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The Meaning Behind the Rose

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Closing his eyes, Kazuya leaned back against the wall panting from the workout. With a dance performance coming up in 3 days, he had to keep on top of his exercises. While Haruno wasn’t heavy or anything, it would definitely be easier to lift her if he had more upper body strength. Which was why he was sitting in the gym after working out for nearly 1 hour.

Kazuya kind of just wanted to go home, go back to his apartment, lay in bed, maybe drink some red wine while relaxing to some Bach. He would be alone in the flat for the week since Youichi was at a competition. Kazuya couldn’t wait to see Youichi again, but he knew that it would take time. With both of them dancing different styles, Youichi didn’t have a company like he did to work with. Instead, Youichi was part of a hip hop troupe that often competed in national dance tourneys.

Swinging his bag on his shoulder, Kazuya called out a goodbye to his friends still at the gym. Hopefully today Youichi would have time to Skype and they could chat. Or maybe he’d go find Sawamura or Furuya to tease and practice with. As he unlocked the door, he heard strains of music coming from inside the apartment.

Pausing, with his hand hovering over the knob, Did I leave the radio on again?

Inside he found the radio indeed on, except it wasn’t playing the station he always had it set to, but instead a “dancey” kind of music. Something kind of like swing, or at least a couple’s dance. Heading over to the radio, Kazuya was surprised to see a small note and a blue rose sitting on it.

Having an inkling as to what was going on, but still quite bemused he reached for the note. Looking at the rose one last time, Kazuya opened the note to see a small message.

Dear Kazuya,

I know this isn’t something I’d normally do...but it looks like speaking to Bakamura about his ridiculous manga finally got to me.

So, I have a small mission for you, go to the place where we first met. Don’t worry about permission or timing, I’ve got it all cleared up with everyone.

Love,

Well you better know who

He couldn’t help but chuckle at the note, it definitely wasn’t something Youichi normally did, but Kazuya could easily say that between the two of them, Youichi was much more romantic then he was. He even remembered that his favourite flower was a blue rose.

Holding it against his cheek, Kazuya couldn’t help but blush a little since he had never really explained why he loved them. Just that his mother liked them. In actuality, Kazuya’s mother loved the flower because Kazuya used to refuse to colour roses red saying they were girly. And instead always coloured them blue.

Setting his gym bag down, Kazuya grabbed the note, flower, his wallet, keys, and phone before leaving the house. Where we first met? That’s easy.

He quickly ran to the train station, ducking under and around people in his rush. To get to Seidou there was a few trains he had to catch, but luckily overall it was only an hour’s ride. As he settled down into the seat, Kazuya kept smiling at the note and flower in his hand. He didn’t notice the smiles of a couple other passengers on the train, friends who’d promised to make sure Kazuya made it to every place and keep Youichi in the know.

Finally making it to Seidou, Kazuya hoped that Youichi was near the gates or something, but it looked like he’d have to go to the specific room. Muttering to himself, Kazuya walked towards the room where he first met Youichi: Dance Room 602. However instead of finding the person he was looking for, Kazuya was met by Kominato Haruichi.

Nodding politely to his junior, Kazuya continued to look around, hoping to see Youichi but instead he had to focus on the rose and letter that was thrust to him. Eyes smiling behind his bangs, Haruichi began speaking, “Senpai, I have a message from You-senpai,” he cleared his throat uncomfortably, “Oi Dumbass, I know you’re probably expecting me to be there, but instead I want you to read the note and to not look so upset.”

The confused look on Kazuya’s face was wiped away and instead replaced by complete incredulity from Kominato’s words. His chuckles dissolved into full blown laughter, only Youichi would make someone like Kominato say that. Wiping tears away as his laughing slowed down, Kazuya straightened up before replying to the now pink-faced Kominato, “haha thanks Kominato. That just made my day.”

As he watched Kominato walk away, Kazuya smiled at the second rose, a peach one this time, before opening the note.

Not what you expected was it Kazuya?

Anyway, this time head over to our first date.

Do you know the significance of the peach rose?

He was befuddled by the last line, seeing as flower meanings were never something either of them really cared about. Still, it was truly a beautiful rose: simple yet elegant. Focusing on the rest of the note, Kazuya tried to rack his head for where their first date was. While they had an official first date with dinner and a movie, Kazuya actually counted the first dance they had together. Being a ballet dancer he really didn’t know much about Hip Hop, but neither did Youichi about ballet. Yet somehow Kazuya had become attracted to Youichi’s style of dancing and when they finally confessed to each other, they were able to figure out how to dance. He didn’t think either of them really remembered where they went to have dinner on their official first date, so he guessed that it was actually their private practice room.

Just like the first room, instead of Youichi he was met by Furuya. Sleepily handing over an orange rose and another note, Kazuya watched Furuya plod along to another dance room, surprisingly in the direction that the younger Kominato had taken.

I’m guessing since you probably don’t realize what the roses mean I gave you a fairly simple one this time.

What could the meaning of an orange rose be?

Head over to our park.

Just like the previous two, the place he was heading towards had a special meaning to both of them, the park being the place where they decided to move in together after a year of struggling through a breakup and money-related stress. At the park, he met Tetsu-senpai and received a yellow rose and another note directing him to Youichi’s dance studio. However in this note, there was a small explanation for the rose:

I know that while the yellow rose often only refers to friendship, there is another meaning to it. Reconciliation and a new start.

They’d argued and actually broken up for over 4 months before they met up again. Kazuya had been a mess, barely sleeping, his dancing slumping. Youichi had been no better. It wasn’t till both their friends had forced them together, that they had finally reconnected and healed the tear in their relationship.

At the studio he met Nori and Shirasu, who gave him a lavender rose and a note. At his own ballet company, he met Director Kataoka who handed him a purple rose and another note. Finally heading over to the bridge where he and Youichi would often sit and talk about whatever was on his mind, he met Mei.

Seeing his old friend had Kazuya grinning lightly since he knew Youichi really didn’t like Mei, but put up with him for Kazuya’s sake. So the fact that he still called him into this adventure meant a lot to Kazuya. However, unlike the usual whining and loud self-centered behaviour he expected from Mei all he got was a white rose and another note. Perhaps Mei had finally grown up from when they were little. Or maybe it’s just that new guy I remember Carlos talking about. Itsuki ... who’s finally getting Mei to settle down a bit.

Kazuya, there’s just one more place to go.

Have you figured out the meaning of all the roses yet? I’ll give you a hint, they’re all about you.

Head over to the place where you proposed.

Holding all the roses close to his chest, Kazuya couldn’t help but smile sappily at them, still not sure what they meant. However, where to go was something he knew how to do. Heading back in the direction of their apartment, Kazuya headed over to a small field near their flat. Walking towards the large oak tree that he’d finally had the guts to propose after 6 years of dating, Kazuya smiled. He smiled at the familiar figure walking out from behind the tree.

Placing the roses on the ground, Kazuya ran as quickly as his tired old legs could carry him. The familiar “HYAHAHA!” From Youichi had his already growing smile taking over his entire face. Laughing when he finally stood in front of Youichi, Kazuya waited to hear what this entire adventure was about.

He couldn’t help but laugh and cry when he heard Youichi explain: “It’s not our anniversary in case you were wondering.”

Of course it wasn’t their anniversary, he’d had plans for it for ages. However, he kept waiting to hear the actual explanation.

Youichi held out a single deep red rose, “it’s been 12 years since the day we met, 12 wonderful years since I got dance with you in that class. 6 years since we tied the knot. And now, I’m finally ready to stop dancing.”

Youichi must have seen the shock and horror on Kazuya’s face. He didn’t want Youichi to ever stop, like Kazuya had to due to his body not allowing him to move that way anymore. While he was now an instructor at his company, it was still painful to not perform on stage anymore.

“I’m not quitting dance forever, I just can’t be away from you so often anymore. Besides,” a sheepish look came over Youichi’s face, “I’m just as tired and injured as you are. My bones aren’t young anymore Kazuya, I can’t break into multiple moves like I used to.”

Feeling Youichi pull him closer by the wrist, Kazuya felt the rose get crushed between them as they began to sway to a music that only they could hear. A sound that enveloped them in peace and love, something only they shared. Resting his head against Youichi’s shoulder, Kazuya allowed himself to let out a broken chuckle at the question Youichi whispered into his ears.

“Did you figure out what the roses meant?”