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The Same Deep Water As You

by Solo & Jo

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Chapter 16

 

Friday 03 October

He can't hear a thing.

He's got the TV on, the news anchor talking about whatever it is she's talking about, something about pirates in Africa, far away, but that's not why. He's got the volume on low. The walls are why. Thick and strong, discreet. To make the client comfortable. His client, behind the door, relaxing in the tub, gearing up... he can't hear a thing.

He runs a hand through his hair, still drying; drying wrong because he doesn't have stuff here, and didn't ask about using the hairdryer. But that's not his fault. He showered, it's the middle of an appointment, nobody looks like they just arrived in the lounge.

He lets his arms sink, pulling them in close. He feels damp on the leather and weird, and he's getting cold.

On the screen, they're talking about the Russian stock exchange. Jin really doesn't give a shit, but it's better than silence. Better with something moving, better than staring at the door, or staring anywhere but the door.

He rubs his feet, one over the other. The couch really isn't that comfortable, not when you're naked save for a damp towel, and Jin isn't even thinking about slipping into a sweater, getting dressed. Just something would do, a bathrobe. Not too different from a towel, and that's what they're hanging in the wardrobe for, for use. People can't sit around naked forever, that's not reasonable.

It's that his heart has slowed; or he has slowed, some weird mix between awake and exhausted, like coffee in the middle of the night, or champagne for lunch, and he's ready and awake but a little bit slow, he can feel that. That's why he's cold.

And watching the Russians on TV doesn't make it go away. His skin is all goosebumps, and he knows he's huddling. That's stupid. He should get something to wear.

He listens to another recital of some numbers that have nothing to do with him before he stands up. Waits. Pulls the towel tight and secure, and waits, one more moment, but nothing happens; nothing should happen. Just a bathrobe. Nothing wrong with that.

They hang in a neat little row, three still left, as if that's likely, as if people often—

He slides one off, keeps the hanger from rattling, closes the door quietly. Slips it on and wraps it tight around himself, and then he gets back on the couch, a little closer to the corner. His feet on the floor are still cold.

He stares at moving colours on the screen, some chart. Maybe it's still the Russians.

The room feels big just to cross. Big, and empty. But he's glad he's alone. At least he got Yuu-chan out of here. God, he's glad.

He really doesn't care about the stock market. But he stares anyway, stares and listens, and there's no sound other than people who don't even know who he is.

They know him here, though. Out beyond the panelled door and beyond the time that belongs to Kamenashi, they know him and they know he's in here, and Kamenashi can't hurt him.

That's good, and he'll keep it in mind. Kamenashi won't hurt him; just maybe dream up something else Jin's going to hate, but Jin hates many things, and he can cope, and maybe he should get ready.

Not that he knows what for. All he knows is what not – Kamenashi knows what's allowed and what isn't, at least not without more money and not with Jin, and he's clever enough to stay just this side of that line. Expert at it. 'Playing around'; one of those guys who know just how much they can get away with, and sure, it doesn't matter, why should it matter if you come in a guy's mouth or on his legs or—

Somehow Kamenashi finds the stuff that matters. Finds ways to make it matter.

It's going to be a fine day tomorrow, the pretty pictures on the screen say, and then there are advertisements for the best spots to watch the leaves turn later in the month. Soccer after this; he'll have to find a new channel, some other boring lecture about things he couldn't care less about.

Not that he's watching TV because Kamenashi told him to. He might as well have it on, since there's nothing else to do. But Kamenashi did tell him to, so he can't throw a fit over it either when he comes back out of there to... well, whatever. Whatever he figures out he wants now, whatever he wants to try out on Jin.

Two channels over is a nature program; spiders, nothing cute and cuddly, thank god, so he stays with it.

He hopes Yuu-chan is okay.

Got spooked, for sure, but got out, and that matters most, and at least Kamenashi stopped before the worst of it and if— no, there's not going to be a next time, Yuuya knows now, knows Kamenashi isn't safe, and Jin hopes he's okay now, okay with some normal, sad old guy of a client if necessary, somewhere in a room, somewhere around here but not here. He shouldn't have to deal with Jin's deranged return customer, ever.

The spiders are starting to eat each other and creeping him out, which is something else he doesn't need, so he flips channels some more, and hey, here's the weekly news roundup, must be half past eleven.

More numbers, graphs and brokers. Maybe Jin should pay attention, maybe learn about investment. Because this is money, a whole lot. Good to keep that in mind, too. It sucks and it feels like forever, but he knows why, there's his rent for a month, more than his rent, in one single evening, and that's why he's doing this, why it's worth putting up with Kamenashi, why he lets a guy come on his face, and for a moment the fucking numbers blur away like the tiles of the shower and he swallows something tight and stinging, swallows it down because Kamenashi is behind that door and there's things he can't afford.

He combs his fingers through his hair again. He can just feel it fall into a mess. But it doesn't matter. There'll be fucking for sure. Kamenashi's got stamina. There'll be fucking and touching and hands in his hair and hands all over him and it's going to last for fucking ever, and he'll be a mess anyway.

So it doesn't matter.

They've stopped talking about money. There's broken buildings and some brown grey dusty warzone, and it's not in Africa.

It feels different when it's open-ended. Comforts can be long when a guy doesn't just pay to get the fucking, but you still know how long, and when it sucks you can measure the time until it's over. He's never had a rest before.

He'd figured they'd be good. Figured they'd be different. They are different, for the others, more like dates. Not that Jin wants to date a client and flounder his way through hours of conversation. But he didn't want this, either.

He's a little hungry, his dinner was so long ago. Kamenashi said to order if he's hungry.

But Kamenashi doesn't know, so he won't have to take his food and thank him for it.

He pulls his legs up on the couch and starts to wrap his arms around them, then changes his mind because all the warning he'll get for Kamenashi reappearing will be the turn of the lock.

He's lost track of the TV but when he checks it's okay, more talking, nothing important, all good.

Kamenashi is taking a while. Sure likes his bath long, likes to recover, dream up— stuff.

Doesn't matter. The longer he stays in there, the better for Jin, the more time he has to regroup; and it's not like Kamenashi needs thinking time to find the shit that gets to him most, so it doesn't matter.

A month's rent and more, and Jin can handle it. Best if they get to the fucking quickly, a second orgasm should tire him out a bit. Maybe Jin can ask for it nicely, since Kamenashi seems to like that so much. He can handle that, too.

He moves his toes to try to warm them, quietly and unobtrusively. The carpet is thick enough, and he's got a nice dry bathrobe, and it could all be worse, but he's still feeling cold.

Then there's the click.

For one slow beat it's like he can feel his heart, everywhere, and he takes a tight, quiet breath and makes a calmly attentive face as he turns that little way towards the bathroom door, every muscle under control.

Kamenashi looks soft inside the fluffy white terrycloth robe, a little flushed, his hair messier than Jin's and hanging in long damp strands. Whatever weird thing gave him a fit and sent him running for the bathroom, he seems to have got over it, seems pretty calm now, and that's... good. Got to keep him that way, Jin thinks, and he reaches for the remote to turn the TV off, signal readiness to—

"It's okay," Kamenashi says, "doesn't bother me." Jin isn't sure if that's a good thing, if they're going to fuck now to a backdrop of warzones and stockmarket alerts— and oh god, he's still got that bathrobe on, and Kamenashi never said anything about bathrobes and now he's looking at Jin.

He undoes the belt quickly, says, "I can take that off," hears himself sound pathetic and totally not smooth.

Kamenashi's eyes skim along the edge of the white cotton, but weirdly, and there's a shadow over them, wet hair hiding a frown...

"That's..."

He turns his head, as if that's meant to be a no, but it could be anything, and Jin keeps his back straight and his hands on the edges of his bathrobe until Kamenashi says, to the menu he picks up from the coffee table in front of Jin, "Did you order food?"

Right. Nakedness not required for now. He tries not to look like he's hiding himself when he tugs the robe closed over his chest again. "No." He felt more confident about that with Kamenashi away in a bathtub. "I didn't."

Not cold anymore, now, he's hot, sweaty.

"Would you like some now?"

"I'm not hungry," he says politely. "Thank you."

"Suit yourself." Kamenashi is reading slowly, with a focused expression. "I want to eat something," he says, to himself, to whomever, and it sounds strangely deliberate. He reads again, carefully, until he squares his shoulders and taps his index finger on the shiny little book, then puts it down.

He picks up the phone and ignores Jin until he's ordered his salad and nibbles, and Jin ignores the sounds on TV and the stretch of carpet he's staring at while he tries to read Kamenashi's tone, which is calm and tells him fuck-all.

And then he's done; puts the receiver down, sits down on the other half of the couch, and Jin doesn't know if he wants some attention now or just to be left in peace, or...

"What were you watching?"

Not looking at Jin just then, and Jin can get away with looking at the screen too. "The news." Waits a beat, for a reaction; for the gibe about educating himself, improving his vocabulary. Come on now. He'll deal, he doesn't care.

"Anything interesting?" Movement. But it's just Kamenashi crossing his legs, and there's— it's a bathrobe, of course he's naked underneath, it's not some fucking signal.

"Some war." He really doesn't want to go into specifics, he'd rather sound stupid. "Stock markets not doing so well."

"Cheerful," Kamenashi comments, and then gets up again. Wanders to the bar, and when he's opened it he does that focused reading again, this time of bottle labels.

"Do you want anything to drink?"

He's already refused food. To do more would... be noticed. Besides, he's hungry. "Tomato juice, please."

Kamenashi pours that first. Puts ice in the glass, which Jin didn't want, but he's not going to say anything. He just takes the juice when Kamenashi hands it down to him, says his thanks, takes a polite first sip and puts it down to wait for the ice to melt.

Kamenashi has a soda. He even slices a lemon for it.

He stays standing next to the sofa, takes a sip, eyes on the screen.

"Is that about whaling again?" he asks, a glance at Jin, a glance at the TV, a glance at his lemon slice.

Jin does the same thing; he can be attentive but he doesn't stare, and that's probably okay, since Kamenashi's usually not subtle about what he wants from Jin.

And it's silent except for the commentator and when Jin remembers there was a question, it feels like forever has passed, and he has no clue what the answer is. But when he says, "I don't know," and looks very very carefully at the screen and whatever Kamenashi wants to talk about, Kamenashi just nods.

Jin can see him check the door, out of the corner of his eye. Waiting for food.

On the screen, there are serious people sitting around a table. America again, Jin picks up, and the serious people look kind of excited.

"Do you follow... are you interested in foreign affairs?"

Jin is faster now, doesn't ignore he's being asked something. "Sometimes," he says, safely and blandly, and nothing happens. Nothing except silence, and maybe Jin isn't playing this right, maybe he needs to think faster and— try. "Are you?"

Kamenashi lowers himself back into his corner to watch the discussion. "Sometimes," he echoes, and then he seems to realize he did that. "I try to stay up to date. Know what's going on in the world." Another sip. "Not as much as I probably ought to, though."

That... Jin's not quite sure what Kamenashi meant more, that last part or the fact that he is a conscientious member of society and good about his homework, but Kamenashi's eyes are distracted and he's not really paying attention.

So he makes his voice work again. "If you want to change channels..."

"No," Kamenashi says. "It's fine. I don't mind."

He sips some soda, and they watch as the prime minister talks about the economy, as the education minister talks about employability, as the Opposition's education spokesman criticizes the lack of work placement opportunities. Jin tries to not even look like he remembers seeing the man downstairs on Wednesday, red-faced and hiccupping on his third or seventh glass of champagne.

Kamenashi is shifting; his eyes flicking to the door more and more often. But he ordered a warm Chicken Caesar salad and it takes a while to prepare fresh. He twists a strand of hair randomly between his fingers, where it curls against his collar, then wipes his fingers on his bathrobe. After a moment, he runs his hand over his head, brushing his hair behind his ears.

Then he stands, and Jin stills completely, doesn't let himself react in some way he might regret, doesn't track Kamenashi walking around the couch and over to the bed... until he remembers to be willing and attentive, and he looks across just as Kamenashi moves on to the dresser, to get the hairdryer out of the top drawer.

"I'm going to dry my hair," he says, nods towards the bathroom. "I'll just be in there."

Jin nods his understanding, tries not to show anything else.

Kamenashi pulls the door close, but doesn't shut it. Soon enough the sound starts, muffled, but covering the low-volume TV anyway.

Jin stares at the digital clock. Wonders how long Kamenashi takes for this.

Maybe five minutes, like Junnosuke.

Maybe twenty, like Tatsuya.

Normally, the noise annoys Jin, but right now it's the best thing in the world. He sinks against the backrest of the couch and allows himself to close his eyes; listening.

Turns out Kamenashi is someone who takes ten, like Shota. When the sound stops, Jin imagines the quick snap of the plug, maybe some rolling up if he's fussy and—

He stares at the door, for another endless minute.

Kamenashi comes out a little fluffy and a little damp, with his face all flushed. Dries his hair with his head upside down, Jin thinks, and then Kamenashi looks at him again and he stops thinking.

But the still moment doesn't last long; Kamenashi comes back to the couch and sits down and maybe that's the signal, they're getting closer to the food but...

Kamenashi has another sip of his soda, catches up with the TV, and messes with his hair again. He throws Jin a quick look, but then he seems to get stuck.

"If you'd like to..." He nods at— Jin's hair, right, and it doesn't sound like an instruction.

"Would you prefer that?"

This time, Kamenashi just shrugs. "Whatever suits you."

There's not much point; sure, he could make it wet again and tidy it all up, but what for, he knows what's still on the programme... and Kamenashi doesn't sound like he cares... but then again it would buy time, get him out of the room...

He's taking too long to think about this. Watches Kamenashi lean back, focused on more stuff on TV, and it's probably going to look weird if he gets up now.

"I'm okay like this," he says.

Kamenashi nods absently. Sips at his drink again, shifts back a little bit, into the corner, but his robe stays closed and his eyes aren't commanding. "Good to have things a bit more relaxed."

Right.

"Yes," Jin says tamely.

"It's better with just the two of us, I think," Kamenashi is saying, and looking down, and frowning while he seems to think that through.

Jin very deliberately thinks of nothing. "Yes," he says with his head down. "Thank you."

"No, that's not—" No more, and when Jin checks, Kamenashi is shaking his head at the table. Shifts around a little, crosses his legs again, looks at the TV next, and maybe the wall.

Jin is silent. It would help if the food arrived.

"It's not really my thing," Kamenashi says next. "That." There's a shrug, like he knows Jin knows what he means.

Noted. He has another look, to nod understandingly and gratefully if so required, but Kamenashi is just frowning off into space. Then he stands up again and steps away from the sofa, and Jin tells himself he's not really relieved and not really so pathetic he actually believes this guy, because Kamenashi can act with the best of them. Anyway, there's not going to be a next time, this was... different, and it won't happen that way again.

There's a knock on the door.

Normally that's Jin's job, dealing with the in-room side of hospitality, and he sits up. But Kamenashi is on his feet already, takes a few firm steps towards the door, checks briefly through the spyhole and unlocks it.

Jin wraps his bathrobe even more firmly around himself, half-turns for the greeting.

It's Kido-san, one of the older waiters. For once, Jin doesn't mind the embarrassment of normal people seeing him on assignments; Kido is a welcome reminder that there are things outside this room, normal things and people who know him.

And the food will give Kamenashi something to do.

Kamenashi steps aside to let Kido wheel in the elegant food trolley with various covered plates on it. Jin meets Kido's eyes and they exchange a small nod of acknowledgement. Jin will take it from here.

Kamenashi thanks him politely and so does Jin, and then Kido bows again and retreats, and then he's gone and the door falls shut, the room closing in again.

Jin rises. But doesn't touch. You never know, with Kamenashi. "Would you like me to set it out?"

For a moment Kamenashi contemplates the trolley like he can't quite part with it. "Yes," he says then. "Please." He studies his surroundings and then goes to sit back down on the other end of the couch. Folds his hands in his lap. "Thank you."

Okay. Jin focuses on taking lids off without much noise, stacking them properly on the lower tray, and arranging the large salad plate, the little bowl of olives, the fresh-baked pizza crackers, the butter dish and the basket of fluffy bread on the coffee table without dropping anything. He succeeds. All that training.

"Would you like another drink?" he asks, and Kamenashi asks for water.

Jin gets a small bottle of Evian out of the bar, takes a fresh glass. "Would you like ice and lemon?" he asks, remembering.

Kamenashi affirms that, too, and as he's cutting an even slice and dropping ice cubes into the glass, Jin reminds himself not to let three minutes of normalcy fool him into assuming it's going to stay that way, into assuming he can expect anything at all.

Kamenashi thanks him for the water.

Jin sits back down. It's a weird balancing act to not stare at Kamenashi while he's eating, but not appear to ignore him, either. Easier when he's got something, too, when there's something else to focus on through the awkward silences.

The chicken and the egg are both warm and the scent of oil and herbs over them reminds Jin how hungry he is getting. But he's still glad he didn't order, he wants nothing that Kamenashi can give him.

At least it doesn't seem like Kamenashi wants to talk, regular as he is with his mouthfuls of salad, leaving no pauses anyone could be expected to fill. It's one less thing to worry about. Jin watches the TV, some late night variety show with stupid party games, but Kamenashi doesn't seem to mind it so he doesn't ask if he should change the channel. He's okay watching pop idols or whatever they are electrocute each other with office equipment.

He starts when there's another sound; Kamenashi's leaned forward and is pushing the bowl of olives at him. "Would you like some? Some bread with it?"

Didn't he tell him he didn't want anything?

"I'm not really hungry," he says doubtfully. But he hopes his stomach won't give him away at an inopportune moment – he doesn't like to think how Kamenashi will react if he figures out that Jin wouldn't take his precious generosity; what sort of little demonstration that might prompt.

"I won't finish this anyway," Kamenashi says. "The portions are very large for this time of night." He pushes the bread basket over, too.

Maybe wiser just to accept. Prevent unpleasantness. A slice or two will tide him over. And Kamenashi seems eager for Jin to play along.

"Thank you," he gives in. "I'll just try one." He doesn't reach out for it until Kamenashi, stabbing a piece of chicken with his fork, nods.

He eats the bread, slowly and mindful of crumbs, and when Kamenashi is still not done, he takes a second slice. It washes down better with his tomato juice, and when he has finished and wiped his mouth, Kamenashi is pushing his cutlery together.

"This is always excellent here," he says.

Jin watches him lean back with his glass in his hand and his fingers restless on his napkin-covered thigh, and he's not sure what to say. He can't very well comment on the salad, or tell Kamenashi he enjoyed his slice of bread.

"The staff do their best," is what he settles on, and then that is loaded too, coming out of his mouth, and he makes his face blank for the sneer or the invitation.

Kamenashi just nods and has some more water. He seems to be focussing on something invisible, and Jin's just thinking he can take all the time in the world for that when whatever it is... comes together, apparently, because Kamenashi turns to him, and there's— some kind of look, anyway.

For a bizarre moment, it reminds Jin of the way a first-time client checks him out; fleeting, uncertain of what he wants, uncertain of what's allowed, and Jin even remembers there's the standard advised smile-and-flirt and that thought is even weirder, and so he just averts his eyes and lets Kamenashi look until he's figured it out.

Doesn't take too long. Kamenashi stands, with contained movements, and when Jin makes himself look up, Kamenashi's gaze is withdrawn and unreadable. "It's getting late," he says. "Maybe we should start."

Sure. They really should. Better not to miss out.

And it's just sex and he can handle it, he handled all that other shit and he knows there's a limit to how bad it can get – and once they get it over with he'll maybe be able to go, but first he should maybe answer Kamenashi's fucking question.

He nods, and that seems to be fine.

Kamenashi switches off the TV, but doesn't wait for Jin or touch him, just goes over to the bed, sits down at the far end.

Jin gets up to follow. By the time he reaches the bed, Kamenashi has shuffled back, is leaning against the headboard.

Jin hesitates, but Kamenashi nods, tilts his head just so, and Jin perches on the side, well within reach. Normally, he'd ask the client what he wants. But he won't let Kamenashi fling that back at him, not unless he has to. And this seems to be a new game, a less obvious one, and he'll just wait; try to wait him out and not think himself into a frenzy while the wait goes on.

He stares at the vee of Kamenashi's robe, not asking. Waiting.

Then Kamenashi touches the edge of Jin's bathrobe, and he remembers not to suck in a breath. Remembers to look up, too, but Kamenashi is tracking the movements of his fingers, playing at the edge of the fabric. Not even a nudge.

"I can undress if you like," Jin says quietly, because he'll have to get up, because it's better to be sure.

Kamenashi withdraws his hand and nods. "That would be good."

So he does that; makes sure Kamenashi can touch him when he sits back down, makes sure he doesn't avoid Kamenashi's eyes, not unduly. He's used to being naked with Kamenashi still in fucking trousers and shoes, so Kamenashi can look him up and down a bit, can breathe in a little deeper, can put a hand on his thigh.

Can make him wait some more.

Light touch, travelling up. Jin holds still. His messy hair, hardly even damp now and maybe that— no. Kamenashi's fingers tickle on his neck, and Kamenashi's gaze gets darker, still unreadable. Fingers on Jin's mouth, endlessly fascinated and fine, fine, okay.

He lets his lips part, gives no resistance, and he can feel it working for Kamenashi even with no other touch. Just that, soft pressure on his mouth, and quiet contemplation.

Working his way towards another blow job maybe, unless he wants his fingers wet to— but maybe not, he looks quite settled there and that would be difficult, at least in any position Jin cares to contemplate and—

Okay, waiting no good, too much time to imagine things, worse than the real thing maybe... hopefully... and maybe he'll ask after all, and he takes a breath—

—and doesn't. He can't; it doesn't matter what's going to happen, but thinking of begging for it makes him all woolly-brained and jittery.

He'll wait. Let Kamenashi figure things out for himself, he'll deal, or he can just keep sitting here like a fucking museum piece while Kamenashi's fingers drift aimlessly over his face, and maybe the man will fall asleep.

For long minutes it looks like that's what's going to happen, the touch is so slow, soft along his shoulder, out and back and not even pressure on his throat, not even a hint. Then Kamenashi drops his hand.

"Are you going to make an effort at all?"

Jin blinks. Not like Kamenashi, to want autonomous moves from him.

"What..." he starts, but no, no. "Would you like me to do it with my mouth?" That seems a reasonably safe bet.

Kamenashi takes a deep breath. "I'm a bit tired now," he says, and the way he fusses with the hair that's falling into his face doesn't cover the edge in his voice. "It would be nice if I didn't have to do everything for a change."

Jin tries to think fast, because Kamenashi's mellow seems to be fading and he really doesn't want that either. "What... where should I start?"

"Where do you start?" Kamenashi asks back, and oh, fuck, here it— "You must know how to seduce a client."

That... okay. Right.

"I'm sure you can make it good for me. You must have done this before."

Not often, he doesn't tend to get the reticent guys, and Kamenashi— Jin's never had to seduce a guy who starts wanting to tie you up if you move just a finger wrong. What does Kamenashi even like that doesn't involve some fucked up power trip?

He hates asking another question, Kamenashi's patience seems to be wearing thin, but he needs some sort of idea. "Is there anything I should avoid doing?"

Kamenashi moves his head, a tiny shake. "I'll let you know if I don't like something."

No doubt.

And it's time to start, and where do you start... God. He doesn't dare more questions, not this time, and he's not sure how Kamenashi feels about kissing but how else do you start when you're being slow and gentle... and he can move slowly, shifting up, leaning in with enough time for Kamenashi to see where he's going. A pause, so Kamenashi can stop him before he makes a mistake.

Kamenashi watches as he comes close, looks affirming, almost, and then he lets his head sink back against the wall, and closes his eyes, lips going soft and... okay. Okay.

First slow brush; Jin tastes a hint of lemon, fading when Kamenashi's lips open softly.

Okay. He can do this.

He keeps it slow, too, cautious. Safe.

Is aware of how cold his nervous fingers must feel on warm skin when he dares to touch the vee of Kamenashi's bathrobe.

Slow, and a little awkward. All that worrying between what's enough and what's too much, and where he's going to trip one of Kamenashi's fucking wires.

Then it stops. Kamenashi, breaking the kiss, not sharp, nothing harsh but Jin pulls back at once. He knows it wasn't great, can see it in Kamenashi's eyes that are... impatient, and awkward, too, but what was he supposed to do and he's not sure how bad it is until... Kamenashi tilts his head further, closes his eyes again. Moving them on.

It would be normal. It's what Jin would do, with someone not Kamenashi.

Better not make Kamenashi wait.

He starts with a light kiss, low on Kamenashi's neck.

Kamenashi smells like bath and warm freshness. Jin listens for signals when he can't see his face anymore, can only feel pulse, little reactions when he adds more firmness, remembers to touch.

Kamenashi hangs back, says nothing, quiet against the headboard. Lets Jin find out by himself. He likes some tongue, Jin learns; likes the stronger, wetter kisses. Doesn't mind when Jin has to shift his balance, crouch over Kamenashi for reach. Every time he feels like he's looming, but every time it's okay, nothing that blows up in his face, just Kamenashi's breaths deepening, his skin heating up under Jin's lips.

Until he feels movement and it freezes him cold. Kamenashi's arm coming up, slowly but—

—but that's okay, that's good, he wants Kamenashi to move, he could do with some cues here and—

His hair; very light. Very different. He waits if there'll be a push. If there'll be anything.

It's not stroking; it's too awkward for that, but it's not harsh either. Jin brushes his lips along, smooth skin and the tingle of Kamenashi's fingers, and there's another soft breath.

Still doing well, for now.

So he puts his hand on the knot of the bathrobe. Waits. Waits until he's really sure, waits until a tiny shift tells him that waiting longer would be worse than getting on with it.

He holds his breath while he does it, no rush but he doesn't stop, either, wants it done, breathes again when the knot has come loose without problems and he's carefully moved the layers apart and Kamenashi is open, bare, and the skies haven't fallen.

Kamenashi is a little hard, nothing ready or urgent. But Jin knew this would last a while.

No cue, but this... he starts again, turns downwards. Kamenashi's belly, tightening once from the brush of Jin's hair, tension that fades as he nuzzles along, signals where he's going...

A hand drops on his shoulder, a light touch, sign to stop.

"Not yet," Kamenashi says, the words startling, louder than they probably are because there's been silence for so long.

Jin gives a little nod, starts back up at once, to show he's got it, he can do this any way Kamenashi wants. Only it would really help if—

"One moment," Kamenashi says, and Jin raises his head. Looks biddable and composed, he hopes, and wonders what he's done wrong now.

But Kamenashi simply wriggles the bathrobe out from under his back, and Jin gets out of the way quickly when Kamenashi shifts and shuffles a bit, to lie down properly at last.

That's... surprisingly helpful. It must have been getting uncomfortable up there.

A small nod invites him back, and Jin lowers himself alongside Kamenashi, careful not to lean too much.

Resumes.

It's better like this, a little more comfortable for Jin too. Not that comfortable is the point. But it's better.

Working, too; he can feel it in Kamenashi's breathing, the hands that find his back, his shoulders, light and hazy, nudging him on.

Can feel it more when he dips his tongue down, to see what Kamenashi thinks about nipples, and there's a shiver; a first buck of Kamenashi's hips when he closes his mouth around a nipple and sucks.

Responsive there, though they're so tiny. That would be interesting if Jin didn't have other things to worry about, and god, he keeps forgetting about his hands but he can't judge two things at once...

He lets his palm travel aimlessly, tries to remember. Kamenashi's responding, little gasps and twitches that at least say he's doing something right.

Hips moving, too, restrained but noticeable, and Jin feels the hands slide lower on his back, a little pull that may or may not be on purpose, and Kamenashi's thigh flexing, almost seeking...

Okay. Okay. All normal stuff, just Kamenashi wanting more pressure, getting turned on, which is good; which is the point here. Jin stretches out, takes his weight on his elbow so he can take it slow, sliding his leg over Kamenashi's. Kamenashi can just lift a knee or something if that's not what he means, please, and then Kamenashi is looking at him, focusing and oh god

Jin holds his weight, weird and unsteady but he's not moving a blink, until Kamenashi's eyes close. His hands slip down to Jin's flanks, saying it's okay, settling him, and Jin hides his relief in a line of considered kisses.

And on.

It's slow, and it's freaky because it's almost not weird. It's like foreplay, like working on a guy who likes to touch him, who likes his body and who likes it slow and gentle. Only it's Kamenashi, and it's freaky, and he's got to remember that any moment this could go wrong.

For however long, it doesn't.

No rush, from nobody. Just touching. Lips and hands, he tries to remember, and Kamenashi's getting harder. A good while in and there's a push at Jin's hips, seeking, like he's ready...

With any other guy Jin would know he's ready. Would know he can't want Jin up here much longer, it already feels like forever. Would maybe ask, if it's time, if 'not yet' still applies, half an hour later...

He wants to ask, wants to be sure, but Kamenashi's so easy now, almost relaxed, and getting him to focus could be worse, and Kamenashi didn't want to be bothered...

So Jin runs his hand down slowly, so slowly; stalling at the belly button. But then he doesn't lift off at the end, keeps going, fingers skimming over coarse hair and down, to rest lightly on Kamenashi's half-filled cock.

He waits, ready to pull back at any moment.

Kamenashi's thighs shift, part, just a little more, just enough to let Jin know this is okay, it's welcome, Jin didn't fuck up.

He only realizes he's been holding his breath when he feels a bit dizzy on the exhale.

At least now he's got something else to do. Knows he's getting somewhere, even if it takes another eternity.

He keeps it slow, nothing too intentional; careful not to look like he's rushing. Just a few light strokes now, and moving on, variety... he knows how much time they've got. Way too much time.

Kamenashi's thighs are firm and strong where he touches them first. Not what he's used to from clients, but then none of this is. The inside is warm, soft, and he's careful not to tickle, and Kamenashi sighs a little and makes more room for him.

More pressure on his back, rising and fading with the circle of Jin's hand, down and up, again, and when Jin's used to it, when he seems to have it right and safe, he adds in kisses again where he can reach.

Little huffs of breath into his hair, and Kamenashi's getting sweaty under him, rising when Jin touches his cock more firmly. Enjoying himself. Pushing more against the weight of Jin's leg, and his thighs spread further when Jin slides his fingers up between them, almost like he— oh. Oh shit, not that.

He skips back to Kamenashi's cock, because he's been doing good there, because he doesn't have to think for that, he needs to buy time.

Fucking's harder than being fucked with the best of clients. Much more chance of getting something wrong, and he really doesn't need to get things wrong with this guy. This guy, who's raising his hips again the next time Jin trails up, somewhere between dreamy and intent, and this... looks like that, looks exactly like Tatsuya said, about the mood and the slow and the fucking not saying anything, too.

Fuck.

One more round, he needs to think and be sure and he hopes there's no hurry – no, there isn't, he likes it really slow, thank you Tatsuya – and...

Fuck.

He'd thought he had a chance there, for a moment, a chance to get this done without more freak-out shit, but he just knows this is going to suck, and god, he's not even sure he can get it up. Maybe they can skip to whatever humiliation ritual he's going to earn himself straight away, save time.

And maybe he should stop delaying, he's just making it worse— and he glances cautiously at Kamenashi and realizes he hasn't even noticed, is still getting into his little rhythm and presumably expecting something to happen here and— okay. Okay, whatever.

Next time he's stroking up the inside of Kamenashi's thigh he doesn't stop. Takes the soft curve to the back, slow; keeps going, even slower until he's stroking along where— okay, if Kamenashi wants more he'll have help, give more room, and Kamenashi shifts and Jin stares at his closed eyes, feels the air around him like a hot urgent weight.

And Kamenashi's making room, a lazy sprawl of his thighs, and Jin makes his thumb move on and then he stops cold because Kamenashi's eyes have come open.

"Not that."

Oh fuck. And that worry was nothing, nothing to what he feels when he tries to read Kamenashi's eyes and can't, and he remembers to snatch his hand away and oh, fuck.

He waits; feels like pins and needles wherever he's touching Kamenashi but he can't just pull away, either, and of course Kamenashi doesn't want that, he probably wants... maybe Jin should...

It's only when Kamenashi reaches for his arm that he realises he's been holding it, frozen, over Kamenashi's hip. Kamenashi's hand is firm on his, guiding it down. "Keep going there," he says in a low voice, looking settled even though he's still watching Jin. That touch stays for Jin's first hesitant movements. Jin doesn't even want it gone.

Doing well here, he tells himself, picking back up, sorting out his hands and his leg and what he should be doing with his mouth, and fine.

But he's lost the plot, he can feel it, and he doesn't know where it's going anymore. Even at this pace Kamenashi doesn't seem like the cosy hand job kind of guy, and Kamenashi's hard now, those thrusts of his more purposeful, and Jin knows he's fumbling. Whatever Kamenashi's looking for, he's not getting it, and there's only so much patience Jin can expect.

He slows down the aimless blundering, gives Kamenashi notice he's not sticking to the script here so he won't surprise him. And even then, he has to swallow before he asks, but it's better than fucking up like that again, he can't do this when he's panicking too much to think.

"What do you want me to do?" He knows he sounds weak, but Kamenashi won't mind that, all part of the fun, maybe Jin's doing especially well now; and if that frown is any indication, the way Kamenashi seems to come awake to think, watch him, like he's waiting... fine, okay, whatever. He knew this, it's not going to kill him, and he still doesn't know what the right answer is here but those don't pay off anyway, not really, and if he just tries, if he just gets his voice to work again...

"I like it any way you want to do it," he starts, and doesn't think, tries to not even listen. "If you want to fuck my mouth, or if you—"

He can hear Kamenashi's breath, sees his eyes go dark for a second, and Jin shuts up, shuts down.

"That's not necessary."

What isn't necessary, and what's Jin supposed to do – because he felt it, there where he's touching Kamenashi; Kamenashi likes the idea or likes to hear the words, and he definitely likes Jin's mouth from the way he's staring at it, so what

Jin stays silent. He's asked already, and his back is prickling with nervous sweat and he can see Kamenashi swallow, can see him think, and Jin can't see what the guy's problem is, he should be pleased for once, Jin's not even putting up a fight.

"I..." Kamenashi isn't moving either. "Let's not do it like that," he says finally, with a weird quiet undertone, and he lowers his eyes, to stare along Jin's body or because sleepy is the new black, or whatever the fuck it all means. "I don't need to hear..." A deep breath, and a little shrug that cracks their stillness. "Not that," Kamenashi finishes, vaguely, and Jin can't figure any of this out but there's a clue right here, and maybe...

"What do you want me to say?" he tries, because maybe he wasn't wrong, maybe he does have a chance if he gets it right and doesn't throw Kamenashi, and maybe he's just an idiot, but now he's hoping.

Kamenashi's hand moves distractedly on his back, but he doesn't have to think that long this time. "Nothing like that," he says, and then he's frowning again, thinking.

Nothing like that. Not begging, not letting Kamenashi creep into his head while his fingers... Not that.

That works. Kamenashi can take his time coming up with what he wants instead, that works for Jin, and for now asking seems to work too, seems to be going well even, and with any other client now would be the time...

"What would you like to do?" There, it's not a presumptuous question.

More of the vague touching, like he's not even aware he's doing it. Kamenashi meets his eyes, looks nothing but thoughtful. Jin holds still, lets him figure out whatever he needs to figure out.

He tenses when Kamenashi's leg presses up against him a little, but it's not to push him off, just Kamenashi coming out of his trance, and now his hand at the small of Jin's back is stronger again.

"I want to fuck you," he says eventually, blinking down, and... that's fine, that's great, that's useful.

Jin nods, makes sure Kamenashi sees it. Kamenashi's hard enough, too, so Jin shifts his weight to signal he's ready to get into position... only Kamenashi isn't moving; seems contemplative, a little withdrawn. Jin's seen that before on him, but after sex, after he's done with Jin.

So he asks, and he's almost not nervous. "Do you want to stay like this?"

Kamenashi looks at him, and down again, letting go of a long breath, letting his hand brush on, lightly. "Yes."

Yeah, that works. Different, for Kamenashi, but then that's the theme here, and Jin can make it work, it's okay, it's fine. "Yeah." He nods again, and after a moment, Kamenashi's hands slide off him, to the mattress.

Jin lifts his leg off Kamenashi, pulls away a little, that odd but normal sensation of sweaty skin separating, and tries to stretch up to the nightstand without a fuss.

He reaches into the drawer blind, two condoms one lube, pulls back and sits up on his knees, carefully, slowly. Kamenashi holds out a hand and Jin places a condom sachet into it, glad he won't have to deal with that.

"Should I—" he says, and drops his gaze over to the other side of Kamenashi's body.

Kamenashi looks up from a little struggle with the condom pack. "Go ahead."

So Jin levers himself up and puts one knee down cautiously on the far side. He doesn't let himself sink down, will stay upright, no need to get comfortable. He wishes, briefly, that the fact that he isn't aroused weren't quite so evident, but there's nothing he can do about that, it's not like the weird games are his thing.

Kamenashi, though, is plenty turned on now and he rolls the condom on with assured fingers, a quick wipe on the sheet after. Jin's about to hand him the lube and Kamenashi is about to take it when... Jin doesn't even know where it comes from. "I could put that on for you."

Reflex. They get told to offer that, that clients like that, normal clients. Training kicking in. Which is bad, he shouldn't get confused about this and normal.

But Kamenashi's nodding, and saying, "That would be nice," and okay, good call for once. Jin shuffles backward a little and lets himself sink back after all, cautiously on top of Kamenashi's thighs.

The lube's cool in his palm and he warms it for a moment, then he reaches out, and he should have warmed it more because Kamenashi's cock in his hand is still so much hotter that he's just waiting for the flak.

Kamenashi closes his eyes and gives a little sigh. Pushes up into Jin's slick fist, easily, then a little harder.

Okay.

Jin concentrates on nothing but that, the right rhythm, the right pressure, the slick push that gets thicker and sharper.

He doesn't look anywhere else.

He knows when it's time, when more would be too much, and he's just asking himself if Kamenashi knows it too or if he'll have to say something, to actually stop, when Kamenashi's hips slow, still.

"I think..." Kamenashi says, sounding breathless.

Jin nods. Moves up to position himself right, guides Kamenashi's cock with his hand. He straightens up when the first tricky stretch is done. Easy from here.

He takes it slow as he sinks further – Kamenashi can make his own rhythm if he wants something different, or reach out and push Jin down.

Kamenashi doesn't do any of that. Jin looks for cues but Kamenashi's attention is elsewhere, he's watching where they come together, and then his eyes flutter closed when Jin is down.

For a moment they just... stay. Kamenashi breathing quietly, tongue flicking over his lips once as he concentrates, and Jin holds still, waits for what's next.

He kind of likes it like this, normally. They watch him, sure, get a really good look, but it's different from when he's staring up on his back. He can speed it up, or slow it down, find out what works for the guys who don't feel a need to control his every move.

Nothing happens. And Jin thinks of what Kamenashi's said, and what he's been wanting, and he thinks one more moment before he finds his balance and tries an experimental lift; watches Kamenashi closely, sees the little stutter. So that's all right, it's what he's meant to be doing. He sinks back down, does it again.

He sees it when Kamenashi's hands skate over the sheets, find Jin's thighs, and he goes very pliant, gets ready for a cue, but then they're just... there, warm and approving.

It's almost normal; almost relaxed. Almost like doing a guy who's not going to spring crazy shit on you at the drop of a hat.

Almost; Jin's still waiting anyway.

He keeps it steady, the glide all the way up, sinking back down. He even gets used to the hands, relaxed on his thighs, nails perfectly manicured just like Jin's, and for a moment he imagines the club's favourite beautician doing film stars on Wednesdays.

Focus. He can't afford to get distracted.

He goes far up; he would, with someone else, to make it good, and Kamenashi's hands tighten but in the good way, too, and Kamenashi opens his eyes. Watches Jin, hazy and softer than usual, gets his nice view, and Jin keeps his chin down and his thighs working, and Kamenashi's eyes drift closed again.

Maybe that's what the other guys see, maybe that's why nobody believes him; just a guy blissed out on fucking, lying back like he's easy-going, like he can allow his whore some initiative.

Like watching is all he wants. Because he sure likes that – he's opened his eyes again as Jin takes him deep after the last lift, and this time Kamenashi's eyes stay open as he rises, focusing through the haze, and Jin feels that familiar sinking feeling, only not quite so fast this time, not such a nauseous rush.

"Is anything wrong?" he asks quietly, hovering where he is, and Kamenashi bites his lip again and blinks once before his eyes clear.

"What about you?" Kamenashi says, and Jin blinks. It didn't sound sharp, not dangerous, but not half as fuzzy as the rest of what Kamenashi has said in the last hour, and Jin doesn't even know what he means.

"About me...?"

Kamenashi nods briefly towards Jin's groin. "Are you going to..."

Oh, right.

And oh, fuck, he really doesn't need Kamenashi flipping his lid at this stage because Jin's not faking it well enough. Not into him properly like his other whores and, well, maybe he shouldn't go around being a creepy asshole at people then... and Kamenashi's hands aren't moving, and he's waiting, with a little frown and that question still unanswered and...

It's not like Jin can just say no. It's not like it's ever about what he wants.

"Would you like me to?"

He could manage, probably, if he works at it. If he gets some time and Kamenashi doesn't freak him the fuck out.

Kamenashi's gaze shifts and he's still worrying his lip; finally there's a little shrug. "Would be nice." A brush of his fingers and Jin does not flinch; a rise of Kamenashi's hips, small thrust from below, moving again, moving on.

Jin moves on, too, can't decline the invitation. Can't decline any invitation, and Kamenashi's gaze flows over him again, and okay, he can get it done, he can—

"But either way works," Kamenashi says, quietly, a turn of his head that almost feels like a shrug, and he's closing his eyes, and... what?

It takes Jin a moment to process, enough so that they're back in the flow of rise, fall, rise, and Jin almost... almost wants to take him up on it, it would be so much easier. Just get Kamenashi ready and get him off and be done with it, but how do you know Kamenashi means it? Won't turn around and feel unappreciated, won't flip his shit and insist, or insist on other things he can dream up that Jin can't anticipate.

Better be safe. Better give Kamenashi his show.

He takes himself in hand, tries a first cautious pull, careful not to fuck up the rhythm of Kamenashi thrusting up, into him. He managed to come in Kamenashi's apartment, with a bunch of fucking ties waiting for him. He can get this done, too.

And that helps, suddenly, just the thought, that it's been worse; and Kamenashi's easy now, focused on himself, steady. It helps.

By the time Kamenashi looks up next, he's got himself hard. There's no comment, just an appreciative lingering, and Jin strokes himself again, shows that he's following through.

It hardly registers as pleasure, as anything; it's just physical, buttons he pushes, and when he doesn't have to worry so fucking much he can tune it out like always, just do the job.

Do it quickly, because there's not much he can do for Kamenashi like this, just let him thrust and go with it, and those thrusts have gotten less focused, it's like he's waiting, watching and waiting and giving him room to do it, and Jin's not going to get out of here before Kamenashi has got off, too, and this will help, Kamenashi wants to see...

He closes his eyes, lets his head fall back, doesn't care about the watching, he'll do it the way it works best and this is it – find a tune, find a rhythm, and just go.

Only he can't because Kamenashi's hands are moving on his thighs, and he feels another cold rush that he got it wrong, or did it wrong, until he gets that it's just... mellow, and when he risks a glance Kamenashi is still watching, eyes heavy, lips parted with arousal.

Fine, then, and he doesn't think about how much Kamenashi acting like a simple fucking client can throw him; just starts over.

And thank fuck the hands stop moving even though they stay, he feels them every time his body moves to the restrained jerk of Kamenashi's hips, every time he thrusts his dick through his fist, and okay, okay if they're just lying there, just like before, he can work with that, and he gets the tune back that matches the rhythm and goes for it, and it takes forever but there's no more distractions and at last the heat floods through him.

He tries not to shudder while it happens, keeps his mouth tight and silent and even tries to keep the rhythm going but he can't, not quite, and for a weak wired moment he feels terribly naked, with Kamenashi fucking him and his skin thin and exposed and it's not just any client, it's not, and when he gets back with the program the first thing he feels are the hands, still there, not doing anything. And then, he looks at Kamenashi.

A half-smile, or something; something unaware, nothing mean or smug, and that's something at least. "Nice," he says, a little raspy, and yeah, Jin thinks fuzzily, he said it would be.

And another moment, a shuddering breath from Kamenashi, before Jin remembers the objective here and gets some control back over his legs. Would help if they didn't have to take all his weight. Would help if he stopped feeling shivery, right the fuck now.

They're slow to get going again. Kamenashi lets him find himself, stabilize, and it's only once he's got it together that the jerks get harder, that he gets to feel how tight Kamenashi is wound by now. He speeds up. Kamenashi's eyes are closed again and he's sweaty, shining, showing the strain. A frown on his face as he's chasing sensations, and his stomach tightens sharp and visible, over and over.

Not long now, and this isn't bad, he likes it better once the clients get more into it, stop watching and directing; and it even works with Kamenashi, who's not so scary when he's getting lost, forgetting some of that close control, when the hands on Jin's hips just work to show him as Kamenashi gets more demanding, about rhythm, angle, depth, takes what he needs... it's different from the other times somehow but Jin stops wondering, just goes with the pace, lets Kamenashi's hands move him. He keeps his eyes on Kamenashi's flushed lips, the way his tongue flicks them wet every few fast breaths; on the damp brown strands that get stuck to his forehead and on the little frown line between Kamenashi's eyes; and he can tell Kamenashi is about to come a split second before he feels it.

Kamenashi's not noisy, not like some; just that tight little sound that Jin's come to know, that hard grip on his hips which relaxes instantly, and then the last slowing strokes, Kamenashi coming to a rest. Breathing.

Opening his eyes, and Jin's just finished thinking that at least that's done, and then not thinking is better.

Not thinking about what's next, about having no idea what's next, and how much longer.

This night's been so long already. And he's just come, and it was easy for a while, just long enough to make it harder when he has to pull all the pieces together, and get ready for stuff, and he's so tired.

Kamenashi pulls back his hands, nods a little, and good, at least that's cleaning up sorted easily. He climbs off, slow and careful, and Kamenashi rolls up a bit on the other side to deal with things.

"Would you like me to get a wet cloth?" Jin asks, because many clients like that. Only Kamenashi has never hung around before, and he doesn't know how it's supposed to work just now, things aren't quite the same.

But Kamenashi just shakes his head as he sits up, takes another deep breath. "That's okay. I'll be taking a shower."

Jin could do with one, too, he's sweaty from coming and from worrying; not that he'll ask. At least Kamenashi cleaning up will give him ten safe minutes for sure.

It's quiet for a moment, and then Kamenashi swings his legs over the side of the bed. His hair is all messed up, a little damp, and he moves like he's still in a bit of a daze.

Good thing, that. Kamenashi can stay dull and muzzy right until he feels that it's bedtime.

"A drink?" Kamenashi asks, and Jin starts.

"I'll get you something," he says, quickly, belatedly, but Kamenashi is already getting to his feet.

"It's fine," he says. "Water?"

Jin should have done that, should have asked. Now all he can say is, "Yes, please," and watch Kamenashi pick two cool bottles out of the rack.

He brings them over in one hand.

"I could get you a glass. Ice," Jin says. "Lemon." He starts to feel even more stupid. The look that he gets along with his bottle is... long, kind of pensive, and he tries not to worry about it too much; and then Kamenashi gets back on the bed.

"It's fine," Kamenashi repeats, with only a little emphasis.

The mattress moves under Jin as Kamenashi gets comfortable against the headboard. Jin watches for cues, the bottle in both hands.

Eventually he remembers he might open it.

Kamenashi takes a long, deep swallow, leaning his head against the wall when he's done. Looking down his nose at Jin. Straightening up again, weirdly, pulling his sprawl in a little.

"That was..." But he trails off, and his focus wanders to the swirling water in his hand.

Please, god, not compliment time. Sure, this is when they do it, if they do it, but the thought that Kamenashi... Jin starts to feel vaguely hysterical. He sips at his water, nice and cooling while he keeps his eyes down, and Kamenashi doesn't finish his sentence.

They drink some more water. Kamenashi caps his bottle, leans it against his thigh.

"It got pretty late," he says next. Picks the bottle back up.

Jin keeps his face blank, tries not to get his hopes up that this means anything. "Yes," he agrees.

Kamenashi screws the cap off again. "Well, it's Friday."

Kamenashi knows the days of the week, good for him. But yeah, it's Friday. Late nights quite common, lounge probably still busy, good thing if you don't have to get up in the morning, but weekends are for fun, right? Not that he has a clue what days Kamenashi has to get up when. Not that he cares. Not that Jin's going to say any of that anyway.

Maybe he could mention that weather report.

"So," Kamenashi says, after another sip from his bottle. "Looks like the fine weather is holding."

Jin chokes on his own sip, his hand flying to his mouth in panic. At least it was just a little and he didn't spray any on Kamenashi, it's not even dripping past his palm much, and the cough hides the fact that hysteria is getting the better of him after all.

"Are you all right?" Kamenashi says, and Jin can't hear, can't tell if there's suspicion in his voice, so he nods and makes sure to keep coughing until he knows it can't look like anything else, and then he looks up.

"I'm very sorry. I was drinking too fast."

Kamenashi studies him for a moment. Jin tries for apologetic, earnest, innocent, all wrapped in one submissive package, and it probably helps that he's worried, too, he's been letting himself get careless, he's got to watch it.

So Kamenashi wants to talk. It's been a while since they tried that, and Jin doesn't like the memory much. But if he ignores Kamenashi's conversational advances, he's definitely in trouble; if he responds, only maybe, and Kamenashi is conveniently staying on generalities, the safe stuff. Jin can try this one.

He waits out the last of the scratchy hoarseness, clears his throat. Kamenashi glances over, but there's no reprimand.

"Will you be filming outside then?" he tries, and his heart gives an unpleasant little skip when Kamenashi looks puzzled. "I mean, with the weather," he adds quickly. Surely Kamenashi remembers mentioning the weather.

"Oh," Kamenashi says. And then he... seems to consider it. "Most of the outdoor scenes are done," he says eventually. "I don't think the rest depend on the weather. Though it's more pleasant to film when it's nice outside."

Jin isn't sure whether asking why would be logical, intrusive, or stupid. He's still trying to make up his mind when Kamenashi says, "So do you..."

No, Jin doesn't fuck clients outside. Even in fine weather.

Kamenashi seems to think better of it, too. "What do you like to do," he says, "when you have some free time?"

What?

As if.

The guy can't be fucking serious.

But... apparently he is, even if he's just staring down his knees, not at Jin, not making it an interrogation.

Well, fine, he's got an answer, the one he's got for guys who aren't even assholes, so that's convenient.

"I go to the gym." It's a good one, because he doesn't even enjoy it.

Kamenashi nods. "Yes." The bottle makes a random little circle. "There is one here, isn't there."

"Yes. It has good equipment."

More nodding, a little distracted. When Kamenashi brushes his hair back now, it sticks up funny. He wanted a shower. Probably wants it soon. "You have a very attractive body," he says. Says it first, then looks at Jin, as if to confirm.

Well, whatever. Compliments after all. Like Jin doesn't know his looks are what's kept him alive the last few years.

"Thank you," he says, and then it's quiet again. Kamenashi feels so far above him that flattery from Jin's side would just look like he's forgetting his place.

He wouldn't mind being a bit more comfortable, stretching out his legs maybe, but no way, not when he's caught himself slipping and not when Kamenashi has just found his way back to the uses of Jin's body.

Which... okay, not even that creepy, and that discreet sideways glance would be polite enough with someone else, would bode well for the future. Would make Jin glad for a job well done.

"I enjoyed myself tonight," Kamenashi says eventually, though he doesn't sound it much. It's a serious business, pretending to be normal.

And now Jin's got a bit of a problem, because that one doesn't just go away, that's not talking down to the pretty little whore. That one wants an answer.

He wishes he weren't on a fucking rest. Wishes this couldn't go on for hours. Wishes the thought hadn't hit him just now, because he's crap at the faking shit at the best of times, and—

Kamenashi's looking at him again, with a closed expression that... An answer, any fucking answer that won't get him laughed at, or worse; and Kamenashi's gaze travels on, comes to rest on— He's still got come on his chest; his own now, and on his chest is just normal, not... and then the whole fucking evening comes down on him.

"Do you want to take a shower?" Kamenashi's voice sounds like it's three rooms away.

And that... god. It's not mean, Jin can tell as much; and it pulls him one way, but it also means he's going to stay, be clean and well-scrubbed for... well, fuck.

"If you'd like that," he says. "I'd appreciate it." Some forward appreciation if he can't manage the other kind. Maybe they can at least keep this mood.

Kamenashi nods again, slowly; but then he waits. Jin waits, too. Kamenashi raises one shoulder, and his face is still closed. "Or would you prefer to leave?"

Leave.

"It's getting late," Kamenashi offers, and that's when Jin realizes he's been staring at him blankly.

"It..." He clears his throat, as quietly as he can. "It is, a little." Stalling. Thinking... he knows the polite thing to do, knows to find some flattering objection with his other clients, he's learned the words to tell them how much he's enjoying their company and their attentions until they kick him out because they're old, and tired from all the fucking.

But Kamenashi's not old and doesn't look very tired; he can play around if he wants to. And there's no way Jin can make himself come up with arguments to keep him here longer, even if he wanted, even if he could think past the possibility that he might get out of here soon, now. He knows he doesn't act that well.

Kamenashi is still waiting. Maybe he's waiting to be amused by some inept acting or maybe he just wants an answer sometime this century.

And the first time Jin seemed to have any sort of choice tonight, it wasn't worth taking the chance, but for this...

"I am a little tired," he says, bland as he can because he doesn't want to say anything else by accident. As far as admissions go, that one should be safe. It's just logical, but if Kamenashi needs to put a particular spin on it, it can be that his virility wore Jin out.

Kamenashi nods, checks... how much water he's got in that bottle, right. "That's all right," he says. Bland, too, but that's good with this guy, that's excellent. Maybe he means it.

Jin clamps down on that thought fast; he's not yet out.

Kamenashi's next nod is in the direction of his own toes; then there's brief eye contact, but nothing Jin can read, can feel sure about.

"I'm quite..." Kamenashi stops, a little frown, and Jin's not going to freak. "It's fine. This..." Kamenashi consults his water bottle again. For a brief bizarre moment, Jin is curious how Kamenashi deals with Tatsuya after they've fucked. Then he's not; he just wants Kamenashi to finish whatever he's trying to say.

And Kamenashi's gaze comes back up, more decided. "It's enough, for tonight," he says.

He means it. Jin's almost positive.

"If you're sure," he says, still as bland, and reeling on the inside, but he can't not.

And then Kamenashi nods.

"Quite sure." He eases back against the headboard; Jin hadn't noticed before that he was this tense.

He gives a bow before he stands up. Makes sure not to rush; calm's the ticket, will get him dressed faster, out of here faster.

He picks his clothes up from the chair Kamenashi dropped them on, bows again. Kamenashi is fiddling with his bottle, hardly taking notice. It reminds Jin of the time after... after that time. Maybe this is the Kamenashi version of post-coital, post-power trip bliss.

Not that Jin cares.

He does up all buttons, fixes the tie properly, runs his hands through his hair once and hopes he'll be lucky and not run into anyone in the corridors. He doesn't like walking around with the bed hair, but he likes being here with Kamenashi less. Not going to waste time on any non-essentials.

And then Kamenashi swings his legs sideways, brisk, full of purpose—

But all he does is walk to the bar.

Jin gets his jacket, and tries to ignore the pounding adrenaline. Nothing bad there. Just a drink. Booze again, but Jin's not going to be curious about that, either. He straightens up.

The door's just a couple of meters on Jin's left and he feels the pull, and he just stands still, totally still, so he doesn't make a mistake.

For a few seconds, neither of them says anything. The dismissal isn't his part even with the sane ones, but Jin's just starting to wonder if it's up to him here when Kamenashi gives an awkward but final-looking roll of his shoulders. "Good night, then," he says, and steps back a little, as though he'd been in the way, which he wasn't, but it still helps.

More bowing. "Good night." Jin's voice feels weird in his throat. "Enjoy your stay."

Jacket, shoes; a final bow, and out.

He's barely pulled the door shut behind him – gently, quietly; is just about to take one deep breath and make a sprint for the stairs, when the elevator pings and its doors slide open. Just his luck.

Koichi, with KitaKen. They exchange bows, Jin's the deepest. When he comes up he barely catches an odd look on Koichi's face before he and his client walk past him in the direction of the standard rooms at the back.

The elevator door is still open, but Jin ignores it, takes the stairs. He's not going to be trapped anywhere else tonight.

*~*~*

There's light in the break room and he doesn't care who it is, he's glad. Just someone to talk to, about normal things, while he remembers what normal feels like.

Junnosuke at the table. The TV is on but flickering silently behind him. He's got a cup of tea in front of him, a pizza box with two cold pieces pushed to one side, and his glasses on. He looks up at Jin and nods, keeping his finger on the page of the fat book in front of him. Then he scribbles something on a big sheet with lots of lines before sticking the pen in the book to keep his place when it falls closed. Level two accountancy.

"Hi," he says, and Jin says, "hi," back, and then it's weirdly awkward. Still finding his feet again with 'normal'. "Big book," Jin tries.

He's known that Junno is studying for some sort of accountancy diploma, only he doesn't usually do it here, and not at half past one in the morning.

Junno has noticed the way he's been staring at the figures. "I have an exam tomorrow," he says. "Nothing special, just— I want to do my best, right?"

Jin nods. Of course. It's Junno's ticket out of here, what he's saving the money for. Jin's saving too, even if he doesn't know what his ticket will be, but he'll need money for it in any case.

He's made a lot of money tonight.

"How come you're still here?" he says, turning to the cupboard where he stashed a few packs of instant ramen for the weekend craze. Junno always takes a taxi home; most of them do, but the luxury escorts can afford it even more.

"Exam hall's just ten minutes from here," Junno says. "It's at eleven, so I can cram a few hours here and still get some sleep. Hoped to have more time, but hey, comfort, a guy with all his teeth..." A shrug meaning, 'who turns that down?' When he reaches out to move the pizza box off the table to make room for Jin, Jin decides he's not in the mood for ramen, really.

"You don't want that?"

"Nah, got it an hour ago when I got out. It was crunchy before I started crunching numbers, but now..." He makes a face. "You want?"

They've got a microwave here. And there was a time when he ate them cold out of bins, so hey. "I'll take them. Beef, right?"

Junno nods, and Jin puts the pieces on one of the chipped restaurant plates, puts the microwave on for two.

"Who'd you have?" he asks, the hum of the microwave behind him.

"Nishikido," Junno says. "Not bad."

"I thought he'd taken a liking to Yuuya," Jin says thoughtfully, staring at the empty mug tray before he remembers the paper cups in the cupboard underneath. He catches Junno's curious look, adds, "Nishikido likes them cute and bouncy, huh?" Tries a smile.

Yuuya had liked him, too. So had Jin, really, but he's not holding his breath for any regular repeats. Not winning in the cute and bouncy sweepstakes, and all that.

"He came in kind of late, must have been ten already," Junno says. "I don't think Yuuya was around. Guess he found someone."

Yeah. Found someone. God.

But Yuuya's okay, he's bound to be. Thank god Kamenashi— thank god Yuuya didn't have to stick around.

"Who did you have?" Junno is asking. "You're up late."

"Kamenashi," Jin says, and nothing else.

"Hm. Hottie." Junno's pushed his book aside, too, and is now using a big ruler to draw lots of lines on blank paper. "Likes them dark and brooding these days, huh?" He's smiling, nicely, because he's a nice guy and calling things as he sees them.

For a moment Jin considers saying something, just a little something about Kamenashi, hottie and sweet guy. But who knows what else he'd end up saying, and it's not Junno's problem. "I don't think he likes me," is all he says, and then the microwave pings.

He sits down in the armchair with his pizza slices, and just the smell makes him feel better already. They're limp and gross and just what he wants right now, and he's careful not to burn his tongue as he focuses on eating, letting Junno get back to his accountancy.

He tries not to think too much, and when he does, he thinks about the money thing. By now it helps.

Because that was a lot. More than he makes in a week sometimes. Ignore the weird shit and the stuff that really sucked, because all of this sucks, and that's about thirteen guys he doesn't have to blow, and suddenly he thinks of getting out of here thirteen blow jobs early, once he's finally saved enough, and the thought nearly makes him giggle, it sounds kind of funny.

He looks at Junno's long tidy scribbles on the wide sheet. It looks pretty intimidating. But it doesn't have to be that. There are other ways.

He finishes up the pizza, sits a moment and lets it settle. All over now. He won't have to... Kamenashi caught him off guard, dragging Yuuya into it, but that was chance. Nothing like that is going to go down again, Yuuya will watch out now.

He pours himself some cold lemon tea next, and Junno says thanks when he makes him another cup of the hot stuff. He's thirsty, dry by now under his clothes. It's an exhausting way of fucking, that. Not what he's come to expect from Kamenashi, but, well. Crazy guy. Good at unexpected.

But not some evil mastermind, he's not. Didn't seem at all mastermindy in the end. Seems there's a reason why they call it fucking your brains out.

At least Jin didn't have to fuck him. He gulps down the rest of his tea and tries not to shudder. No, that was... what it was, and probably the best Jin could hope for. He should be glad.

And he should get out of his stuff, and under the covers.

So he grabs what he needs from his locker, to head into the shower.

"Good luck with the exam," he says.

Junno gives him a little wave.

His shirt sticks a little when he takes it off, dumps it on the clean bathroom floor. Not a big deal, somehow, when Kamenashi was so different. He welcomes the hard spray that comes down on him anyway, and for a while he just lets that happen. Feels the warmth in strained muscles, the fatigue that he can safely allow now.

Exhausting, to be prepared for the worst any minute, for hours. Even if it doesn't happen... didn't, because Jin got it right somehow, followed the rules, figured out the cues well enough, eventually. And Kamenashi was okay about it even when it took him two tries.

He gets a large handful of shampoo, foams up his hair, and runs lather down his chest, getting rid of the last of the come. Either way works. What if he'd accepted that? Maybe Kamenashi meant it. He meant it in the end, about leaving. That was kind of nice of him, too.

"Fuck."

He didn't just think that. He didn't mean that. He's not as stupid as that, he's just exhausted and not thinking straight. It's not nice, it's normal for a guy to mean what he says unless he's a crazy domineering asshole who likes to jerk people around and humiliate them and make them ask nicely for it.

He's not going to buy into the mindgames, the— Fucking Kamenashi. He says it again, out loud, for good measure, and then he scrubs himself quickly and rinses his hair, and wraps himself very tightly in a towel, and doesn't give a shit his hair's going to look worse than ever, he's done worrying for the night.

He doesn't think anything at all, then. Gets dressed in a t-shirt and boxers. Rolls out a futon, gets pillow and cover, slides inside after turning off the light. Done.

It's two in the morning, his first gig was at three in the afternoon, and now maybe he can sleep.

He rolls up on the side, closes his eyes, concentrates on nothing but darkness.

After a while, he turns over, tries it on that side.

Maybe not.

He just wants to sleep. Nothing but numb, fuzzy darkness to pull him under, and he's tired enough, just some focus... but he can't find it, between strands of Kamenashi here and worry for Yuuya there, and whenever he sinks down it gets swirly and messy...

So much stuff. So much... that happened. At least last time Kamenashi was a consistent asshole.

Jin rolls on his back, bumps his head once against the futon in frustration, and then he blinks up at the grey shelter of the ceiling.

Kamenashi's up there, weird and wired, tight-lipped and sparing on the insults, this time.

So he can get it up and get off without the humiliation shit, apparently. Can have sex almost like a normal person if he wants to...

But Jin kind of knew that. Knew, because no way does Kamenashi treat Tatsuya the way he treats Jin. Or Kimura-senpai. They wouldn't stand for it; Jin knows enough about Kimura at least to know that. Maybe it says something about him, maybe...

Did he do something?

Or is this another midlife crisis, Jin landed smack in the middle of it, and now Kamenashi couldn't fuck Tatsuya without calling him names, either, and maybe that's why he keeps coming back to Jin, because he knows he couldn't do that with anybody classy? Has to save it for the second-rate whores, the desperate ones or the really junior... Yuu-chan.

He has no idea why Kamenashi sent him away in the end. Or why he didn't pounce when Jin... Jin gave himself away, back there. He knows that. And it would have been easy for Kamenashi to insist, put Yuu-chan in... the middle and, god, trust Kamenashi to stumble upon the one thing worse to contemplate than...

That.

Even now Jin feels dry and tight at the thought, swallowing in the darkness. He pulls the blanket around himself even though he's hot.

Not that it was like that, not exactly. They'd all taken their turn.

He feels sweaty again, sticky. Wishes he'd dried his hair.

Not the same. Not really, and he'd have gone with it, let Kamenashi put him in that place, better than the alternative, and he'd have hated it and Kamenashi would have liked Jin hating it, so... why? Why call it off, just when Jin had given it up?

Maybe because he's a novice after all – at threesomes, or maybe Tatsuya's even right and he's new to the crazy, talented but new and he just didn't know what to do with those shining opportunities he'd landed himself. Lucky break. Taking it in the face was the better deal in the end. Kept Yuuya out of it, kept himself from being stuck between two guys even if they couldn't hurt him.

Great choices. Fucking Kamenashi.

Focus on the money. A month's rent and more, in under five hours. In a few months, he'll find a cheaper apartment. Save even more. It doesn't have to be fancy, and it won't belong to the club. Something small and clean, maybe a bit further out.

Not too far, though, still fairly close to the bar. Maybe Tomo can recommend something, knows somebody. Would be cool to be neighbours. He can ask about that, next Thursday, over a cheap beer while they listen to the other singers.

He wonders if Tomo will be doing the nice ballad from last time again, or whether he'll have the chords down for that bouncier one by then. They don't sound that hard, except where they do those fast funky modulations in the bridge...

*~*~*

A touch on his shoulder reaches through to him and a voice in his ear, light, and he doesn't panic, no threat here, just a soft voice in the dark, and eventually he's awake enough to hear words, 'Jin', 'senpai'.

He lifts his face up out of the pillow he's been... clutching, whoops; rolls over on his back slowly, says, "Hi." No idea what time it might be.

Yuuya is a fuzzy shape huddling next to his futon, and Jin blinks some more, gets some hair out of his face.

"I'm sorry," Yuuya says in a whisper, "I didn't want to wake you, but I just got out, and I didn't want to go home without... are you okay?"

It takes him a moment just to get it sorted, and then... god. Yuu-chan, worried about him. He doesn't even want to think about the different kinds of wrong.

He feels heavy when he pushes himself up, sits with his shoulders hunched but, right, sitting, and he can make out more of Yuuya's face now, see the worry there.

"I'm fine," he says. There's a dark lump at the other end of the room; Jin slept through anybody else coming in and doesn't know who it is, but it's obviously a sound sleeper. Jaejoong, maybe; he sends money back home, Jin knows that.

"Kamenashi..." Yuuya says, and he trails off, because they don't ask each other what went down with a guy, not like this, it's prying and they don't.

"I'm okay," Jin says. "It went all right."

Yuuya stares at him through the dark, with his hair tangled and sticking out, because he ran down straight from his client.

"Really." Jin nods because Yuuya will see that better than his face. "He chilled a lot," he says, and it's not exactly a lie. "I got out before two." Another truth. For somebody who's just woken up, he's doing well.

"I'm glad," Yuuya says. Jin can hear it even in his whisper, so he reaches out for a brief little hug that won't be weird for them.

"Don't worry about me," he says, and moves on quickly. "Who'd you get?"

"Some broker," Yuuya says. "Yokoyama."

Jaejoong is turning on his futon, an extended slow squirm, and they both fall silent. But there's no sound then, just regular breaths.

"Was it okay?" Jin asks, in an even lower voice. Yuuya could have done with an okay one after that, if it had to be anybody, if he couldn't just get the fuck home.

"Sure." Briefly, like it's normal, and Yuuya is staring at him again; Jin doesn't need to make out much to know that. "Kamenashi—"

"He didn't stay like that," Jin says quickly. "It was okay, too." In the end. He's not lying. It was. Almost normal. "Just..." He knows he's going to contradict himself, but this one is more important. "Stay away from him, okay?"

Another thing they don't do, a breach of etiquette, but Yuuya nods, slowly. "Are you going to come in tomorrow?" he whispers at last.

He doesn't want to think about tomorrow. About clients and the lounge. "Yeah, sure," he says, as confidently as you can be when you're trying not to wake up sleeping colleagues. "Saturday, right? I'll see you there?"

Yuuya nods again, some final hesitation, and Jin touches his arm very briefly, tells him good night. It's time Yuuya got home.

Jin stretches back out as he watches Yuuya's shadow sneak out, the door sliding shut on a glimmer of light and a blip of someone's hushed conversation.

Yuuya's okay. And there are guys out there, guys he knows.

And Kamenashi— It's true that in the last stretch he wasn't so bad. Not chilled, not exactly. Weird. Weird, and only bad because of what had come before, what Jin kept expecting.

He wiggles down in the cover, pulls it up to his nose. Sleep's still there, ready to pull him back, a nice warm weight.

Maybe Kamenashi can only be normal after a long run-up, once he's got his whores properly intimidated. Not that it's made a difference before.

It got different after the bath.

Maybe he should take those more often.

Or maybe Jin will just put the asshole out of his mind at last and sleep.

~

Chapter 17

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