A joined account (and smut!) from Blind-Alchemist sama and Hasegawa. And please note that this is mature theme, so please reconsider your age before reading this.
The man by the window won't stop staring at him.
Xiang Gang keeps his eyes trained to his cell phone screen as the man continues to pretend not to look at him, unmoving. Xiang Gang lurches forward slightly as the train roars on its tracks across the Tsing Ma Bridge; from this point, it won't take longer than twenty minutes or so for him to reach the academy.
Xiang Gang is used to stares from strangers, both male and female. Sighing, he puts his long, well-shaped legs onto the footrest under the seat in front of him and stretches. The heat from the car interior has made his choppy hair curl gently into his neck, clinging with sweat. The other passengers in the car ignore each other; some nap quietly with their heads against the windows. It's midday now and he is running very late for school.
He wouldn't be running late if it weren't for the night terrors. This would be the third time this week they'd occurred, and this morning he'd hovered in between states of consciousnesses longer than usual while completely ignoring his alarm.
The man by the window has taken out a copy of the newspaper and is using one hand to grasp the handrail while the other clutches the front page. Xiang Gang relaxes a bit as the one thought that has constantly nagged him throughout the commute captures his immediate attention.
He's seen this man before. Not terribly long ago either. He can't remember exactly from where, but it might have been through Yao-gege.
The train halts at the next station. The man makes a move as though to exit, but it's only to shift his weight so that another passenger can enter. He adjusts his dark-rimmed sunglasses and a length of his short, black fringed hair gets stuck in between the lenses. The train starts moving again. The man neatly folds the paper and sits down on a nearby seat that was recently vacated.
The man has spoken directly to him. Xiang Gang looks up, slightly shaking. He never shakes.
The man with the sunglasses lowers them. Dark gray eyes peer intently at the boy's face.
"I'm sorry, what's your name again?" Xiang Gang asks courteously, swallowing his nerves.
"I'm Honda Kiku, your brother's old business partner." The man takes off his sunglasses and places them into his pocket. He smiles very politely at Xiang Gang, though the smile doesn't quite reach his eyes.
"Where are you heading?" he asks. "School? It's quite late, isn't it?"
"…I slept in this morning." Xiang Gang keeps his eyes level with Honda Kiku's, memorizing every detail of the man's face. The dark gray eyes, frighteningly intelligent, seem to be studying his with equal intensity.
"What are you studying?"
"…mathematics," Xiang Gang lies. He hasn't decided on a major yet.
"Ah. I remember skipping my 8 a.m. classes at least once a month when I attended university. Of course when it was due to sleeping in, I'd had at least one xiao gu niang in my bed."
Honda Kiku smiles wider. "And how is your brother doing?"
"How is Wang Yao?" he repeats patiently.
"Um… he's doing very well…" Xiang Gang racks his brain. "Where did you say you worked with my brother at?"
"We had some trading business back in the day." Honda Kiku glances down. "It's almost time for lunch. There is a very nice noodle house that I know of at the next stop. Would you mind having a bite to eat and catching up?"
"That sounds delicious, but no thank you. I can't miss my next class. Nice running into you, Mr. Honda. I'll tell my brother you say hello."
Xiang Gang heads to the set of doors farther away from where the man was previously standing and, not looking back, steps out into the sunlight.
The sidewalks are deserted. The first class must already in session. Xiang Gang curses under his breath and prepares to cross the street in order to head into the main building.
A shiny black Buick pulls up to him.
Blinking, Xiang Gang turns rapidly and nearly bumps into a skinny man in a suit. "Excuse me."
"Not a problem." Xiang Gang frowns as he feels a slight prick on his wrist. Startled, he looks up into dark green eyes framed by very thick, bushy yellow eyebrows.
"I'm sorry," the stranger says swiftly. "Did I accidentally get you with my wristwatch?" His hand closes on Xiang Gang's wrist; the touch feels cool and light. "Here, let me…"
"No, it's okay…" Xiang Gang doesn't know why, but the sidewalk suddenly feels unsteady, rushing up to meet him. "I'm running late. I need to get to…"
He would have hit the sidewalk if the man hadn't caught him in his arms. "Are you alright?" The man looks around quickly.
"I…" The boy's lids feel heavier and heavier, and his tongue can't quite seem to form words properly. Something is wrong, very wrong…
"Let's get you to a hospital just in case." Xiang Gang is barely aware of being lifted up by the man and held against his chest; it smells like expensive cologne, overpowering.
"No, it's… I….no…"
The man peers down at the boy; he's completely unconscious. Glancing around one more time, he bundles the child into the Buick. The Buick makes a U-turn and pauses at the train station. A minute later, the black-haired man who'd previously approached Xiang Gang gets into the car.
"Arthur," the black-haired man nods. The sunglasses are back on his nose. He looks down at the unconscious child. "Should we call his brother now, then?"
Thank you Kaya! Your cover is so awesome! OMG!