te_chan01: (chibibaru)
[personal profile] te_chan01

"What do you mean you don't know where he lives?!"

"I mean, I don't know where he lives. Not exactly, anyway. The only one that knows is Maru, and he's been in a real bad mood." Ohkura said, sounding rather unhappy about that fact. Again, it wasn't Yoko that answered his own phone, but Ohkura, who said that it must have fallen out of Yoko's pants. When Subaru asked why Yoko was in his room, or what he was doing in there to make it fall out, Ohkura got quiet and changed the subject. Subaru had an idea of what happened. Ohkura must have been lonely, and it wasn't that unusual to see one of those two make a pass at each other, though everyone pretended they didn't notice, except for Maru. Subaru wondered if Maru knew what happened, or Hina, for that matter. But there were more important things to worry about. "I only know what town it is, but even that might not help. I don't know if it's a big town or not."

It didn't matter. He was already in the town. It was the second time he'd called, getting Ryo the first time, who was just about as much help as Ohkura was. If Yoko ever answered his phone himself, he'd have to tell him to stop misplacing it everywhere when he could be getting calls.

During the ride there, a text came through on his phone from Sakuya's, saying that leaving this time did no good. That, really, they were already legally married, having signed the papers and all. The whole ceremony wasn't necessary, but for tradition they would do it. Subaru knew the message wasn't written by Sakuya, because the ceremony was everything to her. She was too into the wedding dream that that was all that mattered. His mother detested texts, but she was smart enough to know he wouldn't answer if it was a call, and she knew that since the message was sent in two parts, he wouldn't be able to tell who it was from without opening it. He cursed himself for agreeing to sign those damned papers. He wouldn't have, if he knew what was going to happen later. It was too late to turn back, though.

It was pitch black out when he arrived at the last stop. Subaru guessed this town didn't believe in many street lights, which made things a thousand times harder. He didn't have an address, so the easiest way, he thought, would be to either find Shota running around outside, or be a creeper and try to look through windows as he passed them, hoping that Shota would be visible from one, or even be home. As he thought about what he was doing more, Subaru felt more and more like a stalker, but he really didn't care. But since it was night out, and getting pretty late, the chance of people being out and the chance that people would still have their curtains open or lights on was pretty slim to none. Which also meant he wouldn't have a place to stay for the night. He started kicking himself for not actually planning this out and just leaving like he had, without anything with him. Totally empty-handed, not even his own wallet to buy anything with. Hopefully that was obvious to others and he wouldn't get mugged in the middle of the night.

As he kept walking, Subaru noticed there wasn't a place still open. Not one place to hopefully get somewhere to stay that was indoors and not a park bench. There was a hotel, but he didn't have money to stay in one, and he doubted they would let someone like him crash in their lobby. There was a bar, and Subaru thought he was saved- if he had to, he could just claim he was drunk, hoping someone might take pity on him and bring him home with them. But that would be only if he absolutely had to. And, considering the bar was closed anyway, it wouldn't make a difference. He really didn't want to have to spend the night on a bench, but no more buses were running, and there wasn't anywhere else to go. As he looked for one that was out of the way of peoples view, he noticed another person that must've been in the same mess. He thought, at least he wouldn't be alone. But then, just as he was going to walk away, though the guys face was mostly buried into his arms to use as a sort of pillow, Subaru recognized him. Because when you wake up to the same person like that day after day, even if it had been a while, you know what they look like.

Subaru didn't know what to do. He knew it was Shota, and he was out cold. And when he went closer to shake him awake, the strong smell of alcohol hit him in the face. There was no way Subaru was going to get him awake, he knew that. He'd never seen Shota dead drunk before. And really, right now wasn't the best time to see it. Not when it was outside, when it was pitch black and Shota was in no position to tell Subaru where he lived to bring him home.

The corner of Shota's phone was sticking out of his pocket, and if he moved, it would probably fall out. Subaru took the phone, knowing it would be the only way he had to possibly getting Shota's address. He went through Shota's contacts, trying to find one that was for his home, but the only one he found was for the other house. There wasn't a number for his mother either. Stupid kid. He'd been there for quite a while and he didn't even put his own homes number in it?! Suddenly, Shota's ringtone started going off, almost scaring Subaru half to death, since until then there hadn't been one noise out there. The screen didn't show a name, just a number. He'd have to answer it, he reasoned. It could be some one Shota knew from around here. Or, it could be one of those recorded phone calls from someplace trying to sell something. He'd probably throw the damn thing against the wall if it was a recording. He answered the phone and held it up, only to get a high-pitched scream from the other end.

"Sh-Shota?! Where the hell are you?! You haven't been home all night! You said you'd be home by now!"

He didn't know what he should do now. He was relieved, knowing it was someone from Shota's house, but he didn't know what he should say to her. Would she even give a total stranger her address, even if it was to bring Shota back to her?

"Shota? Are you there?" The woman repeated several times, her voice getting more and more worried each time.

"Uh," He started to say, still not sure what to say. He tried to explain the situation, only for her to get the wrong idea and think Subaru attacked him or something and was holding him somewhere. It took a long while to convince her that's not what happened, that him and Shota were friends, even if that wasn't entirely true at the moment. It took even longer to convince her to give out her address, which between the misunderstand and the fact she had no way to prove that Subaru was someone she could trust, he understood. But he was getting tired and irritated. Finally, after enough convincing, she relented and told him where to go.

He hung the phone up and turned back to Shota to figure out how he was going to get him home. He tried shaking him up, and for a second Shota woke up and looked at him, only to fall right back asleep. Eventually, Subaru got Shota to his feet, but he wouldn't walk. After struggling for a while, he got Shota on his back, wishing he was taller so it would be easier. Shota was dead weight, making him heavier than he was. And he smelled so strongly like beer Subaru wondered it he might get drunk just off that. He hoped his house wasn't that far, or his legs'll give out before they get there.


Subaru watched the woman look cautiously out her window through a little slit in the curtains, taking a long look, then move to the door, looking out that window also, for a better view. She unlocked the door slowly. He really wish she'd just get a move on already. She opened the door and stepped aside to let them in. Even though he could tell she still didn't really trust him, she still helped trying to get Shota off his back, all while holding her breath from the smell.

The front door lead into a living room, and luckily there were a few couches close by where, if the two of them tried, they could get Shota to the closest one. There was no way they were going to try to bring him to his room, it being way in the back and all. His mother had gone and gotten a blanket to put over him. When she was finished, she let out a heavy sigh.

"I'm sorry for all the trouble he's caused you." She said. "But thank you for bringing him back home."

"It wasn't a problem." Subaru said, even though it sort of was.

"I'm also sorry for having to be so skeptical with you, and thinking you had done such things to him. But there aren't too many people around here I trust when it comes to him." She didn't say anything else about it, and didn't look like she was going to. And she didn't have to. She probably thought it would be better that no one else knew the details of what she meant. But Subaru already knew them anyway. She took a seat back on the other couch. "If you don't mind me asking, how do you know him, exactly?"

He didn't really feel like being questioned right now. He really just wanted to sleep. And he hoped, if he explained he had no where to stay, she might let him stay there. But he knew if he didn't give her answers, she wouldn't let him. "I lived with him." He said.

"You mean in the house with, what was it, seven others? No, six, then?" The woman relaxed a little more. "I see now. A long time ago, Shota would call here and tell me about the people he lived with. He sounded happy, and then I knew I could trust them. I'm so thankful there are people like you that would help him out. Oh- look at me, going on and on. It's very late, and if you'd like, you can stay here. We don't have a guest room, but we have another room with couches, if you wouldn't mind using those."

At this point, she could have offered Subaru the floor and he'd take it. Even though it hadn't been all that much time since he arrived in that town, it felt like it had been forever, between trying to find a place to stay, trying to convince this woman and having to carry Shota from the middle of town, he was beat. It wasn't until Subaru was given the space to use and sheets to make a bed and actually settled in that he started wondering about the next day, about how Shota might react to finding him in his own house. But there was no use worrying about it. He was already there, and he wasn't about to leave. He was eventually going to find Shota anyway, this just made it slightly easier. But getting Shota to talk to him could be a different story.


Shota woke up the next morning thanks to a pounding head ache. He didn't remember coming home last night, but then he didn't remember much about the other day anyway. On the table in front of the couch there was a cup of water and two pills, which he gratefully took. Then he stood up and made his way to the shower. About half way there, he remembered the dream he had. Well, it must have been a dream. And it was really dark. It wasn't much of a dream. It lasted maybe thirty seconds, and he wondered why he would remember something that small when he didn't remember the rest of the day. But all he remembered was that he was outside, and someone was standing over him. He couldn't tell who it was, it was too dark. But thinking about it sort of scared him.

When Shota finally cleaned up, he went to the kitchen, for food and the need to ask his mother when and how he got home the night before, because he couldn't figure out how he could have. But at his table, there was someone else there. He didn't remember being told there would be anyone over. He was about to ask who it was when the guy must've sensed he was being stared at and turned around in the chair. Before Shota could say anything, his mother noticed he was standing there and started talking instead.

"Oh, Shota! You're awake! You should be so grateful!" She said, scurrying around the table to where Shota was. "You're lucky you're friend found you out there last night! Who knows what could have happened to you if he hadn't brought you back home!"

Shota wasn't paying attention to her. He was staring straight at Subaru, something starting to burn inside of him. He didn't know what it was, but he didn't like it.

"Shota? Excuse me? Don't you think you should at least say thank you? That's no way to treat a guest, nonetheless someone that helped you last night!"

"Why're you here?" Shota blurted out, ignoring his mother. Anger started welling up inside of him. "Who said you could come here?! This is my town! My home! You don't have a right being here!"

"How can you say something like that?!" His mother said back to him, but she was ignored again.

"I thought I told you to leave me alone! Why do you keep showing up everywhere?! Are you just trying to make things harder for me?!"

Subaru couldn't say anything to him. He'd lost what he had planned to say, if he actually planned anything in the first place. But he knew it didn't matter, because Shota wasn't going to listen anyways. It was obvious, since he was totally ignoring what his mother was saying to him. But it didn't phase him.  He was used to Shota being angry with him by now. Eventually, Subaru hoped, he'd come to his senses like he normally did, and he'd be able to find out what he came all the way here for. But considering how Shota was lately, he didn't know what to expect from him.

"God," said Shota, kneeling down and holding his head. "No matter where I go I can't get away from you." He said in that position, no one else moving either, not sure what to do with him. After a few minutes, he jumped back to his feet and took off out the front door. Again, neither of the other two moved, knowing if they had followed, they'd just get lashed out at again.

"I am so sorry about him." Shota's mother apologized, turning back around. "I have no idea what's gotten into him. I wonder if the alcohol might still be affecting him? I don't remember him eating much before leaving yesterday." She leaned her head on her hands on the table, sighing loudly, like she was exasperated. " I don't know what to do about him anymore."


Shota didn't know what to do. He kept running through his town, dodging people on the streets until he got to the edge of the town where there was a walking path that lead into a forest park. Everyone knew about the path, but he remembered going off it with friends when he was little, making a small path of their own that no one else payed attention to. By now it was mostly all overgrown, but he still knew where it was, and it still brought him to the middle of the forest, where a small lake was. No one would be able to find him there.

Shota felt like his mind was a mess. He knew it was. He started to wonder if he was still messed up from the night before. Didn't anyone understand he just wants to be left alone for a little while? That  he just wants to get his mind back on track and all of his feeling in order? No one was letting him do that. He kept trying to get back in contact with Maru after their last phone call, knowing he was mad at him, but he won't answer. Then Shota kept getting texts from everyone telling him about it, like he didn't already know. And then someone just had to show up, the whole reason the other two things are happening.  Between trying to figure out how to get everything better between him and Maru and trying to explain things to everyone else, there hadn't been time to get himself in order. He still didn't know why he came, and at the moment, doesn't really care. He doesn't want him there. All Shota wants to do is get over him and move on, but he just keeps running into him everywhere, making him remember everything and have to start all over again trying to push it from his head. Because Shota knows it won't be any different than when Subaru had come back to the restaurant. He'd say something, get Shota's hopes up again, mix his feelings up, then just leave like it hadn't happened. It wouldn't end well, he knew that. Shota thought, maybe if he stayed in this spot long enough, Subaru would be gone when he got home.

It was already night, and Shota still hadn't come back. His mother had fallen asleep some time in the next room. Subaru started to wonder if waiting for him was a waste of time, if he should give up and just leave, but then he remembers he came there for a reason and, damn it, he wasn't going to leave until he got what he wanted. And Shota would have to come back home. Some time. But considering how late it was getting, he was starting to wonder whether he would that night. He wasn't sure he could handle another awkward day with Shota's mother. She tried to find anything to make conversation out of. And, like every good mother, ended up bringing out endless pictures of their entire family, but of course focusing on Shota, since it was the only person he knew.  He thought about taking some to use as blackmail later, but decided unless they got back on better terms with each other, he wouldn't be able to use them anyway.

It was probably about one, one-thirty when the front door opened and Shota looked in cautiously. His eyes landed on Subaru, but he didn't do anything like he had earlier. He just noticed him, took off his shoes, and went to the back of the house. It was almost expected. When they first met that was how he acted, so it was really no surprise Shota was acting that way. He expected  Shota to stay back there the whole night, but after changing clothes, he came back out, sitting on a chair from the dining room. He didn't say anything, just sat there staring at the floor, looking up at Subaru once in a while, like he was checking to see if he was either still awake or still there.

"I was doing some thinking." Shota finally said. "I didn't care before, but now I sort of wanted to know. Because people just don't go out of the way to come to a place like this. So why did you?"

"Why else would I come all the way out here?"answered Subaru, not wanting to have to explain and made Shota have to figure it out himself.

"I don't know. Because, I can't think of any reasons that would make sense. Except that, that you're just trying to make things more difficult for me."

It was irritating. Irritating that Shota would think that's the reason Subaru would come all that way for something like that. What the hell did Shota think of him then? That everything that had gone on between them was just a mind game or something?

Before he could say anything, Shota started talking again. "I know I over reacted too much earlier. Maybe over reaction is an understatement. But I've been trying so hard to get everything out of my head. And since that's not hard enough, you just show up here out of no where...I know that you're not going to stay. You'll have to go back, marry that girl, then I'll never see you again. I'd already come to terms with that. But now it's all messed up again. Why did you have to come here?"

"Because something was wrong with you." Subaru said plainly.

"I know that. I don't need you coming here to tell me that."

"Something was wrong with you and I needed to know what it was."

Shota rolled his eyes. "Because you didn't already know what it had to do with."

"You think you're the only one dealing with this shit?" Subaru snapped. Shota's attitude was pissing him off and he couldn't take it anymore. "Do you think it was easy to have to go along with all of this? Did you think I wanted to?! You think you're the only one with those issues here!?"

Shota wouldn't look at him. He got everything Subaru said, but it didn't help. If anything, it made Shota feel even worse for only thinking of himself this whole time. How, he wondered, was he supposed to know anything? How would he have known he was also having issues with it when he seemed just fine leaving both times? What was he supposed to think?

"I just," Shota started, not sure what he should say after being yelled at like that. He knew what he wanted to say, but something in him made him not want to say it anymore, remembering how the last time he said something similar, he got yelled at. He felt heat in his eyes and leaned against the table, covering his face.  "I just don't want you to leave again. Because you were the best thing to happen to me in a long time, and even if I tried to, I wouldn't be able to find someone that gave me the same feelings. I don't want you to go back and disappear from me. I know I'm being selfish, but I can't help it. I don't want to...I can't let this go. And, and you're here, wasn't asked to come, wasn't forced or anything, right? So you must at least feel a little the same, right?" Shota asked, turning his head and looking over at Subaru, like he was looking for conformation.

"You really are stupid, aren't you."

Shota stared at him. He couldn't believe what he just heard. He just basically poured his feelings out, and he gets called stupid? What part of what he said was the stupid part? Was he wrong about everything? Was there actually a motive for him coming here? "How can you say that?! I didn't say anything that was-"

"You're stupid!  I wouldn't go waste my time coming all the way out here- and probably risk my life because if that damn woman finds me again she'll kill me- if I didn't have any feelings left! Did you hear anything I just said? You want to  know why I came here? Because there was something wrong with you it was going to drive me crazy if I didn't find out why because you were treating me like I'd done something totally awful to you! And you're going to sit there and ask me if I feel even a little the same? Because it sure as hell looked like you could've cared less about anything like that this morning!"

Shota chewed on his bottom lip. He didn't say anything back. He knew he hadn't acted right, that  he was the wrong one here, but he couldn't control it. If he could've, he would've had more control of his feelings and wouldn't have done anything like that. But instead, his feelings just forced themselves out before he realized what he was going to do.

"I'm sorry." Shota finally said, because it was the only thing he could say. What else could he say? Explain? There wasn't anything else. He'd said everything he had to. Maybe, he started to think, there wasn't any way to save any of what they had before. Because the only thing they had done to each other, every time they saw each other, was yell and said or done things they shouldn't have. Maybe everything they had was over, and even if they did get back together, it probably wouldn't be the same. Probably strained. Something like that was the last thing Shota wanted between them.

"When I was waiting here today, I already decided." Subaru said, staring Shota down. Shota felt his stomach drop, scared of what he'd decided. That he was really going to end it? Because it was too much to deal with worrying about him that in order to get on with his new life, everything between them would have to be put to an end for good? That even though Subaru had said- or implied, Shota wasn't sure anymore, he could've misheard- that he still had feelings for him, he had to get rid of them, otherwise it would be too much of a bother to deal with? "I already decided that I'd do something about this. Something I should've done in the first place, back when all this shit started, when you told me I should."

Shota didn't understand what he was talking about."What something?" He couldn't remember what he told him to do.

"Telling that damn woman I'm not going along with this shit anymore." Subaru knew it sounded lame coming from him now, since it was something he knew he should have done in the first place, but didn't. If he was being totally honest, he doubted it highly that if he did tell her that, anything would change. But he couldn't tell Shota that, not now. Not after he saw Shota's face lighten up the way it did.

"You mean it?" Shots asked, showing a bit of disbelief. "You'll actually do it?"

"I said I would, right? So I'll do it."

Shota shifted in his seat a bit before standing over and making his way over to where Subaru was and sat next to him, facing his way. "You're not just going to go back there and leave me hanging here, right? You'll come back here, right?"

"I'm not as much of an ass as you keep making me out to be, you know? What kind of person do you think I am?"

Shota let out something that sounded like a cross between a laugh and a cry, shaking his head. Subaru took that moment to pull Shota close into him, closing any possible gap between them, pressing his lips against Shota's. He felt Shota grab onto the back of his shirt tightly, not about to let him go. And, this time, he wasn't going to. He swore to himself, no matter what, he was going to take care of this. Some how. He'd think of something, but right then, he didn't want to think of it. The moment right then, nothing between them but a passionate kiss, felt absolutely perfect, something that shouldn't be ruined. Later.


Subaru couldn't fall asleep. It was obvious Shota was having a hard time, too, because every so often he would move his hand to touch him, like he was making sure Subaru was still there, even though they were so close Shota may as well have been on top of him. The thought of having to go back home nagged at him. He'd have to tell Shota, tell him about how, right now, he was legally married. He didn't yet know how he was going to get out of it. He could hope, if he told that woman about him and Shota, she'd be disgusted enough to decide she doesn't want him to even be around her. Hope that she would find it embarrassing enough she wouldn't want to associate with him anymore. But, if she felt otherwise, that it didn't matter and he was still married anyway, as long as he didn't do anything in public about it, what could he do? And he knew that, even if he didn't return, they wouldn't ever really be able to get away from her. Because that damn woman had too many connections, too many resources, to be able to get away successfully. But he promised Shota he'd put an end to all of this. If he didn't go through with it, he didn't know what Shota would do.


"So, Come with me."

Shota wasn't so sure. He was fine staying in this house. Subaru could just go home, take care of things, and come back. Shota didn't want to go back to his town. Meeting his mother again wasn't what he wanted to do. She was intimidating,  and the way Shota thought, she would be even more so in her own territory. "I don't know..."

"You want this to happen, don't you?" Shota knew what this was- they'd been talking about it all morning. And yes, Shota wanted it. He never wanted anything more than he had now. But going with...

"What good will I do going there?"


Proof Would she really not believe him even if he didn't have any sort of proof? Well, Shota guesses, that's probably true. Because if Subaru is right, and she doesn't listen to anything she doesn't like, she'd need the proof, right? But Shota still didn't want to go. Couldn't he just bring a picture or something? Something other than his actual self? He felt a bit weird about this scared about her, but she had a lot of power and a lot of money. She could do anything to him if she wanted to.

"...It would be easier to do it with you there." Subaru admitted after a few moments. "If you don't come, I might give up."

Shota could tell he was being serious and not trying to guilt him into coming. If Shota really wanted him to be his, he'd have to go. "Then I sort of have no choice, do I?"


"I knew it!" Sakuya squealed, running toward the door, jumping into Subaru's arms, only after almost tripping over the step. "I knew you'd come back!"

"Yeah, well-"

"Oh!" She tilted to the side, noticing Shota standing behind him. "You brought someone!"

"Yeah, about that-"

She went forward and grabbed Shota's hand, shaking it fast. "It's really nice to meet you!" She turned back to Subaru. "This is unexpected! I never thought you'd bring someone home with you. Oh! This must be why you went out in the first place, right? If I'd known this was all you were going to do, it wouldn't have been such a big deal! You should have said something!"

If this woman would just shut up for five seconds, something might actually be said to her. And if she really knew what went on at Shota's, she probably wouldn't be so happy about it.

"So maybe you did grow up a little while you were here." Subaru's mother said, coming from the other room when she heard Sakuya. "But obviously not enough." Suddenly, when she noticed they had a guest, she changed her attitude and smiled. "Oh, well don't you look familiar. I know you. You live in that other town, don't you? You were our waiter. But I don't even know your name."

She motioned with her hand to have him follow her. She turned her back to the rest, walking toward the kitchen. "Come with me. I want to have a word with you."

Sakuya was surprised to see that he actually went willingly, even without saying anything. But Shota knew why. He knew he was going to say something to her, otherwise he wouldn't have gone. What exactly he was going to say, Shota didn't know. But it made him nervous.

A hand touched his. "Come on, I'll show you the guest room, and then, if you want we can talk a bit! It's been a while since I've met anyone new."


"I'm surprised." The woman said. "You actually came back on your own. And so soon! I expected you to be gone at least a week so you wouldn't have to go through the wedding. I guess you got my message, then?"

"Get them back." Subaru said. The woman faked ignorance.

"Get back what?"

"The damn papers. Get them back."

She tsked. "You think it's just that easy? Even so, do you honestly think I would do what you say?" She laughed, throwing her head back. "You're more stupid than i thought."

"You have money, Pay someone to tear them up."

"Even if I could do that, I wouldn't don't you understand anything? You were born into this family in order to take over this business. You have been raised to do so. What else could you even do? Nothing. You're useless otherwise. Completely useless." He'd heard this speech from her most of his life. Maybe most people would be put off or even depressed by a parent saying those things over and over, knowing they mean nothing else to them than a source of money, but it doesn't even phase him. If it does anything, it makes him even more pissed off and more eager to prove her wrong.

"Even beyond that," She continued. "You're endlessly complaining I'm forcing you into this marriage. I'll let you into something. Through this marriage, we have an agreement that the companies will combine. You know very well how big their company is, how it will benefit us in so many ways. But you just don't understand any of it. Not only do yo not see that it's for the good of our company and our lives, you refuse to see that if Sakuya, not you, wasn't forced into this- thank god she's stupid enough to see some sort of potential in you- there would be no one on Earth that would even want to think for a second of wanting to be with you, much less even put up with you. So be grateful for once in you're damn life!"

"You're wrong!" He yelled at her, jumping up from his chair. He was sick of always having to put up with her bull shit, thinking she knows everything.

Not even phased by his outburst, she said, "I'm wrong? What could I be wrong about?"

"You don't know shit about anything."

The woman thought for a minute, knowing exactly which part of what she said set him off. "What, do you mean I'm wrong in saying that no one would want you?" He didn't answer her, just stared her down, something she was equally as good at, if not better. She didn't need him to answer, anyway. "Then who is it? If I'm so wrong, then who's this poor girl? This girl that doesn't know she can do better?"

Subaru wasn't scared of her. She could do whatever she wanted to him. It wouldn't be any different than normal. He was worried about what she might do to Shota. But he didn't have a choice, not at this point. Gesturing toward the direction of the houses main room, he said, "Shota."

"Shota? She repeated, her tone sharp. She didn't believe it. She almost felt like laughing it off. But she did remember seeing the boy she just met before, vaguely. At that other house, in the restaurant. The first time she saw him, they'd been together. Nothing so odd about that. But when Subaru had left the room to get his things, the boy looked obviously upset, more so than he should have been. The other boy there wasn't, but she didn't think about it until now. If she really thought about it, though she hadn't been paying the closest attention, when she had visited their restaurant, he had looked at Subaru longer than he had the rest of them. Just small things, that unless something was brought up otherwise, wouldn't mean a thing, until now. She turned and pinched the bridge of her nose, like she was getting a headache. "Don't be stupid. Stop making up such lies."

"It's not a lie!"

The woman turned back quickly and slapped him full force. "Be it a lie or the truth, it doesn't matter. This discussion never happened. You never said a word, and I never heard a thing." She pulled him close by the collar. "Don't you dare say a word about it. Don't you dare do anything to mess this weekend up. I will not let you and whatever the hell is wrong with you mess this deal up for me."

She shoved him back and left the room in a storm, slamming the door hard behind her. Subaru knew it wouldn't have been that easy. Not only that, it was no use. There really wasn't anything that could be done about it, not if he didn't want anything bad to happen, to either or both of them. He doubted she would do anything to Shota while he was there, as long as Subaru kept his mouth shut about it.


"You know," Sakuya said, sitting on the bed, patting the seat next to her for Shota to sit down. Shota didn't exactly feel comfortable around this girl by himself. "This is the third time I've seen you, but we've never talked."

Shota sort of wanted to tell her it was actually the fourth, but decided there was no point in it. She wouldn't remember anyway.

"So, you're friends with Subaru? I'm sorry, but I was surprised to know that! I mean, I never knew he had any. We had gone to the same schools since before I can remember, and I never saw him hanging out with anyone. I always thought he was really lonely. Oh, but I guess I never really talked to him before all of this stuff started going on anyway, so I'm not much better than anyone else. So, I'm really happy to know he has friends."

"Yeah, everyone at the house...made good friends."

"That's right! You lived with him for a while, didn't you? Honestly, I don't even really know what it's like to live with him. That house, it must've been a lot bigger than it looked. Right? That boy we met said that there was eight of you staying there. How could you all fit in such a small looking house?"

"We all shared rooms."

"Really? I couldn't imagine living like that. Those rooms must've been big."

Shota started to wonder if she might pick up some hints if they kept talking about this. He didn't know if he should tell her about what really went on when Subaru lived there with them. But if he wasn't supposed to, and she just happened to figure it out on her own without Shota being forward about it, well that's not his fault.

"No. All the rooms only held one bed. I guess if the rest really wanted to they could fit another, but that would just make things tighter and there wouldn't be enough room for other things."

"You mean single beds?"

"No. The rest had double. Only I had a single. But until Subaru came, that didn't matter, I had it to myself."

"Oh, wow." She said, looking at Shota like he just said something amazing. "You're so lucky! He still won't let me get that close to him! Well, I guess he'd have to do it if he wanted to stay there."

"No, he didn't really have to stay in my room. For a while he stayed in the living room on the couch. And we had a basement, too." Shota left out the part that no one in their right mind would stay down there, though. "He wanted to stay with me."

"I can't see that." She said, getting slightly more serious than she was before. But if he kept watching, Shota could see it wasn't that she was becoming serious, but a little sad. He wondered what she was thinking about, right then. "I guess you two must've gotten pretty close with each other then, for him to be able to do that."

Shota felt his mouth go dry. He didn't know if he wanted to talk about it anymore. He'd been thinking of saying everything to her the whole time they were talking, but now that the talk of the kind of relationship it had been was brought up, he wasn't sure he wanted to tell her. He'd started to feel bad about the whole thing.

"Right?" She asked, leaning over to look at him. "You guys must have been."

"We...We were." He started feeling uneasy. He didn't like talking about things like this with other people. He didn't like others finding out. Finding out that certain thing about him. But he felt like he had to do it. Because if he didn't do it, Shota thought, none of this would ever end. "I liked him."

"I can tell." She said. It was obvious she didn't get what he meant. Shota knew she wouldn't. Because that's what happened in situations like these. He'd seen it a million times.

"Maybe I should've known better." he continued, not really caring if it connected to anything or not. He just started saying things, things he wasn't sure he wanted to say, things he didn't know if they would make sense to anyone else. "I couldn't help it, though. But it was a long time since someone...He helped me. Neither of us intended on it, in the beginning, I know that. I hated the idea. And he just wanted somewhere to stay. Neither of us intended on feelings getting in the way."

Sakuya stared at him. She was confused. But she sort of knew what Shota meant. She just wasn't sure if she was right or not. "I don't understand. It sounds like- like it was more than just a normal friendship."

Shota didn't say anything to her. He didn't nod or shake his head. He stared at the floor. He couldn't look at her.

She didn't need an answer. The answer was in the silence she got back. "When you said you liked him, you weren't just talking about it in the friendly way, were you?"

He shook his head.

"And you said, 'neither of us'...So he felt the same?"

After a second, he nodded.

Sakuya looked forward, to the floor. She held on to the fabric of her skirt, just to have something to hold on to. She didn't need to ask the next question she did. But she needed the clarification. "You two...You were together, dating, weren't you?"

Again, Shota just nodded. His throat had closed up. He didn't know what she'd say.

At first, Sakuya didn't say anything. She just sighed. It almost sounded relieved, if it also hadn't sounded shaky. "Oh. I get it." She laughed slightly. "It all makes sense now. Everything. Why he wouldn't even try to like me. Why he didn't want me near him that way. Why he didn't want this whole thing..." Her words dropped off, and Shota took a small sideways glance at her. He could see tiny wet circles forming on her skirt. "Wh-what should I do? I don't know what I should do..."


Shota had stayed with her until she got herself together. He had expected her to be angry with him. He expected her to do something,  but she didn't. She just cried. Honestly, now, he felt bad for telling her. Because she had been so happy and excited about everything. But he also felt a bit relieved. He didn't know what would happen, if it changed anything, but someone knew.

He left the room after she decided she'd go to bed, and headed to the room he was showed before that he could use. It was dark and late, most of the rest of the house was already asleep by then. When Shota opened his door, he saw Subaru was sitting on the floor on the other side of the bed. Shota had remembered hearing some arguing, even if it wasn't loud enough that he could hear what was being said. He walked around quietly and took the spot next to Subaru. He could see the red welt forming on his face. He wondered what all happened, but didn't ask. It didn't look like Subaru would talk about it anyway.

"...I told her." Shota said, looking at him carefully. He was sort of afraid Subaru would say forget it, there's no point, something like that. He didn't want to hear that now.

But Subaru just nodded. He didn't say anything, but that was okay. Shota didn't want to hear anything else. He pulled Subaru's arm up and put it around him, using his shoulder to lean on. He hoped things would work for them. He didn't know what he would do if things didn't. If things could just stay the way they were right now, at that moment, he'd be happy with that.

~*~ ~*~ *To the end~*
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