AN: Hehe, this is a pretty old one-shot, actually. Uhm, posted it on LJ way before now. So yeah: AU. They don't know each other. Set in Australia. My second SP fic. xD; Hope you all like it. Idea stolen from a K-drama, of course. Dedicated to Yomigaere at LJ and everyone who put up with my SP-fangirling-ness. :D. It's died down a bit now, but back then it was really strong. XD


Stranger
Strawberry'd
AU; One-shot;
Ootori Choutarou x Shishido Ryou
Word count: 1381
Date posted: 07/13/06
Date written: 02/04/06
Ootori Choutarou hit his head against the wall a few times before turning back to the manager. He looked frustrated beyond belief. "Stupid English, stupid Australian money," he mumbled in Japanese.

The man behind the counter tapped a finger onto the glass surface as he waited for Ootori's decision. "I'm willing to give five hundred dollars," he said with his Australian accent prominently cluttering his words. Ootori wasn't that bad with English but today had been a particularly bad day and he wasn't up to trying to decipher the Australian accent.

"Five hundred…" The tall silver-haired man repeated in English. He twisted his lips and frowned at the man in front of him. "Do you... speak French?" Ootori's French was near perfect, as he had spent many a summer in Paris to study music with the greats. It was a pity he had never taken the chance to learn English as thoroughly.

"French? Why would I want to even learn that language?" The manager rolled his eyes and shifted his weight, looking impatient.

"Ok, ok," Ootori licked his lips and tapped the box on the table. "Five hundred and fifty." His brain tried to shuffle through years of useless knowledge to find what he needed. One Australian dollar was about… 50 yen? 100?

"I'm not going to take anything less than five hundred." As Ootori mumbled through a stream of Japanese, the cashier/assistant/whoever he was pursed his lips and looked annoyed. "Well?"

Ootori closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "One minute, please." This really wasn't a good day for him. Why had his parents thought that he liked that girl enough to propose to her? He didn't really. Ootori mostly kept her around to appease his parents and keep them off his back. It wasn't as if he didn't like her… just not that much. Ootori was pretty sure he was gay anyways.

But why had his father brought it upon himself to go and propose? Ootori shook his head again and took a deep breath. "Fine, fine, five hundred then." The familiar symptoms of a headache began to impose themselves upon our silver-haired young man.

About ten minutes hitherto, a lovely (by lovely, I mean hot) young man with a high ponytail of dark brown hair ambled down the sidewalk, hands shoved in his pockets and a blue denim hat slanted upon his head. He was whistling a popular tune off-key as he peered here and there for something of interest.

Of course, when something did catch our lovely Shishido-sama, he didn't quite believe his eyes. A nice, tall, elegant-looking man stood in front of a counter, his fist rubbing his eye. He was clearly agitated. But, Shishido thought as his eyes raked the man, was he hot. Shishido Ryou walked into the jewelry story then and pretended to browse the rows of necklaces and earrings. Every so often, his eyes would flick back to the tall man who had caught his attention.

"You... you're doing this on purpose, aren't you?" He asked in exasperated Japanese. "Stupid English, stupid Australian money." Shishido's eyebrows rose at this. He was Japanese? Shishido peered over to what they were bargaining over. It was a small velvet box of blue velvet… probably a ring. Engagement? He asked himself, disappointed. But if he's selling, must've mean that didn't work out. That picked him up a bit.

Shishido continued to listen and up went his eyebrows again. Five hundred dollars? Only? Well, he wasn't going to let this handsome stranger get robbed. He walked himself over to the counter and picked up the box. Opening it, Shishido's eyes went wide at the ring inside. It was quite the antique-looking ring with princess-cut diamonds surrounding the large one in the center. "You're offering $500.00 only?" He asked the assistant, astonishment colouring his voice and expression. The man look flustered and shrugged.

"What?" Ootori gaped as another man butted into his bargaining. He needed this money to get back to Japan. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" He asked, not remembering that he was in Australia and the chances that this person would understand Japanese were slim to none.

"Saving you," Shishido replied. "You're trying to sell this to a foreigner for a fraction of what this is worth. You should be ashamed of yourself." He glared at the manager.

"W-what?" Ootori repeated until something clicked. "Wait, you speak Japanese?" There was hope, relief, and exhaustion mingled in his voice.

"Yeah. C'mon, I know a place where I can sell this." He picked up the velvet box and grabbed Ootori's arm to drag him out of the store.

"No, wait, I need that money!" Ootori didn't know where the shorter man was taking him or what he was even doing with him. The only reason he stayed with him, that Ootori could think of at the moment, was that he knew how to speak both English and Japanese and could very well be Ootori's ticket out of here. Plus, his good looks didn't hurt.

"So, uh, what's the story behind this thing?" Shishido asked, the grip around Ootori's arm lessened but was not gone completely. "You gettin' engaged?"

"Sort of, not really." The taller of the two frowned at the hand at kept the two of them together. It wasn't as if he was going to run away; the other man had his only source of income, after all. Besides, what was he even doing with him, anyway? "My girlfriend decided she didn't want to marry me in the end. Something about undisclosed information."

"You got another girl somewhere?" Shishido snorted. He didn't seem the type to do that, but you couldn't judge a book by its cover.

Ootori blushed at that. "No, she recently found out that I was… gay." He waited for the insults, the nasty remarks, the scathing comments, but they never came.

Shishido peered at him with wide eyes. "No shit!" He said, a wide grin spreading across his face.

Ootori looked taken back. "I'm sorry, what?" His companion only shook his head and kept on grinning.

"Here we are!" Shishido finally let go of Ootori's arm, and for that, Ootori was thankful. It almost looked like they were… together, or something. "I'm sure I can get a decent price for this," He tossed the box up and down in the air haphazardly and stepped into the stop with a smirk. The silver-haired man watched as the shorter man haggled and bargained with whoever was in there. Shortly afterwards, he came back out, velvet box-free and a wad of bills in his hand.

"Count 'em. Should be about twenty hundred dollars." Ootori's eyes went wide with shock.

"$2000?" He cried. How much had he been willing to get for it only moments before? He thumbed through the pad of crisp fifty dollar bills and couldn't help but smile. This was surely enough for a plane ticket back home!

"Z'at good enough?" Shishido had stuck a stick of mint-flavoured gum in his mouth while waiting for Ootori. He popped a bubble noisily.

"It's more than enough. Thank-you." Even Shishido, who was well aware of Ootori's mind-numbing good looks, was taken back by the sheer intensity of his smile. For a few seconds he blinked in surprise and then his face softened into a smile.

"No problem. But oh, wait, they need your name, number and address," He pulled out a sheet of paper and a pen and handed it to him. "By the way, my name's Shishido. Shishido Ryou." He held out his hand.

Ootori took it warmly. "Ootori Choutarou, nice meeting you. Thank-you again, Shishido-san." He scribbled down on the paper and held it back to Shishido. The shorter man nodded in response. "I've got to be going now. I've got a plane to catch. That's my contact information in Japan." He motioned towards the piece of paper.

After the two men had said their good-byes, Shishido looked down at the sheet of paper in his hand and smirked. "Choutarou… eh?" He chuckled softly. "You're gay? No way, me too! And it just so happens I'm going back to Japan tomorrow. Small world."

Shishido tucked the piece of paper in his pocket and set off down the road, whistling.


AN: So yep, there you have it. An alternate universe meeting of Shishido and Ootori. Slightly weird... I guess. Er, review? My first posting of shounen-ai in the Tenipuri fandom. Don't know if there's a reason to celebrate, but whatever. :D