Upon awakening, Mika did three things in the following order: groaned, realized he had a throbbing headache, and hissed, “turn the fucking sun off, goddammit.”
His fingers were numbed and clumsy as he groped around the bed. The meat of his thumb brushed up against something solid. With little ceremony and less care, Mika grabbed the thing—a pillow, made sense, he was in bed, after all—and chucked it at the offending light source. The lame smack of fabric on glass managed to rouse him a bit further out of his groggy haze.
“Jesus…” he muttered. Mika rolled onto his back and viciously scrubbed the sleep crust out of his eyes. He glared at the sunbeams streaming in through the window—but then his migraine decided to rear its ugly head once again, blasting full force against his temples. Teeth grinding together at the ache, Mika blearily searched the nightstand for his phone.
It, like his recollections of the night before, was gone.
“Yuu-chaaaaan!” Mika hollered, his voice scratchy and wrong-sounding even to his own ears. A persistent pinching sensation clawed at his raw, raw throat. The call of his lover’s name bounced off the walls in an unimpressive echo, making the lack of response even more readily apparent.
Mika grimaced; where the hell was he? He tried again. “Yuu-chan, can you get me a painkiller?”
No answer—which was weird in and of itself. Mika may not have known why, exactly, he felt like he’d been run over by a freight train, but he did know that Yuu wouldn’t ditch him to deal with it by his lonesome.
The pieces started coming together when Mika threw his legs over the side of the bed, and his toe knocked over an empty beer bottle.
He stared down at the teetering glassware, drinking in the glittering jade hues and elegant curve of the neck. Huh—that was funny. The green of the bottle, sparkling in the morning sunlight, could almost be mistaken for his lover’s eyes—
—Mika bolted to the bathroom, just in time to vomit violently into the sink.
Memory after horrible memory slammed into Mika’s brain, rattling his skull to an awful rhythm. He remembered. He remembered leaving his phone on the kitchen counter last night. He remembered dragging himself into bed, leaving a mess of empty cans and bottles scattered around the apartment in his wake. He remembered stumbling into the closet and pulling out something precious: Yuu’s shirt, one of the last that still held his scent, the very one draped across his body right now, and he was probably soiling it with his stomach acid or whatever the fuck it was—
Mika retched again.
Shaky fingers hovered at the sink’s lever, nudging it upwards. Water gushed from the faucet. Mika trembled uncontrollably as he cupped his hands under the spray, splashing some water across his face. The chill jerked him out of his groggy muddle, tossing him face-first into a brutal, crude, lonely reality.
So much for staying sober.
“Shinoa’s gonna kill me,” Mika mumbled. He didn’t know who he was talking to—hopefully not himself. He wasn’t quite sure he was ready to hit that level of pathetic yet.
Sloshing some water at the outer portions of the sink’s bowl, Mika watched the remaining pasty, yellow flecks of his vomit swirl down the drain. He couldn’t be bothered to dry his sopping wet hands before he reached up, swung the mirror open, and plucked a bottle of aspirin off the top shelf.
Mika still remembered why Yuu had elected to put it so high in the first place: he’d been watching those parenting videos online again. Yuu marched into the bathroom and set to moving all their pills and prescriptions. He hardly even glanced back at Mika as he declared that such things were necessary precautions for parents looking to have small children, and Mika’s imagination could supply the wistful grin that must have been dancing on his lips—
Mika tipped the bottle into his palm and swallowed three tablets, dry. They slashing long lines of fire down the inside of his throat. Ignoring it, he put the medicine away and turned to face the music.
The living room was worse than he’d imagined.
Mika stopped at a distance and scanned the damage. He didn’t seem to have broken any furniture, this time, at the very least. Several empty cans brandished giant dents in their aluminum, others crumpled to flattened disks. Glittering amber shards, a former bottle, laid in kaleidoscope designs across the coffee table. Mika could guess why that had happened: A photo album rested innocuously on the armrest of an adjacent sofa. It was open. Mika didn’t have to see it to know which page it was flipped to.
His drunken self had a penchant for crying over their first date at the spring fair, after all.
A quiet sigh rang loud like damnation in the apartment. Mika veered around the mess on his toes, careful as he could with hangover still knocking on his skull and alcohol still clinging to his breath.
Finally, he fumbled his way safely into the kitchen. Mika exhaled noisily in relief as his fingers closed down around his phone, thumb automatically going through the motions of unlocking and checking his notifications—when he stopped short.
“Oh, hell no,” he whispered hoarsely. The couch was too far and surrounded by a minefield of shattered glass, so Mika slid to the floor instead, the icy tile biting into his skin through thin sweatpants. Cabinet handles dug into his back as he settled, head thunking dully against wood, to read.
Mika: im lonely :(((((
Mika: where r u
Mika: i need cuddles
Mika: why arent u home?
Mika: did u go out w the squad again?
Mika: u go out with them all the time
Mika: pay attention to ur husband
Mika: who loves u and misses u
Mika: yuu chan?
Okay, so maybe he had hit rock bottom of pathetic and pitiful a while ago. Mika curled into a ball, wrapping his left arm tightly around his legs. His right held the phone out for him to read. Mika ground his chin hard into his knees, sending sparks of pain shooting up his nerves, as if to punish himself for behaving so stupidly.
He shouldn’t scroll. Mika knew it, knew it down to his bones and knew it well, but his thumb moved anyway, sweeping past the slew of embarrassing, intoxicated texts he’d spammed to his lover. A flash of familiar phrasing caught his eye, and he stopped.
Yuu-chan♡: Be home in ten! Love you!
Sent over six months ago.
Then, his phone flickered and died.
“I’m gonna fucking kill myself,” Mika muttered darkly. The urge to hurl his dumb phone across the kitchen itched in his fingertips, but he resisted, slowly lowering the device to his side. It felt as if someone had punched his lungs out, left them useless and shrivelled in his ribcage like prisoners behind bars.
This was hardly the first time he’d said something ridiculous while drunk. Drunk Mika always seemed to find the stupidest ideas scraping at the bottom of a bottle.
If only drunk Mika would stop forgetting that Yuu was killed in a car crash months ago.
His migraine had yet to wane. Mika’s breathing quickened, shuddering with rage and despair and something else, something sour, something— lost. Yuu’s sudden death had clipped a gaping hole right through his heart, mutilating it beyond repair, beyond saving. They’d been expecting to adopt a fucking child, and god, as much as Mika wanted it with his whole being, how was he supposed to care for any human being like this? Drinking his woes away on a nightly basis, texting his dead husband like it was supposed to bring him back—
Mika pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes and sobbed. Bright stars popped and exploded beneath his eyelids from the pressure. The tears spilled over all the same.
He reached for his phone, jagged, misshapen nails scrabbling over the power button, but the screen refused to shine. Mika didn’t need it, anyway; he couldn’t possibly hope to erase Yuu’s last words from where they were carved into the back of his skull.
Be home in ten! Love you!
“You lied,” croaked Mika, his eyes burning with bright fury. Not one bit of it was for Yuu, however—no, this rage was directed entirely towards himself. “You bastard, your last words to me and they’re a fucking lie.”
He had a phone to charge and a living room to clean. But in that moment, all Mika could bring himself to do was hold himself together and cry.