|Seitaverse KajiYuki meeting [unfinished]
||[Sep. 19th, 2005|09:04 pm]
Shut up and SUCK IT.
Kajimoto sighed heavily, rubbing lightly at the bridge of his nose and not even bothering a second glance as one of the secretaries handed him a patient's chart. It had been a long Friday... of course most Fridays were, after a weeklong routine of staying up late with homework and getting up early to go to school, only to then be at work or this internship in a matter of hours. He was lucky to be home at six or seven, or later, depending on the day. He checked his watch as he turned the corner with chart in hand. 5:30--and this was the last patient he'd be seeing. Oh, he loved this kind of work. This was his future career, after all... but after a week of hard work, a guy just needed a break. Finally he could go home... and see his son. That always made his day better. The long days, the hard work, all the stress... it was all worth it, just for him. And at times like this when Kajimoto wanted nothing more than to stop and bash his head against the nearest wall, all he had to do was think--half an hour more, and he'd be going home. He'd pick Seth up from his parents' home and they'd go back to his apartment, and he'd feed him and play with him for just a few blissful hours until the boy fell asleep...
Yes. Half an hour longer.
He'd fully regained his composure by the time he'd opened the door to the waiting room, finally opening the chart in his hands to call the next patient for his appointment. Hm, another Japanese name... though that wasn't unusual, in San Francisco. In fact it was a little funny to hear the...less multicultural of the nurses maim the pronunciations even after years of working in the field. He didn't even think about it as he began to read off the name, his mind admittedly elsewhere. "Seiichi Yukimu..ra..." Kajimoto's voice trailed off on the last syllable, awkwardly, as violet eyes widened. No way. There was no way. It had to be a coincidence, someone with the same name--and he would laugh awkwardly and apologize, explain he'd known someone by that name and it had just caught him by surprise, and whoever it was would laugh and think him a little strange... and then it would be just half an hour more until his shift was over.
Yes, that was all. He took a breath and lifted his eyes to scan the room for the patient who would no doubt would be looking at him funny by now, an explanation and apology all prepared in an instant. Instead he saw a familiar shade of blue in curling strands of hair, the pale skin he must've kissed countless times, and admittedly the most gorgeous grey eyes he'd ever seen in his life; older, sleeker, but just as beautiful as he remembered, like a vision from his most implausible dreams. God, it really was him. And he looked good.
Kajimoto remembered maybe a second too late to wipe that stupid look off his face and make his best (second) attempt at professionality, motioning for Yukimura to follow him. This wasn't a dream, and he did have a job to do, after all.
Minutes ticked, seconds tocked and time slipped away, peeling off and fading as if the waiting room crumbled around him and he floated in a timeless and dimensionless vacuum. Yukimura would always get this feeling when he visited doctors and hospitals, something he had hated for its lack of color. Sterile, bleached, lifeless. The white, only a facade for the death-painted walls, was smothering, trapping life within its white walls. It seemed colors just bled off the walls because if you mark it with a red pen, that very trace of life will be gone the next morning--cleaned up by the night janitors who patrol the halls like spectors. He didn't hate natural white because that held more colors than anything else, but the white of doctors and hospitals and clinics and all the other places he had to be subjected to was harsh, cold, and baren. Instead of mixing with the other colors, that white dissolved and consumed the reds and blues like bleach.
Waiting to be called was like waiting for the jury's decision--a breath held in anticipation, dread? fear? something. More often than not, they gave him bad news: atrophy, relapse, and it goes on. He willed himself to concentrate on the magazine splayed out in front of him, page open to an article on Germany...his thoughts dwelled on the country he left again for the same reasons why he left Ireland and Germany for the first time. Perhaps he's just volatile, perhaps he's just running away. Nevertheless, he's in San Francisco now, transferring from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat to UC Berkeley to finish his last two years abroad. It helped that the US had good medical facilities to accomodate to his recovering body from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He frequented physical theraphy clinics to work his muscles back to their pre-GBS state, so that he could return to normal life without fear of collapse and drop foot, paralysis and pain.
The sound of his name brought his eyes to the speaker, gray eyes locking with violet whose color seemed to change depending on the light. They were familiar eyes belonging to a familiar face... but could it be? It was strange that the assistant trailed off at his name as if he had some sort of recognition (no, he probably wasn't used to a name like that), and it was strange that the man stared so intently (no, he probably was just admiring Yukimura's looks which was a frequent thing). The other man was handsome just like he was, with violet eyes just like he did, and a certain flair just like he had... but it couldn't be. No. Yukimura ignored those thoughts and followed the man inside, down the corridor, and around a corner into a smaller (waiting) room. It was absolutely silly to think of one Takahisa Kajimoto now when they have lost contact so long ago... The assistant probably just reminded him of the other person due to resemblance... Yes that's it.
Yukimura approached in silence and Kajimoto released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding as he led the other man down the hallway to the exam room, pausing only a moment at the scale to take his height and weight in as few words and glances as possible, still within the realm of politeness. He didn't know what he had been expecting, really. A chorus of angels praising this fated reunion? Hardly. If he'd expected anything quite that miraculous, he would have been much more disappointed with what he received--guarded grey eyes that regarded him warily, as if lingering on the edge of recognition only to then cautiously back away. He knew without a doubt that the man before him was the same beautiful German boy he remembered from high school. How many other Seiichi Yukimuras with blue hair and grey eyes would happen upon a physiotherapy office? He'd always wondered how Yukimura's long term battle with the GBS that had struck him as a teen had fared--after all, it was he who had inspired him to fully pursue this career--but then they'd fallen out of contact soon after high school. It was only natural, he imagined. Inevitable, even. Yukimura had found someone new, someone who understood him and made him happy; Kajimoto was only the ex-boyfriend. Not to mention the rather...sudden turn Kajimoto's life had taken soon after the start of college. Keeping up with old high school classmate was now somewhere near the bottom of his list of priorities, and understandably so.
That was the depressing truth. He really wouldn't be surprised if Yukimura had forgotten him entirely, with as much effort as Kajimoto made to keep in contact with him. Not that he was even making the effort now. He couldn't bring himself to say a damn thing. Instead he went through the 'new patient' routine almost mechanically--do you drink, do you smoke, are you on medication, is your family in good health? Each answer earned a check in a box or a scribble in Yukimura's chart, and Kajimoto wondered if maybe, just maybe, Yukimura might remember his voice, and say something so he didn't have to... but then, it had been a few years. Maybe he shouldn't even get his hopes up for that. Hell, maybe Yukimura didn't even want to remember him.
... no, no. No. It was that kind of attitude that had lost him Yukimura in the first place, wasn't it? And if there was one thing Kajimoto had learned over the years, it was that he shouldn't give up quite so easily. He wasn't going to let opportunity like this slip by. Even if Yukimura wanted nothing to do with him, even if he was happy with someone else, even if. It was just too much of a coincidence to let him pass on by without even saying a word. Not that he expected (or even wanted, really) the other man to jump right into his arms, but... a conversation would be nice. Finally he set down the chart and his pencil, sighing as he ran fingers through hair since clipped short--more professional, but still long enough to be stylish, strands of chestnut brown brushed over one eye just as it had always been in the past. "Well. That's enough 20 Questions." Violet eyes levelled onto Yukimura again, but not in the careful yet detached way a medical assistant would be expected to look on a patient; not with the smile that touched lightly on his lips, subdued with just a little hint of nervousness. "Hisashiburi desu ne, Seiichi."
Yukimura went through the routine procedures of measurements and question and answer while that little thought nagged at the back of his mind. Say something. No. It is him. No. You're just afraid. Shut up. You are. Shut up. Despite his growing irritation, he still managed a smile and pleasant disposition toward the other man. It would be rude otherwise.
"Hisashiburi desu ne, Seiichi."
The voice, the hiss, that hiss. Eyes widened in surprise as recognition appeared in grey. "...Takahi...sa?" he asked quietly, hesistantly, eyes searching their violet counterpart. Thoughts raced in his mind of the boy from his past, the boy who was his classmate, friend, and lover. Was.
The flow of time has changed Kajimoto--hair shorter, eyes slightly jaded, and signs of weariness on his handsome features. Yukimura wondered what had happened between their graduation and now that could've brought such marks of age.
A pause. A chance to even his voice.
"It has been a long time."
Suddenly Kajimoto could breathe again. He could tell Yukimura was still a little overwhelmed, hesitant to speak, but he didn't blame him. Without having talked to each other for nearly three years, there was no way he could have known Kajimoto had remained in his home town… and even then, San Francisco was a big city. They could've lived a lifetime there without ever running across each other. But here they were, in the same tiny little office, and Yukimura remembered him… that was all that mattered. He tried to ignore the awkward silence that seemed to have settled across the room, lingering where he stood when he knew he was supposed to be taking the completed chart back, call the doctor in, and then mind his own business for the next 20 minutes. It was extremely out of procedure, and he would probably get in a bit of trouble for it, and later his parents would wonder why he was late, but… really. Who would leave?
"So…" he began, with just a bit of apprehension, that nagging feeling that maybe he just wasn't wanted around beginning to resurface. He quickly quelled it, considering which question would be the least stupid to start out with. He'd never know whether or not Yukimura wanted to talk to him if he didn't try. "How have you been?"
It was funny how out of the hundreds of physical therapy offices in San Francisco, he was referred to the same one where Kajimoto works. Coincidences were funny like that, or perhaps Fate had a sense of humor. Three years spanned from this meeting in a medical office to their first in one of a different kind. Three years ago, they were lovers and three years ago, they weren't. Their history had ended there. Now, there's a possibility of restarting everything, of what people call "catching up" to the gap that had widened between them. Three years spanned between them but it felt like ten.
Yukimura could tell the other man felt a bit awkward but it reflected his own feelings as well. Just what do you say to your ex-boyfriend of three years ago whom you haven't spoken to once in those three years? Other than the generic follow up question of "how have you been," of course. Just what do you say to the man who had broken your heart when you were still boys?
He looked across the room and smiled. "I've been fine...had some ups and downs but generally fine. And you?"
A generic answer, of course.
Generic answer for a generic question. Kajimoto should have known that one was stupid… and he couldn't quite tell if that smile was genuine or just a little forced. It had been too long. There was a time when he could read Yukimura's face and body language like a book, knew when he was tired or angry or annoyed, knew when he meant what he said and when he put on a smile just to hide whatever devious plan was going on in his head. He didn't know anymore. It was a little scary like that, like he was trying to have a conversation with a complete stranger--and surreal, because the man in front of him wasn't a stranger at all, but the very same boy he'd given his heart and his body to three years ago. His first and--maybe, he thought with some irony--his only love.
He felt like he'd fallen into a trap, or perhaps he was just teetering dangerously on the invisible endless pit of mundane, pointless conversation and he still had a chance to save himself. Unfortunately, he didn't think he had quite the verbal skills to pull off the save that was needed here. He laughed a little quietly in response, clearly at himself as he replied. And though he was obviously trying to make light of his words, the sound was tinged with a little more weariness than anyone who'd known him in the past would expect. "Yeah… I could say the same."
There was another empty pause, a silence that would have been almost stifling if not broken by the quiet clicking of the pen in Kajimoto's fingers. Nervous habit. Kajimoto didn't have nervous habits. It stopped abruptly as he focused on Yukimura again, a little curiousity in his expression that he couldn't quite hold back though he knew was being a little too nosey than he should be. At least it was a subject. "I didn't expect to see you here in San Francisco. Did you transfer schools?"
Yukimura could tell that Kajimoto was trying to bridge that gap of three long years with idle conversation. But was he really trying to reach out and keep it? Or was it just a fleeting touch, a loose "hi how are you" and "bye I'll see you sometime"? Yukimura wasn't sure what he wanted but it was nice seeing his old...friend (yes his friend, his mind corrected him).
"Yeah, I transferred from LMU in Munich to Berkeley. A break from routine, you know? Thought it'd be fun to study abroad." He smiled gently, trying to ease the awkwardness between them. It shouldn't be like this after this long, he doesn't want it to be like this. So he took a chance and reached out. Surely the heartbreaks are dulled now, surely they can get along like they used to. Surely... He took out a piece of paper and wrote his number on it. "Here," he extended a hand, "it's my cell phone number. We should hang out and catch up." Another smile, it was sweet and beautiful like Kajimoto remembered it but he also knew its other faces (he's just a bit rusty now). He knew that Yukimura had ten types of smiles with their slight fluctuations that most people miss. How many other people know of this? A thought interjected hopefully no one.
The smile on Yukimura's face now was one of finality. The end of this conversation, at least for now. After all he did come for a check up. But it had a reassuring quality that promised to continue later, when they're not in such a place, surrounded by such white walls. Only later did he realize that it echoed of their first promise under the stars.
Kajimoto blinked in silence as Yukimura jotted his number on a piece of paper, reaching out to hand it to him with a sweet smile. Yes… there was the smile he remembered, just the tiniest curve of his lips holding more feeling and sincerity than Kajimoto could possibly describe. He stepped forward to take the offered bit of paper, his fingers brushing against the other man's just briefly… and for just a second he thought of the very first time they'd met alone, when he'd held Yukimura's hands in his and knew in an instant there was something special about that beautiful boy from Germany. For another moment he was quiet, eyes fixed on the paper in his hand as if assuring himself it was real… because just that little scrap held the potential for a lot of meaning. It meant Yukimura was still willing to talk to him, despite three years of silence. It meant he didn't mind being sought out, maybe even wanted it. Common sense told him people don't just give out phone numbers to be polite, and Kajimoto felt inexplicably reassured by that thought.
Of course if he was unwelcome, Kajimoto would have willingly simply left the other man alone for the rest of his life if it would make him happy--at least it would be some closure. But that didn't mean that was what he wanted. There was something missing in his life, Kajimoto knew. He had work and school and even the beginnings of a family… but there was a void that needed to be filled. It wasn't partnership or even sex; the emptiness was something that had bothered him even when his wife was with him. Maybe he just… needed a friend. Someone who understood him, knew him as more than just a stressed out college student who had a kid at nineteen. At this point in his life, Yukimura was like a godsend.
…at least, he could be. With a small, but much more confident smile, Kajimoto tucked the phone number safely away in his pocket. "Be expecting a call, then." When he would have time to call and meet up with Yukimura he didn't know, but it would certainly be as soon as humanly possible. As for now, well, he had other places to be, and he knew the other was anxious to leave the oppressing blankness of the walls that surrounded him. If he remembered anything about Yukimura, it was that he hated pure hospital white. "Sorry for holding you up. The doctor will be with you shortly," he finished cordially, taking Yukimura's chart in hand and stepping out. He still had work to get done, after all.
Yukimura ascended the stairs to Kajimoto's apartment that was a few miles from campus. The other man had called him a few days ago to join him for dinner at his place and catch up. Yukimura thought back to that day of a week ago when they met as if by fate at Kajimoto's job. It seemed almost surreal that he would meet someone from school here of all places, though it made sense. Kajimoto was originally from San Francisco. It was really from the other's influence that Yukimura chose to come to San Francisco. The city intrigued him when Kajimoto told him about it and ever since, he wanted to visit the Golden Gate City.
He arrived at the second floor--it was a small apartment complex, kind of like the ones back home in Germany--and knocked on the corner door. A bright smile greeted Kajimoto when he opened the door, but a delicate brow arched in question at his choice of clothing. He never knew his ex-boyfriend was a frilly apron type of guy.
"Hello there miss, is your boyfriend home by any chance?" Even if three years kept them apart, some things like Yukimura's deviousness just never change.
Some other things however, like Kajimoto's receptiveness to such teasing, had changed. He responded with an easy smirk, looking remarkably unabashed for actually being seen in such an… embarrassing ensemble. "Ha ha. Very funny." He still felt obliged to somehow defend his masculinity, however. "It's not really mine, but it serves the purpose, so why get rid of it?" he explained with a shrug, leaving it at that. Yukimura didn't really need to know the whole life history behind the frilly apron. Not that he wouldn't tell--he had long since learned keeping secrets was not the best way to make a good impression. It just didn't seem like good 'conversation starter' material. He motioned Yukimura inside, the rich smell of simmering spaghetti sauce inviting the other man into the small apartment while Kajimoto quickly put the questionable apron aside.
There was one thing he just couldn't avoid telling Yukimura about, however… not when that 'one thing' was making so much noise, busily stacking blocks and laughing in delight when they fell over. On the living room floor sat a baby boy, surely no more than a year old. Yukimura's arrival caught the boy's notice almost immediately, and the baby fell silent, staring up at the newcomer with big violet eyes--so much like Kajimoto's, but maybe a shade lighter as a baby's eyes tend to be, a lavender hue that flirted with blue. Eyes that demanded attention and held it. Kajimoto took the dumbstruck boy in his arms, the baby tucking his face against the man's neck and grasping at his shirt as he walked back to Yukimura, peeking at the stranger from beneath the safety of his father's chin. Kajimoto smiled gently, though his heart skipped a beat. He had no idea what the German man would think of this scene, but… this little boy was such an important part of his current life. His son. He couldn't even begin to think of 'hiding' him--it would be ridiculous. "Sorry," he began in polite apology as the child in his arms seemed to take great measures to avoid being introduced. "He's not shy, it just takes him a little while to get used to strangers. Seiichi, this is Seth."
"Girlfriend whipped you that badly, huh?" He chuckled and followed the other man into his apartment, smelling the scent of sauce wafting. Mmm pasta. He took note of the ease with which Kajimoto answered him. He remembered the boy of three years ago would be easily flustered when teased...but this is nice. His apartment is nice too--it was quaint and had the feelings of a home rather than just a living space of an university student. It seemed bigger than what a student would get for himself only... does someone else live here?
The dull thud of blocks falling on carpet directed Yukimura's attention to the "roommate"--an adorable baby with big blue-violet eyes and a button nose. When Kajimoto brought him over, Yukimura smiled kindly at Seth and took his small hand in his own fingers, shaking it cordially. "Hello Seth, it's nice to meet you." The dumbstruck expression soon melted as a jovial smile bloomed onto the cute little face. Giggling, Seth replied to the greeting in coos and baby talk. Turning back to Kajimoto, he asked, curiosity evident in his eyes, "Is this your baby cousin that you're babysitting or something? He's so cute."
Ah, if only Yukimura knew how badly he had been whipped. Of course, that was awhile ago, so Kajimoto felt no need to bring that up. Slowly but surely he was picking up the broken pieces and putting his life back together-and frankly, he was finding life without her a much better situation. Independence was much more comfortable… and ultimately, Kajimoto assured himself, much better for his son's future. Thus Kajimoto let Yukimura's comment go as it was, just an innocent tease, offering merely with another smirk… and maybe some paternal pride as the baby in his arms laughed and babbled and Yukimura responded with a fond smile. Seth was always more of a charmer than he was.
A strange, unreadable expression briefly crossed Kajimoto's face at Yukimura's next question, but it was gone in an instant, replaced by another almost proud smile. "Isn't he?" No, he couldn't really blame the German for asking. After all, it hadn't been that long… an ex-boyfriend with a child barely out of high school? Not the first conclusion he'd jump to either, were he in Yukimura's position. Especially not Takahisa Kajimoto, former captain of the Jyousei Shounan tennis team and top of his class, prefect at Prince Academy, and generally well-behaved and reserved… which was exactly why he needed someone who knew him as more than that. Hopefully Yukimura was willing to be that person. He would find out shortly. With a quiet laugh, Kajimoto just shook his head, simply taking the question in stride. "But no… this one is mine. He's my son."
Eyes widened slightly in surprise before he caught himself staring. He was dumbstruck. Wow, Takahisa has a child... just wow. There were many questions he wanted to ask but knew that they'd be too nosy, so he resisted. Instead he remarked with another smile, "Ahh.. now I know where he got those beautiful eyes." If Kajimoto wanted to tell him things, he will in due time, and Yukimura was willing to wait. In his mind, he wondered that it was strange that the mother wasn't here for dinner or that Kajimoto wasn't wearing a wedding band. Maybe they're just engaged? Maybe---Yukimura decided to kill the nagging thoughts there. He'll know in due time, if Kajimoto wanted him to know.
He sniffed the air again, taking in the sweet smell of food that lulled him. "Mmm that smells delicious. I take it that you can cook now?" He continued to play with Seth, making the baby boy giggle with mirth. Ohh he's so cute. Yukimura cooed inside with adoration for babies and kids as his maternal side surfaced. He thought fondly of the times at Rikkai Jr. High where he was called "Yuki-mommy" by his darlings (Akaya and Bunta) because of his mothering nature. The only regret he has for being gay is that he won't be able to have a child of his own. Which is a shame. He would've been a great parent.
For a moment Yukimura only stared, but Kajimoto had expected that. He'd expected a little worse, actually, maybe another interrogation as other people tended to do when they found out… how, when, who? But much to his relief, the other man was surprisingly quick to recover himself. And the way he fawned over the baby, grey eyes soft, his smile gentle and beautiful… Kajimoto would almost be jealous of the attention Yukimura poured over the baby if it weren't so… sweet. And Seth seemed to like him too, almost immediately warming up to the stranger, gracing him with bright smiles and giggles he rarely saw the child give anyone he was unfamiliar with. More than one date had been sent packing when the baby did nothing but cry and pout while they were over. A thought crossed his mind just fleetingly-Yukimura would be a wonderful mother-before he quickly pushed it away again. What a silly thing to think. And why did he think 'mother' and not 'parent'? That lack of sleep thing was really starting to get to him.
Still… something about the scene really did just look right. And if Seth liked him so much, perhaps Yukimura would have to come over more often. ..which meant he'd have to learn how to cook more than two or three things, but that was a concern for a later time. "Not really. I can do pasta and the occasional egg sandwich. Seth still eats mostly out of jars so at least he doesn't have to suffer through it," Kajimoto answered with a small smirk. "Want to hold him while I get some food on the table?"
Chuckling, Yukimura nodded and took Seth in his arms, handling him with care and experience, while Kajimoto left to get everything ready. He cradled the baby boy softly and rocked him, dangling fingers in front of curious eyes and making soothing sounds. Seth made a grab for his fingers with tiny hands as he giggled and cooed in baby talk. "You're so cute, yes you are. I'm Yuki, can you say that? Yuki." He laughed at his own actions. It was like he was taking care of his younger sister when she was still a baby, again. A pair of confused eyes blinked at him and Seth started giggling once more as if there was some inside joke, showing off his one white tooth proudly. Yukimura sat down and set Seth on his knees, swinging the baby's arms in tune to a nursery rhyme and clapping them together. That earned another fit of giggles and Yukimura's heart melted.
Kajimoto's voice from the kitchen rang out, indicating that dinner is served. Yukimura gathered Seth in his arms again and walked into the room that wafted with smell of spices and sauce and wine. "That looks great, Takahisa! Good job." He handed Seth over to his dad and sat down. He couldn't wait to start; he's never eaten Kajimoto's cooking before, well at least an official meal.