Fragrance no. 15
by !Super Cat

    Masa didn't like Gackt.  Didn't trust him.  Didn't trust the way he was all over You, all the time.  He watched with narrowed eyes as Gackt stood just so in You's line of sight.  He watched as Gackt kept You's glass filled at parties and laughed at You's one-liners and lit You's cigarettes, leaning close, and sometimes murmured private jokes into You's ear.

Masa thought, He's a professional.  And this is the way that he treats Chang.  He's working him.

The knock came long past twelve, and Masa struggled on a t-shirt and answered the door with a gun tucked in the waist line of his pants, near his hip.  He wasn't dumb enough to open  a door without checking through the peep-hole first, and he saw Gackt, body distorted by the glass, looking casual as hell, though it was dead night in a slummy part of the island, and he had never come here before.

Masa swung the door open.  "What?"

Gackt's eyes were hidden behind blue-tinted sunglasses.

"Can I come in?"

"Depends what you want," said Masa, flatly.

"Why?"  Gackt drew off the sunglasses and looked at him.

Masa felt the flush hit his skin, the hot roll of it deep in his belly and he fought the submissive urge to look down, away, to nervously bite at a fingernail.  Because this was what he was up against:  this face that only the richest man on the island could buy for more than a night, money and sweet expensive perfume.  Success story.  Chang had cornered the business on the island and was putting up walls like the look in Gackt's eyes while the rest of them were just scrabbling for a hold someplace--anyplace.  Masa knew himself well enough to recognize that he could have fallen for Gackt too if he hadn't seen through him in the beginning; any burgeoning feelings of adulation had jack-knifed into dislike and an insecurity that roiled in his stomach and made him angry.  Never forget who he works for.

"That day-- you said drop by any time," said Gackt.

He had said that.

Masa moved back, watching Gackt with narrowed, resentful eyes as he walked into the apartment.

Gackt was fingering his sunglasses as though he itched to put them back on.  Something was up.  Gackt looked almost nervous.  Eyes remote, he stood with one hand in a pocket like a casual model, but his pale skin was a shade paler than usual.

"What's wrong?" said Masa, starting to smile.

"Sometimes you-- sometimes you and he . . . " said Gackt, in a distant voice.

Masa shrugged.

"Don't you?" said Gackt.

"Why, did he turn you down?"

Gackt slid him a sideways look that was dirty, sullied and rather frightening on that perfect face.  Bingo.

The smile was brighter.  Shining. Because in the end the face and the money and the act weren't enough, You was too smart to fall for any of it.  Aw, and look at you all cut up because he was just too smart for you, baby.

Masa felt like whistling.

He scooped up a pack of cigarettes from the low table by the door, and tapped one out for himself.  He'd stopped thinking. 

"Let me," said Gackt, in a soft voice, suddenly up close and personal, cupping his hand, leaning in and lighting Masa's cigarette with the flick of a silver lighter.  Light reflected off the planes of his face, smooth and flame-warm; it was pointless searching for a flaw, but Masa couldn't help looking.    He took a long draw on the cigarette, exhaled to one side.  Gackt stepped closer.  His fingers brushed the threadbare hem of Masa's t-shirt.

Danger like humidity in the air, thick and seductive.

"I can't afford it," said Masa, rudely.  Deal with that.

"Can I use your shower?" said Gackt, like he hadn't heard. 

"What?" said Masa.

"Can I use your shower?  There wasn't one at the hotel."

"My shower?  Why don't you just make yourself at home." 

"Thanks."

Voice so soft you couldn't hear the tone in it, disappearing into Masa's bathroom.

Masa smoked his cigarette and listened to the water, furious.  He let his shoulders find the wall. After a couple of minutes, he glanced at his cell phone but didn't make the call.

The sounds of the shower stopped.

He hadn't thought to prepare himself.  He wasn't ready.  Gackt's body had the steamy, hothouse appeal of an orchid; wet hair, pants but no shirt, lips and lashes wet, and even like this, he looked expensive.

"Fuck," said Masa helplessly.

"Service," said Gackt, which meant, free of charge.  His eyes glittered  under shower-damp lashes.  He started to towel off, and Masa couldn't drag his eyes away.

Masa got shy usually, before he got hot.  It was only dislike that was letting him ride through the first part.  He told himself, You was too smart for this.  Drew a breath.

"Leave or don't leave, whatever," he said as he shut the door of the spare room behind him.  He tossed and turned but drifted off eventually.  It was hot.  The couch was scratchy and uncomfortable.

Gackt was gone when Masa woke up in the morning.  The bed looked like it had been slept in.  He'd stayed the night, left early in morning.  He might have gone to meet You at four.

Choose your  fragrance.