Title: Games of Betrayal and Loyalty
Author: Andy-chan ([personal profile] antimiya88 )
Pairings: Sakuraiba, Junba, Matsumiya, Ohmiya (past), Aiba x Takkey (mentioned), Jun x OC (mentioned)
Genre: AU, Romance, Angst, Slice of Life
Rating: R
Summary: Aiba Masaki and Matsumoto Jun are two of the hottest names in the show business. Both of them successful actors weren't afraid of revealing their relationship and now they are portrayed as the 'ideal couple' by the media but are they really as happy together as everyone believes? Masaki can't help but feel uneasy when he meets Sakurai Sho, a young journalist, who seems to be able to see through him. Will the secrets be revealed? And if yes, would that mean the end or probably the beginning of something new, a lot more fulfilling?
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the boys, unfortunately.

 
 
  





Part 8

 

Sho poured boiled water in his mug while hearing his boyfriend rehearsing his words. A soft smile appeared on his lips. It was the first time that he had the chance to see how it is to prepare for it. It was Masaki’s acting that had first attracted him to Sho but now that he could see how focused the other was, his eyes having a sparkle, Sho had never seen before, he could admit that he was falling deeper if that was even possible.
 

He returned to the living room, a chuckle threatening to escape from his mouth as he saw Masaki frowning, desperate to remember the end of the sentence.

 

“… to like someone as… as…” Masaki frowned more trying to remember what was following “…superficial as this woman…” Masaki looked at the script cursing under his breath. “Damn this word! I messed up again!” After a long sigh he closed his eyes and started repeating the phrase. “It’s impossible for me to like someone as supercilious as this woman. It’s impossible for me to like someone as superfi- supercilious as this woman. As supercilious as this woman.”

 

Sho smiled as he let the two mugs on the table before sitting next to his boyfriend. He could see how that the script was crumpled in Masaki’s hands.  Without saying another word, he took it from the other placing it on the table in front of them.

 

“This has to stay here for now…” Masaki was about to complain but was hushed by Sho’s lips. “You’ll never say it when you are like this!” Sho muttered the moment he broke the kiss, looking deeply into his boyfriend’s eyes.

 

“But the first rehearsal is tomor-”

 

“And you will be great, I’m sure you will, but at this moment, your brain needs a small pause… You push yourself too much and I’m sure you know it yourself that no one would be able to show the 100% of his capabilities when he stays under so much stress. I will say it once again even though I know you’ll never accept it. So far you’ve done a great job. You’ve learnt by heart 45 pages in less than three days and even if you make this small mistake now, you won’t do it at the rehearsal. I may not be an expert but I highly doubt that all the actors will have learnt all their words!”

 

Masaki looked at his lap and let out a long sigh. “I know that… But when I met with the director and the rest of the cast, I could feel their gazes. Some of them were only curious but there were also others… more critical; judging. As if they were asking me why I had to invade in their area of expertise. It may be heard cliché but unfortunately a large majority of the actors who focus only on theatre, especially the ones, who participate in smaller productions with no big names behind, believe that only they do ‘real art’ while the ones who are participating in bigger productions or TV shows have focused on popularity… on money… Personally, I wanted to try different things… It was Jun the one who was after the big things. He always said that quality is important but recognition is the one that opens doors… I guess I now realize that he was right and wrong in the same time because now we have a label on us…” Masaki turned to Sho. “I need to prove to them that I’m not that label… I need to show everyone that I deserve to be there, that I’m not the seedy looking star they all think I am, that I work hard and take everything seriously!”

 

“And you will… do you know why?” Masaki frowned as Sho took his hands in his, holding them tightly. “Because you love what you’re doing… because acting for you is not a job. If it was, then I’d say yes… you’re someone who seeks fame. But you’re not. Sometimes luck plays weird games. Your relationship with Matsumoto played its role but you were an actor before that, you still remain one… a good one… a passionate one… It’s you who told me that you chose to follow this path because you found it fascinating to be able to think through someone else, to experience so many different emotions… There’s nothing to prove to them. You love acting; that’s enough! Forget about the script for a few minutes… Trust me!”

 

Masaki secured his head in the crook of Sho’s neck, his hands finding the latter’s waist. “I feel so lucky to have found you, Sho!”

 

Sho could feel his boyfriend relax in his arms, making him smile. “I just don’t want to see my love being so stressed when it’s not needed!” Sho mumbled, his lips ghosting on Masaki’s hair. “I love seeing you panting but for the right reasons, not for a script that you will master anyway!”

 

“You sound so much like Jun…” Masaki whispered to himself, not realizing that he had said it out loud. It was only when he felt Sho stiffening beside him that he bit his lower lip guiltily. “I didn’t mean to-”

 

“You don’t have to say anything, Masaki. He used to be your boyfriend… for years… You’ve somehow grown up together; you’ve experienced happy and sad moments together; you’ve passed through difficulties… a small part in me understands that he will always be an important person in your life…”

 

Masaki could clearly distinguish jealousy in Sho’s tone. Inevitably, a smile appeared on his face. He looked up at Sho who had a hint of pout that made him look cuter than ever in Masaki’s eyes. It showed a different side of his, a more vulnerable one and Masaki liked that.

 

“Sho… I-” he tried to speak once again just to be stopped.

 

“But I can’t deny that another one will always be jealous of him… He knows you better than me…”

 

“You have no reason to feel jealous, Sho… Jun… has been an important chapter in my life. Yes… he knows me well but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he knows me better than you. And do you know why? You had met me once yet you could see right through me. You were the one who only with his eyes could speak to me… know how I feel… know what I want… Jun wasn’t able to do that. I also wasn’t able to do that. I feel like I know you in a way I could have never known Jun. Perhaps because we were too focused on ourselves or because we were more selfish that we should have. The moral is that we weren’t meant to be together. I have loved him. Very much. I can’t deny it and neither do I want to. He’s been an important person for me. I have learnt many things by his side… he influenced me like I believe I have influenced him, as well. When two people share their lives together and that goes on for years, it’s unavoidable.”

 

Masaki brought his right hand to trace feather-like Sho’s cheek to his jawline before moving upwards to his lips. “You have some similarities. I won’t lie to you. But you also have so many differences. Jun wouldn’t watch a romantic comedy with me, saying that it was boring… he wouldn’t let me cook chahan for three days in a row… he wouldn’t listen to me blabbering annoyingly without making an effort to make me stop… he wouldn’t always realize that I was sad or angry… the same way he wouldn’t speak to me about his insecurities. He always wanted to be the strong one… But above all, he wouldn’t make me feel complete just by being here with me; and that’s something I’ve never experienced in my life, Sho!”

 

“Whatever you may say, I will always be jealous… jealous because he had your love first!” Sho said with a small pout but Masaki could sense the tremble in his boyfriend’s voice. He knew that Sho was trying to lighten up the atmosphere and decided to go along.

 

“I didn’t know you had such a childish side, Sho! It’s cute! I like it!” he said with a grin as he threw his arms around Sho’s neck, bringing their bodies closer.

 

“You like to make your boyfriend jealous?”

 

“I like to see my boyfriend be jealous over stupid things and show it like that!”

 

“Matsumoto didn’t show his jealousy? Ever?!”

 

“No. He would never show it like this. He was too proud to accept it…”

 

“I can only say that I’m proud of my love for you which is so strong that only at the idea of having another man flirting with you kills me!”

 

Masaki burst into laughs before leaning closer so that their foreheads were resting against each other. “What about when I’ll be on stage? You know there’s a kissing scene…”

 

Sho chuckled. “I know but it won’t be Masaki the one who will have the kiss; it will be Lucius. I’m satisfied, as long as I know that Masaki will only want to kiss me…”

 

“You don’t have to worry…” Masaki said in a mischievous tone. “Your kisses are addictive…”

 

“Better than Jun’s?”

 

Masaki burst into loud laughs. “Different…!”

 

Sho raised his eyebrow. “Different as?”

 

“As making my whole body numb!” Masaki said and attacked his boyfriend’s lips.

 

Masaki was now lying on his back with Sho on top of him, their lips still locked together when Sho’s phone started ringing.

 

“You should answer.” Masaki said between heavy pants as he broke the kiss.

 

“I have taken a few days off, it doesn’t matter…” Sho said, his glazed-from-lust eyes never leaving Masaki’s face.

 

He was about to kiss Masaki again when the latter stopped him. “It may be one of your friends…”

 

Sho gave it a thought for a second before grabbing his phone in hand. His eyes bulged. Immediately he pressed the reply button. “Hello?”

 

I need to see you…”

 

Sho didn’t need to say anything once the call was finished.

 

“Go… I will rehearse my words once again!” Masaki said softly before giving him a peck on his lips.

 

Sho looked at his boyfriend with a wide smile. He may have had exaggerated before to take his boyfriend’s mind away from the script for a while but he couldn’t deny that his heart was beating fast as he heard Masaki’s words. He had been right. They didn’t need words.

 

***

 

Nino opened his eyes looking at the sleepy figure on his side. His hand traced the lines of his face, before moving higher taking the small tufts away. He was so beautiful. Τhere were imperfections… like those small marks left on his cheeks from his teen years but to Nino, it was such small imperfections that made the other so perfect. He moved closer to his lover with a little difficulty as his lower back was still feeling sore; the night had been the craziest, the most insatiable and in the same time, the happiest of his life.

 

He had felt desired, not being able to forget how those beautiful hazel eyes had turned dark from lust and hunger as they were moving all over him; he had felt worshiped, feeling two hot lips tracing every single inch of his naked body, spreading kisses, others softer, others more heated, everywhere they could reach; he had felt loved, hearing the sweet whisper of the words he craved to listen to the most while his body was lost in a breathtaking delirium, making his mind go blank.

 

“I love you…” These three words were following every powerful thrust, making his hands hold on the other’s back tighter, his nails scratching the soft skin, leaving marks behind, as if he was afraid of losing him, as if he wanted to give his answer because in his state it was impossible to utter a single word, his mouth agape due to the desperate need to breathe; he had felt treasured, being hugged tenderly, once all the intensity had subsided; he had felt protected, feeling the other’s body spooning him as he whispered goodnight, his hand around Nino’s waist; he had felt complete, hearing the soft breathing behind him. He had felt serene; the smile with which he fell asleep was the ultimate answer after all those questions and doubts that had crossed his mind these past few days.

 

Now, he felt so stupid… stupid because he had even dared to doubt the answer when he had already known it. He had been nothing more than a jerk to the other, yet he was treated, as if he was the most perfect man on Earth. He had hurt him, he had made him suffer… not only once… he had behaved egoistically… but he was still there… Nino’s lower lip started trembling as a soft sob left his throat. Tears filled his eyes as his hand moved softly to caress the other’s hair. Was he crying out of relief? Guilt? Happiness? He couldn’t name it… again… All that he knew was that he wanted to ask for forgiveness; something the other hadn’t let him do. “There’s nothing to apologize for… You’re here and that’s enough…” he had said, making Nino wonder what he had done in his life to deserve such a person by his side.

 

He moved closer, feeling the steady, hot breath hitting on his chin. His lips curved into a soft smile.  His heart was beating fast. He loved this man so much… more than he’d ever thought it was possible for someone to love. “I’m sorry… for making you wait…” he whispered not wanting to wake him up. He couldn’t imagine his life without him. He couldn’t imagine waking up every morning, without seeing him at the other side of the bed. He pressed his lips on the other’s ones and let his head rest on the naked torso. “I don’t deserve you… But I know that I’m an egoist enough to want to stay by your side forever…”

 

“I’m glad you’re an egoist… But even if you weren’t, you’d still be here… because I’m one, too; worse than you!”

 

Nino looked up surprised to meet the two beautiful eyes of his man looking back at him, full of adoration.

 

“I-”

 

“Come here…” Nino immediately moved closer to the other, so that their faces were only a few inches apart. “I don’t want to see these eyes red again… the same way I don’t want to hear this cute voice of yours say such stupid things and tremble like this… That’s only allowed when you’re in a position similar to that of last night!”

 

Nino felt tears again but this time he could tell it was only from happiness. “I feel so stupid…” He brought his hand up to the other’s face tracing it feather-like. “Because there was nothing to think about… I already knew the answer… My heart always knew…”

 

“Kazu…”

 

“You were the one who showed me that I could be a dreamer… that my innocent self hadn’t been wrong… because fairy tales do exist; love at first sight does exist; soul mates do exist; True love does exist in this shitty world… It may be rare but it’s still out there. Sometimes, if you’re lucky you find it easy; sometimes you have to be patient… but it’s out there…”

 

“Kaz-”

 

“I love you, Jun”

 

Jun smiled, his hand caressing Nino’s hair feather-like while trying to blink the tears that had built up in his eyes away. He hated seeing Nino like this. He knew his boyfriend was feeling guilty because he had been confused… he had tried to convince him that there was no reason for him to feel like that. He had chosen him and that was all that mattered to him. “Why do you have to be so sappy this early in the morning?” he asked in a soft voice, trying to lighten up the atmosphere.

 

Nino wrapped his arms around his boyfriend’s neck, holding him tightly. “I’m not sappy. I’m only saying the truth. I’m sorry for causing you so much pain… I promise that from now on I will dedicate myself into bringing you happiness…”

 

“You don’t need to do anything… because just having you here in my arms is my ultimate happiness, Kazu…”

 

Nino gasped. “Who’s being sappy now?!” he tried to say in a playful way, knowing that he would start crying once again, if he didn’t.

 

“I’m not sappy. I’m only saying the truth.” Jun repeated Nino’s words, gaining a small punch on his left arm.

 

“And now you’re mocking me!”

 

“I love you, Kazu.” Jun whispered, his eyes locked on Nino’s face and voice having turned completely serious.

 

Nino bit his lower lip, feeling his heart ready to explode in his chest. “I… I love you, too…” he whispered with difficulty.

 

They didn’t need to say anything else. They locked their lips together into a soft, full-of-emotions kiss that soon turned into a heated one, both trying to taste as much as possible, tongues dancing sensually together.

 

Slowly, Nino was pushed on his back while Jun’s hands reached for the hem of his T-shirt wanting to feel the hot skin under his fingers.

 

“Wait!” Nino broke it trying to find his breath. “I don’t think I… can handle it again… I feel too sore…”

 

“We don’t need to go all the way, baby…”

 

“It’s not that I don’t want it… you… but I wouldn’t-”

 

“I know…” Jun lowered his face brushing their noses together and chuckled when he saw his lover underneath him blush at this small touch. “We can always switch, if you wish to…” Jun whispered on Nino’s lips before pecking them. He had never considered it before; he hadn’t even thought about it when the words came out of his mouth but he could only smile. Yes… he wouldn’t mind… because this was Nino

 

Nino’s eyes bulged when he realized what his boyfriend was implying. “What?! You can’t possibly mean to-”

 

“If it’s you, I don’t mind…”

 

Nino felt his eyes getting teary again. How many more surprises was this man hiding? How much more would he leave him speechless?

 

“Now, why are you crying?” Jun said in a low voice as he caressed feather-like Nino’s hair. “Knowing that it will be you, kind of makes me want to try…”

 

“But… why?” Nino asked with a trembling voice.

 

“Because even if I don’t like to do it that way very much, I really like the idea of being entirely yours… Because I love you, Kazu” Jun said in the warmest way Nino had ever heard. “And I like to hear your voice trembling for the right things… just like now…”

 

Nino didn’t have the chance to say anything else as Jun turned them around, crushing their lips together. Nino looked at his lover looking at him with reassuring eyes, giving him everything possible. He could only smile. Now, he knew it positively. It would have always been Jun.

 

~.~.~

 

“Are you nervous about the trial?”

 

Nino looked up at his boyfriend who brought him a cup of hot coffee.

 

“No… I can say that I’m happy… I will have to close the paper as well as to get rid of the money I have earned because of it… I’m truthfully relieved!”

 

Jun knew how much Nino felt the urge to get rid of everything that reminded him that part of his life.

 

“I know that you hate it but a small part in me is grateful to this paper of yours… because it was the reason why we met… it was the one that made me push you away just to realize how much I love you; how much I need you in my life…”

 

Nino sighed. “If you put it that way, I’m grateful, as well…” his voice was still tiny but the hint of smile was also there.

 

“Have you talked with the lawyer?”

 

“He has contacted the two agencies to see if he can arrange things out of court. I personally don’t care. I just want to get over with it… Think of it as my personal catharsis after all the tragedy that has been so far my life…”

 

“I didn’t know you knew things about Greek Tragedy!”

 

Nino flashed Jun a wide smile. “I do… In fact I know many things… you still haven’t discovered anything, Mister Matsumoto!”

 

Jun chuckled. “I can’t wait to discover then!”

 

They were sipping their coffees in a comfortable silence when Nino spoke again, his gaze focused on some blind spot on the wall across them.

 

“Will they accept me?”

 

Jun looked at his boyfriend with a frown. “Who?”

 

“Sho and… Satoshi… if he’s ok with it. I may don’t love him romantically but I wouldn’t like to lose him from a friend. I have suffered because of him, but now I know that he has suffered, as well; perhaps more than me because he knew when I didn’t… They have both been my friends. Sho was the first who made me feel like every other person of my age and… Satoshi… I owe him a part of who I am today and I’m not referring to the shitty part. He was the first who made me believe that I was strong enough to live my life the way I wanted it…”

 

Jun wasn’t surprised. Deep inside, he didn’t feel totally ok with this choice, he couldn’t lie to himself, but it was Nino’s decision and he would respect it. Nino had told him everything; even that the artist had kissed him before he left his gallery. He wanted to punch the artist for having the guts to touch his boyfriend but in the same time, he couldn’t judge him. Ohno Satoshi had done it because he still loved Nino, cared for him. He may have done the same, if he were in his position.

 

Suddenly, he felt Nino’s hand finding his, intertwining their fingers together and smiled. This small touch brought him out of his thoughts and reminded to him that he could be ok because Nino had chosen him; Nino loved him and that was what all that mattered. Hadn’t he chosen to keep a contact with Masaki? He had; because he knew his ex-boyfriend cared for him… Besides hadn’t the latter said it in that press conference a few months ago? “When you have loved someone for real, you still care for him…” Jun smiled. Masaki was right. They had been first friends just like it had happened with Nino and this Ohno. From the moment Nino had opened his heart to him, he had guessed that his boyfriend wouldn’t want to let the artist completely out of his life, the same way he didn’t want Masaki out of his. This time he wouldn’t be an egoist; he had made that mistake in the past and he had paid for it but not anymore…

 

“I’m sure he wouldn’t like losing you either…” Jun whispered and pressed his lips on Nino’s forehead.

 

“What have I done to deserve someone like you?”

 

“You love me…”

 

Nino turned to his side, knowing that any word had been stuck on his throat. He took a deep breath before speaking again. “But there’s something more… I want to get to know him as well, if I can…”

 

 

“Him as…?”

 

“As Sho’s boyfriend…”

 

“You mean… Masaki…?!” Jun asked not able to hide his surprise.

 

Nino smiled. “Yes. Not only because he’s with Sho but also because he’s someone who has been an important person in your life and I know that he will always be… You said to me that it’s the people who have passed by our lives that define a part of who we have become. So, I’m curious… I don’t really know him but I believe he’s an interesting person. He has put me in my place in the past; let’s say some words of his were the beginning of my doubts, a first shock… and then… with you… I knew what I wanted… know what I want. I want to start over, Jun…”

 

“You will, Kazu. We will start over together…”

 

“God, I love you so much…”

 

“Not more than I love you!” Jun said softly and hugged Nino, enjoying the way the other felt in his arms. He could already feel it… that new start… and that was enough.

 

***

 

Sho knocked on the door hesitantly.

 

Enter!

 

He opened it, gasping surprised when he came across an office empty except for a few boxes on the floor. The man in front of him was standing having his back to him, looking outside.

 

“I’m closing it!” he heard the other telling him still in the same position.

 

Sho wanted to ask what had happened but could only smile when he heard the happiness, he even dared to say the enthusiasm, hidden behind every single word spoken.

 

“I’m glad!” he said truthfully.

 

The other turned around having a wide smirk on his face. “You always hated it!” the words caused Sho to chuckle.

 

“I wasn’t referring to the magazine. I was referring to you… I’m glad that you sound happy… Finally, I can see the Nino I knew! For the first time in years, I’m seeing my friend!”

 

Nino smiled looking almost shy. “So, you mean that we still… Are we friends?”

 

“I never stopped being your friend, Nino…” Sho replied making Nino sigh relieved before a bigger smile covered his face.

 

“I am happy, Sho!”

 

“I know! I can see it! It’s been a while since your eyes were shining like this… I’m happy that you found the one! You deserve happiness!”

 

Nino gasped.

 

“We, me and Masaki, met him by accident; he was dying in nervousness while waiting for you in that small café close to Satoshi’s gallery shop. From the moment I found out that you had opened up to Matsumoto Jun, I knew that you loved him… truly loved him… and from the way he said everything, I knew he loved you, too; more than Satoshi had loved you or could ever love you; perhaps because a part of his would always be protective in the sense of an older brother… Sometimes we love someone in many different ways but it’s only one that it’s the strongest. I think that Matsumoto Jun is the one that owns that type of love of yours. I had told him not to worry… I knew you’d choose him…”

 

“But… How…?”

 

“When I saw that Satoshi had texted me after midnight that night, I simply had my confirmation. You know, Nino, once the glass is broken it can’t be back together… And unfortunately in yours and Satoshi’s case, the glass remained broken for too long…”

 

Nino looked at his friend closely, his voice full of concern, worry. “Did he…?”

 

“He already knew it…” Sho cut him off.

 

Nino sighed, lowering his head. “Will I ever talk to him again?”

 

“Give him some time… I’m sure you will because he really cares…”

 

Nino smiled. “Like you…?”

 

Sho came closer to his friend. “Like me!”

 

“I’m sorry… I’ve been a jerk…”

 

“You have but not because you wanted to… you were hurt, Nino. I knew that you didn’t like it. I could see it in your eyes… They were empty, without any trace of life in them. I knew deep inside you were always my best friend, even if you denied it with all your might!”

 

“Sho? I want to ask you a favor…”

 

“What?”

 

“In two days, it’s confirmed that most of my savings will go to the two actors for the settlement…”

 

“I… know… It’s everywhere in the news…” Sho mumbled.

 

Nino smiled bitterly. “It was time for me to taste the same bitterness I was causing but I’m actually happy because that way I put an end to all that. After that, I will be back to zero… but I’m ok with it. Sometimes, starting from zero makes you feel refreshed. I…” he hesitated for a couple of seconds before taking a deep breath and continuing. “…thought about it well and I want to serve journalism… the one I used to be in love with… but I’m sure I won’t have the chance; who would want Ninomiya Kazunari in their paper?!”

 

Sho was about to speak but Nino made a nod to him to remain hush. “I already know the answer; no one. I wouldn’t choose me either, if I were them… but I want to try… I really do… You’re somebody who I trust and the only one who still believes in me…”

 

“I will talk to my boss, he trusts me… I believe that you may have the chance in the paper but you know what this means…”

 

Nino smiled listening to Sho. He had always been able to know what he wanted to say. “I want to start over and climb each step separately. If I need to bring coffees in the beginning, I will! If they tell me to mop all the floors, I will! I’ll do anything to prove that I’m serious about it!”

 

Sho could see the determination in Nino’s eyes and all he could do was smile. He had missed that sprightliness his friend always had when he was talking about his dreams back in their first university years. He couldn’t say anything more. He just hugged his best friend.

 

“Welcome back!”

……………………………………………..

 

Two months later…

 

Masaki threw a small glance at the audience from the corner of the stage. His hands were sweating like crazy; his stomach was cramped; his mind had turned blind. He had distinguished two critics sitting in the second and fifth row. There were many familiar faces of journalists, more or less important, many of which had been in front of him for that press conference when he had broken up with Jun. He knew that he’d attract attention. There was no doubt that the birds of prey were out there, always looking for a victim but he wanted to succeed. It had been difficult to be accepted by his colleagues but his dedication to his role, the theatrical piece, his obedience to the director’s suggestions had made them change their mind. He would now be welcomed with a smile but everyone out there would judge him from only these two hours he’d be on stage.

 

He remembered the last day of his acting school exams, feeling nervous of being on stage. Today, though he felt worse. This was the biggest test of his life as an actor. Today was his only chance to prove that he deserved the roles he had gotten in the past because of his talent and not because of the fame he gained because of his relationship to Jun. He had to prove that more than a star, he had always been an actor.

 

He closed his eyes, taking deep breaths. His lips curved into a smile as he reminisced the way Jun would have stayed by his side, telling him that that night he wasn’t Aiba Masaki playing a role. He was his character that reacted his story to other people.

 

Jun would always stay by his side before he went on the stage. He knew how nervous he was and he had always the way to relax him. Tonight it would be the first time that Jun wouldn’t be anywhere and as much as he loved Sho, as much as the latter had sent him tons of encouraging and full of love texts, Jun always knew what to tell him to make him relax. Perhaps, because he was also an actor.

 

---  

 

“From the moment you see that light across the stage, you’re not you and you know it. Tell them the story, Masaki… Tell them everything he wants you to tell them…”

 

“I’ll forget my lines… I’ll mess up…” Masaki couldn’t listen to his boyfriend. This was his first attempt of presenting a monologue and he was afraid… At first, he had been excited but now, thirty minutes before the drop curtain would reveal him to the audience, he almost felt sick.

 

“You won’t… because you want to tell his story… because he has grown in you… You are Benedict…”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

Jun smiled hugging Masaki tightly. “I’m sure. You’re a star, Masaki, and tonight you’ll shine!”

 

---

 

“You remember what you’re here for, right?”

 

Masaki was still lost in his thoughts when he realized that someone spoke behind his back… the smile turned bigger when he realized that this someone was no one else but Jun. He turned around and without giving it a lot of thought he hugged him. Strangely, he felt calmer, like every other time. They may not be together anymore but he still felt a connection with him.

 

“Calm down, ok?! You’ll do great because you’re a star, Masaki, and tonight you’ll shine!”

 

The same words again.

 

“Thanks for coming, Jun! It really means a lot to me!”

 

“As if I’d miss your premiere for anything in the world!”

 

Masaki smiled knowing that Jun meant it from the bottom of his heart. “I’m happy to have a friend like you…”

 

“I can only return the compliment but relax. You’ll make them rub their eyes like only you know!”

 

Jun patted Masaki’s shoulder and winked at him making the latter smile. He had to not let anyone down. Like Jun was saying… he had to tell them his story…

 

***

 

Sho’s eyes were following his boyfriend’s figure as he moved on stage. He could only smile seeing him transform into someone else, making him forget who he was for a moment. He smiled proudly at the comment of his friend that Masaki was mesmerizing. Masaki had been better than ever. His eyes reflected a passion, a thirst he couldn’t remember before. Masaki was showing everyone who he was and that was more than satisfying for Sho.

 

Once it was over, he ran to the backstage where he found Masaki in his dressing room, looking at the bouquet he had already sent. Without saying anything, he hugged him from behind, placing a soft kiss on his nape.

 

“You were perfect, my love! I could recognize one critic sitting before me and I heard him murmuring what a pleasant surprise you were! You’ve done it, Masaki! You’ve done it!”

 

Masaki turned around and hugged Sho tightly, his hands grabbing his boyfriend’s jacket desperately. “I’m happy, Sho! You can’t imagine how happy I am! I love you!”

 

They were about to start kissing when they heard someone clearing his throat. Their gazes met with Jun’s and Nino’s who were standing at the door. Masaki made them a nod to enter. He could see that Nino was rather nervous; he looked so different now. He could call him cute. Knowing from Sho how hard he tried at work and seeing him holding Jun’s hand, made him realize that in front of him there was someone he’d like to get to know better.

 

“You were great! Honestly, I was left speechless… Especially at the last scene, I forgot how to breathe! It was amazing! Really!” Nino muttered in a low voice.

 

Masaki flashed him a smile giving him his hand. “I’m glad you liked it, Ninomiya-kun! I’m happy that you and Jun came to see it!”

 

Nino only nodded in return. Masaki looked at both Sho and Jun with a smile. “What do you say we all go to have a drink? To celebrate the premiere!” Nino was left astonished but Masaki didn’t give him the chance to say anything. “I’d like to get to know the Nino both my boyfriend and friend love!”

 

“I… guess… Jun?” Nino said in a tiny but obviously happy voice, as he looked at his boyfriend.

 

“Of course! And so you know… Masaki’s strong when it comes to drinking! No one can beat him!”

 

Nino looked at the actor and smirked. “We’ll see about that!”

 

***

 

“Your latest article impressed Yakizawa!”

 

Nino couldn’t believe his ears. “You mean it?! I feel like a sheep targeted by the big wolf…”

 

“You’re doing an excellent job! I’m impressed!”

 

“I’m not a newbie!” Nino protested, folding his arms in front of his chest.

 

Sho drank some of his coffee trying to muffle a chuckle. “For this type of work, you are!”

 

Nino ticked the tip of his tongue annoyed but said nothing. “That’s why you called me here today?”

 

“I wanted to discuss for the anniversary extra. It will be your chance to prove that you can write longer articles and-” Sho didn’t have the chance to finish his words as he heard the doorbell ringing.

 

Frowned, he excused himself and went to see who it was.

 

“Satoshi?!”

 

Nino jumped up at the name. He hadn’t seen the other since the time he had learnt everything. Their eyes met as Satoshi was led to the living room.

 

“Ah… I didn’t know Nino was here... I… guess… I’ll come over another ti-” Satoshi mumbled with difficulty and was ready to leave when a grip on his arm forbid him from making another step.

 

“I want us to try to be friends, Sa… Satoshi…” Nino whispered also with difficulty.

 

“I… I don’t know, Ka- Nino…”

 

“Kazu… I’m your friend, Kazu! I still love you… not like in the past but I do care for you… You’ve always protected me, Satoshi… No one can ever replace you and everything that you’ve done for me in my life. I know I’ve caused you a lot of pain but I want all that to be part of the past. I have started from scratch. I’d like us, if this is possible, to start from scratch, as well.

 

He could see the confusion in Satoshi’s eyes before the latter pulled his arm and almost ran to the door. Nino was left standing there watching the now closed door of Sho’s apartment.

 

“He’ll come around… because he cares for you, too, Nino!” Sho said as he came closer to him.

 

“I hope…”

…………………………………………….

 

Six months later…

 

“Cheers!” glasses clinked together.

 

Sho, Masaki, Jun and Nino were celebrating the latter’s promotion as Sho’s assistant. He was now writing a column at the pages of which Sho was responsible. It had been a while and it seemed that the big boss had started changing his mind for him. Nino knew that there were still many of his colleagues that would mutter things behind his back but he didn’t care. What mattered was how Jun would stay by his side as he was typing his articles till late at night, how Sho would make him feel that he really had something to say or that his ideas were most of the times brilliant and how Masaki would cheer him up whenever he felt he was stuck.

 

Recognition was coming slowly and that was why he liked it so much. It had a steady pace and he knew by experience that only if you climb the stairs one by one, you’ll last long and your success will have the right basis. That was what Nino was after and he was getting there.

 

Nino was about to drink when he caught with the corner of his eye a rather familiar figure. It took him a few seconds to realize that this familiar figure was no one else but Satoshi. He stood up and hurried to him, leaving everyone behind.

 

“He wants to stop feeling guilty...” Masaki mumbled.

 

“No… he wants to feel complete. Ohno Satoshi is a part of his life and he wants him in it…” Jun whispered before sipping some of his beer.

 

Sho was left speechless. “You aren’t feeling awkward?”

 

“I need to get used to the whole idea, I’m only human, with many flaws, but I love Nino more than me and I know that he loves me. If he wants him in his life, then I want him, as well.”

 

“You’ve matured, Jun…” Masaki whispered.

 

“Life made me, Masaki. My mistakes; mistakes that I’m not willing to make ever again!”

 

They all stopped talking as they saw Nino coming closer pulling the artist together.  “Jun, I’d like you to meet Ohno Satoshi. He’s my friend. My really good friend…”

 

Satoshi didn’t sit with them but he shook hands with Jun, promising he’d come along next time Sho would have a hot pot night. It was a start…

………………………………………………..

 

5 years later…

 

Nino was now working at his best friend’s paper. He had become Sho’s right hand, declining his friend’s proposition to open it together. Nino was more than happy with working as the editor in chief. He needed time to pass with Jun. He wanted to return back home and enjoy his boyfriend’s Italian pasta, listen to his rehearsal for his upcoming movies. He liked his life and didn’t want to change it.

 

Jun hadn’t argued. He liked spending quality time with his lover. He loved every aspect of the other he had discovered and was still discovering; his shy side… his sweet side… his passionate side… his demanding side… his bratty side… his whiny side… It was the combination of all these that made Nino Nino and he loved having time to explore all of them. Next month he would finally have the chance to take him to Europe with him. With the occasion of the participation of his latest film in both the festival of Cannes and the festival of Venice, he had arranged for a cruise at the Mediterranean. He wanted that trip to be their honeymoon after their exchange of vows a few months ago, following Sho and Masaki’s example.

 

Sho had been awarded as the best journalist for three consecutive years and after tens of discussions with Masaki, he decided to take the risk and open his own paper. It would focus more on cultural news but that was something that had always fascinated him. With his husband, after their unofficial marriage one year after they moved in together, he felt surer than ever. He felt he could do it and offer to the journalism a small piece of himself, like he always wanted in his most secret dreams.

 

Masaki had focused on theatre. It wasn’t that he didn’t love the cinema or the television but the magic he could feel when he was on stage was irreplaceable. Theatre gave him the opportunity to play a piece from beginning to end and not cut into smaller scenes. After getting good critics, he decided to cooperate with directors that had innovative ideas, several times trying to mix tradition with classicism and modernity. That made him want to create his own troupe. He wanted to be the one who decides what production he’d do. The theatre he had managed to buy along with other two who had the role of producers was small but he didn’t care. As long as he could express himself and hear the loud applause every single day, it was enough.  He had never been more inspired in his life. It could be the fact that he was getting older or more mature but he knew that above all, it was the man his eyes were meeting the moment he opened the door of their apartment.

 

Satoshi, on the other hand, had attracted the attention around the world. He had held exhibitions in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam. He would still keep his small gallery though, not liking big changes. He had lovers from time to time but never had anything too serious. He already had one; his art… and his friends… They would be his best inspiration like it happened with his latest painting. The strokes were rough and the contrast intense. There were figures some of which were mixed together. Some would be too dark and others too bright. At a first glance, they seemed together; at a second alone; everything was subjective.

 

“Games of Betrayal and Loyalty” was the title Satoshi had decided.  

 

 

Isn’t life like that? Undoubtedly, it is. At some point, you’ll most probably find yourself playing one; you may want to; you may not want to. Sometimes it’s your choice and sometimes you’re simply made to do it. But without them, you may remain the same, never learning from your mistakes; never enjoying a good outcome that may follow; never evolving as a human being. Such games may be cruel, painful but they’re also necessary. At least to Jun, Masaki, Nino, Sho and Satoshi they proved to be such; because it was due to such games and the pain they had brought along that made all of them explore their true selves, know what they really wanted from their lives and above all find their real happiness in the end.

 

THE END


 

A.N. Sooo minna after one whole month the final part of "Games of Betrayal and Loyalty" is finally here!!! ^^ I wanted to have posted a lot earlier but there was a mess with my uni concerning the following academic year and my continuation. I had several heart attacks till I get properly informed and prepare all the papers needed! The past few weeks were pure hell and couldn't bring myself to write. I really didn't want to write just to write and finish i,t so I chose to wait until I'm in the right mood and have the proper inspiration to finish it the way I wanted it! :) I'm really, really  sorry for the delay but at least the chapter is long (7.500 words)! Hopefully, it will make up a bit for this whole month you had to wait for it!
I tried to include everyone and show as many aspects of their lives as I could. There's Sakuraiba, Matsumiya but there's also Junba, Sakumiya and Ohmiya! I also tried to show how their lives would evolve after several years like a small epilogue, if you want. In this fic there was no NC scene as I wanted to keep it till R, choosing to focus more on their feelings.The story was a little different from my usual ones but I wanted it to be more realistic and not so cliché and tried to focus on every character as much as possible. 


I really hope you enjoyed it and as always I'd like to read your thoughts about it!! It really means a lot to me!! ^^



You can also find the whole story in PDF form. If interested please check the list here!





See you soon,
Andy <3




 




 
 
Current Location: my room
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
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