Fragrance no. 20
Not the colour of his eyes under their pretty blue lenses. Not even the colour of his prettily dyed hair.
Briefly You thought of Masa, a friend, a real one, sly-natured and unreliable at times, tangible faults that You knew as well as he knew the back of his own hand.
He remembered that he'd said to Gackt that long ago night, "You're my best friend." Crashing in a hotel together because it was late and the buses had stopped and this was just easier than a taxi. Gackt like a supermodel in a low budget film, incongruous in the cheap setting. Air con humming, streamers blowing out from the vents. The sounds of the street getting in the open window.
You had pushed into the bathroom only to find that it had no bath and no shower, just a chipped enamel sink. He had leaned over it and splashed water that he wouldn't dare drink onto his face. The heat was impossible to escape. He had caught his own reflection in the mirror above the sink before pushing now wet tendrils of hair away from his face. Too many nights in cheap hotels; he had looked worn even to his own eyes, smudges under his eyes and a gauntness that forced his cheekbones into sharp prominence in his face.
Thinking to himself, You look like shit.
Meanwhile back in the other room was the boy with the girl-complexion and the sky blue eyes. Gackt always looked fresh, in pants and loose, short-sleeved shirts, but that unaffected style was expensive; the clothes, the colour of his eyes and hair, even the blue-tinted sunglasses Gackt wore were designer label. He might be roughing it in a run down hotel tonight, but he lived in an exclusive world a million miles from this one; Chang's world, where money bought Chang's henchmen security and thick cigars, a lifetime pass to the richest casinos and the right to stick their cocks into nothing but elite virgin pussy.
Wandering back out, You had found himself eyeing the picture Gackt made, standing there slightly uncomfortable, carefully not touching anything. Like a date, the awkward part, when you just brought her home. On a breath of disbelief at the out of place look of him, he'd said, "Gackt . . . what are you doing here?"
Gackt's head had jerked up.
And it had occurred to You that they were alone together, and that, when he had raised his hand to hail a taxi, the hotel had been Gackt's idea.
A fear had pierced him. Deserted location. He wasn't armed. No one knew he was here. His mind returned to the time he'd held a gun on Gackt in a hotel corridor, and Masa in his ear, "He's with Chang, have you lost it?" and Gackt so calm around the guns when he'd been so shaken by the shoot out only two days before.
His heart pounding. His mind's eye had flashed to an image of Gackt with casual cool pulling out a gun, aiming at him--
--a bullet tearing through the soft flesh of his abdomen, sick pain and blood haemorrhaging out onto the dirty concrete floor--
With slow deliberation, Gackt had undone the buttons of his shirt and let it slip from his shoulders. It had fluttered down the length of his body and puddled on the floor. Gackt's blue eyes had been dilated, he'd looked nervous. The body as lovely as the face: white skin that invited a touch, tight nipples that begged for it. A taste of the high life, it was right there on offer. And if You lived in the gutter for the rest of his life, at least he could pretend like a rich man right now. He could step up and fuck a rich man's whore.
In the close, cramped space between them, You had smelled cologne.
Everything had changed.
You had felt the expression on his own face, had seen Gackt's eyes flashing confusion. "You don't want to . . . ?" Gackt's voice sounding strange. "I--I thought," Gackt had said, but he had swallowed the rest of it, looking away, smoothing his palm down the tight curves of his abdomen. A nervous gesture, like he wanted to fold his arms about himself but wouldn't let himself withdraw quite so defensively.
Sweet blue eyes like the only pure thing in the world, and the stench of that fucking cologne, and don't do this to me, You had wanted to say. I only have one illusion left, and I have to believe in something.
Sweet blue eyes and the stench of that fucking cologne and--
--sick pain and blood haemorrhaging out onto the--
I have to believe in . . .
I have to . . .
Choose your fragrance.