To Shouta, the next three days were like living a small part of what he wished his future would be like. Every morning he would wake up with the small child in his arms and Ren holding on to them both tightly. The three of them would sit around Ren’s small table and eat breakfast together before Ren would go downstairs into the cafe and bake a few items for that day.
While Ren worked, Shouta would teach Misaki how to button up his shirts properly, brush his teeth and help clean up around the house. Misaki was always smiling happily, as if this was the most grand adventure he had ever been on. Very rarely would he ask where his parents were, he was just happy to be with his sensei and Ren.
Before Shouta would leave with Misaki to the preschool, Ren would hand the both of them homemade lunches filled with the things they both loved. Shouta always wished for a kiss goodbye in those moments, but he would just smile sadly and leave to go to work.
Ren would still go pick Misaki up from the preschool so Shouta could finish what he needed to before coming home. He would leave the cafe to Akira while he gave the small child a bath, changed his clothes and then the two would go to the store to buy ingredients for dinner. By the time Shouta got home, all the dinner prep would be completed.
However, during these three days Shouta learned many things about Ren that he never knew. He found out that even though Ren baked sweets and sold them well, he disliked his coffee to be sweet and would only take it black. Everyday Shouta would come home and have to clean up after the disaster duo from the bathing escapades. That was when he realized that Ren was immaculate in front of customers but in his personal life, everything was thrown wherever and he didn’t clean up very well. Shouta also found out that there were several things that Ren did not eat. He was fine with cooked bell peppers but hated them fresh. Little things like that was something that Shouta found out daily and committed them to memory.
The day that Misaki was to go home, Shouta felt his heart constrict and he didn’t want these Eden like days to end. Ren felt the same way, but this was because he hated the sad look that came into Shouta’s eyes everytime he mentioned that Misaki would leave.
Even as the both of them said goodbye to Misaki in the cafe that fourth night with him, Shouta was crying softly and Ren didn’t know what to do. He gripped his hands tightly into fists and watched Jun take his excited son home. Misaki was chirping happily about everything he had done in the last few days, and Jun was smiling softly, that love of fatherly love engulfing his face.
When he glanced back to look at Shouta, Ren noticed how red his face was from the tears coursing down his face. Quietly, Ren reached out a hand, softly wiping away his tears and guiding him upstairs. “Come on, take a shower, you’ll feel better afterwards.”
Shouta sobbed and let Ren lead him upstairs. After Ren got the shower running, he left Shouta alone, closing the door quietly behind him. Sighing at how quiet the house was without Misaki, Ren went over to his small kitchen and made himself a quick cup of coffee. As the coffee pot dripped into the silence it suddenly hit Ren that he had forgotten to give Shouta a towel and a change of clothes.
Leaving the coffee, Ren hurriedly grabbed the towel and the clothes before quietly knocking on the door. When there was no answer over the sound of the running water, Ren opened the door and put the towel on the counter.
Ren’s bathroom was on the smaller side with a shower that was also connected to the bath. However, instead of traditional shower curtains, it was inlaid with a glass door. As Ren turned to tell Shouta he brought him a towel, something unexpected caught his eye. Even through the steam and the slightly fogged door, Ren could still see it clearly and he was frozen in place because of it.
There on Shouta’s back, covering most of his left side, was a large tattoo. What stood out the most was the prominent skull with red and pink cherry blossoms falling around it, the most visible one being a single flower petal that fell from it’s eye like a tear. Behind the skull was a light brown tree branch that was half covering a yellow hued rising moon. Smoke swirled around these objects and they rested atop a black and grey raven’s wing. It was as if saying death and rebirth could always be hidden within the shadows of a raven’s wing.
Even in the present society, tattoos were not a common thing, especially for omegas. Immediately, Ren knew what this tattoo on Shouta’s back represented.
As the shock of Shouta being a yakuza slid through his system, he thought of everything he knew. When a Yakuza would get a tattoo on their back, normally they started with an outline, which meant they had just entered the group and had not earned the right for it to be colored. However, Shouta’s had color on his, even if it was light, it was still there.
Once a design was colored in, if their entire back was covered, this usually meant that they had provided significantly to the group and had earned the tattoo like a badge of honor. So even though his entire back was not covered, most of it was. Which meant that either Shouta had a high role within the group he belonged to, or he had contributed significantly.
Trying to calm himself, Ren thought of going back and sitting down, but unconsciously he opened the door the the shower and ran his fingers along those flower petals. Beneath his fingertips, Shouta’s skin was warm and soft. Shouta yelped and moved his body away from that touch like a frightened kitten. He turned his head around and stared at Ren with giant eyes.
“What are you doing in here?” Shouta stuttered, holding his hands to his heart, not even seeming to mind that Ren had seen his back. Ren’s fingers ran across those stark red petals once more, eliciting a shudder from Shouta.
Ren couldn’t help himself as he asked, “What is this?” His fingers traced every outline of the tattoo, making Shouta squeeze his eyes shut as he forced down his moan.
“My tattoo?” Even though he tried so hard to resist, a moans still escaped with those two simple words.
Ren’s fingers trailed upwards, gripping lightly at the stark white mark against Shouta’s nape. The hot water made it more prominent, almost as white as snow against his already pale skin. “I know what it is, stupid,” Ren growled, his fingers collecting water droplets and his shirt becoming wet from the water that was escaping from the shower. “Why do you have it?”
Unconsciously Shouta leaned into that light caress against his neck. He would always find himself wanting more. To be touched longer. “My father made me get it a few years back.”
His shirt now soaking wet, Ren didn’t care any longer as he reached around Shouta and turned of the water. The entire front of his chest mashed up against Shouta’s back causing the both of them to shudder. Cutting off the sensation by pulling away, Ren asked, “Why would he do that?”
“He’s,” Shouta paused and made up his mind to tell the truth. “He’s the head of the Ichikawa Group.”
It took a moment before Ren was able to answer. “The number one yakuza group in this area?”
It was a mere whisper, but Ren could still hear it, “Yes.”
Ren pulled away from Shouta, his eyes glaring at that snow white scar as he ran a hand through his auburn hair. “And I marked his son? Shit.”
Worried, Shouta turned around, his dripping wet, naked body now before Ren’s widening eyes as he explained, “Don’t worry he won’t do anything to you now.”
Unable to form complete sentences because all he could see was Shouta’s lithe naked body, he only caught that last word, “Now?”
“Well,” Shouta muttered, running his own hand through his wet light brown hair, water droplets dripping off his skin. “he wanted to kill you.”
“What?” This was a screech and it cause Shouta to cover his ears lightly before looking at Renand reaching out to him. It was as if he was trying to comfort a small child with these actions.
“But I told him I would make it work with you,” he said as quickly as possible, his eyebrows scrunched together, “especially once he found out I was pregnant.”
“He knows?” Another screech. “Fuck.”
“He said it’s okay now. As long as you don’t leave me.”
“Shit.” Ren cursed, closing his eyes and looking into SHouta’s bright teal ones. He reached out and grasped Shouta’s small wrist. “How much do I really know about you Shouta?”
“Not a lot apparently.” SHouta muttered, staring at those calloused fingers wrapped around his wrist. It seemed the both of them had forgotten that Shouta was standing there naked with nothing but a sheen of water droplets covering his skin. Jolted to this realization, Ren quickly grabbed the towel behind him and wrapped Shouta within it.
“If we really want this to work out,” Ren whispered, taking a second towel and placing it over Shouta’s head to dry his hair. “I need you to show me the real you. All of you. That includes your family.”
Shouta stared down at their feet, letting Ren dry his hair as he answered in an almost childlike voice. “I don’t want you to meet him yet!”
Sighing, Ren pulled the towel away from Shouta’s head and asked, “Will this be a problem?”
“I don’t want it to be, but…”
“We are obviously different people, so sometimes thing will not work out. But, as mates, aren’t we suppose to find a solution together if we face any problems? Or…” Ren paused, his hand gripping Shouta’s wrist tighter. He sighed, his eyes losing some of their vibrance as he whispered, “Do you not trust me?”
In his heart, Shouta knew that the truth was that no matter how hard he tried to be mature, Ren always seemed to be one step ahead of him. He always noticed if there was something wrong and cared for every part of him as if he was some kind of treasure. It wasn’t about trusting Ren. It was about trusting himself.
Always worrying about how he looked to Ren, he tried to not show the real him as much as possible. But if putting on this fake mask would eventually push Ren away, did he really want that?
No. Shouta felt as if he was stabbed in the heart, and as the hormones coursed through his system, tears fell from his eyes, his sobs quiet.
Ren’s hand lightened on Shouta’s wrist as he noticed the tears. He didn’t know what to say. Instead, he reached out his arms and brought Shouta in close to him, resting his crying face against his chest. Just holding him close as Ren whispered, like a mantra, “I’m sorry.”
“That’s not it.” Shouta sobbed. “I want to treasure the happiness I have now. I don’t want to destroy it by burdening you.”
“You are not a burden. Let me help you share whatever it is. I want to be able to know everything about you, whether it is from your past, or if it is your future. Shouta, tell me if you feel anxious. You seem the type to rarely break down, but like now, I want to see those other sides of you.”
Confused at his own thought process, Ren squeezed Shouta tighter to him, then put a little distance between them so he could look into his bright teal eyes. “What I am saying is…well…it might be my ego, but I want you to give everything to me. Not because we are a fated pair, but because I sincerely want all of you.”
“Lately, I’ve been scared.” Shouta whispered, spilling out his heart. “Scared of you meeting my family, scared of the future with our child. I feel like I am stuck in a whirlpool, going round and round, never stopping. I..all I can do is grow up little by little until the day I can stand tall beside you. I want you to chose me for who I am. Not because of our baby, or because our strings are tied. I also want all of you.”
Their eyes locked on each other and like every other time, they unconsciously began to touch each others skin in light, fluttering touches. Every time they touched, it was as if something warm was flowing through both their hearts, connecting them. When one finally accepted being a couple with the person they loved, not only their body, but their hearts too, would overflow with many warm feelings.
Just light touches were not enough for Ren. He wanted to hold Shouta, touch him, do him. He wanted to rip Shouta’s clothes off and make him blush. He wanted to conquer him inside and out. He wanted to feel the heat of his body again.
Just marking him wasn’t enough. Shouta was like those pure and shining bones engraved on his back, but when Ren saw him all of those thoughts began to fall away like the blood red petals…