Fragrance no. 5
      by !Super Cat

     You had done Gackt a favour one time, a bad situation a couple of years back, Chang moving into the docklands and Toshi and his brothers losing it, thinking they could take on the big time.  They hadn't got Chang, but they'd got as close as Chang's oldest son, had shoved a gun into his mouth, blown the back out of his throat.  They got as close as Gackt, innocent, coltish awkwardness, backing into a wall, blue eyes wide with fear as he stared down the barrel of Toshi's gun.  Toshi like a crazy man.  You trying to talk him down. You had done it for Toshi, thinking he could stop things before it got to out and out war, not knowing that Toshi had already taken out Chang's heir.

Gun shots, return fire, and You was pushing Gackt out through the steaming kitchens to stumble out of a back door.

The stench hit him, trash in the hot air after rain.  He saw empty cartons damp with the recent rain, refuse, black pavement slicked over with wet.  The humid air out here was thicker than it had been in the kitchens.  No one was following them.  You was bent over, hands on his knees, out of breath.

"You okay?"  Panting a little.  He'd looked over at Gackt.  Not really knowing or giving a fuck who he'd rescued at that point.

A wordless nod.  Shaken.  Like he'd never seen a shoot out before.

Like a girl.  Face like a girl.  Eyes like a blue summer sky. 

You's mind skittered. 

He tried to focus.  Toshi, dumb fuck.  Toshi was a dead man, even if he hadn't just gone down.  Stupid, stupid You, stupid, involved now, out of his league.  Fucked.

Stuck with a piece of street trash who looked like a wet dream. 

He wasn't focusing.

"Hey," the dream said, and You's stomach sank.  "I've--seen you--"

You was already backing away.  "Yeah-- why don't you tell your friends."  Stupid.  Recognized.  You's heart was pounding.  He knew he was a bottom feeder.  Small time.  One of a million, not one in a million.  Too insignificant when pitted against Chang to do anything but go down.

A strangely clear look. "I don't have friends."

"Whatever," said You, still backing away.  Almost tripping over a gutted cardboard box.   He didn't wait to hear a rejoinder.  He high tailed it out of there.

"Get out," he said, the second he found a pay phone to warn off Masa.  He took his own advice.  Hailed a cab with a wad of cash.  Checked into the Miramar, because Chang was less likely to have eyes on that part of the island.  You couldn't afford it for more than a couple of nights, but maybe-- fuck, fuck, no, things wouldn't blow over, you couldn't ride something like this out, it had spiralled way, way out of control.

Masa at his door within forty eight hours, pushing hair out of his face, eyes skittering up and down the hall.  Heat plastering his red shirt to his body, the humidity from outside showing up red in his cheeks.  Nerves.  Sweat.  Skin sheened over.  Hair damp near the hairline.

"Toshi?" said You.

"Bleeding his guts out.  They moved on Chang's family--"

"Where is he?"

"How would I know?"  Masa pushed his hair back when he said it.   Looked left and down.

"Where is he?" You asked again.

"I--"  Lying.  "Ren's place.  I think."

"Who else knows?"

A shrug.  A flash of the usual Masa, "You're not giving me--"

"Who the fuck else knows, Masa?"

"I do," said a soft voice, and for the second time You saw those blue, blue eyes go wide, You and Masa both drawing, instinct, two guns levelled at that pretty face this time.

"What the--"  You.

"You know this guy?"  Masa.

"No, I-- he's--"

"Gackt," said Gackt.

"Huh?" said Masa.

You ignored it, pulled back the safety. 

Gackt held up a brown wallet, cheap, the worse for wear.  Surrender gesture.  You snatched it, still keeping aim with the gun.

"What's this?"  Leafing through the wallet, You found cash, a ticket.  Mainland China.  Papers, ready to go.

"It's for your friend."

You was staring down at the papers in his hand. 

He didn't understand.  He was still standing?  And so was Masa.  The ticket was nameless, priceless, set to leave in six hours.  Toshi's chance--  You lowered his gun.  Pushed Masa's down a moment later. 

In the hallway, he and Gackt stared at each other.

Too pretty:  Asian, but no way he was Chinese with those sweet blue eyes and that milk white skin.  Hair the colour of honey; if it was a dye job, it was perfect.  Gackt was untouched by the humidity, fresh in the damp heat, like a hothouse flower.  Delicate, expensive, You smelled the fragrance for the first time.  Platinum Egoist. You didn't know yet that it wasn't Gackt's cologne.  Just a sign of where Gackt had been.

He took a guess. 

"You're one of Chang's--" said You.

Gackt's gaze shifted.

"Why would you--?" said You.

Beside You, Masa gestured with his gun.  "You can't be serious, this guy's with Chang, have you lost it?  You're going to lead him straight to--"

You said, "Shut up."

Gackt, startled.  Their eyes met.

There were four hundred kinds of retribution possible on the streets.  Gackt's pretty face was no reason to trust him. 

Gackt was already turning to leave, walking the long hallway lush with cream carpets, glittering lights and mirrored walls.  Gackt's hands were slipped into his pockets, and Masa was still spouting incredulous words by You's side.

The scent lingered.

"Gackt," You called out after him.

He paused at the end of the hallway.  Looked back.

"You've got friends."

The sound of the elevator, Gackt's curious gaze.  Doors sliding open.  Gackt disappearing.  At the last moment, a shy smile.

Choose your fragrance.