It had been what, two months. Two months of darkness since his world had all but ended.
“Come on man” Hiroto's best friend and flatmate of the last two months, Saga said “You need to get out. Get yourself laid at least, forget him.”
“I'm not you, I don't need to fuck everything that walks. I just want him” Hiroto replied.
Ouch. Coming from anyone else, that would have hurt but the thing was, it was true. “Did you and him ever...you know?” Saga asked.
“We were together over a year, what do you think?” Hiroto snapped, then sighed “He was my first. And with him, it wasn't just a physical experience, it was a way to show our love, to truly be one.”
Saga nodded “You really loved him, huh? What happened anyway? All I know is you turn up at my door babbling about how you and Shou had a fight and can you stay with me. The most I ever got was something about how you weren't part of his plan.”
“He got offered a job overseas” sighed Hiroto "I was happy for him but...I knew I couldn't bring myself to go. We both said some pretty harsh things. It ended with him telling me if I couldn't support him I should just leave. And I did.”
Saga took a deep breath. Time to confess something to his best friend he couldn't even admit to himself. “You remember that guy Tora?”
“Sure” Hiroto nodded “The guy you met right around the time I met Shou? Kind of perfect, he moved in just as I moved out. But then, he wasn't here long before you guys broke up. You cheated on him” Hiroto glared. He loved his friend but sometimes his actions weren't the greatest.
“I...the thing is” Saga began slowly “When I was with him, it was like you said with Shou; sex was more than physical. And being that deeply involved with someone, it scared me...” he trailed off.
Hiroto remained silent.
“My point is, I regret not having the balls to talk to him about my fears. You should call Shou, talk to him.”
“He's probably left the country by now” Hiroto sighed.
Hiroto wasn't sure how Saga had dragged him to this club. He didn't even know where Saga was, probably on the dancefloor with some pretty thing. All Hiroto could do was sit at the bar knocking back beers. Sitting there, he looked down the bar to see a pretty man, slightly older than himself. A pretty man with brown hair it looked like he was starting to grow and gorgeous blue eyes. As the bartender asked if Hiroto was alright, the vision flashed a gorgeous smile and disappeared. Stupid Hiroto, Shou wasn't a part of his life now.
“Fine, thanks” he lied and headed to the bathroom. As he dunked his head in the full sink and looked up, the face looking back wasn't his but the pretty blue-eyed god.
“Go away and leave me alone in my misery” Hiroto scowled.
He texted Saga that he was going home and grumpily left the stupid club. He stormed into his bedroom alone and yelled at the images of his ex to leave him be.
In the morning, he yawned and padded sleepily to the living room where his roommate sure enough was sitting beside a pretty thing.
“Hi Hiroto! This is my friend Aoi.”
Hiroto and Aoi bowed in greeting and Hiroto offered to make French Toast which was gratefully accepted.
As he cooked, Hiroto felt a presence over his shoulder. He looked to see a man who couldn't cook but often turned cooking sessions into something else entirely. Hiroto gave in to his desires, putting down the bowl he was holding to turn and kiss the man. As his lips touched the vision of Shou, it melted again, once again leaving Hiroto cold and and empty.
“So who was that?” Hiroto asked after Aoi left.
“Just a friend. We didn't sleep together” said Saga.
“Mmhmm” Hiroto sceptically raised an eyebrow.
“No, honest, we didn't!” protested Saga “I mean, we were going too but then I started thinking of Tora and couldn't. Then Aoi turned out to know Tora and told me how to get in touch with him and-”
“You're going to speak with him? That's great!” Hiroto beamed.
“Just a casual call. I should do it now before I lose my nerve” said Saga.
“Want me here?” asked Hiroto.
“No, I should do this alone” Saga replied.
“Hint taken” grinned Hiroto “I'm going to the store, I'll be back in what, an hour.”
The truth was, Hiroto didn't feel much like going to the store. Ugh, people. To be honest, he didn't feel much like anything. But he had promised and respected Saga's privacy.
Instead, he drove his Sedan out of the city to beside a river. He climbed out and sat on the grass staring at the water. What if things had been different? What if he'd just told Shou he was happy and calmly talked over his fears of going abroad. Would they be together, staring at some foreign water side by side? Would those harsh words have been left unspoken?
Hiroto felt an arm he knew wasn't real wrap around him. He leaned into the false touch and felt fake warmth around him. It might not be real to anyone else but he could feel the affection and wondered quietly if somewhere under the same sky, Shou could feel the love too.
Hiroto didn't know how many hours later he walked into the apartment to find Saga freaking out like a high school girl.
“That was the longest trip to the store ever!” he screeched.
Hiroto just shrugged, unwilling to admit his excursion.
“Whatever. I'm meeting Tora tonight, just casual to talk” Saga continued.
“Right, just 'casual', that's why you're freaking like a high school girl on her first date” Hiroto smirked.
“Oh, shut up, like you wouldn't be freaking if it was Shou” Saga grinned.
He kissed Hiroto on the cheek “Don't wait up for me.”
Hiroto smiled “Have fun Saga.”
Saga went out and Hiroto tried his best to make himself busy, watching movies and cooking dinner. Eventually, he went to bed which wasn't any better because he just tossed and turned all night thinking of Shou.
He must have slept eventually because in the morning, he awoke in Shou's arms, smiling at each other sleepily.
“Morning love” Hiroto greeted sleepily as Shou smiled and vanished.
Stupid, he thought sitting up. It's been two freaken months, have to stop seeing Shou everywhere. It's over and that's the end.
He padded into the kitchen to fry some bacon. As it sizzled, he heard Saga behind him.
“So how did last night go?” Hiroto asked.
“We didn't sleep together” said Saga “We just had dinner then went for a drive. We talked about everything. We're going to try again, take things slower.”
Hiroto nodded then changed the subject “Do you want me to cook before work tonight?”
“No thanks, I'm actually thinking of of ordering in pizza, you want some?”
“Nah, I'll whip up something when I get in” replied Hiroto.
At about 3:30pm, Hiroto left. Work started at 4 and he had a bit of a commute. Besides, he liked getting in a bit early to have a talk with his boss Nao. Hiroto was a sous chef in a restaurant where Nao was head chef. Sometimes, Hiroto wished he could be head chef but Nao and he had been friends since culinary school, there was really no bad feeling. Nao looked a bit awkward as Hiroto greeted him.
“Hiroto, you know that guy Shou I introduced you too?” he began.
“Yeah?” said Hiroto. How could I forget? His mind finished. I just see him every time I turn around.
“Well” Nao visibly squirmed “I knew for a while but he asked me not to tell you before. He...didn't go overseas. He got the company to keep him in Japan.”
Hiroto bit his lip “And what am I supposed to do? He could call me if he wanted. He obviously doesn't want to speak, he didn't even want me to know he's still here.”
Nao shrugged “I'm just telling you, what you do with it is up to you.”
Hiroto looked at the floor and sighed.
All night, Hiroto's head filled with scenarios for contacting Shou, each as stupid as the last. If only harsh words hadn't been spoken, if only he hadn't walked out.
Sitting at the bus stop, waiting for his bus, it began to snow lightly. He felt his phone vibrate and pulled it out:
From: Shou-nyan ♥
I need to see you again.
I still love you.
Hiroto smiled as he read the words over and over again, convinced the meaning had gotten lost somewhere between his phone and his brain. Eventually, he sighed. Great, his visions had now turned into something tangible.
He looked up. As he did so, he saw his angel staring back at him. No, it wasn't real. That person running across the street to him couldn't be real. Still, he felt himself stand up.
“Shou, stop. I see you everywhere I turn, how do I know you're not just another vision?”
“Because I'm going to do this” Shou grabbed Hiroto by the shoulders and kissed him deeply. A kiss that told Hiroto everything would work out.