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A(r)mour, Chapter 9

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: Fic deadlines and cosplay deadlines always seem to dovetail. Two days left to finish costume! Argghglbargle.


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8


___________________

Chapter 9
___________________




Miyagi bowed deeply. “I’m sorry.”

Hiroki didn’t know what to do. Couldn’t fully comprehend what he was hearing. “I thought he went back to Australia!”

“…I stopped him at the airport.”

A mess of emotions tumbled through him, and Hiroki didn’t know which one to pick. Anger? But unlike Nowaki, Miyagi hadn’t actually done anything wrong yet – had been completely upfront and honest the moment his feelings changed. Disbelief, at how suddenly things had shifted? Betrayed? Used?

“He’s half your age,” Hiroki repeated numbly.

Miyagi winced. “I’m sorry,” he apologised again, but didn’t try to justify it.

It shouldn’t have struck so deeply. Truthfully, he should have seen this coming – maybe not with the brat specifically, but he’d had his reservations about this whole deal to begin with, hadn’t he? He’d been sure it wouldn’t last, not with a man who was reluctant to admit he was bisexual and was less than a year out of a failed marriage.

And yet, Miyagi had worn down his protests with his persistent cheerfulness, his respect for Hiroki’s burnt pride, and the endless array of comforts, both physical and mental, he provided.

His vision blurred, but he quickly blinked it clear.

Damn it. He got attached.

What could he do? He wasn't the type to beg someone to stay with him.

"I see. I'll get my things," he said flatly, and hurried off before his composure could break.

"Hiroki-" Miyagi followed after him.

"Forget it," he interrupted. “There’s nothing more to say.” He fished out his duffel bag from the closet and started tossing his clothes into it. He swept past the bathroom, snatching up his toothbrush and toiletries. Then the books he’d been reading that were resting on the nightstand, and the charger for his phone.

“It was never my intention for it to turn out like this,” Miyagi said, still shadowing his steps awkwardly.

Hiroki didn’t reply.

“Aren’t you going to get angry? Throw something? I deserve it, you know. It’s not healthy to just internalise everything. This is my fault.”

Hiroki swung the duffel bag over his shoulder. "If there's anything I've forgotten, just bring it to the office."

"Hiroki," Miyagi tried again. "If there's anything I can do..."

His reserve snapped. "Haven't you done enough?" he hissed.

Miyagi recoiled.

Hiroki swept past into the hall, and slapped the apartment key down onto the table. “I’m done. I’ll see you at work.”

“Hirok-”

“It’s Kamijou,” he corrected coldly, slipped on his shoes, and closed the front door behind him.

He walked the first two blocks, before half-heartedly flagging a cab – he didn’t care how expensive it was, he wasn’t up to the long walk back to his apartment this late at night, and there was no way he could stand the thought of the train right then.

He stared morosely out the window at the passing scenery, ignoring the cab driver’s initial attempts at a conversation, and routinely blinking away tears before they could fall.

It wasn't anything special. This kind of thing happened every day. That it happened to him twice in a matter of months... well, that just made him a fool, didn't it? He kept falling for idiots who chased after younger tail at the first opportunity.

He arrived back at his apartment. The building sat half-dark, with only a few lights peeking out under door edges and through curtains. Hiroki shoved some money at the driver, fetched his duffel bag from the back seat, and stomped up the stairs to his floor.

The apartment was cold and dark and musty – he’d only stopped back on occasion to collect the mail or pick up something he needed. He didn’t bother flipping a light on, just dropped his bag in the hallway and sunk to the floor, back pressed against a pile of books.

Here again. Back in this place, surrounded by memories of Nowaki.

His laugh came out choked. The brat got what he wanted in the end. He didn’t even need to destroy his career to do it.

Whatever. He didn't care anymore.

Hiroki was through. He was tired of being everyone's second best, of being cast aside and forgotten the minute someone else came along.


………………………


Monday morning found him at work early – he had no desire to linger in his apartment longer than necessary, and it wasn’t as though he’d slept much anyway. The thought of breakfast left him nauseated, so he chewed down a granola bar as he stalked the quiet, empty halls of the University. It might as well have been made of sawdust for all he tasted it.

He used the time to organise his lesson plans for the day and finish off some marking. Since class didn’t start until later, he returned to researching for his next journal submission.

Miyagi entered the office twenty minutes late, steps hesitant and bags under his eyes deep enough to rival his colleague’s. He stood in the doorway for one long moment, just staring, before finally venturing an uncertain, “Good morning.”

“Good morning,” Hiroki replied neutrally. “You’re late. You have class in ten minutes.”

“Right.” Miyagi looked unusually flustered, hurrying over to his desk and sorting through his notes and putting a cup in the coffee machine and very nearly spilling the lot. “Sorry. Ahaha, you know how it is, Monday mornings…”

Hiroki didn’t comment – just returned to his work.

“Hey, Hiro-Kamijou,” Miyagi corrected himself, “About everything that happened…”

“There’s nothing to discuss, Professor,” Hiroki cut him off in that same neutral tone of voice. “What you do in your personal life is no longer any of my business. As far as I’m concerned, it never happened.”

Miyagi looked at the ground. “Your armour’s become stronger.” He laughed, bitterly. “Did I do that?”

Hiroki didn’t reply.


………………


Miyagi didn’t bring it up again after that, though seemed relieved when Hiroki didn’t make any mention of his relationship with Shinobu to the Dean, even if it would have served them both right. At least the Professor didn’t greet him with hugs or flamboyant overtures anymore.

The atmosphere remained tense in the office, but it didn’t bother him. When he was busy working, he could block it out, and pretend nothing had happened and nothing had changed.

In this way, that awful Monday ended, an equally terrible Tuesday followed, and life slowly ground on. Hiroki did briefly consider if it would be better if he looked into changing jobs. The rank of Associate Professor at Mitsuhashi could get him into the Literature Department of a dozen of other Universities. He’d have to start earning his tenure all over again, but did he really want to stick around Mitsuhashi in the long term like this?

It didn’t matter though. Maybe Miyagi felt awkward, but Hiroki could care less how he felt. He had his brat. He could deal with it.

Of course, there were plenty of attempts to disrupt the fragile peace. Akihiko wandering by in his usual attempts to avoid his editor. The normal unruly students. His mother making her fortnightly call and asking all the typical intrusive questions at the worst possible time.

And of course, the brat who caused it all.

“Ah, Kamijou!” Miyagi exclaimed in surprise when he entered the office. “I didn’t think- um, this isn’t what it-”

It was almost certainly exactly what it looked like. Shinobu was sitting on Miyagi’s lap – sharing a bento, apparently. The teen watched Hiroki through half-lidded, satisfied eyes, and that more than anything else told him their position was no accident.

“I only returned to collect my notes,” Hiroki said blandly. “Don’t worry, I won’t be here long.”

The brat had come to affirm his claim, had he? As though he hadn't done so thoroughly already. What more did the little terrorist think he could take from him?

He wordlessly gathered his notes, and brushed past without giving them a second glance.

"Kamijou-"

"Excuse me. I have class," he replied coolly, and shut the door behind him.

It should have hurt. But Hiroki didn't feel anything at all.


………………………



The office was painfully silent under the soft click of the closing door.

It couldn’t have been louder if Kamijou had slammed it.

Shinobu stared at it, an odd mix of dissatisfaction and perplexity written across his features. “That was…”

Miyagi didn’t want to say it – didn’t want to weigh down their fragile, experimental relationship with the millstone of recriminations, but it needed to be said. He couldn’t entirely ignore the difference in their ages, and that meant he had some responsibility in Shinobu’s maturity.

“That was the price of this.” He jostled the boy off his lap to sit next to him on the office couch. “You see now? He’s not some evil tengu that vanishes just because you got your way. Our choices can hurt people, too.”

Shinobu scowled and returned to his bento without commenting. He looked troubled, though.

At least that meant Miyagi wouldn’t be alone with his guilt. He felt truly awful, watching his colleague close off so thoroughly to the world around him, watching him turn into an automaton going through the motions. He still threw things at students who didn’t pay attention, berated idiots, and spoke passionately about literature… but there was a hollowness to him now… an exhaustion that looked bone-deep, the sort of weariness Miyagi normally only saw on people three times his age.

It tore at him, but Miyagi had forfeited his right to intervene. All he could do was watch his colleague lock himself away, and hope someone else could snap him out of it before he buried himself too deep.

Who, he didn’t know though. Kamijou wasn’t exactly the social type. He got along with the rest of the faculty well enough, but during their short period of living together the only outside contact he’d received had been a single phone call from his mother. The only other person who seemed to count as a friend was that guy who came to borrow books and hang around their office occasionally. What was his name? Usami? They’d been introduced once, but the most Miyagi had to do with him since was the occasional offer of a cigarette.

Yet… for all his complaining, Kamijou did let him laze around the office. It was out of character for his prickly colleague.

His eyes brightened as he considered that.

Maybe there was one thing he could still do.



Next chapter


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyazurith
Nov. 11th, 2013 05:06 am (UTC)
I love some of the phrases you use and the ability to twist a knife. Sucks to hear you lost your job and hope the travel is entertaining! It's getting to be a crazy time of year.
sinnatious
Nov. 11th, 2013 12:55 pm (UTC)
It is a bit. So much left to do before the year's end, it's insane. Thank you for keeping up with this! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )