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A(r)mour, Chapter 14

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: Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has had/will have a fabulous day depending on your timezones. For Christmas I finished off longfic for you. Here is the final chapter of A(r)mour. It's honestly pretty sappy and could probably use more editing, but I hope those of you who have been reading like it and are satisfied. I'm hopefully going to move on to those Christmas giftfic now. Would be nice to get them posted before, oh, next Christmas.


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13


___________________

Chapter 14
___________________



Miyagi shooed them out the door with a promise that he would cover Hiroki’s classes and office hours that day ‘because he owed him some hours anyway’.

Hiroki went along in a sort of numb horror – because Akihiko had heard. Had heard every word of that pathetic, embarrassing pronouncement. His brain had shut down, incapable of repeating anything beyond the one horrible realisation that Akihiko knew.

The roaring in his ears was the sound of his last bridge about to burn behind him.

“Are you awake in there, Hiroki?”

They were in Akihiko’s flashy car, which he didn’t actually remember getting into, but the scenery flashing by the windows was startlingly familiar. The car rumbled amidst the traffic, the purr of the engine rising and falling with each traffic light.

“Hiroki?”

“Where are we going?” he managed, even though he already knew the answer.

“My place.”

It made a certain sort of sense. He needed to go back to Akihiko’s at some point anyway. All his things were still there. His books and marking and clothes.

“Where did you go last night?”

Hiroki bristled. “Maybe I went out, had a one-night stand. That’s what you keep recommending, right?”  The car swerved, and Hiroki grabbed for the dashboard. “Watch where you’re driving!”

Akihiko glared out of the corner of his eyes, and the darkness of the stare made him recoil. It was a poisonous expression he’d seen only rarely, and even then only reserved for the likes of Haruhiko, never him.

It lasted only a matter of moments, thankfully. “You’re lying,” Akihiko concluded, and turned back to the road.

Hiroki sputtered. “I’m- What would you know, anyway?” he declared hotly.

“Because if you were the sort of person to actually do that, we wouldn’t be here in the first place.”

There was no response he could make to that, no denial that wouldn’t ring hollow to their ears.

Hiroki turned to stare out the window instead of answering.

Akihiko’s knuckles were white on the steering wheel, but the author didn’t say another word until they were pulling into the apartment complex’s garage, the too-bright light of the midmorning sun abruptly eclipsed in grey, grimy shadows. The sports car pulled to a stop. With a twist of the key, the engine rumbled into silence, ticking loudly as it cooled, its echo muted through the car doors.

Neither moved. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Idiot,” Hiroki muttered. “You not finding out was the whole point.” He undid his seatbelt. “You don’t need to worry about it. I’ll just make myself scarce for a while. It’ll blow over.”

His hand had barely landed on the door when suddenly his seat was falling. Hiroki crashed back with a startled yelp, and then Akihiko was half-leaning over him, one hand pinning him down, lavender-blue eyes so dark they were almost violet.

“I think,” the author stated with exaggerated care, “that there have been some misunderstandings.”

“What is there to misunderstand?” Akihiko didn’t want to rub it in, did he? He couldn’t be that cruel – not intentionally.

“You seem to think that I don’t have any feelings for you.”

“You-” The word lodged in his throat, thick and heavy with disbelief.

“I love you.” Akihiko said the words so easily, like they didn’t just shatter what precious little coherency was left in Hiroki’s brain, like they didn’t upend his entire world and every truth within it. He could hate him, just a little, at that moment, for how he could do that without a care.

“But, Misaki-”

“Broke up with me months ago. He wasn’t here to get back together with me, Hiroki. If you’d stuck around instead of jumping to conclusions, you would already know that.”

“But…” Hiroki groped for the words he held so dear, words which had so cruelly deserted him. “You love him.”

There was no disguising the pain in Akihiko’s eyes. “…Yes.”

“And that’s why we can never work,” Hiroki explained, with a tiny, bitter grin he hoped proved a better mask than his friend’s. “Move, Bakahiko. I’m not having this conversation lying on my back in your car.”

Akihiko’s hand just pressed down harder. Hiroki could have dislodged it easily enough, but the intensity in his friend’s expression shackled him in place. “No. You’ll just run away again. And you’re deliberately misunderstanding me. I already said I wasn’t getting back together with him.”

Hiroki bristled. “Oh, so that makes it okay, does it? I already said it to Nowaki last night. No matter how I feel, I’m not going to be someone’s backup boyfriend.”

A growl of frustration built in Akihiko’s throat. “You’re being difficult. You know-” He cut himself off, pinching the bridge of his nose with his free hand. “Loving him doesn’t make you a backup, Hiroki.” He cut him an irritated glance. “It’s never that simple with exes. You know that. You still haven’t forgotten him, after all. Not even after your fling with the Professor.”

“I had.” Had gone for almost a whole day not thinking of Nowaki at one point, before the little terrorist of a brat had shown up and destroyed what precious stability he’d gathered. “It just got stirred up again, that’s all.” He forced a laugh, and hated himself for how his voice wobbled. “Maybe dating on the rebound doesn’t work after all.”

“It helped me get over Takahiro,” Akihiko offered.

Hiroki’s gaze slid to the side, his fingers tightening on the upholstery. And Nowaki helped me get over you. “You were never actually dating Takahiro, idiot.” It was vicious, even for him, but anything to make Akihiko back away, to not see, to not notice. To preserve that last fragile little scrap of pride left clinging to the flagpole of his ego.

He’d underestimated exactly how far his old friend had come, though. Akihiko simply shrugged the poisonous words off and said, “Sometimes, it can be hard to move on if you don’t have anything to move to.”

Hiroki couldn’t help the tears springing to his eyes at that. Something to move to? Why not him, when he’d been there all along? It might have spared him wasting seven years of his life on stupid Nowaki.

“Hiroki?”

“Ah!” Hurriedly, he wiped at his eyes and tried to rise. “Sorry, what am I- my eyes are just tired, I didn’t sleep well-”

“Hiroki.” Akihiko caught his hand. “Why won’t you believe me?”

He yanked his hand away, cradling it against his chest defensively. “Because you loved Takahiro for years, idiot, even when he was prancing around with that girlfriend of his and getting engaged. And the last thing I want is to lose out to yet another Takahashi!”

"Another...?"

Hiroki froze.

Akihiko leaned down until their noses were almost touching, grip suddenly so tight it was painful. “Hiroki… exactly how long have you felt that way?”

He was off balance. Too much had happened already. Nothing made sense anymore. There was nothing left to do but fully commit himself to the twisted nightmare so that it might finally be over. “Since forever, idiot. Since I was old enough to even know what love is.”

There. He’d said it. Finally.

Something wretched slithered across Akihiko’s face at those words. An expression Hiroki had never wanted to see. He braced himself for what would come, no longer caring. The last of his emotional reserves were spent. His oldest friend knew now. Everything. The last of his armour stripped away.

“That night when we were drunk…” Akihiko began. “Hearing another’s man’s name, in that situation…” His head dropped to Hiroki’s shoulder, voice muffled against his shirt. “That was when I knew. It tore me apart. And now, to realise that I did so much worse to you…”

“I-idiot,” Hiroki stammered. “It was my fault, not yours.” This was not the expected script.

“I might have spared us both a lot of trouble if I hadn’t been so blind back then.” He chuckled, and the sound shuddered against his chest. “Well. That explains a lot.” At last he raised his head. “But I don’t love Takahiro anymore. No more than a friend. You know that, don’t you?”

“Are you sure?” Hiroki croaked. “If Takahiro divorced his wife and came to you, would you say no? Do you know that?”

“I would. And I still love Misaki, but I would say no to him as well. And in time I won’t love Misaki anymore, either. And you’ll stop loving Nowaki, and it will just be us.”

They were sweet words. Everything he’d ever wanted. But… “Fine,” Hiroki murmured. ‘Okay then. If you’re sure.”

Akihiko drew back, considering. “You don’t believe it, do you? You don’t think this will last.”

The laugh tore from his throat like breaking glass. “It never lasts. It’s always some guy experimenting with his sexuality before settling down with a wife, or someone who just wants no-strings sex, or someone who’s just biding their time until they find some younger, more pliable thing to chase.” He turned his head to avoid those searching eyes. “Maybe it won’t be Takahiro or Misaki, but it’ll be someone else eventually. It always is.”

Akihiko’s grip tightened again, and Hiroki let out a hiss between his teeth, finally prying the arm off. Akihiko let him, gaze turned distant. “I should kill them for what they’ve done to you. Even if it brought us together.”

“Stop it with the overdramatic speeches already. You’re such a writer,” Hiroki huffed, though his cheeks coloured all the same. He cranked the seat back up. “Who talks like that, honestly.”

“I thought you liked my writing.” The quip was almost distracted, until the author turned his full attention upon him again. “I’ll prove you wrong, Hiroki. Even if it takes a lifetime.” He reached for his hand, and threaded their fingers together. “We’ve known each other for a long time. You know I don’t break my word.”

He was an idiot. A moron who couldn’t say no, who would condemn himself again and again and again to the same cursed fate. “Yeah, I do know you. A true romantic to the last. I already said yes, didn't I?”

Akihiko smiled, a genuine actual smile, at him, and leant in to steal a kiss. It lasted far too long and moved beyond chaste with stunning speed.

When they finally broke apart, Hiroki was pressed awkwardly against the car window with the door handle digging into his back. “We’re both too old to be doing this in the car, Bakahiko.” His words came out far breathier than he liked.

“Apartment,” Akihiko agreed immediately. They were out of the car and into the elevator in record time.

………………….

It wasn’t until they reached the threshold of the apartment that Hiroki realised something was still wrong. Specifically, the extra pair of sneakers sitting at the entrance.

“He’s still here?”

Akihiko gripped his hand, as though fearing he was about to bolt. “I chose you. What I had with Misaki is over. I won’t apologise for it. But I could hardly turf him out. He’s the younger brother of an old, dear friend, after all.”

That was… infuriatingly reasonable. But Hiroki was still far too off-kilter to be feeling reasonable.

“Usagi-san?” Their entrance had, apparently, been noted as Misaki tentatively wandered downstairs. He blinked and recoiled. “Ah, and Kamijou-sensei! You’re back!”

“I didn’t expect you to still be here,” Hiroki admittedly more sourly than intended. Akihiko’s hand tightened, although whether it was in censure or reassurance he couldn’t tell. He was genuinely curious though, so tried in a more neutral tone, “Haven’t made up with Nowaki yet?”

“I haven’t spoken to him,” Misaki admitted, face red, fists clenched, and eyes fixed firmly on the floor.

“What? I’m surprised that idiot isn’t banging down the door.”

Misaki cringed. “He probably doesn’t know where I am.”

It hadn’t occurred to him that Nowaki might not have realised that ‘Usagi-san’ was in fact, Akihiko.

That… actually helped. It was ludicrous, of course, but considering Hiroki hadn’t put together the pieces of the puzzle until standing face to face with them, it was entirely possible Nowaki remained oblivious. Likely in fact, if his confusion at Hiroki’s apparent prescience was anything to go by. But the knowledge that his former lover hadn’t knowingly shacked up with Akihiko’s latest infatuation made the whole affair more ridiculously tragic than maliciously painful.

The phone rang, shattering the awkward silence. “Ah, that might be Aikawa-san,” Misaki piped up. “She came by earlier, while you were still out.”

Hiroki could feel Akihiko staring at him from the corner of his eyes. “It can wait.”

“Idiot, go answer the damn phone. I’m not going anywhere,” Hiroki huffed, pulling his hand free and shoving the author towards the phone. “Or she’ll just keep calling back, you know that.” ‘And coming around at an inconvenient time’ went unspoken.

The promise of that was enough to send Akihiko dragging his feet towards the phone and disappearing with it into the kitchen. Leaving the two of them standing in the living room alone.

Misaki was glancing at him furtively, like a student who’d skipped class and was afraid to ask about the assignment. “Kamijou-sensei… how do you know Nowaki?”

“Ask him yourself.” The past two days had been filled with far too many heart-to-heart confrontations already without adding another to the list. “Brat, you know you can’t hide here forever.”

The kid shrank back - if he started crying, Hiroki would leave then and there, promises to Akihiko be damned. “I know," he whispered.

Hiroki sighed. “That’s not what I meant. Look, I know for a fact that he’s out there combing the streets worrying himself stupid looking for you. Go. Call him, whatever. Don’t drag it out.” ‘Like I would’ went hopefully unheard.

Misaki fidgeted, ducking his head. “I guess you’re right.” His cheeks were flushed. “…He’s really looking for me?”

Hiroki scoffed. “You thought he wouldn’t be?” Obviously he was surrounded by idiots.

He ruthlessly squashed the tiny voice that suggested they weren’t the only idiots in the room.

That same light had bloomed in those green eyes, though – the same light he’d seen in a familiar pair of blues the night before. Hope and resolve and stubbornness.

They would both be fine after all.

“Right. Right! Um, I think I should get going,” Misaki said, fumbling to collect what few things he’d brought with him. “Thanks, Kamijou-sensei. Ah, sorry about the inconvenience. If you could tell Usagi-san for me…”

“Yes, sure, fine,” Hiroki dismissed irritably. Infuriatingly, the kid beamed at him. Clearly he was losing his touch.

The kid slipped on his shoes. “A word of advice,” Hiroki added suddenly. Misaki paused, glancing back. “Medical types don’t have a lot of time. They work strange hours, and some days they won’t come home at all. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, no matter what plans you make, expect to spend them alone. If you can’t handle that… it’s not worth it. Save yourself the agony now and let go.”

The kid’s face lit up with an expression determined enough to shift boulders. “I won’t!”

Then he was gone, at last, the door slamming shut behind him. Hopefully for good.

“That was kind of you,” Akihiko murmured, arms winding around his waist.

Hiroki stiffened for a moment – a reflex that would probably take a while to beat down. “You heard that?” Then, belatedly, “Just looking after my own interests, that’s all.”

A huff of laughter brushed against his ear. “I dealt with Aikawa. She won’t be dropping by for the rest of today.”

It was a comment heavy with promise. And again, Hiroki couldn’t help but tense against it.

Akihiko must have felt it, but he didn’t comment, just stood there until eventually Hiroki relaxed against him once more.

Patient. Supportive. And far, far too understanding.

He’d seen that sort of devotion before. Having it directed at him, though? “This is going to take some adjustment, you realise,” Hiroki muttered.

“Whatever you need.”

Maybe it wouldn’t work out. The odds were against him. Maybe this time, it would break him for good.

Maybe this time, though…

“I keep my promises, Hiroki,” Akihiko murmured into his hair. “Until the day you don’t want me anymore.”

And that, more than anything else, was what made Hiroki want to believe him.

“Idiot,” he muttered. “A promise like that needs two people. Don’t go making it on your own.” He laced their fingers together and closed his eyes, and let himself hope. “I promise too.”









Thank you for reading!

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
madisuzy
Dec. 25th, 2013 04:14 pm (UTC)
So much love for this fic, and so very pleased to see Hiroki get such a lovely, happy ending. I have to admit, you've made me adore this pairing. Thanks for writing and sharing!
sinnatious
Dec. 26th, 2013 07:24 am (UTC)
Haha, after all that angst you've gotta have a happy ending, right? Thank you for reading~! <3 I'm so happy you stuck with it.
Nereida_Ventura
Dec. 26th, 2013 05:26 am (UTC)
Amazing!
I've actually read this fiction somewhere, maybe FF.net? I don't really remember. But it was a long time ago, at least for me. And I'm really happy that I stumbled here.

I was like: "I already saw this somewhere... Oh! Now I remember!" I stopped reading it though. It's too sad, to say the truth.

But I finished reading it through today, and one thing: It's perfect. Seriously. You captured Hiroki's emotions and turn them into words amazingly well!

(I'm not kidding when I say that this fiction is sad. I have a major headache now 'cause I spent the whole story crying.)
sinnatious
Dec. 26th, 2013 07:22 am (UTC)
Re: Amazing!
That's quite surprising, considering I only just finished this fic yesterday and I haven't posted it anywhere else. Perhaps someone else has tackled a similar premise before? No doubt I'm not the first author to run with this idea.

Thank you for reading though! I'm glad you liked it, even if it did make you sad. <3
(Anonymous)
Jan. 2nd, 2014 08:31 am (UTC)
I loved this story! I am so grateful you gave him a happy ending after all.
qem_chibati
Feb. 7th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC)
ahhh I'm a bit late to the finish, but I'm so glad to see that they worked it out! And Hiroki being pratical in uh, ensuring a lack of disruptions, is very endearing. XD
sinnatious
Feb. 8th, 2014 10:13 am (UTC)
Hey! Glad you finished it~ Thanks for reading as always!
(Anonymous)
Mar. 9th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
win !!
this was AMAZING !!!! spent the whole story bawling my eyes out - the characterisation and the words used to describe this is just wonderful ~ hiroki is pretty much the only reason I managed to get through junjou and THIS was better than the anime for me <3 ~ followed you from the tezryo fandom and somehow your writing just keeps improving !!
thank you so much for sharing !!!
sinnatious
Mar. 11th, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: win !!
Thanks so much! Wow and old fellow TezRyo fan, high-five!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 24th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
Dude, once again I should tell you, this is a masterpiece. Wonderfully written, carefully thought, and mind blowing. 100x better than the original.
(Anonymous)
Aug. 25th, 2016 12:40 pm (UTC)
omg
I know that this is written ages ago, but wow! I really really love this fic. It's prolly one of the best Hiroki-centric fic I've ever read!

I wish there will be an epilogue to this story, like the domestic life of Akihiko and Hiroki; how Nowaki reacts when he found out that "Usagi-san" is indeed Usami-sensei, etc..

Thank you again for sharing!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )