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...
The young man moved a little, restless, and murmured something into the chest he lay upon. "...ichi..". Asami felt a wave of fierce happiness, and tightened his arms about the slim body.
The day had been everything and more than he'd imagined.
He'd arrived in Istanbul early in the afternoon.
No one was there to meet him, for the simple reason that he hadn't called ahead. He intended to surprise Akihito by getting there so quickly.
The sun was pleasantly warm on his skin has he left the airport, suitcase in hand, to catch a taxi. Istanbul was a place of moderate temperatures and it was like a nice spring day in Tokyo.
He didn't have the slightest idea how to speak Turkish, so his conversation with the taxi driver by necessity attracted five or six more of them until someone at least understood the address Asami had written down. He hoped they did at any rate. He didn't want to end up spending the night on a goat farm in the middle of nowhere.
But he was dropped off eventually, after a series of mis-turns and a number of close calls with other vehicles, at a house that he recognized from the surveillance pictures he'd received. He breathed a sigh of relief after paying the driver and climbing from the death machine. He needed to start smoking again. If he was going to die it may as well be from something he enjoyed.
The door was answered by a 50-something man that Asami immediately recognized. The man, not surprisingly, recognized him too.
"Dad!" Asami clapped a hand familiarly on the older man's shoulder.
"Son?" Takaba senior stepped aside and waved Asami into the foyer.
"I've come to ask for Akihito's hand in marriage. Do I have your permission?"
Takaba scratched his head. "I was kind of hoping to go out with you myself. Do you really want the kid? He's a handful."
Asami smirked. "A sweet handful. I know it doesn't make sense, but he's the only one for me. You came in second though. If he runs away again we'll talk. But we'd have to get that seme / uke thing straight."
Dad nodded. "I get the feeling you've shied away from your natural position as a bottom. I'd love to teach you the ropes. Literally."
"In your dreams, old man."
"Watch it. I've not given you my permission yet."
"That was just a formality. I'm taking him no matter what you say. It would just make him happier if he has your blessing. So I expect him to get it."
"Do you? You're a pushy son of a bitch. I'm starting to see why Akihito left you."
"Really? You know, I was so fascinated by this conversation when it started but I fear the novelty is wearing off. Why don't you take yourself off to your darkroom with a vat of vaseline and figure out what it would feel like to be my bi –"
"Dad, what's the commotion? I thought I heard you speaking Japanese."
And there he was.
His eyes went wide and a smile broke over his face. The smile Asami had been longing to see, one just for him.
Asami took a step forward, only to be met by Akihito hurling himself across the space between them.
And then his arms were full of what he'd longed for for months. This boy, this man who meant everything to him, was squeezing him so tightly, grasping his hair with such force he thought it would tear from his head, laughing and saying his name over and over again. And he was squeezing him back, running his hands over every part within reach, reassuring himself that this was real, that Akihito was here, and wanting him as fiercely as he was wanted.
He finally stilled and buried his nose in the soft brown hair, holding tightly onto what was his. Never again would he lose him. Never again would he fail him. This had to be preserved at all costs. He rubbed his cheek against the trembling head.
He didn't want to move, but there were some matters to take care of. He lifted his head and pulled back slightly, raising Akihito's chin with a finger. Tears were flowing freely from eyes that were shining with happiness. "I take it you don't mind that I came so quickly then?"
Akihito shook his head, biting his lip. His hand came up to rest against Asami's cheek. Asami turned his face into the caress. His body reacted quickly. His heart, his breath quickened, and he hardened. But now wasn't the time.
He pressed a gentle kiss into the palm of Akihito's hand, then stepped back slightly. Surprise flooded Akihito's eyes, then understanding, then appreciation.
"You forgot something." Akihito stepped forward and rose up on his toes to place a soft kiss against Asami's lips.
The tight control that Asami had placed over himself broke with that, and he jerked Akihito forward, opening his mouth over his, plunging his tongue in to taste what had been denied him so long. He shoved Akihito back against the foyer wall and pressed closer, thrilled to find himself being devoured with the same impatience that he himself was feeling. Their tongues twisted together, licking, tasting, stroking, trying to speak all they were feeling without words.
A hand on his shoulder abruptly brought him out of his heaven. He turned with a snarl to see Takaba senior standing there, an amused look on his face.
"I now pronounce you man and wife. You've already kissed the bride, but feel free to do so again."
And with that he patted Akihito's shoulder, murmured something about his mother approving, and left for some other part of the house.
Asami stared after him, bemused, his anger forgotten. "He's an odd one, your father. But at least he's entertaining. The holidays should be interesting."
"He's nice, but I think he did a little too much acid when he was younger. Sometimes it seems like he's walking through lands that only exist in his mind. He still talks to Mom sometimes. I'm not sure if he doesn't remember she died, or if that's just not an important detail to him."
"Ah. Well, if he's happy..."
"I think so." Akihito turned back to him. "I didn't expect you. Why didn't you email me? How was your flight? Are you hungry?"
Asami pushed him back against the wall, and lowered his lips to nip at Akihito's neck. "I'm feeling the same hunger that the lioness was. Do you have a towel nearby?"
Akihito laughed and slipped out from between Asami and the wall. He held out his hand. "Come on. Let me show you our room."
Asami felt a rush of pleasure at that. Akihito had never agreed to live with him, as much as Asami had tried to force it. It was obvious now, why that was. "You really have accepted it."
Akihito pulled him along the corridor. "Yes. They can say what they wish. Though in some places we'll have to be careful. Dad sat me down and had a talk with me about the countries in this region and their laws against homosexuality. I had no idea places actually had the death penalty for being gay, and most around here have prison sentences. Though Turkey is forward thinking and doesn't have anything like that."
"They won't dare touch either one of us. It would be the equivalent of declaring war, only against a completely ruthless man with no code of conduct to follow. I would squash them with no compunction and they know it. You have nothing to fear."
"Erm, OK. Thanks, I guess. Please don't start any nuclear wars on my account." Akihito laughed nervously.
Asami's eyebrows shot up. "I'd only use the nukes as a last resort. They might damage you if they were holding you prisoner nearby."
"You actually have... You might... OK. Are you sure you've changed?"
"Quite. Before this, I wouldn't have worried about your feelings before dropping a bomb."
"Ah, you're teasing. That will take some getting used to."
"I wasn't really teasing, but you can pretend I was if it makes you feel better. How far away is this bedroom of yours anyway?"
Akihito paused before a door they'd passed twice already. "You, um, don't have anything like that in your suitcase?"
"What do you take me for, an idiot? Seriously Akihito, use some common sense. You don't go through an airport with something like that in your carryon."
"Well you've got something big and blocky in there! I can see it pressing against the sides of the suitcase."
"Oh, that's a present for you." He stepped into the room, tossed the suitcase onto a chair and unzipped it. He lifted a large bag out and gave it to Akihito.
"You brought me a present? Asami... I don't know what to say." Akihito opened the bag and looked in. His eyes narrowed. "What the hell?" He pulled out a gallon of vaseline.
"I got the feeling you really liked it. And it'll come in handy this week."
Akihito just glared at him. "There won't be any use for it at all if you keep this up."
"Ah, and here I thought you could take a joke these days. I should give you your real present then." He handed a much smaller package to Akihito, who took it gingerly.
He opened this one more slowly, peeking into the leather box before opening it fully. He blinked several times. "You can't mean to give me this."
Asami was leaning against the wall, arms folded. "Can't I? Why is that?"
"Asami, this cost way too much! And where would I wear it? I mean, its really beautiful, but..."
Asami walked over to stand behind Akihito, and reached around him to pluck the necklace out of the box. "You would wear it for me." He slid the chain around Akihito's slim neck, smiling at the shiver that went through the younger man's body. Akihito turned around and looked up at him. The diamond at the base of his throat flickered in time with his heartbeat. His heart was beating quickly indeed.
Akihito raised his hand to his neck and ran his fingertips along the chain. "This looks OK on a guy?"
Asami looked at him with satisfaction. If he had his way, Akihito would be draped in his jewels. "You were made to wear things like this. And I was made to give them to you. I want to see you clothed only in gemstones and gold."
"Do you?" Akihito danced nimbly backwards out of Asami's reach, his smile becoming a teasing thing. He slipped his t-shirt over his head and tossed it at Asami. "I don't wish to become a Japanese model for bling, but I'll wear some, on occasions like this."
He pulled at the tie to his drawstring pants, and let them slip past his hips to the floor. "But are you really looking at the jewelry right now?"
He stood before Asami, nude, still pale despite his time near the equator, his desire evident. Asami's eyes drank him in. He was perfect.
Akihito sank to the bed behind him, then lay back and stretched. "Aren't you hot in those clothes? I think you are. I like your new clothes by the way. I love the way the silk feels over your muscles." He wriggled backwards until his whole body was on the mattress, then let his fingers trace along the ridges of his abdomen.
Asami's erection twitched in time with Akihito's movements. His hands quickly and efficiently stripped away his clothing, and within a matter of seconds he was crawling up the bed until he was crouched over Akihito. He slowly lowered his body until they were chest to chest, groin to groin, mouth to mouth. Once again control shattered as months of frustration for both of them demanded release, and they writhed frantically against one another seeking satisfaction. And when it came all too quickly, they were left feeling a little bereft.
Asami raised his head from the crook of Akihito's neck, slightly guilty. "I'm sorry. That's not how I planned our first time."
Akihito smoothed the damp hair back from Asami's forehead. "We have plenty of time. I know I didn't want to slow down. It felt so good just to touch you like this."
"Ah. I felt like I was discovering sex with a partner again for the first time."
Akihito laughed. Asami's breath caught for a second before he forced out the question he needed to hear an answer to. "Akihito. Does this mean you've accepted me again? You didn't exactly say."
Akihito's eyes shifted to the side, then back to his. "It means I want to."
"But you're not quite sure of me."
"It all felt a little unreal in the end. There were words on the computer saying what I wanted to hear, but I need to spend time with you. Does that make any sense?"
"Yes. You want to inspect the merchandise before closing the deal."
Akihito laughed. "You always have such a way with words."
"I love you, Akihito. That's not going to change. I'll say it many times as it takes." Asami sighed. "And stop that. No more tears."
"You don't understand what it is to want to hear that for the first time, when you've been longing for it forever. And then to have it come true."
"Don't I? I understand part of it." His voice was soft.
Akihito's eyes softened. "I did say it before."
"I know. It made me smug to hear it then." Asami rolled onto his back and draped a forearm over his eyes. "Gods, Akihito, I don't blame you one bit for leaving. I would have punched me on the way out."
"I didn't want to get within reach of you."
"That was wise of you. After what you'd said that day I had no desire to have sex with you. I was so furious. I was actually afraid I'd kill you. So I sat there and let you leave."
"I'd wanted to provoke a reaction, you know? But you just sat there. I read everything wrong. I wonder how many times that happened."
"We were both guilty of that." He rolled onto his side facing Akihito. "But it's in the past now, and doesn't matter except as a lesson to learn from." He ran his fingers lightly over the smooth skin on Akihito's upper arm. "I want to make love to you."
Akihito rolled to face him. 'I want that too, very much."
What happened so quickly before was slowed to a lazy crawl as they explored one another, taking their time, murmuring words of encouragement, sometimes even silliness. Their eyes kept meeting each other's confirming and strengthening what they felt, even as their bodies told the same tale. By the time Asami had pushed inside Akihito, they were both lost together in something greater than themselves.
And before they finished, both had their wishes come true, Akihito being made love to by Asami with love in his eyes, and Asami hearing Akihito call out his name, welcoming him.
Afterwards they showered and dressed, and went walking through a nearby shopping area, looking for someplace to dine, but content to just be in one another's company. They stopped here and there at stores, Asami insisting on buying some things for him. After the third such stop, Akihito called for an end to it.
"I don't want you buying me lots of things. I don't mind an occasional present, as long as you're willing to accept them too, but all this buying feels too mercenary. You don't have to do it. You're enough for me."
"Akihito. I have all this money and nothing to do with it except make more. Allow me to spend it on the one person, besides myself of course, that I enjoy indulging."
Akihito grinned. "I can't believe you admitted that. OK, if you buy something for you for each thing you buy me, it's a deal."
"I'm not sure why you think that will discourage me; I have no problem agreeing to that. Now, I see a shop full of completely worthless junk. It reminds me that I've yet to buy something for your father. Let's see if they have anything worthy of him." He tugged his laughing boy after him.
Later they settled into a corner of a small open air café with a terrace in back overlooking the Bosphorus, examining their purchases one by one on the cast iron table while they waited for their food. A pleasant breeze wafted in between the pillars supporting the awning.
"I still think you should have bought him the lava lamp."
"But that's retro these days Akihito, and considered to be in good taste. It wouldn't do."
"Yes, but I'm almost afraid to think what he'll do with this...thing." Akihito leaned back in his chair and gestured at a misshapen wrapped object in the center of the table.
"I'm sure he'll laugh and share it with your mother." Asami tilted his head back and let cold bottled water pour down his throat.
"Of course it is. Insanity is a cute affectation in the old."
"He's not insane!"
"I said he was affecting to be. He likes to appear offbeat. It's a common characteristic for those of his generation. They pride themselves on being unique, but really most tend to be unique in the same ways."
"And what, you don't pride yourself on that?" Akihito leaned forward and snatched the bottle of water from Asami's fingers, swallowing the rest of it.
"Not really. I pride myself on being myself. After all, what could be better? You know, if you wanted some water, you could have ordered some."
Akihito stuck his tongue out. "It tastes better if I steal it from you."
Asami watched that tongue, promising himself to fully enjoy it later. "Could it be possible that you finally understand my career choice?"
"What? That's not the same. I'm stealing from someone who can afford it."
"And I'm not? Big business. Governments. Criminals."
"Poor people buying drugs."
"I don't steal from them. I don't, in fact, deal with them at all."
"Supplying their suppliers is close enough."
"They choose their path. We all make choices Akihito. Some are wiser than others. I've made my share of bad choices too. Some led to what happened between us before. But I reflected upon those choices and changed. It has not been easy. But it is worth it. I read some wise words recently that were quite simple, yet so true. 'You are what you do. Choose again, and change.' The future is ahead for all of us Akihito. It's your choice."
"You certainly managed to change the subject smoothly."
"I'm good at that sort of thing. It helps during police interrogations."
Akihito laughed. "OK, I'll bite. Let's talk about the future."
But their food arrived and they were silent, clearing the table for plates of grilled lamb and stuffed eggplant and fragrant pilaf. They worked their way through the food, speaking little, the afternoon's activities having left them both incredibly hungry. They ended dinner in a typical fashion, Asami with a cup of coffee, and Akihito with a sweet honey pastry.
Asami watched with amusement as Akihito scraped even the tiniest pieces of filo from his plate. "If you licked it you'd get even more."
"I bet you say that to all the guys." He glanced to the sides, then his tongue flicked out to quickly lick the plate clean.
Asami laughed, delighted. Akihito's head shot up in surprise, then a smile spread across his face. "I never got to see you this way before."
"I didn't really let myself enjoy things like this. I think what you said in one of your emails was correct. It implies a certain intimacy. I like that now. I didn't before, so I always stayed a step back with that, and with emotions."
Akihito eyes grew curious. "Why? Were you hurt in the past?"
Asami shrugged. "I was brought up that way. But part of it was Feilong." He took a sip of his coffee. "I let myself get emotionally involved there, and it turned into disaster. I vowed never to let myself fail that way again. I believe that's known as cutting off one's nose to spite one's face."
"I'm glad you can see that. I'm glad of a lot of things now." Akihito's cheeks reddened and he turned to look out over the sea. Asami gazed at him silently while finishing his coffee.
Their evening ended quietly. They took a taxi back to the house, intending to present Akihito's father with his gift, only to find a note stuck to the door telling them to enjoy their honeymoon, he'd be back in a few days when the moaning had died down. Akihito, red-faced, ripped the note off the door before storming inside, while Asami grinned and followed him into the house.
They washed the day's grime off in the bath, together. Then changed the sheets and crawled into the clean bed, together. Then they turned off the lights and made love with only the moon to see them, though Asami swore Akihito was glowing with a light from within.
Akihito fell asleep almost instantly. Asami continued his watch.
Later, just as Asami was watching the moon crown his lover in pale lights, Akihito stirred and lifted his head.
"Ryuichi? Aren't you sleeping?"
Asami ran his fingers through the mussed brown hair. "I'll sleep when I get back to Tokyo. I don't want to waste any of the time I have with you."
Akihito rubbed his eyes. "Don't be silly. We have all the time in the world. We'll have to travel back and forth for the next few months, but after that things will be calmer. I'll get Dad to agree to put the book together in Tokyo."
Asami stilled. "Are you saying you've decided?"
Akihito yawned and snuggled into the smooth chest, trying to stay awake but not really having luck. "Decided? Mmm."
"About us. About me."
He woke up at that. Asami's eyes were intent on him when he raised his head and looked up. He sighed. He knew he wouldn't be allowed to get back to sleep without providing an answer. But as he looked inside himself, he knew that any lingering doubts had vanished hours ago. He'd experienced more of Asami that day than he had in all their years together.
"I've decided. I want to try again. I think it will really work this time. And it's not just that. Today I felt..." Akihito blushed and looked to the side. "I felt special. I felt like what we had was special. That you were the one. That there was love between us that would only grow stronger. I really did feel the way a bride on her wedding day must."
"Akihito." Asami's hand caressed his cheek.
He turned to look at Asami, the moonlight illuminating their faces. "At any rate, I'll try my best to make it work. You have to promise to as well though."
"Of course I do. I promise. So these are like wedding vows, aren't they? To love and to cherish, till death do us part? I can promise that to you, and I do."
"For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health."
"For poorer? I doubt that's an issue."
"Well the sickness part makes up for it, if mental illness counts."
"Don't talk about yourself that way, Akihito."
"Me?! You have nerve–"
His answer was muffled in the kiss that followed. "Hey, let me t –" Another kiss, then another, and soon he forgot all arguments.
Later, much later as he was falling asleep, he laid his head on that broad chest where a heart beat so strongly and steadily. "Ryuichi?"
"I really love you."
"I love you too, Akihito."
As the moon set, she framed the entwined sleeping lovers in a silvery light that for a moment made them look like fairy tale princes, well on their way to their happy ending.
Though I did write a short omake that follows.