Word count: 2,552
Disclaimer: None of these characters are mine and the story is solely fantasy, totally has nothing to do with the real life persons. Some facts, however, might be based on magazine translations.
Summary: Day one, and Yamada found himself wondering about what this whole thing was about. He had no idea what to do, and he wasn't sure what exactly was expected from him.
A.N.: AU. Self-beta'ed.
( Chapter 1: Rejected? )
( Chapter 2: A Step Behind )
It had been years since he had a sound sleep. His back didn’t ache like how it used to these whole years, and for the first time in his life Yamada could only stood by the window of his room, staring at how beautiful the lake was as it reflected the bright glow of the sunrise. It was his first morning waking up to his new home, and Yamada started to think that maybe his life was indeed gonna be better.
He smiled as he made his way to the bathroom, getting familiar with the constricted staff hallway. The place looked really busy with people coming in and out through the doors that he was yet to find where they might lead. Everyone was in their uniforms, making Yamada felt rather out of place with his pajamas.
It finally made him realise that the fact he was sharing the staff facility with the rest of the people there, he now had to queue to just even go to the bathroom. He met Keito while waiting, the boy looked really bad with mornings but he didn’t fail to greet Yamada. Inoo and Yabu on the other hand were already all dressed neatly with trays of food in the hands, maybe for Arioka-san and Daiki. There was also a guy that was with them preparing the breakfast on the plate. He was tall, proportional body and looked a little bit scary yet air-headed. Yamada could just assume that maybe it was Daisuke-san’s butler or something.
“Bakaki, faster!” he heard Yabu scolding this tall guy.
Yamada rested his bum against the wall as he waited for his turn with Keito and some other staff that he didn’t recognise, watching the three butlers getting ready with the breakfast. Inoo looked pretty normal with his sly smile, his curving lady-like fingers skilfully arranging the flower and dishes on the tray before disappearing to the corner of the hallway, probably making his way to either the dining room or to Daiki’s room.
When Keito finally entered the bathroom, Yamada started to feel a little bit anxious for being the last one to get ready. He knew nothing of what was expected from him to do that day at all, and he knew literally no one. “It’s all yours,” Keito came out not long after, looking neat with his white shirt and bow tie that Yamada assumed was Keito’s uniform because it was similar to what the boy wore the day before.
It didn’t take Yamada too long to get ready. He had started to feel familiar with the bathroom, remembering where his stuff was placed and he already knew how to use the dry shampoo that Inoo gave him, thanks to Keito. As he put his t-shirt and jeans on, Yamada wondered why Inoo only gave him this type of clothes. He felt a little bit undress even when his clothes were a lot better that what he used to wear back in the basement.
“You!” Ryutaro suddenly appeared when Yamada stepped out from the bathroom. The boy was dressed not much different from Yamada, very casual but somehow look very fashionable with his t-shirt and knee-length pants, his Converse shoes complimenting his entire look.
“Breakfast, moron. What time do you think it is?” he rolled his eyes. Yamada wondered how Ryutaro could be snarkier and scarier than Daiki when he talked.
He had never had breakfast for years; his only meal was the hard bread with some tasteless soup that the guard served them in the evening after they all did their labour work. So sitting there in the staff eat-in kitchen counter made him feel really uncomfortable. There are so many unfamiliar faces and the fact that Ryutaro was sitting next to him made him feel a lot more nervous.
Two toasts with jam and butter, very Western-ish, but Yamada had no complaint. It was a lot better than anything that he had for the past eight years of his life. There were two other people that sat in the table by the eat-it kitchen counter, the rest slowly leaving to do their jobs. It seemed pretty odd for Yamada because one of the two that was there with him looked so young, probably around his age as well.
“Yamada-kun, right?” the skinnier and taller one spoke, munching to his toast with a smile on his face.
“Oh… hi. Nice to meet you,” Yamada bowed.
“I’m Nakajima Yuto, people call me Yuto. My room is next to yours! If you need anything just come to see me!” Yuto grinned to him.
“That would be lovely,” he couldn’t help but smile, liking Yuto already.
The boy was wearing overall jeans with a white t-shirt underneath it. He was tall, almost as tall as Yabu and his hair was black pearl. His jaw line was defined, as well as his lips, a very fine young man that could easily be mistaken as part of the riches and famous. Yuto was slim, but judging from his rolled up sleeves, he seemed to be pretty muscular nonetheless.
After breakfast, Yamada seemed to be really lost. He didn’t know what to do and when he asked Inoo, the older person wasn’t sure about it either. Daiki would be out at least until lunchtime because he had to attend his tutorial class, leaving Yamada with nothing to do until then.
He was walking around aimlessly in the backyard when he accidentally found the path to the lake that he could see from his room. The chilling weather of spring was refreshing, though he had to cover himself with a parka that he found on his drawer, but the blooming cherry-blossom trees made up for it just perfectly.
Smiling when he saw Yuto there, Yamada skipped his way to the taller boy, feeling relieved that he saw someone familiar. The soil was hard yet somewhat soft as he walked through it, a couple of ducks were busy eating the bread crumbs that Yuto was throwing to the ground; making Yamada thought of an image of a villange boy and his little farm.
“Yuto-kun!” he greeted him.
“Oh Yamada-kun! Good to see you again right after breakfast!” Yuto replied. “Taking a walk?”
Yamada nodded. “What about you?”
“Working,” he grinned, showing Yamada his very distinct friendly aura.
“I take care of the barn. Technically the horses, the cows, the chickens as well as the ducks,” he explained. “Arioka-san loves her dairy fresh.”
“That sounds really interesting,” Yamada commented, kind of finding it as a little bit extra ordinary.
“I would love to talk really, but I need to go back to the barn. I can’t take you there since it’s like… the place where Daisuke-san usually locked Ryutaro if he misbehaves. And Daiki-san said he might use the barn for you too,” Yuto said as he smiled awkwardly.
Yamada just smiled back, watching Yuto gathering his stuff before leaving and waving him a “good-bye”. All alone again, he thought. At least back in the basement, he had work to do during the day. This had somehow got him thinking; somehow he felt that it was so different than he had anticipated it would be. People had said that being bought just mean tthat he would go to another kind of torture. He wasn’t sure why as for now, he wouldn’t even call boredom as a torture.
Deciding to just go back to the mansion, Yamada turned away from the lake and walked up hill to where the back door for the staff was. The wind was blowing hard, messing his newly toned hair, and he knew that maybe it wasn’t such a nice idea to be out when the day was being gloomy.
The walk back to his room wasn’t a success at the end. Just as soon as he stepped into the house, Keito showed up and told him that Daiki wanted to see him right away. It was weird because it was far from lunchtime, but the older person was already home. Gulping, he changed his route to the grand entrance, quickly turning to the graceful stairs to the first floor.
“Did you call me?” he asked as he knocked the wooden door, opening it when he heard Daiki telling him to go in.
“Yeah…” Daiki replied.
The newly adult guy was unbuttoning his shirt while facing his big open cupboard by the corner of the room, his back facing Yamada. His shoes was scattered on the floor un-neatly, his jacket on the arm rest of the big sofa by the big veranda door, and a sling bag was on the floor.
“Do you need me for something?” Yamada found the courage to ask, somehow finding some confidence to talk more to his owner.
Daiki turned his head to Yamada, his expression was unreadable, making the younger one between the two gulped in anticipation. “You’re mine. I can call you anytime I want to and I don’t need a reason for that,” he answered, instantly making Yamada lock his mouth because he didn’t want to say anything wrong again.
He threw his shirt to the laundry basket not far from him before then turned back to the cupboard and took a t-shirt to wear. Yamada noticed that he was fooled by Daiki’s small appearance. As far as his eyes managed to catch, he saw well-defined abs and somewhat built arms. He wouldn’t say they were as great as Keito’s, far from those in fact, but just quite surprising for someone as small as Daiki.
“I saw you talking to Yuto when I was in the car…” Daiki said, walking to his bed as he sat on its edge.
“Oh…” Yamada smiled unconsciously, the remembrance of Yuto’s friendliness made him feel at ease somehow.
“Yes,” Yamada answered honestly.
“Good. It seems like you’re adjusting just nice,” Daiki commented. “Did he tell you that you’re not supposed to go to where he works?”
“As in… the barn? Yes he did. It should be where I go when I’m grounded.”
“You’re learning well,” Daiki nodded approvingly, somewhat smiling.
It was a little bit weird for Yamada to see Daiki smile. It was very brief and not obvious, but he didn’t fail to notice how much it changed the over all impression Daiki’s face would give him. A part of him wanted to see more, wondering how Daiki would look like if he smiled sincerely.
Daiki gestured his hand to the big sofa by the coffee table, signalling Yamada to sit there. The younger boy did as he was told to, wasn’t sure how this awkward situation would end up. He sensed that it would be even more awkward when he realised that Daiki was actually crawling onto the bed… going to nap.
What am I gonna do all alone here while he’s sleeping? Yamada said to himself.
He was fiddling on his seat, feeling restless as the time passed. He just watched the sun getting higher from where he sat, striking its heat as the day went by. He didn’t dare to move, not wanting to get into some sort of problem because he knew the day he got grounded in the barn, those stories about how owners torturing their slaves might become reality.
…slaves…? he blinked, realising something odd. Yamada sank himself to the fluffy sofa as he tilted his head, trying to make a conclusion out of something that seemed to be out of the ordinary to him.
The Ariokas didn’t have a single one of them. He was bought, and maybe Ryutaro too, but they didn’t refer to them as slaves. They called them pets. Things didn’t seem to add up because the tradition was to get a slave when a person turned twenty. One could do anything one wanted to with them, selling them again, making them work with no wage, or forcing them to fulfil one’s lustful needs. He remembered foggily that his parents used to have one each. They cleaned the house, cooked, and he somewhat remembered that his parents weren’t even treating them nicely.
But one day they left… one by one. Someone picked them up, giving a huge amount of money to his parents each time. He didn’t understand why. Furniture started to go missing from their house while his parents was fighting almost all the time. He remembered his mum left, leaving him all alone with his dad. Cooking. That was how he first learned how to cook. Dad was always busy on the phone, stressing over some bills and contract papers that Yamada never understood of what sort, and he had to keep the two of them somewhat fed.
Until one day they came to pick him up, giving his dad a huge amount of money. A lot more than what they gave him when the two slaves got picked up.
It was the day the basement bought him.
“You’re spacing out…” Daiki spoke, dragging Yamada back to reality.
“O-oh.. sorry. I thought you were asleep,” he answered.
“I wasn’t. I was just… laying down lazily waiting for lunch.”
Daiki turned on his bed, now flat on his stomach. His eyes were still fixed on Yamada, the stare felt a little bit different from before. Yamada watched the way Daiki’s eyes slowly flattered close, as if the older boy suddenly felt sleepy. “Come here,” Daiki mumbled, patting the empty space beside him on that king-size bedroom.
Hesitantly, Yamada did as he was told to.
“Lie down…” Daiki said.
Yamada blinked in surprised, instantly did so but his heart was anticipating for the worst. Stories from his bunk-mates started to play in his head over and over again, his brain refusing to believe that Daiki would be the type that he had heard in the past.
“My brother used to do this with Ryutaro when he first got him. That kid was only nine or something,” Daiki started. “I thought it was stupid at first, but I guess my mum is just that good in getting us a gift because I kind of understand why he did so back then,” he continued. “You’re a lot older, obviously, but I’m tempted… so…”
He felt the older boy shifting closer to him, his heart pounding so hard; not wanting to even think of what Daiki might do to him. He winced when Daiki’s fingers touched his cheek, afraid he was. He could feel Daiki’s breath against his ear, gulping at the realisation of how close the other guy had shifted to him.
“I guess sleeping is a good idea. We shall do so till Inoo-chan call us for lunch,” Daiki whispered, his hand left Yamada’s cheek and ghosted down to rest on Yamada’s chest.
Yamada blinked, somewhat surprised of what just happened. His brain felt like it was in an endless maze because he couldn’t understand the whole situation. He turned his head, finding Daiki with eyes closed, breathing steadily next to him. He could smell something that he believed was aloe vera scent, probably from either Daiki’s shampoo or his body soap. Their bodies were so close against each other but it only made Yamada felt twice as anxious as before.
Did he just fall asleep while hugging me? Yamada asked himself.