Word count: 2,877
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: It was hard to adjust to the new routines, and Yamada was struggling with the idea of being free out there in the real world. But then, like always, the unexpected happened.
A.N.: AU. Self-beta'ed.
( Chapter 1: Rejected? )
( Chapter 2: A Step Behind )
( Chapter 3: Confusion )
( Chapter 4: Turning Point )
( Chapter 5: At Dawn )
( Chapter 6: Chaos )
( Chapter 7: Deja Vu )
( Chapter 8: Unmasked )
Tapping his pencil on the book he was reading, Yamada had no idea that he would eventually have to continue his study even when he didn’t go to school. His mum had decided to home school him, a teacher came from Monday to Friday, and he would have the weekend free. But the one thing that his mum didn’t anticipate from the very beginning was the fact that Yamada wasn’t exactly the bright kid that would be able to catch up in a super duper fast speed.
“This is fifth grade’s maths, Yamada-kun,” his teacher spoke, seemingly frustrated with Yamada that took so long to answer the working sheet he gave him.
“I’m sorry… it has been years,” Yamada mumbled.
His seat had started to feel really uncomfortable, and the fact that his teacher was sitting there and staring at him wasn’t really helping him to think at all. Those lines he had written down seemed to look like a kid’s bad handwriting, and the amount of times he had erased his formulas was countless.
The summer heat that had started to get worse as the day went made him feel that he would die without that air-conditioning that his mum had installed in that living room. Yet that air-conditioning did nothing to change his mood at the end of the day. He didn’t feel like catching up with school when his brain felt so rusty and he just wished he could get a job or something instead.
Maybe he should have said yes when Daiki asked him to go out on a date the other day.
By the end of the day, Yamada was already so worn out from his studies, throwing himself to his bed. He stared at random spot on his ceiling, realizing how different being home schooled was compare to going to school. It felt rather, well, lonely. He sighed, knowing that he was missing the mansion, the people especially. He rarely had a boring day like this one even when Daiki wasn’t around.
Getting up from his bed, Yamada quickly went to his closet to get a better t-shirt to wear, thinking that maybe a walk wouldn’t be so bad. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to make new friends if he stayed at home all the time. With a red t-shirt and jeans, as well as a random baseball hat he found in his closet, Yamada didn’t hesitate to walk out of his room for a little walk in the city.
The city was a lot different than the area around the mansion (not that he went out at all, just once or twice to the village center when Daiki felt like it). There were so many people and they weren’t as nice as the old couples that he met in this one coffee shop back when he was still Daiki’s pet.
He plugged his earphones to his ears, randomly selecting a song from his iTouch (that thing confused him greatly when his mum first gave it to him), Yamada’s eyes traveled from one shop to another, occasionally checking the faces of people that passed him by. He never got used to the feeling of able doing things by himself even though it had been awhile since he left. A part of him still felt a little bit awkward to actually make a decision for himself, somehow wishing that one fine day either Keito or Inoo would enter his room and tell him what he should do.
Aimlessly walking, Yamada found himself in a fast-food restaurant, his stomach suddenly growled to remind him that he hadn’t had lunch at all. He stepped inside, noticing people around his age chatting with their friends, laughing and joking around. Part of him felt rather lonely when he realized that he had no one to call or to hang out with, but he also knew that he would need to work out a way to interact with new people.
Yamada sat down on one of the chairs by the window; a tray of food was on his hands – chicken nuggets, French fries and soda. The cold soda tasted like a bitter medicine to his tongue, it felt so foreign and strange, not something that he used to drink back when he was a kid. His mum was pretty peculiar when it came to unhealthy food. She did of course let his drink some fruit soda, but coke like the one he was drinking wasn’t a regular to him.
His eyes casted through the big glass window while chin rested on his palm that was supported by his elbow against the table. The sun was bright and the heat was starting to get him; a lovely day to go to the beach but Yamada realized that it might be just a dream to go one now that his parents weren’t together anymore and that promise his dad once told him might not come into reality.
“Mind if I sit down?”
He looked up, not expecting the restaurant to be that crowded that someone would actually ask for a seat in his table. His mouth was half opened, getting ready to answer the stranger, but his voice left him when he noticed that it wasn’t anyone unfamiliar at all. “Y-yuto?” he blinked.
“Yo! Never thought I’m gonna meet you here,” Yuto grinned, placing his own food tray on the table before sitting down to the seat opposite Yamada.
“I guess, you’re not the only one that got disowned from the mansion,” he laughed.
Somehow Yamada didn’t really care about details, smiling delightfully to see someone he knew being there with him. He knew that maybe Yuto’s family finally managed to pay off all of their debts and now that maybe Yuto didn’t have to work with the Ariokas anymore. It didn’t matter for what reason Yuto was there, as long as Yamada could feel a little bit safer.
“You lost weight,” Yuto commented.
“Yeah, a little. I don’t know why, to be honest,” Yamada replied, shaking his head while sighing.
“You’re not gonna ask me why I’m here?”
“Well, you got disowned?” Yamada tilted his head, not sure why Yuto wanted him to ask why the taller boy was there at all.
“Oh you. No fun,” Yuto leaned back disappointedly.
Nothing changed from Yuto, other than his hair that looked a little bit shorter and nicely trimmed. His skin was as smooth as it had always been, and he seemed to be the same exact kind and nice person that Yamada knew. The things that were probably different from Yuto would be his attire. Yamada was so used to the overall jeans that the taller boy always wore back in the farm that it felt weird to see him in his casual clothes; the funky headphone around his neck gave him a different aura.
“Tell me then?” he said at the end.
Yuto smiled widely at Yamada’s answer, his eyes were sparkling almost as if he was about to tell the greatest story of all time. The other boy took a sip from his drink; something that Yamada assume was what they called a cola float because there was an ice cream in that soda that Yuto had. When Yuto leaned forward with a sly smile on his face, Yamada couldn’t help but feel a little bit bumpy.
“I got assigned to a new job~,” said Yuto.
“… a new job?”
“Yes. Stalking you,” the other boy grinned again, something that Yamada wasn’t used to – probably the way that it seemed to be really mischievous.
The taller boy grabbed his burger, taking the first bite as he waited for Yamada to say something, which didn’t seem to happen because Yamada really didn’t know how to react to that. It was a weird statement to begin with, and those grins the other kept on throwing to him made him feel that he had to be extra cautious on asking questions.
“On other words, that former owner of yours feels rather worry about leaving you in the real world without anyone watching over you,” Yuto continued.
“He shouldn’t have disowned me in the first place,” Yamada rolled his eyes. “Besides, I’m not all alone. I live with my mother.”
“Oh Yamada… who are you kidding here? What about friends?” Yuto asked, putting his burger down.
“He’s just worried, you know,” Yuto pointed out.
“He shouldn’t be. He’s not my owner anymore. What the hell is wrong with him, really?” he scowled, taking his chicken nuggets and starting to dig into them furiously.
Yuto laughed, his eyes forming a thin line of amusement. It just seemed like him to suddenly laugh on something that Yamada thought wasn’t laughable to begin with. He could only frown as he leaned back, observing carefully the expression that was written in Yuto’s amused face before him while taking a piece of chicken nugget to eat. The tall guy was shaking his head as he smiled, getting to Yamada’s nerve a little, while his hand took out something that seemed to be Yuto’s phone.
“Now say ‘cheese’~,” Yuto said, pressing the capture button before Yamada even managed to react to the whole situation - smiling contentedly with the picture that he just took.
“What? I need to send some proof to Dai-chan that I’ve found you,” he grinned.
The shorter boy pursed his lips, unpleased. He felt upset that Daiki had to send Yuto to actually check on him. His chest tightened in an unpleasant manner while his fingers fisted hard because he felt somewhat… angry. Daiki called him almost every single night, and he was no longer his owner, so it confused him greatly as to why the older boy kept on doing all these things that never made any sense to Yamada.
“Why doesn’t he come and check on me himself instead? Freaking non-sense,” Yamada blurted out, standing up as he took his drink.
He pressed the straw of his drink against his lips as he walked out of the restaurant, leaving a confused Yuto behind. It felt really absurd that Daiki acted like he didn’t care when Yamada was still in the mansion, but now he acted all rather too concerned when Yamada wasn’t his anymore. Shaking his head to push his thoughts aside, Yamada turned to the corner that was heading to his house.
“Yamada!! Oh come on!!! Don’t sulk like that,” he heard Yuto shouting from behind.
Ignoring him, Yamada sucked to his straw harder as he walked faster. His steps were extended to the biggest possible distance they could take, his eyes desperately trying to find the last turning that he had to take before reaching his house for real. But yet maybe it was his height and smaller steps, or that maybe Yuto just simply walked faster, that before he knew it the taller boy had already caught up with him.
“I’m not sulking… I just don’t feel like talking,” Yamada mumbled when Yuto overtook him.
“And why is that?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t understand Daiki at all,” Yamada sighed.
Yuto blinked, tilting his head as he stopped walking, making Yamada to stop almost automatically due to curiosity. The other’s expression wasn’t shocked or anything, but he didn’t look like he was expecting whatever it was that Yamada didn’t realize he just did.
“You called him with only his name now?”
“… yeah. Since he’s no longer my owner. He told me to though.”
Sighing, Yamada finished his drink and then threw it to the nearest trashcan he could find on the road. He walked towards the direction of his house, slow enough that Yuto would be able to walk beside him. He might actually not like the topic that they were talking about at the moment, but he did like the other’s company, even when he was still in the mansion.
Yuto didn’t say anything more as they walked towards Yamada’s house; instead, the older boy even put his headphone on and turned some music on, the blast of the music was pretty audible to Yamada. It felt like a long walk now that none of them said anything, the silence wasn’t any more comfortable than the conversation they had earlier.
It was still bright and shiny, Yamada could feel his throat getting dry again that it was such a relief to see his house not far away from where he was. He invited Yuto in by cocking his head to the side, the taller boy finally took his headphone away from his ear as a smile crept its way back to the other’s face.
“Do you want ice lemonade? My mum made a jar before she left for work this morning,” Yamada offered, walking right away to the refrigerator to get the jar out of it because even if Yuto didn’t want it, he would love to have a glass of ice lemonade.
“Sure. It was pretty hot outside,” Yuto answered.
Yamada watched the way Yuto walked towards the bunch of photo frames by the side of the TV, his hands working on the drinks for himself and his guest. It felt a little bit weird to actually do stuff for Yuto, he was so used to the taller boy doing him a favor or something.
“Your face didn’t change for even a bit,” Yuto commented, nodding a ‘thank you’ when Yamada came to him with a glass of lemonade.
“Yeah. Still have the same cheeks,” Yamada chuckled.
With a smile, Yuto headed to the sofa and made himself comfortable there even before Yamada offered him to seat. A little bit too casual maybe, but Yamada had thought of him as a friend, and he knew Yuto wouldn’t mind either if he did the same exact thing when he was visiting to the other boy’s house.
He put down his glass to the coffee table when he felt his phone vibrating, causing Yuto to give him a somewhat strange look when he trailed his hand down to his jeans’ pocket to get his phone. He flipped his phone open, only to frown and took a quick un-amused glance towards Yuto who was already smirking with a peace sign on his hand.
“Yes, Daiki?” he answered the phone, was pretty much convinced that Yuto must have somewhat told Daiki that Yamada was with him (probably by sending that photo to Daiki).
“Hey~, are you alone there?” the other line answered him.
“You know that I’m not.”
“Are you mental?” Yamada sighed. “Why the hell did you send Yuto to spy on me?”
“That bastard! He wasn’t supposed to say anything!” Daiki defended himself.
Yamada stepped to the sofa and settled himself down besides Yuto that was shifting to face Yamada, looking all interested in the phone conversation that he was having with Daiki.
“So why are you calling? It’s not at night yet,” Yamada pointed out, being greeted with Yuto’s disapproving look almost right away.
It took Yamada by surprise when Yuto snatched his phone away, quickly setting it to loudspeaker mode so the two of them could hear what the other line was saying. Yamada frowned towards Yuto, his hand trying to reach out for the phone but Yuto was definitely taller and had longer hand that it was almost impossible to take the phone back.
“Nothing… well… erm… let just say that I just got that photo of you munching your nuggets?”
Yamada shot a glare almost instinctively to Yuto, his eyes piercing towards the taller boy, clearly not happy with the image of him looking all ugly and stupid while eating his food, and that it was sent to Daiki.
“…so your point? I can’t eat chicken nuggets?”
“No,” Daiki replied, half laughing. “It was rather cute actually.”
He felt endless, excited nudges on his arm from Yuto at the reply Daiki gave him, the taller boy seemed to be more thrilled about the compliment than Yamada himself. Yuto took out his phone and typed something quickly on it before he then shoved the screen to Yamada’s face. “Say thank you!!!!!” was what it said.
“Thanks…” he rolled his eyes, sinking himself to the sofa only to make shifty eyes at Yuto that looked really pleased. “…for the sarcasm,” he continued, smiling in victory when he saw Yuto dramatically disapproved what he just did by shaking his head frantically.
“That wasn’t sarcasm. It was actually cute for real,” Daiki replied, his voice turning rather serious. “Anyway, wanna watch movie tomorrow?”
Yuto typed something out on his phone again, almost automatically this time. “SAY YESSSSSS!!!”
“I have home-school tomorrow, still,” Yamada answered instead, causing Yuto to growl.
“Oh…” said Daiki.
Yamada sat up as he leaned forward to grab his lemonade, taking a huge gulp from it before resting back to the sofa. The person beside him didn’t seem to be as excited as before, and the silence that Daiki was giving him made him feel a little bit awkward at the end.
“But I should be done by three. So anytime after that shouldn’t be a problem,” he continued.
Yamada could only roll his eyes when Yuto jumped on him and gave him an approving hug.
Sorry for the late update because I was out on a holiday with a couple of friends back from my uni years, but here I am with an update :3
Hope you enjoy it.