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JenovaVII

Viewfinder: Floating In Between, Where Our Worlds Collide (Asami x Takaba)

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JenovaVII

Chapter V

 

Tumbling At The Top Of The Staircase

 

Chapter rating: T, for language and one ass grope.

 

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A.N.: I've had this one and the next chapter outlined for months. I hated them. I deleted everything and wrote it from scratch today. And it's been scientifically proven that I'll never be satisfied with it. I'm sick of not updating the story so I'm going to just dump this one here and move on ~

I've also finished drawing the complete cast of FIBWOWC with profiles and everything. It was pretty fun. Should I post the drawings (on LiveJournal) as the character start to appear or should I post everything at the end of the story? (:

 

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The sound of the door slamming shut announces their arrival, as Takaba handles the obnoxious object with a little more force than necessary, closing it behind him. He kicks his worn out sneakers off – Asami had brought him a pair from home and he wasted no time in throwing himself to the backseat of the limousine and trading the callous-inducing shoes for the athletic ones, his toes appreciating the gesture – not paying attention where they land, scrambling them without care; an unbecoming sight next to Asami's neatly organized pair of Italian shoes.

- Click -

A flickering flame appears at the top of a jet black zippo, scorching and imposing, very much like the owner of the hand that snaps it ablaze with graceful fingers.

"It still amazes me, Akihito, how you are able to cooperate in an assignment for the police, behind my back – which is, in one way, indeed worthy of praise –
and
manage to get arrested for it."

Smoky gray clouds rape the vitreous air around them, the only contaminating factor allowed in the ever immaculate space. White creamy walls serve as skin to the penthouse, while shiny wood rectangles serve as footwear. Takaba has thought about it before, but Asami's house – his house, their house – looks very much alive, most of the time. Especially with the stylish yet simple furnishing, it seems to fill up sparse divisions appropriately, without giving the impression of being too empty, nor looking like it'll overflow at any moment. Takaba particularly likes the picture frames decorating the hallway, and – huffing and swearing all the way through – mentally admits that: the perverted old man has a damn fine taste in Art.

"Shut up. Spare me of your moralizing speech; I can see it coming when it's miles away from me and, right now, my nose is already stuffed with the stench of it."

As an amused chuckle flies from between a cigarette-occupied mouth, lazy feet make their way across the room, the couch swallowing the weight, as Asami sits himself and props a sleeved-up arm on the back of it.

"Why, children must be properly scolded, must they not? After all, it's the adults' duty to raise them up as good citizens."

The amusement fucking glows in that sentence, and Takaba snaps. Throwing the keys half-assedly to the glass table supporting the phone, force enough to almost crack the surface at the contact, and dismissing the loud clunk that resonates from such, he strides in a straight path from the hall to the living room. Stomping the breaks and screeching centimeters away from his lover, Takaba forces himself not to clench his fists, in an attempt to disguise exactly how much the older man's mere words can rill him up to murdering degree. He somehow manages to do so, and praising himself at the bit of control he is finally able to maintain after all this time in front of the other, he all but lets a light-hearted laugh slip.

"I've told you before; don't make it sound like you're my dad or something. That's disgusting, you know? Even for
you
."

Takaba lets himself snicker now, at his own wording; the spur of anger dispersing as quickly as it came.

"Not only the innate capacity for general bad behavior but your manners and language keep on regressing every day. It sounds to me like you're in need of punishment –
again
. Ah, I know. You seem so keen on always remembering me I'm not your father, Akihito, could it be that you have a complex? What do you want me to do? Shall we explore that secret incest fetish of yours? Say the word, and I'll make you happy."

And just like that, a sword-cutting instance of time is all it takes for all the control and pride to shatter to pieces.

"Baka! Hentai!(*) You're the one with the fetishes! What kind of shit are you saying?"

Cheeks reddened with fury and shame, arms flailing up and down and eyes wide open in disbelief, Takaba rants on.

"No,
seriously
, where the hell do you come from with all that stuff?
Jeez!
"

The only response he gets is a low chuckling sound, as the yakuza lifts himself from laying on the couch to reach for the coffee table, stubbing the cigarette butt in the crystal ashtray set on its center. Reclining back down, Asami unfastens his tie, then takes his time on the first buttons of his white shirt, which starts parting as he goes and giving way to the view of his toned chest. As he looks up, hazel eyes are fixed on the newly discovered lick-worthy skin, propelling an overbearing grin out of him.

 

Taking notice of his uncontrolled drooling face, Takaba blinks once, twice and looks away – not that there's any use in doing it by now, because after all: Asami can read me like I'm one of his damned filthy reports; or so his two currently functioning neurons keep on remembering him in a mumble – but it's more the force of the habit than anything else. He also barely blushes anymore – except when they are in the middle of… exercising, and it's just because it makes his heart beat so fast it'll jump out of his thoracic box, and his breathing so harsh he thinks he's going to pass out from oxygen deprivation – as opposite to the old days when he'd erupt in flames at the sight of the other. He gets plenty flustered alright, there's no way to prevent his reactions any more than that, for the constant fight to contain the excessive blush takes most of his efforts. Regularly. On a daily basis.

 

Takaba would say that the desire is still the same, but that would be wrong. The truth is that, as the years went by, the want and need only intensified – as if it wasn't already enough for him to go bat-shit-insane in the past. So he muses that it's actually pretty great that he can get a hold of himself much better now, or he wouldn't be able to live with Asami, to be so damn close to Asami, without exploding in some sort of way. Besides, he isn't innocent anymore; sure, he continues to be a naïve, honest – aside from when his feelings are concerned – brat-slash-adult in training that fights for his beliefs, stalks and brings down crime lords – despite lov- pardon, living with the most powerful and dangerous of them all – and keeps on saying that someday, it'll be him that will support said crime lord.

Yup, innocence forever lost. And don't get me started on the issue of my (in)sanity…

Turning his head back in the dark haired man's direction, Takaba confronts eyes than could melt the Sun, and he can feel himself wielding to their power, wanting nothing but to drown in them and their honey-colored, smoldering lava. Yet, he isn't called an obstinate brat without basis – because really, when does Asami say, or do, whatever it is without grounds to it? – thus he 'breaks the cutie', so to say, and does one of the things, aside from photography, he's an expert at: bristling at Asami. Taking in a portion of air and releasing a sigh in sequence, he pierces Asami with his own feral glare… and starts whining.

"Mou ii, that's enough. I'm gonna go make some food, 'm starving. 'Cause as you
should
– and fucking
deserve
– and yet, unfortunately, don't seem to know: the meals given to you in jail are what you may call… 'inedible' in your
polite speech
. I prefer to call it 'dog shit'. Now go clean up your gun or something and leave me the hell alone for a while or I swear – I'll poison your damn food!"

Takaba starts walking away, and as he's at a foot's distance from being out of the room, he pivots back just so, side-glancing at the seated mafia boss with a hint of a smirk of his own right.

"And I won't make a mistake a third time, you hear me, Asami?"

A pleasantly entertained snort in answer.

As if you'd actually waste an ounce of your treasured fixer on such a barbaric act. Brat.

The television lights up on the news channel and, as Takaba steps along the hall to the bedroom, another Dunhill is lit.

 

Jacket stripped and hanged, Takaba gives up on changing clothes entirely in order to appease his growling stomach first. On the way to the kitchen, a blinking light catches his eyes and a photographer's finger presses the button of the telephone answering device like he would the button of a camera.

- Beep -

"Akihito, it's mother. Father and I are coming to Tokyo tomorrow and coming by. We should be there by noon. Say hi to Ryuuichi. Mom loves you. See you tomorrow."

- Beep -

"And we were just trading opinions on your father-complex, too. Such a coincidence, don't you think? Akihito."

"…"

The door of the fridge is opened again and the ramen cup captured just a minute ago returns to its rightful place. The glass of the window would almost be happy to crack when Takaba's raging growl comes spurting out loud.

"Asamiii… why the hell didn't you listen to the voice mail yesterday?"

Cool like an ice cube, the unaffected response propagates from the living room to the kitchen.

"Don't blame me, I did not come back home last night. Stayed at the office. Just passed by in the morning to take a shower and change clothes before leaving to pick up someone from behind bars."

"Well, thank you very much for taking 5 minutes of your precious time to do that! And it was your fault that you let me be taken in in the first place!
And
if you were oh so thoughtful to get my tennis you could have checked the messages, naa?"

"A waste of effort, really. If the issue happens to be terribly important the caller will phone again later. And shouldn't you be wasting
your
time on something else than dropping the fault upon me – as per usual; something like having lunch done? You know how your father is when he's hungry; you're just like him, after all."

A glance at the clock hanging on the wall – tic-tacking loudly just to piss him off.

12:27 PM… shit.

"Aaargh! You guys drive me crazy! Please tell me we have groceries!"

An apron is pulled up and tied around.

"Kirishima stocked up yesterday."

"…I love that man."

Open the cupboard, take out the rice package; pan on the stove, drip some oil on it; take out the vegetables, knife on hand.

- Chop, chop, chop -

Takaba's housewifing skills warm up and do their thing.

 

…until a pair of warm hands appear at Takaba's waist. Fingers molding the skin through the fabric of the shirt, attempting to free it from the confines of the dress pants.

"You really do look good in a suit; I've told you quite a handful of times before. You should wear them more often. The apron gives it a fresh feeling, too."

Seducing bastard.

Takaba wriggles a bit but Asami's hold on him doesn't falter.

"Nn, stop it! Would you stop trying to feel me up when I'm cooking?"

- Ding, dong -

"See? They're here! Now go get the door,
please
."

Takaba's teeth gritting and forming unhappy sparks as his voice rasps the last word.

 

Asami's hand slowly caresses the blonde's left butt cheek – which gains him a mule kick that he skillfully dodges. Amused, he steps back from the kitchen and approaches the front door.

 

The handle is forced down and, as the door opens, two people come into view.

"Ryuuichi!"

Asami's lips brush a kiss to the back of the lady's hand.

"Ara my, always the charming gentleman."

A kiss to his cheek in reply and her long, blonde hair waves with the movement.

"It's ever the pleasure to see you, too, Sora."

"Ryuuichi."

"Kensei."

Familiar hazel, but more mature, glass-protected irises on raw, amber ones. A slight bow forward by the two men. A hand shake follows.

"How are you?"

Smiling brightly, the Takabas' family head starts enthusiastically.

"Everything's fine. I had to come to the city for some work and she
insisted
– read blackmailed me – in coming together and visiting the two of you."

And, while the enthusiasm does not wither, by the end of the declaration the joviality gives way to seriousness.

"Listen, Ryuuichi, I had to cover an important event a few weeks ago and I caught wind of something that might be of your interest."

The arch of a fine eyebrow.

"Oh?"

By now they've long traversed the entrance and are getting their backsides acquainted with the softness of the sofa.

"Ryuuichi, dear, you're more and more handsome every time I put my eyes on you."

"You flatter me."

Eyes like a dead-fish, watching the show and, apparently, not enjoying it, one Takaba Akihito makes himself known.

"Oi… when you stop fawning over the bastard over there, take a look over here. It's me, Akihito,
your son
; remember me?"

Gracing the air with her fluttery laugh, the only female present leaves her seat, takes a couple of steps forward and touches her palm to Takaba's face.

"Don't be like that, sweetie, we just saw you the other day."

A mouth falls open in incredulity.

"You saw us both on the same day! Ugh, why do I even— it's always the same thing every damn time…"

- Mumble, mumble, grumble -

"…whatever… Hey, dad. And mom, help me set the table, 'kay?"

"Of course, dear."

Following behind the feisty young man, with an indulging tone and motherly smile dressing her expression and she knows her child can't exactly stay mad. Sora snaps her head around, though, and her intonation changes quite drastically for a moment.

"And the two of you, don't drown yourselves in nicotine and alcohol before eating."

"Yes, yes."

Dismissing his wife's impetuous remark with the flick of his hand, the older photographer shares a conspiratorial smirk with his fellow addict.

"One yes is fine!"

-

"I still can't believe my eyes. How could you have cut your beautiful hair just like that?"

"It was a hindrance. I simply got rid of it. I was hoping I had also gotten rid of some other rather big and yellow hindrance as well, but I see I am not allowed such luck."

"You hurt my feelings, beautiful dragon. And I came here to say my goodbyes, too."

"At last. I was starting to think you were planning on living here. Taking into account you actually brought me profitable business this time, I'll let you get away with it. Have in mind, though, just because I've done it twice now it does not mean we'll have a third repeat."

"I'll save your words like a treasure. Well then, I'll be hoping to see you again soon."

"Don't expect the same feeling from my part."

A reluctant pause.

"…by the way, Arbatov…"

"Yes?"

"I've meant to ask before – but your always present idiocy tends to make my focus go astray – wasn't it your costume to parade that right-hand of yours by your side at all times? Since he's long gone… could it be that you haven't replaced him yet?"

Mikhail sounds truly surprised at the question and has a sudden air around him that screams: what the hell are you talking about, doll face? ; and the dark haired man shudders at the prospect of being referred to by such a disgusting nickname.

"Long gone…?"

Then it all seems to finally dawn on him, because Mikhail unleashes a wry laugh and it sounds playful, even with a hint of resentment, when he talks again.

"I forgot; you couldn't have known… The lucky old man didn't kick the bucket, after all. Truth be told, I didn't know myself until a couple of years ago."

Albeit intrigued, the Chinese can't help but regret having fallen for his own curiosity, for it had been just the perfect excuse for the blonde to turn around and happily join him on the table, to share the story and the drinks. Mikhail wouldn't stop yapping anytime soon now, for sure, so Fei Long thinks he might as well throw down the alcohol down his throat in one go – for he had, with headstrong willfulness, trained his previously terrible alcoholic resistance in the last few years – and listen to Russian-coated-Japanese be spoken from between the other man's lips.

 

-

 

The dark brown liquid on the cup, cradled by elegant, feminine hands, is slurped as quietly as possible.

"…Akihito, how are Mei and Takato faring lately? They have called but the Kamiyas—"

"Indirectly begged you to check up on them. With me."

A smile.

"They're getting along fine… well, as much as they can, I guess. Actually I haven't been with Takato in a week or so but he told me they had an appointment with the OBG for soon…ish? So… but I don't know if they went already or not."

"I see. They haven't been to Yokohama lately, ever since it happened, so her parents were getting worried…"

"Yeah, I can understand their preoccupation. Though, I don't think there's much to worry over. And there isn't anything they can do for them, really. Besides, I know them, they're strong so they won't lose their drive for long."

"You think they'll try again?"

Takaba's look is confident.

"I'm sure of it. I bet they're only waiting for the doctor's go-ahead."

"Oh, that is good to hear, then."

Coming back from taking a call in his study room, a hundred and eighty-five centimeters of coiled power re-joins them. His attention is on the heterosexual couple in the room.

"My apologies, but I'm required in the office. I shall take my leave. I trust I'll see you both soon?"

"Of course, dear, don't delay yourself on our behalf."

Sora's smile talks for herself, as her chin rests on both her hands. Kensei completes the answer.

"We'll be here for Akihito's birthday, if not any sooner. Take care, Ryuuichi."

"Likewise."

"Hey, if you're coming home late I'm not waiting for you to eat!"

"Akihito, what poor manners, was this how I educated you?"

"I've been trying without success to… re-train him but he's much too stubborn. I'll be early..."

Slow smirk ascending the line that separates a pair of malefic lips.

"…in the morning. Behave and be a good boy."

Asami closes the door swiftly, timing it perfectly to avoid the couch pillow that comes flying in his direction like an arrow.

"You ass!"

- Fu, fu –

"The two of you are always so entertaining. It's a joy to watch."

"I couldn't agree more."

"I'm shining with happiness knowing that you have fun observing me being mentally stepped upon."

"Don't be so resentful, sweetie. Mother will do the dishes for you so forgive me?"

"Come, Akihito, I have new albums to show you."

"Great! I'll go get mine!"

And I'm gonna get what you talked with Asami about out of you, old man.

Sora hums merrily as her soapy hands sponge the remains of lunch off of the dishware as two easily distracted hazel eyed men chat passionately about photography on the comfort of the living room.

 

-

 

The way Mikhail had narrated the full story, not short of details that did not in actual fact have any persistence, was… exquisite. Fei Long was sure that, if not having practiced it for hours until it had been perfected to the utmost, then he had been damned dying to tell the tale to someone, anyone. After the long and, quite frankly, unwanted – for the most part – conversation, he let his emerald green changshan wipe the inexistent dust of the ground as he, not bothering with politeness, ushered the hopeless flirt out of his property with unrelenting finality.

 

Now, stilling his gaze on the Japanese man who had been by his side during the whole of the occurrence, he waits for the request that will certainly come out in a second.

"Fei Long-sam—"

"You have my permission. Do as you like."

The tight line suppressed a smile and he bowed deeply in reverence and gratitude.

"You… admire him, don't you? And respect him. Still."

The answer is prompt, unhesitant.

"Always."

A contemplative look; a heartfelt chuckle; a nod in dismissal.

 

The suited man takes his leave with unspoken words of: thank you… for understanding; for knowing that with this, it doesn't mean my loyalty doesn't belong to you solely; for trusting me again, after everything.

 

The door is closed gently and the wind makes the red cloth attached to it flutter lightly.

 

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Red strokes across a young man's head, much like bloody flames.

It's just Kurosaki's hair, though. Hard to believe it's natural.

"I swear 'Shima-san, the man doesn't do anything out of the ordinary, same routine day after day after day…"

Accounting. Kirishima's favorite main dish. Having its taste utterly destroyed by the red head's ranting. It's nothing unexpected, these days, but today… today is accounting day. Redirecting his glass-vision from foolish scarlet to blinding white, Asami Ryuuichi's first assistant pushes the youngster's existence to the bottom of the well and his disinterested voice cuts through the small distance between them.

"For the thousandth time, it's
Kiri
shima. Kurosaki, Asami-sama does not pay you a salary for you to complain. If you don't mind throwing your life away for him, I'm more than certain you are able to do such a simple thing as this without making noise."

Like a spoiled toddler who doesn't get want he wants when he wants it, Kurosaki presses a bit more.

"This and that are different matters! That Miller guy is— he's most likely just some distressed ossan who went through some nasty times in his life and just wants to settle down and enjoy the rest of his days peacefully. He does nothing but take walks sightseeing, go the doctor – and by the frequency in which he does it, it must be quite the sickness – and shop for food."

Were the kid not extremely good and skilled at what he does – steady hands; nearly perfect aim; equivalent to master-ranking in Capoeira; quick-thinking – his personality would have already been the end of him. Getting serious only during life-or-death situations isn't a bad trait but there's a limit to being annoying and whiny. Kirishima sighs and takes a moment to convince himself that it is not his fault that his apprentice turned out like this. But then thinks back because it is his merit that Red is such a well-trained employee.

it's a draw, then.

"…such a poetic thing to say. Now, that you've released some bottled up stress, buck up and go do your job. Slacking off isn't like you."

Crossing his toned arms behind his head, Kurosaki grins and sing-songs.

"Yeees, sir ~"

And yet, his serious eyes betray the light-heartedness of the indulgence to his superior.

 

-

 

Takaba's body feels sore and tired. He arrives at home, fills the bathtub with scalding water and all but dives inside after hurriedly taking off his clothes, leaving them scattered on the light blue tiled floor. The temperature coaxes his muscles into a relaxed state.

"Aaa, Suoh-san, my revenge will be terrifying! I'm gonna topple you to the ground and make you beg for mercy!"

A fist to the air in a 'GO! FIGHT!' gesture, the impact causing water to splash everywhere. Exhaling and calming himself, he lies back down and re-watched his day's on the screen of his mind:

Having forgotten it was gun target practice today instead of sparring session, Takaba woke up feeling all pumped up with the knowledge that he'd have his turn in making the bleach haired bodyguard pay for having him sleep in the freezing cubicle of the prison cell. Tough luck of his, he was dragged by Oonishi – bearded, silent, butler-type employee part of Suoh's security unit – with one leg of his workout pants yet to dress, to the indoors area of Asami's personal shooting range and trusted with a .45 ACP semi-automatic, soon left to his own devices. Flabbergasted, Takaba blamed his bad memory and equally bad schedule organizing skills and his neck cracked as he stretched the residual laziness away.

Nothing else to it…

Ear protection on, the photographer cocked his gun and schemed Suoh's demise with each succinct bullet that he proudly – after some years of hard work and extreme effort – usually puts in the two circles closest to the center of the target, utmost center circle inclusive.

A mere three hours into the afternoon, the illumination is clear from the outside through the blinds of the window in the kitchen. The can of soda finds itself being forcefully dropped in the bin after being emptied of beverage.

 

Takaba gives up on the idea of developing some films on the dark room and, all drowsy, hair still dripping from the hot bath, stumbles dead-like onto the bed and quickly falls into a deep slumber.

 

-

 

A single uncovered eye twinkles in mirth; gloved hands crumpling the prescription for a second before realization kicks in and those same hands pull the sheet of paper back to its original form. Leaving the clinic and limping his way down the road to the nearest pharmacy, the middle-aged man re-arranges the hair covering his right eye, slightly out of place due to the brief, harsh breeze that whispers by.

 

The leaves on the trees noisily mesh with the wind and the man's sinister quarter of a smile is hidden by said trees' their shadows as the sunset closes in.

"It's almost time."

-

 

A buzzing sound disturbs the quietude.

 

Asami gets up from the bed, which creaks from the loss of weight above it, and naked feet stride gracefully across the room. The sun is barely coming into view now, Asami notices as he passes by the open curtains that decorate the door to the veranda. The sound feels nearer now, emanating from the small object on the top of the coffee table. Asami grabs his blackberry and looks at the bright screen with squinty eyes.

| Yoh calling |

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(*) I love it when Takaba calls Asami that on the Drama CD, his tone is hilarious and given the context… it gets me every time. (':

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Belita

Seriously...Takaba telling Asami he'll poison his food?!

Shit that's priceless XDDDD

And sure ripped a hell lot of laughter from me at this hour dear ;)

Dunno why are you insatisfied with it... It's so good... *__*

Guess when writting something most times the writer is really the one who'll hate it the most for some reason...

I kinda love it sweetie :D

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JenovaVII
Seriously...Takaba telling Asami he'll poison his food?!

Shit that's priceless XDDDD

And sure ripped a hell lot of laughter from me at this hour dear ;)

Dunno why are you insatisfied with it... It's so good... *__*

Guess when writting something most times the writer is really the one who'll hate it the most for some reason...

I kinda love it sweetie :D

 

You know, I just now noticed the whole chapter is practically only crack. Glad it made you laugh with all the randomness. (x

I'm really happy you like it. And yeah, I always end up making a disgusted face at what I write and thinking 'WTF?'.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read, Bela! (:

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