Akihito thought he'd never bump into him again.
As he was walking home from work, thirty-eight year old Takaba Akihito was lost in thought when a man called out to him.
"You're Akihito, right?"
Turning around, Akihito found himself face-to-face with the most popular guy back in high school, Asami Ryuichi. Tall, dark, and handsome, the only thing about Asami that had changed was his build, having gone from that of a teenager to that of an adult. Still fit as ever, the man filled out his three-piece suit perfectly. Akihito didn't even realize he was blushing when he stuttered out a surprised, "A-Asami?"
"How are you doing? It's been a while, hasn't it?" Asami asked in a smooth baritone.
"Um, yeah, it has," Akihito answered a bit shyly. "I've been doing well, I'm managing a small photography business now."
"Hm," was all the reply Akihito got. Before Aki could ask Asami the same question, Asami continued speaking. "If you are free, would you like to go for a drink?"
Floored by the offer since he had never been close with Asami before, merely admiring him from a distance, it took Aki a moment to answer. "Um, if it's okay with you, sure?" 'He really looks like he doesn't want to, though....'
Although wearing a small scowl, Asami nodded and then led Akihito to a nearby restaurant, where they ordered and chatted for a bit. Akihito was finally relaxing as he listened to Asami tell of how he was now a CEO of some business and how that was going.
"You haven't changed, Asami," Akihito commented, a bit buzzed, "are you married?"
"...no," Asami replied, "however, there is something that I have wanted to ask you..."
"Ryuichi!" a voice suddenly chimed in. Looking behind Asami, Akihito saw a cute blond man looking aghast, his gaze locked on Asami.
"Is there something?" Asami asked, looking back at the newcomer.
"Something?! I thought it's been a while since you emailed me, and now you say that it won't work out with me. What do you mean?" the man whined, his eyes pleading. "I wanted to talk with you properly, so I looked for the shop where you were...."
Standing up, Asami looked sternly at the man. "Let's not talk in such a public place. I'll listen to what you have to say another time."
"Wait!" the man protested, finally noticing Akihito, "Who is this guy!? Don't tell me you want to go out with him!?"
"That has nothing to do with you, Sudou," Asami answered coldly.
"No way has this got nothing to do with me! You throw me away to be with this kind of guy...!" the man, Sudou, shouted, his contempt for Aki clear.
Confused, Akihito just watched the scene unfold. 'Wait, is this a lovers' quarrel? Does this mean...does this mean...that Asami's gay?"
Sudou continued his tirade, "Going out with some old geezer...I'm not going to let you!" With that, he landed a sound punch to Akihito's face.
As he was blacking out, Asami calling his name, all Akihito could think about was how Asami was actually gay. 'Asami, the guy I admired, is gay. I don't know if I should be happy or sad. My chest feels like bursting....'
When he came to, Akihito sat straight up in shock. 'He's gay? Are you serious? Wait, where am I?'
Looking around, Aki found that he was in a bed in a room he'd never seen before. 'I know I went for a drink with Asami, but....'
"Good, you're up," came Asami's voice. Turning to look at him, Akihito was shocked to see the Asami from high school standing in the doorway holding an ice water pack. "You suddenly collapsed in front of me. Do you remember?"
His face flushed red, Akihito answered, "...No, but thank you, Asami."
Handing Aki the ice pack, Asami asked, "Are you alright?"
Suddenly it clicked. 'Oh, wait, this is a dream. I was probably too excited meeting him again...how nostalgic!' Smiling up at Asami, Akihito replied, "Yeah, I'm fine. I'm not going to stay long; I should stop bothering you."
Asami pouted slightly, his hands clenched, as Akihito got out of the bed. As Aki moved to stand up, he stepped on something on the floor. Looking down, Aki saw that it was a picture of two guys making out.
"Ah, sorry," Asami quickly apologized as he leaned down and grabbed the photo off the floor, "I'm not-"
"It's fine, i'ts fine," Akihito cut him off, smiling, "it's not something to be worried about. I learned that I was gay during freshman year, I think. Anyway, thanks for taking care of me, and sorry for troubling you"
With that, Akihito left Asami's house. 'What a nice dream. But huh, Asami's been worrying about this since high school. Poor guy.'
However, by the next day, Akihito had yet to wake up. Deciding to just go with it and relive the memories, Akihito headed to school, wondering if he had actually died from that punch earlier and this was the afterlife.
He was lost in thought when he heard Asami call out, "Takaba!"
Surprised that Asami would talk to him at school, as that had never happened before, Akihito could only state the obvious. "Asami?! Um, good morning. You're here early."
"So are you," Asami replied. Akihito almost laughed as he remembered that he had been a bit rebellious back in the day. Asami continued, "We had morning practice. I brought your school jacket, you left it at my place."
"Oh, thanks!" Aki smiled guiltily.
"Are you feeling well enough to be here?" Asami suddenly asked, looking down at Aki.
"Yeah, I'm fine, it was nothing," Aki answered, enjoying the small talk.
Asami then said something Akihito thought he'd never hear, "Then, after school today, let's go somewhere; there aren't any club activities during exam week. Is that alright?"
"Sounds wonderful!" Aki replied incredulously. 'This dream is amazing!'
Asami gave him an odd look. "You sound like and old man...."
For the next several days, after school they would go places together. Akihito had one of his favorite burgers from a place that didn't exist anymore; went to a bookstore and confused Asami when he said that the just-published books on the shelves were nostalgic, as well as when he commented on the economic state of the country; and tried to talk about technology that didn't exist quite yet. They even listened to music on the same set of headphones. Akihito was loving it. 'But, this is bad. If I have so much fun, I won't want to go back to reality.'
One day, as Aki was reading in Asami's room, Asami confessed out of the blue. "I like you, Akihito. Please go out with me." There wasn't a single tremor in his voice, and Aki missed Asami's fisted hands shaking.
"Shouldn't you think about that a little more?" Aki asked him. 'I know I'm not his type. He should just wait until he finds someone he really likes, not settle with me.'
Asami scowled, "I already thought about it, a lot actually. Does this mean no?"
Akihito pressed on, "But isn't your type someone who looks like a model and is submissive?"
Asami gave him a look that said 'how do you know that?' before finally stating, "I'm saying, you're the one I want!"
Aki sighed, "It's just your imagination. You're very cool and popular. Even if people find out you're gay, you're still going to have a lot of partners to choose from. Especially more than an old-um, unattractive guy like me."
"If you hate it, then just say you hate it, Akihito," Asami growled, "quit going around the issue. If you don't want to do it, then fine, I'll not press you."
'This really is the best dream I've ever had,' Akihito thought before answering, "thank you," and giving Asami an embarrassed smile. He then leaned in and kissed him.
After he pulled away, Akihito found Asami with a hand to his lips, his cheeks tinged red. Aki smiled, "Was it your first?" then, after thinking a bit, continued, "Well, it's probably my first too."
What followed was likely the best experience of his life, even though Asami certainly wasn't experienced. Afterward, they both lay on the bed, exhausted.
"I'm so glad I had this dream!" Aki said as he started drifting off to sleep
"Stupid, this isn't a dream," Asami told him. "Anyway, Aki, you never told me, how do you feel abou- HEY! Don't fall asleep!"
'Sorry Asami. I haven't spent that much energy in a long time. I'll tell you when I wake up that I like you too.'
He woke to Asami calling his name again. Opening his eyes, Akihito found himself staring up at modern-day Asami.
"Are you alright, Akihito?" he asked in concern.
Disappointment coursed through Akihito. 'Of course I'd have to wake up right then! And now I can't stop thinking about it, I'm so embarrassed."
"Akihito, I'm sorry you got caught in my problems," Asami apologized.
"Oh, no, it's alright, it was nothing!" Akihito reassured quickly. He then looked around the unfamiliar room. "Is this your house?"
"Apartment, actually," Asami answered.
"Anyway, I'm sorry, too, for being a bother," Akihito continued, "What time is it right now? I wonder if there are any trains still running...."
"Wait," Asami commanded. Akihito paused in gathering his things to look at Asami, who wore a deep scowl. "Are you going to forget again?"
"Huh?" Akihito wondered, confused.
"Are you going to treat our meeting and the fight earlier like that time?" Asami added, staring Akihito down.
'Oh yeah, he did seem angry earlier....' Akihito remembered, 'Did I forget something we did?"
He got his answer right away. "My confession and all that followed; are you going to forget about them and act like they never happened?"
"Don't just ignore me or try to play around with me," Asami growled. "After that night, you completely acted like none of it happened and we were practically strangers. I tried to give up and forget you too, but we met again today...."
'Wasn't that just a dream?!' Akihito thought disbelievingly. Almost unconsciously, he asked, "I ignored you?"
Asami gave a rueful smile then. "You really don't remember, huh. Well, I guess that's to be expected. You said it was your first time, yet you seemed experienced, and you never once told me how you felt about me. Even so, I'm getting tired of the me who only wants you. So, rather than forget it again and say 'I don't know,' please just say 'I don't like you."
Akihito stared into Asami's golden eyes. 'This isn't a dream, is it? But really, if that actually happened, I must have been such a jerk!'
"Sorry, Asami," Takaba apologized, and at the look of disbelief on Asami's face, he frantically explained, "I mean, even if it was twenty years ago for you, for me it just barely happened a few moments ago, so I'm sorry for how I acted but that's because the me now is the one who spent that time with you, not the me then, even though I looked like the me then, and- oh, I, I just love you, from then until now. Just you."
Blushing furiously, Aki muttered a final, "I'm sorry it took so long," before deciding to explain what had happened. "Will you listen to the story of a dream I had? Waah!"
Aki gave out a small cry as Asami embraced him.
He could have sworn he heard the taller man mutter 'thank goodness' as he held him tight.