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Title: Open Your Eyes (Oneshot) Author: JenovaVII Timeline: Post-Hong Kong; around the beginning and then

middle of Escape & Love Volume 6 (before they start living together). Pairing: Asami/Takaba What to expect/beware of: un-romance (as usual for these two), slice-of-life (?), mentions of past violence, (not) angst, explicit sex, sprinkles of my f-cked-up sense of humor and brackets abuse. Rating: M (NC-17, R-18 or whatever), for language and explicit sexual content Summary: While Asami sits back and takes an almost gentler-ish approach at silently manipulating Takaba's mind, the latter decides to get out of his own butt, make some decisions and act on them for once. Disclaimer: Viewfinder and its contents are property of Yamane Ayano. A.N.: I have the next few chapters of FIBWOWC written but I'm not (very) happy with them, so I'm modifying little details here and there still. (A certain day, a few days ago,) I decided to vent my frustration and 'this' was thus born.

The morning after is and has always been a delicate topic, at least in Takaba's presence. Asami knows better than to rill the photographer up when he's absolutely sure he won't gain anything with it, that he won't reap any benefits aside from the sure tinge of amusement, so he usually leaves it up to the other what occurs (or what does not) in the mornings they wake up together in the same bed. Ever since it first happened waking up together, both still in bed, when normally one of them is long gone as soon as the afterglow of the last orgasm wears off at New Year's the year before, after Asami picked him up dead drunk and proceeded to make a mess out of him all night (*), Takaba had a panic attack so big when he woke up and took in what had taken place that even Asami's sleepy eyebrow rose a little in surprise. From then on, the yakuza made a mental note of not pushing it. Takaba is already hotheaded enough during the day (and curse-spiting at night) but he goes to new heights when he wakes up; his bad temper tends to explode at the minimal spark of teasing and let's say Asami doesn't appreciate having a well-aimed foot practicing soccer with his equipment when the purpose is to incapacitate him, and he's still getting used to (even if he feels a sense of pride and receives a good dose of pleasant feelings in his gut he doesn't quite care to explain) in having his nude photographs together with stuffed toys made into Takaba's cell and laptop's wallpapers. Takaba got better after the Hong Kong trial.

(They had fucked on the boat like two starving beasts; it had been Takaba's awakening after the lengthy nightmare. It was the very first time he bled when they had sex. He had bled with Fei Long, both the first and second times he was raped by him. Takaba remembers that even on the first time Asami had raped him as punishment only on their second time meeting each other, he hadn't made him bleed. It had hurt, hurt so much he thought he'd die, and then he shamefully remembers of how much he had enjoyed it even through all the pain. He was drugged, and lubed, and prepared though not prepared enough for Asami's member and he was undeniably aroused. It hurt and felt like he was being torn apart from the inside. And it was intense and rough and it made him high on the feeling; even above and beyond the effects of the damn aphrodisiac he was made to sniff he could fucking feel it. It pooled up, and he couldn't breathe and it felt good, so good. And then he couldn't stop it, couldn't hold back. And he came. Hard. He remembers opening Asami's shirt and taking in the sight of his bullet wound, his strong torso bandaged and bloody. He remembers the soft kiss as he felt water wetting down his face. And god, he remembers the passionate kiss that followed, with tongue and lips and saliva and Asami's taste. He had longed for it, whenever he jerked off, whenever he was fucked against his will. He could never forget it, and now he was tasting it again. It wasn't anywhere near enough. When he felt Asami's length pulsing hot against him even through the fabric of their trousers, he shivered with want; and when Asami palmed Takaba's erection and let it free, the physically-bruised and psychologically-spent blonde let go of inhibitions and asked for it, admitted openly he wanted the older man. He didn't care they had nothing at hand, that the only preparation he got was Asami's fingers barely coated in spit (his own or Asami's he doesn't quite remember, maybe both) and he didn't care that Asami's cock went in dry. It hurt. More than their first time. And it felt even better. Takaba hugged him and clung to him and grabbed his hair with unaware possession and they shared kisses and glances and Takaba passed out after climaxing twice, satisfied with the whisper of his name Asami let escape after his release. Then they had fucked on the plane. Takaba has no memories of the view from high above in spite of (or due to the fact of) being face-pushed into the window the whole of the trip; jeans down to his knees. Asami's tongue drawing wet lines down his spine; Asami's long, elegant, manly fingers wrapped around his penis; Asami's long, tick, smooth length buried to the hilt inside his body, pushing and pulsing and sending him over the edge. And then they did it on that god forsaken island almost as many times as they had until then in all the time they had known each other. Takaba felt drained and dead and didn't feel bad at all for exaggerating because seriously, his ass' one eye couldn't even look at a chair anymore. The first time, he melted (the heat of the weather and the warmth of Asami's body was a volcanic combination); Asami got him used to it so much, so well, took so much damn time on the preliminaries Takaba didn't think he'd survive when he finally put it in. It always feels good, Asami always makes it good, even when it hurts; so when the pain is nothing but a slight pressure or none at all it's too much to take. It cracked him. Every time the nightmares left him a bit shaken Asami was there to make him forget and drown him in pleasure. And when his backside was on its limit, Asami

would touch him, and lick him, and please him and only give, instead of taking. And it broke him. The strangulation had been what had traumatized him the most, it seemed, so Asami re-wrote the entire chapter and left his signature at the end. Asami had brought it up again and again that Takaba was his and had grasped his neck firmly, his grip unfaltering and secure and Takaba relented, feeling safe, feeling his feet on the ground, feeling the reality of it all; and admitted that it was fine if it was him, only him. Asami took him, restricting his breathing, roughly, and Takaba accepted everything Asami gave him greedily. He came convulsing, almost seizuring with the pleasure. And when he wantonly asked for more, Asami indulged him with a pleased half-smile on his face.) After they came back to Japan, it both would and wouldn't come back to how it was before. Yes, they would continue their games Takaba would run, Asami would catch him; the cycle would keep on going. But now Takaba was starting to gather his thoughts, to understand what he wanted and he wanted Asami. And for that, in order to have a chance of achieving that: he would have to get a hold of himself and work hard. Easier said than done. So yeah, things really had pretty much came back to what they were before all hell broke loose; Asami working, Takaba working, occasionally they would come across each other on the street when Takaba was running from something, someone, and Asami would give him a ride. Mr. Tall, Dark And Sadist would pay him a visit whenever he took photos of something he shouldn't and would do his self-proclaimed version of a good deed: confiscate & punish. In other words, more of their catch-andrun unspoken deal. More like fuck and run. As in casually sleeping together. For months. A year. Or more. Fuck buddies. Ugh, I think I'm gonna be sick. Oh and yeah, today is one of those days. Or rather, this morning is one of those mornings. Ugh, 'the hell happened, I feel like my head's gonna explode... Guh ...shit. Shit, shit, shit, SHIT! Realization knocks at the door with bothersome persistence. Again. It happened again. Why? Oh god...

I have to get out of here fast... Takaba makes to sit up and leave the bed. As he shifts his position, a throbbing pain lights up from the bottom end of his spine and shoots up in a flash. Managing to stifle a gasp, he lets a hand travel to his back to try and appease the pain, without success. Baaastard! Thanks to you I have not only a freaking hang-over but my ass feels like it's on fire! The morning usually started with a bifurcation; either Asami woke up first, or Takaba did. The Asami-pattern is simple and methodical, never strays from the norm. Silently, he would disentangle his arm from under Takaba's head and, before making his way to the shower, allow himself to ruffle dirty-blonde locks with startling gentleness. The start being an unspoken ritual, the conclusion would always depend on the 'road' Takaba chooses for the day. The Takaba-pattern is more complex, as he tends to rationalize everything that needs not be. Panic would greet him, in small or large helpings for the day in question, usually proportional to the extent of alcohol consumed in the previous night (or lack thereof), the intensity and duration of their 'recreational activities' (that was evaluated by the residual soreness concentrated on his lower regions) and and this one Takaba seems to take into account just for the hell of it (not because he secretly enjoys dry-licking Asami all over with just the power of his stare) the level of smugness displayed on Asami's sleeping expression. Threatening to vomit all over his own thoughts, too logical for his person at such an early hour of the day, Takaba carefully props himself out of the bed (no matter where they ended up doing their thing, Asami never failed to carry him to the comfort of the soft mattress), all the while praying to someone 'upstairs' (never to 'whoever' listened because really, he doesn't need any more devils with him in the room) that Asami would have mercy on him and continued to pretend to be asleep until he dragged his limping behind out of the penthouse. Wet sensation runs down his tighs, making him flush in memory of how such fluids made its way inside of him. Takaba turns his eyes away from the bathroom door and cruelly rejects the shower with silent treatment. Breath stalled, he moves the fastest he can, struggling to pull his jeans up his legs, trying to stand up without falling and standing guard with one eye never leaving his bed partner. After the easy part and Takaba chuckles humorlessly at that comes the real test. Allowing himself to indulge in a final touch would carry a tremendous risk, the percentage of his efforts until that exact moment would all go to waste and he would certainly regret his actions and torment himself for days on end for being such an insufferable idiot. So most days he fought back the urge, a longing gaze rooming the other's sleeping (or not) form for a single moment.

The door would shut behind him. And then, against the other side of the object separating him from his desire, Takaba would take a deep breath and, not completely content (as he thinks he should be), congratulates himself for his momentarily pang of good judgment; and would take one step further away from the building, starting his day. Only today is one of the days he really doesn't want to step away immediately; not really. Sneakers just finished being tied are discarded with the ankle of each opposite foot, respectively. Like most days, the door shuts behind him; but this time, he stays inside. The distance between Takaba and the bed diminishes and anticipation curls tightly around his middle. Just one touch. A single touch and I'm good to go. Mental preparation; an attempt to will himself to strengthen his own resolve and stick to it. Scrapped blue-cladded knees meet the coolness of the floor. A hand for support. Takaba leans down and shudders at the warm breath against his face. They are close, so close it burns and they aren't even skin on skin yet. Takaba wonders how he is even able to take it his touch without blasting into instant combustion. Deciding he needs to recall that 'how', his lips brush lightly against Asami's, nearly connecting. The rush of feelings that flows through him is powerful, demanding, and he doesn't feel like he's in any condition to deny it. Takaba presses his mouth with intent now, harder. The hand which was on the floor somehow is now putting pressure down on the bed, dangerously close to the yakuza's face. A shower of feather-kisses along the other's cheeks, lips, chin. Takaba finds himself no longer on the floor but fully on the bed as well, unthinkingly following the example of his traitorous hand. Another kiss; where he not so much as kisses but rather breathes in the essence of Asami into himself. Straddling the taller man, the photographer lets one of his hands travel from one bare shoulder up the neck, then the jaw; his fingertips dancing on the other's closed lips. Takaba bends down to steal one last taste. One more. My fix for the day. Then I'm outta here. Mouths connect. And when Takaba feels Asami's lips moving slowly, softly against his own, his eyelids snap open and he knows he went too far. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Before he can pull away and take off like a scared lamb running from a starved wolf, the other firmly but gently puts a hand around his neck and deepens the kiss. All thoughts of getting away from the older man gone, Takaba's eyes fall shut again, his brow furrowing in concentration, his throat giving birth to a low rumble of a raspy moan. Asami isn't being forceful and makes no other move aside from his lips on Takaba's and his fingers caressing the soft skin of the other's nape. Takaba's hairs stand up at the feeling of it. Their bodies aren't touching anywhere else and he painfully feels the need to change that. Still kissing; slow and long and unbreakable, the younger man lets his knees and elbows stop supporting him and enjoys the feeling of Asami's body on his, separated only by a fine white bed sheet and his own clothes. Fully lying above Asami, letting the other feel all of his weight on him, Takaba lets his hands wander briefly to Asami's bed-hair (Takaba would never admit out loud that he finds it unbearably adorable) and while one lingers there, massaging the dark-brown strands, the other gets bolder and travels down Asami's side until it finds his well-defined hipbone and decides to keep it company for a while. Lungs burning with the need for oxygen, Takaba reluctantly abandons Asami's mouth, but not without conserving their lips just barely apart. Both pairs of eyes open and lock on the other's. Takaba wants to say something, anything, but nothing comes out; words hiding from him in the darkest corner of his mind. He attempts to search for them but then Asami's voice is there, violating his ear with its huskiness, and still slurred from sleep. "Take a shower with me?" It's so tempting; so, so tempting. But he can't. It's enough already that he turned his back to the door and came back inside and did what he did and they had been doing what they had been doing. It was time to really wake up. "I can't." And at that Asami's hand leaves the back of his neck, delicately caressing his cheek on the way, downwards, as it falls to the bed. Takaba missed the feel of it even before it had left. Asami is looking at him, really looking at him, and Takaba feels naked, completely open and exposed as if every bit of his insides are there like a gutted pig after the kill for everyone to see and judge and poke and stab. Except the only one in the room with him is Asami. And Asami is the only one of them who's naked. He opens his mouth but his vocabulary is apparently still playing hide-and-seek somewhere, so he can't make a single sound. Instead, he looks away; the intense gaze Asami lavishes him with too much for him to bare.

The silence is a skilled assassin. Unable to stand any longer in wait for it to show its true colors and attack him, Takaba looks back at Asami, whose gaze is now directed at the ceiling; blank, empty, unreadable. It pains him and he's lowering his head again before he knows it, bumping their foreheads together harshly, even while his cerebellum is yelling at him not to. Asami looks at him once more. It pains him to a greater extent, with those cold eyes that seemed to freeze the ceiling now directed at him. He knows it's a mask and, without thinking twice about it, kisses it away. In opposition to the latest one, this kiss is brief, almost non-existent, but their eyes are open and what he catches flickering on Asami's gaze lits him on fire. Takaba scrambles out of the bed in a hurry, tripping on invisible nothingness on his way to the door but not letting himself fall for it. He doesn't bother putting his sneakers back on, quickly crouching and grabbing them swiftly as he passes by the hall and through the door and slams it shut with alarming force. He runs. Runs and runs and runs until his side is killing him and he has to stop. Throwing himself against some door in a crowded street, he doesn't care about the fixed looks being directed at him; not the whispering, nor the pain that makes the whole of his back throb, adding even more to his sore state. Wide-eyed and trembling with whatever the hell he's feeling, he lets himself slide down the vertical plane-texture of the door. Breathing hard and fast, unable to control the intake and exit of air from his lungs, tears start brewing at the corners of his eyes. The tiny droplets feel like smoldering liquid coal. He lets them fall freely. Takaba tightens his legs and wills it to go away, pleads it to go away. But a few minutes pass, long minutes pass and it doesn't. With one hand he grabs himself between his legs, where it feels hard and painful, and he pulls both legs closer to his trembling body by the knees, propping the other arm on top of them, where he lets his head fall down onto. Why? It was It was b-barely even a kiss so... w-why? As he forces himself to calm down and focuses on the wind and cold weather lowering his body temperature, Takaba isn't aware of what happens, at the same time, inside the house his feet scurried to get him out from. Asami gets out of bed. He lets his body be washed by liquid ice, his head thrown back and mouth open, to let the cold water freeze him inside and out. Then, filling his threepiece suit with graceful movements, he grabs a lonesome camera laying forgotten on the table in the living-room and heads out to drop by a certain brat's friend's apartment and leave it on the desk. No, Takaba wasn't aware of it; but he would figure it out when he arrived at Kou's on the evening after leeching the whole day at Takato's, and then he would touch his

camera, hold it as if it was something precious (because it was, now for more ways than one) and wonder for the umpteenth time why the hell did he always run away. How the night would end was moderately predictable, just like many others during the last year. The mornings not so much, just like so many before. Not until his two-choice road was cut down to one. Takaba just hoped Asami didn't get tired of playing cat-and-mouse until then. -xThe next night they would get together, wouldn't be exactly what Takaba was expecting, was to expect, after all this time. Asami comes strolling in at 03:17 a.m., looking like he owns the place, as usual. Takaba doesn't bother with inquiries about how the other man had gained access to Kou's apartment days before, much less about how he knew Kou was out tonight, sparing himself of a tremendous headache. Between relieving himself of the constriction of his jacket, waistcoat and tie, pulling out the chosen one from the little box of cancer sticks and allowing the sofa the honor of having his well-sculpted ass sit on it, Asami finishes his entrance with a much belated voicing. "Hey." Takaba doesn't quite know what to make of it; usually he would be cornered against a wall or lead to the bedroom right away (or to anywhere else, really) as soon as Asami appeared at his door step. Now it was all very calm. It left him feeling out of place in his own (temporary) home while Asami fit in like a gorgeous, extravagant, living decoration that Takaba wouldn't be able to afford if he saved money for the rest of his entire life. Oh God. Are we like going to talk? "H-Hey" Even his own voice betrays him. Takaba takes a second to complain in-psyche. When I'm with him I can't even trust myself anymore. Throat clear. Try again. "Do you want some tea or something?" "I'd appreciate it." "Right. Then I'll, uh"

Takaba gestures a bit with his hands, trying to illustrate his point, and leaves to the kitchen; discarding a no-little amused Asami lounging on the sofa. His fingers dance in a frenzy without asking his permission first and Takaba lets the kettle fall with a loud clang in the sink, making him have to re-fill it with water. He's more than certain Asami gave in to a chuckle before calling out to him from the livingroom, his voice just a remote-control one-click higher than his default level. A curse for Kou and his old-school teakettle. Takaba swears right then to buy an electric one for him, a pricy one, and make Kou pay him back, yen by yen. "You seem especially nervous today. What's the matter? "Well excuse me if you're kind of creeping me out. Even though it's not the first time you just show up out of nowhere I'm not exactly waiting for you to all of a sudden step in. And you're being weird today. Like weirder-than-usual weird." In some parallel dimension where Kou's kitchen is alive, it would laugh and cry and thump and roll around at Takaba's scrambling-around to heat up water for the tea; his face is pink and his mouth is capable of mumbling (barely) coherently as he tries not to scream and make a fool out of himself, and yet still talk audibly for Asami to hear him even through the whistle of the metal pot. "How so?" "Guhh! You know exactly what I'm talking about! You not doing the things you normally do feels not right." "What do I normally do that the non-occurrence of it causes you to be so thrown out of balance, care to enlighten me? Akihito." He wishes he could shove his fist into his own mouth and bite it for effect but his hands are currently gathering the mugs and arranging then on the tray, next to the sugar bowl, so he substitutes his fist with nothing but atoms as his teeth crunch together, gnashing. Though there is a certain part of Asami he could just bite off as well. Damn him. "You didn't" Stop it. Don't say it. That's what he wants; for you to play his game. He'll draw you in, have you where he wants you to be and still be able to goad that it was you who threw yourself into it. "You're not" Idiot. Digging your own hole. Don't complain later after he fucked you senseless with your half-assed consent.

"touching me." Well done, Takaba Akihito. Get down on your knees and lick the soles of the shoes he didn't bother to take off like the good pet that you are, why don't you? "I'm tired today." Takaba thinks that maybe he was going def. "what?" He stops at the doorway, looking straight at Asami like he's Satan. Freshly arrived from the pit. Wait. That comparison is just too damn accurate "I didn't have time to sleep last night, too much work; so I'm feeling rather fatigued." Confused, not knowing what to say or do that's how Takaba is feeling as he looks with no short amount of incredulity at Asami, as if the man had just spouted utterly impossible crap. A man who seems to possess matchless (not to say endless) stamina, denying himself from indulging in his regular pleasure-filled sessions, which always seem to not only not drain him at all but rather recharge his energy to the fullest, admitting such a thing in all his dare Takaba say honesty, had to at least suck out such a reaction. "I don't understand. Why are you here then?" If not for sex, or for confiscation of his films and then punishment that meant sex or anything else and then sex, Takaba's brain couldn't find a reason as to why the yakuza was currently spending time in his house with him. Not having sex. It's almost like socializing. Hanging out? Takaba hangs out with his friends. Asami is certainly not his friend. He's not, right? I mean, I don't even know anymore. Takaba also spends time with his family. Asami is most definitely not his family. He is not his long lost older brother thought dead who his parents never told him about because it was a wound too big. He is not his real, biological father that abandoned him at birth because he was a child born from one of his many mistresses. He is not his uncle or cousin. He is not his transvestite unborn daughter, or anyone else related to him by blood. It's odd. Feels odd, smells odd, looks odd. "To relax." Okay, that is not what Takaba was expecting, not in a long shot. His internal disk is going into overdrive at any given nanosecond. Takaba stumbles upon his words.

"You came here to relax? After working hours upon hours, a whole day and then more without resting, doing whatever it is that you do; meetings and deals and threats and kills and instead of going home to sleep, you came here? To relax?" "I did." Takaba finally snaps out of his reverie and decalcifies himself from the spot on the ground he was glued to. Setting down the tray on the desk, by the computer, he satisfies the mugs' thirst as he fills them with warm beverage. Handling an unadulterated teacup to Asami, he injects a decent amount of sugar into his own before sipping it, cursing loudly as his upper lip gets burned (earning him a light-hearted snort from the only other person in the room) and then blowing on the fervent liquid in irritated manner, at least proving he learned with his mistake. "I don't get it." "Don't worry yourself so much, you're safe today. I'm not doing anything, am I?" "No, no, no That is what worries me! You are seriously fucking freaking me out!" The dark-haired man drinks his tea with Japanese grace underneath his western-ish, putting-models-to-shame looks. "Why is that? Would you prefer that I had taken you as soon as I passed your threshold?" Good old Smirk-sama is right there. Takaba-kun's Control Center Status: Orange. "Yes! Because that's how it is; you come, take what you want and get out! Now now you came, you park the car and stand-by. I don't know what the fuck you think you're doing or what you pretend to accomplish with this. This is not it's not how you operate." "Are you scared?" "What? I-I'm not scared, I just I just want to know what this is all about and yeah, I'm scared, alright? Don't look at me like that; don't read me, I fucking hate when you do that!" "There is no hidden motive, don't torture yourself over it. I wanted to come over, so I came over. I came, I sat down, you made tea, you sat down although you got up again and now we're talking. I'm relaxing. That's what I came to do." "" "Are you so against me being here?" "I Why..? Why here, why with me; I don't"

"Say it. What you're bottling up. Talk to me." "I'm not!" "Akihito." Takaba-kun's Control Center Status: Red. I If I had to say if I like you or dislike you, then I don't like you. I don't like what you do and I don't like what you stand for. We're opposites. Different sides. Everything you do, the way you think and act; the way I see it, it's all wrong. You're a 'bad guy', you're a criminal. But I can't say it doesn't have a contra-effect as well, I can't deny that the dangerous aura around you turns me on, makes me anticipate and fear every word that comes out of your mouth, every step you take closer to me. It attracts me; everything about you pulls me in. I know I should stay away from you, run from you, be scared of you. But I'm not, not like that: I can't. The fear you inflict in me isn't the same fear you inflict in everyone else. They're scared of what you'll do to them, that you'll hurt them, strip them of everything they have, kill them. Sure, if you feel like it, you're perfectly able to do it, but what I'm terrified of is the feeling you awake in me, that you'll see the truth behind my lies, the want underneath my rejection. I'm scared shitless you'll see what you mean to me and what I would do for you, what I would leave behind for you what I feel for you. And I'm scared of what you'll reflect when I finally get the guts to look at you in eye. Of what your reaction will be. Of your answer." Takaba had never said so much in one single breath. Asami is stunned, glued to the sofa and speechless for once. "And if I had to say if I love you or hate you I'd say I hate you. Like I have before." "" "And like before I'd be lying." Takaba turns around and doesn't give Asami time to say a word before stepping outside of his own living place and making his way through the streets of Tokyo at the breaking of dawn. -xHe's finding himself quite brave today, and unwavering, having finished an important assignment even more efficiently than he had planned to and received his wagers quite a decent amount, and well-deserved, if he might say so himself. And so, after days and days of brain-swelling harsh thinking with zero contact from Asami all the while Takaba finds himself in front of Club Sion. "Hey, punk, this is no place for you. Get out of here." A~ah, welcoming as usual.

He wants to retort, to snipe back full-throttle and give the menacing bouncer? Settling for high-maintenance bouncer he wants to giggle, but swallows it drily and attempts a more serene approach. "Ah well, I want to talk to Asami. Is, uh, Kirishima-san or Suoh-san here?" "I told you already to go away before I have to "Look Yojimbo-san? I need to go in so if you'll just call one of them or just let me pass yourself it'll be a great help." Okay, he can't help it. He tried but the man just looks kind of dumb anyway and that's that. "Who the hell are you calling 'yojimbo'? You" The man in black decides to resort to physical, at last, and Takaba takes advantage of it. A kick to the shin and the other falters. Even the sturdiest structure goes down when a well-conspired attack explodes at its pillars of support. "AH!" "Ah sorry, sorry~" Takaba jumps around a bit to the left, then to the right to avoid being freely offered a strike dead-on to the nose by a clenched fist. "Damn brat, come here!" As the man reaches out and grabs him by the back of his t-shirt, Takaba turns around sharp-fast already mentally preparing his knee to smash against the suited man's balls. "Hey man, let me the fuck go or I swear I'll do worse next ti" "What is going on here?" Neither had noticed the sure steps closing in on them, too lost in their little street fight. Four-eyes stands before them, masked disbelief cracking his voice. "Takaba-kun?" Takaba suddenly realizes, for the second time, how glad he is that Glasses Guy didn't die on that god damn ship ages ago. Now the bouncing bouncer he doesn't look so happy at being caught not doing his job properly. "Ugh, sempai, this is I was just getting rid of this punk but he's" "Let go of him. He's fine. Don't forget that."

Simple and to the point. Glasses' eyes are on himself and if the man hadn't just directed a sentence at his subordinate, Takaba would think he hadn't even acknowledged the other guy's presence. "Takaba-kun. What brings you here?" "Kirishima-san, can I se hm, is Asami available?" "This way." The two men slither inside the club and uncaringly leave the abandoned pup, or rather, the confused bouncer looking for answers in the sound of their footsteps. A bleachhaired, buff and tall person takes pity on him (not really) and butts in. "You just started working here, Gamma, so I guess you haven't been told but from now on I strongly recommend you not to act violent towards the bra Clearing his throat. "towards Takaba-kun. The boss won't be happy. And then neither will you." "H-Hai." It doesn't give him any answers, really, but it sure serves to keep his mouth from getting a mouthful of flies and shut him up. -x"He just came out from a meeting and there is nothing in need of his immediate attention for now. I'll let Asami-sama know you're here. You know the way." "Yes. Hm, thank you." -xNot bothering with knocking at the door or signaling his arrival any more than Kirishima already did, Takaba strolls right in, dismissing the leather sofa that looks like it needs desperately to be sat down upon and only stops when the front of his black Converse as good as bumps into Asami's working desk. "What is the reason for such an unexpected visit?" Hello to you too, almighty jerk. Takaba did prepare himself for the encounter but the simulation is never quite the same as the real thing. "Er, do you doyouwanttogoout?

Asami hadn't moved since the photographer made his way inside his office; sitting on his chair, assessing legal and not-so-legal and everything-but-legal documentation. Takaba considers seppuku as he notices he feels jealously of those damn papers receiving so much of Asami's attention. Jealous. Great. Of fucking paper sheets. Double great. My condition is worse than I thought. "I'm afraid I didn't quite understand yourquestion?" Takaba's cheeks go red. Fury. Shame. Both. Oh yeah, you so did you freaking "I said: do you want to go somewhere?" He grips his control tightly and doesn't even stagger this time. But he does drawl out each word as long as he can, purposely. And the yakuza finally, finally directs his gaze at him. He feels a rush; although he stills wishes the infuriating corner of the other man's mouth would go fuck itself. "Are you asking me out, Akihito?" Don't clench your teeth; he'll notice your tensing jaw. Breathe. "I guess" The younger of the two expects to be provoked and to be made fun of before receiving an indulging answer. The older of the two does his part and surprises him with a stealth response. "Sure. Let us go." "!" "What is it; don't tell me you were expecting me to decline your invitation?" A hand to the back of his neck; scratching the awkwardness. "Yeah well no, not really but I don't know. It doesn't matter." Asami arranges the documents at one side and leaves then there for Kirishima to collect later. The chair misses his weight as he finishes leading his arm through his jacket sleeve. "Shall we go then?"

Leaving his office, Asami's feet allow him to travel along the corridors to the outside of the building. Takaba, following one step behind, almost bumps into his back when he pauses next to his BMW. "Shall we go by car?" "We'll walk. If you don't mind." "I suppose you're not telling me where we're going? If so, lead the way. I cannot read your mind, in its entirety, contrary to what you might believe." The light-brown-haired man doesn't pout. But he wants to. He shakes it off anyway and starts walking side-by-side with Asami, guiding him through the crowd. "Hm. I won't take you anywhere 'nice' like you're used to so don't make fun of it, 'kay?" "I won't." They walk in confortable silence. Asami's expensive shoes clack when they hit the ground, his hands peeking into his trouser pockets, causing the short tail of his open jacket to flump back a little around his wrists. His hair flies softly with the wind; it's almost 8 p.m. and though the temperature doesn't feel too low, the feeling of the cold breeze feels nice. Takaba rearranges the strap of his bag crossing his body diagonally a bit so that it's not biting into his bare neck. The traffic sign changes its color and they traverse the white lines painted on the dark pavement along with hundreds of other people. His peripheral vision takes in the sight of their target-location and his lips elevate in a smile. Usually the place is full, rush-hour is relentless after all, but today only a few salary men occupy half the tables at the ramen stand in Shinjuku Station. They have their orders taken and take hold of a table in one of the corners, where it's less noisier. "You surprised me today." Asami's oral fixation kicks in and a white stick is already stuck between full lips. A flame to the tip; smoke kindly fluctuates, forming pretty crinkled-like laces in the middle of otherwise full-blown darkness, were they not illuminated by streets lamps. "Uh?" "I thought for sure you would avoid me for a while. A long while even. After that outburst the last time." "" "What made you come today?"

"Can you not be so straight-forward this once? It's really disconcerting." I'm trying to act normal here, dumbass. "And me doing that would be childish." A chuckle. "Exactly." "Bastar Anyway! I'm sorry for that day. It was stupid. I've already forgotten so do me a favor and do the same." Being on the receiving end of such a suffocating stare is quite horrifying, even if thrillinducing is surely what Takaba's brain cells struggle to orchestrate. Much too early comes the not-quite remark. "I don't think I want to." "Don't make me regret this, I really wanted to make up for it. Hm it was the first time we were talking like just two people talking, not including the times I asked for help, or you talked me out of my dumps. Just talk. I didn't know what to do at the moment and it came to that." "Are you telling me you didn't mean a word you said?" Takaba seems genuinely surprised at that. Asami finds himself very pleased by the reaction. Shaking his head for emphasis, the blonde answers with honesty. "No. No, I'm not. I meant it. What I said might have been said in the spur of the moment but it wasn't thought in the spur of the moment. The things I said, I had already reflected on them. I meant them." The fire reflected on the shorter man's orbs pleased him immensely Asami could admit. "Good." "Hm." Taking notice of the waiter gathering everything on the counter with the corner of his eye, Asami lets the last centimeters of his cigarette meet the ground and presses his shiny foot on it. "If that is so, why do you want me to forget?" "Ah, I don't really it's just embarrassing to talk about it now that I have conscience of it all. It's irritating. I didn't plan on just drop a bomb like that."

Smirk. Closing in on them now, the waiter serves them of their meals: Asami of his simple soba dish and Takaba of his gigantic bowl of miso ramen. A bottle of sake at the center of the table and he leaves the guests to their own devices. Asami pokes Takaba with a stick a final time, just to spice the meal a bit more. "Then how had you planned to? At dinner, after you cooked for me dressed in an apron apron only, nothing else underneath a few candles to illuminate the dark livingroom, perhaps?" "God, you're so annoying." A chuckle from here, a tsk from there and a slurping sound mix homogeneously with the noise of the surrounding crowd as the two of them start filling their stomachs in unhurried fashion. As they finish eating, a good quarter-of-an-hour later, Takaba pays for their food as Asami gulps down the last of his drink. Back on track and wearing a wicked grin, the yakuza lies in wait for directions by the sidewalk. "Where to now?" A brief pause. No turning back once the play-button is pressed; no rewinding allowed. "Your place." A longer pause now. Long enough for Takaba to start letting his thoughts run around wildly; long enough for Asami's inexpressive face to soften. "Well then, shall we walk on foot to there as well?" "We're taking your car, asshole." Takaba revels in Asami's free, warm laugh and joins him on their trip back to the club. Surprisingly enough, he didn't feel nervous anymore. -xAs soon as they are inside, Takaba finds himself trapped between Asami and the door; the doorknob biting at his back, Asami's teeth biting at his lip. He pushes the other off of him with all the strength he can muster and grips his collar with one hand, dragging a very willing and amused Asami to the master bedroom. His show of domination is cut short when he's thrown onto the bed, the pillows denying the bed header of the bump it would create on the back of Takaba's head at the clash. Asami is on top of Takaba the next moment, nipping at the side of his neck, nuzzling into it and absorbing his scent. A gasp as Takaba moves his neck, giving more of himself for the other to do what he wills. While his hands are working fast on the

mission of disrobing Asami of all of his clothes as fast as possible, he engages them in what might be one of their most sloppy kisses. Satisfied with having a deliciously naked Asami in sight, Takaba lets himself be freed of his clothes as well; Asami's inhuman undressing skills taking care of it in a heartbeat. A thumb and an indicator are pinching his nipple and before he can hiss, his breath is being ripped from him by Asami's deep kiss. "Ahh w-wait! Let me, let me ride you" "As you wish." Asami changes their positions with ease, like playing with LEGO pieces. Takaba finds himself not caring about being man-handled at the moment. His fingertips travel all around Asami's vast expanse of smooth, hard skin. Takaba's lips and tongue follow, leaving open-mouthed kisses everywhere; his Adam's apple, the hollow of his throat, flicking his darkening erect nipple and biting it with no restraint. Asami growls a sound dipped with arousal and promise of retribution and grips the other's full erection in a punishing tightness. The younger man explores the body offered to him, hand combing silky hair, lips pressing into the other's inner tight, brushing and breathing, warm puffs of hair on already hot skin. His tongue comes out to play with the distinct vein of Asami's hard-on, teasing it, wetting it only there. He can feel those sun-like eyes piercing into him and he can't help looking back even with the knowledge that it might blind him. Asami's hand comes to toy with his hair, encouraging him to continue, and he does. He licks Asami's cock from base to tip in a broad stroke, tasting him. Takaba swallows the tiny droplets of pre-cum his tongue gathered and licks his lips at the taste. "So lewd. Do you like it that much; my flavor? "Shut up." Without another word, the hazel-eyed man bows down and opens his mouth, his lips hugging the other man's member to the hilt inside his heated cave. He hums at the feel of Asami's penis hitting the walls of his throat and sucks hard from the start, working the tight erection with skillful familiarity. Asami allows Takaba to set the pace, to grab his hips and press them to the bed, restricting his movement and just letting him thrust gently from time to time, in contrast to the hard-working mouth around him, engulfing his length in its entirety and moving up and down along it quickly, as his tongue pleases the underside. Takaba is extremely satisfied with the expression splattered on Asami's face, cradled between his now practically gel-free bangs; his separated lips and the quiet, deep breathing coming from in-between them, together with his relaxed body, contracting only the muscles of his abdomen each time the sensation gets hotter. Said man grins,

full-teeth, and while any other guy would look a tad more idiotic or at least un-sexy, Asami only looks better. Even better. So beautiful. One last long suck, teeth grazing as he slides Asami's cock from his mouth; watching it slap back against his tight abdominals as it arcs back perfectly. Takaba doesn't lick the pearls of Asami's fluids and his own spit still lingering on his lips this time around and, on all-fours, climbs back up Asami's body until their faces are on level and leans down, meshing their lips together and pushing into Asami's mouth; tongues licking behind teeth and forcing groans out of the back of the other's throats. Asami bites down. Takaba releases a guttural sound. Saliva meets blood. Asami brushes his tongue against the blonde's lip, from the corner to the middle, like a pencil on canvas, and forces his lips apart again just to meet with a barrier of tightly clenched teeth. Eyes full of anger and desire burning into him, Asami nothing but smiles and drops a soft kiss at Takaba's chin. He handles his own manhood with one hand and with the other grips at Takaba's hip as he guides it to the other's entrance, stilling instead of pressing in. Palms at the larger man's pectorals, Takaba knows what he's expected to do. Lowering his ass, feeling the blunt head of Asami's penis breaching him open, he inhales deeply and knowingly relaxes both his mind and his body. The stretching burns him up even more, his pores are open, he's already glistening with unshed sweat. As he feels the organ inside him pulsing as much as Asami's heart does under his palm, he allows his own grin to surface and mirror Asami's. That's the signal and they start moving simultaneously, pressing into each other. Pressing in more. Taking in deeper. Thrusting up faster. Thrusting down harder. His nails leaving crescent markings into firm, long legs while his nails scratch white rivers into ribs and broad shoulders. The air feels heavy with hard breathing, lust-filled stares and unrestrained moans. Takaba grips Asami's wrist, probably with force enough to bruise, and leads the slightly larger hand to his cock. Asami starts fisting his full erection, stroking him hard. "Nnn, yeah" "What is it that you desire? Tell me." Trading his hand for his elbow, to support himself lower, Takaba brings them nosetouching, mingling his breath with Asami's. "K-kiss. Kiss me." He says so in a wanton moan. The passion in it makes it sound like an order and there's a spiteful note saying 'if you don't I'll fucking maim you' between the lines.

Asami does. He kisses Takaba thoroughly, leaving the other panting and trembling. A particularly forceful thrust and he moans loudly, in spite of himself. The sound seems to have a strong effect on Takaba, as his insides tighten, clamping down painfully on Asami. "So naa, deep aahh!" "More?" "Asami" Their actions speed up mindlessly. Asami pushes himself up, crossing his legs and hugging the lean, toned body to his. "Gh aahh I-I'm" Takaba manages to rasp out as he drowns himself on the wetness running down Asami's neck. He licks whatever he reaches and he's answered with a whisper near his ear lobe that triggers the outcome of the heated encounter. "Come." The two bodies tense and tremble silently at being finally allowed release. The tingling pleasure lingering as they go limp and fall asleep comfortably that way; all tangled and naked and filthy from sex. -xAsami wakes up alone. The back of his hand on the way to cover his eyes as a disappointed sigh of air leaves him feeling empty on the inside. That is, until his ears catch the sound of a loud curse, followed by a train of more loud curses coming from the direction of the kitchen. Bang. The door of the cabinet would have cried out if it wasn't mute. "There's nothing to eat in this fucking house, are you shitting me ? !" Getting up, Asami's laugh rumbles in the back of his throat (and he pushes back the reason why his mood changed so fast) as he makes his naked way to meet the starving stray cat trashing his kitchen to the ground, with the intention of feeding him some milk.

(*) Takes place in the morning that follows the events of Loveprize 1 - Volume 3.