zeon_avalanthe: (hidarime)
[personal profile] zeon_avalanthe
Title : Look, The Cherry Blossoms Has Bloomed
Author : [info]zeon_avalanthe
Rating : PG-13
Genre : AU ; Fluff ; Angst
Pairing : YutoYama
Disclaimer : Everyone knows that I don't own any of those boys, sadly.. And the Bartender setting I used in this story was shamelessly taken from the drama Bartender which Aiba Masaki starred at.. The drinks mentioned belong to their respective, err, founders..
Summary : He finally find his happiness. But will his happiness last? Or will the nightmare of his past haunt him and ruin his happiness?
Author's Note : This fic was my project for YutoYama Exchange 2015 in AO3, dedicated for butthurtnoona. Many thanks for my beta Joana for helping me out in this project.. Now that the exchange is finally over and the fics have all been revealed, I think it is save for me to cross-post my story here.. :)
So please, enjoy !
~Chapter 2~

Yuto and Yamada had started going out outside the bar more often after that first coincidence meeting at the bookstore. Yuto would invite Yamada for some meals or movies, while Yamada would sometimes take him to that newly established cafes or sometimes the zoo. Yuto learnt that aside from being a shoujo manga lover, Yamada also liked cute things and animals. He thought it was a little weird for a man to visit a cafe (since it’s normally a place where girls gathers), but he found out that it somehow fits Yamada’s image perfectly.

From the frequent meetings they have, Yuto also noticed that Yamada’s smile (the free and excited smile rather than the professional smile he normally wears) is the cutest thing in the world. He pointed it out at Yamada and the young man immediately blushed, which only made him cuter. He started calling him Yama-chan from then, telling the young man that a cute nickname is only proper for a cute guy like him. He had insisted to the young man that he should call him by his given name, too, since Nakajima-san sounded too formal to him eventhough he’d already reached that age. Yamada had agreed in the end, still being reluctant, and insisted that the honorific remains just because.

“Yuto-san, congratulations on getting a permanent contract at the music academy !”

Yuto felt his lips moving to a wide grin at the congratulary words he received from the younger man.

“It’s all thanks to you, Yama-chan.” Yuto gave the man a smile.

“But I did nothing?” Yamada looked at him with confusion.

“That one night, when you served me Whisper and told me to listen to my inner voice, that was when I decide to pursue for the job I truly loved. Music had always been my passion, that’s why I took some part-time jobs related to music. I’m only teaching little kids some instruments right now, but I’m closer to what I love.” Yuto explained with a contented sigh. “If you hadn’t said those words to me that night, I would have missed the moment and would still be pursuing the job to be a salaryman. That’s why, it’s thanks to you that I get to do something I love.”

A shy look is plastered on Yamada’s face. “I was just doing my job, Yuto-san.”

“I know you were.” Yuto agreed with the young man. “And for that, I’m thankful.”

Yamada smiled again at him. “How about I present you a glass of drink tonight ?”

“Really ?” Yuto’s eyes sparkled.

“Of course.”

Yamada gave a little bow before fetching the necessary bottles for the drink. Yuto watched on how Yamada swiftly shook the shaker in his hands, before pouring the drink into the cocktail glass.

“This is an original strawberry cocktail. The name is Friday Memories.”

Sliding the glass over to Yuto’s front, Yamada gave the man a smile.

“May happiness always lie ahead of you.”
***

One Friday when Yuto visited Eden Hall as usual, he frowned when he couldn’t catch a sight of Yamada anywhere. He sat by his usual seat nevertheless, and Aiba-san, the owner-slash-Yamada’s Uncle immediately greeted him with a bow.

“Welcome, Nakajima-san. What would you like to drink tonight ?” The man asked him politely.

“A Mojito please.” Yuto gave the man his order.

“I understand. Indeed in a hot summer like now, a cold and refreshing Mojito is a great choice. As expected of Nakajima-san.” Aiba-san narrated briefly before fetching the white rum bottle from behind him. Yuto watched how Aiba-san muddled the mint leaves with the lime juice and sugar, before adding the white rum and topped it with soda water and a few ice cubes. He then added a lime wedge on the side of the glass before serving it to Yuto. “A refreshing Mojito for Nakajima-san.”

“Thank you.” Yuto thanked the man with a smile. “Anyway, where’s Yamada-kun ?”

Aiba-san gave him a knowing smile, as if he had expected Yuto to ask the question, before answering. “Unfortunately, he can’t come to work tonight because he feels a little under the weather. Ryosuke has never been in good terms with summer since young, especially when the temperature is high like today.”

“He’s sick?” Yuto asked again, a worried line forming on his forehead.

“Yes.” Aiba-san answered softly. “But it’s nothing bad, I assure you. He only needs to lie down for a while and let the heat pass. He’ll be back to his feet before you know it.”

“I see.” Yuto replied dejectedly, he had expected to enjoy tonight’s drink with a little chat with Yamada.

“Would you like to visit him, Nakajima-san ?” Aiba-san suddenly spoke, that smile returning to his face.

“But, wouldn’t it inconvenience Yamada-kun if I were to suddenly drop by?” Yuto hesitated.

“Of course it won’t. And beside you’d be doing me a favor.” Aiba-san told him. “I’ve been wanting to pay him a visit after closing the bar, but my wife has the night shift tonight so I have to be home to watch over my boy. I asked Ryosuke to spend the night at our house, but he had refused, telling me he doesn’t want to give Kazu his cold.”

“I never knew that you’re married!” Yuto exclaimed with a surprised look. “And I thought that Yamada-kun is still staying at your house?”

Aiba-san let out a crisp laugh before answering, “Ryosuke moved out a couple of years ago when I got married. He told me that he didn’t want to catch us doing stuffs when he took his midnight trip to the bathroom. Shoko and I didn’t want him to leave though, we were a little worried because no one will be able to watch over him anymore. But he insisted that he’s not a kid anymore, and that he needed the indepedence.” Wiping the table on Yuto’s left, Aiba-san continued, “And of course you wouldn’t know. I’ve never talked about any of those to you, and you never asked. I assumed that you know already, forgetting the fact that you’re new to town.”

Yuto nodded his head in agreement. He knew that Aiba-san didn’t mean to keep it a secret, but Yuto was just a little surprised because the man doesn’t show that married-man aura at all.

“Here is his address if you’d decided to drop by.” Aiba-san hands over a piece of paper, with Yamada’s address and his room’s number. “Tell him my regards if you do.”

“Thank you, Aiba-san.” Yuto told the man as he stood up. “How much for the Mojito ?”

“No need. It’s in the house. As a thank you for taking care of my nephew.” Sending Yuto a wink, Aiba-san half-ushered him out already, and Yuto could only laugh nervously at his antics.

***

It appears that Yamada is having a really bad time with summer, because a second after he opened the door for Yuto, he immediately fell to his arms. Yuto, in his panicked state, picked Yamada up as he removed his shoes and closed the door behind him before running to find his bedroom and placing him back to bed. Yuto felt the boy’s temperature as his forehead creased in worry. He wrapped the young man with his comforter and chuckled softly at how Yamada snuggled cutely under his blanket.

His amusement, though, fell short at seeing the young man shivered despite the fever and the many layers of blanket on top of him. Yuto heaved a long sigh before tracing his way back into the doorway to pick up his fallen bag and wear the forgotten indoor slipper. Walking back into the house, Yuto found his way to the kitchen and scanned the contents of the refrigerator. Yamada cooks for himself, was what he told Yuto the other day, so the fridge has proper food materials for him to cook a simple warm miso soup. Silently asking Yamada for his permission, Yuto then began his mission of cooking.

It was past midnight and Yuto wascurrently reading some news on the internet in Yamada’s livingroom, when he heard shuffling sound from Yamada’s room. Tiptoe-ing his way to the young man’s room–just in case Yamada is still asleep-he found the said man sitting on his bed in a daze, the towel Yuto placed on his forehead his lap.

“Yama-chan? You’re awake?” He asked softly as he approached the man on the bed.

“Who?”

At the question that slipped past Yamada’s lips, Yuto kind of figured out that the man is not actually fully awake yet and that it’s just his fever talking.

“It’s me, Yuto. Come. Let’s go back to sleep, Yama-chan.” He said softly as he gently pushed the man back to lie on the bed.

“No!” But Yamada is suddenly trashing around as soon as his hands touched his shoulder, tears streaming down the man’s face. “Let me go! Please!” He cried.

Surprised was an understatement. Yuto never expected Yamada to behave like this, even if he’s sick and is not aware of himself.

“Yama-chan..” Yuto cooed. “Calm down, please! It’s me, Yuto! I won’t hurt you!”

“No! Please!” But Yamada only fought him more. Even with his current weakened state, he’s strong enough to push Yuto away. “Please! I want Mummy and Daddy! Please don’t take them away!”

And that’s when it clicked.

Yamada –because of his fever, left his mind unguarded and the bad dreams are haunting him right now. And from what Yuto could catch, the nightmare was from when he lost his parents.

“Oh, Yama-chan…” Yuto did the first thing thatcrossed his mind, and that is to pull the man to his chest, engulfing him with his arms to tell him that he’s safe, ignoring the protest Yamada attempted.

“No! Let me go! Please, let me go!” Yamada threw a few weak punches at Yuto’s chest, crying harder as he tightened his grip around his shivering figure.

“Please! Please, don’t take Mummy and Daddy away…” Perhaps Yamada has exhausted himself, because the punches had gone weaker and less consistent, and his voice has quietened down. “Please, don’t leave me alone…”

And that’s when Yuto felt Yamada’s body fall limp in his arms, as he returned back to his hopefully dreamless sleep. Yuto stayed that way for a little while, as if afraid the man would start breaking down once more if he moved away. So Yuto stayed. Hands never stopped stroking Yamada’s back gently, sending him a silent message that he won’t go anywhere, that he won’t leave him alone. Because Yuto knows the solitude of being with no one but himself better than anyone else. Of the bitterness and darkness and the evil of this world.

And Yuto silently made a vow to himself that night, that he will protect Yamada from those all, no matter what.

***

“Yuto-san? Why are you here?” Yamada asked in confusion, clearly not remembering on how Yuto could get inside his apartment.

“I came to visit you last night. And when you opened the door, you suddenly fainted on me.” Explained Yuto as he approached the man by the bed. He was re-heating the soup he made last night when he heard noises from Yamada’s room and came to check and that’s how he he found Yamada already awake.

“I did?” Yamada asked again, his face contorted in puzzlement.

“Yes, you did.” Yuto told him with a smile. “I was worried, and I don’t have the heart to leave you alone like that, so I invited myself in. You don’t like it ?”

Yamada made a face, signaling Yuto that he’s still processing Yuto’s words, before his expression relaxed.

“It’s nothing like that, Yuto-san. It’s just- I’m sorry if I had worried you.” Yamada said after a while.

“Nah, don’t mind it.” Yuto shook his head slowly. “How are you feeling now? Are you hungry? I made some soup from your fridge, if you don’t mind.”

“I’m feeling better now. And yes, please, I’m a little bit hungry.” Yamada said with a smile. “Thank you, Yuto-san. For taking care of me.”

***

Yuto began to question his feeling towards Yamada after that night he spent taking care of the younger man. At first he thought he only saw the man as a good companion, an understanding friend, one he enjoys spending his time with. But after that night, as of lately, Yuto began to notice that something has changed. He felt a weird fluttering inside his stomach whenever he sees Yamada smiling at him, and a pang of something akin to jealousy (because Yuto refused to admit that he’s actually jealous) whenever that smile was directed to someone else.

More over, Yuto caught himself watching over Yamada’s simplest movement keenly now. On how those brown orbs sparkled as he explained the meaning behind one drink or on how those lips pursed in concentration as he carefully poured the wine over the glass or on how those squishy cheeks would reddened in satisfaction at one completed concoction. He even remembers the way Yamada walks and could now predict when Yamada will broke into a smile from his gestures.

“What am I? A love-sick high schooler ?”

“You sure are, judging from how you keep on sighing and talking to yourself.”

Yuto quickly turn only to see Inoo–the piano teacher at the Music Academy he’s in and also his bestfriend at the academy--smirking at him mischievously.

“Well, I can’t blame you though. People often doubt their own feelings and tend to do something foolish when faced with love. Trust me, I’ve been there.” Inoo commented with a shrug before proceeding to his seat on Yuto’s left, storing the music sheets on his hands to the small drawer on his desk.

“So you’re assuming that I’m actually in love ?” Yuto asked, dumb-struck.

Inoo gave him another shrug. “It’s just me saying though. You’re the one who has the real answer after all.”

A long sigh left Yuto’s lips as he leaned on his chair. “Am I really in love?” He asked more to himself rather than to Inoo.

“Well, you have to look deeper into your heart to find out.” Inoo told him nonchalantly as he packed his things. “I don’t have much time to listen to your romantic problem though. I have something to do after this.”

Yuto took a side glance and saw Inoo almost rushing out.

“A date with Dai-chan again?”

“It’s our anniversary.” Inoo told him, mouth producing a small contented smile.

For some reason, looking at how things can go so smoothly between Inoo and Daiki made Yuto somehow jealous. Of course, the two faced some fights and troubles along the way too, but they always managed to stand through them all and stay strong together. Yuto wish he had someone to share his life with like them. Yuto wish that person is Yamada.

“Oh, God! I swear I don’t just-!” Yuto buried his face in his arms at the thought. “Oh my, I’m seriously in love, aren’t I?”

***

Meeting Yamada after the great realization was unbelievably hard. Yuto somehow always found an excuse to decline Yamada’s offer to have a meal together and stricted their meeting to once in a week only through his weekly visit to Eden Hall. And even so, Yuto still couldn’t help the awkwardness from the simple act of sharing a greeting with Yamada.

The younger man, as observant as always, immediately noticed the change in his attitude. He asked subtly, as if careful not to create any further damage to their strained relationship, as to why Yuto suddenly drifted away. And when Yuto couldn’t give him a proper answer –only stumbling some incoherent words as a response- Yamada let out a sigh and move back dejectedly.

It was then when Aiba-san asked Yamada to do some errand, and as the man left walking closer to where Yuto sat with a black cup in hand.“Want to play some game with me, Nakajima-san ?” He asked swiftly, lips curving up to a gentle smile.

“A game? What game?” Yuto asked back as his eyes darted between Aiba-san’s smile and the suspicious black cup in his hands.

“It’s called dice-stacking.” Aiba-san told him while he drop five red dice from inside the cup onto the table and arrange it in one vertical line. “As bartenders, we sometimes practice with this to learn how to handle a shaker- it makes our wrists more flexible.”

“And what does it has to do with me ?” Yuto asked again, a frown on his face.

Aiba-san shot him another smile before taking the arranged dice one by one under the cup and shook it with practiced ease. After a few seconds, he stop his movement and lifted the cup to reveal three dice stacked with the other two being the tower’s foundation.

“No way !” Yuto exclaimed softly under his breath.

“The chance of these five dice to stack up in one column come once every thirty tries, I’d say. But won’t you take the bet ? Rather than not trying and losing, I believe we’ll come to term better by taking the risk and losing.” Aiba-san said, as if daring Yuto to take the bet. “In my next shake, if I could stack the five of them in one column, you will tell Ryosuke how you really feel.”

Yuto looked up and stared at the man in surprise. He never thought the man will see through him like that. But Aiba-san only offered a knowing smile before he took the re-arranged dice under the cup once again and start shaking.

The bet Aiba-san offered left Yuto thinking though. Before he could stop himself, Yuto already made the bet inside himself.

‘If the dice won’t stack up, then I will give up this feeling forever. But if by chance the dice do stack up, then I will go for it.’ Yuto thought to himself, staring at the cup intently. ‘Stack up !’

“You know, Nakajima-san, I think people sometimes pretend to be lost. Because we’re a coward, we can’t be honest to ourselves, and rely on God instead.” Aiba-san suddenly said as his hand comes to a halting stop and he looked straight into Yuto’s eyes. “When all we need is but a small courage.”

Yuto felt like a punch just been delivered to his stomach. Aiba-san was right. Yuto was just struggling out of his own fear. He was too coward to do or say anything.

“I’m opening it up, Nakajima-san.”

“Wait!” Yuto stop the man, suddenly feeling a surge of adrenaline running through his vein. “I’ll go and tell Ryosuke how I really feel.” He said while rushing his way out of the bar.

Unbeknownst to him, as he left the bar, Matsumoto-san –another bartender working at Eden Hall- came from behind Aiba-san and snorted.

“You failed on the first try on purpose. You could do the trick even with your eyes closed.”

And just as he said so, Aiba-san lifted the cup to show the perfectly stacked up five dice.

“It’s our job to give our customers a little courage.” Aiba-san told him as he collected the dice and cup to store it back to the cupboard.

“You and your ideals. Sometimes I can’t understand you, Aiba-chan.” Matsumoto-san heaved a sigh before approaching a calling customer.

“You don’t have to, MatsuJun. You only have to love me and that’s enough.” Aiba-san let out a huge grin as he comes to yet another customer.

“Gross!” Matsumoto-san hissed as he stared at Aiba-san’s face in horror who, in return, only laughed.

“Let’s hope everything turned out well for the two lovebirds.”

***

Yuto almost crashed into Yamada on his run from Eden Hall. Yamada, who seemed surprised at first, quickly came back to his senses and asked Yuto what’s wrong and whether he’s alright or not.

“Yama-chan! There’s something I have to tell you!” Yuto ignoreed his question and gripped onto Yamada’s shoulders tightly instead.

“Yuto-san?” Yamada looked back at him, eyes unsure.

“I love you!”

Yamada said nothing for a long while, eyes widened in surprise and body frozen under Yuto’s hold. Upon seeing Yamada’s unchanging facial expression, Yuto began to regret his action, fearing that Yamada might not feel the same.

“I- I’m sorry ! I must- I must have shocked you !” Yuto released Yamada nervously. “I- It’s not like I wanted to ask you out or anything, but-I-please just forget everything I just said!” He shouted in the end, unable to meet Yamada’s eyes.

“Yuto-san-“ Yamada said after the long silence, and his voice urging Yuto to brave himself and look at Yamada once more. And there, the angelic smile he fell in love with. “Thank you for telling me the truth. I-“

The words that came from Yamada’s mouth is like a dagger stabbing right into his heart. Yuto knows this. The ‘thank you’ at the beginning was just an attempt to reject him as politely as he could. Yuto really doesn’t want to hear the continuation of this.

“I love you too.”

See? Yuto knows this is coming. He knows that Yamada would certainly said I lo-

“You do?”

Yamada only nodded his head shyly, his cheeks as red as tomatoes.

“Yama-chan...” Yuto finally released the breath he didn’t realize he was holding. “Thank you.”

He threw his arms around the smaller man and pulled him into a tight embrace.

***

“So the reason why you were so awkward during those weeks was because you didn’t know how to face me after realizing that you loved me?”

Yuto gave a lazy nod as his right hand kept on caressing Yamada’s brown locks gently.

“How silly! And I thought you were supposed to be the older one!” Yamada let out a crisp laugh and Yuto couldn’t stop a smile from forming on his lips.

They’re at Yamada’s apartment now. Simply lounging around and catching up with each others’ life during Yuto’s denial period. Yamada confessed that he had realized his feeling towards Yuto long before Yuto realized his own. But when Yuto prompted the question as to why Yamada didn’t make a move on him earlier, Yamada only threw him a pillow to his face.

“Oh, God ! I can’t believe I just dated the densest man in the world !” Yamada exclaimed dramatically as he moved away his head from Yuto’s lap to sit properly. “I’m hungry. You want to eat something, Yuto-kun ?”

Yuto felt a grin on his lips at Yamada’s newly-used honorific in calling him. He had wanted the younger man to simply call him Yuto or find a special nickname for him, but hearing the word ‘Yuto-kun’ coming from Yamada’s mouth sounded special already to him. It made his heart beat race.

“Anything you cook is delicious--.” Come to think of it, Yuto has to start calling Yamada with his given name by now. “Ryosuke.”

The man only blushed at the call before standing up and half-running to the kitchen to do the chore.

Yuto feels like he’s the happiest man alive.

***

“Wha-? But I don’t want to do it ! I can’t !”

Yuto looked up at the man he thought as his own father in fear.

“Of course you can, Yuto. That’s the purpose of your training these past few months.” The man told him calmly, a cigar in hand.

“But, but I thought- ? You never said anything about this ! No, I don’t want to do it. I won’t.”

The table on the man’s right suddenly broke as he slammed on it hard, face fuming.

“It’s not an offer, Yuto. It’s an order. And as my son, you have to obey me and do as I say. If you refuse, than it’s game over for you. You’re no longer needed and we will throw you away like a piece of junk you are. Am I clear, Yuto ?”

Yuto could feel every cell in his body freeze. He’s too terrified to move or to say anything. He can’t even bring himself to look at the man straight in the eye. This is not how he expected life would be after this man saved him from his hell. This is not what he wanted.

“Yuto?”

“Yes. I understand, Father.”

~End Of Chapter 2~

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