It was obvious that they were all relieved to be home, though staying at Sakurai’s estate was a nice respite from the city. Karyu had come to terms with his grandfather’s death, his grief cried out. “Are you sure that’s all you want from the house, love?” Isshi loaded the last of the boxes into his car. “This is all that’s important to me, everything else can be donated.”
Isshi’s assistance had been invaluable; helping Karyu through all the paperwork and procedures that needed to be taken care of, before he could release the store to the new owners, who he had met the day before they returned to the city. A young couple with two young children, “We’ve always wanted to be part of a smaller community, and this was the perfect opportunity for us. Your grandfather was an extremely nice man, and we were pleased when he said that he would sell us the store. Please, let your mind be at ease, the store will remain open until we pass it to our children.”
Pulling into the driveway, a noticeable feeling of relief flooded the four men, “Now we can get back to our normal lives,” Isshi said to his boys, throwing Ruimaru into a fit of giggles, “My Angel, whatever are you laughing about?” Isshi scolded. “Sir, you said normal lives,” he giggled again, “our lives are anything but normal, Sir.” Isshi rolled his eyes, “You’re a cheeky little brat, you’re trying to goad me into some sort of punishment, aren’t you?” Isshi said.
Byou started to giggle, which led Karyu to hide his face in Byou’s back, stifling his laughter. “You boys…whatever shall I do with you?” Isshi chuckled, “let’s get everything into the house, I’m sure Emi would like to stretch her legs.” Karyu took the cat’s crate into the house, leaving Byou and Ruimaru to unload the car. “I will be in my study boys, let me know when you have finished.” Sitting at his desk, Isshi turned on his computer, ready to sort through emails.
Moving from in front of the window of the rented house across the street from Isshi’s home, Kimura picked up his phone, “They’ve just returned, no…but that’s not unusual, that fag rarely let’s those boys out of his sight…this will be difficult. If we could grab both boys at the same time, true we don’t know where he lives…yes, I will.”
Yuki cocked his head as he looked at Aoi, “Sorry… a little too soon for that. Would you like me to call someone…is Ayato home?” Aoi got up to leave, he had pressed his luck too far, “I didn’t say no, Yuu.” Yuki said. “So, you’ll go with me?” Yuki shrugged, “I think we need to talk a little first.”
Aoi groaned, “Are you sure? Can’t we just call everything good for today and go eat?” Yuki frowned and pointed at the couch, “Sit.” Aoi slumped his shoulders and hung his head, “Yes, sir.” He really didn’t want to do this, afraid of screwing up again.
“The last conversation we had, well the one before Ayato and my ass, you never finished your answer, what do you want from me?” Aoi shook his head, “And I’ll give you the same answer, what I want and what I deserve are two entirely different things.”
“Bullshit answer… you keep saying that and I’ll keep calling you out… tell me the truth, Yuu!” Aoi huffed, laying his head back on the couch, “Fine! I want …”, he stopped, “I want us… okay? I want to love you and care for you, but after what I’ve done, I don’t deserve any of it. I will be your friend and come when you call me, I’ll do anything for you, but I don’t deserve your love.” Leaning forward, Aoi dropped his head into his hands.
“I screwed up so badly, I understand how much you hate me. The shitty person I was, going after Pon, the shitty person I was dating you, I don’t deserve anything from you.”
“What do you deserve?”
“Maybe just friendship…I don’t even know.” Aoi looked up at Yuki, “Why do you even care?”
Yuki shrugged, “I guess because I hope to meet Shiroyama Yuu someday, people tell me he’s a nice guy, do you know him?”
Aoi grinned, “I’ve seen him around, he’s kind of been hanging out at my place a lot, but he’s super annoying.”
“You think I could get him to take me to dinner tonight?”
“Probably, but he’s pretty cheap…he’ll only go for ramen, but at a special place.” Looking at each other, both men started to laugh, “Well that was fun… ready to go?”
“Irasshai gentlemen, what can I make for you today?” Ojisan was pleased to see Aoi and Yuki, together again. The ramen maker’s flashes from the previous day had worried him, flashes of Yuki being held down and against his will. The fact that the young man was with Aoi, gave him hope for them both.
“Chashu pork and a beer please,” Yuki ordered. Aoi helped him into a chair, “I’ll have the same but with a cola, since I’m driving.” Ojisan nodded and turned to his kitchen. “What are you going to do now that Kita’s gone, look for a new therapist?” Aoi asked, though he was worried that something similar may happen again to Yuki.
“I’m not sure, I guess I should go back to see the doctor, maybe there’s exercises that I can do on my own.” The fear in Yuki’s mind had grown, what would he do now? Ojisan came towards the counter, “Two chashu pork,” setting the bowls down in front of the men. Looking first at Yuki, Ojisan frowned, “The man who was suppose to help you, he is gone now?” Yuki nodded; he didn’t even try to understand how Ojisan’s mind worked.
“Yes, he’s gone. Um, Aoi convinced him to leave.” Ojisan looked at Aoi, “The damage to your hand is not significant?” Aoi held up his hand, “Nothing I haven’t done before, Ojisan.” The ramen maker looked again at Yuki… the young man knew what was coming.
“This is the man who will help you walk again, please take his hand when he offers it.” Looking at Aoi next, Ojisan smiled, “Put aside your wants and desires for Yuki, help him as a friend and do not expect anything more.”
The stunned looks on Aoi and Yuki’s faces amused Ojisan, “I only tell you what I see, not what you want to hear.” With a light bow, the man walked back to his small kitchen. The two men ate the remainder of their meal in silence, both having emotions churning through their minds.
The drive back to Yuki’s flat was equally quiet, but once they were inside, Yuki had to say something, “So will you?”
“Will I what?”
“Help me walk,”
“If you haven’t already heard, I’m a guitarist, not a physical therapist.”
“How is that a cop out? I don’t know what to do to get you walking again, hell I might even make things worse if I tried.”
“But Ojisan said, you’re the one that’s going to help me walk again, are you going to bail out on him as well?”
“I don’t have the faintest idea what to do to help you walk again, maybe just cheer from the couch when you fall? Seriously!” Aoi said
“I could easily tell you what stretches and exercises Kita had me do… I can buy the equipment, it’s not like I don’t have the money.”
Now it was Aoi’s turn to call Yuki out; “Why are you forcing the issue? We haven’t even established that we’re friends, and now you want me to take over your physical therapy? Dude, talk about fucked up!”
Yuki looked down at his hands, “It’s not fucked up,” Aoi saw a tear fall, “Hey…look at me,” he said softly as he reached over and tipped Yuki’s chin up. “What’s wrong?”
Yuki shook his head, “Yu, look at me, tell me what’s wrong?” Aoi got off the couch and kneeled in front of Yuki’s chair.
“I’m scared. If you don’t help me…”
Yuki’s shaky voice broke Aoi’s heart, leaving him to do something drastic. Without saying a word, he locked the brakes on the wheelchair, then bent down and picked Yuki up, turning to sit on the couch with the man in his lap.
“Wha…what are you doing?” Yuki stammered.
“I’m going to guess you haven’t been held like this since Ken died, have you?” Yuki’s body relaxed, “No…”
They just sat there, Aoi’s arms cradling Yuki tenderly, Yuki relaxing enough to put his head on Aoi’s shoulder, “Is this okay?” he asked. Yuki nodded, “Mmm.” It felt like heaven, having Yuki in his arms again, kissing the young man on the forehead.
“I’ll help you walk again, I’m sorry I was being difficult, sometimes Aoi pokes his dumb ass opinion where it doesn’t belong,” Aoi whispered, “Shiroyama Yuu is pretty hard to get rid of, I just want you to know that now, and he’s stubborn…he’s going to make you work hard.” Yuki nodded, “Mmm.”
“Do you want me to go home?”
“No, not yet…is that okay?”
“Mmhmm, I’ll stay as long as you want me to.”
“Can we just stay like this for awhile?” He had to admit, being held by Aoi felt good.
“I’ll stay like this forever, if you want…but I don’t know about eating and using the bathroom…we might have to move eventually.” Aoi said.
“I might cut the circulation off in your legs, then we’d both be cripples,”
“You don’t weigh enough to do that, silly. You barely weigh anything at all.” Aoi rubbed Yuki’s back, “You can feel this, right?”
“Can you feel this too?” Aoi slid his hand down to just above the waist band of Yuki’s pants, “A little… don’t get too fresh Yuu, I just got rid of one pervert,” he teased.
Aoi sighed, “That would never happen, I’m not that person anymore. I respect you too much…I’ll never do anything to hurt you again.” Aoi kissed Yuki’s forehead again.
“Do you want to do a pinky promise? Shall I sing Wakaremichi to you?” Aoi started humming the song softly, slowly rocking Yuki in his arms. He felt Yuki sigh, then the unimaginable happened, Yuki reached up and caressed Aoi’s cheek, tipping his face towards his and kissed him softly.
One of the most difficult things Aoi had done up to that moment, was not taking advantage of Yuki’s kiss…he wasn’t Aoi at that moment, he was Shiroyama Yuu, a man in love that wanted nothing more than to protect the young man in his arms.
Ayato walked into the courtyard and saw the lights on in Yuki’s flat. Knocking softly, as he knew sometimes Yuki napped on the couch, the vision that greeted him was something he did not expect; Yuki in Aoi’s arms, both men wearing smiles and sleeping. “Looks like Yuu is finally back,” he whispered as he gently closed the door.
The three men sat on Taka and Sato’s large bed, for whatever reason it felt like the safest place to talk, Taka giving each of them a pillow to hold. “Thanks for agreeing to this Byou, I’m hoping this helps… all of us really.” Byou had told them why Isshi had taken them to Sakurai’s estate, “It was sad, but Jiji really just wanted Karyu to be happy…that’s why he sold the store without telling him…it’s still there and being run now by a young family.”
Byou hesitated before asking, “Sir said you’re having nightmares about um-what happened to us?”
“Yah, actually they’re pretty much the same dreams I’ve had in the past, that came up when um, I thought that I was uh…being thrown away.” Taka explained what had happened during that time after Morrie’s attacks, but stopping before he mentioned Sakurai, apologizing to Uta who waved off his friend’s concern.
“That was way before I knew him and he was an asshole back then, I remember how he chased you, how Kyo always wanted to beat Acchan to death. I wasn’t much better back then either, I mean seriously… Natsu’s abuse? Not to diminish yours and Byou’s at all, but I do understand how it feels to be abused by the one you trust the most to take care of you.” Uta then explained what had happened to him when he had been with Natsu, things which horrified Byou.
“I’ve had nightmares, but I don’t think they’re as bad as yours Taka. Mine are mostly about him just leaving me at that house and never contacting me again, I always worry that he might turn up at Vinyl Fetish and demand to take me back because we never formally canceled our contract.” That was Byou’s biggest fear.
“Isshi wouldn’t allow it to happen, neither would Ormond or even Acchan, as long as you’re with your Dominant or another, you’re safe.” Uta giggled, “I’ve heard about how good Isshi is in a fight, he’s punched Acchan twice! Once for touching Leda who he claimed he didn’t even know was collared.”
“Sir? Hit Sakurai-san?” This horrified Byou, “Isshi…my Isshi hit someone?” Uta nodded, “You saw how angry he was with that horrible man you were with…just think if Nakamura had tried to touch Karyu or Ruimaru?” Byou nodded, “I can’t even imagine that,” he looked at Uta, “would Sakurai-san gotten involved as well?” Uta chuckled, “Yes without a doubt, he would not have let anyone touch us.”
The three young men talked more about their shared abusive submissive lives, “I hope this helps your nightmares Taka,” Byou said shyly. Uta started to laugh, “Maybe you just need Sato to fuck you into the mattress every night so you’ll be too tired to dream!” Taka reached over and pushed Uta backwards on the bed.
Deciding on using their phones for support, Byou and Taka exchanged numbers, “I’ll make sure to speak with Isshi before we do any texting or calling, but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, not like I’m trying to steal you away from him.”
With a round of hugs and goodbyes at the door, Uta and Byou zipped off with tires squealing in his sports car, taking Byou home to Isshi. Taka looked at the black Mercedes parked in front of his neighbor’s house, “Must have visitors.”
“This will improve your day, I just saw Byou and Taka…with another boy, Sakurai Atsushi’s fake sub Uta, all in the same place. Uta showed up at Isshi’s in some vintage sports car and picked up Byou, no he wasn’t. I followed them to 3 Chome to a house. Not until they all came outside, Byou and Uta drove off. He looked at the car but obviously he couldn’t see me. That will be the bigger hurdle getting them all in the same room, Uta? Do you have some grudge against Sakurai? Oh, I didn’t realize, then Uta would be bonus entertainment, for our guests. I would suggest going with a professional for that part of the problem, if he see’s any of us, that blows the entire operation. Yes yes, I’m aware of that… if that’s the way you want to proceed, I will respect your wishes.”