Ugly is ugly

It was late when she got back.  Later then she should have been.  By the time she’d gotten home I’d gone from pissed, to scared, to fuming.

Pissed because there was no reason for her to break our agreement about terminal kids.

Scared because she was so late and I had been pacing the floor for hours especially when she hadn’t returned my calls.  I kept picturing her blinded by tears and running into something.

Fuming, no, seething, when she finally got in after calling to ask if I wanted her to bring me something to eat.  WTF?  I had been calling her for hours, worried fucking sick that she’d been in an accident or something.  There was no way she should have taken that long to drive back and she finally calls to ask about food!

I had the door open before she could fit the key in the lock.  She looked like hell warmed over.  I could tell she’d been crying.  She stood there and told me she was fine and that she didn’t see any reason to stop and answer the phone since she was on her way home.  Normally any anger I may have had would disappear but when she smiled and told me I was being silly for worrying…I lost it.

I grabbed her by the arms and shook her, not hard, but enough to make her realize I was way beyond pissed.  “Don’t give me that shit Aya!  What the hell?  You take a job that you knew you shouldn’t have taken, take forever to come home and then act like I’m wrong for worrying.  You’ve got a lot of explaining to do woman and I suggest you start with why the hell you took twice as long to get home as you should.”







~ by jujuken on August 5, 2011.

50 Responses to “Ugly is ugly”

  1. “Let me go Junichiro. I stopped at a restaurant and tried to eat something then sat in the car for a while. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I guess this hit me harder then I thought it would. Now if you’ll stop overreacting, I can relax for a while.”

    With that she turned and headed to the bedroom.

  2. I followed her into the room, bristling like a stepped on cat.
    “Relax! How the hell do you think I’m supposed to do that with a wife I know is upset on the road driving, not showing up when she should, and not answering her damn phone! Any fucking thing could have happened to you out there! Damn it woman! Stop that and sit the hell down! We need to have a long talk! ”

    I waited until she sat on the edge of the bed. She wouldn’t look at me.

    “I wanna know why you took that job in the first place. We had an understanding after the last time that those types of jobs were too hard on you emotionally to be worth taking. You knew that but you took the job any way. Why?”

  3. She just sat there for a few minutes before answering.

    “I wasn’t going to take it but the money was just too good. I didn’t know that the parents were going to pretty much abandon the child.”

  4. That answer did nothing to calm me down and actually made me even madder.

    “The money. You broke our agreement for money? We didn’t need the money that bad Aya. There’s not enough money in the world to have to see you go through that. I don’t understand.”

  5. “I really wanted the extra money so we could go to that onsen. I know how hard you work and I wanted us…you to be able to take a vacation. Sorry if wanting to do something for you bothered you so much.”

  6. “Don’t! Don’t you dare try to put this back on me! I’m not the one in the wrong here!”

    I watched as Aya got up and headed back out the room.

    “Where the hell are you going? I haven’t said my piece yet!!”

  7. Aya turned and pointed at me

    “When did we decide that whatever YOU wanted goes? I wanted to do something for you so sue me! So the job was harder then I thought. I’m not some child that needs your permission or your over-protectiveness! I could have asked my folks for the money but I took it upon myself to earn it instead.”

  8. Those words brought back the worst of times before we were married and her folks would look down on me like I was a piece of garbage. I lost it. I grabbed her again.

    “Listen to you! Do you even know how that sounds? You make it sound like I’m not capable of providing for us! If you wanted to go to that damn onsen so bad you should have told me! I’d have sold my damn car if I had to so you could go! Damn it Aya! Do you honestly think that I wouldn’t work 2,3, 4 jobs so you could have anything you wanted? Do you even understand how this makes me seem less then a man? Am I really such a failure in your eyes that you would take a job you know would give you nightmares and torment you just so we could have some fast cash that I could have saved in a couple of months if you’d told me?”

    I pushed her away from me; a bitter laugh escaping my lips as I grabbed the keys to my bike and headed down the stairs.

    “First I failed Hayato. Now I’m failing you.”

  9. Those words hit me deep inside. What had I done? Of all the things I could have said or done, that was the worst. I didn’t mean it. Not any of it. I was just angry with myself and I took it out on Junichiro in the worst possible way.

    “Oh my god Ju! No! I didn’t mean it that way! Ju! Where are you going? JU!”

  10. I heard her call my name, say something, but my own thoughts drowned out what the words were. I had to get out of there. I grabbed my bike and helmet and took off. I didn’t have any destination in mind but I needed to clear my head.

    I rode around for about an hour before just parking. I was numb. I couldn’t believe, didn’t want to believe, that after all these years together she really didn’t think I could provide for her. I’d failed Hayato when he needed me most and now her. It just hurt like hell. I needed a drink. I needed a whole lot of drinks. I started the bike and headed for the bar.

    The place was full but not packed. I got a spot at the end of the bar and ordered a couple of beers. Atsushi gave me a look but I shook my head. I didn’t want to talk to anyone right then. I radiated a foul mood that ran everyone away. I was left alone with my drinks and my thoughts. Atsushi roused me from some seriously dark thoughts to tell me that Aya was on the phone looking for me. I told him in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t there and he hadn’t seen me. He frowned and told her that. I know he didn’t like lying to Aya. He knew that I knew it and I couldn’t have cared less. All I needed him to do was serve me alcohol until I passed out.

  11. What had I done? How could I have been so cruel and stupid? I made a bad decision and took it out on the one person who would always be there for me. I’ve never seen him that mad or that hurt. I couldn’t even call him to ask, beg him to come home. His phone is on the table by the door. I’ve called everywhere and no one has seen him.

    Tears. Tears? I’m crying again. I didn’t know what to do so I just sat on the floor and cried.

  12. I heard everything. I had been up, cramming for a test when the yelling started. It was rare when Ju an Aya fought, but when they did, it was usually loud and generally over something stupid. But this didn’t sound like it was something stupid. After the door slammed, it got quiet. Really quiet.

    Mom was working late and I figured that Aya’d gone to bed or something and now that the storm had apparently blown over, it was safe to get a snack. Or so I thought.

    I found Aya on the floor, crying. He’d never made her cry. Not in all their arguments or fights. I frowned, kneeling down next to her. “Aya-chan? You okay?”

    • Aya looked up at him, eyes red and puffy, and sniffled a few times.
      “Oh Ichi. I messed up big time and now Ju is mad and hurt and I can’t find him to say I’m sorry and….”

      She sniffled a few more times before continuing.

      “I wanted to get him something special for his birthday but I didn’t want to spend the family money and I didn’t have enough on my own so I took a job I knew I shouldn’t have. It was so much worse than I thought it would be. I guess I was ashamed to admit I’d made a mistake and took it out on Junichiro.
      I didn’t mean for it to come out sounding like I thought he couldn’t take care of me but now he thinks he’s failed me like he thinks he failed your dad. He didn’t you know. He really didn’t but he’s always thought that…never mind. I can’t find him Ichi and I’m scared. I just want to make things better with him. I think if he hadn’t been so mad he would have realized I was just…that I…I don’t know how to fix this but I can’t start until I find him.”

      She started crying again, softly, as if to hide the fact that she was.

      • Ichi reached out and put an arm around her shoulders. “Shhh. I’ll go hunt for him. I’ll have my phone and I’ll call immediately when I find him. You want me to call mom?”

  13. Aya leaned on him until he mentioned calling Michiko. She sat up in a near panic.

    “NO! I’ll…Ichihara, I think your mom will be very angry with me for what I’ve done. I’ll tell her myself when I see her. She can’t do anything while she’s working anyway. You can take my car to…no…I’m almost out of gas and the stations are all closed but I don’t want you out on foot this late.”

    Aya thought about it for a moment and then sighed. It wasn’t like she wasn’t already in hot soup. She may as well screw up completely. She patted Ichi’s arm before getting up from the floor. Walking to the table near the door, she pulled open the small drawer and pulled out the keys to the mustang. She held them in both hands clutched to her chest, head bowed as if in prayer before handing them to Ichihara.

    “I don’t care if you have to run this into the ground. Find Ju for me Ichi.”

    She started to turn away but stopped. Turning back to him, she gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

    “You be careful. You being hurt would hurt me just as much as if he were hurt. I love you both.”

    • Ichi blinked. “I can get gas… it’s not… wait, what are you doing? Aya… no he’ll kill me!” He felt the keys pressed into his hands. “He’ll eat me alive.” Part of him was excited that he got to go drive Ju’s baby, the other part of him was terrified of what would happen once Ju found out that he was driving it around. What if he wrecked it? What if someone stole it? He forced himself to stop playing though all the worst case scenarios and sighed.

      “I’ll find him. Just… try to relax as much as you can, okay?” He smiled weakly and once he got his shoes, he was out the door and down the stairs to the garage.

      “Now or never.” He told himself as he went to unlock the car’s door.

  14. Juken had finished off six bottles of beer before he even got a slight buzz. He gave up on them and started on shots of tequila. Atsushi had finally given up trying to talk to him and just put the shot glass, lime, salt and bottle within reach. He figured Ju had to really be in bad shape mentally to be drinking like that.

    On a whim, he dialed Ichi’s cell and prayed the kid was nowhere near Aya. Someone was going to have to get Ju home. No way he was gonna let him ride out of there on that “two wheeled death trap” called a motorcycle.

    Junichiro was oblivious to everything going on around him. It was just him, booze and his memories. Memories of Hayato, the accident, and his recent fight with Aya. His heart hurt at the thought that he’d let her down. He never wanted to ever, EVER, let down another person so important to him. Hayato was the brother he never had. He should have called the race no matter what anyone had said. He could have talked Hayato out of it…at least he thought he could have…if he’d been forceful enough maybe.

    He shook his head and knocked back another shot. His head was getting fuzzy from the shots. Aya…he’d always done his best for her he thought. Why, why didn’t he see he was failing her too? He wasn’t being overprotective was he? Overbearing? He just couldn’t stand to see her cry but he’d made her cry hadn’t he? He’d scared her like she’d scared him but she’d hurt him so badly. She didn’t really believe what she’d inferred had she? Maybe it was just his anger talking.

    “I shouldn’t have left like that. I should have stayed but I just couldn’t bear it…the thought that I was failing her too. I don’t know what to do, how to fix this. Should I even try? Maybe she would have been better off with doctor asshole.”

  15. Ichi was so nervous that when his phone rang in his pants pocket, he dropped the keys to his uncle’s mustang. He pulled out his phone, half thinking that maybe it was Ju, but it wasn’t a number he recognized… not right away. He flipped open the phone… “Uh… hello?”

    “Ichi… this is Atsushi.”

    “Oh! Ju’s friend! What… how’d you get this number?” The kid finally unlocked the car door and got in.

    “Ju is a regular here and you’ve been in here before. Your uncle is down here and he’s going to need to get home at some point this evening.” Atsushi said, making sure that Ju-ken couldn’t hear him.

    “I had a hunch… and Aya sent me to look for him. You just saved me a lot of gas.” He laughed nervously. “I’ll be down there soon. Just… don’t let him leave.”

    “I won’t. I’ll see you when you get here.” With that Atsushi hung up.

    Ichi closed the phone and stared at the mustang’s steering wheel. Now or never, he thought. He put the key in the ignition and started the car. Taking a deep breath, he put it in gear and thanked his lucky stars that Ju had taught him how to drive a stick a long time ago.

  16. Ju couldn’t seem to find his shot glass. He glowered at Atsushi who was saying something to him but it wasn’t making much sense. He knew he was sloshed and he damn sure didn’t care. At least no one could accuse of him of failing at getting drunk. Well he didn’t really need a glass so he flipped Atsushi off and tipped the bottle up to his mouth. More then one way to kill your brain cells.

    “Juken, what the fuck is wrong with you? I’ve never seen you drink like this. You and Aya fighting?”

    Ju put the bottle on the bar top with a thunk. “She thinks I’m a flail…flailure…you know…” he waved his hand around before dropping it on the bar top. “She thinks I’m a loser.”

    Atsushi looked at him and shook his head. “I doubt that seriously. I, on the other hand, think you have had more then enough to drink.” He snatched up the bottle before Ju could grab it.

    Ju glared at him and tried to get up only to sway a little and sit back down with a plop. “Fu..fuck you too ya jerk. I’ll have you know I know how to handle my…my…fuck ya. I ain’t drunk, just a ittle bit tipshy. I don’t hash to stay where I ain’t…I ain’t wanted.” He fished around in his pockets looking for the key to the bike and promptly dropped it. “Fuck! Shitty bar. Shitty key. Where the hell….”

    • The red 2008 mustang pulled into the parking lot that was Ju’s usual haunt. Ichi looked around for the Harley before parking. It was still there, so that was a good sign. He parked and then got out of the car, locking it behind him as he headed into the bar, looking for his uncle.

  17. Atsushi saw Ichi when he walked in and motioned for the waitress to let him by. He was underage and by rights shouldn’t have been there but this was an emergency. Ju had finally managed to get his keys from under the bar where he’d kicked them and was tottering toward the exit, using the bar to hold himself steady. When he reached Ichihara, he leaned down into his face and squinted his eyes.

    “Don’ I know you?” He started patting Ichi on the shoulders once his alcohol filled mind registered who he was looking at. “Ichi! Come to drunk wit ya unca Ju? I mean drink…forget it. Lesh have a couple of beers! Bartender a beer for me and him!”

    He leaned on Ichi and said in what was supposed to be a whisper but was anything but. “I had a fight wid Aya. She called me a loser. Can ya be…believe that? Me!”

    He managed to sit down at a table near the door. He put his face in his hands and his shoulders slumped. “Now why she’d have to go do that? Come here boy. Shi…sit down and tell yer unca why she’d do sompen like that.”

    • Ichi was wide eyed. He’d never seen his uncle this smashed before. This was bad. Really bad. “Unca Ju… I’m good, I don’t need a beer, some water would be better. And maybe some coffee.” He looked hopefully to Atsushi and then back to his uncle.

      “An’ you’re not a loser. You’re the best and only uncle and I wouldn’t trade you for anythin’, and neither would she.” Ichi smiled brightly, praying that this was working. “It was probably all in your head or somethin’.”

  18. Atsushi nodded and waved over the waitress. He sent a soda for Ichi and a cup of very strong coffee to Ju who he hoped would sit still and drink it. He hadn’t seen Ju that bad in years and to be honest he thought this might top the worst that he’d seen him EVER.

    Ju scowled at the coffee but picked it up and took a sip. “Eww! Beer is better but I guess that jerk I ush ta call a friend won’ gimme noughin elsh. Ya really think I’m a good unca? You’re a good kid ya know that?” He drank some more of the coffee then slumped back in the chair looking tired and disheveled.

    “I made Aya cry didn’t I? I didn’t mean to. Is she ah right?”

    • “She’s fine, worried about you, but fine.” Ichi admitted. He wasn’t going to sugar coat it, Aya wouldn’t want him to. “And you are a good Uncle. Who else would have treated me to an F-1 race and taught me how to drive? And talks my mother into letting me do things she wouldn’t let me do otherwise?”

  19. Ju’s face brightened a little. The extra strong coffee was helping Ju’s head to clear.

    “She’s worried about me? You think I’m a good uncle? I try Ichi. I try. I’m tired. I wanna go home. I can’t drive the bike. Atsushi will put it in his garage I hope…after I apologize. Wait…how did you get here?”

    • “I drove!” He replied with another bright smile and sipped his soda. He was hoping to dodge any questions that could be fielded to him. “And yes, she’s worried and yes you’re a good uncle.”

  20. Ju sat quietly for a while and downed another cup of coffee before slowing standing.

    “I’m going to go water the lilies then you can take my drunk ass home.” He turned and headed into the bathroom.

    He returned a few minutes later, face a blank mask. Leaning over his nephew he spoke in a quiet voice:

    “Imagine my surprise when I looked out the window and saw a mustang in the parking that looked just like mine. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that would you? Don’t answer that. The only reason why I’m not going to yell is my head hurts, I’m too drunk to ride or drive, I need to get home and the only way you could have my car is if Aya gave you the keys. Come on boy. Time to take your uncle home. We’ll talk about the car later. I’m too tired to care right now.”

    • Ichi smiled nervously and then added, “She really was worried.” He got up, keys in hand and waited for Ju to lead the way. He’d let the older inspect the car before anything else. This was his uncle’s baby and it made him nervous just to drive it. Just for the face he knew he wasn’t supposed to be in it. “Also… Atsushi called me just as I was fixing to start looking for you.” He was spilling his guts, but he wanted to make it a point that he just didn’t take the car because he could.

  21. Atsushi didn’t even flinch at the look Ju gave him so the lean bassist just tossed him the keys to the bike and shuffled slowly out of the bar. Ichi’s babbling was beginning to work his nerves. Now that his head was clearing a little he needed to think about what he was going to say to Aya. When they got to the car, he didn’t even bother looking it over and just waited for Ichi to open the door. He got in, slumping down and waited for his nephew to get in the car.

    “I need to think and you need to not put so much as a scratch on this car so I suggest you shut the hell up and drive,” he said quietly, to take the sting out of his words.

    “Take the long way back. Less traffic on the back roads and keep within the speed limit. This car draws enough eyes just sitting still. I don’t want some asshole wanting to see what it can do. Oh and Ichi…thank you.” He mumbled this but it was clear enough for Ichi to understand.

    • Once in the car, Ichi said nothing. He was nervous as it was, but he took the instructions that he was issued to the letter. He took the long way home, drove the speed limit and obeyed every traffic law. And it wasn’t that he was ignoring Ju, he knew that the man didn’t want to talk and he needed to concentrate.

      After a bit, Ichi turned into the drive way and carefully parked the car in the garage. “Here we are. I’ll be getting out now. Do you need help getting inside?” He was ready to hide if Ju felt the need to kick his ass.

  22. Ju still hadn’t figured out what he was going to say to Aya. He barely registered the trip home but was relieved that they got their with no damage to his car. He pulled his long frame out of the car and leaned on it.

    “Give me the keys and go to bed Ichihara. I can get inside by myself. We’ll have a long talk tomorrow about this so don’t make yourself too hard to find. Got it? Right now, I need to settle things with your aunt. I promise I won’t yell at her or shake her again.”

    • Ichi’s face darkened with anger, the mustang’s keys were in his hand still as he spat, “Well, aren’t you just a big man?”

      The kid then tossed the keys, purposely over Ju’s head, the car and they clanged noisily behind some shop junk. In a far, dark corner. Then he turned his back on Juken and headed up the stairs into the house, refusing to look at his uncle.

  23. Ju’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “Obnoxious little shit! You did that on purpose! I should kick your scrawny ass for that! Come back here you brat!”

    Ju started to follow Ichi but the need to have his car keys took over so he went over to where the keys had been tossed, got down on his hands and knees and began rooting around in the junk trying to find them. He cursed the whole time he looked and came up with some inventive and frightening things to do to his nephew. He finally found the keys but being still slightly drunk, he opened the door on the passenger side and sat down, his head between his hands, eyes closed against the glare of the garage lights. He felt like shit. He was sure he looked just as bad and he’d managed to piss off and disappoint his nephew and hurt his wife with his actions. That he was hurting more than he could bare was no excuse.

    He felt soft hands against his and opened his eyes. Aya. He didn’t look at her but at the floor instead unsure of his standing with her or how to explain himself.

  24. Aya was startled from her musings by the front door slamming. Ichi was standing in the doorway clearly pissed. When Juken didn’t show up right behind Ichi, Aya began to panic. Had he made Ichi drop him off somewhere and that was why the young man was so pissed?

    Atsushi had finally called and told her that Ichi had Ju and they had left a little while ago. He’d told her that he had never seen Ju so despondent and that whatever had happened needed to be fixed. Aya heard the mild rebuke in his voice. Atsushi and Ju had been friends for almost as long as he and Hayato had been and he knew the only person that could get Ju like that would have been Aya. He expected her to fix it and she was going to do her best to do just that.

    “Oh my god Ichi! What’s wrong? Where’s your uncle Ju? Atsushi called me after you left so I know you found him! He didn’t make you drop him somewhere did he? “

    • “No. He’s downstairs. Digging for his keys.” Ichi replied. “And you didn’t tell me he shook you. And I’m going to bed, before I do something I regret.” With that the young man headed for the kitchen, got himself a soda, then headed for his room and closed the door a bit harder than normal.

  25. Aya had the good sense to not follow the young man. He needed time to cool off. She hadn’t told him because she knew he’d be angry about it and she didn’t want him driving like that. She had just made a mess of everything. Now more then ever she understood the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. Sighing she headed to the garage. She wasn’t sure what Ichi meant by “digging for his keys” but knowing the young man, he’d probably tossed them somewhere in a huff.

    When she got downstairs, she found Ju sitting in the car holding his head and her heart cried for him. She had handled the whole situation badly and they were both paying for it. She walked over to the car and squatted down to eye level with him. He didn’t look up so she placed her hands on his and pulled them down. When he didn’t look at her she knew she had wounded him deeply.

    “Junichiro. Look at me please. Baby. I am so very sorry. I messed up big time. Come into the house so we can talk. I need to tell you why I did what I did. Please baby?”

  26. Ju just nodded and stood up. He still wouldn’t look at her. He knew if he did right then he’d just fall apart. He closed the car door, locked it and followed her back into the house. Once he’d gotten upstairs, he took a seat on the sofa and waited for her to start. He didn’t know what to expect from her. Didn’t know what he’d say to her. He still wouldn’t look at her, preferring to stare at the floor. When she lifted his chin, forcing him to look at her, he almost broke down from the pain and sadness he saw on her face.

    “Oh god Aya. I’m so sorry. I don’t deserve….” She shushed him with a finger to his lips and began to talk.

  27. Aya sat in front of him on her knees and lifted his face by his chin. Her heart broke at the pain and guilt she saw there. The pain and guilt that she’d caused.

    “I’m the one who should be sorry. I took out my frustration on you. If you’ll let me, I’ll try to explain.” When he nodded she took a deep breath, placed his hands in hers and began.

    “This all started because I wanted to surprise you with a trip to that onsen for your birthday. Shhhh…let me talk okay? I wanted it to be my special gift to you but I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t want to use money from our account. I wanted to use my own money but I didn’t have enough. When this job came up I took it. It would pay enough for the trip and give us plenty of spending money. I thought I could handle it and it wasn’t so very bad at first but the longer I was there the more attached I became to the young man and the more I saw that his parents didn’t care. Just before he went into his coma he thanked me for being there for him. I just lost it then. I realized that you were right, that I should never take those types of jobs but I’m glad that he had someone there for him in the end.”

    She squeezed his hands and continued.

    “I stayed for his funeral. I probably shouldn’t have because I was a wreck by the time it was over. One would have thought he was my child. I really did stop to eat on the way home and I’m so very sorry I didn’t call you but I knew the minute I heard your voice I’d break down again. I didn’t want to risk it on the road so I called when I was close to home and tried to act like I was okay. I didn’t really expect you to be so worried and when you blew up I guess I got defensive because I knew I was wrong.”

    She raised his hands to her lips and kissed them. “Junichiro don’t you ever think that I don’t think you can take care of me or that you are a failure. I failed you by making you think that. Look around you. We have a nice home with everything I could want. You have a lucrative business. People come for miles to get you to do their body work. You create the most beautiful cars I’ve ever seen and you’ve made me happier then I thought was possible. I know you’ve been saving up to expand the shop and hire more people. I didn’t want you to touch one cent of that money for a trip. That’s why I took the job. I wanted to do this for you…because I love and adore you. Please don’t look down on yourself because you married a pretty but arguably, sometimes, stupid woman.”

    She looked at him with pleading eyes. “Forgive me?”

  28. Ju sat quietly, listening to his wife pour her heart out to him. He felt better but he was still wrong for shaking her and jumping all over her as soon as she hit the house. He told her that in no uncertain terms and was surprised when she pouted at him.

    “Huh? What did I do now? I told you that I forgave you and I apologized for jumping all over you before listening to what you had to say. Why are you pouting like that?”

  29. She pushed him so that his back hit the back of the sofa and crawled into his lap.

    “I said I was a pretty but arguably, sometimes, a stupid woman. You didn’t contradict me.” She snuggled against him. “I’m waiting.”

  30. Ju sighed and hugged her tight.

    “Just my luck to marry a kitty with claws. Okay. You’re a pretty woman that is stupid sometimes, no argument about it. How’s that?”

  31. Aya hissed at him then pulled him down for a kiss. “I’ll concede the point tonight but if you ever call me stupid…”

  32. “I wouldn’t dare. I’d have to learn to sleep with one eye open. It’s just not worth the lost rest.”

    He kissed her again, nothing deep, he was too tired and drained for that, but enough to let her know that at least for now, all was well. When he shifted to get more comfortable, his keys fell out of his pocket. Aya got a panicked look.

    “Tomorrow, you will explain to me why I shouldn’t tan your hide for letting Ichi drive my car. The brat is pretty ticked at his uncle right now. He knows I shook you and even though it was a baby shake, in his eyes I’m a homicidal woman abuser. Maybe I should let him get in one good shot to make him feel better.”

  33. “I really didn’t have a choice. I was low on gas and the stations were closed. We didn’t know where you were and please call Atsushi tomorrow and let him know you are okay. He sounded like he wanted to boil me in oil when he called. As for Ichi. I’ll plead your case but I doubt anything I say would be justification in his eyes. Maybe you could do something special for him OTHER then let him take a shot at you.”

  34. “Aya will you stop squirming? My body, parts of it anyway, is trying to write a check I’m to rung out to cash right now so keep still. I need to think and I can’t do it with you nibbling on me like that.”

    After being completely ignored, Ju gave up trying and tried to come up with something to mollify Ichihara. He knew he was either gonna get yelled at, harassed, or given the silent treatment no matter what he or Aya said. That was a given. Still the kid had braved his wrath to go out looking for him and had managed not to do anything to his car in the process. Hmm…

    “I know exactly what to do and no I’m not telling you. You talk to much especially when Ichi starts giving you that “I love you auntie” look. You’ll know when he does. Now I don’t know about you but I’m going to scramble myself some eggs, eat some toast, and drink enough water to drown in, in hopes of heading off the hangover I’m probably gonna have tomorrow. Then I’m going to bed. TO SLEEP WOMAN! ”

    He easily lifted her up and dumped her on the other side of the sofa then stood and extended his hand to help her up. He just stood there with her hand in his for long moments before pulling her to him and giving her a toe curling kiss before releasing her and heading into the kitchen.

  35. Aya smiled as she watched him leave the room. She had been waiting for him to kiss her like that. It was the sign that all was forgiven. Now if she could get Michiko, Ichi and Atsushi to forgive her….

    She sighed. It was going to be a busy week but right then, she had a man to feed and a kitchen to save and that was good enough for her.

  36. P.S.

    The car in question

    juken's car
    Sweet ain’t it? Now you know why I spazzed when the kid had it.

  37. The following morning I woke up with a reminder of why drinking to excess was not a good idea and the warm body of my wife spooned up against my back, one arm and a leg thrown over me like I was a body pillow which I guess I was.

    Normally after a fight we have some great make up sex but I was too drained, tired and tipsy for that last night. Needless to say, she was a might put out by that but she understood and settled for some snuggling instead. She snuggled, I passed out. I’ll probably hear about that when she wakes. I just hope I hear it quietly.

    I slowly and carefully untangled myself hoping not to wake Aya. She’d had a rough night too and needed her sleep. I had to smile as she pulled my pillow to her and hugged it.

    Leaving her sleeping peacefully, I headed to the bathroom. A hot shower would do me good and it did. When I came out, Aya was sitting crossed legged on the bed rubbing her eyes and looking for the world like a small child woken from her nap. Her hair was every which away which caused me to snicker. She flipped me the bird and shuffled past me to the bathroom for her shower. She didn’t speak but she swatted me on the ass as she passed. I don’t know if things are all good but they are a damn sight better then last night. Now if I can make all this up to Ichihara.

    I sighed and pulled on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt. I had pretty much decided to prostrate myself in front of the brat and apologize even though knowing him that wasn’t going to be enough. I wouldn’t even have worried about it if he hadn’t been a help getting me home in one piece and protecting his aunt. Whistling softly, I pulled out my sketch book and began sketching. It’s how I planned out work on cars and it helped me think. I didn’t even realize that Aya had come back into the room until she wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed me on the cheek.

    She pointed to one of the sketches. “I like that one. New client?”

    “Yeah. So what are we going to do about Ichi and Michiko? I’m assuming you talked to her at some point.”

    Aya nodded and sighed. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there was ice still on the phone. Her tone made Siberia seem warm. If I hadn’t fixed things with you I honestly think she would have kicked my ass. That’s a scary lady when she’s upset.”

    I turned around and pulled her into my lap. “You don’t have to tell me. I grew up with her. Maybe if we get them both together we can prostrate ourselves and beg for forgiveness at the same time.” She nodded and leaned her head against mine. I was dreading having to face Ichi more then Michiko. Hearing the door to the other bathroom slam didn’t do much to calm me down. It was going to be a long day.

  38. The following is found with a note in Ichi’s hand writing.

    “I’m sorry you’re a jerk and that I’m subborn, but these are for you.

    No, I didn’t poison them and don’t choke eating them too fast… Aya would never forgive me… Love Ichi.”

    • goes back to his workshop, singing, and closes the door but not before leaving a note for Ichi taped to the door of his room

      I know you don’t want to talk to me but thank you for the takoyaki. They were delicious and yes I gave your aunt some.

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