Hey! Say! JUMPPairing:
Takaki Yuya/Chinen YuriRating:
The crash made him jump. His mind raced, wondering as to what happened. A young man, a few years older than himself, had fallen from the tree Chinen had been sitting under and into a mud puddle.Notes:
I've been working on this fic on and off for the past few weeks, and it's finally at the point where I'm happy with it enough to share it. I don't think it's one of my finer works, but it's a story I've wanted to tell for a while. Enjoy~
He had always hoped that someone would fall for him. They’d see his smile, sharp eyes hidden by cascading locks, and approach him and want to get to know him. They’d ignore the wall he put up, carefully stepping around the boundaries he erected to keep everyone out. One by one the bricks would break until Chinen finally allowed the petals to fall, giving them a clear view of his delicate heart.
He didn’t think it would happen literally.
The crash made him jump. His mind raced, wondering as to what happened. A young man, a few years older than himself, had fallen from the tree Chinen had been sitting under and into a mud puddle. He checked the tree above, the foliage spotty in the fresh spring weather. He could have sworn no one was sitting in the branches when he sat down half an hour ago.
The other man slipped a few times trying to get out of the puddle, spraying mud over Chinen’s own backpack.
“Um, sorry,” he called out. “Are you okay?”
The stranger was finally on his feet, tiptoeing through the mud to a more solid piece of earth. “Yeah, I think so?” he looked down at his person. “I’m dirty but alive. How about you?”
“I’m okay,” Chinen said. He tried to cover the mess on his own shirt to keep the stranger from feeling bad about dirtying it. “I didn’t fall out of a tree, though.”
“Yeah,” the other man’s attention glanced back to where he had come from. “Remind me to never do that again.” He put his messenger bag on his shoulder that wasn’t covered in mud. “Ah, I’m Takaki by the way.”
“Chinen,” he said, nodding. “Ah, do you want to clean yourself up a little? My place is only a few train stops away.”
“No,” Takaki said, but then quickly replied, “I mean yes. To the cleaning, not to the train. My place is too far away to get to right now.”
“A train will be quicker though,” Chinen reasoned.
“Deathly afraid of them,” Takaki shivered. He pulled his bag closer to his body.
They walked. Chinen didn’t want to upset a cab driver by bringing a soaking wet Takaki into the back of their car, and no tip could make up for the time it took to scrub the mud away. They’d lose more money then gain it with a wet back seat.
Takaki didn’t talk much. He kept a careful eye on Chinen in the crowds and he never was more than a foot or two out of reach of him at all times. It was peaceful knowing that neither of them needed to struggle to form a conversation. They enjoyed each other’s presence as they walked through the crowded streets of Tokyo to Chinen’s home.
He hated to think of what his parents would think, inviting a person he hardly knew to his home. For all he knew Takaki was a crazed serial killer waiting to get him alone so he would whip out a knife from his bag and stab Chinen through his beating heart. He didn’t want to think of what his parents would say, their words echoing to him from beyond the grave. He should have been smarter. Should have let the man find his own way home from college.
“So, do you go to the same university?” Chinen asked. They were stopped at a crosswalk, waiting on the light to allow them to walk once more.
The people around them eyed Takaki before focusing their attention forward once more, trying to ignore the mud coved man.
“Something like that,” Takaki said. “I have, ah, a friend that goes there. I was waiting for him to get done with his work, so we could meet.”
Chinen nodded along. It made sense. The university had a beautiful campus and, many people from the city visited it for a little peace and quiet. It was a breath of fresh air from city life.
“Wait, don’t you mean meet up?” he asked. The light turned green, and they started crossing the street.
“Ah, yeah. That,” Takaki nodded. “Sorry. My friends joke that I’m horrible at Japanese, even if I grew up learning it.”
It was official. There was no way Takaki could be a serial killer. For one, he seemed to sweet, his personality like a rabbit, harmless. He was far too beautiful as well. His beautiful cheekbones were to die for, and his hair was primped and polished to perfection. Chinen had difficulty keeping his eyes off of him and nearly stumbled into a few people the closer to his apartment they came.
He was quiet, conversing with Chinen whenever he spoke, but he never made a conscious decision to start a conversation. Chinen only knew a few things about him: his name and why he was at his university that day. The more he thought about it, the more Chinen knew his mother would chastise him for this decision. Better to keep it a secret.
“I might have some of my friends’ clothes you can change into while we wait for yours to wash,” Chinen said. He unlocked the door to his apartment.
It was a small thing, just enough for himself and nothing more. He only used his apartment to sleep and study, so what more did he need?
“That would be nice,” Takaki said. He placed his messenger bag on Chinen’s couch. “Is everything in the bathroom?”
“Towels are in the closet outside of the bathroom,” Chinen said. “If I find anything I’ll put it outside of the door. You might need to sit in a towel until everything is done.”
“I’m fine with that,” Takaki said. He stood, swaying slightly. “I’ll just…strip in the bathroom and leave everything outside of the door.” He shuffled off before Chinen could say another word.
He rummaged around his closet before finding a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that Chinen knew definitely wasn’t his size. Luckily, Keito was forgetful and tended to leave random articles of clothing whenever he came to visit, so Chinen had a little stockpile in case his friend forgot something when he stayed the night.
He could hear the shower running, the sound of cascading water faint against the walls. The floor around the door was soaking wet, Takaki having tried to wash some of the mud off in the shower before depositing his dirtied clothing outside of the bathroom. Chinen didn’t mind, though. At the very least Takaki hadn’t tracked too much mud into his home.
He tapped on the door. “I left some clothes for you outside.”
When Takaki didn’t respond, Chinen shrugged and walked away. The other man would figure it out.
Once he started a load of laundry he settled in his couch and grabbed the remote, flipping to a random mid-afternoon variety show. He eyed the messenger bag on the couch, the brown fabric tempting him.
It was a bag, a simple one at that, but Takaki’s hands clutched onto it like his life depended on it. The one thing that hadn’t been ruined by the mud was Takaki’s bag.
He shouldn’t do this. He trusted Takaki enough to let him into his home, but something itched the back of Chinen’s mind. The bag was the biggest mystery. It sat on the couch, calling out to Chinen. Its whispers filled the room, deafening the sounds of Takaki in the bathroom. He needed to know what was in it.
He grabbed onto it and opened the flap.
It didn’t take long for Takaki to get out of the shower, rounding the corner into Chinen’s living room with a towel wrapped around his shoulders. He noticed fairly quickly what Chinen was clutching in his fingers.
“You weren’t supposed to find that,” Takaki said, stopping in his tracks.
The only thing in the bag had been a spiral notebook, photographs glued to the pages dating back about a month. Each page had detailed scribbles about everything Chinen had done, as if each moment was too precious to not explain.
“I can explain,” Takaki said.
Takaki sat next to him, but he drew away.
“What’s there more to say?” Chinen asked. No matter how he willed his hands to drop the book he couldn’t. “Let me guess. You were going to kill me now and leave me for someone to find my body later.”
“I could never do that,” Takaki reached for his hand, but Chinen snatched it away. “I swore I would protect you."
“I need you to get out,” Chinen said. He rose from the couch, backing towards the window and clutching Takaki’s notebook to his chest. “You’re scaring me.”
Takaki laughed. “I guess that makes sense. You’ve always been wary,” Takaki settled onto Chinen’s couch, honest eyes looking at him from across the room. “I remember when you were around seven that foreign man tried to convince you to follow him. He offered you candy in broken Japanese, anything really to win your favor, but you ran. You ran so fast and locked the door behind you when you got home.”
“I,” Chinen paused. “I never told anyone about that.”
“Which is understandable,” Takaki said. “It was quite frightening, and how do you explain to your parents that you survived a near encounter with being abducted? There would be an uproar in the community.” He stuck a foot out as if to examine his toes. “Besides, it wasn’t as if you were harmed. You made it back home and you never saw that man again.”
Chinen loosened his grip on the notebook. “What are you?”
That beautiful smile graced his lips once more. “It’s easier to show you than to tell you,” Takaki said, rising from the couch.
Chinen blinked and they were there, massive wings that curved to the floor. They were feathery. Swan feathers, layered upon layers that were smooth and white as snow. He longed to reach out, to touch them, for he was sure they were something he could sleep upon easily.
“I told you,” Takaki said, eyes settling to the floor. “I swore to protect and watch over you.”
“That doesn’t tell me what you are,” Chinen said. He inched forward back to Takaki.
“I’m your guardian angel,” Takaki said.
The words wouldn’t register in his mind for some reason. That once sentence, four simple words, was so difficult to comprehend. Guardian angels existed? He had never heard of the concept before, never heard of someone meeting one. But there Takaki stood, in all of his winged glory. That had to count for something?
“We get our charges very young,” Takaki said, shifting his weight from side to side. “I’ve watched over you since you were little. You know, keeping notes about what you do for history’s sake.”
“That’s what this is,” Chinen said, holding up the notebook.
Takaki nodded slightly. “Yeah. I’ve got a library’s worth of notes about you.”
“Not going to lie, but that’s kind of creepy.”
“I know,” Takaki sighed. He twiddled his thumbs. “But I can’t help the job requirements. I live solely to watch over you and influence you to the right path, but death,” he couldn’t seem to look into Chinen’s eyes, “death I can’t stop. I’ll be punished heavily for what I’ve done today. Channel fourteen should still be reporting about it right now.”
He changed the television station with a few clicks of the remote. The ongoing stream from a news helicopter told Chinen all he needed to know. He needed to sit down.
A brake malfunctioned sending the train he took home colliding off the tracks. It was an afternoon train, not many on board, but, from the wreckage, there appeared to be only a few survivors.
A hand on his shoulder drew Chinen out of his thoughts.
“The moment our charge dies our job is complete, and we pass on as well,” Takaki said, drawing Chinen into a hug. “But I…I couldn’t let that happen to you. You’re too young, and you still have a life to live.”
“Then I’m living on borrowed time,” Chinen said, pulling Takaki closer to him. “What…what happens to people like me?”
“I don’t know.”
“And what about you?” he asked. “What happens when you return home?”
“I don’t know, but I’ve heard it isn’t good.” Takaki pulled away, fingers brushing against Chinen’s face.
It was only then he realized he was crying. He was shaking. He could feel it. The reality of the world was crashing around him, and his lungs were struggling to breathe. His heart longed to feel something, anything, and it clawed at the cage within his chest to be set free.
“It’s alright,” Takaki whispered, one hand reaching up to brush through Chinen’s hair. “Whatever is meant to be will happen. You’re safe now.” He pulled Chinen close once more. “You have a life, a family and friends to be with. Dangers will always be around you, but it shouldn’t hold you back from living.”
“You talk a lot for a guardian angel,” Chinen muttered into Takaki’s shirt, and he felt the angel go rigid against him.
“I know,” he said. “But I can’t help it. I think they made the wrong decision when they gave me you as my charge.”
“Because I’m difficult?”
“No,” Takaki said, shaking his head. “Because I care too much about you, and it clouds my decision making.” A soft hand ran through Chinen’s hair. “I know it sounds creepy, but I only want to see you smile.”
He felt safe wrapped in those arms, as if nothing could touch him. Takaki was an impenetrable barrier against anything that wished to harm him, blocking against the wind and rain crashing against the earth. Yet he was soft, easily conforming to Chinen’s body to hold him close to his being.
Chinen felt it deep within his soul. He had no reason to distrust this man, no matter how Takaki came off. He was awkward, yes, but Takaki held himself in a way that welcomed others.
“I…I need to go,” Takaki said, pulling away. “I can hear them calling for me. They know.”
“Will you be alright?” he asked.
“I’m not sure,” Takaki said, “but this much I know. It was worth it to see your smiling face in person.”
As quickly as he had came, he was gone and all of the traces of him as well. From his shoes to his bag, even the clothes in the washer, nothing remained. All that existed were the memories.
Chinen was so close to completely his thesis he could taste it. Two long years he had spent, combing through books in the library to find sources that backed up his arguments. One more quote, that was all he needed, before he could proudly hand in the fifty-page document. All of his hard work and effort would finally be completed. One more.
He strolled by the large stacks, looking for the ‘M’ section when he heard it, a large crash behind him. He turned in time to see a mass of fluttering papers falling to the ground. He wished he had a camera, or at least his photography inclined friend, there to capture the beauty of the cloud of paper flying through the air.
He glanced between the stacks and the poor individual scrambling to collect the loose leafs before walking back where he came. Chinen had five minutes to spare to help a fellow student out.
“You should be more careful,” Chinen said. He squatted next to the stranger and started sifting through a couple of the sheets. “You might lose something important.”
“I do this all of the time,” the stranger said. “I can’t stop myself from falling for some reason.”
Chinen stopped, his jaw dropping. He knew that voice and that hair. Dreamed about it being encompassed in a ring of feathers floating around his bed.
“Are you alright?” the other man asked.
“Yeah,” Chinen said, promptly slamming his jaw shut. There was no way it could be him. No way that whatever higher being was above Takaki would allow him the chance to roam earth once more. “I’m Chinen, by the way. Chinen Yuri.”
“Takaki Yuya,” the other man introduced himself. “I’m, ah, new here. Just started this semester, but I’ve been looking at this school for a while.”
Chinen nodded along, but stopped himself. He needed to know. He needed to know if this was the Takaki that plagued his dreams, that he longed to see smile.
“Sorry,” Chinen said, handing the sheets he had collected back to Takaki. “I feel like I’ve seen you around. Have we met before?”
“I don’t know,” Takaki said, a little smirk playing across his lips like he knew something Chinen didn’t. “It all depends. Do you believe in guardian angels?”