mazauric: (Akame)
[personal profile] mazauric
Title: Sommeil
Author: mazauric
Pairing: Akame
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Kazuya is a nobody in a world he doesn't belong in. A world where money matters more than anything, even health and love. But after one drunken night with his workaholic, sucessful (and married) boss, Kazuya resolves himself into fixing him...even at his own expense.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, but I do have these little pre-set characters in my head who entertain me when I feel like taking a knife to my studies. A random idea gained from Sommeil - Stromae

Sommeil

Stepping out onto the footpath in shoes that shone under the streetlights, Kazuya took a breath and pushed his hair out of his eyes. It had taken him hours to look like this. He was dressed in a suit that he’d had to borrow for a pretty penny but it would have been even more expensive for him to buy - and honestly he didn’t have that kind of money. Even renting this suit out was expensive enough, probably a month's salary.

But it was going to be worth it. For tonight was the celebration night of the firm he worked for. ‘Western Exchange’. He had a low-ranking job but quite basically the company was all about making money through the stock exchange. Kazuya found it fascinating, watching all the brokers at their desks. They’d spend days staring at the moving charts on their screens, calling in to put money or pull money out. If they were really good, they’d earn the firm millions.

Kazuya was only on reception for now. Lowest of the low but it was a foot in the door.
Walking down the street, he fidgeted with his suit and looked up when he approached the right building. It was a celebration tonight. Western Exchange was celebrating their tenth anniversary and their most successful year of sales. There would be wine, high class food and music. A good night out but if he were being totally honest, Kazuya always felt a little out of place in gatherings like this.

Mostly because he was a receptionist and most of the people here didn’t know he even existed. They were the big league types and he barely existed to them.

He walked inside and took the elevator up to the eleventh floor. There through the grand double doors, the event room had been decked out with gold and silver balloons, stringers all along the walls, the music was pumping through the room and the lights were just dim enough to let the people let loose and party.

Kazuya ducked inside unnoticed and worked his way around the room. Stock exchange brokers were a strange bunch of people. So obsessed with money and making more that nothing else mattered to them. The brokers were already milling around the room, wines in their hands and talking to each other about money, life, cars. Kazuya snatched a wine glass and tried to blend in but as always his eyes inevitably found themselves drawn to the man in the centre of the room. The centre of attention himself and the CEO of the entire firm. Akanishi Jin.

Kazuya had only had a decent conversation with him once and that was in his job interview. Even so, Jin was the kind of person who left an impression. Handsome and successful, Akanishi Jin was the kind of person who knew how to get things done and it was due to his brilliant mind that the firm was as successful as it was. He knew his way around money and he knew his way around the market. Even more than that, he knew how to talk to people. Investors, business partners, Jin had a silver tongue and captivating eyes that were hard to say no to.

Kazuya knew all of this, not only because he’d seen Jin at work and he was brilliant, but also because those captivating eyes, that silver tongue of his had roped Kazuya in on his first day.
Maybe it was a little cliche to fall in love with the boss but Kazuya had been in love with him since day one.

The problem was that Jin, like almost everyone here, didn’t know Kazuya existed.

“Here’s to another successful year of making money!” Jin cheered and everyone rose their glasses.

“This year has been our most successful yet,” Jin continued as the music was turned down in order to let him speak. Kazuya looked around, everyone here - in their expensive suits and shoes that cost more than his house - were hanging onto his every word.

Magnetic appeal indeed.

“With a particularly dismal start in the last quarter,” Jin’s voice spread over the showroom “We dug ourselves out of it with the best rise in profits I’ve ever seen in my entire career! From this point on, we can only go up!”

More cheering, everyone raised their glasses and Kazuya joined them. He drank down the wine and felt the bubbles and fizz flying through his head and even up his nose. It made him shiver as he looked up again to see Jin disappear into the crowd as the music started up again.

Kazuya looked around. He didn’t really know anyone here. One of the downsides of being a little fish in a large ocean like the lucrative world of money meant that Kazuya could often feel quite invisible. Indeed, in a world of people like these who lived and breathed money, someone like Kazuya could wander around butt naked and nobody would care unless he had a 2000 yen note sticking out of his ass. Even then they’d only notice the note.

It was a shallow world that Kazuya was actually thankful he wasn’t deep inside. After all he was only reception, he didn’t deal with the cash. He didn’t care about the cash. They could drown in their money and he’d still be perfectly happy in his one bedroom apartment. He wasn’t rich like them. He wasn’t like them and he was fine with that.

But Jin....

Kazuya’s eyes spotted him soon enough talking to a beautiful model-like woman with long legs and a beautiful dark blue dress that hugged her perfect body. Her hair was long, slightly curled and perfect like the rest of her and judging by the way Jin leaned in and kissed her cheek, Kazuya guessed he was more than familiar with her.

“That’s his wife.”

Jumping, Kazuya looked up to see Yamapi - the only broker in this entire company who actually noticed him. Yamashita Tomohisa was a low ranking broker but he was still important enough to deal with the stocks. He didn’t make as much money as the rest and admittedly he was a bit lazy because more than once he’d run to Kazuya asking him to save his ass with something he’d forgotten to do.

More than once, Kazuya had worked overtime to print reports that Yamapi had forgotten to prepare, or sort something out for him that Yamapi had simply forgotten to do.

Yamapi grinned at him and clinked his wine glass with him “Nice party huh?”

Kazuya turned his eyes back to Jin and the woman with him “His wife?”

“Yup, the beautiful Kuroki Meisa,” Yamapi hummed “She turns up every now and then at these functions, lets Jin introduce her to people, works the room for about an hour and then disappears. Presumably to get drunk.”

Kazuya looked at him. Aside from being lazy, Yamapi also didn’t really look like everyone else either. Everyone who worked her wore suits, their hair was always slicked back or something and they just looked like they were dripping millions even if they weren’t.

Yamapi looked like if he just took off his clothes and strutted around in his underwear, someone would photograph him and make a killing from a magazine. He didn’t slick his hair back either but he kept it neatly styled most of the time...except when he was panicking, then no amount of gel would make him look calm.

“How do you know?” he couldn’t help but ask.

Yamapi snorted and finished his wine glass “I’ve been to one of the boss functions. You know, those dinners that receptionists never get invited to?”

Kazuya rolled his eyes and Yamapi continued “You wouldn’t want to go to one anyway. Impossibly boring functions they are, nothing like this where we can dance.”

Yamapi went to get another drink and Kazuya couldn’t help but glance at Jin again. He wondered what Jin’s home life was like. He’d seen the sycophants around here, they were all money-obsessed people with no personalities and their priorities were all out of sync. They’d save their wallets from a burning house before they saved their wives and children. Was Jin like that too?

Meisa leaned in to tell Jin something and Kazuya watched a smile appear on Jin’s face. But it didn’t reach his eyes. Jin then hooked his arm around her thin waist and - just like Yamapi said - they started to work the room with Jin introducing her to important people and stopping to chat with them.

It was all...terribly...shallow.

“Here,” Yamapi came back and gave Kazuya a new wine glass. He clinked Kazuya’s glass with his own and smiled “Let’s get pissed.”

Kazuya looked at the man “Pi, can I ask you something?”

“You’d rather talk instead of getting pissed?” Yamapi rose an eyebrow but he held off on drinking to humour Kazuya.

“If your house was on fire and you only had time to save one thing, what would it be?” Kazuya looked at him “Your dog? Your mother? Your money, your wife?”

“Don’t have a dog or a wife,” Yamapi shrugged “As for my mother, she’s in a retirement home.”

“So you’d save your money,” Kazuya finished, feeling a little disappointed in Yamapi.

Yamapi snorted “You make that sound like a bad thing. Money makes the world go around you know, it’s what we’re in this business for...most of us anyway.”

“Money isn’t everything,” Kazuya replied quietly, as if he was suddenly aware he was in a room full of at least 50 people who would beg to differ.

“No, money isn’t everything,” Yamapi agreed, much to Kazuya’s surprise “But it does make life a lot easier. Money buys food, a house, furniture. All those little comforts people need for a comfortable life.”

Kazuya looked at him and Yamapi smiled “If my house were on fire, I’d save my cat.”

“You have a cat?” the younger blinked, rather surprised and Yamapi laughed.

“She’s big, fat, heavy and grey,” he finished his wine “I call her ‘Nessie’”

Just like that, the disappointment was gone and Kazuya finished his wine too before letting Yamapi tug him into the middle of the room to dance.

It was getting late but nobody seemed to want to leave. At around 11 at night, when the party was still full blown and people were dancing, drinking and chatting, Kazuya stepped out onto the balcony for air. He spotted some smokers in the corner, some chatting to each other, others staring out at the lights of the city. Kazuya felt the breeze pushing his hair back and sighed in relief. Yamapi knew how to move, Yamapi seemed to have endless stamina and if Kazuya didn’t know better, he’d say the man was on drugs.

He wasn’t, he was probably just hyped up on the fact that he was getting a payrise.

“Got a light?”

Looking up, Kazuya’s eyes widened and he felt his heart jolt when he realised it was Akanishi Jin leaning next to him on the railing. Kazuya nodded and fished out a lighter from his pocket as Jin stuck a cigarette between his lips. Kazuya lit it for him and watched as Jin’s entire body seemed to relax at the first inhale.

“Thanks,” Jin blew the smoke out through his nose and looked out over the city.

Kazuya couldn’t help but stare a little bit. He wondered how someone so beautiful could work in a job that was just so empty. Money wasn’t the be all and end all to Kazuya but he honestly couldn’t understand how some people could chase it and think of nothing else.
If he wasn’t such a sucker for Jin’s pretty face, he’d be much happier flipping burgers.

...actually he probably wouldn’t.

“Nice night,” Jin spoke.

Kazuya watched how little wisps of his hair blew back with the wind. Jin had styled his hair tonight and he certainly looked like he belonged with all the money of this company but there were subtle differences about him. So subtle that only Kazuya, who was looking at him and not what he was worth, could see.

“Yes sir,” Kazuya managed to reply, having only just remembered his boss had spoken.

Jin looked at him and Kazuya wished his heart didn’t jump as much as it just did. Jin was a beautiful creature. Kazuya even felt that the word ‘beautiful’ was far too simple to cover just what kind of creature he really was. He was tall, elegant, finely dressed and yet there was that hint, just the barest hint of something incredibly casual. Something that didn’t belong in this world of Armani suits and million dollar cars.

Jin’s pretty face furrowed a little and he turned to face Kazuya “You’re…” he struggled for a moment “Mushinana?”

Kazuya wondered how the fuck he got that name.

“Something to do with an animal and a fruit,” Jin clarified as if Kazuya’s confusion was pasted all over his face.

“Kamenashi,” Kazuya corrected him “Kazuya.”

“Knew it had something to do with an animal and a fruit,” Jin nodded, the smile on his face looked as though he were proud of himself despite still getting Kazuya’s name heinously wrong.

Kazuya could detect a whiff of alcohol on the other and he wasn’t surprised. He’d seen Jin subtly drinking down glass after glass after glass of wine and this stuff was the expensive stuff. It was also notoriously strong. Kazuya could get drunk off two glasses, Jin would probably get drunk on four.

“Sir, are you feeling okay?” Kazuya couldn’t help but ask.

Now that he was close enough, he could see the bags underneath Jin’s eyes. Subtly hidden by concealer of all things. He could see that the small particles that made Jin a little less formal than everyone else was actually put there accidentally and not deliberately. As if the man had simply forgotten to take care of those parts of him when he was dressing up.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” Jin shrugged “I’m the head of a multinational successful business.”

He laughed but it was the kind of laughter that made a shiver run down Kazuya’s spine. It was a completely empty laugh. He watched Jin a little closer, now noticing small subtle things about Jin that he hadn’t, in his distance, noticed before. It was different, looking at Jin now instead of looking at him through office windows. Now that the man was standing right in front of Kazuya, Kazuya could see things. Little things and he wasn’t liking what he was seeing.

“Are you okay?” he asked again, his tone serious this time.

Jin stopped his hollow laughter and looked at Kazuya. Really looked at him. He flicked his cigarette away and frowned for a moment, as if he were looking at a puzzle and not a human being.

“Tell me, Kamemushi-”

“Nashi.”

“Kamenashi. How long have you been working with us?”

Embarrassingly, Kazuya didn’t even have to think. “Two years.”

“Two years and you’re still where you are,” Jin hummed.

He came closer and Kazuya, out of self preservation, took a step back to stop the man getting too close. But that was hard. They were outside on the balcony and unless Kazuya wanted to go back inside or snuggle up to the smoker group to his left, there was only so far he could run.

“Do you have an interest in the stock market?” Jin asked and Kazuya could smell it now. The alcohol on his breath. Jin was drunk. He wasn’t stumbling around and making a fool of himself but he was definitely drunk.

“Do you have an interest in money?” the elder continued as if he didn’t notice Kazuya trying to escape him “Or are you satisfied with minimum wage and shitty hours?”

Kazuya felt his voice caught in his throat. He hadn’t been expecting this. Sure, Jin was telling the truth. He worked some shitty hours and the pay wasn’t all that flash either - not compared to the other brokers. But oddly enough, Kazuya was content there. He had no interest in becoming a broker himself, no matter how fascinating they could be when they were on the go.

“I’m content,” Kazuya told Jin and he saw Jin’s face turn from mild curiosity to full blown confusion. As if Jin couldn’t imagine a low level administrator being content with his shitty job when he was surrounded by so many greater and higher paying jobs.

Finally Jin’s face burst into genuine laughter as he reached back to grab another wine glass from the server who was making the rounds. He handed the glass to Kazuya and leaned back again to grab his own. He brought his glass to Kazuya’s, clinking them together with a small sound.

“A toast then,” he proposed “You’re a rare being, Nekoringo.”

“Kamenashi.”

“Right, right.”

Jin drunk his wine down fast and Kazuya could see it. He was getting drunk on purpose. But why? Did these functions bore him? Was there something about a bunch of stiff collars stuck in the same room that caused him to drink? Not that Kazuya could really blame him but he hadn’t thought that Jin would feel out of place in this crowd. It was his crowd.

Kazuya took a sip from his wine out of politeness but when he saw Jin watching him expectantly, he sculled it down just like Jin had. The strong kick of the wine hit his senses like a freight train and it was all Kazuya could do not to cough and gag.

He looked up to see a satisfied smile on Jin’s face and choked a little. Damn the wine was strong. He watched helplessly as Jin filled his glass again and clinked with him “Bottoms up,” Jin encouraged and Kazuya knew better. When the boss said to drink, he had to drink.

So he did.

About an hour or so later (in all honesty, Kazuya had lost track of time) things were getting very hazy.
Shit. He knew it was a bad idea. That wine was strong after all and it was just as well Kazuya wasn’t driving. Then again he didn’t think taking the train when he was this drunk was a good idea either.

The party continued, the people inside kept talking about money and accounts but Kazuya was far too drunk to care by this point. He stumbled against the wall and tried to lean against it, begging for it to stay still because nothing else seemed to. Damn Jin. Getting him drunk like this. He looked around but his boss was nowhere to be found. He’d just kept plying Kazuya with glass after glass of wine until Kazuya no longer knew which way was up anymore. Then he’d excused himself saying he had to go to the bathroom.

“Stay still..” Kazuya pleaded, his face was pink, he could feel his cheeks burning red already because he’d had too much to drink. It did come across his mind to call someone to come pick him up but he wasn’t sure he’d be able to find the right name right now, everything was so fuzzy.

Come to think of it, the bathroom sounded like a good idea. Kazuya pushed himself off the wall, stumbling as he made his way back into the room. The music was loud, nobody noticed him but that was just as well since he was off his face as it was.
Somehow he found the men's bathroom and didn’t bother knocking before he pushed the door open and stumbled inside. He just needed water, he just needed…

“Oh Neko-chan,” Jin’s familiar voice sounded and Kazuya looked up to see the man at the sinks. He looked amused.

Bastard.

“You’ve had a bit too much to drink,” Jin spoke, his arms coming around Kazuya’s frame to keep him up “You should have taken it easy.”

“It was your fault,” Kazuya slurred, he didn’t have that filter that told him not to blame his boss for this stuff. Even though it was Jin’s fault.

“I know, I’m sorry. I forget people aren’t as tolerant of alcohol as I am,” Jin chuckled and Kazuya could feel his hands on him. Just innocently holding him up.

The man was really warm.

“Aka...nishi,” Kazuya managed and Jin took him to the sinks.

Jin helped splash cold water on Kazuya’s face and Kazuya coughed as Jin brushed his hair out of his face. He felt a little better but he was still drunk.
Kazuya looked at Jin and smiled a little “You know…” he began “I only wanted this job ‘cause of yoo…”

Somewhere in the back of his mind, he’d expected Jin to be confused, maybe even angry. But instead all that appeared was a smile on Jin’s face “Yeah?”

“I fuckin’ hate how shallow everyone izz…” Kazuya slurred “An...and I’d have happily godden any udder job but...but…”

Jin’s arm was around him now, his free hand coming up to brush a damp lock out of Kazuya’s eyes and Kazuya’s breath hitched. When had Jin gotten so close?

“...I’m a sucker...for your face….” Kazuya admitted helplessly and somewhere in the back of his inebriated mind, he’d expected to be thrown on the cold tile floor as Jin walked out in disgust. He’d expected to be fired.

What he didn’t expect was for Jin’s lips to land hungrily on his. Even less that he’d kiss back and lose all control.

-

When Kazuya awoke, the first thing he felt was an ache in his head and the bright sunlight shining on his face. With a groan, he reached up and felt his head. He felt like he’d been hit by a train. Everything ached and the sunlight wasn’t helping.

Distantly, he could hear the chirping of the birds. He could hear some even more distant noises, like someone moving around next door. Kazuya opened his eyes and glanced at his bedroom curtains, only to see they were still open. Hence the invasive sunlight.

He was about to get up when an arm draped around his waist stopped him. Kazuya looked down and followed the pale arm all the way up to it’s naked owner sleeping in the bed with him.
Kazuya gasped so loudly that Jin twitched as Kazuya scrambled out of bed and fell off it with a loud thump.

Wincing, Jin turned to press his face in his pillow.

“Ugh,” he groaned “My head…”

Kazuya, suddenly aware of his own nakedness, pulled a blanket over himself and stared. His boss was lying in his bed and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what they’d been doing last night. Kazuya felt the familiar ache in his backside and blushed when he realised he didn’t remember anything that happened. Just how much had he drunk?!

Jin rolled onto his back and Kazuya slowly stood up. Hangover be damned, his boss was in his bed. Kazuya stared at Jin and for a moment he found himself distracted by how beautiful the other was. Jin’s hair was messed up from the bed, black locks going everywhere, all over Kazuya’s pillows. His chest and stomach was nicely toned and Kazuya noticed, with a flush spreading across his face, that Jin really wasn’t wearing anything. The blanket only just covered his crotch.

Kazuya looked around. Well at least they were in his house...though god knows he can’t remember how the hell they got there. He hastily went to grab some underwear and was just pulling on a shirt when he heard Jin moving again.

“...s’too early,” Jin groaned. His eyes opened and there was a moment of confusion as he realised he wasn’t in his own bedroom, then his eyes settled on Kazuya and there was a click of recognition. Jin obviously remembered more than Kazuya did.

“...oh. Morning Neko-chan.”

“It’s Kame,” Kazuya reminded him with slight irritation. He turned to Jin “And I’m sorry. I’m so sorry about last night.”

“Why? I’m not... “ Jin yawned and rolled over lazily.

Kazuya stared at him in disbelief “I...you…” he struggled for a moment “...You’re married!”

“Yes that stops people all the time,” Jin drawled and rolled onto his back again. Kazuya’s sheets were getting tangled up in his legs and Kazuya tried not to look down where the blanket had slipped down his legs, revealing him in all his glory.

Kazuya finished buttoning his shirt and checked the time “I’ve got to get to work,” he muttered “I’m late…”

“You’re with the boss so I think I’ll excuse you,’ Jin hummed in a carefree manner.

Kazuya didn’t know what he was doing. He certainly hadn’t planned to sleep with Jin last night and as much as he was into him, he had his limits. Sleeping with a married man was definitely on his list of things not to do.

Oh god, he was a homewrecker.

He reached for his pants and started pulling them up. He was going to have to take some painkillers and maybe find a way to get Jin out of his apartment. He couldn’t exactly leave him here on his own, this was still his place.

Jin watched him get dressed and eventually pulled himself up as well. He dressed into the clothes he’d worn last night and when Kazuya made a beeline for the bathroom, Jin just watched him.

Internally Kazuya was freaking out a little. This was entirely new to him, he’d never fooled around with a married man before. He’d never done something like sleeping with someone whilst completely off his face as well and as he was brushing his teeth, a horrible thought occurred to him.

Had Jin gotten him drunk deliberately? He remembered Jin plying him with glass after glass of wine but he hadn’t thought anything of it at the time. Was it possible Jin had taken advantage of him?

Spitting and rinsing, Kazuya wiped his face and came out of the bathroom again to find Jin still in his bedroom. He put his hands on his hips “Did you take advantage of me?”

Jin’s smile irritated him “No more than you took advantage of me.”

“I was drunk last night.”

“So was I.”

Kazuya bit his lip. Jin may have been drunk too but Jin clearly remembered way more. Kazuya blamed it mostly on his tolerance level. He never had been good with alcohol, even when he was younger and tried it out with friends. He was always the one who got drunker faster.

“Besides,” Jin carried on “You were the one who came up to me telling me about how you’re only working for my firm because you’ve got the hots for me.”

Kazuya felt his face burn with embarrassment and he looked away “Oh god I said that?”

Jin laughed and Kazuya closed his eyes. He wanted the ground to open up and swallow him whole. But it didn’t, instead he heard Jin coming closer and looked up when Jin’s hand rested on his cheek. Jin pressed a small kiss to his lips and Kazuya’s eyes fluttered.

How did Jin still smell so nice and intoxicating?

Despite his hangover and the fact that Jin kissing him felt nicer than Kazuya was willing to admit out loud, Kazuya found the strength somehow to push the man off and rub his lips.

“You’re married,” he pointed out.

“You keep saying that,” Jin replied as if the ring on his finger wasn’t as big a deal to him as it obviously was to Kazuya.

“I’m not a...a…” Kazuya struggled for a moment, trying to find a word amidst the mother of all migraines “...homewrecker!”

“Relax,” Jin sighed “There’s no way you can wreck my home anymore than it’s already wrecked. Besides, aren’t you having fun?”

“No!” Yes.

Kazuya looked at Jin incredulously and noticed, not for the first time, the bags underneath Jin’s eyes. Standing in front of him was an undoubtedly beautiful man but there was something off about him. Something Kazuya had noticed last night and was noticing again. It made him hesitate.

“Ji-uh...Akanishi...sir,” he stammered, trying to find the correct register to use with him. Regardless of the fact that they’d obviously had sex last night, Jin was still his boss. “Are you okay?”

Jin’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion “You asked me that last night too.”

“You just look…” Kazuya looked over Jin’s form once more and settled for the most obvious word “...tired.”

Jin snorted “Of course I’m tired,” he teased “If you remembered a hint of what we did last night, you’d know why.”

Kazuya’s face burnt again and Jin turned on his heel “I’m off to work,” he hummed “Don’t be too late, Neko-chan.”

“It’s Kame!” Kazuya called after him.

Jin’s head popped back into his room and Kazuya hated the smug smile on his face. Like he knew Kazuya would forgive him for this.

“Okay, instead of Neko you can be Koneko-chan,” he purred and slipped back out “Later Koneko-chan!”

Kazuya heard the front door close and wondered if it was even wise to keep working at Western Exchange when he’d just slept with the boss. Did this mean anything? If Kazuya could remember what they’d done last night, he might hold it more precious but the fact remained that he couldn’t remember a damn thing. He never could when he drank that much.

But he still felt this way for Jin. The biggest reason why he’d started working there in the first place was because he’d developed a crush on the boss on day one and yeah, maybe it wasn’t wise to accept a job position because of that but in all honesty finding a career wasn’t as easy as it used to be. Kazuya was both desperate for a job and eyeballing the boss.

But now that he knew Jin was married, the game had changed a bit. Kazuya was NOT a homewrecker. He didn’t go around stealing husbands...deliberately. No more drinking with Jin, Kazuya was going to have to label the man completely off limits. This one night stand was going to have to stay just as that...a one night stand. Regardless of the fact that he made Kazuya’s stomach flutter with endless restless butterflies with his bright smile...or the fact that Kazuya had the image of Jin’s naked body burnt in his memory...or the fact that he was probably still going to crush on Jin after this...that was as far as this was going to go.

..unfortunately.

Kazuya took a deep breath and rubbed his face. Crushing on Jin aside, he’d been bothered by the bags under Jin’s eyes and the slight twitch of his left hand. When Kazuya was little, his father overworked himself. He worked right to the bone to provide for his family and Kazuya knew the signs of insomnia or something close to it when he saw it. Granted, Jin didn’t have insomnia as he’d obviously been sleeping in Kazuya’s bed but something was up with him.

Trouble at home? Probably considering Jin kept sleeping around. Kazuya wondered if his wife knew, he wondered if she even cared. Clearly Jin wasn’t being hounded by her, Kazuya didn’t hear his phone go off so nobody was looking for him. Kazuya hadn’t even known Jin was married until last night, what else didn’t he know about him? Did he have kids? Did he have a whole life that Kazuya didn’t know about?

He remembered distantly that Yamapi mentioned those dinners with the boss and made a note to ask him if he could come along next time.

He wouldn’t do anything with Jin. He just...wanted to know. He knew what a man looked like when he hadn’t had sleep. Unfortunately Jin was showing all the signs Kazuya knew of.

-

Getting back into a normal routine of work had changed somewhat. It was still the same in the fact that nobody really noticed him at all, he was administration, he went around making coffees, photocopying stuff and there was the occasional moment when Yamapi would come to the counter to banter, tease and basically take his mind off work. What had changed was the fact that Jin now knew he was there.

He’d come around to the reception desk every morning, say “Morning Koneko-chan” and flash that smile that made Kazuya want to kiss him and hit him for cheating on his wife. Every time he’d go out for meetings outside the office, he’d pass reception and call Kazuya “Koneko-chan”.
When Kazuya had to make coffees and bring them around to the meeting room, Jin would be the only one who would thank him and call him “Koneko-chan” even if everyone else was there.

It was kind of distracting because Kazuya was used to being invisible. It made a difference being noticed by the boss even if nobody else noticed him.
But there was still that look on Jin, that sleepless look that Kazuya recognised all too well and Kazuya even found out, one night when he stayed overtime to photocopy something Yamapi had forgotten to do, that Jin stayed in the office as long as he possibly could. He’d only tried to get in Kazuya’s pants once and that had ended with Kazuya threatening sexual assault and walking out of the office.

He was sure he’d get fired but Jin hadn’t said a word about it and Kazuya probably should have quit but he couldn’t bring himself to. This was an easy job and it wasn’t like Jin was creeping him out.

“Pi,” he spoke one morning as he delivered a large stack of papers to Yamapi’s desk.

Yamapi looked up from his computer desk and blinked at Kazuya “Aaah Koneko-chan.’

“Not you too,” Kazuya whined “Look, I was just wondering if you’ve been invited to a recent dinner with the boss?”

“Yeah there’s one on Saturday,” Yamapi groaned “Heinously boring affairs those nights are. I think the boss gives us the strong alcohol on purpose because he knows they’re going to be boring.”

“Why does he have them if he knows they’re boring then?” Kazuya frowned.

“It’s all about appearances in this world, Koneko-chan,” Yamapi spoke “If Akanishi looks good to the higher-ups, keeps a perfect family, has friendly relations with his staff, then they keep funding this place.”

“So it’s for appearances?” Kazuya asked, he was new to this scene and in a way, he didn’t even really want to understand it. It was still too shallow.

“Yes. Those stiff-necks get a free dinner, they get to stare at Kuroki Meisa’s boobs, they get to hang out with brokers like us and Akanishi spends the night kissing ass,” Yamapi hummed “Like I said. Boring.”

“Can you take me along?” Kazuya asked and Yamapi shot him a weird look.

“...why the hell would you want to go to one of those?” Yamapi asked “I’ve been spending months trying to come up with a legitimate excuse not to come to this one!”

“There’s something I want to confirm,” Kazuya admitted helplessly “Please?”

Yamapi studied him for a moment and sighed “Sure, you can be my plus 1. Just don’t come whining to me when you fall asleep with your face in the spaghetti.”

Kazuya smiled and as he turned around, Yamapi called after him “Dress sharp and pretend you’re rich!”

Nodding, Kazuya went back to his desk. He looked through the office window to Jin’s office and saw the other leaning over his desk, he was concentrating on his laptop screen, his hand writing something in a file. Jin was hard at work and he looked normal to anyone else but Kazuya was looking for the signs of tiredness and he could see them clear as day. Something was up with Jin and maybe it was none of Kazuya’s business but he wanted to know what.

-

Pulling at his tie, Kazuya winced again and looked over his suit. He’d had to hire it, he didn’t actually own a suit that made him look like he owned a landmine. Yamapi leaned over and put a hand over his, pulling it away from where he’d been messing with the buttons “Stop that, you look fine.”

“This suit is really itchy,” Kazuya complained quietly “And I think I ordered the wrong size because it’s kind of tight.”

“You look fine,” Yamapi assured him as he pulled up on the curb of what appeared to be a high class area. He turned to Kazuya “Just stay quiet, nod and laugh pretentiously when they talk about money.”

Kazuya stared at him “Oh my god you’re serious.”

“I told you, the people you’re about to spend your evening with care about nothing more than money. Everything else is secondary to them so if you can’t think of something to say, just nod and drink.”

“I’m never drinking again,” Kazuya pointed out, remembering how that one night with Jin had gone.

“Fine, drink the orange juice then,” Yamapi sighed and got out of the car.

Kazuya followed him through the gates and up to what appeared to be a two storey house. It was by no means a mansion but it had a spacious frontyard, high walls, the garden was immaculate even in the night and it had a certain western and eastern style to it that made it look wholly modern. Yamapi knocked on the door and Kazuya hovered behind him when it was opened to reveal Jin’s wife, Meisa.

She was even more beautiful up close than she was far away. Her red dress hugged her slim figure, her long hair was left out and brushed over her shoulders and down to the V-neck revealing just a hint of cleavage. Not that there was much cleavage on her to begin with but the dress made her look more endowed than she probably really was. She seemed too fit to have big breasts.

“Yamashita,” Meisa smiled, her eyes flicked to Kazuya and for a horrifying moment, Kazuya wondered if she’d noticed him and Jin leave the party that one night. Oh god how had they left? Had anyone noticed?

Instead she smiled “You’re new.”

“Ah, this is Kamenashi,” Yamapi introduced him “He’s my date.”

Meisa looked a little surprised, probably because she’d thought of Yamapi as straight, but her surprise left her face fast as she smiled instead and stepped aside “Come in.”

They were led into the dining room where most of the guests had already arrived. Jin, sitting at the head of the table, looked up and he was surprised to see Kazuya too. Surprised but not put off.

“Koneko-chan!” he called happily, causing some of the brokers to laugh. No doubt they’d heard Jin call Kazuya that several times and Kazuya doubted any of them knew his real name.

“I bring Koneko-chan,” Yamapi laughed as they were shown to their seats “He’s my plus one for the night, hope you don’t mind, boss.”

“Not at all,” Jin hummed and Kazuya looked around.

He noticed that the long table made up of 80% brokers. The remaining 18% was people he’d never met before. Most of them were elderly men in their 60’s and 70’s. They were probably the higher ups. The funders. They took up the seats closest to Jin and were already making their way through the many wine bottles Jin had arranged on the table. As more guests arrived, Meisa busied herself with placing large servings of chicken, rice bowls, miso soup, shrimp, salmon and all sorts of dishes on the table for people to help themselves. As she did, Jin got into a conversation with one of the elderly men about the stock market as the other brokers mostly talked amongst themselves whilst they were eating.

The table was filled with chatter which Meisa eventually joined when she stopped serving and took her seat next to Jin.

Kazuya leaned in to Yamapi “Is it always like this?”

“This is what networking is like,” Yamapi hummed over what had to be his third glass of wine for the night. He nodded to Jin “He’s going to talk to the higher ups, while they get plastered off the wine and we underdogs eat, drink and pretend we’re having fun. It’s a free dinner in the end of the day because Meisa’s cooking is actually pretty awesome.”

He dug into the shrimp and Kazuya glanced at Jin at the end of the table. Jin still had those bags under his eyes. But despite the copious amounts of wine at the table, he actually wasn’t drinking. He was instead concentrating on the old men around them and engaging them in serious conversations about the state of the stock market.

Kazuya knew this side at least. Jin may be cheating on his wife and irritating at times and yeah, he’s probably not sleeping but he knew how to work and he worked hard. Nobody worked as hard as Jin did for the company and the profit rates just proved it, Jin knew his way around the market and he knew how to put money to work. As shallow as this world was, there was a certain art in the way Jin knew how to work this field.

Meisa on the other hand, was getting drunk. Downing glass after glass after glass of wine until she stopped caring about the 75 year old man who was shamelessly staring at her boobs for most of the night.

By the time they got to the second course, Kazuya decided he wanted to figure this out. He got up and looked around “Um...may I use the bathroom?”

“Stairs and first door on the right,” Meisa told him.

Kazuya nodded and quietly excused himself from the room. He found the stairs just outside the dining room and as he made his way up, he looked at the pictures lining the walls. Normally for a married couple, he’d expect the pictures in the hallway to be that of a wedding or something but instead they were all of Meisa. Model shots taken from various studios, some were even completed advertisements. Sneakers, jewellery, gym equipment...she was clearly a model.

Kazuya found the bathroom and stopped at the door for a moment. He looked around. He could see a master bedroom, a closet and another closed door that made him curious. Not that he was really going to pry in Jin’s house but he wondered what was going on in Jin’s life that made him so restless and sleepless.

He went into the bathroom to splash water on his face and think this through. This probably wasn’t normal. Why was he so invested in Akanishi Jin when clearly he didn’t know the first thing about the man and they’d only slept together once? He didn’t even remember a damn thing about that night...which frustrated Kazuya but then again maybe it was a blessing. He couldn’t miss something he couldn’t remember and it was bad enough he was crushing on a married man.

He leaned against the sink and didn’t even notice the bathroom door opening until he heard Jin’s voice “Oh good, so the toilet didn’t swallow you.”

Jumping, Kazuya looked at Jin standing in the doorway. He felt like he’d been caught doing something bad when all he’d been doing was thinking. “I...I was just…”

“Trust me I know how boring these dinners are,” Jin hummed “Get drunk and it’ll go faster.”

“No thanks,” Kazuya rejected flat out. He saw Jin’s curious look and added: “I’m not getting drunk in front of you again.”

“What a shame,” Jin purred “That ended so well last time.”

Kazuya thought to threaten him again with a sexual assault lawsuit but he never would. Jin was just playing. He probably didn’t even realise that Kazuya actually felt real feelings for him. That he cared when he knew he shouldn’t. It was annoying caring about someone who barely knew he existed. Even more annoying caring about someone he knew he had no place caring about. Jin wasn’t his, Jin was never going to be his.

“Why are you here?” Jin asked and Kazuya blinked.

“I’m...Yamashita’s plus one,” he replied though he knew it was only half the truth. He hadn’t told Jin that he’d asked to be taken here.

He didn’t need to either. Jin saw right through him and he knew it “No,” Jin hummed “I mean why are you here?”

Kazuya sighed and looked at Jin “I was worried about you,” he admitted and watched Jin’s eyebrows rise up to his hairline.

“Worried? About me? Why?”

“I don’t know,” Kazuya huffed, frustrated “I just...you look so tired all the time and you’re cheating on your wife so I couldn’t help but wonder if there’s something wrong at home….I don’t know. I care, okay?”

That hurt. That really hurt to admit it. It was embarrassing.

Jin watched Kazuya for a moment, his face unreadable before he finally did the only thing Kazuya didn’t want to do. He burst out laughing and made Kazuya’s humilation worse.

“You’re worried?!” Jin cracked up, he had to lean on the doorframe for support “About...about me?!”

Kazuya glared at him “I’m serious!”

“Oh Koneko-chan,” Jin sighed, still giggling to himself “If things were alright at home, of course I wouldn’t be fooling around with other people. It’s not like she doesn’t cheat on me either, we both know this marriage is cold as ice.”

He stepped forward and Kazuya forgot to step back. It wasn’t like he could go far even if he tried, this was a small bathroom.

“Then why are you still married?” Kazuya frowned in confusion “Why don’t you sleep? Why are you still...if you’re unhappy, then do something about it.”

“Koneko-chan,” Jin sighed “You clearly don’t know the rules of this game.”

“Then enlighten me,” Kazuya shrugged “You brought me in this game by sleeping with me and totally taking advantage of the fact that I had a crush on you, so tell me what’s wrong?”

“This is how we perfect people play,” Jin told him in a calm and almost condescending tone “We play perfect families. We have the perfect house, perfect marriage on the outside, perfect jobs, we are rolling in money and we are what everyone else wants to be. Meisa knows the game and so do I.”

“But you’re unhappy,” Kazuya pointed out “You’re not sleeping. You stay at work late...you’re going to destroy yourself at this rate.”

“Thank you for your concern but I’ll be fine,” Jin drawled.

Kazuya stared at him, there was still one thing he didn’t understand “Why are you still married?”

“Duh,” Jin frowned “Divorce means we’re not perfect. Plus she’ll take half. Besides, divorce is messy.”

Kazuya didn’t understand. No, he couldn’t understand. Jin placed this fake perfect life above his own health and it was obvious to Kazuya that Jin didn’t sleep. In fact he looked worse now than he had on the night of the party. Kazuya didn’t know why the hell he didn’t notice this earlier but he was noticing it now and it was really worrying how sick Jin was.

Jin didn’t even know he was sick. Or he did and he didn’t care.

“Jin,” Kazuya continued, forgetting himself for a moment “If you continue like this, you’re going to die early. You’ll work yourself into the ground, collapse, die of stress or something like that.”

“I’ll be fine,” Jin folded his arms “Now come on, before Yamashita thinks I’ve eaten his date or something.”

“We’re just friends,” Kazuya felt the need to defend himself.

“I’m aware of that, if I thought you two were any closer, I’d have noticed it,” Jin pointed out with a knowing smile, he tilted his head “Think you’re the only one doing the watching, Koneko-chan?”

Kazuya felt helpless. Paralyzed even as Jin slowly walked up to him, lifted a hand and stroked his cheek so gently. Jin’s eyes, tired though they were, were soft too and watching Kazuya like he was something new. Something that needed to be protected.

“I watch you too,” Jin breathed.

Their moment was short, cut off quickly by Meisa’s voice downstairs “Jin honey? Are you alright?”

Jin slowly let his hand slip from Kazuya’s cheek and turned around to call: “Be down in a minute.”

Kazuya tried to breathe, tried to get his heart to stop racing as Jin turned back to him and took a respectful step back from him. Jin folded his arms “Don’t worry about me, Koneko-chan.”

With that said, he turned on his shiny heel and walked out of the bathroom and back into the hallway. He left Kazuya feeling even more confused now than he had been before.

Part 2

December 2016

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