In the future, Akihito dumps Asami to travel the world. They start a conversation by email that makes them both think. Started as a sad drabble, after which I promised people a fun romance to get...
Prologue (aka Same Old Thing)
"What do you want me to say?" He played with the ashtray sitting under his fingertips. "We've been through this time and again. It's not even interesting anymore. It stopped being fun long before that."
Asami stared across the desk at him. There were signs of wrinkles around those eyes now, stress lines that hadn't been there before Hong Kong, and had just been getting more pronounced with the years.
Akihito shoved the glass dish across the desk. "I don't have time for this. I need to get on with my life. There's no place for you in it. Accept it."
"I'll never accept that Akihito. If anything is pointless, it's your resistance. You should know that by now."
"Resistance? Since when have I put up a fight? It's ennui. You've become monotonous. Hell, maybe you always were a one-trick pony. Maybe you're like they say, a two-dimensional character with nothing on the inside. A hollow chocolate Easter bunny."
He stood up, the leather of the office chair creaking a little. "I think maybe you should find some fresh meat, Ryuichi. Some 18 year old you can impress with the theatrics."
He relented a little. Maybe that was too harsh. "Listen, not everything was bad. I mean, I did love you for a time. But when affection isn't returned, how can it be expected to last?"
The man behind the desk spoke coldly. "It was returned. Why the hell would I have gone though so much trouble saving your ass time and again if I didn't care?"
"Because you saw me as property. You still do. You've told me this time and again. I think that's what you're feeling now. Anger and annoyance that the dog has slipped the leash." He rubbed the back of his neck, trying to dispel the headache that was growing. "Can you honestly say that the spark is still there for you?"
"Even though I'm bored to tears?"
"I'll take your tears any way I can get them."
He sighed. "I'm sorry then, because I have no more to shed for you. I'm leaving Japan the day after tomorrow. My father has been talking to an American publishing firm about a father-son collaboration between the two of us. I like the idea of that. He and I haven't had a chance to spend that kind of time together. So I'll be going to New York to iron out the details, then hopefully on to Brazil to begin shooting with him. I won't be back for at least eighteen months, if then."
He walked to the window and gestured at the city. "There's so much more to life than Tokyo. You know that. You've been out there. You must understand." He didn't think Asami did though.
The glass was cold at his back as he turned and leaned against it. "Ryuichi. It's best for us both. You're in a rut too. Look at yourself, still dressing and acting the same way you were when we first met six years ago. It's time for a change."
There was a hint of anger in the answer, more emotion than he usually got. "Don't presume to lecture me. You think you know everything, don't you? You always have. And yet you lecture me about never changing? Someday in the future, when you look back on this moment, you'll realize what a fool you were."
Asami turned to his computer and began opening software and files. "Go. Run off to the Amazon or wherever it is that you think you'll find answers. Go and look for your excitement. Someday you'll come crawling back when you realize where it truly was, but don't expect to find me welcoming you." He clicked stubbornly at a program that refused to open.
"I'm sorry. I wish it didn't have to be this way."
Silence fell as the clicking of the mouse paused. "Unless you're in the mood for one of my boring displays of dominance, I suggest you remove your ass from my office."
He took a step toward the stiff back, raising his hand to touch it, but then he thought better of it and let his arm fall to his side. Everything he'd wanted to say had been said. He walked back to the chair and picked up his satchel, then strode to the door. But instead of flinging it open, he paused and rested his forehead against the wood. "I did love you. I really did."
He felt tears fill his eyes, and took a deep breath to keep them from spilling over. But then he thought, perhaps as a last gift, and he let them flow. He turned his head and saw Asami watching him.
He smiled through the pain. "It's all I have left to give you." Then he grasped the doorknob and tugged it open, fleeing before he could change his mind, trying to concentrate on the future, but for some reason not able to think of anything but the past.
Asami sat motionless at his desk, not quite believing what had just happened. He shook his head, clearing it.
He'll be back. He'll realize it soon enough. And if he doesn't come on his own, I'll drag him back kicking and screaming.
He reached for his cigarettes, cursing when he remembered that he'd stopped smoking two years before.
And he says I haven't changed.
He flipped open his organizer and checked his schedule. He just had time to go to his tailor and get a few new suits.