Universe: My Boss, My Hero
Character/Pairing/s: MakioxJun, Kazu, Kuroi, Mikio
Warnings/Spoilers: Spoilers for the end of the series. Kind of.
Word Count: 3,434
Summary: The girls at the club meet their number one rival.
Dedication: HAHA um. Joanne I guess. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAD A NEWS DREAM WTF. Also to swinku, CONGRATS ON FINISHING!
A/N: This is also retarded, as my brain NO LONGER EXISTS under the onslaught of JE STUPIDITY. I apologize profusely and WILL WRITE BLEACH OR SOMETHING SOMETIME SOON TO CLEAN MY MIND OUT. I will.
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.
The girls are cranky with him lately because he doesn't come around as much as he used to (and when he does it's strictly business), and from the way they flounce right past him to go coo over Kazu when he and his men stop by tonight makes Makio realize that the girls from nightclubs aren't all that different from the girls in high school, except that the girls in high school might have cuter outfits.
The girls in nightclubs however, have perfected the art of whining far beyond even their high school counterparts, and as they fawn over Kazu (who doesn't even look even half interested in what they're offering), they manage to project their voices backwards somehow, so Makio can hear every word they say as he sits in his booth with the club's manager and goes over profit reports and rival reports and sips fruity, non-alcoholic drinks because Jun doesn't approve when he comes back tasting like booze.
"Makio-kun never has any time to spend with us anymore, ne, Kazu-kun! It's not fair!" one of the girls whines, and flashes a hint of nipple every time she moves her shoulders.
Kazu blinks. "Aniki's busy," he says, and doesn't notice the nipple, even when it brushes the sleeve of his suit jacket right near his face.
"We've heard rumors," a different girl purrs, and twirls the tip of Kazu's tie up with her index fingers. "Can you verify them for us, Kazu-kun?"
Kazu blinks again. "Rumors?"
"Yes," a third girl pouts, from Kazu's lap. "We've heard that Makio-kun isn't so…manly anymore."
Kazu punches her in the face reflexively. "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, HAG?"
There is some general screaming and crying after that and Makio sighs to himself, because he just lost track of all the numbers the manager had been reporting to him and he needs to be able to concentrate so that this won't take forever, because if he comes back too late Jun will sniff at him for breaking his promise to come back early and he'll have to sleep on the couch and he has a calculus test tomorrow. And while he's touched that Kazu is ready to defend his manliness at the drop of a hat, the last thing Makio thinks he needs is his masculinity defined by a bunch of paint-faced girls who don't even know a damned thing about living like a man in the first place.
"Oi," he says, and doesn't bother to turn around as the injured girl clutches her nose and shrieks that it's broken, "Don't hit girls, Kazu."
The younger man bows, immediately cowed. "Sorry, aniki."
That done, the future sandaime of the Kantou Sharp Fang turns back to the bewildered club manager. "Okay," he murmurs, taking a few deep breaths to get his concentration back in line, "start from the top."
In the background, the girls all huff and flounce out of the room together like an angry pack of ostriches. Makio can feel their glares on the back of his head as they march back into the lounge for an icepack and some venomous words against the two ungentlemanly yakuza in their midst. All in all, it is a brilliantly dramatic display of feminine fury as far as grand exits go.
Makio grunts to himself and supposes that as the gang's future leader, he'll have to deal with this little problem some time soon.
But for now, all he can do is try his best to get home early.
As it so happens, he gets back very, very late.
Jun is sitting in the study waiting for him when he walks in the door, a single, pathetic looking desk light still on in the extravagantly furnished room.
"Uh…" Makio begins from the doorway, and immediately moves to apologize.
But before he can even make the "s" sound to start, Jun stands abruptly, shuts the open calculus book on the table in front of him, and leaves the room without so much as a backwards glance. "If you want calculus tutoring you need to actually be at the sessions to learn. Good night!" the younger boy declares, loudly enough to mean that he's not directing it at anyone in particular (though he is), before heading upstairs for bed with a series of nice, heavy stomps.
Makio stares after him and thinks that in terms of dramatic exits, Sakuranantoka has both high school girls and night club girls beat, hands down.
He starts making up the couch.
"Well," Mikio says the next day after school, when Makio is still on Jun's andthe girls' shitlists, "isn't it a simple case of each side not understanding the other side?"
Makio blinks as the theory completely sails over his head. "Um?"
Mikio sips at his glass of milk primly before speaking again, and this time it's much slower (to help his niisan along). "Niisan… the girls don't understand your commitment to Jun-kun, right?"
Makio tries not to look embarrassed, then gets irritated with himself for being embarrassed in the first place (because he's a man, isn't he?), and eventually forces himself to steel his jaw (even if his cheeks are a bit pink). "Uh…aa."
Mikio in the meantime, still can't believe that Makio gets embarrassed about these sorts of things in this modern day and age, but manages not to roll his eyes at his big brother. Instead, he magnanimously decides to move on with his explanation. "And Jun-kun doesn't understand your obligation to your night work, ne? Or specifically, to the place-with-all-the-pretty-girls."
Makio nods again. "Aa."
"Which is only natural, because those different things were never meant to meet, I suppose." Mikio sighs at that, like he perfectly understands the disparity between the two worlds and what it's like to be the one stuck in the middle of them both. Maybe he does understand it, all things considered. "But… when you think about it, that's the only way those two different things would ever be able to understand each other in the end. Through meeting and getting to know one another."
Makio's brow furrows, and he is once again, lost. He raises his hand. "I don't get it."
Mikio shakes his head. "What I'm saying, niisan," he continues, ever patient, "is that if you don't want to be stuck in the middle any more, you've got to bring your two worlds together."
Makio stares. "Oh."
A week later he's heading back to the club with Kazu and the boys for work, and while it's usually not a big deal either way since it's part of the job description, Makio finds that tonight, he's very, very nervous.
Jun is nervous too.
Jun is sitting beside him in the car.
Makio thinks it's the stupidest idea his little brother has ever had, which is a difficult fact to swallow, on account of Mikio never having stupid ideas.
"I can't believe you're taking me to a hostess club," Jun blurts after the silence in the car gets almost unbearable.
"Aa," Makio grunts, and can't think of much more to say beyond that.
Makio shifts uncomfortably. "It's just work," he offers after a minute, lamely.
"Are they pretty?"
"Yeah. Wouldn't make money if they weren't."
Jun winces. "Oh."
Makio debates whether he should do something dashing like tell Sakuranantoka that he's way prettier than any of those girls, but stops himself because that's not true. First, Jun probably wouldn't like being compared to any girl (no matter how pretty), and second, Makio knows that the type of beauty in Jun is completely different from the pretty faces of the hostesses and one of the first things old Iron Face had ever taught him during those damned supplementary lessons was that you couldn't just lump different things together and compare them equally.
Though thinking all this isn't helpful in giving him anything to say in the end (which had been the original purpose of thinking at all), and soon thereafter, he finds himself back at square one with no gains made in either direction.
Luckily it takes him longer to think in circles than most normal people, and just as he finishes, he realizes that they're here.
The car pulls up to the front of the club and he lets out a small, relieved breath when it turns out that he doesn't have to say anything more about how pretty the girls are after all.
Kazu hops out to open the door for them, looking kind of relieved to escape the stifling air inside as he does.
Makio gets out first and helps Jun out perfunctorily. He thinks that he wants a smoke very badly right about now, but Jun always wrinkles his nose at the smell and tells Makio to go outside (or at least, far away) so he doesn't stink up the place.
So Makio bites the inside of his cheek instead and guides a wary looking Sakuranantoka through the doors.
When they arrive, the whole club goes quiet. That usually doesn't happen, because as far back as Makio can remember, the girls have never found a legitimate reason to shut up.
But they're shut up now and staring. Makio can feel Sakuranantoka unconsciously sidle closer to him under the weight of their collective gazes. Makio reaches out and rests a guiding hand on Jun's elbow so the kid doesn't back up into him.
When he does that though, it somehow feels like the silence just got heavier and the gazes more intense. Makio is actually kind of uncomfortable in his own damned club.
Kuroi saves the day though, when he calls for the manager and asks the barkeep to bring drinks for everyone. Then the rest of the men relax too, and they branch off to visit the girls and to examine the property.
"You uh, can go sit down if you want," Makio offers his charge after a moment, though his hand is still on the kid's elbow.
Jun doesn't go sit down. "They're pretty," he whispers, still looking out shyly at the girls who are shamelessly appraising him in return as he stands there next to Makio.
"Eh," Makio grunts, and remembers that if this is all going to go according to Mikio's ridiculous plan, he needs to extricate himself from the room. He coughs and steers Jun over towards one of the plush booths. "Hang out here for a bit," he says, "I gotta go over the books."
Makio impulsively reaches out and ruffles the younger boy's hair. "I'll try'n do the math quick," is all he says before he strolls off towards the back room to intercept the manager. Even if they usually do everything out on the floor, Mikio had been pretty insistent that Makio remove himself from the situation so a…repertoire could develop, or some sort of bullshit like that.
That decided, he allows himself a quick backwards glance at Sakuranantoka before disappearing into the hallway leading to the back of the club.
He hopes that that brainy little brother of his is right about this being a good idea, because right now, he just doesn't feel it.
Once Makio is gone Jun thinks he might just die of embarrassment, because while he's had girls look at him before, he's never had girls look at him like competition before.
He doesn't know if he's indignant at their putting him in the same boat as them or frightened for his life. Possibly both.
But Kazu's at the bar looking over the floor like a well-trained guard dog, and oddly enough, that gives the young college student a small sense of security.
He gets approximately two seconds of it.
Because before he can register what's going on, he finds himself engulfed in curtains of silk and feathers and too much perfume as a beautiful, angry horde of older women surrounds him and peers down at him like they're deciding between eating him whole or pinching his cheeks like his sister used to do when he was small.
He tries not to show any fear. He tries very, very hard. It doesn't keep him from swallowing in trepidation though.
"Ne… what's your name?" an older looking neesan asks him after a moment, one eye covered by luxuriously wavy hair. It might have been sexy if Jun hadn't been so very, very scared.
"Ah…Sakurakoji," he murmurs softly. "Sakurakoji Jun."
When they hear his voice they all look at each other, and Jun has never been able to figure out this secret language between women, even when it's being used between his mother and his sister, both of whom he knows very well, comparatively.
Then he gets the next question. "How old are you?"
He tucks a lock of hair behind his ear when it gets into his face and licks his lips nervously under the girls' gazes. "Nineteen."
Another collective pause.
"Are you wearing makeup?"
He blinks at that. "No!"
This time a group murmur is his only response.
The older looking neesan actually reaches out and touches his cheek then. He doesn't know how to respond to something like that, so he just ends up staring as he feels her fingertips trace over the curve of his face.
"Damn," she mutters, and sounds both resentful and awe-filled all at once.
Jun has no idea what's going on.
"How much do you weigh?" someone from the back asks then, and sounds like she's grasping for anything.
"Uh… 50 kg?"
A sigh. Collectively.
Jun thinks that this is very, very bewildering.
After a moment or two, the older neesan sits down next to him—very close—and tosses her hair over her shoulder. "Fine. You win," she declares with an odd sense of finality, and once said, the rest of the group seems to relax too. "We can't beat that."
A nod. "We won't try to get Makio-kun to play with us anymore." Pause. "Not that we were very successful when we were trying over the past few months. Ne, Jun-kun, what's your secret?"
"E-eh? Secret? To what?"
"Skin," one girl asks, and plops down at his feet, resting an arm on his knee like they've been sitting together like this forever.
"Weight," another chimes in after that, and takes up residence at the arm of his chair, leaning over his shoulder a bit.
That last one is a bit confusing, because Jun is pretty sure he is sitting right now, and what exactly, had they seen in the thirty seconds it took him to walk over here?
"Uh… I uh… I don't… you're all very pretty?" he offers lamely, though what he means to suggest is that he can't see anything wrong with their own skin and hair and nails and teeth and butts from where he's sitting.
They all twitter like they get what he means anyway, and look absolutely charmed at his innocence. "Oh you're cute too," the neesan who had been touching him earlier purrs, and reaches out to run her fingers through his hair.
He blushes at that (naturally), and when he does, it only earns him more "kawaaiiiis!" than he's prepared for. He thinks he might just be a little bit mortified.
"So," another girl begins coyly, "tell us about yourself, ne?"
Jun finds himself trying to remember how quickly he's ever seen Makio do any sort of math. After a moment, he sighs to himself and figures the outlook is pretty bleak if that's what he's relying on to come and save him.
Nothing left to do but this, then.
That decided, he takes a deep breath and tries not to be too weirded out by whatever it is that's going on here.
"Well… I'm a first year college student," he begins carefully, and offers a small smile.
Sometime later, Kuroi decides that Makio is no good with numbers on a good day let alone when he knows that Jun might be in trouble outside, and very kindly suggests that his young master please go outside and enjoy a drink.
Thus Makio finds himself kicked out of the manager's office while Kuroi goes over the last of the accounts in his stead.
He lingers in the dark hallway outside of the bathrooms for a bit after he's ejected from the room, and isn't too certain about what to do when he goes back out to the main floor. He hopes Sakuranantoka isn't sulking at him for taking so long (or that the poor kid hasn't been devoured by the harpies already).
"Be a man," Makio mutters to himself, when he realizes it is absolutely ridiculous for a yakuza boss of his stature to be twiddling his thumbs in the dark like this because he is afraid of jilted girls and Sakuranantoka.
Slapping himself in the face once or twice to get the blood going again, Makio takes a deep breath and forces himself to march back out to the main floor as confidently as possible.
And when he does, for the second time that evening, the club goes almost completely silent.
"Makki!" a familiar voice calls out after a moment, and Makio is too relieved to know that Jun is still alive to be sore at the brat for using his stupid nickname in front of everyone when they could all hear it.
He turns towards the sound and finds Sakuranantoka in the center of all the women, waving in cheerful greeting. He looks decidedly less wary than he had when they'd first arrived.
"Uh…" Makio says, and automatically starts to pad over, though he's not sure if he's hallucinating or not.
"Time to go?" Jun asks, actually looking kind of disappointed.
All the girls echo with an "Awwwww!" of their own.
"Uh," Makio says again, and blinks once or twice.
Jun sighs. "I guess that's yes?" He tries to stand, but not before one of the girls grabs him by the arm and pushes his head into her chest rather forcibly.
Makio almost snaps out of his daze to go and punch her in the face or something (he thinks he's beginning to understand Kazu's strange, violent reflexive reactions when it comes to certain things), but before he can, she coos, "Ne, if Makio-kun is ever mean to you, you just call your big sisters at the club, okay? We won't ever let him hear the end of it!"
"That's right!" the others respond in chorus, before Jun is released, red-faced with embarrassment (and lack of oxygen). He quickly tries to fix his mussed hair.
"…h-hai," he agrees, as he finger-combs his long bangs out of his eyes. "Er, you'll be the first ones I call if he does."
"So cute!!!" the girls squeal again.
Makio stares. And stares. And stares.
And thinks that he really is the dumbest person on the face of the planet for ever thinking that his great and smart and really smart little brother could ever be wrong about anything.
Jun is padding towards him then, and he instinctively reaches out to examine the kid (because he's pretty much on autopilot right now), just make sure they didn't really do anything to him while he'd been in the back room. "You okay?"
The shorter boy blinks up at him. "I'm fine."
Makio's shoulders relax, and he feels very, very relieved to hear that. "Aa. Good."
"Why, you didn't think I could get on by myself?" Jun huffs, though doesn't look mad about it when he says it.
"'S not that," Makio assures him anyway, and doesn't even think about it when he rests a hand at the curve of Sakurakoji's shoulder and leads him towards the door, making sure to keep his own body between the girls and the kid in case they're still planning some sort of last-minute sneak attack.
"Ne, Makki…" Jun begins as they leave the club, "let's go eat dinner somewhere nice today, ne?"
Jun absolutely beams.
The girls in the meantime, watch them go.
It's a few minutes after the sound of the cars have long disappeared before someone speaks up.
"Is it just me," the eldest girl begins slowly, "or was that really, really cute?"
The rest of the flock nods in baffled agreement.
That night, it is unanimously decided that as long as Makio-kun is keeping something as adorable as Sakurakoji Jun around, the girls don't mind being ignored.
In fact, they even start to find themselves thinking that being ignored in the two's presence would actually be pretty damned pleasant if it meant that they'd get to watch them.