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I Loved Him First

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They stare at each other, completely oblivious to ever-chatting and wild guests around them, dancing and drinking all throughout the ballroom. He smiles, watching them be completely full of love and sincerity overtake them as they care about nothing but the other in that moment.

He feels sorrow pick at his heart, as if he's losing a part of him. The way the brunette of the pair laughs, lightly hitting the ravenette on the chest as they dance closely and ever so slowly unlike the rest around them. It's almost comical. Was it always like that for them? Completely ignoring everything else around and being unable but to love one each other?

It seems like that's they ever knew how to do. It was sweet. Perhaps, he's read too many of the shoujou manga the brunette edits. He would never let him know, but he secretly reads Ritsu's work, always being updated by Isaka. What a good friend he is to have, even if he is always money hungry.

The suit fits him well. Completely adorned and devoured by white from his shoulders to his feet. He looks so small and gentle, fragile even.

His hair seems stronger than before, his eyes shining brighter than they ever did with him, and the way he flushed brightly whenever he's near the ravenette only proves how much life runs through his veins when he's near him. He smiles. They're happy, he's happy.

Finally. He's been waiting for this day for a long time but he can't help but dread it, hating himself for ever yearning for it in the first place. He just takes another sip of champagne, glancing over at the empty white chair that had been reserved for his dearest wife who refused to accompany him to the wedding, even after months of careful pleading and promises. She was always ridiculously stubborn, carrying more about the character's image than her own son's happiness. How wilted she has grown over the years or has she always been that way? He's a bit too old to remember nowadays.

"Oof!" A girl with shining blonde hair accidentally bumped into his chair. He smiled down at her.

"Careful now. You don't want to hurt yourself." He smiles, looking at her. Beside her glowing complexion, her eyes are a beautiful shade of brown. They're practically beaming with joy. "What's your name?"

"I'm Hiyori Kirishima." She smiles. She looks to be in her teenage years, ever anxious as she fiddles with her thumbs and shy as her face flushes. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bump into you."

"I'd be more concerned if you had." He chuckles, shaking his head. "How do you know the happy couple?"

"Ah, work! Papa works here but in a different departments from Mr. Takano and Mr. Onodera. Oh, I guess he's Mr. Takano too, huh? But Yokozaawa-onii-chan is the best man of black-haired Mr. Takano!" She smiles, tapping her chin in wonder. "What about you, sir?"

"Ah, I'm the father of the happy groom. The brunette." He smiles, tipping his glass in Ritsu's direction.

"Oh, is it hard?" Hiyori asks, cocking her head to the side in curiousity. She reminds him of Ritsu and how he used to be so confused on why he had to take over the company. Ah, the memories.

"By what do you mean?" He asks, lifting his gaze from the bubbling cider.

"Giving him away? Or is that only for girls…" Hiyori mumbled, knitting her brow. She's a cute little girl. He remembers when Ritsu was a teenager. He was a stuttering mess the few times he managed to spend time with him despite his busy and overwhelming schedule.

"Even if it is," He tips the glass again, to his lips this time, and allows the cool, refreshing liquid to travel down his parched, tight throat. Ah, he really was weak. What a mess he was.

"Hiyori!" He hears a grumbling, frantic voice call over the young girl who snaps her head up.

"Onii-chan!" Hiyori smiles happily, flying from the seat where she had unknowingly occupied and rushed over to the man dressed in the fancy fitted navy blue suit with a solid matching tie. She rushed into his arms, hugging him happily, almost as if she was a mere toddler yearning for affection. It's cute. Children truly do deserve everything in the world. He wished he could have given Ritsu everything and beyond.

"I'm sorry Mr - "

"Don't worry about it. She was keeping me company actually." He laughs at Yokozawa's tense nature. It's sweet in its own way. "Thank you, Hiyori."

"Of course! Thank you for talking to me Mr. Onodera!" She smiled happily, taking Yokozawa's hand. "Did you find Papa?"

"Yeah, he was at the food bar. Go figures." Yokozawa rolled his eyes endearingly despite the annoyed tone he gave off. It reminded me of the way Ritsu spoke of Masamune and vice versa. "Let's go join him, yeah? I bet you're straving having to watch those two idiots be lovebirds."

"Not at all, they're so cute together!!" Hiyori happily concurred, only further ticking Yokozawa off.

"Those two are a bunch of morons. Don't go swaying on Ritsu's side now." Yokozawa shook his head, leading her elsewhere.

"Hey, Hiyori."

"Yeah?" She and Yokozawa stopped, looking back at the aging gray-haired man. He smiled onward, tipping his empty glass towards the dancefloor. Turning their gazes, they saw such a sweet sight.

Masamune was holding Ritsu's face so gently, wiping his crying flushed face. He was whispering something that continue to make Ritsu cling to him and before any of them knew it, for the second time that day, they joined lips. It wasn't rushed or pressured like their seal of marriage but almost private and made everyone's heart swell in the room.

"Yeah...maybe they are cute." Yokozawa muttered, unknown to the dreadful words falling his lips. He even smiled knowingly at the two who kissed softly and slowly, ignoring everyone around them as they always did. How could they not?

They were in love and they always would be.

"You asked me a question," He smiled at the teenager who had curious eyes that twinkled under the ballroom lit by a number of chandeliers.

"It's hard and it hurts so very much," He closed his eyes, feeling the tears swell up in his eyelids. When was the last time he cried? Oh, he can't remember. All he knew was his heart ached and he wanted nothing more to bawl right them and there. "But I'm so happy for them, for him. I'm sure your Papa and Onii-chan will feel the same in a decade or so, yeah? Because they love so much, they'd do anything to make you happy, even give you up."

A soft smile graced the young girl's lips and she looked as if she was going to cry at the notion. He looked at their joined hands and nodded, smiling even wider.

"Yeah, they will." She said, her voice shaky and hopeful for the future that's yet to come. "Thank you, sir. Does he know too, sir?"

He looked over at the blushing brunette who has his face buried in the black tuxedo of his new husband, probably whining and ranting about 'why did you do that, you idiot?! Everyone's looking!!' but he knew the truth. Ritsu loves both the little and big things Takano does, whether it's gestures, words, or actions and everything between. He smiled sadly, knowing Ritsu truly never knew of his desire to make him happy.

"No, I'm afraid he does not." He yearned for another glass of champagne. Was there a waiter around anywhere?

"You should tell him!" Hiyori said suddenly, surprising both older men. "He needs to know, doesn't he?"

"Ah, but there's no way I could, especially not now. I couldn't interrupt that." He chuckled humorlessly.

"Don't the fathers get a dance with their daughter or whatever? He's basically a bride so you're owed a dance, aren't you?" Yokozawa snorted, acting as if he couldn't care less. It was a smart tactic he knew all too well.

"Ah, but still - "

"Are you going to whine about and not do anything?" Yokozawa glares at him, stepping forward. "Look, I don't know your son that well and I really don't care to - "

"Rude one, you are." The elder chuckled.

"But I know he's stubborn as hell. It took him two years to even confess to that demon workaholic bastard and even more time for him to say yes to marriage because he was terrified out his mind to the point he came to me for help. That says a lot." Yokozawa continues to narrow his gaze at the wrinkled. "You weren't like his mother, you were accepting of all of this. You even offered to pay for the wedding and it's like this thanks to you. That shows but money isn't everything, especially to him, haven't you realized that yet? He would have been fine with no ceremony if you hadn't taken over."

"Perhaps you're right." He mutters.

"Perhaps?"

"You're right!" Mr. Onodera barks out a short laugh, shaking his head as he stands up. He continues to chuckle nonetheless as the hiliatry of the situaiton. "I can't believe the youth has to tell me to get my stuff together. This is so unwise of me."

"Whatever you say, sir." Yokozawa rolls his eyes.

"Oi, Yokozawa! What's taking so long? You aren't flirting with anyone, are you?" A man with matching glittering features as Hiyori wraps arms around Yokozawa's waist, sending pink rushing to his pale skin. Ah, this must be her father or 'Papa' she spoke of.

"Papa, this is Mr. Onodera! Onii-chan was giving him a lecture!!" Hiyori said with more glee than Yokozawa might have preferred by that expression that just screamed 'regret'.

"Oh~? Is that so~?" Kirishima chuckled.

Mr. Onodera smiled, giving them a simple wave. "I'm sorry but I think I'll take up your husband's advice? I bid you due."

"Husband?! Wait, no - sir!"

 

"Excuse me." He tries to keep his voice from cracking or shaking as he gently taps Takano's shoulder. The man himself looks like he's about snap someone's neck for interrupting him during such an important time before he sees it's his Father-In-Law. He smiles widely, trying to see calm as he can be when he's probably shaking in his overly-expensive suit.

"Dad?" Ritsu blinks, his hands still enclasped by Masamune's as they were just slow-dancing. His expression is perplexed, completely at odd as to what his father could want. How he wish he had never made it that way. If only he had been wiser and smarter, if only he had been home more, perhaps they'd be closer than they are now and would toss his arms around his father instead of walking eggshells around him like he is now. "What's wrong?"

"I believe I'm promised a dance with Ritsu, as the father of the bride, of course."

"Of course sir!" Masamune barks off his own round of laughter, handing Ritsu over to his father. He smiles happily at the trust he has in him. It's a sight for sore eyes. "The bride and father dance everyone!"

"M-masamune! H-hey, I'm not a bride!!" Ritsu's face basically is permanently red as everyone laughs around them, happily videorecording and photographing the moment. It's nice. "I can't believe this."

"I know it doesn't seem like it, Ritsu, but I love you." His old bones don't quite work as well as they used to but he manages to slow dance even after these years. He's proud of himself for that one. "I just... I thought you would be happier if I kept distance between us, if I wasn't at home as much."

Ritsu's eyes soften, a wash of understanding coming over him as he fits the puzzle pieces together. He shakes his head, smiling happily. "It's okay. I know you thought it was for the best. You even...you supported my decisions even though you didn't know why I wanted to attend school in the UK or that I didn't want to take over the company or that I wanted to marry Masamune."

"You married Masamune because you love him, of course. That's obvious to anyone in this room. The way you just light up with him by your side, who cannot realize it?"

"My mother."

"That's true!" He chuckled, smiling all the while. He's so glad to have a proper moment between him and his son.

He's losing a part of himself. He's losing his son.

He looks over Ritsu's shoulder, looking at Masamune who waits not far from them. Hw watches them, but not with anger or warning but with geuinue curiousity and a weird version of patience and understanding. Just like Ritsu in the last few years, he's grown a lot.

"I know I don't say it but I love you too, Dad." Ritsu stopped dancing, dragging his hands away from his father's, and hugged him. "You're still apart me. I love you. Thank you for all of this."

The tears welled up and he didn't try to fight it like all those other times when the pressure became too much and he was lost in the world. He let himself cry, holding onto his son preciously.

"Of course, you're worth everything, Ritsu. Never forget that." He gently kissed the top of his head, feeling the brown locks tickle his nose. "You'll have your man back in just a second, okay? I just want to say a few ones of thanks."

"That isn't nessecary - "

"Oh, but it is. Don't worry, I'll try not to embarrass you too much." He winked back at his son, gently squeezing his shoulder before making his way over to Takano Masamune.

"Sir?" Masamune blinked, confused at what the man was doing over here and why Ritsu was looking confused over their way. What just happened?

"I have a few things to say to you," The sentence made Masamune gulp, although the man had been supportive so far, you never really know someone sometimes. "When he was little, I was enough for him not too long ago. I was his number one, he told me so. He still means the entire world and beyond to me so be careful when you touch my little boy."

Masamune's eyes soften as the man before teared up before him once more like he had done with Ritsu previously. He really was just in a crying mood today, huh?

"Time changes everything, I know that too well, don't I? Life must go on and I'm not going to stand in your way, unlike my wife, but I loved him first. From the moment he took his first breath, I loved him and place in my heart will always be his. I held him first and vowed to protect him. When he first smiled at me, I really knew the love of a father right then and there and how it runs deep, Masamune." He choked on his sobs, not caring if the entire room was looking at him at this point. He could feel their stares on his back. "I prayed so hard, he'd find you one day, I didn't care if you were a girl or boy. I just wanted someone to love him unconditionally, no matter how many years pass. Even so, it's still hard to give him away, it hurts so much. I mean, how could that handsome, intelligent man beside you be my chubby-cheeked know-at-all? The one I stuffed with cake, read far many books too, and tried to give him the best covers money could conjure. It just doesn't seem real."

" Sir…"

"I knew the first time I saw you with him, the day he introduced you to us as his boyfriend, that it was only a matter of time until law would bind you together." He smiles at the fond distant memory from a couple years ago, how anxious and nervous that idiot kid had been about his boyfriend and how he had been in love with for ten years and that's why he fled to London, admitting how childish and dumb it sounded outloud. "When you are ready, you just might know what I'm going through when that miracle child smiles back up at you. Take care of my boy, please."

"I will, you don't even have to ask." Masamune says with such vigor that it eases Mr. Onodera's heart. He closed his eyes, peaceful at last, and smiles, making his aged cheeks ache at how abnormal it was to smile this much. He tugged on Masamune's dark sleeve and wrapped his arms around him.

"Thank you. Please, if you hurt him, make it up to him. Don't leave him, he needs you. He's alive with more, he has been in the past few years than the entirety he's been alive. I have faith in you, in your relationship. I need him to be happy. Please promise me, you'll protect and love him and always make him happy as much as you can?"

"Again," Masamune smiles. "You don't even have to ask."