Who: Harada Asaki (Japanese Name Order), Tristan Norcross
What: In which Tristan attends one of Asaki's concerts and Asaki gets a rather nasty shock
Rating: PG-13 (yaoi-ness...and language)
For the curious, the song Asaki sings here is the English version of "Night of Fire" from Initial D.
Tristan hadn't expected Magira-san to be so... responsive. No, that wasn't quite the word he was looking for, but, then again, he couldn't think of anything else to use, really.
He hadn't expected Magira-san to suggest that he make an appearance at a concert that a young man named Harada Asaki (last name first, of course, as it was the Japanese custom that Tristan found silly), the young man she managed, was performing in. Tristan had said that he wanted to see the potential client first and then he would make the decision. A picture wasn't enough; Tristan wanted to see him move. Then and only then would he sign the contract that Magira-san had given him.
He straightened the tie he wore while he explained to the doorman who he was. The doorman allowed him in finally, and he made his way to the wings. Magira-san turned to look at him once he had arrived, smiling.
"You're late, Norcross-san."
"Sumimasen," Tristan apologized, smiling. "I was delayed... the gentleman that was driving my cab wasn't exactly sure where he was going. So, where is Harada-san?"
"On stage," she explained, pointing to the stage from the wings. Tristan followed the direction her finger was pointing to, catching a glimpse of blonde hair and a streak of blue.
Already, it was nearing the end of his concert. These things always seemed to pass so quickly, and, in a way, Asaki almost regretting that fact. He was different when he was on stage... no longer stoic and withdrawn, moody and apathetic. No, instead, it was as though the music and lights filled him with an elated kind of energy. Expressive, and full of life, he simply thrived on the response of the audience. Nothing else existed.
Welcome to my rocky show
Welcome to the fire of the night
He was on the last song of the night, intentionally chosen to be sung at this time for it's hard, frantic, techno beat, a way to pick the crowd back up after a few slower songs and leave them on a high note, leave them wanting much more. Oh yes, a great deal of planning went into this. On his part, most of the decisions were made impulsively while on stage, nevertheless, he was sure to please his fans in as many ways as he could.
Come on baby let it go
Come on baby let me stick you tight
He sang this particular one in English, and the way words were pieced together implied that it wasn't his first language, but that he knew enough of it anyway. He had found early on that many Japanese people enjoyed songs entirely in English or with a random word here or there. He didn't quite know why... perhaps they thought it was cute?... He just saw it as another way to get their attention, and, sure enough, this was one song that was obsessed over the most.
Not a danger, not a blacky stranger...
The lighting was strong, and flashed about him at nearly as frantic a pace as the music itself, crashing and ebbing in waves of intense, neon blue. It was the color that was most characteristic of him after all. However, it wasn't so much the setting or the words themselves that held the most appeal... It was him. His voice, not too deep, not too high, but now a little breathless and raspy from exertion, was incredibly sexy, a tone that would be used after a very... different sort of activity. And the way in which he moved... Somehow, whether he liked it or not, that far outweighed all else.
Rock it... rock it... knock to my door I'll open
His slender but well muscled body was never still for a moment. He was constantly in action, swaying to the pulsing rhythm with perfect, fluid movements. One hand held the wireless microphone, while the other frequently lifted above his head, slid roughly through his damp blonde tresses, now in an attractive state of disarray, and trailed down his torso to rest on his chest, stomach or thigh, gestures that could easily be considered sensual. In addition, his leather-clad hips rolled to the fast tempo, particularly as certain lines were sung, and each time, such motions inspired delighted gasps and cries from both girls and boys, women and men, alike.
Speak my name now, speak if it you know how...
It had become a habit of every audience he performed in front of to scream his name, more or less in unison, when these lyrics were uttered. It was amusing really, and he showed his appreciation through a roguish grin, allowing them to do so rather than rushing to the next line, and dropping to one knee to momentarily take the desperately outstretched hands of the twelve year old girls that crowded the front. They were very reluctant to let go.
Fly... to... me, get ready for the...
Stepping backwards until he reached the center of the stage, his stance widened and the spotlights concentrated on him before beginning their frantic, swiveling course again, just in time for the chorus.
Night of fire, you've better better stay
You've better better begin the prayer to play
Night of fire, come over over me
Come over over the top you've never been here
Night of fire, you've better better stay
You've better better begin the prayer to play
Night of fire, come over over me
Come over over the top you'll have a night of fire
You'll have a night of fire...
You better better stay...
The prayer to play...
Come over over me...
You've never been here
Night of fire...
You've better better begin
Night of fire...
Come over over the top
You'll have a night of fire
Once the end came, the music gradually faded with repeated words and quick, timed moans. Thoroughly exhausted by this work, it was his intention to rush out as soon as he got backstage, not wanting to have to deal with anyone who might be waiting for him. Unfortunately, it was the one person he couldn't brush past that happened to be standing near the exit. She had such an annoying way of reading his mind.
"Magira-san..." Asaki muttered with little enthusiasm. It was clear that he didn't feel like discussing business now. He shook the sticking strands out of his face, his bronze skin still glistening with a thin layer of sweat. Though he'd grabbed his jacket, he didn't bother throwing it on over his tight, black shirt... all that made up the rest of his stage outfit... feeling much too hot for any extra clothing.
"I'm sure you'd love to pick out every tiny detail of the show, but let's wait until tomorrow, ne? I don't... " Only then did he take notice of another presence close by. The man was currently turned... but that fedora. It was unmistakable.
"...What the hell!?..."
Tristan recognized Asaki, though he didn't show it. His shock had probably been apparent at first while he watched the man dancing on stage, singing amongst the screams of the crowd. The Englishman thought that Asaki had a rather nice voice, actually, though he would never admit it to the Japanese singer's face. Of course, once he realized Asaki had been the man he met in the Fedora, he had agreed to assist Magira-san in getting a new look together for Asaki. Tristan knew he could do it, but that hadn't been the only reason he had taken the job...
"Ah, Asaki-kun!" Magira-san replied, smiling brightly. "I'd like you to meet Tristan Norcross. He's a friend of the head of our company."
"We've met all ready. It will be a pleasure working with you, I assure you, Magira-san." Tristan turned, tucking his pen away in one of the inner pockets of his jacket. He fixed his dark eyes on the blue of Asaki's contacts and smirked a bit. "Nice to finally know your name, boy."
Magira-san smiled, her face resembling that of a young schoolgirl for a moment. "Norcross-san is going to be designing most of the new outfits for your next concert, Asaki-kun. He's going to help to create a new image for you."
"One that's long overdue, in my opinion," Tristan piped up, crossing his arms over his chest. "He needs a sense of style...one that gives him an air of class." As to emphasize his point, he took a step forward, circling Asaki for a moment before studying his face. "Nothing like what he's wearing now, of course. A face such as his requires class in his attire, no?"
He turned just in time to see Magira-san nod in affirmation. He took a step back and offered his hand to Asaki to shake. "Nice to meet you, Harada-san." Granted, this had been a bit belated, but that wasn't the point.
Unlike Tristan, Asaki had no time to recover from his shock. Instead, it hit him full force and ruthlessly lingered. It was just one thing after another, the height of which being the news that the pesky tourist was now his designer. True, they had only met that one time in the bar... and true, the hostility they had exchanged was insignificant, but none of that mattered. There was something about this man that made his blood boil purely on sight.
From the second his artificially blue eyes settled on the Englishman, they never left. Narrow and piercing, he stared rather dangerously, not even glancing briefly to his manager whenever she spoke. Oh, he could kill her for this... How was he to work with someone he hated this much? With others, it took some time to develop an opinion and grow annoyed. With him... this... Tristan... the hatred was absolutely effortless. It had come on so quickly, and he doubted it'd ever go away. But now, contracts had been signed, deals made behind his back... A friend of the head of the company... A new image... Nice. There was nothing Asaki could do. He was powerless... helpless.
During the entire encounter, he was speechless, immobile. He didn't want to interact aside from the fixation of his eyes. Certain things, particularly Tristan's way of calling him boy, made him want to lunge at him, and, perhaps if Magira-san wasn't there, he might've. As much as it riled him beyond explanation, he gave absolutely no reaction. Then there was the man's next choice of action... like a buzzard circling it's prey. That was the only time his eyes left his. His body stiffening, he focused straight ahead on nothing besides the far wall, hating each and every second of this scrutiny. He wasn't some animal to be studied and groomed for a profit, damn it! Especially not by him. How easy it would be just to grab him as he walked back around, but somehow, he managed to restrain the urge.
"Bastard..." Asaki mouthed clearly but inaudibly in English, making sure the other would understand without hearing, once he stood before him again, directing his glare on him once more. When the hand was extended and that irritating politeness kicked in, the Japanese man refused to respond, but merely looked from his eyes to his hand, then back. He pushed past Tristan all at once, rudely knocking into his shoulder, on his path toward the door.
"It's nice to see you're making an attempt, Asaki-kun." Again, he was interrupted by Magira-san, the woman going so far as to not only stand near, but lean against the door. Evidently, she enjoyed torturing him... for now he was truly caged. Somewhat unexpectedly, she presented the glimmering company credit card, one used only in times of the worst business turmoil.
"It seems clear that it will take some time for you two to warm up to one another." She cleared her throat. Tristan was fine... it was her temperamental client that needed the work. He could be so impossible. However, regardless of how long she'd known him, she was still a bit surprised at the degree of his resistance now. All of that needed to be amended and fast.
"Use the card and go out to dinner. Discuss some things, get to know each other. You'll be working together... it really would be best if you were to get along."
It was an order. Despite her ever present smile and calm tone, Asaki knew one when he heard it. There was no way of getting out of this. The almighty Magira-san had spoken. He sighed loudly and snatched the card from her slender hand. Only then, did she allow him passage.
"Fine. Come on... Norcross-san." Leading the way outside without looking back, he started toward where his car was hidden away... only to be mobbed by swarms of fans after taking little more than two steps. He had been inside much too long and they had had the chance to gather and wait. Flinging themselves at him with high pitched screams, they shoved autograph books and pens at him or simply grabbed and clung. Breaking through was going to be an interesting task, he could just barely manage to turn halfway in order to cast a blaming glare at his new designer.
Hmm...Asaki was being so hostile to him. That would never do, not if they were to work together. He rubbed his shoulder absently and made his way over to the door, turning to look at Magira-san.
"Harada-san is...extremely stubborn," Tristan commented, frowning upon hearing fangirlish screams outside the door.
"Give him time, Norcross-san. He'll be fine once he gets used to you." So saying, she practically shoved him out the door and he simply stared at Asaki amidst the crowd of fangirls.
Given any other time this might have happened, Tristan probably would have found this amusing. After all, the British designer was known for his lack of compassion in such situations. He never had this sort of problem, and he was quite glad for it, really. Then there was that half-glare...as if it was his fault.
Technically, it was his fault, but that was beside the point. After all, Magira-san had chosen to spring this on her client suddenly when it could have been done in a more professional setting. The original intent was for Tristan to accept the contract and leave, but he had found it impossible.
He had been focused on watching Asaki on the stage.
He couldn't figure out why it was that he had been so fixated on watching him...watching the way he moved, was receptive to his fans... Asaki was a stereotypical pretty-boy that made Tristan angry and...amazed at the same time. Angry because that was all Asaki seemed to want to do with himself. Amazed... Well, that one he hadn't quite figured out yet, but when he did, he would be sure to make a mental note of it.
And now the fangirlish swarm. The way he saw it, he had two options: Allow Asaki to deal with it on his own and further stimulate the hatred between them...or actually attempt to pry him out of it. The latter of the two options would probably only serve to make Asaki angry with him if it wound up occurring the way Tristan's own mind was picturing it.
A lose-lose situation, really.
He sighed, squaring his shoulders. Asaki all ready blamed this on him. Might as well attempt to make peace with him by dragging Asaki out of it. Attempt, of course, being the operative word.
Tristan stuffed the hat into a pocket on his jacket, flattening out his hair, and heading into the mob of girls to latch his hand around Asaki's arm.
He's going to kill me, but I honestly don't care.
"Asaki-kun..." Tristan purred, draping an arm over Asaki's shoulder. "Come on, or we're going to be late. Magira-san made reservations for us, and I'd hate to have them go to waste, ne?" Playfully, he made as if to kiss Asaki's cheek. Instead he wound up hissing, "Where's your car?"
He was trying to help, he really was. So why did this just feel...strange? Normally, he would be against physical contact, but it was the first thing he could come up with. Bloody hell, it still felt wrong, no matter how he tried to make it seem right in his head.
Having reluctantly turned his attention back to the frantic crowd swelling around him, giving his signature, allowing the touches and tugs on his clothing, all in all pretending not to mind any of it, Asaki never saw Tristan approach.
The first thing he was aware of was the hold on his arm, a touch far different from any of these childish girls, strong and firm... quite obviously masculine. There was no one else around that touch could belong to. Just as he was about to spin around in both surprise and anger, the other man closed in on him a bit more, and he felt the weight of his arm across his fairly broad shoulders.
Asaki's body froze entirely while he was in the middle of signing another autograph, the pen trailing over the page in a neglected line before reaching the edge. He was stunned. It was impossible to hide the way in which his eyes widened and his lips parted, but the initial reaction was only brief. It took a moment, but he realized what Tristan was trying to do... clever, really... and he forced himself to recover. If it meant escaping this annoying mob, he could easily play along... regardless of how quickly his pulse had picked up, and the sparking of his nerves.
There was something very wrong there.
He released a breath he had drawn sharply and held. Passing the book back to it's owner, half signed, he closed his eyes, let a slow grin lift the corners of his mouth, and tilted his head in the opposite direction, as though to gladly offer more skin for the fake kisses and warm breath.
Shifting in his hold, Asaki turned to fully face the Englishman and threw a strong arm about his waist to roughly pull him that much closer. Their bodies crushing against one another's, he contrasted the move by gliding through and burying a hand in Tristan's loose, shoulder-length hair with as much affection as he could currently muster. It was the first time he'd seen him without that damn hat... Not that he cared.
"Hai... wakarimasu." He kept his voice soft and melodic, though not beyond the hearing range of his fans. "Let's go, koibito..."
A silence had fallen over the crowd, even if only for these short seconds. From the corner of his eye, he could see just how much of an effect this image had produced. They were startled, entranced... interested. Some were disappointed, while the majority was strangely pleased. Just as quickly as the hush had spread, the noise picked up again... giggles and "aw's", cheers of delight and enthusiastic chatter. Not wasting any more time, Asaki relinquished his hold on the other man to merely grasp one of his hands instead. He then broke through the crowd, taking advantage of their distracted state. And it was easy, far easier than it would have been otherwise... He had to admit at least that much.
Dragging Tristan behind him, he hurried away from the scene and ducked into an alleyway. Within the thickly shadowed space, he dropped the other's hand as if it the touch was poisoning him.
"Tch. That was a cheap trick, you damn tourist..." Trailing, he slid both hands into the pockets of the tight, leather pants and began to walk ahead. His next word was murmured with a great deal of reluctance, only once his back was turned to the man.
He said nothing, even as his car came into view, parked outside the alley on the opposite end. It was black, somewhat small but surprisingly well kept for how long he had had it. Fishing out the keys, he unlocked both doors with a press of a button and slid into the driver's seat. Waiting for the other to get in as well, annoyance present, though, perhaps not to the same level, he started the engine, the radio instantly coming on to blare Jrock.
All Tristan's mind could think of was how wrong the entire situation felt. He had just wanted to get Asaki out of there, not act...not like that... Tristan couldn't even figure out WHY he had started that in the first place, though he was grateful for the momentary distraction.
"'Koibito' was taking it a bit too far, Harada," was on the tip of his tongue the moment Asaki released his hand. Instead, he was momentarily taken by surprise. Did the word 'thanks' actually escape Asaki's lips, or had he been imagining things?
He quickly shook it off and hurried after Asaki to his car. He slipped into the passenger's seat on the car and closed the door, running his hands through his hair.
"I do apologize for that, but you looked perfectly miserable standing there, you know..." Tristan announced as Jrock blared from the car's speakers. Why was he suddenly getting the feeling that Asaki didn't want to talk about what had just happened? "You're welcome, by the way."
Seeing as how the music was so loud, Tristan didn't even think the other man heard him. Thus he simply stared out the window of the car, sighing. God, how he wanted a cigarette at the moment, but some people (Japanese especially, he was noticing) were very particular about people smoking in their cars. Thus he refrained from going for the pack that was in an inner pocket of his jacket...though he wanted to.
He tried to think of something else, tried to focus on something else rather than the events that had happened only a few moments before, which turned out to be next to impossible, he was discovering. The 'lovers act', a former client of his had called it. He had pulled that trick several times before for other clients, pulling them effortlessly out of crowds and away from prying eyes. He, himself, always hated large crowds of people, which was why he had come up with the idea to begin with. But...somehow it had felt different this time.
He had assumed that it was simply because he had caught Asaki by surprise and he had enjoyed that certain level of control. But that couldn't possibly explain how he felt when Asaki had pulled him closer...when those artificial blue eyes stared at him with only a certain amount of their usual cold intensity...
"Snap out of it, idiot," Tristan hissed to himself, glancing out the window. Asaki was just a client, after all. Just like everyone else. They meant nothing to him; he never allowed any of them to mean anything to him. People just wound up getting hurt in the long run.
Besides, a voice in the back of his head continued, Harada is a man after all. You can't possibly feel anything for a man. Especially one who hates you as much as Harada does. He hates you; he feels nothing for you and you will never feel anything for him. Stop thinking foolish things like that.
"Never," Tristan reaffirmed silently, watching the lights of the city streak by the moving car window.