Cleo Alvarez (mdseiran) wrote,
Cleo Alvarez
mdseiran

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[FIC] Keys to a Clockwork Heart, 2/8

Title: Keys to a Clockwork Heart, 2/8
Fandom: Gakuen Heaven
Warnings: None for this chapter, highlight for overall warnings: slash, mentions of rape
Summary: Reunions don't always happen during the best of circumstances.
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8



Once, back at Bell Liberty, Tetsuya had snuck out of his room at night and tried to pick the lock of Kaoru’s room. He’d been caught by Kouji, whose reprimanding had woken both Kaoru and Omi, and after Kouji had left Kaoru had very calmly stomped on his right foot. He had limped back to his room with a smirking Omi watching his back and had endured merciless teasing from Hideaki for days.

Sitting right next to Kaoru’s door now, where he only had to stretch out his hand to reach the handle, felt extremely ironic, and Tetsuya derived no small amusement from imagining what would happen if he did open the door.

He had never though t of Kaoru as a restless sleeper but he heard the creaking of the bed and rustling of the sheets often enough to picture the man turning agitatedly from side to side. The light was turned on for a short while and then off again, which was followed by more tossing and turning and then, eventually, a soft thud before the door opened.

Tetsuya turned a questioning look in Kaoru’s direction, biting back the words of sympathy that wanted to come out regardless of how he suspected they would be accepted. Kaoru’s face suggested he had forgotten there was someone out here and was regretting his decision to leave his room, but Tetsuya saw the squaring of his shoulders as he murmured, “I’m going to the kitchen.”

He settled for a nod and remained seated, tapping his earpiece twice to activate the microphone. “Fuchida, Saionji is heading your way.”

He waited for Fuchida’s ”Copy that,” before gesturing towards the end of the hall with a small smile. He received a nod in return and enjoyed the sight of Kaoru’s bed-mussed hair slipping away from his shoulder and down his back, the curls unfurling the slightest as they settled. Really, Tetsuya thought, it was a good thing Hideaki was nowhere near him at that moment, or the mocking would never have stopped.

It only took a few minutes before Fuchida alerted him that their charge was heading back, and Tetsuya, in a rare moment of gallantry, leaned over in his chair and placed his palm against the door to keep it open for him. Kaoru paused at the threshold, long enough for Tetsuya to notice the look on his face, and without really meaning to he shifted his hand to lightly graze the other man’s arm. “Everything okay?” he asked quietly after suffering the rather predictable raised eyebrow for the barely-even-there touch. He noticed the stiffening of Kaoru’s back, belying his spoken, “Yes,” and causing him to slowly get to his feet. He gently but forcefully placed a hand on Kaoru’s arm to turn him around, so that he could at least look him in the eye. The badly concealed fear he saw there made something in his chest ache. He had seen this look before, many times during the course of his work, but never on someone he knew. Someone he cared about.

A sharp tug from Kaoru caused his arm to slip free of Tetsuya’s grasp and he quickly murmured an apology for grabbing him so suddenly. His hand found its way to his own hair, running through it and pulling sharply at the end of the strands. He considered it carefully for a moment, then asked, “Do you want me to get Shichijou?” Kaoru hesitated but then shook his head. “You know this is why I’m here, right?” he said then, keeping his eyes fixed on the redhead’s face. “So that you can sleep peacefully.” His words elicited no response and he sighed. “Would it help if I sat next to your bed?” was his next attempt, only half-serious, enjoying the glare and the haughty sniff Kaoru granted him.

“I hardly think that would help me sleep better,” the man bit out and Tetsuya decided against the suggestive leer that would have made its way to his lips were this any other occasion. “What if I stay out here and you leave the door open?” he asked instead.

The response was slow in coming but his patience and restraint paid off when he received a nod, albeit hesitant. He pushed the door open again and followed Kaoru into his room. The small bookcase in the corner provided plenty of heavy volumes suitable for keeping a door open. He selected one at random, placing it against the door and checking to make sure it stayed open before leaving the room. He repositioned his chair a little, enough so that his shoulder was visible from where Kaoru was lying, hoping to provide as much reassurance as he could.

When the only sound coming from the room half an hour later was the sound of Kaoru’s even breathing, Tetsuya allowed himself a furtive peek at the man’s sleeping form. And if the look was bordering on tender, there was no one there to see him do it.

---

Whenever he took on a case, Tetsuya reduced his sleeping hours from the eight his flexible job normally allowed him to five hours snatched whenever the occasion presented itself. He made up for the lack of sleep by dragging a randomly chosen member of his team for a short sparring session every morning and following the exercise with a cold shower. The garden at the back of the house lent itself perfectly for the former, and Omi had graciously offered him the use of the larger bathroom which he gladly accepted.

He hunkered down next to his bag after his turn in the shower and tried to find a clean shirt for the day, reflecting ruefully that he would have to return to his apartment for clean laundry soon or risk Kaoru’s wrath by mixing their clothes in the washing machine, walking around in reeking shirts or walking around buck naked. The towel he had slung over his shoulders when he realized he had forgotten to bring a clean shirt into the bathroom dangled down into his bag and got caught in the zipper twice before he pulled it away and tossed it on the floor. The towel was followed by several pairs of jeans similar to the one he was wearing already, but nothing to wear over them. He sighed heavily and put his earpiece on, giving it two taps. “One of you help your boss out and lend him a shirt would you?”

The channel filled with laughter which he endured, and an offer of a T-shirt from Handa, who was roughly his size. “Remind me to give you a raise,” he muttered, and took out the earpiece after Handa promised to get the shirt to him somehow. He took the time to separate the dirty and clean laundry in his bag since half the items were on the floor anyway, and didn’t notice the person coming up behind him till he spoke.

“You have scars,” the man said, with no little amount of shock. Tetsuya turned around and came face to face with the white T-shirt dangling from Kaoru’s hand. He surged to his feet and scratched at the back of his neck with one hand, head ducked a little. “It’s not the only one I have, but it’s not really a big deal,” he offered after the awkward silence. He kept his eyes cast on Kaoru’s shoes, avoiding the look that was sure to be on his face, and was startled at the light touch on his right side. The thin, elegant fingers traced the thin but very visible scar curling around part of his torso, and for a moment he forgot the topic of their discussion in favor of enjoying the unexpected but welcome sensation.

“Is this why you left the force?” Kaoru asked, and the moment shattered even though he was still being touched.

Tetsuya’s eyes turned to the scar and he shook his head. “I did leave after that stabbing, but it had nothing to do with that.” The pale hand slipped away and he repressed the urge to sigh in disappointment. When he finally dared to look at Kaoru’s face he saw none of the pity he had expected. Instead, the raised eyebrow eloquently conveyed his doubt, and Tetsuya found himself grinning. “Honestly, Kaoru-chan, it was the paperwork more than anything that made me decide to leave.” The eyebrow went down then and Kaoru rolled his eyes. “Why am I not surprised,” he muttered, tossing the shirt at Tetsuya, who quickly shrugged it on.

“That wasn’t the only reason though,” he found himself saying just as the other man turned towards the door. “I wanted to actually help people, not find the bad guys after people’s lives were already lost.”

He turned his back to the doorway, regretting the words, the impulse, the desire to not have this man, out of all the people he knew, think the worst of him, even when he knew he never had a shot with him to begin with. But it was out in the open now, that one secret not even Hideaki knew about, and he could never take it back.

“That doesn’t surprise me either,” Kaoru said softly, and he stopped wanting to.

---

Sometimes, Tetsuya regretted being the owner of such a large business. The first thing he had done when his one team had turned into three was hire extra people to micromanage the company for him and take care of most of the paperwork. He had, for a few blissful days, imagined he might escape the tedious parts of his job completely. Then reality had come knocking and he had found himself setting apart one day every week to take care of any and all internal business.

The minute he stepped into his office, his secretary descended on him with a list of tasks that made him regret staying away for two weeks. “Naoko-chan, can some of this be postponed to next week?” he finally asked, sounding hopeless even to himself. Naoko pushed her glasses up her nose a little and gave him a scathing look. “You’ll be even busier then. Isn’t the Sato trial in a week?” Tetsuya groaned pathetically and put his head down on his arms. “Alright, alright. Just keep the coffee coming.” The sound of her high heels tapping on the marble floor signaled her exit and he lifted his head with a sigh, hand already scrabbling for a pen. By lunchtime he had gone through a mere quarter of his workload and had a mild headache. The knock on the door was an unexpected but welcome interruption, and when the door opened Tetsuya let out a whoop, snatched his jacket from the coat rack by the door and dragged the visitor outside, shouting that he was going out for lunch as they passed Naoko’s desk.

“You came at the perfect time,” he said, grinning and slinging an arm over Hideaki’s shoulder as they rode the elevator down. “Any particular place you want to go? My treat.” Hideaki smirked and led the way to his car. “No hamburger joints this time, I am still convinced that last one gave me food poisoning.” Tetsuya rolled his eyes and gave Hideaki a friendly shove. “So we’ll go to that Indian place that you like. Just please, drive before someone finds a reason to drag me back inside.”

One reason Tetsuya endured the too spicy food and overabundance of tofu was the chairs in the restaurant, and after ordering he relaxed into his with a happy little sigh that made Hideaki smirk at him over his glass. “So was there a reason you came today, aside from hearing my telepathic plea for help?”

Hideaki’s response was to take a blue folder out of his briefcase and slide it over the table to Tetsuya, who straightened in his seat and quickly flipped it open. He put the disk that slipped out of it in his pocket, giving Hideaki a questioning look before scanning the pages that were left inside the file. “Have Shichijou look that over, it contains a few files I got off Sato’s laptop.”

“You didn’t encrypt them or anything, did you?” He glanced up warily to find the other man smirking at him, but turned back to the page when he shook his head. They both stayed silent until Tetsuya got to the end of the file, and he tapped the cover after closing it. “This is a copy?” he inquired, and when the answer came back positive he folded it and stuffed it inside one of the pockets in the jacket lying discarded in the chair next to him. “Thanks Hide, I owe you one.” The plates were delivered to their tables then and Hideaki raised his eyebrow in obvious amusement. “Only one?”

Tetsuya’s response was rendered less effective, busy as he was tucking into his curry. “How’s dad?” he mumbled in between bites, and the next twenty minutes were spent the same way their meals usually went. He forgot about the work waiting for him at the office and the work waiting for him when he was done there for a while, relaxing into the familiar banter and remembering how good it felt to laugh without restraint. His phone rang just as Hideaki was saying, “Honestly, Tecchan,” and he mouthed an apology as he flipped it open. “You’re interrupting me in the middle of my work so this had better be really important,” he grumbled, and kicked Hideaki under the table when he started to laugh.

”Sorry, but we have a situation here.” The tone of Chiba’s voice made Tetsuya tense and reach for his jacket. He noticed Hideaki gesturing for the bill from the corner of his eye as he started to shrug it on. “What happened?”

”Saionji received a phone call from a potential witness who is insisting they meet in fifteen minutes. The location isn’t secure.” Chiba paused then, and he furrowed his brow in anger. “Let me guess; they’re insisting on going.” The silence over the line was all the confirmation he needed, and he fought the urge to snarl. “Put Saionji on,” he bit out instead, and drummed his fingers on the table while the phone was handed over.

”Niwa,” he heard, and he quickly interrupted, keeping his voice as toned down as he could. “I don’t care if this guy is calling to give you a signed confession from Sato himself, you don’t just go and meet someone you don’t even know when you’re aware that someone out there is trying to kill you!”

Kaoru was quick to snap back at him. ”What choice do I have? The trial is in a week. If this evidence they claim to have will lock the door to Sato’s cell, I have to go get it.”

“Actually, you don’t. I can take a few men and go get it for you.”

He heard an exasperated sigh. ”It doesn’t work that way, Niwa,” and Tetsuya fell silent, frantically trying to come up with a solution. ”Look, I have to go.

“Send me the address; I’ll meet you there okay? Stay close to Chiba and Isoda, both of you.” He refrained from adding ‘be careful’ and snapped the phone shut, grateful to find Hideaki already on his feet. He deftly caught the keys tossed at him. “Take the car, I’ll find a cab,” he was told, followed by a push towards the door and a reminder that next time he wouldn’t get out of paying. His phone buzzed, giving him the address as he put the keys in the ignition and he took off with an uttered curse, ignoring the speed limits and desperately hoping this would not turn out as bad as he feared.

---

He found Kaoru first, hidden between the side of a car and Chiba, who was crouched in front of him with his gun. A sense of relief swept over him when he sidled up next to them and found them both unharmed. He could feel the shivers wracking the pale form at his side and he pressed closer until his knee bumped into Kaoru’s and his hand found solid purchase on his shoulder. He squeezed tightly and turned his gaze to Chiba. “How many?”

“Two, maybe more. We got separated when they started shooting.” Tetsuya nodded and released the safety on his gun, giving Kaoru’s shoulder one last squeeze before retrieving his hand and focusing on the area beyond the car. “Nothing on the channel?” he asked, and bit back a curse when Chiba said, “The bastards chose an underground garage.” He took his cell phone out of his pocket for a moment and was gratified to see they were getting enough reception.

“Call the police, have them send a couple of cars,” he ordered, letting the phone slip back in and tightening the grip on his gun. “I’ll go find the others. Don’t take any risks,” he added, and slipped away into the darkness.

---

Five minutes later, a shot rang out.

---

Tags: fic, gakuen heaven, keys to a clockwork heart
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