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A(r)mour, Chapter 6

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: Enter Shinobu. He's a slippery one to write, I actually wound up re-watching a lot of episodes of the anime to try to pin his character down. Was kind of surprised by how much his character morphed over time, which was only exacerbated by the fanon interpretation of him. Kind of reminds me of Fuji from Prince of Tennis that way.


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5


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Chapter 6
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Thump, thump, thump.

Immersed in research at his desk, Hiroki didn’t hear the knocking at the door until the frequency and insistency of it resembled a stampeding elephant. Grumbling, he pulled himself away from his cross-referencing, opened the door, and snapped, “What is it?”

It was a kid. One who looked younger than even his first year students… probably still in high school. He frowned. Was it an open day? Surely it was a little early in the year for that…

“I’m looking for Miyagi,” he said bluntly.

Hiroki barely contained his growl at the lack of respectful title – or any kind of manners, for that matter - but on second glance something about the kid’s facial features struck him as a bit familiar, so he grudgingly let it go. “He’s teaching a class right now. Are you a student?” He could always be a prodigy, or maybe just looked young for his age.

He shook his head, and didn’t elaborate any further.

Damn kids…

Whatever. Hiroki didn’t feel like dealing with it, and wanted to get back to his research before he lost his place. He glanced at the clock. “He should be back in about fifteen minutes, if you come back then.”

The teen stepped into the office. “I’ll wait here.”

“I didn’t say-” To hell with it. “You know what? I don’t care.” Hiroki was, for once, in a relatively good mood, even with the interruption. He’d slept well the night before, was having sex regularly, and had a breakthrough with his latest research earlier in the week. “You can read any book from those shelves to your right, but don’t touch any of the scrolls,” he warned, and headed back to his desk, mumbling about how rude the next generation were under his breath.

The boy settled himself on the couch, sitting with a rigidly formal posture that didn’t match his bluntness at all. He was quiet for a minute, Hiroki only vaguely aware of a pair of dark eyes drilling into the back of his head.

“Who are you?” the boy asked.

Didn’t the brat have any manners? “I’m the Associate Professor of Literature here.” He didn’t have any interest in sharing anything more than that. “Don’t bother me, I’m working.” His good mood was in serious danger of disappearing.

Thankfully, the brat kept quiet after that. Odd kid. Intense. But Hiroki was soon able to turn his full attention back to his work. This project was swiftly shaping up for a journal submission.

His peace didn’t last long, however. Fifteen minutes later on the dot, Miyagi swung into the office with a cheery smile. “My sweet honey, I’m baaaa- wait, Shinobu?”

So he knew the kid at least – maybe a family member. Hiroki hadn’t thought to ask, and felt guilty about it now.

“How are you?” Miyagi asked. “I thought you were... studying overseas or something? Foreign exchange?”

Shinobu stared at the Professor with an uncomfortable intensity that reminded Hiroki of a starving man arriving at a dinner table. “Australia.”

“Right, right.” Miyagi dropped his book bag and class notes on his desk. “So what brings you here?” There were meanings behind that emphasis Hiroki couldn’t quite grasp. He’d more or less given up on trying to concentrate for now, though for the sake of politeness pretended to still be absorbed in his work.

“I need to talk to you.”

Looking perturbed by now, Miyagi nodded. “Sure, sure. About anything in particular? Make yourself comfortable. Can I get your some water, or a coffee?”

Shinobu glared at Hiroki. “In private.”

Hiroki abandoned all pretence of not paying attention and glanced back with a frown.

He might have been reassured if Miyagi himself didn’t appear so confused. “…Okay. We can go to one of the campus cafés I guess.” He looked over at his colleague and shrugged. “I’ll see you later Hiroki?”

He nodded. Shinobu’s glare intensified. Then Miyagi was heading out the door and the brat couldn’t keep glaring if he wanted to catch up.

The door closed, and the office fell mercifully silent once more.

Hiroki scowled, and turned back to his research. For some reason, an awful sense of foreboding settled over him.

Worst of all, his good mood was gone, and his concentration now utterly broken.

………………….

Miyagi stared at the high school student sitting across from him in disbelief.

“Do you even know what you’re saying? I’m thirty-five, you know. Wait, I get it. This is some kind of prank.”

“You think I would fly all the way from Australia for a prank?

…That was frustratingly logical. And didn’t make the situation even slightly less awkward.

“Look, I’m sure it must have been stressful, in another country with food you don’t like where you don’t speak the language. You’re not thinking right.”

“I’ve felt this way since then.”

Right. That time they had the formal family meeting. Miyagi had honestly forgotten about it until Shinobu brought it up.

“It’s destiny,” Shinobu said. He kept staring at the table top, refusing to look up.

Miyagi felt a very strong headache coming on.

“So what do you want me to do about it, then?”

At last, he raised his head to meet his eyes. “Take responsibility.”

The headache grew swiftly sharper.

Miyagi sighed, and stubbed out what must have been his fifth cigarette that hour. He couldn't even use the excuse of not being interested in that gender - he'd fallen in with Hiroki easily enough. Actually, that was something. "Look, even if this weren’t absolutely ludicrous, I can’t do that. I'm in another relationship."

Shinobu’s eyes widened. “Already?”

“It’s only new, and the divorce was months ago,” Miyagi pointed out. “Risako’s got a new boyfriend too.”

Shinobu didn’t even seem to register the mention of his sister, his gaze narrowing in suspicion. “It’s him, isn’t it? That man back in your office.”

Kid was sharp when it suited him. Maybe his fault for throwing around pet names like free candy, in this instance. “It doesn’t matter who it is. It’s not any of your business.”

"But don’t you see? School was out. I heard you were divorced. And you even turned out to be... to be..."

The kid couldn't even say it. He skipped over the word, face beet red, and fixed Miyagi with a stubborn gaze. "Proof. Destiny."

Miyagi all but sagged in his chair. “That’s what you call destiny?” he mumbled.

Kids these days… he didn’t have a damn clue what they were thinking.

Shinobu’s grip tightened around his drink until his knuckles turned white. "I'm not giving up."

Miyagi shook his head, and slapped enough money for both of them on the table. “I’m done here.”

……………………..

Hiroki had almost forgotten about the brat who’d invaded their office. Miyagi had returned from the meeting looking unusually ruffled, but after hearing the boy was the Dean’s son, it made sense and so Hiroki didn’t pry further. It had been something related to Risako, no doubt, and being in the position of the new lover, he took care to tread lightly on the subject.

So he was utterly unprepared when he returned from his afternoon classes three days later to the sight of the sandy-haired brat sitting in his chair.

His first instinct was to toss the little miscreant out of the office and give him a solid ear thrashing for good measure. But the kid was the Dean’s son, and thus more importantly, Miyagi’s former brother-in-law, so he held himself back. “Can I help you?”

If his tone were a little bit acerbic, well, that couldn’t be helped.

The brat stared at him for a long moment. Hiroki waited impatiently, tapping his foot. Maybe the kid was brain damaged. Even his idiot freshmen students managed some form of answer when prompted. What was his name again? Shinobu?

“…You can’t have him.”

Hiroki paused. “Excuse me?”

“Miyagi,” the kid repeated. “You can’t have him.” The tone of his voice left no doubt as to what exactly he was referring to.

Miyagi had told this kid about their relationship? Was he stupid? Hiroki wasn’t exactly embarrassed about being gay, but he was discreet, and the last thing he wanted was his personal life becoming the favourite topic of the student body!

“Look, brat,” he said, dumping his bag on the office couch and carefully storing one of the old hardcovers he’d brought for the lecture, “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

“It is my business.” Shinobu narrowed his eyes. “My father is the Dean, you know.”

There was a layer of threat underneath that which made Hiroki’s blood boil even as his bones turned to ice.

“What does it interest you anyway? The Professor and your sister aren’t getting back together, no matter how much you beg.”

“That’s not what I want!” the kid burst out.

The vehemence in his response made Hiroki pause. And with it, came revelation.

“You’re joking,” he said flatly. “You and Miyagi?”

A faint tinge of red blossomed on the kid’s cheeks, but his gaze remained steady. “It’s destiny.”

“Don’t make me laugh. There’s no such thing.” Kids these days – where did they get this romantic bullshit from? “Doesn’t Miyagi get a say in this?”

“He’d agree, if it weren’t for you.” The kid had the nerve to sound confident of it.

“Are you even legal?” Hiroki pointed out viciously. “Give it up brat. Take it from me – an age difference that large will never work.”

“Age doesn’t matter when it’s true love.”

He really was one of those naïve romantics. He certainly didn’t look the type.

Hiroki shook his head, and started pulling that day’s assignments out of his satchel for marking. “You’ve got a lot to learn, kid.” Then he sat down on the couch and started organising the papers in front of him.

“Are you ignoring me?” Shinobu demanded.

“What’s it look like? I don’t have time to pander to the deluded fantasies of high schoolers.”

“I’m the Dean’s son!”

“Doesn’t mean you get any special privileges with me.” Hiroki slipped on his reading glasses and picked up the first sheet on the pile, determined to give the brat no notice whatsoever. Because honestly, the kid was getting privileges – anyone else would have had some form of stationery throw at them by now and a dressing down they wouldn’t soon forget.

“I’ll tell him about you.”

Hiroki paused, the threat from earlier coming back to mind. Slowly, he lowered the paper in his hands and narrowed his gaze. “What exactly are you suggesting?”

Shinobu folded his arms. “What’s more important to you? Miyagi, or your career?”

This brat wasn’t seriously trying blackmail him, was he? “You try and expose us, you know that will reflect worse on Miyagi than me,” Hiroki pointed out.

Shinobu didn’t smile, or sound smug. “I don’t have to. He doesn’t have to be involved.”

“Good luck proving I’m gay otherwise, idiot,” Hiroki sniped, essays now sitting completely forgotten on the coffee table. “And I’m not going to get fired for that anyway. Keep up with the times.” He didn’t know the Dean that well, but Miyagi had assured him when he first realised his colleague was gay that the University staff weren’t typically bothered by it. Especially not in the social sciences departments.

“All I have to do is say I have personal knowledge.” His dark eyes glittered. “Who would they believe? Me, or you?”

Hiroki froze at the implication.

He could deny it to hell and back, and it wouldn’t matter. Even if the brat didn’t go for broke, and claimed it was some sort of star-crossed love and totally consensual, Hiroki’s reputation would be dragged the mud. No matter how forward-thinking the Dean might be, he’d be kicked out of Mitsuhashi just to keep him away from his son. He didn’t have tenure yet. He would have to start the process elsewhere all over again, and the chances of getting into another Department nearly so good after being dismissed elsewhere? Non-existent. He would be forever condemned to some barely-accredited community college teaching remedial high school literature, without any hope of his journal submissions ever seeing publication.

“Of course,” Shinobu said, “If you give up on Miyagi, I won’t say anything.”

“Fraud and defamation are illegal, you know,” Hiroki said, but his voice was rough, and weak, and he hated it for betraying him. “You’ll get into far worse trouble than I will.”

“I won’t give up,” the kid said, and stood up from his chair. “Your determination cannot possibly match mine.”



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