It took me a few moments, after seeing Uchi, to regain my senses. When I finally grasped the situation, I rushed forward. “Nishikido-kun has a visitor?”
The young man turned towards me and I stopped dead in my tracks. Hiroki, like Tadayoshi, was extremely handsome. There were some good genes in the family. “I'm Uchi Hiroki,” he turned towards me, leaning against the counter.
I bowed deeply to him. “Yasuda Shota. I'm Nishikido's counselor.”
Uchi did not return my bow, but instead turned away from me as if I was a waste of his time. “Can I see him?”
I stood up, and cleared my throat, confused by his behavior. Then, the panic set in. Tadayoshi had no idea that his brother was there and I had no idea how to evaluate the situation. There was the chance that he would be happy to see his younger brother. I knew that I had to tell Tadayoshi. He would know better than me what to do.
When I snapped out of my daydreaming, Uchi was staring at me intensely. I shrunk under his gaze. “Uh, yeah, sure. Let me get him for you.”
I turned to the nurse behind the desk. “Can you take Uchi-San to the visitation room?”
She nodded and stepped around the desk, beckoning for Uchi and his entourage to follow her. Once he was gone, I felt myself relax a little.
Patients like Ryo were not allowed to have private visitations. According to clinic policy, all recovering patients needed a staff member to watch over the meetings. There were to many risks involving smuggling illegal items.
Lately, I had been very bad about following clinic policies and procedures. My relationship with Tadayoshi had gone beyond being inappropriate. We were now treading a dangerous line, and once we crossed over that line into a sexual relationship, I was breaking every moral code possible.
At this moment, I was thankful for the rules, and would gladly follow this one. It would give me time and an excuse to tell Tadayoshi about Uchi's arrival.
I all but ran down the hall towards the patient's living quarters. When I came to Tadayoshi's room, I made the mistake of not knocking. I threw the door open and rushed into the room.
The sight I was greeted with made me fall forward. I threw my hands out in front of me to catch my fall. My knees hit the floor with a loud smack and I buried my face against my arm, half out of pain and half out of embarrassment.
“Are you okay?” I heard Tadayoshi ask, rushing forward to help me.
I lifted my head, and sure enough, there was Tadayoshi, wearing only a pair of form fitting boxer-briefs. I reburied my face, unable to handle the sight.
“I'm fine,” I mumbled.
“What?” he asked, squatting down next to me. “I can't hear you when your face is covered like that.”
I lifted my head and closed my eyes, “Could you put some clothes on?”
“Oh,” he stood up. “Sorry.”
There was a weird tone to his voice. After a few moments, I recognized the tone as a mixture of disappointment and hurt.
“Ah,” I started, not sure how to reassure him without sounding like a pervert. “It's not that I don't like it...” I trailed off, my face getting red. I cringed at how wrong that sounded. “I mean, I don't want to see it. But I don't want to not see it...”
I shook my head, realizing that I was making no sense. “Its just that its distracting.” I opened my eyes as Tadayoshi finished pulling on a pair of sweatpants and I could feel my face getting warm again.
I almost forgot the reason I had come to his room as I watched him bend over to pick up a t-shirt. The muscles in his back flexed beautifully and I found myself wanting to feel the way his muscles moved under my finger tips.
He turned around and smirked as he caught me staring. I noted that he seemed to be taking an unusually long time putting his shirt on.
I closed my eyes, “I came here to tell you something.”
He sat down on the edge of his bed, reclining onto his elbows. I realized that, for the second time that day, I was being seduced by a sixteen year old.
“Hiroki is here,” I blurted out before he could distract me any further.
Tadayoshi sat up immediately, “What?”
“He's here to see Ryo,” I continued and he relaxed a little.
“Does he know that I'm here?” His voice sounded slightly panicked.
I shook my head. “If he knows, he hasn't said anything. So, just stay in your room, okay?”
Tadayoshi nodded his head. My instincts about Uchi seemed to be right. I could tell from Tadayoshi's stressed expression that a confrontation between him and his younger brother would not end well. I had to make sure that Hiroki did not find out about Tadayoshi.
“I'll be back when everything is safe.” I said, opening the door and rushing from the room to find Ryo.
Out in the hall, I ran into Murakami. “Whats going on?” he asked suspiciously, his eyes darting towards the direction of Tadayoshi's room.
“Nishikido-kun has a visitor today,” I said, almost spastically.
“Oh,” he said, his curiosity over where I had just come from disappearing. “Are you going to get him now?”
I nodded and tried to excuse myself.
“Wait,” he called, and I stopped, praying that he wasn't going to ask where I had just come from. He motioned me to where he was standing. “Can I ask you something?”
I nodded again, swallowing hard, and walking over to where he was standing. Maruyama chose that moment to exit the men's room and Murakami slowly backed away from me.
“I have to go,” he said, his eyes nervously darting past me towards Maruyama's direction.
“Wait,” I called after his retreating back. “Weren't you going to ask me something?”
He didn't answer. I shrugged and turned around. “Are you okay?” I asked Maru, patting him on the shoulder. He was silent, but nodded his head in reply before walking away.
I sighed, still upset over the situation between those two. I didn't have enough time to worry about those two. As much as I knew that they should be together, I had my own relationship issues. On top of all of that, my main priority was making sure that Uchi Hiroki did not find out that Tadayoshi was a patient at the same clinic as Ryo.
Alone again, I continued down the hallway towards Ryo's room. I paused at the door, almost afraid to knock. I was still worried about Tadayoshi's safety. There was no reason for me to turn away Ryo's visitors, however. Ryo had been on his best behavior all week. On top of that, it would be good for Ryo to spend time with a friend.
Raising my hand, I hesitantly knocked on the door. After a few moments, the young man opened his door and I noticed his bloodshot eyes. Seeing this before, I immediately asked him, “Are you on something?”
Nishikido shook his head, and I was surprised that he didn't get mad at me for asking.
I realized then that his eyes were red because he had been crying. “Are you alright?” I asked him.
He nodded, wiping his nose on his sleeve. “What do you want?” he asked, his voice sounding gruff.
“You have a visitor,” I informed him, not sure how to react.
His body went stiff and a look of horror crossed over his face. “Who is it?”
“He said his name is Uchi Hiroki,” I tried saying the name as though it was unfamiliar to me. In fact, I probably knew more about Uchi Hiroki than most people around him.
I thought for a moment that I saw some flicker of hope cross Ryo's face, but then he was back to his usual stoic expression. “I don't want to see him.”
“What?” I asked, confused by his reaction. Of course, it was a relief that Ryo didn't want to see the other young man. I could just go tell Uchi and he would be out of Tadayoshi's way.
As Nishikido's therapist, however, it wasn't that easy. In addition to his drug and anger issues, Nishikido displayed anti-social behavior. He had no friends. Even Tadayoshi, who was reluctant to let anyone get close to him, had found some sort of companionship in Subaru.
I knew that seeing Uchi would be good for Nishikido. Despite whatever problem Ryo had with Uchi, ignoring it would not help my patient. Hiroki was a special person for Ryo; his photo album made that much clear to me.
“I think you should talk to him,” I replied calmly.
Ryo turned his head away from me and shrugged. “I don't have anything to say to him.”
I bit my lip and continued, “Maybe he has something to say to you.”
He looked as though he waned to say no, but he hesitated at the last moment. “He's waiting for me?”
I nodded, “I'll be there the whole time. Nothing bad will happen.” I tried to sound reassuring.
Ryo pursed his lips. Ever since I had promised to find his photo album and came up empty handed, he didn't trust me much anymore. He nodded, though, seemingly making up his mind that he would go see Uchi.
I opened the door and Nishikido followed me out into the hallway. As we passed Tadayoshi's room, I glanced nervously at the door, hoping that everything would go smoothly day and that Tadayoshi would be safe.
I led Nishikido through the admissions area to the door of the visitation room. I opened it and peeked through the crack, making sure that Uchi and his entourage were there.
I opened the door and entered first. Ryo followed me into the room and his eyes fell on the crowd.
“Hello, Ryo-Chan,” Uchi waved and smiled from his spot at the table.
“You,” Ryo glanced past Uchi at another larger and balder man. Anger saturated his voice and I could see him shaking in fury.
I panicked, wondering what I should do about the tense atmosphere. Curiosity took over and I waited for a moment to see what would happen.
“What kind of greeting is that?” the man asked, smiling. “Can't you be a little nicer to your own father?”
I stared in shock. Uchi hadn't just brought an entourage. He brought Ryo's father.
“How did you find me?” Nishikido asked, his nostrils flaring.
The man, Ryo's father, laughed in a way that set chills down my spine. “You think you can hide from me? We've been watching you the whole time. Although I am quite surprised that you managed to last this long, to be honest.”
Ryo clenched his jaw, “I'm leaving...” He turned to leave the room.
“Stop,” His father's voice commanded and Ryo turned around to face his visitors. “Get your things, you're coming back to Tokyo.”
“I'm not,” Ryo said. “I'm staying here.”
“The hell you are. I'm your father and you are under-aged. Now get your things.” His father's voice changed from its previous calmness into full rage.
“You think I don't know that you had me shot?” Ryo asked, narrowing his eyes at the older man.
I stared back and forth between the two, too shocked to do anything else.
“I don't know what you're talking about,” he smiled, cockily. “You seem to be fine, either way. Just a flesh wound, right?”
I gasped in horror. Ryo's father had basically admitted that he had his own son shot. “I think you should leave,” I said, finally finding my voice.
“Not without Ryo,” he said defiantly.
“I'm not going anywhere with you,” Nishikido came to stand closer to me.
“So you're just going to stay here now?” Uchi stood up and crossed the room towards where Ryo and I were standing.
Ryo said nothing, turning away from the younger man in defiance.
Uchi put his hand on Ryo's shoulder. “Come back to Tokyo with me.” His hand slid down Ryo's arm, grabbing the older man's hand.
Ryo pulled his hand away from Uchi. “I'm not going anywhere with either of you. I am staying here.”
His father chuckled, sinisterly. “I thought for sure you would come back if I brought Uchi with. I guess he lost his power over you, hmm?”
Uchi glared at Ryo's father, “Shut up. Don't forget who signs your paychecks. Now let's go Ryo.”
He tried pulling my patient by the arm, but Ryo shoved him away. “Leave me alone. I hate you,” he spat out.
A pained look crossed Hiroki's face. He stepped back from Ryo and turned towards the table, “Let's go.”
“Ryo,” His father began. “That's no way to talk to your boss. Now get your things and let's go.”
“He's not my boss,” Ryo said coldly. “I want nothing to do with that person. If you think I would ever protect him, you're wrong. I hate him.”
Uchi turned away from Ryo and grabbed his bag from the table. “That's enough, Nishikido,” Hiroki said to Ryo's father. “Let's go.”
“This isn't over,” Ryo's father muttered to him.
“Excuse me,” I interjected. “It is over. And if I see you here again, I'll call the police.”
“You think you can stop me from seeing my own son?” He asked, looking at me as though I was easily disposable as a human being.
“Yes,” I replied defiantly, angry at the man's attitude. “Especially if I think that you have anything to do with his injury.”
“You don't know who you're dealing with,” he muttered to me, menacingly.
“Let's go, Nishikido,” Uchi growled from the door.
I followed the crowd from the visitation room, surprised to see that there were already several police officers standing around.
“Yasu!” Murakami called to me. “Do you have any idea where Tadayoshi is?”
I glanced nervously over at Uchi and saw him look at Ryo's father, wide-eyed. I panicked as they whispered something to each other.
“Isn't he in his room?” I asked, still watching Uchi from the corner of my eye.
Murakami shook his head. “He didn't show up to his counseling session today. When we went to check his room, he wasn't there. He took his stuff and left.”
“Left?” I asked, shocked. I had told Tadayoshi in his room and wait for me. “Are you sure?”
Murakami nodded. “The window was open. We think he left. Do you have any idea why?”
I shook my head, confused. “I have no idea.”
I glanced over my shoulder to where Uchi had been standing and noticed he had disappeared. My heart was beating faster than it ever had in recent memory. I couldn't believe that Tadayoshi would leave without saying anything to me.
I felt as though someone had reached into my chest and was trying to pull my heart out. On the outside, I tried my hardest not to let my emotions show. I couldn't let anyone, especially Murakami, know what I was feeling.
“Tell us if you hear anything from him,” Yokoyama said, and I noticed for the first time that he was one of the officers there to file the report.
I nodded and slowly headed back to my office, in shock over the twist in that day's events.
The rest of the day, I could focus on nothing but Tadayoshi and what happened to him. I was in shock that he just left. In a way, I felt as though he had left me. I shook my head in disbelief. Really, I had thought when I had finally admitted that I was in love with Tadayoshi, I would be the one to break his heart.
I had so much more to lose than he did, I had thought. I felt guilty as I realized that his situation was just as desperate as my own, if not more. He had his own life and future to protect.
In my heart, I still had hope that he would contact me someway. I was so worried, I wouldn't care if he never wanted to see me again. I just needed to know that he was safe.
With all of the Tadayoshi-centric thoughts running through my head, I thought seriously about backing down in the promise I had made to Maruyama that morning. I was in no mood to help my friend move.
Murakami already suspected that I had something to do with Tadayoshi's disappearance. If I went around canceling plans, it would probably make him even more suspicious. I sighed when five o'clock rolled around and Maruyama was knocking at my door.
“Are you ready?” he asked me, and I nodded, gathering my stuff.
I followed Maru out of the clinic and to the train station, surprised when he stepped onto the opposite platform. “Where are we going? Murakami's house is the other way...”
“It's okay. We'll go to my new place real quick and change. It's just one stop over.”
I nodded, slightly irritated. I just wanted to get this over and done with as soon as possible, and now Maru was leading me on a detour.
We arrived at the next station and I followed Maru off the train and out of the station. We walked silently down the street. “Are you okay?”
I turned to Maru, surprised by his question. “Yeah. I'm fine. Are you okay?”
“I already told you, I'm fine. I just want to finish moving and be done with all of this drama.”
I nodded, agreeing with him. I too, wanted the drama of the past couple weeks to just go away.
“Can I ask you something?” he asked as he dug a set of keys from his pocket. “Do you know where Tadayoshi is?” he asked, not waiting for an answer to his first question.
I shook my head. “I have no idea.”
“Are you really okay, then? Aren't you worried?” Maru asked, and all his questions made me even more nervous and worried.
I knew I could trust Maru, but I decided to keep the secrets of Tadayoshi's past to myself. “I am really worried. I don't know what to do...”
“You should just go home then. You have enough on your mind.” Maru patted my shoulder.
I shook my head. “I am fine. Besides, Murakami already suspects that I am responsible for Tadayoshi running away.”
“Stupid Shin-Chan,” Maruyama muttered and we were standing in front of a very nice two-story house. He opened the gate and walked up the stairs, sticking his key into the lock on the door. “Here we are...”
Maruyama opened the door and I followed him in. “Wow, this place is really nice...” I looked around and noticed that the walls were decorated with all sorts of drawings.
Maruyama nodded. “My friend just moved here from Tokyo. He's an artist, quite popular in Tokyo, but he wanted to come work here for a while.”
I nodded, looking around at all of the paintings. “He's really good,” I commented. I enjoyed art, both as an observer and as someone who liked to draw.
“This way,” He led me up the stairs to a bedroom and I followed him across the room to a dresser. “You are about the same size as Satoshi. So you can borrow some of his clothes.”
As Maru dug around in the drawers for clothes, my eyes landed on a picture on the top of the dresser. It was a picture of a Maru with a small guy. The other man had a somewhat annoyed look on his face as a younger looking Maru's arms draped over his shoulders.
“Here,” Maru handed me a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt.
“Maru,” I began, still looking at the picture. “Is this him?”
Maru looked at the picture and nodded. “Yeah. That's him. Ohno Satoshi.”
“Is he,” I began, confused by the situation. “Is he an old boyfriend?”
“He is,” Maruyama said without hesitation.
“And you're living with him?” I asked, wondering what was going on. Maruyama and Murakami had just broken up and he was already living with an ex-boyfriend.
Maruyama said nothing, and I felt bad for judging him. His family lived in Kyoto and it was not like he could easily commute back and forth to work everyday if he moved back with them. Ohno was a friend of Maruyama's and I had no reason to judge their relationship or decisions.
“Sorry,” I said. “Its none of my business.”
“Its okay,” Maru said. “Hurry and get dressed.” He left me alone in the room to change.
That night had been one of the longest ones of my entire life. Between worrying about Tadayoshi and the tension in the air around Maruyama and Murakami, I was exhausted.
The moving had gone as smoothly as one could expect. Murakami had sat at his kitchen table, silent and unmoving as we moved box after box of Maru's things out of the house. I desperately wanted to tell him about Ohno and that he would lose Maru forever if he didn't do something. Even if it was my business, both of them didn't seem to care or want to do anything to fix the relationship.
Maruyama and Murakami were over. And it seemed as though, sadly, it was for good.
It was well past midnight as I left the train station and began on my way back home. The neighborhood was mostly quiet, and I was somewhat thankful for the peace. Although the night had been long and silent, this silence was somewhat calming. The tenseness of the night slowly began leaving me, and I was left wondering where Tadayoshi was and whether or not he was safe.
I was lost in thought as I approached my apartment building, my body moving of its own accord as I pulled the keys out of my bag to unlock the door.
I saw something move from the corner of my eye, and turned, surprised. There was Tadayoshi, his jacked pulled over him like a blanket, fast asleep on the steps outside of my building.
A/N: Sorry it took so long for an update >< I have midterms coming up and this weekend I was with some friends that I haven't seen in a while. But it was fun because they are my Kanjani fangirl friends so we had fun ^^. Anyway, I will try to get another chapter out in the next few days...