Author's Note: I wrote this… I think about two months ago. And tonight I finally got tired of letting it sit around collecting pixel dust.



Namikawa comes to the door himself.

Shingo Mido knows better than most the poignant distinction between profligacy and luxury, the calligraphic line that separates pure status from class.

Namikawa has class.

It's clear, of course, just in the way he moves that a potent combination of genetics, etiquette, and education has endowed him with an almost preternatural elegance. Namikawa is graceful when he turns his head.

When he smiles, he is downright destructive.

He's smiling now.

"I was just thinking of opening a Merlot," he remarks. "Would you join me?"

"If it's not an inconvenience," Mido replies, as if there was ever any choice in the matter for either of them.

These are the games they play.

If Mido had needed reminding of Namikawa's other game, he could have had it in the board that sits primly in the center of the low glass table, the pieces arranged in their starting positions, awaiting two players' meticulous minds. Mido reflects idly that Namikawa will have learned a great deal from the innocent-looking pieces placed evenly on the squares—aggression, defense, risk, and sacrifice; how to triumph, and when to acknowledge defeat.

But not, Mido thinks, how to kill.

That's why he's dared to come.

He walks his fingers along the back of the couch, thinking, as Namikawa gets the wine. He doesn't play shogi like his host—he doesn't have the mind for it, or the patience. Mido is a man of instincts and motion, the second following the first so closely that they almost merge—strike, parry, remise, riposte. Action, reaction, touché.


Namikawa hands him a wineglass, slender white fingers brushing his, and steps back, smiling still. Mido's colleague has an extremely distracting habit of looking at the world through his eyelashes.

Inconveniently, those eyelashes in are the most luscious thing in the room.

"You're not Kira," Namikawa remarks.

Mido smiles thinly. "You wouldn't have let me in if you believed I was."

Namikawa splays his left hand on the back of the couch, the ring he wears glinting in the subtle yellow light. "You were born into it," he points out, airily, unconcerned, "the wealth, the stature. You wouldn't need to take any dubious chances to improve it or maintain it. It's already yours."

He raises his glass, and Mido toasts and sips.

It's good wine, which is tremendously unsurprising—deep and rich, like a pair of dark eyes gleaming just out of reach.

"To what do I owe the honor of your company, then?" Namikawa prompts, and Mido can see in those eyes that their owner is genuinely curious.

Mido traces the seam at the top of the couch without looking down. He holds Namikawa's gaze, and only a fragment of his dignity flakes away as he answers, "I'm scared."

There is a pause, but Namikawa's neutral expression doesn't waver. "And you don't think that I'm Kira."

It is slightly absurd even to entertain the idea—merely to think that something so beautiful could kill.

"You don't need to be," Mido replies smoothly. "Everyone knows you were well on your way to the top long before this began to develop. You could charm your rivals into submitting if that was what you wanted, and if you had Kira's power—" He nods to the shogi set. "—I think you'd keep it in reserve and save it for when it would be the most effective."

Namikawa sips at his wine; beyond the rim of the glass, another smile toys with his lips.

"I do prefer to keep my secrets," he notes idly, sauntering to the far couch and settling on it, one long leg crossed over the other. As Mido pauses (not hesitates; men like they two pause), and before he can position himself to occupy the sofa opposite, Namikawa taps one exquisite hand on the cushion beside him.

Mido's choice is made, and his fate is sealed. There's less trepidation than he expected; wine tingles down his throat, and Namikawa spreads an arm over the back of the couch.


The prompt is quiet, slow, and interested.

It is neither shy nor tactful.

Mido takes Namikawa's wineglass and places it and his own on the table by the shogi set; glass clinks on glass, and the dark eyes smolder, satisfied. These are foreign signals, lower clues, but Mido isn't stupid, and his instincts know no native tongue.

The satin of his vest rustles as he turns, and he recognizes that the sound is his final warning.

One of the things Mido's world-class fencing instructor always criticized was his unwillingness to retreat.

He pushes Namikawa down onto the delicate throw pillows, and silk-hair catches in the beaded detailing—kelp and coral, Edenic vines; the thing that stuns him is how naturally it comes. They have forsaken the illusion of elevation; they have set it aside with the wine; and things are real and simple here.

There are rules to their games, countless rules ingrained and internalized, memorized, unspoken. He has drifted far enough beyond the boundaries to tip the balance of the first of these laws, and the rest are following suit. Monochrome dominoes rain to the polished parquetry, and silently they shatter.

Namikawa's slender fingers are unyielding where they curl around the knot of his tie and drag him closer. He lets his eyes slide shut as he surrenders, ceding his last bastion and reserve, and capitulates into a crushing, irresistible kiss that makes it unreasonably difficult to breathe.

The last time he felt like this, fell like this…

He can't remember, not that he's thinking anymore. Not that he's truly and properly thought in this man's presence since the first staff meeting where shining hair like pitch, like liquefied obsidian, spilled over a pair of angled shoulders, pooling, thick.

His mouth had gone melodramatically dry.

It isn't now.

Now, he has everything, for the duration of this dizzying crystal moment.

He buries his fingers in the thick dark hair, smooth and cool against his knuckles, tickling his palm, as he savors the flavor of everything.

He draws back; he's forgotten to breathe after all. The drastic curve of the black lashes lifts, and Mido registers distant triumph reading that their owner's emotional dishevelment matches the outward show.

The taste of him is far headier than the wine; Mido's veins pulse, and his heart skitters; the tailored vest is too tight as he thieves greedy lungfuls of Namikawa's scent.

He smells more like salon conditioner and incense than he does of money. He smiles like soap and clean clothes, and his shallow breaths burn with the lingering tang of the alcohol.

Mido runs a thumb over an impossibly-sculpted cheekbone, wondering who carved this paradigm.

"I don't even think of you by your first name," he divulges. "It's either reductive or respectful."

Namikawa's fingernails defy his collar and graze the nape of his neck. "Maybe both," he replies, eyes gleaming and unperturbed, "Shingo."

Mido refuses to shiver, bending instead to take his teeth to the white throat—gently, for now. Namikawa shifts beneath him, murmuring, hands trailing towards the buttons of the vest, graceful even in impatience. Mido kisses intently along the slant of his idol's jaw, breathing warmly against the slow-flushing neck, and traces towards the delicate ear with a languid tongue.

Namikawa gasps softly, and all the meticulous poise shatters in an instant.

Mido closes his ears to the latter sound in favor of its glorious predecessor.

One set of fingers fumbles uncharacteristically, fighting the tiny buttons, as the other clenches in his hair and draws him back, putting a few electric inches between them again.

Before Mido can even ask, Namikawa is reaching up to remove his glasses, ostensibly to borrow them for a moment of absent admiration.

"Myopia," Mido explains.

"Ironic," Namikawa decides.

The furniture is blurry; Namikawa is clear. Mido sees no irony in that.

"Why now?" Namikawa inquires, a dark eyebrow arching, the corners of the lips curling with just the right dispensation of amusement.

Games. Namikawa's hand grows hazy as he stretches to set Mido's glasses by the shogi board.

"Because we're going to die," Mido tells him.

Namikawa meets his eyes, suddenly alert. There are things he fears.

"Sooner or later," Mido elaborates, feeling vague and vulnerable here, on hands and knees suspending himself above this sharp-eyed angel. "Our Kira isn't the Kira, but I think the Kira is waiting. And when he's done waiting, he'll take the power back, and he'll erase the evidence." He ducks momentarily to kiss a red mark his mouth left, stark on the white skin. "We're evidence."

Namikawa laughs softly, desert-dry. "Touché." He reaches up to stroke a fingertip down Mido's cheek with something like uncertainty. "Hence… now."

"Now," Mido agrees.

"Then we should make it good," Namikawa notes, "now."

He slips out from under and gets to his feet, where he pauses—for they don't hesitate—just a heartbeat before holding out a hand.

Mido stands and takes it. Namikawa is fractionally taller, but there's always been something boyish about him—something young and unrepentant, something that rings true and sells.

Namikawa leads him, tows him, guides him down the endless hall. The bedroom is sophistication articulated; Mido imagines his colleague waking here daily, alone in this beautiful expanse of white sheets and silver décor. Shades of gray; no surprise.

Mido wonders if he ever truly wanted their victims dead. It makes him ill to have to accept that he knew precisely what they were doing, knew precisely what it meant.

Insipid, isn't it—to think philosophy at a time like this, in such a place. It's too late, now, anyway: if L catches them, they die; if Kira does, the same.

That, as they've established, is the reason for now.

The bedding is so pristine that he almost doesn't want to push the blankets back and press Namikawa down onto the supple mattress.

But he does.

Inkblot hair on white sheets, and his vest gives way, and the grays blur together at the edges of his imperfect vision. Sweat and dignity shouldn't mix, but the two of them shed more of the latter than he expects with the starched shirts, and belt buckles clink demurely on the carpet like abandoned coins. Namikawa sighs softly as Mido favors ribs with hands and mouth, learning the incredible world of more-than that he has uncovered here; in this fortress built by the power of wealth, he has stumbled upon another force entirely, and money never shredded his insides like this.

It's terrifying to be so human—so alive. People can be destroyed in a way positions can't. It's safer to be an executive than it is to be a man.

Namikawa turns him to flesh.

Divested, deprived, demystified, there is a kind of necessary trust on this bed with its fading edges, in this silence but for breathing and this whiteness but for them, and Mido wants to shudder at the thought that he is bare here, unprotected—that there's nowhere left to hide. All the practice and presentation are crumpled on the floor, gathering wrinkles, and this is his now.

Hipbones, cheekbones, collarbones; the more he sees, the more difficult it becomes to hold himself back. His fingers are knotted in Namikawa's hair, and the planet has stopped spinning to center on this breathless, hot-blooded, lightheaded union.

There's nothing else.

They lie side-by-side afterwards, and Mido listens to Namikawa settling, sheets whispering their approval of that madly inimitable form. There will be bruises in the morning, but the clothing will stifle it all.

Regaining his breath and retrieving his composure with it, Namikawa rolls partway over and looks at him. Mido waits for a subtle hint indicating dismissal and guaranteeing silence, but it doesn't arrive.

"Thank you," Namikawa says.

Mido smiles warily, and the muscles feel stiff. "I would count myself the lucky one here."

It's self-deprecating, but the truth often is.

Namikawa shrugs, and his hair slithers across the pillow. "You're good at this."

Mido calculates and chooses admitting his confusion over feigning understanding. Artifice seems pointless now. "Good at what?"

The ring gleams as Namikawa reaches out and pushes a lock of hair from Mido's damp forehead.

"Everything," he answers.

Smiling comes a little easier this time.

"Touché," Mido replies.