Sometimes we get sacred and lose our way. Tsubasa realises that he has lost something precious and sets out to salvage what is left. But will it be too little, too late?
He was glad that caught the last train home, to Tokyo. If he didn't do this now, he was afraid that he might never. The Osaka run of the play, Gabrielle Chanel was very well-received tonight. The applause was deafening. And he couldn't be happier. No, wait, he could be. If only his aikata was there. But no. It was as if he was playing to an almost full house, safe the one missing audience. Yet, it was that one missing audience that mattered the most.
As the shinkansen whizzed past small bright cities and faintly illuminated countryside, Tsubasa looked on with a wistful glaze. His thoughts lie not with the neon lights or lonesome lampposts. He was wondering when his self-professed Number One fan would come. He knew that Takki cared but sometimes he didn't feel it. He knew that the darkness outside would soon be replaced by day; but faced with the overwhelming absence of light, it was hard to believe so.
Outside, it had begun to drizzle lightly. And Tsubasa couldn’t help remembering the song, We’re All Alone:
Outside the rain begins,
and it may never end.
So cry no more.
On the shore, a dream
will take us out to sea…
It wasn't always this melancholic. Tsubasa could still remember a time when they hung out too often, shared a bed together, and went to bed together. But those cherished memories were starting to blur. And he was scared. He didn't want to forget but he was beginning to. Maybe he deserved it. After all, it was him who first distanced himself, him who pushed Takki away.
It was common knowledge among those who had shared a bed with Takki that he had a propensity to hug his sleeping partner in his sleep. But for Tsubasa, it had become too much. Takki's hugs felt less than innocent. They felt staged. They felt a little too tight, a little too comfortable, a little too loving. And that frightened him. They had a strong friendship and stable work relationship. He didn't want anything to change.
He started to distance himself. His calls lessened, his visits became scarce. No longer did he cook for him or go out drinking with him. He didn't want anything to change. But he had changed things himself.
Tsubasa's signal, Takki understood - whatever he had felt towards him, it wasn't reciprocated. Even when Tsubasa realised that things were spiraling out of control and offered home-cooked pepperoncini pasta as peace offering, Takki would politely declined. It was now Takki's turn to turn him down and throw him out.
The rain had stopped but the despair continued.
Darkness comes too soon tonight, the trees are silent scars,
Rivers rage against the rocks and snow conceals the stars.
There's no music in the air, I am a child abandoned,
Till I feel my hand in yours
And laugh down lonely canyons.
His green class cabin was almost empty, except for an elderly couple a few rows ahead of him.
'How does it start?'
'What makes it last?'
'Is this too little, too late?' Tsubasa asked himself.
Awashed with relief, Tsubasa turned the knob quietly - his key still worked. Takki didn't change the lock.
Inside too, little appeared to have change. Tsubasa was glad that unlike himself who had recently redecorated his home to reflect his latest obsession with the 50s look; Takki's place looked almost untouched. But what really mattered were the bedroom and his bed.
The room was unnervingly quiet. Being in it, Tsubasa felt all at once the mixed emotions of unease and familiarity. He couldn't remember the last time he was there, yet it also felt like he had never left.
Approaching the bed cautiously, he was infinitely grateful. It was singularly occupied; and the lone occupant was deep in slumber. Takki was a heavy sleeper, which meant that he could enjoy at least a couple of hours of calm before the storm.
Slowly feeling once again at home, Tsubasa strolled to the bathroom to wash up. Opening the toiletry cabinet, his face immediately broke into a bittersweet smile. His things from way back, they were still there. Most of the stuff, such as toothpaste, shaving cream, had already expired. But at least his toothbrush still looked up to the job.
Just as he was about to head for bed, Tsubasa looked once more at the wash basin. Something was amiss. Carefully, he adjusted the toothbrush in his tumbler to incline towards Takki's. With their heads almost touching, the sensitive man was satisfied. Now, Takki’s toothbrush didn’t look so lonely.
After groping the dark and selecting a tight-fitting white singlet from his array of clothes that still hung in his partner's wardrobe, Tsubasa crept towards the bed. Stealthily, he maneuvered under the covers to park himself next to the warm body with its back to him.
Settling once again into his side of the bed, Tsubasa stared at the ceiling. He was right where he wanted to be, but he didn't know what to do. His grand scheme extended only to being back in bed with Takki.
'What now?' He pondered. But his mind was like a wide, endless expand of dry and lifeless desert.
As if subconsciously sensing his aimlessness, Takki rolled over. He was now facing Tsubasa. Then he threw one arm over, followed by a leg. Tsubasa realised too that sleeping man's hand was placed strategically on his chest, over his heart.
Instantly, his eyes watered, his nose soured and he had to bite his lips to stop the tearing.
'Was it by accident or on purpose?' The thought whirled in his mind. 'Is Takki really asleep? Does it mean that he forgives me?'
The answers were not forthcoming because the figure beside him remain resolutely silent. But Tsubasa was happy. He couldn't have done it better himself or ask for more. Almost beaming with joy in the darkness, Tsubasa cupped Takki's hand gently yet firmly; and leaned his face towards the other pretty face.
Often, Tsubasa woke up to welcome a new day with a wish list a mile long. The list was filled with what he had hoped for for that day, for his life. But somehow, he could tell that when he wake up later that morning, it would be different. Because right now, his restless heart was at peace. He didn't know why. Maybe because it was finally contented. After all, it already had the most important thing - love.
Takki's Reaction to the Intrusion
He was exhausted. But it didn't matter. It didn't matter that his grey matter was much bothered by the were many changes during today's rehearsal. His mind was adamantly awake. Not one to give up easily, Takki insisted on lying motionless in bed to induce his stubborn mind into much needed slumber. It was a civil war of endurance and he was determined to win. He couldn't let his many pretty brain cells die in vain. He deserved the rest, he had earned it. Therefore, it was of little surprise that not even the sound of an intruder interrupted Takki from his single-minded mission - Operation Fall Asleep.
But shortly after, the intruder was making such a fuss that it was simply impossible to ignore him. For a while Takki thought it might be a figment of his imagination, like imaginary Tsubasa. Sometimes, when he felt a little too lonely, he would imagine that Tsubasa was with him. Imaginary Tsubasa would talk to him, drink with him, among other things. But when Imaginary Tsubasa entered the bathroom to brush his teeth and wash up, Takki knew better. Never in his wildest imagination was his imaginary friend ever that concerned about hygiene.
It was this time Takki opened his eyes and scanned the room for possible self-defense devices. There was none.
'Well, I could always suffocate the intruder with fluffy pillows,' he contemplated for a moment. If only Tsubasa was there. He might have a baseball bat with him or he could always with his nifty footwork either deliver near-fatal flying kicks or dazzle the trespasser into submission. But real-life Tsubasa was in Osaka, and the imaginary one could do little more than smile and look pretty.
Killing a few more of his precious remaining grey cells, the still man concluded that he was not in any immediate danger. The trespasser could be a fan or a stalker or a stalker fan - nothing too dangerous.
Perhaps it was his fault. He had on numerous occasions fantasised this scenario, which ranked number 16 in his long list of sexual fantasies. Nevertheless, he had always only imagined his partner to be Tsubasa. It was always him, and only him.
When the presumed stalker fan gingerly made his way to the closet, Takki had a change of mind. For a stranger, the person was awfully familiar with the layout of his wardrobe.
'Who could have my key and know my place like the back of his hand?'
Piecing together the pieces, it finally dawned upon Takki that the imaginary might have become real.
The intruder was now lying next to him, equally still.
Suspense hung in the air, so thick that one could cut it with a knife. Finally, Takki decided that he had to be sure; he had to know if Tsubasa was back or whether it was simply the longing of a lonesome heart.
Employing all the art of acting that he knew, the rightful owner of the bed turned over to face the unconfirmed identity. Carelessly, he threw an arm over. As planned, it landed on a smooth chest and his hand was right above the heart.
Yes, it was Tsubasa! He knew the latter's chest anywhere. It still felt the same, maybe a little more defined now. But the feelings that such a simple action evoked in him was the same - pure exhilaration. His whole body tingled with incredible and indescribable joy.
Now that his aikata was in his arms again, Takki was insistent that there was no more escape. He would handcuff Tsubasa to the bed if necessary. For now, he contended with locking his prey down with an additional limb, his leg.
Sensing no objection from the other party, Takki whimsically played the soundtrack of ‘If You’re Ever in My Arms Again’ in his already overworked mind, ‘If ever you're in my arms again, this time I'll hold you forever, this time we’ll never end...'
It was as if Tsubasa had heard the song too. Because the next thing Takki felt was a gentle yet firm hand cupping his. If the warm tenderness of that moment hadn't paralysed him with ecstasy, he was sure that he would have squeezed Tsubasa to death. They had been apart too long, so long he was almost afraid that his feelings would forever remain unreturned.
Calming himself down considerably, Takki was once again aware of Tsubasa's movement. The latter had brought his face closer to his, so close their noses almost touched. It was an irresistible invitation. Like moths to light, Takki soon found himself helplessly drawn into lightly pecking Tsubasa’s soft lips.
The chaste kiss drew no response. Tsubasa had already fallen asleep. But Takki wasn't discouraged. At long last, they were together, intimately. They were in the same bed and joined together by their hands.
There was another thing that Takki noticed. The smile on Tsubasa's lips, faint initially, appeared to have gotten wider and brighter. It was a sight too deep for words. Tsubasa was happy. And to Takki, that was the most important thing.
~ End ~ More stories at http://avery-averette.livejournal.com/tag/stories. Enjoy!