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The Promise of Lies

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                “You look like hell, Acchan, didn’t you sleep well?” Yutaka asked the obviously sleep deprived man who joined them in the kitchen. “Off and on, Uta was restless all night. If I wasn’t waking up to comfort him, I had Saki standing on my chest telling me that Uta was upset.” Acchan loved the beautiful cats, but not at 3:30am.

                “Was he dreaming? Uta…not Saki.” Hide asked. “It seems so, he cried out and would whimper a lot, I would pull him into my arms and he would quiet down.” Hide snuck a look at Yutaka. “How was it having him in your arms again, Acchan?” Yutaka asked softly.

                “Heaven and hell.” The man replied simply. “It’s what I have been dreaming about for two years, but this is not the way I wanted it to happen. He is not there of his own will, and I feel like I’m lying to him.” Yutaka looked up quickly, shaking his head no…Uta was coming down the hall.

                “Good morning, Uta… sleep well?” Yutaka busied himself getting tea and coffee ready. “Sort of, I had a lot of weird dreams…that I don’t remember. Felt like I was running a lot.” Uta wiggled his way into Acchan’s lap, just as he would when they lived together, the older man sliding his arm around the boy. “I didn’t sleep at all…and it’s Saki’s fault.”

                “How is it Saki’s fault? He’s just a baby!” Uta objected. “Anytime you made a sound…Saki got on my chest and woke me up, he was worried about you.” Acchan sighed. “That’s a good thing, right? At least he knew something was wrong.” Uta leaned back against his lover…his former lover, resting his head on Acchan’s shoulder.

                As he would have in the past, Acchan couldn’t help but nuzzle Uta’s ear, making the boy squirm. “No fair!” Uta giggled. “You’re fair game when you’re sitting in my lap.” Acchan reminded the boy. Hide and Yutaka watched the couple playing, both wondering how long the happiness would last; happiness based on the promise of lies. They were all complicit, promising each other that the lies would be Uta’s truth until his memory came back. How they would deal with the fallout, how Uta will react to those lies, regardless of the caring intent behind.

                “Okay you two…we’re going to go to Toll’s and pick up Rima and Zepp. Uta, you should probably keep Luna and Saki in your room, let them sniff between the door…we don’t need any scratched-up pets.” Yutaka warned Uta. “Hai.”

 

                The questions had started that morning, with Sakurai not even completely awake. “Why were we in the Netherlands? I don’t remember ever saying I wanted to go.” Crap. Uta had woken early, with a stretch and a yawn he rolled against Sakurai, and the questions began.

“We decided to travel while the house was being renovated, and you said you’d like to see Europe.” Acchan was having to think quick on his feet, the questions started before Uta was even out of the hospital, but now the answers were becoming a little more complicated. He had satisfied Uta’s first urges with a kiss the night before, but now the real work had begun; keeping track of what lies were told.

                “But how did we end up at Mistress Davina’s? I didn’t know she had a house in Europe.” Uta hated being this confused, it scared him. “When you fell ill, I knew she had a flat in the Netherlands, so I called her to ask if we could use it.” Careful Acchan. Uta sat up, legs crossed, stroking Luna’s soft fur.

      “I don’t understand, what happened to me, why was I ill?” Uta was frustrated, he tried hard to remember, but he could only come up with the fact that he and Acchan lived together.

  “The doctors don’t know why, but you had a seizure, they said some of your short-term memory would suffer, but it will come back. Don’t worry baby.” Acchan reached over and held Uta’s small hand in his.

 “Did you call for Yutaka and Hide? How did they get here?” Uta whined in frustration.  

“I did call for Hide and Yutaka and Davina offered to fly them to Maastricht. I needed their help when you were in hospital.” Acchan was sweating.   

“What about the cats? Saki and Luna? Where did they come from?” Uta loved the cats, and it was obvious that they loved him…Luna sleeping next to him, and Saki was curled up against Acchan.

“That was Kyo…he gave them to you. We brought them with us because they were so small. You don’t remember Kyo giving them to you?” Acchan made a mental note to talk to Kyo about the cats. “Nope, but that sounds like something he would do, he gave Koichi a kitten when they were dating.” Uta smiled at that memory, which were far and few between at the moment.

 

                “When can I go back to work?” Uta suddenly asked Acchan. “Well, the doctor said not for at least a month, he said stress is possibly your biggest threat in having another seizure. Why? Do you want to go back sooner?”  Uta sat down on the couch next to his temporary lover, snuggling against the man. “Well, I want to see my friends at the very least! It feels like I’ve been away for months, not weeks.” Uta had his own timeline in his mind, he didn’t ask for specifics on how long they had been ‘traveling’, it definitely felt longer than two or three weeks.

                 “If you’d like, we could set up something at Ojisan’s…that way you could see everyone at once, a sort of welcome home party.” Acchan suggested. That way I can contact everyone and pre-warn them about his memory loss.

                “Oh! That would be fun! Ojisan’s ramen sounds good right now…can we plan this soon? Like um, later today?” With the look that Acchan gave Uta, the boy covered his mouth and laughed. “I’m joking! Don’t worry… what about the weekend? That gives everyone enough time to plan.” An instant look of relief showed on the older man’s face.

                “We should call Taka, he’s the best for getting the word around, is there anyone else you’d like to invite? Davina perhaps?” A long shot, Acchan knew. “Sure, Mistress Davina can come, she helped us when I got sick. Has she been to Ojisan’s before?”

                Quick! “I think she may have, back when you were still…” Did he say Natsu? A shadow passed over Uta’s face. “Oh, that’s right…Natsu.” Uta said quietly. “It’s okay… she cares for you, Uta. Let me ask if she’s available, is there anyone else?” Uta shrugged, “Whomever you want to invite is fine with me.” Acchan nuzzled Uta’s neck. “Let me call Taka, then we’ll go from there. Do you want to do anything else today?”

                “Can we go shopping? I’d like to buy some toys for Luna and Saki, maybe go to the bookstore and grab a latte?” Uta’s face brightened, the thought of Natsu pushed out. “That sounds wonderful” Acchan agreed, “give me five minutes!” Uta leaped off the couch and went down the hall to his room.

                Acchan went into the kitchen, taking out his phone he called Taka. “Taka-kun, Sakurai. Yes, well I know it’s strange. I have a request; can you perhaps meet me later tonight after the HBG closes? Yes, could we meet at Ojisan’s? Perfect, I’ll see you then.”

                “I’m ready to go!” Uta had his bag over his shoulder. “I just remembered, later tonight I need to run to the studio, I left some music there that I need to look over.” Acchan lied. The lies were getting easier to tell, that bothered Acchan a great deal. “That’s fine, I’ll probably be playing referee between the dogs and Luna and Saki.” Uta accepted his story as truth.  

               

                The day the two men spent together was nothing short of idyllic in Sakurai’s mind, shopping for some new clothes for the both of them, wandering around the bookstore, latte’s in hand and a quick stop at the pet shop. “Hmm, think they’d like these?” Uta holds up a bag of assorted catnip filled toys. “If it has catnip in it, I’m sure they will love them. Is there anything else we need?” Acchan asked. “Oh, what about surprising Yutaka and Hide with dinner? You’re such a good cook, what about that pasta dish, the one with the cream sauce?”

                Uta’s request surprised Sakurai, he had only made the pasta dish once that he could remember, and for the boy to remember that of all things, was baffling. “I think that would be lovely, I’m sure both would appreciate it.”  The drive home was quick, Uta helping unload the car, then running in to find Luna and Saki to give them their toys.

               

                With Uta in the bedroom playing with the cats, and keeping the dogs away, Sakurai made dinner, both Hide and Yutaka pleasantly surprised. “Any day I don’t have to cook is a good day, and well this is excellent Acchan.”

Making his escape to meet with Taka at Ojisan’s, his nerves on edge, hoping to get complete cooperation from Taka and whomever else would be attending the party.

                “Irasshai Sakurai, welcome home.” Ojisan was standing at the door, something Sakurai never remembered him doing, what was more surprising was the hug that the ramen maker gave him. “Thank you, Acchan, for watching over the young one, I feared the worst when I heard about his condition. Come, beer on the house tonight.”

                “Did I hear beer on the house Ojisan?” Striding up to the door right behind Sakurai was Sato and Taka, both wearing wide grins. “Yes, for a select few and only for tonight.” Ojisan winked at the couple.

                “Sakurai, good to see you, how is Uta?” Sato patted the older man on the shoulder. “Well, that’s why I’ve asked Taka to meet with me. Uta wants to set up a party of sorts, he has told me he wants to see his friends, this will be a major undertaking.”

                With beers on the bar, Sakurai started to plan Uta’s party. “He has no memory of anything after being rescued from Natsu, to him we are still a couple. He remembers what happened with Natsu, but not leaving my home, so nothing to do with Madame F or Davina. This of course is breaking Davina’s heart.”

                “Is Mistress still in the Netherlands?” Ojisan asked. “No, she’s back at the Manor with Yoji, she refuses to be that far away from Uta, even if he has no memory of his life with her.” Sakurai’s brow furrowed, he pinched the bridge of his nose. “He has no memory of Kyo giving him the kittens, but I have convinced him of that, the story I have planted in his mind is that we were traveling to Europe while our home was being renovated, we took the cats with us. He believes that he fell ill in Maastricht, that I knew Davina had a home there and that she let us use the home, that she also flew Hide and Yutaka to help.”

                “Gentlemen, this will be a long string of elaborate lies, we need to have at least some continuity between his friends. I called you, Taka, because you have an easier time of getting the information to those that need to know. The most important issue is staying calm and thinking before you speak, if you are in doubt of something, just don’t say anything.”

                “Do the doctors know how long his memory loss will be? Is there any type of timetable?” Sato asked. “No, and No, are the easy answers. The doctors did warn us that stress may send him back into a seizure, which will complicate matters medically.” Sakurai explained.

                “The other issue is our relationship, Uta believes that we are still a couple, which means everything that goes into being a couple is involved.” Sakurai closed his eyes. “You have no idea how difficult it is for me to fake this.” Sato gave Sakurai a look. “Truly Sato. I do not want Uta this way! I do not want this relationship built on lies, it’s not right! I’m torn between loving him the way I have dreamed for two years, verses what Uta expressed to me before any of this happened. He does not want me in his life! And now I’m having to…you don’t understand…”

                Sakurai leaned back in his chair, rubbing his face roughly with his hands to keep from crying. “He’s already asking about… well he’s asking when we can have sex again! I’ve been able to deflect that with instructions from the doctors, but for how long? What happens if he regains his memory while…you have no idea how this is tormenting me!” The man groaned.

 

                Ojisan took Sakurai’s beer away and replaced it with a glass of water, “Sakurai, drink this.” The ramen maker instructed. “You are only doing what needs to be done. You love the young one, you always have. You are not doing this to benefit yourself as much as you are doing this for Uta. What his reaction will be when his memory returns is unknown at this point, but you can’t hold back your affections, that will only worry the boy. You love Uta, you will not hurt the boy intentionally, we all know that, but you must do what it takes to keep Uta healthy. There is no deception on your part, there is no lie, you love Uta with your soul, there is nothing wrong with that.”

               

                Taka assured Sakurai that he could get everyone on board with what needed to, or not needed to be said at the party. “I’ll ask Kyo to tape Mao’s mouth shut…” He laughed. “I’ll make sure Tora and Aki aren’t too loud, or too drunk or too anything. We don’t have to worry about Tomo and Ruki, they’re so into each other you won’t even notice they’re here.”

                Sakurai thanked Taka and Sato then turned to Ojisan. “Old man, thank you for understanding my position with Uta. I know I’ve not always been your favorite person, but right now, my only concern is Uta’s mental and physical health, anything else is unimportant.” The three men parted ways, with Ojisan watching them leave, “Mistress, what about your health and well being…who’s concerned about that?”

                                        

 

Chapter Text

 

                Ayato looked at his phone, paging through the calls, stopping when he noticed one outgoing call to Japan, realizing it must have been whomever Reita called while they were still in Los Angeles. It could be his only connection to the man, all he had to do is call the number…well once he got a new provider and a new number. Going through the calls he deleted most of them, but writing the one number on a piece of paper and sliding it into his wallet, nothing but a memory.

                After not having a phone for a few weeks, and finally having enough money to get a new number, Ayato took his phone out often, thinking he would call the number that Reita had used, his fingers hovering over the keys. “What’s the point? He can’t have a relationship with me…he’s a damned rock star, I’m a stripper… yah that would go over well with the media.” Was the argument he had with himself on a daily basis. Every day the argument ended with “just move on.”

                Ayato worked every hour that was available, spending the bare minimum to survive, the rest going into an account for his final escape from Japan, the more money he had, the better chance he had of being lost in the masses, just another illegal immigrant in California. His roommate asked him once about why he wanted to leave the country. “You speak English well enough, but why leave Japan? Is California that much better?” Yuki was baffled by Ayato’s choice.

                “It’s not so much as it’s better in LA, but even with the high price to live there, it’s so much better than here. I’m not judged on being gay, I’m not preyed upon by men wanting me to work in Ni-Chome, my parents don’t give a shit about me, so why stay?” Was Ayato’s standard answer.

                Yuki, ever the optimist always told Ayato, “Maybe you’ll change your mind…situations change, you may meet someone you really like here.”

 

                “Are we agreed then? Cut him loose and start asking for guest guitarist for the remaining lives? What are we telling the fans?” Kai sat with the remaining members of The Gazette at a table in the conference room, along with two managers from the company.

                “I’ve tried calling and texting, he hasn’t responded.” Reita offered. “I’ve gone to his house, it’s quiet so I don’t know if he was even home.” Said Uruha. Ruki snorted, “I don’t know why you’re all trying so hard, he’s being a huge douche, personally I don’t want him in the band anymore. Not with his shitty attitude.”

                “DCR will release a statement something to the effect of Aoi’s having some personal issues and is taking time away from the band, but Gazette will carry on with the scheduled lives, with guest guitarist for each one.” The manager explained.

                “Who are we looking at as guests?” Reita asked. “I’d like Miya, Die, maybe Yusuke from Lynch and um, Kaz?” Kai listed off his selections

                “Let’s just stick with who I listed, just no fan service with Miya.” Kai ended the discussion on that topic.

                “What do we do about Aoi on a personal level? Do any of us want to keep trying to reach him?” Reita hated the thought of giving up on his ex-lover and best friend.

                “You do what you want, I’m done with him. Until he pulls his head out of his ass and changes? Nope, count me out. I’m not helping him at all.” Ruki was adamant on his position.

                “Do what you want or don’t want. As of today, Aoi is no longer a part of The Gazette. We move forward looking for a permanent replacement for second guitar.” Kai stood, “I’m sorry that it had to come to this, but we have to look out for the band and the fans as well. How we deal with the official announcement when it’s time…I’m not even sure. I’ll worry about that later.”

                Management said they would contact the group when they had the line up for which guest musician with which live, then they dismissed the meeting.

 

                 

                Uta was nervous about the party, shaky stomach nervous, although he didn’t know why. These were all his friends, he hadn’t been gone that long…only a few weeks. Sakurai had gotten Uta to Ojisan’s ahead of everyone else, figuring it would be easier to greet people individually rather than come in to a full restaurant. Ojisan hugged Uta tightly the moment the young man came through the door.

                “Young one, I’m so very happy to see you again, I was worried when I found you had fallen ill. Sit…would you like your usual?” Ojisan turned to go back into his tiny kitchen. “Um, yes please…but no beer.” Uta said quietly. “Sakurai, the same for you as well?” Ojisan put a cola in front of Uta and a beer in front of Sakurai. “Yes Ojisan, that would be lovely. Thank you.”

                Over the next thirty minutes, Uta’s friends started to trickle into the small ramen hut. A hug, and kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back, greeted Uta as he sat at the counter. The beers were limitless, the ramen kept coming and the small hut was full with soft laughter and joking. Uta sat very near Acchan, hips touching, occasionally reaching out for a reassuring squeeze of his hand by the older man.

                Uta looked around the room, watching his friends talk among themselves, then something caught his eye, and his breath hitched; a shadow behind Davina, watching the woman and looking over at him. The shadow had no face, but was shaped as a tall male figure. Uta quickly claimed Sakurai’s hand, the man looking down to see what the problem was.

                “Uta? Baby what’s wrong?” he whispered in Uta’s ear. “There’s something standing behind Davina…don’t you see it?” the boy whined. Sakurai looked over but saw nothing, what was Uta seeing?

                “It’s gone…sorry I must just be seeing things, I’m a little tired.” Uta confessed. “Whenever you’re ready to go home, you tell me.” Sakurai kissed Uta’s forehead.

                Davina had noticed that Uta was staring at her, but did not return the look, she turned to Kyo who was sitting next to her. “Kyo, can you see what Uta is staring at, he looks frightened.” Davina asked as she leaned forward slightly.

                “No, but he’s not looking now…I hope it’s nothing like flash backs.” The man said, concerned now for his young friend. Mao had stepped away from the counter, going behind Uta and hugging him. “How are Saki and Luna? I bet they’re getting big now.” Leaning his chin on Uta’s shoulder. “Oh god yes…they’re huge. Saki always stands on Acchan’s chest when he’s asleep, pats him on the face to wake him up, it’s so cute!” Uta giggled.

                “It’s not cute at 3am! Sometimes the little monster has his claws out!” Sakurai teased. “We should do lunch some day next week…if you’re up to it.” Mao suggested. “I’d like that, I’ll text you.” Uta patted Mao on the head.

                The night was getting late and Uta was starting to fade quickly. Making their excuses and goodbyes, Sakurai had opened the door, when Ojisan had stopped him.

                “Someone is near that may change everything, please Acchan…watch over Uta.” Ojisan had a grim expression on his face. “Thank you, I will.” Sakurai bowed and left the restaurant.

                A collective sigh of relief was heard throughout the small ramen hut. “I thought I was going to explode!” Tora said loudly. “I’ve never been that quiet for that long in my life!” Aki patted his husband on the head, “You were a good boy tonight!”

                Ojisan collected beer bottles and ramen bowls as the guests started to file out of the hut, once again he stopped someone, “Tatsu…if you have a moment?” Ojisan asked. “Sure.” They waited until everyone had gone.

                “What can I do for you, Ojisan?” Tatsu sat back down at the counter, Koichi, Taka and Sato standing behind him. “There is someone coming…someone near by, that may change everything for Uta. I advised Acchan to keep watch over Uta, but I ask you as well…as his friends. It is not clear who or how this will affect the young one, but it feels important enough to give a warning.”

                Tatsu frowned, “We’ll keep an eye on him. I’m sure Taka will, once Uta goes back to work.” Taka nodded, “I’m not sure when he’ll come back, but I’m going to put him on a very restrictive schedule, Sakurai warned me that stress could be a trigger for seizures.”

                Ojisan bowed to the men, “Thank you, I know you all love the young one as I do.” Ojisan watched them from the door, closing and locking the small hut up for the night. Walking slowly upstairs to his small flat, he cursed his images once again, seeing them as a blessing and a bane on his existence.

 

                “Did you have a good time, baby? Your friends seemed to be happy to see you.” Sakurai drove home, Uta sitting quietly next to him. “Except for the shadow behind Davina…that scared me a little. I guess it’s just the lighting, yes…I had a good time, thank you for arranging it.” Uta picked up Acchan’s hand and kissed the back of it.

                They quietly came in the house, Rima and Zepp long asleep with Hide and Yutaka, Luna and Saki begging for a midnight snack, “Go get ready for bed, I’ll feed these two monsters.” Acchan kissed Uta on the top of his head, sending him off with a quick smack on the butt.

                As Acchan moved around the kitchen, feeding the cats, he couldn’t help but over think what Ojisan had said about someone coming…that would be changing things for Uta. “Who’s coming? Who could possibly change anything for Uta right now?”

                Uta in the mean time was still haunted by the shadow he saw standing behind Mistress Davina, was he sure it was a shadow? Was it a ghost…but who would be haunting Davina? Why was he the only one that saw it…nobody else seemed to notice. “It’s your fucked-up brain, Uta.” He said to himself.

                Sakurai was already in bed when Uta came into the room, “You look comfy…room for one more?” Uta smirked. “I don’t know…between you, Luna and Saki…I’m pretty crowded in here.” Sakurai smiled, this was so normal, everything felt like it should be.

                “You haven’t kissed me properly all night, you have no excuses now…we’re alone.” Uta pointed out the obvious. “You’re right, but just a kiss…nothing more.” Acchan started to lean over to kiss his boy, Uta pulling back at the last minute.

                “Um… are you sure we can’t do more? I really want to…you haven’t touched me since we’ve been home. I’m starting to think you don’t love me anymore.” The boy pouted.

                “Oh, I love you…with my dying breath I love you, but we can…” Shit! “What did you just say?” Uta whimpered, his eyes filling with tears. “Baby, what’s wrong?” Acchan thought for a moment. “You said until your dying breath, you love me?” Acchan nodded. He’d remembered saying it before, and not at the right time.

                “Umm…I uh…” Uta forgot about the kiss, instead snuggling up close to Acchan, holding the man’s pajama shirt tightly in his fist, his head buried in Acchan’s neck. “Uta, look at me please.” Uta shook his head. “Baby, what’s wrong…talk to me.” Acchan pushed the hair away from Uta’s face.

                “I don’t know…you said that and my chest started to hurt…I don’t know why…but it hurts!” Uta started to cry softly. Acchan pulled the boy as close to him as was physically possible, lying his cheek against the boy’s head, shushing the boy’s cries, and rocking him gently.

 

 

“Beers? Sure, why not?” Reita accepted the beer offered to him by Die as he had just gotten home from the meeting. Sitting down on the stoop, Reita chugged about half of the beer right away.

“How did the meeting go?” Hiroto knew about the meeting from management. Everyone knew what was going on with Gazette, though not many people commented on it. Hiroto had a little guilt, but when he thought harder on the situation, he really didn’t feel all that bad.

                “Looks like we’ll be having guest guitarist for the remainder of the lives, and Die, I’m sure you’ll be one of them if you have the time. Your name, Miya, Yusuke of Lynch and Kaz were all suggested. Be expecting a call from our manager.” Reita was satisfied with having Die play with Gazette, he had gotten to know the man better, once the animosity between he and Hiroto had changed.

                “Sure, we’re not doing anything really, just tuning up for a tour but that’s later in the year. If you have a set list handy…I’ll see how much I already know.” Die grinned his goofiest smile at the younger man. “What about Aoi? Have you heard anything from him yet?” Hiroto had heard the about the blow off at the end of the last live. “Nope, not a word. He’s gone to ground, buried his sorry ass in the sand.”

                They chit chatted for awhile, Reita finally excusing himself, he really wanted to figure out how to find Ayato. “I’ll be talking to you soon Die…or at least management will.” Reita waved as he went into his apartment.

                Grabbing a notebook, Reita started listing ways he might be able to find Ayato. With his hand poised to start writing, his mind went blank. Wait…how do I find him? “You don’t even know where he works, let alone live, dumbass.” Reita moaned. If I knew his number I could, “KAI!” He got up and ran to his bag, digging around for his phone.

                “Kai! You have to give me a number! No, not that! Remember when I called and I was still in LA? I need the number I called you from…you didn’t erase it did you? Holy fuck! Okay… yah thanks!”

                Now he had the phone number, Ayato’s phone number…and he wanted to… what? Call him? Text him first? Trace the number? Would it even work in Japan…it was a US phone number?

                “Breathe idiot…breathe!” He growled at himself. Text first… wait to see what the response was, then call him. What do I even say at this point? Tell him what’s important…not some bullshit.

                “I love you.”  He hit SEND. Before he could even set his phone down, it chimed. Message Failed to Send. “Fuck.” Reita dialed the number…it rang twice. “The number you have reached is not…”

                Reita sat heavily in his chair, slumping back feeling defeated. “Now what?” Leaning his head back he could feel the burn of the tears start. He was so close to him at the live…why didn’t he see Ayato before the last song? He wasted all that time when he could have been holding the beautiful young man in his arms. “FUCK!” He screamed. “How do I find you…I need to tell you…”

 

                “Kai…please stop throwing things, you’re going to break something!” Yukke scolded his husband. “I know you’re frustrated, but throwing things around isn’t going to make you find Aoi any quicker.” Kai was angry, hurt and yes…frustrated at Aoi. He had no clue how to move forward with The Gazette if Aoi was gone for good.

                “Babe, remember how bad it was when Masa was pulling his shit on Tatsu? Maybe you could talk to him, Miya as well. Then you might gain some insight on what to do.” Yukke walked up behind his husband, wrapping his arms tightly around Kai’s waist.

                “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be throwing shit, he just pissed me off so much the other night. The fans noticed, Yu’, they were crying out to him and he just blew them all off, he just stared out into nothing. That’s what pisses me off more than anything, that he wouldn’t put this shit aside and at least get through the end of the show, the fans did nothing to him.”

                “That’s why I think you need to talk to Tatsu and Miya, they were the one’s that dealt with having the band go on hiatus before we knew what Masa was doing. Miya at least can point you in the right direction when dealing with management.” Yukke led Kai to the couch, handing him the phone.         

                “Call.” Kai smiled, “Yes dear.” Leaning over to give Yukke a quick smooch.

                “Miya, I need some advice that only you and Tatsu can give me. Yep…bingo. Well that’s what I want to talk to you about, so I can gain some sort of clarity on how to proceed. Now? Sure, okay, thanks.”

                “He said they’d be over within the hour.” Yukke smiled, “I told you… they’ll help you out, that’s what family’s for!” Kai wiggled his eyebrows at his husband. “Oh? And what else are family good for?” Yukke jumped up, “Oh no! We do not have time for this at all!” Yukke started to back away from Kai. “Oh, baby I think we have time for a very quick family discussion, come on…just a real quick chat.”

                “KAI NO! We do not have time for this!” Yukke was trying to look angry, of course with his angelic little face it was very hard to be convincing, something Kai knew all too well.

                “Okay, but as soon as they’re gone…we’re going to have a very long talk about what family is for.” Kai grabbed Yukke and kissed him.

 

                “We need to be that drastic? Write him out of the contract completely? Are you sure?” Kai was shocked at what Miya had proposed that The Gazette needed to do. “Kai, you need to cover your ass. We had to make sure we did nothing under the table while Tatsu was going insane.” Miya winked at Yukke. “HEY!” Tatsu snarked. “I was not insane and you know it!” Miya patted his friend on the leg.

                “Legally if you want to be able to hire a new second guitar if it gets to that point, you need to make sure that Aoi is written out of the contract. You need to somehow get him in front of you and management, and have him basically say “I quit.”

                Kai bowed his head, “Do you think it’s done then? Tell me, Miya.” Miya and Tatsu looked at each other, “Depends, Kai. If you can find him and talk to him, maybe not. But if he won’t talk to you, like Tatsu did…then yes, I think it’s over for him in the band.”

                Yukke thanked his friends for coming over, then turned to Kai. “Babe, let’s go to bed…it does you no good to worry about it anymore tonight.” Yukke held out his hand, Kai gently taking it. “This sucks beyond anything else I’ve ever dealt with, with The Gazette, Yu. The fans are going to be devastated, how do we replace Aoi?” Yukke didn’t have an answer…no one did.

Chapter Text

 

                Uruha took a chance…dialed the number and waited. “Hello, it’s Uruha…yes, fine…Is he there? Well, you were my first thought on who to call since he hasn’t been seen at his apartment or studio. He does? Has he told you the whole story? No, well I won’t get into it, although it’s fairly serious. No, please don’t tell him I called, but if he leaves would you contact me please? Thank you.”

                “I knew that’s where he’d run to.” Uruha muttered. He had decided to call Aoi’s sister, hoping that the man had gone home to Mei, his hunch paying off. Now Uruha had to decide what to do with the information. Call Kai and let him deal with it? Probably not who Aoi would want to talk to at this point, the same with Reita. Tell management? Another bad idea, Aoi would feel threatened by the possibility of legal actions.  “That leaves me.”

                Thinking back on the incident as a whole, from the day it started, until Aoi walked away from the band after the last live, Uruha knew he had to approach Aoi carefully, non-threatening and with some sort of compassion and understanding. Contacting him was the first step and Uruha knew Aoi wouldn’t want to speak face to face or even over the phone.

                “What happened to us Yuu? How did we all get to this place? I won’t tell anyone where you are as long as you text me back. Call it blackmail, but it’s what I’m throwing out there.”

                 Uruha wasn’t expecting an immediate response, and was satisfied that at least there wasn’t a ‘fuck off’ text either. Content with both, Uruha went on with his day as he waited for that familiar chime.

 

               

                Davina wandered through the Manor, stopping at the now empty koi pond. “Maybe you should re-stock it…if we’re going to stay.” Yoji had been watching his lover sort through her depression. The party at Ojisan’s gave mixed results. Uta seemed to be doing well, although he was clearly clinging to Sakurai. Davina tried to have a full conversation with Uta, but he just wouldn’t commit to more than a few sentences, she did however, see Uta staring at her for a moment, or at least looking her way. His expression was worrisome, Uta’s face was a mix of fear and confusion, she had wanted to ask Acchan about it, but had forgotten to mention it to the man.

                “I was thinking the same thing, I miss Hercules…there will never be another like him, but having the pond is peaceful…perhaps we should go and pick out a few fish this week.” Davina leaned into Yoji’s arms, the only place she felt secure.

                Davina had chosen to remodel her home, much as Sakurai had done, although she didn’t want to gut the entire home. Choosing instead to brighten up the rooms that she used the most, locking off the Gardenia room and the Blue room forever. “I will not use those rooms again. I have others to choose from if we need to do so.” She told Yoji.

                Changing the décor of her bedroom was also of great importance to her, there were too many memories hiding in corners and closets for her to worry about. Yoji was secretly pleased with the decision, it kept Davina’s mind occupied and busy…instead of spending hours alone, sitting in her private parlor.  It was on one of those days that Davina received a call in the early part of the day… a call that changed everything in both Davina’s world and in Yoji’s.

 

                “Davina my dear! You must come for lunch…today of course. Isshi will be here with those two lovely boys. Yes, if he’d like to. Let’s say around 1pm? Yes, my dear of course.”

                “Madame F has invited me to lunch, would you like to go with me?” Davina asked her lover. “No, I think not. I do have some things to discuss with Raizo, you go and have a nice time visiting.” Yoji knew that Davina would not want him along, the meeting between three dominant’s and their pets could be rather intense.

               

                “Davina my dear, it sounds absolutely terrifying, poor Uta…and yes, I even feel badly for Sakurai. It was his dream to have the boy back in his arms, but I give him a great deal of credit for having thoughts of betrayal through lies.” Sitting in the large living room of Madame F’s, Ormond, Ruimaru and Leda against the wall, Davina was happy…for the first time in months, she wore a genuine smile.

                A small sob was heard, Isshi turning to look at his two boys, “My angel, whatever is wrong? Come here.” Isshi held out his hand for Ruimaru to join him. “My beautiful boy, why are you crying?”

                “I’m sorry sir, it’s just I can’t believe all of these things that keep happening to Uta! It’s not fair…he’s so beautiful and kind and sweet…he doesn’t deserve this!” The young man buried his face into his Dominant’s neck. “I’m sorry Mistress,” Ruimaru bowed to Davina.

                “It’s quite alright, Ruimaru, I know how you care for Uta, I’m afraid though he would not remember you if you were to see him. He remembers nothing of our recent history…he believes he and Acchan have been a couple for this long, I’m sure he will start to look at dates and start to figure out the time that has gone by.” Isshi kissed Ruimaru and sent him back to stand with Leda and Ormond, Leda holding the boy’s hand.

                “Will you come back to the community, Davina? You are sorely missed, there have been questions asked about you.” Madame F had a gut feeling that Davina would in fact re-join the community.

                “I doubt it, I have Yoji now…he’s not comfortable with the scene, he would make a horrible pet…he’s much too independent and even a little dominant.” Davina laughed. “But perhaps a night out now and then, visiting old friends.”

                “Davina, you must come out with us…with Madame F and myself. We could go to Niihara-san’s new location for Vinyl Fetish, I have yet to visit but I’ve heard that it’s a beautifully arranged club. Please say yes!” Isshi had a wicked grin playing on his lips, Davina missed being out with friends, with her peers.        “Yes…I believe I would like a night out, though I doubt that Yoji would attend me, I’ll have to ask. He’s not completely comfortable with our little group of friends.”

                “Ruimaru will attend you if Yoji decides not to.” Isshi turned to look at his pet. “Ruimaru, you will attend Mistress Davina if needed. I expect you to provide her with the same care as you would for me. Is that clear?” Isshi was trying to sound rough, which everyone knew was impossible.

                “Yes, Sir. I’d be very happy to attend Mistress if she needs me.” Ruimaru bowed.

 

                “I will attend you at the club, I will not allow you to go unattended, even with the loan of one of Isshi-san’s pets, it’s not safe Davina.” Yoji was unhappy at the prospect of Davina going to Vinyl Fetish and even more unhappy that she had wanted to go alone.

                “Yoji, of all the places I could go alone, within the community is where I’d be safest. Really…there I no need to worry.” Davina fussed over some small thing in her office, slightly annoyed at her lover for even thinking that she would be in harms way within her own community.

                “I will not allow it.” Yoji pushed the issue. Davina stopped what she was doing, “You what?” She turned slowly towards Yoji. “As your security chief, and your lover, I will not allow you to go to any of the community’s clubs unattended. It is not safe nor proper for a woman of your status to do so.”

                “You have no say over what I do Nagaharu, regardless if you’re my chief of security OR my lover. If I want to attend any function, be it related to my community or otherwise, alone… then I will do so. You have no power over me, remember your place.” Davina said in a dangerous tone.

                “Nagaharu? Last night it was ‘my love’, now it’s back to Nagaharu? I am merely looking out for you, Davina. I need not remind you of why you left the community in the first place? I will not bring up his name…” In a heartbeat, Davina slapped Yoji across the face.

                “HOW DARE YOU EVEN THREATEN ME WITH THAT! DO NOT SAY HIS NAME! YOU WILL LEAVE ME NOW!” Davina screamed at her lover.

Yoji looked at Davina, then turned and left the room. Davina went into her bedroom, slamming and locking the door behind her. Picking up her phone she called Isshi.

                “Isshi, I would like to take you up on the offer of Ruimaru attending me tonight. No, Nagaharu will not be with me. Yes, that would be lovely, thank you Isshi.” Closing her phone, Davina went to her closet. She had told the crew that opened the Manor to make sure all her clothes had been laundered and her shoes checked for wear. “This one…yes...” Davina pulled out an outfit she had not worn in quite some time. She would be making a statement, with her re-entry to the local community.

 

                “Ruimaru, remember to serve Mistress as if she was your Dominant. Leda, my sweet boy…you will be attending me, but keep an eye on your small lover, he loves Mistress…I do not want her stealing him away from us.” Isshi kissed the young man, leaving Leda whining. “Sir…please…” Leda whispered. “Tonight, my sweet boy…tonight. Now off with both of you, I want you both pristine in your appearance, with and without clothing.”

The two younger men knew what that meant for later, Ruimaru grabbing Leda by the hand. “I bet tonight is going to be so much fun!” Ruimaru giggled, “Can I kiss you Leda-kun?” The taller man nodded. Snuggling up close to Leda, leaning his hips in, Ruimaru wrapped his arms around Leda’s tiny waist, and grabbing a handful of his small ass. “God, I love your ass…it’s so damned cute! Especially when Sir has his cock buried in it.” Ruimaru slowly grinded his hips into Leda’s, “Ru…don’t tease me so much! You know it makes me harder than hell, and we can’t play without permission!” Leda gasped. “Fine…but you wait til tonight, I’m betting it’s going to be so much fun!” Ruimaru snickered.

 

“Davina! That outfit brings back certain memories of a certain night…Do you remember?” Madame F asked when she saw Davina in the leather clothing. “How could I forget? That was the night I fell in love with Teiji, the night he went from being a personal pet, to being…My Teddy.” Davina said sadly. “I’m sorry my dear, I should have not brought it up. What happened with your Nagaharu, I’m surprised that he is not with you.”

Davina explained the incident with Nagaharu to Madame F and Isshi, both who were quite stunned. “Forbidding you?” Madame F laughed loudly. “Oh my, he’s in for a treat if he tries to forbid you from doing anything.”

“Davina, was he being protective of you, or was it more jealousy?” Isshi believed he knew the answer, but said nothing. “A combination of both, Isshi. I do not believe he liked having to come back to Japan, but I told him I would not be separated from Uta. He associates the Manor with tragedy…and rightly so, but that does not give him any authority over my person.”

 

                Arriving at Vinyl Fetish, Niihara was at the front door waiting for the group, wearing a very wide smile and obviously pleased to see the three Dominants. “Mistress Davina! Welcome to the new Vinyl Fetish! I am so pleased to see you out once again. Madame F…Isshi-san, right this way please, we have a room prepared for you.” Niihara walked the trio through the front of the club, “Niihara, the décor is beautiful. Stunning actually.” Davina viewed the dance floor with a well-trained eye.

                As they moved through the club to where the private rooms were located, various Dominants and their pets greeted Davina, bowing and introducing their pets. Stopping in front of a deep burgundy door, Niihara opened it for the ladies to enter.

                Davina gasped, the room was filled with flowers; Black bat orchids, deep blue roses, black carnations and an assortment of various other arrangements.

                “Niihara-san? Davina turned to look at the man, who then nodded towards Madame F and Isshi. “I was just the delivery boy, those are your benefactors.” Isshi at least had the decency to look slightly embarrassed, Madame F was obviously enjoying her self. “Madame… what does this all mean?” Davina crossed her arms over her chest.

                “It means that I am so pleased, the community at large is pleased to have you back in the country. Indulge me Davina, I had a great deal of fun ordering these flowers, as did everyone else who contributed. Isshi gave me some suggestions on colors of course. It’s a small ‘welcome home’ gift as it were.”

                Davina was stunned. “I really don’t know what to say…thank you seems insufficient. You do know that I have yet to decide that I will come back to the community…this is rather pre-mature don’t you think?” Davina already knew the answer, the second Nagaharu questioned her, sealed her fate.

                “You may say that my dear, but I know you well…you’re coming home to us is no small thing. It was no mistake and it was not entirely because of Uta. You are who you are, Davina…you are one of the pillars of the community, your words hold weight. Yes, you did experience something that no one, Dominant or submissive should ever experience, yet you pulled through with the help of your friends and our lovely Uta.”

                “Mistress? May I say something?” Ormond looked to Madame F first, who then nodded. “When we lost Teiji, I truly felt that I would die as well, to think of you being alone was more than I could bear. Madame was ready to let me go, to be with you, to love you as Teiji did. That would have ended badly, then there would be three of us who were miserable. I am here for you when ever and whatever you need me for. Please know that I love you Mistress.” Ormond bowed deeply.

               

                The night passed swiftly, Davina, with Ruimaru in hand, cruised the club several times that night, each time a murmur could be heard through out. Dominants with their pets, stopped to speak to Davina, wishing her well, hoping that she would return again to the club.

                It was the club itself that had improved her mood. There were no residual memories of Teiji at this club, it was fresh and new, no visions of her lover out of the corner of her eye. She knew in her heart that she would not return to the Fetish Club, it held too many memories for her to cope with, Vinyl Fetish would be her new home club.

                As the trio made ready to leave, Davina stopped Niihara. “Niihara, I wanted to thank you for the beautiful flowers and the kind words. I believe I have returned, perhaps without a pet, which I am satisfied with. Vinyl Fetish will now be my home, I will speak with you at a later date to set up my own private room, if that is acceptable?”

                Niihara almost fainted, Mistress had chosen his club, “Mistress Davina! I am honored beyond words!” Niihara bowed deeply. “Yes of course, you may have your choice of private rooms, I will be waiting for your call. Thank you again!”

               

                Davina walked into the Manor, surprised that Yoji was not there to greet her and open the door. The large house was silent, nothing heard but the loud ticking of an ancient grandfather clock. Davina made her way to the kitchen, needing a small midnight snack before showering, then going to bed. Taking a slight detour, Davina walked the house, seeing if Yoji was in one of the other rooms. There was no sign of the man.

                “No doubt he’s off pouting.” She murmured to herself as she walked to her room. Kicking of her stiletto heels, and peeling off the leather pants, Davina felt a little grimy, leather pants were much harder to wear than a leather dress.

                Stepping into the shower, she let the hot water run over her head, the heat detoxing her soul. Getting out of the shower, she reached for her robe and a towel for her hair, going to grab a nightgown from her closet. She sat at her vanity and brushed out her hair, visions of the night replaying in her mind, the flowers, Ruimaru being so very attentive and Madame F and Isshi. The only persons missing were Uta, Teiji and Sakurai Atsushi, the latter of which was of no concern.

                Turning off the bathroom light, she walked towards her bed, pulling back the comforter, there was an envelope on her pillow. Davina sighed, she thought this may happen, after what had been said.  Opening it carefully, she sat down before reading it.

 

                Davina, I can no longer serve as your chief of security nor your lover. Your disregard for my concerns for your safety for being unattended at a club, is a deal breaker. I should not have had to bring up the past, but it seems like the ghosts are still lingering in your eyes and your heart. Please know that I love you, I wish nothing but happiness for you, and also for Uta.

                I have passed my duties on to Raizo, he is fully capable of handling the security needs of the Manor.  Nagaharu Yoji.

               

                Davina read the note several times, then tossed it into the trash can next to her night table, oddly having no real emotions with the contents. She shrugged, slid between the sheets, reached over and turned off her light. Her heart was not broken, nor was it heavy. There was nothing there. “You didn’t love him, you, silly girl, he filled a void…nothing more.” Davina muttered to herself. With thoughts of making sure Raizo was capable of handling the daily dealings of the Manor, Davina soon slipped off into a restful slumber.

 

               

                A young Asian man with long hair, boarded the plane and was directed by the flight attendant to a first-class sleeper suite. Impeccably dressed in a suit with no tie, the young man was beyond handsome, something that the flight attendants discretely commented on. Arranging his carry- on bag, he asked for a glass of water, nothing more.

                The young man wore a sense of pain and grief like a halo, there was a haunted look to his deep-set eyes, dark circles plaguing his good looks. He asked the flight attendant only to serve him the one meal, he would forego the other service.

                The flight from New York to Tokyo was long, too long for someone suffering from the death of a loved one. Leaving New York for a home country he hadn’t visited in over fifteen years, would be like visiting another planet, but he had no where else to go.

                The plane was soon in the air, a little rough turbulence to start off, then a nice steady ride. The young man took out his briefcase, and pulled out a folder. He sighed when he saw the name, a tear starting to form in the corner of an eye. He knew he had to look at what was in the folder, he had put it off for as long as he could, but it no longer could wait.

                The necessary documents to afford him the right to live in Japan, his custom and immigration papers, and other legal documents were first in the pile. By passing those, he held the one letter that he knew he would dread reading.

 

                My beautiful Kato;

                                I’m so sorry my love, that I’ve had to leave you, we knew it was coming, we planned for it, but that does not make it any easier for you. I was hoping to grow old with you, our connection was deep and it was true. Cancer is an ugly disease, as you have witnessed. There were days that I didn’t want to see you…not because I was sick, but because you would look at me differently, with pity.

                You mean the world to me, seven years is quite a long time to serve the same Mistress, ne? I fear though, that I have left you with no peer, no other than has been trained to your level of service. I have hopes that with the documents, the housing and the money, that you will find a way to live on, even if you never serve another again. You will forever be my beautiful Kato. I love you.

                                                                                                Astrid.

 

                Kato read the note only once, it was enough. It had all been said by her before she took her last breath. Kato was going home to Japan, to a foreign country, one that he had not lived in for fifteen years. He would never serve another, there was no other that would even come close to his Mistress, he would have to find a job doing something else…a business man, or a chef. Anything but serving another.

 

Related image   Kato  (Matsuda Shota)      

Chapter Text

Aoi’s sister was stunned at the story her little brother was telling her, that he was effectively planning to sexually assault another man. “How did you and Akira think that this was acceptable? Seriously Yuu, what the hell were you thinking?” she asked.

“Obviously Reita and I weren’t thinking, but the fact that everyone sided with that little shit is what pissed me off. How can my friends of over 20 years, side with a kid they just met?” Aoi fumed.

“Because what you were planning IS ILLEGAL YOU ASSHOLE!” Aoi’s sister screamed at him. “You were putting the band in jeopardy, your career would have been ruined an so would have Akira’s! Why did you purse this so far? Is this all worth having the upper hand with some kid?”

“No…but still…” Aoi muttered. “No, there is no but still…you would have gone to prison, there would be no slap on the wrist because you’re ‘Aoi of The Gazette’, you and Akira would not have been given a pass.” Aoi’s sister wanted to slap the shit out of her little brother, but decided against it, she needed to keep him at her house, at least until Uruha could speak with him.

“I think you really need to do some serious soul searching, Yuu. Is your band important enough to you in your life, to change your situation? Or are you ready to tell Kai and the others to fuck off? If you leave the band, you’ll be making the biggest mistakes of your adult life.” With that statement, Aoi’s sister got up and left the kitchen.

“Pfft. What the hell ever.” Aoi snapped. Pulling out his phone, he looked at the text message that Uruha had left. “Yah, it is blackmail asshole.” Aoi sighed.

I don’t know what happened, but it wasn’t all my fault…Akira started this with Pon, and dragged me into it.”

Hitting SEND, Aoi knew the next text he would receive, may throw the situation back in his face…either for good or bad.

 

Uruha looked at his phone, shaking his head, “Not taking any responsibility, typical Yuu.”

“You can’t pin this all on Reita…you were right there with him that first day, you had Pon pinned against the wall that first live, you’re not the victim in this Yuu, Pon is.”

Aoi snorted. “Yah, stick up for Reita. Like he’s a fucking angel.” He closed his phone, not wanting to get into a text war with Uruha. “Just ignore him.”

 

 

It was as if the small piece of paper was on fire, burning through the thick leather wallet, through thick Levi jeans, and straight onto the flesh. Ayato had wadded up the paper with the phone number on it, several times…once actually throwing it in a trash can, only to dig it out a few moments later, some small voice telling him to keep the phone number.

                The stillness and loneliness of the nights were the most difficult times for Ayato, he often took the paper out of his wallet and stared at the numbers, dreaming of a romantic reunion with Reita… no, with Akira. Then practicality smacked him in the face, and he’d put the number away again, turn over and try to sleep.

 

                “Reita, um…what song are we playing?” Kai asked his distracted bassist. Everyone had stopped to look at Reita, Die wearing a snotty smirk on his face. “Um, weren’t we working on Ugly?” Reita’s face flushed. “No, unless you’re somehow confusing Ugly with Reila…which sound nothing alike.” Kai was leaning forward on his drum kit, shaking his head.   Reita at least had the smarts to look embarrassed. “Okay… we’re playing Reila, start again.”

                It was the last practice with Die, before the live the next night. Die had quickly picked up the songs, knowing most of them by ear, having a few glitches here and there. Reita’s mind was on the live, but not the performance, he was thinking of Ayato; would he be there? If he was, would Retia be able to find him?

                Reita had drawn a blank on how to actually go about locating Ayato. Tokyo was a hugely populated city, it was unlikely that Reita would see the young man randomly walking down a street, as well as not knowing where Ayato worked or lived were the other two big issues.

                “Reita, can I talk to you for a moment please?” Kai held the man back from leaving. “Spill it Aki…what the hell has you so distracted?” Reita couldn’t look Kai in the eye, “Nothing…I’m um just tired.”

                “Bullshit. Just tell me…I won’t say anything to anyone, and I won’t judge you.” Kai suspected it had something to do with the phone number Reita had asked for a few days prior. “Fine…” Reita said reluctantly. “Can you just come over to my flat, and we can talk about this?” He asked. Kai agreed, “I’ll see you in about an hour.”

                How much do I tell him? All of it? He said he wouldn’t judge me…but he’ll be pissed…not as pissed off as he is with Aoi right now.

                An hour later, Kai was sitting on Reita’s couch. “Okay, just tell me everything.” Reita started his story with his stay at the hotel, the drinking and finally ending up at the strip club.

                “Well that’s a hell of a story…you think he’s here now?” Kai was a little overwhelmed by Reita’s story of his wild two months in LA. Reita nodded, “Because I saw him at the last live we did, when Aoi was being such an ass.” Reita quickly wiped the tear that was starting to form.

                “You saw him? Where?” Kai was stunned. “He was sitting in like the 4th row, near Aoi. He saw me as well. I, um said something to him…but he didn’t answer me. I tried to go look for him after the live, but then we were dealing with Aoi and by the time I got out to the venue and the lobby…he was already gone.” Reita blurted out quickly. “What did you tell him, Aki?” Kai asked. “I told him I loved him, well I mouthed it. I know he saw it.”

                “Do you love him, Aki? Seriously in love with him?” This was something Kai was totally not expecting Reita to admit. “Yah, Kai. I do…it took me a while to figure it out, but yah, I love Ayato.”

                “That’s why you called me for the phone number…which now I’m guessing didn’t work.” Kai had never seen the look in Reita’s eye, like he had when the man talked about Ayato.

                Reita nodded, “Sorry that I’ve been messing up at practice…I’m just having a hard time dealing with this. I messed up, Kai…I should have brought him home with me, now I’ve probably lost him for good, unless in a year I go back to LA and see if he’s dancing.”

                “Maybe he’ll show up at another live, if he’s gone to one…maybe he’ll come to another.” Kai offered. “And I promise, I won’t say anything to the others, it’s none of their business.”

                Kai got ready to leave, laying a hand on Reita’s shoulder, “Don’t give up hope yet…he may still come to a live then you can talk to him.” Reita thanked Kai for hearing him out. Hope? Not much hope for me.

 

                “I need to stop this, it’s stupid. Just do it and throw the number away.” Picking up his phone, Ayato took the small piece of paper and entered the phone number. He hesitated for a moment,

                “Could you tell Reita… Akira, to forget about me please? It won’t work, and I need to move on.”                 This time instead of throwing the paper in the trash, Ayato set it in an ashtray and lit the paper with is lighter. “Now you’re out of my life for good.” He whispered as he watched the flames consume the only connection he had to Reita.

 

                Looking at the number for the text message he received, Kai didn’t recognize it as anyone he knew. Reading the text, he frowned. “Ayato.” He muttered. Kai stared at the text for a good two minutes, undecided what to do.

                “Sorry, no, I won’t tell him.” Kai grinned.

                “What?” Ayato wasn’t expecting an answer…and certainly wasn’t expecting THAT answer.

                “You tell him face to face, I’m not going to tell him.” Kai crossed his fingers.

                “Fine, never mind.” Ayato closed his phone.

                Tossing his phone on the bed, Ayato turned to go grab a beer wanting to sit in front of the only window in the apartment, hoping for a breeze.

                His phone chimed. “Are you fucking kidding me? Who the hell is this guy?” Ayato growled.

                “You saw what he said, you’re going to walk away from that?” Kai pushed the young man.

                “Yes, I am going to walk away.” This was getting stupid.

                “Why?” Kai kept pushing.

                “Because Akira doesn’t need the media or the fans to know that he has a gay stripper in his life. Please, just leave me alone.” Ayato turned his phone off.

                “Why don’t you let Akira decide what he wants to do. You shouldn’t be the only one that has a say in this.” Kai sent the text and waited. After fifteen minutes he figured Ayato had turned off his phone.

“Gotcha!” Kai laughed. “You’re not getting away from me now!”

                “What are you laughing about…you sound like an evil scientist!” Yukke had heard the text messages coming in. “Babe, do you trust me? I mean like really trust me with your life, and what you believe is true in our relationship?” Kai knew the answer, but had to phrase the question this way.

                “Um, are you like having an affair, or want to? Or want to bring…oh my god Kai! You want to have a threesome with someone! Who?” Yukke gasped.

                “Yu, you’re a freak… no I don’t want a threesome…well maybe, but that’s not what I was talking about. Look, I’m texting someone that I don’t know, for someone else. Just trust me on this please? I’m not trying to hook up with anyone, no I’m not planning on having a threesome, unless you want one… seriously. Just trust me, okay?”

                “If it’s you’re helping a friend, then I’m okay with it. Drop the thought of a threesome, never happening unless it’s with someone like Acchan…or maybe Heath… or um… that actor… Mizushima Hiro, then I might consider it.” Kai’s mouth was hanging open as Yukke was talking. “Acchan? Really?” Kai couldn’t believe that Yukke had picked Sakurai Atsushi…someone they actually knew. “Well of course silly, he may be a raging ass sometimes, but he’s fucking sexy as hell…don’t deny that you haven’t thought of him topping you!” Yukke was having fun with this.

                “Acchan topping me? Oh, you’re joking! That would never happen… but I may let Heath top me…in the right place.” Kai had caught on quickly. “Who’s the actor?”

                “He played Sebastian in Black Butler! I wonder if he’s a switch?” Yukke started to giggle. “Okay, that was fun. Seriously babe, if you’re helping a friend, you know I don’t care.” Yukke walked over to Kai, put his arms around his husband’s neck. “You’re a very caring and kind man, I’d expect no less from you, and it makes it easier that you’re kinda hot too.”

                “Kinda hot? Really? Okay, that’s it, let’s go!” Kai grabbed Yukke by the hand and started to lead them to the bedroom, “I’ll show you that I’m more than just ‘kinda’ hot!” Yukke just smiled.

 

                “Do you mind if I come and watch you play with Gazette?” Hiroto was sitting between Die’s knees, on the porch of the apartment, both of them drinking beer. “No! I’d love for you to come…do you want to watch from the side of the state, or out front? I’m sure there’s going to be room, or Manager-san can make a seat for you.” Die was surprised.

                “I can watch from the side of the stage, I don’t want to take away someone’s seat.” Hiroto leaned his head back for an upside-down kiss. Hiroto then got up and sat in Die’s lap, putting his arm around the man’s thin shoulders. “I have something else I want to talk about.” Hiroto looked at his boyfriend. “Um…do I need to be scared about this?”

                “No silly…it’s not scary per se, but it’s important. I’d like to know if you’d like to move in with me?” Hiroto asked carefully. “You’re here more than you are at your place, and you have to be truthful, my flat is much nicer than yours…and you’d have an entire room just for your guitars and gear. So…wanna live with me?”

                Die closed his eyes and shook his head, Hiroto started to panic, “I’m…um sorry…maybe it’s too early.” The younger man stammered. “I’d love to move in…but you’re taking away all my thunder here! You did it when you confessed first, you sort a did it when we had sex for the first time, I’m starting to feel like one of Acchan’s submissive pets here!” Die said in a high whiney voice.

                “Considering you’d be asking me to move into YOUR apartment, which um sorry… eww. What am I suppose to do? Let you invite yourself to move in? I take it back, I don’t want you living with me.” Hiroto humfed and crossed his arms over his chest, sticking his chin out.

                Die slowly slid his hand down Hiroto’s side, reaching around to cup the boy’s ass. “Um, sorry, you can’t take that back… you asked me to move in, I said yes. You’re now stuck with me and my guitars.” Die nuzzled Hiroto’s neck, nipping at the boy’s ear.

                “Um… can I give you…ahhsshhssshh!” Hiroto hissed. “Would you like to see the flat? I can show you the room you’d be sharing…” Hiroto’s voice was lost, trapped by Die’s hungry mouth. “Pon, I love you.” Hiroto had no time to answer, his mouth was too busy entertaining Die’s tongue.

 

The young Asian man walked out the customs area to find a man in suit holding a card with his name. “Sir, I’ll pick up your bags, if you will then follow me?” He directed. The young man nodded. Once the driver had picked up his bags, he was taken to a limo that was waiting at the curb. “The drive will be approximately 35 minutes.” The driver told his passenger.

The city appeared not to have changed much; perhaps the traffic on the highways was a little more congested, more people on the streets…but Tokyo was still the busy center of the country.

The limo turned down a residential street, pulling into the long driveway of a house situated on a small hill. Stopping at the gates, the driver rolled his window down and punched in a code, the gates slowly opening.

Stopping in front of a well appointed home, the driver got out and opened the door for the young man. Waiting at the front door was an older woman in a severe black dress, “Welcome home, Kato-san. Please follow me, I will show you to your bedroom.” Kato nodded, and followed the woman. The house wasn’t overly large, modest in décor, there were no overt signs of wealth.

Kato went into the bedroom, the driver of the limo delivered his luggage, bowed and closed the door. Kato looked around the room; a neutral base color with nothing denoting feminine or masculine touches.

“Tadaima, Mistress.” Kato whispered. “How do I start to live without you? How do I cope with the loneliness…I have no one to serve.”

Kato moved around the room as he unpacked, going into the bathroom to find it fully stocked as per his normal toiletries. Hanging up his clothes, Kato eyes something hanging in the back of the closet. “Mistress…did you leave this on purpose for me to find?” Pulling the hanger off the rack, he held a long kimono inspired dress, at arms length. “I remember this one, Mistress…that first night.” Kato smiled sadly at the memories of so long ago.

After a very hot shower to wash the grime off the grime of travel, Kato slipped into some pajama pants, but remained shirtless. A soft knock on the door announced the older woman, “Kato-san, my name is Ena and I am the head of the household staff. I am here to offer you assistance in anything that you require, and to manage your household. Is there anything you require at the moment?”

“No, Ena. Thank you. I’m going to bed, I would like to have a meal of some sort when I wake.” Ena bowed and closed the door.

Kato worried how hard living without Astrid would become, to have others that would serve him, was a twisted reality now. Settling into the large bed alone, Kato reached out to where his Mistress would normally be, now the spot was cold and empty. “I love you, Mistress.” Kato closed his eyes and slept.

 

 

“Hey…I got tickets again for the Gazette live tomorrow night…want to go?”

Chapter Text

  “Yes, thank you for calling, I will.”  Madame F closed her phone and leaned back in her chair. “Madame? Do you need something, you’re looking pale.” Ormond kneeled next to his Mistress’s chair. “No my pet, just a bit of bad news. A lovely Dominant from America seems to have died of cancer very recently, she was young…only in her early 40s. She was a community leader in New York. It’s just shocking, we often forget the outside world and the things that can harm us.” Madame F reached out to caress Ormond’s face.

  “I’d like some lunch, and I’ll take it out on the terrace, Ormond.” The man bowed and left the room. Taking out her phone, Madame F sent a text to both Davina and Sakurai. “Do you have time to see me? I have some rather sad news to report.”

   “Sad news? That’s not something I like waking up to.” Acchan looked over at Uta, who was still curled up next to the older man. The boy had had a very rough night, something Acchan had said in the past, came back to haunt him and Uta both. 

    “If we can make it later today, I’ll have time, say around 2pm?”

     Davina was sitting in her office, going through mountains of mail that had built up in her absence.  Reading the text, she sighed. “I will arrive at 2 as well, thank you.”

     Ormond returned to the room, “Your lunch is ready, Madame.” The woman smiled. “Thank you Ormond, Sakurai-san and Mistress Davina will be joining us at 2pm today, please have the living room ready to receive them.” Ormond bowed and left the room.

     Davina hated to interrupt her day, but when Madame F asked for something, you did not deny the woman, and Davina could use a distraction. Since Nagaharu had so abruptly departed from her life, Davina had dedicated her time to changing things in her life that she felt were hindering her.

The Manor had a dated look, over wrought with a masculine feel, with dark wood and darker floors. She was taking a page out of Sakurai’s book, and updating her large house with a lighter touch, something cleaner and fresh. This of course took time, effort and mostly money 

  One thing that Davina felt she needed again was to re-stock the large pond with koi, she missed the peacefulness of sitting on the low stone wall, watching the beautiful fish swim their lazy patterns. Davina had another plan in mind when it came time to purchase the fish, that she was sure would make a certain submissive very happy.

   “I do not anticipate being overly long Raizo, so if you would please just wait for me.” Raizo bowed as he held the door for his Mistress, as she arrived at Madame F’s home. “Mistress Davina, a pleasure to see you.” Ormond formally greeted Davina, as she arrived, ushering her into the small patio where Madame F and Sakurai were waiting.

   “Acchan?” Davina looked surprised. “Yes, this is community business, dear. I asked Sakurai to join us as he is still considered a member of the community, albeit inactive.” Madame F pointed out. “Nice to see you Davina, you look well.” Acchan inclined his head.

   “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there has been a death of a highly regarded Dominant, Mistress Astrid, from America.” Madame F announced. “ She was one of the leaders in her country, and she resided in New York. I have been informed that the poor woman died of breast cancer, she was in her early 40s. I wanted to speak to you both about what we may do as a remembrance from our little community here.” 

   “I had met Astrid several times when I was traveling abroad, a lovely young thing, her pet, who’s name I can not remember, was very attentive. It’s a shame that she died so young.” Madame F continued. “I’d like to send a sympathy arrangement from the more prominent members of the community, specifically with our names included. 

     “I have met the woman only once, I remember her particularly Nordic appearance, she was of Danish descent if I’m not mistaken, very beautiful.” Sakurai mentioned.

     “I do not know of her, but if you believe she warrants some type of remembrance from us, I am completely in agreement.” Said Davina.

     Ormond interrupted them briefly to serve tea, Madame F dismissing him. “How are you adjusting now that you are home, Davina? Is Nagaharu adjusting well to life as your lover and not your pet?” Sakurai leaned back in his chair, obviously not knowing anything about the current situation.

   “Nagaharu is no longer in my employ, Acchan.” Davina said tartly. “I’ve dismissed the man.” Sakurai was taken aback by the tone of Davina’s voice. “I’m hoping it was nothing serious, as in any type of violence, if it was I’m going to be very…” 

Davina held up her hand. “It was nothing of the sort, Acchan. Nagaharu believed that he could forbid me to do certain things, and then had the audacity to bring Teiji into it. I’m really not that upset by it, which in itself, tells the story of our relationship.”

             “How is Uta, Acchan?” Madame F quickly changed the subject. “Has he regained any of his memory?”

            Sakurai sighed,  “Uta is fragile to say the least. He has good days and bad, I’m still very careful with him. He had a rather nice night at Ojisan’s, although he had something strange happen to him.

 Davina, he told me he saw a shadow standing behind you and that it scared him, but he then blamed it on the lighting. He was upset when we went to bed, cried himself to sleep in my arms.” Acchan’s face was worn with strain, the tiredness showing in his eyes.

            “A shadow? Did Ojisan say anything about that? You know how he sees more than we do. “ Davina asked. Acchan hesitated on saying anything about the warning Ojisan had given him before they left the party.

            “Not that I heard, but we left the party early, Uta had grown tired and I did not want to chance him becoming upset.” Acchan was being careful with his words, not wanting Davina also to become upset.

            The remainder of the visit with Madame F was dedicated to Davina’s choice of returning back to the community, and making Niihara’s Vinyl Fetish her favored club. “I just don’t see myself returning to the Fetish Club, there are too many ghosts. Niihara’s club is well appointed, stylish and the crowd seems to be respectable enough. And before you ask, no…I will not be taking a pet. I have enough status to visit the club unattended.” Davina was strict on this word.

            “My dear, you know Ormond would be happy to attend you at anytime he is not in service to me, please allow him that. He is still struggling with his grief, he needs to feel useful.” Madame F chided Davina 

“Acchan, any plans on returning to the community? I know you said you would not, but things have changed, you may want to think about it.” Davina winked at the man. 

“No, I don’t see myself doing that, not while Uta is with me, perhaps some day.” Sakurai didn’t want Uta anywhere near the scene, it could be a disastrous situation if the young man were exposed. “I only wish for his recovery right now, I’m looking no further in the future than tomorrow.”

           

            "These seats aren't near as close as the others, but at least we don't have to look over people's heads." Yuki and Ayato sat in the first row of the balcony section, giving them a clear view of the stage, just left of where Aoi would normally play, Ayato believing he was up high enough that Reita wouldn't see him.

 Waiting for the show to begin, Yuki noticed that Ayato seemed anxious, "Hey, are you okay? You seem kinda out of it tonight...what's going on?"

          "Just a little tired, that's all...I'm fine." Ayato lied. "Oh, okay...they should be starting soon." Yuki made a mental note to watch his roommate.

            "I found a nice spot, just next to the stairs, I'll be able to see you perfectly...well your ass, which isn't a bad thing to look at." Hiroto was standing with Die in the hallway, waiting for the start of the live. "I'm just a piece of meat to you, aren't I?' Die pouted. "I like your meat..." Hiroto giggled. "Oh my god! HENTAI!" Die blushed. "Okay guys...we're ready!" Kai called to his bandmates.

            Kai had watched Reita as the crowd started to fill the venue, Reita peeking from the side of the stage. "See him yet?" Kai came up from behind the man. "No but it's still early." Reita had little hope that Ayato would be there...why would he? "Try not to be too distracted, you still have to perform." Kai gave a subtle warning. "Yes, Leader-San, I'll be a good boy." Reita joked 

            As Kai took the stage first, with Uruha right behind him, waving at the crowd. Reita took a breath and walked out, waving as he went to his place on the stage, having his bass handed to him. Turning around, he glanced quickly to see if Ayato was there...nothing.

 Ruki had come out and started his MC, explaining to the fans that Aoi was taking care of personal business and that the guest that night was Die of Dir En Grey. Die heard his name, his cue to go out and stand next to Ruki. The banter between the band members, teasing that Die got kicked out of his own band, went on for several minutes. Reita interacted with Ruki and the others, but had his eyes scanning the crowd.

            Yuki had heard Ayato making some sort of sound, he wasn't sure if it was a gasp or a moan, looking over at his roommate, Yuki could see that Ayato was staring at Reita, a sad smile lingering on his lips. Okay, this is weird, he did this last time, Yuki thought to himself.

            As Hiroto was watching Die play around with Ruki, he noticed Reita acting a little strangely, the man was looking out into the crowd rather intently. Ruki and Die were ready to go, and the band started in on their first set. Hiroto watched Die play, he sometimes forgot that his boyfriend was Die of Dir En Grey...where as he saw him as Andou Daisuke...his goofy loveable boyfriend.

            The Gazette set a fast furious pace for the first half of the concert, blazing through some of their heavier songs in record time, Die going back to back with both Uruha and Reita, while teasing Ruki from behind the singer. The crowd ate it up, the seriousness of Dir En Grey blended with the heaviness of the Gazette proved to be a heady combination. 

            Hiroto was still watching Reita as the man would scan the crowd during the performance, obvoiously searching for someone. Hiroto looked out at the crowd, wondering who may be there that Reita needed to find. Looking at specific people; was Reita looking for a woman or man? 

            Just as Hiroto was going to step around a pillar to get a better look at the crowd, the trailing sounds of the last song before intermission were heard. Hiroto quickly made his way back to the dressing rooms, to wait for Die and the others.

            "Oh my god it's freaking hot! I'm going to pass the fuck out!" Die whined as he fell face first onto a couch. "What's the matter old man? Can't keep up with the youngsters?" Uruha teased. "You guys move around more than we do, well except for Totchi and Kyo.

 I'm not used to moving this much!" Hiroto threw a towel at his boyfriend, handing everyone water. When he got to Reita, he had to ask, "Hey, who are you looking for?" Hiroto whispered. "What? I'm not looking for anyone, what the hell are you on about, Pon?" Reita started to protest. "Look, I can tell you're looking for someone...just tell me who and I can help." 

            "Pon-chan, I need more water." Die whined at his boyfriend. Hiroto picked up a bottle and threw it at Die. "At least tell me what they look like, I want to help Reita." Hiroto urged.

            "Just drop it Pon, please. I don't need your help, go pay attention to Die." Reita grunted. Hiroto looked at his former harrasser, then he shrugged his shoulders and left the man alone.

            The intermission was only 25 min long, just enough time to dry off, change clothes and adjust hair and makeup. "Okay guys...let's go!" Manager-san ordered. Hiroto caught Reita's eye, almost saying something until Reita growled, "Drop it, Pon."

            Now that Hiroto was certain that the bass player was looking for someone, Hiroto turned his attention away from Die and towards the crowd. The younger man looked at people he thought fit a type that Reita may have, mostly younger men...pretty men.

Those however, were far and few between at a Gazette show; the main fan base was almost strictly women. Hiroto started looking at the men that he could find in the crowd, mentally checking off some, making notes of where the prospects were located.

            Moving from the main floor to the balcony, Hiroto spots a waif like young man in the first row of the left balcony, the man was staring at one of the musicians...was it Reita? He was with another younger man with bright red hair that was obviously NOT looking at Reita. "Bingo" Hiroto whispers to himself.

 Watching the musicians bounce around the stage, playing off each other, Ruki and Uruha doing some fan service, Die wiggling his eyebrows at Uruha, Hiroto noticed that the bass player didn't join in. He was standing back, closer to the drum riser, but still looking at the crowd. The second half of the show went quickly, even knowing that they had at least two encores, the band rushed off stage after the last song.

            "I'm never playing with you guys again...you're going to kill me and you'll have Kaoru and Kyo all over your asses if I die." The older guitar player was close to a tantrum, due to exhaustion. "Die just think how good of shape you'll be in, we’re beating you to death to make Diru a better bands, so you’re welcome.” Kai laughed.

            Hiroto made his way to Reita, "Hey, look in the balcony, stage left, first row." he whispered to Reita. "What?" Reita's eyes widened. "I think who you're looking for is in the balcony...just do it!" Hiroto moved away, going over to fan Die with a towel. "5 minutes gentlemen." the call came for the band to ready themselves for the last three songs.

            Hiroto patted Reita on the back, "I'm sure it's who you're looking for...trust me." Reita stared at the younger man, why was Pon helping him? Reita and Kai went out first to do "Ride With The Rockers", for this part of the show, Reita couldn't really stand in one place. He had to work the mic up front, stand in front of Kai's drum kit, and move around the stage, he finally was able to look up into the balcony.

            Ayato.

            Reita grins, he starts to play with more force, a deeper sound...he was playing for Ayato. They made eye contact, Reita smiling...Ayato just watching, almost no expression to his face. The young man next to him noticed what was happening, nudging Ayato. Reita's playing ramps up, even Kai starts to notice, thinking to himself that Ayato must be there. After the ten minute drum and bass solo, the other members of the band come out and start the last two songs.            

            Ruki starts to sing, Die and Uruha are back to back on the riser, Reita stands in front of Kai...he turns to walk towards Ayato, looks up... he's gone. Reita stops playing for a moment, the kid in the red hair is turned around, looking behind him.

 "REITA!" Uruha walks over and yells at his bass player, Reita turns back and picks up the song again.  He looks back up to the balcony, the boy with the red hair is missing. It takes everything Reita has to finish the live. 

            "Ayato! Wait! Where the hell are you going? What's wrong?" Yuki is trotting after his roommate as the two make their way out of the venue. "I need to go home, you can stay Yuki...go ahead and go back." Ayato mumbles. "No! What the hell happened? Ayato...tell me damn it!" Yuki grabs Ayato by the arm, swinging him around to face him.

 "I need to go home, Yuki. Please...just let me go home." Yuki gasps, tears are flowing down the other man's face. "Dude...tell me what's wrong, I want to help!" Yuki pleads.

            Instead of letting Ayato go home by himself, Yuki follows his friend on to the train. "When we get home, you're going to have to tell me...and don't tell me to mind my own business, or it's nothing. Something happened tonight, and I know it has to do with Reita." 

            Ayato's head snapped up. "How do...?" He stammered. "I thought something may have happened at the last live, you got all weird on me for a bit." Neither one said anything more on the train, waiting until they were inside the apartment before a word was said.

Yuki grabbed two beers out of the fridge, handing one to Ayato. "Okay, start talking." The pale boy shrugged, then told his story to Yuki, telling him everything, all the gorey details, he was a stripper, he had a one night stand with Akira, the man moved in with him then left. “That’s it.” Ayato finished.

            "Uh, that's not really it, dude. I saw what he said to you at the first live, he said I love you...I thought maybe he was saying it to the crowd, but now with what you've just said...Reita's in love with you, it's obvious by the way he looked at you tonight." Yuki said quietly.

            "He's not in love with me, he thinks he is. It's redundant anyways, I can't be in a relationship with him...he's a famous musician for fucks sake, the media would have a field day with this information, just let it go Yuki, it’s for the best.” Ayato finished his beer and went to bed.

            "Sorry roomie, not dropping it...I'm going to make sure Reita...Akira knows where you live...there has to be a way." Yuki promised his roommate...his friend.

Chapter Text

 

            “Tadaima.” Sakurai came in the front door, toeing of his shoes in the genkan. “Okaeri, in the garden.” He heard Hide call out. “Bring beers please…” Yutaka yelled. Making a quick stop in the kitchen, Sakurai joined the others in the back garden, handing out the beers and seating himself on a step. “Where’s Uta?” Sakurai didn’t see the boy. “Wait for it…” Yutaka warned.

            Before Sakurai could say another word, a screaming pug came running towards them, scampering up the steps to hide behind Sakurai, a sleek young Siamese cat in pursuit.

 “SAKI! STOP IT!” Uta yelled as he came around the corner. “Leave Zepp alone!” Running behind Uta, trying to catch up was Rima.

“Can I ask what’s all this drama about?” Sakurai asked, more than a little amused. “Zepp thought it wise to try to push Saki away from his food and Saki turned around and smacked him across the nose.” Hide reported. “Then Saki chased Zepp into the garden…and well you’ve seen the ending results.

Yutaka had gotten up and put Zepp in his lap, Uta was scolding Saki, pushing the cat inside the house. “Where’s Luna in all this?” Sakurai looked around for the smaller cat. “She’s on the bed sleeping, she wants nothing to do with the dogs.” Uta explained, as he sat down next to Acchan.

“How was your meeting with Madame F?” Uta snuck a sip from Acchan’s beer. “It was slightly depressing, a well respected Dominant has died of cancer and Madame F wanted to put together something in remembrance for her from our community. The woman lived in New York, was very young, only in her early 40s…it was breast cancer.” Acchan sadly shook his head, “Cancer is the disease of the devil.”

“Dinner will be ready in about an hour…Hide’s grilling steaks tonight.” Yutaka got up and made his way into the house to prep for their meal. Acchan and Hide finished their beers and also went inside, leaving Uta to scold the cat again.

 

“That was excellent, Hide. Thank you.” Acchan leaned away from the table, feeling much too full from dinner. Looking over at Uta, Acchan took a chance, “Uta, when would you like to move back to our home?” Uta stared at his pseudo-lover. “Is the renovation complete? Can we move in tonight?” Uta asked eagerly.

“Tonight? That’s a bit rash isn’t it? Can we wait until tomorrow?” Acchan was surprised by Uta’s impatient demeanor, which worried him.

“Do we have to wait until tomorrow? It’s not like we have a lot of things to pack!” the young man whined.

“No, but I’d like to be able to go shopping and fill the cabinets and fridge before we spend our first night there. Do you really want to wake up to no coffee or breakfast? We can move in tomorrow, ne?” Acchan said firmly.

“Fine. I’m going to go start packing!” Uta left the table quickly. “Acchan, are you sure it’s the right time?” Yutaka murmured. “Do you think he’s ready…are you ready?”

“I can’t keep putting it off, he’s going to start thinking something is wrong. We need to start living like a couple and believe me when I say, this is scaring me.” Acchan sighed.

Uta could hear the voices in the dining room, but not what was being said, he was busy locating everything he knew he needed to take; clothing, his file box with his documents and some other small items. “Now he’ll have no excuses” the young man grinned.

“What are you going to do about um…?” Yutaka asked carefully. “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, just be prepared for a terrified Uta asking you to rescue him.”

 

 

Acchan held the door to their home, open for Uta. “Okay baby, now close your eyes.” Sakurai held Uta’s hand and led him into the house. “Off with the shoes and one step up.” Leading Uta to the living room, he moved away from the boy. “Okay, open your eyes.”

What Uta saw was a house that had been transformed: “Oh god…it’s so bright in here! Where is all the artwork? Your paintings and sculptures?” Uta gazed around the room, taking in the major changes first…then starting to notice the subtle accents.

Uta and Acchan spent the better part of an hour looking through the house, Uta approving of most of the changes, but some were slight disappointments. “The bathroom in my room…you took away the best part! I don’t have a bathtub anymore.” Uta pouted.

“Baby, go look in our bedroom before you start throwing a tantrum please.” Acchan rolled his eyes in mock drama. The next sound the man heard was a squeal of pleasure.

“Holy shit it’s huge!” Uta was sitting in the new bathtub that was designed for two. “Now we can bathe together…and well maybe do some other things in here too.” Uta wiggled his eyebrows. “Naughty boy! Acchan grinned.

“Do you approve of the changes? You made a lot of the color choices.” Acchan lied smoothly, it was getting easier, but the results were getting harder to deal with. “Yes! Especially our bathroom, I love the tub!” Uta walked over to Acchan and slid his arms around the taller man’s waist. “I love you, Acchan.” The boy purred. This was breaking Acchan’s heart, with the anticipation of their breakup looming in the back of his mind. “I love you too baby.”

 

Sakurai’s nerves were shot…he had been able to keep them in check while he prepared dinner, Uta still wandering through the house, making sure the cats knew where their litter box and food bowls were located, and taking them into the master bedroom, throwing them gently on the bed. “Now we all have room.” Uta fell backwards onto the bed. “Tonight.” He whispered.

Uta had taken a long bath, washed his hair carefully and tided up everything else, laughing at the word ‘manscaping’. He could hear Acchan in the other room, unsure of what the man was doing, he put on a pair of tiny boxer…Uta walked out of the bedroom.

Acchan turned when he heard the boy, his breath catching at the sight. “Baby, you are still the sexist boy I’ve ever seen. Come here.” Acchan patted the bed next to him. Uta slowly walked towards the bed, standing between Acchan’s knees.

Acchan slowly slid his hands down Uta’s back, cupping his small ass, the boy mewled in anticipation. Acchan pulled Uta in close, lying the boy down next to him. “You are still the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen…there is no one that can compare…I love you…” Acchan breathed huskily.

Uta whimper’s, “Please…touch me Acchan…it’s been so long, I can’t wait any more…make love to me.” Acchan moves over the top of Uta, bending down, nipping the boy’s collarbone, sucking on his neck, his hands roaming over the younger man’s body.

Uta’s hips buck up to meet Acchan’s as the man slowly starts to kiss his way down Uta’s body. Biting and sucking a tender nub, swirling his tongue in the tiny bellybutton, mouthing Uta’s cock through the thin cloth of the boxers.

Acchan’s mind is screaming at him… STOP IT NOW! The voice is telling him that he’s raping Uta…it’s against the boys will because he is not of sound mind, YOU’RE RAPING HIM!!

“NO!” Acchan growls. Pushing Uta away, Acchan swings his legs over the side of the bed, dropping his head into his hands.

“I can’t do this…I won’t betray you.” Acchan moans.

“What do you mean…betray me? How?” Uta is confused at the sudden mood change.

“We need to talk…it’s important.” Explains Acchan. “But I’m not sure talking about this with just the two of us, is safe. We need to have a doctor present, or at the very least you need to be surrounded by your friends.” Acchan’s voice was shaking.

“Uta, due to your illness, I can not make love to you…it’s not fair that you have no say in it, I won’t betray you that way, I can’t do it to myself.” Acchan was serious.

“I’m not sure I want to know the reasons, it has to do with my illness doesn’t it? It’s because I don’t remember everything, you won’t make love to me because you really don’t love me.” Uta said timidly.

“Baby that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I DO love you, but there are other circumstances in our way. Please…can we just sleep tonight, and we can figure out who we need to speak to, in the morning?”

Uta looked fearfully at the man he loved…or at least the man he had loved before. “I’m scared, what if…” Uta couldn’t finish. “Will you just hold me then? We can figure out what to do in the morning.”

“Yes, come here.” Acchan opened his arms, kissing Uta on the forehead. The two men settled in, Uta clinging to Acchan. Two chirps were heard and Luna and Saki bounded onto the bed, Luna settling on Uta’s pillow, Saki making a nest between them.

 

Neither Acchan nor Uta slept much that night; Acchan worried about the boy’s reaction to the details of his illness, Uta terrified in general. Saki spent most of the night reassuring both of them, a tap on the face with his paw or a nuzzle to the neck. Around 4am, both men finally fell into a semi-restful slumber.

Acchan woke before Uta, carefully sliding out of bed and closing the door quietly. Padding into the kitchen, Acchan started water for tea, and grabbing his phone, he sent a disquieting text to Hide.

“It’s starting. I’m not sure who he’s going to want to speak with, be prepared.”

Uta woke, reaching for Acchan there was a cold empty space next to him, but a warm nuzzle and a lick from Luna. The young man wanted nothing more than to take his pillow and cover his head, retreating from the world and the unknown future that he would face later in the day.

Saki jumped on the bed and marched over to Uta, standing on the boy’s chest as if to say, get over it and get up. “Yes Saki…” Uta groaned, pushing the young cat away.

“Would you like some tea?” Sakurai asked as a pair of very slim arms encircled his waist from behind, Uta burying his face into his lover’s back. “Mmm” a muffled yes was heard.

“Go sit down in the living room, I’ll be right there.” Acchan told the boy.

            “Here’s your tea…let’s figure out just what and how we want to face the issue today. What do you want to do first, Uta?” Acchan sat down next to the boy. Uta shrugged, “I’m not sure what to do, it’s scaring me though.”

            “I know baby, but it’s something we have to do, it’s not helping either one of us to stay in the dark. Now that you know that there is an issue, we must face it…and we will, together.” Acchan pushed a strand of hair behind Uta’s ear, the boy laying his face in Acchan’s warm hand.

            “I suggest we speak with the key players first. That would be Hide and Yutaka, and Davina. They will be able to answer most of the questions you have. Where would you like to do this? We can do it here at home, at Yutaka’s or at Davina’s.” Acchan hoped Uta would want to remain at home, but understood that it may not be the best place.

            “Um, I sort of want to stay here, is that alright?” Uta asked. Internally Acchan was relieved. “Of course, I will call them.”

            Uta sat quietly for a few minutes, just drinking his tea. “Is there anyone else you’d like to have here? Mao or Kyo? I’m sure I can get Taka to come as well.” The older man asked.

            Uta shook his head, “Not yet. Mao’s going to just get all emotional, which in turn pisses Kyo off, I don’t need those two going at each other’s throats today.”

            “Alright, shall we just ask Davina, Hide and Yutaka? Let’s say for lunch?” Acchan questioned. “Mmm, but now I want to go back to bed, will you come with me?” The tea alone was not enough to keep Uta awake. “Let me feed the cats, then I’ll be right in.” Acchan got up and called the cats to the kitchen, while Uta made his way back down to the bedroom.

            With the cats contently scarfing their food, Acchan made his way back to the bedroom, where Uta had already fallen asleep. Looking down at the boy he loved, his heart was breaking, this could be the last time he slept with Uta…the unknown rearing it’s head sometime later in the day, he slowly crawled into bed, putting his arms around his boy.

            

Chapter Text

 

                Uruha was going to try again. “Yuu, come home please so we can fix this. Die played at the last live, it went well but the fans want you, not Die. Next live is this coming weekend…please come home.” The response Uruha had gotten from his last text, was telling in the fact that Aoi still wasn’t admitting to his part in the fiasco that was the harassment of Hiroto. Much to his surprise, Uruha did get an immediate response to his text, “I’m not ready to come home, just leave me alone.”

                “Great…I’m only going to leave you alone for so long, Yuu, then I’m coming to drag your ass home.” Uruha said tartly. The live with Die as a guest did go well, the problem was the fans didn’t want Die, he wasn’t Aoi and the fans made that perfectly clear on the message boards for the fan club.

                                “Die’s a great guitarist, but Aoi’s way cuter.”

                                “No fan service from Die, he’s too old.”

                                “Die looked like he was going to pass out…he’s old.”

                Some of the comments were vulgar and very ugly, Uruha took the time to scold some of the fan club members. He knew management would have something to say, but at that point, Uruha didn’t really care. The other issue at hand, was Reita’s total space out while on stage, the man had been less than forthcoming about the problem, but Kai felt it necessary to take the bass player aside and talk with him.

                Uruha decided to try another angle; texting Aoi’s sister, someone that Aoi could not run away from, or escape her scrutiny.

                “Has he talked to you at all about what’s going on? He’s still being stubborn about coming home and dealing with this shit like a man.”

                “I know what happened, he’s told me everything, I nearly killed him though. He believes you all have betrayed him, especially Akira. I’ll keep trying, but I’m not holding much hope.” Aoi’s sister closed her phone, as she walked into Aoi’s room.

                “When are you going to man up?” she asked sharply.

                “Define man up.” Aoi shot back.

                “Taking responsibility for your part of this shit storm, Akira has…so why not you?”

                “Akira’s perfect…he’s everyone’s little angel…I’m just the shit storm as you so eloquently put it.” Aoi shook his head. “I’m not going back. They’ve made it perfectly clear that I’m not needed in the band anymore.”

                “You need to leave, I’m kicking you out. You’re leaving tomorrow morning, make sure to take all of your shit with you. I’ll not have you sitting around MY house on your ass, feeling sorry for yourself. Grow a set of balls Yuu, go back to your band and fucking apologize, if you won’t do that, then don’t come around here anymore. I WILL NOT ALLOW someone that thought about RAPING A KID, in MY HOME!” Aoi’s sister spun around and left the room, slamming the door so hard, several pictures fell off the wall.

                “FINE FUCK YOU!” Aoi screamed at the door. Grabbing his bag, he started to shove what little he had brought with him, into it. “Fine, fucking bitch. Taking sides just like the others. SO MUCH FOR FAMILY!” He screamed.

                “You don’t have to wait…I’m fucking leaving. I hope I never see you’re stupid fucking face ever again… forget you even had a little brother, stupid CUNT!” Aoi stomped out of the house and slammed the door open and just walked away.

                “Yuu…little brother, I hope you change…if you don’t, you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life.” Aoi’s sister sadly shook her head. Closing the door, she turned and went into the kitchen, picking up her phone.

                “He left, I kicked him out. No…he wouldn’t even think about contacting you or anyone else. I can’t have someone like that living with me, even if he is family. I have no idea where he’s going and frankly, I don’t care right now. I’m sorry Kou, really. Yes...ja ne.”

                Aoi made his way to the train station, ranting under his breath about his family and the band, people moving away from the strange man. Without even thinking, Aoi got on the next train going into Tokyo. He was moving without thinking, his mind fighting with itself on what to do next. His sister was right of course, he was going to be alone for the rest of his life, but somehow that didn’t sound like a bad idea.

                Walking from the station, his mind on everything but where he was going, it didn’t surprise him when he looked up and was across the street from his flat. With a sardonic laugh, he just shook his head and went upstairs to his flat, “Guess that answers the question on where I’ll be living.”

                Throwing his bag on his bed, Aoi’s first thought was of food. “Oh, holy shit…this is disgusting!” Aoi had opened the fridge, only to have his senses overwhelmed with the smell of spoiled food. Grabbing a large trash bag, the man systematically went through the fridge, throwing almost everything in the bag. “While I’m at it…” Moving around the kitchen, Aoi went through the shelves in his cabinets, checking expiration dates, then he moved to the bathroom.

                For the next two hours, Aoi cleaned his apartment, not realizing until then just how neglected it had become, partially because Reita wasn’t there to clean. The difficult task of going into Reita’s bedroom was the last on his list.

                Opening the door, he was surprised to see that Reita had moved out…not just for a week or two, but completely moved out. The only thing left in his room was the old western style bed, he figured Reita didn’t want any memories of their past together. “That’s cool, I’ll just call the recycle store.” Collecting the trash from all the rooms, and the kitchen, Aoi made his way down to the dumpsters, throwing it all in with a great heave.

                For whatever reason, Aoi felt lighter than he had in a long time. “Maybe this is what I needed, just clean the shit out of my life and move on, already got rid of the biggest piece of shit out of my life!”  Realizing that he had just thrown out the majority of his food, he needed to now good shopping, he picked up his keys and walked down to the small local grocer.

                “Hmm, I need dinner tonight, breakfast and then another dinner.” Aoi mentally ticked things off in his head, walking slowly through the aisles. As he walked by the large window, Aoi didn’t notice someone staring at him, the man’s jaw hanging open.

                “Shit…it can’t be!” The man outside said aloud when he saw Aoi through the window of the grocery store.  Aoi finished his shopping and paid for his items, making his way out the door and down the street back to his apartment, none the wiser that he had been spotted in the area.

                The guitar player spent the rest of the evening washing clothes, making a list (a short list) on his options for his new life, the Gazette not on the list…at least not in writing. His options included doing session work, (as long as no one asked him or anyone else about why he left the Gazette) …and um… Aoi frowned, “That’s it? I have no other marketable talent than that?” Throwing the pencil down and tearing the paper up, Aoi was beyond frustrated.

                Reita quickly stepped behind a vending machine as he watched Aoi walk out of the grocery store. “Mother fucker didn’t tell us he was coming home.” The bass player growled. Taking his phone out, he shot off a quick group text to the others; “I just saw Aoi, he’s at his apartment.” Hitting SEND, Reita was sure he’d getting an immediate response from at least Kai…and he wasn’t disappointed.

                “Shit…did you say anything to him?”

                “Nope, I didn’t want to confront him, at least not yet.”

                “I just talked to his sister earlier today!” Uruha couldn’t believe it.

                “Well, he’s at his apartment right now, what do we do?” Reita wasn’t up to speaking to his ex-lover/roommate.

 “I’m going to try something later today, so just play along.” Kai had an idea to push Aoi over the edge and into action.  

 

                “Acchan said it’s starting…I’m sure he means Uta somehow knows that something’s wrong.” Hide had gotten the text, staring at it for several moments before waking Yutaka. “Oh dear, I wonder if something happened when they were…um…you know.” Yutaka fretted. “Probably, I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but I’m going to guess something was said or done that frightened Uta.

                The couple laid in bed, both quiet in contemplation of what was possibly coming at some point later in the day. “Should we call Davina?” Yutaka asked. “No, I don’t think we call anyone, I’d like to hear what Acchan and Uta want to do first. There’s no sense in dragging in people that may make things worse.”  Yutaka rolled onto his side, his arm over Hide’s chest, “This is going to just kill Uta…I just don’t know if we can make it easier on him, or even how. He’s going to be in a great deal of pain, he may never trust anyone again.”

                “We do what we can, we tell him the truth, we catch him when he falls. I’m a little more worried about Acchan, he may say he’s ready to be thrown out of Uta’s life for good, but we both know that if Uta turns away from him, Acchan is going to suffer. He’s the one I think we need to watch, to make sure he doesn’t go back down that self-destructive path, there will be no Yo-chan to catch him.” Hide could visualize just how much pain his friend could be in.

                “We may be surprised, maybe Uta will want to stay with Acchan…maybe just live with him. Davina’s home may hold too many bad memories for him.” Yutaka, ever the optimist, deep down wanted Uta and Acchan to reconcile, and he was sure he wasn’t the only one.

 

                Davina was up early, sitting at her desk going through paper work that had piled up since she had been in the Netherlands. Sitting back with a cup of tea, she thought about what had happened the last two years, how her life went from being so perfect to being so utterly destroyed. Loving Teiji, being a valued member of her community, saving Uta and him join her and Teiji in a bizarre ménage a trois.

                The flashes of her lover’s murder, the desperation she felt as Uta slowly willed himself to die, was the most painful to think of. But there were small flashes of happiness, seeing Isshi find his perfect angel in Ruimaru and his second love with Leda, the parties at Ojisan’s ramen hut, Uta’s friends from work and the music industry, even the small comfort that Yoji had given her.

                Davina knew she had lied to herself about leaving the community completely, she was a natural Dominant, she enjoyed having personal pets, she enjoyed the scenes she shared with them, although now she was in doubt that she’d ever find another…she knew she’d never find another Teiji. Her thoughts turned to Ormond, the man was now without a peer in the community, none left trained to their level of service.

                Shaking her head to clear it, the woman bent towards her desk and the tasks at hand, as she picked up her phone to put in the call that would make a certain submissive very happy.

                “Isshi, darling. I hope I’m not calling too early, am I? Well I know that those beautiful boys of yours must wear you out on a nightly basis, I’m sure the scenes are exquisite. No, not a complete social call, but I’d like to ask a favor if I may. I’d like to borrow Ruimaru for the afternoon sometime in the next few days. No…silly man, nothing like that! I’m going to re-stock my koi pond…yes, exactly why I’d like Ruimaru to attend me. I’m hoping I can have his assistance in finding a new Hercules as it were. Oh, sometime tomorrow perhaps? Yes… I will. Thank you Isshi.”

“Mistress, what do you require of me today?” Raizo had stepped into Davina’s office. “Nothing that I can think of at the moment, Raizo.” Just as Davina had pulled out her planner, her phone chimed.  

Hide…good morning. No, I’ve been awake for some time now, what can I do for you? Oh? I haven’t heard from him myself yet. That sounds rather somber…no I had some plans for later today, but those can be changed, Uta’s most important over anything else. Yes, it is still early, I would assume that he would contact me if it’s in relation to that. Yes, I agree. Thank you for calling Hide, yes, I will.” Davina closed her phone.  Davina tapped the phone on her chin. “Uta my love, what have you remembered?” 

 

                Kato opened his eyes, confused about his surroundings. Reaching over for Mistress, the bed was empty and cold, the realization of her death hit him hard, again. Throwing his arm over his eyes, the man wondered how he would make it through another day without his beloved Mistress. “Suck it up…she’s not…” he whispered to himself.

                Crawling out of bed, his legs shaky and weak, Kato made his way to the bathroom, glancing at himself in the mirror. The reflection that he saw was of a man he didn’t know; drawn, eyes deep set and bloodshot, several days of scraggly beard growth, hair dull and flat. The saddest part of the reflection showed that the man just didn’t care…he had no one to look presentable for, there was no one with a critical eye, approving or disapproving of his appearance. Getting into a hot shower may have lifted his mood slightly but it did nothing to improve his long-term outlook for his life. He was still a personal pet, without a Dominant to serve.

                “Ohayo gozaimatsu, Kato-san. Would you care for coffee or tea?” Ena bowed to her employer as he walked into the kitchen, hair still damp. “Tea please, Ena, thank you.” Sitting at the small kitchen table, Kato had a large file folder in front of him, ready for inspection, the contents of the folder would be his life from this point on. With his tea in front of him, he opened the folder to peruse the paperwork.

                “Will you be needing me this morning, Kato-san?” Ena asked. “No, I think I’m fine for now. There is a car in the garage?” Kato hoped he wouldn’t have to take the train, he had not used the Japanese rail system in some time. “Yes Sir, a small red sports car of some sort. I’m sorry I’m not more familiar with it.” Kato smiled. “I’m not all that familiar with cars myself, Ena. Thank you, could you please leave the keys in my bedroom?” Ena bowed and left the kitchen.

                “Mistress… a red sports car? How cliché of you.” Kato mused, knowing his Mistress would have laughed at his scolding of her. He had a letter of introduction in his hand, several names of prominent Dominants in the country listed. Astrid had wanted Kato to find another Dominant to serve, the man refused at the time. “I cannot serve another, you are my only Mistress.” Kato cried at Astrid’s deathbed.

                “My love, you must find another to serve, it is unfair of you to recluse yourself in deference to me. You are the submissive of the highest ranking, you must seek out a Mistress that is worthy of your service” Astrid had scolded her love.  “You truly wish me to serve another…I may in time but not at this moment, I’m sorry Mistress.” Kato whispered.

 Looking at the names on the letter of introduction, he noticed the name at the top of the list; Sakurai Atsushi. Kato knew of the man, not through the community, but his status in the music industry as the vocalist of a well-known band. “Impressive Sakurai-san.” He mumbled.

                The other names on the list were unknown to him, but he kept the letter and set it aside. Looking at some of the legal documents, Kato knew he was going to have to obtain a lawyer to help him with the specifics. Kato leafed through the other documents, but had no real desire to delve into the information with any purpose.

                Kato retrieved the car keys from his room and went into the garage, where a sleek BMW sports car waited. He wore a smirk as he got into the car, his Mistress never did anything half way, and the car was proof of that. Checking to see if the car had GPS in case he became lost in a city he had not traveled through in years, Kato slowly eased the car out of the garage and onto the street, picking a random corner in which to turn.

                Kato remembered the main highway that lead towards the coastline, choosing that for his first outing, remembering that it was one of the first places he and Mistress Astrid went, just before she collared him as her own. They had found a secluded beach, Astrid taking Kato by the hand and walking down to the water’s edge. Kato smiled at the memory, he was an eager young man, she was a beautiful American Dominant, both keen to begin their life together.

                Kato reached up and touched his collar, the memory of Astrid presenting it to him that day, etched in his mind forever. Taking a last long look at the ocean, Kato locked the memory away, turning the car back towards the city center, as his stomach had started to complain that he had not eaten any breakfast.

                Finding a parking garage with an attendant, Kato left on foot, with a recommendation from the attendant for a restaurant, the young man followed the directions, finding himself in front of a ramen hut that looked like it had been there for centuries. As he slid the door open, he was greeted by a middle-aged man, wearing a welcoming smile. “Irasshai”.

Chapter Text

                Reita laid in bed, not even attempting to get up and face the day, replaying the live from the night before, the live that Ayato had been at, but then had disappeared. “Why didn’t you wait for me?” Reita cried into his pillow that night. He didn’t understand what Ayato was doing, why he was doing it. Why come see me play if you’re not going to stay to talk to me?

                Backstage everyone had noticed Reita’s mood and had left him alone, Kai knowing that something had happened. Pulling Reita away from the others, Kai asked. “He was here, wasn’t he?” Reita nodded. “Then what’s the problem?” Kai hadn’t seen the boy leave.

                “He got up and left…the guy he was with…they just left. Why would he come here and watch me, but not stick around? I don’t understand it.” Reita rubbed his eyes quickly, not wanting anyone to see him crying. “I don’t know, Aki…I’m sorry.” Kai patted his friend on the shoulder, his anger simmering just below the surface, he couldn’t wait to get home.

                Reita’s tears were silent, Ayato was just feet away from him, yet no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t reach him. This wasn’t fair…didn’t Ayato know he loved him? He told him that first night, in front of thousands of people, didn’t he see it? Why would he come and see Reita play twice, and yet he ran away…twice?  Rolling over and putting the pillow over his head, Reita refused to face the day, it was easier to just sleep away his pain.

                “You’re a real shit, Ayato! Just to let you know…you’re tearing Akira apart…if you don’t want to speak to him, then stop coming to the lives, it’s nothing but torture for Akira. Either grow a set of balls, or stop teasing Akira.”

                Kai snapped his phone closed, throwing it on the couch. “Damn it!” Kai picked his phone up again.

                “I know all about your and Aki’s relationship, he told me everything. If you love Akira, then quit fucking around! The guy confessed to me… he’s in love with you! Just call him…or text him...please!”

                Kai added Reita’s phone number to the text, then turned his phone off. Yukke had heard Kai come home, coming out to the living room, he saw Kai texting. “Everything okay?” Sitting down next to his lover.         

                “No…it’s not. Look here’s the deal.” Kai spent the next ten minutes explaining Reita’s situation, and what had happened that night. “So, this kid Ayato is who you’re texting? Sound like he doesn’t want to admit that he may love Reita. Pretty shitty on his part to go to two lives and not talk to Rei.”

                “I just texted him saying as much. It’s not fair to Reita…well Akira, that’s what Ayato calls him, because that’s what name he used when they first met. Ayato initially told me to tell Reita to forget about him, because if the media found out that Reita of the Gazette had a gay boyfriend who was a stripper…I mean I can understand that, but we’ve all kept our relationships out of the media, I’m sure they could do the same.” Kai was frustrated, he wanted the band to return to normal, everyone’s relationships return to normal, he was just so over all the drama.

                “Come to bed…well shower first then come to bed. You can’t do anymore tonight, maybe the kid will pull his head out of his ass and at least text Rei…I love you, you’re such a mom when it comes to the boys.” Yukke gently teased his lover.

 

                Ayato read the texts a few times, looking at the phone number…should he text Akira? Apologize and tell him that he won’t come to anymore concerts? But then that would give the other man his phone number, then perhaps he might be able to figure out where Ayato worked or lived. Kai was right, he should just leave Akira a lone, let the man move on…just as he was going to.

                “You’re a fucking joke…you know that?” Yuki had snuck up behind Ayato and grabbed his phone. “This is Kai? You should do what he says, Ayato…call Reita.” Ayato got up quickly, “Give me the phone Yuki, this isn’t funny and it isn’t any of your business.” The slender young man growled.

                “Oh, it’s my business because you’re my friend and my roommate. I get the joy of watching you sulk around the apartment, I get the joy of watching you turn down dates from perfectly nice people because you’re in love with Reita…or Akira, whatever. Just do us all a fave, at least text Reita and tell him you’re not interested, and I won’t accept any more tickets to go to Gazette lives.” Yuki tossed Ayato his phone. “I’m going to bed, but really…think about saying yes to the guy…it’s obvious he cares about you, and regardless of what you say…you care about him.”

                Ayato watched Yuki leave the room, turning back to his phone he opened it and read the texts again. He did care about Akira…he…he loved the man. “Oh my god…I can’t believe…” closing his eyes and shaking his head, the second he thought about those words…a sudden warmth pooled in his gut. He could deny it fifteen ways til Sunday and the truth would still be there. Ayato was in love with Akira.

                But loving someone didn’t mean he had to be in a relationship with the other person, he could love from afar…like a love struct fan girl, watching her celebrity crush, and pledging her undying love. “Pfft, that’s hardly what I want to do.” He muttered. Ayato picked up his phone, he put the number in his contacts, but now what?

                “Hi, you played great tonight.” SEND.

               

                “They’ll be here soon, are you sure this is what you want to do?” Acchan had Uta in his lap, holding the boy tenderly. “Yes, I’m sure. Promise me you won’t leave me though, I don’t want you to…I just need you here.” Uta whimpered. “Baby I’m going to do whatever it is you want me to do. You may change your mind, but until I hear the words coming from your mouth, I’m staying right here with you.” Acchan nuzzled Uta’s neck.

                With lunch over, the four of them sat in the living room, all waiting for Uta to start asking questions. Uta looked at each of them, looking into their souls if he could. He knew that Hide and Yutaka would never hurt him, they were like his parents. Davina at the moment, he was less sure of, only because he did not remember her.

                “Tell me how all of this started, I want to know from the very beginning, please don’t leave anything out, I think I deserve the truth.” Uta spoke first. The others in the room looked at each other, trying to decide who would start. Acchan cleared his throat.

                “You remember being rescued from Natsu, by myself, Kyo, Sato, Taka and Koichi, and that Davina was there? You remember that we ended up as lovers, and you were living with me, that part you know.” Uta nodded. “What do you remember after that?” Acchan asked.

                “Um, I remember living with Hide and Yutaka for a while, that I was happy with them, but I don’t know why I was living with them.” It was a blank spot that jumped in between Uta’s memories.  Acchan looked at Hide and Yutaka, for help.

                “You were living with Acchan first. The catalyst to the problems started when you and Acchan argued about you having your own flat, and that Acchan couldn’t accept that you felt you needed your own space. You left his house rather abruptly.” Yutaka said gently. Uta looked at Acchan, the man was blushing in embarrassment, not looking at his boy.

                “Wait! Did we break up? Why would we break up?” Uta was starting to panic slightly. “Baby we were separated at the time, I still loved you, but we needed to be apart at that point.” Acchan lied.

                Yutaka went through the series of events that lead up to Uta meeting Teiji, but they stopped just short of saying Teiji’s name. Hide, Yutaka, Acchan and Davina all looked at each other wondering in which direction they should continue, Uta picking up on the apprehension.

                “Uta, when you finally decided that you wanted to move out of our home, you were having problems finding a decent flat, all you were finding were the same types of nasty shit holes that we rescued you from.” Hide said calmly. “Yutaka and I contacted Davina, in hopes that she could help you, possibly by moving in with her, she had agreed to hire you as a sort of house boy, someone to run errands and help out at her manor.”

                Acchan’s stomach was beginning to hurt, the tension in the room was thick. Uta looked over at Davina. “I was working for you? Didn’t I have a job at the HBG anymore?” Davina smiled, “You were working both jobs.” Uta paled, “Where was I living? Was I living with you in your home?”

                “No, Uta. You were sharing an apartment with one of my other employees, you were very happy living there, working with me at the manor.” Davina didn’t want to say Teiji’s name…she couldn’t be the one that broke Uta.

                “Who was my roommate? Is it someone I know now?” Uta looked around the room wildly, he was starting to shake, the looks from the others were starting to frighten him. “You didn’t know him at first, he worked for me…” Davina’s answered trailed off, she looked to Yutaka to help her.

                “Uta, you lived with a man named Teddy…he was Mistress Davina’s personal pet.” Yutaka said slowly, anticipating a reaction. “Teddy? I don’t know who that is! Why are you all giving me that look…what happened? TELL ME!” Uta shouted.

                “Does the name Teiji sound familiar, Uta.” Hide asked. “Teiji…” Uta whispered, then the boy paled, his mind breaking at the sound of his dead lover’s name, he started to rock, “Nonononon!!!” His arms wrapped tightly around his waist, the words burning and choking in his throat.

                The images in Uta’s mind flashed by rapidly; Teiji in the apartment, Setsuna in the manor, Ruimaru with the Koi, Natsu, St. Andrews Cross, Setsuna falling from the building, Acchan reaching for him, Uta in bed with Teiji, with Davina, Isshi. The tears started, Uta’s breath became ragged and uneven, the image of Teiji’s bloody face, Uta wrapped in Teiji’s clothes in the manor, flashing faster.

                The pain in Uta’s head was like an ice pick, causing him to grab the sides of his head in his fists, he felt like he wanted to vomit, the flashing of images…the bile building up in his throat, his vision swimming.  Uta staggered to his feet and ran, slamming into the walls and into the bathroom, falling to the cold tile and bending over the toilet, retching until there was nothing left in his stomach. He laid on the floor for a while, the images slowing in his mind. He couldn’t hear anything but a loud thumping rush in his ears. He laid on the floor for almost thirty minutes, until the nausea passed.

                Getting up from the floor, he rinsed his mouth, washed his face, he walked back down to the living room and sat on the couch, he was pale and sweaty.

                Uta was shaking, his head down looking at the floor. “Why didn’t you just let me die?’ He whispered. His head hurt…the pain was blinding. He saw his lover’s face as Setsuna pushed him in front of the window, his mind flashed images of Setsuna’s suicide, the memorial service, Maastricht.

                “It would have been so much easier if you would have just let me die.” Uta looked at Acchan. “Did you lie to me? What story did you tell me to get me back into your bed? What lies have you told me since we’ve been home? What else have you done to me?”

                “I didn’t lie to you, you had forgotten our past, you believed that we were still a couple. The doctors recommended that we let you believe that for the time being, you were still very sick, you were still having seizures, any stress may have been a setback. I have not taken advantage of you, that is why I stopped us last night. It would have been so wrong to make love to you, when you did not know the truth.” Acchan leaned over to Uta. “I still love you, I will always love you. I will do whatever it takes to make you happy and healthy and if that means leaving you, I will.”

                “You…how long were you going to leave me like this? Were you willing to lie forever?” Uta looked at Davina. “I wanted you to live, Uta. I was doing what I could to make that happen. You were willing yourself to die, that’s why you had the seizures, stress and malnutrition took a heavy toll on your body. I called in who I could that may help you, I was willing to send for all of your friends if that’s what it took.” Davina was weeping silently…long lines of tears running to her cheeks.

                “The doctors put you in a coma to help your brain heal, we had no idea that your loss of memory would be an issue, we had so little to understand at that time. Uta, do not blame anyone for doing what they did, they all acted in your best interests, and under doctor’s recommendations, blame the doctors if you need someone to point a finger at.” Hide gently reprimanded the young man.

                “I have no where to go…I have no family. I don’t want to live without Teiji, but I must. Where do I go from here? How do I survive with this as my past?” Uta looked at Acchan. “You say you love me? Are you willing to care for me even without being my lover?”

                He turned to Davina, “Do you expect me to live with you, continue our relationship even after this?” Uta looked at Yutaka and Hide. “I am not your child, I am not your responsibility, what would you have me do? I have no place in society right now, I am a broken toy…I belong at the bottom of a toy chest, something to be remembered but ignored. My mind is destroyed, I will never be whole again…I refuse your pity, I refuse your ministrations. I am an adult, and I am a child.”

                Uta looked at each of them, he then got up and walked back down the hall, going into what was his room, instead of Acchan’s, shutting and locking the door.

 

                “Wow, we haven’t had a night out just the four of us in ages! Maybe Ojisan will raise the beer limit?” Koichi nudged Taka in the shoulder as they walked towards the ramen hut. “No, then Sato will drink to much, and he snores like a bear when he’s drunk…or I could just go sleep in the guest room.” Taka said, as he glanced over his shoulder at his husband, who promptly flipped him a middle finger. It was true, the two couples had not been out together in some time, work and life usually are the roadblocks to move around when dealing with friendships.

                “Irasshai gentlemen.” Ojisan greeted his four favorite customers, “Shall we have our usual?” Tatsu asked. “Um. Nope… I want the chashu pork please.” Koichi raised his hand. “Banshu for me.” Taka raised his hand as well. “Just the regular for us Ojisan…these little boys need their special dinners.”

                As Ojisan prepared the meal, the foursome talked about random things, “Has anyone spoken to Uta lately? I was hoping he’d be back at work by now…but it doesn’t seem like he will even come back.” Koichi offered. “He may eventually, it’s been a rough two years for him, he’ll always have a job though.” Taka assured his friend.

                “Irasshaimatsu” Ojisan welcomed a new customer, without turning around. “One moment please.”  A tall young Asian man with long hair walked in the small ramen hut, nodding to the others that were there.

                “Your restaurant came highly recommended, could I have just a basic Miso ramen please?” the young man ordered. “Of cour…” Ojisan stopped in his tracks, “Of course, would you like a beer as well?” The young man nodded. “Thank you.”  Looking over at Koichi and the others, the man nodded, Koichi blushing hard for some reason. “You are new to the area, ne?” Ojisan placed a beer in front of the man.  

                “Yes, I am Kato, I have just returned from abroad after many years.” Kato was surprised that the man knew this information.

                “Welcome home, Kato-san. These are some of my regular customers,” Ojisan waved his hand at the others, Tatsu nodding to Kato, and introducing themselves. “I am familiar with your band, Tatsuro-san, although I must say I’m surprised to see you in a ramen hut.” Kato blushed.

                “Oh, more like you’d be surprised on who comes to Ojisan’s… I’m a small fish in his large bowl of customers.” Tatsu joked, which made Koichi groan. “Tatsu really? Small fish? Ignore him, he’s corny as hell.” Koichi giggled.   The joking continued between the friends, Kato listening but not really participating.

                Just as Kato looked up, Ojisan placed his ramen in front of him. “You will meet her soon, she is not ready for you just yet. The young one needs you, he needs reassurance that his choice is the correct path.” Kato said nothing, just watched as Ojisan moved back to his tiny kitchen.

                Tatsu leaned over, “You’ll get used to that if you intend on becoming a regular, which I highly recommend. Ojisan is special, please pay attention to what he said, it will eventually become very clear.” Kato nodded, returning to his ramen.

                “Ojisan, thank you again, we promise not to be so long between visits.” Tatsu bowed. Ojisan watched them leave, a smile on his lips. “You have quite the interesting cliental, I will definitely return. Thank you.” Kato bowed slightly and left the ramen hut.

                “Uta, your questions may be answered soon, please stay well until he can come to you.”

Chapter Text

Aoi gazed dully at the TV, barely paying attention to whatever was on the screen. He was bored with staying in his apartment, but truthfully had no where to go. Dropping into a routine of walking to the local grocers every day, just to give himself one thing to look forward to, cleaning his already clean apartment and making dinner, had become just as dull as the rest of his existence.

                Intellectually, he knew he had been in the wrong by sexually harassing Hiroto, he was guilty as charged, complicit with what Reita was doing, but emotionally he wasn’t ready to let go of the anger he held for his former band mates…his former friends, for not backing him up and choosing Hiroto over himself.

                Aoi had further felt the sting of abandonment when Reita left the country, effectively leaving Aoi hanging in the wind to take the brunt of the abuse from the band, who were all backing Hiroto. At that point he didn’t care about anything, he felt he was being unjustly persecuted, while Reita was getting a pass because he apologized to Hiroto.  “Screw that…” Aoi muttered more than a few times a day.

                Aoi had read the message boards for the fan club, the speculations and rumors running the gamete to Aoi has left the band already or that Aoi himself had a terminal illness, but nothing about whether the band would get a new member or fold.

 

                Aoi had just settled down for the evening with a beer in hand and an intention to play hours of mindless hack and slash video games, interrupted by a sound he couldn’t immediately pin point.

                “Hey Aoi, what’s up?” Kai came bouncing into his living room. “Kai! What the…how did you get in?” Aoi stood up quickly. Kai pushed Aoi back into the couch, “I let him in, I still have a key.” Reita came out of the genkan followed by Uruha and Ruki.

                “What the fuck do you guys want? I have nothing to say to you, just go home…leave my key Akira” Aoi growled at the group. “It’s not your key it’s mine.” Reita laughed.

                “Go away, all of you” Aoi repeated. “Sorry, not happening. We’re going to talk and you’re going to listen.” Uruha sat down on the couch and slung his arm around Aoi, who then shoved his guitarist away from him. “Ow! Yuu, that wasn’t very nice.”

                “I don’t give a shit about nice, what the fuck do you guys want?” Aoi tried to stand up again, only to be pulled by the back of the pants by Uruha, “Just sit down and shut up, Yuu.”  Aoi slapped Uruha’s hand away. “Fuck off Kouyou.” He snapped.

                “We’re all here to try and talk some sense into you. You’re a pig headed stubborn old man, Yuu. If at the end of this you still want us to fuck off…then you’ll be hearing from the DCR lawyers about getting out of your contract.” Kai had moved a chair that blocked the TV, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees.

                “I have nothing to say to any of you, you’ve made your choices, now you can go live with them.” Aoi had his arms crossed over his chest.

                “What about if I ask you, Aoi? Would it make any difference?” A voice came from the kitchen, Aoi turned around quickly. “YOU! OUT OF MY HOUSE NOW!” He screamed at Hiroto.

                “Sorry, I’m not going to leave either. This thing involves me, is because of me so I have every right to be here and try to convince you that what you’re doing is wrong.”

                “You of all people have no right to tell me anything you little fuck! This is all YOUR fault!” Aoi was screaming so furiously he was spitting.

                “Okay, let’s start there, Aoi. How is all of this Pon’s fault? I don’t understand how you came up with that.” Kai asked.

                Aoi sat on the couch, his eyes closed, arms still crossed over his chest. “Going to give us the silent treatment? Okay, that works too. Uruha, order pizza, I think it’s going to be a long night.” Kai instructed.

                “It’s not going to be a long night BECAUSE YOU MOTHER FUCKERS ARE LEAVING NOW!” Aoi went back to being spitting mad, jumping off the couch and grabbing Kai by the arm, trying to drag him to the door, which was laughable based on the drummer’s strength.

                “Yuu, stop it for fucks sake, just sit down. Do you want veggies or meat on your pizza?” Uruha asked as he wrote down everyone’s orders. Aoi stared at all of them, then got up and walked towards his bedroom, this time Reita jumped in front of him, placing his hand on his ex-lover’s chest.

                “You’re not going to hide in your room, you can’t even lock it…remember when I kicked it in? You never got the lock fixed, so just go sit down Yuu” said Reita. “I hate you.” Aoi sneered.

                “No, I don’t think you do. I think that’s part of this problem, you still love me, and somehow this shit with Pon got all twisted around.” Reita knew he had hit on something when Aoi’s eyes went wide.

                “Pizza will be here in an hour.” Uruha announced. Kai waved his hand, having everyone sitting around Aoi. “I want you to listen to what we have to say, then you’ll have your turn.

                “You’re my best friend…you have been for years, even before we were a couple.” Reita started. “What happened? One minute we’re madly in love and the next you’re fucking Arimatsu in our bed. I tried to work things out, I wanted us to stay friends for the sake of the band.”

                Reita sighed, “Then Pon showed up, and we were like two teenage boys fighting over a girl. At first it was funny, we’d tease him…but then we both started getting very dark thoughts. The shit with Ruki and Tomo at the DCR event, Kai slapping me…you would have thought I’d get the message. Evidently neither one of us did.”

                “Remember what we were planning? That day of the fight at the studio…we were going to kidnap Pon…take him back to the flat and both of us fuck him! Neither one of us say Pon as a human…we saw him as a little fuck toy for the boys of The Gazette. So, tell me, Yuu…how is any of this Pon’s fault? We almost ruined his dreams of working in the industry, how will that look? We basically humiliated someone with sexual harassment and made him hate his job.”

                “It took Shinya knocking me out at the restaurant to get my head on straight. I fucked up and I knew it. So why haven’t you acknowledged the fact that you fucked up, Yuu? Pon’s a person, a warm loving person that does not and never did, deserve what we did to him. Everyone in the band had every right to call us out, we didn’t deserve for them to have our backs, we were exactly as Die said…predatory pieces of shit.”

                “I hate you, Aoi.” Ruki started with a deceptive statement, everyone gasping. “Ru!” Uruha snapped. “Shut up Uru, let me finish. I hate you the way you are now, Aoi. You’re not Shiroyama Yuu, nor are you Aoi, the eldest member of the Gazette. I don’t know who this is sitting in front of me. Whomever you are right now, I detest you and your actions. I keep waiting for some alien thing to burst through your chest, something foreign or a disease to explain how you and Akira have been acting towards Pon. I’m ready to write you out of the Gazette, you’ll just be a footnote in the band’s history. You will never be able to work as a musician again in this country, Yuu. Unless you return to your senses, until you admit your guilt, I’m done with you, I will not have toxic people in my life. I love you, but not who you are right now.”

                “Guess it’s my turn.” Uruha sat down next to Aoi. “I called your sister the minute I knew you were gone, where else would you go but back to Mei. I was right of course, you were there, that’s when I texted you the first time. I’ve been talking to your sister ever since you left, if you had not told her the truth, I would have. I also understand that she kicked you out, and she did the right thing.”

“I don’t understand…like everyone else has said, why you took it further than even Akira…you just wouldn’t accept your guilt in harassing Pon. If you would have, we wouldn’t be here…locked up in your flat and telling you how we feel. I don’t want to have to get to know a new guitarist…that’s going to be a pain in the ass, Yuu. We are a team, you and I, and as half of that team, I’d like for you to stop being such a fucking asshole, and come back to your senses…I don’t want to have to play with Die or Miya…or god forbid someone like Kaz…you’re the one standing at the other side of the stage, you’re the one that’s standing back to back with me on the riser…not someone else. So please, pull your head out of your ass and come back to work.”

                Aoi was in tears, he hadn’t looked up at anyone while they were speaking. He was now bent over, his face in his hands…trying hard not to sob. “I…I don’t even know…” he began to talk. Then something happened that none of them had expected.

                Pon sat next to Aoi on the couch, and put his arms around the older man’s shoulders, Aoi immediately stiffening. “Hey… what can I do to help? What can I do or say to keep you in The Gazette?”

                “Are you fucking kidding me?” Aoi laughed through his tears. “I’m the biggest piece of shit in the world, I tormented you, I said shit that nobody should say to another human being, and now you’re asking me what you can to do to help? What fucking universe are you from?” Everyone chuckled, the tension finally breaking.

                “I’m asking you as a member of the industry, of our collective community, what I can do to convince you to remain with your band, perhaps get some sort of counseling. The answer is still no, I won’t date you…I already have Die…I don’t need another band guy. But I’m willing to help you Aoi…we all are, or we wouldn’t have wasted a full night on crappy pizza and no beer.”

                Aoi sat up and looked at his friends in the room, “I don’t deserve any of this.” Looking at Reita, he smiled sadly, “I certainly don’t deserve anything from you…I fucked you over so badly, I was surprised that you even wanted to remain friends. I think I was jealous about Pon, I wanted you to look at me, not him…but then it got all twisted. I wanted Pon…I thought you were punishing me for Arimatsu, which then pushed me into what we were doing…I don’t even know how to explain all of this. I know I’ve lost you forever, Rei… as a lover. I’m not sure I could handle losing you as a friend though.”

                Reita looked at his friend. “You and I … we deserved what we got…if we would have gone through with our plan? We would have been no better than Morrie…raping Koichi and Uta. We would have been common criminals, that would have ended up in prison. I came to that realization the morning after Shinya dropped me at the restaurant. Looking in the mirror, I was disgusted with what I saw looking back…a piece of shit that was on his way to hell.”

                “We have to own up to our mistakes, Yuu. I’ve apologized to Pon, we’re on fairly good terms, Die doesn’t want to kill me anymore…at least I don’t think he does.” Reita looked at Hiroto who just shrugged.

                Kai looked at his guitarist, “Let me ask you, Aoi…what do you want to do with the rest of your life? Do you want to be remembered as being Aoi of the Gazette who went to prison for assault…or do you want to be remembered as Aoi of the Gazette, who played in a rock band until he was too old to stand?” Kai was serious…this was no joke.

                “A guitarist, who will never be too old to stand to play with The Gazette.” Aoi looked at Pon, getting up off the couch he walked over to the younger man, and dropped to his knees, bowing until his forehead touched the floor.

                “Pon, Hiroto, will you please forgive me for being a complete deviant, an asshole, a monster, someone who doesn’t deserve your respect nor your acknowledgement?” Aoi’s head remained on the floor.

                Hiroto looked at the others, then smiled “I will accept your apology, ONLY if you promise not to question my judgement on issues related to The Gazette as a co-manager. You will follow my directions as I give them to you...do this and yes, I accept your apology.”

                Aoi looked up, smiled his devilish wicked grin, “Thank you, Hiroto. I’ll even go one further, but Rei’s has to go with me… we’re going to do couple’s therapy.”

                “WHAT? OH, HELL NO!” Reita yelled. “We’re not a couple anymore! Why do I have to go to therapy with you?”

                “We have to both go to therapy, because we are both responsible for this bullshit mess we created. It’s only fair Rei, just suck it up and be ready when I find a doctor.” Aoi laughed.

                “Man…therapy…with you? Shit…this is going to suck.” Reita moaned. With that small announcement, Uruha reheated the pizza.

                “You never answered the one question, Aoi…why did you think this was all my fault?” Hiroto asked through a mouth full of pizza.

                “You know, I was so in denial that what I wanted to do, would actually hurt you, I just think I deflected my feelings of no self worth, on to you. In my mind you were a tease, you were a little slut that teased Rei and I, then went and started fucking Die.” Aoi answered truthfully.

                “A slut? Me? Oh man, if you only knew how far from the truth that is!” Hiroto almost choked on his pizza. Kai rolled his eyes, he knew the truth behind the statement, that Hiroto had little to no experience sexually, before he met Die.

                “Like I said…I have little self worth or self esteem, I’m old and kinda funny looking, unless I have a ton of make up on and I’m standing in front of thousands of horny women…so I just figured you were teasing me, sort of making everything a joke.”

                The fact that Aoi thought of himself that way, bothered the group, especially Reita, who realized that they did indeed need to go to therapy. “But you’re such an amazing guitarist…but I guess that’s just a tiny part of who you are. I do know that a lot of artistic people have low self esteem and are always questioning and doubting themselves. That’s why you need to go to couple’s therapy with Reita.” Hiroto snickered.

                The general mood of the room had lightened, tears were still being shed when certain incidents were brought up, Hiroto moving back home in total discouragement, being one of them. “I totally thought I was done…that I’d never work in the industry. I knew I was in the right by refusing you two, but that did nothing for my confidence, and I didn’t’ want any help from Yukke or Kai.” Hiroto explained.

                “I’m sorry Pon, I probably will say that to you for the rest of our lives, but honestly, I’m sorry.” Reita was blushing, Aoi was sniffing and wiping tears away. “God, we’re all a bunch of saps… I need to go home…Tomo’s waiting.” Ruki rolled his eyes and got up.

                “So, are we all good now? Everything is fine…Aoi you’re coming back correct? We’ll need to talk to management first, and I’m not sure I can cancel Miya playing for us at the next live, but maybe we can figure something out, ne?” Kai hugged Aoi, as did the others, making their way out of his flat. Reita was the last one to leave, “You’ll find someone, I know you will…” He hugged his ex-lover one more time, then followed the others.  “I hope you’re right Akira…being alone sucks.” Aoi shut the door.

 

                Kato was learning to live alone, something he had not done for almost two decades. His simple daily routine forced him out into the public at least once per day, even if only for an hour of shopping. Ena and the other household staff were reluctant to approach the serious young man, who was still wearing his grief like a halo.

                There was one new norm for his routine, he was visiting Ojisan’s at least twice a week, sometimes more depending on his mood. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, he had on occasions met some of Ojisan’s other regular customers, most within the tight music community.

                One evening Kyo and Mao had met with Koichi and Taka, coming together to discuss Uta and what was happening with the young man they all loved. “I’m not sure what’s happening, I haven’t heard anything from him since the party. I don’t know if he’s still with Acchan or not. I could call Davina, but I don’t feel that it’s the right time for that.” Kyo had offered.

                “Davina is not in the right state of mind at the moment, Kyo-san.” Ojisan had overheard them. “There is something that is weighing on her mind, it would not be wise to speak to her yet, of Uta.”

                “Ojisan, what about Uta…what do we do for him?” Mao asked quietly. Before Ojisan could answer, a customer arrived, “Irasshai… hello Kato-kun. Would you like your usual tonight?” Ojisan greeted the talk young man.

                “Yes, please. That would be nice.” Kato nodded to the others, then did a double take when he saw Kyo. “If you don’t mind me saying, Kyo-san, I thoroughly enjoy your music, specifically your lyrics, they are always thought provoking.”

                “Thank you, Kato-san. I’m glad you enjoy them.” Kyo smiled at the man. Kato looked at Koichi, who always turned a beautiful shade of pink, when the young man looked at him. “Kou…” Taka nudged his friend with his knee. “Why are you blushing so hard?”

                “I don’t know…he always makes me blush.” Koichi muttered. Kato smiled, he could tell he made Koichi uncomfortable, he had thought Koichi was a beautiful young man, but also knew that Koichi was with Tatsuro, that bond was undeniable.

                Kyo was watching Ojisan, noticing that when Kato had arrived, the ramen maker’s demeanor had changed slightly. “Your miso ramen, Kato-kun.” Kato nodded in thanks, “Itadakimasu.”

                Trying not to be obvious, Kato listened in on the other groups conversation, something which he normally did not do, he was trained to hear, but not to listen. But the urgency that the friend spoke of, was concerning.

                “I don’t like it…he’s still living with Acchan. I thought for sure he’d move back to his flat. But I guess he can’t do that until his memory returns.” Mao was depressed, he missed his best friend a great deal, waiting for the young man to regain his memories had been trying for him.

                “I’ll call Acchan tomorrow, see if I can visit with Uta…or we could call Hide and Yutaka, they might be able to shed some light on what’s going on.” Taka said.

                The group finished their meal, leaving the ramen hut with a wave and a smile. “Your regular customers are an interesting group, Ojisan.” Kato remarked.

                “They are the heart of this restaurant, I have been serving them for many years. Tatsuro was the first of my many customers from their community, I have treasured them all for many years. I have seen marriages and breakups, I have seen death and destruction, loss and sorrow. I have seen the damages of jealousy, the insecurity of life.”  Ojisan sighed.

“I see many things for many people, sometimes these are clear signs, some are clouded. What I have seen for you, Kato-kun is eventual happiness. You loved your Mistress a great deal, as she loved you. She would not want you to remain alone, she wants you to find the next one to serve.”

Kato’s heart started thumping wildly in his chest. “You know of my Mistress? How is that possible? She was not from this country!” Kato stammered. “Kato-kun, I can not explain how I receive these messages, just that I receive them. Please, keep an open heart, the next one you will serve will show herself soon, though you may fight it at first.”

Kato had remembered what Tatsuro had said about believing what Ojisan said, and now it seemed that the musician was correct. To now know that there was someone out there that he was meant to serve, gave him hope. To know that his Mistress would want this for him, was somehow comforting, she was watching over her beloved Kato, even in death.

As Kato was leaving the ramen hut, he turned to Ojisan. “Thank you. This small place leaves me with a feeling of lightness, of hope and of love as well. I hope to become as well loved by you, as your other customers. Thank you for giving me hope for the future as well.” Kato bowed deeply and left the hut.

“Mistress, I’m watching over your lover, your personal pet. Please be kind to him, he is one of great love and if the one you have in mind for him approves, he will love again.” Ojisan smiled as he locked the door for the evening.

 

Chapter Text

                Uta opened the door just wide enough for Saki and Luna to come in, both cats chirping at the boy, closing the door quietly, Uta goes back to laying on his bed. The turmoil of the return of his memory was still fresh, the blinding pain in his head had subsided, but not without Uta having to vomit several more times that first night.  Uta had stayed in his room, only leaving it late into the night, when he was sure that Sakurai was asleep. He would steal into the kitchen, make a quick sandwich or a bowl of ramen, then hurry back to his room.

                Uta didn’t feel he could face Sakurai, not yet…he needed more time to come to terms with what had happened. Sakurai had made the attempt to speak to Uta, by way of a note slid under his door, Uta reading it over and over…wondering if the man was being truthful.

                “I will care for you always, whether we are lovers or not. This is your home, you may stay or leave whenever you’d like. I will walk out of your life if you so desire, I’ve never wanted anything other than the best for you. Tell me what to do and it’s done.”

                Sakurai had left the house after delivering the note. Uta had no immediate response when he read what Sakurai had to say. Once he heard Sakurai leave, Uta ventured out of his room. He walked through the house, looking for Luna and Saki, he ended up in Sakurai’s bedroom, both cats sleeping on the bed.

                Uta laid down next to the cats, putting his face into Sakurai’s pillow, he breathed in the scent of the man that had come to mean so much to him. Saki sat in front of Uta, reaching out to tap the boy in the face as if to say ‘it’s okay’, Luna in turn, licking the boy’s nose. The cats could feel the tension in the air, they stayed especially close to Uta…only truly wanting to be away from him to use the litter box and to eat.

                Sakurai had watched the sleek Siamese cats for any indication that Uta may be in pain, or worse. There was a night that Sakurai actually opened Uta’s bedroom door to let the cats out, they had been crying and Uta had fallen asleep. Saki had taken to standing on Sakurai’s lap, tapping the man’s face. “Yes, Saki, I know…let’s hope it doesn’t last too long.” Sakurai said as he petted the soft fur of the cat.

                Uta’s memory of Maastricht had come into clear view sometime that first night, knowing why he had called Davina and asked to come home, Sakurai holding him until he fell apart and how he had felt in his ex-lover’s arms…safe and loved.

                The hardest thing that he had to reconcile, and it was only with himself, was the loss of his memories of Teiji. He knew that Davina was upset that he didn’t remember her…he saw it in her eyes the night of Ojisan’s party, the sadness that she wore openly. Hide and Yutaka had accepted what was at that point, Uta’s new truth…supported him throughout his recovery.

                The night that Hide uttered Teiji’s name, the flood of visions that burned through his mind, the bile and vomit shoving its way up into his throat, the total destruction of his mind, had left his world shattered.

                Uta knew he couldn’t stay with Sakurai, it wasn’t healthy at the moment, he needed to regain his confidence in living on his own. He needed to get back to some sort of normalcy in his life. His friends at the HBG, his job…all these things were laid about before him, his only hesitation was…Acchan.

                As he lay on the bed with the cats, the scent of his former lover encased him in a sense of calmness…a warmth that he remembered feeling those first weeks after his rescue from Natsu. Luna curled up on the pillow next to Uta, Saki taking the spot in the crook of Uta’s tummy with the cat’s purring loudly, lulling Uta into a soft and warm slumber.

                Sakurai walked into his home, almost calling out ‘tadaima’, but really not expecting an ‘okaeri’. Putting his bag down in his office, he carefully walked past Uta’s room, stopping to listen at the door. Not hearing anything, he made his way down to his own bedroom, slowly opening the door, the sight that was before him was nothing less than beautiful in his eyes.

                Uta…his beautiful boy…curled up with the two sleek Siamese cats, asleep in his bed, Acchan could have stood there for hours just watching the boy sleep. He slowly crept into his bathroom, closing the door, picking up a towel to muffle his crying, Acchan sat on the side of the tub for several minutes.

                If he could only go into the bedroom and lie down next to Uta, to pull the young man into his arms, Acchan would be the happiest man on earth. Reality set in…and so instead of crawling into this bed, he carefully changed into some lounge pants, he quietly left the room, and went into the kitchen, grabbing a glass of wine and going to sit out on the patio.

                Uta thought he had heard Acchan, but thought it was just part of one of his dreams, not bothering to open his eyes. It wasn’t until Saki decided that Uta needed to get up, that the boy even thought about waking. It was hard to ignore a certain pushy cat that kept tapping on Uta’s face. “Fine…I’ll get up.” Uta moaned.

                Uta left Acchan’s bedroom, walking to the kitchen for a snack…not knowing that Acchan was out on the patio. Hearing something in the kitchen, Acchan got up and came inside. “Hello Uta…did you sleep well?” He asked softly. “You saw me? I’m…I mean…I didn’t mean…” Uta stammered.

                Acchan held up his hand, “It’s fine, really. I didn’t wake you because Saki was giving me the evil eye…basically telling me to get lost.” The man chuckled. Uta blushed, “He is sort of pushy for a cat.”

                “Can I interest you in some dinner? I’m making that pasta dish you like so much. I had planned on just leaving you some in the fridge, for later…after I went to bed.” Acchan was trying hard to sound nonchalant about knowing that Uta got up late at night to eat.

                “Um, yah…that would be nice.” Uta mumbled. He wasn’t sure why he agreed to eat with Acchan, but he was tired of ramen and snacks late at night. “Wonderful, it will be ready in about an hour…would you like to use my bathtub?” Acchan offered.

                “Yes please, if…if it’s okay with you?” Uta danced around with what he really wanted to say…but wasn’t brave enough to even admit to himself. “Thank you,” he bowed slightly to the older man.

                Acchan smiled, “Please, there are oils and salts in the cabinet next to the sink, help yourself. As I said, dinner will be in about an hour.” Acchan purposely turned away, thinking that looking at the boy, may leave Uta uncomfortable.

                Uta stared at Acchan’s back, turning away finally to walk down to the master bathroom. “Why did I agree to this? I’m talking to him…but he’s done so much…am I a fool for this?” Uta muttered under his breath.

 

                An hour later, Acchan and Uta are sitting at the small kitchen table, eating mostly in silence, Acchan sometimes asking basic questions.  “Have you been sleeping well?” he asked without looking at the boy. “Mostly during the day…at night I’m still having nightmares.”

                “Oh, that’s too bad…I hope they’re not too horrible?” the thought of Uta having nightmares left Acchan’s heart beating in his ears. “Sometimes…mostly the one’s about Teiji are the worst…I think it’s more memories than dreams.” Uta answered honestly, the dreams he was having about Acchan, were anything but nightmares.

                “If you ever feel like you need to talk, you know you can call Yutaka, he’s such a mom sometimes.” Acchan snorted. “He’s worse than a mom, he would fuss horribly over me when I still lived there. But I don’t really mind…he loves me so I tolerate it.” Uta cracked a grin.

                Acchan wanted so much to ask Uta about his plans, but hesitated…he didn’t want to chase the young man away…even if they were not lovers, Acchan loved having the boy near.

                “Can I ask a favor?” Uta couldn’t believe what he was going to do. “Of course, anything.” Now Acchan was shaking inside. “Um, could I have a key to the house? I’m thinking of going over and check on my flat, I’m sure it’s not livable right now. I know I’m going to need to throw out food and such. I’m not ready to move back in yet.”

                Acchan’s heart sank at the thought that Uta wanted to move out. “Yes of course, if you need help or a ride over, just ask.” Acchan smiled.

                “Thank you.” Uta stared at his plate. “Um, thanks for cooking dinner…I should get ready for bed, I didn’t sleep much last night and the nap today wasn’t enough.” Uta pushed away from the table, picking up his plate and putting it in the sink.

                “I don’t mind if you want to nap in my bed…it was actually quite beautiful to see you with the cats.” He was going out on a limb.  Uta froze.

                “Please remember, this is your house as well as mine, as I said in the note, I will care for you regardless of our relationship status…tell me what to do and it’s done.” Acchan repeated his promise from the note.

                “I appreciate that a great deal, I’m not sure yet what I want to do, please be patient with me.” Uta murmured as he walked down to his bedroom.

                “I will wait forever.”

 

                Reita had turned off his phone during the intervention with Aoi, turning it back on only after he had gotten home from Kai’s…and there was a text from Ayato, “Hi, you played great tonight.”

 

                “Why didn’t you tell me you spoke to Ayato?” Reita was sitting at Kai and Yukke’s, wanting to speak with the drummer. “Because I haven’t actually spoken to him, just texts.” Kai admitted lamely.

                “Text is speaking to someone, Kai…why didn’t you tell me?” Reita wasn’t technically mad, but a little hurt. “Aki…because I wanted Ayato to be the one to contact you on his own terms. But I have to say after the last live, when he walked out with his friends after seeing you? I texted him the riot act…I called him out. But then I gave him your phone number.”

 

                “What do you mean you called him out.” Reita was confused. “I told him if he was going to continue to fuck with your emotions, not to come to anymore lives. That he was a coward, and he knows how you feel about him, and that unless he feels the same way, to just leave you alone.” 

                “He did text me, but I’m not sure how to take it.” Reita mumbled. “What? What did he say?” Kai looked intently at his friend. “Hi, you played great tonight.”

                “That’s it? That’s all he said after I read him the fucking riot act! That little shit!” Kai was pissed. “Hey, it’s not his fault! I mean the way we left each other in LA, it was sort of like final and all. I sure as hell didn’t expect him to show up at one of our lives, let alone two!” Reita defended the boy’s actions.

                “He should have the balls to talk to you, Aki…seriously. He shows up, you confess in front of thousands of people, and all you get is a ‘hi you played great tonight? That’s utter bullshit!” Kai shot back.

                “It’s not utter bullshit, Yu…seriously. At least I have his phone number now.” Reita countered. “What are you going to do now?” Kai sat back in his chair.

                “I don’t know, I want to text him…hell, I want to see him right now! But I’m not sure if I should go after him…what if he doesn’t feel the same? I’m not going to confess again only to be shit on.” Reita closed his eyes, ran his hands through his hair. “I’ll deal with it, just leave Ayato alone…don’t text him anymore please Yu?”

                Kai agreed but he wasn’t happy, he wanted to call the young man and scream at him that he was torturing Reita, but he promised his friend that he would hold his tongue…for now.

 

                Reita struggled with the idea of replying to Ayato’s text, he’d rather call but thought it may scare the boy off. “Nope, back off Aki…don’t push it.” Sending a text would be safer, but confessing via text wasn’t ideal either, he was certain that Ayato had understood what he had said at that first live.

                “Subtle Aki… just be subtle…” Reita had been walking around his flat for an hour, at a loss on what to say. Taking a shower, eating some dinner, sitting in front of the TV and drinking a beer…all of these activities combined lead him no closer to texting Ayato a reply. “Fuck! Just do it!” Reita yelled at himself.

                “Thanks, it was nice to see you again.” SEND

                Reita instantly regretted sending the text. “SHIT! That totally sounded like I was blowing him off! Damn I’m an idiot!” Laying his head on the back of his couch, hot tears running down his face…Reita struggled with his emotions. “It shouldn’t be this hard!”

                Wiping his eyes, he sat back up and looked at his phone, “Just do it!” he argued.

                “Would you please come to the next live? You don’t have to see me, but I’d like you to be there…I can leave tickets for you at the box office…bring your friend.” SEND

                Reita paged through his contacts, coming up with the number he needed.

                “Hey Pon…can you do me a favor? Can you get me two tickets for the next live? Um, decent seats so I can see… I mean so he can… shit…just two tickets that are close to the stage?”

 

                Ayato’s phone chimed…he recognized the number, he hesitated before opening the message. “Thanks, it was nice seeing you again.”  “Well that nails it down…he didn’t care about seeing me…I knew he really didn’t say I love you.” Ayato whispered into the dark of his bedroom. The hot tears were threatening to spill, when his phone chimed again.

                Would you please come to the next live? You don’t have to see me, but I’d like you to be there…I can leave tickets for you at the box office…bring your friend.

                “Shit.”

 

 

                Setsuna is standing in front of Teiji who is strapped on a St. Andrew’s Cross, blood dripping from his mouth, a bullet hole in his head, he’s smiling and calling Uta’s name. Davina moves into view, her face slashed, her hair cut off in chunks, “Uta my love, come to me.” She calls the boy. Acchan is standing next to Setsuna, “Uta, I’ll love you until my dying breath…come to me quickly…we will die together. Uta is trying to run, backing away from the scene in front of him. “Uta, you’re next…you’re the final piece to our twisted little family, a ménage a cinq…we’re going to travel the world, living together. We will visit Sint Servatius, so you can see your friends, come with us Uta…you’ll be the next to die.

 

                “NOOO!! GOD HELP ME! DAVINAAAA! GET AWAY FROM ME..LEAVE ME ALONE! FUCK...HELP MEE TEIJI...ACCCHANNN HELPME! GET NO HEL…PLEASE…NOOO ACCHANNN TEIJII! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE AAAHHHH!”

 

                Uta sat up in bed, screaming at the top of his lungs for someone anyone to help him… he was running away…Setsuna reaching out for him, he can’t breathe…his legs won’t move fast enough, Davina is laughing, her beautiful face slashed to ribbons, Teiji is calling him…he wants Uta to join their new family…he’s clawing at the air.

                “UTA! STOP! UTA WAKE UP…UTA!” Sakurai has Uta by the shoulders, shaking him to try to get him to wake up, the boy is sobbing, swinging his arms wildly as he tries to run from his nightmare.

                “Baby…look at me!” Acchan is trying to get the boy to focus, Uta’s tears are clouding his vision, he keeps trying to pull away. “Baby, come on…wake up and look at me! That’s it… hey…come here… it’s okay.”

                Uta looked at Acchan, fully awake, “Acc…han!” The older man now had an armful of hysterically sobbing young man, “Don’t leave me…please…” were the only words that Acchan could understand. Scooping Uta up into his arms, Acchan takes the boy into his bedroom, sitting on the bed, Uta in his lap, his arms clinging tightly around the man’s neck, nearly choking on his sobs.

                A series of loud chirps and gravel like cries as Saki and Luna jumped onto the bed, Saki trying to wedge his way between Acchan and Uta. “It’s okay Saki, I have him now…Sshhh.” Acchan is rocking the boy in his lap, whispering soothing sounds in the boy’s ear, kissing his forehead as Uta continues to cry.

                Shit! What can I do! I have to get him to calm down… crap… seizure! Should I call someone… ambulance? No…a hospital would make things worse!

                It takes nearly an hour for Uta to be calmed completely, Acchan laying the boy down on the bed and running to get a warm wet cloth to wipe his face, also returning with a glass of water. “Baby, drink this.” He helps Uta sit up, making sure he drank all of the water.

                “Baby, what happened? You scared me to death!” Acchan cooed at the distraught younger man. “It was Setsuna…and he… and Davina had… there was blood, so much blood!” Uta started to sob again.

                Acchan held the boy close, slowly rocking Uta to calm the tears. “Let’s get you back to bed…” Acchan started to get up, “NO! Please… don’t make me sleep alone! Let me sleep here… please Acchan!” Uta begged.

                “Uta, we are not lovers, I will not fall to my selfish desires, I will not take advantage of you. It’s not fair to either one of us.” Acchan spoke softly.

                “Please, Acchan…I can’t do this anymore” Uta turned away, facing the wall. “Just let me die, I’m so tired…it hurts. I’m alone, I don’t know where to go, I don’t know who to reach for…just let me die, Acchan.”

                With every word, Sakurai Atsushi’s heart wrenched, broken in so many places he wondered how he could breathe.

                “Uta, I told you that this is your home if you choose to stay. There are no conditions, no terms and no rules. If you want to stay here with me, I expect nothing from you, all I want for you is to be safe, you may leave my home at any time you choose.”

                “Hold me tonight, please.” Uta asked his ex-lover, who did exactly as he was told, sliding his arms around the too thin body of his tiny boy. Acchan was in heaven, and in hell ,as Uta clung to him. Fighting any sort of arousal, the man has visions of making love to his boy, burning the delicate skin with kisses, bites that nibble at the tender flesh. Sakurai Atsushi is disgusted with himself, wanting to take advantage of the situation, and of Uta.

                Sakurai Atsushi is in a love / hate relationship…with himself.

Chapter Text

 

                “Your new house boy is very cute Davina…where ever did you find him?” Isshi took an appraising glance at Davina’s new staff. “He is Raizo’s nephew, Kazuki…come here please.” Davina crooked a finger at the young man.

                “Kazuki, these two lovely people are Isshi-san and Madame F. The tall man against the wall is Ormond…he is Madame F’s personal pet; the two lovely boys are Ruimaru and Leda…they belong to Isshi-san.”

                “It is a pleasure to meet you both, if you need anything please do not hesitate to call me.” Kazuki bowed deeply. “Mistress, is there anything you require?”

                “No dear, thank you. You may return to your duties.” Davina smiled at the young man.

                “A potential new pet, Davina? He’s definitely beautiful enough.” Madame F watched as the boy walked away.

                “No, I think not. He does not have the right personality for a submissive, I will just have him working for me as needed.” Davina sighed. She knew Isshi and Madame F would be pushing her to find a new pet…in her heart she wasn’t sure there would ever be another to capture her as Teiji had.

                 “I have a request…I would like you all to come with me…indulge me please.” Davina looked at Ruimaru and winked, the boy blushing and turning his eyes to the floor.  Davina rose and they made their way to the outdoor area of the pond.

                “Ruimaru…look closely.” Davina had her hand on the boy’s back. “Mistress! It’s Zeus! When did they arrive?” Ruimaru knelt down next to the pond, gazing at the large blue koi. “They came in over the weekend, I wanted to make sure they had acclimated before I had you come. Do you approve of our choices?”

                Davina sat on the low wall, dipping her fingers into the water, she gently tapped against the side of the pond. “Zeus is not quite to where Hercules was, but he’s learning quickly.” Davina told her friends.

                “Davina, this is indeed a beautiful pond… your choice of the large blue koi is impressive.” Madame F stood next to Davina. “Ruimaru found Zeus when we were shopping at the farm, he is rather pretty.”

                They lingered a while longer at the pond, leaving Ruimaru and Leda to themselves. Walking back to the parlor, Isshi glanced at Madame F, an unknown signal passing between them.

                “Davina love, I can not give you the source of the rumor, as I do not know myself…word is out at Vinyl Fetish that you are seeking a new personal pet.” Isshi informed the Dominant. “Before you become angry, whomever started the rumor did it with your happiness in mind. There is no anger or competition, there is no judgement, just the fact that the community believes you’re in need of someone to attend you.”

                “Davina, of course you don’t need to take a pet, you do have enough status to be unattended, but I think the others are worried about you…you’ve never been known for being a lone Dominant. Please at least consider it for a while, and if nothing comes of it, then we will squash the talk.” Madame F looked at her protégé, she could see the loneliness creeping into the woman’s eyes.

                “Perhaps, but I am in no rush. I will not take a trainee, if there is someone out there, he or she must be trained to at least the normal level of competence.” Davina was in no mood for untrained submissives…ever again.

                Ruimaru and Leda, with Ormond, rejoined their Dominants, standing against the wall as required. “Davina, it’s Thursday…let’s all go to Vinyl Fetish tonight…I believe its’ been at least two weeks, maybe three…you need to lose yourself, the worry over Uta is starting to show. What do you say?” Isshi had leaned over, laying his head on Davina’s shoulder, causing the woman to laugh.

                “Isshi, you could be a pet if you tried hard enough… look at that little submissive smile on your face…your cheeks are glowing pink!” The three Dominants turned to look at their pets… Ruimaru was hiding his laugh behind his hand. “My angel…do you see me as a personal pet?” Isshi teased his boy.

                “No Sir, not unless it was a special scene… you could never be a pet.” Ruimaru giggled. Leda gasped, he could not get used to the fact that Ruimaru was cheeky towards his dominant.

                “Leda-kun, come here please.” Isshi patted his lap, the young man sitting carefully. “Are you always so shocked at what your tiny lover says to me?” Isshi asked.

                “Sometimes, Sir. I could never say anything like that to you, ever.” Leda was staring at his hands. With the women watching, Isshi ran his hand up the inside of Leda’s thigh, gently massaging the boy’s crotch. Leda laid his head on Isshi’s shoulder, shivering in arousal, not making a sound…something that he did naturally, without being ordered.

                “Isshi, do not tease the boy in front of us…that’s not playing fairly!” Davina chided. “It’s hard not to touch him, Mistress…he’s so delicious when he moans.” With a kiss and a pat on the butt, Leda returned to standing next to Ruimaru, who reached down to hold the other boy’s hand.

                “Isshi, you have convinced me with that calculated move, to join you at Vinyl Fetish tonight…shame on you for using your boy to entice me to go out!” Davina laughed.  “It worked, didn’t it? That’s all that matters.” Isshi winked at Madame F, who wore a sly grin. With plans made to meet up later in the night, the two Dominants with their pets, left Davina’s manor. “Yes Isshi, it did work…” Davina admitted.

               

 

                Reita peered through a tiny slit of the curtain covering the stage, looking for that familiar waif like boy that had changed his life.

 

                “Um, I have tickets to the Gazette tomorrow night, go with me please?” Ayato shyly asked his roommate, explaining how he got the tickets. “I don’t want to talk to him, but he made the effort to get me tickets.”

                “Uh, why don’t you want to talk to him? Come on, Ayato! Just give the man a chance!” Yuki didn’t understand Ayato’s mind set when it came to Reita…the man confessed to the boy during a live! What more could Ayato want?
                “It’s complicated.” Was Ayato’s standard answer these days.

                “It doesn’t have to be, he loves you.” Yuki had rolled his eyes so many times in the last few weeks, he was surprised he could still see.

                “No, he thinks he does, he feels obligated, or maybe just pity. We can’t be involved, he’s famous and I’m a stripper.” Ayato was beating that dead horse again.

                “Fuck…stop with the stripper thing! Nobody cares about that, he didn’t care, did he? Isn’t it for him to decide whether or not he loves you? You’re not playing fair…Kai was right, you either talk to him face to face, or leave him alone. Yes, I’ll go, but I’m not going for you…I’m supporting Reita.” Yuki declared. Ayato still wasn’t convinced about any of it.

                “Pon…where are the seats exactly?” Reita and Hiroto were standing behind Kai’s drum set, peeking through the curtain. “Second row, center…what’s his name Reita?” Hiroto pointed to the seats. Reita hesitated for a moment, “Ayato.”

                Pon smiles, “He’s super cute…way cuter than me! Will we be meeting him after the live?” Reita shakes his head, “No…it’s a long story…I’ll just be happy if he comes.”

               

                “Wow, these seats are amazing! There’s no way you can miss what Reita will say now! He’ll only be about twenty-five feet from you!” Yuki prayed to the kami’s, that Reita would confess yet again and more so that Ayato would believe the bass player.

                The band members make their entrance onto the stage, Reita seeing Ayato immediately, a broad grin across his face. Yuki nudged Ayato, who was smiling. Ruki comes out and starts his MC, introducing Miya of MUCC as their guest guitarist for the evening.

                The first half of the live, it was obvious to everyone that Reita was playing at a level that was above normal. Kai saw that Ayato and Yuki were standing in the front, which gave him a burst of emotional energy, caught up in Reita’s playing, Kai kicked it up.

Miya was easily keeping up with the others, Shinya had warned Kai that there would be NO fan service involving Miya. “I’ll kill whom ever touches him…I mean it Kai!” the usually soft-spoken man snarled, Kai assuring his friend that Miya would be safe.

                The first half of the live went by quickly… the band members throwing out picks and drum sticks before leaving the stage. Reita stopped at the edge of the stage and looked straight at Ayato, then he made a heart sign with his fingers over his chest. The crowd wasn’t sure who Reita was looking at, they mostly took it as a general sign to the entire audience.

                “Who’s the boy, Rei?” Uruha asked…he had seen it… hell the whole audience had seen it. “Um, just a friend.” Rei muttered. “You just did a heart sign to a friend? Wow, I’d love to see what you’d do for someone you liked.” The tall blonde laughed.

                Aoi had been waiting backstage for his part in the show, thanking Miya profusely for agreeing to play the first have of the live. “It was fun, I think all the bands should do this more often…can’t hurt to attract a cross over fan base.” Miya suggested as he put his guitar away.

                As Miya was walking toward the exit, he stopped next to Reita. “Cute boy…you should keep him.” He murmured to the man. “I’m trying…believe me.” Reita chuckled.

                “That was intense! You can tell he’s playing for you… seriously! He’s better than he was at the other two lives…Ayato…you have to be seeing this, right?” Yuki shook Ayato’s shoulder. “I see it…” Ayato said softly. He had seen it, all of it. The way Reita was looking at him, the heart sign, the leveling up on his playing…Ayato saw all of it.

                With the second half of the live getting ready to start, Ayato had concluded, that yes…maybe Reita did love him. Maybe they could have a normal relationship…maybe. Kai and Reita came onto the stage to a thunderous cheer from the crowd, they knew… it was time to Ride With The Rockers.

                Ayato watched Reita as he played, not able to concentrate on anything around him, it was just all Reita…his Akira. Yuki watched Ayato from the corner of his eye, “He’s really good, ne?” He nudged Ayato and spoke into his ear, Ayato nodding, a sexy sly smile teasing his lips.

                The crowd absolutely lost control when after the Ride with the Rockers set was done, and Aoi came on stage. It took nearly ten minutes to calm everyone enough, and even then, there were shouts of encouragement and love for the guitarist, before the live could continue.

                It was Ayato’s turn to watch his roommates face when he saw Aoi, Yuki had mentioned several times that Aoi was his favorite guitarist, that he felt influenced and had a great deal of respect for the man. “He’s really good, ne?” Ayato nudged Yuki, teasing the man. “Yah, yah… so what?” Yuki caught the joke, and was able to laugh at himself.

                Ayato surprised himself at how much fun he was having, this live felt different than the others, now he had an intense desire to speak to Reita…something about the way the man was on stage had caught his attention.

                The end of the live drew near, the last song was being played and Ayato had a tightening in his stomach, his body was shaking in a dull buzz. He knew he didn’t want to go back stage, although Yuki would have begged had he not told him ahead of the concert.

                At the end of the last song, the members all stood up front, bowing and clapping for the crowd, Ruki turned around and they all sat on his riser, so he could take a picture that included the crowd. Kai was throwing drum sticks, the others were throwing picks, Ruki had a few shirts that he chucked into the crowd. Just as Reita was walking towards the stairs, he looked back at Ayato, who suddenly panicked.

                “Shit…um…” he whispered, then he put his hand up to his ear, and mouthed ‘Call me’. The look on Reita’s face was priceless, his steps staggered, he quickly made the heart sign and nodded.

                “Wow…I totally didn’t expect you to do that!” Yuki gasped. “That took a lot of guts, I’m glad you did though.” Ayato nodded, looking down at his feet. “You’re right, I guess I should give him at least a chance.”

                Reita was bouncing off the walls on his way to the dressing room, jumping up to touch the ceiling, spinning around like he did on stage with his bass, patting everyone a little too hard on the back.

                “Rei...what the fuck is going on?” Aoi was slightly annoyed. “Rei has a boyfriend!” Ruki cackled. “A what? Since when?” Aoi was stunned. “Since intermission!” Ruki had a towel over his head, a staff member fanning him.

                The questions about Reita’s ‘boyfriend’ came fast and furious, everyone talking at once, leaving Reita wearing a stupid grin and bright red cheeks. “I’ll explain everything later…I need a damned shower!” Reita grabbed a towel. “No jerking off, Rei!” Ruki yelled as the man left the room.

                “How the hell did he get a boyfriend?” Aoi had a towel draped over his neck. Kai cleared his throat. “I will not give you specifics, please guys, don’t rag on him too much…he’s not even sure what the boy has in mind…it’s a long story but I’m not telling it. Just let him do it on his own time, please?” Everyone looked at Kai, “You know…don’t you?” Ruki said accusingly. “You know everything! Come on Kai! Spill it!”

                “No, I don’t know everything, and no I’m not spilling anything. It’s Reita’s business… just drop it Ru.” Kai had that look in his eyes, the pissed off Leader-san look, which everyone took seriously. “Just hit the showers and let’s get out of here.”

                Reita didn’t want to hang out with the others after the live, begging off with the excuse of being tired…everyone knowing it was a flat out lie.

                “Guess Reita will be the next one having his nose stuck in his phone,” Ruki joked. “Maybe…” Reita laughed, waving as he walked to his car, all he wanted to do is get home so he could call Ayato. His heart had jumped into his throat as he was walking off the stage, seeing the sign that the boy wanted him to call, the response to his little heart sign was also on his mind.

               

                Ayato knew that Reita would call him that night…he was sure that the man would blow off his friends, and race home, this secretly made the boy smile. “You’re going to be up all night talking to him…right?” Yuki gently teased his friend. “Maybe, but I have to work tomorrow, so not too late.” Ayato said.

                “How are you going to handle all of this now? You know he’s going to want to see you…are you willing to do that?” Yuki wanted nothing more than to see Ayato happy, the man had always had a mood of melancholy about him, rarely smiling and never really laughing.

                “I’m not sure, I want to take it slow…we’re going to have to hide, I don’t want the media finding out.” This is what worried Ayato the most, Reita’s relationship with him, being exposed.

                “I’m sure you’re not the first guy to date a famous person that had to be hidden from the public, you’ll be fine.” Yuki patted his friend on the back. Ayato grabbed a water bottle and went to his room, wanting to get into sleep pants and be comfortable for what he hoped would be a long conversation with Reita.

 

                Sakurai Atsushi woke from a dream, he cradled Uta in his arms, keeping the boy safe from his internal demons. As the brightness of the day leaked through the curtains, Acchan realized that his dream had somewhat come true. Uta was in his arms, and he had protected the boy from his nightmares of the night before.

                His personal dream had come true…but at the expense of a young man haunted by a disastrous and bloody past. From watching his lover being killed in front of him, to falling ill with seizures that erased his memories, to now…in his ex-lover’s arms, his rescuer.

                Acchan cursed himself, not wanting to take advantage of the situation, trying everything in his power to remain neutral, but last night’s horrifying screams from Uta, broke his last reserve, scooping the boy up and bringing him into his bed to calm and comfort.

                Luna opened one eye, as Acchan carefully slipped out of bed, not wanting to wake Uta, Saki sitting at the door, expecting Acchan to feed him. “Yes Saki, I’ll feed you…coming Luna?” He whispered to the cat. She said nothing.

                Moving about quietly in the kitchen, feeding the cat and making tea, Acchan knew he had to contact certain people that day, letting them know what condition Uta was in. “Taka for sure…Kyo and Mao? Not Davina…not yet.” He murmured to himself.

                Putting the tea on a tray, Acchan went back into his bedroom. Sitting the tea tray on the night table, he gently shook Uta by the shoulder. “Baby, you need to wake up for just a moment.” Uta’s eyes were swollen and red from crying. “I need to run to the studio for a bit, I’ve made you some tea… why don’t you drink it then go back to sleep, you have nothing scheduled to do today, ne?”

                “How long will you be gone?” Uta asked in a worried voice. “Oh, no more than two hours, plenty of time for you to go back to sleep, you were so restless last night. If you get up later, there is sandwich meat and cheese in the fridge, some good bread in the pantry. I’ll be home before dinner.” Uta nodded, sitting up to drink his tea.

                “I’m going to go shower, I’ll let you know when I’m leaving.” Acchan kissed Uta’s forehead, then walked to the bathroom. Uta watched Acchan walk away, unsure of his emotions. He loved the man…but their past had been tumultuous, jealousy, fear and anger drove them apart. But Acchan came when Davina called him, he held Uta as he fell apart that day in Maastricht. Staying by his side through his illness, never asking a thing from Uta.

                Now the man had rescued Uta again, from a night terror beyond anything he’d experienced in the past, the blood and gore scaring him into hysterics. Finishing his tea, Uta’s head felt heavy…stuffed with cotton from the crying. His eyes hurt, a headache was forming along the back of his neck.

                “I’m not even going to try…” He whispered. As Uta shrugged back down into the blankets, two very loud and familiar chirps were heard, as Luna and Saki both launched themselves onto the bed, both going to their preferred spots, Luna purring loudly in Uta’s ear, Saki kneading the blankets until they were perfect.

                Uta didn’t hear Acchan leave the bathroom, didn’t notice that the man stood next to the bed, tears quietly falling. Acchan bent down and gave Uta a very chaste kiss on the lips, “I’ll be back soon, baby” he whispered. Leaving the room and quietly closing the door, Acchan waited until he was inside his car to make his call.

                “Taka, Sakurai. I know it’s odd, but his is important. Are you working this afternoon? Now? That’s even better. I need to speak to you about Uta…well no, ok, yes there is a problem. If you could call Kyo and Mao...perhaps Koichi as well? No, I don’t want to bother Davina with this right now. I’ll be there in about twenty minutes. Thank you, Taka.”

                Starting his car and easing it out of the garage, Acchan knew the next few hours would be rough, but the topic at hand could not wait…he had to prepare everyone for what to expect the next time they saw Uta.

 

Image result for blue koi fish Zeus. 

Chapter Text

                Ayato was second guessing his decision to have Reita call him, what was he thinking? He panicked when Reita was leaving the stage at the end of the live, reacting to his inner voice telling him that if he said nothing, Reita would be lost to him.

                Yuki tried to keep the mood light, “Okay…if you’re going to be dating Reita, do you think he’d introduce me to Aoi? I’d love to talk to him about music.”

                Ayato smiled, “Maybe, I’m not sure we’ll be dating, but if I can arrange it, I will.” Ayato would love nothing more than to repay Yuki’s kindness any way he could.

                “Oh please…how can you not think you’re going to be dating Reita? He’s in love with you, how many times does he have to make stupid heart signs and scream to an entire live that he loves you?” Yuki sighed, he wished he could get Ayato to believe what was staring him in the face.

                “We’ll see.”

 

                Reita laid on his bed, taking a deep relaxing breath, he was finally going to talk to Ayato, after weeks of being apart, and now with the realization that he was indeed, in love with the younger man. Taking another breath, he dialed the number.

 

                “Hey…thanks for um, letting me call you, did you enjoy the show?”

                “Yah…you were great. You played a little different than the last two lives.” Ayato was shaking.

                “So, you noticed?” Reita was surprised.

                “Of course, everyone did. Kai did for sure.” Ayato was worried that the call wasn’t going well…an awkward pause added fuel to that fire of apprehension.

                “Did you…I mean, what I said at the first live, did you see it?” Reita closed his eyes, whispering to himself, praying for…

                “Mmm, I saw.” Ayato said quietly.

                “And?” Okay… now what?

                “How can you be sure? I’m nobody special…” Ayato was scared.

                “I love you…”

                “Mmm, okay.” Tears were starting to form in Ayato’s eyes…how could this be real?

                “Let me show you…don’t run from me please.” Reita begged.

                “Okay, but what about your band? Your friends…what if it gets out to the public?” Ayato’s greatest fear.

                “It won’t, I promise. Just let me prove to you how much I love you. Can I call you tomorrow?”

                “I work an early shift, I’ll be home around 4.” Ayato’s voice was shaking.

                “Okay, if I arrange something, would you go out with me tomorrow night…for dinner?” What the hell did I just do? I asked him out!

                “Sure…that would be nice.”

                They said their goodnights, Reita on cloud nine, Ayato watching from below.

 

                Reita was up early, well early for a musician who had played a live the night before. Without even calling, Reita rushed over to Kai and Yukke’s house, knocking loudly on the door.

                “Reita?” Yukke answered the door.

                “I need to talk to Kai, it’s important.” Reita had a look of panic on his face.

                “Um, okay.” Yukke walks down to their bedroom, “Hey babe, Reita is here.” Kai’s expression was not one of happiness.

                “This had better be damned important Reita.” Kai was grouchy.

                “Ayato agreed to go out with me tonight…what do I do?”

                Kai looked at Yukke, “You woke me up for this?” Yukke shrugged, “He looked panicked, what else would I have done?”

                “What do I do? Where should I take him…he’s so worried about the media.” Reita had so many ideas, that his mind was running in circles.

                “What about the restaurant? There’s no media there.” Yukke suggested. “No, I think he’d be too overwhelmed, who knows who’d be there.” Reita whined.

                “Ojisan’s? There’s never anyone there…just us and a few random customers.” Kai offered. “I’ve never been to Ojisan’s…” Reita’s shoulders slumped.

                “What about a double date?” Yukke looked over at Kai and winked.

                “With who?”

                “Kai and me…we could ask Die and Pon too if you’d like… a group date. It’s safe, it keeps him from having to focus just on you.” Yukke chuckled.

                “A group date? What is this…high school?” Reita didn’t like the idea, how was he going to convince Ayato that he loved him, if there were a bunch of people around.

                “Ayato’s already shy, he’s unsure of what’s going on. Have him bring his roommate…the kid with the red hair, that way he has someone to hide behind if things get a little too rowdy.” Kai pointed out.

                With a final arrangement of time, Kai would call Die and see if he and Hiroto could make it as well, Reita left their house with a little more confidence. Texting Ayato the details;

                “Tonight, bring Yuki. Kai and his husband will be there too.” Leaving the address in the text, Reita waited for a reply.

                “Yuki, are you busy tonight? I need a chaperone.”

 

                “Irasshai gentlemen, have a seat.” Ojisan grinned as he saw a new face, Reita side eyeing the old man, knowing of what the man had said to different people in the past. “Ojisan, this is Reita, he’s the bass player for our band.” Kai introduced Reita. Ojisan nodded, “Welcome.”

                “We’re waiting on two others, Ojisan…we’ll wait to order until they arrive.” Yukke told the ramen maker. “But we’ll start with the beers please.”

                Reita was antsy, shifting constantly in his seat, listening intently for the door. “Irasshai, welcome.” The door had slid open and Ayato with Yuki stepped in. Reita rose from his seat, taking Ayato by the hand and leading him to Kai and Yukke. “This is Yukke, Kai’s husband… I know you sort of know Kai.”

                “Hello Ayato, nice to finally meet you…I have to apologize for the texts I sent you, I really had no right to say those things.” Kai bowed to Ayato. “He’s a dumbass sometimes, but he means well.” Yukke smiled at the very pretty young man.

                “No, he was right, I’m sorry I caused you any grief.” Ayato said softly. “This is my roommate Yukimura.” Ayato introduced his friend, who is sitting in stunned silence, realizing who Kai’s husband was.

                “Did you enjoy the live Yukimura?” Kai asked. “It was amazing, seeing Die and Miya play with Gazette was cool, although I’m a huge fan of Aoi’s, oh and call me Yuki, it’s just easier.” Yuki gushed. “Aoi has been a huge influence in my own playing.”

                As they enjoyed Ojisan’s outstanding ramen, Reita leaned over and whispered to Ayato, “Are you okay…having fun?” Ayato nodded, “Your friends are really nice.”

                “Ayato, I know you’re worried about the public finding out about you, let me reassure you, that’s usually not the case. I think the last time that happened was when Sakurai married his stylist years ago. Kai and I have been married for ages, Miya is married to Shinya…” Yukke had leaned over the counter, to speak to the young man.

                “Miya…Miya’s married to Shinya? Dir En Grey Shinya?” Yuki stuttered, both he and Ayato shocked. “Yep, for almost as long as we have. Tatsu and Sato are also married, but their husbands aren’t in the business.” Kai added.

                “Did you know that Kyo is married?” Reita asked. “Kyo…is married? Holy crap!” Yuki was amazed. “See? This is what I keep telling you… you didn’t know any of this, the public doesn’t either.” Yukke explained. “Some of the fans may have certain ideas, and don’t even get me started on the fan fiction sites… if half of what is written was true, we’d all be depraved sex addicts.”

                Yuki laughed, “Then I won’t bring up the Kaiuki that I’ve read.” Kai cocked an eyebrow at that. “Kaiuki? Oh… EWWW!” he hissed. “Oh, I don’t know honey, I think that’s kind of cute…you and Ruki?”

                The conversation grew from there, mainly about the fan fiction writers. “I don’t know where they get this stuff…seriously!” Yukke groaned. Without realizing it, Ojisan had moved to stand in front of Reita and Ayato.

                “This one was in a bad way; his principles and morals were damaged by loneliness and betrayal. He thought too highly of himself for too long, it was a barrier to his true self.” Ojisan was looking at Reita. “He ran from his behavior only after a sensitive man brought him to his senses.”

                Looking at Ayato, Ojisan smiled softly. “You believe yourself to be damaged. There is another young one that has battled that for a long time. You two are cut from the same mold. You believe your soul is worthless, less than the dollars you get when dancing for those who neither know you or appreciate you. Let this one show you how wrong that is.”

                “You both have much to work at, but if it wasn’t for the other, you’d both still be lost and alone. Trust each other, love each other.” Ojisan winked then turned back to his kitchen.

                Kai had nudged Yukke, “Told you so.” He whispered. The group had believed that Ojisan was finished, they were wrong as the man turned back to the counter, standing in front of Yuki.

                “You will be the key to the other’s happiness… pay attention.” With a nod, Ojisan gathered up the empty ramen bowls and beer bottles. The group were on their way out, Yuki standing apart with Kai and Yukke, as Reita spoke to Ayato.

                “Did you have fun?” Reita was worried that Ojisan may have ruined things.  “Up until the old man spoke to me, how did he know I danced?” Ayato was still a bit shaken by the experience.

                “From everyone I know, who have come in contact with him, they all say he’s a mystic, he knows things he shouldn’t…like how you were a dancer. They also said to pay close attention to whatever he says, it usually comes true.” Reita shifted foot to foot.

                “Can I kiss you please? It’s been so long…” Reita whimpered. “Mmm, I’d like that.” Ayato stepped in closer to the man that claimed to love him. Wrapping his arms around the too small man, Reita kissed Ayato softly but with a definite message.

                “I love you, I’m going to make you understand and believe me, I almost lost you…but now you’re here, you’re staying…I’ll text you later…I love you, Ayato.” Reita gave Ayato another quick kiss, then walked with Kai and Yukke to their car.

                Yuki didn’t say much on the ride back to their flat, “That was the weirdest experience I’ve ever had at a ramen hut.” Yuki finally said. “Who do you think he was talking about? Who am I going to make happy?” Ayato shrugged.

                “I want to know how he knew that I danced…but Reita says what the old man tells you, usually comes true. What did you think of Kai and Yukke?” Ayato liked the couple immensely.

                “It’s kind of a shock at first, then when they were telling us who else is married? Man, to think that Kyo is married…wait! Is he married to a guy or a woman? Shit! I didn’t ask!” Yuki groaned.

                “If that’s the least of your worries, I think we’ll be okay.” Ayato laughed.

                “How was it? I mean seeing Reita…and that kiss? Damn… I thought we were going to have to throw cold water on you.” Yuki teased.

                “It was good, I mean last time we kissed…it was good too but…” Ayato blushed. “It felt right, maybe I’m just being paranoid.” Yuki laughed at his roommate. “I’ve been trying to tell you that for weeks! Just enjoy it…he seems like a really nice guy.” Ayato planned on doing just that…enjoying himself for as long as possible.

 

 

                Mao, Kyo, Taka and Koichi looked at Sakurai as he explained what had happened two nights before to Uta, and then the nightmare last night. “Is he…he didn’t …” Mao tried to ask, but the questions just wouldn’t form. “He was devastated at what we had told him. Hide said Teiji’s name and that pushed him over the edge, it brought back all of the memories of the last year.” Acchan was keeping it together as best as he could.

                “Then last night…I woke up to him screaming. It took me a good five minutes to get him completely awake, whatever was happening in that dream…” he paused. “He ended up sleeping in my arms, crying throughout the night. When we got up this morning, I just told him to stay in bed. I had tried to get him to sleep in his room, he screamed that he couldn’t, he begged me to let him sleep in my bed.”

                The four men knew that Acchan would not have taken advantage of the situation, as much as they all knew Acchan wanted nothing more than to have Uta back in his arms for good.

                “I don’t know what he will do now, where he will live. He had spoken about going to his flat and cleaning it, he asked for a key for my home. I have honored my promise, but the longer he stays, it’s killing me inside. I have told him that he could stay as long as he wanted to, that I would take care of him regardless if we were lovers or not.” Acchan was obviously torn between duty and love, something that no one could help him with.

                “If he goes back to his flat, even just to check on it, I’d like one of you with him, I don’t think it’s safe for him to be alone yet…not with the stress being a possible trigger for more seizures.”

                “I’ll go, he’s my best friend.” Mao said. “No babe…you’re not the one to do this, you’re too close.”  Kyo interjected.

                “What? Why not me? He’s my best friend!” Mao shot back.

                “That’s exactly the reason. You love Uta, almost like a lover.” Kyo explained. “Koichi should be the one.”

                “I don’t love Uta like that, eww!” Mao snapped. Koichi looked at Kyo, “Why me?”

                “You’re a bit more detached, Uta won’t feel like you’re judging him, not that Mao does…it’s a safer alternative, there won’t be any triggers. I’m sorry babe, I love you, but seriously, Koichi is the better choice.” Kyo kissed his husband.

                “I believe Kyo is right. Mao…whether or not you realize it, you may try to influence Uta to stay away from me, and rightly so. Koichi is neutral in this.”

                “What about Davina?” Kyo asked. “I’d like you, Koichi, to see if you can gently dig around to see how he feels about Davina. He hasn’t mentioned her at all, not since he regained his memories, although she was in his nightmare.

 “I need to find out how Uta feels about Yutaka and Hide as well, lastly…how does he feel about me? If he still hates me, then I will back off and try to encourage him to leave my home. I have told him that I will leave him be…if that’s what he chooses to do.”  

They all agreed on what they needed to do for Uta, Acchan promising to call Koichi as soon as Uta decided he wanted to visit the flat. “I know this is hurting you, but you’re doing the right thing, Acchan. Whatever is in Uta’s best interest is what we all need to abide by.” Kyo patted the man on the shoulder. As they walked away from the HBG, they all had to struggle with their own feelings of fear for their friend.

 

The night at Vinyl Fetish had left Davina feeling empty and lonely. Watching Isshi and his boys, Madame F and Ormond, Davina knew that night that she needed someone in her life, but where to find the man who could fill Teiji’s place in her heart?

Madame F had noticed Davina’s melancholy, Ormond had also voiced his concern on the drive home that night, “Mistress looks so sad, it breaks my heart to see her so lonely.” Madame F had agreed.

Isshi was not so caught up in his boys as not to notice Davina’s mood. Ruimaru had mentioned it after their lovely scene in bed, Leda already snoring softly, curled up on one side of Isshi. “Sir, can’t we find someone for Mistress? She looked so sad tonight.” Isshi had been searching for such a person, but had come up with no answer.

Acchan had stopped by Ojisan’s on the way home from the HBG, to pick up Uta’s favorite ramen. Ojisan was eager for news of the young one, Acchan telling the man about the event of the recovery of Uta’s memories, and the subsequent nightmare the night before.

“Oh, Uta.” Ojisan murmured sadly. “Please, Acchan, do what you can for the boy, he’s confused and frightened.” As Ojisan was getting Acchan’s order ready, another customer came in. “Kato-san, Irasshai, I’ll be with you in a moment.” Kato nodded to Sakurai, knowing full well who the man was.

                “Acchan, this is Kato-san. Kato… Sakurai Atsushi.” Ojisan watched the pair from the corner of his eye. “Kato-san, has recently returned to Japan after living abroad for many years.”  Ojisan said, giving little hints.

                “Sakurai-sama, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Kato did not look Sakurai in the eyes, but respectfully gazed at the floor. “As well you, Kato-san. Do I happen to know your Dominant?” Acchan had seen the collar, assuming that the man was contracted.

                “Uh, no. I don’t believe you do.” Kato answered hesitantly. Ojisan stepped in at the right moment. “Acchan, here is your order, please give Uta my love, take care of the boy.” Acchan bowed, nodded to Kato and left the restaurant.

                Ojisan looked at Kato. “You know of Sakurai Atsushi?” he asked the submissive. “Of course, yes, everyone knows of him.” Kato responded. Ojisan looked thoughtfully at Kato. “Will you contact him?”

                “Perhaps, but not yet.” The young man wasn’t ready to return to the community.

                “What of Madame F?”

                “Yes, my mistress had spoken of her. She wanted me to contact both her and Sakurai-sama.”

                “Do you wish to meet with them? I can arrange it.” Ojisan felt an urgency fall upon him.

                “I’m not ready to speak to them just yet.” Kato was concerned over Ojisan’s pushiness.

                Ojisan looked at Kato, “Kato, there is a young one, Uta, that is in a desperate situation, that only you can cure, please…help the boy.” Ojisan went into detail with Uta’s story.

                “That is the boy? My mistress spoke of this…it’s horrific!” Once Ojisan started to explain that Uta was Teiji’s lover, and including Davina, he was met with tears from Kato, “But how am I to help?”

                “I am unsure at this moment, but my mind is screaming at me for you to understand, please, I beg you…help Uta!” Jin Koba had never felt anything so strongly than he did at that moment.

                Kato agreed to giving Ojisan his contact information, allowing Madame F or Acchan to set up a meeting. “I still see no way that I can help, but if you ask this of me, I will do it.”

                Kato…why would he not give the name of his dominant? He knew he had never seen the man in their community, but he didn’t remember hearing about anyone from abroad returning to the country. There was something familiar about Kato, that Acchan could not put his finger on…it was just at the edge. Shrugging it off, Acchan hurried home, wanting nothing more than to surprise Uta with a nice dinner, and he was hoping that he would have at least one more night of the boy sleeping in his arms.

Chapter Text

                “What would you have me do, Mistress?” Kato was torn. He wasn’t ready to be in the company of Dominants of such status as Sakurai Atsushi and Madame F, though the urgency and fear he had heard in Ojisan’s voice last night, gave him pause.

                After a less than restful night, he had gotten up early and sat down in front of his computer with a large cup of coffee. With the information he had learned from Astrid, combined with Uta’s name, Kato started searching online for anything in relation to the murder of Teiji. What he read over the next hour was truly only fit for the plot of a horror film. The details of the actual murder and the suicide of the suspect were grizzly; Teiji strapped to a St. Andrews Cross, his face broken and bloodied from being pistol whipped. The suspect Setsuna, shooting out a window and screaming down at Davina and Uta, both whom were witnesses to the carnage the deranged man was creating.

                The police negotiators were unsuccessful in coercing the suspect to throw down his gun; instead the agitated man pushed the cross back away from the window and a single shot was heard. The suspect then stood in front of the blown-out window and shot himself in the head, in full view of Davina and Uta.

                Kato’s vision started to blur from the tears as he read the news articles. His Mistress had obviously had not been privy to any of this information, possibly noting that the death of a submissive by someone in training was not quite unheard of but extremely rare.

                Now Kato understood Ojisan’s urgency and fear, when telling Kato that he needed to help Sakurai save Uta. What part he was to play was the only item in question, but Kato knew now, that he did not have an option.

                Picking up the folder that contained all his paperwork, he looked for the contact information for Sakurai Atsushi. Looking at the time, he realized that the man may not be awake at such an early hour, instead Kato decided to shower and be ready if the man agreed to see him.

 

                Across town, Uta was again in Acchan’s arms, much to the delight of the older man. The boy had been pleasantly surprised with the take away meal from Ojisan’s, that night, even to the extent of giving Acchan a chaste kiss on the cheek.

                “This is SO good! Thank you for thinking of this, I was going to try to make you dinner…but well, I didn’t want you to get food poisoning.” Uta laughed softly.

                “I doubt that it would have turned out that badly, Uta. I did however think that you might enjoy this instead of my cooking, it took just a minute to pick up. Ojisan sends his love, and asks for you to visit soon.” The warmth that surrounded Acchan’s heart was almost too much for him to bear.

                When the hour grew late, Uta’s mood changed to one of nervous apprehension. “Uta, come here… what’s wrong? You’re about ready to jump out of your skin.” Acchan patted the couch next to him.

                “I’m scared…what if the nightmare comes back? I don’t know if I can handle another one like that.” The boy mumbled. Acchan looked at Uta, pale and sweaty, “Would you like to share my bed with me tonight? Just for sleeping, I promise not to touch you… no hanky panky.”

                Uta laughed, “Hanky panky…what does that even mean?” Uta had never heard the very American term for any type of sexual playing. “It means I will keep my hands to myself. But if you feel safer sleeping with me, that is fine.”

                “Are you sure? I mean…really sure? This isn’t really fair to you…I’m sorry I’m such a wimp,” Uta whispered. “You’re not a wimp, and I am very sure. Uta you’re recovering from a severe medical condition, you’ve had so much happen to you both physically and mentally over the last year, I do not see you as weak.”

                Acchan carefully reached over and teased a strand of hair back behind Uta’s ear. “You know how I feel about you, and I know how you have felt about me in the past. But tonight, we are two old friends, one who has had a rough go lately, and another that is there to comfort you when you need it.”

                Saki and Luna were already in their self assigned spots, Saki kneading the blankets in the spot between Uta and Sakurai. “It seems that they have decided that this is where you should sleep…Saki, please… don’t wake me up every ten minutes.” Acchan said to the cat, getting a gravelly meow in response.

                Uta watched as Acchan readied for bed, his chest tightening a little when he saw Sakurai’s bare chest, his cheeks flushing hotly, a slight pull in his groin. Acchan got into bed with Uta, leaned over and kissed the boy on the forehead, “I’m here if you need me” and he reached over and turned out the light.

                Uta stared into the darkness, afraid to close his eyes. Acchan laid as still as possible, not wanting to move around in the bed too much, not wanting Uta to think he would reach over to touch him. Uta’s eyes slowly started to get heavy, drooping more with every breath, until he finally slept.

                Acchan could hear the even relaxed breathing of his boy, he gently turned over to face Uta. He could just see the boy’s face in the dark, Uta looking peaceful for the time being. Acchan not able to resist, gently kissed the sleeping boy on the cheek. “I love you, Uta.” Acchan whispered into the dark.

                Blood. There’s blood on me…I need to get it off…Acchan help me get the blood off…who’s blood is this? Acchan…help me…it won’t come off! Please…Acchan…make the blood stop. Teiji? Teiji…help me get the blood off of me! Where is it coming from? Teiji? TEIJI!

                “TEIJI!” Uta snapped upright…wiping his arms…trying to get the blood off. “Acchan! Help me get the blood off! ACCHAN! THE BLOOD!” Uta screamed.  Acchan heard Uta scream…turning over quickly to pull the boy into his arms. “Uta look at me! Uta…you’re dreaming! UTA LOOK AT ME!”

                Acchan took Uta’s face in his hands, shaking the boy awake, “Look at me! Uta… come on… that’s it…just look at me!” Both Saki and Luna were crying, moving around the bed, Luna trying to wiggle in between Acchan and Uta.

                “There was…” Uta’s crying, Acchan is holding the trembling boy for the second night, trying to calm his fears, whispering soothing words, rocking Uta gently. Tonight, Uta calmed down a little quicker, but with the same request as the night before; Acchan had to hold the boy in his arms, as they both tried to go back to sleep.

                Acchan’s heart was near it’s limit…he wasn’t sure he could go back to being alone, if Uta so chose to leave him, though he could think of no honest way of keeping the young man with him. Kissing Uta on the forehead, he closed his eyes once again.

 

                “Sakurai-sama? My name is Kato…we met last evening at Ojisan’s? Yes, well that’s what I’d like to speak to you about. I was given your contact information by Mistress Astrid, she was my Dominant.”

 

                “Is something wrong? Who called you?” Uta and Acchan were having a very late morning breakfast, both sleeping well past 10am. Uta had been restless, as he was after the the first nightmares, but had settled down a little quicker than the previous night.

                “His name is Kato, I met him briefly last night when I was at Ojisan’s. He’s a submissive…his dominant, a Mistress Astrid, recently died of cancer. At the time I didn’t put the two together, but his Mistress left my contact information with him. He said he needs to speak to me.” Acchan was perplexed on why Astrid would leave his contact information, he had only met the woman once.

                “What did he say?” Uta said through a mouth full of toast. “That he needs to speak to me about something rather important. Excuse me for a moment.” Acchan got up and went into his office.

                “Madame F? I’m sorry I know it’s early. Well I just got a call from Mistress Astrid’s submissive, Kato. Truly…I met him in passing last night at Ojisan’s. No, I’m not sure but he called me, told me that Astrid had left my contact information with him, he said it’s urgent that he see’s me today. That’s why I called, if you have time let’s say around 1pm? Thank you.”

                Acchan sent off a quick text to Kato, letting him know that Madame F would also be present, and gave him the address to his home and a time.

                “Well, this should be interesting. I have no idea what this is about.” Acchan kissed Uta on the head, hoping for a positive reaction…he got none, which he would take.

                “Do you have plans today?” Acchan asked casually. “No, I’m still pretty tired from last night. I’m sorry you had to deal with that again.” Uta replied shyly. “I think I’ll just do laundry, watch some TV, then probably a nap. I can try to make dinner for us tonight…if you trust me?” Uta snickered, he knew the best way out of having to cook is to offer to do so. Acchan almost always took the bait.

                “No, I’d rather you didn’t. What if we went out tonight? Where would you like to go, maybe someplace that you’ve never been to.” Acchan had an idea.

                “Hmm, let me think about it for a bit, ne?” Uta got up to clean up the dishes. “I’ll do your laundry too, no sense in you doing it separately.”

                The instant joy that Acchan felt at that moment, the feeling of what it would be like to live with Uta again…as lovers, hit Acchan rather hard. He quickly stepped out into the garden, hoping to avoid Uta seeing him cry. “Baby, if we could stay this way forever.”          

                The day moved slower than Acchan would have liked…it dragged on, 1pm not coming soon enough. Uta was taking a nap in their bed…Acchan smiled when he thought that…their bed.

                Madame F had just arrived, Acchan filling her in on what he knew, which was little. Kato was promptly at the door at 1pm, bowing deeply to Acchan as he answered the door. “Kato-san, please come in. Welcome to my home.”

                Kato, this is Madame F, she is the other Dominant of rank in our little community. She knew your Mistress a little better than I did.” Kato bowed to Madame F, eyeing Ormond who was standing behind Madame F’s chair.

                “This is Ormond, my personal pet.” Madame F lifted a finger toward Ormond, who bowed.

                “Kato, what can we do for you? I must say your phone call was quite unexpected.” Acchan had no indication on what Kato needed, nor why it involved him.

                “Where to begin?” Kato looked at the floor. “My Mistress died four months ago of breast cancer. Together we took care of her estate, my paperwork for immigration back to Japan. She had also listed several names, both of yours particularly, as contacts for the local community. She wishes that I find another to serve, although I am not sure I can do that quite yet.”

                “I’m still confused on why you are here.” Acchan said gently, not wanting to alarm the submissive.

                “It’s Uta.” Kato raised his head and looked into Acchan’s eyes. “Uta? What about Uta?” Acchan growled, causing Kato to lean back in his chair.

                “Acchan, that’s enough.” Madame F warned the man. “Kato, what do you know about Uta? This is highly irregular.” The woman asked, Ormond watching her for any indication that the other man should be taken as aggressive.

                “I’m sorry…I should clarify. Ojisan has been speaking to me about the boy, that he is in some sort of danger, though I’m not sure why. I do know about the murder of his lover, of Mistress Davina’s personal pet, Teiji.”

                Acchan’s eyes glowered at the younger man. “What about Davina and Teiji… SPEAK BOY!” Without warning, Ormond was standing behind Acchan, a hand on the Dominant’s shoulder. Acchan glared at Madame F, she ignored him.

                “My Mistress told me of the murder of Teiji, she said she did not know Mistress Davina, but that she had met you, Sakurai-sama and you as well, Madame F. Mistress had explained to me what little she knew…and I did some research on my own, after Ojisan told me that I am to meet Uta.”

                That was all Acchan could handle. He quickly stood up, in a move towards Kato. “YOU STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM UTA!” Acchan snapped. Madame F snapped her fingers and Ormond was suddenly standing in front of Acchan.

                “Sakurai-san, please sit down. Madame does not want you approaching Kato-san.” Ormond said in a low steady voice. Acchan again glared at Madame F, “Fine…but you will not see Uta!” Acchan sat down again, crossing his arms over his chest.

                “Kato, what exactly did the old man say to you?” Madame F was now in control of the conversation. Kato retuned his gaze to the floor, avoiding looking at either Dominant.

                “Ojisan told me that the young one was in a desperate situation that only I could cure. Those were his exact words. He said he was unsure of what I was supposed to do, but his mind was screaming at him for me to help Uta.” Madame F saw a tear fall, then she glanced at Acchan.

                “You do know the current situation? Uta’s medical condition?” she asked. “Not specifics, no. Just that Uta has been ill, and there was a problem with seizures. That’s all that I know.” Kato glanced at Ormond, who’s face was unreadable.

                Madame F was about to explain some of the issues they were dealing with, when Uta came down the hall and into the living room, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

                “What’s all the yelling about? Why are you so mad…?” Uta stopped. Kato stood up, something hit him in the chest when he looked at the boy. Madame F lifted a finger, Ormond moving between Uta and Kato.

                “Wh…who are you?” Uta whispered. “You…you’re not supposed…why…” Uta’s face paled, his heart was pounding, the rush of white noise in his ears and the fading light in his eyes, as he started to fall.

                “UTA!” Kato had moved so quickly that even Ormond had no time to react, moving around the man and catching Uta at the last moment from hitting the floor. Ormond was standing over Kato, “What do I do? Uta! Why?” Kato looked at Ormond. “Give him to me, Kato-san.” Ormond ordered the submissive. Kato hesitated for a moment, pulling the boy closer to his chest, then he started to lift Uta up, Ormond taking the boy in his arms, and laying him on the couch.

                Acchan shoved Ormond out of the way, “Uta…baby look at me, open your eyes…come on, please baby. Get a wet towel!” he snapped at Ormond as he petted Uta’s hair. Madame F was standing, but just observing the scene, not making a move towards anyone.

                “Is he…he’s okay…right…he’s not… Uta…” Kato whined, he didn’t understand…what the hell happened just now? Ormond placed a cold wet cloth on Uta’s forehead, Acchan still pleading for the boy to open his eyes. It was several more minutes before Uta’s eyelashes began to flutter…the boy pushing up through the haze.    

                “What happened?” Uta asked, then he sat up quickly, an alarmed look on his face, “I didn’t have a seizure, did I? TELL ME!” he shouted at Acchan. “No baby… no, you didn’t have a seizure, you just fainted.”

                Uta’s eyes met Kato’s for the second time, “Who are you?” He asked the man. “My name is Kato…I’m sorry that you fainted…I didn’t mean to scare you.” Kato tried to smile for Uta.

                “Oh, okay… Acchan…I think I need to go lay down again, will you take me?” Uta asked. “Of course, baby… come on, I’ll carry you.” Acchan gently scooped Uta up, carrying him down to his bedroom.

                Kato sat back on his heels, his hands on his thighs, as he watched the man carry Uta down the hall. “What happened?” Kato whispered to himself.

                “That is what I’d like to know, Kato-san…what just happened?” Madame F had Ormond return to his position behind her chair.

                “I don’t know, I saw him and it was like someone hit me in the chest, it was weird, almost like something grabbed my heart and squeezed it. I almost couldn’t breathe.” Kato explained, as he returned to his chair.

                “What did you do to him?” Acchan snarled as he walked back into the living room. “Why did he faint when he saw you…what did you do!”

                “Acchan, really. You saw everything, Kato did nothing, sit down man.” Madame F said exasperated. “Is he…will Uta be okay?” Kato asked in a small careful voice, his gaze returning to the floor.

                Acchan had his face in his hands, “Yes, I think he was just overcome with emotion, but why you? What did he see? What did you see?”

                “As I just explained to Madame F, it was like someone hit me in the chest, and squeezed my heart, I couldn’t breathe, I don’t’ know why.”

                “Kato, I think we’re done for the day, I believe we three need to meet with Ojisan sometime very soon. The old man may have some answers, as I do not, and it’s obvious neither of you do. I suggest you stay away for now, until we know what we’re dealing with.” Madame F rose, Ormond moving to stand next to her. “Call me later Acchan.” And with that, she left.

                “I’m sorry, Sakurai-sama. It was not my intention ever…to hurt the boy. I don’t know why we reacted as we did…it scared me as well.” Kato rose to leave, wanting to get away from Sakurai Atsushi’s anger.

                “I’m not sure either, Kato. It something we need to figure out. Please accept my apologies for screaming at you, I tend to be very protective of Uta.”

                Acchan escorted Kato out, thanking him for coming, then he went back down the hall to his bedroom, Uta sleeping again. Changing back into sleep pants, Acchan got back into bed with Uta, pulling him protectively close. “He’s not getting near you, baby. I’m going to make damn sure of it.”

               

                Kato was on autopilot as he drove home, his mind turning over and over the events of the last hour, trying to find some reason behind all of it. Nothing. There was no reason for any of it.

                Madame F was deep in thought. The reactions between Uta and Kato were bizarre, there was no explanation for it. “Ormond my love, what did you think of Kato?” Ormond looked in the rearview mirror. “I found him honest, he is suffering from grief, which is understandable. Losing your Mistress to cancer must be devastating, I can’t imagine what he has gone through.”

                “But what about the reaction to Uta…do you find it suspicious?” Madame F appreciated Ormond’s view, sometimes it was clearer than her own. “That, I do not have a reaction to, I don’t understand it any better than yourself Madame, or Sakurai-sama, and quite frankly…Kato-san looked just as surprised.”

                Madame F was guessing that the only one that would be able to shed light on the day’s events, would be Ojisan.

Chapter Text

                “Who’s the mystery boy everyone is talking about?” Aoi had Reita cornered in the Gazette’s practice room. “Who’s everyone?” Reita asked, he wasn’t sure he completely trusted Aoi yet…it was too soon after the intervention. “Uru, Ruki, Kai… you know, everyone.”

                “There is no mystery boy.” Reita pushed past Aoi, going over to pick up his bass and start practice, leaving an angry Aoi standing alone. “Is he that special that you don’t even want me to know?” Aoi said loudly.

                “Drop it Aoi…it’s none of your concern.” Kai warned. “Then you guys need to stop whispering shit about it, why are you leaving me out of the loop? If Reita has a new boytoy, I’d like to know.”  The term ‘boytoy’ was not well received by Reita, who rushed Aoi and shoved him against the wall.

                “Don’t even start with me Yuu…mind your own damn business and stay out of mine.” Reita snapped. “So, you do have a new plaything…” Aoi chuckled darkly. “That was a fairly quick recovery from chasing after Pon, don’t you think?” Reita’s eyes grew dark, he cocked his arm back, ready to slug Aoi in the face.

                “Don’t do it Rei…leave it.” Uru grabbed Reita’s arm, stopping the punch. “You’re still acting like an asshole, Aoi.” Reita shoved the man and walked towards Kai’s drum kit.

                “Didn’t anything we said the other day, sink in Aoi? You’re still acting like an asshole.” Ruki shook his head, as he walked past the guitarist. Kai looked over at Reita, the other man was bent over his bass, ignoring the others in the room as much as he could.  Aoi muttered something under his breath as he moved towards his guitar, Reita couldn’t quite catch it, but it sounded snotty.

                The tension in the air remained throughout the session, enough so that Aoi put his guitar away and left the room as soon as they were finished. “Why can’t he just leave me the fuck alone? He always has to have some sort of dig or snotty last word.” Reita asked the others.

                “He’s jealous, Reita…it’s so obvious. You’ve moved on from the whole Pon issue, you’ve found someone and he wants to know…not saying that he would do anything, but I don’t trust him completely…not yet.” Ruki guessed.

                “You do have someone though…don’t you Akira?” Uruha calmly asked. Reita blushed, “Yah…I do.” Reita said happily. “Is it someone we know?” Uruha continued to probe.

                “No, I uh met him when I was in LA.” Reita wasn’t sure how much he wanted to divulge yet. “That’s really great, Akira…I’m happy for you.” Uruha turned back to his equipment, not asking anything more from his bandmate.

                “When do we get to meet him Rei? I’m not saying we need to have a party or anything… maybe just dinner with him?” Ruki stood before his friend. “You could bring him over, Tomo’s an amazing cook. It would be, a nice slow introduction to the rest of the band.”

                “Thanks, Ruki, I’ll ask him. This is still really new…he’s only met Kai and Yukke, and that was a group date at Ojisan’s.” Reita smiled, he had some amazing friends. “I just don’t want Yuu to meet him too soon, I don’t have a good feeling about it.”

                Everyone understood, Aoi wasn’t back to his old self quite yet and keeping him away from Reita’s new relationship was most likely the best of ideas.

 

                 Uta struggled up from the depths of a very deep sleep, not really wanting to wake to face another day, but resigned to the fact that he couldn’t spend all day in bed…Acchan’s bed. Slowly opening his eyes, he saw that Acchan was already up, probably making tea in the kitchen.  The day’s light brought questions that Uta was going to have to find answers to.

                “Ohayo,” Uta muttered as he shuffled into the kitchen, sitting down at the small table. “How are you feeling?” Acchan had his back turned, working in front of the stove.         

                “Like I have the flu…I know I just slept like fourteen hours, but I’m still tired.” Acchan set a cup of tea down in front of Uta. “Drink this, it will at least clear your head a little.”

                “Do you have plans today?” Acchan was not going to bring up the incidents of the previous day, unless Uta asked, the less stress for the boy the better. “Um, I may go to my flat today…I’m sure it’s a mess, probably stinks pretty bad as well.” Uta didn’t want to talk about Kato either.

                “Do you need me to take you over?”

                “No, I think I need the walk, I’ll just take the train. Uh, can I call you if I need a ride back?” Uta wasn’t sure what he’d find at the flat. “Of course, please do…I’ll just be running errands today… a quick trip to the studio is all I have planned.”

                After a quick breakfast, Uta went to shower, giving Acchan time to call Koichi. “Koichi, yes… probably in about an hour or so…no, he’s taking the train. Please, if anything comes up, call me?”

 

                Koichi had to come up with a reasonable excuse for being at the apartment complex, but was coming up short. “Just say you were visiting Die, you wanted to do something for Kyo and needed his help.” Tatsu suggested. “Maybe I’ll go over early and see if Die is there, that way I can cover my ass.” Koichi grabbed his bag. “Um, you’d better have your ass covered around Die!” Tatsu teased. “Dork, Die’s so not my type.”

                Giving Tatsu a quick kiss, Koichi grabbed the car keys and drove over to the apartment complex. Pulling in, he looks for Die’s car, seeing only Hiroto’s.  Coming around the corner he almost knocked Hiroto down.

                “Damn! Pon are you okay?” Koichi reached out to steady the boy. “I must be wearing a sign or something.” Hiroto laughed. “What?” Koichi didn’t understand, until Hiroto explained that’s how he initially met Die.

                “Is Die here? I need an excuse or alibi.” Koichi asked quickly. “No, he went to the studio, what’s wrong?” Hiroto thought it odd that of all people looking for Die, it would be Koichi.

                “Uta is on his way here…Acchan asked me to sort of supervise.” Koichi explained the idea, especially about Davina and Acchan. “That makes sense, I don’t know Sakurai well enough or I would have volunteered. But we can just say you’re waiting for Die?”

                Hiroto and Koichi sat on the stoop of the flat, waiting for Uta to arrive, Koichi explaining to the younger man what was happening in Uta’s life. “Wow, talk about rough, this guy can’t catch a break, can he?” Hiroto shook his head. “Doesn’t seem like it, he’s way over due for some basic happiness.”

                “Koichi? What…what are you doing here?” Uta stopped in front of flat. “Oh, I was waiting for Die, we had something to talk about that involves Kyo…but Pon say’s he’s running late.” Koichi lied…it seemed like lies were flowing much easier these days.

                “What’s up with you?” Koichi stood and went over to hug Uta. “Nothing much, I’m just checking on the flat…I’m going to warn you, it might smell like death when I open the door…nobody’s been here in ages.” Uta pulled his shirt up over his nose.

                “Uta, you don’t have to worry about the stuff in the fridge, I dumped it all when I found out you’d gone back with Davina.” Hiroto laughed. “Oh god, thanks Pon! Well that’s one less thing to worry about.”

                Uta put the key in the door, but hesitated opening it. “Kou…could you um…I mean do you have time to hang around?” Uta wasn’t sure what would happen when he opened the door. “Sure, I’m on no time schedule today.” Koichi patted Uta on the shoulder.

                Slowly opening the door, the first sense that hit them was just the overwhelming smell of a house being locked up for months, old and moldy. “Let’s start by opening the windows…Pon want to help?” Koichi called for the other man. “Sure,” Uta was happy for the distraction of two others being with him, he just didn’t know how he would react to any of what was happening.

                “I can grab a big trash bag, Uta…I’m sure that most of your food is way over the expiration date, I’ll be right back.” Hiroto ran over to his flat. “Are you okay, Uta? I know this must be a little scary. Don’t push yourself, okay?” Uta nodded, “I think my bedroom will be the worst…I just don’t know.”

                With the added help of Hiroto, Koichi and Uta made their way through the flat, tossing anything that was expired or outdated, which meant pretty much anything that wasn’t furniture or clothes. The last room to tackle was Uta’s bedroom and his bathroom.

                “Do you want me to go in first?” Koichi asked gently. “No, but…I know this sounds…can you just hold my hand please?” Uta felt like a complete wimp, but considering his health of late, he didn’t find the request too unreasonable.

                Pushing the door open, the first sense they had of the room was the same as the rest of the flat, stale and musty. Hiroto moved to open the bedroom window and the bathroom. Moving around the room, Uta was quickly looking for anything that may be a trigger, thankfully he saw nothing… at least not right away.

                Then things started to show themselves. A bottle of Teiji’s cologne, the stuffed bear that was always on his bed, the sweatshirt he often wore to sleep in. Both Koichi and Hiroto were watching him closely, ready to swoop in and remove him from the room if needed.

                Picking up the bear, he sat down on his bed, the bear in his lap. “We went to that big amusement center, Leisure Land…he won this for me in one of those claw games, I swear he spent like fifty dollars for a ten-dollar plushie.” Uta put the bear up to his face, taking a deep breath, hoping to smell his dead lover’s scent.

                “It just smells old now.” He whispered. Placing the bear back on the bed, he moved to the sweatshirt, surprising Hiroto and Koichi by putting it on, but not saying anything.

                “Looks like I’ll need to go to the store before I move back in.” Uta decided. “So, you are thinking of moving back in on your own?” Koichi asked carefully. “Yah, I need to regain some of my independence, I can’t rely on Acchan, Hide and Yutaka…or even Davina for that matter. If I’m going to remain healthy, I need to be self-sufficient, and quit being a big ole weenie.” Uta giggled.

                “Are you okay with the others? I mean I know you’ve been living with Acchan, have you seen Davina much?” Koichi busied himself with making a list for Uta of toiletries. “No, just at the party…and well…that night. I don’t really have much to say to her right now. It’s not that I don’t love her, I do…but I don’t need a mother right now.”

                “Hey Uta…are you bringing the kittens home with you?” Hiroto asked from the other room. “Kittens? Those two are huge now, but you’ve haven’t seen them since I’ve been back. Yep, Kyo gave them to me… they’re staying with me wherever I go.”

                “What about Acchan, Uta? I mean, are you guys okay now?” Koichi avoided looking at Uta when he asked about Acchan.

                “Acchan…I’m not sure how we are anymore. He’s been taking care of me for awhile, he’s…he’s saved me from my nightmares, and from Kato…I don’t know how I feel about him right now.” When Uta mentioned Kato, Hiroto and Koichi exchanged looks, Koichi shaking his head no.

                “Okay, so here’s a list of stuff you probably should buy before you move back in, just the basics. Oh, did you know that Reita is living in the other flat?” Hiroto had forgotten to mention that.

                “Gazette Reita? Um, no…I didn’t, how did that come about?” Uta had believed that the other flat was still empty. “Oh, you’d better sit down for this one!” Hiroto laughed. For the next twenty minutes, Hiroto explained everything that had gone on between him and Aoi and Reita, and Reita’s leaving the country, to coming back and finding Ayato was back as well.

                “That’s fucking unreal! They were going…oh my god, Pon!” Uta was stunned. “Yep, the others in the band called both of them out, saying that they were no better than Morrie, Reita just went missing for a few months. When he got back, he was couch surfing and I told him about the flat. I hope you don’t mind, but I didn’t have anyone else to ask.” Pon had forgotten for a moment about Davina giving the flats to Uta.

                “No that’s fine, I mean he was in need…he doesn’t really need the reduced rent so much, but if he’s been a good tenant, then I have no problems with it…thanks for being my properties manager, Pon!” Uta laughed.

                Uta packed up what little he was taking back to Acchan’s in the little sedan that Davina had left him and drove off, leaving Koichi to quickly pull out his phone and call Acchan, to give him what little information he could glean from Uta, which didn’t reassure the older man at all.

 

                “I’ve decided to move back to my flat, probably in the next day or so.” Uta suddenly announced to Acchan as they were sitting in the garden, watching Saki and Luna stalk butterflies. “Oh? I’m guessing then your flat is still livable?” Sakurai Atsushi’s heart was beating in his ears, he turned away from Uta, not wanting the young man to see his face flushed with fear.

                “Pon made sure to clean the fridge out after I left for Maastricht, he’s been keeping an eye oh everything. Did you know that Reita of The Gazette is living in the third flat? I guess he had some issues, moved in there a few months ago.”

                Uta didn’t want to look Acchan in the eyes, he was sure the man was about to cry. “No, I hadn’t heard anything about that, but then I don’t keep up too much with the younger crowd.” Acchan lied, he knew exactly what had been happening with Reita and his band.

                “I have the car again, thankfully Die made Pon go out and start it every week so it didn’t clog up or something. I hope the cats adjust okay, they’ve been moved around so much lately.” Uta watched Saki run up a tree half way, only to figure out he didn’t know how to get down.

                “I’m sure they’ll be fine, they’re young and adaptable. Will you need some help moving? It’s not like you have much here, but I can help if you’d like.” Please say yes…

                “No, I’m good. I just really need to go to the store for food and stuff, then I’ll be all set.” Uta turned to look up at the older man. “Are you going to be okay?”

                “What?” Acchan snapped his head around. “Are you going to be okay with me leaving? I know you still love me…I just need to be able to take care of myself again.” Uta said honestly.

                “Baby, I’ll always love you, that’s never been an issue. What has been an issue is my bad behaviors in the past. You will always have a home here if you need it, I want you to keep the key to the house, you can call me at anytime, day or night and I’ll be there as quickly as I can. But you’re right, you do need to learn to live on your own again.” Acchan reached down and caressed Uta’s cheek. “I’ll be fine.” He lied.

                Uta stood up, without hesitation he sat in Acchan’s lap. “Thank you for loving me, I do love you…but not in the way you’d like. I can’t commit to anyone ever again, I have to be alone. Just know that you do mean a lot to me. You always will.”

                “This is the last one…ever.” Uta leaned in and kissed Acchan, the man melting into his arms, gripping the young man’s thin body closely. “Thank you,” Uta got up and left the garden, going down into his room, leaving a totally broken Sakurai Atsushi sitting alone.

                Waking up the next morning, Acchan was surprised to find a note on the counter in his bathroom, from Uta.

                Acchan,

 last night was the end of our relationship, but not our friendship. I’ll never be able to completely walk away from you…you’re part of my life. I’m sorry that we could never fix things…but I think it’s probably for the best. I still love you,

Uta.

                Walking down to Uta’s bedroom, the door was open, the bed made. Checking the laundry room, the cats litter box was gone, the food in the cabinet as well.

He’s gone.

                Acchan really wanted to break down and cry pitifully, but he refused to do so. “You knew you’d never be able to keep him.” He said to himself. “Okay, Atsushi…let’s get on with life.”

Chapter Text

 

                “Uta’s gone…he’s moved back to his flat. He left sometime early this morning, I’m sure he didn’t want a tearful goodbye.” Acchan had called Yutaka and Hide to let the men know that Uta was no longer living with him, and hopefully to convince them that he was in fact, handling it well.

                “Now I want to focus on the band, and perhaps take a short vacation before we have to be back in the studio.” Acchan had plans on taking more than just a short vacation, not letting the others know about it too soon.

                “That sounds like a very good idea…go someplace relaxing…take a break from all the shit that’s been going on for the last year.” Hide advised. “We’ll all be here when you get back.”

                The second call Acchan made that day, was to Madame F, to discuss the Kato issue. “Uta’s moved back to his flat, so there’s no reason why we can’t find out more about this man. I agree that the reaction Uta and Kato shared, was something I’d never seen before. Yes, I agree, he needs to give us some answers.”

                Acchan had planned to meet with Madame F at Ojisan’s the following night, hoping that the mystic ramen maker could shed some light on the incident between Kato and Uta.

                The last call Acchan made that afternoon was to Davina, informing her that Uta had moved out and was living once again at his flat. “Thank you, Acchan for letting me know, I will wait a few days before I venture over there…I’m still unsure how he feels about me, how we’re to move forward with whatever type of a relationship that remains.”

 

                Uta regretted slipping out of Acchan’s house before the man was awake, but he knew that it would have been somewhat uncomfortable to face his ex-lover as he moved out of the man’s life.

                Leaving the note, his truth listed for Acchan to understand, Uta put Saki and Luna in their carrier, quietly closing the door on that part of his life…it was over. As he drove away, he felt a little lighter as well as a little frightened of what his life would be now. He had no clue at the moment, on what he would do after he was moved in and settled in his flat once again.

                Letting Saki and Luna out of their carrier, Saki bounding out, Luna peering out of the door…taking careful steps and sniffing the floor. Saki knew he was ‘home’, he was tearing through the flat, jumping on the bed, the counters in the kitchen and finally…settling down on the couch next to Uta. Luna finally made her way out…going down to the bedroom to claim her place on Uta’s pillow once again.

                Uta knew he needed to speak with Davina, he still had the incident with Kato in his mind as well. The almost visceral reaction to the tall handsome man had scared Uta badly, but in the back of his mind, something was telling him that Kato was there for him…but in what manner he didn’t know, not yet.

                The thought of going back to work crossed his mind, although he didn’t need the money, Davina had left enough in a bank account for him to survive on for the rest of his life. Intellectually he knew he needed to be out amongst people on a daily basis, not hiding in his flat, unawares of what was going on in the real world.

                The issue was if he’d go back to work at the HBG or find another place. The familiarity of the HBG was a bonus point, but then on the negative side, the drama that seemed to form around the music community and its tight ties to the small business.

                “I really don’t need any more Ruki Rampages.” He muttered. Uta knew he could find something in the city, a clothing shop of some sort, a record store…just something to keep him busy and focused. Though at the moment, he knew he needed to face Davina, picking up his phone, he placed the call.

                An hour later, Davina was sitting in his living room, Luna on her lap purring loudly. “She’s always liked me more than Saki…he’s just too much of a boy I suspect.” She remarked as she slowly stroked the cat’s fur.

                “You’re the first on my list of things I need to take care of, in order to get myself back to a normal life. Acchan has already been taken care of, I moved out this morning, and yes…we’re both good with it.” Uta didn’t want Davina feeling the need to ask about Acchan.

                “How is Yoji? I’m sure he likes being home again.” Uta had no way of knowing. “Nagaharu is no longer employed by me. He moved out shortly after we returned.” Davina said sharply. “Moved…moved out? But why? You were in love with him!” Uta gasped.

                “No Uta, I was never in love with him, he filled a void in my heart for a moment in time.” Davina went on to explain the incident that led to their breakup. “He forbid you? What a stupid man!” Uta laughed. Davina smiled, then started to giggle… finally ending up laughing with Uta.

                “The look on his face when I told him that he had no right…” Davina’s laughter died down. “Uta, he had the audacity to bring up Teiji’s name as a reason for me not to go out unattended…that’s actually what was the end for me.” Davina was still smiling.

                “How are Isshi and his boys? I miss Ruimaru…I didn’t really get to know Leda…I bet he’s cute too.” Uta liked the Dominant, he was such a loving man. “Oh, I think Ruimaru loves Leda more than Isshi does… they’re simply the cutest threesome I think I’ve ever known.”

                They chatted about others, the new koi pond, and eventually about Vinyl Fetish. “Have you returned then…to the community? Will you take another pet?” Uta was somewhat surprised with her answer. “No, I will not take another pet, I don’t think I ever will, I’m fine by myself.”

                “What about me? How do you feel about me now? How do we move on from what we were before I fell ill?” Uta grew somber, fearful of his questions hurting Davina.

                “We have whatever feels right, I love you still as I always have, I’d like you to remain in my life, you’re still very precious to me. You still are my only remaining link to my Teddy.”

                Uta fell over on the couch, resting his head in Davina’s lap. “I need to learn to live again.” He said. Davina gently carded his hair, “Mmm, I know.”

“As much as I don’t want to some days, I need to live…please, just be there for me when I need you…be the soft spot I need when I fall…please.”

                Davina looked down at Uta. “Always.”

 

                Ojisan stood behind the counter, listening to what Madame F and Sakurai Atsushi were telling him about the incident with Kato.

                “It’s what Uta said when he saw him that truly has me concerned. He said something like ‘you’re not supposed to…why?’. That doesn’t make any sense to me.” Acchan looked intently at the man behind the counter. “Ormond noticed something as well.” Madame F nodded at Ormond.

                “Sir, he was truly a submissive, but what concerned me was the look in his eyes when he had caught Uta before he hit the floor, he asked what he should do, his eyes…it was as if he had known Uta forever, as if the boy was the most important person in his life, not that of someone he had just met.” Ormond explained. “When I told him to give Uta to me…he actually pulled the boy closer to him, as if he was protecting him from me.”

                “Madame, what was your impression of the man?” Ojisan was disturbed by what he was hearing, concerned that his visions had led him wrongly. “The boy seemed to be filled with grief over his mistresses’ death, rightly so. It was hard to see through Acchan and Ormond’s protectiveness…I had to reprimand Acchan several times.”

                Acchan had the decency to look slightly ashamed. “Old man, is Kato the one to replace Teiji in Davina’s heart?” Madame F asked bluntly. Ojisan closed his eyes. “Yes, I believe he is, but they need to move at their own pace, it will not happen if they are forced together. I also believe that Kato’s training is on par with your Ormond and Teiji as well, it would do you well to check into his background, perhaps have him attend you at one of your clubs.”

                This is what Madame F expected after seeing the young submissive. She thought him the perfect type for Davina, the looks, the demeanor…everything but the training, that was still in question.

                “I agree with you, Jin Koba. Kato is the type for Davina, and as you say, we need to look into his training, we were to believe that Ormond and Teiji were the only two trained to that level of service…obviously we were mistaken.”

                “Ojisan, what about the connection between Kato and Uta…I still don’t see where that can lead to anything good.” Acchan’s real worry was that Uta would fall for the handsome man, much in the way he did with Teiji, effectively locking out any chance for Acchan to reconcile with the boy.

                “That is still unclear, they will meet again by chance. I do not believe bringing them together is wise.” Ojisan advised. “That’s not a problem anymore, Uta no longer lives with me, he has moved back to his own flat just this morning.” Acchan said sadly.

                “Sakurai Atsushi, it is for the better of you both. There is nothing that is keeping you apart other than left over memories and feelings that have gone bad over time. There is still some hope, but as with Davina and Kato, you can not force it…Uta will either come to you of his own free will, or he will not.” Ojisan felt badly for the man sitting in front of him, knowing how much he truly loved Uta.

                “That’s a fair statement Ojisan, one that I’m following. Uta needs to regain himself completely before he even thinks of entering into another relationship.” Acchan smiled.

                “Acchan, as soon as I find any information on Kato, would you like me to call you?” Madame F asked before the two parted ways. “No, not at the moment, I’m planning on a short vacation, I will contact you when I return.” Giving the woman a careful kiss on the cheek, Ormond escorted his Mistress to their car, leaving Acchan to return home.

                “Sakurai Atsushi, running will not cure your problems, nor your heart. Uta must come back to you out of love, not duty.”

 

                “I will be there tomorrow, yes that’s fine…thank you.”

 

 

                 “Hey, Ruki invited us to dinner with him and Tomo at their place, want to go?”

                “I don’t know…” This was unexpected, Ayato wasn’t sure he was ready.

                “Pleassseeee”

                “Fine…Okay.”

                “Can I pick you up?” Oh shit…he wants to come here.

                “Um, okay.”

               

                Ayato was waiting on the sidewalk in front of his apartment building, not wanting to let Reita to know exactly which flat it was…not quite yet.

                “Hi…you ready?” Reita leaned over and opened the door. “Umm…yah.” Ayato slid into the passenger seat.

                “It’s going to be okay, it’s just Ruki and Tomo, nobody else I promise.” Reita patted Ayato on the thigh.

                The ride was quick, not much time to talk about anything, “I think you’ll like Tomo, he’s a lot like you…kinda quiet.” Reita’s small talk was failing. “Mmm,” is all Ayato said.

                “Hi Ayato, come on in, this is my boyfriend Tomo.” Ruki bowed lightly, as did Tomo, both surprised at Ayato’s demeanor, very quiet and rather timid, something Reita had noticed being so much different than when they were both in LA.

                The dinner was nice, Ayato helping a little in the kitchen with Tomo, it was very domestic feeling… odd for Ayato. “He’s gorgeous Aki…really… those lips!” Ruki whispered to Reita, who just flashed a goofy grin.

                After dinner, they were sitting in the living room, just talking quietly when Ruki asked the big question. “So where did you two meet?” Reita’s face turned red, “Um, he was working as a coat…”

                “I was a dancer at a strip club.” Ayato cut Reita off, knowing that the man was going to lie. The surprise on the other’s faces was blatant, Ruki’s mouth opened a little as if he was going to say something. Ayato knew instantly that this date was a bad idea.

                “Thanks for the dinner, it was nice meeting you both.” Ayato got up and walked to the door, he turned and bowed, then left the flat.

                Reita dropped his head in his hands, tears starting to fall, Ruki looks at Tomo who nods, Ruki gets up and runs out the door after Ayato.

                “Wait! Where are you going! Ayato… stop for a minute!” Ruki grabs Ayato by the arm, “Why did you leave? Seriously, we don’t care about…”

                “Akira…Reita doesn’t need a secret stripper boyfriend. This isn’t going to work…I’m going home. The dinner was nice, tell Tomo I said thank you.” Ruki let go of Ayato’s arm and watched the boy walk towards the main street.

                Reita is still sitting with his head in his hands, Tomo sitting next to him, his arm on Reita’s shoulders. “Aki…why … I mean, why do you…Shit.” Ruki stumbled over his words. “Don’t worry about it Ru…Tomo, thanks for everything. I’ll see you guys later.” Reita gets up and leaves the flat.

                “Shit…this isn’t good babe…Ayato’s not going to stick around…I can feel it. The kid’s going to leave Aki…” Ruki leaned back in the couch. “I guess it’s a hard thing to accept…he was a stripper and now he’s dating…or was dating a major musician in a super popular band. That has to be difficult, it’s sad, I like Ayato…he’s pretty and he’s very sweet.”

                Reita looked for Ayato as he drove home, not seeing the boy anywhere. Pulling into his parking spot at home, Reita sat in his car for a few minutes, trying to figure out his next move.

                Going inside his flat, Reita goes straight for the alcohol, knowing all to well how to numb the pain. Sitting on the couch, he takes out his phone. “I love you.” Putting the phone down, Reita proceeds to get shit faced drunk, passing out on his couch.

                “Hey, how was dinner?” Yuki asked as his roommate walked in. “It wasn’t.” Ayato replied, walking straight to his room and closing the door.

 

                He couldn’t tell what time it was…or even how many days had passed. Kato had remained closed up in his room, ignoring Ena when she’d come to leave meals, ignoring everything but the basic necessity of using the toilet. The visions of Uta falling, the feeling of the sudden punch to the chest, the clenching fist around his heart…those sensations would not leave him.

                Who was this boy, and what was he to Kato? Uta had said he shouldn’t be... shouldn’t be what? Why did he recoil from Ormond wanting to take Uta away from him…take Uta away…he didn’t know the boy! The reaction of Sakurai Atsushi when Kato had spoken Uta’s name was one of danger…the man looked like he had wanted to physically harm Kato. Madame F had done nothing but watch, her pet Ormond had been staring at him, as if he was poised to jump into action to keep Kato from harming Uta.

                “I would never harm you, Uta.” Kato would whisper. Now the question was how to find Uta, to discover why he had such strong emotions for a boy he’d never met. Ojisan. He was the single person who had mentioned Uta’s name to him, that he would be the one to cure Uta…but cure him of what?

                Coming out of his daze, Kato looks at the time, 4:12pm. His legs felt shaky, not eating for two days will do that to a man. He took a quick shower…grabbing his keys he left the house, driving straight to Ojisan’s.

                “Kato-kun, Irasshai. Sit, I’ll get you some miso ramen…two days is too long between meals.” Ojisan turned his back, but could still feel the other man’s eyes boring into him.

                “Tell me why Uta had that effect on me…why did I… TELL ME OLD MAN!” Kato shouted. Ojisan turned slowly, placing a bowl of ramen and a cola in front of the young man.

                “That is still not clear to me, Kato. I’m sorry I have no answers. I have spoken with Sakurai Atsushi and Madame F, they are worried as well. You will meet the boy again, but by chance. Do not make an effort to find him, just leave that alone. I suggest that you find something else to occupy your time. Perhaps visiting one of the clubs of your community, there are several that are recommended. You could contact Madame F again, she would be most pleased to assist you in that.”

                Kato looked at the old man, then slowly began to eat his ramen. “I do not trust you, Ojisan…you are keeping something from me, something important.”

                “Kato, I am looking out for your wellbeing, whether or not you take care to believe it. I am advising you on what I have seen, nothing more. It is up to you what you do with the information I give you.” Ojisan crossed his arms over his chest. “All I ask is that you do not seek out Uta, the boy is fragile and does not need any other distractions in his life. Please, for the sake of the boy, leave him be.”

                “I will believe you for the moment, Ojisan. I’m not happy about this at all. Something is there, why you’re refusing to tell me, I don’t know.” Kato paid his bill and left the ramen hut.

                Ojisan sighed, “Kato-kun, you’re so rash and impatient. Stand still for a moment and think before you act.”

 

                Uta sat in front of his computer, searching for different types of employment. Looking at his past work history left him little possibilities; a server at a restaurant, or a personal assistant. “Well that’s not much to go on.” He muttered to himself, Luna was sleeping in his lap, looked up and gave him a soft meow.

                “Where else can I look, Luna? Is there really such a thing as a house boy?” Uta giggled. He thought he could probably work in a shop, he knew how to run a cash register, so that would also qualify him to work in some sort of food service, “Ugh…no way.”

                “Oh, here we go Luna! I could work in a host club!” Uta laughed. Luna didn’t deem that worthy of a response. Writing down a few places to look into, Uta pushed away form his desk. “I could just be retired, not work at all…but I think that may be boring.” He thought about going back to the HBG, but it just didn’t feel right anymore, too much drama…too many chances that Acchan would show up…a definite no.

                Deciding that he needed to just get out and about, Uta locked up his flat and drove the little sedan into the Harajuku neighborhood. Finding a nice parking spot, Uta just wandered through the shops, thinking he’d buy something, but really nothing even attracted his attention.

                Grabbing lunch off a ramen stand, he sat on a little bench next to a store and just watched the people go by. Uta was just feeling apathetic about life in general, nothing interested him, nothing seemed worth doing. “This fucking sucks.” He grumbled to himself, going back to his car and driving home.

                Changing into pajama, Uta parked himself on his couch, turned on the TV and spent fifteen minutes watching something, before falling asleep. This was not Uta’s idea of learning to live again.

Chapter Text

                Walking the grounds of his newly purchased mini-estate in Fujioka, Sakurai Atsushi took a deep breath of the clean country air. A nicely appointed house on three acres, with a vegetable garden and a small barn, all surrounded by a stucco wall, it was exactly what Sakurai needed.

                Informing his friends on his plans, Sakurai explained his motives, “I need to leave Tokyo, I can’t heal my heart with Uta so near. I’m only an hour away, close enough for emergencies, far enough not to worry about running into Uta.” Sakurai was done with the drama of loving Uta…to remain sane he needed to remove the distractions.

                Walking down to the small barn and sliding the door open, he was greeted by two large red chickens, scratching in the dirt. “Well hello there…I’m going to say you were included in the sale?”

Walking further into the barn, a sudden movement caught his eye. Carefully stepping into one of the pens, he see’s a smallish gray cat, cowering in the corner. “Hello koneko…” knowing the cat was feral, Sakurai did not approach it, but made a mental note to include a bag of cat food on his shopping trip.

                Continuing on his walk to explore the property, it soon became evident that he would need some help with the garden and surrounding acres, as the over growth of weeds had choked the garden to death. Sakurai chuckled, “There is no way in hell I’m doing that alone…looks like it’s time to hire a local.” With his hands dirty, his heart beating easy, Sakurai walked back up to his house. He had spent the day exploring, and had not once thought of Uta.

 

                The morning dawned painful for Reita; his mouth tasted like a sewer and an ice pick was stabbing him in the head, even before opening his eyes, he knew the day would end horribly. Reaching for his phone, he looked for a text from Ayato…nothing.

                11:28am. “Shit!” Texting Ruki, Reita knew he’d never make the twelve-noon practice. “Can you explain to Kai…I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

                “I told you...I knew that’s what he’d do, he got shit faced drunk and passed out, Aki always resorts to alcohol.” Ruki told Kai.

                “Trouble with the boytoy?” Aoi laughed as he walked by.

                “Shut your mouth, Aoi.” Kai snapped.

                “Aww, did Reita lose his boytoy?” Aoi laughed again. Kai walked towards Aoi, grabbing the man by the throat and slamming him against the wall.

                “Did you learn nothing…were you lying to all of us when you said you’d change?” Kai growled, his eyes piercingly dark. Aoi shoved Kai away, “Damn, you guys can’t take a joke anymore.”

                Reita came through the door, walking straight to his bass and began to tune it. “I’m ready.”

                Practice was a grueling seven hours, nobody felt like hanging out after…they all just wanted to go home and shower.

                “Hey, if you need anything, just call me, ne?” Kai patted Reita on the back. “Try not to get so shit faced tonight.”

                Reita smiled weakly, “I’m not going to guarantee that.”

                “Hey…” Aoi stopped Reita on the way out, “is it really that bad?”

                “I doubt you truly care.” Reita walked away leaving Aoi with the burn of shame in his gut.

                Reita stopped at the store on his way home, he knew he’d go back to the vodka, it had started there. Smartly, Reita buys a rather large bento box and eats it before he starts drinking at 9pm, and by 11pm, Reita is falling over drunk.

                He does what many people do, he drunk texts Ayato;

                I love you.

                Please text me.

                Call me, we need to talk please.

                Don’t shut me out.

                I love you…call me… anything please!

 

                Ayato finally calls after getting tired of hearing the text chime.

                “What do you want?”

                “Why…why did you run?”

                “You’re drunk, you’re slurring your words.” Ayato’s heart twisted.

                “Why? Explain it to me so I can fix it!” Reita’s on the verge of drunken tears.

                “You can’t fix this. You’re embarrassed of me, you were going to lie to Ruki and Tomo.”

                “No! I just panicked, we never talked about what we would tell people…I love you damn it!”

                “You can’t love a stripper.” Ayato starts to close his phone, he hears Reita screaming.

                “I LOVE YOU DAMN IT! WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PROVE IT? I’LL DO ANYTHING, JUST TELL ME!” Reita begged.

                “LEAVE ME ALONE AKIRA! I’M NOT WORTH THE EFFORT!” Ayato’s screaming back at Reita…startling Yuki who was in the next room.

                “YES, YOU ARE DAMN IT! YOU’RE WORTH EVERYTHING TO ME! I LOVE YOU AYATO!” Reita falls to his knees, he’s bent over as if in pain…it was too much to bear.

                “Just forget me Akira…go find a cute boy in the music world. Just leave me alone.” Ayato hangs up.

                Just as Ayato closed his phone, Yuki kicked his door in, walks over and slaps the boy. “STOP IT! YOU NEED TO GROW THE FUCK UP AYATO!” Yuki screams at his roommate, who sits in shocked silence, his hand against his face.

                “You’re scared of feeling something for Reita, you keep using the stripper thing as an excuse because you’re scared. THOSE ARE CHICKEN SHIT MOVES AYATO! REITA IS WORTH IT…STOP BEING SUCH A PUSSY AND PLAYING THE VICTIM!”

                “SHUT THE FUCK UP YUKI! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW I FEEL! LEAVE ME ALONE! WHY ARE YOU ALL PUSHING REITA ON ME?”

                “Because it’s staring you right in the face buddy… really.” Yuki stops screaming.

                “WHAT IS? WHAT’S STARING ME IN THE FACE?” Ayato’s grabbing a bag, stuffing clothing into it quickly.

                “Happiness.” Yuki sighed. Ayato looks at his roommate, then shoves past him and goes out the front door and slamming it shut behind him, hitting the street at a run…not looking back.

 

                “You left on good terms, you’re already trained, could you start tomorrow?”

                Uta walked out of the BookOff store in Akiharbara, wearing a satisfied grin, he had almost forgotten his short stint of employment at the store in Chiba, until he saw the for-hire sign in the window of what was now, his new store.

                Walking in, Uta asked to speak to a manager, and was then approached by a man who could have easily passed as a member of a VK band…even his name was cool; Zero.

                It was almost too easy, though this time for Uta, the situation felt right. He really didn’t need the money as much as he needed a purpose, something to do and somewhere to be.

                Zero wrote Uta into the schedule, having his first shift closing the next night, with two other employees. “Gill and Miko are great, I’m sure you’ll get along with them just fine.” Filling out the necessary paperwork, Uta was on his way home within an hour.

                Stopping at the small konbini near the flat, he needed bento’s for work and on a whim, bought some beer, he had felt better than he had in a long time.

                “Hey, Uta!” Die walked up to Uta to help him with the bags, “Planning a party?”

                “Not unless you and Pon want to come over for beers? I just got a new job, I start tomorrow afternoon.” Uta explained.

                “But I thought Davina…” Die stumbled over his words, not wanting to be impolite.

                “She did, but I can’t just sit around and do nothing.”

                “No, I guess you can’t.” Die admitted.

                “Uta! Are you trying to steal Die from me?” Hiroto poked his head in Uta’s front door.

                “Oh, please Pon…why would I want Die?” Uta winked at Hiroto. “Hey! I’m standing right here!” Die protested.

                “Aww, poor Die…nobody loves you anymore.” Uta giggled. Hiroto rolled his eyes, “I guess I love you…since nobody else wants you.”

                Die flashed his famous puppy eyes at his boyfriend, who just laughed, grabbing Die for a kiss.

                “Uta has a new job.” Die informed Hiroto.

                “Going back to work at BookOff, in Akihabara…not all the way out in Chiba.” Uta explained, handing Die and Hiroto both a beer. Just as Die had ordered pizza for the impromptu party, Reita shuffled into the complex, nodding to the others and walking straight into his flat.

                “Um…that was weird.” Hiroto kissed Die, “I’m going to go talk to him…don’t worry!”

                “Reita?” Hiroto knocked on the man’s door. “Pon, just go away please, I’m not in any mood to talk right now.” Hiroto made a bold move and opened the door. “What the hell, Pon?”

                “What’s wrong Reita? You look horrible, you got the flu or something?” Hiroto walked towards the musician.

                “No, I don’t have the flu, thanks for the comment on my looks, now can you please leave?” Reita turned his back on the younger man, going to the kitchen and coming back with a glass, which he then filled with vodka.

                “Rei…vodka? Really? What the hell happened that you’re drinking straight vodka?” This concerned Hiroto a great deal.

                “MIND YOUR OWN DAMNED BUSINESS PON!” Reita shouted at Hiroto.

                “Pon!” Die heard the shouting, running over to Reita’s, slamming the door open hard. “Pon!” Die grabbed his boyfriend, shoving Hiroto behind him. “Reita!” Die growled.

                “It’s okay Die…really. Let’s leave Reita alone with his booze.” Hiroto snipped. “Booze? Again? Damn Akira…are you trying to kill yourself with alcohol?” Die asked.

                “That’s none of your business either, Daisuke…just leave me alone.” Reita grumbled.

                Looking at Hiroto, and nodding his head towards the door, Die shooed his boyfriend out of the flat, then sitting down next to Reita.

                “Dude…what’s wrong? This really isn’t like you…well not that I remember anyways.” Die leaned back in the couch, crossing his arms. “Is it your new boyfriend?”

                “He’s not my boyfriend, he’s nothing to me anymore.” Reita muttered under his breath.

                Hmm, so that’s what this is all about. “You guys get in a fight or something?”

                “Yah, something.” Reita was taking large gulps of vodka, getting up to refresh his glass. Die sat passively on the couch, just watching.

                “Vodka’s not going to help…you know that as well as I do. Tell me what happened.” Die kept his eye on how quickly the other musician consumed his alcohol.

                “It’s nothing you can fix…just leave it alone.”

                “Um, sorry…but I kinda like you…and I don’t like seeing my friends in pain, and dude, with that much vodka? You’re definitely in pain. Just tell me…it’s between you and me, I won’t even tell Pon.” Die hoped that Reita would open up to him.

                “He walked out on me at Ruki’s, we were there for dinner…and…he just walked out.” Reita’s voice hitched, he slammed back more vodka.

                “Your new boyfriend? What happened that would make him leave? It wasn’t Ruki was it? That little shi…” Die started to play the blame game…Ruki the number 1 target.

                “No, it wasn’t Ruki’s fault, it was mine…now he won’t even talk to me.” Reita got up and poured another large glass of vodka, Die wanting to make sure this would be his last.

                “How was it your fault?”

                “I was going to lie to Ruki and Tomo about where we met… and then Ayato just blurted it out. Now he thinks I’m embarrassed of him…that I don’t love him. Die…I love this guy! He’s like the one… you know? Like you and Pon! But now…” The tears started to fall.

                “Reita…where did you meet Ayato? Why would you be embarrassed?” This part made no sense.

                “I met him at a strip club in LA, he was dancing. It’s sort of a long story…but yah, Ayato was a stripper.” Reita hiccupped between tears and gulps of alcohol. “Die…he’s wonderful… I’m in love with him…but now he won’t even talk to me…I don’t think he ever will.” Reita was close to being shit faced drunk again, much quicker than the previous night.

                “Why were you going to lie about it to Ruki? Do you really think he’d care about where you met the boy?” Die was fairly certain that Ruki would in fact…not care about Ayato’s ex-profession.

                “No…Ru wouldn’t care, we just didn’t talk about this ahead of things…I didn’t know what he wanted me to say…so I was just going to make some shit up.” Reita was slurring his words, his head nodding down…time for him to pass out.

                “Reita…hey…look at me. Have you eaten today?” Die shook the man sitting next to him. “Yah…I sshink…yah.” Reita dropped his head again. Taking the glass out of Reita’s hand, Die stood up. “Come on, Akira…let’s put you to bed.”

                Grabbing both of Reita’s arms, Die pulled the man up, ducked under him, putting him over his shoulder. “Damn you’re fucking heavy!” Die grunted.

                Gently throwing Reita on the bed, Die rummaged around in the bathroom cabinet for some pain killers, grabbed a glass of water and left them on the night table. “Try to sleep…you’re going to feel like hell tomorrow.”

                Closing the bedroom door, Die walked over to the kitchen and grabbed the large bottle of vodka, leaving the flat he closed and locked the front door.

                “Hey…I’ll be right back.” Die told Hiroto, who was now sitting on the stoop with Uta. “Um, okay…you know I don’t like Vodka…right?” Hiroto nodded to the bottle in Die’s hand. “I’m just keeping this for Reita.”

                Die grabbed a beer and sat down with Uta and Hiroto. “Okay, what happened?” Hiroto asked. “I guess this Ayato kid that he’s in love with? He ran out on Reita when they were having dinner at Ruki and Tomo’s.”

                “That’s his name? Ayato? That sucks…that kid’s super cute…Reita’s been chasing him for a few weeks now.” Hiroto went into detail about Ayato showing up at Gazette lives, but then disappearing before Reita could talk to him.

                “Kai and Yukke called me to see if we could meet them at Ojisan’s about a week ago, but we were already busy…damn!” Die shook his head. “I feel bad for the guy, I mean I sort of like him now…as long as he’s not looking at you.” He reached over and caressed Hiroto’s cheek.

                “Do you know what happened, I mean to make the kid leave?” Hiroto had moved to sit in front of Die, one step lower so he could lean against his lover. “I guess Ruki asked where they had met… Reita was going to lie, and then Ayato blurted it out, Ayato used to be a stripper.”

                This neither shocked nor phased either Uta or Hiroto. “That’s it? He was a stripper?” Uta laughed. “Hey…that’s not nice! Sheesh, Uta.” Hiroto gently chided.

                “Pon, do you have any idea about the lifestyle I was living when I had Teiji and Davina?” Uta found it easier to say Teiji’s name, which surprised him.

                “Um, sort of.” Hiroto didn’t know the details. “Die, you know…right?” Uta thought he had heard that Die was involved with that years ago.

                “Davina’s a Dominant, Teiji was her personal pet, and Uta was Teiji’s lover, there’s a lot that could go with that type of a relationship.” Die wasn’t ready to reveal to Hiroto, just how much he really did know about the scene.

                “So, you’re saying the whole ‘whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks’, kind of thing?” Hiroto only knew of what he had seen in movies or read in the media.

                “The what? No…nothing like that…well not everyone.” Uta snorted. “I was in a threesome type relationship, sooo… think of everything you may do in a normal relationship and then add one more… that was me, I was in the middle.”

                “Essentially, you were the meat in the fuck sandwich?” Die laughed. “Where do you come up with this shit! Oh my god… a fuck sandwich?” Uta gasped, “Wait until I see Davina again…she might come after you Die!” The older man wiggled his eyebrows.

                “Maybe I could use some discipline…if the right tools were involved.” Hiroto looked at Die and then at Uta. “What the hell am I missing? Do I even want to know?”

                Standing up, Die reached for Hiroto’s hand, “I’ll explain it in details, maybe with one or two demonstrations for effect.” Die reached down to kiss Hiroto’s head. “Thanks for the beers, Uta. Have fun at your new job.” Die started to drag Hiroto away, “Wait…demonstrations?” Was the last thing Uta heard.

 

                Karyu watched the man leave the small general store, “Jiji, who was that?” he asked his grandfather. “Sakurai Atsushi, he bought the Gray estate, moved in over the weekend, you know of this man?”

                Kayru’s mouth dropped open. “Sakurai Atsushi…Jiji! He’s a famous singer for a very popular band called Buck Tick, why would he be here?” Karyu wondered if his grandfather got the name wrong, why would Sakurai Atsushi move to his town?

                “He was inquiring about needing someone to help with the overgrowth of weeds in his garden.” Jiji’s eyes twinkled. “Do you know of someone that would be interested, Karyu?”

                “DUH! ME!” Karyu walked to the counter, slapping both hands down. “Did he leave a phone number?”

                “No, he just said to be at the estate by 9am tomorrow.” The old man had known Karyu would be interested, he knew his grandson well enough to recognize certain traits about the young man that even the boy’s parents did not see.

                “I suppose you should wear working clothes, the grounds of the estate are in rough shape.” Jiji advised, as he watched Karyu run up the stairs to the flat above the store. “I will, Jiji!”

                Karyu started digging in his closet, looking for work clothes…well clothes that would pass. Taking out his most worn out pair of black skinny jeans, a professionally ripped up t-shirt (that cost him $50) and his dirtiest pair of boots, Karyu eyed what was laid before him. “Yus, this should work…holy shit…I’m going to meet Sakurai Atsushi!”

 

                Karyu walked with a purpose, to make a good impression on his potential employer, Sakurai Atsushi, though the work wasn’t what you’d call a long-term career move, but if it got him closer to the famous singer…he’d scrub toilets.

                Standing on his porch, enjoying the tranquility and solitude of the small community he had loved as a young man, Sakurai held a cup of tea, taking deep cleansing breaths in between sips.

                “Eto, sumimasen Sakurai-san?” Karyu stood at the front gate to the small estate. “Yes, what can I do for you…?” Sakurai walked down the steps, approaching the gate, Karyu’s heart started to race… this was Sakurai Atsushi speaking to him.

                “My name is Karyu, I’m here to help you with your garden, you left a notice at my grandfather’s store yesterday.” Karyu couldn’t look at Sakurai full in the face, he felt like he’d break down and cry if he held the man’s gaze for too long.

                “Yes, I did. I’m happy to see that the position was filled so quickly. Come with me, Karyu…I’m not quite ready yet, I still need to change into some work clothes.” Sakurai noticed the boy was quivering…something that never failed to catch his attention. “Please, be at ease…I do not bite often, and never hard enough to draw blood.” Sakurai teased the boy. “I’ll be with you in just a moment.”

                Karyu stood frozen to the spot, as he looked around the home, there was a piano in the corner, a few gold albums hung on the wall, he was in the damned house of Sakurai Atsushi! Nobody would believe him if he claimed what he had seen.

                “Well then, are we ready to begin?” Sakurai came out in some worn out jeans, boots and a t-shirt that showed off every muscle the man had, making Karyu blush. “Sure, I’m ready if you are.” His voice squeaked slightly, Sakurai making sure not to notice.

                “Oh, before we begin; I have two chickens, Henny and Penny, and there is a small feral cat in the barn, I have not tried to approach it yet, so just be careful when we’re using any tools.” Sakurai had laughed at himself, naming the chickens such silly childish names.

                “I’m good with chickens, cats…not so much. I’ve never really been around many; my grandfather is allergic.” Karyu tried to keep an even voice.

                Sakurai led Karyu down to the barn, grabbing some tools, they started at the front of the property, “I’d rather see the progress, than to guess how close we are to the house.” He explained.

                Karyu’s grandfather had been telling the truth, the garden was completely over run with tall weeds. “This is going to take a while” he murmured. “Sakurai-san, how much of the garden itself do you want to try to save?”

                Sakurai walked over to where the boy was standing. “Hmm, it doesn’t look like there’s much remaining, I say let’s gut it and I’ll start over.” Reaching out, Sakurai patted the boy’s shoulder, feeling the boy freeze up under his hand. “I told you, I don’t bite, Karyu-kun.” Sakurai winked at the boy.

                There was little talk during the next two hours, although the pile of weeds that they had cut, had grown into a small hill. Standing up and stretching his back, Sakurai thought they needed a break.

                “Karyu-kun, let’s take a break, I’m in need of cold water…come with me.” Sakurai held out his arm in an inviting gesture, as he led the way back into the house. “Let’s take a lunch break…I’m feeling a bit hungry…can I offer you a sandwich?” Sakurai washed his hands, the moved to the fridge and started pulling out sandwich ingredients.

                “Um…yes sir, that would be nice, thank you.” Karyu said as he bowed his head lightly. Sakurai turned around, with his hands on his hips, and wearing a frown he walked towards the young man.

                “Karyu-kun, if you are going to continue to help me, you must drop the honorifics, I don’t require those with my friends…just in other areas of my life, just call me Acchan, please.” Sakurai reached over and ruffled Karyu’s hair, then turned back to making lunch.

                “How long have you lived here, Karyu?”

                “All my life, in the same house with my grandfather. I’ve been helping him out more the last few years…he’s getting older, it’s harder for him to get around.” Karyu thought the sandwich was the best thing he’d ever tasted, he felt like he wanted to fan boy out, and put it in a bag to keep forever.

                “Your parents?” Acchan was interested in his neighbors. “They’ve been gone for over twenty years, they both were taken ill… my grandmother about ten years later…so it’s just been me and Jiji since then.” Karyu said with little emotion in his voice.

                “Please accept my apologies, I was insensitive.” Acchan bowed his head. “It’s alright, really. I was really young, only six when they died.” Karyu waved off Acchan’s concern.  Acchan now knew that Karyu was 26, a suitable age for… wait, it suddenly hit him what he was doing. Shit.

                “Alright then, if you’re ready to go, let’s try to get as much done as we can today!” Sakurai put the dishes away, grabbed two water bottles, handing one to Karyu, leading the way back outside. “I’d like to see what we have to do with the area around the barn, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that space.”

                Sliding the barn door open, the flash of gray shot by the men, into a corner. “That would be our little neko-chan, I wish I could at least check its condition, I don’t like seeing animals suffer.” Sakurai was looking in the pens, seeing the tail of the cat hiding behind a board leaned against the wall.

                “Wow, it is tiny…do you think it’s a baby?” Karyu peered behind the board, seeing the large frightened eyes of the small cat. “I don’t think it’s very old, maybe six or seven months at the most. I’ve filled a bowl with cat food so I’m at least happy that it’s getting regular meals.”

                Looking at the walls of the barn, the roof and checking the pens, it seemed to Karyu that the building was in surprisingly good condition for being empty and unused for so long.

                “Saku…Acchan, why did you move here? I mean you don’t have to tell me of course…” Karyu suddenly realized what he had done, he had asked a question without permission.

                “It’s no secret, I grew weary of the city, there was a young man that I was involved with, that had some devastating tragedies in his life for the last two or three years. We both needed to heal, it was easier for me to move than for him. We’re still friendly, but we need to be apart.” Acchan was amazed he was being this forthcoming with a complete stranger…but there was something about this boy.

                “I’m sorry to hear that, I hope your friend recovers quickly. It’s hard when you know that the only way you can help is to stay away.” Karyu had some experience with those types of situations.

                “What do you think of the barn? Will it hold up to some severe weather? I know the property has been vacant for some time, but it appears that the barn was constructed very well.” Acchan needed to get his mind back on the business at hand, and not with Uta.

                “I think it will be fine, Gray’s Estate has been empty for about 6 years now. Once the owner’s wife died, he moved back to America. His wife was Japanese, they were nice enough people, but there was no reason for Mr. Gray to stay.” Karyu remembered the talk of the town.

                “Well, I’m glad my agent found this property, it was exactly what I was hoping to find, and it came with a few bonuses.” Acchan was slipping… he couldn’t believe what he was saying…his tongue would not be held.

                The two men worked for another three hours, pulling, cutting and raking all of the dead undergrowth from the garden, clearing about half an acre of land. Finally, both men had had enough.

                “Karyu-kun, thank you so much for your help…can I ask you to come again whenever it is convenient for you?” Acchan had hoped it would be the next day, and several days more after that.

                “I have to work in the store for the last half of the day, from about 2pm, but I can come at 9 again…if you’d like.” Karyu still had difficulties looking the man in the eyes for more than a few seconds, something that wasn’t lost on the Dominant.

                “I would like that, if you can please.” Acchan walked Karyu to the gate, thanked him again and patted him on the back, watching the boy walk down the small dirt road.

                Going into the house, Acchan grabbed a bottle of water and downed it quickly. “Shower time…” Stripping down to his boxer shorts, Acchan turned on the water on in the shower, turning to look at himself in the mirror…there was no haunted man looking back at him, instead a bright eyed albeit dirt covered face smiled at him.

                Standing under the hot stinging of the water, letting it run over his neck and shoulders, he thought about Karyu, the way the boy would not hold his eyes, the blushing, the stumbling over words. He was a natural.

                It wasn’t lost on Acchan, that the boy was attractive as well, he had a softness to his face, but a toughness underneath. He assumed that the boy had experienced some rough times in the past with his family, he could tell Karyu was totally devoted to the old man.

                Reaching down, Acchan took a few quick tugs of his cock, which was already waking with the thoughts of Karyu. “Stop it, you dirty old man.” He growled at himself. Ignoring his dick, he quickly finished his shower. Wearing pajama pants, Acchan went about the task of making himself some dinner, trying hard to keep his thoughts out of the trash pile of his sexual perversities.

 

Image result for d'espairsrayKaryu of D'espairsray 

Chapter Text

 

                Kato closed his phone, just having agreed to meet with Madame F to discuss his potential role in the community as a newly arrived, pre-trained personal pet. Ormond texted the directions to Madame F’s home, letting him know what time to arrive and to be prompt. Only to appease Ojisan, Kato decided to contact the Dominant, he knew that the surest route to Uta was through Madame F and Sakurai Atsushi, and if being questioned about his qualifications were included in that route, he would do what ever it took.

                Knocking on the door promptly at the appointed time, Kato was dressed professionally, in an Armani suit, with his hair neatly tied back in a visually appealing style.

                Ormond opened the door, checking the time, “Good day, Kato-san, would you please follow me?” Slipping off his shoes, Kato bowed deeply to his superior, or at least whom he thought was a superior.

                Madame F’s home was a combination of a traditional Japanese home, mixed with some very western elements and artwork. Kato noticed without looking, something he had been trained to do; watch but do not look.

                Approaching a large door, Ormond knocked twice before sliding the door back, revealing a rather large room with a definite masculine feel, with Madame F sitting behind a desk.

                “Kato, thank you for coming, please sit down…I have some questions I’d like to ask you.” Madame F looked at the young man, noticing several issues immediately; The man never looked the Dominant in the eye. Kato never once appeared to speak, without being expressly permitted.

                “Kato, who was your trainer?” Madame F started with the obvious. “A gentleman by the name of Alfred Sausen, from Denmark.” This name being spoken aloud for the first time since his training, Ormond made a small sound, then bowed deeply before Madame F. “Ormond, it’s understandable, do not fret.”

                “How long was your training with Mr. Sausen?” Madame F knew the length of time it took for the training of such a high-level personal attendant.

                “Five years, Madame.” Was the only answer. This peaked the Dominant’s interest. “Five years? Why such a short time? The normal training is seven years.”

                “I was not privy to that information, Madame.” Kato responded. He was answering questions he new were important, but he was becoming impatient with the Dominant, something he had to suppress.

                “With your former Mistress… Astrid, how long were you in her employ?” Madame F worded this question carefully, wanting to gauge a reaction the specific word.

                “I was employed by Mistress Astrid for seven years, Madame.” Kato would not take the bait, he knew that is what the Dominant wanted.

                Madame F glanced at Ormond, who was still standing impassively against the wall. “Kato, are you interested in serving another Dominant?” The key question.

                “Yes, Madame I am.”

                “Would you serve a male or female Dominant.?” Madame F had one in mind.

                “I would be satisfied with whomever I was placed with, if I did have a choice, I would prefer a female Dominant.” The truthful answer.

                “I would like you to attend a particular Dominant I have in mind, just for the sake of watching you work. This is in no way an interview for that particular Dominant, just an exercise in training, would this be acceptable for you?”

                “Yes, Madame, I understand the need for the exercise.” Kato wondered just who he would be put with. “Fine, I would like you back at my house at 8pm tomorrow night. I will text you what the Dominant will want you to wear, later this afternoon. Thank you, Kato, you are dismissed.” And with a flick of a finger, Ormond opened the door for Kato, showing him to the front door.

                “Thank you, Ormond-san.” Kato bowed deeply to the other submissive. “You’re welcome, Kato-san.” Ormond nodded his head and closed the door.

                “Ormond, you know I value your opinion on such matters, what is your view of our Kato?” Madame F relaxed back in the large desk chair.

                “Madame, he provided all the correct answers, he never once looked at you or at me, granted these are not the hall marks of a pet who would be so well trained, but considering he brought up Master Sausen’s name and the five years of training, I tend to believe he must be on par with myself and Teiji.”

                Madame F believed Ormond to be correct, with the ability to check references, Madame F would put a call into the great trainer, Alfred Sausen, and inquire to Kato’s experience, and what was it about the man that allowed him to graduate from training almost two years earlier than both Ormond and Teiji.

 

                “Oh my god, I’m going to die!” Uta whined to his co-worker, Miel. “I haven’t worked this hard in ages!” Uta’s first shift was proving to be a little more than he had bargained for, it had been non-stop busy for almost three hours, with little pause for Miel and Uta working the checkout line.

                Zero had been walking the floor, speaking with customers and generally just making his rounds, deciding to stop and speak to Uta.

                “How’s it going for your first day back?” Zero stood behind Uta and watched as the young man handled yet another cash transaction. “Fine, I’m a little worn out, but it’s a good kind of tired.”

                Zero had noticed that Uta seemed a little withdrawn, quiet and even a little timid, when he had unexpectedly interviewed him a day earlier. Uta knew his job well, there were no complaints for that, although there was something sad about the boy, Zero had picked that up during the interview.

                “Why don’t you two take your breaks, I’ll have Miko and Omi come up.” Miel looked over at Uta and they threw up a high five. “Yus! I’m hungry…let’s go Uta.” Walking back to the break room, they passed Miko and Omi, the only two girls that worked at the store, “Don’t over do it…it’s been busy.” Miel warned.

                “Oh, look Omi, the boys are tired…” Miko laughed. “You’d be tired too!” Miel shot back, all in good fun.

                “God I’m so out of shape.” Uta moaned, as he slumped down in his chair. Miel went to the vending machine and bought two C energy drinks, “Here, this will help.” Miel set one down in front of Uta. “Oh, thanks!” Uta got up and grabbed his bento out of the fridge, thankful that he had even thought of it the day before.

                “Okay, since it’s your first day, I’ll get the stupid questions out of the way.” Miel winked at Uta. Uta’s stomach started to shake. “Let’s see. What’s your living arrangement? Sorry, not sorry I’m so nosey.”

                ‘That’s fine…I’ll just remember this and ask you embarrassing questions when you least expect it.” Uta felt a little more comfortable...enough so to tell the truth. “Live by myself, family owned a three-unit complex. I have neighbors that I’ve known for quite a while.”

                “Oh, living on your own! Nice! Uh…okay, boyfriend or girlfriend?” Miel wanted to make sure he didn’t create a problem later with this. “Neither, ex-boyfriends, nothing current, I don’t even want one truthfully, too much of a hassle.”

                “Hmm, okay… Cats or Dogs?” Miel always asked this of anyone new in the store. “I have cats, two Siamese, Luna and Saki…an ex-lover of mine gave them to me, we’re still really good friends.”

                “Aww…I’d love to see them! I’m a cat person too. Okay, this is important…don’t lie! X Japan or Buck Tick?” The look on Uta’s face scared Miel so much he quickly stood up, reaching for Uta.

                “Oh god, I’m … shit…” He was trying to calm Uta, who was hyperventilating and looked to be ready to pass out. “Zero to the break room please, Zero” Miel called out over the PA system, it must have sounded urgent as Zero was there in less than a minute.     

                “What happened?” Zero looked at Uta, then over at Miel, “I asked a question, then Uta looked like he was going to pass out…I’m so sorry!”

                “What did you ask him…TELL ME!” Zero snapped, “I just asked if he liked X Japan or Buck Tick.” Zero frowned, why would that cause this kind of reaction. “Uta, come with me.” Zero helped the young man up and walked him into the office, closing the door behind him.

                “Talk to me Uta…what’s wrong, tell me the truth, I’m not angry…but you’re scaring me a little.” Zero had Uta sitting in a chair, the young man on the verge of tears.           

                “You…You can’t tell anyone this… EVER! I will deny it to my death if I find out you’ve said something!” Uta’s voice was panicked.

                “Okay…I won’t tell anyone…” The manager thought this was odd. “I um, …shit…I can’t, not here! I’m sorry Zero, I’ll be alright in a minute, okay?” Uta couldn’t say it, he couldn’t bring himself to say Sakurai’s name, admit that he was once the man’s lover.

                The older man looked down at his employee, there was a demon somewhere that was hurting Uta, and he oddly felt very protective of the boy.

                “When you’re ready…or even if you’re never ready, I’ll be here to listen. Now, just go finish your lunch, then get back out on the floor. I think maybe you should go work in electronics…it’s quiet over there this late. I’ll talk to Miel for you.” Zero opened the door, Uta went out, Miel looking nervous. “Miel, come here please.”

                “Whatever has happened, Uta has chosen not to tell me, I do not want to ever hear that this has been discussed. I’m sure you understand the consequences, just keep what happened to yourself.” Zero patted Miel on the shoulder. “Go back out to the floor.”

                Zero kept a close eye on Uta, watching for any potential repeats of the episode in the break room. After Miel and the others were sent home, Zero asked Uta to meet with him in the office.

                “I know it’s none of my business, but seriously…you scared Miel pretty bad tonight, hell you scared me. Can you at least give me the basics without naming anyone?” Zero had Uta sit across from him, he leaned forward with his elbows on his knees.

                “If I tell you this…and it gets out…I will sue the shit out of you, and probably half of the music industry will be after you, I’m not joking.” Uta was dead serious. “Uh, okay…if you want, we can have a non-disclosure agreement drawn up. I’m worried that this will somehow affect your work here…which would be a shame, I like you, Uta. Even after one night, I can see that you have great potential, so I promise…I will not reveal any of this.”       

                Uta was second guessing himself at that moment, knowing he owed it to his boss to be truthful, but not wanting anyone’ to know who the players were. “I was involved with a very high-profile musician, the relationship soured, and we broke up. I don’t know if you remember the murder last year of a man, in the old warehouse district?”

                “Vaguely, yes.” The older man didn’t like where this was leading. “After I broke up with the musician, I started dating a man, the man that was murdered was my lover…we were going to get married.” Uta sniffed, he was forcing the tears not to fall. “I left the country for awhile… to shorten this…I’ll get to the point.” Uta shook his head, he couldn’t believe he was going to say his name, but something inside him was telling him to trust the man that sat before him, Zero was someone he could trust.

                Uta breathed deeply, “The reason I got upset, is the man I was involved with was Sakurai Atsushi.” There…he had said it for the first time to anyone that he had not known.

                Zero sat back in his chair, just looking at the young man sitting in front of him. “You were lovers with…Does that mean you know others in the industry as well?” Uta nodded, then chuckled. “Um, my neighbors? Are Die of Dir En Grey and Reita of the Gazette. Not to mention I know most of the band members from Danger Crue Records.”

                “Oookayy…I’m speechless really. I’d love to find out more, confidentially of course, but it’s late, you should get home.” Zero stood up, grabbed the keys to the store and the two men left the building. “You promise you won’t say anything to anyone? I don’t want to go into hiding, but I will. I’m perfectly capable of leaving the country at any moment.” Uta wasn’t sure he had done the right thing by telling his secrets.

                “Uta, the only thing I may do? Is corner you one night and ask you to tell me who it is exactly that you know. No, I will not leak this information to anyone, I promise. Come here…” Zero did something unexpected and very non-Japanese…he opened his arms to a virtual stranger, for a hug.

                Even more strange? Uta walked right in to the man’s arms, and it felt good, albeit too short. “Thanks, Zero, I really like this place, I like who I’m working with…I’m happier than I have been in a long time. Thanks for taking a chance with me.”

                The two men parted, Uta due in to work a mid-shift the next day, Zero open to close as was the norm for him. “Take care, Uta…I’ll see you tomorrow.” The man waved as he turned the corner.

                Uta pulled into his parking spot, noticing that the other apartments seemed quiet, most likely everyone was already asleep. Unlocking the door, he pushed his way in past a screaming Luna and Saki, mad at Uta for being gone for so long. He knew it would be hard on the cats at first, they’d get used to the new routine, Uta had thought about getting a DVD of birds or something…but with Saki being a maniac at times he settled for just leaving the TV on.

                “I hear you…damn! It’s only been like 6 hours! Give me five minutes to put my shit away.” Uta scolded the cats as they wove between his legs as he walked. Grabbing a can of cat food, he divided it up between the two noisy cats, knowing it wouldn’t take them long to scarf it up, then start harassing him again.

                He’d thought about what he’d done, exposing his secrets to a man he had literally met the day before, though there was something about Zero that felt comfortable, he wanted to talk to the older man, “Pfft, he’s younger than Acchan, you twit…he’s probably only four or five years older.”

                The reaction he had when Miel asked about the bands, worried him a bit. What would he say to his co-worker the next time they worked together? ‘Oh hey, Miel, sorry I freaked out on you, I’m just screwed up in the head from fucking Sakurai Atsushi.’ Yah, that will go over well.” Uta had to laugh at himself, it was the only way he was staying sane.

                Taking a quick shower, both cats screaming at him in the bathroom, Uta dried his hair, got his things together for the next day, then wearily crawled into bed, Luna taking her spot right away, Saki standing on Uta’s chest, hitting him gently with a paw.

                “Saki, it’s going to be okay…we’ll be okay with out him, don’t worry.” Uta turned onto this side, Saki booped him in the head, then curled up in the crook of Uta’s tummy, “Oyasumi Saki, Luna…Oyasumi Acchan…I hope you’re happy now.”

               

                Reita thought he heard Uta’s car door slam, his head was fuzzy again with vodka, which had become the only way to get through his night, without breaking down and crying. Each night that he was apart from Ayato, he texted the boy, ‘I love you’, though he never got a response. Reita had heard nothing from Yuki, not a word on whether or not Ayato was still in Japan, or had run back to Los Angeles.

                Falling over on the couch, the TV the only light in the flat, Reita closed his tear swollen eyes for the night, wishing that some how he would wake up and there would be a reply on his phone, saying ‘I love you too’.

 

                Some where in an internet café in Tokyo, a slender waif like young man is tucked under a desk, trying to hide from the constant glow of florescent lights and the cloud of cigarette smoke that never seemed to dissipate. Ayato had cried himself to sleep every night since he had run from the flat during the argument with Yuki, the nightly texts of ‘I love you’ from Reita, making things worse.

                There was no way any of them cared for him…he wasn’t worth caring about. Ayato wanted nothing more than to get on a plane, go back to California and disappear into the unending tide of illegal immigrants of all nationalities. He knew he could work there, he could afford a flat and possibly even a scooter.

                He could hide in the crowds of people at the shops, people not making eye contact, it was too dangerous, you didn’t know who the other person was, what they may do. The problems in Japan couldn’t reach him in Los Angeles…Reita couldn’t reach him. “A different club maybe…probably not…Rob and Leo are there…Angelo.” Ayato would murmur to himself in the night. “You deserve better, Akira…not me.”

 

Related image Zero (D'espairsRay)                     Image result for Datura Miel  Miel (DatuRA) Image result for exist trace miko omi Omi & Miko (Exist Trace)

Chapter Text

 

                Kato stood next to Ormond in the study of Madame F, awaiting the arrival of Isshi. The submissive was dressed according to the Dominant’s instructions, wearing a suit but being bare chested underneath, a rather tame outfit Kato thought.

Madame F had asked Isshi to make sure to cater his needs to what Kato would normally be serving, “Be a little more butch tonight…or bitchy, I want to examine just how well-trained Kato is.”

                “Butch? Oh please, Madame! I can do bitchy, but butch? I’m sorry, I’ll have to say no to that…honestly, me as a butch Dominant?” Isshi laughed.

                “Kato, you look beautiful, your make up is just enough, I’m sure you’ll have Isshi drooling over you.” Madame F appraised Kato’s appearance, the submissive bowing his head but saying nothing.                  

                Ormond bowed to his Dominant and left Kato standing alone, returning with Isshi in tow. “Isshi my dear, so nice to see you, I’d like to formally introduce you to Kato.” Isshi calmly looked at Kato, approaching the taller man, “Kato, thank you for agreeing to attend me tonight, though I do understand the necessity. I approve of what

you’re wearing, you were correct in your choices.”

                Kato bowed deeply, “Thank you, Isshi-san. I’m happy that you approve, please accept my service for the evening.” Isshi raised an eyebrow, then glanced over at Madame F, who smiled.   

                “Isshi dear, Ruimaru and Leda, I’m sure they were slightly upset that you were leaving them at home tonight?” Madame F knew better, but was padding Isshi’s ego.      

                “No, actually I gave my angels a chance to play freely, I’m sure to come home to a sated lump of cute boys in my bed later this evening.” Isshi blushed. Ruimaru had begged Isshi privately, to let him have a free hand with Leda.  

 

                Ormond and Kato held the car doors for their Dominants, both then settling into the front seat, pulling away from Madame F’s home. “Did you let Niihara know we were attending tonight my dear Madame?” Isshi was behaving a little more professionally, he knew Madame F was evaluating Kato for the chance the submissive would be an appropriate personal pet for Davina.

                “Yes, we have use of what I’m guessing will be my private room, I did ask if he had heard from Davina, and he has not. Have you spoken to her lately?” Madame F had not heard from the other Dominant in some days, knowing that she would need to call and make the appointment for Kato.

                “She called me the other day, asking if she could have Ruimaru attend her, they went Koi shopping again…she knows how much my angel loves the fish, but other than that, I have not.” Isshi could tell that Davina was becoming lonelier, the sound of her voice was more than just a bit melancholic in tone.

                Arriving at Vinyl Fetish, the proprietor was standing at the door, waiting the arrival of the two high power Dominants. “Madame F, Isshi-san…welcome to Vinyl Fetish, if you will follow Velvet, she will show you to your room.” Niihara bowed, waited for Ormond to take care of the valet, and taking notice of Kato with an approving eye.

                A very tall, black haired young western woman, bowed deeply to the Dominants, “Please follow me.” The woman asked in perfect Japanese.

                An audible murmur was heard through out the club as Madame F and Isshi entered, more so than when Isshi had come with both his boys attending him.

                “Oh my, isn’t he just gorgeous?”

                “Who is he? I’ve never seen him.”

                “Shit, now Isshi has three pets! Fuck him!”

                “Isshi’s being a little greedy, isn’t he?”

                Neither Isshi nor Madame F acknowledged the remarks, both of them showing a look of distain, as they moved towards the private rooms. Once entering the room and closing the door, Isshi started laughing, actually falling over on the couch.

                “Oh shit! Did you HEAR them? The jealousy and envy?” Isshi was having fun with this, Madame F on the other hand, was ready to issue some reprimands on some of the commenters.

                “It’s rude and unworthy of anyone in this community to think, let alone verbalize these thoughts in the open. No, that will not do.” Madame F started to seat herself in a chair, Ormond moving before the woman made a move. Isshi took Kato’s hand as it was offered to help him sit up again, stepping next to the couch.

                “Kato, what was your routine at the clubs you visited with your Mistress? I’m unfamiliar with the basic community in New York.” Madame F asked. Kato, moved to stand in front of the Dominant, noting Isshi’s permission without even looking.

                “It was much like it is here, Madame. My Mistress Astrid had her own private room, the community seems almost exact, as if New York was transported to Japan.” Bowing, Kato returned to his post next to Isshi.

                The evening went smoothly, Kato performing as well as Ormond, perhaps even a little better, Isshi making sure to make the slightest of requests for the submissive, Kato was always spot on. He knew where to walk in relation to his Dominant, what questions to ask, who to keep away from Isshi, there was not one thing the man did wrong, he exceeded Madame F’s expectations.

                Dismissing Kato, Isshi leaving to go home to play with his boys, Madame F was in her dressing gown, waiting for Ormond to secure the house. “Madame, do you wish me to stay with you tonight?” the pet asked, a tinge of hope in his voice. “Yes, my dear, I do. I feel the need for some personal attention.”

                Ormond rushed, although without neglecting, through his evening duties, anxious to be with his Dominant as a lover. Wearing only his small briefs, Ormond slid into the large bed, opening his arms to cuddle his Lady. “Are you unwell?” He kissed the top of her head. This was the one place where the formalities of being a submissive, fell to the wayside, Ormond was able to show Madame F, his true love for her.

                “No, not unwell. I’m a little sad tonight, watching Kato reminded me why we had this evening at the club…we are finding a replacement for Teiji, I dearly miss that man. I was hoping to see you both into your senior years, loving and caring for Davina and I.”

                Ormond tightened his arms around the woman, bending down to her lips, “I will never leave you, I love you more each moment I am with you.” Madame F sighed, giving into her carnal instincts, removing the Dominant and submissive roles for the night.

 

               

                Ayato was curled under the desk in his cubicle, facing the wall, trying to sleep a little longer, the florescent lights making it near impossible. He was tired, he was lonely…he wanted nothing more than to leave Japan. He couldn’t deal with hearing the nightly chime of the ‘I love you’, text that Reita sent, he still believed the man could not truly love him, nobody could…he was nothing special, he never had been, he never would be.

                Giving up after two hours of attempting sleep, Ayato rolled out from under the desk, grabbing his tooth brush, he went to the communal bathroom to freshen up as much as he could.

                Changing his clothes in the cubicle, Ayato made his way out to the streets, searching for something to occupy his time, to deaden the pain he was feeling. Grabbing a ramen bowl from a street cart, the young man wandered the streets, ending up in the Akihabara neighborhood.

                He had spoken to his boss that first night he had run from Ruki’s, letting the man know he wouldn’t be returning to work, upsetting his boss who worried for the young man. “I can’t commit to anything right now, I’m so sorry to dump this on you.” Ayato explained, the boss asking if he could do anything to help. “No, I’ll be fine, thank you for everything.” He collected the last of his wages in cash, finding the internet café and making himself at home.

                Ayato knew he was going to have to go back to the flat eventually, all of his documents were still there, the remainder of his clothes and other items. Sitting down in front of a store, he took out his phone.

                “Hey, I need to come by, when is a good time?” he texted Yuki.

 

                “I just really need to grab my stuff, then I’ll be out of your way.” Ayato started to move towards his bedroom. “Hey, stop a minute.” Yuki gently grabbed him by the arm. “Can we at least talk for a minute?”

                “Sure, what’s up?” Ayato said sullenly. “First off, I won’t talk about you know who, hell I won’t even say his name. Second, you look like shit, seriously. Won’t you just please come home? I’ll drop the subject of Reita, I won’t bring it up anymore, I won’t even talk about it. Just come home, please.”

                Ayato sat across from Yuki, looking at his friend…not trusting the man completely, but he thought about the lack of sleep, the constant cloud of cigarette smoke, which he could never get away from…he missed his bed.”

                “Why should I believe you? Everyone’s been shoving us together, like he’s the last man on earth that would love me. Tell me why I should agree to come back?” Ayato wanted the truth, not some bullshit story about Reita being his one true love.

                “I’m scared that somethings going to happen to you, you’ll get beat up or robbed. I don’t know where you’ve been staying, but it must not be great just by the way you look. I miss you as a friend, I just want you to be happy and safe.” Yuki gave his solid reasons, wanting still to scream at Ayato about Reita.

                Ayato sighed, he was so tired…he wanted nothing more than a hot shower and then to sleep in his own bed, he hated the internet café with a passion, he was burning through his savings quickly.

                Rubbing his face roughly, raking his hands through his hair, he took another look at Yuki, “Fine…I’ll move back because where I’m staying right now sucks. But I swear, if you mention his name, I’m going to kick your ass all over the flat! That’s done and over with, just leave it alone, promise me that!” Ayato cautioned Yuki.

                “Do you want that in writing? I can draw up a…HEY!” Ayato threw a pillow, smacking Yuki straight in the face. “No, I don’t need it written, you’re just going to have to follow my directions on this. If I want to talk about him, I will…but you will NOT bring it up…understand?”

                “I need to go get the rest of my stuff, but I want to at least shower first…I know I smell like old icky cigarette smoke.” Ayato got up, moving towards the bathroom. Yuki watched his roommate leave the room, then scrambled over to the bag Ayato had brought with him, digging for a cell phone. “Got it!” He whispered.

                Quickly going to the contacts and finding Reita, Yuki wrote down the phone number, then closed the phone and shoved it back into Ayato’s bag. He never agreed not to talk to Reita, just not talk about him.

                Walking back into the living room, with his hair still wet, Ayato moves to pick up his bag, “I’m dumping this stuff in the wash, it stinks pretty bad.” Leaving the flat to go down to the communal laundry area, Yuki wants to text Reita…maybe wait till he’s gone?

                 As Ayato shoved his dirty clothes into a washing machine, he wondered if moving back in was the smart thing to do. Could he honestly trust Yuki not to contact Reita? Or was he just bullshitting enough just to get Ayato to move back in? “Can’t hurt to try.”

                “I’m going to go pick up my stuff, should be back in about an hour, will you be here?” Ayato grabbed the keys to the flat, “Um, probably…I mean I don’t work tonight, do you want dinner? I can make something…spaghetti?” Yuki offered.

                “Sure, that would be nice, thanks.” Going towards the door Ayato stopped and turned to look at Yuki. “Please, just be my friend…don’t push me on anyone, okay?”

                “No problem…I promise.” Yuki grinned.

                Yuki waited a good fifteen minutes until he took his phone out, locking himself in his bedroom, just to be safe, then texting a simple message;

                “Reita? It’s Yuki. We need to talk…when can I see you? It’s important.

 

 

               

                “You’re kidding? She’s really like that? I’ll make sure to steer clear of her if possible.” Acchan was laughing at a story Karyu was telling about a certain busybody old woman in the town, who had a habit of cornering new comers to the area, and drilling them about private matters.

                “She’s not a bad person, Acchan, she’s lonely…but it is irritating, I’m sure she’s already asked my grandfather a million questions about you.” Karyu insisted.

                Acchan looked over at Karyu, whose back was bent, sweat dripping from his face, in an attempt to pull a stubborn root loose. These last three days had been more than pleasurable for Sakurai Atsushi, learning the quirks of the small town, it was a bonus that Karyu was attractive and likeable.

                The young man had opened up to Acchan over the course of the days he was helping with the clearing of Acchan’s property, talking about his grandparents and the pain of missing his grandmother. It had also become clear that Karyu was gay… possibly a virgin and a natural submissive, something Acchan had picked up on even the first day.

                 “Karyu, you always look away before you speak to me, is there something wrong?” Acchan asked gently, he was standing across from Karyu in the kitchen, making lunch.

                “No Sir…I mean…no…I um…it’s hard for me to look at you.” Karyu said softly. “You’re not afraid of me, are you?” Acchan walked towards the counter. “No, I’m not afraid of you, I respect you…that’s all.” Karyu was looking at his hands in his lap. This was the moment Acchan recognized the possibility that the boy was gay and submissive.

                “As I told you the first day, I don’t bite often, and I never draw blood. Please, I don’t mind if you look at me…you’re not my pet.” Acchan took a chance with adding the word pet…gaging Karyu’s reaction, which was a dark pink blush to the boy’s cheeks.

                Karyu, looked up quickly, “Pet?” Acchan decided to ignore the response, he didn’t want to confuse the boy. “Let’s get back to work, we’re almost done!” As Acchan walked by, he ruffled Karyu’s hair as if the young man was a child, but to Karyu it was warm and familiar, like the older man had always been there.

 

                “Looks like we’re finished with the garden, Acchan. Do you have anything else you’ll need help with?” Karyu stood up, done with raking the yard of the dead weeds, and putting them in a large pile. He hoped, without much certainty, that Acchan would need him to help with some other odd job. Three days had gone by much to quickly to satisfy Karyu…he just wanted to remain in Acchan’s presence.

                “Hmm, I may need you in the barn, let’s go take a look.” Acchan smirked to himself, need him in the barn? Dirty old hentai. Acchan had been watching the boy for three days, and each evening after Karyu left, Acchan would take those visions and use them for a nightly sexual release…sometimes more than once. Karyu was adorable, cute and clumsy, blushing furiously when ever Acchan got too close or touched him.

                Gathering up the tools, Acchan and Karyu walked down to the barn, Acchan sliding the large door open, revealing Henny and Penny scritching in the dirt. “Hello ladies,” Acchan murmured.

                Acchan stood and looked over the barn, looking at possible weak points that may need help, Karyu putting the tools away.

                “Acchan…” Karyu whispered, turning around Acchan see’s that the tiny grey cat is hunched over near a door to a pen, “She’s not running…” Karyu was still whispering. Acchan motioned for Karyu to sit down, to lean against the door of another pen, putting a finger to his lips, then walking over softly and sitting down next to the young man.

                “Maybe she’s getting used to us being around?” Karyu leaned over and whispered near Acchan’s ear. “Mmm, yes…” Acchan said softly, almost erotically, causing Karyu to sit up and shiver just a bit, his face flushed.

                “What, um…does the barn need work?” Karyu’s voice quivered, he couldn’t look at Acchan, instead keeping his eyes on the small cat that was still tucked down next to the door.

                “Hmm, maybe a little patching of the roof, would hate for this to be wet now that I have the chickens and of course our little neko-chan.” Acchan kept his voice low, knowing the exact effect it would have on Karyu.

                Did he dare? His heart said no…you love Uta, his mind was screaming yes…you love Uta but he doesn’t want to be part of your life. Acchan slid his hand over and covered Karyu’s, the boy jerking in reflex. “I’ve told you, I don’t bite…much.” Karyu looked at the older man, who had a wicked sexy grin playing on his lips.

                Karyu’s heart was being in his ears, he felt like he couldn’t breathe, what the hell was Acchan doing? Could he be…no…he’s a famous musician, people fall to his feet, they worship him.

                Acchan turned his face to look at Karyu…he leaned over and gently kissed the boy on the cheek, nothing more…he did not want to frighten the poor little rabbit away.

                Karyu almost passed out, his vision was whiting out, his heart felt like it had stopped, he whimpered as the soft lips left his cheek. “Acchan…?”

                Acchan sighed, “I’m sorry, Karyu…I should not have done that.” Not remembering that they were being quiet because of the cat, Acchan stood and walked over to where the chickens were digging in the dirt.

                “I’m not angry…maybe confused…but it wasn’t a bad thing.” Karyu objected.

                “To be honest, I find you very attractive, Karyu.” Acchan confessed. Turning around he looked at the boy who was still sitting on the floor of the barn.

                “I would like to pursue a relationship with you, though my heart would not totally be yours.” The man’s voice held a great deal of sadness, Karyu knew why he was apprehensive. “You’re still in love with your ex…I totally understand but I am glad that you told me.”

                “Yes, I am still in love with Uta, and it’s not fair to you, if I am not a whole person as of this moment, to be in any relationship.” Acchan couldn’t believe he was admitting to all of this.

                Karyu got up, dusting the dirt and hay from his pants, walking over to the older man. “Thank you, for being honest, and not just playing with me. I’m sure your ex also loved this about you.”

                Acchan had to stop himself from snorting, if Karyu only knew how badly he had behaved in the past, that the boy would run screaming away from him. “I’d still like your help, if you’re comfortable with that?”

                “I would have been upset if you would have turned me away.” Karyu looked at his feet, a sudden jolt when Acchan reached up to pet his long hair. Looking up at Acchan, he couldn’t help but whine, moving closer to the man. “Please…just once?”

                Acchan tsked, “Such a boy you are, trying to seduce an old man…I should punish you instead.” At the word ‘punish’, Karyu gasped, Acchan swearing he heard a tiny moan from the boy. Is it possible? It can’t be.

                Acchan grabbed the boy by the waist roughly, pulling Karyu to his chest. “Begging? Karyu…shame on you…you ask, you don’t beg. What punishment should I choose for you?” Before Karyu could answer, Acchan reached up and grabbed Karyu’s hair in his fist, pulling on it with a strong tug, again Karyu moaned.

                “You’re such a naughty boy…you want to be punished, don’t you?” Acchan growled lowly, Karyu’s breath quickened, as he nodded. With his arm tightening around Karyu’s waist, his hips leaning against the boy’s, Acchan leaned in and gently sucked Karyu’s lower lip, a gentle bite as he slowly slid his tongue between Karyu’s slightly parted lips.

                The response from Karyu was nothing less than intoxicating, the slow burn of the kiss giving Acchan a feel of light headedness, the young man leaning into him. Karyu wanted to wrap his arms around Acchan’s waist, but he wasn’t sure if he should, instead slowly raising is hands to rest on the older man’s hips.
                Breaking the kiss, Karyu mewled with the sudden loss of Acchan’s beautifully full lips, “Such a naughty kitten you are…I made you purr, didn’t I?” Karyu nodded. “This is a rather pleasant development, wouldn’t you say? I believe we need to discuss what just happened.”

                “Yes, sir…” Karyu whispered. “Come with me, we need to speak before going any further, do you understand, Karyu?” Acchan held out his hand and led Karyu up to the house.

                “Sit here, don’t move.” Acchan ordered, Karyu obeyed without question, his gaze remained on the floor. How did this happen? Is he really a … there’s no way! Similar thoughts were flooding Karyu’s mind, Sakurai Atsushi was a Dominant?

                Acchan returned, with two glasses of water, handing one to Karyu and lowering himself in a chair next to the couch where he had ordered Karyu to sit.

                “This was unexpected, Karyu.” Acchan started. “I’m sorry, Sir. I didn’t mean to…” Karyu stuttered. “Nonsense, there’s nothing to apologize for, I’m simply stating that I did not expect to find a submissive out here in a small town.”

                “You do understand my position, yes?” Acchan wanted to hear it from Karyu before moving forward. “You’re a Dominant. I understand.” Karyu had no real experience, but watching enough videos to be clear about his choices.

                “Have you ever been with a Dominant before, Karyu?” Acchan was walking a fine line between asking and acting.

                “No sir, I’m …uh…I’m still a…” Karyu was embarrassed to be 26 and a virgin. “That is of no matter to me. I understand.” Acchan’s tone became a little softer.

                “Are you sure of your position? You are sure you are a submissive and just not a horny gay boy?” Acchan’s words were a little rough, but there was caring behind them.

                “I have only seen videos, and uh, certain one’s excited me more than others.” Karyu was stumbling over his words, it was so embarrassing to be speaking to someone like Sakurai Atsushi about being a gay virgin submissive.

                Acchan sat back in his chair, his fingers forming a peak, tapping against his lips, he wasn’t sure how to proceed, should he take this boy as a pet? Train him, as he had others? Or does he send the boy away for good?

                “What do you want of me, Karyu? Now that you know my position. Do you want me just to take your virginity? Do you want me as a lover…or do you want me as your Dominant? Think about it carefully, Karyu…you don’t even need to answer me tonight, in fact I don’t want you to. You need to go home and think about this carefully.”

                Karyu was crushed, Acchan was sending him away. “Karyu, look at me, I am not telling you no, but this is something you need to think about carefully. If you just want to play, that’s fine, we can do that without any strings, if you want me as your Dominant, there are procedures we must follow.”

                Acchan got up and held out his hand for Karyu, walking him to the door. “I want you to go home and think about this, it’s important that you understand that if you want me as your Dominant, we must work through this carefully, regardless of your decision, I am in no way, saying no or throwing you away, is that understood?”

                “Yes, Sir. Can I um…can you…” Karyu felt like he needed that second kiss, it would tell his heart what he needed to know, what he wanted Acchan to do.

                “Of course, kitten,” Acchan reached up and cupped Karyu’s face in his hands, “You will come to me tomorrow, with your answer.” Karyu nodded. Acchan licked his lips, slowly reaching for Karyu’s soft warm mouth, the kiss he delivered, spoke of things left unsaid. “Oyasumi, Karyu.” Acchan murmured against the boy’s lips.

                “Oy…oyasumi Acchan.” Karyu stepped back, Acchan reaching out once more, caressing the boy’s cheek. “Go home.” Acchan said with a gentle smile, Karyu nodded and left Acchan’s house.

                “What in the hell am I doing?”

Chapter Text

 

                Karyu walked home slowly, stopping to look over his shoulder at Gray’s Estates, Sakurai Atsushi’s new home. Turning and continuing down the dirt road, he reached up to touch his lips, he could still feel the burn of Acchan’s kiss.

                Was the man asking him to be his submissive? Did he want to be Acchan’s plaything? Would he keep him forever? What did all of this involve…what were the procedures?

                “Karyu, you’re late tonight.” Jiji commented without looking away from the TV. “We were working on what to do with the barn, Jiji…Sakurai-san isn’t sure what he’s going to do with it.” It wasn’t that much of a lie, they had been working on the barn before…

                “Will you be returning to his home again?” Karyu’s grandfather was old, but he was neither senile nor blind, he knew what he had seen, what he had felt when the famous musician had come to his store that very first day.

                “Yes, I’ll be going over there tomorrow, he wants to remove everything from the barn. I’m going to go shower, I’m beat…oyasumi Jiji.” Karyu waved as he went up the stairs.

                Rushing through a shower, Karyu grabbed his laptop and got into bed, starting his search on what exactly he was facing if he was to stay with Acchan.

                “Contracts? Um…pre-negotiation? Rough BS? Woah…this is deep.” Looking at the long list of items that may be used or not used in his play with Acchan. “Safe word…hmm, something I’ll never forget?” This was going to be a little harder.

                Writing down some of the things he absolutely would not do, was much easier than writing the things he was interested in. “Ew, brown showers? Gross! Clowns…nope, too scary.”

                Looking at the other items, making notes about what he really wanted to do, “Blindfolding, corset, dildo’s, vibrators, damn, I’m so vanilla!” Karyu laughed at himself. “Breath play…?” Karyu had to look that one up. “Oh, hell no!” shuddering at the description, “I don’t care how great of an orgasm it produces!”

                Karyu searched different sites for information, wanting to make sure he didn’t come off as being too unknowledgeable, “Pfft, who am I kidding? He already knows I’m a virgin!” Shutting down his computer, Karyu rolled over…wanting to sleep, well, wanting to jerk off, but for some reason he thought that Acchan might not be pleased if he did…he wanted to get permission first.

                Sakurai Atsushi was pacing around his house, biting on one of his usually manicured nails, that since he had been working around his property, had all become broken and the polish chipped.

                “What the hell am I doing?” he muttered over and over. Do I fuck him and take his virginity if he doesn’t really want me as a lover? That’s awful casual. Do I accept him as a submissive… a trainee? He’s nothing like that awful boy that killed Teiji…Davina! Should he call her? Hmm. Nope, definitely not Davina, Madame F? Probably not.

                “ISSHI!” Grabbing his cell phone and paging through the contacts he found Isshi’s number.

                “Isshi? Konbanwa, I’m fine, yourself and your beautiful boys? Well, not really a social call, but more one of a professional nature. Have you heard that I’ve moved from the city? Yes, almost two weeks ago, yes…that was the main reason I’m sure you can understand. I need a bit of advice, actually you’re perfect for the question.”

                Explaining his situation, Acchan needed to know how to proceed with Karyu, if the boy should accept him as a dominant. “He’s a virgin Isshi, in all ways. That’s my biggest concern.” Some of the things Isshi suggested were issue Acchan had already dealt with.

                “Hmm? Do you think? Well he’s a very soft-spoken boy, not quite as angelic as your Ruimaru, he’s a bit more on the pretty side…no! Not at all like Uta. Hmm, would you object if he agreed? Would they…well of course I know they’d do it if you told them, but I’m not one to force and I know you do not as well. Let’s say about 11am tomorrow? Yes, I’ll text you the directions. Thank you, Isshi.

 

                “My Angel, my sweet boy…we have a job tomorrow, I want you to be on your best, and your most convincing behavior tomorrow afternoon.” Isshi explained as he cuddled in bed, one boy under each arm.

                “Sir, may I ask what we’ll be doing?” Ruimaru was always the cheeky one, Leda the one that needed to be cuddled. “We are going to assist Sakurai-san with a potential new pet that needs training.”

                Ruimaru sat up, “A…a trainee! No! Isshi!!! No, we can’t do that! NO!” Ruimaru jumped from the bed and ran out of the bedroom. “Sir?” Leda was shaking. “Oh my, Leda my darling, stay here until I call for you.” Leda nodded.

                Pulling on a dressing gown, Isshi walked down to Ruimaru’s bedroom, knocking softly on the door before opening it. “My Angel…come here.” Ruimaru was crying into his pillow, he didn’t hear his Dominant enter the room. “No no no! No new pets…please…not again!” the young man sobbed.

                Isshi walked to the bed, sitting on the side, “My Angel, look at me.” The Dominant asked softly, rubbing Ruimaru’s back. It took several minutes for the young submissive to turn over. “You can’t! I’ll leave! I don’t want to help a new trainee! I’ll run away and you won’t ever find me! I swear Isshi…I’ll run away!”

                The young man was sobbing uncontrollably, his face red and twisted in pain. “Ruimaru, look at me…listen to me please.” Isshi said in a stern voice. “I am not taking the new boy as a trainee, that would be up to Sakurai-san. I am merely assisting him with the boy. There will be no new trainees.” Ruimaru reached for a tissue, wiping the boy’s face.

                “Sakurai can’t have a trainee! It’s not safe! No! I won’t do it! You can’t make me! I don’t care if you tie me up and beat me! I will NOT HELP YOU HURT SAKURAI!” Ruimaru tried to get up to run from Isshi, the man grabbing the boy by the waist.

                “RUIMARU!” Isshi snapped, “STOP IT THIS INSTANT!” Ruimaru had only heard Isshi raise his voice once, at the Fetish Club after Sakurai Atsushi grabbed Leda’s ass, Isshi’s raised voice scared him then, as it did now.

                Ruimaru’s wailing stopped, now just sniveling and hiccupping, looking over to the door, Leda was standing, looking terrified. “My lovelies, come here Leda.”

                With Leda in one arm, Ruimaru in the other, Isshi took the time to calm them both before explaining what they were going to do for Sakurai.

                “I know you are scared, my Angel, but this is not the same situation as it was with Setsuna, please believe me.” Leda nodded, Ruimaru hesitated to do anything.

                “Sakurai has moved out of the city, he has a lovely estate in Fujioka, there was a young man working with him that he is potentially interested in. The boy is a virgin, but is a submissive… the poor thing knows nothing. I offered to bring you both with me so perhaps you could speak to the boy, before he agrees to anything with Sakurai.”

                Ruimaru started to cry softly. “Angel, what’s wrong?” Ruimaru buried his face in Isshi’s robe. “I’m sorry…please forgive me Sir…I just thought…I couldn’t go through…”

                Isshi leaned down to kiss his little angel on the head, “Yes dear one, that is exactly why I would never scold you for those feelings. This is not a repeat of Setsuna, this is completely different. So, will you help this new boy? His name is Karyu, Sakurai says he’s beautiful, though he couldn’t possibly be any more beautiful that my lovely boys.”

                It took Isshi another hour to help Ruimaru completely recover, and also reassure Leda that he was not angry for the young man speaking out of turn, or saying what he did. “Ru, are you going to be okay?” Leda whispered as they snuggled in bed with Isshi, who was already snoring softly. “Yes, I’m sorry Leda. It’s just it was just so horrible when Senpai was murdered, I just don’t want to ever go through that again.”

                Ruimaru slipped out of the bed, running around to Leda’s side, kissing his lover gently. “Don’t worry, we might have some fun with this new boy!” Leda sighed, “You’re just always so horny, Ru!” Ruimaru giggled, kissed Leda again then got back into bed.

 

                Sakurai Atsushi was nervous, ridiculously nervous. “What the hell is wrong with you?” he growled at himself. “Not like you’ve never done this before…what’s so different this time? He’s just another cute boy.”

                Karyu wasn’t just another cute boy, not by a long shot. Several things played on a constant loop last night after finding out Karyu’s secret, and after speaking to Isshi and asking for assistance.

                Karyu was not Uta, did not resemble Uta in any way. Karyu was a virgin, Uta had been raped over and over again, had been in a relationship with Kyo, had been raped and beaten by Morrie…Karyu was soft and fresh, appearing to never having any sexual trauma in his short life. Karyu was a little older than Uta was when they first met, but Karyu seemed younger, more innocent.

                Calling Isshi had been the right thing to do, Acchan knew his two precious boys would help Karyu figure out what he wanted, it was a perfect way to decide on which way to go.

                Was he ready for a new pet? Acchan had not had a pet for almost three years, he didn’t consider Uta a pet, Uta was and always would be his one true love, but the boy no longer desired that and Acchan had accepted it.

                Lying in bed that night, replaying the two kisses he had shared with Karyu, Acchan had felt a warm burn in his groin, something that he had not felt for any other in many years. It had always been Uta, it would in some ways always would be Uta, he was certain that if Uta called him, voiced that he loved him and wanted to live with him again, Acchan would drop everything, even Karyu…but was that fair to the boy?

                “Uta doesn’t want me anymore, so yes…Karyu will be the one to rescue me from a lonely life.” With the thoughts and feelings of the shared kisses, Acchan finally succumbed to sleep sometime after midnight.

               

 

                “Yuki? Um, it’s Reita…why did you text me?” Reita was surprised as hell to read the text after he had woken up from his regular drunken binge the night before, seeing the text gave him a small spark of hope.

                “I need to talk with you, can we meet somewhere?” Yuki didn’t care where. “Um, I’m in the studio today, can you meet me there maybe around two? We take a break around then, I’ll leave your name with the front desk.”

                “I’ll be there.”

                Reita made more of an attempt that morning to recover from the hangover, it was getting harder each day, as the alcohol had saturated his system, he always felt and smelled drunk. Everyone at the studio noticed, and there were a lot of concerned whispered conversations around him.

                Practice went as normal…as normal as it could go with a drunk bassist, an asshole second guitarist and three other members trying to referee between them.

“Aoi, just go away…really. Nothing you have to say anymore remotely interests me. You’re a troll, you’re not happy so you take it out on all of us, you blame Aki, you blame Pon, you blame everyone but yourself. So, either play your part in the band, or leave…I honestly don’t care anymore, you’re barely a member of this band, and at the rate this is going, you won’t be a member of this band for much longer.” Kai had the final say, everyone else agreeing with him, they then turned their backs on the guitarist. 

As a result, Aoi came to practice, quietly played his part and sat around saying nothing during breaks. Instead of fixing his problems, he just gave everyone the silent treatment which was fine with the other members.

                Reita was watching the clock, wanting to make sure that they took their break at the right time, so he could meet with Yuki and find out what the hell was going on. At exactly two, Reita mumbled that he had to meet someone and asked if they could take their break. Kai shrugged, it had been four hours, “Sure, go ahead.”

                Reita ran out of the practice room, everyone else grabbing water and a quick lunch that had been set out by the crew. Aoi watching the time, seeing if he could slip away to spy on Reita, he didn’t actually have to go that far, as Reita walked back into the studio, Yuki behind him.

                “Guys, this is a friend of mine, Yuki…you’ve already met Kai…this is Aoi, Uruha and Ruki.” Reita introduced the band. “Yoroshiku” Yuki bowed, as he looked at the others. “Kai, could you come with us for a moment, we need to talk.” Kai put his bento away and followed Reita and Yuki out of the practice room.

                “Is that Reita’s boyfriend?” Aoi asked nobody in particular. “No, it’s his best friend…why?” Ruki knew Ayato, but had never met Yuki. “Just wondering, he’s super cute…looks like someone Rei would date, that’s all.” Aoi shrugged, not saying anything else.

                “What’s up?” Kai stood with the other two men in the hall way. Yuki explained what had happened after Ayato ran out of Ruki’s flat, that they had had a huge fight, and Ayato had moved out…sort of.

                “He texted me earlier today, asked if he could come by and talk, I convinced him to come home, but I also promised I wouldn’t talk about Reita anymore.” Yuki didn’t know what or how the band members could help, but he felt like he had to tell someone.

                “I don’t know what to do…he’s just so unhappy, he has no self esteem, he keeps throwing the stripper thing out…he doesn’t understand that we don’t’ care about that.” Yuki looked at Reita.

                “I really think he loves you, he’s just so scared to admit it and let anyone in. His life sucked in LA, I’m sure you know that…well it sucked here too. His parents found out he was gay and told him to never contact them again, he doesn’t feel like he’s worth anything to anyone, I don’t know how to fix that.” Yuki shook his head, quickly wiping the tears from his eyes.

                “I can’t just show up, Yuki…you know that won’t work…so how do I get to him? How do I get him to believe me?” Reita was desperate to get to Ayato.

                “He needs to figure out that yes, he’s worth something, but that doesn’t directly involve you” Yuki looked at Reita, then turned to Kai, “I know he said he really liked you and your husband…do you think there’s anything you can do to help him?”

                “Where does he work, Yuki?” Reita asked. “Some recycle shop in Shinjuku… please don’t try to see him there Reita!” Yuki protested. “I won’t, I just wanted to know.” Reita claimed.

                “I wonder… Yuki, give me your phone number, I may have an idea, I need to talk to Yukke and some others first, but don’t say anything to Ayato yet.” Kai smiled, his dimples flashing. “Uh, sure…okay.” Giving Kai his phone number, Yuki went with Reita back into the practice room.

                “It was nice meeting you all, I know this is kind of corny, but I totally love the band, and Aoi-san…you’ve been a big influence on my own playing.” Yuki bowed and left the room with a wave.  

                The room was silent for a half of second, then Uruha and Ruki both burst out laughing, Kai and Reita joining in. “What’s so damned funny?” Aoi snarled. “The fact that that poor kid doesn’t know what a raging asshole you are! Oh god… I feel bad for him!” Ruki laughed.

                “What’s so funny about him looking up to me?” Aoi was stomping around, grabbing cords and searching for picks. “He said I influenced his playing, not that I was a role model for fucks sake.”

                “Aoi, you’re so clueless, most times when people say they are influenced by a certain person, that person ends up as being a role model…something that you’re so far away from being, it’s laughable.” Uruha stopped laughing long enough to explain.

                “Alright children, we still have three hours of practice left…let’s get to it!” Kai took on his leader-san role, with thoughts of what he could do for Reita and Ayato.

               

                Ayato looked at his bank book, a worried frown on his face, he was going to be short on rent this month, the nights he had spent at the internet café had taken up a little more than he had originally planned.  He was maxed out on how many hours he could work at the recycle shop and it wasn’t the best paying job either.  

                “Hey, what’s up?” Yuki walked into the tiny kitchen, “Where have you been?” Ayato looked over at his friend. “Oh, I had to run some errands down near Shibuya, not working today?” Yuki was being cautious.

                “No, not today…and I’m going to be short this month on rent…I’ll try to do something, maybe sell some things, but I think I’m going to need a second job.” Ayato hated not paying his own way, it irritated him to have to rely on others.

                “No worries, I’ve been working mega overtime, just catch me next month.” Yuki busied himself in the kitchen, Ayato watching TV. “Hey can I borrow your laptop? I want to look at jobs… maybe I can find one that pays a little more.”

                “Sure, it’s in my room on my desk, go ahead.” Yuki bent backwards, watching Ayato walk into his room. “I hope Kai can think of something quick.”

 

                “I need Taka’s phone number…have it handy?” Kai rushed into the flat, seeing Yukke sitting on the couch. “Why do you need Taka’s number? Why are you in such a rush? Oh my god…something happened to Sato? Shit! Why am I always the last one to know!”

                Kai threw a slipper at his husband, “I don’t’ have time for games.” He snapped, making Yukke pout, “I’m sorry but this is important.”

                “Taka, are you at work? No? Good. Is Koichi working? Better! Can you guys come over to my place…I need some help. Sure… that’s fine, jaa ne.”

                “Mind telling me what you’re doing and why Taka and Koichi are involved?” Yukke asked. “Can it wait until they get here? I don’t want to have to tell the story twice.” Kai flopped down on the couch next to his husband. “Ew, you smell like rehearsal…go take a shower before they get here.” Yukke pushed Kai away.

                “Only if you come with me,” Kai snuck a quick kiss in. “Why do you always want to have sex right before we have people coming over? Is this some sort of weird fetish? You want to get caught! Oh my god…you want people to watch us? KAI!”

                Kai sighed, “It would be much easier if you just said yes, instead of going on one of your weird rants.” Kai got up and held out his hand, Yukke smiling. “But my rants are so much fun! You’re still thinking of the threesome with Acchan…right?”

 

                “Wow, that’s um, some story Kai…what’s it got to do with us?” Taka and Koichi were sitting at the kitchen table with Kai, Yukke making tea for them.

                “How many guys work at the HBG now? Five, right? Not counting you. What’s your pay?” Kai had a piece of paper in front of him, writing down figures.

                “Kai what are you getting at?” Koichi was puzzled. “Kou, would you be willing to take less hours if it helped someone?” Kai looked up, an earnest grin on his face.

                “Sure, I mean it’s not like I need the money, only really Tora and Aki do, even Tomo and Mao don’t…why?” Koichi looked at Taka who just shrugged.

                “Holiday season is what? Two, three months away…so how many special events do you normally have between Halloween and New Years eve, counting DCR events?” Kai was writing furiously.

                “Hmm, including DCR?” Taka sat back in his chair, closing his eyes, his lips moving. “Max I’d say seven…if it’s a light season, five. Kai what are you trying to figure out?”

                “I want you to hire Ayato at the HBG.” Kai sat up, announcing it with finality. “Um, how am I going to do that, if he doesn’t apply and I don’t know him? I’ve never seen the kid, have I?” Taka really didn’t get where Kai was going with this.

                “No, you haven’t…not yet. Look, his best friend Yuki is trying so hard to get Ayato and Reita back together, and I agree, it’s just Ayato has little to no self esteem, sort of like a chattier Uta…but just barely and with out the sexual abuse…at least I don’t’ think he’s had any of that.”

                “Okay, fine, but that doesn’t tell me how working at the HBG is going to help…I’m not a dating service.” Taka grumped. “You kind of are, Taka… think of who met at the HBG and who are still together, Tora and Aki, Kyo and Mao, Tomo and Ruki…” Koichi argued.

                “Okay, it’s the HBG Dating Show... I still don’t see how this is going to help Reita.” Taka whined.

                “I’m still working on how to get Ayato over to the HBG, I need some way to get him to talk to you about working there…you did it for the Leda kid, didn’t you? Now he’s with Isshi…he doesn’t work for you, anymore does he?” Kai asked.

                “No and quite frankly, he was too soft spoken to work the counters, is Ayato like that?”  Koichi made a rude noise. “Like I was so aggressive and loud when I first started? I have one word for that… Tatsu.” Koichi kindly reminded his friend that he passed out when he first met Tatsu.

                “Okay, you’re right, Uta wasn’t very brave either. Fine, so I need to see a picture of his kid, so I can approach him.” Taka asked.

                “Oh, hold on.” Kai reached for his phone.

                “Yuki, do you have a picture of Ayato?”

                “Kai! You’re texting a younger man in front of me? Fine! I want a divorce.” Yukke walked by and smacked Kai in the back of the head lightly.

                “Okay…here’s his picture…oh wow, that’s a good one!” Kai showed it to Taka and Koichi. “Holy shit, he’s really pretty! His lips are like wow…” Koichi gasped. “Kou, careful, don’t let Tatsu see you drooling over Ayato.” Kai teased.

                Kai and the others finalized their side of the plan, now it was Yuki’s turn, to somehow get Ayato to the HBG at the right time.

Chapter Text

                “Isshi, welcome… Ruimaru, Leda.” Acchan bowed as he opened his door for the Dominant and his boys. “Acchan, this is beautiful…and so quaint! I can see why you’d rather stay here than in the city…it gives me certain ideas of my own.”

                Isshi was ushered into the living room, with cold iced tea served. “Acchan, I gave my lovelies a run down of what was going to happen.” Isshi threw a side eyed glance at Ruimaru, who was still blushing over the incident the night before.

                “When will we meet this young man?” Isshi wanted to have the boys prepared and in place. Looking at his watch, Acchan told them in about thirty minutes. “Will you follow me down to the barn?”

                “Somewhere hiding in this pile of mess, is a small gray cat, we’re not sure if it’s a boy or a girl, but it is feral, so you will not be able to pet it. Oh, and Henny and Penny will also be in the barn.” Acchan advised.

                “Henny and Penny?” Leda asked softly. “My two chickens, they came with the house.” Ruimaru gasped, “I love chickens!”

                “This is a lovely property, Acchan. I’m glad you’ve found a haven in which to recover. I’m sure everyone understands your need for privacy.” Isshi had wanted Uta and Acchan to reconcile, but was satisfied that it wasn’t something that would ever happen.

                “I’ll leave you to your duties, gentlemen.” Acchan and Isshi left the two boys in the barn to discuss what they were going to say to Karyu.    

                “A gay virgin submissive Acchan, that’s like a trifecta in our community.” Isshi teased the older man. “It is unusual, but not unheard of, especially in smaller communities such as this.

                Just as the two Dominants entered the house, Karyu was at the door. “Karyu, come in please, I have someone I’d like you to meet.” Acchan escorted the young man to the living room.

                “Karyu this is Isshi-san, he is a Dominant and a very good friend of mine, I had him come today for several reasons.” Acchan had Karyu sit next to him.

                “Karyu-kun, I have to say, you’re positively breathtaking. If you agree to contract with Sakurai-san, everyone in our community, except myself of course, will be green with envy.”

                Karyu blushed hard under the praise of the other man. “Thank you, Sir.” Isshi looked at Acchan and winked.

                “The reason I brought Isshi here, is to let you speak to his pets. Isshi has two of the absolute cutest pets in our community, they are waiting to speak to you down at the barn, I would like you to go and visit with them for a while.” Acchan stood, leading Karyu to the door. “Do not worry, they are lovely boys, I’m sure you’ll get along quite nicely.”

                Karyu nodded, and walked down the path to the barn. “Acchan he’s gorgeous, his hair looks so soft, I’m sure his lips are just as sweet.” Isshi crooned.

                “Hel…Hello?” Karyu approached the barn, walking in slowly. “Hi! You must be Karyu-kun! I’m Ruimaru, and this is Leda.” Karyu stepped back a step, surprised by such a bouncy energetic young man, with bright yellow hair.

                “Hi, I was um, told you were to speak with me?” Karyu wasn’t sure what was happening. “Yep, come and sit with us.” Ruimaru grabbed the taller boy’s hand, dragging him over to sit with Leda.

                “So, you met Sir, right?” Ruimaru asked. “Sir?” Karyu was confused. “Isshi-san, he’s our Dominant, what did you think of him?” Ruimaru leaned forward eagerly.

                “He seemed very nice, I’m sure he’s very special.” Karyu turned his gaze to his lap. “Silly, I’m not your senpai, you don’t have to look down! Plus, you have very pretty eyes, doesn’t he Leda?” The other boy nodded.

                “Are you going to be Sakurai-san’s new pet?” Leda asked softly. “Maybe…I’m not really sure…I don’t know much about the whole thing, what it involves.” Though Karyu had read a ton of articles, watched lots of videos, he wasn’t sure what was involved with every day life.

                “Well, first thing is you have to decide if you’re going to live with him. We both live with Isshi, we wouldn’t have any other way! Then you have to agree on the other parts of the relationship, the sex parts, and the service stuff. Do you have a safe word yet?” Ruimaru knew he was rushing things a bit, but they had limited time with the young man.  “No, but I know I have to choose one, and I can’t change it.” Karyu answered.

                The next twenty minutes were a question and answer session, a quick introduction to being a submissive with a contract. “Are those your collars? Do you wear them all the time?” Karyu asked Leda.

                “Ours are special, because well Sir didn’t want us to feel that one of us was more special than the other, so both our names are on the collar, see?”  Karyu leaned forward, “Isshi’s Angel, Isshi’s Sweet Boy.” Karyu read the names aloud.

                “I’m Sir’s Angel, he’s called me that from the moment we met. Then we met Leda at an event, Leda’s my lover too, but only when Sir allows it.” Ruimaru said seriously.

                “Your lover? How does that work?” Karyu didn’t really understand the concept. “Oh! Like this!” Ruimaru launched himself into Leda’s lap, pushing the boy back and started kissing him, Leda moaned, “Ru… this is embarrassing.” He murmured through the other boy’s kisses.

                “Leda’s shy, until I’m riding him, then he gets all fierce and growly.” Ruimaru looked slyly at Karyu, “Can I kiss you, Karyu-kun? Your lips look so soft…” he whispered. “Uh, okay.” Ruimaru crawled on his hands and knees to where Karyu was sitting, leaning in, he licks the other boy’s lips, “So so soft…”

                Karyu moaned through the kiss, Leda shifting where he sat, watching his lover kiss another boy. “Ru…stop…you’re making me hard!” Leda whimpered. “Leda, you should kiss him too, he tastes so sweet!”

                “Okay…” Leda copied the crawl towards Karyu, leaning in to capture the other boy’s lips, Leda moaning, reaching for Karyu’s hair. “God, he’s right, you are sweet!” Leda’s voice had become a little more aggressive, “Can I kiss you some more?” He asked.

                Karyu nodded, Leda pushing the young man back into the hay, and stretching his body over Karyu’s, grinding lightly into his hips. “Leda is the best kisser ever…well not as good as Sir, but in a different way.” Ruimaru had laid down beside Karyu, watching the two men kiss closely, licking his lips.

                Karyu’s mind was swimming, the weight of Leda on top of him, Ruimaru whispering and nuzzling his ear, licking his neck…if this was what being a submissive would be like, then he wanted more.

                Karyu’s arms came up and embraced Leda’s body, slowly moving his hands down to Leda’s tiny perfect ass, making Leda moan as Karyu massed the small cheeks.

                “We’d better stop Leda, or Sir’s going to be angry if we end up having to jerk off before we can walk again!” Ruimaru giggled. Leda sighed, taking one more quick lick of Karyu’s lips, then sitting back up, pushing his fully stiffened cock back down in his pants. “I’m not going to be able to walk for at least five more minutes Ru…” Leda instantly returned to his more passive persona. “I um…I can show you around the property if you want, I can’t go back into the house like this.” Karyu’s cock was definitely hard and excitingly large. “Ohh…I’d love to ride you sometime Karyu-kun.” Ruimaru bent down and rubbed his face against Karyu’s cloth covered cock.

                “I doubt Sir would go for that, Ru…” Leda chided. “Oh, I know, but we can fantasize next time when I get to ride you…can’t we? Can I scream Karyu’s name instead of yours? I bet Sir would like that!”

                Ten minutes later the trio of submissive’s returned to Acchan’s home, all wearing very obvious naughty boy blushes. “My lovelies have returned, and look Acchan…they’ve been naughty!” Isshi opened his arms for his two boys.

                “Sir, we were only as naughty as you said we could be! We didn’t do anything more, I promise.” Ruimaru leaned in to whisper in Isshi’s ear, “He tastes so good Sir, he’s got a huge cock as well, I want to role play next time with Leda, that I’m riding Karyu’s cock…would you allow that please, Sir?”

                Ruimaru knew exactly what he was doing, he knew telling his Dominant those specifics, that he and Leda would be having quite a nice scene when they got home that day.

                “Acchan I do believe my work is done here…if you need anything please do not hesitate to call me. Karyu, you’re a lovely boy, if you choose to stay with Sakurai-san, you will have no better Dominant, after me of course.” Isshi winked at the boy.

 

                “Have you decided what you’d like to do, Karyu? I’m sure Ruimaru and Leda were very persuasive, were they not?” Acchan held his hand out to Karyu, pulling the young man onto his lap.

                “I liked them a lot, they’re a bit different than normal pets, aren’t they? It’s obvious they love Isshi-san.” Karyu leaned a little into Acchan’s chest.

                “Isshi is a one of a kind Dominant, some in the community do not agree with his arrangements with his pets, but it’s nobody’s business, but he is a very loving man, and cares for those boys beyond anything I’ve ever seen. I try to treat my pets as well as possible, although I tend to be a little more aggressive with my scenes.”

                Acchan ran his hand up Karyu’s thigh, nuzzling his neck and nipping at the young man’s ear. “Have you decided what you want me to be…your lover or your Dominant? Or do I just take your virginity away, and teach you what it is to have a man make love to you properly?”

                “I want you…as my Dominant please.” Karyu’s head was tilted back, his hands grasping Acchan’s arm as the man strokes his thighs, leaving Karyu quivering. “Please…Acchan…I want you to love me.”

                “I will do my best by you, you know where my heart lies, but that is a moot point, I can not love what will not love me back. I will keep you, as long as we are contracted, I will love you, keep you and tend to your every need, as you will do the same.”

                Turning his lips towards Acchan’s, Karyu loses himself in the older man’s blistering kiss, a kiss made to seal a promise made, to learn to love each other through all difficulties.               

                “I will plan our first night together, it will not be tonight. I want to make sure everything is perfect, that you feel as special as you are to me right now. I will give you my everything, I will nurture you, I will collar you and call you mine.” With another blistering kiss, Karyu knew he had finally found his home.

 

                He knew he’d get no response, but it had become a nightly habit, something he didn’t want to break. Tonight, he was as sober as he could be with four days worth of alcohol built up in his system.

                I love you.

                The visit with Yuki had given Reita some hope, he had no idea what Kai had planned, or how it would go down, just that it had to work, Ayato had to believe that Reita loved him and that yes… Ayato was worth something. It was all he had left, if this didn’t work, he knew he’d lose Ayato to the streets of Los Angeles as soon as the young man could afford to leave the country.

                “Damn it! I fucking love you so much…why won’t you believe me?”

 

                I love you.

                It was somewhat reassuring each night when he got the text, it came like clockwork, almost always around 11pm. There had been so many times that he wanted to text back “I know.” But he could never get his fingers to push the keys, tonight would be no different, Ayato lacked a backbone to reply. “You’re a dumbass you know that?”

                He pushed the keys like he did every night, his finger hovering over the SEND button. What would happen if he did it? Would Reita respond or call? That was what frightened him, that he would somehow have to confront his feelings for the other man face to face, and he wasn’t sure he could do it… not yet. Hitting the backspace key, he erased the same text he had put in, multiple times over the last few weeks, sliding his phone under his pillow and closing his eyes.

 

                Aoi was wrestling with a demon; his own stupidity, conceit, idiocy and his general being a complete asshole to others based on his own actions. When Yuki had said that Aoi influenced him, it hit a chord somewhere deep, something that he had not felt in many years.

                Aoi had forgotten what it felt like to be influenced by great artists, like Sugizo and Hide, he had forgotten what it felt like in the early days of the Gazette when fans started coming to their lives. All together, Aoi had turned into a douchey rock star, and his bandmates had called him out on it.

                Remembering what Yuki looked like when he saw Aoi, bright eyes, a slight blush to his cheeks, but confident in his words…he started to smile…again, something that he had not truthfully done in the last several months.

                “I’m a fucking idiot. I need to change this shit right fucking now!”

                “I’m sorry for being a fucking douche bag, I don’t deserve you all as friends. I love you.

                Each of the members of The Gazette smiled when they received the text, hoping that in the next few weeks would dawn clear for all of them.

Chapter Text

 

                “Kyo?” Mao opened his eyes and looked up at his husband, who was reading a book, while Mao had his head in Kyo’s lap. “Hmm?” Kyo kept reading, which indicated to Mao that he really wasn’t listening.

                “I was thinking…” This will be fun.” Hmm?”

                “Since we’ve been married an all…I think it’s time we discuss something important.”

                “Hmm…Okay.” Kyo turned another page.

                “I think I want us to have a baby, a little girl.” Mao waited for it.

                “Mmm, that’s find, whatever you want.” Kyo kept reading. Shit…lets push this a little further.

                “I think we should start soon and I think we may need to buy a house, you’re still going to need an office and we’ll need a room for the baby…something that’s big enough so she’ll grow into it.” Mao was suspecting that Kyo was faking.

                “That sounds great…when do we start?” Kyo knew Mao all too well to know he was teasing, but he played along with it. Mao should know better, every time he’s done this, it’s backfired.

                “Are you sure you want a girl? I think a boy may be more fun…” Kyo finally put the book down. “Do we look at adoptions just in Japan, or else wear?” Kyo was smoothing Mao’s hair.

                “Um…well, I guess just Japan…it could possibly be a problem if we adopt like a Russian child, or something…the child might get bullied!” Mao had to think quickly, he put himself in this.

                “Okay, Japanese girl baby, do we want one that’s already out of diapers? I don’t really see you being the one to change the kid, I’ve done diaper duty with Yume’s kids.” Kyo was going to kick it up a little. “What about a pair? A boy and a girl? That might be better for the child, don’t you think?”

                “Um, uh…sure. Same age?” Mao couldn’t keep his thoughts straight…this was beyond what he had wanted to talk about.

                “Maybe the boy a little older, the big brother thing is always a good choice. When should we start looking? Christmas is still five months away…a pair of babies for Christmas presents…oh! You could have a baby shower! You know Koichi would just flip out over that.”

                Mao gulped, “Yah…um.” Kyo was having too much fun with this. “A house too? Well that would pretty much wipe out your Christmas list for this year…no presents for you! We’d need everything new.”

                “Sure, a house… could we live near Koichi and Taka? I like that neighborhood a lot, and there’s a kindergarten not too far, walking distance.” Mao’s head started to hurt.

                “Wait here!” Kyo moved Mao’s head from his lap, getting up he went into the kitchen and got a note pad and pen. “Going to need to start a list; Boy and Girl…young but maybe out of diapers…new house, at least 3 bedrooms and a garden. Um, what else?” Kyo looked up, tapping the pen on his lips.

                “Oh! Bigger car! My car isn’t going to fit two car seats in it…so something like a mini-van or station wagon? Oh, small cargo van! Then we can throw all the shit we need to take with us, anytime we leave the house! Diaper bags, bouncy chairs, all that shit.”

                Mao sat up, his head had really started to hurt, putting his head in his hands and looking at the floor, Kyo looked over at his husband and finally took pity on the man.

                “What is it that you really want Mao? I know you don’t want a kid, so out with it.” Kyo leaned over and kissed the side of Mao’s head. “And why did you let this go so far?”

                “Because you weren’t listening to me, you just kept reading, you do that too me all the time!” Mao whined.

                “And every time I do it…what happens? You start to bring something up, you push it a little too far, then whether or not you realize it…I had been listening the entire time! What happens? I push it further until you freak out, just like you’re doing now, right?” Kyo called Mao out.

                “Fine, yes …you do this every time and I should know better by now.” Mao was relieved that Kyo really didn’t want a baby…or did he?

                “Do really want to adopt a child babe?” Kyo wanted to make sure that what Mao was thinking, had nothing to do with a baby.

                “Well…probably not a good idea, what if the fans found out?” Mao was always worried, as were many non-industry spouses.

                “What do you want then? A new car? Do you want to buy a house?” Kyo sat back, patting his lap for Mao to put his head down, then gently carding his hair.

                “A house would be nice, but that’s not really necessary. Maybe um… well maybe not…don’t worry about it, I’ve changed my mind.” Mao already felt a little defeated, losing the momentum he had built up.

                “Mao, for fucks sake…just tell me what you want! If it’s too much or too crazy, all I can say is not now, maybe later.” Kyo was always exasperated when Mao did this.

                “Kittens.”

                “Kittens?”

                “Yes, two, a boy and a girl.”

                “Kittens? Are you sure?”

                “Yes, I’m sure!” Mao huffed.

                “Okay, what kind of kittens? Do we just want like regular cats…or something special?” Kyo knew that his history of giving kittens as gifts would come back to haunt him one day, and it was that very day.

                “I’m not sure, can we look together?” Mao asked hopefully.

                “Okay, let me get my laptop.” Kyo sighed, at least this would be cheaper than a baby.

 

                What started out as a teasing session about having a human baby, turned into a two-hour session of looking at pictures of various breeds of cats, trying to decide on just what would fit Mao and Kyo’s lifestyle and personalities.

                “NO! WE ARE NOT GETTING A NAKED CAT!” Mao yelled at Kyo. “But they’re kind of cute…don’t you think?” Kyo tried to get Mao to look at the pictures of the baby sphinx kittens.

                “No, they’re ugly, there is nothing cuddly about a hairless cat.” Mao refused to look.

                “Fine, what about Siamese?” Kyo offered. “You got Uta Siamese…I don’t want the same kind he has!” Mao crossed his arms over his chest. “Let’s look on Craigslist!” Kyo hadn’t thought about the popular site as a way to find kittens.

                “Hmm, how far out do we go?” Mao looked at the listings. “Hmm, I’d say no further north than Chiba, no further south than Kanagawa.”

                “Hmm, too old…Siamese… Oh! Look at these two!” Mao pointed out the picture to Kyo. “Very cute, brothers?” Kyo asked. “Hm…um yep, two boys. Uh, 8 weeks old, ready to go! I love the little tiger striped baby! He’s so cute! The black one is perfect for you…can we go?”

                “Why do I get the black one? Maybe it won’t like me…then what?” Kyo teased his husband. “Too bad, you get the little black kitten… the cute little tiger one is mine!”

                “Yes, let me call them and see if they’re still available, and if they are, when we can go see them.” Kyo got up and grabbed his phone to make the call.

               

                An hour later, Kyo and Mao were the proud parents of two 8-week-old baby kittens, Kyo believing this would be easier than having a child. “We need to stop and pick up supplies!” Mao sounded worried.           

                “Babe, I’m going to drop you and the kittens off, then I’ll go get what we need, I don’t need a list, I’ve done this before. Just take them into the bedroom and let them get used to the room.” Kyo loved nothing more than making Mao happy…it was his one true joy in life, even before the band.

                “Okay…just make sure to get baby food! And toys! Lot’s of toys!” Mao insisted. “Yes dear, lots of toys.” Kyo smiled and shook his head.

                “Okay, go take them into the bedroom, I’ll be back in a bit.” Dropping Mao and the kittens off, Kyo went to the pet store to buy supplies.

                “Hey…what are you here for?” A familiar voice interrupted Kyo’s shopping. “Uta…hey… how are you?” Kyo put down his basket to hug the young man. “I’m good, just getting stuff for Luna and Saki.” Uta looked in the basket, recognizing some of the items.

                “Okay…who’d you get a kitten for this time?” Uta snickered. “Actually, Mao and I just got our own little babies… two brothers…just picked them up about an hour ago.” Kyo said with some pride.

                “You got Mao kittens? Wow…I thought you had to be an ex-lover to get a kitten from you!” Uta laughed. “Nope, we’re moving into the having a family phase in our life, just not the one with two legs…not yet at least.” Kyo replied.

                “Are you thinking of adopting kids, Kyo? Wouldn’t that be hard…being Kyo of Diru and having a child?” Uta couldn’t think of anything harder, being in a band or otherwise.

                “Yah, I’m not sure how we could work it out, it may just have to be something that the public would know…if it gets to that point, I’m sure I’m not going to care who knows to be honest. If I want to raise a child with Mao, then I’m going to do just that, fuck what others think.”

                The two friends chatted a little longer, with Kyo finally having to check out, “Have Mao send me pictures of the babies.” Uta hugged Kyo, “Hey, I love you…” Kyo blushed. “I love you too, Uta… always remember that.”

                “Hey, I saw Uta at the pet store…he said he wants pictures of the kittens… have you named them yet?” Kyo came in and set down several bags of supplies, walking over to the couch where Mao had both kittens sleeping on his chest.

                “Sshh, they’re sleeping…poor babies were tired from the drive. No, I waited for you, we need to name them together.” As Mao looked up at his husband, Kyo’s heart melted with the smile on Mao’s face. “You’re already in love with them, aren’t you?” speaking softly, Kyo sat down on the couch.

                “How could I not be? First, it’s because you spoil me, giving me what I want even if it’s ridiculous but within reason, and look at them! They’re just the cutest babies ever!” Mao gushed, “I love you, thank you.” He leaned over and gave Kyo a quick kiss.

                Just as Kyo was going to say something else, the little tiger boy opened his eyes and uttered a tiny ‘mew’, getting up and jumping onto Kyo’s chest, nuzzling the man in the eye. “Uh, I think he just picked me.”

                “I’m surprised, I thought this one for sure” Mao watched the tiny kitten hit Kyo on the nose with a tiny paw. “Hey, none of that buster…” Kyo whispered.

                The black kitten slowly opened his eyes, “Look,” Mao nudged Kyo. “Hello tiny baby, welcome to your new home.” Mao kissed the kitten’s head, the kitten stepping up to Mao’s face and tapping his chin.

                “It looks like they’ve chosen us…it wasn’t up to me or you to pick one.” Kyo gently stroked the soft baby fur of the tiger kitten. “Names…shall we wait a day or so to see their personalities? I remember Koichi taking forever to name Gordy…he called him ‘the baby’ for almost two weeks.”

                “I don’t think it will take us that long. Let’s get their stuff set up, they need to know where their litter box is.” Carefully, both Mao and Kyo got up, leaving the kittens on the couch as they moved around the flat, distributing toys, a scratching post and the essential litter box.

                The rest of the evening was spent with Mao on the floor, playing with the two kittens, Kyo taking pictures and sending them to Uta, and trying out names.

                “I thought this one would be tougher” Mao said about the black kitten, “but he’s kind of a wimp…or just the other one is a bully.”

                “Poor little chibi, your brother is such a sumo…” Mao whispered to the kittens as they both climbed onto the man’s back.

                “I think you just named them, babe. Chibi and Sumo, they fit the personalities…what do you think?” Kyo went with his gut feeling, something he had done his entire life.

                “Chibi and Sumo? Are you a little Sumo? I can’t call you Tora, that would be weird. Poor Chibi, I’ll rescue you!” Mao was laying on his back, Chibi tucked under his chin, Sumo running around through Mao’s legs.

                “Yep, I think you’re right, Chibi and Sumo. Perfect for these two monsters.” Kyo took another picture and put their names on it and sent it to his friends. Not three minutes later, his phone exploded with text chimes;

                “oh my god too cute!

                “congrats on your new babies”

                “parents? You two? Babies are cute

                After a while, the kittens were tucked into their small round bed, Mao carrying them into the bedroom, putting the bed between the pillows. “Can I just have them in here for a little while tonight? Then I’ll put them in the bathroom to sleep.” Mao asked.

                “Yes, they need to get used to where everything is before they can spend the night out of the bathroom, poor things are all tired out.” Kyo changed into his sleep pants, got into bed, the kittens between them.

                “Happy now?” Kyo murmured. “I’ve always been happy, this is just a bonus, we’re now cat parents.” Mao reminded him. Mao carefully took the kittens into the bathroom, leaving a night light on and food and water, “Oyasumi Chibi and Sumo.”

                Crawling back into bed, Mao snuggled into Kyo’s arms. “Thank you.” Mao kissed the side of Kyo’s neck. “You’re welcome…I’m glad you’re happy with them.”

                Mao snuggled a little closer, throwing his leg over Kyo’s hip, adding a little grind, watching as Kyo started to smile. “Um, I’d like to show you my appreciation for the addition to our family, is that acceptable?” Mao asked

                “What?” Kyo furrowed his brow. “If you’re asking for sex, just say hey let’s fuck…you just sounded like some weird store manager talking to an employee.” Kyo snorted.

                “Okay, wanna fuck? Or do you want to make love to me?” Mao was being weird on purpose. “Hmm, choices…. Um. How about fuck first, then make love?” Kyo asked.

                “Sure, that works for me! Let’s fuck!”

 

Image result for kittens Chibi and Sumo

Chapter Text

                 “He’s moved.” Uta had been surprised that he had not heard from Acchan…at all. He had guessed that the man would at least try to contact him, even after Uta had returned to his own flat, but there was nothing. “When did he move, was it because of me?” Uta had called Yutaka.

                “Early last week, he told us that he needed to heal his heart and that it wouldn’t be possible with you living so close. He sounded rather positive, that he was going to be okay.” Yutaka had not heard from Acchan in the last week, which also surprised him.

                “He bought a lovely small estate somewhere in Fujioka, several acres and a house.” The older man explained. “That’s awesome! I hope he finds someone new, he sucks at being alone.” Uta laughed.

                “I think he’ll be fine, he didn’t break down like he has in the past, he had all positive and valid reasons, I honestly think he is trying to move on, but you know…he’ll be back in a heart beat if you change your mind.” Yutaka was being honest, and secretly he wanted Uta and Acchan to reconcile.

                “I can’t even think about having a relationship right now, let alone with Acchan. But I’m happy for him.” Uta and Yutaka chatted a little longer, Uta having to get ready for work, “If you speak to him, let him know that I’m pleased he’s moved on.”

 

                Miel couldn’t stop apologizing, “Uta, I’m so sorry…I didn’t mean to freak you out!” Miel bowed deeply to his co-worker. “Miel…seriously stop it. It’s my weird brain, it was just a reflex from a past problem of mine, don’t worry so much, it’s not like I’m mad at you! You had no way of knowing that I’d freak out. I should be apologizing to you for scaring you!”

                Uta threw a banana peel across the table at Miel, watching it land in his hair. “OOPS! Sorry!” Uta giggled. “Uta, if you’re going to be throwing fruit in the break room, make sure everyone else gets a turn!” Zero teased as he came out of his office.

                “Fine, bananas for everyone my next shift.” Uta pouted…well tried to pout. Zero ruffled Uta’s hair as he walked by, Miel raising an eyebrow.

                “Zero’s so into you, it’s almost embarrassing!” He snickered. “What? No way! That’s just fucking stupid, Miel…he is not into me, he’s just a nice guy!” Uta objected.

                “Uh huh…sure Uta, you go ahead and think that.” Miel laughed. Uta now had that idea as a bug put in his ear, shit… now he was going to be all self conscious around his boss.

                After the incident with Miel, Zero had put Uta in the music section for shelving and dealing with the stock. “You put me in this section because of Sakurai…why?” Uta had confronted his manager, “Partially, but I know you said you knew the bands that worked for DCR, I figured it would be a good place for you, you’d be able to keep all the CD’s categorized better than someone who didn’t know anything about music, like Omi or Miko.”

                Zero had mixed feelings about Uta; he found the young man extremely attractive, he had a cute personality and he was single. The other part of Zero’s mind, was screaming for him to stay away! The boy was younger and the most important issue, he was Sakurai Atsushi’s ex-boyfriend, which could be problematic if they were to get involved.

The other issue is whether or not Uta had any sort of feelings, or even wanting to explore a relationship with Zero, he had to decide on whether to pursue Uta, or just let it go.

“What are your plans for tomorrow? Anything special going on?” Zero made small talk with Uta, a good way to get to know the young man’s habits.

“Um, probably hang out with my best friend, Mao. I haven’t seen him much lately, we’re due a boy’s day out. I’m putting off doing laundry until the last possible minute, I hate having to fold clothes.” Uta rolled his eyes.

“Sounds like a good day off to me, although I would throw in beers or something.”

                “We might go to the HBG, I have friends that work there, there’s always a chance for something to go wrong.” Uta smirked, he almost said a Ruki Rampage, but caught himself.

                “HBG? Some new club?” Zero hadn’t heard of the HBG…at least not under that name.

                “The High Ball Garden, it’s under Tokyo Tower, I worked there for a few years off and on, my friend Mao still works there.”

                “Sounds like fun, do things often go wrong there?”

                “Mmm, mostly when they have private events.” Uta didn’t want to go much further than that, he wasn’t sure what Zero was digging at in relation to his curiosity since finding out that Uta had dated Sakurai.

                “Well, have a good day off, stay safe.” Zero bowed then walked away. “Thank god…” Uta mumbled. He liked his manager, but there was always something under the surface, he wasn’t about to fall into a bad relationship again.

               

                “UTA!” Mao ran over and jumped into Uta’s lap as the smaller man sat on the patio at the HBG, “MAO! GET OFF!” Uta muffled a cry. “Sorry…I’m just happy to see you, it’s not like I’m fat or anything.

                “No, you’re not fat, but you’re bigger than I am!” Uta said. “What do you have planned? Shopping? Movies?” Mao sat down at the table, leaning in. “Hmm, anything but a bookstore…I’ve had enough of that I don’t need any extra.”

                “Ojisan’s?” Mao offered. “Hmm, what about clothes shopping first, then Ojisan’s for late lunch, early dinner? Maybe ask Kyo to meet us there?”

                “No for Kyo, he’s in the studio right now, he’s such a bear when they’re busy. Nope, I vote for just you and me today.” Mao grinned.

                “Let me just say hi to Taka and Tomo, then we can go…I have my car.” Uta got up, going to the back door of the HBG and knocking.

                “Hey, Uta! What’s up?” Taka held the door open for the two men. “Nothing much, bestie day with Mao, just wanted to stop in and say hi, I miss you guys!”

                “You’re liking the new job though? I can’t lure you back here to work for me?” Taka teased. “Never say never Taka, so far I like my job, my co-workers are cool, my manager is a little quirky.” Uta made a face.

                “Quirky? Hopefully in a good way?” Taka didn’t like what he saw when Uta mentioned his boss.

                “Yah, he’s just weird, no biggie though.” Uta smiled, “Uta…let’s go!” Mao grabbed Uta’s hand and led him out the door, “Bye!”

                Taka closed the door, the comment about Uta’s boss stuck in his head, “He knows he can come back here anytime.”

 

                “Shinjuku or Harajuku?” Uta asked Mao as they moved out of the parking garage, “Umm, Harajuku I guess, I want to see if I can find something for Kyo to wear on stage, something small like a necklace.”

                “Your boss is weird? Like how?” Mao had the same idea stuck in his head that Taka did. “I wouldn’t say weird, he’s just different but in a good way. He’s funny, he doesn’t get mad if we goof around. I threw a banana peel at Miel the other day, Zero said now I have to bring bananas for everyone.”

                “His name is Zero? How weird is that?” Mao had a creepy feeling. “I’m sure that’s just a nick name, seriously who would name their kid Zero?” Uta argued.

                Parking the car at a lot, Mao and Uta started down the long street in the Harajuku shopping district, “Oh! Pets Paradise! Let’s go in there…I want to see if they have anything for Saki and Luna!” Uta took Mao by the hand, dragging him into the shop. “Hmm, Sumo and Chibi need new collars, they’re growing so fast!” Mao had new pictures of the kittens on his phone. “They’re super cute..!

                “Oh, look how cute! Sailor Moon collars! This would look so cute on Luna!” Uta picked up a collar. “Now something for Saki.”

                “What about this?” Mao held up a bow tie collar. “He’d rip that sucker right off and probably drop it in his water bowl, that’s what he does with things he doesn’t like, like my socks.” Uta shook his head.

                “Sounds like Saki has an attitude problem.” Mao smirked. “Saki has an opinion on everything.”

                Mao and Uta walked down the entire length of the main shopping street, finally stopping at Kinji Used Clothing. “Hmm, maybe a shirt for Kyo?” Mao wandered in, started rifling through a rack of shirts, Uta looking at jackets.

                “Meh, I can’t find anything I like today. I’m hungry, let’s just go to Ojisan’s.” Mao whined. “Okay, there’s really nothing I need, except a pork cutlet ramen bowl!” Uta said.

                “Have you spoken to Sakurai since you moved out?” Mao asked.

                “I called Yutaka the other day, he said Acchan moved out of his house, and bought a mini estate out in Fujioka. He told Yutaka that he couldn’t heal his heart if he was near me. I’m glad he decided to move, he needs to be happy again.” Uta told his friend.

                “That’s pretty drastic isn’t it? Moving away just so he doesn’t see you?” Mao was surprised, he didn’t think Sakurai would ever give up on Uta.

                “It might be, but I think it will be good for him, not to mention I don’t really want to run into him, even on accident. Maybe some day we can be friends…not right now.”

                “Irasshai gentlemen! It is good to see you both.” Ojisan greeted Mao and Uta, “What can I make for you today?”

                “Pork cutlet ramen for me, and a cola.” Uta asked, “Make it two Ojisan.” Mao added.

                Ojisan watched Uta from the corner of his eye, watching the young man’s face, sensing that he was missing something. “How is it living on your own again, Uta? Have you seen Mistress lately?” the old man was being vague on purpose.

                “It’s nice to be back in my apartment, I’ve really only seen Davina once, she seems to be a bit lonely.” Uta replied

                “Yes, she is lonely, there is someone in the future for her, but he has yet to show himself to her.”

                “Oh? A new pet I hope? She needs to have a personal pet, although I’m not sure she would agree.” Uta frowned.

                “No, she is trying to be an independent Mistress, saying she wants no other since her lover is gone, but I do not believe that.” Ojisan winked.

                Ojisan had turned his back, when the door chimed, “Irasshai…” turning around to greet his customer, his breath caught.

                “Ojisan… Ut…Uta?” Uta turned around, “Um…Kato…uh” Uta’s voice was shaking, “Young one, stay where you are, there is no need for fear. Kato-san will not hurt you.” Ojisan reached over and covered Uta’s hand with his own, Uta nodding.

                “I will leave if you wish, Uta.” Kato said quietly. “No, you don’t have to, it’s just…I haven’t seen you since…” Uta looked down at his hands.

                “Uta, who is this and why are you scared?” Mao started to stand up, wanting to place himself between Uta and the other man.

                “This is Kato, we um, met at Acchan’s.” Uta said. Kato bowed to Mao. “Ojisan, my usual please.” Kato sat at the far end of the counter, not wanting to crowd Uta.

                “Are you well, Uta?” Kato asked, he desperately wanted to speak to Uta at length. “Mmm, yes thank you.”

                “Uta look at me.” Ojisan stood in front of the young man. “Kato has a purpose, there are things he needs to say to you, that only you will understand. He has known of you for some time, but did not approach you until the timing was right, it went badly I heard, but the man means you no harm.”

                “How do you know?” Uta looked up at Ojisan. “I came in that day, I was very rude to Ojisan and yelled at him. I never meant to frighten you as I did…ever!” Kato added.

                Mao stood by Uta’s chair, ready to jump in if the man, Kato, tried to approach Uta. “Who is this guy, Uta? Do you need me to call Kyo?” Mao said tightly.

                “No, don’t call anyone, he won’t hurt me Mao.” Uta looked up at Kato, who’s face soften. “I would never harm Uta in anyway, Mao. Please believe me.”

                “I don’t believe you because I don’t know you! You’re some stranger that comes in and thinks you can have open access to Uta? Oh, Hell NO!” Mao growled. Kato sat back a bit, surprised at the viciousness of Mao’s voice.

                “Mao, Kato will not hurt Uta, please be assured. Sit down please.” Ojisan said firmly, watching Mao as the younger man returned to his seat.

                “What do you want of me, Kato? I don’t know why or how you need to speak to me, I don’t know you at all. We’ve met once and that was a disaster, though I don’t know why. What do you need from me?” Uta demanded.

                “Just to talk, nothing more. We need to talk to each other at length, then maybe we’ll figure it out. I can tell you that when I saw you at Sakurai’s, it felt like someone had punched me in the chest and squeezed my heart so I couldn’t breathe. I’ve never had that happen before.” Kato wanted to beg Uta to speak to him alone and in private, but he did not want to anger Mao.

                “If I agree to this, and once we speak…you will respect any wishes I have after that, including that you stay away from me, you never speak to me again if those are my demands. There is only one correct answer to that question.” Uta was firm on this, if it went badly, he never wanted to see Kato again.

                “Yes, without any question.” Kato agreed.

                “Uta! No! You can’t be serious? You’re going to talk to this guy alone? At least let me be there, or Kyo or someone!” Mao was astonished that Uta would agree to something like this.

                “No Mao, I won’t have Kyo or anyone there. If I do it at home, I have both Die and Pon, and Reita as well, that could hear me from their flats.” Uta stopped Mao dead. “Here is my address. If you have time this evening, I will be home.” Uta wrote down his address on a napkin, sliding it over to Kato.

                “Ojisan, thank you for lunch. Please, if I make a request of Kato, I expect you to honor that, if not… then I will remove myself from your life as well.” Uta got up, put his money on the counter, bowed and walked out the door.

                “You’d better not hurt Uta, if you do, there will be hell to pay…he has a lot of powerful friends and they will not allow him to be hurt again, is that clear?” Mao snapped at Kato. “Yes Mao, it’s very clear.” Kato answered, nodding his head at the other man.

                “You’d better hope this goes well Ojisan, or you’re going to lose a lot of business if it doesn’t.” Mao threatened the old man.

 

                “Are you fucking crazy?! You gave that man your address without knowing anything about him? I’m calling Kyo, he’s going to flip shit when he finds out.” Mao grabbed his cell phone out of his bag.

                “DO NOT CALL KYO!” Uta screamed, startling Mao so badly he dropped his phone. “Why the hell not? You can’t be serious about being alone with that guy! You know nothing about him!”

                “Mao, so help me god, if you call Kyo I’ll kick your ass all over your flat…leave Kyo out of this! Leave everyone out of it! If I find out you’ve called some of the others, I swear, our friendship is OVER!” Uta threatened.

                “Wha…what?” Mao stared at Uta. “Do not call anyone, don’t tell anyone…I mean it Mao…this is no joke!” Uta turned to look at his friend. “I’m not afraid of Kato, he’s not going to hurt me. We just need to talk to figure out what the hell we mean to each other!”

                Uta pulled up in front of Mao’s apartment, “I’ll text you when he leaves, okay? I’m in no danger…I promise. Ojisan wouldn’t have let us sit in the same room if Kato was going to hurt me.”

                “I’m not happy, but I’ll agree to this, but if you don’t call or text me tonight, one way or the other, so help me Uta, Kyo and I will be over there to kick your door in!” Mao got out of Uta’s car, “I love you.” He said gruffly.

                “I love you too.” Uta smiled, then pulled away from the curb.

               

                Driving home, Uta had a million thoughts running through his mind, all of them centered around Kato and what the man had to say. He didn’t remember what he had said the first time he had seen Kato at Sakurai’s, just that he had passed out, then Acchan had put him to bed, holding him closely and kissing the boy gently.

                Now he had asked that same man to come to his home, to sit in his living room, maybe Mao was right…maybe this was dangerous. Pulling into his parking spot he was relieved to see Reita’s car in its spot.

                Uta knocked on Reita’s door. “Uta? Hi, um…what’s up?” Reita opened the door and invited Uta in. “I have a favor to ask, are you busy tonight?” Uta was a little embarrassed. “Um no, are you asking me out on a date?” Reita joked.

                “No silly…I’m having someone come over tonight that I’m a little worried about, um and I just wanted you to know so if you hear me screaming or something.” Uta was blushing.

                “Wait…you’re joking right?” Reita didn’t understand what he was hearing. “You have a stranger coming over that you’re worried about…and you’re letting him into your home? Uta…that’s not very smart…are you sure about this?”

                “Yah, I’m sure, it’s all so convoluted I know, but does it help that Ojisan approves of this? He’d never let anyone near me that may hurt me.” Uta explained.

                “I don’t like this Uta, but if that’s what you need me to do, then it’s done.” Reita wasn’t about to let anyone hurt Uta any more than he would any of his friends.

                “I’m going to tell Die and Pon as well. Kato will be over in about an hour, maybe you guys could have beers on the porch or something, I’ll leave my front window open just in case.” Uta sounded under confident.

                “You’re doing all of this for someone you say won’t hurt you? Uta really?” Reita was about to scold Uta again when Die knocked on the door, “Hi, are we invited to this party?” Die asked.

                “Uta’s having someone over tonight, that he’s not sure of, and he wants us to listen for him if he screams.” Reita said sarcastically.

                “What? If there’s a reason you might scream, why is this guy coming over?”

                “Look, Kato won’t hurt me, I’m pretty sure of that, but I want some back up just in case. Ojisan felt comfortable enough with us meeting, I just saw Kato at the

restaurant, and Ojisan didn’t kick him out. Please guys, just do this for me?” Uta begged.

                Die and Reita exchanged looks, “You owe us for this Uta,” Die joked. “Fine, I’ll buy you all beer or lunch or whatever.” Uta was relieved.

                “Pon and I will sit out on the porch, I want to see this guy, just in case I have to chase him down.” Die added.

                “It’s going to be fine, I promise…I’ve met him before, but it was a weird situation that involved Sakurai, Kato and I just need to talk…that’s all.” At least Uta hoped that’s all it would be.  

Chapter Text

                In the days since Reita had introduced Yuki to the band, Aoi had been reflecting on his career and his life, the memories of what had gone so wrong with his relationship with Reita.  At practice, Aoi was quiet, doing his job while watching Reita struggle with the problems in his relationship with his new boyfriend Ayato, he had wanted to help his ex-lover, but had no clear idea on how to approach Reita.

 “Hey, can we talk for a moment please?” Aoi had cornered Reita during a break in rehearsal. “Okay.” Reita said grimly.

                “I’d like to get together with you at some point soon, we never really talked about what happened between us, well other than you screaming at me and leaving. I want to purge what ever feelings I have, I think that may be one of my problems lately.”

                Reita was suspicious of Aoi’s motives, “As long as we meet in public and someplace neutral.” Reita offered. “Do you have time tonight after rehearsal? We could just stay here?” Reita agreed.

                “Are you okay with this? Ruki and I can hang around for awhile.” Reita had told Kai what Aoi had suggested, Kai not altogether trusting the second guitarist.

“I think we’ll be okay, if not I’ll just beat the shit out of him again.” 

 

Aoi and Reita sat across from each other, Reita on the couch, Aoi sitting backwards in a chair. “Why…you never really told me why you cheated on me, was I really that bad in bed?” Reita started.

“No, looking back it felt like we were moving apart, it wasn’t hot and heavy anymore, more like warm and comfortable.” Aoi confessed.

“Why didn’t you say something to me? I don’t understand the connection between that and you fucking Arimatsu.”

“I told him we were breaking up, so I could seduce him. I thought it was me, that you were bored with me, with our relationship. I did it to prove to myself that I was still attractive to other people, that if you dumped me I could find someone else.” Aoi revealed.

Aoi continued; “We were recording, planning the tour and we never saw each other except in passing at the studio. We weren’t at home at the same time and if we were, we were exhausted, I’m sure the last thing on your mind was sex but I agree, I should have said something.”

“What about Pon? What drove you to want to plan something so extreme?” Aoi asked.

“Kai and Ruki were right, I was a rock star and someone wasn’t falling for my usual game, which pissed me off. I was feeling entitled, that Pon was nobody, just a raw kid that I could fuck. Why did you take it even further than I did, why did you want to join in so quickly.?

“Honestly? I figured that if we could get Pon alone, fuck him or whatever, maybe a threesome, that some how you’d come back to me…that you’d remember how good it was between us. Obviously, we both fucked that up big time, I just took it further than you and I guess the rock star thing was a factor too.” Aoi admitted.

Reita shook his head, smiling sadly, “You know that’s not what would have happened, I wouldn’t have gotten together with you just because we fucked Pon.”

Aoi chuckled, “I know that now, it just took a while to sink in.” Aoi wanted to talk about Yuki, but he knew he’d have to talk about Ayato first. “What’s going on between you and your boyfriend?”

“Ayato’s not my boyfriend, he’s not even speaking to me right now, so I don’t know what’s going on with him.” Reita sighed.

“Why was Yuki here? You don’t have to tell me, but I’d really like to help you with Ayato, I can tell he means a lot to you.”

“Thanks, he does mean a lot to me, I’m in love with him, Yuu. He’s the one, but he has such low self esteem and keeps throwing out the stripper thing.” Reita laid his head back on the couch, eyes closed.

“Stripper thing? Ayato’s a stripper?” This surprised Aoi.

“Well, he was…I met him at a club in LA, he was dancing. Now he seems to think that I don’t want a stripper in my life, that I’m Reita of the Gazette and that if the media or the fans found out, it would be the end of the band. He doesn’t think he’s worth anything to anyone, but especially not to me.” A tear slid down Reita’s face, he reached up and quickly wiped it away.

“I’ll help if I can, just ask okay? I do have to say, Yuki made an impact on me. What he said about me being an influence, that’s what got me thinking about the last two years of my life, how I fucked it up so badly.”

“Yuki’s a smart guy, he’s seen through all of Ayato’s bullshit and has been calling him out on it. He’s a good friend, it’s just Ayato can’t see anything but his past.” Reita looked back at Aoi.

                “Yuki’s cute too…” Aoi blushed.

                “I’ll tell him you said that.” They were back on speaking terms, but not completely back to their old friendship, that would take some time.

 

                Kato had walked into the common area of the apartment complex, only to be met by the three men, who were sitting on Reita’s porch, drinking beer, Reita approaching Kato before the man moved towards Uta’s apartment.

Reita glared at Kato who stood before him, Die and Pon looking on. “I don’t know who you are, I don’t actually care, but I’m giving you a warning…if you do anything to hurt Uta, I will personally hunt you down.”  

                “I have no intention on harming Uta in any way, please believe me.” Kato tried to assure the men before going to Uta’s door and knocking. Opening the door, Uta saw Die, Reita and Pon standing behind Kato, looking on with malicious intent. “It’s okay guys, really.” Uta said looking over Kato’s shoulder.

                “Your friends are very protective of you I see.” Kato looked at Uta with a gentle smile. “Yes, they are and they mean what they say, so please make sure you understand that.”

                “I do, I mean you no harm Uta, I’m as confused as you are about what Ojisan has said, and my reaction when I first saw you at Sakurai’s home.” Uta walked over and sat on the couch, he had placed a chair across from him for the other man.

                “Where do we start?” Uta asked. “I’m not sure really, I will tell you what Ojisan has said to me, why he thinks it’s necessary for us to speak.” Kato hesitated before he spoke again, “Ojisan has told me that I am the one to cure you, I do not understand what that means, he didn’t understand as well.”

                “Ojisan’s visions or whatever you want to call them, don’t always come with explanations, they just happen. What else has he told you?” Uta asked curiously.

                “Ojisan indicated that I am to be Mistress Davina’s new personal attendant, but I feel I’m to be with you…as an equal lover.” Kato said earnestly. “Your lover sent me to you!”

                “Teiji sent you to me? I want no lover, ever again…you are wrong.”

                “But what about what happened at Sakurai’s home? You felt it too!” Kato pleaded.

                “I don’t know…you scared me, that’s all I remember.” Uta was utterly confused by the beautiful man sitting across from him.

                “I will not commit to Mistress Davina if I am meant to be with you.” Kato was distressed, he was trying to get his point across, but was failing, Uta looked at the man with a hint of fear in his eyes. 

                Kato stood up and moved to sit next to Uta on the couch, he slowly reached over to pick up Uta’s hand, holding it warmly in his, he could feel Uta’s pulse beating rapidly. Uta looked up at Kato, the fear in his eyes tore at Kato’s heart.

                “Uta, you do not have to fear me, I would never harm you…I don’t know why I feel the way I do about you. Up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know you existed, now? You’re the most important person in my life.”

                “How can you say that? You don’t know me yet I’m important? It makes no sense and that’s what scares me.” Uta said truthfully.

                Kato gently lifted Uta’s hand in his, raising it to his lips and gently kissing the back of Uta’s hand, Uta was mesmerized as he watched Kato. Letting Uta’s hand drop, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t…”

                “It’s fine…” Uta whispered, he felt dizzy…his face flushed with heat. “I…I don’t feel well…” Kato’s eyes widened in alarm. “Shit!” Watching Uta lean back into the couch, Kato panicked. “I’ll get you some water!” Kato lurched off the couch, running to the small kitchen, flinging cabinet doors open until he found the glasses, filling a glass with water, he ran back to Uta.

                “Here…please, drink this.” Kato handed the glass to Uta, who took a sip. “Can I get you anything else? Do you want me to call one of your friends?”

                “Why are you doing this to me?” Uta mumbled. “I didn’t ask for anything but to be left alone, first Sakurai and now you? Why can’t I just be happy?”

                “Uta…I, I’m not trying to hurt you or make you unhappy…but I can’t ignore these feelings, I can’t just leave you alone! Please, I’ll leave now, but I need to see you again, will you allow that?” Kato pleaded.

                “I don’t know, there’s nothing between us, you’re not my lover nor my friend, can’t you just leave me be? You need to be with Davina, not me.” Uta insisted.

                “I’ll leave you alone…for now.” Kato picked up Uta’s hand again, kissing it softly, then turning, he walked to the door, “I’m not giving up, I will not harm you…you must believe this.” Kato walked out the door, Uta hoping that he had walked out of his life as well.

                Five minutes later, Pon walked in unannounced. “Are you okay? What happened! Uta…!” Pon didn’t like what he saw, “DIE!”

                Both Die and Reita slammed into the room, “Did he hurt you?” Uta waved his hand, “No, he didn’t hurt me…not physically at least.”

                “What did he say? Did he threaten you Uta?” Reita growled, “I’m gonna hunt that bastard down!” Reita stood up, “No! Reita…he didn’t threaten me…he’s just, I don’t even know what he is.”

                Die and Reita left Pon with Uta, figuring the young man would be able to find out more information from Uta if they had left the room. “Are you sure you’re okay? You look a little pale.” Pon sat next to his friend.

                “I’m okay, really. He didn’t threaten me or anything, he just said we’re suppose to be together, he said he couldn’t just leave me alone and he told me I was the most important person in the world to him.” Uta sighed, “How can that be Pon? I don’t know him…he doesn’t know me. Even Ojisan said he is going to be Davina’s new personal pet, so why is he acting like he’s in love with me?”

                “Wow, that’s deep…I don’t have an answer for you, I’m sorry. It sounds like he doesn’t mean any harm, but telling you these things? That’s not right either.” Pon was concerned, this didn’t feel right.

                “Do you want me to call someone to hang out with you? Mao or Koichi maybe?” Pon offered. “No, I’m good…I’m just going to go to bed early. Thanks for being here for me Pon, tell Die and Reita I said thanks. I’m sure Kato won’t be back tonight.” Uta sat up and hugged Pon. “You come over if you need us, okay? It doesn’t matter what time, just bang on the door.” Pon told him.

                Gathering Luna and Saki up, Uta took a hot shower first, then climbed into bed with the cats, “What the hell is this all about? This is just as bad as it was with Acchan.” He asked the cats, of course he got no answer from them, just a purr in his ear, and a lick to the face.

 

                Kato’s mind was flying in a hundred different directions, from fear and loathing to love and desire. He felt that undeniable pull on his heart when he held Uta’s hand, blinding euphoria at the touch of the boy’s skin to his lips. “What does this mean? He doesn’t love me, he doesn’t even like me! He’s afraid of me…why is he this important to me?”

                Pulling into his garage, Kato sat in his car for a moment, trying to gather the thoughts that burned a trail through his mind, finally resigning himself to being confused and having to accept it. He had hoped for so much more from this meeting with Uta, what those hopes were, were hidden…there was nothing in plain sight. “I can’t do this Mistress! Why did you have to leave me? I don’t want this life!” Kato beat his hands on the steering wheel of his car, tears flying. “ASTRID!” he screamed.

 

                Reita lie in bed, staring into the dark, thinking about Uta and everything that had happened to the young man in his short life, and how incomprehensibly unfair and shitty it was, compared to the bullshit issues he was suffering from at the moment. “Guy can’t catch a break.”

                The thought of the rape by Morrie, the abuse he had withstood from Natsu and all of the Sakurai problems, Uta was stronger than anyone Reita could think of. “He makes me look like such a pussy.”

                Rolling over and reaching for his phone, it was time for his nightly text to Ayato, a text he was sure that the boy didn’t appreciate. “Too bad, I’m going to love you to death, to make you understand.”

                “I love you.”

                Putting his phone back on the night table, Reita rolled over, closing his eyes and hoping for a dreamless night. Just as he had drifted off, he heard a text chime. “Who the hell is texting me this late?” Rolling over he grabbed his phone, opening it he saw one word;

Why?”   Reita couldn’t believe what he was seeing…shit, what do I say?

Do you have time for me to list the reasons?” Reita was wide awake.

“Top five only.”

“You’re caring and compassionate.”

That’s two, three more.”

                “No, that only counts as one.”

                “Fine, four more.”

                “You’re smart.”

                “Pfft, how would you know that?”

                “Because you were able to figure out how to live and survive in a foreign country.”

                “Okay, fine.”

                “You’re sexy.” He doesn’t believe me.

                “Shallow reason.”

                “Still counts though.” He doesn’t even know!

                “I could be really shallow and say you were a good fuck…but I won’t.” Okay, pushing it a bit.

                “What? Was I a bad fuck?”

                “No, but that’s not why I love you.” Okay, yah maybe a little, but I’m not telling him that!

                “Okay, you still need two more.”

                “You have your own mind…you don’t let others push you around.”

                “That’s wrong, if I did have my own mind, I wouldn’t be texting you.”

                “Wait, is someone forcing you? Do they have a gun to your head?” Thank you, Yuki!

                “Dork, no…but people keep trying to push us together.”

                “Well, people can see that I love you, and maybe that we belong together.”

                “I don’t believe that…yet.”

                “Last one, you’ve got a good heart and you’re beautiful.”

                There was no answer for almost five minutes, Reita’s heart trying to beat through his chest.

                “Oyasumi.”

                “Oyasumi…I still love you.”

                “YES!” Reita fist pumped the air, then clutching his phone to his chest, he rolled over, tears falling onto his pillow. “Thank you, Yuki! What ever you did…thank you!”

                Ayato looked at the screen, re-reading the reasons Reita said he loved him. “Smart? Obviously not very.” He snorted. “I don’t let people push me around? You weren’t here tonight…you didn’t see Yuki bully the shit out of me!”

                Yuki had indeed bullied his roommate, guilt tripping him to be exact. “Does Reita still text you every night?” He asked Ayato when they were sitting watching TV.

                “Yah, same thing, every night.” Ayato replied, not really interested in continuing the conversation.

                “Don’t you ever answer him?” Yuki pushed. “No, why would I?” Ayato pushed back.

                “Because it’s the right thing to do, you shouldn’t be so rude to him you know, he might give up and really just drop you…is that what you really want?” Yuki knew the answer, but Ayato would never admit to it.

                “I thought you said you weren’t going to bring this up anymore? You lied.”

                “I lied, so sue me.” Yuki threw a pillow at the man.

                “Yuki please…it’s not going to happen no matter how much you want it to. I’ve already explained that, just drop it.” Ayato repeated for the thousandth time.

                “I think you should just answer one text, maybe he’ll stop bugging you.” Yuki got up and went to bed, leaving Ayato to sit in the dark by himself.

                “Whatever.” Ayato got up and went down to his bedroom, wanting nothing more than to sleep away the problems, but like clockwork, the “I love you” text came through. “Right on time as usual.”

                He stared at the text, the same as every night, but tonight was different…hearing Yuki’s words echoing in his ears.

                “Why?” He finally answered Reita’s text and for the next ten minutes, he responded to each text, finally ending it with a simple ‘Oyasumi’.

                There was something different though… a feeling of warmth in Ayato’s heart, the answers Reita gave were for the most part, truthful…except the one about being sexy. “Totally shallow.” He grinned as he re-read the text chain again. Maybe there was a chance…but how to get over all the other bullshit that was standing in the way…it was his bullshit that he had to own, but he wasn’t sure how to do that.

                “Go to sleep stupid, he’s not going anywhere and neither are you.”

Chapter Text

Uta saw the note on his door, fluttering in the wind, as he reached up to peel it off, Pon walked up. “He was here about an hour ago, I saw him leave the note, but I didn’t want to talk to him. He looked like he was crying, he was leaning with his head against your door. He only stayed about five minutes, then left.”

                Uta reads the note, “He wants to see me again, but not here. Pon, I don’t know about going anywhere with him, what do I do?”

                “Hey, what’s going on?” Die had just walked up, coming home from practice with his guitar over his back.

                “Kato was here, left a note for Uta…he wants to see Uta again but not here.” Pon said quietly.

                “Uta, do not go anywhere with him…I don’t trust him one bit.” Pon put his hand on Uta’s shoulder in concern. “I’m with Pon, if you do meet him, it has to be super public, lots of people around.” Die frowned.

                “But where? I can’t even think of a place right now.” Uta was visibly shaken. “What about the HBG? He doesn’t know anyone that works there, does he?” Uta shook his head, “I don’t think so, I’m not sure he even knows that I used to work there.”

                “I’m with Die, I think that’s probably the safest spot you could choose, unless you meet at a police box or something.” Pon joked.

                “Call to see who’s working, then go from there. If Tora is working, him and Aki would be the best choice, Tora’s big enough he could probably man-handle Kato if needed.” Die pointed out.

                “You should talk to him on the phone first, then go from there, please make sure someone knows where you’re at and when, Uta.” Pon asked his friend, he worried about the fragility of Uta’s life, how easily it could be thrown in to turmoil.

                Uta thanked his friends, telling them he’d call the HBG that night, but wanted to talk to Kato first…making sure he knew what to expect when the man came to speak to him.

                “I’m worried about Uta…I don’t trust Kato, at least not 100%.” Pon and Die had returned to their flat, Pon cuddling with his boyfriend. “I’m not super keen on this either, I swear if that guy hurts Uta…I’m going to jail, because I’m going to kill him…or beat the shit out of him at the very least.” Die snarled.

                “I wonder though, why is Kato so insistent on pushing himself on Uta? I’d give anything to know what his angle is, like is he feeding Uta some karma shit, like destiny has guided me to you…some line of bullshit like that.” Pon was a cynic, if one thing came out of his problem with Aoi and Reita, it was cynicism…gone were the days that Pon had good thoughts about everyone.

                “I think Uta is too smart to fall for that, you didn’t see him after Morrie, or that Natsu guy…he was like a zombie.” Die shook his head, “Kyo was the one to save him really, after all the shit with Morrie, Kyo made him feel semi-normal. But then Natsu happened, that was bad. Teiji was the end though…I honestly thought he would die of a broken heart.”

                Pon leaned over and kissed Die…he wasn’t quite sure if the world understood what a soft, loving and compassionate man his boyfriend really was. “I love you, Daisuke.” Pon whispered on Die’s lips.

 

                “Hi, Taka? Yah, um could you tell me who’s working tomorrow night closing shift? Perfect! No, I just need to be there, but I want to know who’s working… no it’s a long story. Yah, thanks…Jaa ne.”

                “Aki, Tora and Tomo…perfect.” Uta muttered. Looking at the piece of paper with Kato’s number, he hesitated to call right then. “No, it may take awhile. I need to eat first.” With Luna and Saki screaming for dinner, Uta went about feeding the cats, then feeding himself, having a beer with his meal just to calm his nerves.

                “Okay, one beer was so not enough! Bath time.” Grabbing some essential oils, Uta ran a hot bath, Luna sitting on the toilet washing herself and watching. Uta laid his head on the back of the tub, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. What could Kato possibly have to say? The man scared him, not in a physical way…he knew the man would never abuse him, but mentally the man was pushy.

                “Pfft. Quit being such a weenie…stand up for yourself!” Uta berated himself. Getting out of the tub, Uta wanted to be as comfortable as possible when he finally called Kato “Pajamas…check. Cats, yep…water…yep.” He sighed and picked up his phone.

               

                Kato paced the bedroom, clock watching and checking to make sure his phone was turned on, “He has to call me tonight…he would not be so cruel as to make me wait!” Just as Kato had decided to go into the kitchen, his phone rang. “Uta…”

                “Hello, Uta.” Kato said softly. “Thank you for calling me tonight.”

                “I almost wasn’t going to, but Pon said he saw you here tonight, he also said you were crying, why?” Uta was going to be in charge of where the conversation went, he wouldn’t let Kato bully or guilt him into anything.

                “Frustration perhaps, a feeling of longing…I’m not really sure, the tears just started.” Kato flushed with embarrassment.

                “What did you want to talk about, why do you think we need to see each other again?” Uta was just short of demanding an answer.

                “I believe there are things that are still to be discussed, I haven’t told you everything yet.” Kato had a sense of dread, Uta was going to refuse to see him.

                “How much more is there to say? I’ve told you I don’t understand how I can be so important to your life, when you don’t know me.” Uta was very sure of his position on this…how could he mean that much to a stranger?

                “Would you like to talk about it now? Or will you allow me to meet you somewhere that you choose? I don’t want to make you any more uncomfortable than you already are, I’ve never wanted that.” Kato was saying a silent prayer, that Uta would agree to meet.

                “The same conditions will be in place if I agree to meet you…if I become uncomfortable or you start to push me, you will leave and you will not contact me again, is that understood?” Uta said strongly.

                “Of course, what ever you want…I’ll agree to anything as long as you make the effort to talk to me. Where and when would you like to meet me?” Kato struggled to keep his excitement contained.

                “Tomorrow night 8pm, at the High Ball Garden under Tokyo Tower. I will be on the patio near the fountain.” Uta gave the order.

                “I will be there promptly at 8pm, thank you, Uta.” Kato quietly hung up the phone. “Yes!” Kato’s heart soared at the thought of seeing Uta again, a feeling he had thought had died when Astrid did. “That means you’re mine…you’re suppose to be with me!”

 

                Closing his phone, Uta felt oddly comforted at the thought of meeting with Kato, he wasn’t scared but he was cautious, he was confident that Tora, Aki and Tomo would not allow Kato to do anything shady, he was sure that Tora would probably be on the patio more than normal, just to make sure he was safe.

                “Why do I feel like this, Luna? He scares me but I want to see him! I wish this would just disappear, I wish I could just go back to … to whom? Teiji? Acchan? Kyo?”

                “Kyo? Really?” Uta giggle snorted, “Mao would kill me!” Kyo was a soft spot for Uta to land, whenever he needed…as was Davina.  “Where does Davina fit in?” Uta whispered.

                This part of the puzzle that was Kato, was something Uta couldn’t quite grasp. Ojisan’s visions, or whatever they were, told him Kato would be Davina’s next submissive, but how was that possible if Kato wanted to be with Uta? “I don’t fucking get it, Saki…do you?” Uta reached down to stroke the soft fur of the cat, receiving only a small chirp in response.

                Turning over, Uta knew he had a long day ahead of him…he just wanted to make it through, without falling apart.

 

 

                Uta walked into BookOff in a decent mood, having at least had no nightmares of any sort and only having to deal with a pushy Saki standing on his chest at 7am wanting to be fed. Uta of course pushed the young cat off the bed, turned over and covered is head with his pillow, only to have Luna dig her way under the pillow and start to complain about also being hungry.

                “I should call Kyo and tell him to take you monsters back! It’s freaking 7am!  I don’t have to be at work until 10! Please, just let me sleep!” Uta whined, which of course the two Siamese cats ignored, continuing to scream at their owner to get up and feed them.

                “Morning Uta…how’s things?” Zero said without looking up from his desk. “Good, just waking up way too early because of my cats.” Uta shoved his things in his locker. “Oh? Why is that?” Zero still hadn’t looked up.

                “Have you ever heard two Siamese cats scream when they’re hungry? It’s like … I can’t even describe the sound but it’s hell.” Uta really wasn’t angry with Saki and Luna, they meant everything to him.

                “Well, we have a huge shipment in, so if you want to clock in a bit early, I’d appreciate it.” Zero looked up and smiled. “Thanks.”

                Uta clocked in, grabbed his apron and went into the stock room to grab a few boxes to put on a cart, wheeling it out to the CD section. “Hey Uta!” Miel walked in, “Starting early?”

                “Zero said we have a ton of stuff in the back, he’ll probably let you start on your section early too…always good for a few extra bucks.” Uta told Miel, without really looking at him. “Oh great…going to be one of those days.” Miel rolled his eyes with out explaining, leaving Uta to wonder what the man was talking about.

                By noon, it was fairly obvious that Miel had been talking about Zero, and his rather pushy attitude that day. “I need as much product on the sales floor as possible today. We’re getting close to the holiday season, and you know the shipments will just be getting larger.” He told the crew in the morning meeting.

                What he hadn’t said was that he expected everyone to push themselves harder than normal, with Zero always looking over their shoulder, a different side of the manager that Uta hadn’t seen before.

                “He always gets this crabby before holiday season,” Miko said quietly, while sitting in the break room, catching Uta as he was leaving. “Does it get better after?” Uta asked. “No, because then we’re pushing product so we don’t have so much for inventory…just be prepared to work extra.”

                Uta wasn’t happy with that information, he hadn’t really signed on for extra hours, it’s not like he needed the money. “Well, I’m only part time, so…” He shrugged as he walked away.

 

                The days following Uta’s breakdown and confession consisted of Zero ever so lightly probing Uta for information, “On your application, it mentioned the High Ball Garden, what exactly or where is that?” He had asked Uta while the young man was in the breakroom for lunch.

                “It’s under Tokyo Tower, it’s just a popular hang out for a lot of people, it offers every possible type of High Ball cocktail you can think of. I worked there on and off for a few years, I still have friends there.” Uta didn’t think anything of the question, a lot of people didn’t know about the HBG.

                “There are special events that are coordinated and hosted by the HBG, mostly for Danger Crue Records, but other businesses host parties as well. Why?” Uta asked.

                “Just curious, I don’t remember ever hearing about the place, guessing it’s mostly kids and tourists?” Zero moved some papers around on the table, in an attempt to look casual.

                “Oh, well it was a fun place to work…” Uta trailed off. “But?” Zero looked up. “I had some issues there, that make it impossible for me to go back.” Uta didn’t want to explain anything else, getting up and putting his things back in his locker, waving to Zero, Uta went back to work.

                “Danger Crue Records? Hmm, interesting,” Zero had some plans in mind that may involve a visit to the HBG in the near future.

                “Hey do you have plans after work tonight?” Miel and Uta were together at the check out line, Zero making his rounds had heard the question, lingering close enough to hear the answer.

                “Yah, I’m meeting with some friends tonight, why?” Uta turned to stock some bags, not seeing his manager lurking. “Aww, that’s too bad, some friends of mine were going to a live tonight for some new band, just wanted to see if you could go too.” Miel had wanted to hang out with Uta, he felt like Uta was a bit of a loner.

                “Thanks! I wish I would have known earlier, but this is kind of a special thing.” Uta smiled. “But maybe next time?”

                Zero wondered who Uta was hanging out with, and where. “Maybe you guys should stop by the High Ball Garden after the live, I might still be there.” Uta offered. “Hm, not a bad idea. I’ll ask the others what they think.”

                Uta’s going to be at the HBG tonight? Zero thought he may have to change his plans that night as well.

                Uta was an hour late getting off work, Zero asking him to stay. “Look just one extra hour, you can come in an hour late for your next shift.” He pleaded. “I have something to do tonight! I have to be out of here at exactly 6, not one minute later!” Uta agreed.

                “Hot and heavy date tonight?” His manager teased. “No, why would you say that?” Uta backed away from Zero a step. “Well, you just seem excited, it’s not like you’re unattractive, Uta…you probably have them falling at your feet.”

                Uta thought Zero was being creepy, but held his tongue. “Um, not really. What do I need to work on?” Changing the subject as quickly as possible.

                “Thanks, Uta…see you soon!” Zero called out as Uta left the store and rushed to his car. He looked back and saw his manager watching him from the door, unnerving him. “I should talk to Mao about this…or maybe Kyo.” Uta muttered as he got into his car.

                Zero looked at the schedule for the week, Uta didn’t work for another two days, “Shit…”

                “Something wrong boss?” Miel walked in on Zero staring intently at the schedule. “No, just looking at shifts, I may have to move some around a bit. I hate the holiday season.” The man lied. “Well, let me know if you need extra coverage, I can always use the hours.”

 

                Rushing through a shower, Uta had what felt like first date jitters. “Pfft, it’s not a date, stupid.” Yet here he was, worrying about what to wear, if his hair looked okay, and applying the smallest amount of eyeliner. “Just because … doesn’t mean…” He told the cats as they looked at him with a disapproving look. “What? I don’t need to look like a slob, do I?” Saki chirped, then jumped down from the counter and walked away. “Fine…maybe I do want to look nice!” Uta snarked.

                Arriving at the HBG, Uta went to the back door and knocked. “Uta!” Aki opened the door, inviting the boy in and giving him a hug. “I haven’t seen you in ages…every thing okay?” Just as Uta was going to explain things, Tora came barreling out of the office, almost knocking Uta over.

                “TORA!” Aki smacked his husband in the back of the head, “Watch where the hell you’re going!”  “Oh, Uta! Sorry…” Tora chuckled. “I have a fave to ask guys, I don’t know if Taka told you, but I’m meeting someone here tonight…it’s a really long complicated story…” Before Uta could finish, Aki put his hand on Uta’s shoulder.

                “Taka gave us the short version of the story, don’t worry about anything, I’ll send Tomo out to check the patio, if that guy is being obnoxious, just tell Tomo you want to talk to one of us.” Aki was worried, the way Taka explained things, this Kato guy was still an unknown person.

                “Thanks! I don’t think anything’s going to go wrong, but I just wanted to make sure I had back up if I needed it.” Uta hugged Aki, “Thanks…”

                It always tore a little at Aki’s heart, when he saw Uta…he had been in love with the man before he met Tora, and often wondered how different his life would have been with Uta, had the man not gone through all the shit with Natsu.

                Going out on to the patio, Uta picked at table that was close to the fountain, but still in eye sight of the HBG counters, figuring that if Tomo or Aki were at the front, they’d be able to see Uta and Kato.

                With a drink in his hand, Uta sat down and waited for Kato, his head swimming with questions for the man. He took his phone out and set it on the table, making sure that it was near by…just in case. He thought about the weirdness with Zero, it made him uncomfortable…all the questions the man had about his past. “Just too damned weird.” He muttered.

                “Uta?” At the sound of his name, Uta looked up…his breath hitched. “Ka…Kato…” The man that stood before him was not what he had expected. “Hi…can I get you anything before we start?” Kato asked softly. “Um, no…I’m good.” Uta replied. Kato was dressed in a black fitted dress shirt, and black skinnies…his hair tied half back and his eyes darkened with a hint of liner…he was beautiful.

                “I’m going to grab a drink, is that alright?” Kato asked, Uta just nodded his head. “Okay…I’ll be right back.” As Kato walked away, Uta’s heart pounded in his chest, a rush of blood sounding in his ears. “What the hell?” was all he could think…this was bad, very bad.

Chapter Text

                Ayato stared at his schedule at the recycle shop…less hours than the week before. “How the hell am I going to pay rent?” He knew that Yuki would help out, but that wasn’t the point, he couldn’t pay his way, thus he shouldn’t be living with Yuki.

                “Hey, what’s up? You’re looking pissed off.” Yuki knocked on his bedroom door, Ayato looked depressed, but Yuki couldn’t just blurt that out. “I just got my schedule for next week, even less hours than last week…I need a new job…like right now!” he explained.

                “Oh, now that sucks. Any ideas on where you’re going to look?” Yuki needed to text Kai. “Nope, maybe just walk around in Shinjuku or Harajuku…see if I can find something at a shop.”

                “Well, let me know asap so if I need to pick up more hours, I can put in for them.” Yuki turned to walk away, Ayato reached out and grabbed his arm. “Please, I promise I’ll pay you back for all of this and um, thanks for being a good friend.”

                “Dude, don’t get all sappy on me, it’s no big deal, that’s what friends do.” Yuki playfully slapped Ayato’s arm away, then walked into his bedroom. “Shit…” Taking out his phone, he sent a quick text to Kai; “Ayato needs that new job like soon.”

                Kai read the text during a break in rehearsal, “Hey, Reita…got a minute?” Kai called the bassist over to talk.

                “How do you want to handle this, with Ayato and Taka? I just got a text from Yuki, looks like Ayato needs a new job sooner than later.”

                “I’ll text him tonight, at least try to talk to him.”

                “I’ll call Taka, see if you can get Ayato to at least go apply…let me find out when Taka’s at work, then I’ll text you.” Kai patted Reita on the shoulder, “Try not to worry too much, we’ll get you guys there eventually.”

                “Thanks, Kai.”

 

                Ayato laid on his bed, waiting for Reita’s nightly I love you, text, before going to sleep. He had spent the day looking online at various job openings within a radius that wouldn’t have him spending hours on a train each day…but the pickings were slim. He had a list of shops that he’d visit tomorrow, but he wasn’t hopeful. Turning over and watching his phone, Reita’s nightly text was on schedule.

                “Before I say I love you, I have something you might want to listen to.”

                “Okay.” Now what?

                “This is going to be complicated, so just try to follow.”

                “Fine.”

                “Would you be interested in working at a bar? I mean it’s not really a bar, but they do sell alcohol.”

                “You’re joking, you think I want to work at a fucking host club?” Ayato was pissed.

                Ayato waited…no text. “Fine…stupid idea anyways.” He closed his phone, which rang immediately, startling him so much he almost dropped the phone.

                “NO! I’m not talking about a host club! Just let me explain!” Reita snapped.

                “My friend Taka, is the manager at the High Ball Garden, it’s under Tokyo Tower.” Reita took a deep breath.

                “What does that have to do with me?”

                “Taka needs to hire another person since Uta isn’t coming back to work, but here’s where it gets weird; Taka talked to his husband Sato, who plays for MUCC, Yukke then mentioned it to Kai, who thought you’d be perfect for the job, so he told me. That’s five people who care enough about you to want to help.”

                Ayato said nothing.

                “I’m going to say that there is a 100% chance that you’d get the job, it pays great and has benefits and it’s close to the train. Now I’m going to hang up and text you again.” Reita didn’t want to push his luck with talking on the phone.

                “WAIT! Don’t hang up.”

                “Are you sure?” This was a surprise to Reita.

                “Yes…I’m sure.”

                “Will you go apply? Everyone that works there are great people. Mao, who’s married to Kyo is funny as hell, Aki and Tora are loud and sort of obnoxious, Tomo, who’s Ruki’s boyfriend is a lot like you, sort of quiet and Koichi…everyone loves him.”

                Silence.

                “Don’t you dare ask me why I’m doing this! You already know the answers and that’s not going to change. If it takes me ten years to convince you…to prove to you that you are worthy of love and happiness…I guess I know what I’ll be doing for the next ten years.”

                More silence.

                “Ayato?”

                “Mmm?”

                “Are you okay?” Reita was worried.

                “Yah, I am.” There’s a smile in Ayato’s voice. “I’ll go down to morrow and fill out an application, will the manager be there?”

                “Yep, Taka usually works during the day. I’m sure you’ll get hired.”

                Silence again.

                “I’ll say good night then, I love you.”

                “Thank you, oyasumi.” Ayato closes his phone.

 

                Uta watched as Kato went to the counters of the HBG and bought a drink, bowing lightly to Tomo who served him. As he walked back towards Uta, both men had similar thoughts; God he’s beautiful.

                “Do you have anything you’d like to talk about first?” Uta asked as he looked down at his drink. “Not really…maybe just about your life…and mine of course.” Kato was playing it very cool, making sure every thing he did could not be construed as threatening.

                “Not really much to say about me. You know about my life with Sakurai and you know I’ve been ill recently.” Uta wasn’t sure how much of his life he wanted to expose…at least not yet.

                “Mmm, what about before all this? If I’m overstepping my boundaries, make sure to tell me I’m being too nosey.” Kato tried to tease. “Oh, I will…” Uta teased back. “I used to work here… at the HBG, that’s probably the start of everything.” Uta hesitated a moment. “You do know I was raped…someone had to have told you that.” Looking up to see what reaction that information had on Kato, Uta was shocked that the man was tearing up.

                “You…you were raped? I knew you had a bad dominant, is that who you’re talking about?” Kato couldn’t begin to visualize someone doing that to the sweet boy that sat across from him.

                Uta told Kato, not in too much detail, about Morrie, then about Natsu. “I’d heard about Natsu from my own Mistress…word got out quickly that he was not to be trusted anywhere in the world in our community.” Kato told him.

                “How did you meet your Mistress? You don’t have to answer if it’s too painful.” Uta asked carefully. Kato smiled at the memory of Astrid.

                “Here in Japan, at a club in Osaka. It was just a nightclub, no scene involved. Mistress was visiting…she saw me and then approached me, we talked all night, Mistress spoke English, I speak English well enough, but we at least understood each other. I think I fell in love with her that first night.” It was difficult for Kato to explain; the grief was still very near the surface for him.

                Giving Uta the short version of his story, he ended it with the death of his Mistress. “I’m sorry… that’s so very sad. But your story parallels Davina and Teiji’s, you both had a Mistress you loved more than a normal pet would be allowed, you lost Astrid, Davina lost Teiji.” Uta said nothing about his loss.

                “And you are the connection between us. There is a reason I’m to be with you, Uta, if you would give me a chance.” Kato said earnestly, Uta not responding with anything more than a soft pink blush.

                “What are your feelings towards Mistress Davina? I know you were involved with her…as a partner with Teiji, what will you do now?” Kato had thought a long while on whether or not he would speak to Uta about this…it was a touchy subject.

                “I love her…I always will, but I have to learn to stand on my own, quit being such a wimp, and I can only do that by being alone.” Uta said with confidence.

                “I admire your strength…I’m far from that…I’m still unsure if I’ll make it by myself, without a dominant or someone to love.” Kato looked up at Uta when he said the word love…searching for a sign from the young man.

                “Would you like another drink?” Kato stood, “Yes please…that would be nice.” What the hell am I doing…this feels… good! Uta thought to himself. Kato stood at the counter, a young man with sandy brown hair served him, but with a terse smile, which Kato thought odd.  Returning to Uta and handing him the drink, Kato had a sly grin on his face.

                “What?” Uta noticed right away. “I do not think your friends approve of me…at least the young man serving me.” Kato said. “Why would you say that?” Uta wondered which friend Kato was talking about.

                “The young man, with the sandy blonde hair…he was barely controlling a frown, he was polite…but just.”

                “Aki? Well, that’s not a surprise really…Aki was in love with me, back when I was with Natsu…and I totally ignored him. Even though he’s with Tora now…they’re even married…he still loves me as a friend. I’m sure you don’t meet his standards.” Uta laughed.

                “If that’s the worst thing that I receive from your friends, I count myself lucky, it just shows how much they care about you.” Kato leaned in, looking Uta straight in the eyes, “They love you…” Uta coughed uncomfortably, Kato leaning back, immediately thinking he had offended Uta.

                “Where do you work now? I’m assuming you don’t have a life of leisure, you don’t seem to be that type.” Kato tried to turn the conversation back to something neutral.

                “I work at the BookOff in Shinjuku. I worked at the location in Chiba, but that was just too much of a commute…then things got weird…and I um, left.”

                “Oh, I like those stores, always so many things to choose from. Do you enjoy working there?” Kato sensed there was something else going on.

                “My manager is sort of weird…certain things he says kind of creep me out. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stay.” Uta wanted to tell Kato about the conversation he had with Zero about Sakurai, but wasn’t sure he should.

                “What do you mean says certain things?” Kato sat up straight. “Um, well I had an incident when someone asked me about working here, and if I’d ever run into Sakurai, I uh, sorta freaked out.” Uta just said it. “Zero talked to me, and I told him about my relationship with Acchan…but not in detail! Just that he was my ex-boyfriend.”

                “What did this man say to you?” Kato’s voice was tense. “Just that he had to work hard to get my attention, if he was competing with Sakurai Atsushi.” Uta’s voice was shaking.

                “Did he try to touch you? If he even thought about…” Kato’s voice rose in volume. “NO! It’s nothing like that…he’s only…well he hugged me that night when we left the store, but that’s all.”

                “He did what? He touched you?” Kato asked, his voice was dangerously low. Uta started to say something when Kato stood up, anger showing on his face. “I’ll be right back.” Uta watched Kato’s back as the man walked to the counters and ordered another drink.

                “Uta? Is everything okay?” Tora had seen Kato walk away, the obvious tension in which the man moved. “I think so…can you stay for just a minute please?” Uta asked, wanting Tora to run interference if Kato returned still angry.

                “Who are you?” Kato snapped as he returned to the table. “KATO!” Uta gasped. “This is Tora, a good friend of mine who works here! There’s no need to be nasty!”

                “I happen to be very close to Uta, something that you should remember in the future. Do not piss me off or push me, you will regret it if I ever find out you’ve done anything to harm or upset Uta…do I make myself clear?” Tora snarled at Kato. “If I do hear about it…you will see me and countless others at your doorstep, do not take this lightly.”

                Kato looked at Tora, who had stepped behind Uta’s chair, placing a very protective hand on the younger man’s shoulder. Just as he was going to respond, Aki walked up behind Tora. “What’s going on?” Aki asked tersely. “I’m just letting this man know that Uta has a lot of friends ready to come after him, if he does anything to upset Uta.” Tora answered simply.

                “Uta, just let us know if you need anything, okay? Come on hero…let’s get back to work.” Aki bowed lightly, pulling Tora by the arm back to the HBG, Tora’s eyes never leaving Kato’s.

                “Seems like you have some good friends here, I will remember this for future reference. Now, can we get back to some good conversation?” Kato smiled. “I’ll be right back…now it’s my turn!” Uta giggled. Leaving the table, Kato watched as Uta walked away. “Careful…he has a lot of friends that could be your enemies in a heart beat.”

Uta returned quickly, another drink in his hand. “I haven’t had this much to drink in ages!” Uta laughed as he took a sip of his High Ball.

“Your friends, Sakurai, Ormond…all of them are so fiercely protective of you. It’s actually quite noble of them…it says a lot about you as well.” Kato reached over and covered Uta’s hand with his, gently squeezing.

“I’ve been through a lot with them, they’ve always been there for me, even when I’ve lied or tried to push them away…they never gave up on me.” Uta blushed, slightly embarrassed. “Can we just talk about silly things? I’m so tired of being serious.” Uta asked.

“Silly things? Such as…let me guess? The strangest thing you’ve seen in the last week?” Kato offered. This question turned into a small contest of who has seen the strangest thing, Kato winning only because he had lived in New York.

“A what? You can’t be serious! How in the world did she even get a raven? It’s not like there’s a Raven pet store…is there?” Uta was incredulous, as Kato told him about the Goth girl on the subway, with a large raven sitting on her knee.

“I rarely took the subway, but Mistress needed the car, so I decided it had been ages since I had done so…and of course I see that. If it’s any consolation, Mistress didn’t believe me either, until I showed her the picture.” Kato laughed.

It was Kato’s laugh that had Uta warming up to the man, it was infectious and honest, his eyes twinkling much like Kai’s did when he laughed. “You look like Kai when you laugh…except you don’t have a dimple.” Uta was feeling the effects of three High Ball cocktails at that point.

“Kai? Who is Kai?” Kato didn’t remember hearing about this friend. “He’s the drummer for The Gazette…he has the best smile in the industry, his eyes crinkle and get all cute…your eyes do the same.” He giggled. “Reita has a cute laugh too, but it’s deeper…I think my fave laugh is Acchan’s…it’s just so…” suddenly Uta wasn’t thinking anything was funny, the alcohol doing what it did best, take someone from the ultimate high, to a despairing low in a heart beat.

“I think I need to go home…it’s getting kind of late.” Uta tried to stand up, swaying a little too much and almost toppling over into the fountain. “Woah…wait a minute…you’re not going anywhere yet.” Kato reached out quickly to grab Uta’s arm, helping him regain his balance.

“It’s okay, I live close it’s not that long of a drive, I’ll be fine.” Uta stepped forward, his foot catching on a leg of the table, falling into Kato’s arms. If Kato had not watched Uta drink as much as he did, he would have thought that the falling was a flirtatious ploy.

“No, you’re not driving, come with me.” Kato held out his hand, Uta shyly taking it, as they walked towards the back door of the HBG, Kato knocked.

“Uta? What’s wrong?” Tora opened the door, stepping forward when he saw Uta clinging to Kato. “Tora-san, Uta has had too much to drink and I do not want him driving home. Is there a way he can leave you his keys, and you can take his car home?” Kato bowed lightly.

“Uta, is this true? He’s not making you do anything is he?” Tora snapped, just as he moved a step closer, reaching out for Uta, Aki walked up and grabbed his husband’s arm. “He’s drunk Tora, not stupid. Uta, we’ll take your car home, just call me tomorrow and we can meet up.” Aki held his hands out for the keys, which Uta drunkenly pulled them from his pants.

“Are you taking him home then?” Aki looked at Kato. “Yes, if you’d like I will text you when I leave his home to let you know he’s okay.” Kato looked sincere, Aki tended to want to trust him more than Tora did. “I’d like that, thank you Kato-san. Uta, you’re going to have an ugly hangover tomorrow, Tora and I will bring you ramen in the afternoon, okay?” Uta just giggled, then nodded. “Ojisan’s ramen!”

                Pulling up to Uta’s apartment complex, both men didn’t want the night to end. “Do you…want to come in for a bit?” Uta asks.

                “That would be nice, yes.”

                Sitting on the couch, Saki bounces into the room and onto Kato’s lap. “Hello kitty” Uta giggles at the obvious. Saki stands on Kato’s chest and reaches up to touch noses, “Do you approve of me?” Kato stroked the soft fur of the cat. Saki didn’t answer, instead just curling up on the couch next to Uta. “Luna.” Uta called softly.

                Luna strolled into the room, ignoring Kato completely. With a gravely greeting, Luna sits in Uta’s lap, then looks at Kato with unimpressed eyes. “She’s kind of a diva, she’s not impressed with anyone…not even Acchan.” Uta smiled as he bent down to kiss the cat on the head.

                “They’re truly beautiful, are they a gift from Sakurai?” Kato thought that would be something the man would do for his lover. “No, Kyo gave them to me…he’s like that, he gives kittens as gifts instead of flowers or jewelry.”

                Uta is yawning, his eyes drooping sleepily, “You should get to bed.” Kato suggests. “I’m fine, I don’t have to work tomorrow.” Uta objects.

                “When can I see you again?”

                “Can’t you stay just a little longer tonight?” Uta leans on Kato’s shoulder.

                “I’ll stay as long as you want me to.” Kato put’s his arm around Uta’s shoulders, hugging him closely, soon only hearing Uta’s soft steady breathing, Kato smiles as he bends down and kisses Uta’s head. Pulling a blanket off the back of the couch, he covers them both, Luna tucking herself on Kato’s lap, close to Uta’s head, Saki moving to behind Uta’s knees.

                “I love you Uta.”

 

             

Related image In Moscow.

Chapter Text

                “Our Acchan is a lucky man I must say; his new trainee is stunning.” Davina and Isshi sat in her private room at Vinyl Fetish, dishing over the recent changes in Sakurai Atsushi’s life. “He’s a bit older, in his mid-twenties I’d say. My lovelies had a very short romp with the boy.” Isshi looked over at Ruimaru who was blushing nine shades of pink.

                “Ruimaru?” Davina cocked an eyebrow, “Yes, Mistress?” Ruimaru kept his gaze to the floor. “Is there something you’d like to say about your interaction with Sakurai’s new boy?” Davina teased, she knew the boy was fidgeting for a reason.

                Looking over at Isshi, who nodded, Ruimaru stepped forward. “Just that he’s very sweet, he tastes amazing… and he has a big…” Ruimaru giggled, then stepped back against the wall, his hand quickly taken by Leda.

                “They have fallen hopelessly in love with Karyu-kun, though I do believe this is

the boy to heal Acchan’s heart, at least I pray that it is so.” Isshi’s soft smile told Davina that perhaps Sakurai had indeed moved on from Uta.

                “What about you my dear? Have you considered taking a new pet? You seem so very lonely, my Angel is concerned as well.” Isshi looked over his shoulder at Ruimaru.

                “I haven’t decided to be honest, Isshi. There are nights that yes, I missing having a lover in my bed, duties during the day that I have started to speak Teiji’s name, only to realize that I am alone in the house. I’m just not sure what or how I would go about finding one…I do not, I repeat, do not want a trainee.” Davina emphasized the last fact.

                “No, I believe you need someone that is already highly trained, you can not be bothered with a raw beginner.” Isshi knew exactly who Davina needed, but the timing was not right… or so Ojisan had told both he and Madame F.

                The two Dominants took a stroll through the club, this time with Leda attending Davina, which as waif like and thin as the young man was…took his duties seriously, showing a bit of rough dominance towards anyone that tried to approach Davina, blocking them from contact until she said otherwise.  

                The evening ended for Davina as Isshi dropped her at the manor, Ruimaru looking rather sadly as they pulled away. “Sir…when can we find a pet for Mistress? Is it truly that hard to find someone?” he asked.

                “My Angel, there is one that is destined to be with Mistress, but it is not the right time…not quite yet, so she will have to be alone for a while longer, but I can assure you, the moment they are in each other’s presence, there will be no others for them.”

 

                “What are you still doing here?” Uta sat up quickly, still confused with sleep and not yet feeling the pounding headache that was to announce his hangover. “Good morning.” Kato smiled. “You asked me to stay longer and we both fell asleep, I will be leaving right now.” Kato stood, shook his clothes down and looked fondly at Uta.

                “Aki and Tora have your car, you were much too drunk to have been driving home. Thank you for the lovely evening, I hope to see you again very soon.” Kato bowed and walked to the door, turning to look once more at Uta, then leaving the flat.

                Uta was confused and as he sat up the headache started pounding. Leaning over, his elbows on his knees, Uta tried to remember the previous nights events. Looking at his phone, there is a text from Aki wanting to make sure Uta was alright, and that he and Tora would be over in the mid morning to deliver his car.

                Taking the time before his friends arrived, to shower and eat some alcohol absorbing ramen, Uta thought about what he did remember from his date with Kato.  “Date? Is that what it was?” he muttered.

                “You were pretty drunk last night, was Kato a problem?” Aki and Tora arrived around noon, both digging for information on the man their friend had went home with.

                “He spent the night…” “HE WHAT? UTA!” Tora gasped before Uta had a chance to explain. “NO! Tora…really? You think I’d do that?” Uta snapped.

                “No, but if you were drunk…” Tora pouted. “We fell asleep on the couch, when I woke up he just thanked me for a lovely evening and then he left.” Uta reported.

                “Okay, I just wanted to make sure he didn’t take advantage of you. He sort of looked like he might.”

                “What’s next for you two? Are you like dating now?” Aki asked.

                “I wouldn’t say we’re dating, but I don’t know what we are, it’s just a weird situation Aki.” Uta closed his eyes and rubbed his face, “I’m confused, it feels right when I’m with him, but it scares me too.”

                “If you need back up again, just call me please.” Aki stood up, motioning for Tora that they were leaving. “Thanks guys, I will.” Uta hugged both men and they left the flat.

                “I don’t fucking like this, Aki. I don’t trust this Kato guy.” Tora snarled. “Look, we have to support Uta in his decisions, if he wants to date this guy, then all we can do is look out for him. The guy knows that Uta has a lot of friends that are willing to watch his back…I doubt that Kato will try anything.” Aki assured his husband.

 

                Kato made his way down to Shinjuku, thinking about what Uta had told him the night before about his boss at BookOff, not liking what he had heard about the man. Finding parking, he walked into the store, greeted by a young man with blue hair and multiple piercings, “Hi, welcome to BookOff, is there something I can help you find?”

                “No thank you, I’m just going to browse.” Kato nodded to the man as he moved off to wander the aisles, searching for a man that looks like he may be the manager, picking up random books and CD’s, looking at the various musical instruments that were displayed, Kato saw no one that fit the position of a manager.

                “Hello, is there something I can help you with?” An older man in his thirties, approached Kato, who read the man’s name tag, “Zero”. “You’re the manager of the store?” Kato asked.

                “Yes, I am, is there something in particular you need?” Zero asked.

                “Actually, there is something I need, I need you to stay away from Uta.” Kato said as he took a step towards Zero. “Excuse me?” Zero was a bit alarmed, this wasn’t Sakurai Atsushi, so who was this man that knew Uta?

                “Do not harass Uta any further, stay away from him and leave him alone, your advances are not wanted. This is the only warning you will receive from me.” Kato stressed his position.

                “Uta is just an employee, there have been no advances made.” Zero replied hotly, only guessing what the hell this man had heard.

                “Stay the hell away from Uta!” Kato snapped, then turned and left the store, leaving Zero wondering what the hell had just happened and who Kato was. “Shit.” He whispered, now how was he going to get to Sakurai if not through Uta?

                Kato’s mind was a blur of anger as he drove home, the thought of the man he had just seen, touching Uta in any way, angered him to the point of rage. Pulling his car into his garage, he sat there for a moment, regaining his composure before going inside.

                Breathing deeply, he just then realized how tired he was. Ignoring Ena’s greeting, Kato walked straight into his room, shedding his clothes as he moved to the bathroom and getting into the shower, standing under the stinging hot water until he felt scalded.

               

                Uta moved through the rest of his day in a haze of confused feelings about Kato. He had enjoyed the part of the last night’s date that he had remembered, parts of it were fuzzy, but the one thing he did remember was falling asleep in Kato’s arms. It wasn’t necessarily the fact that it was Kato’s arms, but just being held closely by anyone was comforting. “Would I feel the same if it was Acchan?” he asked himself.

                “Yes, don’t lie…” was his answer. He was tired of being alone, without Teiji who he knew he could never go back to, without Acchan who he knew he loved but couldn’t trust, and now with Kato. “Why is this so fucking hard?”

                Sitting on his bed after his shower, brushing out his hair, Uta felt like a wimp. He was mad at himself for being so vulnerable, for letting things happen instead of making things happen. His relying on others to care for him, the fact that everyone felt very protective if him, made Uta feel weak. He needed to change all of it, last night was just the start.

                “Hi, I know this is unexpected but I’d like to see you again tonight if I can, could you come over for dinner?”

 

                Uta double checked the food, “Not quite ready.” He looked around the flat, “alright that’s set. You two!” Uta pointed at Luna and Saki, “You two behave yourselves tonight! No growling or fighting, no being mean to Kato.” The cats stared at Uta, knowing that their boy would never punish them no matter what they did.

                When Kato arrived, there was an awkward pause before Uta explained why he had asked the man to dinner. “I’m tired of being weak and wishy-washy.” Kato’s brow furrowed, “I’m not sure I understand what you mean.” Offering Kato a beer, Uta had him sit on the couch next to him.

                “I’ve been taken care of by others for the last three years; Kyo, Acchan, Teiji and Davina, but my other friends as well, you saw for yourself how over protective they are of me, and I’m honestly done with it.” Uta said with some finality, “I’m also done being alone, I can’t be with Teiji or Davina, Acchan and I are always such a mess together.” Uta laughed. “I love the man, but it’s like mixing oil and water…it stays blended for a moment, but always separates…that’s us in a nutshell.”

                Kato laughed at the analogy, “That sounds about right from what I’ve heard about your relationship with Sakurai, and I don’t doubt he loves you, I know he does. I witnessed his reaction when we met that first day. The man can be intimidating.”

                “I’m not going to promise you anything, it’s too soon for that, but I did have a good time last night, well what I remember of it.” Uta giggled. “You were fairly drunk even with just three drinks, but you’re not very big. At least now I know how much alcohol you can tolerate.” Kato quipped.

                The two sat on the couch, waiting for the dinner to finish cooking, telling each other about their childhoods, obviously growing up vastly different. “My parents were loving and supportive, although they didn’t understand my relationship with Astrid, but were satisfied that I was happy.” Kato confessed.

                “My parents…well, it was a little different for me. After I was attacked by Morrie, they found out I was gay, and kicked me out of the house. I don’t know how they found out, I don’t really care, it’s the fact that I had been raped and almost killed, my sexuality shouldn’t have made a difference, but it did to them. I lived on the streets for awhile until I was hired at the HBG, and well you know the rest of the story.” Uta always felt a little sad when he thought of his parents, but never for very long.

                “Well, we both made up for it in the end, finding someone to love, and that loved both of us as much as they did. Neither one of us should ever have to go through what we did. I’m hoping to make you as happy…if you’ll let me.” Kato asked gently.

                “It’s what happened last night, that really changed my mind, help me see that while I have great friends, I need to stop being a victim, which is what I’ve been for so long. I want to be whole again, I want to be able to love with out automatically waiting for the relationship to end.” Uta tried to explain.

                Before Kato could answer, the stove timer buzzed, and Uta got up, “Come on, let’s eat…I promise it’s edible, I’m a decent cook, it’s one thing I could take away from living with Hide and Yutaka, I can at least cook.” Uta laughed.

                They enjoyed their meal, the conversation turning light, Uta telling stories about the HBG, specifically Ruki Rampages. “I never thought of someone like Ruki to be well, human. Before I knew everyone, they all seemed like perfect rock stars…then well I met Kyo and Ruki.”

                “It sounds like Kyo was a life saver for you, which does not really fit his onstage persona.” Kato had really only experienced the Dir En Grey Kyo, not Kyo the rescuer. “He is intense off stage as well, but he’s very sweet, caring and kind. He does rescue people…when Tatsurou and Koichi had their problems, Kyo rescued Koichi and kept him safe and loved him, until Tatsurou came to his senses.” Uta continued. “He’s rescued me twice, once after Morrie, then again after Natsu, he’s one of my dearest friends, I’ll love him forever.”

                After dinner, Kato helped with the dishes, standing very close to Uta, occasionally touching the young man’s hands, Uta blushing every time. “Let’s go sit outside…do you mind?” Uta asked. “Shall I bring the beer?” Kato winked.

                Sitting on the porch, the couple talked of mundane things, just enjoying each other’s company. Hearing Die’s car, Uta warned Kato. “Just don’t let him upset you.”

                “Hey Uta, um Kato.” Die steps slowed as he saw the other man. “Hey Die, what’s up? Practice today?” Uta wanted to show Die that he had nothing to worry about with Kato. “Yah, dealing with pre-tour stuff, Kyo’s being a bear…you know how he is during tour season.” Die joked.

                “Want a beer?” Uta offered. “Uh, I don’t want to interrupt your um, whatever this is.” Die waved his hand at the couple. “It’s just a friendly dinner, Die.” Kato got up to retrieve a beer for the guitarist.

                “Everything okay?” Die leaned in and quietly asked Uta. “For once, yah everything is great, Kato may be coming around more, so don’t freak out…make sure to tell Pon.”

                Die flashed that infamous toothy grin and winked at the younger man. “Good for you, Uta! Hey, thanks Kato!” Kato handed Die a beer. “Where’s Pon today?”

                “Still at the studio, they’re trying to find him a band to work with, there’s just too much weirdness left over for him to work with Gazette…no hard feelings but he feels it’s better for him not to work with his uncle’s husband.”

                Die thanked Uta and Kato for the beer, guessing that they actually wanted to be left alone, “I have to clean up before Pon gets home, he gets to be such a nag sometimes.”

                “Let’s go inside,” Uta suggested, as he stood he held his hand out to Kato, who took the smaller hand in his. Leading Kato to the couch, Uta sat facing the man. “What do you want from me?” he asked seriously.

                “Well, I would hope that we could get to the I love you part, but it’s too soon for that I know. But that’s my end desire, is to be with you…hopefully forever. I’ll admit that I have fallen in love with you,” Uta gasped when Kato said this. “Wait, let me finish.”

                “I have fallen in love with you, but I do not expect you to feel the same way about me at this point…there’s no way you could. I don’t know why I feel this way about you, as I have explained before, I’m drawn to you. Ojisan said I was your cure…but what I’m curing I don’t know.”

                Uta looked into Kato’s eyes, seeing only honesty, no deception and no expectations, just truth. Uta slowly took Kato’s hand in his, “I want someone to love me, as I said before, I’m tired of being alone, being cautious and waiting for the perfect relationship.”

                Uta scooted closer to Kato, leaning in, “Will you kiss me please?” he whispered. Kato’s heart started to pound, reaching up to cup Uta’s face, he kissed Uta softly. “More.” Uta whined. Kato swept his tongue over Uta’s lips, probing gently. Uta sighed, and slowly allowed Kato’s tongue in, he leaned against the man, kissing him hungrily.

                The kiss lasted a minute or two, Kato pulling back first, “Why now? What has changed.” He asked Uta.

                “Last night. It changed everything for me. You were kind and caring, you didn’t take advantage of me, you held me and kept me warm. All of these and the fact that I’m tired of being protected by everyone…yet not having that one person that will always be there for me.” Uta leaned back in, kissing Kato this time.

                Kato’s mind was reeling, the boy he’d dreamed of since that first meeting at Sakurai’s, was now kissing him. Drawing Uta into his arms, Kato’s kisses turned heated, causing Uta to moan softly, pulling back, Kato confessed again, “I love you, Uta.”

                “Mmm, I know…thank you.” Uta leaned his head back, Kato taking advantage of the luscious neck that was being offered, nibbling and biting softly, sucking on the soft flesh of Uta’s collarbone, “God, you taste so sweet.” Kato whispered against Uta’s neck.

                “I have to stop…please don’t …” Uta whined, Kato stopped immediately. “I’m sorry… I’m not ready just yet to go any further…”

                “I understand,” Kato stroked Uta’s hair, “If and when the time is right, you’ll know and I will be there for you.”

                Uta quietly laid in Kato’s arms, relishing the feeling of being held by someone else. Every few minutes he’d wiggle further back, tilting his head for a kiss, Kato responding every time with pleasure.

                “I don’t want this to end, but I have to work in the morning.” Uta sighed. “I understand.” Kato said as he reluctantly helped Uta to sit up. Walking Kato to the door, Uta stopped him, sliding his arms around the taller man’s waist, the good-bye kissing took a little more time. “Okay, now I really need to go… I’ll call you tomorrow?” Kato asked, Uta nodding. “Yes please.” With that answer, Kato left.

                Both Kato and Uta were in a bit of a haze, Kato driving home wearing the biggest grin, Uta giggling every few minutes. Feeding the cats and getting his things ready for work the next day, Uta finally got into bed, Luna and Saki following him soon after. He had just turned off the light, when his phone chimed. “Thank you for tonight, I love you.”  Instead of replying, Uta just picked a red heart emoji, sending that to Kato, hoping he understood the sentiment.

 

                Zero arrived at the store early, wanting to make sure he could catch Uta before the young man clocked in. “See what the hell that was all about…” he muttered to himself. Zero had spent the time after Kato’s visit, trying to come up with a new plan to get to Sakurai Atsushi that would not involve Uta’s familiarity with the man, but he had come up short with a feasible plan. “How to find him without Uta? Shit…I can’t talk to him anymore, that freaking model boyfriend of his…” Zero complained as he waited for Uta to arrive at work.
 

                Uta’s morning couldn’t have gotten off to a better start; a good morning text from Kato, the cats were still pushy, but for whatever reason it didn’t bother him much. Grabbing his things and going out to the car, he waved at Pon who was taking out the trash.

                The drive to work was perfect with very little traffic and the weather was warm with a hint of clouds and close up parking was a bonus. Just as he reached for the door to BookOff, his phone chimed again, “Have a good day at work.” Uta smiled, anticipating an easy day and hopefully another date with Kato that night.

                Walking towards the breakroom, Uta was intercepted by Zero. “We need to talk please, meet me in my office after you clock in.” Zero instructed. Uta nodded, Zero didn’t look happy, but he couldn’t think of anything he had done wrong.

                “I had a visit yesterday from your boyfriend, that I didn’t appreciate. He was rude and made some accusations that are not true. I would suggest you keep what happens at work private and ask him not to come to the store again.” Zero was very business like, a departure from his normal easy-going nature.

                “My…my boyfriend?” Uta was confused. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”  Zero snorted, “You have someone in your life that is tall with long hair and looks like a model, that made some assumptions about my professional behavior, that deemed it necessary to come to the store and accuse me of making advances on you. I would assume that he is your boyfriend or do you normally have random men telling others how to treat you?”

                Uta said nothing, he remembered telling Kato that night at the HBG that Zero was acting weirdly towards him, it’s obvious now that Kato had confronted his manager. “He is a friend, not my boyfriend. He took what I told him out of context, but I do understand why he would. Your obvious attraction to either myself or the people I know, such as the members of various bands, have caused you to make some questionable statements, especially regarding Sakurai Atsushi.”

                “Questionable statements? When have I ever done that?” Zero snapped. Uta glared at him. “When you said that you’d have to try harder to get my attention since Sakurai Atsushi is my ex-boyfriend…that’s when.” Uta snapped back. Standing quickly, Uta moved out of the office. “I done with you and this store, I don’t trust you, you’ve acted creepy since the night I told you IN CONFIDENCE about what had happened to me, and now you’re pulling this shit. I quit.”

                Uta slammed out of the breakroom, walking quickly to the front door, Zero yelling his name. “You can’t just quit! You need to give me two weeks notice!” “I don’t have to do anything like that, not when I feel THREATENED by my MANAGER! FUCK OFF! If I see you or find out you’ve tried to contact anyone I know… I will have legal proceedings started against you!” Uta pushed through the front door and ran to his car.

                “That son of a bitch!” Uta screamed. At a stop light, Uta texted Kato, “Can I come and see you right now please? It’s important.”

                Kato read the text, surprised to hear back from Uta so quickly, sending a text with his address. “What the hell has happened.”

                Within twenty minutes, Uta was at Kato’s door. “Uta, what’s wrong?” Kato asked as he opened the door. He was met with a tearful Uta, who fell into his arms.

                 Kato guided Uta to the couch, sitting the young man down, “What happened?”

                “You went to BookOff and confronted my manager, didn’t you?” Uta asked through his tears. “Yes, I did, I wasn’t happy with what you had told me, and I confronted him. Why?”

                “My manager was an asshole, told me to keep my boyfriend away from the store, that you accused him of what he said, things that didn’t happen. I called him out on it and of course he denied it. Then I told him to fuck off and I quit.” Uta wiped his eyes with his sleeve.

                “Oh…well I can’t tell you I’m sorry that you quit, because honestly I didn’t like the looks of the man, and from what you’ve told me, I don’t trust him either. Are you upset with me for confronting him?” Kato worried.

                “No, not after what he just said to me…I’m glad actually. He was just starting to act creepy, hopefully this is it and I never see him again. I’m sorry I came running to you in tears, but I’m just mad as hell.” Uta snarked.

                “Please, I’m not mad at you for this, you have a right to angry tears, those don’t count as being wimpy.” Kato teased.

                Getting Uta a cold drink, they talked for a while, Uta finally telling Kato he needed to go home, “I’ve got shit to do, will you call me later?” Uta asked.

                “Of course, just be careful going home.” Kato kissed Uta, and walked him to his car, kissing him again. Watching Uta pull away, Kato now understood the protective feelings his friends all had for the young man, fierce protectiveness filled his own heart, making him feel duty bound to keep the young man safe at all costs.

Chapter Text

“Hi, this is Aoi, would you like to meet for coffee sometime?” SEND.

                He felt like he was sixteen, asking his crush out for the first time, he couldn’t count how many times he had typed out a text only to erase it. Aoi’s nerves were getting the better of him and he was surprised at himself for the feelings. He had never heard from Reita after they had spoken and cleared the air about the reasons for their breakup, telling his ex that he thought Yuki was cute.

                The day that Reita had brought Yuki to the studio, the comment the young man made about Aoi’s influence on his own playing, the subsequent laughter from the other members of his band on being a role model, all of those individual issues piled on, had stuck in Aoi’s heart, the realization of what he had become had been made painfully clear.

                “Here’s is number, you call or text him.” Reita wrote Yuki’s number and shoved it at him at rehearsal, a smirk on his face the only indicator on how Reita felt. The following week had been agonizing for Aoi, how to approach the younger man, as confident as he normally was, he was terrified that he would be met with rejection or worse, being thought of as not sincere.

                Before he gained the courage to actually send the text, Aoi had busied himself with house work, writing music and anything that would take his thoughts of rejection, of what he would do if Yuki said no. “Work…I’ll just work more, harder.” Aoi would mutter to himself. It was honestly getting harder to see everyone paired off and happy, well everyone but him and Uruha. Uruha was neurotic enough that he knew it would be almost impossible to be in any relationship, so he never even bothered.

                Now he waited for Yuki’s response, determined to stay positive regardless of the outcome, if a relationship with Yuki was not possible, then it was never meant to be. Walking back to his flat from taking out the trash, Aoi’s phone vibrated in his pocket.

                “Hello?”

                “Aoi? Hi, it’s Yuki, um how did you get my number?”

                 “Hi, Reita gave it to me…I’m sorry I just wanted to talk to you, over coffee or something.” He sounds kind of angry.

                “You’re joking…Ayato put you up to this somehow, didn’t he?”

                “No! Ayato doesn’t even know I asked Reita for your number.”

                Aoi could hear Yuki’s breathing.

                “Is this a no then? I understand…thanks for calling me back...” Aoi tried not to sound disappointed.

                “No! Wait… I didn’t say no, I was just surprised that’s all. I’d like to meet for coffee, sure.”

                “Really? Cool…um, you name the time and the place…I’ll be there.” Yes!

                “Aren’t you guys in the studio right now?”

                “No, we’re on break until the winter tour starts, so I’m available any time.”

                “Okay, can it be in the evening? I work during the day.” Evening…a date?

                “Sure, just let me know where…preferably somewhere discreet, I don’t want us to be interrupted by fans.”

                “Uh, would you mind meeting for beer and uh ramen?”

                “Beer and ramen? Oh, sure…that would be fine.” What?

                “Okay, meet me tonight then, I’ll text you the time and address.”

                Hanging up, Aoi was confused, until he saw the name and the address. Shit.

 

                Aoi was standing outside Ojisan’s, waiting for Yuki. He was more nervous facing the ramen maker than he was Yuki. “Hi!” Yuki walked up to Aoi, “Um, hi…are you sure you want to meet here?” Aoi asked.

                “Worried about Ojisan telling you something you don’t want to hear?” Yuki joked, bumping shoulders with Aoi. “In a word, yes!” Aoi grinned. “Chicken shit…come on.”

                “Irasshai, welcome gentlemen. Yuki-kun it’s good to see you again” Ojisan smiled at the younger man, “I’m happy to see you as well, I’ve been waiting.” Ojisan said directly looking at Aoi.

                “Ojisan, I’d like the pork cutlet and a beer please.” Yuki ordered, “Um, I’ll have the same please.” Aoi said. “Give me just a moment, gentlemen.” Ojisan turned to his tiny kitchen.

                “Thanks for agreeing to meet me, I swear Ayato had nothing to do with this…this was all me.” Aoi turned to talk to Yuki. “A lot has happened since that day Reita brought you to the studio, I’ve done a lot of soul searching… god I sound like some daft mental patient.” Aoi face palmed.

                “It’s okay, I sort of know what you’ve been going through, you’ve had a rough time, same thing I’m going through with Ayato…you and him are super pig headed.” Yuki laughed as Aoi gaped at him. “Pig headed?”

                “Yah, pretty much. You wouldn’t listen to anyone with that Pon thing, and Ayato won’t believe that Reita loves him…you’re both pig headed and stubborn as hell.” Yuki took a drink of his beer. “So, what made you want to text me? I mean I’ve only said that I liked how you play guitar…oh god…I hope I didn’t come off as some stupid fan boy!” Yuki started to turn bright red.

                Before Aoi could answer, Ojisan placed their ramen bowls in front of them, “Enjoy gentlemen…” Before Ojisan turned away, he looked at Aoi, “This young one, is wise beyond his age, listen to him carefully.”

                Yuki didn’t even look at Aoi, just started to eat his ramen, Aoi on the other hand, looked at Ojisan, then at Yuki…nudging the younger man. “See! That’s what I mean!” Yuki just grinned.

                A second order of ramen and a few more beers, Aoi felt comfortable enough to finally give Yuki a straight answer. “The reason I asked Reita for your number, is well…I think you’re cute… I mean that’s not the only reason of course, what you said about me influencing your playing made me think a lot about what kind of a person I’ve been lately… not a very good one.”

                “You…you think I’m cute? Is that all?” Yuki was shocked, “What’s wrong with that? Would you rather that I think you’re ugly?” Aoi pouted. “No, but I thought maybe you would be someone that judged someone on something other than their looks…guess I was wrong.” Yuki huffed.

                “Wait, you’re complaining about me thinking you’re cute? That’s messed up! And how do I know what kind of a person you are? We just fucking met! I haven’t had a chance to get to know you yet!”

                “True, but I don’t know…that seems really shallow though.” Yuki felt cheapened by the comment somehow. Ojisan came to stand in front of Yuki. “You have to give this one a chance to learn to express himself the right way…he’s been selfish and insensitive for a long time, he needs to relearn how to behave like a gentleman.” The ramen man turned back to his kitchen.

                “Gee thanks, Ojisan. You make me out to be some sort of cave man!” Aoi snapped. “I’m not that bad…well not really.”

                “Okay, let’s start over then. Let’s drop the whole you think I’m cute thing…I mean yah, I’m cute…but that’s not all I am.” Yuki said in a snotty tone.

                “Fine, you’re cute…show me what else you are.” Aoi shot back. Yuki turned to glare at him. “I’m not sure this is going to work, you’re super shallow Aoi.” Yuki got up and put his money on the counter. “See you around.” Then the young man turned around and left the restaurant, leaving a stunned Aoi with his mouth hanging open. “Well that was just fucking great. Thanks, Ojisan.” Aoi slapped some money on the counter and also left the restaurant, leaving a grinning proprietor standing with his arms crossed over his chest.

 

                “What a fucking jerk.” Yuki growled as he made his way to the train station, his illusion of the man shot down in flames. In reality, Yuki was more upset with himself, he had put Aoi up on a pedestal because the man was a great guitarist. “He’s a shitty human though.” He just couldn’t believe that Aoi was that shallow, no wait… he could believe it. “Just another fucking rock star.”

                Walking home, Yuki just kept shaking his head, “Whatever.” Clearing his head, he opened the door to his flat, walking into darkness. “Guess he’s not home.” Throwing his keys on the counter, Yuki reached into the fridge for a beer, taking it with him to his room. Sitting on the side of his bed, he made sure to erase Aoi’s number out of his phone, “Not like he’d call me again…asshole.”

 

                On the other side of town, Aoi was having similar thoughts as Yuki was. “Fucking stupid kid…who the hell does he think he is? What’s wrong with telling him he’s cute? I don’t know him well enough to go on much else, pfft. Whatever.” Aoi opened his phone, erasing Yuki’s phone number. “Asshole.”

                “Now what? You just lost your chance Yuu…guess what? You’re still alone, no Akira, no Pon, no Yuki.” Sitting on the side of his bed, Aoi leaned forward and shook his head. Falling over to one side, the tears started to slowly slide down his cheeks, Aoi not caring about anything at that point, pulling his blanket up, he just wanted to block out the life he was living at that moment, alone.

 

                “What do you know about the High Ball Garden? Anything?” Taka asked Ayato, the young man seemed nervous. “Not really, just that it’s sort of a bar, but not in the traditional sense, and that you’re friends with Reita.” Ayato replied, “and that there is a connection with the music industry.”

                Taka chuckled. “Connections are an understatement. Give me one minute, I’ll be right back.” Taka got up and went to the back door of the building, returning with another young man in tow. “Ayato this is Mao, he’s the best at explaining our special situation here.”

                “Taka, you really need to get over yourself…this is your job not mine!” Mao whined. “Just do it Mao.” Taka snipped. “Fine.”

                “Okay, just nod if you can follow me on this,?” Mao asked Ayato. “Taka is married to Sato, the drummer of MUCC, Koichi is married to their singer Tatsurou. Miya the guitarist is married to Shinya of Dir En Grey, and Yukke is married to Kai of the Gazette.” Mao paused, Ayato raised his hand a little. “Um, I have met Kai and Yukke…Akira…I mean Reita and I met them for ramen.”

                “Good, I’ll just give you a few more…I’m married to Kyo of Dir En Grey, Die’s got a boyfriend that’s working towards managing his own band… who am I forgetting?” Mao looked at Taka. “Uh, Tomo and Ruki… they’re not married… yet.” Taka winked. “Any questions so far?”

                “I take it then, being in a relationship with a band member isn’t forbidden?” Ayato wanted it made clear what his boundaries were. “No, it’s not forbidden, but because we are so intertwined with the music industry, I’ve started to implement a non-disclosure agreement, you keep what you know to yourself…this way it doesn’t invade anyone’s privacy.” Taka informed Ayato.

                “Oh, I have no problem with that.” Ayato smiled. “The other thing is…if you are in a relationship with someone in the industry and any problems arise…that band member may be banned from coming to the HBG, I’ve only had to do that two or three times since I’ve been the manager.” Taka didn’t want to come right out and say which members, including Reita…he had banned.

                “Any questions for me?” Taka asked. “When can I start?” Ayato asked quickly. “Well, would you like to start tomorrow afternoon? I can have Tora and Aki train you during the day…I won’t make you close for a few shifts…I’ll also not schedule on a weekend until you’re totally comfortable, how’s that sound?” Taka felt like Ayato would be a good fit, a cross between Uta and Koichi in quietness, but it seemed like the young man had a bit of fire in him…slowly burning underneath the not so confident exterior.

                “What time should I be here?”

                “What’d you think of Ayato?” Taka asked Mao as they watched the happy young man leave the HBG. “He’s fucking gorgeous for one…he’s a bit quiet, not as quiet as Uta or Tomo, but nothing like Tora…I think he’ll balance out the crew, I like him.” Mao was drooling a little, he couldn’t deny that Ayato was attractive.

                “Koichi said the same thing when he saw Ayato’s picture…he said he was pretty. I agree though, I think he’ll be just fine, let’s just hope there are no problems with Reita, I don’t think there will be…but then it is Reita.” Taka thought about the last time he saw Reita, when Kai had slapped the man.

                “I think that whole thing with Reita and Aoi is finished, Kyo said that Reita’s turned back into a decent guy…Aoi on the other hand…he’s still a mystery.” Mao recounted what his husband had heard in the studio.  “It’s going to be a wait and see issue…let’s just hope Tora’s big mouth doesn’t scare him off.” Taka laughed.

                Ayato ran up the stairs to his flat, bursting through the door with a huge grin. “What’s up? Why are you so happy?” Yuki was just sitting down with a bento box, ready to spend the rest of the evening watching TV, trying to forget the shitty ‘date’ he had with Aoi.

                “I just got a new job!” Ayato answered, “I now work at the HBG…thanks to Akira knowing the manager.” Yuki turned the TV off, “Cool! That’s the place under Tokyo Tower, right? I’ve heard they have music industry parties there a lot. Maybe you can smuggle me into one!”

                “Probably once I’m trained and have been there awhile, sure why not? What’s up with you?” Ayato flopped down on the couch next to his friend. “Well, I just had the fucking worst first date in the history of man.” Yuki rolled his eyes. “First date, with who?” This was news to Ayato…he didn’t even know Yuki was looking to date.

                “Get this… Aoi of the Gazette texted me earlier today, wanted to get together for coffee, but since I worked, I met him at Ojisan’s instead.” Yuki’s voice had a bit of a shake to it.

                “How could it have been bad? You idolize the guy…Reita told me that they had patched things up, that everything was cool between them.”

                “Aoi is a shallow asshole, he couldn’t give me one reason other than he thinks I’m cute, as to why he wanted to meet up with me. It pissed me off so I left and came home. Talk about a let down.” Yuki said bitterly. Ayato looked at his room mate, shaking his head.

                “You’re a fucking twit…you know that? You rag on me about Reita and my issues with him…then you blow off a guy, who you’ve never talked to, just because he said you’re cute? How the hell is he suppose to get to know you? Do you have a bio online or something? Damn Yuki, for being so smart you’re a dumbass this time.” Ayato laughed, getting up and going into the kitchen.

                “Well… he could say that maybe he thinks I’m interesting, or ask about my guitar playing…he didn’t have to just come out and say ‘oh I think you’re cute…wanna fuck?’ “Yuki snorted.

                “Did he say anything even remotely close to ‘I want to fuck you’? Seriously, Yuki, you just blew a chance to be happy… hypocrite.” Grabbing the last beer, Ayato turned to go down to his bedroom, “If I were you…take your own advice and take a chance…text him and apologize. If you don’t do this then please, never bring up the fact that you’re lonely.”

                Ayato left Yuki sitting alone, stewing in his shitty attitude, wanting nothing more than to down that beer and text, no he wanted to call Reita. Finishing the beer in a minute flat, he spread himself out on the bed and picked up his phone.

Can I call you please?” It was a stupid question really, he knew Reita would jump at the chance to speak to him.

Is everything okay? You’re not hurt, are you?” The unsolicited text from Ayato worried Reita.

Can I call, yes or no?” Ayato rolled his eyes.

Yes.”

Hi, I just wanted to talk to you, it’s easier than texting.” Ayato wanted to tell Reita…but he couldn’t…not yet.

Hey, everything okay then?” Reita’s heart was over the moon, Ayato called him!

I just wanted to thank you, I got hired at the HBG today.” Ayato sounded pleased.

I told you! You’re going to be perfect for that job!” Reita knew Taka would like the young man.

Okay, you’re right…everyone there seems really nice, and the weirdness of having to sign the non-disclosure was a little strange, but I totally understand why they need one.”

Reita laughed, “Yah, if the information on who’s dating or married to who, ever got out to the public? That would be rough for a lot of people. When do you start?”

Tomorrow, I’m training with Aki and Tora…do you know them?” Ayato wasn’t worried, but it would help to know what to expect.

Not really, Tora’s kind of loud…Aki’s been working there for a few years, I think they’re married to each other?” Reita knew the names, but didn’t really know much about the two men.

Yep, it’s going to be weird though, working with Mao…and he’s married to Kyo! Just too weird, but I’m glad you pushed me. Thanks.” Ayato said softly. “But Taka doesn’t want you to visit until after I’m trained, so no cheating!”

Reita’s breath hitched, “You want me to visit after you’re trained?”

Um, sure…I guess, if you want.” Oops! Ayato messed up.

What about before that? Can I see you after work?” Please say yes, please say yes.

Uh, I mean…” Ayato hesitated, should he? “Sure, I’d like that.” Ayato smiled, it was time.

When? Can I see you tomorrow night? I don’t have to come to your flat, I could come to the HBG, then everyone would still be there, you wouldn’t be alone.” Reita rushed his words, causing Ayato to giggle.

That’s good, I’ll text you what time I get off, thank you for helping me get this job, I really appreciate it.”

I’m still going to text you later…you know that right?” Reita smirked, there was no way Ayato was going to get out of this.

I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.” Ayato whispered, Reita’s heart pounding hard in his ears. “Oh…okay…I’ll text you in a bit.”

Ayato closed his phone, this felt good…this felt right. He had thought about what Yuki had been saying, to give Reita a chance, that happiness was staring him in the face, to quit throwing the stripper excuse around. “I’m not a stripper anymore.”

Reita ran through his apartment…well as much as one can run in a tiny flat, heading for the door. “PON! DIE! UTA!!” Reita yelled as he pounded on the doors of the other two flats. “What the hell? Reita what the hell are you doing?” Die flung his door open.

“What’s going on?” Uta opened his door, peering out at his neighbors. “Sorry…but, well this is going to sound really lame, Ayato’s agreed to see me…and he got a job at the HBG!” Reita stammered excitedly.

Die dropped his shoulders, “You pounded on my door to tell me that? Good for you, good night.” Die turned to walk back into his flat, when Pon appeared, smacking his boyfriend in the back of the head. “Be nice Die… this is a big deal for Reita. By the way, I’m happy for you Reita, that’s great. Maybe he’s finally figured it out.”

                Reita blushed, “Thanks Pon, means a lot to me that you understand.” Uta walked out of his flat, patted Reita on the back. “I’m happy for you as well, Reita…maybe everyone’s lives are turning around for the better.” Uta turned and went back into his flat, quietly closing the door.

                Reita went back to his flat, slightly embarrassed that he caused such a scene for something so insignificant as Ayato agreeing to see him, but his friends all knew how rough it had been for the couple, trying to reconnect and move forward with a relationship. Looking at his watch, he realized it was time to send his nightly text to Ayato. Reita knew, this time would be different.

                “I love you.”

                “Mmm, I know. I um… well I’m not there yet, hopefully someday.”

Chapter Text

 

                “We must find a solution, this is not fair to you nor to me, I have no intention on hurting you any further than I already have, I’m sorry Karyu.” Karyu lie in Acchan’s arms after another failed love making attempt. Karyu was in tears, as was Acchan. “I understand…I really do, you still love Uta and I know this isn’t my fault.” The young man had a better grasp of the situation than Acchan did at that moment.

                “No, it’s not your fault…this is mine alone and I’m sorry. It’s obvious to me now, there is no one but Uta.” Acchan helped Karyu up from the bed. “Come, let’s go into the living room, we need to find a solution, and I think I may have an idea.”

                Karyu slipped into his lounge pants, following Acchan to the living room. “Are you going to help me find a Dominant?” he asked. Acchan smiled, “I think you may have already found one yourself…should I call Isshi?” Karyu gasped. “You…Do you think he would?”

                “I believe if he would not take you into his own home, he knows of a suitable Dominant for you…but I believe after your little romp with Ruimaru and Leda…I think Isshi is perfect for you.” Acchan smiled, caressing the young man’s cheek.

                “Isshi, Sakurai. Yes, I know it’s a little late, but I have a serious problem that I need some assistance with, and only you can provide it. No, that’s not it… when can you come to see me? Yes…that’s perfect actually. It’s your choice of course. Thank you, Isshi.”

                “Isshi has agreed to come, he will be here tomorrow around 11am, I’m not sure if he’s bringing his boys.” Acchan closed his phone.

                As he closed his phone, Isshi sighed, “There truly is no one else for you…” tapping the phone on his chin, thoughts of what to do for Karyu started coming up. “Sir?” Leda had come into the room, his Dominant not noticing. “Yes, my Sweet boy?” Isshi held his arm out for Leda to approach him.

                “I just wanted to tell you that dinner is ready…but you look busy, shall I just put it away and heat it for you later?” Leda looked at the floor, waiting for his next instruction. “Where is Ruimaru right now?” Isshi asked. “I believe he’s in your bedroom cleaning, would you like me to get him?” Leda looked up.

                “Yes, I need to speak with both of you about a matter that could change our lives. Please meet me in the living room.” Isshi sent Leda away with a light tap to the young man’s butt, getting up and moving towards the living room.

                Sitting on the long couch, Isshi had barely gotten comfortable when Leda and Ruimaru approached. “Sir?” Ruimaru sat on one side of Isshi, Leda the other.

                “My loves, I received a phone call just a few moments ago from Sakurai-san.” Isshi’s gaze was that of seriousness, both Leda and Ruimaru knowing not to interrupt, no playing, they just waited for their Dominant to continue.

                “While I don’t know the exact reasons, I suspect that there is a problem between Sakurai-san and Karyu.” Isshi looked at each of his boys. “He has requested to see me tomorrow.”

                “Sir?” Ruimaru hesitated before continuing. “Is Karyu not to be Sakurai-san’s pet?” Isshi reached over to pick up the young man’s hand. “I do not know exactly, but I suspect it is something along those lines, yes.”

                Leda made a small sound, his hand flying to his mouth in an attempt to cover it. “Leda? What’s wrong?” Isshi turned to the older submissive. “That’s sad Sir, Karyu-kun seemed to care deeply for Sakurai-san.”

                “Yes, my love, it did seem that way. This is what I propose to do, and it is not out of favor, I’d like to take Leda with me.” Isshi watched to see Ruimaru’s reaction, what he got was a smile. “Sir, I think that’s a great idea! Leda fell in love with Karyu…didn’t you?”

                Leda blushed. “I um…well…” he wouldn’t look up at his Dominant. “Leda my sweet boy, I know that you enjoyed the little romp you had with Karyu-kun…your lover betrayed you. The scene that night was exquisite…” Isshi caressed Leda’s cheek.

                “I think we need to go and speak to Sakurai-san in the morning, and I believe you know what you must tell Karyu-kun, am I right?” Isshi knew where the young man belonged. Leda nodded, “Yes, Sir.”

 

                Ruimaru stood in the driveway of Isshi’s house, waving as the Dominant and his young submissive drove away. Once the car was out of sight, Ruimaru ran back into the house, he had chores to do before Isshi returned, the main task was getting a room ready, just in case Karyu was brought home to live with Isshi and his two boys.

                Pulling into the estate at 11am, Isshi was greeted by both Sakurai and Karyu at the door. “Isshi, thank you for making time for us today, it’s greatly appreciated, Leda-kun it’s good to see you as well. Come in…please.” Sakurai opened the door for his guests.

                “This is highly irregular Acchan, but I believe I understand the circumstances, ne?” Isshi sat down, Leda stood behind him against the wall. “Karyu and I have come to understand that we are not compatible, but through no fault of the boy’s, it’s entirely on myself.”

                “I’d like for you to find Karyu a suitable Dominant Isshi, or…if it suits you, take him into your home as your third submissive. I know that’s asking quite a lot of you as a Dominant, but I think Karyu has already made some connection with Leda-kun, am I right?” Sakurai looked to Leda, who blushed as his name was spoken. “Yes, Sir.”

                “Leda my sweet… would you please take Karyu with you, I’d like to speak to Sakurai alone for a moment.” Isshi nodded at his pet. Karyu looked at Sakurai first, who then nodded.

                The two Dominants watched as Leda held out his hand for Karyu, leading the young man out the front door. “Acchan…what has happened? You were so hopeful with this boy…I can’t believe that you would not want to contract him.” Isshi knew the answer, but played the bluff.

                “It’s embarrassing to a point Isshi, but it’s Uta…it’s not Karyu.” Acchan leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. “Isshi, I couldn’t perform! I tried several times, but all I could see…all I could hear was Uta! My mind was screaming at me that I was cheating, that I was hurting Uta by trying to make love to that boy! I can’t lie to him…it’s not fair to Karyu that I can not give my heart to him…even as his Dominant.”

                Isshi rose and moved to sit next to Acchan, putting his arm around the older man. “I knew that it was this…I could hear it in your voice last night when you called. You mean the boy no harm, but your heart belongs to Uta…you do know that it may never be that way again, ne?”

                “If I can not have Uta, then I will remain alone, maybe this was too soon…perhaps a few years from now, I’m not very confident at this point.” Acchan sat back on the couch.

                “Isshi…he’s still a virgin. I have given him as much as I could, but I was not able to take that final step…he has had no training, though he follows commands perfectly. I do not want him to go to anyone that is rough! That is why I called you… would you care for him Isshi? Could your boys come to love him as they do each other? Can you learn to love him?”

                “My friend, I had anticipated this is what you would ask of me, and yes…I’ve spoken to both Leda and Ruimaru, and they asked me to ‘save’ Karyu, that he belonged with us, and no other Dominant.” Isshi chuckled. “I’m already two steps ahead of you, Acchan. I will speak to Davina when the time is right to contract Karyu, he will be trained gently…you know how I am with my boys, never heavy handed.”

                “I do know that you are very heavy handed, when someone takes liberties with your boys…I have felt that wrath twice in all of these years…and I still feel badly because of it. I trust you Isshi, implicitly…I know you will take precious care of Karyu.” Acchan smiled.

                “Karyu…are you sad not to be able to stay with Sakurai-san?” Leda still held Karyu’s hand as they walked the property, making their way to the barn. “In a sense yes, but Acchan is not in love with me…he loves only Uta and I understand that. He has shown me what my truth is, which I appreciate more than anything else.” Karyu said with all earnestly.

                “What about Isshi-san? Do you think he will want me to stay with him? I don’t know what else to do…I can’t just go back to living a normal life, there’s no way!”

                Walking into the barn and closing the door, Leda pulled Karyu towards him, wrapping his arms around the man’s waist, leaning in he brushed his lips against Karyu’s. “Leda.” Karyu whined. “Sir already spoke to me and Ruimaru…we want you to live with us, to be our lover and Sir’s pet.” Leda’s tongue whispered across Karyu’s lips, his tongue just touching…asking to be let in.

                Pulling Karyu down to the soft straw of the barn floor, Leda laid Karyu back, stretching his body across the young man. “You taste so damned good, I want you to be my lover…I want you for my own…” Leda whispered against Karyu’s neck, nipping the boy’s ear, “Leda…please…touch me…” Karyu whined.

                “Just a little…Sir hasn’t given me permission…” Leda slid his arm down to gently cup Karyu’s thickening cock…stroking it lightly through the boy’s jeans. “God, I can’t wait to fuck you…”

                Karyu writhed under Leda, whining in the boy’s mouth, begging to be touched. “No…I can’t do any more than this…we need to stop now, it’s going to take a few minutes until I can walk…wait until tonight.” Leda laid one more blistering kiss on Karyu, effectively sealing the boy’s fate.

                “I’m sure my Leda has convinced Karyu to come home with us… does the boy have family here?” Isshi wanted no interruptions once they left Sakurai’s estate. “He has already left the family so to speak. His grandfather was fairly observant of his grandson growing up, letting the boy leave without guilt.” Acchan explained.

                Quietly the front door opened, and two flushed face young men came back into the house, Leda moving quietly to stand near Isshi, Karyu sitting on the floor next to Acchan, both looking like two naughty boys.

                “Have you spoken to Karyu, Leda?” Acchan asked. “Yes, Sir.” Leda answered. “Karyu…what have you decided?” Acchan looked down at the young man sitting at his feet. “I’d like to go with Isshi, if he will have me” the boy replied softly, then looked up at Isshi.

                “Karyu, I will accept you into my home where you will continue with training, although from what I understand, you are a natural submissive and most likely will require very little in the way of training. You will spend time at my home, while I watch you…and if we are in agreement, at a later date we will have a contract drawn up and I will collar you as my own.” Isshi stated.

                “Yes Sir.” Karyu smiled. “Go get your things together, do you need to go to your own home to retrieve anything?” Isshi asked. “No Sir, I have everything here.” Karyu stood and walked quickly to Acchan’s bedroom. “He’s been here since I last saw you, he has his documents and what little he brought with him.” Acchan watched sadly as Karyu left the room.

                Isshi and Leda went to the car to give Karyu and Acchan a bit of privacy before the boy left the estate. “I’m so sorry that this did not work out, Karyu. I honestly believed I could have been a good Dominant and lover for you, but I failed. I’m sure you’ll be very happy with Isshi, Ruimaru and Leda…Isshi is a wonderfully loving man, and one of the top Dominants in our community. He loves his pets more than most…and never treats them harshly. I hope to see you again at some point, when I return to the city, I wish you nothing but happiness.” Acchan slid his arms around the younger man, kissing him one last time.

                “I understand, Acchan…your love for Uta is your life…I’m not sad…thank you for what you did give me, the understanding of who I really am.” Karyu hugged Acchan, then turned and went outside, getting into the car next to Isshi, watching Acchan’s face as they drove away.

                Closing the front door, Sakurai Atsushi walked through the now silent house, contemplating his next move…did he stay here and deal with the overwhelming loneliness and loss…or did he go back to the city and wait? He knew what he wanted, and he had to follow that path.

                “Isshi-san, thank you for agreeing to this, I understand this isn’t what is normally done.” Karyu stared at his hands in his lap. “Karyu, my dear…I’m not the first nor will I be the last Dominant that has more than one pet, the irregularity is how I treat my pets, I love them dearly, I offer them more freedom to question me than most. I do demand the utmost obedience, but I will never tell you that you must stay silent, feel free to question me at any time.” Isshi reached over and covered Karyu’s hands with his.

 

                Sitting in between Leda and Ruimaru, they were facing Isshi who was bent over some paperwork on his desk, each boy had one of Karyu’s hands. After several minutes, Isshi sat back in his chair and looked up at the boys.

                “Karyu, are you here of your own free will?”

                “Yes, Isshi-san.” Karyu answered timidly.

                “Please choose a safe word, knowing that it can not be changed without all parties in agreement.” Isshi was intimidating in this persona, causing Karyu to shiver.

                “Garnet.” Karyu answered. “Garnet is your chosen safe word.” Isshi wrote it in a small book.

                “Do you wish to start your training tonight?” Isshi asked, glancing back down at his paperwork.

                “Sir, whatever you choose is acceptable.” The young man shivered again, Ruimaru squeezing his hand. “Karyu I would like you to return to your room for the time being.” Karyu stood and left the room.

                Ruimaru scooted next to Leda, picking up his hand, “Sir?” Ruimaru looked up at his Dominant. “Karyu-kun is a virgin, isn’t he?” Ruimaru felt a jolt from Leda’s hand.

                “Yes, my Angel he is. Why do you ask?”

                “I want to be very careful with Karyu-kun…he seems a little scared, kind of like Leda did when we first met him!” Ruimaru remembered the night that Isshi and he met Leda at the HBG, with fondness.

                “I agree, we must proceed carefully. Do either of you have an opinion on what his first time should be?” Isshi trusted the common sense of both boys.

                “I know Leda would love to fuck him, Sir.” Ruimaru giggled. “Ru!” Leda gasped.

                “Is this true Leda-kun?” Isshi cocked an eyebrow. “Yes Sir…it is.” Leda blushed.

                “Would you like to be Karyu’s first lover?” Isshi waited for a certain reaction. “Sir! No! That should only be you!” Leda objected.

                “Leda, I will determine who it will be, it does not have to be me, there is no rule to that. I’m asking you, would you like to be Karyu’s first lover?” Isshi knew the answer.

                Leda hesitated before answering, he desperately wanted the boy, “Yes Sir, I would.” He whispered his answer.

                “Would you prefer it to be a normal scene with the three of us, or just the two of you.” Isshi wanted to make Karyu as comfortable as he could, his life had taken a drastic change, from a small-town boy, to living with a Dominant and his two submissive’s.

                “Whatever Karyu-kun wants, either is fine with me.” Leda’s voice shook. “Ruimaru, would you please bring Karyu to me, then I will excuse you both.” Isshi asked.

                Karyu bowed to Isshi before sitting down. “Karyu, I have a few questions for you before we go any further today.” Isshi rose and moved from his desk, to sit next to the young man, then cupped the boy’s face and brushed his lips in a soft kiss.

                “My dear one, you have not had the best start in your short life of being a submissive. You were not rejected, as much as you were unable to fill the hole in Acchan’s heart through no fault of your own. Uta has a strangle hold on Acchan, which neither are able to untangle enough to love each other.”

                Isshi made the boy stand, then turned and pulled Karyu into his lap, sliding his arm protectively around the young man’s waist, sliding his hand up the boy’s back, and gently grabbing a handful of hair, “You are so beautiful…” Isshi ran his tongue up Karyu’s neck, gently biting an earlobe, “Sir…” Karyu whispered breathlessly.

                Isshi turned Karyu’s face to his, tracing the outline of his lips with his tongue. “You are as sweet as Leda says…just perfectly sweet.” Isshi sucked Karyu’s bottom lip, sliding his tongue in the boy’s mouth, taking control of the kiss, Karyu whined, leaning into his Dominant’s arms.

                Pulling away from Karyu, Isshi sighed, “What do you want right now, Karyu? Tonight… what do you want?”

                “I don’t…I don’t understand…Sir.” Karyu asked. “What would your desire be tonight… do you want me? Ruimaru or Leda? All three of us? Leda has voiced a desire to be your first lover, tonight if you’d like, he is falling in love with you rather quickly.” Isshi’s hand caressed Karyu’s thigh…sliding his hand to ghost over the growing bulge in the boy’s pants.

                “Leda…Sir? He wants to…”

                Isshi nodded, “Yes, tonight… if you so desire.” Karyu remembered the play in the barn from earlier in the day. “Yes sir…I’d like that.” Karyu blushed, looking down at his lap.  Isshi patted Karyu on the leg to get up, “Wait here my dear.”

                Isshi left the room for a moment, Karyu looking around the room, it was not what he had expected…but considering he’d only watched videos, he laughed at himself for thinking that there would be shackles or cuffs attached to the wall.

                “Karyu-kun?” Leda stood in the doorway, “Would you come with me please?” Leda held out his hand for the other boy. “Sir told me…I get to be your first…” Karyu nodded. “We need to talk first” The two men walked down to Leda’s bedroom, where they sat down on the bed facing each other.

                “How far did you get with Sakurai-san?” Leda got straight to the point. “Um… pretty much everything, except the actual … um…you know.” Karyu’s face flushed hot.

                “Was he able to stretch you?” Leda picked up Karyu’s hand, kissing the back. “Um, no…he couldn’t um… well the thing with Uta… so he stopped after making me cum… I mean he sucked me… I, well.”

                “It’s okay, I understand. Can I kiss you again?” Leda couldn’t help but look at Karyu’s lips…the taste was so sweet. A few minutes of kissing was enough to get both men worked up. “We should stop, Sir hasn’t told me yet when we can do this…okay?”

                Before Leda could explain further, someone knocked on the door. “Come in.”

                “Hi! Sir sent me to get you…it’s time for dinner!” Ruimaru bounced in, tackling Leda, kissing him roughly. “Ru…stop!” Leda whined. Karyu was confused as he watched Ruimaru kiss Leda, the man being somewhat dominant and submissive at the same time.

                “Okay, let’s go eat!” Ruimaru grabbed both men by the hand and dragged them out of the room and down to the kitchen.

                “Sit my lovelies… tonight we’re eating a little early as I have an outing arranged. Ruimaru you will be attending me at Vinyl Fetish, while Leda and Karyu will be staying home.”

                “Sir? Will Mistress Davina be there? Madame F?” Ruimaru loved going to the club, always happy to attend his Dominant or Davina. “I believe Madame F will be, I have not yet heard back from Davina.”

                “I want you both to help Karyu prepare for tonight, and I want you both in your usual readiness please, clean shaven and pristine. Please instruct Karyu on what I expect when I request this.” Isshi kissed each of his boys, drawing another moan from Karyu. “Go now and get ready.”

                Leda and Karyu watched as Isshi and Ruimaru drove away…Karyu’s heart starting to race in anticipation of what was coming… a nervous heat spread through his groin, into his abdomen, Leda taking him by the hand and leading him back into the house. “Come with me.”

Chapter Text

 

                “Stop flirting with him! You’re starting to piss me off!” Aki snapped at Tora. “I’m not flirting…sheesh…I’m just being nice! Quit being a jealous cow.” Tora snapped back. Ayato’s first shift at the HBG was going well for him, but not so great for Tora and Aki. “If I see you touch him one more time… don’t bother coming home tonight!” Aki turned and walked out the back door of the HBG, walking towards the patio.

                “Everything okay?” Ayato watched as his co-worker stormed out of the building, “Yah, everything’s fine. Let me show you where all the back-stock supplies are.” Tora led Ayato to the back room.

                The day had started out early for Ayato, both nervous and excited, arriving at work almost an hour early, just to wait on the patio. Once Aki and Tora opened the HBG, Aki started to show Ayato the various drinks that they made, but not bothering to show him the cash register, “I’ve used this exact model before…no worries on that.” Ayato grinned.

                Aki stood back and supervised Ayato’s work, watching the young man interact with the customers, he had been told by Taka that Ayato was a bit on the quiet side. What Aki saw was a soft-spoken man, but not timid in the least. It was during this period, that Tora started flirting with the new boy, something that he denied.

                “You can take your lunch break if you’d like, Ayato…we’ll cover the counters.” Aki told him. “Great…thanks.” Ayato bowed and grabbed his bento from the break room, opting to sit on the patio and eat.

                “How am I flirting? Explain that to me please!” Tora and Aki were arguing again. “Oh, you know, those cute little excuses for you to touch him, laughing at his jokes…THAT TYPE OF FLIRTING.” Aki growled.

                Tora rolled his eyes and snorted, “You’re just jealous…this kid has no interest in me at all…get over yourself.” Tora turned and walked away, leaving Aki to simmer while sitting in the office.

               

                Making his way from the parking garage, Zero was hyper aware of his surroundings, he knew that Uta had friends that worked at the HBG, that would be critical of his presence if they viewed him as a threat.

                Glancing around at the patio area, a lone young man wearing a yellow shirt was sitting at a table eating, Zero relieved that there were no other customers in the area. Walking up to the counter, he glanced into the building, seeing no one he knew, he ordered a drink.  Choosing a more secluded table, positioned so he could see the entrance to the HBG, Zero sat quietly and watched.

                “I’m back, what do you need me to do now?” Ayato stuck his head into the office. “Can you just check the patio? I’m going to cover Tora’s break at the counters.” Aki asked. “Sure.” Ayato said happily.

                Taking a cleaning rag and a small broom with him, Ayato went through and wiped down all the tables, doing a little sweeping and other general cleaning, stopping once to say hello to Zero who just nodded.

                “Don’t make a mess!” Ayato teased Tora. “Only if you get to clean it up!” Tora laughed. Just as Ayato turned to walk back to the building, he heard Tora greet someone, turning around he see’s Mao walking up…with Kyo!

                “Hey…how’s your first day going?” Mao greeted Ayato. “Great…I like it here, it’s super laid back, thanks.” Ayato smiled. “This is my husband Kyo… Kyo this is Ayato…he’s a friend of Reita’s.” Kyo bowed, “Nice to meet you.”

                “You guys on a date or something?” Tora asked. “No, just out and about, I need some things for Chibi and Sumo,” Mao answered… looking at Ayato, Mao explained. “Chibi and Sumo are our kittens…well, they’re not really kittens…almost teenagers!” Mao of course whipped out his phone and shared pictures with Ayato. “Awww, they’re freaking cute!”

                “Be careful Ayato…don’t ever break up with someone, get really sick, or um… I dunno… Kyo likes to give people kittens as gifts.” Tora chuckled. “Oh?” Mao nodded. “Yep, let’s see…he gave Koichi a kitten, then Uta got two…now we have two, so it’s a Kyo thing.” Kyo nudged Mao’s shoulder with his. “Kittens make people feel better than jewelry.” The older man shrugged.

                “Okay, back to work… Aki will be out in a minute if you want to wait.” Tora got up and cleaned the table of his lunch mess, walking back towards the building, Kyo and Mao sitting down to wait. “Looks like you’ve got everything under control…pretty easy to learn the drinks, everything else is a breeze, until we have an event.” Mao laughed.

                “I’ve already been warned about the events, I’ll be okay…I’m used to handling rowdy crowds.” Ayato winked, he knew that the information about his previous occupation was common knowledge, and he finally took Yuki’s advice and not using it as a crutch any longer.

                “Well now that Ruki is dating Tomo…you won’t get to see a Ruki Rampage…unless someone gets hurt or something…then I suggest just staying out of the way, especially if he gets involved.” Mao nodded at Kyo.

                “What? I’m no where near as bad as that twit Ruki.” Kyo objected, causing Mao to laugh. “Let’s see… Sakurai, Morrie, umm who else?”

                “Wait a minute, Sakurai…I only held him back, I never punched him, and Morrie…he had just stabbed Tatsu…then the bastard stabbed me, would you have rather I walked away? Not only that… that was way before we were together, so that’s not fair.”

                “I’d better get back, it was nice meeting you Kyo-san.” Ayato started to bow, but Kyo waved him off. “Please Ayato, just call me Kyo…and I’ll see you around.” Ayato bowed lightly then went back to the HBG.

                “Holy fuck that boy is just beautiful… no wonder Reita’s in love with him.” Kyo muttered. “But he’s not you…so don’t start to freak out.” Turning to Mao, he kissed his lover. “I’m not worried…we’re married, besides if you cheated on me, I’d just kill you and dump your body in Tokyo Bay.” Mao threatened.

 

                Nobody seemed to notice Zero sitting in the corner, the man watching the interaction between the friends…and Kyo of Dir En Grey…all as if he was a normal person. He also remembered what Uta had said about what would happen to him if he ever said anything about his friends;

“If I tell you this…and it gets out…I will sue the shit out of you, and probably half of the music industry will be after you, I’m not joking.”

                Zero wasn’t interested in Kyo of Dir En Grey…or any of the other bands, he was only interested in one person; Sakurai Atsushi.

                “Good to know that Uta was right…they do come to the HBG, looks like I may start to as well.” Zero finished his drink, then left the patio area.

                The end of Ayato’s shift came faster than he expected, “Hey, you’re off now…it’s 5pm, you can go home.” Aki told the young man. “Already? Damn that went by fast! I need to write down my schedule first.” Ayato went into the office and sat down with the schedule.

                “Hi, you must be Ayato, I’m Koichi…it’s nice to meet you.” Koichi had poked his head in the office when he had seen the new employee. “Hi! Thanks, I’m happy to be here, this is a great job…”

                “Woah, you might not think that when we’re in the middle of the next DCR party…it gets crazy here!” Koichi joked. “No, believe me I think this will be just fine, you guys all seem really cool, I just met Kyo…he seems nice, different than I thought he’d be.”

                “Wait til you meet my husband and Taka’s, that will change your mind completely, they’re both huge dorks.” Koichi laughed, “I’ll see you on your next shift, we’re working together.”  Collecting his things, Ayato said good-bye to his new co-workers, and walked out the back door. “Reita said he’d…”

                “Hi!” Reita came around the corner. “I was standing outside the entrance, I didn’t want to get you in trouble on your first day. So how was it?” Reita took Ayato’s bag from him, carrying it back towards his car.

                “I met Kyo today, he’s really nice, kind of quiet though.” Ayato blushed, he felt like a kid having his parent pick him up from the first day of school.

                “You were right, Tora’s kind of loud, and I think he and Aki were fighting, but not sure why.” Ayato sort of understood that Aki was upset that Tora was being flirty, but chose not to tell Reita.

                Reita felt like he was floating, all the stars were lined up, all that hokey stuff that everyone see’s on TV dramas.  They chatted a little about Ayato’s job, “I’ll be in the studio tomorrow, so I won’t be able to see you.” Reita pouted.

                “Oh, hey you might want to talk to Aoi, I guess he and Yuki didn’t hit it off very well.” Ayato really wanted to kick Yuki in the ass. “What? How the hell did he screw that up?” Reita was next in line, wanting to kick Aoi in the ass.

                “I guess he told Yuki he thought he was cute, and Yuki said he was a shallow asshole. I called him out on it last night, that he was being a hypocrite for saying the same things I did about you…well I didn’t say you were shallow, just all the other stuff.”

                “How is telling someone you find them attractive…especially if you know nothing else about them…how is that shallow?” Reita didn’t get it.

                “Exactly what I said, just talk to Aoi, I’m going to talk to Yuki…I’d like to see them have another chance, don’t you?” Ayato did want Yuki to be happy, and he knew Reita wanted the same for Aoi. “Yah, I’ll talk to him tomorrow at rehearsal.”

                Pulling up to the apartment complex, Ayato reached for the door handle, Reita grabbed the boys’ arm, “Wait…can I kiss you please?” Ayato nodded. Reita carefully reached over the center console of his car, cupped the boy’s face in one hand, rubbing his thumb over Ayato’s lip, “You’re so damned beautiful, I love you.” Gently kissing the boy, Ayato sighing against Reita’s lips. “I’ll text you tonight.” Reita said, as he watched Ayato get out of his car, walking to his flat.

 

                The Gazette’s rehearsal space was filled…not just with the members and their equipment, but with a certain underlying tension…mostly coming from Aoi. After multiple false starts, screw ups and missed intro’s, Kai had reached the end of his rope.

                “AOI WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU TODAY?” Kai screamed at the guitarist. “You have done nothing but make stupid mistakes on songs you have known and performed for YEARS! Why are you having problems with them today?”

                Aoi scuffed his shoes on the carpet, “Sorry, I just had a bad night. I’ll do better, we can start again.” The man mumbled.

                “Please, for the love of god, just pay attention…you’re lucky this is only rehearsal, and not tour prep.” Kai started the drum riff for their next song, keeping an eye on Aoi through the rest of their session.

                “Finally! That was the longest fucking session ever! I’m out.” Ruki put away his gear and ran for the door, wanting nothing more than to fall into Tomo’s arms, dead to the world.

                “Hey, let’s go get something to eat.” Reita threw his arm around Aoi. “Nah, I’m not in the mood.”

                “Too bad, you’re going with me…Ojisan’s?” Reita knew that would get a rise out of the guitarist. “Oh, hell no…I’m never sitting in front of that man again, he’s creepy.” “Fine what about that diner near my flat?”

                The waitress had seated Aoi and Reita, given them menus and their drinks, giving the men time to order. “What the hell was today about? You’ve never been that bad before, even with hangovers.” Reita asked.

                “Look, I appreciate your help with the Yuki thing, but it’s not going to happen. He hates me, even without knowing me.” Aoi shook his head. “How do you know he hates you? Because he blew you off?” As soon as Reita’s words left his lips, Aoi knew…Ayato.

                “What did Ayato tell you? I didn’t do anything mean or nasty, I just told the guy I thought he was cute, and then I get called shallow and insincere. How the hell am I shallow if I know nothing about the guy?” Aoi started to argue his case.

                Reita held up his hand, just as the waitress put their food down and walked away, Reita spoke. “I understand that, and yes…Ayato told me. But he also said he called Yuki out on it that night when he got home. I see it the same way you do…you can’t make shit up to talk about if you don’t know anything about each other. You didn’t ask to like fuck him, did you?”

                “NO! AKIRA!” Aoi shouted, “Sshhh…do you want to get kicked out?” Reita hissed, as he looked around seeing that other diners were looking at them. “Let’s eat, we’ll talk on the way home.”

                “Do you want to come over for a few beers?” Reita asked. “Sure…better than sitting alone in the dark.” Aoi shrugged. “Die and Pon might be here… are you okay with that?”

                “If Die doesn’t try to kill me, yah…I’m good.” Aoi said warily. “Hmm, well…I’ll keep my phone handy, just in case I need to call an ambulance.” Reita grinned, as they walked from the parking lot. “You’re in luck, nobody’s here.”

                “This is nice, how’d you hook up with this place?” Aoi looked around the apartment. “Sorta weird, but Pon hooked me up, Uta owns all three flats but Pon was kind of acting like a property manager when Uta was in the Netherlands, the rent is dirt cheap.”

                Aoi walked through the flat, liking the set up and all the space, “Damn, a whole room for your basses? That’s sweet.” Reita handed Aoi a beer. Sitting with Aoi on the porch, Reita took a good look at his friend. “What do you want to do about Yuki? Do you want to try talking to him again? Or was his blow off enough?’

                “I’m not even sure really, part of me wants to just say fuck it and stick to being alone, Uruha does it pretty easily, I guess it couldn’t be that hard.” Aoi wasn’t sure.

                “Uruha has OCD and is a freak, he has to stay alone, nobody can deal with his shit. That’s not you…remember I know you better than anyone, you need someone in your life.”

                “I don’t need anyone…that’s where you’re wrong.” Aoi huffed. “I’m perfectly fine on my own, it just would be… nice…if I had someone.”

                “Nice? You think having someone is ‘nice’, well that’s part of your damned problem! Is it nice for me to have Ayato? No… I have to have him…I love the guy, it’s not a choice, he’s the freaking real thing, not some fuck toy. That’s why I’m working so damned hard at this! It’s not easy, Yuu…I’m working harder to have a relationship with Ayato, then I did with you.” Reita hated being brutally honest, but he thought Aoi might need to hear it.

                “Gee thanks Aki, I love you too.” Aoi snorted. “I do know what you mean though, if I put half as much effort in loving you as I did chasing Pon, maybe I’d still be happy.”

                “What’s the verdict? I can either talk to Yuki myself or Ayato can. Personally? I think you should talk to him, maybe do what I did with Ayato…just text him a few times.” Reita thought his suggestion was the best course.

                “I’d text him, but I erased all his contact info…what’s his number again?” Aoi asked sheepishly. “How should I start though? What if he blows me off right away…then what?”

                “Stop sabotaging yourself before you’ve even started! Damn dude, grow a set of balls…if you think you want to have a relationship, not just with Yuki but anyone, you’re going to have to be more confident.” Reita scolded his friend. “Damn I sound like a fucking shrink! Want another beer?”

 

                “Tadaima,” Ayato called out as he toed off his shoes, but with no response. “Must still be at work.” Throwing his bag in his room and changing out of his uniform, Ayato grabbed something to eat and a beer, sitting down in front of the TV. “Damn, I’m more tired than I thought.” Flipping through the channels with nothing catching his eye, Ayato’s thoughts turned to Reita and the kiss.

                Ayato was finally admitting to himself, that yes… he was in love with Reita, the only hesitation was … no, he wasn’t going to use the cop out of his former profession, though he was still concerned with the public. “He doesn’t care…so why should I?”

                “Tadaima” Yuki stumbled into the apartment. “Okaeri… what’s wrong?” Ayato sat up and watched Yuki juggle his bag. “I’m just fucking tired as hell, we were so busy today.” Yuki grabbed a beer and sat down with Ayato. “It was unusually busy…not sure why. How was your first day?” Yuki chugged about half of his beer in one pull.

                “Awesome…I really like it. I met Mao’s husband Kyo…that was a little weird.” Ayato smirked. “Why weird? How?”

                “It’s Kyo from Dir En Grey…that’s the first part, but meeting him as Mao’s husband, I think it’s just weird. Everyone knows who he is, probably try to get to him, the fans I mean. And here he is, walking up acting like nothings out of the ordinary.”

                “Was he nice?” Yuki cut to the key question. “Oh, he was super nice, told me not to calling him Kyo-san, and I guess he’s got a thing about giving kittens as gifts to people that either break up with him, or are sick in some way.”

                “Kittens? That’s fucking weird.” Yuki laughed. “He said kittens make people feel better than jewelry…he has a point.” Ayato said.

                “What about Reita, did he show up?” Yuki wanted to ask about Aoi, but decided to go through Reita first. “Yah, he did, he took me home. He was waiting outside the entrance, so I wouldn’t get in trouble by him visiting.”

                Getting up for another beer, Ayato saw an opening. “Hey, are you ever going to call Aoi back? I think you dealt him a pretty raw deal you know, I don’t think he’s really that shallow…he doesn’t know you well enough to just jump into any conversation.”

                “I don’t know… he’s probably not interested anymore, so no great loss.” Yuki sighed. “I deleted his number anyways…it’s fine really.”

                Handing Yuki another beer, Ayato stood in front of his friend. “You’re a fucking idiot if you just let it go. How many times did you tell me that Reita loved me and to give him a chance? Like a thousand times…why won’t you take your own advice?”

                “Your issue was with someone that already loved you, mine is totally different.” Yuki huffed.

                “You’re still an idiot if you don’t at least give the guy a chance. I can get his number from Reita…you should maybe just text him first…then go out on a date, maybe a double date with Reita and I. Please Yuki, take your own advice and don’t give up on the one mistake Aoi made, ne?” Ayato left Yuki sitting on the couch, giving his friend something to think about.

                “Hey, text me Aoi’s number…I want to send it to Yuki.”

Chapter Text

                “Isshi…you’re being greedy! You know how this is going to look if you ever venture out with all three boys…there will be talk.” Madame F scolded the Dominant lightly. “My dear Madame, when have I ever cared about what has been said about me? Never…this will be no different. It’s nobody’s business how many pets I have, they’re all just jealous queens.”

                “Oh, my Isshi… jealous queens?” Madame F snorted. “Well, for some of them that is the truth. Tell me, how did this come about? I believed Sakurai’s new boy was perfect for him.”

                “One word…Uta.” Isshi said sadly. “Karyu is…well probably not right now, but he is a virgin in every way possible. Our poor Acchan could not perform, he had Uta’s face hanging over his heart.”

                “Sakurai Atsushi was impotent?” This was a huge shock to Madame F. “I’m not sure if impotent is accurate, probably more to the point of being so guilt ridden, he believed he was cheating on Uta. He would not subject Karyu to any type of a relationship if his heart still only held Uta, it’s actually quite noble of him.” Isshi explained.

                “My Ruimaru and Leda, both were instantly captivated by Karyu the moment they met, Leda is already half in love with the boy. The night of our first visit, they played out the most delicious scene, with my Angel riding Leda…both calling out Karyu’s name.”

                “Where is the boy now?” Madame F was interested in seeing this beauty. “At the moment I’m sure Leda is relieving Karyu of his virginity.” Isshi smiled. “You are letting one of your pets take care of that? Highly irregular Isshi, why may I ask?” Madame F understood that Isshi’s practices were not of the norm for their community.

                “Leda asked, as did Karyu. I offered up every other scenario and they chose for Leda to be his first lover, I’m confident that he will take the utmost care with Karyu.”

                “It is within your right as a Dominant to house and care for your submissive’s as you see fit. Will you contract him?” Madame F was filing all of this information away, just in case.

                “If he so desires, we need to take things slowly, he is still so very fresh.” Isshi smiled bemusedly. “Have you spoken to Davina lately? I have not seen her nor heard from her in some time.”

                “No, I have not. She comes here infrequently, and always alone. I spoke with Niihara and he tells me she doesn’t stay long…much like Acchan did when he lost Uta. I believe we need to speak to Ojisan, to gage where Kato belongs in all of this.” Madame F was worried about her protégé… the woman needed a lover.

 

                Sakurai Atsushi guided his sleek BMW along the highway back to Tokyo, his heart aching, his mind in disarray. He had left the keys to the estate with a local property management company, instructing that the estate be kept up with frequent visits from various craftsmen, to assure that it did not fall into disrepair, and asked a local to make sure that Henny and Penny, along with the cat were kept fed and watered. “A summer house…a vacation home, is what I will be using it for.”

                Sakurai had made no phone calls, he did not want his bandmates or friends to know he was coming back to the city, preferring to stay quietly in his home, consume his time with writing, but there was one thing new he would add to his life. After stopping for a quick grocery run, returning to his home, he unpacked his car and groceries then went straight to his home office to start his computer.

                Scanning the internet, Sakurai found what he was looking for, arranging to visit. “I’d like one male and one female, preferably siblings, the general color does not matter.” Sakurai sat on the couch in a large house, watching five small British Shorthair kittens run through the room. Choosing the two kittens, the breeder put them in a carrier and walked with Sakurai to his car. “Thank you, they will be well loved.”

                With the two small kittens in their carrier, Sakurai made his way through the city, back to the house, carefully carrying the kittens inside, going straight to the bedroom. Closing the door, Sakurai put the carrier on the bed, then opened the door.

                “Come out little ones, this is your new home.” Sakurai called quietly to the small kittens. The first to poke it’s head out was the tiny female, just slightly smaller than her brother, sniffing the blanket before setting a foot down carefully. “Hello little Maru…such a pretty girl.” Sakurai crooned. “Your brother is not as brave as you.”

                The small male kitten, stayed in the back of the carrier, watching through the holes, as his sister walked around the bed, finally the natural curiosity over whelmed the tiny cat, and he repeated what his sister did; sniffing the blanket before setting a small foot out.

                “Tsubaki… you’re a silly boy, your sister is much bolder than you, come now, let’s see you come out.” Sakurai slowly moved the carrier to the floor and then laid down on his bed. Watching the two small kittens, Maru now sitting next to him, washing her face, Tsubaki exploring the bed, Sakurai sighed, “You are exactly what I need…you’ll both help heal my heart.”

                Sakurai closed his eyes slowly, the tears sealed behind his lashes, as he mourned the loss of the possibility of moving forward in his life without Uta, in his mind, Karyu was his last hope. “Get used to it Acchan, you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life.” With that last thought, Acchan was lost to the waking world.

 

                “Karyu, how are you feeling this morning?” Isshi looked at the boy, his face flushed with a pale pink on his cheeks. “A little sore, Sir…but…” Karyu whispered. Isshi turned to Leda, “My sweet boy, did everything go as planned?”

                “Yes sir, it was…it was very special, thank you.” Leda murmured, his demeanor back to being a very typical submissive. Isshi had certain hunches about Leda, that he was possibly a submissive switch, always submissive with his dominant, but switching to being dominant over other submissive’s.

                “I believe now we need to discuss our living arrangements, Karyu…would you please go retrieve Ruimaru for me?” Isshi asked. Watching the young man leave, Isshi turned back to Leda. “Was it everything you imagined it would be, my lovely? Was he tenderly sweet?”

                “Sir, beyond anything I can explain, he’s very responsive, he loves to ride. I think between Karyu, Ruimaru and myself, you will never want another.” Leda answered boldly.

                “That’s a very confident statement Leda, how can you assume that when I have yet to entertain the boy myself?” Isshi liked playing with Leda…the boy was intelligent and bold in his beliefs. “Sir, he was whining with every touch, by the end of the night I had him cumming four times, almost crying at the end. I can’t imagine the emotions you’ll be able to draw out of him.”

                “Leda, come here.” Isshi ordered, the young man standing and moving to stand next to his Dominant. “Sit.” Leda sat on Isshi’s lap. “You my boy, are a submissive switch, aren’t you?” Leda looked puzzled, “Sir?”

                “You are completely under my control when you are with me, yet you want to take over the scene if it is you with either Ruimaru or now, Karyu. You love to top Ruimaru…and it’s obvious that you find the same with our newest boy. But you would never assume to top me, even if I asked.” Isshi watched the boy’s face, knowing what reaction to look for.

                “I suppose so Sir… Ruimaru loves to ride me, and so does Karyu…but you? Oh, never Sir! That would…I mean I could never do that!” Leda blushed to his core, the thought of topping his Dominant was more than just frightening.

                “No worries my love, there would never be an instant that I would ever require that of you. But what I’d like to see in a few days…is you with your two lovers. We will plan that at a later time, now would you please go get Karyu for me?” With a quick but blistering kiss, Isshi patted Leda on the ass, shooing the boy out of the room.

                Leaning back in his chair, the confirmation of Leda’s tendencies, Isshi had visions of erotic scenes to be played out, “I must take them all with me to Vinyl Fetish…I will torment everyone.” The man laughed to himself.

                “Sir?” Karyu stood just inside the door. “Come here my dear, sit with me.” Isshi patted his lap, Karyu gingerly lowering himself. “Are you still sore my love?” Karyu nodded. “I was speaking to your lover, and he gave me all the luscious details of your night, he said he made you cum four times? Is this true?” Isshi ran his hand down Karyu’s thigh, the boy shivering slightly.

                “Ye…Yes Sir,” Karyu whispered, trying not to move under the warm hand of Isshi. “Tonight, you will come to me in my bed, it will be just the two of us. I need to have a good long look at you, I’m more than a little jealous that Leda has seen you nude, and yet I have not.” Isshi’s hand wandered, slowly dragged over Karyu’s crotch. “Yes Sir,”

                Isshi reached up and cupped the boy’s face, “You are my dear love, you have been rescued from a life of stillness, you would not have been happy had Sakurai-san not called me…you will be my last, I need no others. I would like you to nap today, I want you fresh for me tonight.” Isshi captured Karyu’s lips, kissing the boy deeply, leaving Karyu shaking and moaning in want.

                “Go, take another hot bath and put yourself to bed. I will call you for dinner.” Isshi sent Karyu off, leaving the Dominant to wrestle a half stiff cock into a comfortable position. “These three will be the death of you, Isshi.” He chuckled to himself.

                 

                “You’re sure it was him?” Hide couldn’t believe what Yutaka was telling him. “Who else drives that kind of car in this neighborhood? Seriously…it was Acchan!” Yutaka had been driving home from the studio, as he was stopped at a light, a familiar sports car passed in front of him, though he was unable to see the driver.

                “True, but it’s not like he’s the only person in Tokyo that has that car,” Hide was suspicious, considering the man had not contacted either of them.

                “I say we go to the house, and see if he’s home…we have a key if he doesn’t answer.” Yutaka was already moving towards the door. “Yu… maybe he wants to be alone, we don’t know why he’s back, I think we should wait until he calls.” Hide warned his lover.

                “I’m going to call him then, I can’t just sit around and wait for him to contact us. Besides, what if he see’s Uta? That’s going to be an accident waiting to happen and you know it too!” Yutaka protested.

                Hide gave in. “Fine, call him.” Watching as Yutaka took out his phone.

                “Acchan, how are you? We haven’t heard from you in a while, how’s everything at the estate? Really…well that’s nice. When do you think you’ll be back in town, I think we should meet for dinner, don’t you? Well that would work, yes…I agree. Do we say tomorrow night, does that give you enough time? Fine, 7pm, we’ll see you there, jaa ne.”

                “Tomorrow night at Ojisan’s for dinner, he did not correct me and tell me he’s back in town, so sitting before Ojisan will be like sitting before a judge.”

 

                As Sakurai closed his phone, Tsubaki jumped in his lap and started to wash his face. “Where is your sister?” he reached down to pet the kitten. “Do we tell them we’re back?” Sakurai was torn, though he knew that if he was to get on with his life, without Uta or anyone else in it, he needed to be truthful and that meant telling Yutaka and Hide that he was no longer living in the countryside.

                “How much do we tell them? Everything, or nothing…” Sakurai looked down at the kitten who had finished his bath and now had himself curled up in the man’s lap. “Ojisan will see through any lie I try to tell, so I’d better come clean.” Sakurai secretly hoped he would hear something about Uta from the mystic ramen maker, but if he didn’t, he knew there would be a reason.

               

                Across town there was another that felt the need to face the ramen hut proprietor, Davina was feeling depressed and lonely. Her outings to Vinyl Fetish were hollow and unfulfilling, with no pet to call her own, she would wander the club, searching…with the pain in her heart knowing she would not find what she was looking for. Raizo would drive her, dropping her off at the door, then parking across the street to wait. “Mistress…” the man would sigh, he hated seeing his lovely employer in such pain.

                The last outing for Davina must have been particularly rough, Raizo hearing the Dominant sobbing in her room as he moved around the manor to lock it up for the evening. “We need to find you someone to heal your heart.”

                It was the next evening when Davina asked Raizo to drive her to Ojisan’s and join her for dinner. “The ramen this man creates is something to taste, he has a secret, but I have never been able to wrestle it away from him!” Raizo agreed, knowing that Davina was lonely, and if he could make her happy for even a few short hours, he would.

                “Irasshai Mistress!” Ojisan greeted Davina, coming around the counter to hug the small woman. “It has been too long since I’ve had you at my counter, please…sit and I will make you whatever you wish.”

                “Jin Koba, this is my… friend, Raizo.” Raizo bowed lightly to the man, “I have heard much about you, Ojisan…I would like your chashu pork please.” Ojisan looked to Davina for her order. “I think tonight I would like omurice, Ojisan, and beers for both of us please.”

                Ojisan turned to his small kitchen, talking to Davina as he cooked, asking about how her life was treating her, knowing full well that the woman was enduring the pain of not having Uta or Teiji with her. “I keep myself busy,” she lied “I’m remodeling some of the rooms in the manor, and I have recently restocked my koi pond.”

                Just as Ojisan served Raizo and Davina their meals, Hide and Yutaka arrived. “Irasshai gentlemen, it seems to me that we may have a small party starting.” Ojisan greeted the two men. “Davina! My goodness, it’s so nice to see you again!” Yutaka quickly moved to hug the woman, Hide kissing her on the cheek.

                “My dear Yutaka, Hide, how are you? I haven’t heard from you in some time, you naughty men.” Davina scolded, but before she could go further, Sakurai Atsushi joined the group in the small ramen hut.

                “Irasshai, Sakurai.” Ojisan greeted the man. “Ojisan…Davina? I was not expecting you to be here, though it is good to see you.” Sakurai also moved to kiss Davina on the cheek. “Raizo, isn’t it?” Sakurai addressed the other man, who stood and bowed deeply. “Yes Sakurai-san.”

                With the new orders for food given, and beers put in front of them, the small group of friends caught up with each other’s lives. Turning to Hide and Yutaka, Sakurai confessed, “I have left the estate and am now back at home.”

                Yutaka smacked Hide on the shoulder lightly. “I told you!” Sakurai raised an eyebrow. “I saw you driving yesterday, Hide doubted it was you. Why are you back in the city, Acchan?”

                Before Sakurai could answer, Ojisan was putting their meal in front of them. “The boy you left was not the one, he was meant for the other man and his boys. You did no disservice to him, you did not harm him, please know that.”

                “Acchan?” Davina looked at her fellow Dominant. “What does he mean?”

                Sakurai sighed, took a drink from his beer, “There was a young man that I met while I was living at the estate, a natural submissive, but also a virgin. His name is Karyu. He asked for me to be his Dominant and I agreed, but I could not fulfill his wishes, there was something that prevented that.”

                Davina nodded, “Uta.” She said softly, knowing exactly what happened. Sakurai closed his eyes and sat back in his chair. “Yes, Uta. I explained my relationship to the boy and surprisingly, he understood. I had called Isshi to come one day, to bring his boys so they could speak to Karyu. I called him again, his boy Leda had fallen for Karyu rather quickly. Isshi agreed to take Karyu into his control, and to keep the boy.”

                “Acchan, I’m sorry to hear that. It seems that Uta will always have a tight grasp of your heart.” Davina said sadly, she knew all too well about the love of someone you can never replace no matter how hard you try.

                “What’s your next move then, Acchan?” Hide asked, Ojisan placing fresh beers in front of his customers.

                “Get back to work, take care of Tsubaki and Maru, write…keep myself busy.”

                “Tsubaki and Maru?”

                “My babies, two British Shorthair kittens, I picked up yesterday. I miss having Luna and Saki around, so these two will take their place…at least for now.” Acchan smiled.

                “Kittens? Oh Acchan! I can’t wait to come and see them! Hide…we need kittens!” Yutaka crooned. “No, we don’t need kittens, we have Zepp and Rima, those are the only babies we need.” Hide shook his head.

                “Davina, how have you been?” Acchan looked over at his long-time friend and associate. “I’m taking a page from your book, and remodeling parts of the manor, and like you, trying to stay busy,” she said.

                “Have you been to the clubs lately?”

                “Only Vinyl Fetish, I no longer frequent the Fetish…too many ghosts for me there.” Davina answered. “Niihara has moved his club to a new location, you should visit, it’s very well appointed, and the crowd is mixed. Perhaps join me in an evening?”

                “I’d like that, please call me when you decide to venture out next.” Acchan bowed his head.

                It was obvious to Ojisan that the topic of Uta and Kato was being avoided at all cost, though he could tell that they all wanted to talk about the two young men. “My friends, perhaps going back into your communities would serve you well, you both have many friends and associates that long to see you. Enjoy yourselves without the worries of permanence.”

                The impromptu dinner party finally broke up, everyone making plans to see each other socially in the coming weeks. “I want to come and meet your babies, Acchan, we can make arrangements the next time you come to the studio…welcome home.” Yutaka hugged his friend.

                “I’ll be contacting you soon Acchan, perhaps when Madame F or Isshi can join us, we’ll make it a group date.” Davina kissed Sakurai on the cheek, Raizo escorting her to their car.

                “Atsushi, before you go.” Ojisan stopped Sakurai. “Uta is happy, please know that he is being taken care of by Kato, he wants you to be happy as well, but you will have to learn to be satisfied with not having him in your life. There is light…but it will take time to reach it.” Ojisan patted Sakurai on the shoulder.

                “Light? No, Jin Koba…there is only lonely darkness in line for me, but I will be satisfied with that, thank you.” Sakurai turned and walked away from the ramen hut.

 

                “Hi…look, I’m sorry about our first date, I’d honestly like to get to know you, but I think we just need to talk…well we need to text before we meet again, I’ll even start. I was born in Kansai, in Mie…I have an older sister and an older brother and my birthday is January 20th.”            

Chapter Text

 

                Uta rarely thought of Teiji anymore, once in awhile something would happen that would trigger a memory of their life together, but there were no more nights of sobbing into his pillow over the loss of his lover.

                These days Uta thoughts were only of Kato and where their relationship was heading. Uta knew that Kato loved him, the man confessed each day that they spoke, Uta wasn’t there yet, but he was close. Letting Kato into his life was one of the most difficult experiences he was dealing with, the thoughts of becoming more intimate with the man was causing Uta to have a bad case of the shakes any time he thought about it.

                Mao had a hard time believing Uta was reluctant, “You haven’t had sex yet? What the hell are you waiting for? That man is drop dead sexy as hell!”

                “I don’t know!” Uta huffed, “You don’t understand, hell I don’t understand either!”

                “Do you love him?” Mao asked point blank. “No, I don’t love him…I care for him, but it’s not the same.” Uta claimed.

                “Do you like him enough to have sex with him? It’s not like the man is ugly or nasty…he’s dreamy and seems like a decent guy. What are you afraid of?” Mao wanted to get to the main issue, there was something that was holding his friend back.

                “I’m not sure afraid is the right word,” Uta muttered. “Well I suggest you do something soon or you might lose him, Uta.” Mao pointed out.

                Mao’s words sounded in Uta’s head every time he looked at Kato, his friend was right, Kato was sexy as hell. “Just do it.” He muttered one day when he was in the kitchen, making dinner for Kato. “Did you say something?” Kato turned to look at Uta, as he set the table for dinner.

                “Mmm, no…not really.” Uta said over his shoulder. Kato came up behind Uta, sliding his arms around the young man’s waist, kissing the back of his neck. “Stop…you’re going to make me burn something!” Uta shivered and tried to duck under Kato’s head.

                “Your neck is just too tempting…” Kato whispered. Uta’s breath hitched, a slight burn pooled in his groin. What the hell was he waiting for? The man made him horny as hell…just get on with it.

                “After dinner you can feast on my neck, but right now it’s time to eat!” Uta said firmly, shoving Kato back gently. “Sit down.”

                 Uta drank a little more than his share of the wine Kato had brought, something that was not lost on the man, leaving him to wonder if there was a problem. “Uta…is everything alright? You seem a bit on edge tonight.” Kato asked trying hard not to sound too concerned.

                “No, I’m fine…this is just really good wine.” Uta lied carefully. He peered up through his lashes, Kato smiled at him. “You’re being very sneaky tonight…should I be worried?” he wondered what Uta’s little game was.

                “No, I don’t think worried is the right word.”

                “What would be the right word then?”

                “Um, how about anticipation, build up to something good.” Uta knew that it would be that night.

                “Something good? Well that changes everything.” Kato couldn’t believe what Uta might be saying, he didn’t want to be disappointed if it wasn’t what he thought.

                “I’d like another glass of wine please,” Uta held up his glass for Kato to fill. “Are you trying to gain some liquid courage Uta?” Kato teased.

                Uta said nothing, just smiling as he drank his wine. “Uta…what do you have planned?” Kato’s voice dropped. “Hmm? Planned? Why would you think I had anything planned? I’m just sitting here eating dinner with a handsome man, and enjoying a little wine.” Uta said slyly.

                Kato rose from his chair, holding out his hand to Uta, he led the boy to the couch, but just before sitting down, Uta stopped and looked up at the man. Sliding his arm around Kato’s waist, Uta reached up with one hand cupping Kato’s face and bringing his lips to brush softly against Kato’s.

                The brief kiss was just a teaser, Uta pulled Kato down the hall towards the bedroom, Kato’s heart thumped in his chest. “Uta?” The young man said nothing, just smiling as he closed the door behind them.

                 

                Yuki stared at the text from Aoi. “Pfft…what the hell?” he scoffed, not really believing what he was reading. Reaching for the delete button, Yuki’s finger hovered over the key…frozen in place, Ayato’s voice sounding in his ears, calling him a hypocrite for ignoring Aoi’s advances. “He’s right…I am a hypocrite.”

                “Okay…I’ll play. My birthday is June 20, so our birthdays are exactly 6 months apart. Cats or dogs?”

                “Hey…” Ayato walked out into the living room, dressed for work. “Hi, before you say anything, I just texted Aoi.” Yuki admitted. “I’m going to at least try. He texted me last night, I’m taking your advice and not be a hypocrite…happy now?”

                “Yah, actually…I think you’re doing the right thing. If you find out down the road that you’re not interested in each other, then no harm no foul…but to cut him off before either one of you took a chance was stupid.” Ayato was secretly very pleased.

                “Cool, about the birthdays. Both dogs and cats. I hate celery, I drink coffee not tea. Um, yah.”

                Yuki laughed at the text, handing the phone to Ayato. “Celery? That’s fucking random as hell.” Ayato shook his head. “What about Reita…what’s his fave food?”

                Ayato stared at his roommate, “Shit, no idea!”

                “Maybe you should do what Aoi and I are… text dating.” Yuki smirked. “Not a bad idea actually.” Ayato took out his phone.

                “Birthday Feb 5. Love cats…dogs are icky.” Ayato laughed as he showed Yuki the text message. “That’s random! I’m sure he’s not going to be able to figure it out.”

                “May 27, my ass, leg and collarbone fetish.”

                “WOAH! That was fast! What’d he say?” Yuki grabbed Ayato’s phone. “Holy crap, he totally got it!”

                “I’m going to call him.” Ayato dialed the number, walking away from Yuki.

                “Hi, um… how did you know that’s what I was doing?”

                “Duh, pretty straight forward, besides, Aoi and Yuki are doing the same thing right now.” Reita said with a smirk in his voice.

                “How did you know?”

                “Because Aoi is here right now having a beer with me…you guys should come over!” Reita said.

                “Hold on, let me ask.” Ayato covered the phone with his hand, “Reita and Aoi are over at Reita’s flat, he said we should come over…want to?”

                “Shit! Uh, I dunno… that’s kinda…” Yuki stuttered. “Just say yes!” Ayato hissed.

                “Text me the address, give us a little bit…we’ll be there.” Ayato hung up the phone. “Let’s go, it should only be about fifteen minutes on the train.”

                “Ayato and Yuki are coming over, we should get more beer!” Reita announced to a shocked Aoi. “Wait! They’re coming over? I thought I was supposed to text him and shit, Reita! This isn’t going to work, I’m going hom…” Reita walked up to Aoi and flicked him on the forehead. “Shut up, it will be fine, Ayato’s going to be here too. Just chill out.”              

                “Reita, this isn’t going to end well,” Aoi moaned. “All I know now is that he doesn’t like dogs and his birthday, how do I start a conversation with just that?”

                “We’ll all have a few beers, everyone will loosen up and things will be fine, trust me.” Reita patted Aoi on the shoulder.

                “Ayato, this is insane! I blew him off just two days ago, and now I’m going to your boyfriend’s house to drink beer with the guy? How can this end any way other than badly?”  Yuki was two seconds from getting off at the next stop.

                “Hush, it will fine, Reita’s there. Just try Yuki…you hounded me to try to work things out with Reita, so you should at least try with Aoi, he’s probably a nice guy…well if you don’t count the thing with Pon.” Ayato tried to reassure his friend. “If this goes to shit, I’m blaming you!” Yuki whined.

                Walking up to the apartment complex, Ayato saw Reita’s motorcycle and car in the parking area, “This is it…it’s number…” “Hey! You made it.” Reita was sitting out on the porch with Aoi as the young men came around the corner.

                “Yah, thanks for the invite.” Ayato grinned, Yuki and Aoi were avoiding looking at each other. “I’ll go get you a beer.” Reita jumped up and went into the flat. “Hi. Uh, thanks for texting me.” Yuki said shyly as he moved towards Aoi. “Sure, yah…uh it was Reita’s idea, thanks for answering.”

                Before it could get anymore awkward, Reita came out with fresh beers, handing one to Reita and Yuki. “Are your neighbors okay with us hanging out and drinking? I mean, they won’t like call the cop’s, will they?” Ayato looked around nervously.

                Reita laughed, “This isn’t LA, they don’t care, anyways my neighbors are cool, Die and Pon aren’t here…I’m not sure if Uta is or not.”

                Yuki made a noise, “Die…Dir En Grey Die? Is your fucking neighbor?”

                “Yah, so?” Reita shrugged. “You’ll get used to it.” Reita almost slipped and told them that Uta was Sakurai’s ex, but wasn’t sure his landlord would appreciate that information getting out.

                “I guess I just envisioned them as big rock stars, living in penthouses or something, not just like regular flats.” Yuki said, embarrassed. “What? We’re not big enough rock stars for you? Gee thanks, Yuki.” Reita teased.

                “No! That’s not what… you are… shit, you don’t have to tease me about it.” Yuki groaned. “Reita, don’t tease the guy, sheesh.” Aoi came to Yuki’s defense. “A lot of people think that musicians all live in like big fancy flats and we all drive sports cars or something.”

                “I guess, but then when Ayato saw me…I was so not a rock star.” Reita laughed. “No, he was a drunken piece of shit when I met him…totally leering at me like a dirty old man.” Ayato bumped Reita’s shoulder.

                “Hey, I didn’t hear you complaining when I…” Ayato clapped his hand over Reita’s mouth. “Sshh. Don’t even go there, I can tell other stories too!”

                “Let’s go inside, it’s getting a little late and I don’t want Uta mad at me.” Reita suggested, moving the small impromptu party in to the flat. The drinking continued for several more hours, everyone asking each other silly questions, Reita and Aoi telling tour stories, mostly about the others and not themselves.

                “Uruha is that bad? Damn…he sounds like a total basket case, I’m surprised he can even cope with hotel rooms…who usually rooms with him?” Yuki asked after a certain story about Uruha’s OCD, “Usually Kai, because he’s the only one that can get Uru to quiet down enough to let them sleep. We get tossed between Ruki, sometimes one of us gets a room to ourselves.” Aoi answered.

                “I used to think touring sounded so glamorous, now I think it sounds like it sucks.” Yuki was revealing just how little he knew about being in a band. “I doubt I’ll ever be in a band, so guess I don’t have to worry.” He tried to blow it off as a joke.

                “Hey, never say that…you’re still super young, you might still get into a band, how well do you play?” Aoi turned to face Yuki. “I’m okay I guess, but finding other members is the biggest issue I think, and I don’t write music either so that’s another strike.” Yuki was blushing.

                Reita got up and left the room for a moment, coming back with two acoustic guitars. “Here, show us what you’ve got.” Handing Yuki and Aoi guitars.

                “No way…I’m not playing in front of you two!” Yuki tried to push the guitar away. “Hey…” Aoi touched Yuki’s arm, “Nobody here is going to judge you, believe me. We all started where you’re at, we just got lucky and met other guys that we fit well with. What do you know how to play?”

                “Wait!” Reita got back up and ran to the bedroom, bringing back one of his basses. “Okay, what can you play? Any of our stuff?”

                “Sure…I mean that’s mostly what I know, a few X songs, I can play Reila.” Yuki was shaking. “Okay, let’s play it together.” Aoi scooted next to Yuki, Reita sat on the floor in front of them.

                For the next hour, Ayato watched his friend play with two members of The Gazette, as if they were just a couple of guys playing for fun. Yuki struggled at first, his nerves getting the best of him, but Aoi and Reita were patient and soon the song came together.

                “You’re actually really good, not that I thought you’d be bad.” Aoi praised the younger man. “Your technique just needs to be yours, and um…well not mine.” Aoi laughed.

                “You think I’m good?” Yuki looked over at Reita, who nodded. “Yep, he wouldn’t have said anything if he thought you sucked. You should really look into getting into a band.”

                The beers were done, the time getting late and Yuki and Ayato needed to get back to their flat, “We should get going, the trains are stopping soon.” Ayato got up to stretch. “I can drive you guys home, I have to take this knuckle head home as well.” Reita grabbed the empty beer bottles, then grabbed his keys. “Are you sure?” Ayato asked. “Yes, I’m sure…I don’t want him sleeping on my couch!” Aoi gave Reita a dirty look.

                Sitting in the back seat with Aoi, Yuki wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, unsure what to say, Aoi finally taking mercy on the young man. “Can I um, call you this week? I’d still really like to get coffee or a beer…just no ramen please.”

                “I’d like that, and yah, no ramen I promise. Call me tomorrow? I’m working a mid shift, I’ll be home around 6pm, and you can always text me.” Yuki couldn’t believe he was saying this to a man who he idolized just a few hours ago, and now saw him as just a really nice guy, who just happened to be Aoi of the Gazette.

                Pulling up to Ayato’s apartment complex, Reita got out of the car to hopefully get a kiss from his beautiful young man, leaving Aoi and Yuki in the car. Aoi looked over at Yuki, “I really had fun tonight, I’m sorry I was such an asshole, but well…thanks.” Aoi leaned over and gave Yuki a very chaste kiss on the cheek.

                “I had fun too, thanks.” Yuki went one step further, giving Aoi a brief kiss on the lips, then got out of the car, just as Ayato and Reita had finished their kiss. Aoi got out of the back seat, and climbed into the front, as Reita got behind the wheel.

                “That seemed to go well, he’s a nice guy.” Aoi said. “Yah, a nice guy…pfft. You’re all hot and bothered over him, just admit it!” Reita laughed.

                “Not yet, but probably…he is a good guitarist, I wonder if we could introduce him to Pon?” Aoi had that idea floating in his mind since he saw how well Yuki played.

                “Can’t hurt to ask.”

 

                “Uta?” Kato looked at the young man cuddled in his arms. “Hmm?” Uta’s eyes were closed, he was just at the brink of sleep, Kato having worn the man out. “What are we…I mean now?” Kato wasn’t sure.

                “What do you mean?” Uta opened his eyes, looking up at the man. “Are we boyfriends, lovers or?” Kato needed that label, he was still a submissive at heart and he felt like he needed the title.

                “Boyfriend’s is good, obviously we’re lovers, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to walk tomorrow.” Uta giggled. “Hey, I could have stopped after the first two times, you’re the one that begged for the third and fourth.” Kato reminded him.

                “It’s been a long time, you should be thrilled that I wanted it more than just once.”

                “I am thrilled, and it’s been even longer for me, I haven’t made love to a man in over ten years.” Kato confessed, as he bent down and kissed his new boyfriend.

                Uta laughed, “It’s not like you can forget these things.”

                “No, but it’s different making love to a man than a woman.” Kato blushed.  Uta almost confessed his situation with Davina and Teiji, but thought better of it, bringing up his dead lover might kill the mood.

                Kato tightened his grip around Uta’s shoulder, pulling his young lover as close to him as possible. “I love you, Uta. I know you might not be there yet, but I’ll wait.” Kato bent his face towards Uta, kissing him deeply. “Mmm, thank you.”       

                The morning dawned a little too early for Uta’s liking, a headache from too much wine was pounding behind his eyes. Reaching over for Kato, the bed was cold, “What time is it?” looking at the clock, it read 8:57am. Uta was about to panic, thinking he was late for work but the realization that he was now unemployed, finally wiggled itself through his hangover haze.

                Getting up slowly, there was a certain amount of pain involved, “Should have taken a bath after.” He could hear Kato in the kitchen, hopefully making coffee, which gave Uta time to take a hot shower and wash off last night’s sexy mess. Standing under the stinging spray, Uta smiled as he felt every muscle in his body start to relax, the pain of lovemaking slowly being erased but the visions of the night before were how forever etched into his mind and his heart. Uta was finally being able to move on, away from the pain of Teiji’s death, the control issues with Sakurai, the horrors that were Natsu and Morrie, towards a loving relationship with a man that he barely knew but that was feeling so natural he couldn’t ignore it. The walls he had put up to protect himself were finally crumbling, the holes in his heart were healing, the happiness he had tried so hard for was now standing in front of him.

Chapter Text

                They walked up the stairs to Vinyl Fetish, the closest thing to royalty that their small community had; Sakurai Atsushi, Madame F, Davina and Isshi. The club was abuzz with small talk and whispers at the sight of the four Dominants and their pets as they arrived at the club.

                Niihara was close to passing out in excitement and honor. “I have a special room reserved for you tonight, as you’re a rather large group and the single private rooms are just not appropriate for you all.” Niihara waved a serving girl over, “Velvet, could you please show our guests to the room we’ve had prepared?”

                “It is an honor to do so, this way please.” The tall western woman asked in perfect Japanese. Opening the door to the room, Velvet took the drink orders from the group of Dominants and left the room.

                “I must compliment Niihara, this is indeed a lovely club, very nicely designed,” Sakurai commented. “I take it that the Fetish is no more? Or has fallen out of favor?”

                Madame F nodded, “It seems that since Teiji,” The dominant looked at Davina, who waved off her mentor’s concern. “It seems that after everything that’s happen, the club has fallen in status and is in some disrepair, I do feel sorry for the owner, but he is allowing the club to become unsavory.”

                “That’s a shame, I do have fond memories of the club…” Sakurai’s thoughts drifted off, all in the room knew he was speaking about Uta.

                “Isshi, how are you fairing with your new pet? He is absolutely gorgeous, Karyu dear, come here please.” Madame F cocked a finger at the boy, who first looked to Isshi before moving to stand in front of the Dominant woman.

                “Are you happy with your arrangement, Karyu?” Madame F was doing this for Sakurai as much as for the young man. “Yes, Madame, very happy. Sir is…” the boy stopped speaking, looking down at the floor instead.

                “Karyu-kun, what is wrong?” Isshi leaned forward and took the young man’s hand in his, drawing him in. Karyu bent down to whisper in Isshi’s ear, “I’m sure it would be allowed.” Isshi said.

                “Acc…I mean Sakurai-san?” Karyu moved to stand in front of Sakurai. “Yes?”

                “I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me, for letting me go with Sir…Isshi-san. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the one to help heal your heart, but thank you for giving me what you did.” Karyu bowed deeply.

                “Are you happy Karyu? Truly happy?” Sakurai asked the boy. “Yes Sir, beyond what I could believe I would, Sir loves me, Ruimaru and Leda, they’re everything to me.”

                “Then what I did for you was the right thing, you were not to be my pet, you belong to Isshi, never ever think that I wanted to keep you if you were not happy, I never wanted that for you.” Sakurai stood, glancing over at Isshi, Sakurai then hugged the young man, kissing him on the top of the head.

                Davina was oddly silent during the exchange, she had not spoken more than ten words since arriving at the club, something that worried her mentor, Madame F made a small gesture to catch Isshi’s eye.

                “Davina, would you like Ruimaru to attend you tonight? I will have my hands full with Leda and Karyu…and my Angel loves you.” Isshi offered. “Thank you Isshi, that would be lovely. Ruimaru?” Davina held out her hand to the young man, who was at her side in a heartbeat.

                The group assembled to take a stroll around the club, knowing full well that Isshi’s three boys would cause rumors, but they were unprepared for the reception they received. Walking through the room, there were plenty of whispered comments, some louder than others and if the offenders were sighted, Madame F and Sakurai shut them down with a rare disapproving look.

                “Isshi, I did warn you that there would be talk.” Madame F remarked as the group had returned to the private room for a drink break. “And I told you, that I didn’t care what a bunch of old queens said.” Isshi said cheerfully. “They’re all just jealous that their pets look old and tired compared to my beautiful boys.

                Leda had Karyu by the hand, as they stood against the wall, it was quite an experience for Karyu, knowing that there were people in the room that did not approve of him.

                Ormond glanced at Madame F, who then nodded almost imperceivably, “If I may, Isshi-san?” Ormond asked before speaking, the Dominant gave is permission. Ormond moved and stood before Karyu.

                “You must never listen to what anyone says about you or your Dominant, unless it is threatening in nature. What other Dominants have to say about your contractual arrangements is irrelevant, you listen to your Dominant, or if you are attending another, you listen to them. Please be aware of your surroundings at all times, and always keep one eye on your Dominant and his or her place in relation to yourself.” Ormond turned and bowed to Madame F and to Isshi.

                “Thank you, Ormond, that was the perfect lesson for my two boys.” Isshi complimented the older submissive.

                Davina had still said very little that night, now it was something that Ruimaru noticed, taking tiny steps towards Davina, wanting to comfort the woman. She noticed of course, holding her hand out to the boy, having him sit next to her on the floor.

                “I say we take another stroll, Isshi…try not to kill anyone please.” Sakurai admonished the man. “I never guarantee any such thing, you know me better than that Acchan.”

                Davina took Ruimaru’s hand, Leda and Karyu on each side of Isshi, with Madame F, Ormond and Sakurai trailing.  Madame F made her excuses as she had seen someone she needed to speak with, leaving Davina and Sakurai to themselves, as Isshi moved off with his boys.

                “Davina, you look tired my dear, are you unwell?” Sakurai placed his hand on the woman’s back. “No, not unwell…lonely is all, thank you Acchan.” Davina shut down the conversation at that point.

                Sakurai was standing with another Dominant, Davina and Ruimaru were near the dance floor, there was a sudden change in the atmosphere, that then followed with Madame F and Ormond quickly moving towards a corner of the room.

                “This is absurd and wrong on so many levels, Isshi-san! It’s disgraceful how you pamper your pets, no legitimate Dominant babies his pets.” An older Dominant man, rather fat and aged, with an even more tired looking pet, were standing in front of Isshi, berating the man.

                Turning to Karyu, the man started to harass the boy. “You are nothing more than a sex toy, you know nothing of service, you should be punished and not debuting in a training collar!” The man ranted at Karyu.

                The Dominant took one step towards Karyu, raising his hand as if to strike the boy, before anyone could move, Leda is in the Dominant’s face, growling, “If you take one more step…” “LEDA!” Isshi shouted at his pet.

                “Step away Leda… I said STEP AWAY!” Isshi grabbed Leda by the arm, pulling him back. “Epson, you’re an old fat fuck, you’re jealous of my boys. You have no clue to my training methods, you have no experience loving a pet as I love mine, just go away Epson, nobody here cares what you have to say.” Isshi laughed in the man’s face.

                Sakurai stepped between Isshi and the other Dominant. “Epson, you have no right to judge another Dominant’s treatment of his pets, you’re showing your jealousy badly.”

                “I have no right? This coming from a man who couldn’t keep Uta happy? Yes, Sakurai Atsushi, I know full well about your precious Uta…how you couldn’t keep him…because you’re soft, just like Isshi…that boy needed to be punished severely and not coddled, but no, you babied him just as Isshi does, and you lost Uta. You have no right to tell me anything!” Epson laughed.

                Sakurai cocked back his arm, as to strike the other man, then he felt a strong hand wrap itself around his fist, “My Lady does not want you to strike that man, Sakurai-san.” Ormond said in a deep voice. Turning to look at Madame F, Sakurai scowled. “Fine, just get that asshole out of my sight.”

                Before anyone could say another word, Niihara approached with two of his larger attendants. “Epson…you are now banned from Vinyl Fetish as of tonight. You have disrupted my cliental, you have insulted two leading Dominants and questioned the training methods of another without due evidence. I will NOT allow this type of behavior in MY CLUB! Go back to the Fetish where Dominants like you are welcomed.”

                The larger of the two attendants took Epson by the elbow and led the man and his pet out of the club, to the applause of the rest of the crowd.

                Bowing deeply Niihara apologized to all involved. “Isshi-san, I am deeply ashamed that someone of that ilk would subject you to such accusations. Please accept my apologies.”

                “Niihara-san, it does not reflect on your club at all, you and I both know what a troublesome person Epson can be, as he just proved it. Thank you for your concern.” Isshi then glared at Leda, “You and I will speak right now.”

                “Isshi, go easy on Leda, he was protecting Karyu,” Davina said softly. Isshi bowed and led Leda away to a back corner.

                “What was that all about Leda? You disobeyed my DIRECT command! You spoke out of turn to another Dominant! You growled at the man! Explain yourself!” Isshi snapped at his boy.

“Sir, I thought the man was going to strike Karyu! He said such horrible things to him…I just couldn’t…I’m sorry, if he would have struck Karyu, I would have been arrested, but I’d do it again if I had to.” Leda stared at the ground, not wanting to see the anger in his Dominant’s eyes.

Before Isshi could answer, he was hugged tightly from behind, “Please Sir! Don’t punish Leda, he was just protecting me! Please, it’s my fault…I shouldn’t have…but I don’t know why he was… PLEASE!” Karyu was sobbing into Isshi’s back.

“Karyu, come here.” Reaching around, Isshi took the sobbing man and pulled him around to face him, standing him next to Leda. “You two are troublesome, I’m going to need to think about what I am to do with you. We will discuss this further at home.”

While Isshi was speaking to his boys, Davina and Sakurai had returned to the room, leaving Ruimaru with Madame F, Davina feeling badly for her friend.

“It’s still too fresh, ne Acchan?” She said quietly as she sat next to the man. “Yes, but I’m afraid it will never change. Davina, I’m ready and accepting the fact that I am to remain alone forever. I will not contract another.” Sakurai said bluntly.

“Nor will I, Acchan. I believe you and I are destined to be alone, I’m going to have to try to accept that fact. There will not be another, Teiji was my life.” Davina affirmed. Sakurai wanted to tell the woman that she did have another chance, but knew that Kato was not ready, or so Ojisan had told them last they met.

Isshi returned to the room with his boys, Madame F and Ormond. “Isshi, please go easy on Leda, he was just defending the boy.” Sakurai chided the man.

“Acchan, I respect you enough not to tell you to fuck off and leave this to my business…but kindly fuck off.” Isshi said with a forced grin, Sakurai ducking his head and waving off the insult.

“I am taking my boys home, we have a long night of discussion ahead of us. Thank you all for the, ahem…lovely evening.” Isshi bowed and left the room with his boys in tow.

“I hope he doesn’t punish Leda too harshly, he was really only protecting Karyu, his little switch personality came through though.” Davina chuckled. “Knowing Isshi? He will fuck them into submission once again, I doubt it will be much harsher than that, perhaps some extended edging or even denial.” Madame F pointed out.

“I believe I will retire as well, Epson has that effect on people, he’s just rather rancid, good riddance to bad trash.” Ormond held the door for Madame F and they too departed.

“Davina, shall I walk you to your car?” Acchan offered. “That would be lovely Acchan, thank you, Raizo should be out front waiting.”

Making their way through the club, Niihara stopping them and apologizing once more, Sakurai escorted Davina out of the club and to Raizo who was waiting at the curb. “Thank you again, Acchan.” Davina kissed her friend on the cheek, getting into her car, Raizo bowed and Sakurai watched them drive away, leaving him standing alone on the curb.

 

Tatsu had cornered Sato and Kai in the kitchen, “I’m going to have some fun, follow my lead.” He whispered to the two men. Tatsu and Koichi were hosting a small get together with just the band members and their spouses, something they did frequently as it kept everyone connected in the off season.

“Kai! I’m shocked, does Yukke know this?” Tatsu whispered just a little too loud. “No…not like I’d ever admit it…that’s not cool.” Kai played along. “What doesn’t Yukke know?” Tatsu’s bandmate walked into the kitchen.

“Um, not…nothing.” Kai quickly turned and walked into the dining room. “I don’t think you’re getting off that easily mister…what are you hiding?” Yukke demanded.

“Ask Tatsu.” Kai grinned.

“Wait! You’re the one that brought it up Kai!” Tatsu objected. “Tatsu to be fair, you’re the one that made the dirty comment, not Kai…he just agreed.” Sato jumped in.

                “Personally, I would have to agree, he’s purely fuckable, those lips are just so soft looking!” Sato sighed, rolling his eyes for effect.

                “What’s this all about? Who’s fuckable, and why are you thinking of him!” Koichi got up and walked towards Tatsu. “Nothing, just guy talk Kou, you know how it is.” Tatsu blew off his husband’s concerns.

                “Kai! Who the fuck are you talking about? Wait! Oh my god…you want to fuck someone? Shit… who is it this time? Acchan again? WE already had that discussion, and I said no! Now you’ve found another one?” Yukke’s anger was flaring up.

                “It’s just guy talk, like Tatsu said. Nobody you should worry about Yu,” Kai snickered. “Tell me Yutaka, or so help me…” Yukke growled. “Uh oh, he used your real name Kai…better cough it up.” Sato smirked.

                “Fine! I just mentioned that I think that a certain young man is very fuckable, I never said I would actually fuck the guy… unless of course we got a divorce and then I’d chase his sweet little ass down in a minute!” Kai was pushing just a little too far.

                “Kai… please stop this, you’re tormenting your husband.” Shinya scolded his friend. Kai turned and looked at Tatsu and Sato, then winked.

                “We were discussing the fuckability of Ayato, that’s all.” Kai revealed. “The what? Ayato? KAI!” Yukke smacked Kai hard in the chest. “I hate you, I want a divorce.”

                “That’s cool, then I’ll just take Ayato away from Reita, how’s that?” Kai challenged. Yukke looked at his husband, then turned quickly and walked down the hall towards the bedrooms.

                “Oops, guess I went a little too far?” Kai cringed. “A little too far? Really Kai…you’re an asshole.” Shinya turned his back on the other drummer, “I’ll be right back.” Kai trotted off down the hall, knocking on the bedroom door.

                “Why are you talking about Ayato anyways?” Koichi demanded. Tatsu had enough decency to look guilty. “It was just a joke, didn’t know Yukke would take it that way.”

                “Why are you even talking about Ayato that way!” Taka growled at Sato and Tatsu, “You have no right to do that! That’s fucking wrong, you just totally turned a nice kid into a damned sex joke, fuck you. I’m going home.” Taka stood up and grabbed his jacket, “Thanks for the dinner Kou, I’ll see you at work.”

                “I can’t believe you did this shit! What? Are you going to start making sex jokes about Uta? Or maybe Tomo? I’m with Taka, fuck you.” Koichi left the dining table, slamming the bedroom door and locking it.

                Tatsu and Sato stood in the dining room, eyes on the floor. “Come on Miya…I feel the need for a long hot shower.” Shinya stood up, Miya right behind him. “You guys totally fucked up tonight, I’m with Taka and Kou…that wasn’t very nice.”

                Kai came out of the bedroom, “I’m going home, I gave Yukke the keys to the car.” Kai walked away from Tatsu and Sato, “Thanks for the dinner.” Kai closed the door quietly behind him.

                “Well that was a stupid idea…I’ve had worse, but not many. Guess we owe everyone an apology.” Tatsu regretted now, what he thought would be a funny joke. “Yep, looks like I’m going to be apologizing for the rest of the week. See you at practice.” Sato followed the others, and went home.

                “Fuck, how do I fix this?” Tatsu muttered as he walked down to his bedroom. “Kou, can I at least have my sleep pants?” Tatsu tapped on the door. “NO! Sleep in your fucking clothes.” Koichi yelled at the door. “Probably the dumbest thing I’ve done in a long time.” Grabbing Gordy, Tatsu went to the guest room and closed the door.

                Yukke had finally stopped crying, it hurt that Kai had said those things, this wasn’t one of his weird jokes, not one of his weird rants…this was Kai just being mean and insensitive. Peeking out of the bedroom door, Tatsu and Koichi’s house was quiet.

                “Sorry Koichi.” Yukke whispered as he let him self out through the front door.

                Koichi was fuming, the fact that Tatsu, Kai and Sato thought it would be funny to make sex jokes at Ayato’s expense, pissed him off until he was seeing red. “Not fucking funny, asshole.” Kou knew about Ayato’s past…that the boy had been hung up on the fact that he had been a stripper, and now to have his husband make jokes about the boy’s ‘fuckability’, that had just gone too damned far.

                “He can sleep in the damn garden, I don’t give a shit.” Koichi growled. He had fallen asleep angry with his husband, something that he didn’t like doing, but considering Taka, Shinya and Miya all felt the same way, Kou felt justified in his punishment for Tatsu.

                Tatsu couldn’t get comfortable, the guilt was starting to burn in his gut. He thought about how he’d feel if someone had made a sexually inappropriate joke about Koichi or Taka…how he and Sato would feel. “Pissed as hell.” He muttered. That thought brought back a flood of memories, including his tiny husband’s rape by Morrie.

                “He’s right, you are an asshole for thinking that it would be funny.” Looking at his phone, 3:23 am, Tatsu got up and went to the kitchen, “Might as well get something to eat.” Trying to stay quiet, Tatsu made himself some tea and grabbed a sandwich, sitting at the small kitchen table, eating in silence.

                “Hey.” A small voice came from behind him. “Hey…want some tea?” Tatsu asked. “Sure.” Koichi sat down at the table. “Thanks.” Taking the cup of tea, he quietly sipped it.

                “You do know why I’m so upset, don’t you?” Koichi asked calmly. “Yes, I do, and yes, you’re completely right to have those feelings towards me, I’m a fucking asshole to even think that making a joke like that about Ayato…I’m sorry Kou, truly sorry.” Tatsu apologized.

                “I thought about how I’d feel if someone made a joke like that about you, or Taka, how Sato and I would want to kill the person, I thought about Morrie…how I wanted to protect you at all costs. The fact that I cheapened a young man’s life to just a pretty face, I’m ashamed of myself really. Ayato doesn’t deserve anything but respect.”

                “I’m glad you understand. Ayato is a sweet kid, he’s had a shit life up until he met Reita, who oddly enough changed his entire view of being in a relationship due to Ayato. Once you get to know the boy, you might, be surprised how tough he is, he had to be to survive in LA.”

                After finishing their tea, Koichi took Tatsu by the hand and they went back to bed, together.

 

                Isshi was silent on the ride home from Vinyl Fetish, considering his options for what he needed to say to his boys. Pulling into the drive, Isshi left the car and walked into the house alone, without ordering the boys to do anything. “Are we in that much trouble?” Karyu whispered. “I’m sure you and Ru aren’t, but me? I’m going to say yes, I’m in that much trouble.” Leda tried to reassure his two lovers. “Don’t worry, Sir won’t be that hard on you.” Ruimaru kissed Leda quickly then went into the house.

                Leda took a deep breath just as he walked into the door, he stopped in the foyer, waiting for instructions. “Leda-kun, in my office please.” Isshi’s voice came through the hallway.

                Leda took another breath, walking towards the office. He knocked once and went in, taking his normal spot on the wall.

                “Leda, come here.” Isshi’s tone was not harsh, but it wasn’t pleasant either. “Yes, Sir.” Leda walked to stand in front of Isshi’s desk.

                “Leda, I know you care deeply for Karyu, but you must keep your switch tendencies at home! This is not only an order from me, it is for your own safety as well. If that asshole Epson would have struck Karyu, there would have been a swarm of people attacking him, Sakurai and Ormond being the first.” Isshi’s voice was terse with emotions.

                Leda would not look at his Dominant, but Isshi could see the boy was crying. “Leda, my love, you must keep that part of you at home, it is for us only. It is never to be seen in public, is that understood?” Isshi asked.

                “Sir, if you want me to, I will agree to be let out of our contract.” Leda whispered. “I do not wish to insult your name and status with my behavior.”

                “Leda, did I say anything about our contract? Do you really think that I want you to leave me? My dear boy, come here.” Isshi scooted his desk chair back, opening his arms to Leda, guiding the boy into his lap.

                “Leda, my sweet boy…I would never make you leave, this was one incident and it was unique, but it does not warrant canceling our contract, do you understand me?” Isshi nuzzled Leda’s neck.

                “I know you love Karyu, you want him for your own…I can see that now, more clearly than before. This is a formal reprimand, not a dismissal. Leave the switch at home where it belongs, it puts you and your lovers, in danger for you to show it when we are in public. Is that clear?” Leda nodded.

                “Now, I want you to go shower and tidy up, then I want you in my bed in thirty minutes, now go.” Isshi pushed Leda off of his lap, slapping the boy’s ass as he left the room.  “Isshi, that boy…” the Dominant sighed.

Chapter Text

                The next morning dawned with regret and anger at Sato and Taka’s home, along with Kai and Yukke’s. Both homes were filled with tension over the remarks made the night before at Tatsu and Koichi’s, about Ayato, with some of the participants, sleeping on their respective couches.

                ‘Yukke, baby can we please talk?” Kai stood outside his bedroom, his husband ignoring his pleas. Leaning his head on the door, tears falling from Kai’s eyes. “Yu, please…I want to make this right, I’m sorry I was so fucking insensitive, please…just talk to me.”

                On the other side of the door, Yukke was laying on the bed, his eyes almost swollen shut, the fact that Kai had seemed so serious the night before, Tatsu and Sato joining in the teasing, Yukke just couldn’t get the vision of Kai walking out the door to go after Ayato.

                “Go away, Kai…I have nothing to say to you.” Yukke turned over and spoke to the man on the other side of the door. “You made your wishes known quite clear last night. You want someone younger and prettier, just go find that person.”

                “Damn it Yukke! It was a joke… a badly delivered joke…I don’t want anyone other than you!” Kai yelled. “Yu, please…”

                Kai went back to the living room, flopping down on the couch, “Fuck…” leaning forward on his knees, his head in his hands, “how do I fix this?” Picking up his phone, he did the only thing that he could think of;

 “I need to talk to you, I know I fucked up but now I need to know how to fix it…can I come over please?”

 

                Across town, it was a little more heated with Sato and Taka. “You, Kai and Tatsu are complete fucking assholes and I want nothing to do with any of you. So, you can take your happy ass and sleep in the fucking guest room, I’m done with you.” Taka growled at his husband.

                “It was Tatsu that started the damned joke, why the fuck are you acting like this? It was a fucking JOKE!” Sato screamed.

                “A joke?” Taka got up, walking towards Sato with his finger pointed, pushing the man back with a poke to the chest, “Are you going to start making jokes about Uta? How about Koichi? Let’s see…which one of those are fuckable? ANSWER ME!”

                “Hey! Woah… stop Taka!” Sato backed up as Taka poked harder, “You make me fucking SICK! You know NOTHING ABOUT AYATO! You’re a piece of shit, Sato! How would you like it if all of a sudden Die and Kyo started talking like that about me or Koichi? WELL?’ Taka spun around and walked into the bedroom, slamming the door so hard a picture fell off the wall, the glass shattering all over the floor.

                “Taka you’re being unreasonable and over reacting, it was a fucking joke, we don’t think of Ayato that way, hell we don’t even know him that well.” Sato stood in front of the bedroom door.

                “ASSHOLE!” Taka screamed again, as he yanked the door open, “That’s exactly why you don’t make jokes like that about people you don’t even know!” Taka was starting to tear up, “You don’t even know the kid, and you’ve turned him into a fucking sex joke, I thought I knew you…guess I was wrong.”

                This time Taka just shook his head, going back into the bedroom and quietly closing the door, leaving a dumbstruck Sato standing in the hallway.

 

                “I think I need to apologize to Yukke and Taka, I caused this shit storm, I should clean it up.” Tatsu told Koichi as they sat on the couch, “Yes, you should. It’s your fault that those two are mad, you should probably apologize to Ayato, but I’m not sure I want him to know that his co-worker’s husband was making a sex joke about him.”

                “I’m going to go into the office, I’ll be right back.”

                Sitting at the computer desk, Tatsu took out his phone, first calling Taka.

                “Hi, um…I need to apologize to you. I took that stupid joke way too far, and I shouldn’t have been making it in the first place. No, you’re absolutely correct, I’m an asshole and Koichi agreed. Yes, I do realize it now, no he didn’t deserve something like that. So, I just wanted to apologize, okay. Jaa ne.”

                Yukke did not answer his phone, “Yukke, I’m so sorry for causing all this shit, it was never my intention for it to be serious, I want to apologize, I know I was wrong, I wish I would have thought twice about saying anything. Please, call me at some point today, I don’t want practice to be awkward. Jaa ne.”

                “Yukke didn’t answer his phone, if I can’t reach him, I’m going over there, or I’m going to call Kai.” Tatsu told Koichi. “I’d give him a couple of hours, I think this hurt him more than it pissed us off. Something I saw in his face…just didn’t look like ‘anger’ as much as pain.” Koichi had seen Yukke’s entire being crumble with Kai’s teasing words, there was something else going on.

               

                “He won’t talk to me, he just told me to go and find someone younger and prettier, he’s never said anything like that to me before!” Kai was sitting with Shinya, Miya graciously left the house, taking Miyu with him.

                “I think you hurt him deeply, at least that’s what I saw when you were teasing him, he doesn’t see this as a bad joke, Kai.” Like Koichi, Shinya had seen his friend’s face.

                “We’ve always teased about shit like this before, he has a wild imagination, and he likes to say weird stuff, usually to get me into bed for a nooner.”

                “A what? What the hell is a ‘nooner’? Shinya hadn’t heard the term before. “You know, sex in the afternoon, a nooner…” Kai explained. “This wasn’t about sex, Kai…it was about you saying that Ayato was pretty and young…Yukke took that as you really want someone like that, that he’s old and ugly.”

                Kai’s face paled, “What? He can’t really think that…does he? I’ve never said anything about wanting anyone else! Ever!” Kai got up quickly, “Thanks Shin…see you later.” Kai rushed out the door, leaving Shinya to just shake his head.

                “Yukke, let me in now!” Kai rattled the doorknob, “Yukke, I swear if you don’t let me in right now I’m going to kick the door in!” Kai stood there for a moment, “Okay, you don’t want to open it…I’m kick…” Just as Kai had backed up to kick the door, Yukke opened it.

                “What do you want?” Yukke didn’t look at his husband, instead just turning away from him and going back to the bed to lie down. “I want you to take a shower, and get dressed. You have thirty minutes, if you’re not ready, you’ll just have to wear what you have on.” Kai turned and left the room.

                Kai was sitting on the couch, waiting for Yukke…checking the time every few minutes. Just as the thirty minutes were about to be up, Yukke came out of the bedroom, showered and dressed. “Okay, let’s go.” Kai walked to the front door.

                “Where are we going?” Yukke wasn’t sure he wanted to go anywhere with Kai at that moment.

                “It’s a surprise, just go get in the car.” Kai smiled. “Whatever.” Yukke muttered as he walked downstairs to the carpark, Kai rushing behind him.

                There was no conversation during the short car ride to the restaurant. “Why are you taking me here?” Yukke was now doubly sure he didn’t want to go anywhere with Kai. “Just come with me.” Handing the keys to the valet, the doorman greeted the couple, “Welcome Kai-san, Yukke-san, please enjoy your meal.” The doorman bowed and opened the door.

                “Kai.” Yukke hissed, “I don’t want to be here, lets go home please.” Kai ignored Yukke’s plea. 

                Ordering a bottle of champagne, Kai ordered for both of them. “Let’s enjoy our dinner first.” Kai said. “Um, okay…I don’t know why we’re here, I don’t really want to be with you right now.” Yukke said sullenly.

                There was no conversation at all during the meal, Yukke looking at anything other than his husband, Kai staring intently at Yukke. Ordering dessert and another bottle of champagne, Kai made his move.

                Standing up and moving next to Yukke, Kai went down on one knee and took Yukke’s hand. “I made a horrible mistake last night, I talked about someone I don’t even really know, and said things about that person that I should only be saying to you.”

                Yukke’s hand was covering his mouth, “Yukke, I love you. I’ve loved you for over twenty years, and I will love you for eighty more. There is no one cuter, no one funnier, and no one sexier than you in my eyes. Yukke, will you please re-marry me?”

                There was a general round of applause and not a few whistles from the other people in the restaurant, mostly their friends, exactly what Kai had wanted to do; confess his love for Yukke in front of everyone.

                Yukke started to tear up…again, he just nodded and whispered “Yes”. Kai stood up, grabbing Yukke in his arms and holding him tenderly, laying a blistering kiss on his husband’s lips.

                “I’m sorry, truly sorry I said those things to you. There is no one other than you, as corny as it sounds, you’re mine forever.” Kai whispered into Yukke’s ear, then kissed him again. “I love you, Kai.” Yukke said softly.

                After two bottles of champagne, Kai called a cab and left his car at the restaurant. The two barely made it inside the house, when the clothes started to drop off as Kai and Yukke made their way to the bedroom to renew their vows, or what they called ‘vows’.

 

 

                There had been another at Vinyl Fetish that night, who had watched with interest the altercation between Isshi and the other Dominant, with Sakurai stepping in only to be subdued by the gentle hand of a pet.

                Zero had come to Vinyl Fetish mostly out of curiosity, the club scene in Tokyo was fairly active, with a good mix of live houses and dance clubs. Vinyl Fetish had the reputation as a place where the local BDSM community was welcomed, along with others in the goth and punk scene. What he had not anticipated was seeing Sakurai Atsushi with the obvious high-ranking Dominants, and if he had heard correctly, Zero was shocked that Uta’s name was mentioned.

                The fact that Uta was named as a failed submissive, or more accurately, Sakurai was a failed Dominant, had given Zero more to consider in his quest to reach Sakurai Atsushi. “Hmm, interesting Uta, that you were once Sakurai’s little toy, no wonder you reacted to his name so viscerally.” Uta wasn’t just Sakurai’s ex-boyfriend, but something a little deeper, this intrigued Zero to the point of wanting to speak to Uta again, though he knew that would be impossible.

                As the crowd that night, started to thin, Zero kept a careful watch on Sakurai.  Noticing that the man was leaving the club with a woman, he quickly moved towards the door, staying just one or two people behind the singer.

                Zero stood in the shadows, watching Sakurai help the woman into her car, watching as she drove away, Sakurai then moved two cars back, and got into a sleek BMW sports car. “Shit!” waiting for the car to pull away, Zero memorized the license plate number, writing it on his palm with a pen. “You’re going to be easy to find, Sakurai Atsushi, there can’t be that many cars like yours in this town.”

 

                Going straight to his computer, Zero started his search, not knowing how difficult it may be to find the address for the registration of Sakurai’s BMW. He immediately started to have problems, “Shit!” The car was not registered in Sakurai’s name, but in the name of the record company, “Probably did that on purpose, asshole.”

                “Now what? Wait and go back again?” he muttered. Uta…that would be one way to get through to the man, but knowing where Uta live didn’t help him in his search. “Back to that shitty bar…how long am I going to have to wait?”

                Zero had frequently gone to the HBG, bought a single drink then position himself at a table where he could view the entrance to the small business. He had been somewhat surprised at who he had seen, even if it wasn’t Sakurai.

                Kyo, Tatsu and Sato, and Ruki had all come to the HBG while Zero had been there, it was obvious to him that the men had some connection to the people working at the bar, considering he saw all four men in compromising embraces with employees.

                Now that the tracing of Sakurai’s license plate had failed, Zero tried to come up with a way of using his knowledge of what he had seen while drinking under Tokyo Tower; blackmail was always a thought. He could easily take pictures of these men with whom he had assumed were their lovers, but what to do with the pictures after the fact?

                Zero had remembered Uta’s warning that if he told anyone, about the hell that would rain down on him if he were to ever expose any of Uta’s friends. “Hmm, do I want to chance that?” The short answer was no. Uta had mentioned that the record companies had used the venue as a place to hold private parties, but Uta never said when these parties were held. “Guess I’ll just turn into a huge drunk…something’s bound to happen eventually.

 

                “He did what? You’re shitting me? In front of everyone?” Tatsu wasn’t hearing this correctly. “Kai proposed to you? At the restaurant?”

                Yukke was beaming, his cheeks flushed pink and the man couldn’t stop smiling. “Yes, at the restaurant, in front of everyone.”

                “I hope you said yes.” Miya teased. The boys of MUCC were sitting in the practice room, Tatsu and Sato were quieter than usual, both of them still feeling the sting of their husband’s rebukes.

                “I said yes, I’m not sure if we’re actually going to renew our vows, but it’s the fact that he asked that matters.” Yukke giggled. “I’m happy for you, seems that you guys worked it out, unlike those two.” Miya thumbed over his shoulder at Tatsu and Sato.

                “I think I’m the only one still getting the cold shoulder, I’m still sleeping in the guest room.” Sato was not happy. “Taka’s not being very forgiving at all.”

                “Koichi and I worked it out, it took an entire day and half the night, but we finally came to an understanding.”

                “Lucky you.” Sato huffed, as he sulked off to sit behind his drum kit. “Well, Taka is Ayato’s boss, so maybe it just made things worse?” Tatsu offered. “This was your fucking stupid joke Tatsurou! Now I’m sleeping in the fucking guest room because we took YOUR joke too far.” Sato snarked.

                “Look, I called Taka and apologized,” Sato looked up, “You what? When did you call him?” he hadn’t heard anything about this.

                “Yesterday, late morning. I’m surprised he didn’t say anything…or maybe I’m not surprised.” Tatsu snickered.

                “Let’s just get practice over with so I can go home.” Sato snapped.

 

                Walking into his flat, Sato was anything but repentant, he was pissed. “TAKA!” Walking towards the bedroom, he opened the door, nope…no Taka. “TAKA!” Walking around the house, he soon realized that his husband wasn’t home, “Shit!” Going into the kitchen he see’s a note on the table:

                “Went in to work, be home later.”  

                “Fine, that’s where I’ll find you, that’s where I’ll go.” Grabbing his car keys, Sato headed out the door. The drive over was short, especially with a grumpy drummer behind the wheel, which ended the normally twenty-minute drive done in ten.

                Sato walked up to the back door of the HBG and knocked. “Sato?” Mao opened the door, “I need to speak to Taka please.”

                “I’m kinda busy right now, can’t this wait until I get home?” Taka poked his head out of the back door. “No, it can’t wait, come here.” Reaching in Sato grabbed Taka by the arm, dragging him towards the back wall. “Why didn’t you tell me Tatsu called and apologized?” Sato accused.

                “Because I didn’t think you needed to hear it at that moment, that’s why.”

                “Why because you wanted to let me wallow in misery? You wanted me to suffer even more?” This was getting under Sato’s skin.

                “Suffer? From what? You pulled a stupid stunt, you’re not the one that was suffering, sorry…don’t buy it at all.” Taka pushed back. “Ayato is here, would you like to speak to him?”

                Sato thought for a moment, how long would Taka drag this out if he just kept silent? “Yah, actually I would.” Sato turned and walked towards the back door, opening it. “Ayato, can I talk to you for a minute please?”

                Ayato looked at Taka’s husband, “Me?”

                “Yes you, come here please.” Sato’s voice was less harsh. “I have to apologize to you.”

                “For what? You didn’t do anything, I don’t understand.” Ayato was super confused, he’d barely spoken ten words to Sato, yet the man wanted to apologize?
                “Tatsu, Kai and myself took it upon ourselves to use you in a bit of a joke, a sexual joke, and it got out of hand. I want to apologize to you personally, you didn’t deserve to be used that way, and I am deeply sorry.” Sato bowed low.

                “A sexual joke? I don’t understand…” Ayato was blushing. Now it was Taka’s turn, “Oh, they were talking about your looks and your fuckability, and they took it too damned far! Yukke was totally destroyed and Koichi and I were…are pissed that they’d even think to say something like that.”

                “Fuckability?” Now it was Ayato’s turn, he started to giggle, which then turned into a full belly laugh. “You got pissed off over that? Oh my god…Taka really?”

                Taka looked at Sato, then they both looked at Ayato. “You…You’re not mad? I mean Kai said he’d divorce Yukke and then steal you from Reita! Sato was talking about your lips and all that, how can you be okay with this?”

                Ayato took a deep breath, wiping the tears from his eyes. “Taka, I was a stripper, like almost totally naked stripper, that’s what I was doing when I met Reita, you honestly think I’d be upset because someone said I’m fuckable?”

                “Well, regardless that YOU think it’s funny, we didn’t.” Taka explained, “I’ve been sleeping in the guest room for 2 days, Kai proposed to Yukke again in front of a bunch of people at the restaurant, and Tatsu also was sleeping in their guest room!” Sato explained, he couldn’t believe that Taka was more upset than the young man.

                “Look, I get it…really I do. I made money on my looks…it kept me fed and housed for a year. I get that people think I’m attractive, put a lot of make up on me, and hell I’d fuck myself! But don’t punish your husbands that harshly because of it…really Taka, it’s fine.” Ayato bowed lightly then went back into the building.

                Taka and Sato watched as Ayato walked back into the HBG, almost in shock over the way the young man reacted to the news that he was the brunt of a sexual joke.

                “I uh, guess we um, what the hell was that?” Sato looked at his husband, who just shrugged. “I’m not sure, but evidently he wasn’t bothered by the news as much as we were, not sure what that says about any of us.”

                “Do I have to keep sleeping in the guest room?” Sato asked meekly. “No, I suppose it’s all good…I don’t even know what to think right now!” Taka started to chuckle, “My righteous indignation backfired on me.” Sato grabbed his husband and kissed him. “Okay, then we can go back to normal now?”

                “Yes, we can go back to normal, but please, in the future…don’t go along with any of Tatsu’s wild ideas for jokes, ne?”

Chapter Text

 

                The stillness of the room, with the morning light sliding through the crack of the curtains, the even breath of his lover, this is what Uta had come to love about waking up with Kato. Their relationship was flourishing; it was sexy, fun and romantic, but Uta still was not ready for his confession, he couldn’t say the L word…not yet, maybe never, and Kato understood or it’s what he told Uta.

                “You know I care deeply for you, I’m just not sure I can, I uh…” Uta struggled to explain his feelings to Kato. There was something or someone holding him back, Teiji? Sakurai? Uta didn’t have a definitive answer, not even for himself.

                “I understand Uta, there is no pressure from me. Accept that I love you, that’s all I’m asking.” Kato said often but in different ways. Uta had some amount of guilt in not being able to commit 100% to the man who was filling his life with contentment.

                “Contentment?” Uta would think to himself while he watched Kato doing something, “Did you say something?” Kato would always ask. “Nope, just thinking out loud.” Was Uta’s rote answer, he could never pinpoint what was missing in their relationship.

                Uta did have one problem that he whined about to Mao during one of their lunch dates, “I’m bored. I’m either waiting for Kato to come over, or for him to come and pick me up to go to his house. I’m mentally dying…there’s nothing challenging in my life.”

                Mao knew what Uta needed, but he was afraid to say anything. “Well, can’t you volunteer anywhere? Or maybe start your own business?” he suggested.

                “Start my own business? Doing what?” Uta laughed. “Well, it was just a thought, you don’t have to laugh about it.” Mao sulked.

                “What about asking Koichi? Maybe there’s something you can do for DCR?” Mao had an idea, but was being sneaky. “Hmm, DCR? Maybe, I can at least talk to him.” Mao took a chance, “You can always come back to work, you know that right? Maybe weekends or just special events, not like full time.”

                “I had thought about that, it’s not like I’m worried about Sakurai anymore, we parted as friends. But would there be any hours available? Shit, there’s like six people working now.” Uta had seriously thought about the HBG, it was a second home, he knew the work and his friends were all there, it was always a soft place to land.

                “Talk to Taka, maybe Koichi would be willing to give you some of his hours, he’s always complaining about the conflicting work load he carries with DCR, besides it’s not like he really needs the job.” Mao said.

                “Why don’t you give me some of your hours? You don’t need the job either!” Uta laughed. “Hey! Let’s not go that far… too few hours mean dealing with a grumpy Kyo when it’s time to tour or record, he’s such a bear. Let’s at least talk to Taka, ne?”

                Uta agreed, “Okay, let’s go over there now, I need to walk off that damned chocolate cake we just had.”

 

                Driving over to the HBG in Uta’s car, Mao tried to get some dirt on his best friend’s love life. “So, how is he in bed? He’s damned dreamy looking, that long hair…” Mao made yummy noises.

                “I’m not telling you anything about my sex life Mao…so forget it!” Uta laughed. “My sex life is just fine, thank you very much, and Kato is…well”

                “He’s what? Hung? Has a talented tongue? Gives great head? Come on! Give me something!” Mao pleaded. “I’m not telling you anything…just stop it. Can I start asking about you and Kyo?” Uta teased.

                “What’s to know? You were his boyfriend first…you know he’s hung, that he gives great head and his tongue is wicked…that’s not even a legit question!” Mao pouted.

                The teasing lasted all the way from the parking lot to the HBG, only stopping once they got inside the building.

                “Uta! Hey, what’s up? I haven’t seen you in ages!” Aki had just come out of the office, seeing Uta he pulled the man into a bear hug.

                “Aki! I can…can’t breathe!” Uta struggled in the man’s embrace.  “Heh, sorry. Why are you here?” Before Uta could answer, Taka came out of the office right behind Aki.

                “Hey, want a job?” Taka teased, patting Uta on the shoulder. “Um, maybe…but you’re fully staffed, now aren’t you?” Uta pointed out the obvious.

                “Depends on what you mean by fully staffed. We have six guys working, but I can always make an exception for you, you know that.” Taka would love nothing better than to have Uta at the HBG again.

                “I don’t want anyone to lose hours because of me, Taka. You know I don’t need the money, I’m just bored as hell hanging out at home.” Uta’s shoulders slumped.

                “Let me talk to everyone, I can probably get you like fifteen hours a week, more on the weekends and we do have the holiday season coming up, you know that means at least one DCR party, if not more…and either a Christmas or New Years eve event as well.” Taka assured Uta.

                “Are you sure? I don’t want to take any hours from the new guy or from Aki and Tora, they need the money! Promise me Taka, if I find out you’ve shorted those guys, I’m not going to come back.” Uta argued.

                Taka held up his hand, “I promise I won’t short anyone any hours. When did you want to start? I could use some help this evening if you’re interested.” Taka really didn’t need the help, but he wanted Uta to come back to the HBG just as badly as everyone else.

“Closing shift? Sure…no problem, I’ll be here, thanks Taka.” Uta grinned. “I need to take you home, I’m going to need to talk to Kato before coming in.” Uta grabbed Mao by the hand and dragged him off to the car.

Taka ducked back into the office just as the back door closed, grabbing his phone, he sent a group text;

Best news ever! Uta’s coming back to work starting tonight! I’m going to have to rearrange some schedules, if there’s a problem let me know ASAP!”

Koichi was sitting at his desk buried in DCR paperwork when he got the text. Walking out into the living room where Teo and Gordy were attacking Tatsu’s slippers, “Hey, I just got a great text…here.” Koichi handed his phone to his husband.

“Woah, that’s sudden… wonder why he’s coming back? It’s not like he needs the money, I thought Davina left him pretty well off.” Tatsu was genuinely happy to hear that Uta was back at the HBG.

“I don’t know, but I’ll gladly give him some of my hours, DCR has me up to my neck in tour season paperwork. I’ll text Taka and let him know.” Koichi bent down and grabbed a kiss before heading back to his office.

Looking at the text, Ayato was slightly concerned, would Uta coming back mean he’d have less hours? He really couldn’t afford to lose any, “Should I text him back?” he muttered to himself.

“Text who back?” Yuki came into the living room, a towel around his waist and his hair still dripping wet from the shower. “Taka, it looks like Uta is coming back to work, Taka has to rearrange the schedule, I’m just worried I’m going to be losing hours.”

“I’m sure your boss wouldn’t do that, I’m guessing that Mao and Koichi don’t really need that job, shit their husband’s make enough money right?”

Yuki had a point, but it still worried Ayato. “Guess I’ll just wait until I go in tonight, see what changes. You going out with Aoi tonight?” Ayato guessed. “Yah, but not really ‘out’, I’m just going over to his place to watch some movies…and before you ask, no we’re not going to have sex.” Yuki didn’t need any help from Ayato with that issue.

“Never even crossed my mind, but how are you two getting along? He’s not still kind of being an asshole, is he?” Ayato hadn’t had time to talk to his roommate much since they tended to work opposite shifts.

“It’s going, I like him, he likes me…but we’re taking it slow, possibly even slower than you and Reita.” Yuki hadn’t told Ayato the entire truth of why he was taking it slow…he hadn’t even told Aoi yet.

                “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, better than to just jump in right away.” Ayato was being a hypocrite, since he fucked Reita before they’d even truly knew each other. “I’ll be at work when you get home, so have a good time with Aoi, tell him I said hi.” Ayato went into his bedroom to get ready for work, leaving Yuki to stand in the kitchen, wondering when he should explain things to Aoi.

                “Probably tonight.”

 

                “I’m going back to work at the HBG, I’m just so bored at home, I’m either waiting for you or waiting for you to pick me up to go to your house, it’s not that many hours, just enough to keep me busy.” Why did Uta feel like he was having to justify his going back to work, to Kato? It felt weird.

                “Uta, you don’t owe me an explanation, if you want to go back to work then go back to work. I have things that keep me busy here at home, if you’re busy then we’ll just get together when we can, it’s really not an issue.” Kato was surprised, but not upset, he knew his lover had been struggling with boredom since he quit his job at the bookstore, this would be good for Uta, he needed to be around his friends.

                “I know that, I just wanted to let you know ahead of time, I’m starting tonight.” Uta was slightly irritated but he wasn’t sure why. Uta had lunch with Kato, then kissed the man goodbye and went home to get ready for work, still trying to figure out why Kato’s response felt off.

               

                Walking into the back door of the HBG never felt better to Uta, it seemed like this was where he was supposed to be, all his good (and bad) memories were centered around the HBG, his friends and the weird communities they were tied to.

                “Uta!” Tora came barreling around the corner, picking up the smaller man and swinging him around. “TORA PUT UTA DOWN! God is this going to start again? What is it with you guys always picking Uta up and twirling around?” Taka leaned back in his chair, which he had rolled just outside the office door.

                “Shit, I’m just happy to see him, that’s all Taka, don’t have to be a grumpy ass about it.” Tora mumbled. “I’m glad to see you too Tora, thanks.” Uta giggled.

                “I have the new schedule if you want to write it down Uta,” Taka said. Uta put his things away and went to sit next to Taka in the office.

                “You’re working with Ayato tonight, Tora will be the closing manager type…well not manager, but key holder.” Taka snarked, Tora was not management material. “Cool, I’ve only seen Ayato a few times, never really talked to him.” Uta was interested in the young man.

                “He’s quiet, maybe like between you and Tomo, quiet.”

                “Nobody is Tomo quiet, except maybe Leda,” Uta chuckled, then whispered “this feels so good!”

                “What?” Taka thought he heard something. “I was just saying this feels good, it feels right to me to be back, not so much for Kato though.” Uta rarely talked about his boyfriend, and most at the HBG had not even met the man.

                “He wasn’t upset, was he?” Taka didn’t need any angry lovers barging into the patio area demanding to see their significant other, he’d had enough of that in the past.

                “No, not upset, but there’s just something underneath that, maybe it’s just me.” Uta shrugged, no sense in dwelling on it, he couldn’t do anything about how Kato felt.

                “I’m sure he’s just worried, like everyone else in your life, we all love you Uta, it’s natural for us to be concerned about your happiness.” Taka sniffed, then quickly looked away.

                “I know Taka, it’s just weird…I can’t seem to find my groove even when I’m happy, everything always just seems a tiny bit off.” Somewhere in Uta’s mind, he knew the answer, but he was unconsciously blocking it.

                Before Taka and Uta could continue, Ayato came in the door, “Ayato, come here please.” Taka called out to the young man. “This is Uta, I don’t think you’ve met”

                Uta looked at Ayato, the boy was truly stunning…he could see why Reita was attracted to the boy. “Hi, I hope I didn’t take any of your hours, Taka promised he wouldn’t short you guys.”

                “Uh, I don’t think so, well not until I look at the schedu…” Taka waved a piece of paper in front of Ayato. “Um…hey, why do I now have more hours?” Ayato looked at Taka. “I told you I’d have to move the schedule around, and Koichi gave up some of his hours, his job with DCR gets busy in the winter with the tours and everything, so you, Aki and Tora, and Uta all got more hours than the rest of us, because well frankly, we don’t need them.”

                Uta looked over Ayato’s shoulder, “Hmm, looks like you and I will be working a lot together.” Ayato smiled, he already liked Uta. “Yep, that’s cool though, it’s probably quieter than working with Tora.”

                “I HEARD THAT AYATO!” Tora yelled from the counters. “Oops…busted.” Ayato laughed. “I’m not that loud, am I?” Tora walked back to the office.

                “When I got hired, I told Reita who I was training with, and he said that he knew Aki but that all he knew about you is that you were kind of loud.” Ayato snitched.

                “Tora, remember Uta’s coming home party? We all were pretty subdued, until Uta left then you got your normal voice back?” Taka pointed out the obvious.

                “I’m hurt…deeply hurt that you all think I’m loud.” Tora tried to pull off a pout, but failed epically, as the others just laughed.

                “Okay, since Uta doesn’t need any training, I’m going to leave you guys to your work. Make sure to have everything stocked for tomorrow, it’s the first day of fall and you know that everyone will be out tomorrow night.” Taka left the keys with Tora and went home.

                 

                Aoi noticed that Yuki was acting strangely, very twitchy, unable to pick a spot on the couch. “Okay, I’m going to ask…don’t get mad at me, but what the hell is wrong with you? You’re all wiggly and stuff.”

                Yuki didn’t realize he was moving around enough that Aoi would notice. “I just have a lot on my mind, okay?”

                Aoi reached over and turned off the TV, “Talk to me.” Turning to face Yuki on the couch, Aoi crossed his arms and waited.

                Yuki knew this was coming, he needed to tell Aoi the truth…or risk not moving forward with their relationship. “This is hard, I don’t know how to start.”

                “What’s so hard about it?”

                “It may change your mind about me…as like a boyfriend or whatever we’re doing.” Yuki started to shake, not hard enough for Aoi to notice…not yet.

                “I’m not going to change my mind, unless you tell me you’re married to a woman and have five kids, then I might have to rethink things.”

                “What? Well that’s stupid, of course I’m not married with five kids!” Yuki snorted. “Then just tell me, what’s bothering you so much?”

                Yuki closed his eyes, took a deep breath, “My last boyfriend…” he started, “abused me and raped me one night after being at a bar with his buddies.”  Yuki’s breathing got a bit erratic, he had never said those words aloud to anyone.

                Aoi said nothing for what felt like an hour, “Okay, so you have trust issues, I get that. Maybe some left over trauma in relation to having sex with someone else, we can work on that, so is that all?”

                “Is that all? What the hell does that mean? No, that’s not all, what part of me being raped by my boyfriend don’t you get? You don’t’ want to know what happened?”  Yuki was stunned.

                “I mean that yes, it’s horrible, I’m sorry it happened to you. No, I don’t want to know specifics, I can only imagine how brutal it was. We can work on this together, I’m not going to just dump you because of it. It might sound shallow considering my recent history, but it doesn’t change my mind about you.” Aoi’s voice was soft.

                “Are you sure? I mean this is a big deal to me…I haven’t been in any sort of relationship since then, I don’t know what will happen if we ever try to…” Yuki’s voice grew quieter with each word, the last was barely above a whisper.

                Aoi knew the questions to ask, “Do you trust me? Do you believe that I won’t hurt you, at least not intentionally, either physically or mentally? Do you want to be with me…as in serious exclusive dating?”

                Yuki nodded, “Yes…I do.” Aoi sat up and smiled. “Great! Here’s what we need to do.” Aoi got off the couch, going into the kitchen and rummaging through a drawer, coming back with a note pad and a pen.

                “What’s this for?” Yuki asked as Aoi handed him the note pad and the pen. “I want you to write down how you want to move forward, a time line I guess.” Aoi said eagerly.

                “A what? A timeline?” Yuki didn’t understand. “Yah, let’s say you want to be maybe making out with me by Christmas, then maybe by Valentines Day spending the night but no sex… your choice on how fast and far we go.”

                “You’re joking…you’re making fun of me!” Yuki couldn’t see this as anything other than a cruel joke.

                “What? No! I’m not joking! I’d never make fun of something like this…not anymore! I just want to make things right…I mean I don’t want you to feel forced or anything!” Aoi cried, taking the notebook from Yuki’s hand and putting in on the floor, “I’m not joking Yuki, I like you… a lot actually, I just don’t want to hurt you by pushing you into something you’re not ready for!”

                “I need to go home.” Yuki said softly. “What? Why? Wait… okay, I’ll take you home, I’m not letting you take the train.” Aoi didn’t want to push, Yuki needed him to understand and support him, and not question his decisions.

                Aoi got up and held out his hand, “Come on, let’s get you home.” Yuki was looking down, his hair covering his eyes, he shook his head. “No.”

                Aoi sat on the table across from Yuki. “What do you want to do?” Without looking up, Yuki took Aoi’s hand in his, pulling the man next to him on the couch. Aoi sat next to Yuki, waiting for the young man to make a move, surprised when Yuki leaned over and put his head in Aoi’s lap.

                “I don’t know how to act around you.” Yuki admitted. Aoi gently swept Yuki’s hair away from his eyes.

                “I’m not sure how to act around you either, I’m scared I might make a mistake, that you’ll think I’ve gone back to the way it was with Pon.” Aoi was scared, he felt like Yuki may be his last chance to be happy.

                “We’re both pretty messed up, aren’t we?” Yuki muttered. “Yah, we’re a couple of weirdos, maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Aoi leaned over and laid his head on Yuki’s hip. “Hey, come here.” Aoi pulled Yuki up to lay in front of him on the couch, draping his arm around Yuki’s waist.

                “I’m guessing the time line thing was stupid, right?” Aoi sighed.

                “I wouldn’t say stupid, but your intentions were in the right place.” Yuki could feel Aoi’s breath on the back of his neck, Aoi resisting the urge to nuzzle.

                “Can we just stay like this for awhile?” Yuki asked. “Sure…this is nice.” Aoi finally gave in and nuzzled Yuki’s hair, causing the boy to shiver. “Sorry, it’s just that your neck is like right under my nose…it’s kinda irresistible.”

                Yuki smiled, “It’s okay, I don’t mind.” Taking a deep relaxing breath, Yuki closed his eyes, hoping that what ever this was with Aoi, would last and turn into something permanent.

Chapter Text

“Madame? Is there something you need?” Ormond approached his Mistress, noticing the pained expression on her face. “No, my love, it’s Davina. She is ignoring my calls and texts…it worries me somewhat.” Madame F had been trying to reach Davina for several days, only to have her calls go straight to voice mail, or her texts completely ignored.

    “Shall I go over to the manor to check on her, Madame?” Ormond’s stomach tightened slightly, the idea that Davina was unhappy or worse, would now plague the submissive’s mind. “No, I have another idea in mind, Ormond.”


     Sakurai Atsushi was at the studio with no real project to be working on, it was just an alternative to sitting at home alone, with only Maru and Tsubaki to keep him company. Hide and Yutaka had tried inviting their friend over for dinner, Imai asking for help with a song (he never did that), everyone interested in keeping the man occupied.


    As he gathered his things to leave the studio, his phone buzzed in his pocket, “Madame F? What do I owe the great pleasure of you calling me? No, I haven’t, not since the night with Isshi and his boys. Really? That’s out of character for Davina, yes, I believe that’s the problem but without intruding into her life, how do we remedy the situation? Very well, let’s say in thirty minutes? Fine.”
     “Davina, what shall we do with you?” Sakurai murmured.

“Irasshai Madame, and to your attendant.” Ojisan greeted the Dominant, “Jin Koba, Sakurai will be joining us shortly, may I have a beer please?” Madame F indicated to Ormond to sit next to her at the counter. “Thank you, I will wait to order until Sakurai arrives, we have something to discuss with you.”
     “Irasshai Sakurai Atsushi, a beer perhaps?” Sakurai walked through the door, smiling at the ever-present greeting from Ojisan. “Yes, Ojisan… that and a bowl of pork cutlet ramen please.” Madame F then ordered the same.
“Jin Koba, we need to speak about Davina.” Madame F started, as Ojisan removed her beer and replaced it with a fresh one. “She is not answering her phone or her texts, I believe she is becoming depressed, how much longer must she wait for Kato, if that is still her path?”


     Ojisan knew what he had to say was not going to be received well, “Kato is working his way through Uta’s heart as we speak.” Ojisan stood in front of Sakurai.
     “Kato loves Uta, but it is a one-sided emotion. Uta cares deeply for Kato, but will not commit to him, his confession has not come.”
    “Kato and Uta are together?” Sakurai’s face drained of all color.

    “Yes, Kato and Uta are lovers at this time, but this is what must happen.” Ojisan leaned forward, looking into Sakurai’s eyes.
    “You must leave this alone, Atsushi, this must happen first, before all else.” Sakurai turned to look at Madame F, “Did you know of this? Does Davina know?”
    “Yes, Acchan, I knew.” Madame F used Sakurai’s nick name in hopes of defusing any anger that may explode from the man. “Davina does not even know the name Kato, she has no knowledge of him or his relationship with Uta.”
    “In addition, Atsushi…Uta has gone back to his friends, he is working again.” Ojisan added. “I caution you though, do not go and see Uta! It would reflect badly in his eyes, he would believe you have gone back to your earlier behavior.”


      Madame F needed answers, “Ojisan, how much longer do we wait for Kato and Davina to meet? Is there some sign we need to be watching for?”
    “That I have no answer to, I’m sorry. Just that we need to let Kato and Uta work through their healing.” Ojisan turned and walked back to his tiny kitchen.
    Ormond looked at Madame F, “If I may Mistress?” Madame F nodded.

    “I believe what needs to be done is to keep Mistress Davina active in the community, have her come out with you and Sakurai-san and Isshi-san to the club, perhaps have a small dinner party or luncheon, anything to get her out of her house. It is not healthy for her to be alone in the manor, not with all the reminders of Teddy to be seen everywhere she looks.”
    “Acchan, I think you need to start pestering Davina a little. Do you have any concerts coming up with your band?” Madame F asked.


    “Not anything in the next month, no. I agree, I need to start calling her myself. We did speak at Vinyl Fetish that night, that we are both resigned to being alone, I will take no other pet, and she said she would not contract another.   Perhaps by inviting her myself, I can lure her out of her home.”

    Neither Madame F or Sakurai saw Ojisan smile at Sakurai’s statement. The two Dominants finished their ramen and left the small hut, both deep in thought over what Ojisan had told them; Madame F working out how she could get Davina over to her home, Sakurai working through the thoughts of Kato and Uta…the vision of the beautiful man making love to Uta, made Sakurai sick to his stomach.

    “Hi, I hope you don’t mind…I came to pick you up.” Reita stood at the back door of the HBG, with a goofy grin on his face. “Um, well Uta was going to give me a ride home, but since you’re already here.” Ayato didn’t have the heart to send Reita away.
    “Go ahead, Ayato…I think I’m going to go to Kato’s tonight.” Uta waved his co-worker off. “Ready?” Ayato smiled, “Yep.”


    “Um, would you like to come over for a bit?” Reita knew the answer but he wanted to at least try. “Uh, sure…” Reita’s stomach flipped, “Really? Cool.” Ayato shook his head.
    “What do you think of Uta? This was his first night back, right?” Reita had been surprised to see his landlord.

    “Yah, he’s super nice… a really sweet guy. I’m glad I got to meet him.” It was nice for Ayato to put a face to the person that Reita had left Los Angeles for. “He’s kind of special, he’s been through some major shit in the last three years, everyone’s a little protective of him, and Koichi as well.”
    “Why Koichi?” Ayato hadn’t worked with the man much. “Koichi was the first to be attacked by that Morrie guy who also beat Shinya and raped and beat Uta. This was when Koichi and Tatsu first got together, um, six years or so ago.”
    Ayato was surprised with this information, “How do you go from being protective over Koichi and Uta, to what happened with Pon?”   

     Reita knew that he’d eventually have to face this question. “I’m not even sure, like I said…entitlement because I’m Reita of the Gazette? But that’s not me anymore.” 


Walking into Reita’s flat, the couple sat on the couch, Reita putting a movie in, before it became too awkward. Thirty minutes into the movie, Reita just couldn’t wait any longer.
    “Hey…can I kiss you please?” Reita whispered. Ayato turned to look at the man, “Yah, I’d like that.”  Reita leaned over on the couch, cupping Ayato’s face in one hand, gently brushing his lips to Ayato’s.

    “That’s not really much of a kiss, Akira.” The boy chided. Reita smirked, “Oh? I can give you a better one…” Without much resistance…actually no resistance at all, Reita pushed Ayato back onto the couch, laying on top of the boy, sliding his hand back to cup the back of Ayato’s neck, his tongue sliding against the boy’s lips.


    “I want you in the worst way, but not until you’re ready.” Reita gasped as he pulled away from the kiss. “I love you.” Ayato’s hands had moved to his lover’s back, sliding them under his shirt, lightly raking the skin with his fingernails.
    “I’m getting there, convince me some more.” Ayato closed his eyes, his hands moving down to Reita’s ass.


    “If I convince you more than this, we’re going to have to stop soon…or you’re going to have to wait for me to go jerk off in the bathroom.” Reita moaned. “Keep touching my ass…”
Ayato remembered the text messages they exchanged, leaning his head down just a bit, he took Reita’s collarbone between his teeth, sucking the skin gently, causing Reita to hiss and grind his hips into the boy under him.
Reita moaned, “You’re teasing me, this isn’t fair!” Ayato went one step further, sliding his hands down the back of Reita’s pants, the tight muscles of the bass player’s ass now cupped in his hands.


    “Maybe I’m not teasing you.” Reita had his face buried in Ayato’s neck, sucking on an earlobe and licking the boy’s jawline.
    “Well, if you’re not teasing me, then we need to get off of this couch.” Reita looked up. “But only if you’re 100% sure…”
    “Mmm, I’m 200% sure.” Ayato eyes were filled with lust, he wanted this.
    “Okay… then you come with me.” Reita got up, holding his hand out to the young man and pulling him up off the couch and into the bedroom.
    “I want you.” Reita guided Ayato to the bed, “I’ve wanted you since that first night, I want to make love to you… not a drunken fumble fuck.”
    “There was nothing wrong with that night, it was amazing.” Ayato fell backwards onto the bed, watching Reita strip, then slowly started to take off his clothes. “Wait…I promise I’ll never ask this again…ever…would you dance for me please?” Reita begged.
    Ayato smiled, he couldn’t say no, he had danced only for Reita for while they were in LA, it’s what brought them together.

    “You can ask when ever you like, I’ll try not to ever say no.” Ayato stood up, moved away from the bed and started to dance. Reita was mesmerized by the boy sliding his hands down his pants, massaging his cock, then slowly pushing the pants off, Reita mesmerized by the boy’s porcelain like skin and his smooth pale thighs that led to a tiny ass. Moving towards Reita, Ayato bent down to kiss his lover, “Aren’t you going to tip me tonight?”
Reita looked up and grinned, “Oh, you’ll get a tip, probably more than once, come here!”

    Before Ayato could finish dancing, Reita grabbed him by the waist and pulled him into his lap, his arm sliding around Ayato’s tiny waist.
    “I don’t think I can wait any longer, and I don’t think you can either.” Reita licked Ayato’s neck, the boy shivering with a tiny mewl. “I can’t wait any more, please…touch me Akira.”
    “Akira…only ever call me Akira…I’m not Reita when I’m with you.”
    Ayato spent the rest of the night calling out Akira’s name, over and over.

 

    Aoi opened his eyes, there was something tickling his nose and it wouldn’t go away. Trying to figure out why all he could see is red, it took the man a moment to realize that the red was Yuki’s hair, and that they had fallen asleep on the couch.
    Looking for his phone, which was out of reach on the table, Aoi looked towards the window, seeing that it was still dark. He really didn’t want to have to wake the younger man up, instead he gently pulled Yuki closer, hearing the man make a soft contented sound.


    The night had started rough, with Yuki’s confession of being raped and abused by his former boyfriend, that they hadn’t had much of a relationship to begin with. What surprised Aoi, was the anger he felt towards the man who had abused this cute, funny and sexy boy, who was now sleeping with him. A protectiveness swelled in Aoi’s chest…he wanted to hunt down the bastard that raped his boy, and beat the shit out of him.


    Such a weird turn of events from just a few months ago when Aoi and Reita were hell bent on destroying Pon, this was difficult for Aoi to wrap his mind around, it’s almost as if he were a different person. Now? He wanted to protect Yuki, make sure nothing ever bad happened to the young man, he wanted to take things slow, now with the information of the rape, Aoi knew he would have to wait for Yuki to make the first move towards the sexual part of their relationship.


Yuki moved a little, stretching his legs out, “I don’t want to get up, do I have to?” he murmured to Aoi. “No, but I do have to get up to pee.” The older man smirked.
    “Boo…just hold it for a few more hours.” Yuki yawned.
    “Hours? Nope, unless you want me to pee all over your back, I have to get up. But if you want… no expectations, we can go back to sleep on my bed.” Yuki sat up, “No expectations? No demands?”
    “None, I’m tired and this couch sucks to sleep on, but I will take you home if you’d rather.” Aoi prayed for a no.
    “Do you have a pair of track pants or something I can sleep in? Jeans don’t make good pajamas.” Yuki decided to take a chance, he was certain that Aoi meant what he had said. “Yep, I’ll get you a pair.”


    Yuki got up first, with Aoi running off to the bathroom, “Here, they’re on the bed.” Yuki walked back to the bedroom, sliding his jeans off quickly, he put on the too big track pants.
    “Oh my god, that’s so much better!” Aoi laughed. “Do you trust me enough to sleep under the covers?”
    “Mmm, yah…I think so. I’m beat, can we go to bed now?” Yuki yawned again. “Come on, get in.” Aoi got into bed, pulling the covers back for Yuki. “Can I hold you again? It felt so good to have someone in my arms, I’ve missed that.”
    “Well, as long as I don’t get speared from behind in the middle of the night, sure…it does make it nicer to fall asleep with someone holding me.” Yuki blushed.
    “Spear you in… what? No…though I’m seriously not in control of morning wood…you know that.” Aoi teased. Getting snuggled under the covers with Aoi, Yuki turned to face the man.
    “You’re going to be honest with me, right? If I ask you something, you have to be completely truthful, and I’ll be the same with you. I don’t need any lies or excuses.”
    “I’ll be as honest as I possibly can, the only excuses you’ll get from me will be related to the band, I don’t have a lot of control over what I have to do for practice and tours. I want you to do the same, if I’m moving too fast or wanting to do something you don’t like…you have to tell me right away.” Aoi kissed Yuki’s nose.
    “Uh, do you need glasses or something?”
    “No, why?”
    “You totally missed my lips.” Aoi chuckled, aiming for Yuki’s lips, he made sure he got it right the first time. Wrapped in each others arm’s, Yuki and Aoi settled back down, drifting off to sleep within a few moments, both men smiling.

    Uta didn’t go to Kato’s, he didn’t even text or call the man when he got home, all he wanted to do is shower and go to bed.

    “I know, I know! Give me a damn second!” Luna and Saki were at Uta’s feet the moment he toed off his shoes, screaming to be fed. “It hasn’t even been six hours! God, you guys are so damned demanding!”
    Shutting the two cats up with food, Uta made his way to the bedroom and then into a hot shower. The night had been fun, he liked Ayato…they hit it off right away, commiserating about their boyfriends, without mentioning any names, with each other knowing who the other was speaking about.


    Once Uta was done with his shower, he got himself something to eat and sat in front of the TV, Luna and Saki sat with him, giving themselves baths after their dinner, Uta thought about where he was at the moment with Kato.
Kato loved him, he got that…but the man never explained why, how do you go from just meeting someone, to confessing without knowing anything about the other? “Just doesn’t make sense.” Kato made him feel safe and the sex was great…but.


    “He’s not Teiji and he’s not Acchan.” Uta answered his own question. “He’s a submissive, I’m a submissive, it doesn’t work that way, and he’s supposed to be with Davina, and I’m supposed to be alone, which is fine.” Uta wasn’t doing a very good job convincing himself of that.
    “What’s the alternative? Acchan…” At the sound of Acchan’s name, Saki added his opinion, “What? You like him that much?” Uta asked the cat, who then stepped into Uta’s lap, placing his front feet on his boy’s chest to touch noses.


    “You didn’t live with him that long, so don’t give me that shit about you missing him.” The boy scolded his cat.
Uta sighed, “There’s too much history, Saki… that’s never going to happen, we’re not good for each other…that’s already been proven.”


    With his eyes growing heavy, Uta cleaned up the kitchen and made his way down to his bedroom, calling for the cats to join him. Climbing into bed, Luna taking her place on the pillow next to his head, Saki curling up near Uta’s tummy, the little family settled down for the night, with no more thoughts of the men in or out of Uta’s life.

    “Are you okay? You never texted me when you got home?” Hmm, odd.
    “Maybe you’re already in bed, I’ll text you in the morning, I love you.”


    It was strange to Kato, that Uta neither called nor texted him that night, but with it being his first night back to the HBG in a long time, he thought that perhaps his young lover was just tired and went to bed early.
Looking at the paperwork in front of him, Kato sighed, bending back over to study the estate planning that Astrid had laid out for him. His Mistress still had the title of the apartment in New York, there was the house in Copenhagen and a cottage on Martha’s Vineyard,

    “Why so many Astrid? We should have taken care of this before you…”    


    Kato sat back in his chair, his hand over his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose to keep the tears back. “It hasn’t even been a year yet.” The tears leaked through, Kato finally giving in to them. Rising from his desk, he turned off the light and made his way to his bedroom. Going into his closet, he took out the dress that had been left behind by his Mistress, taking the dress and covering his face and breathing in the lightly lingering smell of Astrid’s perfume.


    “How do I go on? This just doesn’t feel right, I need someone to serve!” Kato had been growing frustrated with his emotions. He loved Uta, there was no denying that, but Uta was not a Dominant, he was not a woman…Kato could not serve Uta.
    “Ojisan.” He sighed, he knew he needed to speak to the ramen maker…how much longer was it to be, if he was destined to be with Davina? Or had that changed in some way? “Tomorrow…I’ll go talk to him tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

                Davina, Isshi and Madame F were sitting in front of Ojisan, who had just served them a late afternoon lunch, Davina being scolded by her mentor. “Honestly Davina, if you do not wish to speak to me, tell me…but to avoid the phone calls and texts? Tacky my dear, very tacky.”

                “My apologies Madame, it’s been a rough week for me. I’m dealing with some financial issues and have not felt like socializing much.” This was partially true, Davina did not feel like seeing anyone.

                “That is no excuse my dear, you could have been missing out on something important in the community, in the future, just tell me please.” Madame F was done with the scolding. Isshi looked to Madame F who nodded.

                Isshi cleared his throat, “I will be needing your services once again, Davina. I would like for you to draw up a contract for Karyu.” 

                “You’re ready to collar the boy, Isshi? Even with the incident with Leda?” Davina knew better than to ask. “That was an isolated incident, it will not happen again. Leda has a little switch in him, but we’ve talked about it.” Isshi explained.

                Davina and Madame F chuckled, “More likely that you fucked the boy into submission, ne Isshi?” Davina laid a hand on Isshi’s arm, the man blushing.

                “I would be honored to do your contract with Karyu, will it be similar to the one you have with Ruimaru and Leda?” Davina was becoming the go-to Dominant for creating contracts for other Dominants and their pets.

                “Yes, equal treatment between the three, though there are some personal stipulations I’d like to add, I will email you the specifics.”

                Ojisan had been listening carefully to what Davina had said, her tone of voice, her general attitude, he knew that the time was drawing very near.

                “Vinyl Fetish tonight then? Which of my beautiful boys would you like attending you?” Isshi was hoping it was Leda, the boy needed to be reminded at times that he was in fact a collared submissive.

                “I will leave that to your discretion, Isshi. Will Sakurai be joining us?” Davina hoped the other single Dominant would be present.

                “From what I understand, yes…our Acchan will be there. I’m sure he’s trying to keep himself busy.” Madame F almost slipped and mentioned Kato’s name, something that Isshi also noticed.

                “If we are to go out tonight, I need to go home and take a short nap…these nights are getting harder to recover from.” Davina paid her bill and went out to her car where Raizo was waiting.

                “You almost…” Isshi started to say something to Madame F, “Yes, I caught myself in time though.” Turning to Ojisan, Madame F questioned him, “Jin Koba, you’re certain that Davina will be meeting Kato soon? I’m not sure how much longer we can continue to bully her into attending community functions.”

                “It will be soon, Madame…that’s all I can tell you.” Ojisan said slyly, causing Madame F to raise an eyebrow. “I trust you, old man…I’m not sure why, but I do.”

                Davina was quiet on the drive back to the manor, Raizo noticing that of late, the woman seemed to become more depressed with each passing day. Even though the Gardenia room had been locked and the household staff told not enter, Raizo was sure he had heard Davina in the room late at night either crying or speaking to Teiji, it was concerning.

                Raizo had made a point to speak to his employer frequently during the day, even if it was for a few moments asking if she needed tea or anything else. The usual response from Davina was, “No thank you, Raizo.” Which was a sort of dismissal in his eyes. Raizo often listened at Davina’s bedroom door, for sounds of crying or any type of distress…the woman’s grief was still very near the surface.

                “Thank you Raizo, I will need you later this evening as I will be attending Vinyl Fetish with Madame F and Isshi. If you could have the car ready to go by 10pm please.”

                “Yes, of course Mistress.” Raizo smiled broadly. “I’m pleased to see you out with your friends again.” Davina wore a sad smile, and nodded, saying nothing more.

 

                There was another that was attending Vinyl Fetish that night, Zero was banking on the fact that this night last week is when he saw Sakurai Atsushi…and tonight would be his time to approach the man.

 

                “Leda-kun, thank you for attending me tonight.” Davina caressed the boy’s cheek, “Mistress, I am honored.” The young man bowed low. Isshi had warned Leda about his behavior, that he had also told Davina to execute any punishment she felt appropriate if the boy misspoke or reacted without permission.

                “I understand Sir, it will not happen again. I will only react if Mistress is in any sort of danger.” Leda promised. “Leda-kun, do well tonight and I may reward you when we get home.” Isshi cupped the boy’s face, kissing him softly.

                Leda knew what the reward would be, free access to Karyu, the boy he truly loved. Ruimaru giggled every time he caught Leda looking lovingly at the other submissive, causing Leda to blush furiously. “I know you love him Leda-kun, I love both of you too!”  Ruimaru would always beg for a kiss, or to ride Leda if playing out a scene.

                The scenes that Isshi had come up with, were so erotically delicious, the man was genuinely worn out at the end of the night, often complaining to his boys, “You boys will be the death of me.” That of course would then cause a sort of sexual dogpile onto Isshi, all three boys confessing their love and devotion to their Dominant.

                Leda was dressed in all black that night, which contrasted with his natural paleness and with Davina in red leather, the couple were stunningly matched. Arriving and being escorted to Davina’s private room, Madame F asked the serving girl, Velvet to direct Sakurai to the room when he arrived. “Yes Madame F.” Velvet bowed deeply.

                “Such a pretty girl, her Dominant is a lovely woman, it is quite exotic to have a western pet.” Madame F always made sure to contact a submissive’s owner, if the submissive showed any great service, it was just the right thing to do after all.

               

                Sakurai Atsushi arrived late, the problem of apathy was his detractor and it did make going out an extremely tough decision. It was just so much easier to stay home with Maru and Tsubaki, watching videos and eating junk food.

                Madame F’s command to attend Vinyl Fetish was not something he would ignore, he knew his friend was only looking out for him, and he was grateful, but he knew it would be another night of watching Isshi and his beautiful boys, the ever-present Ormond attending his Dominant, and Davina with one of the boys…leaving Sakurai alone once again.

                A light knock on the door of Davina’s private room, “Madame, Sakurai-san has arrived.” The submissive girl Velvet held the door open for Sakurai. “Acchan, so nice of you to join us.” Madame F said with not a little sarcasm.

                “Madame F, Davina, Isshi.” Sakurai bowed to the others in the room, “Who do you have attending you tonight, Davina?”

                “Leda, Isshi’s little firebrand.” Davina smirked, winking at Isshi. “Yes, he is a little bit of a challenge…I’m sure Isshi has schooled him for the future.”

                Leda’s face was turning bright red in embarrassment, he was looking at the floor, when Karyu took his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “Isshi?” Sakurai looked to the other Dominant before speaking to the boy.

                “Leda-kun…come here boy.” Sakurai ordered. Leda looked to Isshi before moving to stand in front of Sakurai. “I meant no harm in teasing you, you surprised us all last week with your defense of Karyu, I personally would like to thank you for stepping in when you thought Epson would strike the boy.”

                Leda looked up in amazement, then quickly looked back down, realizing what he had done. “Thank you, Sakurai-san.” Leda then bowed deeply and moved back to the wall to stand with the other submissives, Isshi giving Sakurai a nod in thanks for the compliment for his boy.

                With a first walk through the club, Madame F and Sakurai pairing off to discuss something with Niihara, Davina and Leda made their way around the dance floor, watching for a moment a particularly pretty submissive girl who was dancing for her Dominant, a middle-aged man who was not Japanese.

                “Mistress?” Leda wanted to ask Davina about the Dominant. “Yes Leda?” Davina stopped, “Is it common for Japanese Dominants or submissives to have another that is not Japanese?”

                “I’m not really sure, Leda. In Europe it is very common to have one of the two not be western, but it’s not as common here I think. I know of few Japanese Dominants that have western pets. She is pretty though, isn’t she?” Davina was watching the girl. “Her Dominant is very handsome as well, his salt and pepper hair especially.” Leda gasped, afraid he had spoken wrongly.

                “Leda, it’s perfectly alright to say you find another Dominant or submissive attractive, as long as you don’t act on it, ne?” Davina caressed the boy’s face, trying to wipe the shame away.

                As Davina passed by, Leda caught a man staring at her rather intently, with a practiced move, Leda placed himself between the man and Davina, placing his hand on her lower back. “Leda-kun?” Davina looked up at the boy.

                “There was a man that was staring at you, it didn’t feel right Mistress.” Leda watched the man as they moved away, the man returning his gaze to the dance floor. Leda watched the man, taking note of what he was wearing and not remembering seeing him at the club in the past.

                Zero watched the Mistress and her attendant pass by him, seeing that his gaze was not approved of, he turned to watch the dance floor. That woman was close to Sakurai, but how close and would it be wise to approach her?

                Going back to the room, Davina and Madame F were enjoying a glass of wine, Isshi still out with his boys and Sakurai no where in sight. Isshi was in deep conversation with someone and Ruimaru and Karyu were watching the dancers, only steps away from Isshi.

                Zero saw Sakurai alone, near Isshi but not close enough to cause a problem, he worried that this was not the right time to approach the man. He watched Sakurai move away from Isshi and his boys, walking towards the private rooms.

                “Excuse me, Sakurai-san?” Zero made his move. “Yes?” Sakurai turned and was faced with someone he did not recognize.

                “May I have a moment of your time please to discuss a personal issue?” Zero was shaking, “Of what nature is this issue?” Sakurai was on guard, he could see Isshi and his boys coming closer.

                “I’ve been trying to contact you for years, I’ve been sending you my writings and you or your record company have ignored my repeated requests to set up a meeting.” Zero was struggling with his emotions.

                “Who are you?” Sakurai drew up his defenses, Isshi had slowed and was standing a way off, “Quickly, go get Ormond.” Isshi sent Ruimaru to retrieve the tall beefy pet.

                “I use the name Zero professionally, you must have seen my work cross your desk at some point, ne?” Zero had his arms clasped behind his back.

                Ruimaru barged into the private room, “Ormond! Isshi says come right away!” Ruimaru blurted out, forgetting his training. Ormond looked at Madame F who nodded, the man then following Ruimaru.

                “I can’t say that I have seen anything by someone named Zero, what exactly does your work consist of?” Sakurai had dealt with these kinds of people before, thinking that the man would want to use their words in one of his songs, not knowing that Sakurai or Imai never used any outside works when writing songs.

                “Poetry of a dark nature, that would be perfect for Buck Tick,” Zero explained. Sakurai saw Ormond walked quietly to stand next to Isshi, who had pushed Ruimaru and Karyu behind him. “Stay back, both of you.” Isshi hissed.

                “You must have seen some of it, I have been sending it faithfully for over ten years, but I’ve never even received a rejection notice from you, don’t you find that odd?” Zero said tersely.

                Since Ruimaru had barged in, Madame F and Davina had come out of the room to investigate, seeing Isshi and his boys, with Ormond standing next to them, watching a man speaking to Sakurai.

                “Mistress! That’s the man that was staring at you earlier!” Leda growled. Madame F had overheard Leda’s comment, “What’s this? Leda, explain yourself.”

                “We were making our way to the dance floor and that man stared at Mistress, I moved between them and protected her, he didn’t do anything but stare at her.” Leda explained.  

                “Ten years you’ve been sending your work? I hate to tell you this…um?” Sakurai knew how to play this game all too well.

                “Zero.”

                “Zero-kun, when anyone sends Buck Tick anything, it goes through our front office first, they glean through the material to remove any harmful or threatening items. I’m sure that they saw your work and thought nothing of it and it did not make it to mine or my band members desk. I’m sorry, but that is the way the music industry operates.” Sakurai bowed, moving to walk away.

                “What did your front office do when they found out about Uta?” Zero spat. Sakurai stopped mid-stride, turning to face Zero.

                “What did you just say?” Sakurai’s entire being changed in a half second, turning dark and deadly.

                “You heard me, Sakurai Atsushi. What did you front office think of your failed relationship with Uta? I’m sure the Fish Tank knows about it, I’m surprised it’s not common knowledge in the music industry, it’s well known enough in this community.”

                “Oh no…Acchan.” Davina groaned. Madame F looked at Ormond and nodded, then turned to Isshi, “Get the boys back, Isshi…” she warned the Dominant who pushed both Leda and Karyu back a few more steps.

                “What do you know of Uta?” Sakurai snarled.

                “I know quite a lot about Uta actually, enough to warrant you speaking to me privately about my work, shall we?” Zero made a move as if he was going to walk to the private rooms.

                “I will not speak to you privately or otherwise, and I am warning you to stay away from Uta, you do not want to cross me on this.” Sakurai’s tone dropped.

                “Well, if you do not want to speak to me now, perhaps sometime tomorrow, here is my card. Call me and we’ll go over my work. Oh, and if you speak to Uta, give him my regards.” Zero bowed and walked away with a smug expression on his face, Sakurai watching as he left the club.

                “Acchan! What was that all about, who was that man?” Madame F walked forward first. “I’m not sure, he claims to have been sending me his writings for ten years, I don’t remember ever seeing anything with his name on it cross my desk. I should call Uta…I don’t know how they’re connected, but I don’t like his tone.”

                “Doesn’t remember my work? Asshole…you’d remember it…it’s so much better than that drivel you write.” Zero felt elated as he walked quickly to his car, “I’ll get you to see my work, all I have to do is show up at Uta’s house, then you’ll come screaming to me to see my words.”  

                Arriving at home, Zero starts pulling out his notebooks that were filled with his poetry, years and years worth of what the man thought were the most brilliant pieces ever written.

                “You will love this, you will turn my beautiful words in to your songs, Sakurai Atsushi…or your little music industry will find out just how precious Uta and the rest of your other community are to you,” the man ranted, throwing notebooks onto tables and chairs, making sure his phone was charged and close by.

 

                The next morning, Sakurai called a meeting with the band and management at the studio. “How do you want to handle this Acchan?” Imai didn’t like the implications based in what Acchan had said. “What ever we do, I do not want Uta involved, period.”

                The management had gone through some back logged files, only coming up with a few of the letters from Zero. “I think we threw them out because they were horrible.” Imai admitted, “But ten years worth? That I don’t remember at all.”

                “Let me see what we do have,” Imai passed the papers to Sakurai. “Oh, good god, this is drivel…he’s plagiarized half a dozen gothic authors in less than a page! You’re right, I wouldn’t have given these two shits, let alone speak to the man.”

                “How do we want to proceed? Do you meet with him, and let him down gently, or do you ignore him? It’s your call, Acchan.” Toll offered. “I’m not sure honestly. I don’t want to give him hope that we would ever use any of his work for Buck Tick, but he has some connection, or he at least eluded to the fact that he knows Uta, that’s my concern.”

                Management had taken the stand that they wanted to bring in the police, as it seemed the man was trying to blackmail Sakurai, but the band was against that. “I don’t want Uta dragged through the mud, and you know they’ll ask about my other group of associates, that’s the last thing I want to do.”  Sakurai emphasized.

                “I vote we ignore him, maybe beef up security around Acchan’s house, add a few more patrols, and wait. If we give him any notice, he might see that as some sort of validation and then insist on intruding.” Toll always wanted to go the way of security before anything else.

                “What about Uta? Is he safe from this man?” Yutaka was truly only concerned with Uta’s safety. “He has Kato, he’s not completely unprotected.” Sakurai tried not to sound bitter. “True, Kato is with Uta a lot, but not 24/7…should we have him perhaps move back in with us for a short time?”

                “I’m not sure he’d agree to that, babe.” Hide would love to have Uta back in their home, but he knew the young man’s tenacity for wanting to be independent. “He’s working at the HBG again, maybe we should call the owner and Taka? I’m sure it’s not a good idea to let Uta know about this man.”

                The group spent an hour throwing around ideas, finally settling on speaking with the owner of the HBG and Taka, letting them know to watch for the man, but that Sakurai would ignore Zero for the time being. Hide and Yutaka volunteered to call Taka and speak with him, then letting him decide on what to tell the owner and the other employees. “We’ll call you Acchan and let you know what’s been decided.”

 

                “Already? Its’ not even officially fall yet and they’re already booking parties?” Taka groaned as he leaned back in his office chair. The emails from DCR and other companies wanting to book the HGB for special events for fall, had started coming in earlier every year, at least it seemed that way to Taka.

                He was at work alone, before anyone arrived, in order to get his paperwork moving in an attempt to be able to get home at a decent hour. He was just ready to dig into the new schedule when his phone buzzed,

                “Yutaka, hi! No, just doing paperwork. What? Shit…Sakurai? That’s weird do you remember him sending shit? Wow…at the club in front of everyone? No! Crap, okay…I’ll call the owner, and I’ll let everyone know. Oh, and there’s a DCR party scheduled, so maybe Buck Tick might want to crash it, well you can always count on Toll and Imai to control Sakurai…but they’re good in a fight as well. Yes, thank you Yutaka, jaa ne.”

                “Well fuck, I thought we were done with shit like this!” Taka moaned. “Done with shit like what?” Taka had not heard Mao coming into work. “Well first off, we have a DCR party next weekend, but there’s another problem that I want to talk to everyone about…except Uta, he doesn’t need to know.”

                “Uh oh…Taka I don’t like the sound of this, is he in danger again?” Mao huffed. “I don’t think so, but it involves Sakurai…so who knows. It might be nothing, but I don’t want Uta to know, he doesn’t need any more shit in his life.”

Chapter Text

“This is the schedule I have come up with, if there are any objections, please see me after the meeting.” Taka was in manager mode, going through his usual pre-DCR event speech. “Because we have so many people these days, I’m going to make it easy on all of us.” Mao bumped Koichi’s arm, “Watch, I’m going to have to work.” He whispered. “No, Mao, actually you’re not working.” Taka snipped.

                “I have Ayato, Tomo, Koichi, Aki and Uta for this event, I will be here to back you up at the counters when the party starts, you know how busy it gets. I want Tomo and Uta at the counters, Koichi and Ayato on the patio, Aki will be the break-bitch, and we will rotate everyone to keep you from being bored.”

                Taka went through the routine speech about boyfriends and or husbands, “Remember you’re working, no making out or having sex on the tables please.” Everyone snorted, “Like we’ve ever done that.” Tora quipped.

                “Ayato, this is your first event…just follow along with everyone else, you can see Reita during your breaks, Uta…you already know the drill, will Kato be here?” Taka wasn’t sure about Kato, considering the phone call he had gotten from Yutaka. “No, I’ll tell him to stay home, he’ll just get all angsty and pissy.” Uta offered.

                “Great, because I have a feeling that Buck Tick may crash this party, they haven’t done that in the last few events we’ve had, I’d rather not have a pissy Sakurai here if I don’t have to.” Uta blushed red, he knew Sakurai would probably try to talk to him.

                “Okay, same routine as always, we will be closed all day, party starts at 8, I want you here at 6pm please, and let’s try to have fun with this.” Taka dismissed them, those not working went home.

                “It’s going to be weird that you’re working and I’m not.” Tora whined to Aki. “It’s not that big of a deal, it’s just another event, you’ve been to a bunch. There won’t be any more Ruki Rampages, so you’re not going to be missing anything, just stay home and watch some TV, I’ll be home by midnight.”

 

                “It’s just a typical DCR event, you don’t need to be there, nothing happens anymore now that Ruki is dating Tomo, I won’t be that late.” Uta and Kato were sitting on the couch at Uta’s flat, just watching TV and hanging out. “Are you sure? I don’t want to be a bother.” Kato asked again.

                “Yes, I’m sure, there won’t be anyone there that you’ll know and technically it’s a private event…sorry.” Uta reminded his lover. “That’s fine, I have things to do at home, perhaps I’ll stop at Ojisan’s for some dinner, don’t worry about me.”

                Uta was relieved that Kato wasn’t going to push the idea, he had some misgivings about the man being anywhere near the party, as Taka had mentioned, Sakurai and the other members of Buck Tick were sure to crash the party.

 

                “Davina please, just meet me at Ojisan’s tonight? I have rewarded my boys with a free night of fun, as I wanted to speak to you about something important, so please, just humor an old man and show up at 7.”

                “I am meeting Mistress tonight to discuss your contract Karyu, we need to speak for a moment alone.” Isshi shooed the other two boys away, taking Karyu by the hand and leading him into the man’s office.

                “Karyu, are you here of your own free will?” Isshi had started the formal questions. “Yes Sir, I am.” Karyu’s legs were visibly shaking. “My love, there’s no need to be scared.” Isshi tried to reassure his young pet.

                “You are still bound by your safe word of “Garnet” correct?”

                “Yes Sir.” Karyu’s heart was beating loudly, he was certain Isshi could hear it. Isshi was writing as he was asking the questions, which took about thirty minutes to complete.

                “I will have Mistress Davina draw up the contract and at a later time, we will meet with her and sign the papers. Would you please go and bring Leda and Ruimaru to me?” Isshi had a surprise for the boys.

                Within a few minutes, three very fresh looking young men were standing in front of Isshi. “Due to my arrangements with Mistress Davina, tonight I will be dining alone with her, leaving the three of you at home…alone.”

                Of course, Ruimaru was the first to giggle, knowing what was in store for them that night. “I am allowing you to have free play time, to do with what you will.” Isshi knew the boys would be overjoyed to have a night to themselves.

                “Thank you, Sir!” Ruimaru was the first to throw himself at his Dominant, the other two boys following.

                Leda snuck a quick glance at Karyu, a wicked smile on his lips, an entire night with his lover and Ruimaru? What could be better than that?

                Isshi excused the boys, telling them to go make themselves ready, “Just as you would if you were spending the evening with me.”

               

                As predicted, Buck Tick crashed the DCR party once again with total acceptance by there other bands, with the general mood being festive. There were little to no worries about any type of attack, no Ruki on the rampage as in the past, the man now subdued and stupidly happy with Tomo.

                “Uta, time for your break.” Aki tapped the young man on the shoulder. “Sakurai is sitting with his band, he seems to be in a good mood.” Aki always worried about his friend, from the very beginning… Aki’s heart belonged to Uta and to Tora.

                “Thanks, I’ll stop by to say hi to all of them.” Uta smiled. Walking over to where Buck Tick was sitting, Uta felt an odd euphoria when he saw Sakurai…Acchan.

                “Uta! Oh, I’m so happy to see you!” Yutaka stood up and rushed the young man, grabbing him tightly.  “Kaasan, you’re squeezing a little too hard.” Uta gasped.

                “I miss you calling me Kaasan, how are Saki and Luna?” Yutaka took Uta by the hand and pulled him towards the table. “They’re fine, all grown up and obnoxious. Hello Acchan.”

                Sakurai smiled fondly at Uta, “Uta, you look well. Are you enjoying being back at work?” The butterflies began dancing in his stomach the second he laid eyes on his boy.

                “Mmm, it’s fun this time around, there’s really nothing for me to worry about. I have a nice apartment and a lot of friends, things are good right now. Are you well?” Uta was hoping that Sakurai had moved on from where they were a few months ago.

                “I have two new babies, I missed Saki and Luna so much, here, let me show you pictures.” Taking his phone out of his pocket, Acchan showed Uta his new babies.

                “Oh my god, they’re so cute!” Uta giggled.

                “That’s Maru, I think she’s going to be more like Saki…she’s the braver one. This is Tsubaki… he has opinions, just like Luna.” Acchan laughed.

                This exchange wasn’t going unnoticed, there were more than a few sets of eyes turned to the two men, specifically Mao and Kyo.

                “Hmm, what do you think?” Mao leaned over and whispered in his husband’s ear.

                “Kinda looks that way, are you sure? Maybe he was just tired that day or something?” Kyo wanted to believe Mao, but he knew his flighty lover often pushed is feelings into a situation that wasn’t really true.

                “He was just so meh, about Kato…there’s something going on between those two. Look how he’s smiling! He hasn’t smiled like that … shit since Teiji.” Mao was not completely confident that Uta could move back into a relationship with Sakurai, Kyo definitely couldn’t see it.

                “Just don’t say anything to him babe,” Kyo warned. “I won’t…I’m not sure how I feel about it anyway.”

 

                There was another set of eyes watching, from a distance. Zero had been lurking around the base of Tokyo Tower for the last several hours, assuming that there was going to be some event, due to the HBG being closed during the day.

                Zero watched Sakurai and Uta interact…noting that there seemed to be no animosity between the two. He had scoped out the area around the HBG, noticing that the only security present was the normal rent-a-cop for the tower itself.

                The man had waited for two days for Sakurai to contact him, burning in anger as the call never came, Zero ranting to himself, “Think you can ignore me, Sakurai Atsushi? Think again asshole, even if I have to tie you to a damned chair, you will read my work!”

                Watching the routine of the building, Zero could estimate when the various crew members left for breaks, he walked closer to the back door, noting the blind spots. Looking at the time, he knew he had probably another two hours until he could make his move…then Sakurai would have to speak to him.

 

                “Irasshai Isshi-san, Mistress, is this a special occasion? Isshi’s boys seem to be missing.” Ojisan asked, he truly liked the gentle Dominant.

                “Ojisan, I am writing the contract for Isshi’s newest pet, Karyu. So yes, this is a special occasion.” Davina pulled out her small briefcase, setting it on the counter.

                “Ojisan could I have Chashu pork please?” Isshi asked, with the man bowing. “Mistress? Anything for you tonight?” Ojisan asked.

                “Hmm, just a small bowl of ramen, and a beer please.” Davina smiled.

                “Down to business Isshi, read over this carefully, mark anything you have questions concerning. I added some things that may work for you concerning Karyu and Leda’s close relationship.” Davina had an idea of what Isshi wanted for the two young men, and she worked hard to write a concise agreement.

                “Davina, this is perfect! I do believe that I will be changing their collars, just in color perhaps, but with their names…or rather my special names, in silver plate.” Isshi wanted Karyu to feel included in the small family…to take away the seeming seniority from Ruimaru and Leda was only fair.

                Ojisan was watching the door, he knew it would be tonight. He also kept Davina and Isshi with fresh beer, on the house of course, under the guise of a celebration, he could not afford for Davina to leave too soon.

                “Irasshai.” Without turning Ojisan knew…Kato.

                “Konbanwa, Ojisan.” Kato smiled as he sat down at the counter, turning to his right, he sees Davina for the first time. Without even thinking, Kato stood and bowed deeply to the two Dominants, never raising his eyes.
                “Kato-kun, this is Isshi-san and Mistress Davina.” Ojisan made the first introduction. “Kato-kun has returned to Japan, after his Mistress passed away from cancer.”

                That single term hit Davina like a punch in the gut. “You are Mistress Astrid’s pet?” Davina asked quietly. The young man nods without looking up. Davina is stunned, the young man sitting next to her was exotic looking.

                Kato dares to look up at Davina, “I have waited a long time to meet you, Mistress.”

                Before anyone could say another word, Ojisan put fresh beers in front of all three of his customers, Kato’s ramen bowl as well.

                “What do you mean, you’ve waited.” Davina asks hotly. Ojisan stands in front of Davina. “Mistress, Kato was sent back to Japan for a reason, his Mistress wanted him to find another to serve.”

                “Do you mean to say…” Davina gaped at the ramen maker, Ojisan nodded with a smile.

                “Ridiculous! Out of the question! How dare you suggest… I will not take another pet!” Davina was angry, to assume that this boy could be a replacement for Teiji was just ludicrous.

                Davina stood, shoving her papers quickly into her briefcase, pushing her way past Kato, she glared at Ojisan, “Jin Koba your visions or whatever they are have failed you this time!” Davina went out the door without another look.

                Kato is dumbstruck, “Does this mean?”

                Ojisan smiles, “You must give Mistress time, she is still recovering from the loss of Teiji and Uta, this is a shock to her.”

                Isshi chuckled, “Oh, I think it was more of a shock, Ojisan. I’d hate to be at her home tonight, there’s going to be a storm brewing.”

                Raizo saw Davina marching towards her car, her body language spelled trouble, “Just take me home, Raizo!” she snapped at her driver. “Yes Mistress.” Raizo knew better than to ask any questions.

                Without waiting for Raizo to open any doors for her, Davina left the car and went straight to the kitchen, grabbing a glass and a bottle of wine, taking both with her to her room, where she slammed and locked the door.

                “That is out of the question, there is no way in hell that boy could ever replace my Teddy!” Davina drank as she ranted, pacing in her room, throwing soft items against walls and doors, the absurdity of the situation was overwhelming to her.

                After almost finishing the entire bottle of wine, Davina felt less anger and now was just drunk, which then led to crying for her dead lover, pleading with the Kami’s, bargaining with them, promising things she knew she could not deliver. She eventually shed her clothes and pulled on Teiji’s pajama pants which she had kept, climbing into bed and passing out.

                People at the DCR event noticed a change in Aoi and Reita, and for once it wasn’t because they were trying to harm someone. Reita had a chance to see Ayato during his break, the young man sitting on his boyfriend’s lap and whispering into his ear. Aoi sat with Yuki, who was dumbstruck every time Aoi introduced him to someone.

                “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this, it’s just insane!” Yuki commented to Aoi after meeting the other Gazette members, not to mention almost passing out when he was introduced to Buck Tick.

                “Sakurai-san?” Aoi had dragged Yuki over to the table where the band members were sitting. “Yes Aoi-san?” Sakurai had been informed about the change in both Aoi and Reita, that they had stopped being complete assholes and had found young lovers that were keeping them clean.

                Reita had walked up behind Aoi, Ayato with him. “We’d like to formally apologize for that ridiculous fight you witnessed a few months ago in our practice room, it was completely reprehensible and unforgiveable.” Aoi bowed low, Yuki gaping at his lover.

                “We’d like to introduce to you Ayato and Yuki, these are our boyfriends, and they tend to keep us out of trouble, at least most of the time.” Reita added, with Ayato and Yuki red faced and stuttering.

                “Reita-san, Aoi-san, apologies accepted, though after all the trouble I’ve caused over the years, I don’t think we really need to formally apologize, we are after all, peers and associates, but thank you for the effort.” Hide spoke for the band.

                “Reita, Aoi…you’ve seemed to strike gold with these two wonderful young men.” Sakurai smiled. Reita and Aoi made their excuses and left Buck Tick to enjoy the party.

                “My god that boy Reita is with… wow!” Toll sputtered. “He’s a lucky man. The other boy, super cute in a different way… why are the boy’s so much cuter these days than when we were young?”

                “Youth is always more beautiful to the aged.” Imai observed.

 

                “Holy crap, I thought I was going to pass out!” Yuki groaned, “I just met Sakurai Atsushi and Buck Tick.”

                “Yah, Acchan has that effect on people, he is probably one of the sexiest men in the industry.” Aoi laughed.

                Ayato was quiet, just sitting on Reita’s lap with his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder. “Mmm, are you okay?” Reita murmured against his lover’s neck. Ayato nodded, “I have to get back to work, will you wait for me?” A kiss was his answer.

 

                The last of the breaks were over, and the party was starting to break up and the cleaning had begun. Zero had been watching for his chance to corner Uta, hoping it was before Sakurai had left. Crouching near the dumpsters, Zero waited…watching the back door…hoping that it would be Uta that came out next, it would be more effective to use the boy against Sakurai.

                “I’m going to take the trash out Aki, then we should be close to being done.” Uta grabbed the trash and went out the back door. Looking over to the patio, he saw that Sakurai was still sitting with Buck Tick, which made his stomach a little tight. He just didn’t want any kind of a scene with the man.

                Throwing the trash in the dumpster, Uta walked back towards the building, he had his hand on the knob, when he was roughly grabbed from behind, someone’s hand over his mouth and his arm being twisted up behind him as he was shoved against the door.

                “You know who this is, Uta, I’ve missed you all these months, I had wanted to pick your brain about Sakurai, but your model boyfriend made it perfectly clear how you felt about me, now you will go over and tell Sakurai you need to speak to him privately,  and then you will bring him to me. If you do not do exactly as I ask, your entire relationship with Sakurai will be made public, I will fucking DESTROY your world and his! When I release you…you will go and get Sakurai!” Zero growled in Uta’s ear.

                Fuck! It’s Zero…son of a bitch! What do I do? Uta struggled against Zero’s hold on his arm, and then was rewarded with the arm being yanked up higher, almost to the breaking point, causing Uta to utter a muffled cry. “Don’t do that again.” Zero growled in his ear.

                “What the hell is taking Uta so long?” Aki went to the back door to look for Uta, turning the knob and pushing, the door didn’t move, Aki checked the lock, “What the hell?”

                Looking through the peephole, Aki sees nothing, not even the dim light from Tokyo Tower. Aki went to the front and jumped the counter, walking around to the back of the building.

                He was not expecting to see what he did, “UTA!” Aki screamed.

A man had Uta shoved up against the door, with his arm twisted, Uta’s mouth covered with the man’s hand, fear in Uta’s eyes when he saw Aki.

Without thinking, Aki rushed the man and tackled him around the waist, which was a great idea in theory, but considering the size difference between the two men, the execution was less than perfect.

 

                “MOTHER FUCKER!!” Aki screamed as he shoved Zero off Uta, who then ran screaming around the corner,

                “KYO HELP AKI…KYO DIE! ACCHAN!! ZERO’S HURTING AKI!”

Uta screamed at who ever he thought might be there, running straight for Yutaka and Hide.

                “KYO PLEASE!” Uta screamed again.

                “DIE!” Kyo jumped up, grabbing Die by the arm, who then spilled Pon onto the ground, Taka and Sato running behind them.

                Between Uta’s shouting and Aki’s tackle, Zero had turned Aki over, pummeling the boy’s face, swinging wildly, “YOU FUCKING LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT! FUCK YOU!!!”

                Aki was doing his best to cover up, but without much success, blocking some of the blows, but taking the majority of them straight in the face.

                “MOTHER FUCKER GET OFF AKI! DIE GRAB AKI!” Kyo shouted, as he grabbed Zero by the hair and pulled hard.

                “ASSHOLE!” Zero screamed and turned to start swinging on Kyo, which was a bad idea.

                With Die grabbing Aki and almost throwing him into Taka’s arms, Sato ran up and grabbed Zero around the waist and turned and slammed the man to the ground, with such force that it knocked the wind out of Zero.

                “KYO STOP YOU’RE GOING TO KILL HIM!”

                “THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO DO THAT FUCKER WAS BEATING AKI!”

                “KYO STOP IT! HE’S DONE…STOP HITTING HIM!”

                “YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH!”

 

                Everyone was trying to pull Kyo off of Zero, though knowing how hard it was to stop the small man when he was angry.

                While all this was going on, Uta was in Acchan’s arms, the man clutching him tightly as the boy sobbed, “Aki! Someone help Aki please!”

                “Uta, it’s okay, Taka has Aki, ssshhh, it’s okay…come on baby, it’s okay.” Acchan rocked the young man.

 

                “SAKURAI!!! SAKURAI! TAKE ME TO HIM! HE HAS TO LISTEN TO MY WORDS! YOU WILL NOT IGNORE ME…I WILL TAKE YOUR SECRETS TO THE WORLD, YOU’RE DONE AS SAKURAI ATSUSHI! BUCK TICK WILL BE DESTROYED!”

 

                Zero was screaming, almost frothing at the mouth as he thrashed around, being held between Kyo and Sato, Die had his fist in Zero’s hair. “Shut up asshole!” Die yanked hard.

                “Baby, stay here.” Sakurai gave Uta to Yutaka, who smothered the boy in his arms. Walking over to where the others held Zero, Sakurai looked at the man.

                “You went after two young men, who did nothing to deserve this, you’re pathetic. The words you wrote? I could see instantly how much you plagiarized other authors, you though by using the poems of obscure European gothic writers, that someone wouldn’t see through that? There’s a reason you didn’t hear from us for ten years, your words had no depth and no meaning, they were cheap fodder. I will make sure you never see freedom again, and as for telling the world about Uta or my connection to the BSDM community? Feel free… see how many people believe a raving lunatic that beat a young man for nothing.”

                Sakurai stopped to check on Aki, who was battered and bruised, bleeding from several cuts, “Aki-kun, you should see a doctor, let us take you to the hospital please.”

                “No, I’m fine, it looks worse than it is…thank you Sakurai-san.” Aki smiled through the blood on his face.

                As Sakurai made his way back to Uta, the police arrived and took Zero into custody, asking Aki and Taka if they’d like to press charges. Aki wanted to press personal charges on Zero, and Taka for Uta and the HBG as well.

                As soon as Uta saw Sakurai coming towards him, he broke out of Yutaka’s grip and ran to the man, throwing his arms around his ex-lover’s waist. “Uta?” This surprised Sakurai. Scooping the boy up, he saw Taka standing at the door of the HBG.

                “Sit with him in the office until we get all this straightened up, Acchan.” Taka closed the door softly.

                “Uta, baby, are you alright? Look at me please.” Acchan asked softly, Uta shook his head, his face was buried in Acchan’s long hair. Sakurai sighed, taking advantage of what he knew would be a mere moment, to hold his boy in his arms.

                After ten minutes or so, Uta finally looked up. “I was so scared…I had flashbacks of Morrie and Natsu, then Aki …AKI!” Uta lurched out of Sakurai’s lap and threw the door open, “Where’s Aki?”

                “Uta are you okay? He didn’t hurt you, did he?” Aki came around the corner, a wet towel with some ice, pressed on his cheekbone.

                “AKI, I LOVE YOU!” Uta grabbed his friend, bear hugging him.

                “Uh, I think you’re a little too late, Uta…I have a husband.” Aki laughed, wincing at the split lip. Before Uta could say another word, a very angry Tora ran into the patio area.

                “WHERE’S AKI? AKI!” Tora yelled. “Oh my god! What the fuck happened to you! Taka! What the hell? TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!” Tora was beyond livid, he was full blown crazed.

                Taka explained the incident, telling Tora that Aki saved Uta. “But nobody saved Aki? How the hell does that work? How did he get so beat up…look at him!” Tora was now in tears.

                “Uh, Tora…I sort of saved Aki, I got the guy off him at least, I’m sorry I couldn’t get to him quicker.” Kyo walked up to Tora, placed his hand on the man’s shoulder.

                “Babe, Kyo, Sato and Die grabbed the guy, but there were a few seconds that he got to hit me, it’s nobody’s fault…would you have rather I did nothing to help Uta?” Aki chided his husband gently.

                “Is Uta okay?” Tora looked around, “Uta? Did the guy hurt you? Are you okay?”

                “I’m fine Tora, Aki really did save me.” Uta hugged Aki again, “If you ever divorce him, just know that I’m next in line, Tora.” Uta winked.

                “Let’s go home…I’ve got to get you cleaned up.” Tora did something totally out of character, he scooped Aki up bridal style and carried him to the car, kissing the man as he walked.  Taka dismissed the entire crew, telling them that they would clean up the next day, leaving everyone just to lock up and leave.

                Uta was getting ready to walk to his car, when Sakurai approached. “Can I walk you to your car?”

                “Sure, that would be nice.” Uta gave the man a small smile. “Are you sure you’re okay? Will um, Kato be there when you get home?” Sakurai took a chance.
                “How do you know about Kato?”

                “Ojisan told me…he’s told me a lot about Kato actually. I’m glad you have someone that will care for you, that’s always been my one regret…that I couldn’t protect you well enough.” Sakurai walked with his hands behind his back, not looking at Uta.

                Uta thought for a moment, “No, I told him not to come tonight, I thought…well that there might be some tension, besides he’s not in the industry so he had no reason to come, now I’m glad he didn’t.”

                “He would have been able to protect you.”

                Uta snorted, “He’s a jealous cow, just like you are…were.”

                “A jealous cow? That’s a new one.” Sakurai laughed. This feels so good, so damn good.

                The short walk to Uta’s car was done, Sakurai trying to find some way to stall for just a minute or two longer. “I’m glad you were not hurt, I hope Aki isn’t hurt too badly.”

                Uta stared at the ground, “Uh, thanks for uh…holding me, I always feel safe with you for some reason.” Uta then suddenly stood on his tip toes and reached up to kiss Sakurai lightly on the lips. “Thank you.”

                Uta ran around to the driver’s side and hopped into his car, waving as he drove away, leaving a somewhat bemused Sakurai standing on the sidewalk.

                Uta prayed that Kato would not be waiting for him, he had checked his phone earlier and had no messages from his boyfriend, which actually suited Uta just fine. He had started to think that the relationship, while great sexually…seemed to go no where other than to bed. “Maybe he was just supposed to help me see…” Uta muttered, as he pulled into his parking lot.

                Luna and Saki were typically screaming for food as soon as Uta entered the flat, but there was no scolding tonight, just feeding the cats, then taking a shower. He didn’t feel like eating, though he was hungry, all he really wanted to do is get into bed and forget everything that had happened. He knew the next few days would be filled with interviews and statements for the police, but at the moment all he wanted was for sleep to claim him. With two loud chirps, Luna and Saki were on the bed, laying in their spots, with Uta reaching over to turn out the light, praying for dreams…but not of Kato.

Chapter Text

 

                The incident at the HBG was the most discussed topic the next morning, with anyone being involved, going over exactly what happened.

                Over the breakfast table, Yutaka was picking apart the interactions between Sakurai and Uta. “He ran straight for us, but the second Acchan stood up, Uta was in his arms…do you think?” While Yutaka had some reservations about Uta and Sakurai rekindling their relationship, he knew that both men truly made each other happy.

                “Acchan was to the side, so of course Uta would run to us first, he could see us directly from the back door, but you’re right…as soon as he saw Acchan, he ran straight into his arms. As for them reconciling? I’m not sure…I don’t really know much about Uta’s relationship with Kato.” Hide, like Yutaka knew that the two men were the happiest when they were with each other.

                 Yutaka sighed, “I’m sure Aki-kun is feeling the pain more this morning than last night…that boy was so brave! He didn’t think twice about tackling that horrid man.”

                “I don’t ever remember seeing any of that guy’s mail, even the staff can’t seem to remember, Acchan said it was just awfully written.” Hide shook his head, such as the price of fame.

               

 

                “How’s your hand this morning?” Mao picks up Kyo’s hands and inspects them as they laid in bed, “Hmm, left one isn’t too bad, but the right is pretty ugly.” Kyo’s knuckles were busted open and bruised, despite having iced them for an hour after they got home.

                “I’ll be fine,” Kyo wasn’t concerned with his hands, “I hope Aki is okay, I’m sure he looks way worse this morning, the bruising always does.”

                Mao laid his head on Kyo’s shoulder, “Funny how Uta called out for you and Die first.” Mao was proud of his husband’s quick reaction to Uta’s cries.

                “Not really surprising, we’ve both been there for him in the past, it’s natural for him to look to us for protection.” Kyo was humble, he would have jumped in regardless if Uta called out for him.

                “I’m proud of you…and Die. You guys never think of your own safety…I know this isn’t the first time you’ve done something like this, and I hope you never change.” Mao leaned over and kissed his husband.

 

                “Oh god…how am I going to go out looking like this?” Aki groaned as he looked at himself in the bathroom mirror. “You’re not going out, so don’t worry about it.”

                Aki turned to his lover, “I’m going to have to go to work eventually, I can’t just walk out on Taka.”

                “You’re not going anywhere…I want you to quit the HBG.” Tora was still angry and scared, he had ended up taking Aki to the emergency room, to stitch up a deep cut on the man’s chin.

                “Um, no…I’m not quitting. This had nothing to do with the HBG, it was all about Sakurai, the guy just used Uta to get to him, I’ll be fine.” Aki protested.

                “No. I’ll get a second job, I won’t have you in danger…and that damned place is like a magnet for shit to happen! Look at what happened to Koichi and Uta…Sakurai acting all weird and being drunk, Ruki’s hormones taking over his brain…no Aki, you’re not going back to work.” Tora had put his foot down…too bad Aki was going to walk over it; the argument that ensued lasted over an hour, things were broken, words were thrown, but the end result was that Aki would go back to the HBG, and that Tora would remain pissy.

 

                Pon was worried about Uta, he hadn’t had a chance to speak to his friend after the fight at the HBG, he was also worried about Kyo.

                “Don’t even worry about him, this isn’t the first fight he’s been in and I’m sure it won’t be the last.” Die reassured his boyfriend.

                Die did apologize for dumping his lover onto the concrete, “Sorry about basically throwing you off my lap, it’s just when Uta or Kyo scream for me, I just react.”

                “I’m fine, it scared the shit out of me though to be honest. That guy was like rabid, I thought for sure he was going to get loose and start tearing into people.”

                “Shit like this seems to be drawn to the HBG, this isn’t the first fight incident.” Die proceeded to tell Pon about the different altercations over the years that had taken place at the small bar.

                “All of this was at the HBG?” Pon couldn’t believe it. “That building must be cursed or something.”

                Die chuckled, “Not all of it, Shinya was attacked in an alley by the studio.” Die shrugged, “Maybe it is cursed, not like any of us will stop going there!”

 

                Taka, Sato, Koichi and Tatsu were sitting around Sato’s small kitchen table, eating breakfast together, going over the previous night’s events.

                “I’m sure the police will call today and want a statement, I’m going to have to call Uta as well.” Taka leaned back in his chair, briskly rubbing his face with his hands.

                “This shit has to stop eventually, right? I mean, seriously…are we a magnet for bad juju?” Taka groaned.

                “Hey, you stole my word!” Tatsu accused.

                ‘Huh?”

                “I used that word when I left our apartment after Masa, that place had bad juju!” Tatsu explained. “Understatement,” Sato snorted.

                “Have you talked to Aki yet?” Koichi had gotten up and grabbed the coffee pot, refilling everyone’s cup.

                Taka shook his head, “No…but I’m sure I’m going to get an earful from Tora…he looked like he wanted to kill last night…I’m sure Aki looks worse, you always do the day after.”

                Sato reached over to grab more eggs, “Did you ever hear Uta say anything about his boss? That was just so out of left field.”

                “I remember Uta saying that the guy was nice at first, but then got a little creepier, but nothing that would alert us to this happening.” Taka had wracked his brain trying to remember anything he could, knowing he’d have to talk to the police the next day.  “It wasn’t anyone’s fault…Sakurai just had an angry fan…more so Buck Tick as a whole.”

 

                Aoi and Yuki were still in bed, having stayed up late talking about Uta and what had happened. “Do you want coffee or tea?” Aoi finally had gotten up, he knew that his young boyfriend had to work later in the day. “Um, tea please.”

                “I wonder how Aki is feeling today? His boyfriend looked pretty upset.” Yuki commented. “Tora is Aki’s husband and I’ve never seen him that pissed off before, not like I know him very well, but still, wouldn’t you be?” Aoi handed Yuki his tea.

                “True, but the whole thing was insane! Sakurai Atsushi had a stalker, Die and Kyo of Dir En Grey, Sato of MUCC…all jumping a guy and beating him? This is not what I thought the music industry was like at all.”

                The new couple sat on the couch, covered in blankets and leaning against each other. “Is it normal for Die and Kyo to get in fights? They both looked like they knew what they were doing.”
                Aoi almost spit out his tea in laughter. “Oh, you have no idea!”  Aoi explained the fight that involved Gazette, members of Dir En Grey and finally Sakurai Atsushi.

                “I made the huge mistake of rushing Die, he grabbed me around the waist and body slammed me to the ground. Then we both started swinging, with Kyo trying to pull Die off of me.”  Aoi’s face was turning red in embarrassment.

                “You’re joking? Die body slammed you?” Yuki knew his boyfriend must be kidding, “Then Sakurai came in and yelled at all of us, then the fight just stopped. Never underestimate Kyo, Die or Sakurai.”

                “Why did Uta scream for Kyo…I don’t understand that part.” Aoi told the story of how Morrie attacked Tatsu, stabbing both Kyo and Die in the process.

                “After Uta was beaten and raped by Morrie, he and Kyo got involved, they were lovers for a few months, it’s a weird combo, but for them it worked. Then when Uta needed to be taken away from that asshole Natsu, Kyo was there at the club that night. Kyo likes to rescue people, and please…whatever you do, don’t get sick or hurt badly, because you’ll end up with a kitten.” Aoi laughed.

                “A what? A kitten…why would …”

                “Kyo likes to give kittens as gifts, he gave Koichi his kitten Gordy, he gave Uta two Siamese kittens right before Uta went back to the Netherlands. Despite what he looks like, how intimidating he can be on and off stage…the guy’s got the biggest heart in the industry, you just have to get to know him to see it.” Aoi shocked himself by admitting that, he realized that Kyo was a great guy and was always there for his friends, unlike Aoi and Reita for a time.

                “Kyo’s probably the toughest, but Ruki’s right there with him, don’t ever get into a fight with Ru, you’ll instantly regret it.” Aoi said of the small vocalist.

                “Ruki?” Yuki laughed, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t see Ruki as dangerous, he’s like delicate and I dunno... not tough.”

                “Ruki is at least as tough as Kyo, and twice as fierce. He beat the holy hell out of Masa, when that skank came and flaunted his fucked-up relationship with Tatsu.” Aoi then told Yuki the story of Masa.

                “Masa made fun of Koichi’s rape and it pushed Ruki over the edge, he jumped the guy and beat him badly, not that Masa didn’t deserve it, he did. Never underestimate the little guys.”

 

                “Um, hey…wake up…I have to pee!” Ayato struggled in Reita’s arms, which had been holding him close since they got home the night before. “No, I’m keeping you safe.” Reita mumbled half asleep.

                “Then I’m going to pee in your bed.” Finally wiggling out from under Reita, the young man went into the bathroom.

                Reita had been shaken badly that night, in all the confusion he couldn’t find Ayato, not knowing that the boy had locked himself in the office, waiting until Taka came and got him.

                Reita shook his head, “I was so fucking scared, I couldn’t see you right away, the confusion and the screaming,”

                “When Aki jumped the counter, I heard something going on that sounded like a fight, I peeked out the back door and saw Kyo on top of some guy, throwing punches, so I just went into the office and locked the door. It was a chicken shit move on my part, but I wanted nothing to do with any fighting.”

                “It wasn’t a chicken shit move, it was smart. Ruki had Tomo pulled away as well, Uta had ran to Sakurai, it was just Kyo, Die and Sato with that Zero guy, it was over in like five minutes. I’m glad you stayed out of the way.” Reita nuzzled Ayato’s neck.

                “This isn’t like a routine thing is it? Everyone warned me, but they made it sound like a joke, but the way Kyo and Die went after the guy, they seemed like they’ve done that before.”

                Like the others, Reita told Ayato of the different times there had been fights or dramatic scenes, mostly centered around different bands, the story about Morrie stabbing Tatsu and Kyo and Die getting cut as well.

                “Maybe I should find another job…”

                “Nah, you’ll be fine, there’s always someone around in case shit starts to happen, these things mostly happened at DCR events. If Kyo and Die aren’t there, you still have Sato and Aoi, Tatsu can be sort of tough and I can hold my own when I need to.”

                Everyone involved that night, spent the day cuddling with their lovers, all of them trying to reassure the other that this was a freak incident, aimed at Sakurai Atsushi and not at anyone else. The only one that had no one to comfort him, was Uta, who had not bothered to tell Kato about the incident with Zero.

 

                Uta had in fact, called both Kyo and Aki, thanking them and making sure Aki was not beaten up too badly. “He’s fine Uta, he had to get some stitches in his chin, and his face will be pretty ugly for a bit…but he’s okay.” Tora tried to comfort the young man.

                “Uta, everything’s okay, I promise. You didn’t get hurt, did you?” Aki had taken the phone away from Tora.

                “No, my arm’s a little sore but nothing like what happened to you, Aki I’m so sorry! Thank you for getting Zero off me, I’m not sure what he would have done if you hadn’t tackled him.”

                After the call, Uta had thought about calling Kato, but considering there was not even one text message from the man, Uta decided not to bother. “He probably was too busy…” Uta told Saki as the little family sat on the couch. The one surprise of the morning was a call from Acchan.

                “I just wanted to check on you, make sure you’re feeling okay.”

                “Yah, I’m fine…thanks. Not hurt at all. Uh, thanks for holding me last night, I was having some serious flash backs and déjà vu. I spoke to Aki, he’s okay too, just has a lot of bruising and a cut that he had to have stitched, on his chin.”

                “With you screaming and Aki beaten, it scared me to death…I’m just glad you’re okay. I will always be there for you Uta, you know that…in any capacity I will always come to you if you call me. Please have a good rest of your day.”

                Uta smiled as he closed his phone, he was lucky to have Acchan there if he needed him.

                Taka had called the crew and told them that the HBG would be closed for the next two days, due to the police reports and interviews that needed to be conducted, Uta having to go to the police department with Taka who picked him up on the way.

                Having to go through the interviews, Uta had a certain amount of guilt that he didn’t say anything to anyone other than Kato, about Zero’s odd behavior.

                “You had no idea what the man was thinking, Uta. He never mentioned that he had sent letters to Buck Tick, so don’t feel guilty, this wasn’t your fault in any way.” Detective Aoyama assured the boy.

                Dropping Uta off at home, Taka made sure to tell the boy he wanted him to take an extra two days off. “Really…it’s not a big deal Uta, just go shopping or something, hang out with Mao…it’s fine really.”

               

 

                After watching Davina’s melt down and her leaving Ojisan’s, Kato had stayed to finish his meal, uncertain of what to do. Isshi tried to comfort the young submissive,

                “She’s in shock, Kato-kun. Davina firmly believes that she will never have another pet, let alone one that was anywhere near the level of training of Teiji. We were all under the assumption that Teiji and Ormond were the only two personal attendants that were trained by Mr. Sausen…apparently, we were mistaken. Give her time, she may contact you yet.” Kato had gone home after that.

                Kato did not remember the drive home, or coming into the house, all he could see was Davina’s look of outrage and shock, the presumption that Kato could fill Teiji’s spot in her life, he was sure she would never speak to him again.

                The darkness claimed his senses, lying on his bed…he could see Davina’s beautiful face before it was marred with anger. “You’re my Mistress, there is no one other than you…you need to believe me!” he whispered. He turned on his side, looking at Astrid’s dress slung over the back of a chair. “Is this who I am to serve? Tell me Astrid, do I pursue Mistress Davina? Is that who you have chosen for me?”

                Once Kato had finally given in to sleep, he dreamed of Davina, serving her…attending her at a club and with Teiji looking on, making love to the woman. Teiji watched Kato, nodding his approval as he walked beside Davina, “Take care of her Kato…love her as I did, serve her well and cherish her forever.”

                The wine had done Davina no good, it had not brought her a dreamless slumber as she had hoped, instead her night was filled with confusing images of Teiji and Kato, their faces interchanging as they made love to her. She reached for Teiji, calling out to him…pushing Kato away, “Let him love you, as I can not, Mistress it is my wish for Kato to serve you.” Davina cried, “Teiji…My Teddy!” as she woke from the dream.

               

                Saki stood on Uta’s chest, tapping the boy on the face, telling Uta that it was time to get up, because he was hungry. Uta on the other hand was not ready to wake up, shoving the cat gently off his chest, “You won’t starve, let me sleep!”

                Uta had contemplated calling or texting Kato, before he went to bed, but something kept him from pushing those buttons. “He needs to call or text me first…asshole.” This emotion was a little surprising to Uta, the fact that he didn’t really care if the man contacted him again. He knew Kato was destined to be with Davina, or so Kato had told him…maybe it was time?

                “Who knows, I don’t really need him, I don’t love him either.” Was Uta’s justification to himself. He was fine being alone, he had good friends, a great job, (not counting stalker lunatics), he had money and property.

                After twenty minutes of Saki tapping his face, crying obnoxiously, Uta gave up. “You’re a pain in the ass, Saki. Look at your sister! She’s nice and quiet, just sleeping like a good girl.”

                Saki ignored Uta’s scolding and went into the kitchen to sit next to his bowl and loudly complain about how long it was taking Uta to feed him, (less than five minutes, but cats can’t tell time).

                Picking up his phone, “Nothing…well we know where your priorities lay.” Uta huffed. If Kato wanted to break up, the man should have the balls to tell Uta, not just drop off the face of the earth with no notice.

                “Whatever, you don’t even really care.” Uta muttered to himself, and it was true, he didn’t’ really care anymore. “Better off being alone!”

 

                “Call her for me please!” Kato begged. He had spent the afternoon wandering through his large home, trying to come up with a plan to get to Davina, the only viable option he had was Ojisan.

                “Irasshai Kato-kun…I was surprised that you did not spend the night on my doorstep.” The gentle man smiled at the submissive, he knew that Kato would be in his shop that day.  “Give me one moment.” Ojisan moved to his tiny kitchen to retrieve his phone. 

                “Mistress, yes…I think you do, at least to settle things that may or may not be true. That is unfair, I know you better than that. Yes.”

                Ojisan handed Kato his phone, “Mistress wishes to speak to you.”

                “Mistress…please agree to see me today!”

                “Why should I? You come in unannounced and proclaim that you are to be my submissive? Why should I give you the time to speak to me?”

                “I want to explain things…what I’ve been told and what I feel, at least allow me that much, if you do not agree, I will never contact you again, I will return to New York.”

                There was a moment of silence.

                “I will agree to see you on one condition, that we meet at Madame F’s, that her submissive Ormond is in the room with us. I will send Raizo to pick you up from Ojisan’s, give me and at least an hour to arrange this.” Davina abruptly hung up.

                Handing the phone back to Ojisan, Kato bowed. “She is sending her driver here, she has agreed to see me at Madame F’s, I am to wait here.”

                “Please have faith and patience, this is something Mistress was not anticipating, her lover and personal pet was murdered, this has been difficult for everyone involved. Your Mistress was taken by a horrible disease far too young, leaving you without someone to serve. You were brought here by fate…to cure Uta…to heal Mistress. Patience is in order for today and for the foreseeable future.”

                “UTA!” Kato fumbled for his phone, but Ojisan reached out and covered Kato’s hand with his. “No, this is not the time, Uta does not want to hear from you right now, leave it until later if at all.” Ojisan’s eyes told Kato to obey, nodding and putting his phone back in his pocket.

                At almost an exact hour after Kato had spoken to Davina, Raizo entered the ramen hut to escort Kato to the car. “Where is Mistress?” Kato asked the driver, Raizo shaking his head, which Kato took as a ‘don’t speak to me’ signal, which of course he obeyed.

                Arriving at Madame F’s, Kato was escorted into a large sitting room, arranged that there would be sufficient space between Davina and Kato. Ormond was standing behind a small settee, and indicated that was were Kato was to sit. Ormond had been instructed to restrain Kato if he made any move towards Mistress or Madame F. Raizo was standing behind a small chair, in anticipation of Mistress sitting in front of him.

                Kato sat quietly, until he heard the door slide open, then he stood and bowed deeply, not looking at either Dominant. Madame F entered first, Davina closely behind.         

                “You may sit.” Madame F stated.

                There was nothing said for close to five minutes, Davina going over in her head what she wanted to ask Kato.

                “What gives you the idea that you are meant to serve me.?” Davina asked.

                “I was sent by your lover, and my Mistress.”

                “My lover? How could you even know of Teiji?” Davina was barely holding onto her emotions, Madame F reaching over and patting the woman on the knee.

                “I um…” Kato stuttered.

                “Kato, speak your mind please.” Madame F urged.

                “This may sound fantastical, but in a dream…Teiji came to me in a dream, not long after Mistress died. He told me to find you and Uta…to heal you both.”

                “That is absurd! How would you know anything about Teiji or Uta before you came to Japan?” Davina was almost amused, this really was a fantastical story.

                “Mistress followed the case of the man who murdered Teiji, she told me she knew who you were, but she had only met Madame F and Sakurai-san…not you.” Kato was shaking, his hands clutching his knees.

                Davina looked at Madame F for guidance. “Kato, tell Davina what Ojisan said to you.” Davina threw a wild look at her mentor.

                “He told me that there was a young one, in a desperate situation, that only I could cure. Those were his exact words.” Kato still had not looked up.

                “Davina, this is true…Sakurai and I were there when he told us of this.” Madame F had leaned over, placing a comforting hand on Davina’s arm.

                “You…you have met this boy before?” Davina asked sharply.

                “Both Sakurai and I and Isshi…we were told by Jin Koba not to mention it to you, he told us it was not the right time, that Kato had to heal Uta first.” Madame F hated that she had lied to her young friend, but when Ojisan said something, there was a reason.

                “So, I have been kept in the dark all of this time? What have you done to Uta?” If you have harmed him, I will have you put in prison!” she shouted at Kato.

                “All I have done to Uta is love him, though he does not love me…he only has love for someone else.” Kato dared to look up.

                “Mistress, please believe me…I mean no harm to you or anyone else, I am doing as my Mistress wanted me to! She wants me to find another to serve and I was told it was you!” Kato dropped his gaze again.

                “Kato, come here.” Madame F ordered. “Davina, I want you to watch this my dear.” Kato stood in front of Madame F.

                The Dominant woman put Kato through a test, various signs and signals, all of which Davina was familiar with, as Teiji and Ormond would have performed them perfectly, the one difference was, that Madame F appeared not to move.

                Kato moved from in front of Madame F, to stand next to Ormond. Then to move to the door, then back to the Dominant, holding out his hand to assist her from her chair, these and other moves were done flawlessly.

                After the Dominant was done, Kato returned to stand next to Ormond. “What was the purpose of that little show, Madame?” Davina asked stiffly.

                “Kato, who was your trainer and how long were you in training, and where?”

                “I was in training for five years, with Mr. Sausen, in Copenhagen.”

                Davina gasped, “HE’S LYING!” she shouted.

                “No, he’s not… I verified it myself, Davina. He is the third to be trained, besides Ormond and Teiji. I spoke with Mr. Sausen myself, he graduated Kato a full two years early due to his outstanding performance.” Madame F announced.

                “Not only that, but I did receive a letter of recommendation from his Mistress.”

                Kato gasped, breaking protocol and looking up at Madame F. “She…” Kato remembered his place, turning his gaze back to the floor.

                “Kato, I received the letter approximately a week after you arrived, it was from Denmark, it seems Astrid left it in the care of Mr. Sausen.” Madame F handed the letter to Davina.

                Davina read the letter, her face growing pale, tears starting to fall, she sniffed and then handed the letter back to Madame F, who then held it out for Kato.

                “My dear Madame F,

                I write to you in hopes that you may be able to help me. I’ve fallen ill with cancer, and I am terminal at this point. I have not yet told my submissive, Kato, and this is whom I’d like to speak to you about.

                Kato was trained by Sausen, in Copenhagen, and was graduated a full two years earlier than any other of his ilk. I know that you have your submissive Ormond, and the other was in service to Mistress Davina. Please extend my condolences to her when you see her…it is a terrible shock and a great loss to our community, of her Teddy.

                I am asking for something that no Dominant ever wants; to find a suitable Dominant for my Kato to serve, after my death. In New York, Kato is considered exotic and there would be lesser Dominants that would love nothing else than to have him as a pet, if only for the status. Your ethics are unimpeachable, you stand at the pinnacle of our collective world community.

                I want for Kato to return to his home country and to live and serve there. I know that several of our top community members live in Japan, and I leave it at your discretion to whom you respect. If possible, introduce him to Mistress Davina…I know from my heart that she is devastated at the loss of her beautiful Teddy.

                My many thanks, please take care of my Kato.  Astrid.

                Kato could not help himself, reading the letter tore at his heart as much now as it did when his beautiful Astrid passed, and he fell to his knees. “Mistress…”

                Madame F looked at Davina, who then got up and they both left the room, leaving Ormond to care for Kato.

                “Kato-kun, look at me please.” Ormond had his arm around the younger man’s shoulder. “Please, don’t cry…your lady would not want you to lose yourself in grief, she wants you to be happy and to serve. If Mistress Davina will not take you in, I am certain that my Madame will find a more than suitable Dominant.”

                Kato nodded, taking the tissue from Ormond, he stood again…folding the letter and placing it on Madame F’s chair.

                “I’m sorry I had to spring this on you, Davina…but after discussing this with Acchan and Ojisan, they thought it appropriate to only show it to you when you met with Kato. As you can see, the young man is heart broken and short of just being destroyed. I am not telling you to sway your judgement, but just as something to consider.”

                Davina was wiping her tears away; her heart was aching for the young submissive in the next room. “I can’t begin to understand just how hard it was for Astrid to write that letter…to know you were leaving your submissive alone in the world. But I’m not sure I am the answer…are we certain of anything right now?”

                “Consider this Davina; you do not need to take Kato as a lover, that’s never required by a Dominant, but you can take him as a submissive, at least consider taking him for a trial period. Give him one of your many rooms, having him serve you like any other pet, just do not take him as a lover.” Madame F knew that once Kato was with Davina, the transformation from submissive to personal pet would be in order.

                “Let me speak to him alone.” Davina stood and moved to the other room. “Ormond, you are dismissed.” Ormond bowed and left the room. “Kato, come sit with me.”

                “Do you understand my reluctance to take you as my pet? I don’t know you but only from a letter, Ojisan and Madame F’s recommendations, this is highly unusual…to take another Dominant’s personal pet as their own after a death is almost unheard of.”

                Kato nodded, he could feel the rejection building. “I understand Mistress, I will make arrangements to return to New York when I return home today. Thank you for speaking with me.” Kato moved to stand, Davina reaching out to his hand.

                “I have not released you as of yet. Would you consider a trial period as my submissive, not my personal pet? Let’s say a month?” Davina reached over and with a long fingernail, lifted Kato’s face to look at her.

                “Yes! I mean… yes Mistress…I would agree to that.” Kato’s heart was beating wildly in his chest, his cheeks flushed a deep rose.

                “I will have Madame F draw up a temporary contract, outlining what I expect of you in the way of duties, which will be everything except attending me personally in the bedroom. I will give you 24 hours to ready yourself, please bring what ever you think you will need, I will also leave a list of any clothing I’d like you to wear, which will include something to wear to the clubs that I frequent.”

                Kato stood and bowed deeply, holding his hand out for Davina, “Yes Mistress.” Without being asked, he led her to the door, and to Madame F’s office, which Ormond had given him the location of before he left the room.

                “I will text you the address to my manor, you will arrive no later than 24 hours from this time. Please make sure to bring all your documents with you.” Davina then turned and left the room, with Raizo holding the door for her.

                “Well, that went better than expected,” Madame F smiled, “I’m sorry to have sprung the letter on you without warning, Kato…but Davina needed to hear it first, before you. Now, I will have a contract waiting at Davina’s for you, Ormond will give you a ride home.”

                Kato bowed deeply to Madame F, “Thank you Madame for taking care of me, I will not disappoint Mistress Davina, you or Mistress Astrid’s memory. Thank you once again.” Ormond then led the man to the front door, leaving a smiling Madame F to pull out her phone and send a text to both Isshi and Sakurai.

Chapter Text

 

                “Close up the house, I’ve hired a security firm to monitor the property while I am gone. Thank you for your service.” Kato bowed to his household staff as he dismissed them, as he was fairly confident that he would not be returning.

                Kato had spent the evening going through paperwork, his personal belongings, and making sure he brought the correct clothing with him to Davina’s. He had no intentions on returning to his home, he was confident that he would be able to continue on with Davina after the one-month trial, he had to…there was no other option.

                Kato had received the text from Davina with the directions to the manor, and after sleeping for only 6 hours that night, he had finished packing up his car…he only had one stop to make before going to Davina’s.

                “I’d like to come by this morning…”

 

                Uta sat with Kato, after listening to what he had to say, the sequence of events that was leading him to Davina, Uta had nothing really to say. The story of the altercation at the HBG was left untold, Uta feeling it wasn’t necessary to tell the man.

                “Mistress has agreed to a one-month trial as a normal submissive, not a personal pet, but I have no doubts that this is where I will end my service, is with Mistress Davina.” Kato had explained the letter, shedding a few more tears over Astrid’s words.

                “We both knew this would be temporary, I’m not really that upset to be honest.” Uta told Kato. “I’m grateful for having you in my life, you helped me see that I can live without Teiji, that I can have a sexual relationship with someone without feeling like I’m betraying him.”

                “I had to make sure that you were not the one I was destined to be with forever, Uta. I do love you, but you’re not a Dominant and you’re not a woman, and that is my true being…to serve and love a Dominant woman.” Kato said confidently.

                “It’s not like we’ll never see each other again, I still love Mistress, I always will, but I’m happy for you…truly happy.” Uta smiled for his now, ex-boyfriend.

                They hugged each other tightly and Uta watched as Kato drove out of his life, and into what he had hoped, was true happiness for both Kato and Davina.

 

                “If this is a joke, Madame F, I’m going to be extremely angry with you!” Sakurai snapped, as he spoke to the woman on the phone.

                “My dear Acchan, this is no joke, I don’t take issues such as these, lightly. I am telling you that Kato is signing a one-month trial contract with Davina. The young man will be performing normal submissive duties, without attending to any personal needs.” Isshi had taken the news with a little more humor than Sakurai was displaying.

                Sakurai’s second thought was obvious, “What about Uta?”

                “We did not speak of the boy during our meeting, I have no idea what Kato has planned for that.” Madame F said sympathetically, knowing that Sakurai would now be in a constant state of anxiety until the man reconciled or was rejected, with the young man he had loved for so long.

                “Does Isshi know? I’m sure I’m not the only one with any interest in this, and Ojisan?” Sakurai asked curiously.

                “Ojisan was actually the catalyst for this entire event. After Davina stormed out of the ramen hut, Kato went home as well, but returned and demanded that Ojisan call Davina…she then sent her car to pick Kato up and brought him to my house.” The Dominant explained.

                After a few moments of silence, Sakurai thanked Madame F and hung up, leaving the woman with a smile on her lips. “I know what your next move is, Acchan.”

 

                Uta went to work later that day, with a lighter mood and an optimistic attitude, he was strong and healthy…finally.

                Coming in through the back door, he almost ran into Aki who had just reached for the door knob. “Aki! Oh my god, your face… does it hurt?” Uta was appalled, the boy’s face was a mixture of black, blue and yellow bruising.

                “No, it looks worse than it feels…just my chin hurts a little where I got stitches.” Aki grinned, the split lip pulling tightly.

                “I’m so sorry, Aki…you have no idea!” Uta hugged his friend, Aki soaking in the warmth of the boy he loved. “It’s okay Uta…really. None of this was your fault.”
                “UTA!” Mao came barreling around the corner, picking Uta up and swinging him around…again, this time with no reprimand from Taka who wasn’t there that day.

                “Mao!” Uta struggled to be put down. “Stop already…sheesh! Can’t a guy just show up to work and everyone not freak out!”

                “Heh, sorry…I just haven’t seen you since the party.” Mao wanted to know the juicy details of how Kato reacted when he heard the news about the altercation.

                “Okay, I’m out of here, Tora’s waiting for me outside.” Aki waved and left the building.

                “I’m surprised Tora didn’t put a chair next to the door, he’s not a happy camper right now.” Mao said with a gloomy smile. “He wants Aki to quit, he told him that he’d take a second job…thankfully Aki shut him down.”

                “Well, you really can’t blame Tora for feeling like that.” Uta defended Tora’s position, “I’m sure if I would have been hurt, someone who will remain nameless would have said the same thing.”

                “Okay, spill it. How did Kato react when he found out about the whole Zero thing?” Mao was itching to know.

                “He didn’t, because I didn’t tell him,” Uta started, “he came by this morning and broke up with me.”

                “He what? Uta! Oh god, I’m so sorry!” Mao was a little more than shocked, considering how often Kato professed his love for Uta.

                “Don’t be, I’m not upset,” Uta waved off Mao’s sympathy. “He went to live with Davina as her submissive.”

                “HE WHAT?” Mao shouted. “You’re shitting me! And you’re okay with that?”

                “Of course I’m okay with that, why wouldn’t I be? It’s really not that big of a deal Mao.” Uta was exasperated with Mao…the man was overly dramatic most of the time.

                “You’re not upset about it? Why?”

                “We knew when we started our relationship that he was going to end up with another Dominant, preferably Davina. Even though he confessed to me like hourly, I never told him I loved him, because I didn’t.” Uta knew he was going to have to explain this carefully.

                “I knew it wasn’t going to last, I didn’t love him. He helped me learn to care for someone other than Teiji, to be in a sexual committed relationship without feeling like I was cheating on him…I’m grateful for what Kato has done, but I never loved him Mao.”

                Mao was thoughtfully quiet, “What will you do now?”

                “Live.”

 

                Davina had spent most of the night trying to wrap her head around what she had agreed to. Choosing a room for the man, having it cleaned and aired out, Davina went through all the door codes and other security measures with help from Raizo.

                “I truly hope this works out for you, Mistress.” Raizo commented. “We will see Raizo…I’m going to try to keep an open mind and heart.”

                Davina couldn’t help admitting to herself that Kato was beautiful, in a more ethnic look than her Teddy. “Yes, you silly girl…he’s damned good looking.” Davina laughed at herself.

                Going to bed that night, Davina was hopeful that she was moving in the right direction, at least for herself and that somehow, Teiji would approve of her decision.

                Upon waking the next morning, Davina had one last chore to complete before Kato could move in with her.

                “If there is anything in Teiji’s room that you would like to keep, please let me know, I plan on packing up his things and donating them to charity.”

                 

 

                Raizo was standing in the driveway of Davina’s manor, directing Kato where to park his car. “Welcome home Kato.” Raizo winked at the young man, he was sure this arrangement would end up as permanent…at least he had hoped so for Davina’s sake.

                Raizo showed Kato to Davina’s large office, knocking on the door to announce that he had arrived. “Come in Kato.” Davina smiled, Kato bowed and lowered his eyes.

                “We can dismiss the typical protocol for the time being Kato, it would be hard for you to avert your gaze when signing a contract.” Madame F explained.

                “Yes, Madame.” Kato bowed again.

                “Kato, this is the contract I have drawn up between Mistress Davina and yourself. Please look over it carefully, initial where it is indicated.” Kato sat down next to Madame F, who slid the paper to him.

                Reading the terms and conditions, Kato smiled…it was so similar to the contract he had signed with Astrid. Taking a pen, Kato initialed, then slid the paper back to Madame F.

                “Although this is premature, Mistress Davina and I have agreed that you will put a safe word in place at this time, the regulations of choosing a word are the usual.

                Kato thought for a moment, “Virgo, it is my birth sign.”

                “Are you here of your own free will?” Madame F asked.

                “I am.”

                “By signing this contract, you have agreed to all terms listed. The contract will expire one month from today’s date. If after the month is over, Mistress Davina would like to formally contract and collar you, we will re-examine and draft a new contract.” Madame F slid the paper for Davina to sign, then to Kato, repeating the process again, in order for each to keep a copy with their documents.

                “Davina, would you like to give Kato his temporary collar?” Madame F smiled as she asked.

                “Yes…” Davina smiled, reaching into a draw she pulled out a simple black collar, with her name embossed in silver script. Rising from her desk, she walked to Kato, “This is your temporary collar, if we agree on a formal contract, there will be another.”

                Davina was surprised her hands were shaking when she slipped the collar around Kato’s neck, buckling it carefully, but on impulse, kissed the top of Kato’s head.

                “Now, this is the last issue, Mistress will be debuting you tonight at Vinyl Fetish. Isshi-san and his three boys, myself and Ormond and possibly Sakurai, will be joining you. A word of caution, there could be some fall out but not by reason of Davina collaring you, there are a lot of jealous lower-class Dominants who tend to take exception with Isshi having three pets, just be aware of what is going on around you at all times.” Madame F rose from her chair, Ormond moving to her side and making her excuses, left Davina’s manor.

                Davina returned to her chair, reaching in her desk for another piece of paper. “This is a map of the manor, please have it memorized by tomorrow, feel free to walk the map if you’d like. There is one room that is off limits, it’s the Gardenia room.”

                Kato looked at the map, that seemed be just short of an intricate maze. “I have chosen a room for you, you’ll find it on the map, if you require anything else, please let Raizo know.”

                “I’d like some lunch now, just a light snack really…I will join you in a few minutes.” Davina dismissed Kato, who took the map and made his way to the kitchen.

                Leaning back in her chair, Davina thought about Astrid. The woman showed a great deal of courage and love, to attempted to secure a place for Kato, with someone that needed a submissive. Davina felt that Astrid somehow understood how horrible it would be to have your lover taken from you in an untimely manner…be it cancer or murder.”

                “You need to let him him…you have to be open…Teiji would want you happy.” She whispered to herself. “Yus, it’s lunch time.”
                Davina made her way to the kitchen, expecting a simple lunch, but faced with something a little more. “Kato?”

                “Mistress, I hope you enjoy your lunch.” Kato bowed. A small finger sandwich, some crackers with what appeared to be good Gouda cheese, a small glass of wine, was more than just a simple snack.

                Kato held Davina’s chair for her, “Enjoy your lunch, Mistress.” Kato turned to clean the kitchen, listening and side-eyeing Davina for any instructions. “Thank you, Kato…this is rather elegant for a simple snack.” Davina gently chided.

                “Mistress, I’m sure you’ve had a rough last few days, I prepared accordingly. Everything is laid out to help with your mental and physical wellbeing in mind.”

                “Kato, sit down.” Davina smiled. “We need to just talk openly, not Dominant to submissive, but woman to man.”

                “As you wish, Mistress. What would you like to talk about?” Kato had free range with Astrid, to speak openly…he was fairly certain Teiji did as well.

                “Why do you believe that I’m the one for you to serve? You can’t say that you knew who I was before you arrived back in Japan…did you?”  

“Astrid had followed the trial of the one who murdered Teiji, I only knew you by name, nothing more. I only had what Astrid had left me, in the way of a letter and her wishes that I find another to serve. It wasn’t until I met Ojisan, that I was to find out it was you. The only information I had at the time, was Madame F’s and Sakurai’s contact information.”

                “Jin Koba…you sly devil.” Davina chuckled. “It is of my opinion that anything Ojisan says, you should not ignore, I do apologize for my initial reaction when I saw you for the first time, I was unaware of you until that moment.”

                “How did this lead to Uta?” This had bothered Davina since the moment she was told Kato was in a relationship with her boy.

                “I was told…again by Ojisan, to seek out Uta…that he needed to be cured and I was the only one to help. There was a bit of an incident at Sakurai’s home…that I regretted.” Kato gazed down into his lap.

                “Incident?”

                “I briefly met Sakurai-san at Ojisan’s, but he did not know who I was…just a man that had been abroad and had returned, though he did ask me if he knew my Dominant, it was obvious to him I was contracted…I believe I still had my collar on.”

                “I had called to meet with Sakurai-san, Madame F was also there with Ormond. I had stated what Ojisan had told me, and the second I mentioned Uta, Sakurai-san saw red…Uta came out of the bedroom, saw me and fainted.” Kato was giving the short story.

                “We just moved slowly forward, until we were a couple, I would confess to Uta, I do…did love him, but I knew deep down that he did not feel the same for me.”

                They sat quietly as Davina finished her lunch, Kato rising to clear and clean the dishes. Davina quietly telling her story about Teiji and Uta, how Uta is her child in a way, “I love him as if he were my own, we were a strange family, Teiji was my submissive and lover, Uta was Teiji’s lover and I was their Dominant. Teiji had just bought a ring right before he was murdered, he was going to propose to Uta.”

                “Now Uta is alone again, but this time it feels right, thanks to you I believe he will thrive, he’s gone back to work with his friends, he has no fear of homelessness, no fear of not surviving, he is healthy and happy.” Davina smiled, then sighed.

                “If you will, follow me please.” Davina got up and started walking towards the back of the manor. “You will be accustomed to Isshi’s boy Ruimaru visiting, and he will be asked to be dismissed so he can visit Zeus.”

                Leading Kato to the koi pond, Davina sat on the low stone wall, leaning over to splash her fingers gently in the water. Kato watched as a large blue koi swam slowly over to the woman, leaning against the wall so the woman could pet him.

                “He is truly magnificent! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blue koi before, he’s also very docile.” Kato sat next to Davina, as she slowly fed the large koi some pebbled food.

                “Ruimaru found him for me. I had drained my pond when I went back to the Netherlands, but on return, I missed having the fish. I took Ruimaru with me koi shopping and he had found Zeus. He had a great love for my old koi Hercules, who passed away last year at the age of almost 40.”

                “I will leave you now, please use the guide in your bedroom as how I would like you to prepare for tonight’s outing. Please take what Madame F said seriously, we’ve already had two issues with Isshi and his boys, which by the way are beautiful, Isshi deserves this above any Dominant I have ever known.” Davina went into the house then into her bedroom, closing the door and leaning on it.

                “You’re going to fall…you know you are.”

 

                Sakurai was distracted, even with Karyu standing next to him as his attendant for the evening, Isshi had told him that the boy had requested it. “Just let him attend you, Acchan…I’m sure he wants to prove that you made the right choice.” Isshi scolded Sakurai who initially declined the request.

                “Karyu, Sakurai-san has agreed for you to attend him tonight.” When Isshi had informed the boy, Karyu lit up like a birthday cake. “Sir! Thank you!”

                Isshi and Sakurai had arrived before Madame F and Davina, interested in seeing the reaction in the club to Davina’s new submissive, both men sure that it would cause a bit of turmoil.

                Isshi and Sakurai were not disappointed. “Mistress Davina, Madame F…thank you for gracing us tonight. Would you please follow Velvet to your room?” Niihara’s face was one of stunned pleasure, seeing Kato with Davina assured the man that perhaps his associate could move past the death of Teddy.

                The submissive Velvet escorted Davina and Madame F to the room where Isshi and Sakurai waited. “Good evening gentlemen…” Madame F said pleasantly as she sat down, a vodka tonic presented to her by Ormond.

                “Ladies, so good of you to join us…we have been waiting.” Isshi teased, knowing full well that the ladies were anything but tardy in their arrival.

                “Kato-kun, it’s good to see you again.” Sakurai nodded, hoping that the submissive held no ill will towards him, in regards to his sometime volatile nature.

                Isshi’s boys were almost gawking at Kato, “Boys…is there a problem?” Davina was amused.

                Ever the cheeky one, Ruimaru giggled, “No Mistress, your pet is just very very handsome, he’s sexy too.” Leda gasped, “Ru!” he whispered sharply.

                Davina laughed, “Yes he is, Kato…these three boys belong to Isshi. The cheeky boy is Ruimaru, the quiet one is Leda, and this boy…is Karyu.” Kato nodded to each of the boys.

                “Alright, I’m dying to walk the club, behind you of course Davina, I can’t wait to see those jealous cows eat their words!” Isshi crowed. “Isshi, you’re reprehensible sometimes” Madame F said gruffly.

                “Yes, I know, but you also know as well as I do, that Kato’s debut tonight, is going to raise not a few eyebrows.” Isshi shot back. Madame F sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. “Shall we?”

 

                “That was splendid, Kato.” Davina and Kato were on the way home from Vinyl Fetish and Davina was praising Kato’s performance. “You did everything perfectly, it’s almost as if…” She stopped.

                “Thank you, Mistress. I’m glad you enjoyed yourself tonight, it appears everyone in your party had a delightful evening.”

                Kato had just understated the night, between random Dominant’s approaching Davina, trying to get through Kato, and Isshi and his boys…the night was spectacular. Davina was more the pleased with Kato, she felt comfortable with the man.

                “Isshi-san and his boys…is there always such an uproar when they attend the club?” Kato had noticed people speaking in whispers whenever Isshi would pass by them.

                “It’s mostly jealousy to be truthful, and the fact that Isshi does not manhandle his pets. Those three boys are the most cared for and loved pets in our community. People tend to believe that Isshi babies them, which he does, but that’s nobody’s business but Isshi’s.”

                Helping Davina out of the car, and holding the front door for her, Kato was going to make his goodnights, “Is there anything else you require tonight, Mistress?”

                Davina hesitated; was it too soon? Was her heart in it…or was it loneliness?”

                “Kato, I approve of all you’ve done for me tonight, I have no complaints what so ever.” Davina stood in front of the young man, reaching up she cupped his cheek, and brought his lips to hers, in a chaste kiss. “Thank you.” Davina then turned and walked into her room, closing the door quietly.

                Kato longed to embrace Davina fully, but knew he had to be satisfied with what the woman would give him, and when. After tonight’s journey to the club, Kato knew he was exactly where he belonged and that Mistress Davina would be his true Dominant.                

Chapter Text

 

                Uta is lies in Teiji’s arms in bed at their flat, the scene suddenly changes to the HBG, he’s on the patio. Mao tries to say hello but Davina is dragging them into her room at the manor, into her bed…Teiji’s making love to Davina, Uta wants Teiji to kiss him…no Uta. Teiji picks Uta up, Kato walks into Davina’s bedroom, he’s yours now, Teiji gives Uta to Kato and walks out of  Davina’s room, goodbye Uta, wait! No, you can’t go, Teiji’s waving good bye.

                Kato takes Uta to their bedroom, I love you Uta, Kato is fucking Uta, there is no love, just sex… no happiness just sex. Davina stands in the doorway, holding her hand out to Kato, I’m sorry Uta, Kato’s mine now. You’re alone, you have no one to comfort you, no one to care for you, no one to make love to you, you’re alone.

                Uta turns over in bed, I don’t love Kato, I’ve never loved him, I don’t need a lover, I want to be alone, I’ll be okay, really. Someone is knocking on the bedroom door, Uta pulled on the door, help me! It won’t open… who are you? Help me open the door, I can’t do it ALONE!

                “HELP ME!” Uta jerked upright in bed, Saki already starting to cry, trying to stand on Uta’s chest, his boy is breathing hard and sweating. “What the hell was that?” Uta took a deep breath and fell back into the pillows.

                “That was shit…so weird!” Uta felt like that dream came out of left field, considering he had no issues with Kato breaking up with him…but who was on the other side of the door? “Could have been anyone…stupid brain.”

                Checking the time, it was late enough that Uta just got up instead of trying to go back to sleep, “Probably have more stupid dreams.” He muttered as he made his way into his kitchen, two starving cats crying in unison. “Fine!” Uta fed the cats first, before making tea.

                He had been surprised at the dream, he hadn’t had anything remotely like that since he left Acchan’s house, when his dreams were terrifying and bloody, the nightmares of Teiji’s murder had left Uta wondering about his mental health, and if the nightmares could bring back the seizures.

                Drinking his tea and going through his emails and texts, Davina’s text about Teiji’s things did not trigger much of a reaction;

“There’s nothing I want, you can donate all of it. I hope things work out with you and Kato.”

He had gone through his house the day Kato left, taking anything that belonged to the submissive man, almost wanting to erase the fact that they had been involved. “It doesn’t matter anymore…he was the last.”

Uta had talked to Pon and Die, Reita and of course Mao, all surprised at the nonchalant attitude Uta had over the entire affair.

“I guess it makes sense, you’re not like heart broken over it, so it wasn’t meant to be.” Pon argued, Die didn’t see it though. “But you had sex and he spent the night and …and all that other shit… you don’t even feel a tiny bit of anger or regret or something?”

“Die, it was temporary, I knew it, Kato knew it…he did his job and got me to where I can actually look forward to a new relationship and not worry that I feel like I’m cheating on Teiji, really Die, it’s okay.” Uta hugged the tall guitarist, who had in the last few months become a valued friend.

“I’m just going to work and have fun, maybe I’ll meet someone someday, but I’m not going out looking for it…so no setting me up on random blind dates!” Uta wagged his finger at the couple. “Make sure Reita and Ayato know that as well.”

 

                “Are you sure? I don’t want you feeling pressured…we don’t have to do this tonight.” Aoi was hesitant to agree to Yuki’s readiness to consummate their relationship.

                “I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get blue balls! I’m ready for this Aoi, really.” They had been dating for a few weeks, a lot of hanging out with Reita and Ayato, a double date to the restaurant, which like the party at the HBG, freaked Yuki out over the amount of ‘celebrities’ eating there.

                “It’s not that big of a deal honestly, we’ve all been coming here for years, though we won’t be seeing any thing of Ruki’s dine and dash.” Reita added, then proceeded to tell Yuki about the numerous times Ruki had tried to skip out on his portion of the bill for dinner.  “Pretty sure Tomo’s tamed our wild little Ru…they seem to be perfect for each other.”

                Aoi had treated Yuki to a nice dinner, a few extra drinks for some liquid courage, ending the night at his apartment. Yuki admitted to being nervous, “It’s been so long…” Aoi trying hard not to be overly eager.  Aoi spent his time making love to Yuki, there was no rush to orgasm, no rush into a second or third round…just slow seductive and romantic love. 

                Some time after midnight, Aoi looked down at his young lover, “Yuki?” Aoi whispered, Yuki almost asleep in his arms.

                “Hmm?” Yuki’s head was on Aoi’s shoulder, the boy on the edge of sleep.

                Aoi kissed Yuki on the forehead, “Hey…Um…I think…I mean…”

                “I love you too.” Yuki smiled sleepily. Before Aoi could react, a soft snore was heard, “I love you, Yuki.”

                Yuki woke first, not because he wanted to, but because Aoi was snoring like a bear, but Yuki was intensely happy. Getting out of bed to use the bathroom, Yuki looked back at Aoi who was sprawled out on the bed… a man he had idolized a year ago, and now the man had confessed to him, “This shit can’t get any weirder.”

                Coming back from the bathroom, Aoi’s bed was empty and Yuki could hear the man in the kitchen. “Good morning.” Yuki said warmly, walking to where Aoi was standing, sliding his arms around the man’s waist.

                “Mmm, good morning… tea or coffee?” Aoi leaned his head back, Yuki giving him a quick smooch. “Coffee…or I’m just going to end up back in bed.”

                “Oh… maybe I’m out of coffee and tea… we might just have to suffer, go back to bed for the rest of the day.” Aoi smirked.

                “I don’t know about you, but I do have to go to work today, I’m not a famously rich rock star who has all the leisure time in the world.” Yuki sat down at Aoi’s small table.

                “I’d like to meet this rich rock start you’re talking about…what’s he look like?” Aoi played along.

                “Hmm, not very tall, longish brown hair, super pretty brown eyes… lots of piercings, he’s pretty damn yummy.”

                Aoi laughed, “Yummy? What? Are you a teenage girl all of sudden?”

                Yuki got up and went to sit on Aoi’s lap. “Thank you for last night.”

                Aoi slid his arms around his new lover. “You’re welcome… everything okay then? I mean we both said…”

                “I love you.” Yuki captured Aoi’s lips before the man could say anything else. Tightening his grip around Yuki’s waist, Aoi stood up and carried his boy back to the bedroom, “I think we need a nap before work.”

 

                Ayato had his feet in Reita’s lap, as they both had their tablets in front of them, checking emails and social media. “Do you think Uta’s going to be okay without Kato?” Ayato asked absent mindedly. The night before, the couple had been sitting out on Reita’s porch with Die and Pon drinking beer, Uta had joined them and announced that Kato and he had broken up.

                “Uta’s pretty damned strong minded, he’ll be fine. Die told us that we’re not allowed to set up any blind dates for Uta…or he’ll kick me out of my flat!” Reita chuckled.

                “I don’t even know what type of guy I’d set Uta up with, definitely not another Dominant, or at least not someone that’s involved in that scene.” Ayato said with surety, “I doubt he’ll date anytime soon, he probably just wants to be left alone for awhile…I mean romance wise.”

                “I agree, dating is the last thing on Uta’s mind right now.”

 

                Hide and Imai were frowning at Sakurai, “If Yutaka hears you say that, he’ll beat the crap out of you!” Sakurai had just stated that Uta was single now, free of Kato. “I’m not saying anything about dating Uta…I just brought up the fact that Kato is now with Davina, don’t jump to conclusions so quickly!” Sakurai snapped.

                “What conclusions?” Yutaka walked into the practice room. “That because Kato is now with Davina, Acchan is going to run over and ask Uta on a date, we told him that he’d better not or you’d kick his ass.”

                “Kato is with Davina? Since when?” This was news to Yutaka. “Thursday morning, he signed a temporary contract for a month with Davina, but we all went to Vinyl Fetish that night… she will eventually contract him permanently, it’s just a matter of time.”

                “You mean Kato already has broken up with Uta? Well shit!” Yutaka reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone, Hide grabbing his husband’s arm. “What are you doing?”

                “I’m going to call my son…he could be heartbroken and need his Kaasan!” Yutaka snipped.

                “Yu…leave him alone for now, if he needs us…he will call.” Hide smiled, “I love that you call him our son, by the way.” He kissed Yutaka’s cheek.

                “Can we get to work please? The live is in two weeks, I’d like to be ready by then.” Iman growled at the others. “Hai…yes sir!” Sakurai saluted his friend.

                During a short break, Yutaka cornered Hide, “I have a plan…” Hide rolled his eyes and sighed. “Yu…please…we haven’t even spoken to Uta yet! Can the plan wait for a few days?” Yutaka pouted, “Fine, but you know as well as I do, what Uta should be doing!”

 

                Uta worked an opening shift with Tora and Tomo, with a note from Taka stating that the holiday party season would be starting soon and to be ready for a meeting at any time. “Holiday party season… eww, I’ve never had a good holiday party!” Uta groaned. “No? Why not Uta?” Tomo didn’t know the complete history of Uta’s time at the HBG, only what Ruki had told him.

                “Well, there was always something going on with Ruki, but now you’ve got him under control,” Uta giggled, making Tomo blush. “There’s no Morrie, no Natsu…but there still might be a Sakurai problem.”

                “Do you hate him Uta, I’m always so confused on that,” Tomo asked innocently.

                “Hate is too strong of a word, I don’t really trust him…he’s flipped between being the man of my dreams to my nightmare too many times. I never know what to expect when I see him.” Uta claimed, but Tomo had heard from Ruki that Uta truly loved Sakurai.

                “Maybe he won’t come, or maybe it will be like the last event, he’ll just say hi and leave it at that.” Tomo offered. Uta was unconvinced, “Maybe.”

                “Uta, you have visitors!” Tora called from the counters. “Okay… Uh hi! Why are you here?” Uta gaped at Yutaka and Hide. “We’re on break from the studio, can you sit with us for a moment?”

                Uta met his ‘parents’ on the patio, Yutaka hugging him tightly, Hide a little less. “What made you guys want to come here?” Uta asked slyly…figuring he knew the answer.

                “What? We can’t come and see our son when we’re in the area? Actually, we wanted to invite you over for dinner tomorrow night, just the three of us! Sakurai taught me that recipe of the pasta with the cream sauce and Rima and Zepp miss you.” Yutaka leaned over stroked Uta’s cheek.

                “Sure, I’ll come to dinner…but what’s the real reason you want to see me.” Uta demanded, he knew the two men way too well to know that a simple dinner date was not what it appeared.

                “Told you, Yu…he’s smart. Your Kaasan is worried, we just heard about Davina and Kato, and we want to make sure you’re doing okay with the break up.” Hide gave the real reason.

                “I’m fine with it, really. Everyone seems super worried that I’m going to collapse again or something. Thank you for telling me the truth…I’d still like to come for dinner.”

                Without mentioning Sakurai once, Uta visited with the two men for a few more minutes, then went back to work.

                Uta was laughing when he came back inside the HBG. “What happened? Everything okay?” Tora was frowning.

                “My parents, as they like to call themselves, are trying to be sneaky, but they both fail epically every time! I called them out on the reason they want me over for dinner tomorrow.” Uta was still chuckling.

                “Your parents? Woah, that’s weird.”

                “Not really, they’ve been like my parents since I met them, they love me unconditionally, they support what I do, if I’m in trouble, I know I can go to them, I can call them any time of the day or night, yah…those are my parents.” Uta was proud to have such a close relationship with Yutaka and Hide, who he dearly loved.

                “They sound like great guys, you’re lucky Uta, you have a lot of people that love you, Aki and I included.” A soft smile spread across Tora’s face.

                “Okay, enough sappy stuff, we need to restock everything for the night shift!” Tora went into leader-san mode.

 

                “Want a beer? Die’s buying!” Uta walked into the small shared courtyard area to find a mini party in progress, Aoi and Yuki along with Reita, Ayato and Pon, were all sitting with beers in their hands.

                “Don’t you people ever work?” Uta teased. “You know my schedule Uta, so you can’t say anything about that.” Ayato reminded his friend.

                “We’re not ready for tour season yet, so no daily practice for us either.” Reita nudged Yuki. “What’s your excuse Yuki?” Reita knew the excuse, the young man had called in sick to spend the day with Aoi.

                “Shut up, Akira.” Ayato warned his boyfriend.

                “Yay! Uta’s home! Let’s party and get the landlord drunk!” Die walked into the courtyard, with a bag full of beer. “You guys are such boozers!” Uta laughed, but he took a beer anyways.

                They spent the next two hours just drinking and telling stories, none of the others brought up Kato, which Uta was relieved, he just was tired of telling everyone he was fine. Aoi and Yuki’s new status was revealed, with a little good-natured teasing, Uta leaning over and whispering to Yuki, “Good for you, keep him in line.”

                When the party finally broke up, with Aoi and Yuki spending the night at Reita’s, Uta went into his flat, slightly buzzed but not enough to have to worry about a headache in the morning, climbing into bed with his cats, Uta was asleep almost before his head hit the pillow.

 

                “Tadaima!” Uta yelled as he toed off his shoes in Yutaka and Hide’s genkan, a scramble of toenails on hardwood coming around the corner, Uta squatting down to greet the two pugs. “Oh my god…you two are still so fat! Is Kaasan still sneaking you those high calorie treats?”

                “Okaeri, in the kitchen.” Uta grinned and took a deep breath, imagining that this was how everyone felt when they went home to see their parents. “Uta…” Hide playing the ever strict (not really) father, and Yutaka the overly fussy Kaasan, greeted their prodigal son.

                “That smells wonderful! Just like Acchan’s!” Uta walked into the kitchen, lifting a pot lid to smell the sauce. “I hope it tastes as good, I followed his instructions exactly.”

                “Before you start to pry, I’ll give you the short story.” Uta huffed, he knew Yutaka wanted the story to be more gossipy, but Uta wanted to tell them the truth.

                Uta repeated the story that Kato had told him. “Then Kato came by my house, broke up with me and then moved into Davina’s. Yes, I’m fine, no I’m not sad. I didn’t love Kato…I knew it would be temporary, I’m actually kind of relived, he was starting to get on my last nerve.” Uta admitted.

                “Why was he getting on your last nerve? He wasn’t abusive was he!” Yutaka suddenly sat up straight. “NO…No…he wasn’t abusive, just the opposite actually. I felt like I couldn’t do anything by myself, he was always there to help me or to do whatever it was, for me. It’s like I was this tiny fragile person, he was always like…on me.”

                Hide sat back in his chair. “He was suffocating you, right?”

                Uta nodded, “Pretty much, I didn’t tell him about the night at the HBG with Zero, I knew he’d get all belligerent and go hunt Zero down. Did I tell you he confronted my boss?”

                Yutaka put his hand over his mouth. “He did what?” Uta’s eyes narrowed. “I told him I thought that Zero was being a little creepy, which he was. There was just something about the guy, anyways…after Kato left my house that day, he went to the store and confronted Zero, told him to stay away from me, blah blah.”

                Hide knows where this is going. “Zero was pissed, wasn’t he? Now in hindsight I can see why he tried to use you to get to Acchan.”

                “I went into work, he called me into his office, then told me that my boyfriend came and accused him of being improper. I was pissed, I told Zero to fuck off then I walked out.” Uta leaned forward, his elbows on the table.

                “He was controlling in a way, but not like Acchan controlling… more like I love you to death and don’t want you out of my sight, controlling.” Uta frowned, looking up at the two men, he took a deep breath, “That’s why I’m not worried or upset about him leaving. The only thing he really did for me, was to um… get comfortable having sex again, without feeling guilty.” Uta’s cheeks blushed a bright pink.

                Looking at Hide, Yutaka winked. “Take this as it is…I am not trying to do anything other than letting you have a good time. Buck Tick is playing in two weeks, it’s a benefit concert, we usually have a solid row of tickets that we hold for our friends and family. Usually the MUCC boys come, I was wondering if you’d like to come, bring a friend maybe?”
                Yutaka and Hide had gone over this plan several times, Hide scolding his husband to stop trying to play match maker, but Yutaka relented.

                “Sure, I’ve never seen you play before, I guess I could come up with someone to bring, or maybe I’ll just hang out with Taka and Koichi?” Uta’s gut fluttered, he would be there.

                Yutaka clapped his hands, “We’ll make sure that you know who is on his best behavior.”

                The dessert conversation was mostly about Davina, how they thought she might do with Kato, of course Saki and Luna were brought up, as were Acchan’s two kittens. “I think it’s nice that he got himself two babies, he said he missed Saki and Luna, he needs someone in that big house of his.”

                Uta left with warm hugs, leftovers for the next night and a promise to call later in the week to find out more about the concert.

                “I told you if we presented it carefully he’d agree.” Yutaka said as he was waving at Uta. “And I told you not to play matchmaker either. If they want to speak to each other, that’s their choice, not ours.” Hide took his husband by the hand, leading him back in the house.

                “Does he seem happy to you? I’m not totally convinced, he sounded a little sad when he talked about the boys from Gazette and their new lovers.” Yutaka fretted.

                “I think he’s happy, he may be lonely…but he’s happy.” Hide closed up the house, making sure everything was locked tight, then followed Yutaka to the bedroom.

                “You need to stop mothering him so much, you’re like an overbearing woman sometimes.”

                “Uta needs to be mothered, and fathered, he needs to know that he can come to us at anytime, with any problem and not be judged for it.” Yutaka leaned over and kissed Hide, “All we can do is be there for him, to catch him if he falls.”

Chapter Text

 

                The members of Buck Tick were in the final meeting between the band and management for the upcoming charity concert scheduled for the next night. Management was securing the tickets for the band’s guests, coordinating the donations and speakers, and generally tying up all the loose ends.

                “Eight tickets? Who does that include?” Imai asked.

                “The Mucc boys and their spouses.” Yutaka didn’t want to anyone know that he had arranged for nine tickets, he didn’t mention Uta’s name, he wanted Sakurai to see the boy as he performed.

                Hide noted that Sakurai wasn’t paying close attention to the conversation. “Acchan? Everything okay?”

                Sakurai’s head popped up, “Oh? Yes, I’m sorry…I’m a bit distracted today, uh, the set list is well…”

                Imai frowned, “What’s wrong with the set list? Is there a song that we have forgotten?”

                Sakurai picked up the paper, “No, I don’t think so…”

                Toll nudged Imai and shook his head. “As long as we have the songs that are the most popular, I’m sure it’s fine.” Sakurai brushed off Imai’s concern.

                “We will meet at the venue at our regular time, Acchan make sure your pants aren’t too tight, we don’t need a repeat performance of you splitting them while dancing.” Imai laughed, much to the chagrin of Sakurai. “You’ll never let me live that down, will you?”

                With an evil grin, Imai stated the obvious, “Never.”

               

                Uta had gone to work, still hesitant about accepting Yutaka and Hide’s offer of attending the concert. Taka approached him and he finally decided, “Will you go?” Taka had Uta in the office of the HBG. “Yutaka and Hide invited me, plus I’ve never seen Buck Tick perform, it should be fun.” Uta had decided after arguing with himself, to accept Yutaka and Hide’s offer of going to see Buck Tick.

                Taka’s face was grim, he hated to bring it up but it was important, “What about Sakurai? These charity events usually have an after party,” Taka remembered the last charity event he attended and the problems he had with Sakurai at the after party, but he didn’t bring this up to Uta.

                “I’ll be fine, I’m totally not worried about it.” Uta needed to prove to himself and everyone else, that he was strong enough now, to deal with Sakurai, also knowing the man wouldn’t cause a scene.

                Taka smiled, “Okay…Sato and I will pick you up around seven.”

                “I’ll be ready!”  

 

Koichi and Taka were huddled in a corner of the kitchen, whispering to each other. “You grab him, I’ll block Sakurai from getting to him.” Taka was serious, he wouldn’t let Sakurai get to Uta.

“Taka are you sure? Can’t we just ask Sato or Tatsu?” Koichi whined.

“Yes, I’m sure! If we say anything to them, they’re going to accuse us of meddling, you know how they are! Just grab him and move him towards the door.” Taka insisted, they wanted a contingency plan in place, in case Sakurai became crazed upon seeing Uta. “We just don’t know how he’s going to react! You’ve seen it before, Kou.”

“Taka… what are you planning?” Sato knew something was brewing, anytime Koichi and Taka had their heads together, it was a cause for concern.

Turning to look at his husband, Taka grinned, “We’re not planning anything, at least nothing bad.”

“Tatsu, control your husband, he’s a bad influence on Taka.” Sato declared.

“Pfft, my husband? Excuse me…yours is the one that always starts shit.” Tatsu corrected.   “Uh oh, we’d better break them up.” Koichi hissed, grabbing Tatsu by the hand, “Nobody is starting anything!”

               

                Uta had gone through every outfit he owned, he had interchanged them all, but he ended up sitting on the bed, the clothes on the floor. “Why do I care so much?” he moaned as he fell back onto the bed. “Because you care what he thinks of you.” Uta answered himself truthfully, he wanted Sakurai to see him.

                “Just wear what you always wear.” Uta sat up, grabbing every black piece of clothing and spreading them on the bed. Black skinnies, deep purple long t-shirt, black silk jacket. “Gee, I’m so fucking original.”

                Looking at the time Uta knew he had about twenty more minutes to get ready, before Sato and Taka would be there to pick him up. “Get your shit together already!”

 

                “Holy shit, Uta… um…you’re uh…yah, nice clothes.” Sato choked as he watched Uta come towards the car. “Thanks, not like I had a lot of choices, everything I own is black.”

                “Welcome to the club Uta…you’re no different than the rest of us. Sato probably has the brightest wardrobe of all of us.” Taka teased.

                “No, that would be Yukke…he’s got more white clothes than any of us.” Sato retorted. “Let’s just get going, we still need to meet up with everyone else.”

                Pulling up to the venue, the crowd was obviously mixed, much like the last Charity concert they had attended; the society people in their haute couture dresses and suits, the patrons of the charity, old people wearing outdated clothing, and the music industry, dressed as they always do, a lot of black.

                Sato and Taka lead them towards where the designated meeting spot was, Tatsu waving them down. “Uta-kun, you look wonderful!” Shinya hugged the boy.

                “Thanks Shinya, I’m a little nervous.”

                “Don’t be,” Shinya leaned in, “We all have your back, every one of us…if he gets out of hand, don’t worry, ne?”

                Uta nodded, relieved that he wouldn’t be alone in dealing with Sakurai…if it was necessary. “You look nice tonight Uta,” Miya had walked up next to Shinya, while he didn’t know the boy well, the fact that Shinya felt protective of Uta, was enough for Miya.

                “Thanks, I wasn’t sure what to wear, there’s so many fancy people here.” Uta scuffed his boot on the carpet. “Well if they allow the likes of Kai and Yukke…” Miya started, then Yukke cuffed the back of Miya’s head. “Excuse me?”

                “Um, nothing, I was just saying how nice you and Kai looked.” Miya tried to recover quickly.

                 

                The venue for that night’s performance, was a normal concert hall which meant everyone had a designated seat. Taka and Koichi put Uta between them, with Sato and Tatsu on the opposite ends.

                Uta squirmed in his seat, trying not to look panicked, Koichi reaching over to hold Uta’s hand, “It’s okay…just enjoy the show, he probably won’t even see you…at least not right away, and he won’t do anything…not while he’s on stage.” Koichi reassured his young friend.

                With the dimming of the lights, the band came on stage, Toll first, then Yutaka and Hide, Imai strutting out and lastly, Sakurai Atsushi. Immediately Uta’s gut tightened, Koichi squeezed his hand, nodding to him. Uta nodded back, relax you twit…just relax, he’s on the stage he can’t do anything to you.

                Dada Disco was the opening song, with the flashing of the lights, Uta was safe in assuming that Sakurai could not see him.

                Once Sakurai started to sing, Uta was mesmerized…this was Sakurai Atsushi…not his Acchan. Soon Uta was swaying side to side, his eyes moving from Sakurai to Yutaka and Hide, Yutaka standing in the back near Toll, smiling broadly, Hide wearing a stern grin. Within a few minutes, Uta was singing along with the song, dancing in place…he had dropped Koichi’s hand. Koichi leaned back to look at Taka, both of them smiling, Uta was going to be fine.

                Sakurai’s stage presence was huge, Uta couldn’t see his Acchan at that moment, the opening chords for Lady Skeleton began, which caught Taka’s attention quickly. Koichi looked back at him and nodded, this had been the song that Sakurai sang to Taka, it still caused a flush to his face with the memories.

                As was his routine, Sakurai dropped down to his knees, crawling forward on the stage, he looks up and it happens, he see’s Uta.

                Uta’s body jolted, his eyes locked on to Sakurai’s… he stopped breathing for a moment, only when Sakurai got to his feet, did Uta let out the breath. Suddenly Sakurai is there, staring at Uta, singing to him… the crowd notices but can’t see exactly who the the man is, and Sakurai’s suggestive dancing was meant for only one person.

                As the last notes of the song faded, Sakurai went back to speak to Hide and Yutaka, who both started laughing, he then moved over to Toll, and finally Imai who wasn’t all that thrilled.

                “This is an older song, but it’s necessary tonight…you know who you are.” The band starts to play Yume Miru Uchuu. Uta’s hand is covering his mouth, Sakurai is staring at him and it’s obvious that the vocalist doesn’t care if anyone knows that he’s singing to Uta.  At the end of the song, Sakurai bows…then turns and the opening of Dress starts.

                Uta’s legs are shaking so badly he has to sit down, his face is pale…he’s sweating and his breath is ragged, the man just sang to him in front of a hundred people. He sang to me.

                “Are you okay? You don’t look well.” Koichi sat down next to Uta, leaning over to speak to him. “I’m…it was just sort of intense…I’ll be okay.” Uta nodded.

                The remainder of the concert went as was planned, no other changes in the set list, Uta regaining his composure and enjoying the concert…that was until the last song was played.

                With Yutaka’s opening heavy bass line, the hair on Uta’s neck when up. Sakurai dragged his mic stand to the front of the stage. He looked into Uta’s heart, and started to sing…oblivious to what was around him, the song blocked out all other sounds.

                The crowd looked at Uta, this is who Sakurai Atsushi was singing to…who was the young man with the dark hair and soft eyes? Whomever it was, it was clear how Sakurai felt about the boy.

                I don’t care who see’s this…fuck them all…just look at me Uta, turn those beautiful eyes to me, I mean every word of this…I love you, please…just watch me Uta…no one else matters.

                Koichi nudged Tatsu, then nodded over to Uta, “Are you worried?” Tatsu whispered into Kou’s ear. Koichi looked at Uta again, then shook his head. No, he wasn’t worried about Uta or Sakurai.

                As the people filed out of the venue, some making their way to another room where the after party would be held, others leaving the venue and not a few of them looking and watching Uta, who didn’t have a clue.

                “What did you think of your first Buck Tick live, Uta-kun?” Shinya walked next to the younger man, linking his arm into Uta’s.

                “He’s different, isn’t he? He’s another person completely when he’s on stage.” Uta asked.

                Shinya didn’t have to ask who Uta was speaking about, “Most of us are, Uta-kun. Miya is usually very quiet, unless of course he’s drunk. Kyo is a little more outgoing off stage, on stage he’s terrifying. So yes, Acchan is completely different on stage than off. He’s in control when he’s singing…it’s the uncontrolled aspect of his life that is more difficult.

                “We’re going to the after party, are you okay with staying?” Sato had walked up to Uta while he was speaking to Shinya. “Yes, I’d like to see Yutaka and Hide…they were amazing!” Uta gushed.

 

                With Taka and Koichi flanking Uta, and Shinya with a watchful eye, the group made their way into the after-party room, Uta’s sweeping gaze searching out Yutaka and Hide, but they found him first.

                “UTA!” Yutaka ran up to his son, “Did you enjoy the live?” Hide walked up behind his husband. “You guys were amazing! It’s like you’re different people when you’re on stage… not like my Kaasan and Tousan!” Uta laughed.

                “Well, we are! We’re Buck Tick…world renown band of handsome single straight men! We have women swooning at our feet, we have groupies in our hotel rooms!” Hide laughed, he knew that was the general consensus on what the world believed of rock stars.

                Yutaka took Uta by the hand and led him close to a wall. “Acchan knows you’re here, that’s obvious, but…he has not said anything to me or the others about approaching you, shall I ask him to stay away?”

                Uta sighed pensively, “No…you don’t have to. If he wants to speak to me, it’s okay.” Yutaka hugged Uta again.

                Koichi and Taka, along with Kai, kept Uta company, everyone switching out for a bit, Tatsu wanting to hold Uta’s hand. “Um… Tatsu why? Koichi’s going to get jealous if he see’s you!”

                “Exactly! It will give me an excuse for great make-up sex later, let me slide my arm around you, here he comes.” Uta suppressed a giggle. “Hey!” Koichi knew the game too. “Want to go grab a drink Uta? My treat!”

                Grabbing Uta by the arm and walking away, Koichi turned back and stuck his tongue out at his husband. “Damn…busted!” Tatsu laughed.

                “Hey, make sure you let Tatsu have make-up sex tonight…he was planning on making you jealous.” Uta confessed. “What a dumbass, fine…we’ll have amazing sex tonight.” Koichi groaned.

                While everyone was mingling, Uta was standing at a table alone… Sakurai took the opportunity to speak to his boy.

                “Did you enjoy the show?” Sakurai asked softly as he stood next to Uta. “Mmm, it was amazing, you were wonderful…a different person than you are with me.” Uta was blushing, he couldn’t look at Sakurai.

                “I…I hope you…I mean, you aren’t upset that I sang to you…are you?” stumbling over his words, Sakurai Atsushi had never felt more awkward talking to someone.

                “No, I’m not upset. But what about the fans? They obviously saw it, they knew you were singing to me.

                “I don’t give a rats fuck if they know.” Sakurai said sharply. “I won’t hide how I feel about you…I just won’t, but I’ll never push that on you, you already know that.” He quickly added.

                Before Uta could reply Sato and Taka walked up, “We need to get going, Taka has to open tomorrow. Acchan, superb performance as usual, thank you again for inviting us.” Sato and Taka bowed.

                “Thank you…for singing to me.” Uta turned and left with his friends, Sakurai watching Uta, until he could no longer see his boy.

                The drive home was quiet, Uta with a mind full of questions and no answers, at least not at that moment. Taka turned in his seat, “Did you mind him singing to you?” he asked bluntly.

                “No, it was just a bit of a shock at first, I assumed he wouldn’t do something like that, especially since everyone watching figured it out. I hope this doesn’t cause problems for the band.” Besides how he felt about Sakurai at the moment, Uta was worried about the possible public fall out.

                “I don’t think you need to worry much about that Uta, this wasn’t a normal event. These are not people that would normally be at a Buck Tick live, you have that going for you. Sakurai wouldn’t have done it, if he thought there would be a problem.” Sato assured the young man.  

                “He sang to me, but nobody figured it out and that was at a regular live.” Taka added, but there were special circumstances that night.

                Uta thanked them for the ride, “I’ll see you at work tomorrow Taka.” As he walked into his flat, Uta was attacked by two ravenous cats, that of course were starving, but tonight he just fed them…no scolding.

                Washing off the makeup, sorting his clothes that were strewn around the room from earlier, Uta had dozens of questions and concerns running through his head, one in particular; how did he feel about Sakurai? “No…it’s Acchan, not Sakurai” he reminded himself. Did he choose those songs hoping that Uta would be there? What if he did…what does that mean?

                Sakurai Atsushi was a different person on stage, but Acchan was who spoke to him tonight. Finally getting everything in order, Uta called for the cats and climbed into bed, Luna licking him, Saki kneading the blankets to make his little nest.

                “What do I do, my babies? Do I ignore it? He probably won’t say anything to me, he said he wouldn’t do that anymore. But what if I want him to? Fuck I’m so wishy washy… grow a set of balls Uta!” The boy said angrily, turning over and shutting off the light.

 

                Walking through his home, dodging the kittens that ran behind him, Sakurai Atsushi couldn’t stop smiling, he had spoken to Uta…hell he had sung in front of a hundred people to the boy he loved. There was nothing that could ruin his evening…not a damned thing.

                Yutaka and Hide had watched Sakurai speaking with Uta, Hide nudging his husband, “Look at their faces,” Yutaka linking his arm in Hide’s, “Yep, I don’t think anything else needs to be said. Let’s not tease him tonight, ne? I think he needs to enjoy this.”

                The other members of Buck Tick never said a word about Sakurai openly singing to Uta, changing the set list at the last second. Even Imai, who usually wants to vomit over Sakurai’s moodiness in regards to Uta…smiled at his friend, it was hard not to.

                Now that Sakurai was home, the kittens fed and his post-live shower complete, the man sat on the edge of his bed, his phone in his hand. “Should I?”

                “Thank you for coming tonight, it was nice to see you.”

                His finger hovered over the send button, he wanted to start a dialogue with Uta, but he didn’t want to seem pushy. “What the hell.” SEND.

                He quickly turned his phone off, he couldn’t stand waiting for a response, or not receiving one, instead he grabbed Tsubaki and Maru, putting them on the bed as he slid under the covers, hoping that in the morning there would be something…

                “Thank you for coming tonight, it was nice to see you.”

                Uta read the text, smiling with the knowledge that Sakurai probably

worried over it for at least ten minutes. “You always do that…” He giggled as he put the phone on his night table, he wouldn’t answer the man…not tonight, he was too tired. But maybe…in the morning he might send a text back.

                As he closed his eyes, the burning image of Sakurai standing on that stage, singing to him and only to him, would not fade. He wanted to believe with all his heart that Sakurai had changed, but there was still doubt…he wasn’t sure the man possessed the ability not to be controlling. “Maybe…”

 

                Reaching for his phone and turning it on, Sakurai was disappointed there was no response from Uta, which began an hour of self doubt and scolding himself for believing that Uta would even want to text him, let alone speak in person.

                “I need to talk to you today, here or at your house.”

                Sending the text, Sakurai then turned to the two kittens who were obviously abused and neglected, “My little ones, give me a moment please!” Moving through the kitchen, Sakurai fed his kittens while his tea brewed, checking his phone every other second, double checking that the ringer was on, the volume was turned up.

                “Maybe he’s sleeping in … or he’s already at work. Stop worrying over it!”

                “Come by our house, Yu’s still sleeping.”  

                Rushing through another shower, Sakurai was out of the house and on his way to Hide and Yutaka’s within twenty minutes.

                Without even knocking Sakurai let himself in, “Good morning… is there coffee?” asking Hide as he moved about the kitchen. “In the carafe, Yu’s awake, just being lazy. Is this something you need both of us for?” Hide had a general idea why his vocalist was there so early in the morning.

                Just as Sakurai was going to answer, his phone buzzed in his pocket, “Um, I need to get this…I’ll be right back.” Sakurai moved to the living room, opening his phone he held his breath as he read the text.

                “You’re welcome, tell Yutaka and Hide thanks for the tickets. I had fun, it was nice to see you again too.”

                Walking back into the kitchen, Sakurai had a bright smile playing on his lips, Yutaka raising a sleepy eyebrow. “It’s too early to deal with happy Acchan, what did you want to talk about?”

                Moving into the living room, Sakurai sat in a chair, leaning forward with a coffee cup in his hand, “How do I move forward with this?”

                “This? What this?” Hide teased. “You know damned well what I’m talking about…just help me please! I don’t want to fuck this up again.” Sakurai snapped. Hide took pity on his friend.

                Without even looking at Yutaka, Hide spoke first. “Court him.” Sakurai shook his head in puzzlement, “Court him…you mean like flowers and dates?”

                Yutaka grinned, “You need to make the effort Acchan, Uta’s worried about your behavior and he has good reason to. You need to prove to the boy that you’ve changed and that you love him, although after you singing to him last night, I doubt there’s any question on how you feel about him.”

                “You’re going to have to rein in that controlling behavior of yours, the Dominant side as well. Start small, very small…then work your way forward.” Hide emphasized the obvious.

                “You don’t need to confess anymore…the boy knows how you feel, and most importantly NO SEX! Do not even talk about that unless Uta brings it up. Maybe just start with flowers…but not over the top! Simple, no roses yet.” It was as if Yutaka was reading off a ‘Dating 101’ script, all of this should be obvious to most normal people, but Sakurai and Uta were not normal people…not anymore.

                “We already sent a text to each other, I just thanked him for coming to the live, he just said to tell you thank you for the tickets, that’s all that was said.” Sakurai looked defeated, “so, how long do I wait to make another move? I won’t know if he’s receptive to my attempts by just waiting!”

                “I don’t have any answers to that, Acchan.” Hide said lamely. “That you’re going to have to figure out on your own.”

Chapter Text

                “Can you spend the night tonight?” Aoi was sitting with Yuki on the patio of the HBG, sharing a bento.

                “Again?  I’m never going to get any sleep…” Yuki tilted his head back and whined. “Sorry,” Aoi mumbled, “I just wanted to spend time with you.”

                “I know you do…but it’s not like we actually get much sleep when I spend the night…I’m not complaining but I’m tired as hell.” Yuki looked down at his lunch, afraid that by his complaining, Aoi might give up on them as a couple, “If I promise not to molest you, and we just watch some TV until it’s time for bed, will you come over?”

                Yuki couldn’t deny Aoi’s big sad puppy eyes when the man begged, which was often. “Don’t you have rehearsal or practice or something?” Yuki wondered about the lack of attention to the band lately.

                Aoi pouted, “Well, that’s one of the reasons I want to spend time with you, once I do go into tour mode, I won’t get to see you much at all.” 

                “Fine…I’ll come over, come and pick me up…but I swear…if you molest me, I’m going to be pissed off.” Yuki shook his finger at his boyfriend.

                “Yes, dear.”

                Across town, a similar conversation was being held. “I want you to move in with me.” Reita announced.

                “I can’t.”

                “Why not? This flat is way nicer than yours.” Reita objected.

                “Because Yuki can’t afford to pay the full rent by himself, that’s why.” Ayato was firm in his decision, he wasn’t about to leave Yuki hanging by moving in with Reita, something he had already thought about.

                “Fine, but as soon as Yuki moves in with Aoi, you’re not going to have an option.” Reita conceded.

                “What makes you think Yuki’s going to live with Aoi…has Aoi said anything?” This was news to Ayato.

                “Duh, why wouldn’t he move in with him? It’s just a matter of time before they’re living together, you know that as well as I do.” Reita just rolled his eyes, of course Yuki would move in with Aoi, that’s always the next step in a couple’s life.

                “Well, I’m not moving into your flat, until I know for sure Yuki’s going to move in with Aoi, it’s not fair Akira…don’t be selfish.” Ayato chastised his boyfriend.

                “What ever you say, babe.”

 

                Davina was dressed to kill in a black leather dress, “Kato, do you approve of my outfit?” Davina was constantly giving subtle tests to Kato throughout his month-long trial period.

                “Mistress, it is never my place to advise you on your choice of clothing.” Kato said smartly.

                Davina sighed, she could not get the man to make one false step, she had tried for the last week, “Fine, do you like the dress or not?” she huffed.

                “You look absolutely stunning, you will be the envy of the club.” Kato smiled. “Thank you, Kato, we are ready to leave.” Davina walked to the front of the house, Kato always two steps ahead of her.

                “Raizo, Vinyl Fetish please.” Davina instructed her driver, as Kato assisted his Mistress into the car. “Yes, Mistress.” Raizo tipped his hat.

                The last three weeks had been trying, Davina’s mood had fluctuated between being happier than she had in a very long time, to missing Teiji and crying into her pillow. Kato was handsome, he was talented, he was the perfect pet…but he wasn’t Teiji. There were always subtle reminders of Teiji were ever Davina looked; the pond where they would sit and talk while feeding the koi, or the early morning tea service in the large garden just off of Davina’s bedroom.

                One particular night at Vinyl Fetish, Davina had a serious case of déjà vu, that frightened her. A young submissive was behaving badly, a young woman in training. Her Dominant was handling things the best he could, but the woman was loud and obnoxious. The submissive woman was shouting at her Dominant and was walking quickly towards the entrance to the club, near where Davina was standing.

                Kato took one step in front of Davina, shielding her completely as the submissive walked by. The young woman stopped and looked at Davina, “What the hell are you looking at bitch?”

                Davina was dumbstruck, she had never had anyone say that to her and never a submissive. The collective gasp in the room could be heard, a groan coming from someone walking towards the door.

                “Zelena! Do you know who this is! Who you just called a bitch? My pardon Mistress Davina” The Dominant bowed from the waist, “I will take care of this unruly child.” At the second the Dominant said Davina’s name the girl’s face paled, bowing from the waist, “My apologies Mistress Davina, I didn’t know it was you.”

                Davina could have exacted punishment right then, it would have been justified, instead she approached the young woman, taking a long fingernail and tipping the girl’s head up. “Zelena is your name?” Davina asked softly, the girl’s eyes were flooded with tears, her face red in embarrassment as she nodded.

                “Would you mind telling me why you are so upset?” The girl shook her head. “Naoto-san, would you please bring Zelena and follow me.” Davina started to walk back to her private room, a murmur going through the crowd.

                “Sit, both of you.” Davina instructed. “Zelena, tell me what has made you so upset tonight that you felt it necessary to insult me.”

                Zelena looked at her Dominant, who nodded. “The outfit…I feel like… like a slut or a prostitute, it looks hideous on me…I look like someone you’d find on a street corner.” The young woman then looked up at Davina, “There was someone following us, he or she kept touching my ass, I tried to tell Naoto-san but he was too busy speaking to another Dominant, I got mad and walked away.”

                Davina looked down her nose at the other Dominant, “Naoto-san, is this true? Did you ignore your submissives pleas?”

                “Yes, Mistress…I suppose I did.” The man had enough decency to look at the floor. “Naoto, this outfit is a bit slutty, is that how you view your pet? Is she to be displayed as a common whore?” Davina’s voice was becoming sharp, Kato putting his hand on his Mistresses shoulder.

                “I dress my pet at my discretion, I determine what she shall wear, that is of no concern to the members of the community.” Naoto replied hotly.

                “That is true, yet this young woman is a trainee, not a fully trained pet. If people are touching her without your consent, that indicates that you have dressed her improperly, and right now, she does look like a common whore.” Davina’s voice had dropped, with a menacing tone.

                “Zelena, how long have you been in training?” Davina ignored the looks that Naoto was giving her.

                “Two weeks, Mistress.” The girl answered. Turning to Kato, Davina whispered something in Kato’s ear, then turned back to face the man.

                “Naoto-san, this is a formal reprimand, you are at fault here, not Zelena.” The man started to sputter, standing quickly to which Kato moved in front of him, pushed him back down on the small couch.

                “You should know better than to debut a submissive in training, wearing an outfit that would only be fit to wear by a seasoned fully trained pet. You ignored your pet’s pleas that someone was touching her without your consent, these infractions will be relayed to Madame F.”

                Davina turned to Zelena, and patted the spot next to her, the girl moved without looking at her Dominant. “Zelena, what Naoto-san did was not acceptable, but you also need to take some of the blame in this, with your words. If you need to, here is my card.” Davina lifted her hand, Kato deftly placing a business card between Davina’s fingers.

                “If this is not remedied immediately, if Naoto-san’s behavior continues to be as such, call me and I will send for you within an hour, now… go home and wash that garish makeup off, and revisit the reasons you want to become a pet, for anyone, not just Naoto-san…which I believe at this time, is not a good fit.”

                Davina patted the girl on the leg, then turned back to Naoto, “After everything we as a community went through, with both that maggot Natsu and his abuse of Uta, to the death of my Teddy, you should know Naoto that you will be watched, and we will not hesitate to step in and remove Zelena if we see fit, is that clear?” Davina was openly threatening another Dominant, something she had never done before, but this was a new era in the community.

                “Yes, Mistress Davina, I understand completely.” Naoto stood and moved to leave the room, “Zelena you may stay here if you’d like, take a taxi home, I will have it paid for when you leave.”

                Zelena waited until Naoto had left the room, then turned to Davina, “Mistress, he won’t be punished harshly, will he? I do think he means well… but as you said, perhaps we’re not right for each other.”

                “My dear, I think you belong with a female Dominant…you strike me as being much too fragile for a man. If you’d like, I could speak to some of my associates and find a better suited situation for you.” Davina reached up and stroked the girls face.

                “If you have any more troubles, please contact me, now I will send you on your way.” Davina leaned over and kissed the girl lightly on the lips. Zelena stood up and bowed deeply, then left the room.

                Davina quickly fell back into the couch, “Oh what an asshole!”  she laughed. “Well that was one for the books, ne Kato?”

                “Mistress, the girl seemed frightened when she first looked at you, now as she left the room, her back was straighter and she was holding her head higher. I believe you gave her the confidence she needed to leave Naoto-san.” Kato was in awe of the way Davina had handled the incident.

                “The girl needs a female Dominant, she will bloom under the touch of a woman.” Davina mused. “Let’s go home Kato.”

                Escorting Davina to the waiting car, Kato had his hand on Davina’s lower back, blocking anyone from approaching as he guided her towards the door. As they exited the club, Davina saw the trainee submissive girl Zelena, getting into a waiting cab. “Good she’s going home without Naoto” Davina murmured to herself.

                 Kato had kept his urges under wraps while he was serving Davina, but those urges were becoming almost unbearable to the point that if Davina touched Kato at any point, the man shivered…his skin burning. Not being able to bring up the topic of his status after the contract expired was difficult…he had no way of knowing how Davina felt about him, was he going to be able to stay?
                Davina had noticed Kato’s reactions to her being close, the breath hitching if she laid a hand on his arm, caressed his cheek. The incident at Vinyl Fetish that night, when Davina was losing her temper with the Dominant, the gentle touch of Kato’s hand on her shoulder had almost addled her brain, the urge to reach up to touch her young submissive was almost impossible to resist, yet she had to keep her focus on the problem of that moment.

                The drive home had been fairly quiet, Davina praising Kato for his service again, “You are becoming indispensable to me rather quickly, Kato.” Davina moved her hand to cover his, a small vibration felt. “Thank you, Mistress. I can’t see myself serving anyone else.” Kato murmured.

                Walking into the manor, Kato waited to be dismissed for the evening, making his rounds to check for anything unusual before retiring. Davina paused in front of her door, looking over her shoulder, it was time. “Kato, I would like for you to attend me tonight,” her voice had a definite edge to it.

                “Yes, Mistress.” Kato bowed, then followed Davina into her room, his heart pounding in his chest…this was what he had waited for.

 

                Uta was moping, that was the only way to describe a constant stream of over exaggerated sighs, extended pouts and general pissyness. Acchan had texted him the night before, thanking him for coming to the concert, the next morning Uta texted him back, but then heard nothing. “Pfft, of course you didn’t hear anything, dumbass.” Uta wasn’t sure how to move on after this, he really had nobody to confide in, Mao would just blow everything out of proportion, he pulled out his phone,

                “Do you have time to meet with me today? Lunch at Ojisan’s?”

                Yutaka had left Hide at home, knowing that the man would most likely criticize him for giving Uta advice…it was just easier to lie to his husband, what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.

                “Irasshai.”  Ojisan greeted Yutaka as he came through the door, “Hello Ojisan. Uta!” Hugging Uta tightly, Yutaka could tell that the young man hadn’t had much sleep, or at the least, undisturbed sleep.

                Yutaka didn’t waste any time, “So what’s the problem with Acchan now?”

                Uta’s breath caught, “Why…how did you know?”

                “Because he was at our house this morning, and I’m going to say it’s probably the same problem.” Yutaka ordered ramen and a cola. “You two are so transparent and easy to read sometimes.”

                “No, we’re not.” Uta pouted. “Maybe I asked you to lunch just to say hi or something.”

                “You saw us last night at the concert, you gushed over how much fun you had, then you stood and stared at Acchan…try again.” Eating some of his ramen, Yutaka waited for Uta to come clean.

                “Fine, maybe it is about Acchan…and me too. Please, don’t tell him we met! I don’t want him to…” Uta’s voice faltered.

                “If it’s any comfort, Acchan doesn’t know what to do either, he wants you back in his life, but he’s seriously afraid of rejection, and for good reason. If he doesn’t change his attitude...” Yutaka peered over his glass of cola.

                “We told him to move slowly, but he doesn’t have a clue where to start, he’s afraid of scaring you, Uta. He loves you, but with the history between you, rejection is a valid fear for him.”

                “I’m just worried… he can be so possessive and controlling, can’t he just love me for me?” Uta whined.

                “Young one, you love Atsushi correct?” Ojisan had stepped up to the counter. Uta nodded, “Yes…I do.” Ojisan smiled, “Atsushi has finally learned to love himself, he can remain happy while he is alone, but he is happiest when he is with you. He has shown you that he would walk to the moon and back for you. Without hesitation, Atsushi went to the Netherlands when Davina called, even knowing how you felt about him.”

                Uta’s tears started at the mention of the Netherlands. Ojisan grabbed a tissue, handing it to Uta. “He struggled to keep you alive, when you came home, he kept you safe until your memories returned, he did nothing for himself, this was about you.”

                Ojisan walked around the counter, to stand behind Uta and hug the boy he cared about so much, “It’s time Uta…it’s time for you both to be happy, and you both are happiest with each other.” Ojisan kissed the top of Uta’s head.

                “I’ll try suggesting a few things to him, maybe he’ll get up enough courage to do something, give him a few more days, ne?” Yutaka leaned over and kissed Uta on the forehead. “Don’t give up yet…but you may have to make the first move.”

 

                Like Uta, Sakurai had been moping around his house all day, frustrated that he could not come up with an idea on how to approach the boy he loved. “Think damn it!”

                Ideas that he normally would have gone with, flowers, a card… maybe surprising him with lunch while he was at work, Sakurai saw all of those ideas as epic fails. Finally, after dinner and more than a few glasses of wine, Sakurai sat on his couch, trying to focus on some ridiculous TV show.

                Tsubaki was on his lap asleep, Maru on the pillow next to him, his babies were growing so quickly. As he stroked Tsubaki, the kitten sneezed… then sneezed several more times. Acchan bent his head down to look at his kitten, noticing green goo in the corner of both of the cat’s eyes.

                “Tsu? What’s wrong baby?” Picking the cat up, he saw the same green goo forming on the end of Tsubaki’s nose, a little bit of it was crusted. “Shit!” He put the cat down, and as he stood to find his phone, the cat started to cough, a deep wet cough.

                “Crap! Baby your sick! Uh… wait… the vet…we need to take you to the vet! Um…” Looking at the time, 8:34pm, Sakurai knew that his normal vet would be closed.

                Sakurai Atsushi was one second from pure panic mode, he stood next to the couch, watching the little cat make a nest and try to cover himself up with a blanket.

                “Who do I call? Yuta… no they have dogs! Koichi?... he has cats…shit! Uta!” He quickly took out his phone and called,

                “Uta! You have to help me! Tsubaki’s sick… no! There’s green goop in his eyes, and his nose…he’s coughing…what should I do?”

                When Uta saw the phone number pop up, he automatically thought that

Acchan had figured out a way to approach him, what he got instead was a man in panic mode and obviously scared. “I’ll come over…give me like ten minutes.”

                The cat is sick? Green goop? This doesn’t sound good. It took Uta less than the normal ten minutes to drive to Sakurai’s house, walking in without knocking and without taking off his shoes. “Where is he?” Uta asked.

                “He’s here… look! He’s sick Uta…I don’t… what do I do? His vet is closed!” Uta’s looking at the young cat, who is obviously very sick. “Get his carrier, we have to take him to an ER clinic, I know where it is.” Uta ordered the man.

                “I’ll drive, just hold the carrier on your lap.” Uta got behind the wheel. “Are you sure he hasn’t gotten into anything poisonous?”

                “No! I don’t know…he was laying on my lap and started sneezing, he’s been perfectly fine all day.” Acchan’s mind was going over his normal routine, did he miss something this morning?

                Pulling into the ER clinic, Uta directed Acchan to go sit down, “We have a young cat that’s sick.” he then lowered his voice, “The cat belongs to Sakurai Atsushi.” The vet tech looked over, “Follow me please.”

                “Acchan…” Uta waved the man over. The tech put them in a room, “Someone will be with you in a minute.”

                “Should I take him out? Or wait for the vet?” Acchan’s face was pinched with worry, he wasn’t handling this very well.

                “Wait…” The door opened and a middle-aged female Veterinarian came in, “What has happened to your baby, Sakurai-san?” She reached in and took Tsubaki out.

                Acchan explained what had happened only twenty minutes earlier, “He was coughing, the green stuff in his eyes and nose… what’s wrong with him?”

                Uta put his hand on Acchan’s arm, “let her look at him.” The vet cleaned the cat’s eyes, keeping the goop on a gauze pad, she listened to his heart and his chest. “I’m fairly certain it’s an upper respiratory infection, we call it a URI, but I’d like to take a blood sample, to make sure it’s nothing more serious. I’ll take Tsubaki back with me. Please wait here.”

                Picking up the cat, the vet left the small room. “Can he die of this URI?” Acchan asked Uta. “If it goes untreated, or if he was still little, sure…but he’s been healthy, he’s had all of his shots on time, right?” Acchan nodded. “I’m sure they’ll give you some gross medicine and send us home.” Uta reached over and picked up Acchan’s hand, patting it gently.       

                They turned to the door when they heard a yowl, Uta giggling, “He didn’t like that did he?” The fact that Uta laughed, eased Acchan’s mind a little. After about five minutes the vet came back into the room, Tsubaki’s eyes and nose had been cleaned, and she carefully put the cat in the carrier.

                “I’m fairly certain this is just a URI, I don’t see anything really with the bloodwork, but I’ll conduct some further tests tonight.”

                “I have his sister…is this contagious?” Acchan now had a double worry. “If you can separate them for at least 4 or 5 days, it would be best. URI’s are contagious, but I’ll give you medicine for both, if your other cat shows symptoms give her the same dose.”

                After paying the bill and receiving the medications, Uta drove Acchan home, a very sleepy Tsubaki remaining quiet.

                Going inside, Acchan wasn’t sure were to put Tsubaki, so he would be away from Maru. “Put them in my…I mean in your spare bedroom, it’s warm and you can put the litter box in the bathroom.” Uta suggested, hoping that Acchan didn’t catch the mistake and see him blushing.

                Getting Tsubaki set up in the spare bedroom, Acchan finally sat down, feeling drained of all energy. “Thank you for coming so quickly, I’m sorry I was such a mess…I just panicked I guess.” Acchan said sheepishly.

                Uta smiled broadly, “It’s okay, I know I’d freak out if Luna or Saki got sick, I need to get home…will you call me tomorrow? I want to know how he’s doing please.”

                Acchan got up to walk Uta out, hugging the boy hard, “Thank you again, Uta…” he whispered in Uta’s ear.  “You’re welcome.” Uta murmured.

                Uta and Acchan’s thoughts the rest of that night were similar, both knew that this little cat emergency was the catalyst they needed to move forward with, now they both had an excuse to see each other…everything after that would be easy.

Chapter Text

 

                “I want you to move in with me.” Were the first words out of Aoi’s mouth that morning, even before Yuki was fully awake.

                Yuki sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “What did you say?”

                “I said, I want you to move in with me.”

                “Isn’t this a little sudden?” Yuki was caught off guard by the proposal.

                Aoi chuckled, “No, not after last night.”

                “Last night? What does last night have to do with me moving in?”

                Aoi leaned over and kissed Yuki on the nose, “Everything.” Yuki stared at his boyfriend, not understanding the link of the two events.

                “You’re going to have to explain, I’m not following you.”

                Aoi smiled, “What did we do last night?” Yuki’s brow furrowed, “You made dinner, we ate and watched TV, then we went to bed.”

                “Exactly, now what are we doing?” Aoi kissed Yuki’s nose again, he was developing a nose fetish.

                Yuki sighed, he was tired and frustrated, “We’re playing twenty questions! Get to the point, Yuu!”

                Ut oh, Aoi knew when Yuki used his real name…

                “Okay… what I’m trying to say is this; I want to do this every morning.”

                Yuki rolled his eyes. “You want to play twenty questions?”

                “No silly, I want to wake up with you, see you every night, I want you to move in with me!” Aoi was grinning.

                “Yuu, we haven’t been together that long…are you sure?” The thought of plunging into this part of a relationship so early, scared Yuki somewhat.

                Aoi pounced on Yuki, nuzzling the boy’s neck, “Yes, I’m sure.” He whispered.

                “I can’t move in with you.” Yuki said quietly, wrapping his arms around Aoi.

                “Why!” Aoi sat up, “I love you like crazy, it sounds kinda lame but you’re like the guy I’ve been waiting forever for!”

                “Ayato can’t pay full rent for our flat, there’s no way I’m moving in with you and leave him hanging…that’s not fair to anyone.”

                “Pfft!” Aoi scoffed, “I know for sure that Reita’s already asked Ayato, maybe we should get together with them and at least talk about it.”

                “Let me talk to Ayato first, I don’t want to say anything to Reita, if they haven’t discussed this yet.” Yuki had to make sure this would work…he wouldn’t leave his friend hanging.

                “I’ll talk to Reita, if they’re deciding to live together, will you move in with me pleassessee?” Aoi begged.

                “Are you really sure about this?”

                Aoi smiled tenderly at his young lover, “I’ve never been more sure about anything remotely close to this, and living with Reita as a couple doesn’t count, we were young and stupid. Aren’t you sure? Is there any reason you wouldn’t want to live with me?”

                Yuki said nothing for several seconds, “No, I love you, you’ve proven that you’ve changed, it’s hard to make these big decisions, at least for me.”

                “I know and I totally respect that, I’m obviously not going to force you…I just…” Aoi’s voice faltered.

                “It’s just what?”

                Aoi closed his eyes, shaking his head, “I’m scared that I may not be good enough for you, that maybe you’ll find someone else, like someone that’s not in the industry.”

                Yuki reached up and stroked Aoi’s cheek, “Yuu…seriously? I’m in love with you, I don’t want anyone else, the industry doesn’t really figure into my feelings anymore, I don’t love Aoi of the Gazette… I love Shiroyama Yuu”

                Taking a short break for a make out session, Yuki pulled away from Aoi, “If Ayato moves in with Reita, then yes, I’ll move in with you.”

                Aoi yelped happily, jumping up he started bouncing on the bed, “Yes!”

                “Are you 5? Stop that!” Yuki laughed.

                “I’m just happy, come on bounce with me!” Aoi reached for Yuki, who then grabbed Aoi’s hand and yanked him back down on the bed, the man falling on his back.

                “Give me one good reason why I should move in with you.”

                Aoi gave his lover several good reasons, that almost made Yuki late for work.

 

                Finally, with just two hours to get ready for work, Yuki walked into his flat, surprised to see Ayato sitting on the couch, the roommates rarely crossing paths lately. Taking the opportunity, Yuki sat next to Ayato, “I need to talk to you.”

                “Sure, what’s up?”

                Taking a deep breath, “Aoi wants me to move in with him and I really want to.”

                “What’s the problem then? Move in with him.” Ayato was playing it cool.

                Yuki’s jaw dropped, “Will you be able to keep the flat if you have to cover all the rent?” he said incredulously.

                “No, but that’s not a problem, I’ll just find another place.”

                “What? You can’t be serious! Living alone is expensive!” This wasn’t working, Yuki was on the edge of panic.

                Ayato stared at his friend, then started laughing. “I’ll move in with Akira, he’s already bugging me about it. I told him I wouldn’t move in until Aoi asked you.”

                Now it was Yuki’s turn to laugh, “That’s exactly what I told Aoi!”

                They talked about when they would move, the rent on the flat and the lease, “I’m sure we can get out of it, it’s not like there aren’t a million people looking for a cheap flat this close to a major station.” Ayato reminded Yuki.

                “I was just thinking about that last night, where we are now, from where we started, you coming home to Japan, Akira moping around…me escaping from a shit relationship and finding you as a roommate, we’re pretty damned lucky.” Yuki mused.

                “Yah we are, plus hot boyfriends as a bonus in the deal!”

 

                Aoi rushed into the studio, he knew Reita would be practicing that day. Barging into the practice room, Aoi didn’t see Reita, only Uruha sitting on the couch, “Where’s Rei?”

                “He’s down the hall, he’ll be back in a minute, why what’s wrong?” The way Aoi was behaving was suspicious…Uruha instantly went into defensive mode.

                Aoi walked over to sit in a chair, “I just need to…”

                “Just need what?” Reita walked into the room, Aoi jumping up and grabbing the bass player by the shoulders, shaking him gently.

                “You need to let Ayato move in with you, like now!” Aoi sputtered.

                Reita was confused, “I what? Why what’s wrong…is it Yuki?”

                “Yuki won’t move in with me until Ayato moves in with you! You have to do this now…today!!” Aoi pleaded.

                “Aoi…did you get Yuki pregnant?” Uruha mocked his band mate.

                Aoi’s head snapped around, “What? Oh, fuck you, Uruha, this is serious.”

                Reita was laughing, moving over to pick up his bass, “Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Yuu. I’ve already asked Ayato, we’ve been waiting on you two to get your shit together.”

                Aoi gaped at his friend, “You have? Shit! Why didn’t you say something sooner? Damnit Reita!” Aoi’s shoulders slumped as he fell back into a chair.

                “You should be thanking me.” Reita smirked. “I just made everything easier for all of us.”

 

 

                Davina woke to a light knock at her bedroom door, before it slowly opened.

                “Good morning, Mistress, it is just past ten, your calendar says you have an appointment at noon.”

                Kato was carrying a breakfast tray with tea and toast, along with Davina’s planner. Waiting for his Mistress to sit up in bed, Kato then placed the tray over Davina’s hips.

                “Thank you, Kato.” Davina smiled.

                “Do you need anything else this morning? I have some chores that need attention.” Kato was looking at the floor.

                “No, my dear, that will be all for now. Come here please.” Kato stepped near the bed, then dropped to his knees next to Davina. “Yes, Mistress?”

                “Thank you for a lovely evening, it was exquisite.” Davina murmured as she cupped Kato’s face, “I enjoyed myself a great deal.” She whispered as her lips brushed Kato’s.

                Kato shivered as Davina’s lips touched his, he had fallen in love with his Mistress that night, neither one needed to say anything to the other, it was understood completely. After the kiss, Kato bowed and left the room.

                Davina had been more than pleased, Kato was an attentive lover, pleasing Davina before himself, but there was something more, Davina now felt free to love Kato.

                After the heat of passion had mellowed into a warm burn, Davina drifted off to sleep in Kato’s arms. Her dreams were the same; Teiji…her Teddy was saying goodbye, she had Kato to protect and care for her, it was time to let him go.  “Love Uta as you always have.” Teiji kissed Davina and was gone.

                Davina woke just before dawn, her tears dampening her pillow. Gazing at the man next to her, she understood now that Kato was where he was destined to be, to love and serve her.

                She sighed, she had to move forward, it was the only way to live. “Thank you, my love.” She nuzzled Kato’s neck, the young man pulled her close, a soft “Davina” is whispered.

                “Do you perhaps have an opening to see me today? It’s rather urgent.”

 

                Uta was up early, as was the norm when you had two obnoxious sounding cats screaming to be fed. He had checked his phone to see if Acchan had texted him, hopefully not about having more problems with Tsubaki.

                “Could you please call me? He hates the medication, most of it is on me, what am I doing wrong?”

                “You’re a grown ass man, Acchan…you can’t even handle this?” Uta giggled.

                “I just woke up, give me thirty minutes and I’ll be over.”

                Taking a very quick shower, Uta left the house with wet hair, “Doesn’t matter, I’m not doing this for him.” Uta muttered, not really believing himself. Pulling into Acchan’s driveway, Uta had a sense of déjà vu again, which was happening more each day.

                Walking into the large house, not bothering to knock, Uta toed off his shoes, “Acchan?”

                “In the kitchen.” He heard the man call out. Walking towards the back of the house, Uta couldn’t help but smile, it was comfortable to be in the house again, whether it be the fact that the interior looked nothing like it had when Uta lived there, may be the reason…but it felt good.

                “What have you been doing?” Uta laughed as soon as he saw Acchan.

                “Don’t laugh, this isn’t easy!” Acchan’s shirt was covered in pink medication, the man looking frustrated.

                “How much did he actually get today?” Uta moved next to his ex, looking at the box of medicine. “About half of what he was supposed to…and I have to do this twice a day?” The man moaned.

                “Come on, I’ll show you how to do it, it’s pretty easy.” Picking up the box of medicine, Uta walked down the hall to his… Acchan’s spare bedroom where they had quarantined Tsubaki the previous night.

                “Tsu, come here baby.”  Uta called for the cat, who yowled as he came from under the bed, “Okay…this is how you do it.” Uta filled the small syringe with medicine, then placing Tsubaki on his lap and between his legs, he grabbed the back of the cat’s neck, scruffing him, as the cat’s face tightened, Uta quickly slipped the syringe into the cat’s mouth and shot the medicine as far down the throat as possible, then let the cat go.

                “Uh, that looks pretty brutal…didn’t you hurt him by grabbing him like that?” Acchan had no experience medicating a cat.

                “It’s a weird thing, it’s called ‘scruffing’, Vet’s do it all the time, it’s a quick way to control an animal if it needs medication, it didn’t hurt him at all.” Uta looked down at the cat who was now washing his face.

                “The key is to have the syringe ready to go before you scruff him…the faster the better for both of you.” Uta reminded the man.

                “Thank you, Uta. For all of this.” Acchan blushed. “You’re welcome, if you have problems again, just call me.” Uta made his way towards the front door…

                “Wait! Um, can I… uh, would you stay for breakfast? It’s the least I can do for you for helping me.” Acchan quickly reached out to touch Uta on the shoulder.

                Uta grinned, “Sure, breakfast would be nice.”

                With a cup of coffee in front of him, Uta watched as Acchan moved around his kitchen, making pancakes and eggs with rice for breakfast. “Have you spoken to Davina lately?”

                “No, not since Kato went to live with her…actually since even before that.” Uta really needed to contact his Mistress.

                Acchan tread lightly, “Are you okay with all of this…I mean Kato and Davina’s situation?”

                Uta thought for a moment, “I am surprisingly. I think Kato will be good for her, I know she had a difficult time accepting the fact that Kato was to be her new pet…but I’m happy for them both.”

                They talked about Uta being back at the HBG, “I’m sure you’re happy with being back, well except for that unfortunate incident with Zero.” Acchan’s face got dark when speaking of the man.

                “I should have been more aware of what was going on with him, looking back he was just freaking creepy.” Uta shivered slightly.

                “I never remember seeing anything of his come across my desk, but when I asked the front office, they had a few of his letters…his poetry as he called it was worse than a hack writer, most anyone could write better than he does.” Acchan spat out the words.     

                “I’m just glad you were there…poor Aki though. His face was all bruised up, it looked fairly awful as it healed and now his husband Tora? Oh my god…the man is paranoid as hell, he and Aki now must work together, he refuses to work unless it’s with Aki.” Uta giggled, a sound that went straight to Acchan’s heart.

                “I know how Tora feels though, when you love someone that strongly, you do become a bit unhinged at times, ne?” Acchan looked embarrassed.

                “Oh, yes…I know all about unhinged people…I’ve had extensive experience with someone that I loved and someone that said they loved me.” Uta wasn’t trying to place blame on anyone, but Acchan knew who he was talking about.

                Acchan cocked his head as he looked at the young man he loved sitting across from him. “Would you go out to dinner with me?” He was trying to keep his emotions together.

                “Um sure, I’d like that…just not the restaurant or Ojisan’s please…somewhere that we won’t run into anyone we know.” The last thing Uta needed was Mao or Kyo or anyone else at the restaurant seeing him with Acchan…that would just start more drama.

                “Great, I will pick you up tonight about seven.”

 

                “Uta! Just the man I needed to talk to!” Uta had just put his key in the lock of his front door, when Reita stopped him. “Ut oh… clogged sink?” Uta teased, his life as a landlord really didn’t consist of issues such as that.

                “No, but I’d like to sit down with you and talk about my lease, if you have a minute.” Reita’s face was filled with smiles, the man looked like he was about to pop.

                “Sure, come on. Ignore the cats…they are not starving.” Uta snickered, Saki and Luna screaming as soon as he opened the door.

                “Sit down, what did you need to talk about?” Uta sat with Reita at his small kitchen table. “I’d like to add a person to the lease, if that’s allowed, please.”

                Uta knew what this was about, “Ah, let me guess, Ayato’s moving in with you?”

                Reita looked down at the table, blushing bright pink, “Yah…he is. That’s okay isn’t it? I mean I don’t want to go against any rules.” Reita quickly added.

                “It’s a two-bedroom flat Reita, as long as you don’t have 6 people living there, 2 is fine. The rent will stay the same though.” Uta still didn’t want to raise the rent, it’s not like he needed the money.

                “No, that’s not alright with me. I’m going to give you another $200 for Ayato, don’t fucking argue with me either Uta…I’m going to pay what needs to be paid. I appreciate what you’re doing and all, but it’s not fair. Just put the money in a trust fund for your cats or something, I don’t care but you’re getting extra when Ayato moves in.”

                “My cats?” Uta burst out laughing, “You’re joking…oh god…”

                “No, then give the money to a charity or something, buy band equipment for a school, just take the damned money. It’s not like I’m poor or anything…sheesh, cut me some slack!”

                “Fine, I’ll put the money away for something, not sure what but I’ll figure it out. When is he moving in?” Uta gave in to Reita’s demand.

                “As soon as Yuki moves in with Aoi.”

                “Wow, that was quick, they haven’t been dating that long, have they?” Uta liked Yuki, though he didn’t know the younger man very well, but it seemed like the two trouble makers of the Gazette were finally calming down.

                “No, but I think Yuki is what Aoi’s been looking for, even before when we were together, he needs someone not in the industry, or at least on the very fringes. He also needed someone that wasn’t dating him for being Aoi of the Gazette, and that’s Yuki.”

                After agreeing on changing the lease and the extra money, Reita went home and Uta went down to his bedroom. “Holy shit, what am I going to wear?” looking in his closet, Uta saw nothing that he thought would be appropriate. He knew in his heart that Acchan was going to take him somewhere upscale, but he really didn’t have the clothes for that special of a restaurant.  “Guess it’s going to be black on black tonight, I don’t really have time to go shopping.” 

                 

                Acchan held the door for Uta, “You look really nice tonight.” Uta smiled nervously, “Thank you.”    

                Sliding into the driver’s side, Acchan reached over and picked up Uta’s hand, “I found a nice quiet restaurant in Ginza, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.” Uta nodded, Ginza! Oh god this is going to be expensive!

                Arriving at the restaurant, the concierge showed the couple to a quiet booth, that looked out over the city. Acchan ordered wine, and suggested what Uta may like on the menu.

                “This is really nice, thank you.” Uta was blushing, but thankfully the lights were dimmed so it wasn’t showing.

                “I have to confess, I didn’t know how to approach you, I even asked Yutaka and Hide for help.”

                Uta giggles, “Yutaka told me.” Acchan frowns, “Traitor.”

                “Uta, I don’t know what to do, how can I possibly dream of you in my life again? I’ve been a horrible person at times, selfish and controlling.”

                “But you’ve never stopped loving me, have you? I’ve been hateful as well, I’ve blamed you for things that were not your fault, I’ve called you horrible names!”

                They didn’t speak for several minutes, then their dinner arrived…the silence continued, until Uta broke through, “What do you want Acchan? What is truthfully in your heart for the future?”

                Acchan continues to eat, thinking of how he wanted to answer Uta’s question. He picked up his glass of wine, draining it. Then he looked at Uta.

                “I want to wake up on Christmas morning, Saki and Maru screaming to be fed, Luna and Tsubaki still sleeping. I want to watch your face light up as you open presents.” He paused, filling his wine glass again, taking another drink.

                “I want all of our friends at our home, for a BBQ…with Mao teasing Kyo, Tatsu and Koichi sitting in a corner whispering to each other, Sato and Taka bantering back and forth, I want all of your co-workers there, I want all of our friends to witness how happy we are.”

                Uta placed his elbows on the table, leaning forward, his chin cupped in his hands, as he listened to Acchan describe their life together.

                “I want to be able to steal a kiss from you at the HBG, watching my peers and associates enjoying a party, summers at the beach and fall at an onsen, I want every last moment of my life with you in it.”

                Uta didn’t speak for a while, drinking more wine, looking intently at Acchan. Then he started, “Sounds like you and I want the same things, but can we get there? All the way there this time? No controlling, no pulling the pissy alpha card, no Dominant in the room unless we both agree.”

                “What will you do about the other community?” Uta breathed deeply as he leaned back in his chair.

                “I would leave that behind, there is no questioning that.”

                “Now that we both understand that we want the same things, how do we start building towards our dreams?” One tiny tear escaped from Uta’s eye, slowly sliding down his cheek.

                “Baby, don’t cry…we’ll work hard, both of us…I know we can do this together, we just need to make sure that we are open, no hiding feelings, we must be completely honest with each other, or this won’t work. I love you, I want this like I’ve never wanted anything else.” Acchan reached over and gently wiped the tear away with his thumb.

                In quiet contemplation, Acchan drove Uta home, walking the young man to his door. “Can I see you tomorrow please?”

                “I work until six.”

                Tenderly cupping Uta’s cheeks in his hands, Acchan leans down for what he thought would be a chaste good night kiss, but was ultimately surprised when Uta threw his arms around the man’s neck, changing the chaste kiss into something hot and passionate.

                Putting their foreheads together, Uta slipped another kiss in, this time biting Acchan’s lower lip, “If you don’t stop that right now, young man…I’m not going to be able to drive home.”

                “Okay…” Uta giggled, “I’ll text you when I get home from work, ne?” Now it was Acchan’s turn, wrapping his arms tightly around Uta, lifting the young man off the ground, they shared another passionate kiss. “I love you, Uta.”

                Before Uta could say anything, Acchan put him down, kissed him on the forehead and turned to walk to the car. Uta watched as Acchan’s car pulled away, then turned and walked into his flat.

Chapter Text

 

                Davina wandered out to the koi pond to think, going over the events of the last few days, and nights…was she doing the right thing? With the visions of her dreams of the night before, still dancing in her mind, deep down she knew she had to move forward with her life just as Uta had with Acchan, it is what Teiji would have wanted for the both of them.

                Calling the leather master was the first step, she needed the collar done that day, “It will be done Mistress, and it will be delivered before 5pm.” The man assured her.

Calling Madame F was the next step, “Are you sure my dear?”  Yes, she was sure.  Arriving at Madame F’s, Ormond showed Davina and Kato into the Dominant’s office, Madame F sitting behind her desk. Kato suddenly realized what was happening, Davina had made her decision, but which way was it going to go?

                “Davina, Kato…please take a seat and we will go through the paperwork.” Madame F was all business, as were most of their community members, when it came to writing and signing contracts with submissives.

                Sliding copies across the desk, Madame F started, “Please look over these contracts, make any notes to which you disagree on.”

                Kato’s hand started to shake… Davina was going to contract him! Looking over the paperwork, Kato had a difficult time focusing on the language, his Mistress reaching over and gently patting him on the knee, “Take your time.”

                “I find nothing to disagree with in the language of the contract,” Davina looked to Kato, “Everything listed is agreeable to me.” The young man said softly, he dares not look at his Mistress.

                “Please initial each copy, sign at the bottom, the safe word is in place,” Madame F was business like, with Ormond standing behind her. After signing the contracts, Madame F reaches into a drawer and takes out a box, placing it in front of Davina.

                “Kato, you are now contracted to Mistress Davina, this is a binding contract in which both parties must agree in order for it to be voided.”

                Davina reached for the box, setting it on Kato’s lap. “Open in my dear.” Kato’s hands were shaking as he gently lifted the lid. Lifting the collar out of the box, Kato marveled on how intricate the tooling was on the butter soft leather, the initials D and k were intertwined, embossed in silver.

                “Look closer my love…” Davina nodded at the collar that Kato was holding in his hand. Kato frowned slightly, looking at the collar…it took him several seconds before he saw it. Turning to Davina, Kato had tears in his eyes. “Why?”

                “Because I know what it is to lose the most important person in your life, and to remember them always. She brought us together, we should honor her, and Teiji always.”

                Engraved on the inside of the collar, were the names Astrid and Teiji, joined with a heart. Davina wanted to honor the two people who each of them had loved the most in life, and that in some way brought them together.

                “May I?” Madame F reached for the collar, Kato handing it to the woman. Upon looking at the engraving, Madame F smiled sadly. “This is highly irregular Davina.” She gently scolded her protégé. “But it is appropriate.”

                Davina took the collar, and stood behind Kato who lifted his hair for his Mistress, as she buckled the collar around his neck. Returning to her chair, Davina looked at Kato, “You’re mine now…there will be no others. Our lives now are what we focus on, we will never forget our first loves, but they will not be ruling our hearts. I thanked Astrid last night, just as Teiji was saying goodbye. We start fresh today.”

                Kato held Davina’s hand on the drive home, rubbing his thumb gently over her fingers, not wanting to lose the moment. Once they were inside the manor, Kato held back for a moment, “Do you wish anything further of me this evening, Mistress?” Kato looked at the floor, hope in his heart for another night attending his lady in her bedroom, he was not disappointed. Davina said nothing, just gently led her now collared personal pet into her room, closing the door quietly.

               
                “You need to stop! This is getting a little out of hand Yuu!” Yuki was cornered in his bathroom by his lover, both of them naked. “What? Can’t we shower together?” Aoi wore a wicked grin. “Yes, we can shower together, but NO you can’t fuck me! I’m going to be late getting to work if you start this again!”

                There was a definite problem living together, that Yuki had not foreseen…his boyfriend was a sex fiend, constantly grabbing or fondling his young lover at every turn, almost making Yuki late for work several times, and today was no different.

                “Why are you working there anyways? You don’t need to work, I make enough money for the both of us…you should quit!” Aoi wiggled his eyebrows at the boy. “Yuu! That’s it…I’m calling Ayato…maybe we can get our flat back.” Yuki pushed past Aoi and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around his waist.

                “You don’t give a shit about anything other than fucking me! Damn it…I thought I could believe you when you said you loved me! I’m so damn stupid not to see through this shit!” Yuki quickly got dressed, picked up his bag and walked to the door.

                “You need to take a damn hard look at yourself, you want to know why you never have a boyfriend for very long… because you don’t fucking listen to them!” Yuki slammed the door as he left, leaving a stunned Aoi standing in the living room.

                “Asshole! I can’t believe him!” Yuki muttered as he walked to the train station, constantly looking over his shoulder to see if Aoi was following him. Taking out his phone, Yuki called his boss and took a sick day, he needed to figure out what the hell he was going to do.

                Aoi wandered around his flat, not really sure what had just happened, Yuki had just walked out on him because… “That’s just so fucked up, he should be happy that I want to have sex with him!” Flopping down on the couch, Aoi decided to text Reita, giving him the heads up in case Yuki went to see Ayato.

                “Hey, just FYI, Yuki and I just had an argument and he left the house, not sure where he’s going…maybe he’ll try to see Ayato.”

                Upon reading the text, Reita groaned, “What the hell did you do this time, Aoi?” Reita was laying on the bed, now with his face covered with a pillow. “Um, trying to suffocate yourself?” Ayato walked out of the bathroom.

                Reita lifted the pillow, “Aoi and Yuki had a fight, Yuki walked out.” Returning the pillow to his face. “A fight? Damn they’ve been living together for 2 days and are already fighting? Did he tell you why?”

                A muffled ‘no’ was heard from the pillow, Ayato sat down on the bed, trying to think of a reason that the two lovers would be fighting so early in their relationship, before he could ask Reita, his phone buzzed. “It’s Yuki.”

                Reita sat up quickly, “Don’t tell him I’m here!” the man hissed.

                “Hey…what’s up? Uh oh, what about? You’re joking… no, it’s not funny when it interferes with work or anything else. Seriously? But you just moved in! Um, I guess I could talk to Uta, maybe he could use a roommate? Yah, I am…in about an hour, just meet me there.”

                Looking at Reita, Ayato shook his head, “You won’t even believe what the fight was over…” Reita shrugged. “Aoi won’t stop molesting Yuki…he said all Aoi wants to do is have sex…it’s made him late to work. This morning he said he’d had enough and walked out.”

                Reita face palmed and fell back on the bed, “Yuu, you’re an idiot.” Reita reached over and put the pillow back over his face. “He’s going to meet me at work in a bit, what should I do?”

                “I’ll see if I can ta