The Devil in Sheep's Clothing
The sound of the soft whir of the air conditioner filled the air. The atmosphere stuffy and tense. And even though the autumn's chilly air was everywhere, being in the fourteenth floor below the ground was sure to toast anyone.
And at that moment, Sahada Rikou, the greenhorn of Team 3 could feel his sweat trace his neck down to his spine. He knew he would get severe punishment for such carelessness he showed. And the airconditioners didn't do anything to calm the scorching feeling in his stomach.
Mamoru and Nowaki exchanged worried looks. Takahashi Misaki just stood there like a statue against Usami.
Everyone was trying to sense up something. As if they were waiting for a time bomb to explode.
"Takahashi?" Usami urged, holding the boy's jaw with both his hands to make him look up. "Those are already over. They're over."
But the boy was just looking at him but was clearly not seeing him.
The woman chief tucked some lose hair at the back of her ear. Her eyes obviously not pleased about what happened. She turned around, her shoes clicking sharply against the tiled floors. Without being told, Sahada followed the woman, hoping he wouldn't be strangled to death.
His temples throbbed violently. It was throbbing very badly, pounding against his skull as if his brain was wanting to release itself from its casing. Squinting towards Usami's deep lavender eyes, Misaki swallowed. The pounding in his skull was so intense, more intense than someone drilling a hole in it.
The pounding just got more painful but Misaki couldn't scream. He was so used to swallowing all bodily notions to scream out pain due to a lot of reasons that he didn't even know where to start.
Usami peered closer, watching the boy's reactions. Trying to read what was going on in the boy's head. But Misaki had a blank expression. There was nothing to read.
There was nothing Usami could do for that brief moment.
He was a man who considered himself to be strong and has a fast mind, but all he could do there was just stand and try snapping Misaki who seemed to have gone into a different dimension back to reality.
"Takahashi...oi..." the silverhaired man called, but he didn't get any response.
Usami raised his right hand from the boy's jaw line very gently, as if avoiding anymore damage. He brushed Misaki's brown, sweaty locks that had fallen on his face to the side, revealing pooling tears at the corners of the boy's eyes.
"Takahashi, listen to me..." Usami called again, his patience nearing its meager limit.
Misaki blinked once, a tear came rolling down his pale cheek. The way he looked at Usami's eyes, it was very clear that what he was seeing was still the videos in his head. A continuous play of the hideous him, the dirty him, the lowliest him.
"Look at me, I said enough!" anger and his distrust was ruling over Usami however, the spark of genuine pity struck him that instead of shouting like he initially planned, his voice went down a mile lower. "Takahashi-"
The boy suddenly took deep breaths. He did it so many times that everyone, Mamoru, Nowaki and the other member including Usami unconsciously have been dragged into the rythm of Misaki's breathing. Slowly, like something was dangling heavily from his shoulders, Misaki raised his arm and wiped his face with his sleeves.
"I'm okay..." Misaki announced, close to whispering. "...I'm used to being use-"
But the boy's words were cut off when he could no longer hold the impending bitter liquid at the back of his throat. Teary, he threw up. Yellowish liquid, with spots of bits of rice hit the sparkly floor, splattering on Usami's black slacks and shoes.
It took Usami all the effort not to curse. He just gave a disbelieving look at Misaki for a few seconds.
"I'm sorry...I'll clea-" but he just threw up again.
Usami exhaled, calming himself as he felt the wet and somehow still warm sensation of the liquid mess against his knee. As any human would, by reflex, he found his hand patting the boy on his upper back before Usami could stop himself.
"Poor kid..." Mamoru whispered under his breath, the fleeting sense of suspicion whatsover leaving his mind. Who could when the brown haired kid was throwing up because of his own videos?
Nowaki shook his head slightly at the mess of the DVDs and its cases on the floor. The stink of the liquid on the floor reaching his nostrils that he sighed.
"I'll go first Agent M...this is part of my responsibility too. Sahada is not entirely at fault."
The oldest member of Team 3 nodded. "I'll go with you and have someone clean this..." the man then turned to Usami's back. "Agent U, we'll leave first...and uhm..." he smiled trying to ease the atmosphere. "I think both of you should get cleaned up."
Alone in the deafening silence of the comfort room, Misaki had his head bowed while Usami was trying to figure out what he would do with his slacks and shoes.
Rolling a thick piece of tissue on his hand, Usami started wiping his shoes off first. Eager to remove the not so good stench, Usami then looked up. The brunette haven't moved an inch since they got inside the comfort room.
"Remove your shirt," Usami ordered while wiping the tip of shoes. As he was still doing his own business, Usami looked up, glancing at the boy. He felt that rigidness from Misaki and even the man knew what he said sounded a bit...off.
Annoyed at having to be on guard with everything, Usami threw the tissue in the bin and looked at Misaki through the mirrors. "I'll see if there are any clothes you could wear..." the man narrowed his eyes. "Can you handle on your own?"
"I'll be right back."
Usami started reaching for the exit with hurried steps. The area was too bright in contrast with the hallways of their quarters that sometimes it gave the feeling of stepping into a different world. The only green as part of the nature was the small, leafy plant which the name Usami didn't know. It was in the middle of the long spotless white sink.
When he reached for the knob, he thought he was just imagining things so he paused and glanced back at the immobile figure standing before the mirror.
"Sorry for the trouble..." Misaki sniffed.
"I'm going to look something for myself as well, so nothing to thank me for," Usami replied coldly before closing the door behind him.
The man didn't move right away. He rested his back against the door for a few moments, trying to listen to whatever what might happen inside the pure white room. He listened for any shouting, for any sobbing, for any screaming. But it was as silent as if no one was inside it.
With a disturbed look, Usami started walking away, ruffling his hair in annoyance before inserting both his hands inside his pockets.
When Misaki finally felt that he was really, entirely alone, the boy rested his closed fists on the edge of the white sink. It felt cold and smooth under his touch. Misaki then looked at his face through the mirror. Somehow, the green eyes staring back at him, the boy with a blank face looking back in the mirror seemed to be not at all him.
Slowly, acting like he was as if in a trance, the boy turned on the faucet and he started splashing water on his face. The droplets of the stinging liquid from his eyes dropped to the sink, sensually mixing with the running water.
"Na...ka...no...san..." Misaki whispered, rolling the name in his mouth like he just said something distant. He then exhaled in relief.
The brunet's lips that had gone pale started gaining back its color.
Slowly, the corners of his mouth curled upwards in the slightest. The small smile plastered on his face stayed there as he glanced carefully at the closed entrance of the men's comfort room back to his reflection.
"With that acting of mine..." he whispered softly, "...there's no way that Agent U will not soften up a bit to me...ne?" he mumbled, splashing another round of cold water on his face. His voice drowned by the hissing matter.
The boy brushed all of his bangs backwards, blinking a couple of times. "Everyone gives this suspicious aura because he doesn't trust me yet...once he trusts me...everyone will..." he raised a hand and traced the white sink with the two of his fingers. "Like dominoes..."
Misaki smiled continuously. Humming very faintly at the slow yet sure way into cutting into DU's system like what was planned. Like why he was even Nakano's sex slave for a few months. Everything, was going to plan. He was cheerful suddenly. Like someone had pressed on some switch on him and he suddenly looked happy.
"Now, I should have broken another disk but he came already..." Misaki whispered pertaining to the silverhaired man guarding him. He sounded unconfident for a fraction of a second and then gathered his wits back. "But anyway...I think me as the 'poor victim' would circle their minds more after this."
In thruth, Misaki knew he was the best at what he was doing; he wasn't great with combat skills and if someone tried to kill him right that instant he was sure he wouldn't be able to protect himself. But he was very good with something very difficult to do and most people tried to avoid. He was excellent at pretending to be dumb.
The boy gave a thumbs up towards himself. "Ne...Boss...am I not doing a great job? I should get an acting award for this..."
He still looked beaten up. His eyes traced the bruising hickeys under his neck as he watched himself through the mirrors. He tugged the collar of the white polo shirt Usami had bought for him and tried to hide them. His smile never faded in the process.
"What is wrong with my tear ducts now?" the boy muttered, rubbing his eyes with the back of his hands. His fine brows flinched a little, remembering the many times he went down on Nakano. Remembering the taste and texture of the man's skin inside his mouth made the fine hair on Misaki's neck stand up. As he eagerly wiped them, more tears streamed down his face.
"Strange..." Misaki exhaled as he stared at his glistening cheeks and reddening eyes."...they just keep on coming..."
"Do you know why you shed tears?"
The boy stared at his eyes, looking at them as if it didn't belong to him. The cold and emotionless voice vibrated in his ears. The face of a handsome man, and the darkest eyes he had ever seen flashed back into him. Rushing towards his consciousness, pulling him back to a bit of more than two years ago; Where his real downfall started.
"When I killed Nakano with my own hands and everyone in there...it's the first time he praised me...if I get this last job perfectly...he'll definitely be smiling at me..."
Hurried knocking made the boy turn to look at the door. Another voice calling his name told him he wasn't alone anymore.
"Takahashi...I'm opening this door."
Misaki's smile faded as he watched the door slowly open.
"I had no choice but to agree being a sex slave because that's your plan...that shocked me, but I cannot refuse you...you don't care if I get killed in this job at all do you?"
Usami's emerged, his form obviously from the many things he did when the sun was down gave him an aristocratic yet devilish aura around him. Misaki found that almost how his Boss projected.
"I sacrificed something I thought I could share with someone important because I want him to notice me...Is it wrong to want to earn his gaze?"
Usami with a gruffy look tossed the fresh shirt on Misaki and the boy caught it just in time. "Change into that fast."
"I'm already inside DU boss...watch me..."
"What are you spacing out there for? Hurry up."
Looking at the taller man, Misaki felt a little depressed. "I've killed enough people who stood in your way..." he glanced at Usami's face looking back at him still with that pissed off look. "...killing a few more don't make a difference..."
"Agent U..." Misaki mumbled, hugging the shirt to his chest. "I'm so dirty...right?"
Usami's hands on his hips fell on his sides, obviously not accustomed to comfortings. "What are you talking about?"
"Really...dirty..." I'm a devil.
"Can I ask you something?" the man asked, his lips almost not moving.
Misaki looked up, he looked at the man's inquisitive eyes for a very short moment before darting his eyes towards the wall.
"Did you like being Nakano's sex slave one bit?"
The boy blinked, as if trying to absorb the question. Was it a question to inspite him? But Usami asked it so simply without coating words with sugar. A straight to the point question which needed an equally straight answer.
Usami raised a brow before turning towards the mirror. "You didn't, did you? That's why you wouldn't stop crying there," Usami answered his own question without batting an eye. "You're not entirely 'clean' in my eyes, as long as you keep shutting your mouth, but regarding that kinky videos...at least...you're not the one at fault."
Usami forced a cough, having realized he had said more than enough. "I'll wait outside."
Before following Usami out of the comfort room, Misaki stole a glance at his face one more time. His one strong point was making other people want to protect him, want to trust him, want to care for him and that submissive air around him served as his weapon into making even the worst beasts unguarded. That was how he even got Nakano spill some things he needed.
"I belong to my Boss...I don't care about anything else..."
The boy just didn't want to accept that even from the beginning of this charade, he was already badly broken. By his boss, his plans, his decisions. But when Misaki had no one to turn to two years ago, this Boss, took him in. And that gratitude Misaki thought had converted into a stupid deeper feeling.
If another person had taken Misaki that two years ago, perhaps, he wouldn't be the twisted teen he was.
The two in a new set of clothes made their way deeper into the quarters. Usami's shoes clicking loudly and rythmically. The boy was counting every sound Usami made inside his head.
Like what he had decided, Usami let the shorter figure walk ahead of him. Wondering if Takahashi Misaki was even walking or just floating. When he looked down the boy's feet, well he noticed them still on the floor.
"I'll introduce you to some other men of the other teams as it was decided that we'll stay here more than my flat for the time being."
The boy just nodded, his hair moving as he did little motions with his head.
Usami inwardly berated himself for some reason. Aikawa had badly chewed his ass out together with Sahada a few moments before. That the only way for them to make a 'broken' boy like Misaki to talk was to earn his trust and be comfortable with Usami. The silverhaired man wanted to laugh aloud considering the distance he had established between him and the boy.
"I know you're a little unsociable Agent U but you're dealing with a kid here. Besides...there is not an ounce of evidence or trace for whoever silenced Nakano. The person or people behind are very much trained even I find it scary. SO the only lead we have is that Takahashi. You protect him, but you also suck information out of him. You get me?"
If only Usami could see how the boy's green eyes wandered earnestly from ceiling to floor, from room signs to exits, his eyes were working behind his bangs. Like a sponge absorbing water.
"Agent U..." Misaki called softly, still walking, following the complicated hallway's direction. "What would you do...if you found the person who killed Nakano?"
Usami narrowed his eyes at the boy's head. "Feel like talking now?"
The boy stopped walking, causing Usami to halt himself. Misaki glanced at the man with a shy smile that shocked Usami for a bit. That was a first.
"I'm just curious since the people from earlier gave this feel that I am quite important."
Usami pondered the question for a brief moment. The problem with who was the government official running a huge underground system of human trafficking plus the threat of someone infiltrating their own DU quarters gave Usami the feeling that everything boils down to one thing. That this seemingly harmless boy might be in the center of it all.
"Don't be too harsh on the kid, Agent U...he's been through a lot..."
If Usami could burn a hole on Misaki's forehead perhaps Misaki was already sprawled on the floor dead. Agent M told him that, even Nowaki seemed too soft and the usual tyrannical woman Chief of Team 3 was even allowing such a suspicious presence in their quarters wander around. Normally, Takahashi would have been in some room with guards aside from his presence.
But there they were, having this brunette meet other top men of DU. What was really going as if this boy had already charmed them?
Something was definitely going on with Takahashi but Usami couldn't press a finger on it. He just then decided to answer the boy whole heartedly what he would do to the person who killed Nakano and the other sex slaves the man owned.
Usami narrowed his eyes at the boy, giving off the aura that could send other normal people shudder and feel uneasy.
"Have him spill who he's working for then wring his neck."
Misaki blinked at the man with that huge, vacant eyes of his before resuming walking again. "I see..."
At that time, Usami Akihiko's mind, after all his distrust with Misaki, never crossed that the very person who'd cause havoc to DU and to him, the person he wanted to wring to death, was just some two feet away before him.
chapter end notes:
thank you everyone for reading! wahaha...i'm trying to put things together, and as usual...im taking my time ne? i mean...please, don't expect them to be all so chummy right away! ahahaha...
would anyone be able to hate Misaki even if he's the worst person on earth? personally i doubt that...hahaha...but well...we'll see!^^
and the Boss?...i know you have your ideas...hahaha...we'll bring him to the scene when he is already needed.
i will reply to all your comments and support and heartwarming words this weekendಠᴗಠ ƪ(ˆ▽ˆ)ʃ
please share your thoughts!
-===== shuusetsu/シュウせつ ～(￣ε￣；)
:working on Shadow singer and reading a short BL novel(Brother X Fu c ker) while listening to a BL drama CD (ESU) and some studying all at the same time.[¬º-°]¬ 今、すごく忙しいです。^^