This is NOT the last chapter. I've posted the final chapter and this epilogue on the same day, so click HERE to read the last chapter first.
I couldn't remember the last time I was this nervous. Not the uncomfortable, dread-filled nervousness one feels when something bad is about to happen. The nervousness I felt on this particular day was a happy, hopeful kind of nervous.
“Would you calm down already?” My sister scolded me from her perch on the chair as I rearranged the cushions on the sofa for the umpteenth time.
I ignored her, continuing to make sure that everything in my apartment was perfect. The rest of my family looked on with amused smiles as I darted back and forth across my living room, searching every corner for some kind of imperfection.
I had exchanged my third floor apartment for one on the first floor. With the help of Murakami, Yokoyama and a newly emancipated Subaru, all of my furniture had been moved and replaced into the identical apartment. To many people, this might seem strange, leaving one apartment for another one in the same building.
But the reason was actually quite simple and logical.
“Okay,” I turned to my family. “Ryo, Uchi, Maru and Shingo are on their way. I'm going to go pick Tadayoshi up from the hospital. Don't forget the plan,” I spouted, heading towards the door. “Oh, and don't make a mess. And the champagne glasses...”
“Are in the cupboard above the sink,” my sister muttered. “We know. Just go already.”
The reason for my apartment switch, and my nervousness, was that Tadayoshi would be coming home from the hospital that day. Home – to my apartment, our apartment. After three months, and a series of operations on his legs, Tadayoshi was finally leaving the hospital.
Although it was unclear whether he would ever be able to regain full use of his legs, he had made progress on his rehabilitation. He was, however, still confined to a wheelchair and climbing the three flights of stairs to our apartment would have been impossible.
The nervous butterflies in my stomach continued fluttering all the way to the hospital. Of course, Tadayoshi and I had lived together for those short weeks in the past, but this arrangement was more permanent and suddenly I wasn't sure things would be the same. It had been over two years and although we were starting our relationship over, I wondered how much we had changed.
I had visited Tadayoshi in the hospital nearly everyday over the past three months. Those visits, however, were always cut short by doctors, check-ups, or my busy work-schedule. There hadn't been a moment since we had reunited that we were able to have a moment alone. And although I was eager to have him all to myself, I couldn't shake the nervousness.
I wondered if Tadayoshi would still be able to read my thoughts, understand the meaning behind my every action the way he used to. Would it still be possible for us to sit together as companions, blanketed in a comfortable silence? Would he still be as happy to see me every night when I came home from work? Would he want me physically the way he used to?
For me, the answers to these questions were all an easy, resounding yes. I loved Tadayoshi, had been lonely for his company every day of my life over the past two years. There was no one whose face I would rather see everyday, whose voice I would want to wake up to, whose touch I would want to feel every night for the rest of my life. To me, there was only Tadayoshi.
As nervous as I was, the excitement coursing through my body overwhelmed any other emotion. I would finally have him all to myself. That thought alone sent me hurrying into the hospital, where Tadayoshi was waiting for me in the lobby, already discharged.
“Why are you so nervous?” he asked, narrowing his eyes the moment he saw me.
“I'm not nervous,” I came around behind him, wrapping my hands around the handles of his wheelchair, and pushing him towards the door.
“You are, I can tell.”
Though he couldn't see me, I stuck my tongue out at the back of his head. “I'm not nervous. I'm excited.”
“Okay,” he muttered the response, a note of disbelief to his tone. “And I saw your reflection in the window just now. Very mature.”
“Okay,” I pulled a set of keys from my pocket. “For you...”
A smile spread across his face, and he held his hands out. “Thank you.”
I blushed, not really understanding why, except for maybe the cute smile that had become plastered to his face. “Why don't you unlock the door?”
He cast me a weary glance before leaning forward in his wheelchair and sticking the key into the lock. With a loud click, he unlocked the door and twisted the doorknob. I held the door open for him as he wheeled himself inside.
“Surprise!” came a resonating yell, as several friends and family popped into view.
“Oh, wow. You got me,” Tadayoshi said, sarcasm dripping in his voice.
“You told him,” my sister pouted, glaring at me.
“No, he didn't.” Tadayoshi defended me. “He's just too easy to read. Sending text messages as we walked back from the station, making me unlock the door.”
I blushed again, although I was secretly pleased that this meant he could still read me as easily. I shrugged, feeling deliriously happy as my sister handed us both a glass of champagne.
“Quit pretending like you don't like it,” she scolded Tadayoshi, ruffling his hair.
“I do like it,” He smiled. “Thanks for coming.”
She smiled back at him, “Of course, we're family. I wouldn't miss it.”
The rest of the party went by without many problems. Of course, Maruyama had brought Ohno with him, and both Tadayoshi and I worked hard to make sure that Murakami wasn't placed in an awkward situation were they would have to confront each other.
Yoko had, naturally, followed Subaru around like a lost puppy the entire party. Or perhaps it was Subaru that was dragging the older man around. Either way, we also learned that day that getting Subaru and my sister in one room together was very dangerous. I couldn't decide which of the two was more deranged and perverted. Neither, much to his horror, could Osamu.
Nishikido and Uchi had showed up together, and I was glad to see that after two years, they were still together. Uchi had brought with him a bag full of clothes that he had gotten from the Ohkura estate. Although it wasn't much, it would certainly get him by until he had a chance to go shopping. And by the time the party was over, my sister and Tadayoshi had already planned a shopping trip.
Tadayoshi seemed happy to be back with me, and the nervousness of being alone with him after everyone left slowly started to melt away until it reached the point where it felt like people would never leave. At midnight, I had enough and was practically shoving everyone out of the door.
With everyone gone I slowly began cleaning up, the nervousness once again starting to kick in. “Should I run a bath?”
“Okay,” he commented, stacking some dirty plates sitting on the coffee table in the living room.
I turned on the hot water, returning to the living room as the tub slowly began filling. I dropped the plates I was holding as a hissing sound suddenly filled the room.
“What the hell?” Tadayoshi shouted, a white blur jumping into his lap and proceeded to scratch at him.
“Tadayoshi, stop!” I yelled.
“I didn't do anything!” he shouted back at me, getting angry.
“Not you,” I walked over, picking the cat off of my boyfriend's lap. “Bad Tadayoshi,” I scolded, smacking my cat lightly as I set him on the floor.
“Did you... Did you just call the cat Tadayoshi?”
I blushed. “That's his name.”
He was silent for a moment, staring at me in shock. “You can't just name a cat after me. And... is that the same one from the pet shop?”
“Maybe,” I pouted, picking up the cat who was currently purring and rubbing himself against my legs.
“Well, you can't call him that.” Tadayoshi pouted, crossing his arms over his chest.
“Well, he's been Tadayoshi for over two years. I can't just change it now.” I commented stroking underneath the cat's chin. His purring grew louder and he closed his eyes, tilting his head back to give me easier access.
“I've been Tadayoshi for almost twenty years,” Tadayoshi's pouting continued, and when I glanced over at him, he was glaring at my cat.
“Are you jealous?” I asked, smiling at the realization.
“No,” he snottily replied, unfolding his arms.
“You are,” I leaned down, the cuteness of his pouting making me feel giddy, and brushed my lips against his.
I sighed against his soft lips, and he seemed to have forgotten his annoyance as he took the opportunity to slip his tongue into my welcoming mouth. Likewise, I forgot what we had been doing previously, dropping the cat onto the floor as Tadayoshi's hand rested against the small of back.
I broke the kiss, straightening up. “I think the bath water is done running. Want me to help scrub your back?”
He grinned at me and followed as I led him to the shower room.
After Tadayoshi was done bathing, I had the shower room to myself. I was thankful for this as I sank into the hot water. Helping Tadayoshi do things like shower would probably become a normal occurrence until his legs were strong enough that he could do things on his own again.
Just once, however, was almost enough to do me in. The sight of his naked body and the feel of his skin, slick and slippery under my fingers, would be the death of me. There was no doubt in my mind that the physical attraction I had to Tadayoshi had not faded in the two years we had been apart.
Unfortunately for my body, which was painfully aroused at that moment, Tadayoshi was probably not ready to be physically intimate yet. I closed my eyes and leaned back, willing both my body and mind to calm down.
Tadayoshi needed someone to support him and help him when he needed it. The absolute last thing he wanted was a horny boyfriend. Besides, I wasn't even sure if Tadayoshi was physically able to do anything with his legs in their current state.
I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about making love with Tadayoshi again, not only since he came back in my life, but since the night when we first made love. And then I had to scold myself for thinking about it all over again.
I drug myself out of the bathtub. Perhaps it was more dangerous being alone with myself. I quickly dried myself, wrapping the towel around my waist and returning to our bedroom. I made quick work of getting dressed, trying to ignore the fact that Tadayoshi was watching me closely because I was still battling to keep Shota Jr. from getting to excited.
“Do you need help?” I asked, watching as Tadayoshi hoisted himself from the wheelchair.
He shook his head at me, “I can do it.” With shaky legs, he pulled the cover back from the bed and crawled underneath.
Somehow, watching Tadayoshi, I felt a slight bit of pride well up in me. The doctors had said that he wouldn't live, that he wouldn't walk, and he had proved them wrong twice already. Tadayoshi had already come a long way in his progress.
“Are you coming to bed?” Tadayoshi asked, amused as I continued daydreaming.
“Sorry,” I smiled, crossing the room to the bed and getting under the covers with him. Again, I felt nervous and excited as I pulled the covers up to my shoulders. I had forgotten, as I turned on my side and my body came flush against Tadayoshi's, how small my bed is. “I guess we should get a bigger bed now that you are staying permanently.”
Tadayoshi shook his head and pulled me closer so that my head was resting on his chest. “I like having an excuse to be this close to you.”
I would have blushed at such a statement, but I was too busy enjoying the feel of Tadayoshi's warm skin against my cheek and the sound of his heart beat. He threaded a hand through my hair, playing with the strands as I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.
He dragged his hand down my neck and back, sliding his hand up the back of my t-shirt. I lifted my head from his chest, looking at him as his fingertips scraped against my bare back. His eyes were closed, a small smile on his lips as his touches continued.
Unable to resist, I leaned forward, pressing my lips against his. He opened his mouth to me and I slid my tongue inside of his mouth, melting into his arms as he pulled me on top of him. I sat up, breaking the kiss and when I looked down at his grinning face, I knew that he had found himself in his desired situation.
I hovered above his hips, hesitant to rest any weight on the lower half of his body. If I hurt him, it would probably ruin the moment. I leaned down again, gingerly straddling his hips between my legs and kissed him again.
His hand slid down my waist grabbing at my hips and pulling me down onto his lap. I broke the kiss again, trying to wiggle away as his half-hard cock came into contact with my backside. “Ah, we should stop,” I said trying to disentangle myself from his arms.
“I don't want to,” he pouted, holding me in place.
“We should wait,” I tried wiggling out of his grasp once more.
“Wait for what?” He grabbed my hips and pulled me back down on him, moaning as my ass came into contact with him once more.
It was hard to resist him, with his hands up my shirt, teasing at my skin and his hard length pressing against my ass. With all the effort I had, I tried to move away once more.
“Don't,” he pleaded, sending me a lusty look that made me shudder.
My hips started to move on their own as I slid my ass against his length. “That's right,” he breathed, his hands sliding up my shirt and teasing at my nipples. I gasped, pressing myself hard against him as he pinched at them.
One of his hands trailed down my stomach, teasing briefly at the waistband of my pants before disappearing inside. A moan escaped my lips as he wrapped his hand around me.
“Let me see it,” He murmured letting go of my dick, and I sat up quickly, pulling my pants down to my knees. I watched his face as his eyes hungrily took in my naked body and suddenly, I wanted to see him too.
I struggled to removed my pants all the way, kicking them off before setting to work on the ties at the waist of Tadayoshi's pajama bottoms. Undoing the knot, I pulled them to his knees, licking my lips as his cock sprung free.
Greedily, I reached forward, tugging at his dick while another moan escaped him. I bent over him, my tongue darting out to taste the sticky fluid leaking from the head of his shaft. I slid the tip in past my lips, desperate to taste every inch of his salty flesh.
I had forgotten the way he tasted, the little moans and gasps he made as I suckled at his delicate flesh. He sat up in bed, burying his fingers in my hair, and wiggling impatiently against the mattress. I understood that his legs were strong enough to allow him to thrust himself into my mouth, so I slid his full length into my mouth, swallowing until I could feel his head rubbing at the back of my throat and making me gag.
He moaned louder, his fingers pulling at my hair as I choked on him. “Shota, stop.” He panted, as I continued slurping on him. “Let me cum inside of you.”
I tried to ignore the desire that welled up inside of me at those words and I slid him out of my mouth as I sat up again. “I don't think that's a good idea.”
“Please,” He wrapped his hand around the base of my shaft, sliding it up teasingly slow. “I've waited two years.”
I shook my head, although my hips slowly began thrusting into his warm hand. “I don't want to hurt you.”
“You won't. Please, I want to feel you wrapped so tight around me.” I couldn't resist between the begging, the way he was slowly jerking me off, and the desire to feel him inside of me once more.
Leaning across him, I opened the drawer of my bedside table, pulling out the bottle of lubricant that had been sitting inside, untouched, for over two years. He pulled me back towards him, taking the bottle of lubricant from me and kissing me sloppily.
I heard him flip the cap open, as his tongue explored my mouth, lapping at the taste of his own fluid. I shuddered, gasping as the cool liquid slid down my ass. He tossed the bottle aside, his fingers sliding through the viscous liquid and spreading me open. I moaned, wrapping my hand around Tadayoshi's dick as one of his digits began penetrating me.
“Shota,” he breathed, breaking the kiss. “You're still so tight. I need to feel you.”
I nodded, sitting up and reaching for the lubricant again as Tadayoshi's fingers wiggled impatiently inside of me, stretching me open to accommodate his dick.
Messily, I covered his shaft in lubricant and positioned myself over him. His fingers slid out of me and took hold of his own shaft as I slowly began lowering myself over him. He laid back against the pillow, spreading my legs wide as he watched himself disappear inside of me.
We both panted and I wiggled my ass against him, reveling in the way his thickness stretched me. I had forgotten the way he felt inside of me, the look of ecstasy on his face, the sounds of our panting and moaning mingling. I had not, however, forgotten the feeling of wholeness that being this intimate with Tadayoshi had given me. It was a feeling that I had been desperate for the past two years, one I had grown sure I would never feel again.
Slowly I raised myself once more, slamming back down over his shaft, leaning forward and grabbing his shoulders as my ass smacked against his pelvis.
A rough moan escaped Tadayoshi's lips and he squeezed his eyes shut.
I froze. “Ah, did I hurt you? I'm sorry...”
He opened his eyes, shaking his head profusely. “Don't stop.” He grabbed my hips pulling me up until he was almost completely out of my body before slamming me back down over him.
I moaned this time, nodding as he let go of my hips. His hand found its way to my pelvis, wrapping around my hard cock. As his hands started going to work at me, sliding quickly up and down my shaft, my pace increased.
The room was filled with the sounds of low moans as our skin slapped against each other. I could feel my orgasm near and I squeezed my eyes shut, slamming myself over him once more and gyrating as my seed spilled out onto Tadayoshi's chest.
He released me, holding my hips to still me as his back arched off the bed, “Ah, Ah, Shota.”
And then his body went limp underneath me. I slid off of him, feeling his warm cum dripping out of me. My body was numb and sore and I flopped down onto the bed next to him, allowing him to pull close.
I used my discarded pants to wipe the cum from his chest, kissing him briefly before laying my head to rest against his now clean flesh.
He reached down, threading his fingers through mine and I sighed in contentment.
All of the fears I had that it would be awkward between us had been washed away. Tadayoshi was still the arrogant, childish, adorable young man I had fallen in love with. The two years apart had done nothing to change the way he knew me inside and out. He still made me happy, and as his free hand stroked my back, I felt confident that he was happy to be there with me too.
Things had changed, but remained the same. We had not known two years ago how to cherish each other, how easy it was to hurt each other and how hard it was to live without one another.
In a way, those two years apart from each other was like a gift in disguise. Without that heartache, would we had ever known how important we were to one another?
It was a hard lesson to learn, one that we barely lived through, and I wondered if the me back then even understood what love was.
I was wrong when I thought that love only meant pain. Until you're ready to love one another, to let go of any other fear or inhibition, you can only be held back by the painful things.
I realized that perhaps this was a lesson that Ryo and Uchi had lived through. I hoped, from the bottom of my heart, that my other friends would grow to understand these feelings. I wanted them to find happiness in one another, Maruyama and Murakami, and Yokoyama and Subaru.
“I love you,” I whispered to Tadayoshi, wondering if he had drifted off to sleep already.
“I love you, too,” He whispered back sleepily.
I would never do anything to cause Tadayoshi pain. I wanted him to be by my side forever, happy and carefree. There may be times in our future where someone or something might try to keep us apart. When and if it happens, and we are separated, wherever he may be, I will always be silently supporting him, believing in him, and waiting patiently for him to return to my side.
Unlike what I had believed, that day that Tadayoshi had tried to kill himself, that last act of desperation, had not been the end to our story. No, in reality, it was just the beginning of a new chapter.
A/N: *cries* Okay, that's really it now. I hope everyone is satisfied with the ending. Sorry it took so long. The last chapter (19) was so hard to write ><. It was rewritten several times over the past couple of weeks until I finally reached an ending I am somewhat happy with. I really wanted to please everyone in the end. It was always my intention to let Tadayoshi live, so it was very fun making everyone believe that he is gonna die xD.
Anyway. thanks to everyone who stuck around and read the story until the end. I hope you weren't disappointed!
Also, if (and I am not saying that I will) I decide to write a sequel to this someday, who would you like the main focus to be on?
1) Yasu/Ohkura again