Chapter 11:

Chapter Eleven

The Foreign Yakuza

As they ate breakfast, Akira joyfully informed him that the boss was pleased, the party was beneficial, and he had been rewarded. After he finished speaking, David smiled and said, “I'm glad you were successful. I washed two of your dirty shirts; I'll iron them for you when you want to go and hang them nicely in your wardrobe so they don't wrinkle.”

He swallowed his bite and said, “Thanks. Of course, don't think I'll forget about your assistance; half of the reward is yours.” David shook his head and replied, “I don't need to.” Akira frowned and said, “Don't start that nonsense again, big boy. You have to accept.”

- No, Akira, I don't want to. I told you before that I don't accept money from anyone.

- I don't want to give to charity! Think of it as a salary.

- What is the salary for? I helped my friend; which friend gets paid for helping his friend? Of course, if you don't consider me your friend…

He said with a frown, “Don't be silly! Of course, I consider you my friend!” The foreign boy smiled and said, “Then don't talk about money anymore.” Akira rolled his eyes and said, “Okay.” Then a thought came to his mind, and he continued, “So instead of money, you will be my guest for dinner one night, and we will go out. You have no right to refuse.” David looked into his serious eyes, then laughed and replied, “Okay, okay.” Akira smiled triumphantly and continued eating.

After taking a bite, he remembered something and asked, “Ah, how long do you have classes with that girl?” David raised his eyebrows and said, “Haruka-chan? I said six more sessions until the end of my vacation, except for today. Why?”

- Oh, I asked for no reason; does this mean you'll have to return to university after that?

- It is not required; But I have a job to do. I have to review some of the results and write a short paper for a conference in Sendai in the middle of next month.

He whistled and said, “Sendai? How many days do you have to stay there?” David drank his juice and replied, “If I remember correctly, the professor said three days,” then smirked and added mischievously, “Why? Do you miss me?” The bite jumped into the throat of the Japanese boy; he coughed and said, “Are you crazy? Why should I miss you? Are you my girlfriend?”

David gave a rather sad smile and said, “Don't be mad; I was just kidding." Akira let out a loud breath and mumbled, "I'm not mad, idiot,” as he continued to eat.


From that day on, Akira's visits to his new friend increased, and he stayed with him most nights. His demeanor had also changed; everyone in the Shinjuku headquarters of Yonkiko Group had noticed his change in mood. He laughed more, got angry less, and his anger rarely erupted. Although the people around him did not know the reason, they welcomed this change and considered it a sign of the maturity of their boss.

David had resumed his studies and was becoming busier as the conference date approached. Akira called his friend a few days before the conference and said, “How are you doing, big boy? You've been quite busy recently.”

- I'm good, Akira. I'm sorry I'm so busy with the conference.

- It's fine. So, when do you have time to meet me for the dinner I promised?

- Umm... is there a problem if there is no dinner? Because I do data analysis at night.

He frowned on the phone and said with annoyance, “You weren't supposed to disagree.” David said with a shy tone, “I'm sorry, but we can go to lunch instead. How about that?” His frown opened, and he replied, “It's not bad; when do we go?”

- Is tomorrow good?

- Yes, so I will send you the name and address of the restaurant.

- Okay, I'll see you now.

“see you” and hung up. He thought a little about the place. He remembered that Mikitani-san had previously introduced a good restaurant near Nishikobu Park, which was a famous place suitable for special and official meetings. He smiled and emailed the name and address to the foreign boy.


On the promised day, he showed up at the place and waited for his friend, as usual in his t-shirt and black pants, but neat. A little later, the foreign boy, who was constantly looking at his phone and surroundings to find the address, appeared on the street. Akira waved to him with a smile and called him towards him.

David approached him with a smile and said, “I'm sorry, I've never been to this part of Shinjuku before. Have you been waiting so long?” He shook his head as a sign of negation and said, “No, I've been here for a few minutes, so let's go inside,” and walked ahead of him.

Akira had reserved a table upstairs; he sat behind it with his friend and said, “Well, big boy, you are my guest today; order whatever you like.” David said with a mischievous smile, “Are you sure? Don't you want to check your pocket before that? Check to see if you have your wallet.” The Japanese boy paused for a moment before realizing what he meant and referring to the first time they ate together, then he smiled with a frown and replied, “Don't be afraid; I have my wallet and credit card with me. Order whatever you want.”

David laughed, picked up the menu, and after looking at it, he said shyly, “It's all written in Japanese; I can't read.” Akira sighed and said, “Yeah, I forgot. Well, there’s a picture of each dish next to it; see which one you like. I will read its name and tell you what it is made of.” The foreign boy took another look at the menu, put his hand on a picture, and said, “What is this?”

Akira looked at the menu, then raised an eyebrow and said, “Katsudon? It's a regular dish; it's rice with fried eggs and meat. There's so much good and expensive food on the list; why did you choose this?” David smiled and replied, “That's enough; I like the look of it; I want to try it.”

The Japanese boy leaned back in his chair and said with a frown, “Don't tell me you're ordering this because of the price.” David shook his head in denial and replied, “No, I just haven't had it yet; I want to try it,” but that wasn't true. It was a fancy restaurant; it was true that he couldn't read Japanese, but he understood the numbers and prices next to the pictures, and apart from that, he had eaten Katsudon before.

David disliked owing anyone anything; he had learned to be content and never take advantage of a situation. He smiled at his friend in the most reasonable way possible and said, “Well, what do you want to eat?” Akira looked into his eyes a little, sighed, and checked the menu. After a few moments, he said, “I think the tendon is not bad.”

- What kind of food is that?

- It's like your own food, but it has fried shrimp inside.

He summoned the waiter and placed his order. After 10 minutes, their meal arrived, and they both began eating avidly. After the meal, Akira ordered two cups of chamomile tea, and as they sat in peace, Akira said, “Thank you for coming today.” David replied with a smile, “I have to thank you for inviting me, and I have to apologize that due to my busy schedule, you had to change dinner to lunch.”

Then he added without any particular intention, “Thank you, Akira, I really like you,” even though he meant that he loved his invitation and the food, but the way he phrased it in Japanese made it sound as if he was interested in Akira. The Japanese boy, who was confused by this, blushed a little and said, “I-I'm not one of those types of boys, Big Boy. Maybe this is Shinjuku, but I'm not one of those boys.”

David said in confusion, “Those boys? What do you mean? Which boys?” As soon as Akira was about to answer, a voice said, “But I might be.” Both of them turned their heads in surprise towards the person who was speaking, but Akira's demeanor changed when he saw the person who had spoken, and he said with a serious frown, “What are you doing here?”

David was taken aback by Akira's rage and returned his gaze to the stranger. The stranger was a young boy with gorgeous copper hair that was brushed to one side. He had bright eyes and a kind smile. A small mole under his right eye and a silver chain earring on his left earlobe added to his charm. He wore gray jeans, a vest, and a white shirt. In David's opinion, he resembled an actor or a Japanese fashion model.

The boy next to the table came and said to Akira with the same smile, “Oh, what a warm welcome! I'm glad to see you too.” The Japanese boy, who was red with anger, wanted to jump up and shout, but David grabbed his hand in time and said, “Please, Akira, please don't draw attention; calm down.” The stranger said with a grin, “Your friend is right, Aki-chan; you shouldn't start a rampage.”

Akira gave the stranger a disgusted look but didn't get up because of his friend and asked again, “I said, what are you doing here, Riki?” The stranger shook his head regretfully and said, “We haven't seen each other for two years; is that all you're saying? Shouldn't you introduce me to your friend first?” He growled angrily, “Don't dodge like that!” But the stranger ignored him, gave the foreign boy a friendly smile, and said, “I'm Azuma Riki; nice to meet you.”

David stood up awkwardly, gave a half bow, and said, “I'm David Powell; nice to meet you, Azuma-san.” The young boy laughed and said, “You don't have to be formal; you can call me Riki, although my close friends call me Ri-chan,” and then winked at David.

As Akira tried to control himself, He stood up and said, “Are you going to tell me what you are doing here, or should I hit you?” The boy, who was slightly taller than Akira, hid behind David in feigned fear, putting his hands on his shoulders from behind and saying, “Can you see how rough he is? Please don't let him hit me.” David sighed and said, “Akira, please calm down. There is no need for so much violence.”

The Japanese boy, enraged by the stranger's acts, his friend's touching, and eventually his friend's siding with him, gazed coldly into the foreign lad's eyes and asked, “Are you now on his side?” David shook his head and said, “I'm not on anyone's side, but there's no place for a fight. I don't know what's wrong with you two, but please calm down now.” Then he turned his head to the stranger and said, “Please, you too. Don't provoke him so much, Azuma-san.”

“Okay, as you wish, David-chan,” the young boy said in a certain tone, stepping away from behind him. Although Akira was still angry, because of David's words, he suppressed his anger and sat down in annoyance. David turned to the stranger as he stood and asked, “Azuma-san, are you Akira's colleague?” The boy raised his eyebrows and said, “Colleague?’ He looked at Akira and continued with a smile, “Yeah, I'm kind of his colleague; what about you? Do you work with him too?”

David gave a friendly smile and said, “Ah, no, I'm a student. I met him by chance.” Although the foreign boy didn't notice, the stranger secretly noticed Akira's hand clenching in response to the foreign boy's words. He smiled, took out a card from his pocket, pointed it at the foreign boy, and said, “This is my number; I'll be here for a few days; if you want, we can spend time together.”

Akira turned his head away from this scene with gritted teeth, and David respectfully took the card and said, “Thank you, Azuma-san.” The boy laughed and said, “Please, call me Riki.” Then, turning to Akira, and added, “The boss asked me to come to Tokyo for work. So you will see me a lot for a few days; it is better to open your frown,” he said, then nodded to David as a sign of goodbye and walked away from them.

David sat down and said to Akira, “He said he's your colleague,” then asked in a quieter voice, “Does that mean he's also a Yakuza?” As Akira played with his cup, without looking at him, he reluctantly answered, “Maybe.” David raised his eyebrows and said, “Are you okay? Do you have so many problems with him that it makes you so nervous?” Akira raised his head and said with a blank look, “What does it have to do with you?”

David was a bit taken aback, but forced a smile and said, “Ah, yeah, right, it's none of my business.” The Japanese boy suddenly said with unbridled anger, “Yeah, none of your business! You stared at him like a fool! You took his side! You've got his number! Now you can go and have fun with him too!” He wanted to get up when David grabbed his hand and said worriedly, “Why are you so angry? I didn’t do anything.”

- Didn't you do anything?! O yeah! We just met by chance!

He violently pulled his hand from his hand and exited the restaurant, without paying attention to David calling his name. He didn't know why he was so upset, but seeing that bastard and then the foreigner's dumb words made him feel a deep pain in his heart. He arrived at Yonkiko's group's headquarters with a tight and irritated countenance, cursing under his breath. He opened the door to his room, but when he saw Riki talking with Tajima-san in the office, he subconsciously growled, “What are you doing here?!”

Riki rubbed his ear as a sign that the voice was annoying and said, “Do you really need to shout so much? I explained that the boss had ordered me to come to Tokyo, and I arrived to greet Tajima-san. Don't worry, I'll be on a mission in a few days and then return to Kyoto.” Then he craned his neck to see behind him, and the door frame asked, “Where is your foreign friend?”

- It's none of your business!

- Oh, look how angry he is, did I disturb your date?

Akira approached the couch, grabbed his collar, hoisted him up, and said, "Say one more word, and I'll bite your teeth." Tajima stepped between them and asked, “Shinka, please let him go,” then turned to Riki and added, “Azuma, please. You must go, too, and thank you for coming to see me.” Akira loosened his collar, and the boy smiled as he straightened his clothes, then said, “Okay, Tajima-san, whatever you say.”

He walked towards the door but paused in the frame, turned his head, and said with a smirk, “You know, Aki-chan, you always freak out. At first glance, I think he's not a bad boy; if you don't mind, I'll take him.” Tajima stopped Akira, who was about to attack Riki, and said with a frown, “Enough, Azuma, leave!” The boy raised his hand and said, “Okay, okay, but as I know this algae brain, I'm sure without paying for his food He left the boy and came,” and then he left the room as he was laughing.

These remarks stunned Akira, who was struggling to release himself from Tajima's grip. That bastard was correct! He was so nervous that he walked out of the restaurant without thinking and without paying for the food, while he himself had invited Big Boy for a meal. He angrily kicked the table in the middle of the room and yelled.


He did not respond to any of the foreign boy's messages or phone calls for three days. On the one hand, he was angry because of his words, and on the other hand, he was ashamed because of his own mistake. However, he did not receive any further messages on the fourth day, and when this happened again on the fifth day, he became worried.

As he nervously paced the office, checking his phone every few minutes, Tajima asked, “What's wrong, Shinka? Why are you so nervous?” He replied as he continued walking. “It's nothing, Tajima-san; don't worry.”

The man sighed and said, “If you're still nervous about Azuma, he's gone from Tokyo; the boss sent him to Sendai.” Akira suddenly stopped, turned to Tajima, and said, “S-Sendai? Why?!”

- Yes, I don't know the details, it was the boss's order.

Confused, he immediately looked at the calendar and realized that today was the second day of the conference that David had gone to Sendai for. The foreign boy had been in Sendai since the previous day; Riki had gone to Sendai; and David had not messaged since the previous day. He grabbed his phone and dialed Big Boy's number, but there was no answer. Even his messages were corrupted and could not be delivered.

He remembered Riki's words at the door, saying, “If you don't mind, I'll take him.” He felt his heart beat faster. He didn't want this; he didn't understand why, but he didn't want it. He quickly walked towards the door when Tajima asked, “Where are you going?” As he was leaving the room, he replied, “I have to go out of Tokyo; I won't be back today,” and he left the room half-running.


Around 7:00 p.m., David returned to the dormitory provided to him. He was very tired. He looked at his phone screen, sighed, and sat on the floor. He decided to take a shower before eating and sleeping early. As soon as he unbuttoned his shirt, the doorbell rang. Who could it be? He sighed and went to the door. As soon as he opened the door, he was face to face with Akira, who was drenched in sweat and looking at him with a frown.

David blinked in surprise. Just as he was ready to say anything, the Japanese boy's gaze shifted from his face to his chest and its exposed buttons, and his eyes widened. He pushed him away with rage, entered the room, and exclaimed, “Where is he?”

David closed the door, came in, and said in confusion, “Where is who?! What are you doing here?” Akira turned to him, grabbed his collar, and said, “Don't play with me, you damn! Where's Riki?!” David blinked a few times, then said, “Azuma-san? How should I know where he is? Why are you looking for him here?”

The Japanese boy yelled, “Do you think I'm stupid?! You two are in Sendai! You don't answer your phone, and your clothes are like this!” Then he pinned him firmly to the wall and said, “Tell me where he is?!” David's eyes suddenly became cold and hard, and he said in a threatening tone, “Leave me.”

- Oh, what if I don't? What do you want to do?!

David closed his eyes for a few seconds to calm himself down, then said in a calmer tone, “Please leave me.” Akira gave an angry look and said, “I won't let you go until you answer me!” As he tried not to raise his voice, the foreigner replied, “What answer? What are you doing here? You came all this way to make a fuss? That's all you've got, right? Whenever you get bored, you find me, start a fight, beat me, then leave me alone!”

- Why are you talking nonsense?

- Nonsense? Oh, yes, I'm sorry! I was the one who invited you to eat, and then I left! I was the one who didn't answer calls or messages for three days! Yes, you are right, as if it is all my fault!

Akira's look wavered and he was embarrassed; his hands loosened slightly on his collar and he said, “I-I'm sorry, I just...just...” David looked into his eyes with an emotionless look and a cold smile then said, “Just What? You must be just enjoying teasing me; you sat down with your friends and said that ‘I found a foreigner who is good for mocking,’ right? That guy, Azuma, must be part of your plan, isn't he? Probably He must come behind the door now and suddenly add to this situation.”

Akira scowled at him and said, “Don't be stupid! I never did that.” David lowered his head and said, “So why? Why are you doing this to me? I haven't heard from you for five days, and then you suddenly come here. And you start fighting without saying anything. What the hell did I do to you…?”

When Akira noticed the foreign boy's tears falling from the corners of his eyes, he let go of his collar and watched him sit on the floor. As his fury was replaced by shame, he took a step back and said, “I-I don't want to bother you. I just…” He took a step back again, leaning against the wall. As he felt his eyes sear, he sat down on the floor, depressed.

He bowed his head, clutched his hair, and whispered, “I don't know what's wrong with me; I've never wanted to hurt you since I saw you, since we met." You were the first to figure out my secret, but you didn't ignore me... You helped me... You were nice to me... To someone like me...” He gathered all his strength to stop his tears from falling.

David raised his head, looked at him with red eyes, and said, “First you yell, then you say this. Why did you come all the way to Sendai? How did you find my dormitory?” Without raising his head, he said, “I heard from Tajima-san that Riki came to Sendai, and you haven't sent any message since yesterday. When I thought about it, I remembered that you came to Sendai because of the conference. I thought... I thought that because you were with him, you didn't message me, you didn't answer whatever I called too...”

- And then you decided to come to Sendai? I still don't understand why. You always beat me and fight with me; last time you left me alone in the restaurant, then you didn't answer my calls and messages, so what does it matter? What difference does it make to you if I'm with Azuma-san or someone else?

As Akira stared at the floor, his vision blurred due to tears in his eyes, he softly said, “I don't want... This is not something I desire... I'm not sure what's wrong with me... but simply thinking about it upsets me... I'm not sure why... but I don't want to lose you... I don't want to see you with someone else...” Despite his best efforts, he could feel the warmth of tears on his face.

David was taken aback by his remarks, and he was perplexed to see a child like him, so strong and untouchable, now sitting in front of him with an awful expression and speaking in such a manner. He was lying if he said he didn't feel the same way about him. He wiped his eyes slowly, went to his side, and whispered, “Don't forget, I am a boring person; you are the only one who tolerates me, Mr. Thunder,” and gently placed his hand on his shoulder.

Akira pushed his head forward, placed his forehead on his shoulder, and whispered, “I'm sorry... I know I always cause you trouble...” David hugged him gently and friendly, then added, “Don't say anything else; just calm down. I don't like someone like you crying.”


Akira came out of the bath wearing David's oversized t-shirt that reached his thighs and a small towel around his neck. After he had calmed down, he separated himself from him and planned to go back to Tokyo, but Big Boy stopped him and told him to wait until tomorrow. Then he forced him to go to the bathroom and gave him a dress to wear.

Despite the fact that David has seen his body multiple times, he is now embarrassed for not wearing pants. Even glancing at the foreign boy's face after what he had said made him feel embarrassed. He struggled to keep his voice normal as he said, “The water is hot; go take a shower.” David stood up and smiled at him as he walked towards the bathroom door, but he just frowned and looked away.

Akira sat down on the lone bed in the room and began to dry his hair while the sound of running water came from the bathroom. His mind was racing, and he still couldn't figure out why he had traveled all the way to Sendai. Why did he care so much about this guy, and why was he about to say those words? He was embarrassed to remember his words and lied down on the bed, his cheeks flushed. He said to himself, “Akira, why are you acting like a high school girl?”

He sighed and shook his head, then noticed his phone's notification light flashing, took it up, and saw that Tajima-san had called him several times. He contacted the number with a sigh, and after a few moments, Tajima said from behind the line, “Shinka?" Are you okay? "Where are you?”

- I'm sorry, Tajima-san. I didn't realize you had called. I'm out of Tokyo; what happened?

- One of our men was attacked; his leg was broken, and he was beaten. I was worried that you might also be injured.

- What?! Nakayama's work again?!

-We don't know yet. When will you come back?

- Probably tomorrow.

- Okay, we'll talk more when you come back.

- Okay, you and others should be more careful, see you.

As he hung up the phone with a frown, David said from behind him, “What happened?” Akira, taken aback by his unexpected appearance, turned to him, blinked, and said, “Why do you suddenly appear like a ghost?!”

David said with a shy smile, “I'm sorry, I just came out of the bathroom; I saw you talking; I didn't want to make a noise.” Akira sighed, sat back on the bed, and said, “Our men in Shinjuku have been attacked again.” The foreign boy asked worriedly. “Is it the work of the same ones who attacked you?”

Akira shrugged and answered, “I don't know, but it's probably the work of those bastards; no one else dares to mess with our group.” David sat down on the floor and said, “I'm glad you came here and you're not in danger.” He was flustered and said, “Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow to see what's going on.” David paused a bit and then asked, “Can we come back together tomorrow evening?”

- T-Together?! Why?!

David tasted the words in his mouth a little and then said, “I will finish my work at noon, then I want to see the mausoleum and statue of Date Masamune. I said... I said maybe you have time to go together, and then we can go back to Tokyo together.” Then he immediately added, “Of course, I understand if you don't want to come; it might be boring for you, and besides, if you come back early, you can get to your work.” Then he gave him a smile and continued, “Ah, forget what I said.” He stood up and went to the dormitory's small refrigerator.

Akira followed him with his gaze; it didn't matter if he returned later; plus, he owed this guy an apology, and now was a good opportunity. Of course, he felt good about being with him and coming back with him. He tried to tone down his enthusiasm and said, “Hmm, I don't think it will be a problem if I come back later; if it's only until the evening, it's fine.”

With a shocked expression on his face, David asked, “Are you sure?” As the Japanese boy nodded his head in agreement, he smiled and said, “Thank you.” He then approached him with a plate, held it out to him, and added, “Sorry, I don't have a kitchen to cook in here; this is all I have.” Six triangular sandwiches, similar to the ones they had eaten on their trip to Nagoya, were contained within the platter.

Akira took one with a smile and replied, “That's fine, I like them,” and bit into it with pleasure. David sat on the floor, took a slice, placed the dish on the bed next to him, and began eating. After finishing the sandwiches, Akira said as he wiped his hands and mouth with a napkin, “Well? What do you want to do now? Study again?”

As David collected the plate and cleaned his hands, then said, “Oh no, I'm so tired, my eyes are forced to stay open.” He looked at the clock and added, “Of course, it's almost 9:00 p.m.; if you can't sleep, you can watch TV.” Then He pointed to the small monitor in the corner of the room and said, “Unlike my house, there is a TV here.”

Although it was still early, Akira paused, but he was tired after the long travel to Sendai and then the search for David's dorm, so he replied, “No, I'm tired too; we'd better sleep.” and laid down on the bed.

David rose up with a smile and turned out the light in the room, saying “good night” after a few moments. Akira automatically answered “good night,” but something plagued his mind after a few moments. They were now in a dormitory, and all they had was a bed, so where was Big Boy sleeping? He sat on the bed and looked in the darkness of the room under the soft light coming in from the window.

The foreign boy was lying on the floor with his back to him; his bag was under his head, and his shirt was pulled over him. Akira said with a frown, “Why did you sleep there like the orphans?” David turned his head to him and said, “What? So where should I sleep?” Akira said with a pause, “You can come on the bed.”

- On bed? Why? Don't worry, Akira; I don't want you to sleep on the floor. I have no problem. Relax.

He rolled his eyes and said, “Who said I wanted to sleep on the floor?” Then he shyly added, “The bed is for one person, but it's wide enough for the two of us to fit in.” David sat down and stared at him in the dark room with surprise.

Akira, who was confused by his look, said, “Don't sit there like a fool; you had taken a bath. If you sleep on the hard floor without a bed, you will be in pain in the morning.” David paused, then got up, put his shirt and bag in the corner, and lay down on the bed next to the Japanese boy, who was lying down again with his back to him. After a few moments, the foreign boy said softly, “Thank you.”

Akira cleared his throat and said, “Don't think I'm one of those boys; I just feel pity for you.” David said, as his back was to him, “Which boys do you mean? You said the same thing that day in the restaurant, but I didn't understand.” The Japanese boy, who felt a little warm from embarrassment, replied, “Those boys... You must have seen a lot of them in Shinjuku...”

David thought for a while, then said with a little doubt, “You mean, mate? The ones who spend time with clients by the hour for a fee?” Akira replied, “Mate? That's what foreigners call them? We call them Urisen.” David sighed and said, “I don't know what other people call them, but I say mate. It's true that they are with clients for money, and some of them are also prostitutes. But I don't think they are bad people; few people are willing to have such a job out of passion, so we shouldn't judge them.”

Akira smirked and said, “I didn't know you cared about them so much.” David sighed and said, “I've never met any of them, but I think they have the right to live and be respected. I don't know why you think I should confuse you with them. But anyway, I don't think you are like them.”

“But you said you love me.” This word jumped out of his mouth unconsciously. He quickly put his hand in front of his mouth and narrowed his eyes shyly. David sat down on the bed and said in surprise, “I-I said that? when?” Akira was silent from embarrassment and still lying down with his back to him. He cursed himself in his heart for speaking without thinking.

David put his hand on his shoulder, shook it, and said, “Hey Akira, I'm talking to you; when did I say that?” Akira sat down slowly and, without looking at him, said, “That day at the restaurant.” David raised his eyebrows, placed his hand on his chin, and thought for a moment. He remembered that he meant the Japanese boy when he had complimented the food and the environment and expressed his interest in them, but he replied, “I'm not one of those boys.”

Remembering that, he closed his eyes for a moment, then said shyly, “I-I'm sorry, Akira, but I meant food and restaurants at that time. I must have made a mistake in saying the words and sentences in Japanese and caused a misunderstanding.” Hearing this, Akira was shocked at first, and then he was even more embarrassed because he had thought like a fool that he had expressed interest in him. Confused, he gave a nervous laugh and replied, “Well, don't worry, it was a misunderstanding; it's better to sleep.”

He lay down and turned his back to him again. David looked at him a little; he didn't know why he felt his heart rate increase with this conversation. He shook his head, trying to get the matter out of his mind, but suddenly he remembered something and said, “Forgive me for asking, but I remembered something. Azuma-san said there that he is one of those boys; he meant that... that means he is a...”

Akira quickly turned to him and said, “Why do you want to know about him?” David shrugged and said, “I'm just curious about what he said; I don't mean to pry into his personal life.” The Japanese boy paused and then said, “Not now; before he joined the group, he was an Urisen in Shinjuku. Now he is the director of the group's Kyoto headquarters.” David nodded and said, “He must be originally from Kyoto, right? I felt that he speaks with an accent.” Akira sat down again and said, “Did you talk to him?”

- You forgot? I mean the same conversation in the restaurant.

- You didn't call him after that?

- Shall I call him? For what? I don't know him.

Akira shrugged and turned his face away from him. David continued, “Of course I wanted to call him when I got back to Tokyo.” The Japanese boy looked at him with a sad look, and as he tried to keep his voice steady, he said, “Wh-Why? Did you like him?”

David raised his eyebrows and said, “Huh? What are you talking about? I was going to call him because of you.” His frustration gave way to disbelief, and he said, “Because of me? What do you mean?”

- Well, you didn't answer my calls and messages. I wanted to call him when I came back to see if he knew about you or not. I had no other way to find you.

- You are lying; if you wanted to find me, why didn't you call him in these two days? Why didn't you answer when I called?

David sighed and said, “Why should I lie? The reason is that my phone is broken. When I got here, at the moment I got off the train, the phone fell from my hand onto the ground. From that moment on, the antenna was cut off, and I couldn't make calls. I intended to When I come back to Tokyo, take it somewhere and fix it, and if you don't answer me again, I'll call him.”

Akira thought about it; now it made sense to him why the messages weren't being delivered. As he was sitting silently, David said, “Why didn't you answer me yourself? What is the problem with Azuma-san that you hate him so much?” The Japanese boy sighed and said, “I'm sorry for not answering. When I got to the headquarters, I remembered that I didn't pay the restaurant bill and my behavior was harsh; that's why I was embarrassed to talk to you.” And with a pause, he added, “I don't hate Riki, but I can't stand him. His behavior, the way he flirts with others, and the fact that he's always looking for things to get on my nerves, make my blood boil.”

David shrugged and said, “I don't think he's a bad guy.” The Japanese boy said with a frown, “You seem to really like him.” David smiled and said, “I don't know him, but apart from his looks, the depth of his eyes wasn't evil, that's all.” Then he added with a bit of mischievousness, “What's the point if I like him? I have a friend; his name is Mr. Thunder, and he came crying that I should not leave him alone and not be friends with another.”

Akira put his head forward and said, “It's like you want to be beaten so much and you want to sleep on the floor until morning, don't you?” David chuckled, raised his hands in surrender, and said, “Just kidding, take it easy.” The Japanese boy pulled his head back, sighed, and added a bit embarrassedly, “If you tell anyone, I cried...”

- I know, I know, you are killing me.

Akira nodded his head in approval. He paused a little; he didn't know what happened to him tonight. He said in a quiet voice, “Look, I know that I am a trouble for you and... I am causing you trouble... I don't know how to behave well and... And... if you want to be friends with someone else or if you don't want remain friends with me... I won't stop you, that is, I don't have that right... you don't have to think about what I said when I came... I don't need pity.” He had utilized all of his might while pronouncing these phrases so that his voice did not shake or reveal weakness.

David took a deep breath and said, “I understand you, because I don't have anyone myself; my family is thousands of kilometers away from here, and I'm not the kind of person to go out and have a friend. To be honest, when you asked me to be together, I couldn't believe that we would become friends, but now I feel that something is missing in my life if you are not there.” Then he continued with a smile, “If you don't get tired of my boring personality and don't leave, be sure that I will never turn my back on our friendship.”

Akira raised his head and looked him in the eyes, which were clear and honest. He was relieved that his blush was not noticeable in the dim light of the room. He smiled nervously and said, “Hmm, fine, so if you break your promise...” David laughed and said, “I know, I'll get beat up.” The Japanese boy also laughed and said, “We better go to sleep.” He lay down, turning his back to him, and said, “Good night, Big Boy.”

David also lay down, turned his back to him, and said “good night,” but as if something remained in his heart, after a few minutes he said slowly and as if he were talking to himself, “If that expression of interest in the restaurant was real, would you accept it?” He waited for a few moments and endured the sound of his heart beating madly, but he did not hear an answer from the Japanese boy.

He slowly turned his head and saw the movement of the boy's shoulder while breathing. He was probably asleep and did not hear anything. David turned his head, sighed, and said to himself, “It's better this way. He said he's not like those boys, so he doesn't like being with another boy.” Blood rushed to his cheeks; he squeezed his eyes shut and said, “What are you thinking? You're stupid! Have you ever dated with a boy before? No! So don't think nonsense. David, you're getting too emotional; you better go to sleep.” He took a few deep breaths to settle himself, and his eyes gradually went heavy.

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