Title: Head of the House 1/?
Note: any family member is fictional.
Summary: Ohkura has left the one he loves for the good of his family.
It had been a very long six months for Ohkura Tadayoshi. A time in which his entire life had changed. Once his life had been care free. The only thing he had to worry about was performing. He enjoyed being a member of Kanjani 8. His off time spent with his friends having fun. But that had been before, before the event that had changed his life forever. The fun times seemed so long ago. Now all of his off time was spent with his family. His mother and step father had died in a car crash, leaving him with four little brothers and sisters to bring up.
Another dayís rehearsal was over. Ohkura and Subaru were the last members left in the dressing room. Everyone else had taken advantage of being dismissal and had left. Shibutani Subaru used to be Ohkura's lover. Ohkura had never been so happy in his life. It seemed so long ago to Ohkura. Before the accident, before his parents had been taken from him, and had made Ohkura the head of his family.
"The group's going out tonight," Subaru had asked Ohkura. "Why don't you come with us?"
Ohkura looked at his friend. His face so hopeful. Ohkura wanted to say yes. He wanted to go out and have fun. But he couldn't. Getting off work could only mean one thing, more work at the families business.
"Come on, letís go out." Subaru tempted.
"I'm sorry I can't," Ohkura told him.
"Other plans?" Subaru guessed. He stepped closer to Ohkura, looking into his eyes.
"You could say that."
"YOU should take some time and unwind." He smiled at Ohkura. "What would one evening out hurt?"
"It wouldn't hurt anything," he agreed.
Subaru put his hand behind Ohkura's neck and pulled his head down to him. Subaru's lips were smooth, soft. So gentle, so loving. Ohkura didn't feel in control as he put his arms around his former lover's body. He didn't realize how much his missed his former lover's touch until the kiss. Now he wondered how he had gone so long without the kiss.
"I know we broke up, but I still love you." Subaru said between kisses.
"I never stopped loving you," Ohkura found himself saying. Then he was kissing his friend again. This time not masking his need in the kiss. He had so missed Subaru touch.
"Tonight, letís go back to my place." Subaru tempted. "I need you so badly."
"I need you too." Ohkura admitted.
"Come back to me. Let's pretend the last six months didn't happen." Subaru pulled Ohkura's shirt up in back, running his hand beneath it.
"All right," Ohkura agreed. He felt as if everything would be all right. Ohkura now had Subaru back. Subaru the man who had taught him what love really was. Subaru would make his nightmare better.
Just then, Ohkura's ketai rang. The special song from his step sister Rena. The one that shook Ohkura from his fantasy life and stuck him back into reality. She always called when he hadn't come home on time.
"Whoís that?" Subaru asked.
"My step sister," Ohkura couldn't lie to him. "I have to go. It's family business. Perhaps next time?"
Ohkura saw the look of disappointment on his friends face. "All right, next time."
Hina came into the dressing room. He looked at Ohkura, his eyes narrowed. "I've been waiting for you Baru."
"Sorry, was just talking to Tacchan." Subaru told his friend.
"Hurry up!" Hina snapped. "Did you forget we had plans?"
"See you later," Subaru moved to pick up his bag, but Hina took it. Then the older man grabbed Subaru's hand. They left the dressing room together. Subaru stopped for a brief moment, looking back at Ohkura. He knew that all he had to do was say one word, and his former lover would stay.
Then Hina tugged at Subaru's arm, and he was gone.
Ohkura felt pain in his heart. They had almost gotten back together. So very close this time. If only Rena hadn't called, he knew he would have been with Subaru. Instead of having to do what was expected of him. It was for his family, he had to think of that, and not of Subaru.
It was better this way, Ohkura kept telling himself. He no longer had time for love. He was always so busy. Hina was crazy about Subaru; Ohkura knew it was only a matter of time before his friend moved on.
Ohkura had moved on. It wasn't his fault. It was the fault of his parents, who had made him sign a paper when he was still a teen. It was for the trust, he had been told. Ohkura had signed without reading it. It wasn't until his parents will was read that he found out what it was. Ohkura had been tricked into an arranged marriage with his step sister.
Ohkura returned home. To the cafe that used to belong to his parents. Now Ohkura was the owner of the cafť. His step sister Rena was there. She was talking to her friend Mari who sat at the counter. Mari had a tendency to drop by when Ohkura wasn't there.
The two women talked as Rena took care of the customers. Mari noticed Ohkuraís return home. She glared at him. She left without even saying hello to Ohkura. He knew the woman didn't like him, though Ohkura didn't know why. Mari was almost jealous of Ohkura's relationship with Rena.
Rena walked her friend to the door. They stepped outside out of view of Ohkura. Rena was gone for a few minutes. Ohkura didn't know or really care where she went. In the back of his mind, it wouldn't have mattered to him if she left and never returned.
Finally Rena returned to the cafe. She went to Ohkura. She smiled, and then kissed his lips gently. "I didn't expect to see you so soon."
"We got off early, so I decided to come home." He said gently.
"You could have gone out with your friends." She told him. "I wouldn't mind."
"I know," he said. "It's just my place is here with you."
"You've let me meet all of your friends except for Subaru-kun." She told him. "When will I finally get to meet him?"
"I don't think that would be a good idea." Ohkura said quickly.
"Why not?" she demanded.
"You wouldn't understand." Ohkura looked away from her. "How can I introduce the man I love more then anything to my wife?"
"How can you introduce the man you love more then anything to my wife?" Rena repeated.
"I said that out loud?" he asked.
"So who do you love?" she looked amused.
"You of course," Ohkura kissed her again chastely.
Ohkura looked around the room. At one booth Ohkura's younger siblings were sitting. The oldest was doing his homework, the other two coloring in a coloring book. The baby only a year was in a portable playpen. All of them looked exhausted. He was angry, why hadn't Rena put them to bed? It was well after their bed time.
Ohkura went to the booth. "How's homework going?"
His eight year old sister looked at him. "It's boring."
"Why don't you quit for the night?" he suggested.
"Rena said I had to wait for you to return home." she told Ohkura.
Ohkura turned to his step sister. "Why do I always have to be the one to put them to bed? It isn't good for them to wait up for me."
"I was busy at work." She snapped. "I needed your help."
"I have another job you know." he countered.
"I know, but you have to put your family first!" she reminded him.
They were beginning to fight. They seemed to fight all the time. There were customers still in the cafe. Ohkura couldn't make a big scene in front of them.
"I'm sorry; I'll try to be more careful." Ohkura apologized. "I've just been so tired."
"I think we're both tired," Rena admitted. "Perhaps you should take tonight off."
"I'll be all right," Ohkura lied. "I'll put the kids to bed, and then I'll come back here and help you."
"YOU don't have to. I just have to close down."
"Thanks." Ohkura smiled at her.
"You're a good husband," She told him. Husband, Ohkura hated the word. Hated the fact that he had been tricked into getting married. Hated that Johnny-sama was all right with it, as long as they kept quiet about it.
"You're a good wife." He turned back to the children. "Itís time to get ready for bed."
The drummer ushered his siblings upstairs, to the familyís quarters. His siblings weren't tired and wanted to play. They adored their older brother. Ohkura let them play; it gave him something to take his mind off of his former lover.
After the children were finally asleep, Ohkura turned on the TV. He took out his tape, his secret tape. He could watch the group in the old times.
Ohkura didn't want to think about being married. He didn't want anyone to know that he shared his bed with his step sister, who was now his wife. He didn't want Subaru to know. His first love, his only real love.
The drummer watched Subaru, remembering the years they had together. He had once promised his lover that he would never leave him. He hated himself for lying to Subaru. He had told Subaru that they had to break up, that he loved someone else. But there was only one person in his heart. The one that had accepted everything from him, the one that had told him that he still loved him, the one that Ohkura wanted at his side.
After a while, Rena came upstairs. She glared at the TV. "Youíre watching that again."
"I can watch what ever I want," He said hostilely.
Rena glanced at the TV, at the tape he had been caught watching. "What about your boy friend?"
"What boy friend?" Ohkura countered.
"The one you won't tell me about." She said. "The one that owns your heart."
Ohkura turned off the TV. He got up and went to Rena. "The only one that lives in my heart is you."
"Are you sure?" She whispered.
"I left him when I found out we were married." He said truthfully.
"I'm sorry I was jealous." Rena tried to smile, but it didn't go to her eyes. She took his hand and led him to the bedroom.
Ohkura hated himself as he kissed his wife. Then he pulled off his clothes and got into bed with her. They were married, he only preformed as a husband would. He closed his eyes and pretended that it was Subaru that he did love not her. He didn't love her, he would never love her. Rena wanted his baby; he would give it to her. But he would never give her his heart.
Ohkura had let it slip that he loved someone else. Rena had asked who it was, but Ohkura had never told her. It didn't matter anymore. He was married, he had a family. He had to put Subaru out of his mind. It was better this way, he told himself. But still, when he came, he bit his lip so hard that it bled. That way he wouldn't cry out the name of the one he loved.
Time passed, the days turned into weeks. Ohkura didn't talk about the kiss he had shared with Subaru. Ohkura was always disappearing after work. His only excuse being family business. Subaru knew it must be hard, being the oldest of a family, one that lost its parents in a car wreck. Subaru decided to check it out on their day off. He asked Hina to come with him.
"Something's going on with Ohkura." Subaru told his friend. "He was going to get back with me, but now he's avoiding me."
"Do you think he has another lover?" Hina asked.
"No, I don't think he has!" Subaru insisted.
"Why do you have so much faith in him?"
"I know Tacchan," Subaru said firmly.
Hina and Subaru walked to the shop from the parking lot. It was a bit cool outside, and Subaru zipped up his jacket.
Ohkura's step sister was working behind the counter. Her name was Rena. Subaru had only met her once. Though Ohkura was close to his family, he had created a huge divide between his work and his private. Rena smiled when she saw the two Kanjani 8 members.
"It's good to see you!" Rena told them. "It's the first time you've see this place since Tacchan began to manage it."
"Tacchan runs this place?" Hina asked.
"He didn't tell you?" she sounded puzzled. "You must know he's now the head of the family."
"Where is he now?"
"Upstairs, putting the little ones to bed." she told him.
"The little ones?" Subaru repeated.
"Our parents had a second family after they married." She explained. "We have two little sisters and two brothers."
"We know that," Subaru said. "But why is Tacchan taking care of them?"
"We've been raising them." Rena shrugged. "Tacchan's the one that keeps the family together. Of course I help; a family needs both a father and a mother."
"The both of you?" Hina asked.
"Isn't it natural for a married couple to raise their orphaned siblings?" Her smile was almost evil.
"Married?" Subaru repeated. "Tacchan's not married."
"We've been married since we were kids." Rena showed him her wedding band. "It was an arranged marriage."
"You're married to Ohkura?"
"You mean he didn't tell you?" her smile grew shark like "We're married and Tacchan loves me."
"I don't believe this!" Subaru insisted.
"We're even trying for a baby." she gloated. "If we have a baby, perhaps he'll stop crying your name when we love."
"You don't care how he feels?" Subaru tried to hold his temper.
"Of course I don't, he's my property!" Rena sneered. "He still loves you, do you know that? But you'll never have him. He's mine!"
"Bitch!" Subaru lunged towards Rena.
Hina grabbed Subaru and pulled him out of the cafe. Subaru fought against him.
Hina pulled Subaru into the alley. "You have to calm down."
"I want to kill her." Subaru spat. "I want to pay her back for what she's done to Tacchan."
"Murdering her isn't going to help anything." Hina decided. "We have to think of something else."
"Like what?" Subaru looked up, he could see Ohkura though the window. He was rocking two children at the same time. One a toddler, on still a baby. He looked so depressed.
Ohkura finally got the little ones to sleep. He was so tired that he wanted to sleep too. He had to work, for his family. His mother and step father had been well off, but had put everything in trust, until Ohkura turned thirty. Until then he had to work extra hard for the family.
If only Ohkura had some money, he could hire a nanny for the little ones. Instead, he shared raising them with his step sister. He didn't think of her as his wife, even though they shared the same bed.
Ohkura went downstairs and put his apron on. He still had a long night of work.
"Two of your friends came by," Rena told him.
"Really who?" He didn't look up to her.
"Hina and Subaru," She said. "They're dating."
Ohkura didn't quite believe his sister. "Where are they?"
"They left. Hina talked about going to a movie." She smiled. "They make such a cute couple."
Ohkura felt his heart drop into his stomach. So it was true, Subaru was going out with Hina.
"Why didn't you tell him you where married?" Rena continued. "He had a right to know."
"That's part of my private."
"Subaru's part of your private." Rena insisted. "You should have seen his face when I told him. He tried to attack me, but Hina-kun had to pull him out of here."
"Why did you tell him?" Ohkura countered. "Perhaps I didn't want him to know!"
"Subaru's the one isn't he?" She demanded. "The one that keeps you away from me."
"Yes, he's the one." Ohkura admitted. "But I told you, I left him.Ē
"If I find out you cheated on me, I'll make sure you'll never get to see the children again." Rena threatened.
The children, Ohkura closed his eyes for a moment. He loved his brothers and sisters as if they were his own children. For the good on the little ones he had to stay with her.
"Well Tacchan?" She asked.
"I won't cheat on you." he promised.
Ohkura went back to work, trying to hide the pain. Trying not to think of Hina being with Subaru. He knew he was a hypocrite, he now had Rena. But in his heart there only lived Subaru.
Ohkura cooked for a while. Trying to push his lover out of his mind. To try and forget the way that Subaru held him. The way that he whispered he loved him. He wondered if Subaru said those words to Hina. It hurt to know that Subaru moving on to someone else.
They had promised each other forever, but all that ended when Ohkura's parents had died. Ohkura should have realized there couldn't be a forever with Subaru. The tears came. Ohkura didn't even try to hide them.
Hina came up with a plan, Subaru hoped it worked. It had to work, for Ohkura's sake. He had to try and rescue his lover. Even if that mean that Subaru would work at his side.
The next morning, Subaru and Hina returned to the cafe. He peeked in the front window past the help wanted sign. Ohkura's wife was chatting with a dark haired woman in her twenties. They stood a little too close together. Lovers, Subaru realized the two women were lovers.
"It will work," Hina promised Subaru.
"I hope so." Subaru couldnít see Ohkura. He turned to Hina. "You stay here; I'll go around back and see if I can find Ohkura."
Subaru went to the alley way. He was able to see Ohkura in one of the windows. His former lover was braiding a little girl's hair. She was wearing a school uniform. Another girl, wearing a kindergarten smock waited to get her hair fixed.
The window was partially opened. Subaru could hear their conversation.
"Do you love Rena?" The older girl asked him. "My teacher said being married means you love someone."
"What do you think love is Midori?" Ohkura asked.
"You're married, you should love Rena." Midori reasoned. "Aren't you supposed to be with the one you love?"
"Life doesn't always work that way." He told her. "Sometimes you have to give up the one you love more the anything. The one you wanted to spend your life with. The one that makes your heart happy just being with him. Its worse then death, knowing he's there and you can't be with him."
"Why Tacchan?" the younger one asked. "Shouldn't there be a happy ever after?"
"Not in real life Aoi. Sometimes you can't think of yourself, of your own happiness." Ohkura's voice was so soft that Subaru could barely hear him.
'But you're always so sad." Aoi pointed out.
"No, I'm happy when I'm with my family." He lied. "I've just been tired from work."
"We could stay home from school and play with you." Aoi offered.
"Aoi, you have to go to school. I'll be all right." Ohkura promised. "I'll take a nap after you leave. We can play when you get back."
Subaru decided on a plan. One that he hoped that worked. He went around to the front of the cafe. He took the sign out of the window and went inside.
The baby woke when he was about to take the Midori and Aoi downstairs to meet their bus. Rena wasn't there to help. She never helped with the children. The children were simply an annoyance. He hoped the baby would settle down and go back to sleep. But he didn't. Ohkura quickly changed him, and then carried him downstairs, his little sisters trailing behind him.
The bus for school would be coming soon. He put the baby in the playpen. Then he quickly got a bowl of cereal for his little sisters. They began to eat.
"Tacchan, isn't that your friend?" Midori pointed across the room.
Ohkura couldn't believe what he saw. Subaru and Hina were talking to Rena and Mari. Hina was holding the help wanted sign.
"Tacchan, we need to speak to you about something." Rena said.
"We? You and Mari?" Ohkura asked.
"No, you and me." Rena looked annoyed. "Shibutani Kun and Hina kun have applied for the part time jobs."
"All right," He was about to tell Rena it probably wasn't a good idea for Subaru to work there.
"Mari doesn't think we should hire them." she objected.
"Mari doesn't own this cafe, I do." He decided that if she was going to drag Mari into who he hired, then he would hire his friends just for spite. "Subaru is a good cook. I say we hire him for the cook. Hina has a way with customers so he can be a waiter."
"Mari thinks that having your ex boy friend around is just asking for trouble." His wife countered.
"How did she know that Subaru used to be my boy friend?" Ohkura demanded.
"I told her!" Rena said proudly. "She's my friend, I can tell he what ever I want."
"We need a cook. Subaru's one of the best around! We also need Hina!" Ohkura almost shouted. "I own this cafe, and I say they're hired."
"Now!" Ohkura turned to his friends. "Get to the kitchen and get to work!"
"Yes sir!" Subaru smiled and went into the kitchen. He was followed by Hina.
"Let's get out of here Mari!" Rena grabbed her purse. She left, with Mari following closely behind.
Ohkura glanced at the kitchen; he could see Subaru and Hina already getting to work. Great, this was just great. He had hired the man he loved to spite his wife. Subaru now had Hina. Ohkura would never get Subaru back. He wasn't sure what he would do.
He glanced at the clock. The bus would be coming soon. He ushered his sisters to the bus stop. Stopping part way to fix Midori's hair ribbon.
The bus soon came for them. He made sure they got on. Then he waved at them as they left.
Ohkura turned and went back to the cafe. He still wasn't sure what he was going to tell Subaru.
He found his friends had changed into uniforms. They were talking to each other.
That's when he heard Hina say. "The misses and the ex, every man's nightmare!"
"Welcome to my nightmare." Subaru agreed.
For some reason that made Ohkura feel good. His life might be a nightmare. But, some how, some way Ohkura was going to win.
Subaru and Hina were working at the cafe. They had been working for two weeks and had all ready learned a lot. For one thing, Ohkura seemed to be the only one in the marriage who was really worked. He got up early on his days off working until early in the morning. On the days he worked for the group he always spent most of the night working.
Subaru glanced at Rena who was talking to Mari in an out of the way booth. The only thing she seemed to do was chat to customers. Subaru wasn't too sure if she could cook.
"Does Tacchan know about Mari and Rena?" Hina asked.
"I think he's too busy to know." Subaru glanced to another booth. Ohkura was helping his little sister with her homework.
That was also another thing that made Subaru angry. Ohkura acted like the only parent to the children. When he worked for Kanjani 8 they went to day care. Rena was always too busy to care for them.
Hina cleared off the table that Mari and Rena sat at. There was a large stack of plates. Subaru couldnít believe two women could eat so much.
The baby began to cry. Rena didn't even look up at it. Mari did, for a brief instant, and then went back to talking to Rena.
Ohkura moved to get up. He winced for a moment. He was having stomach problems. Subaru wondered if they were caused by over work.
"Let me help." Subaru picked the baby up.
Ohkura smiled at him. "Thanks."
"Just part of the service." Subaru smiled back.
Ohkura went back to helping Midori with her homework. Subaru went into the kitchen.
"Can you put some milk in a sippy cup for me?" Subaru asked Hina.
"Since when have you been drinking out of sippy cups?" Hina smirked.
"It's for the baby." Subaru told him.
Hina filled a sippy cup with milk and handed it to Subaru. "Here you go papa."
"Ha ha very funny." He gave the cup to the child who began to drink.
"What's Rena going to say when she sees you taking care of her kid?" Hina sounded concerned.
"It isn't hers." Subaru told him. "I've never seen her do anything for the kids."
"Your right, she hasn't." Hina agreed. "He looks like Tacchan."
"Perhaps that's why I love him so much," Subaru agreed. "Because he looks like his big brother."
Ohkura's life became much more hectic the day that Subaru and Hina began to work at the cafe. His younger siblings took an instant liking to Subaru and Hina. Subaru seemed to love the children almost as if they were his own. He would help them with their homework, and play with them.
It was hard at first to work so closely with the pair. But they made it easier for Ohkura, not acting like lovers around him. It was easier, but he still would catch the pair talking together in secret. That always reminded Ohkura of the truth.
It was a day off from his Kanjani 8 job. Ohkura always worked harder then ever on his days off. He would take over the kitchen. Making sure that every dish was cooked properly. He always prided himself in his job. This was his place; he would make his mother proud.
"You got the last order wrong." Rena came into the kitchen.
"What do you mean I got it wrong? I just did was you wrote down." Ohkura told her.
"You're an idiot!" Rena yelled at Ohkura. She raised her hand, and Ohkura flinched.
He didn't want her to hit him, not in front of his friend. She had been hitting him more and more lately. "Perhaps I am."
"What does your boy friend think of you being married?" She spat.
"I keep telling you, he's no longer my boy friend." At least that was the truth.
"Of course he isn't." she agreed. "Who would love an idiot like you?"
"No one," he looked down to his hands.
"You can't even get me pregnant!" She screamed. "I started my period today! I should all ready be carrying your baby. You can't even get that right!"
"I'm sorry," Inwardly, Ohkura was glad Rena wasn't pregnant. He didn't want to father a child with her. "Perhaps next month."
"Tonight you sleep on the couch!" Rena stomped out of the kitchen.
Ohkura glanced at Subaru who was working as if nothing had happened. Ohkura knew that it didn't matter anymore about them. Subaru had moved on, so why couldn't he move on?
Ohkura began to wash dishes. He found back the tears that tried to take over everything. He had to stop hurting every time he thought of Subaru. It was so hard working with Subaru, knowing when they were finished working that he would go home with Hina. All that Ohkura craved was Subaru's kiss, his touch.
Subaru looked at Ohkura who was scrubbing dishes. He should have someone else do it, but Ohkura had always done every job in the cafe. He looked so lost, so lonely. Subaru knew he had to do something to make his friend feel better.
Subaru slipped his arms around Ohkura's waist. He could feel his former lover shaking against him.
"It's all right" Subaru breathed. "You have me."
He could feel Ohkura stiffen beneath his arms. "You shouldn't touch me like this."
"Why can't I?" He rested his head on Ohkura's back.
"You have Hina." Ohkura put his hand on top of Subaru's arm. "We can't touch, not like this. Hina's my friend, I can't hurt him."
"The only one I love is you. Please believe me." Subaru told him. "That's why I'm working here, because I love you."
"I thought you stopped." he admitted. "Rena told me that you've been with Hina."
"Look at me, please Tacchan." Subaru begged.
Ohkura turned in Subaru's arms.
"I have never been with Hina." He told him. "Let's get back together."
"Don't turn me down, not this time." Subaru whispered. "Donít' tell me that my love for you is wrong. I love you, I'll always love you."
Suddenly Ohkura was kissing Subaru's lips. Ohkura was shaking like a leaf on a windy day. Subaru pushed his lover against the sink. He was quickly becoming hard. He could feel Ohkura hardening against him.
For the moment there was only the two of them. Ohkura pulled Subaru's shirt up in back, running his hands across his bare skin. The smaller man couldn't help but shudder. It felt so good, so right.
"Oh god, what am I doing?" Ohkura pulled away from him. "Rena's here. I don't even want to think of what will happen if she caught us together."
"Rena's been cheating on you, with Mari." Subaru pointed out. "What's wrong with us having some happiness?"
"If Rena finds out about us. Iíll lose my family.Ē Ohkura confessed. "It's too much of a risk to be with you."
"We'll be together even if we never kiss again." Subaru vowed. "I'm yours. That bitch wont' take me away from you."
"I'll always be yours." Ohkura looked like he was on the verge of tears.
Subaru kissed him again. He wanted to make everything all right with his lover. Just then, the baby began to cry. Ohkura went to it, picking it up. The reminder of why he couldn't be with Subaru. The smaller man went to him, putting a hand on the babies back.
"He looks like his big brother." Subaru told him.
"That's why we have to wait." he rubbed the babies back. "For him."
"I'll wait forever if I have to." Subaru vowed. Then he kissed Ohkura one last time.
Subaru hated Rena. He wasn't sure when he realized it. Perhaps it was after he kissed Ohkura. His loverís lips shook beneath his. Ohkura was afraid she would find out. Rena had Ohkura terrified he would loose the kids if he left her. He couldn't even look at anyone without her screaming at him. While the entire time Rena was cheating on him.
Subaru knew he hated Rena the day that Ohkura came down to breakfast with the two oldest. It was still really early. Ohkura had a black eye that he didn't have the night before.
Kanjani 8 had been out most of the night doing a live. They had the rest of the day off. That was one good thing about lives. Sometimes the artist was able to have the next day off. Ohkura had been sick during the concert. Any good wife would have insisted that he go to bed. But not Rena. She had only thought of herself.
Still, Subaru came into work early. He did it for Ohkura. To make sure that Rena didn't hurt him. Subaru had a feeling that Ohkura was being abused, but didn't have any hard evidence. Just the bruises that now peppered his friend's body.
In the middle of making breakfast for the girls, Ohkura had run into the bathroom. Subaru could hear the sound of Ohkura being sick.
Rena was chattering to Mari. She didn't even glance up to see where her husband was going or the fact that the kids didn't have their breakfast. No, Mari was having another one of her many crises. That was more important to Rena then Ohkura would ever be.
"Is Tacchan all right?" Midori asked concerned. "Is it because Rena is mad at him?"
"Rena shouldn't have yelled at him." Aoi agreed.
"What happened between Rena and Tacchan?" Subaru asked.
"He said he was sick, but she hit him and hit him." Midori looked afraid. "She said that he had to get up to take care of us."
"Now there is no one to care for us." Aoi said.
"Yes there is!" Subaru plastered on his best smile. "I'll make my two favorite girls breakfast!"
"Really?" Midori asked.
"Just tell me what you want." Subaru told her.
The girls gave him their order. Subaru went to work fixing them breakfast. He was doing this for Ohkura, because he loved him. Subaru had also grown to love the children.
In just a few minutes, Subaru put the fresh plates of food in front of Ohkura's sisters. They quickly ate their breakfast.
"Thank you Baru-Chan," Midori said when she was finished. "It was really good."
"You cook almost as well as Tacchan." Aoi agreed.
Ohkura came out of the bathroom. He looked green. He grabbed the counter for support with one hand; his other hand grabbed his stomach.
"Tacchan, are you all right?" Subaru asked concerned.
"I'll be fine." he lied. Subaru could tell he was lying.
"Why don't you rest here for now? I'll make sure the girls get on their school bus." Subaru promised.
'Thanks." he ran back into the bathroom.
Subaru concentrated on getting the girls ready for school. He walked them to the bus stop and waited for the bus. He introduced himself to the mothers who waited with the other children.
Finally the bus came. He helped the girls get on the bus, and then waved at them.
Subaru walked back to the cafe.
"Stop it this instant!" he could hear Rena screaming at Ohkura even before he went inside.
Subaru went into the cafe. Ohkura was sitting in a chair; a trash can between his legs.
"I told you! You have to work today!" She slapped Ohkura hard across the face. "I have something I have to do."
"Go, I'll be all right." Ohkura told her before he began to throw up again.
"Stop throwing up!" She moved to hit him again.
Subaru sprung forward, he pushed Rena away from Ohkura. "Leave him alone, he's sick."
"He's lazy!" She sneered. "He's making himself sick!"
"Go do what ever you have to do." Subaru ordered. "Just leave Tacchan alone!"
"Who is going to run the cafe if he's not well?" She countered.
"I am." Subaru told her. "Now get out before I do something I'll regret."
"Leave Rena alone!" Mari tried to get between them.
"Stay out of this Mari!" He pushed her hard into Rena. "I am sick and tired of you two making Tacchan's life miserable!"
Rena grabbed her purse. "I'll be out until tomorrow morning. Donít' try and contact me."
"Don't worry, I won't." Subaru promised.
Subaru watched Rena and Mari leave. He turned back to Ohkura.
"Baru, you shouldn't have done that." Ohkura told him.
"I won't let anyone hurt you." Subaru vowed. "Let's get you to bed."
Ohkura was lying in bed, a bucket nearby. He had never had a stomach ache like he was experience now. It was like an ice pick was going through his right side. All he felt like doing was lying in bed and dying.
Subaru hovered around him. It was like the old days, before Ohkura's parents had died. When the only thing Ohkura had to worry about was being an idol. When Subaru was his world.
Subaru had fluffed his pillows, had tucked Ohkura in. Subaru made him feel better, though the pain in his side wouldn't stop.
"You don't have to do this for me." Ohkura told Subaru for the tenth time.
"I know I don't." Subaru said as if speaking to a small child.
"Then why are you?" he looked away from Subaru. "You don't have to answer that. I just feel so sick."
Suddenly the pains in Ohkura's stomach grew worse. He felt as if someone had stabbed him. He gasped and curled into a ball. Then just as suddenly they went back to the normal pain.
Subaru touched Ohkura's head. Then he moved so that he was kissing Ohkura's forehead. His lips felt so cool. "Your fever's higher. Do you have a thermometer?"
"In the boyís room."
Subaru left the room. Ohkura could hear Subaru talking to someone on the phone. Then he came back with the thermometer.
"Put this in your mouth." Subaru told him.
Ohkura did as he was told. He lay back on the pillows. Waiting, the wait seemed forever. Finally the thermometer beeped.
Subaru gently took the thermometer out. "Youíre staying in bed."
"Yes sir." Ohkura didnt' feel like doing anything else. He felt as if he was in one of the Alien movies, with a thing growing inside of him, just waiting to come out.
The toddler came into the bedroom. He crawled up on to the bed with Ohkura.
"Tacchan!" Hiro said. "Why you in bed? The sun is up."
"I'm a little tired." Ohkura told him.
Hiro's small hand touched his forehead. "So hot!"
"I have a fever." he tried to explain.
"You no hot!" Hiro looked on the verge of tears. "Make it go away."
"Hiro's worried about you." Subaru told him.
"Hiro, you're supposed to be still asleep." Ohkura chided.
"I sleep here." Hiro declared. He snuggled against Ohkura. "So hot like a blanket."
Ohkura nodded. He stayed really quiet so that Hiro could fall asleep. He was so quiet that he too fell asleep.
"I'll do as you say." Ohkura mumbled. "Please don't give the press the photos. It will destroy the group."
"Yes, I love you." He murmured. "I'll give Mari a baby."
"Don't tell Baru." He said. "I'll do what ever you ask. Just please, donít' tell Baru."
Subaru watched Ohkura sleep. His lover talked in his sleep, about being blackmailed by Rena. Subaru wondered if it was true. Was Ohkura being blackmailed? Was he terrified about what would happen if Ohkura left Rena.
The youngest of Ohkura's siblings had woken a few minutes before. Subaru carried the baby around while he waited for Hina to arrive. Subaru was really worried about Ohkura. There was something going on with his lover. Something so bad that Ohkura was afraid to tell him.
There was a tapping on the bedroom door and Hina came in. Hina had been the first one that Subaru called. Hina was like a brother to Subaru.
"How's Tacchan doing?" Hina asked.
"I'm worried about him." Subaru confessed. "He's really sick."
"Have you called the doctor?"
"Not yet." Subaru admitted. "I was too busy taking care of Tacchan and the children."
"Tell you what, I'll call the doctor." Hina suggested. "Then I'll go down stairs and open the cafe for you."
"You're going to run the cafe all by yourself?" Subaru couldn't believe his ears. "And take care of the children?"
"Yoko's downstairs. He'll help me." Hina shrugged. "He can wait tables and I'll cook. Yoko's good with people."
"Yoko?" Subaru repeated.
"When you called, Yoko insisted that he had to come too." His friend tried to explain.
"How did Yoko know I called?"
"He was just lying beside me in bed, and you called." Hina stopped himself.
"What was Yoko doing in your bed?" Subaru teased him.
"He wasn't in my bed, I was in his." Hina began to blush. "We didn't want anyone to know. We just got together."
"It doesn't matter to me." Subaru said truthfully. "I'm glad youíre happy."
"Yoko isn't as big of an idiot as he acts." Hina began.
"No one can be that big of an idiot." Subaru smiled.
"I don't know. He tries pretty hard at it." Hina admitted.
Ohkura was woken by the door bell ringing. He looked around the room. Hiro was playing quietly on the other side of the bed. Ohkura couldnít' see Subaru. His stomach pain had gotten worse.
"Hiro, where is Baru?" Ohkura asked Hiro.
"Doorbell." the child said.
A few minutes passed, and Subaru came into the bedroom. He was followed Ohkura's doctor; he hadnít seen her very much for himself. He had only gone for his siblings.
"How are you feeling Ohkura-kun?" She asked him.
"I have a bad stomach ache." Ohkura told her.
"Tacchan's sick." Hiro said helpfully. "He throw up! He Hot!"
"Come on Hiro; letís play in the other room." Subaru scooped the toddler up into his arms. He carried Ohkura's younger brother out of the room.
"How are you feeling?" The doctor asked.
"My stomach hurts." Ohkura admitted. "It feels as if I'm being stabbed in the side."
"I need to look at your stomach," The doctor told him.
"All right," Ohkura nodded. He pulled the blanket down.
The doctor leaned over the bed the doctor poked around on his stomach. It hurt to be touched. But it hurt even worse when she took her hand away.
"You need to go to the hospital for an MRI." The doctor decided.
"I have to stay here." Ohkura gasped. "I have a family I must care for."
"I suspect that you have appendicitis." She told him. "If that's true, then you need an operation."
"I canít' take the time away from my family." Ohkura insisted.
The doctor went into the other room. A few moments passed and Subaru came into the room.
"I hear you need to go to the hospital." Subaru told him.
"I can't...." Ohkura told him. "My family."
"You can die from appendicitis." Subaru said. "What good will you do your family if you're not here?"
"Who will take care of the children?" Ohkura asked. "Not Rena. She's always too busy."
"I'll take care of them." Subaru promised. "We're in this together now. We're a team."
"A team..." Ohkura liked the sound of that. He nodded. "All right. I'll go."
An ambulance soon came for Ohkura. Subaru could only watch helpless as Ohkura was taken away. He wanted to go with him, but he had made Ohkura a promise. They were a team now. He had to cast aside his worry for the good of the children.
Subaru put his apron back on. Yoko was on the floor playing with the two youngest of Ohkura's siblings. He seemed to be having a lot of fun. It was almost as if he was a child himself.
"You need to call Rena." Hina reminded Subaru.
"Rena...." For a few hours Subaru had forgotten that Ohkura was married.
"She had a right to know that Ohkura's gone to the hospital." Hina said gently. "She is Tacchan's wife; she might want to be with him."
Subaru got out his ketai. He called the number that was by the cash register.
"Rena here," Rena said.
"I thought you might want to know that Tacchan's been taken to the hospital." Subaru told her.
"What for?" She said hostilely.
"The doctor thinks he might have appendicitis."
"What has that got to do with me?" She asked snottily.
"Youíre Ohkura's wife." he reminded her.
"What has that got to do with the price of tea?" She countered. "I am very busy. I told you that before I left the cafe."
"What about the children? Whoís going to take care of them?" Subaru demanded.
"I don't care!" She told him. "I'm only nineteen; I should be worrying about dating, not children!"
"You don't care about the children?" Subaru couldn't believe his ears.
"If Tacchan and they vanished off the face of the earth, I wouldn't miss them!" she spat.
"You need to be here." Subaru had heard enough. He would be damned if he let her near Ohkura again.
"I'm busy!" She yelled. "Mari's devastated that I'm not pregnant this month! She wanted so much for us to have a baby! She needs me! Don't call me again!"
The call was suddenly ended.
Subaru picked a glass up off the counter and threw it across the room. It landed with a crash.
"What was that for?" Hina demanded.
"That bitch!" Subaru screamed. "Tacchan's in the hospital and she doesn't care!"
"Rena told you that?" Yoko asked.
"She said that if Tacchan and the children dropped off the face of the earth that she wouldn't care!" Tears stung his eyes. "She's his wife. How can she act that way?"
"Because she doesn't love him." Hina told his friend. "But you love him. You need to be at his side."
"I have to stay here." Subaru fought the tears. "I promised him I would take care of everything."
"I'll call the rest of the group." Hina said gently. "We'll care for everything. Right now you're place is with Tacchan."
"Why would you do this?" Subaru asked. "All this work for Tacchan."
"You're not the only one who loves Tacchan." Hina admitted. "Our group means everything to me. All of you are my brothers."
Subaru looked into Hina's eyes and finally understood. He turned and left the cafe.
Ohkura woke. His brain felt fuzzy from the operation. He could remember being rushed into surgery. He had wanted to call Subaru, and update him. But his appendix had burst. So there had been no time.
Ohkura could see someone looking out the window of his room. The person's hair long, tied back in a tail.
"Baru-Chan." he gasped.
His friend turned to him. He went to the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"I had an operation." Ohkura sounded muzzy. "In my stomach. My appendix burst."
"I know, that's why I'm here."
"The cafe, the children." he said concerned.
"The rest of the group is working at the cafe for us." Subaru said gently. "They are baby sitting the children for you."
"Where's Rena?" he gasped.
"With Mari right?" he asked. "She likes Mari more then she likes me."
"What ever gave you that idea?"
"She's only using me, to get a baby for Mari. It doesn't matter. I have you now" Ohkura looked into his eyes. "I love you so much."
"I love you too."
"We can never be together. Never, ever." Ohkura fought back the tears.
"We can," Subaru promised. "Some day, some how we'll spend our life together."
"We're back together." his lover reminded him. "No matter what Rena does, she won't force us apart."
"I dream sometimes of me being a single parent. That Rena's gone from my life." Ohkura paused. "If it was just me raising the kids, would you help me with them?"
"Of course I would!" Subaru promised. "I love them as if they were my own brothers and sisters."
"We're a team right?" Ohkura asked.
"Weíre a team that will last forever." Subaru promised.