They're closer than brothers and share everything. But when hidden emotions and secret longings become too hard to bear, will Tsubasa choose to take a leap of faith or forever hold his peace? (Warn...
Today, he will know. Because he is tired of keeping mum, of suffering in silence. He's afraid that if he doesn't reach out now and grab hold of the hands that are drifting away, soon there'll be nothing left to hold onto.
It didn't all begin so grim and glum. Takki was flirting with the hula girls when he caught sight of Tsubasa searching in the crowd.
It was the opening ceremony of Takizawa Group's latest theme resort - Takizawa Love Resort. Although it's everything you'd expect from a love hotel, only classier and costlier, the opening was a resounding success. And the waiting list is at least a few months long. Apparently, having Takki, the managing director of the resort, cosplay as Cupid-chan in their ad campaign is a very shrewd marketing strategy. When a smiling, bare-chested Cupid-chan came onscreen and cooed the tagline, 'Let's fall in love,' female viewers just find it impossible not to pick up the phone and make urgent reservations.
Seeing Tsubasa approach from afar, Takki's face lit up. He was so happy that he thought his heart had skipped a beat. Even so, it was only natural. He had been neglecting his childhood buddy since the preparations for the opening ceremony. Though he was certain that he was missed, he was confident that he missed Tsubasa more.
'Tsubasa!' Takki shouted as he waved wildly, almost knocking into bypassing guests.
The object of his excitment smiled weakly and strolled towards him, only to be pulled into a tight embrace.
'It's been too long,' Takki cried. 'How much do you miss me?'
Tsubasa turned away slightly and answered icily, 'You're not the only one that's busy.'
Takki frowned. It was true that Tsubasa was tied up with his family business too. The world-renown Imai Dance Company had recently rolled out a new production, The Journey to Playpen. But it was not official business that bothered him, it was the rumour that Tsubasa was getting serious about a female dancer from his company. Now, Takki likes girls, and fine-figured dancers even more so, but not when they vie with him for Tsubasa's attention and affection.
From a tender age, he was led to believe that Tsubasa was his - his real-life Ken doll. One year, having lost the birthday present for his precious son, Takizawa Senior hastily bribed the little boy next door with lollipops to pretend to be a birthday present. Little Takki took an instant liking to the 'lollipop-licking present' and immediately rushed forward to mark his property with butterfly kisses. Even today, after the misunderstanding had long been cleared, Takki still littered his favourite 'present' with butterfly kisses. And maybe, secretly, a part of him still regarded Tsubasa as his exclusive property.
'Are you all right?' Tsubasa asked when the younger man bear-hugged him sluggishly from behind.
'You have a beautiful back,' Takki remarked dreamily, with half-closed lids. 'But, of course. Because you're beautiful.'
'Okay, you've been soaking so long you're delirious. Time to get out.'
'I may have been soaking too long, and I may be delirious. But you're still beautiful,' Takki answered as he raised his arms up and waited for Tsubasa to haul him out of their private onsen. Wanting nothing but the best for his dearest friend, Takki booked him the honeymoon suite, with ensuite outdoor onsen.
Like a spoilt child, Takki continued the attention seeking. 'I'm thirsty.'
This time, Tsubasa answered with a mild protest. 'Just who's the guest here?' He queried while hovering luminously over a seated Takki
'But you're not just a guest. You're family. No, wait, you're beyond that.' Spreading his legs, he pulled Tsubasa in. Then he wrapped his arms lovingly around those sexy dancer legs, rested his cheek on the latter's stomach, and continued, 'You have a special place in my heart.'
Tsubasa knew, right from the start, that resistance was futile. He would always wind up doing exactly what the younger one requested.
Sensing no further protest, Takki insisted that they squeeze onto a single sun lounge chair and moon-bathe naked. Although Tsubasa complained that it was crammed, he couldn't help but smile when Takki hugged his arms and laid his pretty head on his shoulders. With his younger friend's left hand in his, he too drifted into temporary bliss and contentment. If there was a heaven, he thought it would feel something like that.
'Why are you not eating? Are you feeling okay?' Takki asked, concerned that Tsubasa had lost his appetite. It would take a very ill man to resist the sumptuous international fare spread before them. He sat onto the latter's lap on felt for temperature. Thankfully, the non-eater's temperature was normal.
But things were far from normal. Takki thought that it was understandable that Tsubasa felt a little distant because they had been spending too much time apart. He thought that the ice would quickly melt with a hug here and a kiss there. But It didn't. They might have shared a bed last night but all he saw was the latter's back. Gone were the good old days when he would fall asleep in Tsubasa's embrace, lying his head on the latter's arm and burying his face in his bosom.
Takki knew that that it happens to the best of friends, that despite the best of intentions, people grow cold and drift apart. It was a thought so frightening that he suddenly clung tightly onto Tsubasa, afraid to lose him.
'What's wrong?' Tsubasa asked, taken aback.
Maybe silence was contagious. Like Tsubasa, Takki couldn't voice out what was bothering him. He was afraid that if he breathed a word of it, he might give that thought life and it might actually happen. Quickly, he masked the pain and fear with a fake plastic smile and tempted the big boy with hand-fed chocolate-coated strawberries and mouth-fed toasty breadsticks.
To Takki's relief, the rest of the day was hectic enough to take his mind off matters. There were VIPs and the press to tend to and ardent female fans to fend off. He even had to stand in for an absentee to parade as a mascot. It came as no surprise that even under the Love Beagle-chan costume, Takki was still an irresistible babe magnet. Countless girls pawed Love Beagle-chan and whispered naughty propositions to the innocent-looking furry creature. But Takki soon discovered that even for lovable mascots, life can be a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes little boys would treat it as a punching bag, and baby girls cried when it approached. It was times like these he hoped Tsubasa was around to stroke and pat it a little.
At the end of the day, standing in front of Tsubasa's room, Takki wanted so much to fall into his arms and be massaged and comforted by him. But he also half-wished the latter was out strolling by the beach. He hated to think that he could put smiles on the face of others but not on his beloved friend. He had hoped that all the guests of Takizawa Love Resort could be in love, or at least in lust. But Tsubasa seemed to have only fallen into despair. He silently cursed the cause of Tsubasa's misery. Was it the rumoured dancer girlfriend? Or was their friendship getting old and tired?
Inside the room, there was little comfort. Tsubasa was sitting by the window drinking sake. Seeing the half-eaten sushi on the table, it seemed the latter had yet to recover his spirit or appetite.
'Let's order more sake!' Takki suggested brightly. With more sake pumped into Tsubasa, he hoped he might catch a glimpse of the latter's former self, the one who under the influence of alcohol, would pin him down and kiss him all over.
Sadly, even best-laid plans fail. That night, only Takki got drunk. Tsubasa drank as little as he ate, spending most of his time dodging Takki's saliva bullets when the latter embarked on a ranting spree blaming him for everything and anything, from his messed up emotions to global warming.
It was wrong for the sun to shine into the room the next morning. Takki felt like it was the end of the world and there was no more need for that cheerful entity. Tsubasa was sleeping on a futon on the floor. As far back as Takki could remember, whenever they shared a room, they shared a bed too, until last night.
'Why are we sleeping apart?' Takki questioned himself tearfully. 'Did I do something wrong?'
Alone on the bed, Takki thought he couldn't breathe. His eyes watered, his nose stung and his heart almost shut down due to his emotional meltdown.
Fidgeting in his seiza posture, Takki waited impatiently by Tsubasa's futon for the older man to wake. It was uncomfortable but necessary. He wanted to show Tsubasa that he was determined. He wanted answers.
Like a cat on a hot tin roof, Takki paced around restlessly on the balcony. He had the answers he wanted but he didn’t like them. The good news: Tsubasa didn’t have a change of heart. The bad news: he was just bothered by how to confess to a long-time friend about his feelings without ruining their cherished friendship.
As much as he pondered, a foolproof solution escaped him. In the first place, Takki had never even once confessed his love to anyone. In fact, he realised now how selfish he was. He had always happily accepted the love of all those girls without ever really giving his heart away.
‘Maybe you could just tell her straight out “I love you”,’ Takki finally advised. ‘Honesty is always the best policy.’
‘We’re not talking about a hit-and-run here,’ Tsubasa replied. ‘If the person never looks my way again because of it, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.’
‘You silly boy,’ Takki chided somewhat bitterly. If he was insensitive, so was Tsubasa. Giving Tsubasa away was akin to him parting with a chunk of his heart.
‘Nobody can resist you, especially not when you do this.’ With that Takki tenderly held the hands that he’d be giving away, and looked deeply into those soulful eyes. He wanted to burn into his memory the very last moment when he could still call Tsubasa his. ‘I love you.’
‘Tsubasa, what are you doing?’ Takki asked looking up at the naked man, topping him.
‘Necking and stripping you,’ the busy man answered.
‘Because you confessed and I accepted.’
‘Wait.... but you were the one who…' Takki was well aware he wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but this was off the charts.
'Tsubasa! YOU, despicable!’
End - More stories at http://avery-averette.livejournal.com . Enjoy!