title: the Vows we Break
fandom: Hikaru no Go
characters/pairings: Shindou Masao/OMC(s), Shindou Mitsuko, Hikaru/Akira, Touya Akiko & Kouyo
rating: Mature
warnings: sex, cheating, stabbing
summary: Shindou Masao has a midlife crisis, which may or may not have something to do with his son.
notes: written for the hikago big bang. this is essentially original!fic, given that it primarily revolves around a character than never appears in the manga or the anime. for anyone willing to take a chance and read it anyway, i deeply appreciate it. i've written Shindou Masao as gay before, so that idea has somewhat been in my head for a while. this fic could be seen as a sequel to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, though it would be the most absurd sequel ever, since that fic was 357 words, and this one is over 55,000.


He fiddled with his wedding band a bit, examining his image in the mirror. He was pretty sure that he looked plenty fine enough for a dinner out, but his wife was buzzing about so nervously, it was infectious. Still, this was one of his newer and finer suits, with one of his finer shirts, and his best tie. Well, it was a tie that Hikaru had given him for his birthday, but he considered it his best.

"You know, I honestly thought one of the best things about Hikaru dating a young man was that we wouldn't have to do this sort of awkward 'meeting the in-laws' type of thing."

"Oh, dear..." his wife sighed at him. She came up behind him to brush imaginary lint off his shoulders. He stood up very straight, his back stiff. "I wish you would take this more seriously. It's important, you know, for Hikaru and Akira-kun, to know we care. Here, let me..." She shifted around him, and started to straighten out his tie. Which, by the way, was straight before she adjusted it.

"You know, I'm actually quite used to tying my tie," he reminded her genially, looking at a point on the wall beyond her shoulder.

She seemed to be smiling at him. "I am well aware, but your collar looks neater when you get it just a tiny bit tighter."

"Ah, you want to choke me..." he sighed while grinning.

She adjusted his pocket square, and then ran her hands down his chest. He tried hard not to breathe. "You really do look quite nice for a man your age."

That got him to laugh, but not in the best possible way. "Mitsuko, if that was supposed to be a compliment..."

"It was!" she smiled. She looked very pretty when she smiled, when she... wasn't worried about something. That amethyst dress was really beautiful for her, too. He couldn't remember the last time she got so dressed up. "Just remember... don't... talk about work too much, dear," she fretted.

Her smile was prettier. He rolled his eyes. "You act like we're about to sit at tea with the Emperor. I've met people before, you know. I think I can manage not to embarrass our son. Too much, anyway."

She bit her lip. "I know, I'm being fussy. It's just... Akira-kun's father is someone very important to... Go pros. I don't really understand it, but I'd really like to make a nice impression. Hikaru said they were fine when they went over to them to announce... but..."

"You worry too much," he chastised her, checking his cell phone before slipping it into his pocket. "Even if Hikaru is dating the boss' son..."

"It's not like that," she gently snapped at him. Well, he was making light of her concerns. Still. "It'd be nice, since you wore the waistcoat, if you one of those chains..." she fussed, drawing a line with her finger where she thought he should be more decorated.

He did not push her hand away. "A fob? I don't think anyone wears those anymore. They were for pocket watches. I suppose if you could harness a cell phone that way..." Besides, a fob and a pocket square would be far too much worn at the same time.

"I think some people still wear them..." she said diffidently.

He gave her a funny look. Ah... He reached out to touch the small flower she had behind her ear. "That's rather lovely."

She blushed, and turned her face away. "Ah... yes... that is... I told you, there's a new florist in the neighborhood. The person who owns it, Hara-san, is very kind, and very willing to chat and answer questions."

Sounds like business is slow, Masao thought, but he was spared from taking an interest by Hikaru calling up to them that it was Time to go, already!

He held the door for Mitsuko, letting her get ahead of him.

"Man, you guys are making me feel underdressed!" their son complained when they got downstairs. He was wearing a patterned button-down shirt and clean cargos. "I told you, it's just dinner, let's not make some kinda big deal and all about it," he groused.

Masao got out his black dress shoes. It definitely seemed like this was a big deal to Hikaru. He ruffled his son's hair as he slipped his shoes on, but Hikaru immediately protested and ducked away. "Relax, son, this is just the old-people version of not wearing a hoodie."

Mitsuko smirked at him as he got her coat.

Damn, it would be a long night...

Mitsuko and Touya Akiko seemed to have become the best and closest of friends within minutes of sitting down next to each other. Hikaru, Akira-kun, and Akira-kun's father were engaged in a go-related conversation which seemed to only occasionally involve Touya-san, as conversationalist did not seem to be on his list of qualifications, but mostly that was just when Akira-kun wanted to prove to Hikaru that he was wrong about something. And three times already, one of the parents at the table had warned the boys to be quiet, we're in a restaurant. Masao leaned back in his seat, bored out of his mind.

It was fine that he wasn't seated next to the Touya-san. Though their wives were thick as thieves, he doubted if he had anything at all in common with this imposing man. Even the way he dressed was intended to put himself in a different class, with his traditional garb. Masao couldn't imagine going out in public like that. A well-tailored suit was far more flattering to a man's body, anyway, even if hakama pants did have their advantages. The only interesting thing about dinner (besides the food, which was a little too on the side of pretentious to be delicious) was watching his son and his boyfriend interact. Besides the fact that it seemed entirely too likely that the boys could argue about the color of the sky, there was such a deep sense of intimacy between them, so it was like watching an old couple who had been married and deeply in love for decades.

Now, just how did Hikaru manage that?

Even the way they argued with each other (over a board game, Masao reminded himself over and over again) underscored their closeness. In order to prove their points, they'd end up finishing each other's sentences and then immediately trying to discount each other. It would be comical and charming...

If they weren't talking about a goddamned board game. One Masao had been hearing about most of his life, one his father tried countless times to make him play when he was a child. It really hit him, now, that Hikaru was a pro in this alien world, something so far apart from anything in which Masao had ever been interested. Was this his father's influence on his son, then? Was that how Hikaru started this ridiculous obsession? That thought didn't sit too well with Masao, though he knew there were lots of traits that skipped generations. Of course, they were here because Hikaru was involved with a young man, so...


Masao looked up, shocked to have been caught completely lost in thought. He immediately stood up, frantically trying to remember this man's name. They worked on a project together about a year and a half ago... "Ah, ... Maruyama-san, it's nice to see you." He gave a short bow, leaning on the back of his chair. This man was such a sloppy dresser, and he spent too much time at work hitting on the office ladies.

"You're looking very well, Shindou-san, as always. I understand you're heading up the Allenmande ground project these days?" He even looked oily. Of course, he was trying to change departments. His department was going to undergo layoffs at the end of the quarter due to poor returns.

Masao raised his chin a bit, and smiled benignly. "Mm. It's not really an appropriate time to talk shop. I don't think you've ever met my wife, Mitsuko." Mitsuko nodded to the man, her manners, as always, perfect. "And this is my son, Hikaru." Hikaru just sort of stared blankly at Maruyama. "This is Maruyama-san, he's in a different department at my company." Suddenly, a rather mischievous notion overtook him, and he couldn't help it. "We're just finishing dinner with my son's boyfriend and his family. That's Touya Akira and his father, Kouyo, and mother, Akiko. Both the boys are extremely successful go pros, at such a young age. Remarkable, isn't it?"

It was hilarious, watching the man try to smile and nod while also taking a step back. "Oh, oh, ah, yes, ah, oh, yes! Th-that's rather... I mean, as a father you m-must be s-so... so... proud..."

What a fucking weasel. If Masao got a chance to offer input, he'd recommend this idiot be laid off. "Of course I am," he stated flatly. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"O-of course!" Maruyama nodded too forcefully, while speaking too loudly. "Well, I didn't mean to interrupt you. I'll... I'll let you get back to it, then!" He bowed a few times, and backed off.

Smirking, Masao reseated himself, smoothing out his waistcoat and pants as he did.

"As always, you have a strange sense of humor, dear," Mitsuko sighed.

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Masao cheerfully dismissed.

"That's... not going to cause trouble for you at work?" Hikaru asked, wide-eyed.

What a surprising look on that kid. "That's not something you need to worry about."

"But, that guy, he might say something..." Hikaru looked past his father to where Maruyama stumbled off.

"Of course he'll say something," Masao shrugged. "If humans weren't able to gossip, they'd become very dull and sluggish. Gossip makes an office hum," he teased. "It's much too late for you to be worried about that. You just can't let small-minded people bog you down."

Hikaru was still regarding him suspiciously, but his boyfriend was positively beaming. "If you don't mind my asking, Shindou-san, I don't think Hikaru's ever mentioned what you do for a living?"

Such a polite young man. Clearly, his father did a good job raising him. Hopefully, Hikaru would help him loosen up, though that was a line of thought that Masao was only willing to take so far. "Eh? Does Hikaru even know what I do?" he teased.

Hikaru turned red and sputtered a bit. So cute. His son was still so cute. "Wh-that...! I know! Of course I know! You work at Fujima..."

"Fujitsu Limited," Masao corrected. Fujima? Was that even a corporation?

"I know!" Hikaru huffed. "You're... ah... like an accountant or something!"

"Wow, what I do is nothing at all like accounting," Masao sighed, dejectedly. "I realize my job is not as fun as being a go pro, but still. It's slightly better than being an accountant."

Mitsuko held her napkin to her face to cover up her giggles, but Akiko-san still noticed and smiled along with her. Hikaru just threw his hands up in despair. "It has something to do with accounts! I've seen your business card!"

"I fear for you, son. Really. This is what comes of not completing high school. You're lucky that Akira-kun is such a bright young man, but he might get tired of an idiot like you eventually." That made Hikaru turn even redder. So cute. "My official job title is Vice President of Production and Design Accounts."

"See?" Hikaru declared smugly. "I knew there was accounts in there!"

"Shindou..." Akira-kun sighed, hanging his head down.

"Ooh, that sounds like a very responsible position," Akiko-san admired. She gave Mitsuko a look, as if her husband's prestige advanced her own. "And such a large corporation!"

Masao felt uncomfortable. "It sounds nice, doesn't it? Unfortunately, there's about a thousand Vice Presidents at Fujitsu. I essentially file paperwork," he shrugged humbly. He was beginning to feel like talking about go would be more compelling.

"But you started out as an accountant," Hikaru tried.

Masao closed his eyes and shook his head. "Give it up, son."

"Hikaru, how could you not know this?" Mitsuko reprimanded unnecessarily. "Your father joined the company as a calligrapher."

"Eh?" Hikaru stared at him, shocked. Masao just sighed. "Since when can you do calligraphy? And why does a big company need a calligrapher, anyway?"

"Shindou!" Akira-kun hissed.

Damn, they were cute together, weren't they? "Let's see... I first joined the calligraphy club in my first year of high school. In college, I majored in graphic design, but I was in the calligraphy club there, too. And every large company has a section for calligraphers. Certain types of documents are still required by law to be hand-written after all."

"Eh? Seriously?" Hikaru looked dubious, but he glanced at Akira-kun who was rolling his eyes at his boyfriend's stupidity, and that made him shut up. "But why did you join the calligraphy club to begin with? Wasn't it mostly girls?" he asked dubiously.

"That might have been the reason," Akiko-san commented quietly.

Mitsuko gave him a bit of an odd look.

"Mm, well... there was a senpai I was interested in," he replied noncommittally.

"Ooh... a girlfriend before mom?" Hikaru asked, a bit too gleefully.

Would it be so strange to think that Masao had dated someone before Mitsuko? And yet... "Senpai was a third year when I was a first year, but still very willing to hang out and teach. But no, we never dated. Somehow, though, I got to really enjoy calligraphy at that time." It had been a long time since he'd thought about Koide-senpai. And his long, beautiful fingers, and the way they worked a brush.

"Did you know this senpai, mom?" Hikaru asked.

"Your mother is two years younger than I am," Masao cut in wearily. "And we didn't go to the same high school, anyway." Mitsuko was still looking at him oddly, and it was making him uncomfortable.

"Ah, that's true," Hikaru nodded thoughtfully. "You're unexpectedly mysterious, dad!"

"Isn't it just that you're lacking in normal curiosity about the people around you, son?" Masao countered.

Hopefully, the conversation would turn back to go now. As soon as his son got over being offended.

He checked his reflection in the shiny glass wall as they paraded from the elevator back to the offices. Vanity. He always hated it when he showed signs of vanity, but he couldn't help it, really. Four meetings in one day. He wouldn't be surprised if he started to sprout grey hairs. His assistant, Arakawa-san, was prattling off the litany of all the critically important issues that had come up while he had valiantly stayed awake for droning meeting after droning meeting, the most dire of which seemed to be about a mislabeled file that had been uploaded to the server.

His job was truly boring.

He greeted his subordinates as he strolled through the office. Kimura jolted at his desk and quickly started to 'look busy,' so that lazy-ass was probably, as usual, playing games on his computer. Masao didn't care that much as long as he wasn't using the company's resources to gamble online again, and as long as the bastard didn't mind another year without a raise. One of the girls from the secretarial pool jumped up to get him a coffee. He'd tried before to tell the girls that he didn't want any coffee after a certain point in the day, but it was fine.

He sat at his desk and waited for them all to swarm. His assistant finished by putting down a list of things for him to do, now that he was back in the office. He gave her a bit of a sour look, but she just winked at him.

Maybe he didn't carry the appropriate amount of authority...?

Sugahara had a file for him to approve, Nishida wanted a decision on an irrelevant issue, Eida wanted to update him on a project that was about as low a priority as was possible to have in the company... Kinjou-kun quietly edged his way closer and closer to the desk, acting as if he were taking notes.

Kinjou-kun wasn't a secretary, so that wasn't his job. Masao cleared each person away one at a time, twirling his wedding ring around his finger. Kinjou-kun was relatively new, only working in Masao's department for four months. He'd transferred from the sales department, so at first, Masao had given him a bit of extra attention to make sure he could make the transition. That had been, perhaps, a mistake. He should have assigned someone else to guide the newbie, but at the time, the best people for that position were busy with large projects, and he had more time. He was fairly sure that Kinjou-kun had gotten the wrong idea, and he was completely sure that Kinjou-kun had the same sort of ambitions as some of the office ladies.

"Your coffee, boss!" Ozaki cheerfully declared, setting down a mug of sugared and creamed coffee.

At least she knew how to make coffee right, so he smiled at her genially. "Thank you, Ozaki."

"Boss, don't you think it's been a long time since you've taken us out for drinks after work?" she pouted, putting her elbows down on his desk.

She was far from the sluttiest secretary he'd ever worked with, but he knew her type. She would sleep with him in a second, as if it were part of her job. But, she wanted to become someone's assistant or a secretary in a more prestigious department. It was ambition, but she knew how to pace herself, and he knew she didn't have a crush on him.

Kinjou-kun was scowling at her.

"Has it? Well, I've been in meetings all day. I'm not really up for it tonight. Maybe if we can meet all our quotas for once, I can take you all out for drinks at the end of the quarter," he offered slyly. Their department depended heavily on other departments to finish their tasks, so even if he told them all to work harder to exceed expectations, as a manager was supposed to do, it was useless.

She pouted at him, making a big show of sighing heavily. Kinjou-kun coughed rather aggressively to show his disapproval. "Aw. Boss should have more fun with his people; after all, you're not that old yet!"

Masao rolled his eyes. He really didn't want to think about his age at this point. "You go on and have fun without me. After work, of course."

"Of course!" she cheerfully agreed, and then she trotted off.

He might be inclined to favor her with a recommendation for a new position if he had any idea if her skill set included anything other than good at making coffee. Still, it was good coffee, so he took a long sip.

Kinjou-kun was the only one left in his office, and he was hovering too close to Masao's chair. Waiting.

Feeling tired, Masao looked up at him expectantly. "Yes?"

The young man smiled, looking far too pleased with himself for Masao's taste. He put his hand on the arm of Masao's chair, and set the file he had down on Masao's desk. He leaned in very closely to speak, "I just wanted to be sure that I'd done everything correctly for this report before I submitted it. I'm still making some mistakes with the directory fields."

Masao furrowed his brow. This was impertinent. He leaned slightly away from Kinjou-kun. "I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit. You've nearly been here half a year. Besides, asking your manager to proofread for you is a little..." he trailed off.

"Have I become a nuisance to you? Shindou-san?" Kinjou-kun leaned in rather closely.

This was bothersome. He leaned even further away, and looked over the file. "Mm. This is fine. Make sure you make a copy before submitting, and scan it onto the server." So much for a paperless office...

"Right. Got it. Thank you. Shindou-san." Kinjou-kun didn't move, though.

Masao knew that the young man was waiting for Masao to look him in the eye. He looked away, instead. "You'd better get going. That needs to be submitted today."

"Yes, sir," Kinjou-kun practically purred. Finally, he straightened up and picked up his file. "Thank you. Sir."

Masao just sighed.

His office was finally empty, but his door, as always, was open. He looked over his to-do list, opened his email, checked his voice mail... returning messages and redirecting questions was about 70% of his job now. He still kept one calligraphy brush in his desk, but he had no ink or an ink stone anymore, so it was nothing more than nostalgia.

He didn't even open his drawer to look at it. He had work to do.

Even thinking that way, though, it wasn't like he was in any hurry. He continued to plod through his voice mails and emails first, since people might be waiting for a reply, and then he went through each task on his to-do list. Kimura was the first to leave, trying to avoid being noticed as he walked past the boss' door, as always. Masao noticed, anyway. He checked the clock. It was after five, but just barely. A few secretaries left at six thirty, and the at about seven, a regular parade started. Most of his employees had the good grace and manners to acknowledge him as they left. He wasn't that stingy that he expected his people to work the same strange hours he did, so he didn't mind them leaving early, but that damned Kimura...

At eight, Masao leaned back in his chair and rubbed his eyes. Unconsciously, he played with his wedding ring while he stared at the ceiling. He was going to have to start documenting Kimura's behavior so that he could properly bring it up in a review. Truthfully, though, he didn't want to fire Kimura. The man still had connections to his old department, and was well-liked by those people, so there were certain situations where he was handy. That couldn't be the only thing he did for the department, though. No one had said anything about layoffs with his people, but it wasn't impossible. If he was told he had to layoff some people, Kimura would be first on the list. The man should be made aware of that. He was divorced, so maybe he wasn't too concerned about his income, though Masao had heard rumors about him frequenting a host bar. How ridiculous, a man his age forking over his paycheck for women to pretend to like him. He probably couldn't afford to fuck any of them, anyway. What a damned waste.

It wasn't like Masao wasn't aware that there was one employee who had not yet left, because he was a conscientious manager, and he kept track of those things. Still, he wasn't about to go out and chase Kinjou-kun away. Not when he knew that the damned kid was going to come into his office anyway.

He did not expect the other man to come in behind him and put his hand on Masao's chest.

"You're like a damned ninja," Masao complained. He did not push Kinjou-kun's hand away. This was a mistake. He looked at the other man, trying to be stern. It wasn't going to work if he wasn't going to physically push him away. He noticed that somehow, Kinjou-kun had closed his door as he crept in, the brat.

"You were just lost in thought, Shindou-san," Kinjou-kun smiled. The blasted cat who ate the canary. "I could have come in with a trumpet and you wouldn't have noticed."

"Oh," Masao looked down at the hand on his chest. "I probably would have. You don't need to wait for me, Kinjou-kun. You must be done with your work by now, right?" He gave the brat a look that meant that if he wasn't done with his work, there was something wrong with him.

"I don't mind staying and helping you. Shindou-san." The way he smiled and the way he licked his lips, it was clear what kind of help he meant.

Masao had been married for over nineteen years. He knew he wasn't a good husband, so he did his best to be good in the ways that he could be. In all that time, he would say that he'd never really strayed. He'd certainly never done anything as embarrassing as carry on an affair with a coworker. And this was much worse, since Kinjou-kun was his subordinate. This was just... unacceptable.

It had to be.

"I don't need any help," he wearily assured Kinjou-kun. He looked at the hand, which was now stroking his chest. This was insane. "It's past time that you should be going. If you have time to mess around with your boss, you should go out instead and find yourself a suitable partner."

Kinjou-kun's hand slipped under his waistcoat, his fingertips probing, questing, and finding Masao's nipple. Well, damn. He couldn't entirely prevent himself from reacting to that, but... "I'd really like to be helpful to you, Shindou-san. You've done so much for me..." He tried to pinch Masao's nipple through his shirt. Masao's hand jerked up to grab Kinjou-kun's wrist, but he just held it in place.

The brat smirked at him.

"I haven't... done anything special for you. You have no reason to..." Masao started.

Kinjou-kun's other hand went to Masao's thigh. He caressed the fabric of Masao's pants, moving his hand closer and closer to the inside of his thigh. "You always wear such beautiful suits. Such nice fabrics. I wonder... where do you shop? I'd like to have a suit like this someday."

"Well, it's a little above your paygrade for the moment," Masao put him off. He needed to be more forceful.

How long had it been since he'd been touch by another man like this? Nearly twenty years... he'd slipped a few times, on business trips, and used the services of a prostitutes. In all those years, that had only happened a few times. So, why now...? Why wasn't he being more forceful now?

For some reason, he thought about his son... how straight Hikaru's back had been when he'd 'introduced' them to Akira-kun. His back had been straight, but his language was relaxed, and he'd laughed easily right away.

Kinjou-kun's hand slipped between his legs.

"I notice you, Shindou-san. I notice you all the time. I know the cologne you wear. I pay attention to how you style your hair. How often you shave... and how, like now, at the end of the day, if the angle is just right, I can see that your face isn't as smooth anymore. So I know, no matter how many secretaries and clients flirt with you, you're always polite but you never react. I notice the way you look certain men up and down, though. I noticed it the first time you met me. You looked me up and down like that. You have a bad habit of playing with your wedding ring. Is that because of guilt? Shindou-san?

"Are you cheating on your wife? Or is it just that you want to be?"

Kinjou-kun tweaked his nipple hard and stroked his hand over Masao's crotch. He was just a man, after all. He couldn't stop his body from responding to stimuli.

"K-Kinjou-kun. This is a mistake. Let's... just stop here. And we'll forget..." he started.

"I don't want to forget," Kinjou-kun smirked. That damned smirk. He pushed Masao's chair back, and slid to his knees. "I'm definitely never going to forget this." He pulled his hand out of Masao's weakened grasp, and opened up Masao's belt. "Don't worry, Shindou-san. You're not at fault here. You have nothing to feel guilty about. It's just pleasure, after all. You can't help wanting it."

"I... never said... I wanted you," Masao petulantly complained.

Kinjou-kun laughed, and opened Masao's pants. Oh, shit. In a second, he had Masao's cock out. Damn it, damn it, damn it...! At the office, too...! "You don't have to say a word. Like I said before, I want to help you. And I know what you want."

Those poisonous lips wrapped around the tip of his cock, and Masao bucked, helpless. He had to stop this. Now. He put his hands on Kinjou-kun's shoulder and his head. He needed to... push him away...

His fingers tangled in Kinjou-kun's hair, and he gripped his shoulder, pulling him closer.

Damn it.

The house was in complete darkness when he came home, which was an all-too common thing for him. He was quiet as he closed and locked the door, and slipped off his shoes. He thought about getting something to eat or drink in the kitchen, but opted to just head upstairs. He didn't turn on any lights, walking slowly and feeling his way carefully.

He didn't want to disturb Mitsuko.

When he got to the top of the stairs, he looked quizzically at the small table at the head of the stairs. Had that always been there? Some kind of flowers were displayed there. Mitsuko was redecorating? Well, it was her house to do with as she pleased. Flowers, though. Wasn't the hallway too dark for flowers? As he tried to examine the flowers in the dark, he realized that Hikaru's door was open. That was unusual enough that he peeked inside. Naturally, his son wasn't in bed. So. That meant.

Hikaru... was with Akira-kun, wasn't he?

Did they... stay over at Akira-kun's house? Didn't he live at home? Then... did that mean that... Touya-san allowed that? He leaned in his son's doorjamb. It would be childish in so many ways to lay down silly rules and force them to go out to a hotel or something. They wouldn't have sat their respective parents down to a meeting unless they were already sure of themselves.

Hikaru was having sex.

That was such a strange thought. Even the grammar of it... having sex, like it was a meal or something. And, why shouldn't Hikaru be sexually active? He was already 18, wasn't he? At that age, Masao was... well. He was in college. If Hikaru was a 'normal' boy, he'd be in college, too, and he wouldn't really feel the need to introduce his parents to his lover, would he? Would that be better?

Not knowing?

He stepped inside of his son's room, and quietly closed the door behind him. He switched on the light, and just looked around. How in the world had Hikaru even gotten into go? It had been years now, hadn't it? And this was his son's life. Looking around... there wasn't much to give away anything about Hikaru. No photographs or anything like that. There was a goban, tucked next to a shelf full of manga. That was it.

His son had already been a professional in his chosen field for a while now, though, so this was the room of a working adult. Suddenly, Masao had the feeling that his son was getting away from him. That wasn't true, though, was it? He barely knew Hikaru at all.

He'd already lost his son.

Sighing, he turned the light out and left. He shouldn't invade Hikaru's space, anyway, but. He stopped outside of Mitsuko's bedroom. She'd been all alone tonight, huh? What did she do on nights like that, then? Though, what did she do with herself when Hikaru was around, anyway? He was never around. That was his choice. It had always felt necessary. Was Mitsuko lonely?

Thinking about that would just make him feel guiltier.

He went to his office. He closed the door to his office, and rubbed his face with his hand. He needed to take a shower, but he was afraid that it would disturb Mitsuko. He'd settle for just washing up, then, and shower in the morning. He sat down in his chair, and just leaned back, closing his eyes.

Too many thoughts circled in his brain. He was tired, but anxious. Was anxious even the right word? He thought about Hikaru and Akira-kun. Mitsuko, home alone. Him... in the office...

What the hell was the matter with him? He was never a good husband and it had been too long since he'd been a decent father, but he wasn't usually this messed up. To make matters worse, Hikaru was already an adult. He was acting like a temperamental teenager, but his son was settling down.

He just felt empty.

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