The place the agent found for Toshi was nicer than the previous apartment, on the ground floor and far enough from the Ichihara’s that Ju felt comfortable knowing that Toshi wouldn’t be knocking on the door every five minutes.  It was a lot closer than the other apartment though.  Ju turned to his friend.

“Toshi, if you start playing ‘let’s bother the Ichihara’s’ I’m telling you now I’m going to gut you.  I don’t want anyone interfering with my play time with the missus so keep your visits down to a minimum and call first if you can.  If you are coming to see Yoichi, use the shop to get in.  I’ve seen your ugly mug way too much over the past couple of weeks.”  He laughed when Toshi glared at him.  “Now you know how I feel when you say that to me.  Deal with it.”

Yoichi wasn’t paying attention to either man.  He was bouncing up and down, excited that he could ride his bike over if the weather was nice.  Having Toshi closer was a bonus even if he did have to tread carefully.  He’d never met Kiba and from what everyone said of him, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to.  Along with that, he really didn’t want to get too attached to the older man.  While they had fun together and the sex last night had been awesome, the look Toshi would get in his eyes when he talked about Kiba let Yoichi know that falling in love would be a disaster.   He could never truly own the man’s heart so why even try?  He was brought from his musings by Toshi clearing his throat.

“You okay?  You had this look on your face.”  Yoichi nodded.  “Yeah, just thinking.  So are you going to get it?”  Toshi gave an enthusiastic nod.  “It’s perfect.  Close to my new extended family but not so close I’ll be any more of a nuisance than I already am.  Closer to you of course so you can visit me or I can visit you whenever.  It’s a little more than my old place but I can handle it.  I can’t really find a down side so yep.  I’m going to head over to the leasing agent and sign the papers.  I guess I’d better call Kiba and give him the good news.  He wants to decorate.”  Toshi rolled his eyes at that.  “Now if I can only keep him from adding too many frills.”  He walked off pulling out his cellphone.

Ju took that opportunity to talk to his son.  “Yoichi I know you’re grown but are you sure you want to pursue this, him?  You know how he feels about Kiba and I don’t want you to get hurt.”  Yoichi nodded.

“We are just friends with benefits.  I like being around him but I doubt if love will ever enter the picture.   He’s a little too high key for me.  As much as I like being around him, I can only take so much.  He wears me out.”  Ju had to laugh at that.

“I know.  I’ve threatened to shoot him up full of tranquilizers on many occasions.  As long as you are comfortable then I won’t complain much.  You and Toshi did me a service and I’m in your debt.  Just don’t push the issue and I’ll not bother you about Toshi.  Despite how I’ve acted he is still one of my best friends.”

“He knows dad and I want to thank you for looking out for me.  It means a lot to know you care that much.  You and Aya.”  At the mention of his wife Ju grinned.  “Yeah.  She’s something else and then some.  The three of us combined could cause a saint to drink but she loves us and tolerates us.  Can’t ask for more than that other than wondering where that friend of mine is.  I want to get to the dealership and back home while my baby is still hot and bothered.  I’ve got a week of no loving to catch up on.”

They had to wait another 20 minutes but eventually Toshi returned with the keys to his new apartment and a big smile on his face.   He let Ju know that he could move in that weekend and that he’d be out of Ju and Aya’s hair soon.   After the three men had squeezed back into Yoichi’s car, the young man asked about furniture.  Toshi calmly replied that all he needed at the moment was a bed and Yoichi could help him pick one out later.   Both men looked at Ju in surprise when he didn’t say anything smart.  They didn’t need to worry.  Ju was in his own little world populated by a small spitfire of a woman who had won his heart almost twenty years before.

He still marveled at how she could be mad enough at him to spit nails one moment and give him a dazzling smile of forgiveness the next.   He’d been stupid, selfish,  and unthinking when he’d acted like he had about a car that he knew deep down inside was way too expensive.  Despite him trying to trample on the dreams that she had, ones that he had never really bothered to inquire about, she’d forgiven him once he’d bothered to take the time to listen to her and once he’d realized that those dreams pretty much mirrored his own.  He had the men in the car with him to thank for that especially the man sitting in front of him.

He finally noticed that it had gotten quiet in the car and that both men were staring at him in mild shock and amusement.  “What?  A man can’t get lost in his own thoughts now?”

Toshi spoke first.  “If it’s you then lost is the primary word there.”  Yoichi snickered at that but quieted down at the glare he got from his dad.  “And here I was gonna thank you both for stepping in with me and Aya.  I ought to flip you both the bird but…thanks guys.  You both did me a favor and I appreciate it greatly.”

Toshi and Yoichi were wise enough to just say you’re welcome and leave the smart remarks unsaid.  The three rode in a comfortable silence for a while before Ju suddenly told Yoichi to make a u-turn and go back down the street which he did.  Ju had them pull up in front of a shabby looking used car lot.  In the line of cars on display was a beat up Porsche.  It had dents, rust stains and tri-colored paint on it.  The price tag was a little more than Ju had in his pocket.  When he went in to check it out the lot owner said it was being sold for scrap.  It needed an engine and a whole lot of other things.  Ju bought it on the spot, called the shop and had them send the tow truck for it.

He went to where Yoichi and Toshi were waiting.  “I’m gonna ride back in the truck.  You guys go get Toshi a real van and take your time.  I have a feeling the missus is gonna be very happy with me.  Very happy.  Toshi…I will never question your intelligence again.  Your sanity yes but not your smarts.”  He pointed at the poor excuse of a car.  “I’m going to turn that sow’s ear into a silk purse.  Later guys.”

They watched him head down the street to an ATM to get the rest of the money for the “car” he’d purchased before they piled back in the car and headed out to Naohito’s.  Toshi was pleasantly surprised to learn that Aya had called ahead and pretty much browbeat the man into giving Toshi the van he picked out for peanuts.  Toshi had told him about Ju not wanting the car after all and Naohito complained bitterly about all the discounts they’d gotten out of him but Toshi reminded him that they had bought four vehicles from him, discount or no.  He also pointed out that Naohito wouldn’t be enjoying his post on the hospital board if not for getting involved with Aya again.  He also whispered in Naohito’s ear that he had proof that he’d been the one to set Ju up.  That shut the man up quickly.  Toshi was lying through his teeth but he had long suspected that Naohito might have been behind it.  He never broached the issue because he had no proof.  Naohito didn’t have to know that.

As the two men left the dealership, Yoichi told Toshi honestly that he was going to miss not having him around as much.  Toshi felt the same way about his extended family.  They stopped and had a quiet dinner then went back to Ju’s place.  It was quiet in the flat but Ju had left a note telling them that he had taken Aya out to dinner and that they were going to stop past Acchan’s for a little while.  He thanked them again and let them know that once Aya had seen the wreck he was going to convert and found out how little it cost, she had jumped his bones quite nicely.

Toshi eyed Yoichi.  “You know with them out and planning on being out for a while, there won’t be anyone here to hear you howl.”  It was a close thing but Toshi managed to catch Yoichi before he could get in his room to the enjoyment of them both.


~ by jujuken on November 2, 2014.

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