Fandom: Viewfinder (Finder no Hyouteki/Finder series) by Yamane Ayano
Warnings: Dubiously consensual drunken sexytimes. (Though to be perfectly frank, if you’ve managed to get through Viewfinder canon up to this point, you should be fine.)
N.B. Please see the Chapter Index for additional information about this story, including disclaimers, cover art, and the original prompt.
Summary: Corporate lawyer Asami Ryuichi is the latest “star” of reality TV show, Japan’s No.1 Handsome Confirmed Bachelor. Flight attendant Takaba Akihito is tricked into signing on as one of the twenty-five contestants. But can he survive five gruelling weeks of competitive dating in order to win Asami’s heart?
A/N: Many grovelling apologies for how long it’s taken to get this chapter up. I’m making good progress with the next one though, so fingers crossed there won’t be another long wait between instalments. Thanks for everyone’s patience! ^__^
Takaba got his ice cream. He also got a stomach ache that rendered him unable to do more than sit and groan in the cab on the way back to Taipei. At least that’s where Takaba had assumed they were going, right up until the moment Mitarai spoke to the driver in broken Chinese and gestured frantically for him to turn off the freeway. Slowly, they wound their way up steep hills, past houses and an electricity substation. They came to a stop on a wide road flanked by expensive condos with a view of the bay, which was stained pink and peach by the setting sun.
Takaba managed to pull himself up just long enough to glimpse the rest of the town spread out dizzyingly below them before falling back in his seat. “Where are we?”
Asami flicked a glance his way. “The hotel.”
Takaba’s stomach jolted — and not just because it was packed painfully tight with frozen sugar. How could he have completely forgotten about the other part of this date? The part where he was expected to jump Asami’s bones in a hotel room that had been converted into a creepy boudoir?
Asami, sitting beside him calmly in slacks and an open shirt like he was going to a frickin’ tropical resort, seemed to read his mind. “Not looking forward to our leisure time in the Ecstasy Suite, Takaba?”
Mitarai twisted around in his seat and barked, “Save your chit-chat for the cameras!” — which was probably just as well, given that Takaba had been about to admit he was presently too indisposed from gorging on dessert food to…perform.
Shinotake-sensei met them outside a tastefully discreet white building that was apparently their hotel. Their director’s cheeks were flushed and he was leaning against a potted fern like it was the only thing keeping him vertical. “Welcome to Hot Springs Palace,” he slurred. “Lez get a drink.”
Takaba and Asami exchanged glances, and even Mitarai seemed concerned by the man’s inebriation. “Er, sensei, shouldn’t we go directly to the Ecstasy Suite? It’s almost dark enough to start filming.”
Their director flapped a hand in a way that might have signalled agreement, but the sudden movement threw him off balance and caused him to fall into the neighbouring pot plant. “Sensei!” Mitarai cried, and Takaba rushed over to help him keep the man from collapsing right onto the hotel’s courtyard.
Asami sighed and checked his watch.
By the time they’d left Shinotake-sensei to recuperate in the hotel’s private lounge and taken the elevator up to the so-called Ecstasy Suite, it was pitch black outside. Takaba caught glimpses of the room over the producers’ shoulders as they hurried around inside, tidying up and replacing the champagne that their director had helped himself to in their absence.
“All right,” Mitarai finally sighed, ushering everyone out of the room except for a sole cameraman who was meant to capture their entrance. “You first, Asami-san.”
Asami walked up to the door and promptly swept it open, beckoning Takaba to join him and then just pushing him along with a hand at the small of his back when he hesitated too long. “Welcome,” he purred into Takaba’s ear, and Takaba had to quickly suppress an eye roll. Was he really supposed to pretend that Asami had prepared everything in the suite by himself? And that he was charmed by it?
Thankfully, ‘everything’ turned out to be much less tacky than Takaba had feared. The room was slightly smaller than the suite he shared with Fei Long in Taipei, with a king sized bed dominating most of the floor space. A love seat and a coffee table containing a vase of pink tulips and an ice box of champagne took up the corner by the door. Two other doors were open, revealing a bathroom and another whole room beyond the bedroom. A large stone recess was cut deep into the floor.
“I hope it’s all to your liking,” Asami said, and Takaba immediately recognised his words from the cue cards they’d had to memorise after lunch. “We can spend the night however you wish. I hope, though, that you’ll join me in the bath later. The pipes are connected to a local hot spring and provide many therapeutic benefits.” He crossed to the coffee table, plucking one of the tulips out of the vase and holding it out. “Particularly if you find yourself — sore — in the morning,” he smirked.
Takaba glared. That last bit had definitely not been part of the script. Trying to ignore the way one of the cameramen was all but shoving a lens into his face to record his reaction, Takaba stiffly recited, “I’d be delighted.”
“Take the tulip!” Mitarai stage-whispered.
Takaba swallowed and went forward to accept the proffered flower. He knew that wouldn’t be enough to get the crew to leave, though, so he forced himself to take another step and lay his palm flat against Asami’s chest. Through the fabric of his shirt, the lawyer’s skin was firm and warm. Takaba swallowed. “If you’ll have me.”
“Of course,” Asami murmured, and dipped his head down to capture Takaba’s chapped lips in a slow kiss. It was surprisingly chaste, even when Asami slung an arm loosely around Takaba’s waist and pressed them closer together.
Takaba was concerned the nervous tension in his posture would be obvious to both the crew and their cameras, but after they managed to capture his and Asami’s clinch from several different angles, they seemed satisfied that their work was done for the day.
“Shall I leave the champagne?” Mitarai asked as the rest of the crew trooped out of the room. He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.
“Yes!” Takaba broke free from the possessive circle of Asami’s arm, which hadn’t disappeared from around his waist no matter how many times he poked at it. “Leave all of it.”
Mitarai snorted, and shot them both one last, extremely inappropriate look before sauntering out of the room and closing the door behind him. Takaba crossed the room and locked it immediately. He considered pulling the latch across as well, but what if he needed to make a quick escape later?
He glanced over his shoulder, but to his surprise Asami’s attention was now completely focused on the vase of tulips. He was picking through them carefully, as though he expected a spider to leap out at him. His grim face was in such stark contrast to the heated expression he’d worn in front of the cameras that Takaba felt a pang of dread. Quite suddenly he wanted to do nothing more than climb under the bed and burrow down until he fell straight into another dimension — a dimension where lawyers and stomach cramps didn’t exist.
Instead, Takaba flopped backwards onto the enormous bed, sighing in relief as the mattress swallowed him up like a fluffy white cloud. He closed his eyes and patted his distended stomach, ready to fall asleep right there. “Pass me the booze,” he murmured.
“It’ll only make you sleepier,” was Asami’s unhelpful reply, his voice coming from farther away than Takaba had expected. Unwillingly, he cracked an eye open, only to find Asami fiddling with the shade of a standing lap in the far corner of the room.
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Checking for recording equipment.” Asami lifted the shade clear off, checking its underside. “The Ecstasy Suite on my date with Sudou was littered with them.”
Takaba felt like he’d been slapped across the face. He was torn between horror at the idea of having his night with Asami recorded by the show, and a swift swell of jealousy at the reminder of Asami’s date with Him. To his shame, the thought of Sudou and Asami together loomed larger in his imagination.
“Find anything?” Takaba croaked.
“Nothing yet,” Asami said, lifting a painting of a white suspension bridge off its hook and checking the other side. “I think they learned their lesson,” he added ominously. He placed the painting back on the wall and finally turned to look at Takaba, still sprawled on the bed belly-up. “We should shower before using the tub.”
“Maybe I don’t want to use the tub,” Takaba snapped, not caring that he sounded petty. He kicked off his shoes one by one and stretched out on the mattress until his joints popped.
Upside down, he saw Asami raise an eyebrow. “So keen to get to the main event, hm?”
Takaba flushed. “Seriously, how one track is your brain? It’s like you hit your head when you were still a horny teenager, and now all you can think about is…”
But his throat closed up before he could get the word out, as if it had a mind of its own and was convinced that as soon as he said the word aloud, it would instantly happen.
Asami didn’t laugh at him, but his expression spoke volumes. “How else do you suggest we pass the time? Pluck the tulips and strew the bed with petals? Have a pillow fight?”
In lieu of a reply, Takaba rolled over onto his front and mushed his face into the comforter. Why couldn’t the bloody show have at least given them a room with a TV? Or something that could be jerry-rigged into a weapon. Not that he wanted to maim anyone, but there were only so many ways an innocent man could defend himself against attacks on his virtue when he was locked in a room with the enemy.
“I’ll go in first then,” Asami said, and Takaba lifted his head up just in time to get a glimpse of Asami — a newly very very naked Asami — pad into the shower room. He had an incredibly firm arse.
Takaba slammed his face back into the mattress. Oh god oh god oh god. It was just as well he was lying face down now, because he didn’t think he’d ever live it down if the lawyer caught a glimpse of Takaba’s display of completely involuntary interest. It didn’t mean anything! It was just that the male brain was very susceptible to visual stimuli! And you’d have to be blind not to notice that Asami bore a striking resemblance to a Calvin Klein underwear model.
Takaba was still willing down his strangely persistent hard-on when Asami finished his shower and came back out, this time with a towel loosely knotted around his waist. He gave Takaba a long look. “Something wrong?”
“No,” Takaba mumbled, burying his face in the duvet again.
Takaba grunted, listening carefully as Asami’s footsteps receded into the other room, followed a moment later by the loud hiss of water beginning to fill the tub.
He couldn’t spend the next however many hours just lying there, Takaba knew that, but he was hoping if he waited until Asami had been submerged in the tub for a while before Takaba joined him, the heat would have already fried the man’s brain. Or made him wrinkly and desiccated enough to slow him down if he tried to make a move.
When the water was finally shut off and Takaba heard the tell-tale splash of Asami entering the tub, he half-pushed, half-rolled off the bed and to his feet. He stripped off slowly, keeping an eye and ear out in case Asami suddenly popped back into the room. He left his clothes in a heap on the settee, the cord of his EpiPen curled on top. Then he dashed into the shower room like a streaker at a soccer game.
The shower room was actually two rooms, it turned out, the larger of which was a small but fully equipped bathroom with a toilet and vanity unit. The smaller, self-enclosed room contained two shower heads and no bath products but a small bar of soap that faintly smelled of eucalyptus. Takaba flicked the shower on and scrubbed himself down as the water warmed, those water-saving habits from his impoverished student days still dying hard.
He hadn’t realised just how tired and grimy he’d become during the day until the piping hot water thudded into his aching back and legs. He let the shower douse his head and exhaled slowly as the room filled with steam and droplets of water trickled down his body like teasing fingers.
“You forgot this,” said a voice. Takaba jumped in surprise, slamming his cheek into the room’s stone wall as he swung around.
Asami was standing in the room’s threshold, holding out a porous sponge attached to a long wooden handle. Some kind of loofah. He was naked again, too, but Takaba barely noticed. His heart was already thudding hard in his chest, vision slipping until Asami’s body seemed to expand and fill the whole room, obliterating the doorway and trapping him inside.
Asami must have read something in his body language, though, because he stepped back, laying the sponge on the counter in the other room. “It’s there if you want it.” He turned to go, swinging the door shut behind him.
“No!” Takaba shouted. “Leave it open!”
Asami glanced over his shoulder, and Takaba wished desperately then that panic hadn’t seized his body and force him to cower like this, in the corner, like some pathetic and terrified child. He wished that the moment wasn’t drawn out, that it didn’t feel like an eternity passed before Asami broke eye contact and disappeared into the other room — the door left mercifully ajar.
He wished that he didn’t feel immeasurably better when he was alone again.
“Fuck.” Trembling, Takaba shuffled back under the spray and rested his forehead against the wall, exhaling shakily. But the water didn’t feel therapeutic anymore, just hot and stinging. His cheek throbbed in time with his heartbeat, and he used it to count down the minutes until he could wrestle back control.
The courage Takaba found to join Asami in the bath was entirely liquid.
He was halfway through the bottle of champagne by the time he stumbled into the sauna-hot room, saluting the other man with his flute as he plopped down onto the floor. He slowly stretched his legs out until his feet could dangle over the edge of the pool and skim the water.
“This is tepid,” Takaba complained, kicking up water with his toes. Asami, reclining on his bench seat on the other side of the tub, remained tragically un-splashed. “You let it go cold, Asami-kun.”
The lawyer raised an unimpressed brow. “I think you’ll find that it went cold while you were boozing by yourself in the other room. Come here and refill it if you’re so particular.”
But that would require going into the water! And Asami was holding the levers that controlled the bathtub’s drain hostage behind his back! Takaba pouted. Then he poured himself more champagne, though the level in his flute didn’t seem to change very much. Oh. That was because it’d spilled onto the floor. “Oops.”
“When I envisioned this night,” Asami drawled, slapping a damp towel over his forehead and contemplating the ceiling, “it never involved you having such a grievous lack of hand-eye coordination that you’d be lucky to tell your arm apart from my cock.”
“You’re not that big,” Takaba protested, lifting the bottle and shaking it to gauge how much was left. The champagne sloshed inside, but provided no answers. “I know that, ‘cause I saw it before. Want some champagne?”
“I think right now you’re wasted enough for the both of us, Takaba,” Asami said, and while Takaba couldn’t quite interpret subtle shades of tone presently, he was still sober enough to realise when he was being mocked. Mocked! By Asami.
I’ll show him, Takaba vowed, and lunged forward with his hands outstretched. But where the floor should have been suddenly there was only pool — long, long stretches of pool that crashed around him as he fell into it.
“Argh,” Takaba yelled, and swallowed water. His chest burned, the towel that had been wrapped around his waist unravelling like a serpent to twist around his legs, keeping them bound when he tried to kick free. Takaba’s hazy mind cleared just long enough for one last cogent thought — I’m going to die — before he sank to the bottom in a tangle of cramping limbs.
Two pincers came out of nowhere and grabbed him under his armpits. They dragged him up, and Takaba wheezed as he was lifted above the surface. He hung there, suspended in the water for a moment, too dazed to struggle as Asami pulled him out with an arm around his waist. He was laid down roughly by the side of the pool, tipped onto his side with his left arm tucked under his cheek, the other moved so it draped over the first. Then something thumped his back. Hard.
“Ow,” Takaba groaned — or would have, if his mouth wasn’t suddenly full of champagne-flavoured water and traces of stomach acid. He spent the next minute wracked with involuntary coughs, bringing up the swallowed water and what felt like most of his intestinal lining.
By the time he’d finished almost drowning, Asami had re-appeared beside him with a new flute. “Don’t get excited,” the lawyer said as he knelt over Takaba’s prone body. He raised the familiar bottle of champagne, tipping it over and shaking it until the last few, sad drops fell and dashed uselessly on the floor. “You destroyed your own supply when you decided to go scuba diving.”
“No,” Takaba said, though his voice came out as little more than a rasp. He couldn’t think of a reason why the alcohol’s untimely demise wasn’t his fault right then, but if he just had a minute to think about it —
“Drink,” Asami ordered, and brought the glass of water to his lips. Takaba drank.
When he was done and Asami took away the glass, placing it and the sodden towel he must have fished out of the pool in the corner, Takaba finally noticed something very important: he was naked. “No,” he moaned, trying to roll onto his front to hide himself. Asami, the bastard, shoved him right back onto his side.
“Stay in the recovery position. I won’t be held accountable if your penchant for self-destruction finally catches up with you tonight.”
“‘M not…self-…what you said.” Being jostled around so much must have done something to Takaba’s vision, because it looked like a faint aura of light was encircling every inch of Asami’s wet, probably steroid-sculpted body. The glow pulsed before his eyes, clinging to the lawyer like a halo. Or like a mystical, full-body condom.
“Oh,” Takaba said, realisation finally dawning on him.
Asami raised an eyebrow so high it disappeared below the wet fall of his bangs. His hair looks good like this, a traitorous voice whispered in Takaba’s ear. Wet and loose, not combed back like a scary lawyer mannequin. He almost looks human.
“‘Oh’, what?” Asami pressed, flicking Takaba’s forehead with his thumb. “Stay awake, Takaba.”
“You saved me,” Takaba announced, keeping hold of the thought even as it tried to slip away from him. It was hard to concentrate when every part of your body was insisting in no uncertain terms that it wanted to go and hibernate for the next decade in a remote mountain cave. “You’re my saviour. My human saviour. And now, your reward!” He reached up to Asami’s flickering face.
“Still not sober, I see.” Something batted his hands away.
Takaba grunted at the defence and redoubled his efforts, raising both arms and grabbing at Asami’s approximate location, even as the man kept uncharitably wobbling around the edges. “Aha!” He caught hold of something hard yet flexible between his fingers. It had a familiar fold to it, and little bumpy caverns inside. “I got your ear! Asami, I — mmf!”
Something hot and wet crashed against his lips, prising them open before something even hotter and wetter speared between them. Takaba’s jaw slackened on a gasp. Oh. Asami had given up on trying to escape and had gone into full assault mode. The silly man seemed to think kissing would be enough to derail Takaba’s war campaign, but he was wrong. He couldn’t be wronger, even if Takaba couldn’t remember what they were fighting about.
Feeling his way up the man’s wet back, Takaba grabbed him around the shoulder blades and dug his nails in, fighting back with his tongue at the same time. Asami grunted into his mouth, surging forward with a shift of hard muscle under his still-damp skin. Something hard jabbed Takaba in the thigh and sent waves of heat flooding through him that left him dizzy and breathless. Somehow he’d fallen onto his back with Asami on top of him, and suddenly everything was too overwhelming. He scrunched his eyes shut and tried to move his head away, even when Asami pursued him and hardened the kiss until Takaba’s mouth felt raw.
He lost time for a while, and when he next came back to himself it felt like he was floating through space. The crisp, recycled air of the suite raked over his body in cool waves as he was lifted up and carried away by an invisible force. The walls and ceiling spun in front of Takaba’s eyes as he drifted into the bedroom, finally landing on the well-cushioned bed back first.
He only realised his eyes were slipping closed when the comforting sight of the ceiling’s shaded lamp was blotted out by Asami’s big head. Takaba grunted his discontent.
“Sleepy, Takaba?” came the lawyer’s voice, though it sounded like it was filtered through wads of cotton stuffed in Takaba’s ears. They blunted the man’s usual serving of mockery.
“Getting the bed wet,” Takaba murmured, wriggling a little on top of the comforter. His limbs felt like they were being dragged down by a skin-tight mesh of lead weights. “Cold.”
“I’ll warm you up,” Asami murmured, climbing up the bed until he was crouching over Takaba on his hands and knees. “Just relax.”
Takaba was still awake enough to know that there was something wrong with being told to relax when he was already a boneless glob of jelly sprawled out on the bed — but he couldn’t remember what that problem was, especially when Asami lowered his deliciously warm body down until he was covering Takaba like a human blanket.
“Hmmm,” Takaba murmured, managing the superhuman feat of strength required to raise his hands up to Asami’s waist. But there wasn’t much to hold there, so his hands drifted down until they reached the firm swell of the lawyer’s arse. “…Road block.”
Asami half-snorted into Takaba’s neck where he’d been nuzzling, though his wet kisses soon turned to nips of teeth when Takaba started wriggling under him, trying to escape the insistent jab of the other man’s erection against the sensitive dip between hip and thigh. Too late, Takaba realised his half-hearted struggles were only providing Asami with more friction; the instant he felt the first smear of the other man’s pre-come, he lurched up and shoved him away weakly.
Despite the lack of force, Asami rolled off Takaba immediately. “Problem?” The man kept a proprietary hand on his waist, though his expression had turned inscrutable. Takaba didn’t want to meet those watchful eyes, but letting his gaze trail down…that wasn’t happening, either. He was flushing enough already.
“Turn the light off,” he whispered, trying to buy some time. Like a veil torn away from his eyes by adrenaline, Takaba felt his head clearing quickly. Enough, at least, that he wouldn’t let himself be tipped onto his back and used as a rutting post for the other man, a toy to be poked and prodded to test the limits of its endurance.
So when Asami flicked off the master light switch and the room was doused in darkness, Takaba took the upper hand. He crawled across the mattress and pushed hard against the other man’s shoulder, making his intentions plain. Part of him was expecting resistance, but Asami obliged by lowering himself onto his back and guiding Takaba with a light grip on his elbow as he crawled over and straddled the lawyer’s waist
Takaba had been wrong: there was light after all, filtering weakly through the paper-paned windows in the pool room. It was enough to illuminate parts of Asami’s face, and the longer Takaba looked down, the more he felt like he would fall into the twin wells of the other man’s eyes. He’d probably drown in them. But would he care? When it came down to it, would he even struggle?
“Here,” Asami murmured, and gripped the back of Takaba’s neck, bringing their heads together and catching Takaba’s lips in a soft kiss that quickly turned bruising. Takaba shuddered, struggling to keep himself up the longer the kiss continued. He lowered himself down shakily until their legs tangled, their bellies pressed together and their chests almost flush but for Takaba, still straining to stay up on his elbows.
A hand trailed down, fingers skittering along his back. Takaba tried to breathe in through his nose, tried to keep himself focused on meeting every swipe and jab of the lawyer’s invading tongue. But his hypersensitive skin and Asami’s wandering hands kept scattering his concentration, reminding him of other places — other needs. Asami was hard again under him, beginning to lightly thrust against Takaba’s leg without a shred of embarrassment. Annoyed, Takaba snaked one of his hands down and grabbed the man’s cock in a punishing grip. Asami bucked up and grunted into his mouth.
“No,” Takaba gasped, breaking the lock of their mouths. When Asami only responded by thrusting up into the tunnel of his fingers, Takaba strengthened his grip. The lawyer winced. Then he grabbed Takaba’s arse as collateral, digging his fingers into the soft flesh and bringing tears to the corners of Takaba’s eyes.
“Into pain, are you, Takaba?” Asami murmured, flexing his fingers until Takaba was sure he wouldn’t be able to sit tomorrow — and not for the reason he’d expected.
“You wish,” he panted, trying to decide if he’d sacrifice his grip on Asami’s cock in order to fight off the man’s assault on his arse. He needed the other hand to keep a safe distance between their faces, because one thing was clear: Asami wasn’t above using his teeth as a weapon.
How did this become some kind of weird sex-chess game? his mind wailed. Some other part of his brain, though — the part that was still operating under a cloud of champagne and rising arousal — just wanted to come hard and sleep for a thousand years.
“Listen,” Takaba managed, ducking his head when Asami suddenly rose up in a vicious attempt to recapture his lips. “Listen to me, bastard! If you want to get off at all tonight, you’re gonna follow my lead, all ri — argh!” he cringed as Asami bit his collarbone, the accompanying lick hardly a salve for the giant hickey he’d probably be sporting tomorrow. “G-got it?”
“By all means,” Asami purred, unclenching his fingers from Takaba’s tender arse and sliding both hands up to his hips, which he held lightly between his palms. Feigned passivity. Not that it mattered. Asami Ryuuichi, famously smug bastard and oversexed attorney-at-law, was currently lying quietly and mostly compliantly beneath him. Like a conquered enemy, submitting freely to the victor of a short and brutal war.
That, Takaba could work with.