The other shoe.

A few days had gone by since the episode with Toshi and Yoichi had unfolded. Ju was acting like his normal self, keeping busy in the shop, one session job and chasing his wife whenever he could so Aya didn’t have a clue that his head wasn’t on right. He hadn’t seen nor heard a peep out of Yoichi since that day and that fact alone had him seething internally. It wasn’t so much that Yoichi was bi-sexual, he’d come to terms with that a while ago, but that Toshi was encouraging him to act on his male-male urges and that was what was eating at him the most.

Deep down inside, Ju was scared, because he knew that Toshi’s heart and soul if not his penis, were totally Kiba’s, that Yoichi was going to be hurt. He didn’t want that to happen to the young man. He knew Aya had said that Yoichi was a grown man and could take care of himself; he was still young and inexperienced when it came to matters of the heart.

The more he thought about an old man like Toshi putting his hands on his son, the hotter Ju got. He knew better then to say anything to Aya. She’d already had her say but Yoichi wasn’t her child. He was his.

Ju tried to put it out of his mind. He really did but when things were quiet his mind would come up with all kind of nightmare scenarios until he couldn’t take it any more. He needed to talk some sense into Toshi if that was even possible. He knew his friend and common sense and the man didn’t always see eye to eye. For Yoichi sake he’d give it his best shot.

He went on Gargoyle’s website, checked out Toshi’s schedule and was pleased to note the man didn’t have any lives posted which meant that there was a good chance he was home especially since Kiba had a live on the other side of the island. He crossed his fingers and hoped that Toshi hadn’t flown out to see his…whatever Kiba was now. He pulled out his phone and called him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Toshi was surprised to hear from his friend but pleased. Since there was a soccer match later that night he figured he and his buddy could hang out, drink beer and watch the match. Ju was okay with that and said he’d be over later with a couple of six packs since Aya and Hana were doing the “ah, aw, isn’t she so cute” baby thing at Acchan’s place. Toshi laughed and told him he’d see him later but before he hung up Ju heard someone say they were going to cook breakfast and Ju would bet his marriage that the person he heard was Yoichi. He looked at the clock. Shouldn’t he have been in class at that time? Even worse, why was he even there this early in the morning?

Ju started to say something but the line went dead. He said a few choice words and turned around to head directly to Toshi’s but ran into Aya instead. She looked at him then asked what was wrong. He told her nothing. He was just thinking. She didn’t look convinced so she gave him a mini-toe curler, told him that whatever was bothering him would work itself out and that she loved him to pieces. She hugged him tightly, gave him another kiss, and then headed out to Acchan’s.

Ju waited a bit just to make sure Aya didn’t double back then he got in the mustang and headed out. He stopped and gassed up the car, bought a couple of six packs and some snacks, Toshi never had much food around, then headed out to the man’s house. He was a couple of hours earlier then he’d originally planned but he needed to know if that really was Yoichi he heard.

He steeled himself for whatever, or at least he thought he had, grabbed his bags and headed toward Toshi’s door. He knocked and waited for Toshi to answer the door. Toshi was shocked to see Ju there so early. He was stammering a hello as Ju pushed into the flat. He announced that he was bored so he came over early as he placed the bags on the table in the small kitchen. When he turned to head back into the main room he was met with the sight of Yoichi leaving the bathroom, hair a tousled, wet mess. He was dressed but his shirt was open. He was sporting some impressive passion marks. He asked if it was his cab at the door and only really stopped drying his hair when his question was met with silence. He looked up and his eyes got wide.

He mouthed an “oh shit” and flushed a bright pink which made the passion marks even more pronounced. Toshi turned to look at Ju since the man hadn’t made a sound and took a step back. There was pure unadulterated rage in Ju’s eyes. Toshi held up his hands. “Ju, just calm down. I can explain…” That was all he got to say before Ju tackled him. Both men went sprawling across the floor. They wrestled like that for a moment before Toshi managed to get to his feet. He was still trying to get Ju to calm down when Ju managed to grab hold of his shirt.

He pulled Toshi close and yelled, “This is for ogling my wife.” and socked him in the stomach. Toshi doubled over coughing. Ju pulled him up and sent a hay maker to his jaw which rocked Toshi back on his heels. “That is for corrupting my son. He should be in class right now but instead he’s here being a meal for an old lech.”

Ju was still yelling insults while shaking his hand. Toshi had a chin like a brick wall. Yoichi was trying to pull his dad away from Toshi who was now sitting on the floor, coughing and trying to clear his head. Ju turned on Yoichi and started yelling at him which gave Toshi a chance to get up. He grabbed Ju’s shoulder, spun him around and socked him in the jaw. Ju staggered back, tripped on the coffee table and went down. He landed on his bad knee and there was a sickening pop. Ju howled in pain and writhed on the floor. It was obvious that the knee had dislocated.

Yoichi and Toshi both rushed to him, Toshi apologizing and Yoichi asking what he could do. All the color had drained from Ju’s face and his breathing was heavy. Toshi told Yoichi to calm down and do what he told him to do. They needed to reset the knee. It was going to hurt like hell but it had to be done. He looked around and found an old strap to a guitar case he wasn’t using. He detached it and gave it to Ju. He didn’t have to tell him why. He explained to Yoichi that it was to insure that Ju didn’t accidentally bite off his tongue from the pain. Yoichi paled. When Ju assured him that it was okay since this had happened before, Yoichi calmed a little.

Toshi went and grabbed a bottle of whiskey and handed it to Ju who glared at him but took a long swig. He gave it back to Toshi and nodded. He told Yoichi to take the towel he had and fill it with ice then hurry back. Yoichi nodded and went to do what he was told. Toshi knelt down by his friend. “Ju. It’s really not what you think. We’ll talk about it once this is done. Since you won’t be able to put any weight on it for a while I’ll have a captive audience. You want me to call Aya?” Ju shook his head no so violently that it made him see stars.

“What the hell did you just give me?” Toshi grinned then moaned. His jaw hurt. “Glen Dronach.” Ju’s eyes got wide. “Twelve year?” Toshi shook his head. “Fifteen.” Got a nice kick right?” Ju got a calculating look in his eyes. “I don’t know. I didn’t have enough. Maybe another taste.” Toshi tried not to grin again. His jaw really did hurt. He was going to need ice for that as well as Ju’s knee. “Now you sound like the Ju I know and love and not the maniac I opened my door for.”

Ju gave him another much weaker glare and took another swig from the offered bottle. It was about that time when Yoichi returned with two towels. He gave the smaller one to Toshi then waited for instructions. “Yoichi…we have to reset his leg. You are going to have to hold him at the thigh while I straighten the leg out. Yeah like that. There needs to be a slight angle…yeah…like that. Yeah I know. He does know some colorful language. Ju…I’m about to straighten the leg and reset the cap. Put your mouth piece in. Yoichi…this is going to hurt quite a bit. You will have to make sure to hold him tightly. If he starts jerking back to get away from the pain I could make things worse. Are you two ready?”

Both men nodded so Toshi got to work. Toshi worked as quickly as he could. He managed to get the knee reset before Ju passed out from the pain. He was soaked in sweat and panting but he stayed with them. Yoichi was a little green around the edges but seemed okay. He placed the towel of ice on Ju’s knee who groaned in pain from just that little weight. No one said anything for a while as Ju’s breathing began to even out some. Once he was able to speak, he thanked them both but he wasn’t done with the brow beating.

“You are so damn lucky this happened cause I was gonna kick your old lecherous ass from one side of this place to the other. What the hell are you thinking? And you Yoichi. Shouldn’t you be in class? You wouldn’t ditch class to help me in the shop that one time but you’ll ditch class to fuck this old bastard? So much for me trying to be a good dad.”

Yoichi bristled at that. “If you had wanted to be a good dad then maybe you would have found out about me and been around but no. You were too busy leading a pristine life to follow up on any rumors you may have heard about mom and don’t tell me you didn’t hear any. Your old running buddies knew. No way you’ll make me believe you didn’t hear any whispers! As for Toshi…what I want to do with my ass and my dick is MY business and none of yours!”

Ju narrowed his eyes. “You don’t know me at all if you think I’d not check up on any rumors about me having a kid especially with Aya not being able to have any. Considering your behavior when you first arrived here, you are damn lucky I didn’t kick your ass out and toss your belongings out behind you. Hell you’re lucky I didn’t beat you to a pulp first you ungrateful brat.”

Toshi was trying to calm the two men down but Ju turned on him also. “And you!” He was about to say more when the room started shaking. No one panicked at first but the shaking got worse. Plaster began to rain down on the men as the whole building rocked and bucked. There was an ominous creaking then a huge part of the ceiling came crashing down into the room from near the front door. It just missed Ju and Toshi but Yoichi was standing close to the door and was buried by debris. When the shaking stopped and the dust began to settle, it was Ju that spotted Yoichi’s hand sticking out beneath a small pile of rubble. It looked like he had gotten away from the worst of it but still….

Ju yelled his name and tried to get up but pain from his knee sucked his breath in. Toshi crawled over the debris and started moving plaster and wood from off the young man. Yoichi was breathing but unconscious. He was bleeding from the top of his head where Toshi found a large gash. He dragged the young man to a relatively clean spot and began to wring his hands. Knees he could do something with but this was beyond him. He looked at Ju. “What do I do?”

Ju looked around. The room was a mess with plaster, wood, broken glass and twisted metal everywhere. The door out was buried under most of the ceiling. He looked up. A massive tree had fallen onto the roof caving it in. He could see small patches of daylight so at least they didn’t have to worry about air but there wasn’t enough room to try to climb out. Besides, he couldn’t and he had no idea how bad Yoichi was hurt. He repositioned himself against the wall, wincing from the pain. He tried to remember what Aya had told him.

“We need to keep him warm and his head immobilized. Can you get into the bedroom for a blanket or something?” Toshi looked toward his bedroom and cursed. The door frame was a mangled mess but he might be able to crawl around some of the debris. He told that to Ju.

“Good. Just be careful. We don’t know if that tree will shift and bring down more of the roof. I’m going to need some towels too if you can get to the bathroom or wherever you might have some. I want to see what’s bleeding and place a towel under his neck.” He watched as Toshi crawled into the next room and prayed the man wouldn’t start anything falling. Then he looked at his son. He looked so young and vulnerable. Ju prayed he was okay. He didn’t want the last thing he said to his son to be words spoken in anger. He had just wanted to protect him.

Ju looked up when some plaster began falling around the bedroom door. He called out for Toshi to be careful but to hurry. He heard the sound of something falling and Toshi yelling a few choice curse words. He tried to get up but his knee disavowed him of that notion. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Toshi squirming quickly out of the hole then watched in horror as the whole ceiling came crashing down sending dust and small bits of debris into the room. Toshi turned and let out a muttered curse about needing to redecorate now then walked over to where Ju and Yoichi were. He dumped a large bundle on the floor.

“I grabbed some blankets, towels, the first aid kit out of the bathroom, couple of flashlights, batteries and a radio. I managed to get a peek out of window. It doesn’t look good. Part of the building next door collapsed and the door leading out is buried along with a good part of the street. The tree took out the telephone lines and some pretty large branches are leaning on the overhead wires. I think those wires aren’t going to stay up much longer. We are going to loose power and soon I think. There’s one other thing.” He looked at Ju and the look in his eyes made Ju pale. “The mustang is totaled.”

Toshi was glad Ju was sitting down. He looked like he would have fallen if he was standing. Toshi knew how much he loved that car, how much care and love and work he’d put into it. It was a blow he tried to soften. “Just think. If you had gotten here when you originally planned, you may have been in the car when the quake hit. Aya could have been mourning you and not just the car. Oh! Are the phones working? Have you tried to call her?”

Ju gave him a dazed look but nodded. As much as he would have liked to he was not going to cry over a car…not where anyone could see him at least. “No service. I’m not surprised at that. I just have to pray she’s okay. I hate to say it but your TV is toast. Turn on the radio. Maybe we can find out what’s going on.”

Toshi turned the radio on to the emergency station. The quake was a 6.6 and centered about 50 miles from them. His area was hit pretty hard but apparently farther out was relatively unaffected. Ju breathed a sigh of relief. Aya should be okay. The hospital took a hit though and the emergency forces were concentrating on getting the patients to a safer part of the hospital and accessing whether the building was safe. If he knew his wife she was either on her way there or already there. She had probably figured that it was no use trying to call him. She thought he was safe at home. Ju was thankful that at least she wouldn’t be worried.

Who he worried about was Yoichi. The young man hadn’t so much as moaned though his breathing was strong and steady. Ju just made sure he was warm since he couldn’t seem to rouse him and prayed that someone was on their way to help. He cleaned his head wound which looked more superficial then anything. He looked up as Toshi sat down beside him and offered him a beer.

“We may as well drink them while they are cold. Bathroom is shot though so if you have to pee, use the empty bottle.” Ju looked slightly sick at the thought but he’d done worse when the need arose. Both men were silent for a while, just drinking their beer and thinking. Toshi got up long enough to bring them some bottled water, canned fruit that had pop top lids, and a few other items they would need if the wait turned out to be a long one. Everyone who was smart kept a survival kit just in case. It was a wise thing to do when earthquakes were a common thing. He pointed to the bags that Ju had brought in. “What’s in those?” Ju told him snacks and some store bento boxes. He only had two though. Toshi nodded and the two fell silent again.

Toshi was about to get up for another beer when Ju asked a very quiet why. Toshi didn’t need to ask why what. He went to get two more beers then settled down next to Ju. He was silent for a while but when he started talking it was quietly and the pain in his voice made Ju give him a long look.

“Because I’m lonely Ju. I don’t think you realize how lucky you are. You have a lovely wife to go home to that loves you so much it hurts to see it sometimes. You’ve got your sister and nephew. I know they don’t live with you any more but they did for years. Look around you. What you see is what’s left of a long standing bachelor’s pad. I was hoping that I’d have something lasting with Kiba. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll always love him but for now and for who knows how long, we can’t be together the way I’d like. I’m hitting 50 fast. For someone as good looking and young as Yoichi to even look my way is an ego boost. For the record, we didn’t do anything but some heavy petting. I just couldn’t. Not after seeing your reaction. The only reason why he was here was because we’d been up watching movies and he didn’t want to drive home after the few drinks we’d had. Oh and his car is toast too. It was parked in the back. There is no back now. Just tons of rubble. What I’d really like to know though is why you reacted the way you did. It’s not really like you. I’ve been bi and you’ve known it since the day we met. I can’t believe that me and Yoichi would drive you to this point. What’s going on?”

Ju was quiet for so long that Toshi believed the man wasn’t going to speak at all. He checked Yoichi again and slowly began his tale.

“You know both of my parents are dead now right? Well my mom, she died when I was around twelve but her and my dad split up a couple of years before that. Oh they continued acting like they were married but she was out and about while dad worked and took care of us. Finally he’d had enough and put her out. I was completely devastated. My mom doted on me while my dad was the hard nosed one. I was ten. What the hell did I know? I went to live with her. Mom was really pretty. She always had some guy around her. Hell. I learned all about cars from one of them. I liked him. He stuck around for about a year but he found out she was cheating on him and I never saw him again. Finally she came home one day with this smarmy guy. I hated him at first sight. He was always smiling and he liked to hug me or pat me on the head. It was like he would find any excuse he could to touch me some kind of way. It began to creep me out. Then my mom began leaving me with him when she went to work. One night he told me that he liked me more then my mom and he put his hands on me. I told her about but she called me a liar and sent me back to dad. I was a whole grown up eleven years old. It wasn’t the fact that we were both males that freaked me out. It was that we were both males and he was old enough to be my dad. I found out later that she caught him with a young boy and threw his creepy ass out but I would never go back to stay with her. She died about a year later from a respiratory infection. I blamed myself for a long time thinking that if I’d convinced her I was telling the truth then maybe I would have been there when she got sick and she wouldn’t have had to go through that alone. I guess seeing you all over Yoichi brought all of that back.” Toshi nodded in understanding and both men fell silent again.

They both jerked at the sudden sound of Yoichi speaking. “I’m sorry I said what I said dad. I didn’t mean any of it and what the hell happened?”

Ju was so happy to hear his voice that he forgot about his knee and moved too suddenly, hissing from the pain. While Ju was drawing in short breaths of air and trying to fight down the sudden nausea from the pain, Toshi filled in Yoichi on the quake and both his and his dad’s car.

“The mustang! Dammit! I never got to drive it!” Ju took that opportunity to tell Yoichi that Toshi’s piece of shit van had survived both tree and collapsing buildings. Toshi shrugged. “Karma?” Both men glared at him.

“You wouldn’t happen to have any thing for a headache in that kit do you? My head is killing me.” Ju looked at what was in the kit and gave Yoichi some Tylenol. “It’s safer then aspirin at the moment. Other then that, how do you feel? Anything feel broken or bruised?” When Yoichi said no both men breathed a sigh of relief.

They talked a little more, mainly to clear the air. Toshi almost got another punch from Ju when he apologized for gawking at Aya then saying he enjoyed it all the same. If Ju could have moved freely he’d have popped him for that crack. Yoichi got a glare when he said he was with Toshi on that. Both men told Ju to appreciate the fact that HE was the one that got the pretty pretty princess. He still glared at them but he didn’t argue that particular fact.

They’d been there for hours when the sound of a power saw broke through the silence around them. A couple hours and some scary moments later, they were freed from the rubble. They took both Ju and Yoichi to the hospital. Most of the building was fine but with so many injuries they were holding triage on the grounds out front. Aya and Hana were both there though Hana wasn’t due back to work for another couple of weeks. Acchan had little Eri at home.

When Aya saw her husband and stepson brought in she passed on the job she was doing to another nurse and hurried to their sides. Ju had smudges of dirt on his face and hands and his clothing was dirty but she didn’t care. She peppered him with soft kisses, found out what was wrong with him and Yoichi then got them some medical attention. Toshi was standing off to the side watching them with a sad look on his face. Aya didn’t know what had happened but she went over to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek and a hug.

“You know you are family too don’t you? You’re like the big brother I never wanted but love all the same. When things settle down, I hope you and those two over there will tell me about today. I have a strong feeling that it’s going to be an interesting tale.”

Toshi nodded with a smile and acted like the tear he was wiping off of his face was just another speck of dirt.

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~ by jujuken on August 29, 2014.

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