One and a half years later…
Yasu sat at a large booth in a small, cozy izakaya. Next to him, Subaru sat, nursing a mug of beer almost as big as his head. Across from them, Maru was retelling some over-the-top story and Ohkura and Sara laughed along.
Yasu glanced at Subaru and reached for his hand, giving it a squeeze in his own. Everyone was so happy, and even Yasu couldn’t help but feel that life was perfect. So much had happened in the past year to end up here, and Yasu was thankful for every minute of it. While everyone was busy celebrating, Yasu couldn’t help but think back on how everything fell into place.
After they’d graduated, Yasu and Subaru spent the following three months saving money and preparing to move to Tokyo. Ryo had started school and no longer had time at the shop, so Yasu gladly took his position. If he had to work, he couldn’t think of a better place. And working with Subaru was just an added bonus!
Yasu’s parents were ecstatic that he’d decided to go to school, and surprisingly supportive of the idea of him trying to pursue a music career as well. It didn’t take Yasu long to realize that they would be happy no matter what he decided as long as it was what he wanted. His dad had agreed to help him with tuition, and for that Yasu was grateful.
The one thing they didn’t approve of was him moving in with Subaru.
Subaru had been in the doghouse with his parents for a while after they made up, but by the time Yasu and Subaru left for Tokyo, they’d given up the grudge. Yasu was happy with Subaru and in the end, they knew they couldn’t protect him from heartache. If things went sour, it was just part of life. They couldn’t make Yasu’s decisions for him. All they could do was be there for him when and if he got hurt.
But that didn’t stop them from trying to prevent Yasu and Subaru’s plans to live together. They’d heard every argument, not just from his parents but from Taeko too: They were too young. They needed to learn to be independent. The relationship was becoming too physically and emotionally complex, too quickly. They needed to give each other space and privacy in order for the relationship to blossom. They had years ahead of them to live together… they should be enjoying their youth and freedom while they had it.
But Yasu and Subaru didn’t care. They both felt ready for it and were prepared for the obstacles of living together.
It wasn’t easy. They’d learned that soon enough. There were fights and lots of them. Sometimes they were stupid. Like Subaru always forgetting to put the cap back on the toothpaste. Or Yasu not doing his dishes right away. Or Subaru snoring too loudly. And sometimes they were more serious: Yasu was spending too much time with his new friends. Or Subaru was treating Yasu coldly when things didn’t go his way…
But it didn’t matter to either of them. They worked through the arguments and came out stronger for it. For all the tears and pain, there were even more happy times. Cuddling with Subaru on the couch at night with a movie, or making dinner together, falling asleep in each other’s arms and waking up to one another. All of those things made the fights worth it.
When they moved to Tokyo, they used their savings to rent a cheap place. Subaru got a job waiting tables at a family style restaurant. Yasu worked part time when he wasn’t in school. He’d decided to attend school after all, and had gotten into a small arts college. He was happy there studying composition and arrangement, and at night he got to come home and spend time with Subaru.
Ohkura was going to school too, at Todai of course, because his father wouldn’t have it any other way. On weekends and when they didn’t have school, they’d practice. Ohkura’s dad had been against the idea at first. He felt that the band would be a distraction from studying. But Ohkura had stuck his ground and in the end, his father had agreed to let him do it as long as his grades didn’t slip and that he stayed in school even if the band made it. Yasu was proud of Ohkura and thought that he too had learned a lot in the preceding months.
Maru had decided to stay in Osaka. Shortly after graduation, he’d started dating Sara and Yasu thought maybe that was part of the reason why he’d stayed. It wasn’t long though before he started having problems. He couldn’t find a job that suited him. He tried a wide range of things, but nothing seemed to fit him and every time Yasu talked with Maru or had a chance to meet him, the effects were obvious.
Maru had lost all of his cheer. He looked tired and acted restless. It was clear to anyone that he wasn’t happy. Sara was at a loss as for what to do and she told Yasu that she’d thought of breaking up with him several times. Finally, she decided that enough was enough and sent him to Tokyo for Yasu and Subaru and Ohkura to deal with.
Luckily, they hadn’t found a bassist yet and with very very little effort, they managed to persuade Maru to rejoin the band. He stayed at Yasu and Subaru’s apartment for nearly a month, camping out on a futon on the floor as he looked for a job.
Suddenly the band felt complete again. Subaru had insisted on changing the name. Revolver was in the past and it was time to start fresh and one more bit of Rikiya was erased from Yasu’s life.
Daisuke graduated from high school the following spring and decided to stay in Osaka to take over his family’s bakery. Yasu was secretly glad because as much as he liked Daisuke, the way things were now just felt right. If Daisuke had wanted to rejoin, Yasu knew that there wouldn’t be a place for him anymore. The band had evolved to something new and he knew that the other members felt how he did – that it was perfect as it was.
They worked hard with new songs. Between Yasu’s compositions and Subaru’s lyrics, they had enough songs for a CD should they ever be discovered. It wasn’t easy. There was no good space for them to practice where they wouldn’t bother neighbors. Sometimes they’d practice all night and then go off to a long day of work or school. In the beginning especially, things felt hopeless. It was hard finding a live house that wanted to take a chance on a bunch of 19 year old nobodies.
But slowly, live house managers began taking chances with them and they slowly began building a fan base. It made them happy every time someone introduced themselves as a fan or asked where they could buy a CD. It was in those moments where they all felt like it wasn’t for nothing – that they would make it someday.
Yasu was happy. He had a great boyfriend, wonderful friends, he loved his school and most of all, he was filled with hope for the future.
He was shaken out of his thoughts, however, when he heard an unfamiliar voice. “Subaru?”
Yasu looked up at the man standing next to their table. A hush fell over the group and Maru and Ohkura exchanged an uneasy glance.
“Rikiya…” Subaru said, as his hand gripped the mug in his hand.
Yasu’s eyes widened. This was his first time meeting Rikiya. So this was him. An uncomfortable feeling twisted up in his stomach but he took a calming breath. Subaru had chosen him. There was absolutely nothing to be afraid of.
“How are you?” Rikiya asked, looking softly at Subaru.
“Good,” Subaru nodded and tried to stay calm.
Rikiya turned to Maru and Ohkura, “Hey guys. Good to see you again. Looks like you guys are in the middle of a celebration.” He nodded at the cake in the middle of the table.
Maru nodded. “We are. We just got a record deal…”
Rikiya’s eyes widened. “Really? That’s great. Congratulations.” He paused for a minute and smiled a little sheepishly, “I actually caught one of your shows a few months back. It was great.” He turned to Yasu, “You were amazing. Better than me for sure. No wonder you guys got a recording deal.”
“Thanks,” Yasu smiled, pleasantly surprised by the other man’s kindness.
Rikiya shook his head and returned the smile. “Do you all mind if I speak with Subaru for a minute?”
Subaru cast a glance at Yasu and then quickly said, “We can talk here…”
Yasu grabbed Subaru’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “It’s okay. You guys can go talk.” He smiled at Subaru in a way that conveyed all the trust he felt for his boyfriend.
Subaru smiled back and Yasu could tell he was happy with the sentiment. “Come with me…”
Yasu nodded and stood up, pulling Subaru out of the booth with him.
“Rikiya this is Yasuda Shota, my boyfriend. Yasu, this is Rikiya.” Subaru introduced.
After they’d finished their introductions, Rikiya led them away from the table and looked over at Yasu, blushing slightly. “Um, I just wanted to thank you Subaru.”
“Thank me? For what?” Subaru asked, slightly confused.
“For everything that happened between us. For giving me love back then and for telling me no last time we saw each other. I went through a really hard time after that. My life was great in high school. I had popularity, a great band… you. When I came here, I had nothing. No band, no friends. I thought for sure I’d made a mistake. I was so certain that you were the only person who could fix it. That was why I went back for you. But you refused. You told me there was someone else and that nothing would ever happen between us again. It broke my heart.”
“I’m sorry,” Subaru said, and Yasu looked at him in admiration. After all the hurt that Rikiya had put Subaru through, it was Subaru that was standing with his head held high and apologizing.
“You don’t have anything to apologize for. I’m glad you did it. I needed to hit rock bottom. I was so selfish back then Subaru. I pushed you away because I was a coward. Because I knew there was no way that I could ever tell anyone that we were together. I was so scared of what people would think that I was lying and denying things I never should have. But it’s different now. I realized that I couldn’t keep lying about who I was if I wanted to be happy. I told my family and friends I was gay about a year ago. Things started looking up then. I found a band, made lots of friends, and I’ve been seeing someone for six months.”
“Congratulations. I’m happy for you. Honestly, I was a little worried about you. I could tell last time when you left that it broke you. So it’s great to hear that you’re doing so well.” Subaru said and Yasu noticed the genuine look of relief on his face.
“I am. And it’s thanks in part to you. You made me realize a lot and I’ll always be thankful to you, Subaru. I’m sorry that I never treated to the way you deserved. I hope that you can at least take some comfort in knowing that it wasn’t for nothing.”
Subaru smiled and nodded. He grabbed Yasu’s hand and gave it a kiss. “I know. I’m glad things turned out the way they did too. I’m happy.”
Rikiya smiled. “Good.” There was an awkward pause. “I guess everything happens for a reason, right?”
Subaru nodded. “Yeah.”
“Well I’ll let you get back to your party. Congratulations again. I’ll definitely buy your CD when it comes out,” Rikiya grinned.
“And I’ll buy yours someday too,” Subaru said with a smile.
“It was nice meeting you too, Yasuda-san. Take good care of Subaru, okay? He deserves it…”
Yasu smiled brightly. “I will,” he said, reaching over and hugging Subaru to him.
“It was great seeing you again,” Rikiya said, and with a wave he was gone.
Subaru and Yasu walked back to the table, Yasu still hugging Subaru as he walked. Once they were seated, Subaru raised his glass. “Let’s have another toast,” he said smiling at everyone in the table.
Yasu raised his glass along with the rest of him and he realized suddenly that a weight was lifted off of his shoulders. He looked over at Subaru, and knew almost immediately, that he felt the same.
For so long, even after they’d made up, and even after they’d moved to Tokyo, there was still a cloud hanging over their relationship. Subaru was still carrying around the pain of what had happened between him and Rikiya, and add to that the guilt that he felt for turning away Rikiya and breaking his heart in return.
The effects were painful, not just for Subaru, but for him too. Yasu knew that deep down whenever Subaru got mad at him for spending too much time with his friends, or for needing space, that it was because he was afraid of being abandoned again. Yasu wondered if he’d ever stop feeling that way, if he’d ever be able to let go of what Rikiya had done. There were times when he wanted to shake Subaru, to tell him that he wasn’t Rikiya and that he wasn’t going to leave.
But now, as they all clinked their glasses together, Yasu could feel it. He could see it in Subaru’s smile. It was like a piece of his soul that had been locked away was freed.
Things wouldn’t be perfect even if Subaru could let go of what had happened. There’d be other fights and other issues brought to the surface. No relationship was perfect and without its problems. But for the first time since he’d met Subaru, their relationship was no longer revolving around Rikiya Nakaegawa.
A/N: Well that's it. I hope you enjoyed the story and that the ending was satisfactory. I want to thank everyone that has been reading and is still reading a year and a half later. I enjoyed writing this (for the most part). I'm looking forward to starting something new. Thanks again for reading <3<3<3<3