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A(r)mour, Chapter 2

Title: A(r)mour

Warnings: Rated M, contains yaoi and occasional swearing, if you don’t like these things please don’t read.

Summary: Hiroki just keeps getting his heart broken, again and again and again, like a fool who doesn’t know when to quit. Standard romantica, egoist, and terrorist couplings, plus Nowaki/Misaki, Akihiko/Hiroki, Miyagi/Hiroki.

Author's Note: Leaping straight into the stuff that will get me flames. Geronimo!


Chapter 1

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Chapter 2

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The plastic casing protecting his cell phone creaked in his tightening grip.

It was supposed to be Nowaki’s day off.

'Sorry. I won’t be home today. Don’t wait up.’

The characters glowered from the screen, burning into the back of his eyes.

He'd made up his mind to confront his partner. He planned to sit down, explain everything that was bothering him, they'd work it out together, and then he'd get over it and not bring it up again. Nowaki was generally good like that - if you told him what you needed directly, he would deliver. The real struggle was swallowing his pride down enough to get the words out.

But the note on the fridge was the same one that had been there three days ago. His phone calls went unanswered. All he got now were text messages that arrived while he was teaching and went undiscovered until the end of the day.

With a scowl, he slapped the phone shut with unnecessary force. He knew there were emergencies and that people’s lives could hardly compare to his insecurities. It was an accepted fact of their relationship that the days they didn’t see each other outnumbered the days that they did. But how the hell were they supposed to talk and make amends if he never came home?

He threw his things into his bag, not even caring if corners got creased, and zipped it roughly shut. Storming out of the office, Hiroki barely noticed the yelps from spooked students as ‘The Devil Kamijou’ strode down the hall on a mission.

“If that jerk won’t come home, then I’ll go to him,” he muttered. Less than five minutes later, he sat in a taxi stinking of cigarettes, heading to his boyfriend’s hospital. See if he’d be stuck waiting at home like some lovelorn farmer’s wife!

The second the car stopped moving, he slapped a handful of yen into the driver’s hand and hurried inside without bothering with the change. “It’s not like I’m interfering with his work,” he murmured to himself as he scanned the floor chart for the paediatric department. “It’ll just take a minute.” They could have their tête-à-tête later – he just had to see him, let him know that they needed to talk. Book a damn appointment, if he had to.

The lift would take too long – he went straight for the stairs. The hospital, while busy, remained eerily quiet – neither visitors nor patients raised their voices above a murmur, and the interns and nurses hurrying through their rounds seemed to have feet lined with felt. Hiroki found himself softening his own harsh stride in response, his fiery anger dampening in the reverent atmosphere and stark white hallways.

It allowed him to approach the nurses’ station calmly, and ask in a steady voice, “Is Nowaki Kusama available, please?”

“Kusama?” She ran a stubby finger down the patient register. “I’m sorry, I’ll need a moment to check. Are you sure he’s roomed on this floor?”

“Actually, he’s one of the interns.”

“Kusama?” One of the doctors passing the nurses’ station turned back - a blonde man about his age, with sharp eyes and a smile like a snake's. “Who are you?”

Hiroki eyeballed him, just daring him to tell him to go away. “His roommate.”

His smile stretched. “Really? I’m sorry, the way he talked I expected a girl. Ah, but I guess those kinds of relationships do exist… don’t worry about it, for me, it’s never mattered so much.”

Hiroki stared. “…Right. And you are?”

“I’m Tsumori.” He waited a beat – presumably for some sign of recognition, and seemed disappointed when none came. “If you’re looking for Nowaki, he’s not here. He had the morning shift – he left about, oh, two or three hours ago.”

That couldn’t be right. By the timestamp, that meant his partner sent that message just after leaving the hospital. If he had the whole afternoon off, why wouldn’t he come home?! “I-I see,” Hiroki stuttered, struggling to keep his composure. “There must have been a mistake. Excuse me.”

“Wait.” Tsumori tore a strip of paper from his notebook and sketched a quick map on it. “Since it seems urgent, here. He mentioned something about heading to this restaurant just down from the hospital – he goes there between shifts sometimes. You might be able to catch him there.”

Hiroki accepted the scribbled map with a murmured thanks and suspicious glance. He didn’t trust the doctor’s sly grin – he’d seen it too often on students who enjoyed pulling cruel pranks.

He wandered out of the hospital. The mid-afternoon sunlight looked pale and watery.

Indecision tore at him, but in the end, his curiosity and insecurity won out over his instinctive dislike of the doctor. With a hat pulled over his hair and his reading glasses resting on his nose – because his eyes were tired, he insisted to himself, not because he was spying - he followed the crude map, not certain what he expected to find, but dread curdling in his stomach all the same.

It led to a diner – one not altogether unlike the place he and Nowaki normally frequented, with wide windows and a hand-painted sign and private booths with wooden tables.

Hiroki didn’t see any of that. All he saw was his boyfriend sitting by the window, smiling at some green-eyed laughing college student.

The dread crept up his throat like an encroaching frost.

When they stood as one and twined their fingers together, it spread its icy grip to his heart.

And when in a secluded corner by the cashier, Nowaki brushed his lips fleetingly across the boy’s blushing face...

Hiroki turned, tugged his hat lower, and quietly walked away.


………………..


The sun still reigned high in the sky, but with the blinds drawn, the apartment was as dark and gloomy as a cave. The rattle of a key in the lock shattered the silence, and for one brief moment blinding light streamed through the open doorway.

“Who is he?”

Nowaki jerked at the voice. “Hiro-san? I thought you had work today.” He fumbled for the light switch as the door swung shut behind him.

It stung. Whether intentional or not, discovering that Nowaki only came to the apartment when he wasn’t there hurt. “I took the afternoon off. Who is he?”

Nowaki looked away, attention diverted to slipping off his shoes, as though it required all of his concentration. “Who are you talking about, Hiro-san?”

“You know who I’m talking about. I saw you.” When still no reply came forth, he added, “At that restaurant by the hospital.”

Tension, now. The shoes were slowly put to the side. “…How did you-?”

“That’s not important. Who is he?”

Nowaki still didn’t look up from the ground – like a dog who knew he’d done wrong and was about to be punished, but didn’t want to face it. “…Misaki Takahashi.”

“Right.” Misaki. He had a name, now. “Did you sleep with him?”

The silence that followed was telling. Nowaki never lied. He simply omitted information.

Hiroki was no stranger to jealousy. He’d spent years pining after Akihiko, resenting Takahiro’s blind ignorance to everything Hiroki so desperately craved. Yet the spike of pain and possessiveness lancing through him nearly stole his breath away.

Keep it together. You can get through this. “We need to talk.”

“You’re right.” Nowaki finally moved into the apartment proper, though didn’t sit down – maybe wanting the extra protection his height gave him. He made eye contact for the first time, and Hiroki was gratified to at least see guilt there. He’d started wondering if his idiot boyfriend even knew what he’d been doing was wrong.

The silence stretched, neither wanting to say the first word. As the offended party, Hiroki felt sure he shouldn’t have to go first, but when it became apparent Nowaki would outwait him to the grave, he crossed his arms and asked, “How did it happen?”

"I wasn't thinking," Nowaki confessed, shifting uncomfortably in place. “We met by chance, and got to talking, and then…” He shrugged helplessly. “One thing led to another. Like when-" He cut himself off.

The unspoken words hung in the air. Like when I met you.

Oh, he could picture it. He knew his partner well after seven years. He'd stumbled upon the kid somehow, been seized by the urge, and then pursued him without once thinking about the consequences.

Nowaki was forever kind and forgiving and generous. But Hiroki knew better than anyone that when it came to his feelings, his partner could be unintentionally selfish. He'd blurt out whatever he wanted with no regard for fragile feelings or time or place or propriety. He'd been so concerned about studying and becoming 'worthy' of him that for a whole year he'd never called or actually sent a letter, without once considering what the complete lack of contact might be doing to his long term partner. And he was impulsive to a ridiculous degree - how else to explain someone who suddenly packed up and went to study abroad after a single conversation, or who stole keys from people's locks, or dragged strangers along to a picnic after a chance meeting.

Yes, he could picture it very clearly.

“This is such a double-standard. You stood me up in the rain, and then nearly punched Professor Miyagi out when he tried to kiss me afterwards. What did I do to deserve this?” Was his voice shaking? His clenched his fists tighter, willing himself to hold steady.

“Nothing,” Nowaki said. “This isn’t Hiro-san’s fault.”

“Of course it’s not my fault!” It didn’t feel that way, though. Inside, he was left wondering. Was he not good enough anymore? Unsatisfying in bed? Too old and unattractive? Had he been neglecting him? Every insecurity he’d ever harboured about their relationship came rushing back tenfold.

“I’m sorry.”

Hiroki grit his teeth. “Why?” He choked on the word – he didn’t want to ask it, but he had to know.

Nowaki turned his gaze to the ground, holding his arm as he always did when he felt vulnerable or embarrassed. “Misaki-kun, he’s… He’s an orphan, like me. He has a brother, but… we have a lot in common. He works so hard not to be burden on anyone… and I want to relieve his burden, any way that I can.”

His worked his fingers, longing to throw something to vent his building frustration. “And you thought you could best do that by dating him? While you’re involved with another man?!”

"It's not fair to Hiro-san," Nowaki admitted softly.

"Damn right it's not fair!"

"...So that's why I'm leaving."

Hiroki froze.

That wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Nowaki was supposed to apologise, break it off with the other guy, then Hiroki would grumble and reluctantly forgive him and things would go back to the way they were, maybe even with some great make-up sex. That was the way it worked, every time they'd stumbled.

“I didn’t want to hurt you. But I can’t give up Misaki-kun either.” His face twisted, as though the very words caused him pain. "…I'm sorry."

He's bluffing.

He turned and headed for the door, picking up his usual overnight duffel bag on the way. "I'll be back later to get the rest of my things."

He's serious.

Pride rooted his feet to the floor. Denial made his tongue thick in his mouth.

Hiroki didn't move as the door shut softly behind him.

It really is over.



Next chapter


Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
qem_chibati
Sep. 26th, 2013 11:09 am (UTC)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Hiroki. Hiroki! D: D: D:

*wants to give him all the cuddles, all of them.*
sinnatious
Sep. 26th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
<3

I'm a little mean to Hiroki in this fic. He needs cuddles.
ladyazurith
Sep. 26th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
More! Hooray *giggles* Though poor things they all need a hug.
sinnatious
Sep. 27th, 2013 07:06 am (UTC)
\o/ It's a kinda angsty fic, as the summary may have warned you.
ladyazurith
Sep. 27th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
Yah, but the anime is full of angst too XD never did decide if it or Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi was worse. Besides nothing wrong with angst.
sinnatious
Sep. 29th, 2013 09:28 am (UTC)
True! Bring on the angst. :)
aelathehuntress
Sep. 29th, 2013 12:20 pm (UTC)
You're really good at suspense-building, both with action stories and fics like this.
sinnatious
Sep. 29th, 2013 02:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :) I'm happy you're reading~
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )