Note: This is the first draft and final version may be very different, so if you read this at a later date and it's different, that's why.
Fujita Kouta opened the door with a sigh to find Momoi Naomichi, standing there with a stupid grin on his flushed face.
"You're drunk, Shouji."
He had expected it. When he got a mail from Nao to open up the door, he just knew Nao had been out drinking again. Sometimes he considered to pretend he was sleeping or simply tell Nao to go home to his mother three houses down the street, but he never did. And he was always awake around the time Nao came anyway since he had been having trouble sleeping for quite some time.
"Yes, I am!" Nao said happily.
Kouta hushed. "If dad finds you now he'll assume I have been drinking too. Do you realise how bad that'll get?"
"Man, he's such a dickhead. I'm a father too! I wouldn't give my kids alcohol. Or Hikata-chan."
Kouta sighed. "Well, thanks for that. Take off your shoes and don't you dare throw up anywhere. If dad doesn't kill me for that, he'll at the very least try to get a restraining order so you can never come here again."
"But I used to come here all the time and I lived three houses down the street. And I'm not that drunk."
Nao moved inside and with some wobbly steps, he stepped out of his shoes.
Since his speech wasn't slurred, Kouta understood he hadn't drunk so much he'd be confused about where he was when he woke up in the morning, so Kouta would be able to wake him up before his parents woke up and send him over to Nao's mother, Chitose, or home to his wife, Sawa. He had once made the mistake to let Nao stay over until his parents woke up because he seemed to be too drunk, and he had been yelled at for the entire week by his father. He wasn't going to go through that again.
"Give me your arm, Shouji. We don't want you to crash into anything and wake up Kenta."
Nao giggled. "I bet he's so cute. I haven't seen Chinatsu for months but she was adorable last time I was home. You know I was home for six weeks last time, right? Sawa sends pictures every day. The kids are adorable." Nao giggled some more. "Soon Yukiyo's old enough for school and I'll be home more often."
"That's great, Shouji. But you don't have to come here every time you've been drinking."
"But I've missed you too, Hikata-chan."
Kouta sighed. "I'm so flattered. If you could miss me in the middle of the day and not in the middle of the night, that'd be great."
Kouta was actually used to this by now. Sometimes Nao didn't even go home. He'd come by the Fujita home late at night, sleep the worst of the alcohol off and then head straight back to work after he slept a bit more at his childhood home. Chitose lamented about it every time.
Once they were in Kouta's room he seated the drunk man on his bed.
"How's your health?"
Kouta looked at Nao with a sigh. "Do we have to talk about that?"
Nao stared at him, seemingly clear in the head and serious. "Yes."
"I manage," Kouta answered as he unzipped Nao's jacket.
He wasn't doing too well, but he wasn't going to tell Nao that. He had enough worries as it was. He also knew Nao felt terrible for not being home to take care of the children and that his mother had to take care of them because Sawa herself was aware she wasn't suited for motherhood. Sawa loved Chiyo and Chika just as much as Nao did, but the two weren't suitable for parenthood. At least not when together.
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Beyond the HorizonGeneral Fiction
The term has just started and it should be an exciting time despite the expectations to do well in school. But for Momoi Tomoki the expectations from society are a very heavy burden. Follow Tomoki's journey from insecurity to self-confidence. [New e...