Kaku had long ago discovered that Jyabura, when bored, was not a good person to interact with in any fashion. And yet, here they were.

"You know what I just noticed?" Jyabura said, chin resting on his fist as he stared at Kaku across the room.

"What did you just notice," Kaku answered, tapping his pen against the notebook in which he was attempting to write out a decent and believable excuse for Lucci's latest bout of coloring outside the lines.

"Even your ears are kinda square."

Kaku looked up from the notebook, glanced out the window, sighed heavily, and went back to work. "That's…wonderful."

"And your hands," Jyabura continued, unabated. "They're sort of rectangular."

Reflexively, Kaku twisted his writing hand a little farther back into its sleeve. "Great."

"I bet your neck is square and that's why you wear that damn collar all the time."

"Sometimes I get the impression that you're making fun of me, Jyabura."

Jyabura snorted and leaned forward, elbows on his knees, squinting contemplatively at Kaku and his industrious report-making. "I think the only part of you that isn't quadrate is your eyes."

Kaku smiled to himself and made a thoughtful sound, ending a sentence with a decisive flick of his pen. "You're certainly paying rather close attention to me, aren't you?"

Jyabura blinked. "What? Oh. Hell, I'm just bored. Don't get any ideas; all this makes you is marginally more interesting than linoleum." He leaned back against the sofa and crossed his arms behind his head.

"Hmm, that puts me a notch above where I was last week," said Kaku, tapping his pen against his chin.


"Last week you said you'd rather talk to the floor than to me." I suppose "In conclusion, you should just be glad it was a postal worker and not you" isn't going to cut it…

An expression of intense reflection passed over Jyabura's face. "Oh. Well, I'd still rather. But maybe I'd rather look at you while I'm talking to the floor."

"And yet you continue to speak to me," Kaku pointed out, scribbling down a tentative end to the sentence. "While looking at me, I might add. Should I be flattered?"

"Don't kid yourself," Jyabura said casually, and stretched. "You almost done with that thing? Been working on it for an hour."

Kaku frowned. "It's detailed." "It was society's fault —" No. "You could help me with it…"

Jyabura laughed, loudly and raucously as if that were the funniest thing he'd heard all week. Kaku sighed and gritted his teeth. "Hell no," Jyabura said eventually, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye. "You shouldn't either. Let the bastard write his own report."

"Yes, well, he'd do a poor job of it and invite more chaos upon us all," Kaku explained wearily. "Please keep in mind that no good would come of locking him up, much as he probably deserves it at the moment." "I'm trying to put a positive angle on it."

Jyabura snorted. "Yeah, you've got lots of those."

Kaku paused, pen hovering over paper, and turned to look at Jyabura, who was smiling nonchalantly back with his arms stacked under his head. "What?"


"…I could respond to that." Kaku crossed one leg over the other and smiled stiffly at his report. "But I am working, and thus I shall leave you and your caustic remarks over there while I write."

"Hmph," said Jyabura, and amended it with "I thought we already had a secretary."

After a moment of consideration, Kaku had to concede to the fact that Jyabura had done a neat job of mocking both himself and Kalifa in one subtle jibe. That didn't mean he had to admit it aloud, of course. "I'll be done with this in ten minutes or so. We can fight then if you really want to."

"Who said I wanted to fight?" Jyabura said, raising an eyebrow. "I'm just seeing how long it takes you to snap."

Kaku sighed and penned half a sentence that he would probably have to edit out in the second draft. "I haven't snapped in all the time I've known you, Jyabura. What makes you think that I ever will?"

"Well, three reasons," Jyabura said, sitting up and ticking off said reasons on his fingers. "I've never met somebody I couldn't break. If I keep going, I will eventually find something that gets to you. And everybody has to snap eventually." He crossed his arms and sat back against the sofa. "The longer I know you, the easier it gets. You remember the giraffe thing? I'm getting close."

Briefly, Kaku closed his eyes and gritted his teeth. "What exactly do you want me to do? Hit you? Do you realize that I am technically capable of killing you? If you do push me over the edge, I could put you in the hospital."

Jyabura shrugged. "At least I'll know that I've won."

"You can't be serious." But Jyabura was smirking. Kaku had long suspected that he had a bit of a death wish anyway. "Okay, fine. Try me."

"Are you giving me permission to mock you?"

"Much as I am certain I will live to regret it, yes."

"Well, that takes some of the fun out of it, but okay." Jyabura grinned viciously and stood up, surveying his prey with a practiced eye. Kaku sighed, set the notepad and pen down on the coffee table, and got to his feet. "You've got no fashion sense, for one thing."

"At least I wear shoes," Kaku shot back.

"Yeah, shoes. Sure. And a baseball cap. And a track suit, with a collar up to your chin, and a pocket square. Think about that—a track suit with a pocket square. Come on."

"Formal dress code," said Kaku. "I've got my track suit with my pocket square and you've got your unbuttoned shirt and lack of shoes and your tie."

Jyabura thought this over for a moment and nodded in aggravated assent. "Fine. But you're self-conscious."

Kaku was taken aback. "What do you mean?"

"What do you think I mean? You're insecure." He looked superior. Kaku was suspicious. "Come on. You go around with four inches of your face visible, wearing a hat you can pull down so people can't see your eyes—it's just as long as your nose, by the way, don't think I didn't notice—and I say your hands look weird and you try to cover them up. You remember that time we were undercover and had to change in that back room and you made me and Fukurou turn around? Yeah. Self-conscious."

He set his shoulders back, looking smug. Kaku flexed his fingers at his sides, unsure how to respond, but Jyabura didn't give him a chance.

"I bet you're terrible in relationships, too. First there's the fact that you can't seem to handle being unclothed in front of other people, and then there's your being obnoxiously polite and sounding like a creepy old guy and being stuffy with your reports and having work to do and I have never, ever seen you go out on a Friday night, even that time Kumadori asked you to go get some ramen with him because he felt sorry for you—Kumadori felt sorry for you, Kaku, think about that—and let me ask you something, how do you even kiss without your nose getting in the way, huh?"

At that, he looked downright triumphant. Kaku blinked, dumbfounded, and opened his mouth to respond. When it became apparent that no words were forthcoming, he closed it again. But then Jyabura grinned nastily, and Kaku's expression hardened into one of defiance; he had gotten this far, and there was no way he was letting Jyabura win now.

"It's not as hard as one would think," he said coolly, and stepped up to Jyabura, who raised a wary eyebrow. "Like this." He grabbed hold of the right side of Jyabura's moustache and yanked, jerking his head to one side.

"Ow!" Jyabura shouted, but any further protest was silenced by Kaku's lips, pressed hard against his at a clumsy but effective slant.

And that wasn't just it, because Kaku had an arm wrapped around Jyabura's neck and was easing back a little so as to be more intimate than damaging, and it occurred to Jyabura in a burst of horrified fascination that this wasn't just a demonstration, Kaku was kissing him, and that alone was enough to utterly destroy any possible comeback he might've made.

After a moment, Kaku leaned back and removed his arm from Jyabura's neck, looking victorious. "There. See? It's just finding the right angle. And I'm good with angles."


Kaku sighed. "Yes, Jyabura, I just kissed you. Before you go off like a cannon, please remember that you did ask, and a demonstration was easier than an explanation and, frankly, more traumatic for you, which was an added bonus. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a report to finish." He went and sat back in his chair, picked up his notepad and pen, and continued to write.

About half an hour later, Blueno came into the room looking for a book that the director needed. Upon spotting Jyabura, unmoving and ostensibly stunned in the middle of the room, he walked over and waved a hand in front of his face. When that had no effect, he snapped his fingers a few times, to no avail. Blueno looked over his shoulder at Kaku and raised an eyebrow. "What happened?" he asked.

Kaku, without looking up from his report, smiled indulgently. "I won."