The first Friday night after Fujimiya Aya joined the Weiss team, Youji was knee-deep in water.
Literally. A pipe had burst in the sub-basement of the Koneko no Sumu Ie, and Youji had drawn the short straw. He'd had to cancel a hot date with a secretary who worked in the office building down the street, just to wade through the murky depths underneath their briefing room and hold the light for the plumber. Because of course the fuse box had been right beneath the broken pipe, and of course the lights had gone once the fuse box had gotten thoroughly soaked, and of course the Koneko's small sump pump couldn't handle the load, and of course the only time the plumber had free on his calendar was after six PM. So Youji had gritted his teeth, waded down into the floodplain, and tried to ignore Omi's cheery "Ja!" as he breezed out the door to meet some friends for a study session and Ken's mumbled "Later" as he packed his stuff off to the park for soccer practice.
It wasn't until after Youji had climbed out of the basement and started to dry off that he'd realized that Aya had left, without letting anyone know where he'd gone.
The second Friday night after Fujimiya Aya joined the Weiss team, Youji had made it very clear that there was no way he was possibly cancelling his date with the secretary, and had been out the door and halfway down the street no later than ten minutes after the shop had closed. Unfortunately, the girl seemed to have different ideas, and Youji had narrowly escaped being dragged home to meet her parents and to be sized up for an eventual marriage. He'd drowned his sorrow in a few shots at the bar, but his heart wasn't in it; close calls tended to put a damper on the evening. He'd been home by 10PM, only to find that the building was empty. Apparently, everyone else's evenings had gone much better than his had.
Including, it occurred to him, Aya; Aya, who hadn't shown any signs of a social life all week, and who hadn't mentioned any kind of plans for the evening.
The third Friday night after Fujimiya Aya joined the Weiss team, Youji was ready.
"See you guys!" he called as he left the shop, making sure that his teammates saw him saunter down the street. As far as they were concerned, he'd found a replacement for the secretary, and was off to make sure that this evening didn't end like last weekend had.
Having been a private detective, he mused as he sat in the window of his apartment and watched the street below, had its advantages. One of them was all that experience in tailing people. Another was that you learned quickly what kind of lies others would accept the most readily.
It was a few hours before anything happened, and he'd almost begun to think that perhaps the past few weeks had been a fluke, that Aya wasn't trying to keep some kind of deep, dark secret from the rest of the team. It was around a quarter to nine when he started feeling embarrassed -- after all, the man did have some right to privacy, he thought, and that privacy didn't involve one Kudou Youji sitting in the window of his apartment watching the street to see where, precisely, his redheaded teammate was spending his Friday evenings.
He'd almost decided to give up and call it an evening when one of the shadows on the street below resolved itself into the tail of a black leather trenchcoat, its wearer striding down the street with the same grim purpose he applied to everything else in life. All resolutions forgotten, Youji hit the road to follow.
It was early fall, and the last of the light had just bled away; it was easy for Youji to trail along behind Aya, keeping roughly a block behind, without being overly obvious about it. He didn't bother speculating where his teammate was going -- speculation, he'd learned a while ago, was usually pointless when it came to tailing someone -- but still, he was startled to find that Aya's destination appeared to be the local park.
Youji knew of the park, of course, though he didn't spend much time there; that was Ken's province. Most of the time, the place cleared out around dark, though there was no law to enforce this. Without seeming to pause to look around, Aya crossed one of the paths, heading directly for a bench just inside the park's confines; Youji scrambled to keep up.
By the time Youji had found an appropriate bunch of bushes for concealment and settled in to watch, Aya had made himself comfortable: arms crossed against his chest, head down, long legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles. He didn't look like someone who was just there to enjoy the evening air, and Youji's suspicion was confirmed when someone dropped down onto the bench next to him.
The newcomer was tall and blond; he moved with an easy kind of grace as he made himself comfortable, arms spread along the back of the bench. Youji squinted against the twilight to try and make things out a little bit better; he couldn't tell, but he thought that the blond's hand was resting along the back of Aya's neck. Couldn't be, though. Aya would have decked him, surely?
Youji was just close enough to hear most of their conversation, and what he couldn't hear -- well, another one of those advantages about having been a private detective was that he could read lips, and both men were half-facing him.
"You're late, Honjyou," Aya said, without looking over at the other man.
"We've both got half an hour's leeway, and you know it as well as I do. Besides, if I hadn't shown up, what would you have done? Gone back to your little flower shop, had a boring evening. I'm here now." The smirk curved the blond's lips. "Bad week?"
"Aa. Busy. Two missions, and everyone wanted flowers this week. Haven't slept right in days."
Youji could barely believe his ears; surely, he must have heard that wrong. Whoever this man was, Aya had just mentioned "missions" -- which meant that the other had to know about their side business. Which was a security risk. Dammit, did Manx know that their new recruit had a big mouth?
"Yeah. Krikiter's had some kind of bug up their nose lately; we've been hopping too. Pawn's been happy. He gets to blow all sorts of shit up."
Grimly, Youji revised his opinion; not big-mouthed. Just well-connected. He himself didn't personally know any members of any other teams that Krikiter might happen to field, and he knew that Ken and Omi didn't, either. Obviously, their new recruit wasn't as new as he'd thought. He wasn't sure why the idea irritated him so much.
Aya lifted a hand to tug at the earring in his earlobe. "Is Rook feeling all right?"
Honjyou shrugged. "Still cranky, still insisting he's fine. He's recovering. Enough so that we don't miss you all that much. How's your band of misfits?"
"Tolerable." A pause; Aya smirked. "Barely. I can work with them. Living with them is another matter entirely."
An answering smirk. "Worse than us?"
"Not even close. None of them have decided to drag me out clubbing completely against my will."
"You liked it, and you know it. I swear, I know more about what you'd like than you do." Honjyou picked up the hand that was behind Aya and pushed his hair out of his face, then dropped his hand back down; Youji squinted a little more, and thought that he could see well enough to determine that Honjyou's fingers were indeed curled around the back of Aya's neck. And Aya wasn't complaining in the least.
"You're an arrogant bastard and you know it." Aya's tone was flat, but not heated. "One of these days, you'll think that you know better for someone and you'll be dead wrong."
"I haven't been yet." Honjyou smirked. "I figured you'd be here tonight. I was right."
"I needed to get out." It was a simple statement. "They're nice enough, I suppose. I just don't know them."
"And you won't, if you keep up these little appointments. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. You're cute by streetlight."
"Yuuji." Aya's tone was dry, and for a terrifying half-second, Youji thought that he'd said 'Youji'; Honjyou simply looked long-suffering at the name, and Youji guessed it was his. A pause, and then Aya added, "I almost didn't come."
Honjyou snorted. "You always say that."
"It's always true."
A little smirk. "You always show up, though."
Aya lifted one shoulder and let it fall in a half-shrug. "Nothing better to do."
Something flashed briefly in Honjyou's eyes; Youji could see it even from his position of concealment. "Is that all this is, then? Something to fill up an evening?"
Aya didn't look back at the other man -- indeed, Youji realized, hadn't looked at him at all. Instead, he kept his eyes fastened on the walkway in front of them. "Isn't that what it is?"
Honjyou's hand closed on the nape of Aya's neck, and he pulled Aya's head back, turning Aya to meet his eyes. It was a rough gesture, an arrogant one, and something about the turn of both men's heads made Youji think that it was far from the first time. "You're coming home with me." It wasn't a request, nor was it a question. It wasn't even an order. It was simply a statement of fact.
Aya didn't blink. "I suppose I am."
Honjyou studied Aya for a moment, and then leaned close; his mouth closed over Aya's, roughly. Youji almost stopped breathing. He blinked a few times to make sure that he wasn't seeing things wrong, but no: his teammate, the cardboard-cutout of a man who'd shown perhaps half of a sign of personality in the past three weeks, never mind any hint of a sexuality, was kissing another man. Or being kissed, more precisely; it was clear, even from his limited vantage point, who had the upper hand in that situation. He didn't move, didn't make a sound -- though he didn't think either of the two men would have noticed if he had, there was no point in taking chances -- but he did shift his weight a little, waiting to see if Aya needed help. He might not like the man, but damned if anyone was going to manhandle one of his teammates against his will when he himself was just sitting there watching.
Aya was the one to finally break the kiss, pulling backwards with just enough finality to let Youji realize that whatever else might happen, Aya could apparently take care of himself. "We're in the park, Yuuji."
"Fuck that." Honjyou pushed a hand through his hair again, his face registering irritation. "We're leaving. Now." His other hand fisted in Aya's hair, tugging at it, not at all gently, and he stood, pulling Aya with him. Aya didn't struggle, just moved gracefully with the urging, his expression halfway between irritated and aroused.
They were out of the park before Youji could quite manage to recover his wits.
He shook himself when he realized that he might have lost the chance to tail them further while he'd been tucked away in his spot gaping like a stunned fish. By the time he got out to the street, there was no sign of the two; they'd disappeared as if they'd never been there. He tried a few of the other streets nearby, feeling the trail get colder and colder with each second that ticked by, and finally gave up, feeling like a complete idiot for having been too shocked to move. ~Good going, Kudou,~ he thought to himself, fishing out a cigarette and lighting it as he set off back to the shop. ~You're supposed to be the professional, not the one who gets distracted by two men kissing.~
By two men kissing. One of them cold-fish Aya. Aya, who never smiled, never laughed, never cracked a joke, never even seemed to look twice at anyone. And the other one of them someone whom Aya was obviously well-acquainted with, though the relationship had hardly seemed affectionate.
If anyone had come up to him yesterday and told him that he would have seen Aya acting that submissive to another man, he would have laughed at them, lit another cigarette, and gone back to teasing Omi about internet porn.
Youji took a drag off the cigarette and thought, hard, about what he'd just seen. Obviously, the two men knew each other. Obviously, Honjyou was another Krikiter operative, probably with whatever group Aya had been with before he joined Weiss. Obviously, there was some sort of long-standing power struggle between the two men, and it manifested in some sort of bizarre sexual relationship -- or was there actually caring there? He frowned as he flicked ashes on the sidewalk.
He didn't understand what was going on, that much was certain. And he sure as hell couldn't ask Aya about it. He could just imagine that conversation: "By the way, Aya, I followed you to the park last night, and while I was there, I saw you getting manhandled by some strange guy who seemed to know far too much about us. What's going on?" Oh, that would go over so wonderfully; he'd be lucky to escape with skin intact.
Not much he really could do; keep his mouth shut, keep his eyes open, and remember that there was more to Aya than met the eye. He wouldn't forget that, not readily.
Scowling, he finished the cigarette. He was thirsty, and cranky. Maybe he'd be able to pick somebody interesting up at one of his clubs -- someone warm and soft, all curves, warm and inviting. Someone who'd be able to make him stop thinking about what had to be going on, wherever Aya had disappeared to.
His feet had taken him back to the sidewalk in front of the Koneko before he realized where he was headed; he rolled his eyes a little, sighed, and fished out his keys. Ah, well; he might as well pick up another pack of cigarettes while he was here. The metal stairs clanged as he bounded up them, two at a time; the noise apparently caught his neighbor's attention.
"Ah, Youji-kun!" The familiar blond head poked out of a window, and Omi blinked in surprise. "I was wondering who that was; I didn't think you'd be home yet. Another bad date?"
Youji stopped on the landing and thought, quickly. Well, Aya deserved his privacy; Youji didn't feel that guilty about satisfying his own curiousity, but there was no need to drag Omi into it. "Nah. I just stopped by to change my shirt and pick up some more cigarettes." He made a vague gestue towards his apartment's door.
"Okay!" Omi grinned back at him. "Hey, have you seen Aya-kun? He didn't say he was going out."
"Nope." The lie came easily to his lips. "Haven't seen him since I took off before."
Omi made a little disgusted noise. "Well, wherever he is, I hope he's having fun. I just wish that when he goes out, he'd tell us where he's going."
The image of the kiss burned behind Youji's eyelids as he blinked. "Somehow, Omittchi," he drawled, "I don't think he's going to ever do that."
Omi rolled his eyes. "Oh, well. Have a good night, Yotan. Catch a good one, okay?"
Youji laughed, and unlocked the door to his apartment. "I'll certainly try, kid. I'll certainly try."
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