Disclaimer: I do not own Persona 4.
There's a guy, donning a facial expression similar to one a pastor might wear had he accidentally stumbled into a sex boutique complete with frilly, see-through lingerie and toys that would make even the lengthiest bananas envious, who looks very much out of place at the current moment.
He's wavering in the doorway of Inaba's most notorious and only strip club, and at first sight, Souji thinks that he's a tourist who's stumbled into the wrong shop. Even though Souji has difficulty imagining that anyone could mistake flashing lights and posters of long, stocking clad legs taped on windows for a souvenir shop, he simply has trouble believing that this guy has any intention of stepping another foot into the hullabaloo of the stench of cologne, alcohol, and the lingering promise of sex.
Kanji's got stage duty tonight, Souji playing bartender and the occasional bestower of lap dances if a man inebriated enough to slip more than a few twenties into his underwear tips him generously enough. It's a routinely Tuesday night, the evening shy of nine o'clock and the thin sheet of sweat on Souji's shoulders starting to get noticeable. The lights are hot and demanding on his back every time he sashays between a handsy group of older men by the front and delivers a martini to the quiet businessman remaining incognito in the back region of the club. The entire place reeks of sin, but there's something almost too innocuous about the man still lingering uneasily on the threshold.
Souji collects his breath and dabs his palm over the dampness gathering on his neck, giving the man a few moments to scan the area, observe the strippers, and turn around, or possibly even be dragged out by an enraged grandmother or girlfriend in a few moments. When none of the above occur, Souji regains his traditional waiter professionalism and slithers over to the door, smiling.
"You here for the show? Or are you just... browsing?"
The man looks flustered to even be talked to, let alone caught with two feet inside the building. He glances over Souji's shoulder to observe the stage, and his eyes roam over what Souji assumes to be Kanji performing his routine. Souji looks over his shoulder at well, just in time to see Kanji hip-thrusting seductively at the audience close to the stage, the flap on his loincloth bouncing around in time with his movements and the catcalls. If at all possible, the man Souji addressed looks even more pallid, resembling a dead man's complexion.
"Um. Er. I don't know, honestly."
The man screams fresh out of the closet, if even that. He's nervous and fidgety, constantly running his thumb over the pads of his headphones. If Souji didn't know better after years of working at the strip club, he would assume the man is about to rob the place from his jerky movements and shifty gaze. He leans in a little closer to the man and lets his lips tug up at just the right angle to imply the alluring, coquettish atmosphere of the place, just in case he still wants to turn on his heel and go back home. From his shifty eyes and stuttering tongue, Souji won't even be surprised if he has a girlfriend waiting for him on the sidewalk by his house.
"Can I get you a drink?" He slides back into the smooth, well-rehearsed glide of his professional voice. It sounds part prostitute, part drunken bartender, and Souji is proud of the way it slips out without him even having to work on deepening his tone anymore.
"Uh," the man looks Souji up and down as though he's attempting to judge from the amount of clothes he's wearing how trustworthy he is, and manages a short nod, "got any beer?"
Souji suppresses a snort and nods, disappearing behind the counter. The man hasn't used any fresh, impressive tricks from the book to attempt to reassert his masculinity. Souji refrains from adorning his beer with a flashy umbrella or perhaps mistakenly handing him the fruitiest margarita in the bar, instead topping off his glass until foam is sizzling at the top.
By the time he locates his customer, he's dared to venture a little farther into the club, now retreated into the shadows in the back but still getting a good enough view of the strippers to enjoy the show. Souji spots him and hands him his beer wordlessly, smirking when the man utters out a fumbled thank you. Souji almost doubts that he'll ever see this man's face here again with his anxious foot twitches and the constant flashes of worry flitting over his expression, his fingers always reaching for the headphones slung around his neck just so he can hold onto something.
O O O O O
It takes Souji two weeks to realize that his previous assumption about the mysterious, potentially homosexual customer at the strip club is dead wrong.
He's working the pole tonight, Kanji being the one unfortunate enough to wear clothes in the sweltering heat of the lamps and play bartender. Still, Kanji never seems to be deterred by wardrobe protocol for the waiters as opposed to the strippers, and never fails to remove of his shirt and to roll up his pants until they're resting, curled up, at his thighs to avoid sweating in the irksome heat of the club.
It's a Friday, which naturally means that the club is full of perverted truck drivers daring enough to openly sit at tables to watch the strippers, a few giggling girls bursting out into laughing fits every time a stripper throws a pant leg into the audience, and the regular homosexuals that stop by every once in a while with their partners to enjoy the show.
Souji's swinging around the slippery pole with expert palms, his behind not sticking out too much like Kanji told him to, and his crotch visible for even the ashamed watchers in the back to get a good view of. He's donning latex, tight enough to constrict his blood flow and unspeakably sticky once the sweating starts. He's curling his shirt up his chest, lips parted and knees hooked around the pole to leave his arms free when he sees a familiar face, a familiar set of headphones, and a familiar aura of uncontrollable nerves. He almost stops mid-strip, shocked that the guy would return to the strip club, let alone sit in one of the middle tables. The lights are dancing over his face to create just the right amount of contrast with the shadows hitting the other hemisphere of his head, the curve of his jaw and the arch of his cheekbones coming into detail under the harsh lamps.
Souji manages to catch the man's gaze when his eyes finally stop ogling the lower parts of Souji's form and meet his eyes. He grins and sends a rare, flamboyant wink out into the audience in what he hopes conveys as an encouraging, motivational come out, come out, wherever you are symbol, but before he can analyze the nervous man's reaction, Kanji is dumping himself into his lap and rubbing up against his thighs.
The man looks so terrified and innocent, as though he's staring at a ghost that forgot to float away, and Kanji looks so insulted that a customer would be petrified of his presence on their lap instead of honored that his thighs are situated on their own that Souji forgets about all sense of professionalism, and lets out a bark of laughter in mid-performance.
O O O O O
Once again, the guy doesn't return for three weeks, and Souji can't help but wonder if Kanji scared him off with his brazen act of straddling him in the middle of the club. When his familiar figure loitering in the doorway catches Souji's eye while he's making a chattering, intoxicated man's Sex on the Beach, he turns to Kanji and elbows him in the ribs, shouting over the booming music.
"Remember that guy?"
Both of them are on waiter duty that night, the night being fairly calm for a Monday, only Adachi and Dojima doing their infamous police officer routine up on stage tonight, but Kanji's dress shirt is unbuttoned down to his navel and his fly is open. Souji thinks it's most likely purposefully prepared this way. He sticks a straw in his customer's glass and slides it down the counter, hoping the inebriation doesn't horribly cripple his customer's reflexes.
"Oh god, yes. What a gayby."
Souji blinks, flummoxed, and blindly reaches for another glass when another man shouts an order at him.
Kanji smiles, one of those old, Chinese wise-man smiles, except on a stripper, which makes it a little less meaningful. Souji isn't all too sure what some of the regulars and newcomers in the audience see in Kanji when they toss the remainders of the cash in their wallets and pockets on stage while he dances his heart out and then demand lap dances, but one man's trash is another man's treasure. It's a good philosophy in the situation, in a really twisted, male stripper manner.
"Gay baby. Gayby. That cutie pie is so far in the closet he's in Narnia."
"You think he's actually gay?" Souji doubts this. Kanji is sometimes like a homosexual Oracle, with a gay radar that has better statistics than condoms on sperm-pumped teens on a horny night. Still, it's hard to take advice from a man who probably isn't wearing any actual underwear.
"He's been here three times. You can't mistake this place for Junes thrice, baby," Kanji lowers his voice to a whisper, like he's sharing some unearthly secret, but Souji leans in nonetheless, "and he had the boner the size of an independent island nation when I sat in his lap."
"Go penetrate his facility, sweetheart."
Kanji's looking at him almost earnestly, like he wants Souji to stop living off rutting against old, perverse mailman during his lap dances as a love life. He takes the blender from Souji's grip and pours the contents out into a glass.
"Go over there and bring him a drink," Promptly, a filled to the rim glass is thrust into Souji's hold, and Kanji is undoing another button on his shirt, "he's yearning for it."
Souji scoots around the edge of the counter, partly to avoid anymore of Kanji's homosexually charged vocabulary and partly because he never knows how long a man on edge like the one standing in the shadows will stay.
He scoots up to the man and paints on another flirtatious smile.
"Hey there," he husks, and the man jumps at the sudden presence, "I got you a drink. You looked nervous back here all alone."
The man doesn't look quite as horrified as he did when Kanji deposited himself onto his thighs, probably because Souji still has all of his clothes on, but still doesn't seem to be enthused by the company.
"Thanks. I don't really. Um. Places like these aren't really my thing."
Part of Adachi's uniform and Dojima's hat go sailing into the audience. The man twitches.
"It's okay," Souji consoles, and a smidgen of his professional edge is replaced with his attempt at providing comfort, "Everyone needs to find themselves at one point. Some find themselves in... male strip joints."
He's a little concerned that his crack will make the man emit a diatribe of homophobia, but instead he chuckles quietly and shrugs. He has the type of laugh that Souji would gladly record so he could play it over and over again.
"That's weird, man," he says, and leans against the wall, "this whole place is weird."
Souji also shrugs, noncommittally, because he can't exactly argue.
"You sure this is a great way of coming out?" Souji dares, "There's things like gay book clubs and things. Probably a little less intense than Officer Do-Jizz-Ma up there."
"I'm not–" The man looks flustered again, a deep rubicund tinge coloring the tips of his cheekbones. He's not unattractive by any means. Souji would like to see what he looks like when he's not uptight and drawn together like he is now, like a mother catching her son masturbating, relaxed and halcyon. "I'm not gay, dude. I mean, I know I'm here, but I'm just... finding myself."
"In gay strip clubs."
"...when you look for things, you often check in the wrong places," The man clarifies, and starts to look a little on edge again, like Souji just breached his privacy and read into his diary.
"How about the next time you come to a male strip club and you claim to be straight," Souji offers, "you bring a gay friend? It looks less suspicious."
"And stop ordering beer."
The man is silent. He's looking at Souji like he's discovering all of his secrets and is on the road to learn more, like all of the things to be sheepish about, like his bed wetting habits from third grade or how he can't prepare eggs correctly.
"Here," Souji says, and heaves a sigh, handing the drink he's still holding out to him.
"Thanks," he says, and takes a swig. He knits his eyebrows together at it, smacks his lips, and glances at Souji, "what is this?"
"A Slow, Comfortable Screw."
Subtlety, thy name is not Kanji, Souji muses, a little dryly, and the man is back to looking like he just got molested in a bathroom. Souji sighs again and leans against the wall.
"So, those police officers really are something, aren't they,"
"Yeah, they are." The man replies, and they both remain wordless until he leaves.
O O O O O
"Oooooooh, look who's back, looking more gay by the day!"
Souji pulls the curtain aside with his index finger to peer out with Kanji practically bouncing up and down on his heels beside him, dabbing glitter onto his chest. After a quick scan of the throng of people, Souji's eyes land upon the Supposedly Straight Stranger, or what he and Kanji have taken to calling him. He hasn't shown up since the night of Adachi and Dojima's performance, and by now, Souji is starting to wonder how long a man can stare at other mens' groins before he can admit his lack of heterosexuality. He closes the curtain again, readjusting the latex strapped against his thighs.
"That man will be eighty, when everyone's gay just to be gay, and he'll still be cursing rainbows from the sky. He's so homophobic he doesn't even think he's homophobic."
"Then what is that cutie pie doing here?" Kanji frowns.
"Definitely not shopping," Souji admits, a little bitterly, and for a second, he almost prefers the obnoxious and handsy bus drivers to the in-the-closet cases, "he's straight. At least for now."
"We should make him come in his pants. Do that hip thrust you do sometimes."
"He'd say he spilled some yogurt," Souji dismisses, and plucks at the tight material over his hips with a grimace, "or worse, that it looked like one of us had boobs."
"Honey, don't you worry," Kanji soothes, and dabs more shimmer under his eye, "we're going to make him so gay he won't even be able to sit straight."
Souji frowns at him, skeptically. Kanji flecks a handful of glitter at him, and Souji feels some of it go up his nostrils.
O O O O O
If anyone would ever ask him if he was dancing for anyone in particular that night, or trying to be impressive for a big executive watching with a lewd grin in the corner, or attempting to look extra sexy just for that special someone in the audience, he would deny it with his typical stripper snicker.
Sometimes, even strippers like Souji Seta need confidence boosters, and if the whistles echoing off of the walls when he tore his shirt straight off of his chest weren't enough of an ego inflater, then the look on the man's Souji's become semi-fixated with face when he shimmied the tiniest bit out of his underwear to reveal a trail leading down from his abdomen and beyond was.
O O O O O
By now he's built up enough confidence to make himself a drink when his performance with Kanji is over, and not bothering to change back into his waiter attire, pants riding low on his hips and tequila shot in his hand, he marches straight up to the man who claims his straightness to see if he can convince him to get a rainbow tattooed on his ass before the night is over.
"Hey," he greets, and sidles up to the table that the man is sitting at, sitting in the vacant chair next to him. He's not in the shadows anymore, but slowly and steadily moving up the tables, but to Souji's inner satisfaction, only seems to scoot up when Souji is performing.
"...hi." It's like a horribly confusing, homosexual Christmas.
"You came back."
"...yeah." The man says back, and decides to leave his train of thought at that.
"Gay book clubs weren't for you?" Souji queries, and a small blush is instantly visible on the man's face, "Or are you straight now, but just on an orientation vacation?"
The man blushes more. Souji likes it. It's a clear sign of nerves, but not the kind of nerves that have the guy standing in the shadows or weeping in a bathroom stall about his very prominent erection for male prostitutes, but rather just the innocent, sheepish ones. Souji wants to suck on his cheekbones, make that red even deeper. He swallows down his urge by downing his tequila shot.
"I... I think I'm gay." He mumbles, and it's a voice smaller than a household fly's.
Souji smiles around the rim of his shot glass and lowers it back onto the table. He wonders if the man thinks he's being discreet, observing Souji's body with a few quick glances of his eyes and a subtle lick of his lips. His chest is still on broad display, shiny and damp from the ardent routine, and Souji sits up a little straighter when he feels the man's eyes on him.
"...you're not surprised, are you?"
Souji shrugs. The man brought his headphones again. They're orange, almost as bright as some of the neon lights on the stage.
"Not really. You're in a male strip club."
They share a small, comfortable silence while across the room, Kanji is giving one of the regulars, Namatame, a lap dance while popping cherries into his mouth. The music is loud and demanding the sway of bodies for dancing, but the second show is about to start and most of the audience members are still in chairs, some of them rifling through their wallets to see if they can scrounge up a lap dance from Kanji too.
Souji looks up, and meets the man's eyes. There's a soft, vulnerable look in them, and he smiles.
O O O O O
Supposedly Straight Stranger, who Souji is now trying to label more prominently as Yosuke, gains a few handfuls of fortitude after his last visit. He stops by more regularly, doesn't shuffle about in the shadows and the bathrooms, and is brazen enough to watch the shows from the tables every time. Souji is ecstatic at the fact that thanks to his effort – and Kanji's proverbs of wisdom – he's managed to get a seemingly decent gay man to join the club instead of just the growing number of aged, perverse men with knobby hands and wrinkly palms. After his myriad of lap dances to forget, he wouldn't mind giving Yosuke one. The man has just the right legs, slender yet not too bony. Souji wouldn't mind accidentally spilling a cocktail in Yosuke's lap so he could rub at his crotch with a cloth for a few minutes just to watch him squirm under his touch. Souji wouldn't mind gripping onto the roots of Yosuke's hair and gyrating up against his groin until they both come, and that's a thought that makes Souji almost as aroused as some of the whooping audience members.
Souji saunters into the audience with his tray held high and balanced precariously on his palm, swiftly depositing a single cocktail into Yosuke's unsuspecting hands. He really has to stop giving him all of these free drinks, considering his paycheck is the one suffering the damages, but without his props he finds it difficult to play both the role of male stripper and therapist simultaneously.
"I didn't order anything."
"I know," Souji drops into the chair next to him. His shirt isn't tight around his collar as it usually is, because after some coaxing from Kanji, he's undone some buttons down to his chest, revealing a slither of skin, "You come in here a lot now."
"I couldn't find any gay book clubs," Yosuke shrugs, and manages a tiny smile.
"So how's being gay?"
"Better than being straight."
Souji grins, because this means that Yosuke isn't one of those flighty homosexuals, swinging over each side of the fence everyday like he's got trampolines on both sides, until guilt rides over desire and his label resumes the title of straight.
"Maybe this means you can actually enjoy the show without having to pretend you weren't watching Kanji's loincloth."
"Yeah, about that," Yosuke's been more relaxed the last few days of his visits, generally content if not brimming with unbridled arousal lingering in his eyes as far as Souji can tell from his facial expressions, but a familiar flitting of worry casts over his face, "...is Kanji the only one who gives lap dances?"
Yosuke looks at him shiftily. Souji takes two and a half seconds to weigh the options of the implications behind his inquiry, and when all roads lead to sex, he grins broadly.
"Of course not."
During his break period on a slightly busy Thursday, Souji decides to let his aching muscles get the best of him and disappear into the bathroom for a little bit longer than his assigned ten minutes to cool down from the sweltering lights and bustle of the nighttime crowd. He's just patting down the gathering of moisture beads at his hairline with a paper towel when one of the bathroom stalls swings open and Yosuke steps out.
"Hey there." Souji says, and promptly furls up the damp paper towel in his hand. He flashes a grin and tosses the balled up towel into the trash bin.
"You on break?"
"Extended break." Souji says adjoined with a heavy sigh, and examines his appearance in the mirror. There's the slightly noticeable curve of rings darkening the flesh under his eyelids indicating heavy fatigue and exhaustion, and Souji frowns, tempted to ask Kanji if he can borrow his make-up.
"Yeah... it's crazy out there tonight," Yosuke rubs at the nape of his neck, "How come you aren't out there being bombarded with lap dances?"
"'Cause I'm in here with you."
"Right," Yosuke nods, and starts to look a little apprehensive again. Souji's starting to wonder if it's him inducing his nerves instead of the club, because every time Souji approaches Yosuke the man clams up like a rusty chest. "So you're gay, right?"
Souji carefully raises an eyebrow at Yosuke's imploring stare, and nods, "It'd be difficult to grind up against men on an hourly basis if I wasn't."
"Right, of course," Yosuke babbles, and the hand rubbing on his neck is scratching marks into his skin by now out of the sheer cumbersome nature of the conversation, or at least where the conversation is headed, "So you've kissed a guy?"
"What's it like?"
Souji pauses. No one's asked him for details on his male kissing endeavors before. He manages a small shrug, and Yosuke's expression turns from tentative to a little desperate. He thinks about all of the men that have touched him and stuck their tongue in his mouth, and he tries to pull together some ambiguous descriptions.
"...rough? A girl yields, a man doesn't."
"Yeah, but like," Yosuke shifts on his feet a little, and reaches to hold onto the wire of his headphones. Souji wonders if his technology acts as his security blanket, with the way he always seems to have them slung protectively around his neck, "How do you do it? It's not any different from kissing a girl, is it?"
Yosuke isn't a fourteen-year-old girl looking for tips in how to not make her first kiss too wet. Souji can see that from the man's stature and matured facial features, but the way he's babbling on about osculation makes him bear a striking resemblance to a young schoolgirl with braids and too much lip gloss.
"No, Yosuke, it really isn't."
"Then why not just kiss a girl?"
Souji is starting to wonder if Yosuke's trying to discreetly worm through the loopholes of homosexuality back into heterosexuality, or worse, become one of the acclaimed bisexuals wearing leather jackets that often stride into the bar with a girl at the beginning of the night and a boner by the end of it. He takes a step closer to the man.
"Look, you want to know what it feels like?"
Souji has tried kissing a girl, and after a few horrid experiences, he's decided to never do it again. It's not that he's only had encounters with bad female kissers, but it's the manner of kissing a girl itself that he isn't fond of. The stickiness of their lipstick, the soft, hesitant way they press their lips against his and the small, breathy moans they make. Men can be gentle as well, but there's never anything quiet about a man's kiss.
As swiftly as he can manage, he cups the line of Yosuke's jaw with his hands and their mouths make contact, Yosuke tensing in surprise and uttering a few words of shock against his lips before Souji angles his head and tugs Yosuke's bottom lip into his mouth. All reluctance dwindles from Yosuke's body, and before long, his hands are hesitantly situating themselves at Souji's hips and he's even leaning into his mouth. Souji makes a noise of appreciation and swipes his tongue over Yosuke's lips before he pulls back, admiring his work.
Yosuke's eyes take a few seconds to open again. His lips look freshly kissed, bruised crimson from Souji's mouth, stuck in between emitting a soft moan and a pant for air. He settles for both at the same time, and his fingers drop from Souji's hips.
"There. Now you've experienced it."
Making out with customers in the strip club bathroom while there aren't even a few bills being slid into the waistband of his pants feels entirely out of job protocol, but he hastily fixes the rumpled state of his work shirt and shrugs off the guilt. Yosuke's face, still the epitome of pure astonishment, is probably enough to make breaking the rules worth it.
O O O O O
"I kissed him."
"Woah there, honey."
Kanji and Souji are slipping into their traditional Slutty Saturday work attire, where even the waiters bear almost all of their bodies for display. It's a full house tonight, with all of the bar stools occupied and every single table smashed together with chatting guests smoking cigarettes and swapping drinks. It's barely seven o'clock and the majority of the club is already drunk, most of the men still stumbling in to watch the show already inebriated as well. This means there's going to be a lot of groping from eager hands, and although Souji never appreciates a slimy bald man's finger squeezing his rear, he's got bar duty with Kanji for the first few hours of the night, much to his delight.
"That's all. He just wanted to know what kissing a man felt like."
"And your lips expressed the words your vocabulary couldn't?" Kanji looks horribly amused. Souji scowls at him.
"He's hot, all right? And it's not like – don't, don't look at me like that. What if he suddenly decides he's straight again?"
"Oh baby," Kanji says, and smiles in an eerie, knowing fashion that makes Souji feel a little wary of his coworker's antics, "did you kiss him with tongue?"
"Then he's not turning straight anymore."
Two hours later, when both of them are manning the bar and up to their hips in drink orders from already wasted customers, a few of the them passed out on the counter, Kanji is drinking vodka straight from the bottle and pointing at the crowd watching Teddie shake his hips straight at a particularly loud table of flamboyantly gay men in the middle.
"Your boy is dancing along to Lady GaGa."
Souji looks up, and is instantly baffled when he sees, sure enough, Yosuke snapping his fingers and bobbing along to the music echoing out of the speakers. He's even swaying his hips while he's still sitting down, and the slight grace he's managed to maintain during his movements is mesmerizing to Souji. He hands one of his customers a martini and watches as Yosuke shrugs off his jacket and hangs it over the back of his chair.
"Do you think–"
"Gaaaaaaaaaay." Kanji drawls, and Souji grins a little.
O O O O O
It takes another three hours for the club to clear out at least half of their customers, most of them slurring and leaning on friends they came with for support. The dancers have long finished their routine, most of them back to lap dancing duty, when Kanji points out that Yosuke hasn't moved from his seat, still sipping away at his cocktail.
"You know, you should give him a lap dance. Instead of always trying to liquor him up."
"If he wants one, he can ask for one," Souji replies adamantly, and leans against the counter. His back is sore and his feet are ready to shrivel up into nothing but a boneless mass. He wants to go over to the table Yosuke's sitting at, he really does, but playing the overactive stripper forcing his lust on people has been more Kanji's forte than his own. He shrugs, even at Kanji's disappointed glower, and goes back to throwing ice into the blender.
Kanji's two seconds away from launching into a pep talk about following through on deeds of turning men gay when Yosuke approaches the bar, sliding into a bar stool and leaning across the counter. It's the most assurance Souji has ever seen him with, and along with the aura of eroticism still dancing in his eyes, there's a lap dance just waiting to be performed on Souji's part.
"So," Yosuke says, and deposits the empty glass he's been sipping at back onto the counter, "why is everyone wearing practically nothing but fig leaves today?"
Souji looks down at his own wardrobe, a single leather strap concealing his goods, "Slutty Saturday."
"Oh," Yosuke nods, and a smile tugs at his lips, "that's... dirty."
"A few years ago it used to be Sperm Saturday, but our boss Igor thought it was sleazy," Souji shrugs, pulling Yosuke's glass toward him and dumping the leftover ice into the sink, "even though, funnily enough, he was the one who suggested Testosterone Tuesday, which in my opinion is also sleazy."
Yosuke barely even seems to be listening, instead fixated on the muscles dancing over Souji's chest and the firmness of his biceps. Souji tries not to smile in satisfaction too much, and is about to offer the man another drink, when Yosuke speaks first.
"So are you too busy blending drinks or can you spare enough time for a lap dance?"
Souji opens his mouth to form a reply, but before he can, Kanji is yanking the half-prepared cocktails from his hands and whispering furiously in his ear, "That boy is gone for you, not stripper gone, wants to get married under the stars and have your babies gone."
Souji blushes as Kanji prances off with the glasses that used to occupy Souji's grip, grateful for the shadows of the bar eclipsing his burning cheeks. He grins and nods.
"Anything for a customer."
He makes his way around the bar to where Yosuke is still sitting on the stool, legs slightly apart and lips parted in anticipation. There's already a bulge in Yosuke's pants, and Souji feels the same, almost as if his erection gets anymore visible, his leather strap will snap. He eases himself onto Yosuke's lap and looks at him.
This is closer than he's ever been with Yosuke long enough to stare at the bumps and nooks of his face, noses bumping with every slight shift of his position and eyes locked as though stuck with hot caramel. Souji gets the overwhelming urge to kiss every last breath out of Yosuke until his voice sounds like he just came out of dental surgery, so without further ado, he does just that.
Yosuke's very good at showing his pleasure, whether it be the way he tangles his tongue with Souji or the way he lets out groans deep from his throat to let Souji know exactly what he likes. He's gotten more confident in his movements since their fumbling kiss in the bathroom, and now his hands aren't resting calmly at his hips anymore, but grabbing those muscles he was ogling earlier like they're his to claim. Yosuke's got big hands, big enough to roam over his chest without missing any skin. Souji doesn't have a doubt in his mind that he's enjoying this just as much as Yosuke, if not more, and promptly grinds down against the bulge in Yosuke's pants.
Yosuke shudders violently as a reaction, groaning again, long and deep, before pulling away from Souji's lips to regain his breath. His hips are jerking up in tandem to Souji's now, both of them fumbling, desperately rubbing up against each other. It's quick and sloppy and Souji's mouthing the pulse point at Yosuke's neck, tasting sweat and sex and everything else he wants to associate Yosuke with.
He's a little ashamed of his stamina when two minutes later, both of them come within a few moments of each other, panting against each other's shoulders. When Souji finally goes to disentangle himself from Yosuke's lap and hurry into the back to change out of his soiled leather underwear, Yosuke pulls him back in and captures his still parted lips in a kiss, complete with sweat and lingering moans from earlier.
"Thanks," Yosuke says when he finally pulls back, and it takes Souji a minute to remember that he's referring to the lap dance. Souji climbs off of him and can't help but smirk a little at the wet spot he spies at Yosuke's crotch, and straightens out his hair.
"It's my job."
When Yosuke makes a hasty exit and Kanji congratulates him on his feat five minutes after he changes, Souji definitely thinks that there's no going back to straight for that guy.
O O O O O
"Why don't you just ask him out?"
"The point of a stripper is not having to buy them dinner."
"Honeybunches," Kanji says, and his face is entirely too serious, "that boy didn't come in here looking for strippers."
Souji and Kanji are cleaning up after closing time after a particularly rowdy Sunday. Kou and Daisuke had a performed a crowd favorite, the Athlete Boys routine complete with polishing balls, and Souji isn't all too surprised to find abandoned dollar bills stuck underneath tables and withered about the stage, cocktails spilled and alcohol dripping from tabletops and into the plush carpet, and shards of broken martini glasses dug into the floor.
To say that Kanji is cleaning, however, is an understatement. He's more or less propped up against a table and swinging his legs in time with the Adam Lambert song being sung from the speakers while Souji scrubs at an unidentifiable stain on one of the chairs.
"That's really not the point of this conversation, Kanji."
"How many times has he asked you for lap dances now?" Kanji drags his finger around the rim of an empty tequila glass left forgotten on the tabletop, licking off the remaining sugar.
Souji counts. He needs more than one hand. "Seven."
"And how many times has he asked me for one?"
Souji looks up at him. Kanji's face is both smug and bitter, and Souji guesses a number peaking in the negative.
"I don't know."
"Zero. I'm a fine specimen of a young man," he says, "I even asked him if he wanted one. He said no. I asked Teddie if he'd ever been asked for one. Nope. I asked Dojima–"
"Dojima doesn't give lapdances anymore," Souji feels the need to point out, pausing his scrubbing for a moment, "his hip always gives out."
Kanji winces, nodding consolingly, "Still. None. None at all. He only asks you, like a strange sort of stripper commitment. Don't you get that, snookums?"
Souji wrinkles up his nose at the nickname, and takes a break from his cleaning task, setting down his cloth and sitting on the table across from the other man's.
"So you're saying he wants me."
"Needs you, darling."
"And if I asked him out?"
"A thousand times yes."
Souji is still frowning, despite Kanji's immovable smile. There's doubt after doubt swimming in his mind, the most prominent being that a man who was scared to even place a toe in the threshold a few months ago would now be open to blatant dating of a male stripper. Then again, he's not going to deny the existence of any signs pointing in his directions, considering he turned a straight man officially gay and got him addicted to his lap dances, so now he's starting to doubt his doubts.
"Yes, I know, but that's hardly a reason–"
"No, he came." Kanji points to the door where Yosuke is peering in through the window and turning the knob, peeking his head in. Souji puts down his cleaning supplies and turns around.
"Hey, gorgeous. Get your pretty little ass in here." Kanji calls out, and Souji mentally curses him. Kanji would serenade even the president without the fear of rejection, his effeminate gay pride overshadowing any sense of doubt. Inside, Souji's envious of that.
"Sorry, did you already close?"
"Early night," Souji shrugs, but makes no move to shoo Yosuke out, instead beckoning him in with a hand. Yosuke steps inside.
"You need something, hot stuff?" Kanji says, and hops off of the table, pushing Souji in the general direction of Yosuke. They're both out of their work clothes, instead donning jeans and tee-shirts, and there's a myriad of mops and buckets leaning against chairs, but Kanji doesn't seem to think that there is ever a too late for stripping. He turns up the Adam Lambert with the remote in his back pocket.
"Just... wanted to stop by."
"How thoughtful!" Kanji coos, and pushes Souji closer again, "This boy would be happy to sit in your lap to thank you for coming all the way out here!"
"I don't think–"
The man prances for the curtain. Souji doesn't know whether to be relieved that he won't be here to watch anything that progresses from here on out or starting to suffer through consternation at the fact that now they're both here alone. They've never been entirely alone before, always surrounded by loud music and dancing men and provocative strippers. Souji misses his outfit and his professional smile. He manages a meek, slightly crooked grin.
"Well. Looks like it's just us."
Yosuke glances at him. He's not wearing headphones this time. "Is what Kanji said still on the table?"
It's an invitation, and Souji sure as Hell doesn't need a welcome mat to be motivated any further, "Hell yes," he says, and before either of them can coordinate their actions to match each other's, they're fusing their lips together and knotting fingers in locks of hair.
Souji is almost positive that Kanji's recording this with a discreetly hidden camera hidden amongst the glasses piled up on the bar, but all too frankly, he's too caught up in the feeling of Yosuke's hungry lips and afternoon stubble to worry about that. He backs Yosuke up against the wall, greedy for skin contact, and hooks two fingers up Yosuke's shirt to brush against the flesh stretched over his stomach.
The sound of Adam Lambert's voice has faded into white noise, the soft, should be illegal whimpers that Yosuke's rewarding him with overwhelming anything else. Both of them are already hard and aching, and before either of them can ask for permission, fingers are fumbling with buttons and pants are being shimmied down knees.
Yosuke's hand on his erection, inexperienced and unsure, but still unbelievably thrilling, steals the air from his esophagus. He wants to teach Yosuke everything he knows, from the right way to twist his wrist on his length to how hard to suck on it. He shivers at the mere thought of Yosuke's lips, descending down his abdomen all the way down to his leaking member, and bucks impatiently into Yosuke's palm.
They've started learning more about what the other wants, how long they'll last, and what makes them moan the loudest. Souji flicks his thumb over the head of Yosuke's erection and revels in the moan escaping his lips. He's got a biting thing, an ear thing, and a fingers thing, and Souji is intent on using all of Yosuke's favorite antics to make him come.
Building up a steady, mutual rhythm doesn't take them very long, rocking against each other's hands and thighs, and naturally, the telltale tugging on Souji's hair foretells his completion a few seconds later.
Five minutes later, both of their pants still shunned down at their ankles and their hands still sticky with each other's come, Yosuke nudges his nose into Souji's hair and murmurs against it, "Hey. What's your name?"
"Cool," Yosuke says, and continues on, "Souji? What time do you get off?"
"I thought I just did."
He earns a pinch to his hip at his remark, and chuckles against the skin on Yosuke's shoulder.
"Wiseass." Yosuke mumbles, but it's surprisingly fond.
"You should talk to Kanji more often," Souji says dryly, and pulls back from the tempting warmth of Yosuke's chest, "I can ditch Kanji and leave him with mopping duty if you want."
"Are you... agreeing to date me?" He's very clearly surprised, and Souji finds that more than amusing. He smirks.
"No, I just want to hang out with you all the time and have lots of sex."
From behind the curtain, Souji swears he can audibly hear Kanji squealing in delight. He threads Yosuke's hand with his own and cocks his head toward the door, smirking when he feels Yosuke's squeeze his palm back. He doesn't look bad straight after a handjob, eyelids at half-mast and hair disheveled, his entire appearance thoroughly sexed out. Souji could get used to that.
"Didn't expect much more from a stripper." Yosuke says, and Souji grabs his ass as he guides him out the door.
A/N: SHUDDUP IT'S AUUUUUUU.
Honestly, I liked writing Kanji like this (who can resist shadow!Kanji?), and Souji too. That's one of the benefits of Souji Seta and the way he is, he's like a ball of dough waiting to be molded into something that's entirely someone's own. I'm always really concerned with messing up his character, and AU has the advantage of taking care of that.
...especially when Souji's a stripper. I enjoyed that way too much.
I love all of you Souji/Yosuke fans. This is for you.