"It's okay. You don't have to love me.”
Oh, this is such a great line for the start of the black moment. I hope you enjoy a snippet of an upcoming tale, The Samurai Sniper, and FBI Agent Oshi Sakura.
“I love you, Hiro.”
“My real name is Brian.”
Oshi nodded as he brushed out his long hair. “I know. Brian Hiro Tanaka. Marine sniper, retired. Undercover investigator for Ultimate Recon, Inc.” He met Brian’s gaze in the mirror. “But I still love you.”
“How can you love me? We were undercover. We weren’t even ourselves.”
“I was always myself.” Oshi drew the brush through his hair one last time before he broke it into three parts and braided it up before pinning it into a precise bun. “And my feelings for you were never masked.”
He turned from the mirror to look over the contents of the apartment. He hadn’t lived in this space for more than a week, but it was already time to leave. I have to find my own footing. At least he hadn’t unpacked yet.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to love me.”
Oshi understood he was different. Gender-fluid. He understood the heart often chose people who didn’t return the sentiment or weren’t good for the person who held it. But he swore he’d seen into Brian’s heart, and in the brief moments when Brian showed emotion on his face, love had been present.
Wrong again, Oshi-san.
He straightened his spine and squared his shoulders. He was done being undercover for the FBI. He wanted to ride a desk or do upfront, visible investigations. Hell, maybe he’d quit the FBI entirely and pursue his nature photography dream. At the moment, that seemed a lot more palatable than staying here in Seattle.
He nodded sharply and turned to face Brian. His lover wore his usual stoic mask, giving nothing away to the emotions underneath.
“I get it, and in some ways understand. It won’t change how I feel about you. I will always love you, Brian. You’ll always be my Hiro, and the man who holds my heart.” Oshi gave him a sad smile. “The apartment’s paid up through the end of the month so you’re welcome to stay as long as you like.”
He shrugged into his jacket and shoved his wallet into his back pocket. He paused at the mirror once more to add a pale copper lipstick to his lips before heading for the door. Brian still hadn’t said anything. He met his lover’s gaze and nodded.
“I’m going to go for a walk in the Arboretum. I’ll load up my things into the truck when I get back.”
“Oshi, wait.” Brian caught his arm at the door. “Where are you going to go?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe I’ll pick up a Wooden Nickel paper while I’m out.” He met Brian’s gaze, and hoped the emotion he read in his eyes was real. “Take care of yourself, Hiro.”
He let himself out of the apartment and closed the door quietly behind him, hoping he could keep the tears at bay until he made it to the Arboretum. The rain pattered down around him as he strode to his truck, the late spring weather matching his mood completely. He’d never been able to accomplish the stoic look so common among the Yakuza. Hopefully, standing among the dripping Japanese maples would hide the real tears as his heart bled out onto the decorative paths of the Arboretum.
That's it for me this week. Check out how the prompt worked for the other flash fiction authors below and happy reading.