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A(r)mour, Chapter 3

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: The minute I start posting a fic I suddenly want to work on any fic except the fic I'm posting, it's like some sort of weird avoidant writing syndrome. Luckily I've been writing a decent amount lately, which will hopefully make up for it!


Chapter 1
Chapter 2

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Chapter 3

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Seven years.

It was a long time for any relationship – seven years normally meant keeps. Hiroki wasn’t that idealistic, but honestly, he’d grown comfortable.

They had their problems, but after they finally moved in together things mostly settled. They didn't get to see each other as often as they liked, but he'd made a real effort to be more conscientious of his partner. He tried to listen more. To be more affectionate and accommodating. Nowaki tried his best too, calling regularly whenever he was away for more than a couple of days and remembering to leave notes when he was going out, instead of assuming Hiroki magically knew everything.

He never imagined Nowaki would choose some brat over him.

What was so great about this damn Misaki anyway?! He was nothing special in the looks department - short, kind of mousy-looking, utterly ordinary in every way! And sure, they were both orphans, and he was younger, but...

Hiroki slumped against the wall, fingers curling into fists.

He felt humiliated. Wretched. Pathetic.

He should never have followed that map. Living in ignorance, no matter how confusing and painful, was so much better than this.

“Maybe I was fooling myself,” he murmured into the empty room. “We were a bad match from the start.” Nowaki was so direct, and such a romantic - Hiroki might as well have been the complete opposite.

And yet... he still loved him.

Tears welled in his eyes, but he blinked them back furiously. The heart was a cruel organ indeed. Why couldn't it allow him to peaceably let go and move on? Why couldn't the logic so clear in his head reconcile with his emotions? He should be angry. His partner had been cheating on him, and compounded the insult by dumping him for the other guy! The right reaction would be to cuss up a storm, throw things, and bad mouth him to anyone who’d listen - not sit in his apartment and cry through the night with a broken heart!

He drew his knees to his chest, and sat there in the dark.

It was late. He should eat, but the larger part of him couldn’t fathom the idea of preparing something, or even picking up the phone to order in. He didn’t feel like eating anyway.

He should sleep – it was already past his usual time, and he had to be at the University by eight the next morning. But how was he supposed to go sleep in that bed now, knowing that Nowaki was gone from it forever? Knowing that not even a note would be there to greet him?

It was stupid. He’d done this before. For a whole year, in fact. He could do it again.

And he would do it again. He’d adjust.

Just not right now.


…………………..



Misaki felt sure that if his eyes widened any further, they might very well pop straight out of his head.

“You broke up with him?”

Misaki felt kind of bad about it. He'd never intended to break up a couple. He hadn't realised Nowaki had been cheating. In the end, though, he couldn't deny the well of warmth in his chest when he heard Nowaki chose him. And since he had, well, their relationship couldn't have been going that well anyway, could it?

“Yes… I’ve moved out and everything,” Nowaki admitted with a pained smile. “Sorry for not telling you sooner.”

“Well, you broke up with him, so I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.” Maybe he should have been more upset, but it was abstract to him, really. He slurped down another helping of noodles, before a thought occurred to him. "Where will you live?"

"…I actually have a house. I only put down the deposit recently, so it’s not quite ready yet, but since it’s closer to the hospital I’ve been sleeping there.” He paused, as though about to say more, but in the end just smiled. “It’s nothing special, really. There’s not much yard and it’s very small, but I wanted to try living in a proper house.”

A house! A real house! He knew medical types were well-off, but even interns?

“That’s really impressive!” The enthusiasm poured out in a jumble of words. “A house! At your age, all on your own! I mean, Usagi-san-” He cut himself off there, stabbed with guilt.

There was a confused look on his friend’s face at the name. Reluctantly, Misaki continued, “Ah. Well, you know, since you were so honest, I should be too. I’ve been kind of…” How did he explain his relationship with Akihiko, really? They slept together semi-regularly, but it was really more like Akihiko molesting him half the time. And they hadn’t really done the traditional dating routine, or properly discussed it, and he could never be sure when Akihiko was being serious or just threatening…

It seemed he didn’t need to explain, though. “Oh.” Nowaki had such a genuinely crestfallen, distressed expression. “I didn’t realise…”

In a panic – he couldn’t stand being responsible for such a face – Misaki said, “But, um, don’t worry about it! I’ll sort it all out, I promise. I just… have been trying to get the nerve…”

Not entirely true. He’d been sort of swept away by it all. Nowaki was so direct – like Akihiko in a lot of ways – it was hard to resist when they were together. He always felt guilty about it later, but Nowaki just… pulled him in. And Misaki, well, he’d never been very good at being assertive. Not when it counted.

Misaki didn’t have a lot of experience with relationships. Akihiko had been the first, and while he definitely cared about the man, he still struggled to understand his own feelings. He really didn’t know what he was doing, sometimes.

All the time, actually.

But… he did know that he liked Nowaki. And that he couldn’t bring himself to give him up. Nowaki… it felt like Nowaki really needed him. And he was smart, but he wasn’t some sort of freaky genius like Akihiko. Misaki never felt like a burden, or worried that he was imposing. It was just… fun.

This was what dating someone closer to his own age felt like.

He nodded to himself determinedly.

It was time to do what was right – to do what he should have done, back when his meetings with Nowaki first took a turn for the intimate. Akihiko would be angry, and Misaki felt guilty enough to be sick, but…

If Nowaki could do it, he could too. It was the right thing to do.



………………….



Miyagi whistled to himself, nodding with a friendly smile at some passing students on the way to his office. It was still early, but exams were coming up, so the campus was a hive of activity.

The door to the office stood partially ajar. Kamijou must have beaten him in, as usual. Beaming, the Professor grasped the door handle and swung it dramatically wide.

“Oh, my sweet honey-Whoa!”

Kamijou was there, alright. But… “You look like death,” Miyagi stated bluntly.

That earned him a red-eyed glare. “Thanks so much for your opinion, Professor,” was the acidic response. Miyagi winced at the sound – was it just him, or was his voice a little coarse, too? His clothes were rumpled and he wore dark bruises under his eyes, which offset the blood-shot effect nicely – if you were going for the cursed ghoul look.

“Seriously, did you sleep at all last night? That looks like one hell of a hangover. I’m a bit jealous, honestly. Ah, to be young again~”

“I wasn’t drinking.” The reply was short, and no further information volunteered. Miyagi eyed his assistant out of the corner of his eye, concern mounting.

“Maybe you should take the day off,” he said. Those kids who thought they’d been dealing with a devil before might find they’d barely made it past the first circle of hell. “If you’re sick, it’s only going to get worse if you push yourself.”

“I’m fine.” This time his voice was cold and level. Very bad. He snapped the folder he’d been perusing shut with an audible snap.

“What happened?” Miyagi asked, toning his own conduct down to match the mood.

“Nothing.”

“If this is noth-”

“None of your business,” Kamijou amended. He rummaged in his bag for a minute, and pulled out a compact. Makeup? The wisecrack tingled at the tip of Miyagi’s tongue, but two quick swipes of his thumb and the shadows under the associate professor’s eyes disappeared. If you didn’t look closely, you wouldn’t even notice – especially not when Kamijou settled his reading glasses on his nose a moment later.

When Kamijou saw him looking, he arched an eyebrow. “Do you have a problem?”

Left wrong-footed, Miyagi scrambled for a response. “You know, looking the part doesn’t actually make you okay.”

As he watched, though, he could see that familiar armour settling into place, like shutters closing for a storm. Even with all the chinks and the flaws, it was unsettling as always to observe. Maybe because he could see through it, and the glimpses he caught through the cracks were heart-breaking.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. And like I said, it’s none of your business, Professor.” With that frosty dismissal, Kamijou swept from the room, less of a fiery devil and more of a blizzard.

Miyagi frowned.

This was serious.


………………….



“Who is he?” Right then, the darkness surrounding Akihiko put even the Devil Kamijou to shame. “I’ll kill him.”

For one minute, Misaki was genuinely terrified Akihiko would do it – half expecting him to procure both a knife and Nowaki from the rift to do the deed right then. “You – you can’t!” he burst out. “I won’t tell you! If you’re going to be like this, I’ll hide from you, and you’ll never see me again!”

The threat was apparently alarming enough to rein Akihiko in, though Misaki couldn’t help but see his fists clench and unclench repeatedly, his eyes glazed as though busy envisioning wrapping his hands around Nowaki’s neck.

No, he definitely couldn’t tell him who it was. It was up to him to protect Nowaki. He’d made the decision when he went along with it all in the first place. Nowaki couldn’t be hurt because Misaki hadn’t thought things through!

Akihiko studied him, calculating. “What will your brother say?”

Misaki flinched. He’d been keeping secrets enough from his brother as it was. How disappointed would he be if Misaki went and shacked up with a stranger?

“Yeah, well… if you tell him, I’ll tell him about you.” The words tumbled out, and instantly, he wished he could take them back.

It was low. Misaki felt like he’d kicked himself in the gut for using that tactic, even if Akihiko swore he was totally over Takahiro.

Akihiko let out a growl, and grabbed him by the shoulders. Misaki gasped as he was pushed to the wall, and forceful lips claimed his mouth. “Mmmfph!”

Teeth scraped at his lower lip, a hot tongue plundered his mouth, and fingers dug painfully into his arms. “I won’t let anyone else have you,” Akihiko breathed, his deep baritone trembling against him, their bodies so close he could feel the quiver of every syllable. Misaki tried to push him away, but the novelist pinned his wrist with ease, his other hand sliding down his side, tightening to squeeze his hips, even as he plunged back into another kiss.

Misaki squeezed his eyes shut, feeling his body growing warm, relaxing at the familiar ministrations, the firm stokes of exploring hands and tongue and…

Nowaki.

“I can’t!” Misaki tore away, stumbling as he disentangled himself from Akihiko’s legs, and ran for the door. He scooped up his bags – already packed – in one hand, and threw his keys at a shocked Akihiko with the other. “I’m not one of your stuffed toys. You don’t own me! I made my decision!”

And before Akihiko could protest, or he could lose his nerve, Misaki ran for it.

For once in his life, he’d chosen selfishly.

He wasn’t sure if his heart was pounding from excitement, or fear.



…………………..



The incessant thumping on the door coincided nicely with Hiroki’s pounding headache. “I’m coming already,” he growled, folding up the newspaper and picking his way across the piles of books he’d been sorting. Landlord? No, he was paid up for rent. Probably a newspaper or magazine subscription salesman.

Instead, it was a familiar black-haired, blue-eyed medical intern.

“What do you want?” Hiroki didn’t even try to keep the sourness from his voice. He’d only had the misfortune of crossing paths with his ex-boyfriend once since they broke up, when he’d happened home around the same time Nowaki had been carting some boxes out. For the most part, the signs of Nowaki’s presence had been filtering away over the past two weeks, day by day, as clothes and toiletries and other personal knick knacks gradually disappeared.

Nowaki held up a key ring. “Your keys. I already sorted out the lease with the landlord.” He hesitated. “Can you manage the rent on your own?”

Doctors might be rich, but an associate professor at Mitsuhashi still earns more than a medical intern, idiot. I was renting this place on my own before you moved in.”

Nowaki just gave him a small shrug and even tinier smile, and dropped the keys into his outstretched palm. They felt heavy and cold and jagged against his over-sensitive skin.

“You could have just left them in the post box,” Hiroki grumbled. It would have been better, in fact, so he didn’t have to struggle to hide the sting of finality, the cutting of that final thread.

“I wanted to be sure you got it,” was the simple reply.

“Right.” Then, because civility was the best armour he could employ, muttered, “Thanks.” Anything to hurry this encounter to a faster conclusion. “If that’s all…”

Nowaki hesitated. “You don’t look well,” he said, hand reaching out almost in reflex. “Have you been eating and sleeping properly?”

Hiroki yanked back. His touch felt as though it burned, layer upon layer of memories blurring together to create an almost physical pain. “I’m fine,” he retorted. “And it’s not any of your business anyway.”

“…That’s not fair, Hiro-san. I was just worried.”

"That’s not your job anymore,” he said coldly. “As I was saying, if that’s all…”

Nowaki bowed his head. “…That’s all, Hiro-san. I’m sorry… for everything.”

You’re not forgiven.

Hiroki didn’t say that. He just closed the door, before his heart could get the better of him.

Begging and crying were unseemly, and fruitless, and stupid. No matter how much he might want to.



Next chapter

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 29th, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear. That was so good, and I just want to comfort all of them. Especially Hiroki because a seven year relationship being broken must hurt.

Anyway, your writing flows great as usual (I don't know how you write such a large quantity of high quality stuff. They say quality over quantity...but you've got both!) and I can't wait for the next chapter!
sinnatious
Sep. 29th, 2013 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you anon! :) Heh, that's very kind of you, though my quality is pretty subjective and my quantity actually not that great - I've just been writing long enough to have a decent backlog!
ladyazurith
Sep. 30th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)
So many tears, they shouldn't entertain me the way they do. Awesome as always!
sinnatious
Sep. 30th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
Heh, thank you~
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )