Fandom: Viewfinder (Finder no Hyouteki/Finder series) by Yamane Ayano
Warnings: N/A for this chapter.
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?
When Takaba woke next it was pitch dark, and instead of a blessed few moments of complete amnesia in which he could innocently wonder how he’d gotten here and exactly whose weight was causing that dip on the other side of the bed —
He remembered. In vivid, sweaty detail.
At least the pillow provided a bit of cushioning while he rammed his head into it. And really, if drunken flashes of Asami moving under him, lips slack and open in some kind of lawyerly sex expression…if that was all he got out of this stupid competition, then at least it would save him money he’d otherwise be spending on a certain type of magazine when he was on standby. Probably after he stopped reflexively cringing every time he remembered what had just happened, memories of this night would be an ever-returning investment in his personal spank bank.
“That’s right,” Takaba whispered, ignoring the way his throat sounded like something had died inside it. “Think positive thoughts.”
As if to sound a death knell for his attempt at optimism, something heavy banged into the wall. A split-second later Asami shifted on the bed and switched on a lamp. Takaba squinted and groaned at the flash of light, and was about to call the other man out on his suspiciously quick reflexes for someone who was supposed to be fast asleep, when the thing slammed into the wall again. This time, though, the sound was accompanied by the rattle of their door handle turning violently.
“Someone’s trying to get in,” Takaba croaked, groping for the comforter as Asami slipped out of bed and grabbed a bathrobe.
“It’s locked,” the lawyer said, tying the belt around his waist before padding to the door and checking the peephole. “Ah.”
“Who is it?” Takaba grabbed fistfuls of the duvet and wrapped it around himself in a misshapen cocoon, though as it turned out, he needn’t have bothered to protect his modesty: their nighttime visitor was much too drunk to notice the state of anyone else’s dress, including his own. As soon as Asami opened the door, a shirtless Mitarai fell right through it.
“Mraaaagh,” the producer drooled into the carpet.
“I suppose the best way to avoid censure for drinking on the job is to surround yourself with lushes,” Asami said, stepping down on Mitarai’s head with the sole of his bare foot until the man squawked in pain.
“What’s he doing in here?” Takaba demanded, faintly embarrassed to hear himself sound so shrill. “This didn’t happen to you and, uh — last night. The other night, I mean. Er. Did it?”
“No, this is an entirely new and unpleasant surprise.”
“‘sami?” Mitarai slurred, turning his head so slowly it looked as though it was jammed fast on his neck. Though maybe that was just the weight of Asami’s foot, which was still casually grinding Mitarai’s face into the floor. “Wha’ you doon here?”
“Debauching prudish flight attendants,” the lawyer replied. He glanced at Takaba. “Are you still planning to sleep?”
Takaba sank a little deeper into his comforter-cocoon, aware that he probably greatly resembled a suspicious turtle. “Why?”
“Mitarai-san’s snoring could test the earthquake resistance of every buildings he sleeps in. So if you plan on resting more tonight, I suggest we either evict him from this room or go somewhere else.”
Takaba wondered what made Asami think there was any ‘we’ involved in this. But before he could open his mouth to say so, the lawyer crossed the room to rifle through a basket of fresh towels near the bathroom door. He produced a new bathrobe and held it out to Takaba wordlessly.
“Can’t we just kick him out?” Takaba complained, though he noticed that Mitarai’s body was already overcome by an ominous rumbling noise that was only growing louder each second.
“If you feel like dragging him back to his room by the ankles, then be my guest. If nothing else, it would make for an amusing Confirmed Bachelor segment.”
Takaba pouted. At this rate, Asami would leave the room and abandon him to his nest of bedclothes and — and Mitarai. “Ugh, fine. Put the robe on the bed and turn around.”
Asami smirked, and Takaba was sure some dirty little remark was about slip from those lips to slap him in the face for being a — what had the man called him again? A ‘prudish flight attendant?’ Well, it was lucky for the continued structural integrity of Asami’s balls that all the lawyer actually did was comply, laying out the robe on the bed in front of Takaba and going back to the door to check the hallway. Takaba quickly snaked both arms out of his duvet fort and struggled into the robe before the bastard could change his pervy mind.
“Don’t worry, Takaba,” Asami said, pretending to examine a painting by the door. “Now that it’s been thrust upon me, I’m honour-bound to protect your chastity.”
“I didn’t thrust anything…” Takaba broke off as soon as his brain caught up with his mouth. It was probably just as well Mitarai had chosen that moment to transition from strained snuffles into truly gusty snores that drowned out all other sound in the room. He all but jumped off the bed to get away.
“Where the hell are we going?” Takaba muttered through chattering teeth half an hour later.
He really didn’t think he was being unreasonable for expecting that following Asami would lead him directly to a new room — preferably one with two separate beds. But apparently, Takaba was wrong. Apparently, they were doing a spot of garden exploring in pre-dawn 6 degree weather instead.
“I need to drink something. My teeth feel like I brushed them with beer.”
“There’s probably a drinking fountain nearby,” Asami said. “Walking now will sober you up and help prevent you from choking to death on your own vomit while you’re asleep.” The last bit was said in such a neutral tone of voice that Takaba couldn’t tell if he was being serious or sarcastic. No doubt the man’s constant poker face and ability to drain his voice of all inflection came in handy in court or depositions or whatever, but it was just plain maddening when you were trying to figure out his angle.
Maybe that’s why he’s still single even though he’s really old, Takaba thought uncharitably, watching Asami’s back as the lawyer led a confident path along a line of hedges. Maybe Asami had been forced onto the show by overzealous friends and relatives who were convinced that if he didn’t get hitched soon, he’d end up dying wifeless, childless and alone with nothing but a tumbler of expensive whiskey to see him out.
“Wait!” Takaba said, grabbing a handful of Asami’s sleeve before the man could turn the corner into another part of the garden. “Do you hear that?”
Asami stopped and cocked his head. “Water,” he said, with a lack of excitement that only proved he, unlike Takaba, was not about to keel over from dehydration.
“Do you think it’s another hot spring?” Takaba placed his ear against the chain link fence that stood opposite the hedge, behind which was a dense plantation of trees and shrubs. Along with that incredibly alluring sound of trickling water. Maybe in the daytime he could have peered through the foliage, but the fairy lights that had dotted the patio and flower garden closer to the hotel hadn’t been placed in this far corner of the property. Unless…that was only to preserve the anonymity of the VIP guests given exclusive access to this outdoor pool? The steel door and keypad embedded into the fence only fuelled Takaba’s growing suspicions.
“There aren’t any true hot springs in this area,” Asami remarked, walking to the security door and examining the lock. “Despite our hotel’s advertising.”
“Still,” Takaba said, by now hardly surprised that Confirmed Bachelor had chosen a shonky fraud of a hotel to put them up in, “even if it’s not a real onsen, water is water.” And getting a chance to wash off all the remnants of sex, sweat and alcohol from his body was now his number one priority.
…Which was why the look Asami shot him when he started scaling the fence was totally uncalled for.
“What,” he panted, digging his slipper into one of the chain links to hoist himself up over the top. The trees were planted just far enough away on the other side that he probably wouldn’t scratch himself to death on the descent. “Aren’t you coming up?”
Asami continued to stare up at him wordlessly, and Takaba didn’t need a flashlight to guess at his expression.
“You just wait here then,” he called, and climbed over the edge. It was faster on the way down, though mostly because he lost his footing and fell the last metre and a half. Luckily the earth was loamy and damp when he landed on his ass — surely because of its proximity to the delicious pool of steaming water that was trickling away sweetly in the background.
Takaba got to his feet and brushed himself off quickly. The enclosure he was in was smaller than expected, and difficult to navigate in the near darkness. Although they were up in the hills over Tamsui and the night was clear, few stars twinkled above them and the crescent moon provided only indifferent light. But it was enough to see the strange assortment of metal containers, meters and fans all packed together like an industrial graveyard.
“Decoys,” Takaba muttered to himself, letting the sound of the running water guide him deeper into the enclosure. To do so he had to sidle through and step over more metal boxes, some spray-painted with high voltage warnings and others sporting a perplexing assortment of dials. But when he eventually reached the fence on the other side and found the source of that tempting sound — a huge, rusting water heater — Takaba had to concede defeat. There was no pool, and he’d just climbed over a fence in front of Asami for absolutely no reason.
Takaba groaned, sinking to the ground and leaning back against one of the big metal cabinets. In that moment he didn’t even care if it was one of the electrified ones.
A sharp series of beeps sounded on the other side of the enclosure, followed by the chlunk of a door opening. Takaba tensed where he sat, wondering if Asami had already wandered off, leaving him alone to deal with a security guard who’d caught him breaking and entering the area on CCTV and had come to investigate. He huddled in the shadows, running through plausible excuses to explain his presence. He could claim he was still sloshed, of course, but would a drunk have enough fine motor control to climb a fence without toppling off and cracking his head open like a ripe watermelon?
Asami appeared through the maze of boxes.
“You opened the door?” Takaba’s mouth fell open. “But it had a keypad!”
“You develop a facility for certain things in my line of work,” Asami said, coming to a stop a few feet from Takaba’s cross-legged sulk. He all but loomed in the darkness, wearing the faint moonlight like a cape around his shoulders.
“And what work is that — cat burglary? So much for being a shining paragon of lawyerly virtue, upholding the law and balancing justice.”
“Corporate law is less about chasing the truth and more about manipulating circumstances to suit one’s own purposes.”
Takaba snorted. “No wonder you were attracted to the field.”
“Says the kid who just broke into a restricted area on a senseless lark and has nothing to show for it.”
“It wasn’t on a lark.” Though Takaba was finding it increasingly difficult to remember just why he’d thought it was a good idea to steal into a fenced enclosure in search of water when it would have been much easier to break into the hotel kitchens instead. Or Mitarai’s room, because it wasn’t like the volcanically snoring dickhead was currently using it. “And I’m not a kid! I was just feeling gross and sweaty after — after what you subjected me to!”
To Takaba’s surprise, anger flickered across Asami’s face. But the man kept his stance casual, hands folded in the pockets of his robe like it was just another one of his three piece Italian suits. “If you’d care to consult your short-term memory, I think you’ll find that any relations between us started only after you binged on champagne, half-drowned yourself, and then attempted to maul me as thanks for saving your life. Not to mention,” he said, speaking over Takaba’s outraged squawk, “the only reason you feel as ill-at-ease as you do now is because you spent hours tossing and turning and moaning in your sleep. Something plaguing your conscience, Akihito?”
“Don’t use that name,” Takaba said automatically, his pulse already quickening at the thought of having said something incriminating in his sleep. “And it isn’t like I wanted to share a bed! My body was probably just rolling over in self-defence against you groping me. And don’t pretend you didn’t want to!”
“I don’t think many men would blame me if I continued to seek my pleasure when my bed partner falls asleep, on top of me, immediately after rutting against my stomach like a horny rabbit and coming his brains out. Consider yourself fortunate, Takaba — I’m not usually one to abide such a selfish lover.”
Takaba quickly racked his brains for the memory of…well. But to his embarrassment, while the picture of him and Asami writhing together on the bed was quite clear, he couldn’t remember much of anything after the glorious orgasm that had finally washed through him — and apparently rendered him totally unconscious. He probably had left Asami lying there without a helping hand. As it were.
Oh geez. Takaba rubbed his face.
“And yet you accuse me of taking advantage of you?” Asami murmured.
Takaba shook his head. Much as he still wouldn’t put it past the bastard to be a closet somnophiliac, he hadn’t felt any particular soreness when he woke up. Or at least nothing that he couldn’t put down to a remembered moment during their drunken and apparently mostly one-sided roll in the hay.
“Very well,” Asami said, and took a step closer. Takaba’s throat went dry as he looked up, disturbed suddenly by the way the other man was towering over him. He had his back to the water heater, with Asami in front of him and the other cabinets ringed around him like a pen.
Asami’s eyes bored into his. “You’re claustrophobic.”
Takaba swallowed dry, and tried to hide the clench of his fingers in the folds of his bathrobe. “No.”
“You’re something, though,” Asami mused, glancing up at the sky. Takaba felt minutely relieved to be released from the intensity of that focus. “You fear being trapped, or caught unawares when you’re alone. Something happened to you and now its memory manifests itself in a fear of enclosed spaces. Nightmares, too.”
“If that’s true,” Takaba said hotly, “If it is, who can blame me? I got locked up twice yesterday! First by this bloody TV show, then by a masked stranger who no one even bothered to report to the police. And it isn’t like I can fall apart in front of the cameras, is it?”
“I wouldn’t advise it, no,” Asami remarked, face smoothing out to its usual stoicism as Takaba struggled to his feet. The lawyer would always be taller than him, but at least this way they were both on some kind of level. Takaba refused to just sit there there while Asami pondered his insecurities like they were a mildly interesting but inconsequential finance report he’d read in the newspaper.
“Speaking of things that shouldn’t go on camera,” Takaba said blithely, “if you’re so worried about preserving your reputation on national television, maybe you shouldn’t hop into bed with every contestant who has a pulse. Or, you know, become reality TV fodder at all. Because I don’t buy that you’re just doing this for your firm’s publicity.”
Asami’s brow lowered. “Say exactly what you mean, Takaba.”
Takaba forced his lips to stretch into a smile. “I don’t think I have to explain what your behaviour makes you look like. That’s two out of three so far, isn’t it? And you’ve still got another date tomorrow.”
Asami’s frown was threatening to become full blown glower. And sure, Takaba was trying to needle him, but he was kind of surprised at how little insinuation it took. After all, if he was being honest with himself, Takaba knew perfectly well that being the bachelor basically gave Asami a giant green light to sleep with every contestant who so much as glanced his way.
“What?” Takaba crossed his arms.
“Who told you that I had sex with Sudou Shuu?” Takaba blinked and Asami cocked an eyebrow. “Don’t look so surprised that I’m being frank. You’ve hardly been a master of subtlety.”
“Sudou told me himself,” Takaba muttered.
“And he strikes you as a very honest and trustworthy person, does he?”
Well, now that Asami mentioned it…But the lawyer had told Takaba himself that he’d had to disarm recording devices in the Ecstasy Suite he and Sudou had shared on their date, so he knew for a fact that they’d cohabited overnight. And even if Takaba trusted Asami’s sense of discretion, which he did not, there was simply no way Sudou would have lost such a perfect opportunity to climb Asami like a tree. A tree made of man meat.
“Even if you’re claiming that you and Sudou didn’t get up to anything on your sleepover the other night, which, ha! You can’t pretend that you haven’t sampled the goods on this show before. I remember what I overheard at the aquarium, all right?” Takaba uncrossed his arms, pointing an accusatory finger. “On your so-called ‘group date’ with Sudou and Fei Long, remember? Well, it was definitely a group something. And don’t try to deny it — you incriminated yourself!”
“Water skiing is an incriminating activity?” Asami asked, staring down at Takaba’s index finger as though it were a brazen fly he was considering swatting.
Takaba opened his mouth to deliver a devastating retort that would blow all of Asami’s slippery, lawyerly weasel words completely out of the water for good, except — water skiing, really? That’s what Asami was pretending they’d all gotten up to on that date? It wasn’t even a contact sport!
“Your problem in this competition, Takaba,” Asami continued, not waiting for Takaba’s reply, “is that you take everything at face value. Your mind constantly jumps to the worst conclusion, which makes you prone to the deception of those more cunning than you.”
“I’m cunning!” Takaba said, then shut his mouth. Even spitting mad as he was, he had to admit to himself that he wouldn’t win an argument of words against Asami, at least not without hard evidence. He needed to make his accusations infallible before he could hammer them over Asami’s head in victory.
But that didn’t mean he’d let Asami get away with such blatant hypocrisy, either.
“So you’re denying that you’re just an egotistical horndog who only came on this show to drill the arses of any contestants stupid enough to fall for your gentleman act, huh?”
To Takaba’s surprise, Asami didn’t look offended. For god’s sake, his smirk was back. “There’s only one arse I want, Takaba.”
What…what the hell was that supposed to mean! Takaba gritted his teeth, preparing to jab Asami in the chest until the bastard stopped looking so damn self-satisfied. Unfortunately, the leg he used to step forward was also the leg that had fallen asleep at some point during their stand off. It buckled immediately when he put weight on it, and only Asami’s hand shooting out to lift Takaba up by the collar of his bathrobe prevented him from faceplanting spectacularly in the dirt.
Asami slowly lowered him back down to his feet, but kept his fingers wrapped in the bathrobe. “Let me go,” Takaba glared.
Talk about adding insult to abject humiliation. When Asami still wouldn’t let go of his collar, Takaba rolled his shoulders and broke the other man’s grip. He couldn’t break the tension in the air, though, and quite suddenly he wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep his way through the rest of the competition.
He sighed. “Let’s just go back inside. We can sleep in Mitarai’s room, right?”
As though it had been his idea the entire time and he was only waiting for Takaba to stop dawdling, Asami turned on his heel and walked back the way he’d come. Takaba hurried behind, wincing as the leg that had lost all feeling exploded with a painful pricking sensation every time he took a step.
“He may only have a single bed.” Asami glanced at Takaba sideways when they reached the enclosure’s door, which could thankfully be unlocked from the inside with the flick of a switch.
“You can sleep on top of the desk then,” Takaba declared, pushing through the door first and breathing a silent sigh of relief to be back in the main garden. Dawn was already peeking crisp and lavender above the horizon.
“You’re in a better mood,” Asami murmured, falling into step beside Takaba as they made their way back to the patio. A heavy, warm hand came down on the nape of his neck, resting there like it had the unchallenged right.
“You’re imagining things,” Takaba replied, deciding on the spur of the moment to allow the bastard’s hand to rest there, just this once.
It was a cold night, after all.
For the rest of the drive back to Taipei, the words There’s only one arse I want sloshed around inside Takaba’s skull like the narration to a porno that had taken over his life.
Asami and the only cameraman who hadn’t consumed brain-shredding amounts of alcohol the night before took a taxi back to the city early in the morning, leaving Takaba sandwiched between Mitarai and Shinotake-sensei in the taxi that ferried them back later that afternoon. The only thing worse than nursing a hangover, it turned out, was nursing a hangover when your producer was too bleary to give voice to all the inappropriate things he wanted to say, so just kept staring at your arse instead.
There’s only one arse I want.
“Stop it,” Takaba groaned.
“No,” Mitarai rasped. “Nice hickey, by the way.”
Their director lifted up his face mask. “Shut up. Or I’ll arrange both your deaths. Onscreen.”
Takaba and Mitarai stewed in sullen silence for the rest of the journey back to the hotel. When they finally arrived, the rest of the crew were doing a poor job of appearing as though they weren’t panicking about having lost an entire day of filming.
“Fei Long-sama is very upset,” one of the junior producers said, hovering over Shinotake-sensei as the man lowered himself into an armchair in the lounge Confirmed Bachelor had taken over for their production meetings. “He is demanding an extra half-day for his and Asami-san’s solo date as recompense.”
“What?” the director barked, and Takaba thought he’d feel a similar swell of outrage if he wasn’t so distracted by how Fei Long had somehow managed to convince the crew to designate him sama while they’d been away. “Don’t be a moron. We’ll just shoot the date tomorrow instead, and swap around the…” he trailed off, shooting a disapproving look when he noticed that Takaba was still in the room. “The you-know-what. Has Sakazaki regained consciousness yet?”
Takaba could take a hint. He made his way towards the lounge’s exit, thinking longingly of a shower and the downy promise of a bed he didn’t have to share with horny lawyers and snoring producers.
“Takaba-kun!” Shinotake-sensei barked. Takaba jumped to attention and swung around. “You’re roommates with his manicured grace, the great snake lord, aren’t ya?”
“Er…” Takaba hedged.
“Go upstairs and get him to come down. Now!”
Takaba rushed out of the room before he could remember to mumble his assent. In the elevator up to their floor, he quickly rehearsed what he’d say if he bumped into Sudou or any other nosy crew members that wanted to know about his date with Asami. It was very nice, he’d say. We ate freshly caught crab and watched the sun set over the ocean. Asami-san was the perfect gentleman.
“Except for when he was being a giant perve,” Takaba muttered to himself, getting off the elevator and trudging to his room.
There’s only one arse I want.
“Oh, screw every — ” he cut himself off as soon as he opened the door.
Despite instructions, he hadn’t really expected Fei Long to be up here, not when it was daylight outside and he could be swanning around the local boutiques or checking on White Snake’s Taiwanese holdings or generally terrifying everyone with his eyebrows. But there the man was, stretched out across his bed on his back with some kind of cream caking his face like a Noh mask and twin slices of cucumbers adorning his eyelids.
In Takaba’s absence, he’d apparently commandeered the other bed as a second wardrobe.
“This is not okay, Fei Long,” Takaba grumbled, walking over and starting to sift through the frankly alarming layers of robes, shirts, loose-fitting pants and some very flimsy silk things that Takaba really didn’t want to dwell on. “I need somewhere to sleep too. Unless this is your way of telling me I can lie on top and make everything creased and wrinkly, huh?”
Fei Long didn’t reply. In fact, if it weren’t for the gentle rise and fall of his chest, Takaba would be tempted to think he’d beautifully arranged his body before topping himself in a fit of pique. Maybe he was just giving Takaba the cold shoulder for taking up more than his allotted time for the solo date?
“Not my fault,” Takaba muttered, stepping between the beds and staring down at Fei Long, waiting for a sign that the other man was listening. “And it’s not like we did anything extra this morning, either.” Asami had gone back to Taipei while Takaba was still sleeping, for cripe’s sake, even if the lawyer-shaped indent on Mitarai’s single bed suggested that the man hadn’t spent the whole night on the couch Takaba had relegated him to, the sneaky bastard.
Fei Long mumbled something incomprehensible, the lips he’d smeared with some kind of green balm twitching slightly but otherwise remaining lax with sleep.
Oh my god, Takaba’s mind crowed, I’ve caught the great Liu Fei Long completely off guard! Oh, the things I could do to him now that he’s at my mercy…
Takaba hunkered down beside the bed and rested both hands on the edge of the mattress, relishing this unparalleled view of Fei Long’s nostrils — sadly perfect though they were. He only wished the man’s face wasn’t slathered with the cream mask, because he knew exactly where he could find a permanent marker and his brain was already teeming with artistic inspiration.
“Hey, Fei Long,” Takaba said quietly. “I’ve been wondering. Do you have to sharpen your claws on a rock or are they just naturally like that?”
Fei Long mumbled something, turning his head slightly in the direction of Takaba’s voice. “…Paris.”
“Paris?” Takaba asked, rising from his crouch and hovering over Fei Long’s head. “Paris what?”
“Boulangerie française,” Fei Long whispered.
Takaba rolled his eyes. Great, he finally had Fei Long in a vulnerable position, and the man’s sleep talk was a bunch of nonsense of no blackmailing value whatsoever. Unless…he just needed a little direction?
“Fei Looong,” Takaba droned, letting his voice drop low in the way TV hypnotists’ always did. “Tell meee…what you, Sudou and Asami did on your group date in Tokyo. Tell meee…gah!”
Faster than his eyes could track, a hand shot up and grabbed Takaba by the throat. He gasped, struggling to breathe as Fei Long tossed his glossy head, dislodging the cucumber slices and staring up at Takaba with a murderous scowl.
“You have questions for me, Takaba?” Fei Long hissed. “You want to know what Asami and I get up to when you’re not around? Why not simply join us on our next date and satisfy your own curiosity.”
“N-no, that’s fine,” Takaba coughed, arms flailing as he tried to find purchase on the bedclothes. Fei Long’s grip tightened. “Just…just came to tell you that Sensei wants you downstairs.” He winced as air struggled to move through his pinched windpipe. “And that, uh…you have very fast reflexes. Must have trained Tao, huh? Haha. Ha.”
Fei Long let out a put-upon sigh and released Takaba’s throat. “Go away, you miserable little brat.”
Takaba was all too happy to comply. As fast as he could walk without looking as though he were fleeing for his life, Takaba crossed the room and opened the bathroom door.
“Takaba?” Fei Long called, sounding creepily cheerful for someone who’d just woken from their meditation to find their sworn love rival hanging over their face and trying to subliminally interrogate them.
Takaba turned around reluctantly. “…Yes?”
“You’d best do something about your face. That zit of yours is making quite the impressive comeback.”
Deciding that settling for verbal insults was the better part of valour right then, Takaba scuttled inside the en suite and locked the door. Though as he sat down on the edge of the bathtub and stared into space, waiting until he could go outside again without getting high-kicked in the nose, something Fei Long had said suddenly struck home. The more he thought about it, inviting himself along on the man’s solo date with Asami was actually an incredibly brilliant idea. It couldn’t be that hard to remain undetected if he followed a little behind them, and then he’d know definitively whether Asami’s claims about desiring ass-monogamy were true. Or true with someone, even if that someone wasn’t Takaba.
What could go wrong?