Goo's Notes- This is the edited version of the fic originally released as "Ougi" on Fanfiction.Net. Renamed "Heart's Fašade" by Kendra, Digimon Empress it originally followed the fic "Life of Shindou Shuichi: A Retrospective in Song" but now stands alone. (The only details from that fic you need to know is Touma and Mika broke up, Shuichi lost his arm after being hit by a car, Ryuuichi and K started going out, and Suguru and Hiro also coupled. It was also explained Ayaka's father forbid her from marrying Hiro so she married someone else. If you are interested in that fic go to http://www.fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=12150. This version has been revised for spelling and grammar.
Disclaimer- I don't own the Gravitation characters, nor do I want to. They're fun to borrow, but I own plenty of my own to play with. (And trust me: just because you own the characters doesn't mean they magically come to life for you to play with except in writing, so the joys of copyright ownership are highly overrated.) I DO kinda sorta own Amai and Tokui. (Actually, I think I own them all the way, but because of their parentage and the fact they are supposed to be who Mika was pregnant with at the end of the series, I give the copyright holders of Gravitation partial credit for them.) If you want to use them for any reason (or one, the other, or both's name should this spark off a trend of people writing about Mika and Touma's kid(s)) then feel free to ask in my review section or, for a quicker response, e-mail me. I also own Chen Quon Yue and all other OCs.
Notes on Japanese- Besides the title, I only use three Japanese words: Kaasan (mom), Tousan (dad), and ojisan (uncle). I use these in my normal writing, not just my fics, which is why I am using them here. The rest of the Japanese I use (sparingly) are things you should know. If you don't, look them up or, better yet, re-watch your subbed Gravitation episodes as they say those things often. Besides, it's not like I'm using Japanese words no one knows at random or writing entire sentances and paragraphs in poor Japanese like some people. (You know who you are, so I won't name any names.)
Chapter One: Hot and Cold
Written by A Girl Named Goo
"Pretty pretty please?"
"For the last time, no! You still haven't repaid me for the last time! Or the time before that, or the time before that!" Seguchi Amai said firmly, the tone of her voice suggesting the topic was not up for debate. She raked a hand through her short, feathery platinum blonde hair and continued reading her book, knowing if she looked up she'd end up caving in.
"But it's just this one last time," Seguchi Tokui begged his twin sister, large golden-hazel eyes brimming with tears.
"That's what you said the last time! And the time before that! And the time before that!" Amai argued, though against her better judgement she tore her dark green eyes from her book and looked at Tokui. And immediately she knew she was lost. One look at her slight, sickly brother, and she couldn't help but give in to his every desire, strange as many of them were.
Amai removed her reading glasses and sighed, putting a bookmark in her book and putting it on her beside table. "All right. Fine. Just this once. But dammit, I hate it when you look so adorable..."
A faint smile tinged Tokui's pale pink lips as he expressed his gratitude. 'Thank you so much, Amai. You don't know how much this means to me. I'll make it up to you, I swear..."
"Maybe if you told me what it is you do when you run away after I distract Kaasan I'd be more happy to help," Amai pointed out.
"Someday soon. I promise," Tokui reassured her. He'd been telling her the same thing for close to four years now.
Amai stood up, smoothing her white blouse and making sure she looked presentable to confront her mother. Though usually cheerful and carefree, when Amai wanted to she could be every bit as forboding as her father, and was a formidable opponent when drawn into an arguement. The only person who could move Amai, who was usually so stubborn, was her brother.
And not only could Amai act like Seguchi Touma if she wanted to, but she looked so much like him that it was eerie. Many people said they'd never noticed how feminine NG's president was before they saw him stand next to his sixteen year old daughter, who had the same delicate features, the same neat platinum blonde hair, the same large and deceptively innocent deep green eyes, and even the same mannerisms as her father.
Tokui, on the other hand, looked nothing like his twin sister, or even his parents. Instead, everyone told him he resembled what his uncle had looked like at his age, only thinner and paler as childhood illness had left him as frail and delicate as he appeared. (Another thing that made him different from his father and sister, as both looked fragile but both were very strong and occasionally intimidating people.) His short hair was brilliant gold, and his eyes were the most unusual golden color, something that set him apart. And like his uncle, he felt this unique look was a curse rather than a blessing. But he was happy to be compared to the man, as he had idolized him almost his entire life.
But the phsyical attributes were where the similarities between Seguchi Tokui and his uncle, Yuki Eiri, ended, as Tokui had a personality all his own. He was a very quiet, shy, and timid boy, easilly intimidated by his elders. He was also very secretive, more secretive then he had to be. Even little details about him, like his favorite color (blue), his favorite food (vanilla Pocky), or his date of birth (August 23) were like closely guarded secrets to the boy, and many of them not even his sister knew. He was also known to disappear to places unknown for hours at a time, and the mere fact he was leaving had be kept confidential.
If people were to look at them, no one would even think they were siblings, let alone twins, as they were so different in their personalities and their appearences. They even had different birthdates (Amai was born on August 22 at 11:57 PM and Tokui was born on August 23 at 12:04 AM) and were born under different astrological signs (Amai was a Leo and Tokui was a Virgo).
Amai put her hand on the gold-toned doorknob to her bedroom door. Her bedroom was very large and had a botanical theme, with mint green walls, a dark green plush carpet, and a green vine border across the top of the walls and surrounding the door. Her bed was queen sized and had a satin bedspread with a jungle of hunter green leaves covering it, and her bedside table and bookcase were both white but painted with the same green leaves as the border of her room. She also had a large TV, a rather extensive collection of DVDs, and a stereo with at least a hundred CDs. The centerpiece of her room, however, was the large picture window with it's green plush seating and plants hanging above it that overlooked the house's huge backyard.
Another difference between the twins was that while Amai's room was large, friendly, and colorful, Tokui's room was what Amai liked to call "the closet". Saying it was a closet was grossly innacurate, however, as it was actually a converted laundry room, downstairs on the main floor and tucked as far back from the rest of the house as possible. Tokui, being obsessive about his privacy, had turned down all of the four other bedrooms upstairs and insisted on this room, causing the laundry room to be relocated to the basement. His room was painted gray-blue, there was no carpet, and only a single dark blue throwrug over the cement floor. His bed was twin sized, and only had a simple light blue blanket. He also had a bookshelf, mostly covered with his uncle's books, and his only lights were a naked bulb hanging above the bed, a candle on the crate he used as a bedside table, and a flashlight that, along with his numerous medication bottles and two inhalers, he always had with him. But the most forboding thing about this room were the four locks on the door, two of which could also be locked from the outside and could only be unlocked with the keys Tokui always carried with him.
Though neither Touma nor Mika could explain their son's Spartan lifestyle, they also couldn't say they were too terribly surprised he would choose a small, dark, enclosed space over a larger, warmer, brighter one. After all, in the past he had been discovered in closets, pantries, vacant studios, or, failing to find such a space, dark corners. And he always had a book and his flashlight.
"I'll go down first. Give me five minutes. I'll have her moved into the kitchen and talking, so you should be able to sneak out the front door before anyone notices," Amai instructed, though it was unneccesary. Tokui had been through this drill many times before.
Amai opened the door and closed it, and Tokui lifted his right wrist, pushed up the sleeve of his very baggy black sweater, and looked at his watch to count down. (Another little known fact about Tokui, as he kept his watch hidden and never wrote anything if people were watching: he was left handed, one of the few traits besides his looks he had inherited from his uncle) Satisfied that five minutes were up, he began to slink silently down the stairs.
Tokui left his bicycle chained to a streetlight in front of a convenience store and took his inhaler out of the blue satchel he always carried, taking in two deep puffs and placing it back into the bag. He was still panting, and a few people were staring at him, but this was nothing new to him as he continued, on foot, for the last 15 minutes of his journey. (He always parked his bicycle between fifteen and twenty minutes walking distance from his final destination.)
He finally arrived at his destination and, still panting and wheezing (prompting him to take two more puffs from both of his inhalers) after scaling the stairs (elevators were too crowded and public and besides that, Tokui had a horrible phobia of them), finally forced himself to give the door he stood before two light taps, though he had a key. (He had six keys on the necklace he always wore around his neck but hid under his shirt: two for his bedroom, one to his mother's house, one to his father's house, one to his bicycle lock, and one to this apartment.)
It didn't take long for the door to open. Standing on the other side was a man, who, despite being well into his thirties by now, still looked as youthful and vibrant as ever, with his slightly-messy bright pink hair and glittering violet eyes, wearing nothing but a pair of blue shorts and a black tank-top, towel draped around his shoulders and pink toothbrush hanging from his mouth, obviously just getting ready to start the day though it was three in the afternoon.
He removed the toothbrush from his mouth as he looked over the visitor. "Tokui, you have a key. You don't have to knock, you know..." Shuichi said at last, before taking the boy into a friendly, one-armed embrace. "Now get in here and sit down. You look like you're going to faint."
Tokui nodded and obeyed, sitting on the couch in the large but sparsely decorated living room, as he had thousands of times before. He could rest assured that no matter what changed in the outside world, time could never touch this apartment or anyone inhabiting it. His uncle had changed very little appearence-wise in sixteen years (except for the barely noticeable touches of gray in his hair) and his uncle's lover hadn't changed at all, remaining the same one-armed, pink-haired, energetic man Tokui had always known him as.
"Yuki!" Shuichi shouted, disappearing into the hallway.
"Not now, Shuichi," came the almost growling reply.
"It can wait."
Those words seemed to touch something off in the other man, for when Shuichi returned (and headed straight for the kitchen) Yuki wasn't very far behind him.
Yuki looked the boy up and down. He was sitting on the corner of the couch furthest away from him, eyes pointed at his lap, where his hands were folded and almost invisable beneath his sweater sleeves. Yuki just sighed and sat on the opposite end of the couch. Years ago he would have lit a cigarette after sitting down, but after about three tries he'd kicked the habit completely about 12 years ago.
"Your mother know you're here?" Yuki asked.
Tokui shook his head.
"Your sister, at the very least?"
Tokui shook his head a last time, his eyes starting to fill with tears again as he sensed he was in trouble.
Yuki sighed deeply. "For one thing, you have to tell someone where you're going. If not your parents or sister, at least call and tell us you're on your way so if something happens someone knows you're missing."
Yuki continued. "And for another thing, try to find some other way of getting here. Call a cab, take a bus, use one of your father's drivers, anything. It takes you two hours to ride here on your bicycle, and you always leave it God-only-knows-where and walk the rest of the way here. You know you have asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as weak joints. The doctor has told you a thousand times not to overexert yourself. When you come here you can't even breathe and your joints hurt so badly you can't move. And then you insist on riding you bicycle back home. One of these days you'll kill yourself that way. If I have to, I'll tell your mother to have someone guard you at all times and make sure you don't pull any stunts like these. Got it?"
A few tears slid down Tokui's cheeks as he swallowed and nodded. Shuichi entered the living room again, putting down a tray with three cups of tea on the coffee table and sitting next to the boy, taking him into another embrace.
"Yuki, you made him cry!" Shuichi scolded. "He's heard all that before. You should be flattered that he loves you enough to put himself in so much pain to get here."
"I am flattered, but I'm also worried!" Yuki argued. "He needs to learn that adults tell him things for a reason, and if he's going to comprimise his health and possibly his life by coming here, then if he wants to continue coming here he needs to have someone give him a ride. He knows he's always welcome here, whether we're here or not, but he shouldn't have to kill himself to get here!"
Shuichi took his arm from around Tokui and picked up a cup of tea. "Here, drink this. It'll make you feel better."
Tokui hesitantly took the cup, and took a few small sips. "G-Gomen nasai, Eiri-ojisan," he said at last. "And arigatou, Sh-Shindou-san."
It was Shuichi's turn to sigh in exhasperation. "Tokui, you've known me all your life. I was just upstairs from you when you were born. I saw you when you were four days old. I was the fourth person to ever hold you, after the doctor, your father and your uncle. Call me Shuichi. Or better yet, call me Shuichi-ojisan, since I've been with your uncle long enough."
"Gomen nasai, Shindou-san."
Shuichi sighed and Yuki put his forehead in his hand and sighed, shaking his head. Tokui just sipped some more tea before placing his cup back on the tray.
"Tokui, are you planning on staying for dinner?" Shuichi asked. The boy only shrugged slightly, still staring at his feet.
"Shuichi, make enough for him. Tokui, lay down on the couch and take a nap. Shuichi and I have something we need to do in the office. It shouldn't take longer than a couple of minutes," Yuki instructed, standing and stretching. Shuichi looked confused, but he stood up and followed the blonde man into the office. He was surprised when Yuki shut the door behind them.
"What's going on?" Shuichi asked, looking at Yuki's narrow golden-hazel eyes, which told him nothing, as always.
Yuki sighed and sat down in his desk chair. "I think I'm going to have to call his father."
Shuichi walked over to the desk, leaning on the phone before Yuki could try to pick it up. "No! You can't do that!" Shuichi cried. "We're probably the only people he trusts! We can't betray him like that!"
"We can't let him kill himself, either!" Yuki argued. "Shuichi, Tokui is sick! Not just physically, either! And if I don't call Touma and tell him then Tokui is going to end up dead, and I know I don't want that!"
"We've tried talking to Seguchi-san before! And Mika-san, too!" Shuichi pointed out. "All Mika-san does is get tougher on him, and all Seguchi-san does is coddle him! They aren't helping! The least we can do is give him someplace where he can feel safe and comfortable!"
"Funny to hear you talking about coddling him, since all you ever do is wait on him hand and foot!" Yuki pointed out.
"That's not what I meant!" Shuichi cried out. He took his hand off the phone and looked down at the floor. "Yuki, first, let's stop fighting before one of us says something we'll regret later."
"Fine," Yuki said with a nod. He reached over to pick up the phone, but Shuichi once again leaned on it.
"And secondly, calling his parents will get him no where and will get us out of his good graces. I agree that we have to do something, but not that," Shuichi said pointedly. It was uncharacteristically mature for him, but, as Yuki had discovered long ago, the other man did have his moments...
"After that, I'm out of ideas," Yuki muttered, spinning around to face his computer screen. "Short of having him commited, anyway, but that wouldn't help matters, either."
Shuichi sat down in the chair he had placed next to Yuki's desk chair years ago. "No, that wouldn't. But if he keeps coming here, then it sounds like he just wants to be closer to people he trusts. Maybe if we can have him move in with someone he trusts completely he won't keep running away and hurting himself."
Yuki leaned back in his chair. "But where? He can't stay here. I mean, I love Tokui. He's my nephew, and I watched him grow up. I'm more of a father to him than Touma is. And his invitation to come here is twenty-four hours a day. But I can't take care of him full time. He needs constant medical care, he needs to see a psychiatrist, and he won't eat or sleep unless he is ordered to."
Shuichi tried not to flinch when Yuki said that he loved his nephew. He knew that it wasn't in a romantic sense, but the fact he could say it so easily about Tokui but, even after almost seventeen years and a near-death encounter, still couldn't say it to him except for once in a blue moon (and usually in his sleep) still stung him. Shuichi had told Yuki years ago that he understood what they had had extended beyond the need to reassure themselves with the "l" word, and that if Yuki didn't want to say it then he never had to and Shuichi would understand, but sometimes he just wished to hear it, even if it was just for comformation that they really had what he thought they had.
"Well, where else does he go when he runs away?" Shuichi asked at last, leaning on his only arm on the table.
"The NG building. People are always finding him in closets, empty studios, unused offices, and even dark corners of otherwise occupied rooms. Touma actually gives whoever finds him and sends him to his office a substantial cash reward," Yuki explained. "But he can't live there, obviously. And since he doesn't go there to be near his father, having him live with Touma full time is out of the question."
"Then I guess we're stuck," Shuichi said softly, leaning against Yuki. "I want to help him, but I don't know how."
Yuki sighed. "I don't, either. All I know is that right now he's supposed to be out in the living room waiting for us to finish doing whatever important errand we were supposed to be doing."
"500 yen says he's not in the living room when we walk out there," Shuichi said challengingly, standing up.
"Please, that's practically a given. Leave him alone for more than five seconds and he disappears."
They walked out of the office and into the living room. Sure enough, the boy was gone. Yuki just sighed and sat on the couch as Shuichi went into the kitchen to finish their evening meal.
It only took Tokui another ten minutes on his bicycle to reach the towering NG Records Headquarters, his father's record industry empire. Of course, he left his bicycle chained to a sign and obscured by bushes and, though he could have just walked in whenever he pleased, he managed to slip in through an open window that lead to an empty rehearsal room and from there, after looking around the halls to make sure no one was looking, began to dart toward the stairwell.
"Not so fast!" a familiar voice that froze him in his tracks called out.
Tokui pressed himself against the wall and looked at his sister, who, though smiling and standing in a semi-relaxed pose, had a look that demanded to know where he had been and how long he'd been there.
"I left that window open on purpose," Amai told him. "I knew you'd come in through that way. All I had to do was hide in the rehearsal room accross the hall and wait for you to take the bait. Fortunately, I'm a patient person." She approached him, taking his sachel and removing his inhaler, handing it to him. "Take this. You're weezing."
Tokui gratefully took the medicine and breathed in two deep puffs, finally managing to breathe normally. "You're not going to tell Tousan, are you?" he asked nervously.
Amai shook her head as she opened her brother's sachel and began to look through his belongings. "Wouldn't dream of it," she said softly as she examined the items. She finally removed a book. "This is one of Eiri-ojisan's books, ne?"
Tokui nervously reached for his sachel and book, but Amai jerked them both out of the way. "Ooooh, I've read this one before!" She looked at him, an almost sadistic grin spreading across her face. "Want me to show you where all the dirty parts are?"
Tokui finally grabbed the items back, putting the book back into the sachel. "N-no! That's not why I read them!" he cried nervously.
Amai just sighed and looked at her watch. "You're no fun. Look, I'm supposed to be rehearsing in ten minutes in rehearsal room five on the second floor. That means if you want to get a headstart and hide from Tousan and my manager, you'd better get running now."
"Arigatou," Tokui said, bowing slightly before darting toward the stairwell again.
Amai just rolled her eyes and walked in the direction of the elevator.
Seguchi Touma leaned back in his desk chair, dark green eyes fixed on the folder he was holding in his right hand, and fingers of his left hand drumming on the arm of his chair, his legs crossed and his entire body, though relaxed, could give one the feeling that, if neccessary, he would pounce on them like a lion in tall grass and devour them at a moment's notice, even with his delicate (and, as people who had seen his daughter would be quick to note, feminine) features and babyface.
And as Touma definately didn't look pleased at the moment, he seemed much more intimidating then he usually did. He finally sat the folder onto the desk and leaned forward, resting on his elbows and steepling his fingers in front of his mouth, tapping his index fingers in thought. Finally, he stared directly at the man in the neatly pressed black buisness suit before him, quickly scanning his dark eyes for any signs of being unnerved. Sure enough, the man was nervous.
Touma sighed and opened the folder again. "I'm not impressed, Nakano-san," he said at last to the man most knew as Hiro of Bad Luck fame. "Not impressed at all. I suppose this is partially my fault, giving you an assignment that I had so much personal stake in, but if you had done your job correctly then my relationship with your assignment wouldn't be an issue."
Hiro just nodded. He'd known this day was a long time in coming, but he'd never expected he'd be so nervous when it finally came.
"Nakano-san," Touma said at last after reviewing the contents of the folder again. "I expect a certain level of quality in the performance of my employees. You're an intelligent man, you're talented, and you know the music industry like the back of your hand. I had very high expectations when I hired you back to NG after your contract expired as a manager, hence I trusted you with handling my daughter's career."
"I understand that, Seguchi-san. And I am doing the best job I can with the resources I have available to me," Hiro explained.
Touma stood up and began to walk to the front of his desk. "I dislike managers who don't actually manage anything, Nakano-san. Why do you think I fired Sakano-san as yours and hired Mr. K? When Grasper was formed- and pardon me for waxing nostalgic- our manager was spineless. He was only kept as a matter of formality. I did all the work. And I don't want Amai to have to go through that. You know how difficult it is to be a musician. She shouldn't have to worry about picking up the slack her manager left."
Touma walked around behind Hiro, staring at his long red ponytail. "I am not expecting you to be as aggressive as Mr. K was, though I will add that it was his aggressive nature that made him such a great manager. He got the job done no matter what he had to do, and I was actually sad to see him go. I am not expecting you to be up to par with him at all. However, you know how cutthroat the music buisness is. You have to be at the least moderately aggressive, even go beyond legal and moral boundries once in a while to accomplish that final goal: fame. Glory. A number one album. Unfortunately, while you have yourself together, you are too hell-bent on staying within the rules. And that just doesn't cut it in your line of work."
Touma walked back around to face the other man. "That's why, as of today, you are reassigned."
"Excuse me?" Hiro asked, taken off guard. He'd expected to be fired, not given another charge.
"Reassigned," Touma repeated, stepping behind his desk and flipping the pages in the folder until he found another paper. "You have potential, but I am aware that giving you my own daughter is out of your league. She has too many traits that I have, for one thing, and for another thing I am naturally going to want more for her than with the other acts that are currently signed with NG, so even if you aren't doing as bad a job as I am making it sound I can't see that. So, to accurately gauge your abilities, I am going to give you a new assignment, one I have no personal involvment with."
"Should I notify Shuichi?" Hiro asked, still stunned and relieved that he got to keep his job.
"No. Unlike most meetings, he's absent from this one because I didn't ask for him to be here. He isn't being reassigned," Touma explained. "Though he has trouble showing up to meetings on time, if he bothers to show up at all, by some fluke or sheer dumb luck he has managed to perform all of his duties and do a superb job in the process. While I still think Sakano-san was a better producer, sadly he is also no longer working for the company,, so I have to make do with what I have."
"Seguchi-san, I am not asking you to give me an undeserved promotion or Shuichi an undeserved demotion, but with all do respect Shuichi can't function without me. That dumb luck you are talking about is me performing his duties and, as a result, neglecting my own," Hiro explained.
"Nakano-san, I am not reassigning Shindou-san. If what you say is true, then I'll see you in your true light and promote you justly and, if neccessary, demote Shindou-san or terminate his employment all together. I'd rather have one employee who does a good job than two who do a mediocre job," Touma said firmly as he sat back down. "Now, as for your new assignment, this will definately be a challenge of your abilities, and I hope to see you rise to the challenge." He shuffled through the papers in his folder again, before taking a pen from the pocket of his suit and making a mark on the paper before him. "He is actually Chinese, for one. His name is Chen Quon Yue. He has great talent as a vocalist, however, and wishes to pursue a solo career here in Japan, so you have two challenges: make him famous despite him being foreign, and make him famous as a solo artist. He also seems to have a habit of crossdressing that you will most likely have to break him of. Either that, or turn it into a gimmick, as even if you can keep him from doing it on stage, if the press catches it offstage his career is over before it began. This assignment will decide if you are worthy of your position. If you can make Chen Quon Yue even a moderate success, I'll think about reassigning you to Amai. Until then, you'll meet your new producer when you meet your assignment. And tell Shindou-san he'll be working with a new manager. Now, I do believe you have one final rehearsal with Amai to attend to."
Hiro sighed and bowed slightly. "Yes, Seguchi-san." He turned to leave the office, but before he could touch the door Touma's voice stopped him.
"And Nakano-san, if you happen to find my son anywhere in the building, send him to my office," Touma instructed.
"Of course," Hiro said.
As soon as Hiro was out of the room, Touma pressed a button, activating the intercom between him and his receptionist. "Sako, please send Sakano-san up."
"So, this is really it?" Amai asked, leaning against the table. "I can't believe Tousan would assign me a new manager without asking me. I really like working with you guys..."
Hiro shrugged. "It wasn't my call. If you can talk to your father and try to get me my old job back, it'd be great, but I think I am stuck managing the Chinese guy for a while."
Amai shrugged. "Well, I'm daddy's little girl. I'll see what I can do. By the way, did he happen to ask about my brother?"
"Doesn't he always?"
"True. Even when he finds him he doesn't do anything, though..."
Amai walked to the door of the rehearsal room. "Well, until I see you again, since I assume I'll still see you around..."
"Yes, of course," Hiro muttered, opening his briefcase. Amai slipped out of the room and shut the door behind her, leaving him alone completely.
Hiro looked around the room, hoping to find another sheet of paper. Finding none, he walked over to the closet to get some from the pile usually kept in there for such emergencies. But as soon as he opened the door, he jumped. Crouched inside, holding a flashlight and a book, was the black-clad figure of Seguchi Tokui.
As soon as Hiro's breathing returned to normal, he realized the boy was staring at him. "Tokui, you scared me!"
"Gomen nasai, Nakano-san," he said softly. Hiro could see the boy was blushing. "You're not going to tell Tousan, are you?"
Hiro sighed and shook his head. "No. I'm not. Even though I'm already on his bad side without withholding information on the whereabouts of his son. But dammit, you scared the hell out of me!"
"Gomen nasai," he said again, putting his book in his sachel. "I'll move."
"No, you don't have to. I was leaving, anyway," Hiro explained. "Unless you have a rule about changing hiding places once the one you are currently in is discovered."
Tokui slowly pulled himself to his feet and shook his head. This wasn't the first time the pair had run into each other in this fashion. Despite the fact that most NG employees actively searched for Tokui to claim the reward for returning him to his father, Hiro had the highest success rate in finding him. It was so high, in fact, Hiro was sure that his running into the small blonde teenager so often wasn't mere coincidence.
Hiro ruffled the boy's hair before he turned and picked up his briefcase. He still had to tell Shuichi the bad news, after all....
Tokui stood in the closet for a long moment after Hiro left, expecting him to return. Hoping he'd return. But, resigning to the fact that he wasn't going to return, Tokui looked out into the hallway, before darting over to the staircase, sachel in hand. He managed to sneak out the way he'd come in and get on his bike. It was getting dark, and he wanted to make it back to Yuki and Shuichi's apartment before it became too dark.
Tokui was getting short of breath, and he knew he was still blushing. He prayed that Hiro hadn't seen him blush. Nakano Hiroshi was the only person on earth that Seguchi Tokui allowed to find him. And Nakano Hiroshi was the only person on earth who could engage Seguchi Tokui in real conversation for any great length of time.
And the reason was because Seguchi Tokui was hoplessly in love with Nakano Hiroshi.
And he'd do anything to fall back out of it....
End of Chapter One