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A(r)mour, Chapter 12

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: Look at me! Updating a chapter from Singapore, even more or less on schedule! I'm pretty sure I won't be able to post a chapter next week though - not exactly sure when I will be able to actually, but check back in a fortnight-ish. It's written but dearly needs some editing done yet. In compensation, this is a nice long chapter. Honestly it probably needs more editing too but I'm tired and just about ready to be done with this story. Hope you like this chapter!


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11


___________________

Chapter 12
___________________



“And when will it be available?” Hiroki cradled the phone between his ear and shoulder, scribbling down details on the notepad. He paused. “Three weeks? No, sorry, I was just hoping for sooner-”

“Three weeks is fine,” Akihiko said over his shoulder.

Hiroki jumped, and the phone clattered to the ground. Cursing, he scrambled to pick it up, pegging his pen at Akihiko. The author merely tilted his head, and it sailed past harmlessly. “I’m sorry, yes, that’s…. okay, I’ll post the forms tomorrow. Thank you.” He hung up with a glare at his old friend. “Idiot! Now they’ll think I’m weird!”

Akihiko draped himself over Hiroki’s shoulders, their faces brushing as he leaned forward to inspect the papers scattered across the coffee table. “Are you in that much of a rush to leave?”

“I’m grateful for your hospitality, but I can’t stay here forever.”

“Why not? I already said you could. And I have room.”

Hiroki didn’t have an argument for that. Couldn’t explain what this was doing to him.

“Even if it’s fine, I don’t like living on someone’s charity,” he eventually muttered.

Akihiko shrugged. “If it bothers you so much, you can pay rent for here. Whatever you were going to pay for the new place.”

“I want to live closer to the university. And before you say it, no, I don’t need you chauffeuring me around.”

He needed out. Akihiko thought he was helping, thought that this was casual sex, playing house, a temporary escalation of their friendship in a time when they were both on the rebound.

What he’d done, though, was cut off Hiroki’s last escape route. He felt hemmed in. Claustrophobic.

It wasn’t that it was unpleasant. On the contrary, the sex was fantastic. Mind-blowing in fact, greater than what his adolescent fantasies had entertained even at their most vivid. A thousand times better than their first ill-advised one-night-stand. This time around, those tender words and gentle touches all bore his name.

That was the problem. Akihiko had handed him his every wish on a silver platter seven years too late, and then told him that he wasn’t allowed to eat.

Luckily, his friend let it drop, at least for now. Hiroki knew better than to expect the topic completely over. “If it’s that big a deal for you…” Akihiko’s fingers slid under his shirt collar - cool against the heat of his chest. “We should make the most of our remaining three weeks.”

His breath hitched, but he swallowed it down. “It’s the middle of the afternoon.”

Akihiko’s hands just drifted further, and started undoing the top button of his shirt. “Your point?”

Hiroki caught his arm. “Don’t you have a manuscript to be wri-” He cut himself off at the sound of keys in the front door.

Akihiko paused, tilting his head in contemplation. “Ah, that’ll be my editor.”

No sooner than the words were out of his mouth did a perky brunette wearing bright red lipstick and a pencil skirt sail into the room. “Akihiko-Sensei! Have you- oh, hello!” She stopped, blinking in confused surprise.

At Hiroki, in Akihiko’s embrace and the top two buttons of his shirt undone.

Hiroki wrenched away, hurriedly redoing his shirt. “I-idiot! If you knew your editor was coming over you…” He trailed off, face on fire. There was no way to end that sentence and retain any deniability.

“Aikawa’s fine,” Akihiko dismissed. “Aikawa, this is Hiroki. Hiroki, Aikawa.”

“Moron, what kind of half-assed introduction was that?” He nodded at Aikawa. “Hiroki Kamijou. Nice to meet you.”

“Oh, right! Eri Aikawa! Nice to meet you too!” She handed over a business card. Hiroki accepted it with a murmured apology for not having one of his own on hand. Marukawa Publishing. The more frivolous side of Akihiko’s work then, unless he’d left Onedera Publishing entirely. She held up a plastic bag. “I brought along some pastries if you’d like some as well. There should be enough for three.”

Since Akihiko wasn’t making any move to do so, it looked like it was up to him to play host. Honestly, for a man raised in the very highest end of town his old friend still didn’t have a grasp on even the most basic etiquette. “Ah, thank you, I’ll just make some tea.” Hiroki took the opportunity to escape to the kitchen.

That idiot. Hiroki was going to kill him. He rattled around the kitchen, only the reminder of their guest preventing him from slamming doors as he fetched cups and teapot.

As he shouldered his way back out into the living room, Aikawa prodded Akihiko. “Enough of that. Your manuscript, sensei?”

Akihiko sighed, and dropped his cigarettes and lighter on the coffee table. “It’s written. I had the printer running, it should be done by now. Wait here.”

Leaving Hiroki alone with Aikawa.

“Thank you, Kamijou. Oh no, let me pour it. You don’t have to wait on me, lately I’m the one who has to do this.” She all but snatched the teapot from his hands and started serving. “So, how did you and Usami-sensei meet?” There was a strangely starry glint to her eyes.

Hiroki folded his arms as he sat back on the couch awkwardly. An ingrained sense of propriety was all that kept him in his seat – after all, since when did he have to entertain Akihiko’s guests? “We were neighbours, growing up.”

She clasped her hands, her eyes practically sparkling now. “Childhood friends?”

“We met when we were about… ten, I think it was.” Hiroki took a bite of one of the glazed pastries, just for something to do. Sweeter than he normally liked, but it was light and fluffy and still oven-warm. “I’m only here temporarily though. I’m… between apartments at the moment.” Nice as she seemed, he was hardly going to divulge the pathetic tragedy of his personal life to a stranger.

She seemed disappointed at that, but said, “Well, I’m glad you’re here. It explains a lot.”

Hiroki paused mid-bite. “Hah?”

Aikawa picked up her teacup, staring into the liquid with a forlorn expression. “He’s been difficult lately. I mean, he’s never been very attentive to deadlines, but it never really mattered because he’s so prolific. But after… well, you probably already know. His writing just ground to a halt. I’ve seen him moody before, but this was…” She shivered.

Hiroki frowned. He seemed to recall Akihiko lounging around his office complaining about writer’s block a while ago… it had been that bad?

After a moment, though, Aikawa shook herself out of it. “It was unfortunate, and it wasn’t that I didn’t understand – I hadn’t seen it coming either. I’d almost written off this deadline, but at the last minute…” She flashed him a sly grin. “I guess he finally found a new muse.”

It took a moment for Aikawa’s meaning to register. Hiroki started sputtering, “I’m not, I couldn’t-”

“Hiroki has always been my muse,” Akihiko said from behind him. He jumped as the author dumped the heavy manuscript on the table, Aikawa yelping as she rushed to stop the teacups from spilling. “He was the first person to ever read my work.”

“Ahhh, is that true sensei?” Aikawa radiated an unnatural amount of delight for that tidbit of news. “That’s amazing!” She leaned over and grabbed Hiroki’s hands, fixing him with an intense stare. “Kamijou, I’m entrusting him to you. Don’t let me down!”

“It’s not- you’re mistaken- Akihiko!” Hiroki snapped.

The author in question just shrugged as he sat down and draped an arm across Hiroki’s shoulders. “But it is true.”

“Takahiro?” Hiroki pointed out. “That was your whole first published book right there.”

“A writer can have more than one muse. You’ve always given me a lot of ideas.”

Hiroki crossed his arms with a huff. “Don’t listen to this idiot. Writing is like breathing for him. He doesn’t get writer’s block, he just holds his breath until he can’t anymore.”

In some tiny, neglected corner of his heart, however, a tiny rose of warmth began to blossom.

The slightest of smiles graced Akihiko’s lips. “He’s right, in a way,” Akihiko admitted to Aikawa. “I suppose he knows me too well after all these years.”

Except its thorns dripped poison, and it was rooted so deeply in his pride Hiroki couldn’t pull it free.

“You’re so close,” Aikawa complimented them. “It makes me a little envious, honestly.”

This was going to kill him.

“I’ll leave you two to finish your work in private,” Hiroki said, standing and hurrying away from the living room before either of them could protest. He shut his bedroom door behind him, and pressed his back against it.

He was in too deep already.

“Three weeks,” he murmured. He only needed to hold it together three more weeks.

………………..

Three weeks was an eternity.

Hiroki couldn’t decide whether he dreaded its end, or if it couldn’t come fast enough.

His pen idled on the page, eyes unfocused, the words a blur. Four more days until his new apartment became available.

What happened then, he didn’t know. He doubted Akihiko would simply flip the switch on this weird friends-with-benefits thing they had going on. All Hiroki knew was that he desperately needed to catch his breath. He needed space. Distance, so he could harden his heart again and regain a sense of composure he hadn’t needed for seven years.

The office door slid open, jerking him from his reverie. “Kamijou? You’re still here? I didn’t think you had any classes left today.” Miyagi tilted his head, brow furrowed in contemplation. “And I thought you’d already finished your journal submission.”

“Getting ahead on marking,” he replied flatly. “The end of semester is coming up. And it’s still office hours, Professor.”

Miyagi glanced at his watch guiltily. “Oh, right. Right, of course. Ah, if I leave a little early, will you…?”

The Professor had been doing this more and more recently, leaving as soon as his classes were done for the day. Not neglecting his work, but taking it home with him instead of remaining at the office until after dark as he used to. Maybe because of the lingering air of awkwardness and tension in the office, but Hiroki suspected otherwise. After all, he’d caught a glimpse of that sandy-haired brat in the hall more than once. “You can’t expect me to cover for you forever, Professor.” At Miyagi’s hangdog expression, though, Hiroki sighed. “…Fine, I guess. It’s only half an hour.” The odds of any of the third or fourth year students coming by for consultation at this time of day were slim anyway.

“Ahhh, Kamijou, you’re the best~!” Miyagi sang. “Are you sure it’s no trouble, though? I don’t want to keep you here if you have something of your own to get to.”

“It’s fine,” he repeated.

Miyagi spent a moment gathering his things. “You’ve been working late a lot recently,” he remarked nonchalantly. “Even though we’re not busy at the moment. You should be taking advantage, you know. Quiet periods like these don’t come along often.”

Hiroki tensed. “I thought I told you not to meddle, Professor.”

He threw up his hands in a gesture of defence. “Not meddling, not meddling… just worried. Problems with your friend?”

His colleague was too damn nosy. “…It would be easier if there were,” he muttered under his breath.

It hadn’t been intended for Miyagi’s ears, but the Professor heard anyway. He paused as he picked up his bag. “You know, Kamijou… just because I wasn’t reliable… you haven’t given up on everyone else, have you?”

Hiroki closed his eyes. “Have a good evening, Professor.”

Miyagi left the office in silence.

No students came by – the lull between the issuing of assignments and their due dates. Hiroki’s pen scratched against paper in the silence, until the setting sun turned the office orange. Then even that light faded, and he abandoned his marking, and stared out the window.

Four days.

He gathered his things. Slung his bag over his shoulder.

His phone trilled. He fumbled for it. “Hello?”

Hiroki. Are you finished yet?”

His heart skipped a beat, and he cursed it for its weakness. “Bakahiko, what do you want?”

“I’m outside.

“You’re what?”

“You’ve been working late, so I came to pick you up.

“Idiot, without calling first? What if I weren’t finished?”

“Then I’d wait in your office. Do I need to find a parking space or not?”

Hiroki groaned. “No, I was just leaving anyway. I’ll be right there.” At least the campus was empty enough by now that Akihiko’s flashy car wouldn’t attract much attention. The ride he might appreciate, but the spectacle not so much.

He locked up the office and headed to the carpark, where sure enough a distinctive red sportscar idled on the kerb. Hiroki hopped in with a huff. “Bakahiko, what’s the big idea?”

“I wanted to see you,” was the simple reply. Akihiko reached up and ran a hand through his hair, Hiroki instinctively stilling under the gentle touch. “You haven’t been around much the past few days.”

“I’ve been busy, is all,” he muttered. His cheeks felt too warm. “Get going already.”

It was stupid. Every day he swore to himself that he would pull away, that he wouldn’t let it get to him, that this time when Akihiko asked he would make an excuse. That he wouldn’t let himself feel that blossoming warmth with every tender word, or that passionate heat with every charged touch. That he wouldn’t fall any deeper into his old feelings.

Every day he failed. The minute he laid eyes on his old friend, or his smooth baritone caught his ears, his resolve melted like an ice cube thrown into an iron forge.

He was an addict, and Akihiko was his drug. Even if he knew it was a false high, even if he knew it would destroy him in the end, he kept coming back for more. It was pathetic, really. Seven years, and he was still as hopeless as he’d been in college.

The drive back to the apartment went in comfortable silence – neither he nor Akihiko were naturally talkative, and they’d known each other long enough to not feel the pressure to make idle conversation. The minute they entered the penthouse, though, Akihiko’s hands were on his hips and his mouth on his throat.

“A-Akihiko!” Hiroki gasped. His tote bag slipped from his fingers, thudding onto the floor.

“You left without waking me this morning,” he murmured into the crook of his neck.

“Because I didn’t want to be late when you decided I was your personal teddy bear,” Hiroki managed to grit out, even as Akihiko’s hands wandered forward. “You’re an adult, you can wake up whenever you-hey!” He caught the author’s fingers as they started working the button of his pants. “You just picked me up from work because you were randy,” he accused.

“That wasn’t the only reason.” The amusement was clear in his voice.

Hiroki closed his eyes. “After dinner,” he said. “Otherwise we’ll wind up going to sleep without eating again.” And if Akihiko was a bear normally, that didn’t compare at all to the mornings when he woke up hungry.

His hands slid down, then dropped, and the author stepped away. “We’ll order in. It’ll be faster.”

That suited Hiroki fine. After all, any cooking had to be done by him – anything else invited disaster. But Akihiko would almost certainly get impatient and drape himself all over his shoulders and then Hiroki would get derailed and they would wind up eating charcoal stir-fry anyway. “Anything except pizza.”

“What do you take me for?” Akihiko waved a hand at him. “I’ll call, go take your shower.”

Hiroki retreated upstairs to the bathroom. As he stripped off and stepped under the fine spray his skin prickled with the thrill of anticipation, while his gut churned with quiet anxiety.

He was addicted, all right.

He stayed in until the steam fogged the mirror and flushed his face red. His mind was blank as he towelled off and shrugged into a fresh shirt and pants. Maybe a waste – especially if they were going to wind up rumpled on the floor of the bedroom in an hour.

“Bathroom’s free,” he called out, before heading downstairs and selecting one of his books from the shelves and settling onto the couch.

He couldn’t have made it more than a chapter before the entrance buzzer sounded. The food delivery. “That was fast,” he muttered, slipping a bookmark in place. He pressed the button that unlocked the front entrance and went scrounging for his wallet.

The sound of running water upstairs died off as Akihiko finished his shower. A moment later there was a tentative knock on the door. “Coming!” Hiroki called, finally locating his wallet wedged between the couch cushions.

Except when he swung open the front door, it wasn’t the food delivery at all. Instead, standing awkwardly in the entrance was an altogether too-familiar brown-haired green-eyed teenager, clutching the hem of his shirt so hard the fabric had begun to stretch.

“You-” The words died in Hiroki’s throat.

Misaki Takahashi.



Next chapter

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
makkaka
Nov. 27th, 2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
Ahahahahaha

Ahahaha

Haha

Only you

Only you ahaha- giving us a super-long chapter in exchange for missing the next week of updates-

But not hinting at all that it would end in the biggest cliffhanger of the series-

Ahaha

//curls up in a corner and rocks back and forth for two weeks-

//but oh wait I can't do that because guess what finals-

//D I E S . S L O W L Y

Yeah. Remember one of my comments on... I think it was a Beloved chapter? About cliffhangers and throwing ourselves off of cliffs?

ahahaha

(But getting past my hysterics, AFJDKLJLAAES;JWEOAIJGDALD HIROKI BBY JUST CAN'T CATCH A BREAK //HUGGLES POOR BBY)

(And like the title of the story. I just feel like it fits so well and it's so sad because like when you're in love you shouldn't have to protect yourself but when Hiroki's in love he feels like he has to be cautious and all and like AJAWELJGDKA POOR BBY IT'S OKAY SHHHH SHHHH)

//flees
sinnatious
Nov. 30th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
LOL. Um, I didn't actually think about that. Sorry? :D? (Seriously though you've been reading my stuff long enough to expect cliffhangers, right? Especially this close to the end of the story. :P) I'll do my best to get the next one out as soon as possible.

It's all really a ploy to entice you keep reading even with a posting delay.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 24th, 2015 02:42 pm (UTC)
Your writing is a masterpiece.
Never have I read any junjou fanfic better than this. Plus, really good english, too :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )