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Horizon 1
Uta no Prince-sama, Ichinose Tokiya/Ittoki Otoya, PG-13

MASTER POST


Chapter 1

There's a car parked outside the gate of his house which Otoya doesn't recognize. It's white and shiny and looks really, really expensive so he's pretty sure it doesn't belong to any of his friends, not that he has many and as far as he knows, only one of them has a car. And he rarely gets a visitor so.

"That'll be one thousand and a hundred yen," the driver barks out, startling him out of his musing, and – oh – he realizes that the taxi has pulled up right behind the shiny vehicle.

Otoya pulls out his wallet, his heart sinking when he sees that he has one note left. "I only have a thousand," he says and folds into himself when the driver glares at him like whoa – scary face.

The man snatches the bill out of his hand though, grumbling about cheapskate passengers and whatever so Otoya takes that as his cue to slip out of the taxi and – oops – the wheel of his travel bag gets stuck but with a little more struggle, he manages to haul it out. Whew.

A thousand yen! Seriously? He doesn't take the taxi often – like maybe almost never. So he's not really sure but he thinks that's too much for a fare when…well, the train station is just about like 10 minutes away? Technically. Probably. But then, there's the traffic and all because it's tourist season so yeah. A thousand yen.

If only Eiichi would have picked him up but.

Oh well.

Just as he steps into his front garden, he's quick to notice that there are people inside his house.

Burglars? Not likely because there hasn't been any case whatsoever of breaking and entering in this area for the past… well, for as long as he's lived here. And… and it's late in the afternoon. He doubts anyone will be dumb enough to trespass any house in broad daylight. Not like anyone will see if they did break into his.

Otoya slips his shoes off at the genkan, noticing that there are several pairs lined up which he doesn't recall owning. Surely, he doesn't own a pair or red pumps, does he?

Leaving his rolling luggage and guitar case by the large pot of bamboo palm, he pads into the living room on his socked feet.

There's a rather attractive man leaning against the backrest of his couch who looks up from his phone, asks, "May I help you?" like hello?… like he owns the place when… when this is his house and he's supposed to be the one asking.

But.

But Otoya doesn't want to be rude, so he says, "Um," and scratches his head, then flashes the man his brightest smile. "This is my house?"

The man's forehead furrows and he looks at Otoya like… like he's going to punch him or something so Otoya takes a step back and… and… the man says, "That's impossible. Someone – a guy who wears glasses – had sold me this house."

"Glasses?" Otoya parrots but he's more like thinking out loud, wondering who the man is referring to because he knows two guys who wear glasses and they'll never—

"Wavy, dark brown hair, violet eyes," the man supplies, probably noticing the confused expression that Otoya's sure he's wearing. "Has a rather devious and sinister smile."

Damn. Shit! Eiichi! Otoya screams internally, feeling like… like a vein in his temple is about to burst.

But then he gets distracted when the man speaks again, saying, "He didn't look trustworthy, if you ask me. So you're saying THIS. Is YOUR house?" putting a bit of emphasis on 'this' and 'your' like… like he doesn't believe Otoya at all.

"Yes. It is." Otoya just hopes this guy will believe him and leave so he can rest because he's so, so tired and frustrated since the job he's hoping to get – the job he went to Tokyo for – didn't pull through.

"Well, it's mine now. I have all the necessary documents," the man says as he approaches and now that he's closer, Otoya thinks he looks oddly familiar so he starts racking his brain, trying to recall where he's seen this man before.

"Ichinose-san," someone says from behind him, prompting Otoya to turn around. A woman with long, dark hair is standing by the archway with what clearly looks like a fake smile. "We're done arranging your room and moved all the things left there to one of the spare bedrooms. Everything else is set in the kitchen as well. Will there be anything else you need?"

Wait. What did she say? What room?

"No, thank you." The man – Ichinose, apparently – waves his hand, saying, "You can all leave now. I can take it from here."

The woman and the three other people with her seem to be in a hurry to leave, not even sparing Otoya a glance.

Ichinose. Ichinose. Where has Otoya heard that be—

Oh shit! His head snaps back to the man who now has his arms crossed and um… watching Otoya with a frown, but Otoya disregards all that because… because… "You're Ichinose Tokiya! The famous actor and singer!"

Of course, who else can it be? How did he not recognize him right away?

Oh. Right. He's been busy trying to figure out why there's this stranger in his home who's claiming that this is his house now. Which brings him back to the subject.

"But… but why would a famous celebrity like you be interested in my house? Shouldn't you be buying mansions or something?"

The man – Ichinose – shrugs. "It's simple, no neighbors within fifty meters, practically built in a remote place which lessens the possibility of any paparazzo finding me and it's by the lake. The view is simply amazing. How did you come to acquire this, I wonder."

"My aunt left it to me." Otoya's not sure if he should be sharing the story to this… this stranger – celebrity or not. It's something he prefers to keep as private and remembering only triggers sad memories. "Actually, it belongs to my mother. She was a composer and needed a quiet place to work so when a couple of the songs she composed became a hit, she earned enough money to buy the property and had this house built. She made her sister partial owner so when she passed away, my aunt became sole owner of the place and she's the one who raised me here."

"That's an interesting story to weave in two minutes," Ichinose Tokiya says with blatant sarcasm that Otoya can't help but stare at him with his mouth open because what the ef? He can feel his blood boiling. Literally. "So where's your aunt now?"

"Dead." The usual pain that haunts him whenever he talks about his aunt doesn't even surface, overwhelmed by the annoyance for this man's rudeness. Seriously!

"I think I've heard enough." Tokiya (yes, Otoya decides to call him Tokiya in his head because… well, because the man is so rude he doesn't deserve to be addressed formally with honorifics so yeah, he's Tokiya now) moves fast. Otoya has barely blinked when this man is already beside him, grabbing him and dragging him straight to and out the front door. "Leave before I call the police," Tokiya says in a threatening way then he slams the door on Otoya's face.

The nerve!

Otoya's not going down without a fight. He pounds on the door, hollering, "Let me in you… you arrogant piece of… Argh! Let me in!"

Not expecting Tokiya to open the door, he almost loses his balance when it disappears just as he's about to hit it with his fist and… and he's starting to think this man has a heart after all but then Tokiya all but throws his bag and guitar on the front step and—

"You jerk!"

What will he do now? His mind reels back to his conversation with Tokiya and he suddenly remembers Eiichi. If what Tokiya says is true, then Otori Eiichi has done a number on him.

Was he wrong to trust him? He's known Eiichi, been friends with him since high school. And since his friend is studying law, only that he has to stop this year because of money problems, Otoya consults him on legal matters like… like the documents he needs so he can keep this property. If only he has enough money to hire a lawyer then he won't be in this mess.

If it's true that Eiichi has sold his house to this self-centered celebrity then… that can only mean he's doomed. What is he going to do now?


*


The first person he thinks of calling is Syo and after giving Syo a rundown of what's going on, he's all, "What the actual fuck! I told you not to trust him! I'm on my way home. I'll meet you at our apartment in thirty minutes."

Syo seems to have already told his roommate and their common friend, Natsuki, about Otoya's situation by the time Otoya arrives because Natsuki greets him with a hug (more like a glomp, really) and says, "Oh Otoya-kun. What Eiichi-kun did is just terrible."

Then… then Tomochika arrives and she's like, "Syo called me. I'm surprised you didn't," with her hands on her hip.

"I'm sorry I… I would've called you but… but I couldn't think straight." Otoya can feel a bout of stress crawling up his body.

Tomochika drops the same questions Syo and Natsuki have already asked but Otoya still answers dutifully. Then she folds her arms over he chest and asks, "And where were you when this was all happening?" which brings Otoya back to that dreadful experience.

"I was in Tokyo," he starts then takes a gulp of the juice that Syo has given him. "I got a call a week ago, from a recording company? The man says they received a demo of my music, which I don't recall sending, by the way. But he said they wanted to hear more so he invited me over to meet his boss but…"

Otoya sucks in a breath before telling them how the boss had previously booked appointments on the first day, was on a board meeting the next, too busy to see him on the third day and finally on the fourth day, the secretary asked if he had a formal appointment. "I told her about the call I received, but I couldn't remember the name of the man who called so she just checked her computer then told me she didn't have it on record that anyone had actually called me and… and my name isn't even on the list of people their boss is expecting."

"Do you think it was a hoax?" Syo asks and he can only offer a shrug because.

"I bet Eiichi was the one who called you so he can lure you away," Tomochika says looking absolutely livid and… well, Otoya wouldn't want to be in Eiichi's shoes at the moment.

Natsuki is the one who prompts him to continue. "What happened after?"

So Otoya tells them how the secretary, probably out of pity, has referred him to an agency. "I went to see the man she asked me to meet the next day. And they listened to my demo, asked me to play a couple more songs and thirty minutes later, they asked how long I'll be staying in Tokyo. I told them I could stay a couple more days, even though I was running out of money. Two days later I got a call from the agency telling me that my music lacks substance? Whatever that means."

"Oh, Otoya." Tomochika's looking at him like he's a kicked puppy or something similarly pitiful, which he probably is.

"I was really having a rough week and now this." Otoya just can't believe his luck – bad luck in this case. "I can't lose the house guys. It's the only thing I have left of my aunt. And my mother. It's… There's just, you know, so much memories in it. And… I don't know what to do. I don't have much money to buy it back and Tokiya wouldn't even hear me out when I was trying to explain that the house is mine."

"Tokiya?" Tomochika asks with a perfectly arched eyebrow.

"Yeah. Ichinose Tokiya. He's the one who bought my house."

All three of his friends stare at him like he's grown another head.

"You mean to say…" Tomochika starts in an almost hushed voice as if she's verifying confidential government information that can potentially put her life in danger, "THE Ichinose Tokiya – The actor. The singer. The all-in-one idol package – now owns your house?"

When Otoya nods with a lackadaisical, "Yeah," she shrieks and screams loud enough to wake up the dead.

Natsuki covers her mouth and over the muffled noise, he asks, "Otoya-kun. Did you ever authorize Eiichi-kun to sign legal documents on your behalf?"

Otoya thinks real hard and remembers Eiichi telling him how it will be easy to handle things like taxes if he can just sign without having to bother Otoya so… "Yeah, I think I did." He's not sure though?

"Maybe you can try asking Tokiya-kun to show you the deed of sale," Natsuki suggests. "That way you can check if it's legally binding."

Syo interrupts with, "Tokiya-kun, huh? Aren't you being too familiar?"

Tomochika steps in to Natsuki's defense, saying, "Well he did say more than once in several interviews that he prefers being addressed by his given name." Then she turns to him. "Natsuki's right. Ask for any proof that your house was sold to him. Have you heard from Eiichi by the way?"

Otoya shakes his head. "No. I tried calling him several times while at the train station and on the way here. It seems his line has been disabled."

"Oh fuck. I wonder if the rumor is true," Tomochika says almost thoughtfully, as if… like she's thinking out loud, her finger playing with a lock of her red hair.

Otoya sure hasn't heard any rumor about his friend so. "Rumor?"

"Yeah." The frown on Tomochika's face deepens that it makes him even more curious so he leans closer just as she starts explaining that, "There's hearsay that Eiichi owes some Yakuza a shit load of money. If that's true then that explains why he sold your house and is now M-I-A."


*


Not that he's a hundred percent knowledgeable on legal documents, but the deed of sale sure looks legit, which can only mean that yeah, Tokiya's the new owner of this house.

Otoya's chest tightens as if… as if a large invisible hand is squeezing his heart and his eyes prickle, his vision is starting to get blurry and… and…

How can Eiichi do this?

"So you're saying…" Tokiya's voice startles him out of his thoughts so he looks up and listens to him articulate, "That this Otori Eiichi is your friend?" in his usual impassive way.

"Yeah. He is." Or was – is what he'd like to say, after what that… that bastard did.

"And you didn’t authorize him or ask him in any way to sell this house?" There's still the hint of incredulity in Tokiya's tone that just makes Otoya really, really frustrated.

"No. I didn't."

Tokiya says, "Well—" but is interrupted by the music blasting from somewhere in his pocket. Otoya watches him pull his phone out with remarkable grace then he checks the screen, mutters, "Damn it," as he springs up on his feet and meanders away, but not far enough that Otoya can still hear his voice.

"What?" Tokiya practically yells into his phone. "No, forget it. I'm not interested," he says then he starts pacing. "Have you forgotten the scandal that woman dragged me into two years ago? Do you have any idea what she's like?"

Tokiya falls silent for a moment, and then he sighs, says, "Absolutely not. I don't care what the press says. I don't care if the public is going to buy it. I refuse to be in a movie with her and I am not going to pretend I'm in any way involved with that woman."

Another pause.

"Let her threaten, for all I care," Tokiya snaps. "I don't want to be within ten feet of her. Tell her… tell her manager—" His gaze lands on Otoya when he pivots around and he stares at him like he just discovered a mine full of gold. "Tell them I can't be romantically linked with anyone right now, regardless if it's only for publicity, because I'm involved with someone."

Then he ends the call, the hand that's gripping his phone falls on his side. He tosses his phone on the table, slides back on the couch, still staring at Otoya with a visible sparkle on his turquoise-blue eyes.

"Say," Tokiya leans against the backrest, crosses his legs and cups his knees with both hands. "You want this house back, right?"

Otoya nods, answers, "Yyyes," way too cautiously because… because it sounds like a trick question and he's been tricked one too many, thank you very much.

"Do you think you can buy it back?" is what Tokiya asks next and Otoya shakes his head, thinking that unless he wins the lottery, no, he won't be able to buy it back. Besides, why should he? It's his house and—

"Maybe we can make some sort of compromise." Coming from Tokiya, it sounds awfully like a business proposal – the kind that… that normally makes Otoya go huh?

"Compromise?"

Then Tokiya asks, "Are you involved with anyone right now? I mean romantically?" which—

"What?" He can't help but wonder where this is going but when Tokiya doesn't say anything, perhaps not wanting to reiterate or something, Otoya just says, "No, I'm not," hoping that he's not losing his chance to get his house back.

"Good." Tokiya's lips curve up just a little but it can pass as a smile and he looks real cute considering. "Why don't we get married?"

"Get what?" Otoya's not sure if he's heard it correctly, but surely, Tokiya isn't asking him to marry him, right?

"Get married. Nothing big, just a private ceremony," Tokiya says as if he's discussing something as simple as the weather. "We can write up a contract, just between us, stating what we get out of this arrangement."

"Arrangement?" Otoya wonders if Tokiya is under the influence of some kind of drugs because. "Why?"

A hint of impatience crosses Tokiya's face. His leg slides off his knee and he leans forward, elbows resting on his thighs. "I figure it's a perfect way to drill into my manager's head and hopefully keep the public from turning a blind eye that I'm gay. And I hope this will stop my manager from forcing me into situations like making a movie with this actress – you don't need to know who she is – and pretend I'm involved with her. "

"I see," are the only coherent words Otoya can manage right now. He does remember watching this talk show where Tokiya literally came out of the closet and later told the host that… well, that he's not interested in women but… "What's in it for me?"

Tokiya straightens up, gaze fixed on Otoya when he says, "Well, if you stay married with me, say, for at least a year, I'll give you this house back. No payment whatsoever. Like I said, we'll write a contract or more like terms of agreement stating what I expect from you and what you will get in return."

Somehow, Otoya has this gut feeling that he's on a hot seat for one of those popular prank shows and expects Tokiya to jump up and say You've been pranked! or something along those lines. But Tokiya seems like on edge, sort of. And Otoya is hyper curious so. "So if I agree, I get the house back?" Tokiya nods. "For free?"

"Only if you stay married with me for at least a year."

That sounds fair… maybe? "Is that all I need to do?"

"You'll have to live here with me, of course," Tokiya says, sounding absolutely resolute. "Otherwise, the media and the public in general will question our marriage's validity. But you'll have your own room. And… do you work?"

Otoya nods. "Not the office kind of work. I usually work from home. I compose jingles for TV ads for a small ad agency? Nothing big, just enough to pay the bills and keep food on the table."

"Well you won't have to worry about the money. I'll cover the bills and grocery expenses, but you'll have to do most of the shopping," Tokiya says in a way that it's clear he's not leaving any room for argument. "In return, you'll have to clean the house, do the laundry, water the plants and—"

"Just be your housewife," slips past Otoya's lips before he can bite his tongue – Omigosh!

Tokiya's eyes narrow. "Of course, you can say no, forget we ever discussed this but—"

"No I'll do it!" Otoya blurts out then mentally berates himself for not thinking twice because… because this is absolutely crazy!

"You sure?" Tokiya seems to be testing his resolve and Otoya can't blame him, probably noticed that he's… he's literally shaking.

Throwing all caution to the wind, Otoya says, "Yes. I just… I need Horizon back."

"Horizon?" A mixture of confusion and curiosity seems to be written on Tokiya's face so he's compelled to explain.

"My mom… she uh, she called this house Horizon."

A momentary silence falls upon them and Otoya is still waiting for someone to jump out and tell him that this is all a joke, for Eiichi to just show up and—and tell him, "I can't believe you fell for that. Of course I didn't sell your house. How can I do that?"

But nothing of that sort happens.

Tokiya's the first to break the proverbial ice, says, "Very well," and flips a lock of his midnight blue hair away from his face. "We'll have to make the announcement dramatic."

"Announcement?" Otoya's starting to feel so dumb for repeating a word in just about everything Tokiya says.

"Yes. Do you have anything nice to wear? Nothing formal, just something for casual parties."

Otoya thinks he has enough decent clothes, not that he goes to parties but—

"That's fine if you don't," Tokiya says, interrupting his thoughts and before he can protest, tell Tokiya that yes, he does have some nice clothes, Tokiya is already saying, "We can pick up something later. The party isn't until tomorrow night, anyway. For now let's work on the contract."


*


It's some sort of a pre-production party for a movie that Tokiya is about to make. There are so many celebrities that – oh my, is that Misuzhima Hiro? He's so handsome! I mean, not that I find him attractive but… yeah. – Otoya feels the beginning of a neck sprain from turning his head every so often.

"Ichinose-kun." Someone – oh my dear Kami, it's Shirota Yu! Breathe, Otoya, breathe. – comes up to them to shake Tokiya's hand. "Our second movie together. Looking forward to working with you again."

"Same here, Shirota-san," Tokiya says with the widest smile Otoya has seen on him since he met this man who is practically stoic most of the time. "Oh, by the way, this is my friend – special friend – Ittoki Otoya."

Not expecting to be introduced, Otoya is startled out of his… well, internal fanboying, and the word 'special' that Tokiya used so casually throws him off so he stammers out, "H-hu-hi. N-nice to meet you."

Shirota Yu grabs his hand in a gentle handshake, says, "Pleasure is mine, Ittoki-kun," and his skin is so… so soft and… and…. "Hope you enjoy the party. I'll see you both around."

Tomochika will surely lose her shit if she's here with him. Speaking of his red-haired friend, she's been sending text messages incessantly (keeping his phone on vibrate mode is probably the best decision he's made today) since that morning, reminding him to take pictures, to… to ask for autographs – all of which he has no guts to do, not with Tokiya watching him like a hawk, probably to make sure he doesn't do anything all embarrassing or whatever.

"Ichi." Another guy – Otoya is quick to recognize him as Jinguji Ren – approaches them, hands in his pant pockets. "I thought you weren't coming."

Tokiya makes some sort of derisive sound through his nose. "Wouldn't miss this for the world." He introduces him in passing before asking, "Is she here?" and by 'she' Otoya guesses Tokiya is referring to the actress he so wants to avoid.

"Yeah. She's been looking for you." Jinguji Ren says and Otoya doesn't expect the ginger blond to acknowledge him or something but he does. "And hello Ittoki-kun. Nice shirt. Goes perfect with your hair." His eyes travel down Otoya's body, which makes his face burn.

"Um. Thanks, Jiinguji-san. Please just… call me Otoya?" he says, nearly stumbling on his words.

"I think I prefer calling you, Ikki." The man leans closer, says, "And do call me Ren," against his ear then leans away and turns to Tokiya. "Where have you been hiding him all this time, Ichi? Is it safe to assume he's the reason you moved and wouldn't give me your new address?"

Light laugher flutter out of Tokiya's mouth and the sound is so, so foreign that Otoya can't help but gape at him. "You got me, Ren."

"Tokiya!" A female voice hollers.

"Here we go," Ren says and he takes a step back with a look that suggests he's about to see something amusing.

"Is it true that you refused to do a movie with me?" the woman – who Otoya recognizes as the actress Matsuda Sumiye – says with a hand planted on her hip.

"I'm afraid it is." Tokiya seems to square his shoulders. "The movie in question has a lot of indecent scenes involving the characters we're supposed to be playing and it's rather untimely to do something like that at the moment."

The actress crosses her arms and turns her nose up when she asks, "And why is that?"

"Because…" Warm fingers curl around Otoya's wrist. "I'm getting married."

The woman snorts, clearly not believing him. "Yeah? With who?"

The sudden sharp tug on his arm makes him lose his balance and he falls against Tokiya. Then he feels Tokiya's arm coil around his waist but before Otoya can ask what he's doing, Tokiya says, "With him," then his mouth crashes on his and—oh—they're… they're kissing, and… and even though Tokiya's pressing real hard, his lips feel soft and… and he tastes like peppermint and he's um… he's really a good kisser?

Lights flash around them and Otoya can hear people murmuring. Then the murmurs turn into hushed chattering and then… and then there are people shouting, "Tokiya! Who is this guy? Is he your boyfriend?"

When Tokiya pulls away, he lifts Otoya's hand to his lips and kisses the finger where he has slid on a white gold ring earlier.

"What the—" someone says.

"What does that ring mean, Tokiya?"

"Is that what I think it is?"

"An engagement ring?"

And that's how Otoya's life starts to go downhill.


*


Tokyo Entertainment News here with a scoop everyone's been waiting for. This isn't exactly the first celebrity wedding of the year, but this is creating a buzz around Tokyo and probably the whole of Japan.

Sorry, ladies and gents, but this one is off the market.

One of the hottest idol in the entertainment industry, twenty-four-year-old Ichinose Tokiya, ties the knot today with a dashing young man named Ittoki Otoya. Who is he, you ask? Well, he's an amateur composer who we've heard prefers to keep a low profile so all we can tell you is that he's a year younger than our gorgeous idol and that their relationship is what you can call a whirlwind romance.

Will they create a storm within the entertainment world? Or will Tokiya's wish to keep this side of his life private win over?

We'll have to find out in the next few weeks.

Congratulations is in order.



*


His friends – Tomochika specially – think that being married to Tokiya is like a fairy tale but um… that isn't exactly true.

Tokiya is… well, he's really a nice guy… maybe? At least that's what he wants to believe. Because. Because in reality, the man is like a walking nightmare!

Upside is that he's not around most of the day, probably busy with photo shoots, interviews and whatever a celebrity does everyday. Tokiya almost never tells him where he's going anyway and Otoya couldn't care less.

So when he's not at home, Otoya does most of the things written on Tokiya's list or contract or terms of agreement or more accurately, Otoya's job description as the housewife or houseband, if that's even a word. He cleans the house, does the laundry where Tokiya's clothes are always, always three times as much as his own. Just… just how many times does he change in a day anyway?

Otoya rarely cooks dinner for his beloved husband since he comes home late. Or has had dinner already when he arrives. Which is actually a good thing because he can just cook whatever he likes. If he's cooking for Tokiya, he always needs to prepare something um… something healthy. Who would've thought this guy's a health buff?

The nightmare happens when Tokiya comes home earlier than usual. At first, he ignores him and heads up to his bedroom – which is one more thing that annoys him to the absolute degree because… because it's – or was, as Tokiya has eloquently put it – his bedroom but he's been forced to migrate to a spare room that he uses as a storage room.

Then… then Tokiya will come down and inspect everything, as in check every little corner and runs a finger on a surface then tells him, "Exactly how did you wipe this? The dust is still thick enough for me to write on it," or something similar.

Otoya can read. He knows it specifically states in the contract that he needs to sweep and polish the floor, dust or wipe the furniture, water the plants, wipe the windows and glass doors, clean the bathroom, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, cook meals whenever necessary, do grocery shopping and a long list of other things that is usually expected out of a house maid.

But. There's just nowhere in the contract where it states that he needs to polish the floor until it's extremely shiny to the point that he can see his own reflection.

Or… or that he needs to wipe the sliding glass door leading to the balcony facing the lake until it's gleaming from floor to ceiling.

Or that he picks up everything on the grocery list and has to arrange everything strategically and alphabetically by brand in the refrigerator and kitchen or bathroom or storage room cabinets and shelves and wherever else he needs to put them away.

Whenever he's on the verge of strangling Tokiya, he calls Syo, who tells him, "Well, you've known the guy for only a week and then you married him, so expect the unexpected," which… well, he does have a point, but a lecture isn't what he needs so.

He calls Tomochika, who then says, "Aww… you guys are still in the honeymoon phase, I see," like what? Didn't she hear a word Otoya has said?

Tokiya usually leaves early, like eight in the morning is early for Otoya, so he's surprised to see him in the kitchen table reading the newspaper at nine. Then he says, "What do I have to do to get breakfast around here?" without looking up, just….

"I didn't know you were going to be around for breakfast. I usually just have a toast with jam and coffee, but…" Well, Otoya's not about to use rudeness to respond to rudeness, if that makes sense. "What would you like?"

Tokiya's eyes snap up to meet his but he doesn't say anything so Otoya says, "Fine. I can't really make a perfect tamagoyaki so how 'bout western style veggie omelet with steamed tofu and seasoned nori on the side?"

An audible sigh escapes through Tokiya's lips, his eyes sliding back on the paper when he says, "Just hurry up and don't wait for me to pass out from hunger."

"Yes, boss," Otoya jests and really, he means it as a light joke but.

Tokiya slams the paper on the table and glares at him. "Are you being sarcastic?"

Otoya's quick to react, says, "Of course not," then buries his head into the refrigerator.

By noon time, Tokiya is still at home, lounging in the living room while watching a DVD of Miyano Mamoru's concert. Otoya doesn't miss the wistful expression that settles on Tokiya's face.

He claims the spot on the couch next to his um, supposedly husband, saying, "You haven't had any concert for the past year, have you?" not that he's keeping tabs on Tokiya but… well, he married the guy so he's taken the liberty of finding out what he's been doing.

Tokiya gives him a side glance and says, "Have you prepared lunch yet?' which has him springing back up on his feet to make beeline to the kitchen.

"I'm on it."

An hour before dinnertime, Otoya seeks out Tokiya to ask what he wants for a meal and finds him at the balcony. But Tokiya's all, "Why don't we just go out for dinner?" then takes him to this really expensive-looking restaurant where the food is okay but not something that will make him go oh, wow, this is super delicious, but it's still okay and.

Light flashes from a corner and when Otoya turns to the source, he sees a man holding up a camera.

The smile that curves on Tokiya's lips looks somehow satiric when he says, "Welcome to my life."


*


Otoya is just about ready to start Friday morning like usual – something that involves scrubbing the bathroom in Tokiya's room or the one down the hall – when he gets a call from Masato who asks him to drop by his office so he can discuss a new project that he believes Otoya's music style will be perfect for, or so he says.

So he's almost out the door, guitar case slung on his shoulder, when he hears Tokiya's voice. "Where are you going?"

Startled, he whirls around to find his husband leaning against the wall, arms crossed and is watching him like he's a prisoner trying to escape.

Just what exactly is Tokiya's deal? He can leave the house any time he pleases without so much as a word but… but Otoya needs to keep him informed if he's the one leaving? Whatever. He doesn't have time to analyze he's uh… he's so-called husband's behavior so he says, "To the ad agency that I told you I work for? The boss called, said he has a project for me," hoping that will be enough.

But then Tokiya asks, "What time will you be back?" which makes him go huh? and thinks, What the hell?

It's quite a struggle to stay calm, but he does when he says, "I don't know how long it will take," which is true. "Probably late in the afternoon?"

Then Tokiya walks over to him in what seems like cautious strides or whatever and he says, "Well, I'm leaving before lunch, production meeting, so I guess I'll see you at dinner?"

Somehow, there's like a very tiny hint of sincerity and… and amity maybe, in Tokiya's words that makes Otoya feel like he's walking on air so he says, "Yeah. I guess so," and practically skips all the way to the train station.

The feeling sticks with him like some sort of good luck, because he ends up getting the project and Masato treats him out for lunch.

While at the restaurant, Otoya spies a couple of men with large cameras lurking outside – oh crap – and Masato apparently notices them as well.

"Guess you have it bad," Masato says, shaking his head. "I forgot to congratulate you on your marriage. I wasn't aware you knew Ichinose Tokiya."

Otoya is so tempted to say I wasn't aware either, but then he remembers the contract and uh, number one on the list is that they're not allowed – both of them – to let anyone else know that the contract exists and that their um… marriage is simply a business arrangement of some sort, so he just shrugs and says, "Everything happened so fast," which isn't a lie?

It's only a quarter past three in the afternoon when he gets home, earlier than expected, leaving him plenty of time to plan for dinner. So he consults the internet for recipes that he thinks – hopes – will meet Tokiya's taste.

He starts cooking at six, sets the table by seven. When eight o' clock strikes and Tokiya isn't home yet, he sends him a text message and tries to call but he gets thrown to Tokiya's voice mail so he um, presumes that Tokiya's probably stuck in the meeting or something so he just waits. And waits.

By ten, his stomach starts grumbling like oh and--- So he uh, so he forces himself to eat but after a couple of bites, he realizes that he has… that he has lost his appetite, so he chucks the remaining food on his plate in the trash bin and… and…

Oh my golly, why does his chest hurts so much and why does it feel like… like his heart is in his throat. Is he seriously upset? Or is he worried? Or… or maybe both?


tbc...


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