Description: Family life and private life aren't always the same thing, especially not for Takaba. Unfortunately, he just might not have a choice but to let the two mesh when everything closes on h...
Tilte: Past Streets
Covers: Up to NT4
Description: Family life and private life aren't always the same thing, especially not for Takaba. Unfortunately, he just might not have a choice but to let the two mesh when everything closes on him.
Dusk pressed in on the fading sunlight in its pale grant of sky, unseen from the poor view of his window. When its holdings were relinquished, the night his life was becoming would be present anew. The sun, as always, to its death it went, the moon remaining ever youthful.
Stripped down to boxers and a ragged tank, burrowed in the king-sized duvet that had seen enough years to render its casing gray and threadbare, Akihito squirmed into a fresh sprawl for the thirtieth time since he'd laid down at three that afternoon, heaving felt no drive towards work or anything else. There'd been no sleep yet. Later, maybe, it would come.
He lay still and listened to the resounding cracks in the apartment walls. The sound of mortar settling was far more familiar these days than the hell his life had become in the previous months. Not that this apartment was a familiar one to him, that idea was laughable.
Takaba sighed in irritation. That he had to strain his neck to see the darkening lavender from the new position was an annoying discomfort. If the sky were viewable instead of the dirty faces of overused buildings he bet that it'd be a good sight for a picture. Like the one he remembered on his mother's wall when he'd been young, that had hidden the crack a drunken fist left when it missed her face.
He turned his thoughts back to how his life had been going recently, away from that subject and onto one he needed to think about. The turnabout from steadfast independence to Yakuza whore was appalling, but worse was how his emotions conflicted with what he told himself to think of his several-time rapist.
What he hated most, though, was the shameful ache of rejection that he felt as the days went by without Asami acknowledging his life. By all rights it should've been a relief to him when days went by without that pervert invading his space, not gnawing uncertainties and self-roused doubts of his own worth. Honestly, what good did Asami do him?
Disgusting, sadistic, perverted Yakuza, he tortured him, drugged him, pasted his face in the mind's eye of every powerful man in Japan (and God knows where else, China included) as a favored toy of his, but did the slime ever take the time to ask if this was what he, Takaba Akihito, wanted? Of course not! The great Asami didn't need to ask. Nooo, just take, take, take, take, take. A body here, a body there-well, his body here and there, to be correct. Only, it had been three weeks today since he'd last felt Asami's touch, and there was no promise of harassment in those days yet to come.
Again he moved, now to watch the closed door sealing him in his single-room apartment. A dark line he'd taken for shadow crawled a few inches before stilling and he cringed inside at the reminder of how cheap this new place had been. But nobody there questioned loud banging or questionable noises at any hour imaginable, something his last place couldn't boast. What a state his life was in when this could be considered positive!
This place didn't even boast a laundry room, the nearest one three blocks away. It was probably best that he hadn't been calling, considering this, and if, when he does, there is distaste over the new address (which he had no doubt that the pervert knew) then his opinion didn't matter, since this move was entirely his fault.
Takaba startled at the ringing of his phone. Crawling on hands and knees over the bed after the sound, he ducked over its edge and fished it out of the tangle of pants he'd worn that morning. The word 'Mother' flashed across the screen in warning before he hit on the button to answer, raking his hand through the mussed hair to knock it out of his eyes. The greeting he gave her was groggy at the kindest, sounding more like he'd been sleeping these past hours than rolling around atop his covers, mulling over his own pitiful state.
Her timid voice pressed him for his health and he assured her that he was fine, soothing the worried notes in her voice to calmer warmth with pleasant stories of his past few days. Not lies, exactly, but in the same his words were less than the truth. He never asked how she was and she didn't offer, as quiet a listener as she'd always been. "Tilly is well," was as personal as she got.
Tilly was the kitten he'd bought her when he'd first been paid for some photographs he'd taken, the first time in his life he'd made money. Over the past two years the feisty mite of fur had grown into a lazy white lump whose life amounted to window watching.
"Will you come over tomorrow for supper?" The timidity had found its way back into her voice, though she should know he'd never refuse her. Even when he'd been young he'd found it impossible. Now, knowing so much better than his young mind could grasp the sacrifices his mother had made to try and protect him from the brunt of their life, it was far from being easier.
"I'll pick up dessert, alright?" She worried over this for a bit, but didn't make a large deal out of the point, letting him keep this small victory. There wasn't much more to say and soon after he let her go, saying he still he'd see her tomorrow and pleading exhaustion and an early start to look forward to the next morning. Reassuring her that he'd be fine to drop by, he finally dropped off and dropped back onto the bed, resting his head on his knees.
It was a short respite, the renewed ringing of his cell bringing another sigh to his lips as he lifted it again, strongly considering not answering-until he saw the name, complete with tongue-out faces, scrawled across his screen. Kou. The smile his bright-spirited, dark-haired always stirred from him evaporated the somber mood settling over him until all that were left were the dregs, clotted together at the back of his mind and little-noticeable.
"Aki!" There was noise in the background. Vehicles? Rain-no, just a lot of foorsteps. He knew for sure it wasn't raining anywhere near there... If he hadn't taken off for some fool reason... again... to who knew where... But then he'd be there too, and poor, sensible Kotou. "What are you doing right now?"
"Nothing," he answered with painful honesty. Unless, of course, he should have considered watching bugs a pleasant or notable pastime. "But, hey, where are you?"
"Outside Takato's. Get your money and come drink with us you lazy mutt!"
Did he want to go, when Asami could be-no, damnit, but when anyone could just drop in on him and be looking for him, or what if, by some chance, that pervert did-his hesitation cut off as his thoughts once more circled back to the bane of his existence, realizing that it would please the bastard that he was moping around waiting for him. Not that he was waiting for him, it was just that he had no clue what the jerk would do to his apartment when he himself wasn't there to draw off his attention. Only someone incredible stupid would want to actually see that yakuza scum!
"I have to get dressed," he told Kou hastily, scrambling off the bed and pulling on his pants, phone pinched between cheek and shoulder. "Where-beeep-sorry!- do I meet you?"
"Over here! We got the drinks. I do, anyway. Just bring yourself!" Doors closed on the noise of the city streets at Kou's end. "It'll be great, Aki. See you soon!"
The line went down and Takaba dropped the phone to shed his tank, then thought better of it and just pulled on the coat by his door, checking it and his shoes for bugs, then set out.
~End Ch. 1 . . . If I can call it that!~
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