And life goes on.
Takaba slid out of bed with a groan and stretched, shivering at the touch of cold in the air.
He heard a rustle of sheets behind him and then Asami's raspy voice. "You're up early."
Takaba turned around and looked at his lover. Hair sleep mused and the imprint of sheets on his outstretched arm, Asami managed to look softer and younger. Softer? It boggled the mind. Having overridden his first impression, Takaba nodded at the man. "I have an interview. Have to get ready."
Asami grunted, his fingers coming up to brush against Takaba's hip, the gesture almost absent-minded, but Takaba still shivered. He turned unconsciously into the touch and before he knew it, he found himself lying back down, his cheek pressed against Asami's chest.
He breathed in the scent of Asami's skin, felt it fill his head and make him dizzy for a moment; musk, sex, cologne, shower gel and the spicy hint that was all Asami. Takaba felt himself relax, pushing away unbidden memories of a time when he hadn't been sure that he would see the man again.
"I'll be late." Takaba whispered even as he moved up to nuzzle into the curve of Asami's neck. He could smell a light trace of his shampoo in Asami's hair and it made him smile.
Takaba had noticed the way his shampoo seemed to vanish every time he had to go away for a few days, and how the familiar scent would linger around Asami. It made something inside him break and start to heal again, knowing that Asami missed him and tried to find comfort in something so personal.
"Don't go." The older man said. And it wasn't the first time. Asami said the same thing every time Takaba had to leave. The first time Takaba had been assigned to cover a conference in Osaka, Asami had been very reluctant to let him go and only agreed because he was one of guests at the conference.
But he hadn't stopped Takaba the second time when he was called to Kyoto, or Shanghai after that.
It had upset Takaba at first, the way Asami seemed to let him go with nothing more than a 'don't go' that Takaba had come to despise. Then, he'd noticed his missing shampoo, and the obvious conclusion that Asami was using it.
So on the next assignment, to Kyoto, he'd stopped by a temple and bought Asami a bracelet charm for health. The older man's eyes had lowered when Takaba had handed him the package, then risen to Takaba's with an intensity that left him quivering.
Asami wore the charm, hidden under the cuffs of his perfectly pressed shirts.
"I don't want to." Takaba said with sheepish honesty that he somehow adapted to, because lying didn't really work with his lover, looking up at Asami. "But I have to." He added ruefully.
Asami sighed at that, and began running his fingers through Takaba's hair. Takaba purred happily and dropped a quick kiss on Asami chest, before pulling himself off the man and the bed.
Asami growled unhappily.
"I have to go." Takaba repeated out loud, for his own benefit as well as Asami's. Left up to his own devices, Takaba would have happily spent the entire day in bed with his lover and the naked expanse of Asami's body currently on display, broad shoulders, strong arms and the ripple of muscle covering his torso, made that an infinitely more tempting offer than trudging out into the cold morning for work.
...But he had to go. There was nothing else for it.
Takaba wasn't a person who could remain idle for long. And some part of Asami had recognised that. It was clear in the way he hadn't tried to pressure Takaba into taking more time off, or the way that, despite his obvious arousal, he didn't try to tempt Takaba back into the bed.
Not that Takaba was happy with that. He tugged on Asami's toe, sticking up comically through the rumpled sheets. "Shower with me?" He asked and smiled at the way Asami's eyes narrowed.
"I thought you were going to be late." The older man replied, even as he pushed the rest of the sheets away and stood up.
Takaba had come a long way.
Watching the younger man on the screen with no little pride, Asami smiled.
It was about more than just handling interviews and crowds. Takaba had critics to deal with now. He was a well known figure in the media, a well respected journalist, and no such position could be attained or maintained, unless one knew how to handle one's critics.
Because apparently, as Takaba had tried to explain in reply to Asami's offer of help in removing a few of his more insistent critics, being famous was no fun if you didn't have people challenging your position all the time. And in a way, Asami could understand that.
That morning's interview had gone very well. A discussion on the state of Japan's military and whether or not constitutional change was in order to ensure that Japanese nationals could be rescued, without reliance on international forces.
Strangely enough, Takaba had been against the idea. Asami felt that sometimes, Takaba blamed himself for what had happened in Europe. He'd explained everything to Asami one night, almost a month after his return when he's woken screaming and kicking, speaking in a language Asami couldn't understand. He'd calmed down eventually of course, then broken down and told Asami everything. Like passing the cook in the hallway, and how the situation had deteriorated from there.
Asami ran his fingers through Takaba's hair. The younger man was dozing with his head in Asami's lap, while the older man watched the extract from the morning's interview on the evening news.
Takaba purred, rubbing his cheek against Asami's thigh.
Asami had a sneaking suspicion the man was awake, and doing that on purpose.
If the barely contained grin on Takaba's lips was any indication, he was.