Title: A Love Not Quite Lost
Rating: M for language
Summary: Some years after our boys become a 4-nin group, Shige gets an unexpected visitor.
Five years ago to the day, his life had been completely turned on its head. Of course it had affected the other members as well, as Shige still remembered the nearly visceral heartbreak that hung in the air after the announcement was made. But for him, the pain had been twofold. He recalled how a few minutes after that he'd excused himself and left their dressing room to clear his head. How he'd only taken a few deep breaths before the click of the door opening brought him back into focus. And then how he'd felt like god, or the universe, or what the fuck ever had an absolutely fucked up sense of humor to send Ryo - of all people - after him at that time, in that moment, on that day. The day Ryo had called it off.
As if him and Yamashita leaving at the same time wasn't shocking enough, as if the uncertainty of the future of News hadn't just dealt him a blow he wasn't taking well at all; send in his brand new ex to try to comfort him, may as well crush his heart in one blow.
He’d nothing nice to say to Ryo back then. Shige, who was normally so reserved and well-kept, had lit into his senpai. He'd dumped everything he felt on his shoulders, set the blame on him like kindling, struck the match and threw it, hoping Ryo would burn. He never looked back, either. Except for once every year since then, when the guilt would rush over him so heavily he could barely function. He'd plan his day off in advance, stock up on everything he could think of that would bring him comfort and shut himself off from the world.
It was on that same day five years later that his past came to visit him in the form of a knock at his door and jingling keys. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it; Koyama had a spare set and would frequently let himself in to bring Shige food and small gifts he'd pick up on his travels. The gestures were never lost on his friend and Shige had always made it a point to return the affection in kind. He got up from his blanket cocoon and tried to brush out the wrinkles in his shirt before leaving his room. He didn't feel like being fussed over by his worry prone friend. He did his best to put on a smile, hoping it would be distraction enough from his puffy red eyes.
“You haven't changed at all.”
The words were spoken by a husky, much too familiar voice that had the hair on the back of Shige’s neck standing on end. He was momentarily afraid to turn and face the source, afraid that he, too, remembered those moments as if they’d happened just yesterday. He shoved the sudden and unwelcome insecurity aside and lifted his eyes to meet the smaller, older, sparkling ones of Nishikido.
Shige’s first attempt at speaking failed on his lips. It left his mouth as a breath, whether in indignance or disbelief, he didn’t know. “What are you doing here?” It was one of many questions running through his mind.
“Nice to see you too, Shige.” They stood at odds, Ryo slightly slouched with his hands in his pockets, Shige standing ramrod straight. “I’ve been talking to Kei-chan,” the older Osakan continued. “I’d been thinking about you...especially with today coming up so soon, and I just... wanted to see your face.” He grinned. His teeth were still just as white, his eyes still crinkled in all the same spots as they did years ago. “So here I am.”
“...why,” Shige asked before he realized it. He was defensive. Angered. Hurt. “Why do you show up now, and here, after all this time? I haven’t seen you or heard from you since then, all those years ago, and you choose today of all days to just drop by unannounced and you think I’ll just be giddy as hell to see you?” His voice was getting louder, and he felt more irate, but he didn’t care as he crossed the floor between them in a few steps. “I don’t know what fantasy world you live in, Nishikido-san, but here’s a tip: today is not the day to fuck with me!”
They were eye to eye now. One with his hands balled into fists, the other fighting to keep his cool.
“Why,” he asked again, breathless, searching for an answer in the other man's eyes, a twitch of his mouth, anything.
It came in the form of swift hands grabbing his shoulders, fingers deftly trailing through his unkempt hair, and a heartbreaking, soul crushing, long overdue kiss. Ryo kissed him over and over, breaking down the carefully built defences Shige had been crafting for years in the aftermath of their breakup. All of the negativity he'd harbored rose to the surface for air only to be smothered by Ryo's lips against his own.
There was a brief pause while Ryo caught his breath, stroking Shige’s cheek gently enough to stoke the small fire in the pit of his stomach. “Because I missed you,” he answered. “I missed you, Shige.” His voice broke and once again Shige's breaths and wines were swallowed up by Ryo’s deep kisses. Not that he had anything else to say after that. Back then Ryo had always told Shige that there was no one else for him, and Shige had forgotten. In his hurt and anger, he'd turned Ryo into the villain, the betrayer, but he'd never once asked the other man why he'd come to that decision. Now that his reasoning wasn't clouded by pain, he realized that he would eventually get his answer in time.
They were a tangle of arms and legs on their way to his bed, and after they'd stripped and Ryo had teased Shige to his breaking point so many times, they melted into each other and Ryo wrecked him over and over until they were both spent and drenched in sweat. And for the first time in a long time, with Ryo's arm draped over Shige's waist, the other's breathing and heartbeat a familiar score, they both knew that they would be okay.