Firsts and Lasts
By: Shin Sankai
Author's Notes: Just a little something random. I had difficulties with the ending. I'm sure I could have gone on and on, but this was only meant to be a short story.
"Oniichan," Yokozawa Takafumi, salesman for Marukawa, paused for a moment at setting the table for dinner when the affectionate name he'd been given by his current lover's daughter, Hiyori, called out to him. His steely gaze was enough for her to continue. "You've been with father and I for awhile now right?"
"Yes," The salesman wondered where this was going. Hiyori was 13 years old now, would soon be 14 and awkwardly growing into her developing body, but taking it in her stride. Thankful as she was for the two men in her life, the teenager was glad puberty was explained to her by her grandmother and not her father or her adorably cute and sometimes awkward Oniichan. She had overheard her father begging his mother to discuss it with her.
"Do you think I could ask you some questions?" Yokozawa quirked an eyebrow as Hiyori stood before him in jeans and a tank top, feet bare and hair messily placed up into a makeshift bun. Within her delicate hands was a notebook and pen.
"I guess..." The businessman placed the last bowl on the table, darting his steely blue gaze over to the couch where Kirishima was lounging, reading the newspaper, before turning his attention back to the teenager.
"What was Oniichan's first pet?" The man in question raised his eyebrow, not sure why such a question was being asked and parted his lips. However, before he could answer, the timer in the kitchen went off.
"Well, my parents didn't like having pets, but I did sneak a tiny lizard into my room and kept him in secret." Yokozawa stirred the contents within the pot, tasted it and then absently nodded his head, pleased with the way the curry had turned out. He'd made it from scratch after all. He turned off the stove and took the dish to the table, placing it on a heat resistant rack.
"Did it have a name?" Hiyori was following him like a little duckling as he walked between the kitchen and the living room, this time bringing the bowl of steamed fluffy rice and then made his way back for the last time with a tray of cups, iced tea and some beers for he and Kirishima.
"No, it didn't have a name, I didn't have it for very long. Why do you ask?"
"Everyone at school started talking about first and last moments and that is when I realised that I didn't know any of Oniichan's."
"And just how many questions are you going to ask me?" He watched the adorable teen flush as she sat at the table, next to her father.
"Settle in, I was grilled about it not long ago myself." Kirishima piped up as he began dishing out the delicious smelling meal.
"So what was Oniichan's last pet?" And right on queue there was a loud meow and all eyes turned to the floorboards of the apartment as Sorata stretched.
"Well, he's not really my last, more so my current." Yokozawa plainly voiced as the two men watched Hiyori jump up from her chair to go and feed the ageing feline.
"So what were your first and last pets?" The salesman questioned his lover of nearly 4 years.
"I pretty much said the same as you. Not about my first pet, I had a dog, but I did say Sorata is pretty much my current pet since his home is now here."
"Unlike someone I know..."
"Knock it off, I'm not moving in." The salesman found frowning almond eyes looking over at him and it truly did make him feel slightly uncomfortable and guilty for that matter. He was going to quickly add 'yet' as though to appease his lover, but Hiyori came back into the room.
"What about the first present you ever got and the first present you ever gave?"
Yokozawa spooned a mouthful of curry into his gob, needing a few extra seconds to think about Hiyori's next question. "Well, I'm sure I got many when I was a baby, but the one I can remember was a good luck charm from a girl in my class. She lived in my neighbourhood and every year I'd go to the temple with her family. As for giving..." Yokozawa fell silent thinking over the memory.
"Yes?" He found equally interested almond eyes focused on him now.
"I stole a rose from a florist when the clerk was busy." He watched Hiyori's beautiful brown eyes widen slightly and Kirishima just arched his eyebrow. "I didn't know it was wrong at the time." Yokozawa tried defending his young self. "I was about four or five I think. I placed it in a glass in my mother's study and waited for her to notice. That afternoon was probably the first time I'd ever seen her smile."
"Who were Oniichan's first and last friends?"
"The girl who gave me the charm, she was my first friend. Though I wasn't the most outgoing child, so I didn't make a lot of true friends, so I'm not sure if you could call us friends though."
"Then who was Oniichan's first true friend?"
"Masamune... Ah, Takano Masamune." Steely blue eyes dared not glance at his lover since he was mentioning the previous man he had an unrequited love for. "You've met him a few times now, he's Sorata's original owner." Yokozawa explained and watched Hiyori nod her head.
"Where did Oniichan and Takano-san meet?"
"In College, we became...quite close."
"Like how the three of us are?"
"No," Yokozawa knew he had Kirishima's full attention as the man had paused in gulping down some of his beer. "What the three of us have is entirely different."
"And Oniichan's last true friend?" Kirishima was a little displeased that Hiyori didn't want to elaborate on what Yokozawa had meant by his words. He really wanted the man to flesh out the difference between their relationship and the one he had with Takano.
"She is sitting right here." Both men watched a cute flush grace Hiyori's cheeks. "And one of my most important ones indeed." The salesman leaned over the table as he pinched Hiyori's cheek lightly...affectionately and received a thousand watt smile at his truthful words. "Eat some dinner before it gets cold."
Hiyori began tucking into the meal, scribbling into her notebook as she did so. "What about first love?" The man arched his eyebrow. "And it doesn't have to be a person, it could be an animal or..." She trailed off.
"It was a person. In fact it was the lady who lived next door, she was very affectionate and probably became the first person I really felt any love for." Even to this day Yokozawa was certain he still felt love for the woman. "My mother had me quite late in life, my other siblings were quite older then me and so I was left on my own quite a lot. The lady next door, she didn't have any children of her own, but for some reason she treated me very kindly. If I was home alone, she'd invite me to eat with her and her husband and would often give me little treats and a lot of hugs. I ended up visiting her nearly every day. When I found out her and her husband were moving, he was being transferred, I was devastated and cried for a long time after that. She had, after all, become a mother to me."
"What about Oniichan's own mother?"
"We were never close, she worked a lot, which is why I became so attached to our neighbour."
"So Oniichan's mother is not like Obaachan?"
"Unlike your Obaachan and I, as we nearly chat on a daily basis, I don't communicate that much with my own parents." He watched the youngster frown at his words. She was beginning to understand and accept that not all families were alike. "I'm very lucky that your Obaachan and I have become quite close over the years." Yokozawa was truly thankful to Kirishima's parents who had accepted him without prejudice. "This curry, your Obaachan entrusted me with her secret family recipe and allowed me to make it for the two of you."
"I thought it tasted familiar." Kirishima piped up. "Its super delicious, ne Hiyo-chan?"
"Hai!" The teen agreed which sent a small little victory smile to Yokozawa's lips.
"Does Oniichan still keep in touch with the lady who took care of him?"
"We do keep in touch, a phone call here and there. Without fail she always sends me a birthday and Christmas card every year. She sent me a letter advising me that her and her husband have moved back to the city just this month."
"Could we...meet her?" Hiyori shyly asked, head slightly bowed as she thought she was being too bold.
"The next time we speak, I'll mention it to her alright?"
"Now, what other questions are written in that notebook of yours?"
"This better not be a school project." He watched the teen shake her head, wisps of hair brushing the sides of her face. Yokozawa could tell she was going to be a beauty as she got older, definitely the spitting image of her mother. After all, he constantly changed the flowers near her mother's alter in the apartment and just by glancing at her picture, even if she was slightly frail within it, she was very beautiful indeed.
"Oniichan's first birthday party?"
"The neighbourhood used to hold a big celebration in the park. A lot of children had their birthday's at the same time, so it was logical to celebrate it all at once. I would just go with another family and spend the day with them and the rest of the children. Though I'd end up sneaking away when it all got too noisy for me."
"Come on Hiyo, start asking the good stuff."
"The good stuff?" Yokozawa repeated as the doting father pestered his daughter.
"Um..." It was apparent the question was quite tough for the girl to ask.
"Your first girlfriend." Kirishima remarked, eyes twinkling. "Or boyfriend..." He added in, not caring for the glare that was currently directed at him.
"Oniichan doesn't have to." Hiyori quickly intervened.
"Her name was Ame and she was quite similar to me. Quiet, reserved and she liked reading books...a lot. I'd seen her a few times in the school library and we both ended up helping there over the summer to catalogue everything so..." The salesman broke off not really needing to go into too much detail. "And why am I the only one sharing? Even if you've heard it already from your father, I think I deserve to be told some stuff as well." Yokozawa complained, almost a little childishly. He'd obviously been around Kirishima for too long.
"Well, yours truly here had several girls to choose from."
"Of course you did." Yokozawa narrowed his eyes at the gloating man.
"Father is lying Oniichan." Hiyori remarked as she scooped some more curry into her mouth. "He's just trying to look cool in front of you."
"Hey," Kirishima pouted at his grinning daughter.
"Father's first girlfriend only lasted a week." The youngster decided to offer up the information to the salesman.
"Is that so?" At least Yokozawa's had lasted the entire summer, though the man was not about to confess that since he was certain if he gloated, his older lover may draw back on what he stipulated previously: Or boyfriend... And there was no way he wanted to go into discussions about such stuff with Hiyori. It was one thing that she knew her father and him were together, but that didn't mean he'd have to elaborate on exactly what that entailed, even though she could find out that stuff herself these days, but it also didn't mean he'd discuss any other men he'd been with either.
"Does Oniichan remember his first and last days of school?" He was thankful that the girl moved off the topic.
"Not my first, but my last day of high school I remember. I was heading home, it was raining and a girl came running after me. She didn't have an umbrella so we stood under mine together. She asked me for a button on my blazer. By the coloured scarf on her uniform, she was a junior, but I didn't know her name. I figured since she'd run all that way, getting drenched, it was rude of me not to give it to her. I never saw her or any of my other classmates after that."
"Didn't Oniichan ever feel lonely?"
"To other children I probably looked sad and alone, but back then I never felt that way. I was content with reading books. I'd happily immerse myself into the make-believe world written out on the pages. I look back on how I was and think I should have had more fun, made more friends, but the past is the past and it can never be changed. Now I realise its good to have friends. Its nice to just sit and relax with them, chat idly about anything, whether its about something important or not. Sharing a laugh, a beer or whatever."
"What about your first job, what was Oniichan?"
"I had two, to try and help pay for my living expenses while I was attending College. It was the first time I lived away from home and as I wasn't sharing with anyone, I had to pay for everything myself."
"Oniichan was very independent."
"I had to be, my parents worked a lot and my older siblings didn't really care that much for me either. I only had myself to rely on."
"Oniichan can always rely on us, ne Father?" The salesman let off a slight chuckle at the determined girl, her fists clenched.
"Definitely." When his eyes fixated upon his lover's hypnotising almond orbs, he felt his heart flutter slightly at the truth held within his gaze.
"I used to save up what little money I had left over from working at a gas station to purchase a scooter. When I did that I started doing deliveries here and there. It was exhausting, but I made it work, somehow and I passed all my College exams with flying colours."
"At least you'll never have to worry about doing such jobs again if you ever lost your job now that you are with me."
"Why would I ever loose my job? And what does being with you have to do with anything?"
"I'll always take care of you." Steely blue eyes widened and lips parted. The salesman was lost for words.
The man gulped down the lump in his throat before he was finally able to get his voice working again. "A-Anyway, what was your first job?"
"I was a waiter for a long time and then I was scouted to be a host."
"A host? Where?" The salesman was quite surprised, but then he could truly picture a younger Kirishima being surrounded by women and entertaining them. Although he could seriously picture the current Kirishima, no matter his age, doing the same thing. The man had a certain charm and irresistibility about him, it was rather annoying.
"It closed down a long time ago." It appeared the older man refused to give any further details, almost as though it was a little bit illegal. The salesman thought it best not to press the matter.
"What would Hiyo-chan's first job be?" Yokozawa turned the tables on the teenager as he decided it was high time he asked her a question. At least it was this one and nothing about first loves or boyfriends. He didn't think Hiyori was quite at that stage yet, but it would definitely send her father into sheer bloody panic mode and he decided to ask a safer question instead.
"Well, there's a bakery not far from my school that makes and sells the cutest desserts and confectionery that I'd love to work there. I even asked the Manager but he said he doesn't hire anyone under the age of 16, but if I'm still interested then, to come back with my parents and he'll seriously think about it."
"That's very nice of him. Make sure to remind your father when that time comes." Hiyori bobbed her head in affirmation.
"Hiyo doesn't need to work, she can rely on us for awhile yet." Yokozawa was touched that he was included in the conversation even though technically none of his money went to the girl. Of course he did buy groceries, gifts and treats every now and then, but that was hardly anything compared to the education and medical bills that Kirishima had, plus any savings he placed away for the youngster if anything ever happened to him.
"I know. What about the first trip Oniichan ever went on?"
"When I was in Junior High, my class took a trip to Okinawa. That was the first time I'd ever been there. I wasn't really friends with anyone, but I had to share a room with three other guys so I made great lengths in trying to befriend them. It was alright too, I ended up having a lot of fun with them, plus we tried things that I'd never even thought of doing before as well.
"And what were those things?" Kirishima remarked in intrigue.
"Smoking and drinking mostly. But Hiyo is not allowed to do such things without talking to us about it first...err...I mean your father that is." The man sometimes forgot that technically he was not part of the Kirishima family when he reeled off some of his ramblings. His little mishaps always got Kirishima smiling, a stupid big grin on his face as he constantly teased him about how much of a 'mama' he acted like. "Don't you dare say a word." Yokozawa warned the man as he began clearing the table. The Editor-in-Chief for his part just placed up his hands in innocence even though the salesman could read him like an open book.
"What about trips with your family?"
"Hiyo, my family, is not like yours. We didn't have parties, or go to the temple or on outings to amusement parks and stuff. They just didn't do things like that." He placed down the dishes and cupped her cheek. "Don't pout like that, there is no reason for you to feel sad for me. That was just the way they were. To me that was normal."
"Okay..." He hated to see such a look on her face as he picked up the dishes once more.
"You know, going to Okinawa was my first trip, but my first family trip was in fact when we went to the beach that time."
"Really?" That had seemed to perk her up. Yokozawa grabbed the dishes and headed to the kitchen, Hiyori bouncing behind him with the others that he couldn't carry.
"Father, we need to go on more trips!" Hiyori piped up excitedly as she dished the leftovers into a bowl and then wrapped it up and placed it in the fridge.
"I agree. You just need to convince Takafumi to make time for us."
"I always make time for you!" Yokozawa snapped as he filled the sink with hot water and dish-washing liquid.
"I'm just saying, trying to organise a trip or two during the year would be a lot easier if you just lived with us. That way we'd know your schedule and we could book leave at the same time and head off to the places you've never been before and have a fantastic time, the three of us together."
"Why doesn't Oniichan live with us?" Steely blue orbs widened as he turned to look at two pairs of inquisitive eyes.
"Yeah Takafumi, why don't you live with us?" The man grit his teeth as he was sure Kirishima had slyly gotten it into Hiyori's head that it'd be a good idea for him to live with them.
"You got anymore questions in that notebook of yours?"
"I've only got about three more, then I should start on my homework."
"You can ask me while I do the dishes."
"But what about my question?" Kirishima whined as Hiyori stood next to her Oniichan, taking the clean dishes from his soapy hands and stacking them in the rack to drip dry.
"Who was Oniichan's first kiss?"
"Ame, wait, that actually may not be correct now that I think about it. There was a girl who stole a kiss from me. She just ran up to me and then ran away afterwards. Even to this day I've no idea who she was, if she was from my school or anything. I cannot even recall what she really looked like as it happened so fast."
"Well, you seemed quite the popular youngster in your school days." Kirishima leered, not realising that the quiet teenager seemed to have a following of girls he was quite unaware of. And although they didn't work in the same department, it wasn't uncommon for him to hear some sort of comment about how hard working and good looking his younger lover was. Of course none of the women voiced that to Yokozawa, considering the man was quite standoffish, according to them of course. If only they knew the looks he showed not only when the three of them were together, but the ones he showed just to him...
"I thought I was normal." Yokozawa replied, butting into Kirishima's thoughts. "I didn't think there was anything particularly interesting about myself."
"Takano must have seen otherwise."
Almond eyes finally had steely blue looking over at him, since he was still standing in the archway which led into the kitchen. Yokozawa felt a scowl break across his face. Just why the hell did he have to bring up Masamune? "What about Hiyo, who was your first kiss?" The salesman felt a grin form on his lips as soon as he saw the father pale at the question. It only made him feel a little guilty considering it seemed like Kirishima was picking a fight with him about his dear friend.
The man knew they had history together, knew about the love he had for him, the fact he was rejected, but nowadays he was just thankful that the relationship they once had, before sex became involved in it, was back. The two of them could sit together and talk shit to the wee hours of the morning with no weirdness or ill feelings. Was he seriously going to have to sit down with Kirishima again and tell him that if it wasn't for him, he and Masamune wouldn't have their relationship back.
When he turned his gaze to the red faced Hiyori, remembering he'd asked her a question, his guilt multiplied as he hated the fact he used the youngster to get back at his lover. "We'll leave that until Hiyo is ready to talk to us about it, ne?" He watched her nod her head, not once making eye contact with her father. It appeared she'd already had her first kiss. It made the salesman ponder just who the boy was and whether he knew his life was now in danger with the murderous aura that Kirishima was now giving off as he too had understood that his little girl was not so 'little' anymore.
"What about Oniichan's last kiss?" The salesman paused as he tried ever so hard to not think about the onslaught Kirishima had given him two nights ago. He was certain that the bite mark on his hip was still freaking there, the bloody pervert going overboard, more so then usual. He was sure there was a wicked grin forming on the handsome man's lips but he refused to look over his shoulder at him and instead quickly ducked down and pressed his lips to Hiyori's forehead, surprising the girl as she lifted a hand to cover where he'd placed his lips affectionately.
"Hiyo-chan was my last kiss." He winked at the girl who let off a cute giggle, cheeks now only a light pink colouring.
"And what is your final question?" He handed her the last of the cutlery to be stacked and then pulled the plug, the now dirty water quickly going down the drain as he towelled his hands dry.
"Oniichan's last love!" Hiyori confessed with excitement in her voice.
"Well, I could read that two different ways." Yokozawa strolled into the living room, breezing effortlessly past his older lover as he tucked in everyone's chairs and then began to stack the mountain of newspapers Kirishima always accumulated. He'd take out the garbage when he left for the evening.
"What does Oniichan mean by that?" His turned his gaze to the innocently blinking Hiyori. Sometimes he wondered if it was an act or if she was sneakily getting him to confess more in front of her and her father.
"That could mean the person I previously loved or the last person I'll ever love, couldn't it?"
"I...guess..." Was she now a little shy?
"Which one will Oniichan answer?"
"Eh?" His lips twitched slightly as Kirishima had proclaimed this just as loudly as Hiyori did.
"Are you going to do your homework out here or in your bedroom?"
"Oniichan no fair, you're changing the subject."
"You have a test in the morning don't you?" He watched her silently nod her head, a pout still on her lips as he avoided her last question. "Have a bath first and then I'll help you study before I go home for the evening."
"Mm!" She headed off, clicking the door closed just after Sorata sauntered in after her. Though their cat didn't like water, he did like being wherever Hiyori was.
Yokozawa felt a sudden grunt lodge itself within his throat when strong arms encircled him, a broad chest connecting with his back as Kirishima embraced him from behind.
"So who is Takafumi's last love?" Kirishima murmured against the man, feeling him stiffen as his warm breath fanned over the sensitive skin on his neck.
"I-I'm not answering."
"No! Cut it out would you!"
"Onegaishimasu..." It was voiced so huskily it was bloody ridiculous.
Yokozawa let out a frustrated sigh. Instead of fighting out of the embrace, the man was getting smarter over the years as he turned around, facing his handsome older lover head on. "He already knows who he is...and its not just one person either." He watched Kirishima frown, arms loosening slightly from around him. He knew instantly whom he was thinking about and couldn't help but flick the man on the forehead like a child, watching him jolt as he did so. "Its Hiyo you idiot." And there was that sexy grin, it back in an instant, making his stomach churn and his knees grow slightly weak. God why did the man have to make him confess such embarrassing shit?
"Mm, whatever..." The salesman proclaimed intelligently as he wriggled free from Kirishima's embrace and offered the man another beer since there was still two unopened on the dining table and then promptly flopped down onto the couch taking a long gulp of the fizzy liquid.
"Takafumi is my last too." The salesman felt his cheeks flush. He proclaimed inwardly it was the alcohol, but who the hell was he kidding when his older lover pressed his lips to his cheek and then another one just above the collar of his shirt.
As much as he would have loved to have gone further, Kirishima held off and instead decided to rest against Yokozawa. Their heads were pressed together, shoulders touching and he took hold of his partner's unoccupied hand within his secure and warm grip.
Nothing more needed to be said.