article in a magazine on things that make a man's spunk taste better."

Akihiko cocked a brow at his lover, his expression astounded.

"She thought it might be helpful," Hiroki mumbled, horribly embarrassed that his mother, who was so traditional in some ways, was so annoyingly progressive in others.

"What's it like having a mother who's aware of your orientation and is completely supportive?" Akihiko was curious. His own mother had labeled him a freak and washed her hands of him long before his inclinations had been confirmed.

"Too supportive sometimes," Hiroki growled. "And I fear she still misunderstands quite a lot and thinks of me more like a daughter than a son. She keeps asking me when I'm going to be bringing by a son-in-law for her to approve."

Akihiko chuckled at this information much to Hiroki's chagrin. "Perhaps I'll have to send her a thank you note for the fruit." Hiroki shot up from his lap.

"Don't you dare!"

"What? Why?" Akihiko asked eyes wide. Then his lavender gaze narrowed wickedly.

"You haven't told her yet? Why not? Your mother loves me. In fact, I bet she'd be delighted that we're going out."

Hiroki's eyes blazed. "That's exactly why you're not saying anything to her. I don't want you getting her hopes up!

"She's had her eye on us ever since she coerced me into telling her I was gay." Dark eyes suddenly narrowed. "Wait… What do you mean we're going out?"

Akihiko looked at Hiroki with confusion; his face lost its mirth and slipped into its stoic mask of defense.

"What in the hell do you think it we've been doing here, Kamijou?" Akihiko realized Hiroki's earlier assertion about his chosen form of address when he was displeased was exactly correct.

"I mean we eat together more often than not these days, we shop together, we study together, attend lectures and concerts, we sleep together often, we fuck… You even cut sausages into octopi for me!"

"I did that once and you promised you would never mention it again, you ass!" Hiroki's cheeks burned crimson. "Besides…" Some of the steam had evaporated from these next words, "with the exception of fucking, we were pretty much doing all of that stuff before."

A sudden light of realization glowed on Akihiko's face. "Oh, I get it. I need to take you on a proper date then."

"What? No!" Hiroki rose up from the couch. His furious gaze darted this way and that, as though he couldn't decide the safest place to retreat to. In the end he opted to head towards the kitchen.

"I'm not some girl who needs to be wooed," Hiroki fumed. "If you say we're 'going out' that good enough for me!"

Akihiko leapt up himself and popped over the back of the couch. He halted Hiroki's retreat, wrapping long, muscular arms around his lover's torso. One large hand slipped down and began kneading Hiroki's limp cock through the fabric of his jeans.

Akihiko delighted in feeling his lover's dick rapidly come to life under his hand.

Hiroki felt a hot mouth on the back of his neck, working its way up to his ear. Akihiko's silky voice grabbed hold of him, just as surely as the hand that was on his cock.

"I am so aware that you're not a girl, Hiroki," Akihiko purred, offering his hardening shaft a stroke to underline this. "But I am taking you out on a date…


"As soon as classes are over, I'm picking you up. So meet me at the south gate."

Hiroki turned in his lover's arms. He took Akihiko's face in his hands and kissed him fiercely. One hand dropped down and with practiced fingers, quickly undid Akihiko's trousers. Reaching in through the slit of his briefs, Hiroki found, to his great pleasure, that he was already hard.

His hand slipped down and offered a challenging squeeze to Akihiko's heavy sac. Akihiko gave a lustful growl at this touch. He broke their kiss and placed a sucking nip on the underside of Hiroki's jaw.

"Fine, Friday," Hiroki conceded.

He pushed his author until Akihiko's back was against the wall dividing the main room from the kitchen. Entwined, they sank down to the floor together.

"I'll go on your date, But in the meantime, Akihiko…" Hiroki's husky voice rumbled as he leaned in for another kiss, "You better hurry up and fuck me."

Ready for the Romantica Misaki/Akihiko date revised and done Novelist style?

Promise there will be new material coming... heh... in more ways than one.

Thank you for reading and please review.

*Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)

Also, all that information on diet and sperm taste is valid... There's even ads for a Vegan Diet that are aimed at men now that hint at this… Some not subtly.

Though it will never taste like honey... Celery, pineapple and different berries will make it sweeter. Ladies and gents you can even go online and get recipes for a morning smoothie that is supposed to improve the flavor... so feed that to your lover or yourself.

Drinking more water will change the consistency of sperm too, making it more fluid. Another point for proper hydration. Hooray!

Thus ends today's Fun with Cum lesson. ;)