After breaking up, Takaki had expected tears, sadness, anger and even depression, yes. But he had never for once thought of seeing his ex standing at his doorstep a year after the break up.
‘… Inoo chan?’ The said boy stood still in front of him, soaking wet from the mid summer shower, black hair stuck to his forehead, pale skin looked even paler because of the cold, the pouty lips used to be so pink and kissable now held a sickly shade of purple. (Yet you still looked so gorgeous, just like before.)
‘You used to call me Kei.’ Inoo smile, bitterly, before pushing pass Takaki to go inside.
‘You know what happened.’
‘ I know what happened. I just don’t know why that has anything to do with the way you call me at all.’ Inoo said, a bit too nonchalant to Takaki’s liking, before disappearing into the bathroom.
Takaki sighed, the situation still a bit too absurd for him to react. After a while, he heard Inoo’s voice yelling. ‘Can I borrow your clothes?’ Then, without waiting for Takaki to agree or disagree, he continued ‘Do you still put them in the same place? Oh you do.’
Something in Takaki’s heart felt a little tight, seeing how Inoo was still so familiar with everything in his apartment. (It’s like he had never left.) Rubbing his face, Takaki silently scolded himself for even having such thought. He let himself fall on the couch, trying to list all the reasons why they couldn’t go back, but the sound of water running distracted him more than he would admit.
Takaki hated how Inoo spent so much time in the bathroom. Every time he took a bath, it lasted at least thirty minutes, not to mention those days when he was either mad at Takaki or in the mood of being a princess and decided to have a nice, long, fancy bath.
- Kei, if you don’t go out in a minute, I’m coming in.
Takaki yelled, banging at the door. It wasn’t like he needed to use the bathroom, he was just bored and waiting for more than 45 minutes for his boyfriend was definitely not a fun thing to do.
- Today is my beauty day. You know I need an hour for this!
- I don’t care.
Takaki couldn’t stop his laugh once he managed entering the bathroom. In the bath sat Inoo, face green with some kind of mask, cucumber slices covering his eyes; surrounding him was bubbles and rose petals.
- YOU SAID ONE MINUTE!!! YUYA GET OUT!!
Despite Inoo’s scream, Takaki still couldn’t stop laughing until his tears came out.
- Oh God Kei you looks just like those girls in spa commercials where did you even get those petals??
- I would so splash you with water if I didn’t use my new bath bomb today and it smells so good.
- Well you don’t have to.
With that, Takaki shrugged off his clothes and jumped right into the bath, causing half of the water and almost all the petals to flow out.
Ignoring Inoo’s protest, Takaki pulled him closer before turning him around, letting his back nestle against his strong chest.
- Stop yelling with that green face of yours. I didn’t know I have Hulk as my boyfriend.
- Did you just seriously call me Hulk? Do you have a death wish or something?
- You realized that getting angry will make you seem even more like him right?
Just as Inoo turned around in attempt to yell at Takaki, the older man laughed loudly, pulling him into a kiss. They stayed like that for a few moment, foreheads touching. When they pulled apart, it was Inoo’s turn bursting out laughing.
- Now you have green forehead too. Are you Hulk too?
Takaki made a dramatic face, before holding his chest just as dramatically, yelling some nonsense along the line of ‘OMG you transfer your Hulk power through kisses.’, then stole some more kisses for the laughing Inoo, saying he wanted more of his power. Just like that, they fooled in the bath until late night, which resulting in they both getting colds.
‘What are you laughing at?’
Inoo’s voice woke Takaki up from his daydream. The pretty boy had just finished his bath, hands still busy drying his hair with Takaki’s towel. He looked at Takaki questioningly before flopping onto the sofa, right next to the elder. Takaki didn’t know if it was because Inoo was wearing his clothes and smelled like his shampoo, or if it was the fact that he had been like that a year ago too, that made his heart beating so fast.
‘So Inoo chan, what bring you here?’
‘Why don’t you call me Kei anymore?’
‘That doesn’t matter. Why are you..’
‘I’m hungry. Go cook me something.’
‘Cut the shit Inoo. Just answer my question already!’ Takaki was surprised with himself for blowing off so fast at Inoo. For all their years together, the times he had been angry with the younger could be counted easily on one hand.
There was no respond from Inoo. He just sat there, looking calmly at Takaki. And when Takaki looked back, he didn’t find any trace of hurt inside those orbs. (But he didn’t sure if he should be glad, because the emptiness in there kind of made his heart clenched too.)
‘I still can’t get over you. Even after a year.’ Inoo said after a while, his voice sounded so soft, yet strangely clear.
‘Inoo chan you know we couldn’t..’
‘Yes, I know we couldn’t just go back together. I’m selfish but not that selfish, Yuya.’ Why did hearing Inoo call his name feel so good? ‘All I ask for is a night together. I’ll leave tomorrow.’
Takaki sighed. He couldn’t say anything when Inoo acted like this.
‘Now can I have my rice and miso soup?’ Takaki was sure sighing so much in such a short amount of time wouldn’t be healthy, so he instead just went straight to the kitchen, with Inoo following right after him.
They kept silent after that. Only the sound of Takaki chopping and the soup boiling could be heard. Takaki unconsciously smiled. It was somewhat calming, cooking a warm meal in such a stormy night. Takaki couldn’t really remember the last time he had stepped into the kitchen, let alone cooking something.
‘No parsley.’ Inoo said after a while. Takaki rolled his eyes. He had been cooking for the both of them for years, of course he remembered.
‘I’m not an old man you know. I wouldn’t forget things that fast.’
‘I’m glad.’ Takaki had actually expected somewhat a retort from Inoo, not such a relieved reply. (Takaki knew it was ridiculous, but he honestly thought Inoo’s usual snarky remark would be so much less hurtful.)
It didn’t take long for Takaki to prepare a simple dinner of white rice, miso soup and boiled fish. He set the dishes on the dining table, before bringing over two rice bowls.
‘Sorry I don’t have many things left on the fridge.’
‘It’s fine. As long as there is white rice and miso soup, I’m good.’ Inoo didn’t wait a second to dig in, eating the simple meal so deliciously.
The sight satisfied Takaki endlessly. He had never been a good cook, and Inoo might be the only person ever that was contented with his cooking.
It was the night after they had returned from a trip. Even though it was a fun trip, they both returned exhausted. The first thing Inoo did, after taking a bath and unpacking, was forcing Takaki to cook him a meal.
- Can I just cook tomorrow? I’m tired.
Takaki whined. Driving for hours was taking a toll on him and he wanted nothing more than sleep.
- But I’m hungry!
- The go cook yourself!
- Yuya you know I can’t.
That was true. The last time Takaki got sick, Inoo had burnt the kitchen down trying to make him some tea. Sighing in defeat, Takaki pulled himself up from the bed.
- What do you want then?
- Rice and miso soup!
Inoo literally cheered. That amused Takaki to no end. He could never understand the younger’s obsession with rice. It was a simple meal, due to Takaki’s exhaustion and the lack of food in their fridge, but nonetheless Inoo enjoyed every bite.
- I can’t believe how you enjoy this after a week of specialties and fancy food. Kei are you even normal?
- Since when do you even think that I’m normal? Beside, I love Yuya’s food more.
Maybe it was because Inoo’s different from other people, but Takaki couldn’t deny how happy he was hearing that.
‘Hey, slow down.’ Takaki chuckled when Inoo chocked on the soup. ‘How long since the last time you have eaten?
‘A year.’ Inoo said without even looking up.
‘.. That’s ridiculous, Inoo-chan.’
‘Call me Kei.’
‘Call me Kei. Please? And I’m telling the truth.’
‘Fine, whatever you say. Kei.’ The name tasted a bit weird on the tip of his tongue, but Takaki thought Inoo’s smile was worth it.
After the meal, Inoo shooed Takaki to take a bath while he washed the dishes. ‘I only do it because you cooked.’ He said bashfully. Takaki was left amazed, during the years they dated, the only times Inoo did the dishes were because Takaki wasn’t there.
When Takaki came back, he found Inoo on the couch, going through his book stacks.
‘How can you not buy any new books? I’ve read all of these already!’
Takaki only shrugged at the other’s complaint. He couldn’t be bother with books these days. He then flopped down next to Inoo, turning on the television on. Time passed like that, with Inoo’s reading and Takaki’s watching a summer special documentary of the Japanese beaches. They didn’t speak a word to each other, yet both seemed so comfortable, listening to the sounds of waves and summer music coming from the speaker.
Suddenly Inoo chuckled, his eyes seemed unfocused, yet so soft. ‘Do you remember when we used to go the beach every summer?’
‘You used to drive us all the way to the beach every summer, even if we could only spend a night there.’ Inoo continued without waiting for Takaki’s respond. He knew the older would remember.
‘Every time you dragged me there, I hated it.’ Takaki was more than a little hurt. He had always thought of those trips as his treasured memories. ‘But when we arrived there, and you would look so happy and we would play in the water until it got dark, then we would eat and talk and I don’t know, just be there. And I would realize that I don’t hate it. It was fun and happy. And sometimes I wish I could go to the beach with you, even for one more time.’
As much as he was happy with Inoo’s confession, Takaki hated the smaller boy’s sad smile and casted down eyes so much he wished to erase it. ‘We can still go now.’
‘Yuya, we broke up.’
‘We can still go as friends. Or maybe we can go now. Tonight we’re still lovers right? I can drive you there.’ It was raining outside and Takaki knew it was idiotic going to the beach in this hour, but he couldn’t help but make the suggestion.
‘Are you serious? We can go now and drive for hours to the beach?’
‘Yes, I’ll get the key then we can…’ Takaki stopped as he saw Inoo laughing loudly. Did he say something wrong?
‘Are you an idiot? I was just joking! Who in their right mind would want to go there in this weather?’ The pretty boy said while looking out of the window, his eyes glistening.
‘If you want to, I can still..’
‘It’s ok, I’d rather be inside in a stormy night like this.’ Inoo shook his head, curling up lazily on the couch, the book long forgotten. ‘Now, how about you go fetch me a blanket then go make us some tea?’
‘Are you even real?’
‘Oh right, bring some snack too.’ Inoo turned his attention back to the television, changing the channels back and forth, totally ignoring Takaki’s gaze on him.
‘Fine!’ Takaki let out another defeated sigh before going into the bedroom, missing out the way Inoo looking at his turning back.
When Takaki brought two cups of warm tea to the living room, Inoo was still curling on the sofa, blanket wrapped tightly around his thin body. Giving the younger his share, Takaki sat on the couch, eyes couldn’t help but admiring the boy next to him. His hair was now dry, looking so soft and fuzzy, the long bang covering a bit of his distracted eyes. His long, pale fingers wrapped beautifully a round the cup, the pouty lips let out a contented purr after a sip of the warm drink.
‘You look so much like a cat, Kei.’ Takaki mused. Before he even knew it, his hand had already gone up to pet the other’s hair.
Unfazed by the elder’s action, Inoo continued watching the screen. It was an old film that both of them had watched so many times that they could even tell what the characters were gonna say next. ‘You always say that.’
Through the years they had spent together, dating or not, Takaki had seen so many sides of Inoo. But the sleepy Inoo was the kind of Inoo that, no matter how many times he saw it, made his heart go over flow with adoration. And right at that moment, it took every ounce of Takaki’s self control not to hug the life out of the sleepy boy. There he was, sitting on his lap, his head rested comfortably on his shoulder, the soft hair tickling Takaki’s cheek, his slender arms circling the elder’s waist. Takaki chuckled when he heard the other’s quiet whine, his hand massaging the other’s scalp
- If you are that sleepy you know you can just go to sleep right?
- No. I want to give you a New Year kiss.
Inoo said stubbornly, though his voice was already hazy with sleepiness. Takaki couldn’t stop his laugh, shaking his head. He knew better than arguing with the younger. Despite his soft and pretty look, the guy was more than stubborn. Instead, he just continued petting his hair, hoping that if he did it long enough, the younger would fall asleep. Takaki couldn’t help but laugh at how the other purred slightly at his touch. Ten minutes later, just when he thought he was successful, he heard Inoo’s voice.
- Yuya, stop laughing.
- You noticed?
- Your body was moving too, you know.
- Sorry. Did I wake you up?
- I still haven’t fall asleep you know. Now tell me what’s so funny?
- There must be something. Tell me! Or did you just think about something bad about me?
- Why would I think badly about you?
- Then tell me! Why couldn’t you tell me what made you laugh?
Inoo’s whine made Takaki laughed even harder, the hand that was used to pet the younger’s head moved downward, hugging his small waist.
- Fine, it’s because you are just like a cat.
Takaki had thought Inoo would at least scold him for comparing him to an animal. But instead the smaller guy just lifted his face up, big eyes staring intensely at Takaki, before letting out a small ‘Nyan’. Takaki thought he had frozen for few minutes before pulling his boyfriend closer, kissing all over his face.
- Why are you so cute?
Despite Inoo’s protest, Takaki continued kissing him until the clock turned 0:00 and the sound of people cheering could be heard through the window.
‘Yuya?’ Inoo once again pulled Takaki out of his thought. ‘Is it me or you do daydream a lot these days?’
Takaki only shook his head, his hand still stoking Inoo’s hair.
‘Yes?’ Inoo’s voice was so soft it made Takaki a bit uneasy.
‘Did you…’ Inoo stopped mid way, his eyes avoiding Takaki’s. ‘Did you miss me?’
Of course he did. Inoo had meant too much to Takaki for him not to. Inoo had been not only his lover, he had been a part of his life, sharing memories and happiness and sadness with him for years, being with him through hardship and succeed. Just because they couldn’t continue walking on the same path didn’t mean Takaki didn’t treasure their time together and think about him from time to time. Yet when the guy himself asked him so, Takaki couldn’t let the words get through his throat. Takaki hated himself so much when he saw the hopeful light disappeared inside Inoo’s eyes.
‘It’s fine, you know. It has been a year. I was probably holding things for too long. I guess I was being stubborn again, wasn’t I?’ Inoo tried to laugh it off, yet his laugh sounded so much like a cry to Takaki. And when he noticed the tears welled up in Inoo’s eyes, all of his reasons and self control was thrown outside the window.
Pulling the smaller into a desperate kiss, Takaki held Inoo as close as he could, hands holding even tighter when he could taste the salty tears in their kiss. He could feel Inoo’s hands shaking when he held on him as if his life was depended on it. They kept pulling each other closer and closer desperately, not pulling away even when their lungs burnt hotly for the lack of air. When they parted, none said a word, only pants and Inoo’s occasional whimpers filled the room. Wiping the tears away, Takaki gently kissed Inoo once more before pulling him into his arms, carrying the thin boy into his bedroom.
When Takaki put him down on the bed, Inoo let out a soft chuckle. ‘Are we gonna have sex right now?’
Between the two of them, Takaki had always been known as the frank one, but hearing Inoo’s question, he started doubting that fact. ‘If you want to?’
‘I can’t believe you actually take me to the bedroom. After all those years of basically having sex everywhere but the bed.’ Inoo’s laugh seemed a bit out of place but it made the atmosphere around them lightened a lot. Takaki soon joined his laugh, his hand patted Inoo’s cheek lovingly.
‘Are you holding grudge now?’
‘I am not. But I must admit it kind of makes me feel like a virgin.’
Even Inoo’s sincere expression didn’t stop Takaki from laughing. ‘That’s so random, Kei.’ Inoo pouted a little before placing himself on Takaki’s lap.
‘You’re right. I’m too experient to be a virgin.’ He breathed into Takaki’s lips, nimble fingers already pulling the hem of Takaki’s shirt. Takaki let out a quiet groan when he felt the younger’s warm tongue on his exposed skin.
Inoo trailed his tongue up Takaki’s torso, stopping here and there to either leave a bite or a mark, luring the deep moans out of Takaki. Years of being together made them knowing the other’s body like the back of their hand. ‘Kei’ Takaki breathed out as Inoo caressed the hotness in between his legs.
Sitting up straight, Inoo held Takaki’s face with his shaking hands, pulling him into a soul burning kiss before looking right into the elder’s eyes, shakily yet surely, ‘Yuya, please take me.’
Takaki wondered if it was something in Inoo’s voice, or in those pleading words, or in Inoo’s eyes; but at that moment, he felt like there was something snapping inside him, making him instinctively pulling Inoo even closer to him, kissing and marking him, making the boy his.
In the dim light was two bodies, entangling with each other, pushing and pulling with a rhythm only the both of them could feel. The sounds of their pants, moans and bodies touching combining with the sound of the pouring rain turned into a melody, making their intoxicated souls even more drunk. With the last desperate kiss the two let the hot white fire of pleasure burn their souls.
‘Yuya’ Inoo whimpered breathlessly when Takaki tried to move. ‘Don’t pull out.’
‘Kei, I need to clean you before you get sick.’
‘Just stay. Please.’ As if to leave Takaki with no other choice, Inoo snuggled closer to the bigger man’s warm body, falling asleep in just seconds. Hugging the sleeping boy close, Takaki chuckled helplessly. Inoo had always been so needy and clingy after sex.
It was after one of their sessions, when they both were so out of breath, yet fulfilled and satisfied. Takaki gently turned his body to place Inoo, who was still on top of him, next to him on the floor. The younger was still struggling to catch his breath, refused to even move his body.
‘Kei, at least go to the bed. You’ll catch a cold here.’
When he got no respond, Takaki sighed, wrapping the thin body with his strong arms. ‘Hold on then, I’ll carry you there.’
After putting Inoo on the bed and covering him with their blanket, Takaki was about to go to the bathroom when a hand held his arm. ‘Where are you going?’
‘Bathroom? I need to clean both of us.’
‘Stay. I’m cold.’
‘That’s ridiculous, Kei. It’s summer and you already have a blanket.’
‘I don’t care. Are you getting on and holding me or not?’
‘Can I say not?’
Takaki must admit how weak he was against Inoo’s sleepy whiny voice, especially when the younger called his name. Ignoring how dirty they both were, Takaki pushed the blanket away, warming up Inoo’s body with his own, letting himself drift to dream land with his lover in his arms.
Smiling to the memory, Takaki looked at Inoo once again, pushing a stray lock of hairs out of his peaceful face. Hugging him closer, he contently closed his eyes. (Let be together again, even if it’s just for tonight.)