When last we left our intrepid heroes, Izumi and Ryouma were stuck in a cabin during a downpour, naked and sharing body heat to stay warm. When Ryouma’s body started to remember things his mind hadn’t caught up with yet, Izumi presented him with an offer: why not help his body remember full and see how that helped his mind…?
Chapter 25 opens with the production crew gathered at a nearby mansion, waiting for any information on the whereabouts of Izumi and Ryouma.
Everyone present is baffled by the sudden appearance of the Crusherz lead vocalist–except for Rei, who is only overcome with emotion.
Shougo reaches out and draws Rei in close for a crushing hug to comfort him.
Rei: “Shougo…! Izumi is…”
Shougo: “I’m sorry I’m so late; the taxi got lost. But it’s all right n–“
He’s cut off, though, as he realizes they kiiiiind of have an audience.
–so he takes off with Rei, heading for an empty room, leaving the rest of the crew baffled as to their relationship. Thankfully for their covers, though, one of the staff recalls that Shougo is Izumi’s older brother, and so it makes perfectly good sense that he’d be close with Rei as well.
Kisaragi, however, isn’t impressed with this newly revealed rival in his imagined quest for Rei’s affections.
Kisaragi: “Ugh, so that’s how it is? I guess beautiful flowers do tend to hide bug infestations… (And I thought now was my chance to make a move, while his guard was down!)”
Once they find some privacy, Shougo brews up a cup of tea for Rei to help him calm down, then asks for an update on Izumi’s status. Rei is downtrodden, blaming himself for the entire incident–this happened on his watch, after all. What kind of a caretaker is he?
Rei: “I was right here, and look at what happened to him…! I’m so sorry…!”
Shougo, however, is having none of this self-beration–and quickly distracts Rei with an insistent kiss, reminding Rei that he’s being rather ridiculous, so Shougo felt compelled to shut him up.
Shougo: “It’s not your fault Izumi slipped, right?”
Nor is it anyone’s fault, he clarifies, so Rei shouldn’t blame himself. They’ve just got to wait for Izumi to return–after all, his Izumi-sense is still working properly, which means Izumi must be just fine! Though, he adds with an uncomfortable shudder, “I’ve been getting these weird chills for a while now…”
Ryouma has taken Izumi up on his offer.
He remembers things–remembers the warmth of Izumi’s body, the sweet tang of his sweat, his voice, even his very scent, and most of all…
Izumi: “…Love you…!”
Ryouma: […Just how overwhelmingly precious he is to me…]
They fall asleep in each other’s arms–and with the rising sun comes the passing of the storm…
Ryouma: “Hm…? Morning?”
…as well as a welcome sound: the thwap thwap thwap of an approaching helicopter. They’re being rescued! He urges Izumi to hurry and get dressed (which Izumi is loath to do; he’d rather just get some more sleep), and back at the mansion, celebrations are had by relieved parties as everyone welcomes back the stars.
Director: “These two have safely returned!”
Both: “Sorry for causing so much trouble.”
When Rei finally lays eyes on Izumi, seeing him whole and unhurt after a quick stop by the hospital just in case, he launches himself at Izumi, bawling.
Rei: “I’M SO GLAD, IZUMI! I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE SAFE!”
Izumi: “Hey, wai–Rei!”
Izumi: “Huh…? Wait, HE’S SLEEPING AGAIN!”
In a familiar turn of events, Rei’s inability to sleep because he was so worried has him collapsing, exhausted, on his charge. Shougo explains Rei’s state–and then Izumi’s attention is diverted because omg Oniichan’s here too?! With everyone back safe and sound, though, there’s just one thing left to do: Time to get back to shooting!
As Kisaragi begins shouting out orders to prepare to start shooting again that afternoon, Ryouma approaches him for a private conversation. He has a request to make:
Ryouma: “Can you…please hypnotize me once more?”
Kisaragi is needless to say shocked, and asks why–what does Ryouma want him to hypnotize him for this time?
Ryouma: “I want…to remember everything I knew about Izumi!”
He’s ready to go back now…!
To be continued…