bitetoall136: (Reikaiiii)
[personal profile] bitetoall136
Title: Unseen Solitaire
Chapter: 8/10
Author: [livejournal.com profile] bite_to_all136
Genre: AU, Romance, Fluff, Slice of Life, Comedy, Angst, Drama
Warnings: mxm relationships, inappropriate language, mental instability
Rating: NC-17 (overall)
Pairings/Characters: Reita/Kai, Reita/Ruki, Uruha/OC, hinted Aoi/Hitsugi & Aoi/Ruki
Summary: Reita is an electrician who lives the life of a bachelor; not caring at all to settle down and put himself in a serious relationship. Will the enigmatic Kai be the one to change his bachelor ways?
Notes:A fill for the 'busted heater in the heart of winter ' square on [livejournal.com profile] krasivayadusha's angst/fluff bingo card. :P

Previous Chapters: (Chapter 1)(Chapter 2)(Chapter 3)(Chapter 4)(Chapter 5)(Chapter 6)(Chapter 7)


Chapter 8

If it weren't for the rumbling of the heater cutting in and out on occasion, the quiet of the car would have been unbearable.

Reita found his eyes traveling over to Ruki, who sat in the passenger seat, every so often. When they would come to a stop sign, when they were the only car on the road to be seen for miles, and whenever he heard the fashion journalist let out a deep breath, possibly getting ready to utter his first words since he had been picked up from his quaint home just a few miles out of the city 20 minute ago. Each time he anticipated Ruki would break this suffocating silence, yet each time he was met with the same response; a sigh, followed by Ruki leaning even more against the window, just so he could blow puffs of air against the glass and begin drawing random shapes.

Reita had tried to engage Ruki in conversation from the second he picked him up. However, Ruki was good at getting what he wanted, and apparently today was a day of not wanting to speak. He turned Reita down every time he brought up a new topic, answering only with a nod or a hum, before going back to staring at his nails or window art. Honestly, it was beginning to drive Reita mad, but at the same time, in a sense, he could understand Ruki's need to be quiet. Today was an emotional day for the both of them, and sometimes, no matter how dangerous it was to do, keeping your feelings to yourself was the only way to get through a difficult time.

"This is so fucking stupid." Ruki's groggy voice came out of nowhere, causing Reita to jump in his seat and jerk the steering wheel a bit too far to the left, making the car shake, which earned him a rightful glare from the smaller man.

"What's stupid?" He asked back, trying to keep his tone smooth to mask the fact that this sudden conversation starting from the pits of silence had baffled him.

"This, all of this." He could see from his side view that Ruki was moving his arms all about in front of him, pointing out the wind shield, "This is my only day off this week, and I had to pull my ass out of bed early as hell just to say good bye to this asshole again? Stupid. Fucking stupid."

He knew Ruki didn't actually mean what he was saying. Reita had known the petite man long enough to know his rage was how he covered his pain. The more he lost, the more he drank, the angrier and more bitter he became.

“Ru, last night was his going away party. Everyone who has come to love Lotus just as much as us was there to say goodbye. This morning is about the people he really cares about getting to send him off. He’s moving all the way to Okinawa, it’s going to be a long time before we get to see him again.”

Again, Reita was met with silence; Ruki having gone back to drawing his shapes on the window, obviously trying to ignore anything that had to do with the fact that the day which had been dawning on them since the end of spring has finally arrived.

Almost immediately after Reita’s conversation with Aoi at the small café many months ago, his hard working friend had followed through on his words and put Lotus up for sale. Considering the location was in one of the busiest sections of town, and the large size of the building, it came as no surprise to Reita that Aoi had been able to sell in just under two months, leaving the former bar owner to only having to finish up his apartment lease before he packed his bags and left town for good.

Reita was looking at Aoi leaving from a bittersweet perspective. In some ways, he was happy to see Aoi go. He was happy that he was finally getting away from a town that had brought him more pain than good, that he was leaving behind all those devastating memories in search of a new beginning. Be that as it may, Aoi’s departure from Rikubetsu also brought a dark cloud over Reita’s small world. For years, Aoi was the one friend besides Uruha he felt he could properly confide it. Aoi kept him level headed, assured him of the good things to come when he was feeling at an absolute low. Aoi was his friend, his confidant, and no matter how thrilled he was to see him fighting so hard to better himself, a small part of Reita couldn’t help but want to grab hold of Aoi and keep him here forever.

“Ru?” he felt his throat crack as he spoke up, having to clear it before continuing, “I’m going to miss him. A lot.”

Silence.

But Reita didn’t need a response. For he could tell by the barely detectable mist forming in Ruki’s eyes and the tint of pink on his ashen cheeks that he would miss Aoi more than words could describe.

Ten minutes later they were pulling into the parking garage of Aoi’s apartment, and shortly after that they were in the elevator, heading up to the sixth floor.

When Aoi opened the front door, a warm but desolate smile appeared on his lips within a fraction of a second, his usual tired lines and wrinkles all the more notable. Even so, the golden glow decorating his features was radiant, and although the exhaustion from endless nights of last minute packing played heavily on his handsome face, the excitement rushing through him was obvious.

“Come on in, guys.” Aoi ushered them in with a curl of his fingers, beginning to walk in through his now vacant living room, “I have a few things I want you guys to have before I leave.”

For the past two weeks, Reita has been finishing up early with his work just so he could drive over to Aoi’s while there was still daylight and help him pack. To the naked eye, Aoi’s apartment always seemed beyond neat. Black and white furniture, natural lighting igniting the rooms, books stacked neatly and throw pillows arranged in military order. However, once the packing had begun, his clean and curt order had turned to chaos, the clutter and dirt surprising Reita each and every time he had walked through the door to give a helping hand.

He would joke with Aoi and tell him he must be in some alternative universe where the two of them had switched cleanliness skills, tell him that seeing his home so trashed was the most mind baffling sight imaginable.

And it was only now Reita realized how wrong he was. Because, more baffling than a dirty home was seeing Aoi’s entire apartment empty from floor to ceiling.

“Here, Rei, this is for you.” Aoi slid what sounded like a hefty box towards his feet and Reita managed to stop it just in time before it collided with his shins.

He sent Aoi a lighthearted glare before crouching and opening the flaps of the box, the contents making his brows raise. “Clothes? You’re giving me your clothes?”

“Not just any clothes, my winter clothes.” Aoi chuckled, “I’m moving to Okinawa, man, I’m never going need that shit again.”

“What about for when you come back to visit?” Ruki spoke his first words since they entered Aoi’s apartment. His voice was soft, nearing on the edge of sweet, and the hopeful look gleaming in his eyes was more than apparent.

The room seemed to go quiet after that, and Reita watched as Aoi and Ruki simply stared at one another; Ruki waiting for his question to be answered and Aoi hoping the petite fashion journalist would be able to understand his silent answer.

It was heart breaking, really, to watch Ruki, someone who was usually so strong and able to mask his feelings from everyone, suddenly become this small, fragile creature. He seemed weak as he stood there, refusing to outright accept the answer Aoi had given in one casual glance.

He didn’t intend on returning to Rikubetsu. Not in six months, not in two years, not ever. He planned to completely wipe out this part of his life; giving himself a clean slate to start over on.

When the silence dragged on for far longer than deemed comfortable, Reita found himself clearing his throat and standing up, bringing Aoi into a half hug. “Thanks, man. Now my cheap ass won’t have to go out and buy new clothes ever again.”

Aoi forced a chuckle, patting Reita’s back. “You’re welcome, Rei. And what do ya know, you’ll actually look stylish as well.”

“Oy!” pulling away from the hug, Reita smacked at Aoi’s chest, “Are you trying to say I dress like shit?”

“Why don’t you ask him?” Aoi smirked and pointed towards Ruki, “He’s the specialist here.”

Aoi and Reita’s eyes were on Ruki in seconds, both men offering him subtle and encouraging smiles. Ruki seemed to freeze under their attention and simply cleared his throat, pointing towards a lone jewelry sized box sitting on the fire place mantle. “Is that for me?” He approached the box, scooping it up, “I bet it’s something real lame, huh? Probably something like-”

Ruki’s eyes widened as he opened the box, and whatever was inside was enough to make him cut what Reita was assuming to be snarky retort short. He wanted to ask what was wrong, to ask for an explanation. Because never once before in all the time he has known Ruki had he seen that amount of shock sprawled across his features.

But before he could even begin to speak up, Aoi stepped forward and placed both his hands over Ruki’s and the box, speaking measuredly, “Ru, please. Don’t say anything, don’t try and not accept it. This…it’s something I’ve wanted to give you since I was 18. I know you’ll never accept it in the way I want you to, so please…just take it. I don’t care if you never wear it, I just want you to have it because I bought it for you and you only. No other man was meant to have it…”

Reita watched Ruki’s mouth open and close, open and close. A few times incoherent ‘uhs’ and ‘ohs’ passed through his lips, but it was never enough to form an elaborate sentence. Finally, he yanked his small hands away from Aoi’s broad ones, keeping his head hung low as he shoved the velvet box into his coat pocket. “...Shouldn’t you get going now? Your flight….it leaves in a few hours. I’ll go call a cab for you…”

Ruki shuffled out of the room, Aoi’s eyes on him every step of the way. When the bedroom door closed, Reita stepped close to Aoi, squeezing his shoulder. “You know he cares for you, right? He’s the one who’s most torn up about your move…”

“I know.”

“Then why do you look so upset?”

“Because, Rei,” Aoi’s glistening eyes met his own, his tone raw and hurt, “Leaving Ru like this? I…it’s seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. And that includes having to put my own brother in the ground...”

“Aoi,” Reita sighed, squeezing his shoulder harder, “I don’t know what you want me to say here, man. I really don’t.”

“Just, promise me. Promise me you’ll watch after him.”

“Is that something you even really need to ask of me?” Reita smiled, finally bringing Aoi into another hug, “You have no need to worry, Aoi. Everyone you’re leaving behind here? I’ll make sure to take good care of all of them, Ru included. Promise.”

Reita didn’t need to hear a thank you to know how much Aoi appreciated his words. He could feel the relief rush through his friend’s body upon hearing his promise and it made Reita feel that he had finally made up for all the wrong he had ever unintentionally done to him.

Pulling away from the hug, he smiled bright, patting Aoi’s shoulders and ignoring the swell of tears collecting at the corners of his own eyes. “So, where’s Hitsugi, ehh? He’s not important enough to you to come say his own private good bye?”

A slight hue of pink crossed Aoi’s cheeks and he began rubbing at the back of his neck. “Oh, y’know, he stopped by last night and we…talked and stuff.”

Reita arched a brow, grinning at how obvious Aoi was. “Aoi, you dog. You didn’t let go of the little fling you had going with Hitsugi until literally the last second? I dunno if I’m supposed to be proud of you or reprimanding you right now.”

“Oh, shut up.” Aoi chuckled, pushing strands of his long dark hair behind his ears, “You act like you’re not getting a piece of Kai’s ass multiple times on the daily.”

“Unfortunately, no, no I’m not.” A sigh slipped through his thin lips, only for a grin to take over, “We only fuck, like, once a day now. Guess the honey moon period is over between us, ehh?”

Aoi laughed, pushing his palm flat against Reita’s chest and shoving, “Fuck you, man,” he chuckled, “you guys are three months off from being together a year and you’re still fucking like rabbits? You’re seriously the luckiest guy alive.”

A look of sincerity crossed Reita’s face, nodding his head in agreement. “I know. I know I am…”

The cab Ruki called for arrived shortly afterwards, and the three of them gathered outside the yellow car, sharing one last good bye. After Reita stepped away from his final hug with Aoi, he took a few paces back and watched his two friends exchange muttered words and glances, and when their arms wrapped around each other for one last embrace, he could see it.

He could see their feelings for one another. They were raw, unprotected.

Especially on Ruki’s part.

When the cab finally pulled away and the remaining pair gathered into the car, Reita couldn’t help himself. He started the engine, began driving down the road, and out of nowhere, he asked, “Ru? You…you’re in love with Aoi, aren’t you?”

A long stream of suffocating quiet, followed by a short, “Shut up and drive me to Sun’s.”

And in that moment, Reita knew that was Ruki’s own personal way of saying ‘yes’.

The pulled up to the flower shop only minutes later. Ruki stood still, not even moving to unbuckle his seat belt, and based off of the suspicious look the small man sent his way, Reita knew he was waiting for him to question his strange request. Why Sun’s?

And being the good friend that he was, he decided to take the bait, knowing Ruki would feel better upon getting to chew him out. “Why’re we here anyway, Ru?”

“Why the hell do you think we’re here? It’s a flower shop, genius. Obviously we’re here to go fucking grocery shopping.” Ruki rolled his eyes and snorted before stepping out of the car and adding, “And we’re not here, I am. You wait in here; I’ll only be a few minutes…”

Ruki’s few minutes turned into more than a half an hour, and just as Reita was about to head into the shop and drag Ruki out himself, he saw the petite fashion journalist walking towards the car through his side view mirrors, noticing he held a bouquet of two dozen red roses in hand.

“It took you that long to decide on a bouquet so simple?” He asked as Ruki stepped back into the car and buckled himself in.

Ruki sent Reita a pinched expression and held up his middle finger, “Sun likes to talk, okay? Now hurry up and take me home.”

“Ohhh~. Big date tonight? Is that what the flowers are about?” Reita wiggled his eyebrows, beginning to pull out of his parallel parking space and onto the main strip of road.

“I swear on your little home muffin’s ass, if you don’t shut the fuck up, I will cut your dick off. Be quiet and drive.”

That only made Reita smile in return, silently promising himself he would remain quit the rest of the drive

Ruki fell asleep halfway to his house, which was okay, because Reita knew that really wasn’t where Ruki wished to go anyway. Instead, he kept driving until he came to a road he hadn’t visited since the end of May; his birthday to be exact.

Through the light snowfall, he could see the tips of the gothic gates coming into view once again; flashes of the night of his birthday coming back to him like a Deja vu. After he had finally dragged himself away from Ni~ya’s grave, Reita had driven back to Kai’s place, remaining relatively silent for the rest of the night. Kai and Uruha hadn’t really noticed, the two of them far too busy chatting and creating a bond Reita was happy to see both of them form. All Uruha had was his kids and wife, and as far as Reita knew, all Kai had was Reita himself. As nice as it had been nice to see the two of them getting along so well, Reita couldn’t bring himself to join in on their good time, his brain having been far too cluttered to make sense of what’s left or right, much less try and have an actual conversation with someone.

So, he had sat there, sipping on a beer and watching the love of his life and best friend enjoy their night, all why he tried to wrap his mind around why it was Kai had kept Ni~ya’s death a secret from him this entire time. Was it because he didn’t trust him? Was it because it was simply too painful to bring up? Or did Kai perhaps feel…guilty? Maybe he had in some way attributed to Ni~ya’s death?

Reita had been determined to ask Kai the myriad of questions he had for him the moment Uruha left. However, once Kai had returned from walking Uruha to the front door, he’d wasted no time in plopping down in Reita’s lap, pressing their lips together and smiling that award winning smile while caressing the side of his cheek.

“I hope you had a good birthday, Rei. Sorry Uruha took up so much of my time, he’s almost as chatty as me!”

Reita laughed, pressing a light peck to Kai’s lips while rubbing on his back, “No one is as chatty as you, Kai. I don’t think there’s a time when you aren’t chatting, and that’s including when you’re sleeping.”

The earned him a slap to the chest, followed by a childish pout. “So not true, Rei. I can name plenty of times when I’m quiet.”

“Oh yeah?” Reita raised a challenging brow, “Like when?”

“Liiiiike~,” Kai smiled, poking his finger into his cheek right were his dimple was, “When my mouth is full of that delicious birthday cake you just brought home. Which! I plan on eating the rest of for breakfast, so no touching it, alright?” he giggled before gasping and holding up a finger, realizing he had more to say, “Or better yet, I’m even more quiet when my mouth is full of your cock, just like it’s about to be.”

When Kai had smiled that wolfish smile and slid out of Reita’s lap and onto the floor, beginning to unbuckle his pants to give him his second blowjob of the day, Reita knew that had been his undoing.

Everything had been forgotten. Kai’s heated mouth around him, humming while stroking him with those soft hands of his, making Reita’s clustered mind melt in a pool of pleasure. There were no worries about Ni~ya anymore. Kai had flipped that switch somewhere far within the depths of the blond’s head and changed him from a concerned boyfriend to a sex crazed maniac who only cared about getting off.

And after he and Kai had made it upstairs for one last round of the night, after they both lay close in bed, arms around each other and trying to catch their breaths, Reita found himself promising that he would ask Kai everything he wanted to know the next day.

A promise he kept repeating to himself every day after that. I’ll ask Kai tomorrow. Right now isn’t the right time, I swear I’ll ask some other time. He repeated the same excuse to himself every day, which was why now, after an entire season has passed, he still hadn’t spoken a single peep about Ni~ya.

He was afraid; afraid of losing Kai.

The car pulled to a stop and Reita looked over at the petite man sat beside him, watching him sleep. He knew what he was about to do was quite possibly over stepping his boundaries, but, he had to. With Aoi now gone, he felt as if he was the only one who could quite possibly help Ruki in the one way he needed to be helped.

Reaching over, Reita squeezed Ruki’s shoulder, shaking him awake. “Ru, wake up. We’re here…”

Ruki’s eyes slowly opened, a scowl automatically crossing his features as he took in the blond next to him. “What have I said about touching me? I-” he cut himself off, eyes widening as it finally dawned on him just where they were, “Why the fuck are we at the cemetery? I told you to take me home.”

“I know where you told me to take you, Ru, but I also know the moment I dropped you off you were going to jump into your own car and drive down here yourself. Figured I’d save you a step.”

Livid. Ruki looked livid before Reita could even finish his statement, but Reita still knew it was the right thing to do. “What the hell makes you think I would want to come here, you freak. I told you-”

“Ru, stop. Don’t try and make up some excuse. Aoi and I, we’ve had a few long talks, I know exactly who those flowers are for. Just, go. I won’t say anything else, just go give them to him.”

Disbelief was scrawled all across Ruki’s fine features, and for minutes upon minutes, he sat in his seat, flowers clutched to his chest, staring at Reita. In all the years he has known Ruki, Reita had never seen him look so exposed. As if the sheet that was covering him was ripped off in one fell swoop, leaving him no time to try and run and hide. His secret was out; he had no way to try and mask his pain any longer.

Just like earlier in the morning, the silence was becoming too much. Reita felt himself beginning to break into a light sweat, his hands slipping off the steering wheel. Ruki’s stare was intense and Reita was expecting a slap or a ‘fuck you’. Instead, what he got was Ruki beginning to shuffle around, sliding on his mittens, his voice low, almost inaudible, as he finally broke the silence. “Don’t…don’t you have someone you’d like to visit as well?”

It was an unexpected question, but Reita was grateful for it. It gave him the perfect set up to tell Ruki exactly what it was he wanted to get out. “No, not really.”

“But…they’re your parents, Reita. You should visit them.”

“There’s no need to, Ru. I accepted their deaths a long time ago. Do I still love them? Yes. Do I still miss them? Yes. But, no matter how many times I visit, I know they’re not coming back. There’s no point in visiting them, they know I loved them and I know they love me. Just because I’ve moved on with my life doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten them…”

Ruki stared down at the flowers in his arms, Reita able to tell he was chewing over his words, trying to find the meaning in them. The car was so quiet that the wind picking up speed outside could be heard, but Reita didn’t dare speak up again, hoping and praying to ever deity out there that his small speech would somehow permanently ebb its way into Ruki’s brain and allow him to realize there was no need to live his life in despair. Allow him to realize that he didn’t have to stop living just because Ni~ya had taken his final breath years ago.

“I…I’ll be right back. Just…keep the car running, I won’t be long.”

“Okay. But, Ru?” Ruki paused outside the door, his back to Reita. He didn’t turn to face the blond, but Reita knew he was listening, “Just because you say good bye to someone doesn’t mean it’s good bye forever. That goes for both the dead and the living.”

“How…how much did Aoi tell you?”

“Honestly? Not nearly enough, Ru.”

“Good.”

Reita watched Ruki walk off, unsure if his words had affected him in any way.

He could only keep his fingers crossed they had some form of impact.


Ruki was true to his word and just ten minutes later he was back in the car, solemn attitude now gone as he barked at Reita to take him home. Reita followed the demand, this time actually taking the petite fashion journalist to his home, watching him through the car window to make sure he arrived safely.

It was just five past noon by the time Reita made it back to his own apartment. The day wasn’t even halfway over, yet he felt ready to crawl into bed and sleep until he had to wake up for work the next day. He became one with his couch, staring up at the ceiling, simply trying to relax his body and wash away some of the exhaustion from the day. However, no sooner did he find his eyes shutting on their own accord, he felt his cell phone hum to life from his pants pocket, groaning as he pulled it out and shoved it against his ear.

“Hello?”

“Rei-chan~. You know who this is, right~?”

A lazy smile immediately swept its way across his lips. “Hmm, I’m guessing it’s that cutie pie teacher I’m dating. You know, the one with the absolutely delectable ass.”

“Ding, ding, ding~.” Kai giggled, “We have a winner! Come on over here and collect your prize…if you dare.”

“Oh? Sounds…frisky. Think it’s something I can handle?”

“The only way you’ll find out is if you come on over. I’ll be waiting.”

Without as much as a good bye, Kai hung up, leaving Reita to pull himself off the couch and begin trying to piece himself back together. He sat up, staring down at his coffee table, and he doesn’t know what made it click in his brain, but suddenly, he had an idea. An idea he was almost certain was going to work; an idea that would finally allow him to get answers.

Running into his spare bedroom, he smiled at Oscar and Keiji, “You boys ready to go on a ride?”

They chirped in reply and Reita wasted no time in properly closing up their cage and tossing a blanket over them, needing to shield them from the cool autumn winds. As he stepped back into the living room, he scooped a photo album up and rested it on top their cage before heading on out his front door and towards Kai’s.

When he finally arrived at Kai’s, he went ahead and let himself in, feeling adrenaline beginning to course its way through his system. He could already hear Kai’s footsteps rushing towards him, and the moment he saw Kai’s body poke its way around the corner from his bedroom and begin walking towards him with a mile-wide grin, Reita couldn’t help but smile back. Especially when Kai’s face suddenly dropped into a full on scowl once Reita blocked what he was sure was intended to be a rough, breath taking kiss from Kai by pressing the palm of his mitten clad hand against Kai’s mouth.

“Now, now, now. Before you attack me with those gorgeous lips of yours and try and lure me upstairs to fulfill one of your kinky fantasies, I wanna introduce you to someone. Or should I say I wanna introduce you to two someone’s?”

Kai’s eyes immediately darted down to the covered cage Reita was holding, and Reita could feel his scowl transform into a glorious sunny smile as he spoke against his mitten, words coming out muffled and incoherent, “Aw dose oo biwds?”

Reita laughed, pulling his hand away from Kai’s mouth, “What was that, babe?”

Kai didn’t even bother replying, only rolling his eyes at Reita’s pet name as he bent down and lifted the blanket from off the cage, “Rei! They’re gorgeous. They sort of look just like you, too.” Kai giggled, poking his finger into the cage and trying to get the two cockatiels attention, “Hello pretty birdies, hello, hello~. My name’s Kai, you-” he pointed towards the one with orange cheeks, “must be Oscar, right?”

Reita ducked down on the floor next to Kai, placing a sweet kiss to his cheek, “That’s right. How’d you know?”

Kai shrugged his shoulders, “I guess because I’m smart. And because you told me exactly 210 days ago that Oscar was the one with more color.”

Reita arched a brow, staring at Kai questioningly, “You know, that whole number thing you do is always going to freak me the hell out.”

“Don’t be jealous that I’m a scientist and you’re not.”

“I’m not jealous, I just- never mind, we’re getting off topic here. These two aren’t the only ones I wanted to introduce you to.”

“So you’re saying there’s more animals in your car?”

“No, I’m saying – just, come here.”

Reita set Oscar and Keiji on the long table by Kai’s front door and grabbed the photo album from off the top before grabbing Kai’s hand as well and leading him over to the couch. Once they were comfortable enough, Reita settled the photo album in his lap and awarded Kai with a sincere smile. “Kai…I think it’s become pretty damn obvious that you mean a lot to me. I…the way I feel about you…it’s foreign to me. You’re the only man I’ve ever felt this strongly about.” He laced his fingers together with Kai’s, squeezing, “And it’s because you’re so important to me that I want you to know, you don’t have to hide anything from me. You can be completely open…there’s nothing to be ashamed about. But,” he continued, “I also know it’s a two-way street. I know the only way you’re going to fully open up to me is if I open up to you. So,” opening the photo album in his lap, Reita flipped to the first page, showing a couples’ obituary cut out from the newspaper, “these are my parents. They passed away in a car accident on my 19th birthday.”

Eyeing the paper, Kai slowly reached his hand out, grazing his fingers over the black and white image, “Oh, Rei…I’m so sorry.” He tucked his face into Reita’s neck, placing a gentle kiss there, “that’s such a young age to lose your parents…”

Pressing a kiss to Kai’s temple, Reita closed the photo album and wrapped an arm around Kai’s body, speaking up gingerly, “…You must understand how it feels, though…”

“Because of my grandpa?” Kai nodded his head a little, “Sort of. But when I moved here to take care of him, I already knew he didn’t have much time left. I-”

“Kai, I wasn’t talking about your grandpa…”

He could feel Kai tense under him and pull away marginally, looking him up and down with confused eyes. “What…then what’re you talking about, Rei?”

Reita sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose, “Kai, come on. I’m being as open with you as I possibly can be right now. What else do you want me to tell you? That I’m allergic to strawberries? That the reason why I never answer you when you ask me about kinks is because I think I’m boring as hell in the bedroom and haven’t really experienced with much? Just tell me what it is you need to hear from me in order to get you to open up to me…”

Kai pulled away from Reita even more, beginning to fidget, “…Why are you being so persistent? Maybe I just don’t have anything to tell you.” He bit into his bottom lip, staring down at the floor, looking flustered.

Reita knew his original plan was failing and he could feel his high hopes begin to drop on this rapid decline, and for one of the first times since he has known Kai, he allowed his anger to begin to take over. Because he has had enough. He’s done everything he possibly could to prove to Kai he could trust him with anything. He has proven his loyalty and gone above and beyond to keep Kai happy, only to be rewarded with nothing in return.

Laughing wryly, Reita threw his head back over the backing of the couch, nothing but unintended venom in his tone as he spoke up. “Nothing to tell me, eh?” He felt as if he had no control over what he was saying at this point. Even if he wanted more than anything to stop himself from saying what he was about to say, there was no way he could stop himself. It was as if a self-detonating button had been pushed on his verbal commands, putting him on a path of rapid destruction. “Funny, because according to Aoi, there’s lots you can tell me.”

As soon as those words left his mouth, Reita felt all color drain from his face. Not only did he sound like the world’s biggest asshole, but he knew exactly how Kai must’ve been feeling at the moment.

Lied to.

Stabbed in the back.

Deceived.

Reita knew he had to try and fix his mistakes, but it was too late. He could already see Kai shutting down right before him.

“Kai, I-”

“Aoi? You…you know Aoi? You’ve spoken to Aoi…about me?” Kai sounded worlds away; Reita could already feel his heart crumbling.

“Kai, you have to understand. I was desperate to figure you out. I…I didn’t want to accidentally say or do something that would put you back into the same state when I first found out what was wrong with you..."

“What was wrong with me?” Kai stood from the couch, brows furrowed and face a ghostly hue of pale, “What do you mean what’s wrong with me?”

Sighing, Reita slouched back even more against the couch, feeling like every new word he spoke dug him further and further into his own grave. “Kai, I…come on. The life you live, it’s obviously not the most…normal one. And when I began getting worried about you, I turned to Aoi to get some answers that I wasn’t so sure you would be comfortable answering at the time. I’m not trying to hurt you here, baby. I just want to understand the man I love more than anything on this planet better…”

It was finally out. Reita had finally laid out his true feelings for Kai out in the open, and the relief he always imagined he would feel upon confessing was nowhere in sight. Instead, he felt his entire body freeze and every molecule of hair on his body stand up straight; especially when Kai stepped closer with that unreadable expression.

“Love? You call going behind my back and getting information on me that I wasn’t quite ready to share with you love? You call going to someone I once called my family and asking him about the most traumatizing time of my life love? That…that’s not love, Rei. That’s betrayal.”

Kai crossed his arms over his chest and went to turn out of the room, but Reita was faster than he was and jumped off of the couch, catching him by the upper arm. “Kai, don’t. Please, don’t walk away. Aoi, he didn’t tell me everything. He said some things were better left told by you. So please…if you care about me at all, just…tell me about Ni~ya, please…”

The depth in Kai’s deep mocha eyes was daunting when he finally lifted his head and met Reita’s own. It was as if they were never ending abysses the slight shine to them were the crashing waves.

“Get out of my house, Reita. I don’t want to see you again.”

Breaking out of the tender hold Reita had on his arm, Kai darted off in the direction of his bedroom, but Reita was quick to follow him. Because he wasn’t done. He refused to lose Kai over a misunderstood past.

He refused to walk the rest of his existence in this world with a shattered heart due to a man he never once truly understood.

“Kai, don’t!” Reita breached his hands against Kai’s bedroom door just as it was about to slam it in his face, the force of his palms and a foot in between the door and its arch preventing the door from closing fully. He could hear Kai grunting, using all his strength to try and close the door on him, but Reita wasn’t budging. “Please, Kai…let’s just talk things through.”

“There’s nothing to talk about! Just leave me alone! I’m sure Aoi will be more than happy to answer for me anyway!”

“This has nothing to do with Aoi anymore! Just- goddammit, Kai! Open the door and talk to me!” He pushed with everything he had against the door, feeling successful for only a short moment when he heard the door whoosh open. He could now step into the room, yes, but the crashing and loud thud he had heard immediately following his break in had his heart plummeting to his chest; especially when he stepped further in the room and found Kai on the floor, apparently having been shoved into one of the many bookshelves in his room upon Reita’s intrusion.

He could see both of Kai’s elbows were scuffed up and there was a drizzle of blood cascading down the corner of his mouth. Reita went into automatic panic mode and ran up to Kai, ducking down beside him and beginning to ask if he was okay and apologizing frantically, only to receive a hard shove from Kai in return.

“Get out!” Kai shoved him again, and it was then Reita saw the tears streaming down his cheeks; saw how mortified he appeared. “Get out! Out, out, out!”

“Kai! Just calm down, please. I-“

The rest of Reita’s plead was cut off as a sharp sting radiated across his entire face. Kai had slapped him.

After the initial shock of the radiating sting, Reita was able to sit back on his haunches and analyze all of his surroundings, realizing why Kai was in such hysterics. Surrounding him on the floor were some of his beloved bamboos; tilted over and out of their pots, some snapped in half and unsalvageable. Kai wasn’t upset over his minor injuries; he was upset because Isola-chan was one of those unsalvageable ones.

He looked traumatized; completely devastated.

And it was all Reita’s fault.

“Kai, I’m so sorry. I-”

“P-please…” Kai hiccupped through tears, “o-out, get out…p-please…” He began picking up Isola’s pot, cradling the plant and her former home against his chest while rocking himself back and forth with his knees curled up. His face was beet red from the sudden oncome of tears, and he continued to mumble under his breath for Reita to leave.

Seeing the damage he had done, knowing he would only do worse if he continued to stay here, Reita stood and looked down at Kai, his voice raw, letting Kai know how truly sorry he was, “I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, Kai. I…I love you. I really do…”

Turning out the door, he didn’t look back as he mumbled one last apology, not bothering to grab his photo album or Oscar and Keiji as he walked out the front door, and quite possibly out of Kai’s life.

***

Author's Note: Heeeeya there <33 Let me just start off by saying that I'M SORRY I TAKE SO LONG TO UPDATE I'M HORRIBLE lol. Buuut, as long as the story eventually gets finished, right? :P Another thing, today is like, the first day my laptop has actually been stable enough to be on it longer than ten minutes, so...I'm quickly posting this and hoping nobody is pissed at me for not getting back to them lately, I'M SORRY, I really am. Buuuut with my laptop crapping out and not having a cell phone, I seriously have no way to get in contact with my internet buddies :( As I'm typing this, my computer is beginning to act up and it sounds like it's about ready to explode, so I'm going to hurry and post and try and reply to emails and comments tomorrow if I can! Sorry I'm MIA so much, hope this quick lil post explains it all!

ALSO, let me add real quick that since I'm unable to access my laptop like, ever, I've been writing by hand a lot annnd...Let's just say that in the future, some of my Rukai readers will be happy ;)

ONLY TWO MORE CHAPTERS LEFT. I HOPE YA'LL DON'T HATE ME AFTER THIS :'D
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