I Got Hurt by JumpIntoMyCore
Summary: Ryo's never met such an attractive man before.
Categories: Japanese Entertainment Characters: NEWS: Kato Shigeaki, NEWS: Masuda Takahisa, NEWS: Nishikido Ryo, NEWS: Tegoshi Yuya, NEWS: Yamashita Tomohisa
Genres: General
Story Type: Multi-Chaptered
Warnings: Slash/Yaoi, Vulgar Language
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 2 Completed: Yes Word count: 8074 Read: 513 Published: Jul 17, 2014 Updated: Dec 07, 2017
Story Notes:
I do not own NEWS.

However I do own the plot line, and any likeness it contains toward another story is purely coincidence.

No harm is meant toward the people in this story, or their families.

This is meant for entertainment purposes only.

1. Chapter One. by JumpIntoMyCore

2. Chapter 2 by JumpIntoMyCore

Chapter One. by JumpIntoMyCore
Author's Notes:
This was for a challenge against Chrisa and the prompt was given to us by Snow.

I did a lot of scene jumping, because I wasn't sure how to tie them altogether smoothly, so if you get confused just let me know, and I try to clear it up.

Other than that, I hope you all enjoy reading this!
Ryo sighed as he and five other people walked into the factory where they worked.

Most of the time he wouldn’t consider the five that went their separate ways lucky, but this time was different, he would give anything to switch places with one of them.

Usually the station where he worked was pretty laid back; as long as he separated the defunct parts from the others, and painted the ones that needed it, while filling his quota within the time limit that was set, he was left alone.

And he liked it that way, he’d rather the station supervisor and the other employees that worked in the same area as him left him alone, the night went by much faster that way.

He stared at the machine in front of him, his solitude was soon going to end though; because of that damn machine.

Every six months one out of two types of people were brought in to train on an empty machine.
The first type Ryo didn’t mind, they were people like him and were going to take over the machine full time, but they were usually brought in after five or more people were fired or quit.

So even then Ryo wasn’t bothered because the station supervisor was the one who trained them, and he was usually too busy with that to bother anyone else.

But, unluckily for Ryo and one other person, only two machines were empty, which meant they were going to get the second type.

“Damn it!” Shige slammed his tray onto the table where Ryo and Pi were already sitting. “I have an empty machine right next to mine, which means I get one of those snot nosed office trainees, and their nose in the air senior beside me for an entire month.”

“How would they walk like that?” Pi tilted his head back, to imitate what someone would look like with their nose in the air. “They’d get horrible neck cramps.”

“Don’t take everything I say so literally,” Shige tossed a fry at the man across from him but Pi ducked and instead it hit one of the female employees.

Shige hid so that she couldn’t see him, and Ryo was the one who received her glares.

“She isn’t looking anymore,” Ryo punched Shige’s leg. “She works in my area, what if she gets the supervisor on my case?”

“You’re so paranoid,” Pi said as he and Shige sat up straight. “You’re not going to be monitored over a stupid fry.”

“I am going to be monitored,” Ryo sighed.

Pi gave him a confused look, “What did you do?”

“He has an empty machine near him too.” A wide smile spread across Shige’s face. “Which means you’re the other sucker stuck with an office trainee at your station. Good, then I can complain about them with you instead of to you.”

“That doesn’t make me feel any better,” Ryo rolled his eyes.

“It doesn’t?” Shige asked. “Because it makes me feel much better to know you’re going to be miserable too.”

“No wonder you haven’t had a relationship in a while,” Pi narrowed his eyes at the brown haired man. “You’re very inconsiderate.”

Shige sighed heavily, drooped his shoulders and stared at the man across from him, “I’ve been single for as long as we’ve known each other, when are you going to realize that, so we can be together?”

“I was wondering when you were going to work in one of your daily “confessions” into this conversation, I was starting to get a little antsy,” Pi sighed with mock relief, and Shige winked.

“Well, break time wouldn’t be over without the two of you flirting with each other,” Ryo said as he stood up, and pushed his chair back. “I’ll see you two later.”

“One of these days you’re going to have to get that stick out of your ass Nishikido,” Shige stood up as well. “And maybe then you’ll be able to joke around and have fun.”

“I think it’s too far up there by now, he’ll have to have surgery,” Pi stretched and stood up too.

Ryo only rolled his eyes and continued to walk.

He shoved his hands into his pockets and rattled the coins around once he reached the vending machines; he was going to need what’s inside the machine starting tomorrow and for the rest of the month to make the days less crappy.

But what could make having to help a trainee that doesn’t want to learn and being scolded by their senior bearable, besides alcohol?

“Nothing,” he placed his head against the cool glass, and closed his eyes.

“This place is amazing.” An unfamiliar voice said enthusiastically.

Ryo hesitantly turned his head, and opened his eyes so that he could get glimpse of the owner.

Two men were walking his way; one of them was rather pretty for a man and awfully high maintenance from his perfectly styled unnaturally blonde hair, to his short sleeved uniform shirt that fit him just right and showed off his slender frame.

While the other one made Ryo regret his decision to look; he had never seen such a handsome man. His brown hair was straightened and styled to fall smoothly along his face, and unlike the man next to him, he chose a long sleeved shirt that seemed a little too big, it fell around him the way a parachute would after the sky diver reached the ground.

“Excuse me,” the voice broke him from his reverie and he realized he had been staring at the two new men, who were now standing in front of him, for an abnormal amount of time.

“Eh?”Was all he could manage to say as he forced himself to look at the blonde.

“It’s just, I was hoping to use that vending machine.” The man gave him a smile and pointed to the one that Ryo still had his forehead pressed against.

And just when he thought he couldn’t get more embarrassed, his body disagreed and as he stepped away from the vending machine the back of his foot slid along the floor, causing him to lose balance, he began to flail his arms, searching for something to grab when he felt a hand on his back.

“Excuse my friend,” He heard Pi say. “Apparently this is his first day learning to walk.”

“I remember my first day,” the brunette spoke this time; his voice was unnervingly smooth, it cut through Ryo’s mind like a million tiny knives. “You’ll get used to it sooner or later.”

Ryo opened his mouth to reply, but Pi beat him to it, “Thank you,” he bowed and pressed his palm against Ryo’s back, forcing him to do the same.

Then without another word he pushed Ryo forward and led him out the doors and onto the floor.

“Those were the new office trainees… what the hell were you doing?” Pi scolded him.

“I- I don’t know,” Ryo answered dejectedly.

“Well, not only do you look like an idiot to the person you’re going to be working near, and training for a month,” Pi said. “But you’re two minutes late coming back from break.”

Ryo threw himself into the first soft piece of furniture he saw, which was his reclining chair, and tried to get comfortable.

But just as his luck would have it, he just couldn’t get comfortable, even when he moved to the couch, and finally, his bed.

He tossed his blankets to the floor, he was exhausted; since he was five minutes late getting back to his station from break, the supervisor had raised the quota he was supposed to reach, and then spent the rest of the night scolding him about how it wasn’t professional, and how it made him look bad.

Then he made sure to let Ryo know if he was late tomorrow or any other day for the rest of the month, he would personally make sure Ryo was fired that day.

But none of that was the reason why he couldn’t sleep; images of that attractive man swimming through his head was.

Ryo hadn’t been attracted to anyone since the first week he had started there and he had been trained by the man who was now his best friend, and on the other side of the factory.

The supervisors had a bad habit of switching people around to different stations, but when Ryo was a trainee, Pi had been at the mold and paint station for five months and took over the duties of helping him when the supervisor deemed him “ready”; though his idea of ready was quickly showing Ryo how everything worked once, then migrating his lazy ass back to his desk so he could play whatever game he had just downloaded onto his computer; luckily, that supervisor didn’t last long before getting fired.

But Pi had taken care of Ryo, putting up with his mistakes and showing him how to do everything over again, and never once complained.

Ryo placed his pillow over his head; why was he thinking about that now? And why did everything he tried to think of to help him get some sleep lead right back to that factory, and then to that damn attractive office trainee.

He let out a loud and frustrated sigh; he had a really annoying month ahead of him.
Ryo placed his badge against the reader and the door buzzed and opened to allow him into the factory.

He placed his hands behind his head and began to walk, slowly.

He had arrived to work seven minutes early just so he could take his time walking through the part of the factory that led to his station.

He hadn’t realized how many people actually worked in that part until he really observed it, how had he not seen these people before? How had he not seen the machines they work on?

He really needed to start observing his surroundings more, he was missing out on a lot of interesting things, and if he was being honest, he was probably missing out on some interesting people.

“Shit,” Ryo swore, he was too busy paying attention to what was around him, instead of in front of him, which caused him to run into a machine.

“Still learning to walk?”

Ryo’s eyes grew wide at the voice; he knew who it was before even looking up.

“I guess so,” he chuckled a little and his eyes met the blonde’s.

The blonde tilted his head a little, “Are you the one who’s going to be training me?”

“That depends, is this the mold and paint area?” Ryo tried to redeem himself with that sentence, but it didn’t help, at all.

“That’s what the sign above us says.”

“Then it looks like I’ll be the one who trains you. But, where is your senior?”

“They told us that we were going to be on our own out here, with one other person training us.” The man answered. “They didn’t tell you?”

“We’re never told anything.” Ryo shook his head. “So they just chucked you out here? Why?”

“They said they were too busy.” He shrugged.

Ryo sighed, “Alright, before I get in trouble for just standing here, let’s introduce ourselves, and then get to work.” He stuck his hand out. “Nishikido Ryo.”

“Yuya Tegoshi,” the blonde shook his hand.

“Well you’re in luck Yuya, you just happened to get the best damn person to train you.” Ryo flashed him his wide smile, and repeated the words Pi had said to him two years ago.

“Great,” Tegoshi said a little dejectedly, and it reminded Ryo of himself.
“Can you believe those guys, just passing those two off on us? Like we don’t have enough to do.” Shige said, even more irritated than he was the day before.

Pi looked at Ryo for an explanation, he knew better than to voice his question since Shige was in the mood to bite someone’s head off.

“The seniors aren’t training the newbie’s, nor are they monitoring us,” Ryo told him.

“They never train the kids anyway,” Shige snorted. “It’s always us that are stuck with that responsibility.”

“Then shouldn’t you be happy that you don’t have one of their seniors looking over your shoulder, constantly pointing out what you’re doing wrong?” Pi said it to calm the other man down, but it only made things worse.

“I’d rather they did their jobs so I can do mine.” Shige barked.

“The trainee can’t be that bad though, can he?” Ryo asked, remembering the attractive man he had made a fool of himself in front of. “I mean the newbie I got works pretty hard, and only needs to be shown how to do something once.”

Shige sighed, “No, Masuda works hard too; he doesn’t catch onto things as quickly though, so he gets frustrated with himself a lot. But I did get some of the parts for my own quota done.”

“Then why are you so pissed that the senior isn’t around?” Ryo asked a little relieved that the attractive man, Masuda, wasn’t lazy.

“Because there is nothing else to be pissed about.” Shige shrugged.

“That truly is the most annoying answer ever.” Pi laughed a little.

“No, the most annoying answer ever, is no answer at all, like when I ask you to go out with me.” Shige somehow managed to work one of his “daily confessions” into the conversation, like he always did, it truly was a gift.

Ryo didn’t know how he did it, or why. Shige knew Pi was straight, but then again, the two had known each other way before Ryo had joined them, so it was probably some inside joke between the two that he would never understand.

The two looked at him, waiting for him to confirm that one of them was right, and he decided he was going to agree with the person he usually never sided with, “I agree with Shige, no answer is the worst.”

That earned him a mischievous grin, and a hard pat on the back from Shige, and a scowl from Pi.

“I hate to start a fight between the cutest couple in this factory and leave,” Ryo returned the mischievous grin, and stood up. “But well, that should teach the two of you not to drag me into your games.”

“Looks like he got that surgery.” Shige started up at the dark haired man.

“About time,” Pi nodded.

“Shut up,” Ryo said playfully, and rolled his eyes before turning his back and leaving the two by themselves.
Ryo shoved his hands into his pockets and walked into the hall with the vending machines.

He shook his head, trying not to relive the scene that had taken place there just a day ago and bumped into someone; he really had to start paying more attention.

“I’m so sorry!” it was a female’s voice, and he recognized it as the factory Janitor’s.

“It’s ok Riko,” he smiled and took a step back from her. “We’re both clumsy people.”

She shot him a shy smile before bowing and making her way to the cafeteria.

He didn’t know why the girl was so timid, she was pretty by the standards of most men, yet she was such a recluse that no one felt the need to talk to her, unless they were yelling, or asking or to clean something up.
He watched after her for a moment before making his way to his station again, where he found Tegoshi already there, and trying to figure everything out on his own.

“You’ve only been here a day, you’ll get it on your own eventually.” He assured the blonde as he switched on the machine.

“Yeah, but I’ll only be on this machine for a month,” Tegoshi said as he eyed the switch before allowing Ryo to show him how everything works again. “The faster I figure this out, the faster I become independent before I have to join them in those offices, you know?”

Ryo only nodded as he began to move parts through, and felt slightly lucky that the man next to him was the person he was training.
“Masuda’s married,” was the first thing Shige said once he joined the other two.

Pi didn’t even look up, while Ryo looked at him wide eyed, “What?”

“You owe me money,” Pi held out his hand toward the brown haired man.

“Damn it man,” Shige sighed at Ryo. “Can’t you be on my side even once?”

Ryo narrowed his eyes at the two.

“He’s not actually married,” Pi explained. “But it’s been two weeks, and as your best friends, it was only obvious that you have a crush.”

“So, we decided to make a bet to see how easily we could crack you,” Shige continued. “And Pi’s way worked immediately, just like he said it would.”

“Right, because I’m just one big joke to the two of you.”

“You know, I’ve gotten to know the guy pretty well, I could introduce the two of you.” Shige wiggled his eyebrows.

“They’ve already met.” Pi told him.

“What? How come I wasn’t informed?”

“Because it was embarrassing,” Ryo answered before Pi could.

“What’d you do? Confess your undying love to him the moment you saw him?”

“Yeah Shige, because I’m not as smooth as you are.” Ryo rolled his eyes. “Teach me your ways please?”

“You’re pretty close to Tegoshi now, aren’t you?” Pi asked, changing the subject.

“Nah, I don’t really know how to describe the relationship between he and I,” Ryo answered. “I call him newbie, and he doesn’t use honorifics, I guess it’s kind of a mutual understanding that we aren’t going to be around each other for very long, so why build a friendship, you know?”

“That’s weird.” Shige scoffed.

“You’re weird.” Pi shot back at him.

“And you’re beautiful.” Shige batted his eyelashes at the man next to him.

“Well, that’s my cue to leave.”

“Actually this time, we’re all leaving at the same time.” Shige said as the three of them stood up at the same time.

“Why? Are you two my babysitters now?” Ryo eyed the two.

“Does it pay well?” Pi asked.

“I’ll watch you for free.” Shige nudged him with his elbow.

Ryo pushed the other mans elbow away, “No thanks.”

“We just felt like leaving early today.” Pi told Ryo.

“You know I don’t trust the two of you, right?”

“That hurts.”

“What do you think we’re up to? We’re just going to wash our hands in the bathroom up front since the sink in the mens room in the back is broken.”

“It’s broken?” Ryo asked. “How’d it break?”

“Someone sat on it, and it fell off the wall.” Pi answered.

“It fell off the wall? How did I not hear about that?”

“Because you only concern yourself with things that have to do with you.” Shige shrugged.

“Are you calling me self-centered?” Ryo scoffed and stopped by the water fountain before the bathroom, he noticed Riko was making her way toward them with a roll of trash bags.

“I’m calling you oblivious.” Shige replied as he a Pi ignored her and entered the bathroom.

Riko glared, and then stuck her tongue out at them.

“You need the trashcan?” Ryo asked her, and she nodded. “Here, give me two trash bags, and I’ll get the one in the mens, and the one out here. Where do I put the full bags at?”

She tore of two bags, and handed them to him and pointed to an open area where two full bags were already sitting.

“You know, you have a pretty voice, I’d like to hear you talk more.” Ryo told her as she walked away after bowing her appreciation, but she only turned around and smiled before heading into the women’s restroom.

“What’s her name?” the voice behind Ryo made him jump.

He turned to find Masuda staring at him, fighting every urge he had to continue staring at the man, Ryo pulled the bag from the trash can behind him and answered as he replaced the bag, “Riko.”

“Pretty,” the man replied. “Do you know her well?”

“Not really. Why, would you like to get to know her?” he wanted to smack himself on the forehead, he could have left the sentence alone with “not really”, but apparently he had a habit of talking without thinking.

“No, it’s just, I’ve seen the way she gets treated,” Masuda replied as he grabbed a paper towel. “I thought it was nice, if you were her friend.”

“She doesn’t really let people get close to her.” Ryo told him, still trying to avoid looking at the man, who was now wiping his forehead with a paper towel. “It’s hot in this factory, isn’t it?” he asked an obvious question, trying to change the subject.

“It is.” Masuda answered. “I may have to talk to one of the supervisors about more fans on the floor.”

“Why? You’re not going to be working on the machines much longer,” that sounded a little ruder than he intended. “I mean, why risk maybe getting yelled at for people you won’t have to see anymore in a couple of weeks?”

“Because, in those offices they have air-conditioners,” Masuda answered, sounding a little offended. “I don’t want to leave this area knowing you all are sweating while I’m in a cool office.”

“I didn’t mean to offend you,” Ryo said as he held the trash bag out, and Masuda dropped the paper towel into it.

“Don’t worry about it,” the man said. “I’ll see you around.”

“See you,” Ryo replied, and stood to his full height as the man walked away, he turned to get the trash from the mens room and found the judgmental stares of his two friends in the doorway instead.

“He started the conversation,” he said stupidly.

“We’re not worried about that.” Pi told him. “We’re worried about the way it ended.”

Shige only nodded.

“How much did you guys hear?”

“Enough,” Pi replied as he took the empty trash bag from Ryo’s hand, and handed him the full one from the trashcan beside the sink, “Look, I know we were joking around at the table, but seriously, just don’t get hurt.”

Ryo opened his mouth to say something, but Shige cut him off, “Don’t say you won’t. Because, what if he punches you in the stomach, or something? You have no control over that.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Pi rolled his eyes.

“We both know what you meant,” Ryo said before Shige could reply. “But now, I don’t have time to worry about that kind of stuff, and neither do you, we all have work to do.”
Another week had passed since the Ryo had begun to train Tegoshi; the blonde had figured everything out and took on the machine entirely by himself. Even though he would never admit it, he was going to miss having the guy at his station, he was the only one fast paced enough to keep up with Ryo.

Ryo found himself leaning against a wall in the main hall with wending machines that led into the kitchen and dining area during break. It had just started and he wasn’t hungry, nor did he want to join the two people he knew were waiting for him at their normal table.

Instead, he just wanted to stay rooted to the spot he was standing in, he wasn’t really sure why though, but watching the people as they moved from one place to another was a little fascinating.
He had never realized how many people actually worked in the same factory as him; or all of the habits said people had formed just from working there.

He noticed one certain habit about the people who walked in with one person or more, they never paid attention to their surroundings. But instead they were so comfortable with the routine they had formed, that they could walk through the hall and get whatever they needing from the vending machines without even taking their eyes off the person they were talking to.

While the people who walked in alone seemed to do things slowly, taking in everything around them, and actually looking at the choices they had.

But there was one person who caught Ryo’s eye the most, because he seemed to break every conclusion he had just made, and that was Masuda.

Even though the man was with Tegoshi and two other men, who Ryo assumed were office employees, Masuda walked slowly, observing everything and took his time in deciding what he wanted from a vending machine, he even told the other three to go on without him once he realized they were getting tired of waiting.

Once they were out of sight Masuda turned to face Ryo, “It’s like that every time.”


“I always take my time in choosing what I want to drink, because I don’t really like to pick the same thing more than once,” Masuda said as he turned back to the machine behind him. “You’d think they’d be used to it by now, and leave, knowing that I would meet them after making my choice.”

Ryo stayed quiet, so Masuda continued, “But the just stand there, tapping their feet, and crossing their arms. Do you want anything, by the way?”

“No thank you,” he finally replied. “I’ve got a bottle of water at my machine.”

Masuda nodded as he retrieved his drink, “So, what are you doing out here all alone?”

“People watching, I guess.” Ryo shrugged and slid down the wall a little; so much for looking cool.

“Any good insight on their behavior yet?” Masuda joined him against the wall.

“Just that there is a group mentality, and a single mentality.” Ryo answered. “I have a group mentality, even when I’m alone.”

“Old habits are hard to break,”

“Is that why you have a single mentality even when you’re with a group?” it was a bold question, he knew, but what he asked after it was just intrusive. “Do you feel alone, even when you’re with people?”

Masuda pushed off the wall and cleared his throat, “Maybe tomorrow I’ll meet you out here and do some people watching too.”

“I didn’t-“

“See you around,” Masuda cut him off before turning away from him and walking out the doors that led to the floor.

“Damn it,” Ryo mumbled.
Ryo didn’t actually expect the man to meet him in the hall so he took his time getting to that area during break as others bustled past him.

But once he opened the doors he found Masuda in the same spot that he was in yesterday, arms folded and eyes following everyone that walked into the hall.

“I thought I was being stood up,” he said once Ryo joined him.

“In my defense, the word maybe doesn’t always signify solid plans.”

“You’re right,” Masuda nodded as he pushed off the wall. “I’ll be more specific now. Tomorrow we’ll meet here, in this same spot.”

“You’re leaving?” Ryo asked as he pushed off the wall as well.

“I thought you weren’t showing up, so I told Tegoshi I would join him and the others today.” The man answered. “Make sure you show up tomorrow, because I don’t like people who play hard to get.”

“Damn he’s smooth,” Shige said joining Ryo and causing him to jump once Masuda was out of ear shot. “I had no idea he was like that, he always seems so quiet and well respectful when he and I are together.”

“I don’t like him,” Pi crossed his arms over his chest.

“You’re just jealous that you can’t get men that look like that,” Shige teased.

“Yeah, I get men like you,” Pi retorted.

“What do you think he meant by hard to get?” Ryo turned to face the two before they started bickering.

“Dunno’,” Pi shrugged.

“Meet him here tomorrow, and maybe you’ll find out.” Shige smiled.

A few days had passed since Ryo and Masuda had started meeting in the hall. At first their conversations consisted of talking about the people who walked through the halls, but as time went on they grew more comfortable with each other, and dropped that subject altogether.

“I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other pretty well,” Masuda said one day as he slid down the wall the two always leaned against.

“Sure,” Ryo replied as he did the same.

“Then I’ll address a question you asked me the second time we talked in this hall way.”

“Don’t you mean the first?”

“No, the first time we talked in this hall way was when you almost fell flat on you back,” Masuda reminded him.

“Yeah, but I never actually said anything, it was Pi who did all the talking,” Ryo corrected.

“Fine, then I’ll say it was the second time we met, in this hallway,” Masuda said. “You asked me, if I feel alone when I’m with others, and the answer back then would have been yes.”

“What changed your answer?”

“I met you,”

Ryo felt his heart jump against his chest; had he really just heard the man next to him correctly?

“We’ll have to make some plans to meet outside of this factory sometime,” Masuda stood up and looked down at Ryo. “We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

“O-ok, but I-“

“See you around.” Masuda cut him off, and left the hall way.

“Always acting so cool,” Ryo narrowed his eyes at the doors Masuda had just walked through.
Ryo stretched and stared at his ceiling; the things Masuda said rushing through his head the moment he woke up.

Honestly he was surprised he hadn’t screwed up and made the man hate him within the first few days of them talking, because they both knew he had a habit of saying some pretty stupid stuff. But whenever Masuda would get offended by something he said, the man would either leave, or just shrug it off like he hadn’t even said anything.

He wondered how long that would last if the two became close outside of work.

He still didn’t know how Masuda felt towards him, he’d like to think the man felt the same way he did, but he could be completely wrong and he could just want a friend. All he did know was he wasn’t about to make things awkward by asking.

He stood up and began shuffling through his closet looking for something to wear under his uniform when his phone rang, “Hello?” his hand loosened on his phone as he received the news from the person on the other line, “Oh, ok. No, I’m fine, I understand… Thank you…”

He hung up, and sat on the edge of his bed, he knew something was too good to be true.
“Ryo’s your friend, right?” Masuda asked as he and Shige began to work.

“Yeah,” Shige nodded.

“Is something wrong with him? He’s not here today.”

“He didn’t contact me or Pi, and he usually does when he isn’t going to show up to work,” Shige told him. “But I have to ask you something, and I have to ask you now before you have an angry dark haired man storming toward during break.”


“You didn’t say, or do anything that Ryo could have taken the wrong way, did you?”

“No,” Masuda didn’t even have to think about it, because he was sure he was very clear what his intentions were the day before.

“Then I’m not sure why he didn’t show up today.”

“Do you think he’s ok?” Masuda asked concerned.

“I don’t know,” Shige sighed.
Ryo stared at his phone, it was 2 in the morning, and he finally felt like talking to someone; taking a deep breath in, and clearing his throat so that his voice would be steady, he dialed the number.

“Nishikido, you must be crazy,” Pi said as soon as he answered his phone. “You don’t tell anyone you’re not showing up for work today, and then you call me at 2 in the morning? You’d better have a good explanation for this.”

Ryo stayed silent and Pi sighed, “What is it? What’s the matter?”

“I got hurt.”

“I’ll kill him,” Pi growled.

“It wasn’t him,” Ryo shook his head even though the other man couldn’t see him. “They fired me.”

“They fired you!?” Pi sounded outraged. “Tomorrow is the last day that Tegoshi and the other one have on the line before being moved to the offices, and they fire you the day before? What the hell is wrong with them? You work hard, you were only late to your station once, and if I do say so, you did a great job in training Tegoshi. Did they give you a reason?”

“No, and how do you know how I trained Tegoshi? I could have done an awful job.”

“Because I know you, and you don’t half-ass anything.”

“You know, you’re angry than I was when I found out,” Ryo said trying to make light of their conversation, he had his time to be negative, now he was just looking for a little comfort.

“Did you cry?” Pi asked calming his tone. “About, him?”

“Fuck it hurt, I won’t lie,” Ryo answered.

“I can get his number for you if you want,” Pi meant for that to make him feel better, but the tears grew in Ryo’s eyes again.

“No, that’s ok,” he tried to steady his voice again. “His company was nice, but if I’m upset now, what happens later on if he’s the one who actually hurts me?”

Pi laughed a little into the phone, “You’ve never been a risk taker, Nishikido.”

“And I never will be,” Ryo smiled a little.
End Notes:
What did you think? Reviews are greatly appreciated!
Chapter 2 by JumpIntoMyCore
Author's Notes:
This took a while to come up with, but I'm trying to come out of my writing slump, so I really hope you guys enjoy this.
It had been two months since Ryo had been fired and Shige and Pi never failed to check up on him or try to make plans with him everyday, even though he often said no, to let him know that they would still be there despite them not working together anymore.

"You never want to hang out with us," Shige whined one day while Pi was trying to talk to Ryo on the phone. "I miss your face!"

"Shut up," Pi hissed and Ryo heard contact that was no doubt Pi's fist meeting Shige's chest. "He might be annoying about you not hanging out with us, but he's right, in two months you've met with us four times."
"Well, I mean I'm working and-"

Pi interrupted him. "You got that job like two days after you got fired, we work too, and we also offered to join you at your new job, but you declined that offer."

"Well that’s because the both of you have been there for over six years-"

"You just don't let people get close to you!" Shige yelled but the last part was muffled, as if Pi were covering the receiver on the phone... or Shige's mouth.

Ryo sighed. Playing it safe, that was his style when it came to his feelings and emotions; never let anyone in, and never get hurt.

But three people had been able to bypass that rule of his; his two best friends, Yamapi and Shige and the third, a person who he hadn't known for very long but had made a lasting impression on him in the short time they had together none the less, Masuda.

"I should get off the phone now."

"No, don't," Pi's voice was low and disappointed. "We both know Shige says things when he's upset-"

"Listen," Ryo interrupted. "He's right, and it's not fair to you guys... I've barely contacted either of you, I've never offered the two of you to come over, and constantly say no when I'm offered... And yet I still call you two my best friends-"

"We are!" Another annoying Shige interruption.

"You are." Ryo nodded as if they could see him. "But what I'm trying to say is, I'm going to try to pull myself out of this pity party that's been going on for entirely too long... but for now, I have to get off the phone and get ready for work, I'll call you later, okay?"

"Okay," Pi said hesitantly. "You will call, right?"

"I'll call." Ryo assured him before hanging up.

He tossed his phone onto his bedside stand and stood up; he really didn't want to go to work.
Work was never fun for Ryo, especially after talking to Pi and Shige; it always reminded him that the three of them no longer worked together.

It reminded him of someone else too, but he always did his best to avoid that subject.

Truth was though, it had been two months and barely a day went by that he didn't think about Masuda and, of course, when he tried not to think about the man, he only stayed longer in his thoughts.

It wasn't even Masuda he was trying to forget about; it was how he had just disappeared when he was fired, and that he knew the man was attracted to him he was just too scared to further anything even though he had the perfect opportunity.

Truth was he had known how the other man felt about him, he had known all along but only pretended not to know to try and convince himself that the feelings weren't mutual to make it easier to run away, but it didn't make it any easier, it just made him feel stupid.

But feeling stupid was much less painful than taking a risk, right? The pain of not taking a risk was much less than just diving head first into something where the outcome was unknown, right?

Pi would tell him to protect himself, that if he didn't want to do something, then don't do it. Pi always nurtured the careful side of Ryo's, even though he didn't always agree with how careful he was.

Shige, on the other hand, always pushed him to leave his comfort zone; "Get hurt if that's what it takes to get you out of your shell," was one of Shige's favorite things to say, and even though his intentions were good, those words were never any help.

Ryo truly was grateful for those two, they were so opposite but such great friends; but this was a decision he had to make himself.

Hurt himself by trying to protect his feelings, or figure out a way to take the risk of getting hurt by someone else, if it weren't too late.
Masuda sat at his desk, it was almost midnight; he stayed late once again, but he wasn't alone.

"You ready?" Tegoshi asked as he began to pack his things.

"Yeah, I just have to submit this last graph then we can get out of here." Masuda answered. "Thanks for letting me carpool with you these last two months."

"No problem," Tegoshi smiled. "You must be pretty lonely, huh?"

Masuda flinched a little at the question. They both knew the answer, but he had never said it out loud, and Tegoshi had never asked.

"Sorry, it's just been two months, and you still won't talk about it, or him," Tegoshi half apologized and half pressed the subject.

"I've asked for his number several times," Masuda began packing his stuff. "Even gave my number to Shige to give to him and still, nothing, let’s just leave it at that."

"I enjoy riding with you," Tegoshi sort of changed the subject. "Don't take this conversation wrong,"

"I won't," Masuda mumbled.
It was Saturday and Ryo hadn't been scheduled to work any overtime, so he had the day all to himself.

He picked up his phone, it was 7 in the morning... what was he doing up so early?

"Oh well," he mumbled and scanned through his contacts it was a long shot but he found the number he was looking for and stared at it for a moment. Was he really going to do this?

"Hello?" the groggy voice answered on the other end.

"S-shige," Ryo stuttered he felt a little guilty for waking the other man up.

"You actually called!" The other man practically cheered on the other end.

"Yeah, but-"

"It wasn't to talk to me, huh?" Shige cut him off. "You wake me up at 7 in the morning for another man's number?"

"I'm sorry," Ryo said quietly. "I shouldn't have called, I'll hang up now."

"Don't!" Shige yelled on the other end. "I was only kidding, it was only a matter of time, I knew this."

"So...." Ryo said slowly.

"So, I'll text it to you," Ryo could hear that Shige was smiling from ear to ear. "I'm glad you finally came to your senses and saw things my way."

"You kept it all this time, huh?"

"I did, because you know I know what's best for you,"

"Sure you do," Ryo rolled his eyes. "Thank you though, for not being angry.... and uhm, you know...."

"Knowing what's best for you, I know, you're welcome,"

They hung up without another word and Ryo stared at his phone which didn't take long to buzz and inform him that he had received a text.

"Here we go," he took a deep breath.
"I don't normally pick up for numbers I don't know on my personal phone." The man stated blandly as soon as he answered his phone. "But I received a warning text from a little birdie."

"Shige," Ryo mumbled. "Well, I'm surprised you did after you were warned..."

"I am too."

Masuda was always so blunt with his feelings and Ryo almost wanted to hang up and cower under his bed; this conversation was not going well at all.

"Look," Ryo tried to sound confident. "I got fired and then I didn't try to contact you..."

"Thanks for that instant replay."

"Just hear me out, okay?" Ryo kept going even though every part of him was screaming at him to hang up. "Will you meet me? It can be public or private, your choice, I just want to meet up."

"Now you want to meet up?" Masuda scoffed. "After standing me up the first time I asked to meet you, and then falling off the radar after I actually felt something between us?"

There was a silence, "I'm hanging up now."

"I felt it too!" Ryo exclaimed. "I felt it too."

"Then why are you just saying now?" Masuda's voice was so calm it made Ryo feel even worse.

"Please meet with me," Ryo sighed. "There's a coffee shop not far from where I live...Please."

"Two hours from now...I'll meet you there," Masuda hung up.

Ryo stared at his phone for a moment before scrolling through his contacts again but then shut it and began to get ready.

He grabbed his keys, locked the door behind him, and started to walk to the coffee shop that was only a block from where he lived.

He picked a seat once he reached his destination, and waited.

"You didn't stand me up." He looked up at the man standing above him.

"I thought about it," Masuda replied.

"Are you going to sit?"

"I'm still thinking about it."

Ryo sighed as the two made eye contact; for such a cute guy, he sure was cold when he was upset.

Even his eyes looked distant... his beautiful brown eyes.

"Did you invite me just to stare at me?" Masuda pulled him from his reverie.

"I invited you to apologize...."

"Is that it?"

"And to let you know that for the past two months I haven't stopped thinking about you," Ryo told him. "Is that creepy?"

"Only if I hadn't been doing the same thing," Massu replied as he sat down. "But... you really thought of me?"

Ryo watched Masuda's hard exterior soften for just a second as they looked at each other but then they were interrupted by the waitress who asked for their orders. They looked away from each other as they ordered.
Ryo tried to make eye contact again, but Masuda avoided his stare.

His eyes roamed everywhere except for in front of him."You hurt me."

"Isn't it easier to hurt someone than to be hurt?" Ryo let slip, and the brown-haired man across from him stood up so quickly that his coffee slipped all over. "Let me finish!"

"Is there anything that could come from your mouth that would make me want to stay right now after that last sentence?" Masuda whispered, full of anger.

"I didn't mean it to come out like that-" This time Ryo avoided the eye contact.

"Then how!?"

"I meant-I meant," Ryo stammered as he felt his chance slip away. "It's just that, I felt like that for so long... never take chances, never get hurt."

"So you'd rather hurt others." Masuda practically spit the words out.

"But I hurt myself too... I didn't know! How could I? I feel like a crazy person right now... I can't convince you to stay, no, I don't want to... I want you to want to stay." His eyes continuously moved from object to object as his heart raced. How could this have gone so wrong?

"Would you want to stay?" It was a serious question that demanded an answer.

"Any other time my answer would be no-"

"What's different now?"

"Well, it's you." Ryo knew that was a pathetic answer, but continued. "We-We both know I have a bad habit of being a complete ass-hat around you, I lose all sense of any logic. But if it were you that had said what I just said... I'd stay because you stayed. Until I found a way to run away that is..."

"I asked for your number several times." Masuda mumbled.

"Is it too late to say I feel like you're worth the risk?" It was bold, but he was tired of never having anything to lose, and right now he felt like diving in and losing it all or gaining it all.

"It took you two months to figure out what I knew after two days?" Masuda's voice cracked, and so did his anger. "I want to stay... and I want you... I want us."

This time they locked eyes, "I-I do too."

"I'd sit back down, but I have coffee all over my seat and shoes." Masuda unintentionally broke the tension as they both smiled.

"I can take you back to my place, so you can clean up, and so we can just get out of here." He was being bold again. "We've had plenty of stares, and I'm sure the staff would appreciate cleaning this up before it starts to smell."

"Okay..." Masuda hesitated. "Back to your place?"

"Too soon?" Regret was evident in his voice.

"Maybe not, we'll see how it goes. Lead the way."
Ryo woke up expecting to be alone like usual but felt the body next to him roll over and give him a tight squeeze.

He folded into the other man’s embrace; this was so worth the risk.
End Notes:
What did you think? Reviews are appreciated!
This story is published on Asian Fan Fiction at http://www.asianfanfiction.com/viewstory.php?sid=2414