Word count: 2,526
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 wasn't the first time, but Yamada found himself and coincidence getting along pretty well since he got out of the basement.
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 )
( Chapter 9: A Friend )
( Chapter 10: End of An Interval )
It was one of those rare moments where his mum cleaned up the dishes after breakfast. She was all dressed up, but not in her usual formal attire – the black or gray designer shirt and black high heels. It was different that day. A dark blue dress and her usual pearl necklace with a matching pair of shoes made her look a lot younger.
Yamada wasn’t sure why she dressed that way, and it was Wednesday, which technically was a working day to make it even weirder. He sat there on the dining chair as he stared at his mum’s back, the read apron looking odd on her small figure. He was tempted to ask her if something was up, but before he managed to do so, she turned around and placed a pile of papers on the table.
“What is this?” Yamada asked.
“A bank account form. Fill it in.”
“…why would I need a bank account?” he tilted his head.
“You just turned eighteen, so we shouldn’t wait any longer to make you one,” she answered.
He stood up to grab a pen, walking back to the dining room once he got one. Some of the kanji confused him greatly so he was glad that his mum was there to help him out with it. Deep inside, Yamada wished he were smarter so that he would be able to catch up with stuff a lot faster. It was just embarrassing for an eighteen-year-old to actually have a hard time reading the kanji character for toilet when he went out.
“We can start to save money for your twentieth birthday too,” his mum added.
“What about it?”
“Well, I hope we would have enough to get you a slave by then. Living a life without one as an adult is hard you know. I’m living one right now,” she explained.
His fingers froze, eyes instantly glancing up to his mum, his gaze leaving the form that he was writing on. To actually get a slave on his twentieth birthday was the last thing that he had in mind, even if it were his last day of living. The idea of having one didn’t settle in to him easily and in fact, he found the idea as extremely absurd. They weren’t that super rich in the first place, so he wouldn’t complain if they couldn’t afford one.
“I don’t want one. We should save money for other more important stuff,” he said, continuing where he left on the form.
“You’ll get one. We can afford it,” his mum frowned.
“I said I don’t want one, mum. The Ariokas are extremely loaded, and they don’t have any. I don’t think Arioka-san even has one,” Yamada pointed out.
“But that kid got you.”
“He did, as a pet. Not a slave. He took care of me,” he put his pen down, looking up to his mum while correcting her.
“It’s the same thing,” she rolled her eyes to him.
“It’s not. Like I said he took care of me. I got my own room, got a nice hair do, a butler assistant that took care of my needs, proper warm meal, and loads of other stuff. Dad and you didn’t treat yours like that back in the days,” he pointed out, frowning because he didn’t like the tone that his mum was using.
She went silence; her eyes were staring at Yamada dearly. As much as he wasn’t usually comfortable with silence, he knew that he would feel a lot more contented if his mum dropped the subject right away. It wasn’t that he tried to be different from everyone else, but he had somehow knew how it felt one when he was in the basement that he wouldn’t want to put anyone to go through it.
“You’ll get one. End of story,” she stood up, taking the apron off while turning around.
Blinking, Yamada glanced up to his mum, finding it as such a shock that she insisted. “What?”
“You’ll get one. I don’t need people to look at our family as incapable because they already do since your dad went bankrupt. This is our chance to redeem ourselves, Ryosuke,” said his mum.
“Mum, I don’t want one. And why would you even care about what people say? Me being back is not enough?!”
She stood still, eyes staring at Yamada and her neckline tensing as she gulped. Yamada had a really weird feeling about this whole thing, sensing himself getting restless in his seat. This might go somewhere where it wasn’t something that Yamada would love to hear. Besides, if he really thought about it, things about his mum were still slightly confusing him.
“I’m sorry…” she said finally.
“I… I didn’t actually come back to your dad looking for you. I was a mess, and I still am. I swear to God I was thinking about you this whole time but…” she continued, sounding hesitating with what she was about to say.
“But…? What? Tell me.”
“… I wasn’t looking for you at all because I was ready to move on with my life… then that Inoo kid found me…”
His eyes widened up, suddenly knowing why he had been having all this weird, uneasy knots in his stomach each time he realised that he was living with his mum. A free man must have felt like this, was what he though it was, but it didn't feel right at all for him.
“Did… Daiki force you to take me back?” Yamada spoke up, clearing his throat while his hands gripping the edge of the form before him tightly.
“… he didn’t. He just… he kept on asking me if I would love to have my son back.”
Unconsciously, Yamada stood up as he tore the form that he was holding, tension building up in his spine. He couldn’t believe what he just heard, especially when he finally accepted the fact that there would be no way to return back to the mansion at this point.
“Ryosuke…” his mum mumbled.
He ignored her, putting the thought of letting this one go in his head while making his way to the living room. Grabbing his bag from the big sofa, Yamada threw his mum a glare before he headed to the main door.
“I knew that something was wrong when none of you were trying to get me back from that basement,” he growled, banging the front door behind him.
He hadn’t been that mad since when Daiki took him to Chinen’s place; the unpleasant, recognizable feeling in him bundling up, pushing him further into his emotion. The crowded street sounded like a very bad music of a genre that he didn’t really like, but his mind was full with anger that he couldn’t be bothered about people walking around him.
As he kept on walking aimlessly, Yamada found himself standing before a recognisable gate; the glorious gate that he visited not long ago. It was big and splendid, just the way he remembered it, but much more extravagant now that he stared at it with his naked eyes and not from inside a car.
It was the gate of Daiki’s university.
He contemplated whether he should enter, wasn’t sure if he would be able to enter even though he wasn’t a student there. Yamada watched the way people walked into that marvellous university, learning their behaviours because he figured there might be a reason why he walked aimlessly and ended up there.
Once he gained confidence, he straightened up his body, adjusting the bag on his shoulder before then walking towards the gate. He tried not look down, walking as normal as possible because it wouldn’t only be embarrassing if he was found out, he wouldn’t know where to go from there onwards.
There was this big board not far from the guardhouse, and without any hesitation he made his way there, secretly was relieved that the guard didn’t ask him for a student ID. He stood there by the big wooden map, trying to remember if he would remember where he picked Daiki up the last time he was there.
Nervously, Yamada walked to the intended building, his memories from the quick look at the map was his only guide. When he thought living in the big city was already strange enough for him, the whole atmosphere that the campus was giving him was even more foreign for his little heart to take.
The idea of friendship once again hovered over his mind as he saw university students chatting leisurely on random benches. Some were just fooling around while others seemed to take the time to read their textbooks while waiting for their classes. School or university, something that Yamada knew nothing about.
It wasn’t hard to miss the building that he wanted to go, the grand stairs in front of the old building was as obvious as it could be and now that Yamada actually stood before it, it looked even more intimidating than when he first saw it.
There were students there, but he couldn’t see a sign of Daiki at all. As much as he wanted to wait for the older guy by the stairs, that familiar uneasy feeling like the one when they went to watch a movie started to build up in his stomach again, the sense of being the out-of-the-norm kid making him feel far from comfortable.
With his head low, Yamada slowly, and somewhat unsurely, stepped on the stairs and walked up to the main door, trying his best to ignore people that passed him by. His steps didn’t feel heavy for some reason, instead he felt that he just wanted to go through the damned stairs and quickly go inside and find Daiki.
The inside of the building was just as splendid as the exterior. It looked old, but the crafts on the clay walls were carefully done, making Yamada felt that he wasn’t in Japan at all. The marbled floor reminded him greatly of the big mansion that the Ariokas had, it was so glossy and it was possible for him to look at his own reflection on it.
Wooden, sophisticated, doors showed that there were a load of rooms in that big hallway, students walking around in packs with their text books or file holders in their hands. Laughter, serious face, dazed expression; the foyer was filled with all sorts of people, a place where Yamada knew he wouldn’t feel comfortable to be in.
“Daiki!!” he shouted suddenly, his eyes catching the sight of the one person that he was looking for.
He watched the way Daiki stopped talking to his friends, the crowded hallway suddenly became insignificant to Yamada as a smile curved in his very own face. There was shock on Daiki’s face when he saw Yamada, blinking in disbelief as he made his way to the younger boy, rushing.
“What are you doing here?” Daiki said when he was close enough.
“I… I don’t know,” Yamada answered honestly.
He remembered this kind of expression that Daiki was currently showing him. The other’s eyebrows were furrowed and his eyes were pierced to Yamada. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling hovering Yamada as Daiki got closer and closer to him, only to grab on Yamada’s wrist and drag him away from the crowd.
Gulping, Yamada let the other lead him to the end of the foyer, passing all those people to the back of the building where there were tall, huge trees and benches were scattered in that mini park (as Yamada decided to call it). There weren’t many people there, probably because it was still early in morning and Yamada assumed everyone had class to attend.
“I’ll call Hikaru to send you home,” Daiki mumbled as he took his phone.
“I have class, I can’t let you hang around all alone like this. What if you get lost? This campus is not small,” the older guy frowned.
“I can stay here and wait for you. Like on that bench on something. I have my iTouch and my phone with me, I won’t get bored,” Yamada insisted.
“You…” Daiki frowned even more, tilting his head. “Something happened?”
At the question, Yamada turned his head away, wasn’t really sure what to answer Daiki with. His feeling towards the entire situation was mixed as it was, and to actually telling Daiki about what happened was something quite challenging.
“I had a fight with my mum. No, not exactly a fight, but like… she wanted to start saving for my twentieth birthday, while I told her I didn’t want any and… I just don’t want to see her for now,” Yamada answered honestly.
He was somewhat glad when Daiki’s expression softened up, the familiar child-like face was once again seen from the university student.
“Let’s… let’s just go somewhere for now then…”
“What about your class?” Yamada asked.
“I’m already late anyway.”
Biting his lips, Yamada followed Daiki who has walked back to inside the building. It was almost empty with only a few kids by the big announcement board – very different from how it was just minutes ago. The big clock in the middle of the hall showed that it was fifteen minutes after ten, probably a sign that most classes had started.
He contemplated for a while but decided that it wouldn’t hurt much to reach out to the older boy’s hand that was loosely swayed as Daiki walked ahead of him. The gentle feeling as their skins touched made Yamada nibbled his own smile as a small part of him didn’t want to be obvious.
Daiki did turn his head, almost as if he was taken aback by the action, but the older guy seemed to mentally shrug it off and he held Yamada’s hand back instead. There was warm feeling crawling on his skin, soothing and making him want to hold on tighter. He wanted to do so, but he couldn’t help but notice that Daiki was so close to him almost as if he was trying to hide their linking hands.
“Maybe we shouldn’t walk holding hands?” Yamada whispered to Daiki, getting a lot more cautious as they got to the big road that led them to the main gate.
“No, it’s okay.”
“You don’t look comfortable at all doing it in public,” the younger boy pointed out.
“It’s not that,” Daiki replied, taking his phone out from his pocket before then making a call with it.
Yamada waited until Daiki was done with the call, noticing that it was Hikaru that the other boy was calling. Even when it was slightly irrelevant at that moment, Yamada couldn’t push away the happiness inside him each time he realised that he had a matching phone as Daiki, creating an unreal view of them being related closely.
“Then what it is?” Yamada asked when Daiki was done with his phone call.
“Nothing… it’s just… I think I’m gonna take you back for now,” Daiki answered. “Take you back as in, getting you back to the mansion.”
Eh? Yamada blinked.
Took too long because I was traveling and I actually forgot to post this up orz. The next chapter is already in progress, but I'm gonna have a busy week, so we'll see people.