I'll Say Goodbye For the Two of Us

BY : midnightphoenix
Category: +G to L > Junjou Romantica (Junj? Romanchika) > Junjou Romantica (Junj? Romanchika)
Dragon prints: 291
Disclaimer: I don't own Junjou Romantica or its characters. No profit is being made from the writing of this story.

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John Green, Paper Towns

Takahashi Misaki stared out the window blankly, his green eyes not really seeing the scenery before him.  Inside, he was full of conflicting emotions about what he should do.  He knew what he wanted, but it looked as though he couldn’t have it.  The last thing he wanted to be was a burden…just the thought made his heart clench in pain.  Too many people had already hammered the idea into his head that that’s what he would eventually become to Usagi-san.  And when he thought about it, he didn’t really fit into Usagi-san’s world.  The party at the Imperial Hotel had made him realize the bitter fact.  The idea was ludicrous, really, when you thought about it.  A 19-year-old college student in a relationship with a 29-year-old famous author – add in the fact that both were males and you had a nice, juicy scandal right there.  He could practically hear the vultures salivating over the soon-to-be remains of Usagi-san’s career if that were ever found out.

And the more he thought about it, though it was painful, he knew that he couldn’t let Usagi-san risk everything just for him.  He wouldn’t be that selfish.  If anything was to be sacrificed, it would be him.  His decision had been cemented the night after his confrontation with both Isaka-san and Haruhiko-san.  Earlier in the semester, he’d put in his application for a study abroad program.  It was rare that freshmen were granted this opportunity, but he’d applied anyway.  He’d gotten a student visa as was required.  Quite honestly, he’d forgotten about it – until now.  He had to make a decision regarding his living quarters.  Somehow, he’d find either a place for himself or take his brother’s past offer of living with him and his sister-in-law, though he was reluctant to go with that decision.  His brother deserved the right to have his own life apart from his younger brother.  Luck was on his side when Aikawa-san had forced an impromptu book signing tour on Usagi-san.  It made sense to her seeing as how he’d recently won the Kikukawa award.  Naturally, the author had argued over going, but Aikawa-san had gotten her way eventually with the help of Misaki.  So this gave him some breathing space to look around for a new home.

Glancing quickly at his watch, he realized that in his daydreaming state he’d lost all track of time.  If he didn’t hurry, he’d be late for class.  Grabbing his bag and stepping into his shoes, he ran out of the apartment, locking the door behind him.  Taking his usual seat next to Sumi-senpai, he tried to focus on his class rather than the situations awaiting him back at the apartment.  Feeling a poke on the side of his arm, he looked over to his right to see his friend staring intently at him.  Apparently, he’d zoned out again and his friend had been trying to get his attention.  “Sorry about that, Sumi-senpai.  I’ve just got a lot of things on my mind right now.”

The older man watched as the younger of the two of them stammered out an apology.  He looked a little run-down as though he hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep.  “Is everything okay with Usami-sensei?”  At Misaki’s startled glance, he knew he’d hit the problem on the head.  “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.  I just thought that would be the obvious choice as to why you’re so distracted.”  They still had a few minutes before Professor Miyagi came in, so he made an effort to clear the subject.  “Have you heard anything about your application status?  They’re supposed to be choosing people this week, or so I’ve heard.”

Misaki shook his head no.  “Honestly, I’d forgotten about it.  If I don’t get in, it won’t be the end of the world.”  Although you’ve got to admit, living abroad would be preferable than trying to find an apartment or having to live with nii-san.  Aikawa-san mentioned that the tour could take up to two months.  Will that give me enough time to get everything settled before Usagi-san comes back?  The class went by in a blur and Misaki said goodbye to his friend before he left.  Since his brother now lived nearby, he could visit him and tell him what he was planning.  The only thing concerning him now was how to convince him not to tell Usagi-san where Misaki might be going to and for how long.  Considering what had happened in the past when it concerned Misaki, the younger man knew what his older lover would do.  Because he knew once Usagi-san had that information, he’d be heading there to bring Misaki back.  And wouldn’t that just go over so well?

He made the train just as it was getting ready to leave, his chest heaving from his quick run to the station.  Flopping down into a nearby seat, he sat his bag next to him.  Zoning everyone out, he sat there silently, listening for his stop to be announced.  A few minutes later, he found himself walking out of the station as he headed towards his brother’s residence.  Pasting a smile on his face, he raised his hand to the intercom and rang the bell.  A few minutes later, the door opened and there stood his brother, surprise evident on his face at seeing his younger brother standing there.  “Misaki, it’s such a surprise to see you here!  Come in!”

Misaki followed his brother into the apartment, his eyes taking in the homey touches that Manami had made to the room.  His smile faltered for a minute as he recalled Usagi-san’s words to him that day on the train.  True, the man hadn’t a clue as to how a family should act, but he had tried in his own way.  Sitting down on the couch across from his brother, he rapidly tried to figure out what to say.  “Nii-chan, there’s something that I wanted to tell you.  Earlier this semester, I decided to participate in Mitsuhashi University’s study abroad program.”

Takahiro sat temporarily stunned at his younger brother’s words.  Then he smiled suddenly as he reached over to hug Misaki.  “That’s wonderful news, Misaki!  Where will you be going if you’re accepted?”

“It’s to the university’s sister school.  If I’ve been accepted, they’ll help with the financial costs, so you won’t have to worry about that.”

Takahiro beamed proudly at him.  “This will be such a wonderful opportunity for you!  Oh, does Usagi know about this?”

Misaki’s smile faltered for a second before he regained control.  “I’ve not really had a chance to speak with him.  Aikawa-san’s had him on a book tour for the last month.  But I’ll tell him, don’t worry.”  He neglected to mention how Usagi-san would always call him every night to see how he was.

Takahiro saw that something was different about his brother.  He looked as though he wasn’t getting enough sleep.  But that could be due to his academics.  Takahiro could recall the all-nighter’s he’d have to pull when he was in high school.  “Misaki, is there something you’re not telling me?  I’m your brother…I won’t judge you.  You know that.”

Is it time to tell him?  I’d feel so much better if I could tell him our secret.  And maybe he could help me to understand what I need to do.  Misaki sighed, as he rubbed his hand over his tired eyes.  “I’m not sure how you’re going to take this, nii-chan.  It took me awhile to acclimate to it, myself.”  He stopped, unsure how to proceed.  Just man up and rip the band-aid off!  He won’t be that angry!  Misaki silently hoped so.  “I’m in a relationship…and it’s not with a girl.  I’ve been seeing Usagi-san since I moved into his apartment.  He’s wanted to tell you about our relationship so many times, but I’ve always faltered because I didn’t know how you’d react.  I…I didn’t want you to be disgusted with me, nii-chan.”

Takahiro sat there, his mouth gaping open.  Usagi and his little brother…they were in a relationship?  The protective brother in him wanted to go after his friend, but then he realized who he was talking about.  Usagi didn’t have it in him to hurt someone, let alone his brother.  I mean, sure, there was the whole 10-year age gap to consider.  But if they made each other happy, then who was he to interfere?  Seeing those green eyes waiting for his reaction, he closed his mouth.  Misaki was still his baby brother, no matter who he decided to date.  “Misaki, come here.”  After Misaki moved to sit next to him, he gathered him in a hug.  “I’d never be disgusted with you, Misaki.  Never think that.  Yes, it’s a shock to hear that you’re dating Usagi, but I can’t imagine a finer person who would treat you as you deserve to be treated.  You both have my blessing.  Heh…no wonder he didn’t mind you staying with him, after all.  I can’t believe that I missed that.”

That’s not the only thing you missed, nii-chan.  Misaki thought, as he recalled his first meeting with Usagi-san.  His eyes watered as he hugged his brother back.  As he wiped at his eyes, he replied, “I wish it were that easy.”  At his brother’s confused look, Misaki told him about what had happened.  “That’s why I don’t want you to tell Usagi-san where I’d be going to.  I need to sort out where I belong in his world.  To be a burden to him – that’s the last thing I want to become.  And standing on my own for a little bit might help me to decide where I want to be.”

Takahiro sighed.  Of course, people just had to stick their noses into other people’s business – whether it was wanted or not.  “I understand, Misaki.  And I agree with your decision.  You need to be secure in what you want.  And time away from Usagi and the situation itself might help in your decision.”

After saying his goodbyes and promising to keep his brother updated, Misaki walked back to the train station to catch a ride home.  That word made his stomach tighten in knots.  He didn’t really have a home there, no matter how hard he wished it.  Unlocking the apartment door, he made his way inside the silent abode, throwing his bag onto the couch.  As he rifled through the day’s mail, a large envelope caught his eye.  Noticing it had his name, he tossed the other mail onto the table.  Heart hammering, he slit the envelope open, green eyes poring over the letter.  He’d been accepted into the program!  The letter went on to say when they’d be expecting him and what he should bring.  He stared at the letter in his hands until the words became a blurry sea before his eyes.  This was it…he would soon be on his way to England and out of Usagi-san’s life.  Then his happy mood became dampened as he realized he’d be leaving his lover behind, something he still had trouble with.

The phone rang then, the shrill sound making him jump.  Quickly rising from his seat, he ran to answer the phone, knowing who it would probably be.  “Hello?”

“Misaki, I tried to call earlier but you didn’t answer your phone.  After the day I’ve had, it’s so good to hear your voice.”

“I was visiting nii-chan, Usagi-san.  You don’t have to check up on me all hours of the day, you know.”  His eyebrow visibly twitched at hearing Usagi-san tell him that he’d called him earlier in the day.  Suspecting that there were a lot of missed calls, since he’d placed the phone on vibrate, he made a mental note to check before he went to bed.  The older man could be irritating at times concerning his possessiveness towards Misaki.  Some people might view it as sweet, but until they actually lived it they wouldn’t understand.  At times it felt suffocating to Misaki and he couldn’t help but wonder who was worse – Usagi-san or his own brother.

“I do it because I want to, Misaki.  I love you.”

There he goes again!  Honestly, does the man have any shame?  Flushing hotly, he replied, “Usagi-san, quit saying that!  It’s embarrassing!”

A soft chuckle was heard over the phone.  “Have you been all right, Misaki?  Did you miss me while I’m gone?  I’ve missed you.”

Misaki shot the papers in his hand a startled glance, feeling guilty at what he was about to do.  After chiding himself that Usagi-san couldn’t see what he was holding, he replied, “Everything’s fine, Usagi-san – nothing’s gone wrong.  I’ve been perfectly fine.  Don’t worry about me so much.”   He dropped the papers onto the table.

“Be truthful, Misaki.  You missed me, didn’t you?”

Misaki’s face flushed red as he sputtered, “Usagi-san!”  He thought for a moment and then added, “I didn’t think you were going to call today.  Didn’t you have book signings scheduled today?”  Although he wouldn’t admit this to anyone, but he relished hearing Usagi-san’s deep voice speaking his name.  It never failed to give him a shiver when he heard it.

More laughter this time…the man could be so incorrigible!  “I finished them early so I could talk to you.  When I return, Misaki, we’ll have a proper reunion.”

His red face warring with the increasing guilt he felt, he could only imagine what his lover’s reaction would be when he returned to find that Misaki had left.  Not wanting to alert the other man to his distress, he pretended to be fine.  “You’re such a pervert!  How is poor Aikawa-san putting up with you?  Focus on your work, Usagi-san, and not me!”  Sensing the underlying irritation in his lover’s voice, Misaki asked, “Is something the matter, Usagi-san?  You sound tense.”

A heavy sigh could be heard on the other line.  “That editor of mine has booked me for more tours and other “promotional events” as she calls them.  If she has her way, I won’t be home for another two months at least.”

Usagi-san wouldn’t be home for another two months?  This gives me the extra time that I need to finish up with finals and get things squared away.  And by the time he does come home, I’ll already be in England.  “Is that so, Usagi-san?  Well, if that’s the case, don’t you dare get any ideas about skipping out early!  Your work is important, even if you don’t think so.  You will finish your tours and anything else Aikawa-san has planned for you.”

"You know that I’d rather be with you, doing…”

"Usagi-san, what did I just say?!  For once, please concentrate on your work instead of me.  Will you please do this for me, Usagi-san?”  Am I dealing with a 29-year-old man or a sulky toddler?  If this is what Aikawa-san has to deal with, then the woman deserves a raise!

“Do you not want me there, Misaki?  I thought that you’d miss me by now.”

Heaving a sigh of his own, Misaki clutched the receiver tighter in his hand.  “I didn’t say that, Usagi-san.  Don’t put words in my mouth.  And no innuendoes about what I just said!”  Running his free hand through his hair, he added, “I do miss you, Usagi-san.  And, yes, I do want you here.  But you can’t always just up and leave your job.  That’s what you’re paid to do, so do it!”

“I’d still rather be there with you instead of dealing with these crowds.  The beds in the hotels I go to seem so big and cold without you there to warm me up.  I’ll do as you ask, Misaki.  But remember, when I get home, we are going to celebrate.”

Misaki blushed at hearing what his lover told him.  How could the older man speak those kinds of words so easily, when it took all he had to make any mention of his own feelings towards the man?  Upon hanging up after his conversation with Usagi-san, he remembered that he hadn’t gotten to the laundry yet, reminding himself that he’d do it when he returned home.  To take his mind off of his conversation with Usagi-san, he decided to go ahead and get it collected so he could do it in the morning.  After gathering his clothing, he went to Usagi-san’s room to collect any laundry he had.  Opening the door, he could see a few articles of clothing lying on the bed.  He was momentarily startled to once again see one of the man’s blue, long-sleeved shirts.  Memories revolved around this certain shirt and his face flamed at the remembrance.  Shaking his head, he picked all of the clothing up and walked to the laundry room.  Placing them in the basket, his hand shook as it came to the blue shirt.  Muttering to himself, he placed it aside.    

Walking back to the living room with the shirt clutched in his hand, he seriously began to question what was happening to him.  It was just a shirt, for crying out loud!  His fingers started involuntarily stroking the cotton fabric, the smoothness of the material soothing him.  Bringing it up to his face, he could smell the comforting scent of his lover in its folds.  Memorizing the scent, he knew that this would be his last chance to savor it.

Later that night as he turned in for the evening, he brought the shirt to bed with him, clutching it tightly to his chest as he lay in bed.  It was a cheap substitute when he longed for the real thing.  Tears slid from underneath closed lids as he fell asleep to that familiar scent.

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