Who: Harada Asaki (Japanese name order), Tristan Norcross
What: In which Asaki is late to the fitting session for his jacket...and Tristan realizes something that makes him want to dig himself into a hole and stay there for a very long time.
Rating: PG-13 (and the yaoi begins~ Sort of...)
"He's late," Tristan growled in annoyance, pacing the length of the room Magira-san had allotted to them for the purpose of fitting Asaki for this outfit for the concert that night. Magira-san herself watched Tristan silently from her chair, glancing absently at the garment bag that Tristan had spread across the couch. "You remembered to tell him?"
"Of course I did, Norcross-san," Magira replied, nodding. "He'll be here soon, I'm sure."
"Ten more minutes," Tristan warned. "I'll give him ten more minutes, but then I leave."
It wasn't as if Asaki was unaware of the time. Not at all. No, he knew perfectly well what time it was, that he was supposed to be meeting Magira and Tristan, that he was already late and still hadn't left his apartment. The truth was, he didn't care. It was intentional.
He had gotten the call from his manager sometime last night, after having made a few calls himself. He knew there had to be a fitting, and that he'd be forced into close proximity with that damn designer once again. He just didn't know it would be taking place twice. Annoyed in general by this fact, the Asian was more than happy to cause Tristan some annoyance as well early on. Lounging around idly in his apartment, thoroughly pushing just how late he could be, Asaki was quite amused by the thought of Tristan waiting, getting increasingly more riled, secretly wishing to kill him. Provoking such inner hostility from the outwardly placid man was quickly becoming a favorite hobby of the singer's. The urge to do so was always playing in the back of his mind, whether he was aware of it or not.
Watching the minute hand of the clock slowly move, Asaki finally decided it was about time he pushed himself off of the couch and headed to the place good old Magira-san had specified. He was growing eager to see just what expressions he would meet there anyway.
Taking his car, and with his usual tendency to drive fast, it really wasn't all too much longer before he arrived. Juggling his keys slowly between his hands, Asaki nudged the door open with his shoulder and slipped inside, instantly hiding a faint smirk as he spotted Tristan pacing across the room and a very bored Magira sitting in one chair. Even boredom did nothing to ruin her good posture, it seemed, and the Englishman was as difficult to read as ever.
"Let's get this over with..." Asaki was sure to speak before either of them, his tone deep but soft. Still not waiting for their reactions, he moved past Tristan with only a fleeting glance, the smirk more apparent in his eyes than on his lips, and crossed over to the couch, curious about the long garment bag laid across it.
Tristan was close to the couch when Asaki finally showed up. Thus, the second Asaki opened the door, Tristan finished pacing and didn't even wait for Asaki to start speaking before heading for the garment bag. He had to get what he had prepared out and show it to him, of course...
"Asaki-kun, you're a half-hour late," Magira told Asaki, looking a bit displeased. "I told you to be on time today."
"Harada-san has a talent for being late, it seems," Tristan said with an annoyed sigh, unzipping the garment bag and carefully lifting out the hanger and the garment on it. "It doesn't matter in the long run, however. Considering this is for his concert tonight and I rather would like to have it ready before then. Not important at all."
After studying it for a moment, Tristan smiled and turned the hanger around so the two of them could look at it properly. What they were staring at was a long jacket made of black vinyl with a plunging v neckline. The v, in theory, would connect and close with an intricately designed gold clasp just above Asaki's waist. The sleeves were long and were designed to be form-fitting until just above the wrist in another plunging v-like pattern to create a slightly bell-sleeved look for the jacket. All the hems had been lined in red fabric and he parted the jacket just enough to show them that the inner lining on the jacket bore the same red material that traced the v-line of the front of the coat.
He was rather pleased, however, that he had remembered the leather armband that Asaki had worn during his last concert and Tristan had even incorporated it into the design of the jacket. Both sleeves had a leather band around the upper-arm, cinched close with a gold buckle to match the clasp around the waist. He also added another such band around the left sleeve of the jacket closer to the wrist.
Tristan was rather pleased with the final result, considering most of it had to be hand stitched. Machines didn't seem to like vinyl fabrics for some reason. This, however, had kept him up the majority of the night, but at least he had gotten sleep this time... This was probably the best he had ever done with only himself and a night in which to complete something like this...
"Well? What do you think?"
"That's wonderful, Norcross-san!" Magira was quick to exclaim, cutting off any reaction Asaki himself might have had upon first sight. Rising from her seat, she moved to where the two stood and reached out to rub the fabric of the sleeve between her fingers, briefly run her fingers over a gold clasp. Her face alight with approval, she nodded to Tristan as she let go and took a step back. She knew Asaki... and as troublesome as he was, as much obvious friction as there was between him and Norcross... there was no possible way he could dislike this jacket.
Having no time to even open his mouth before Magira began to make a fuss, Asaki merely continued to study the jacket held up for him. He wanted to hate it... so much. He wanted to sneer and turn his back on it with a few choice words for Tristan. But none of those childish desires mattered right now. He was stunned, not just by the beauty of the jacket itself, but the very fact that he absolutely loved it. Even with the money he made performing, it was safe to say he never owned anything quite as nice as that... And to think it had been made with him completely in mind, his style, sizes, and tastes, was strangely amazing. He honestly hadn't thought Tristan capable of it, especially when they were so terrible to each other, and now had no idea what to say or do. God, it was perfect... Damn you... I hate you even more...
Having scrutinized nearly every inch of the black vinyl, the red fabric and stitching, the pleasing placement of leather, the intricate gold fastenings, without moving closer, sharp blue eyes lifted to narrow on Tristan, his features determinedly set. Arms crossed, he drew a long quiet breath and held it a moment before exhaling. What he was about to say was braced for as though the words would physically pain him.
"...I don't hate it."
It wasn't a lie, but of course it wasn't the whole truth. The Japanese man would not gush in any way about this, nor would he snatch eagerly at the jacket to try it on. Those words were the best the designer was going to get out of him. That, and the fact he had already settled on behaving. He wouldn't put up a fight or look for an argument unless Tristan started it on his own. He was still reeling from the idea that this was made for him. Having noticed the slight tiredness in the Englishman's eyes, he hated to focus on just how much work must've been involved. Only yesterday, the jacket was nothing more than those few fabric samples and a sketch. Unfortunately, amazement didn't quite cover whatever it was he found himself feeling now.
Saying nothing else, Asaki expressed his acceptance silently by slowly unbuttoning the coat he had worn there, slipping the garment off his shoulders then tossing it neglectfully to the couch. His arms were kept relaxed at his sides.
Though Asaki was fighting to keep any and all emotion off of his face, Tristan could see it in Asaki's eyes. He liked it. No, loved was probably a better word. Of course, Asaki wasn't going to say so. In fact, Tristan could practically guarantee that the "I don't hate it" was the best reaction he was going to get. He didn't care.
Asaki liked it. That was all that mattered.
Tristan had to pause for a moment and rethink that as he took the jacket and handed it to Asaki as though he was presenting an expensive gift to him. "Put it on, boy. Let's see how it looks on you."
He was...happy that Asaki liked it, yes. So why did he feel abnormally happy that he had finally managed to please him? Asaki was a client. Little more than that. Tristan left the coat in Asaki's hands and moved away to give the singer his space.
Damn it, why was he so happy that Asaki liked it that much? It was a coat. Asaki was a client. That's all it was, wasn't it?
He watched Asaki take the coat off the hanger and slip it on; Tristan couldn't help but notice the singer's choice of attire. Almost concert-quality. Almost. The same tight shirt and pants that the singer usually favored during concerts. It was impossible to look at Asaki and completely ignore the fact that he was attractive. But now... like that...
Oh shit... I like him, don't I...
Tristan suppressed a groan, leaning against the wall and waiting for Asaki to finish adjusting the coat the way he'd be wearing it tonight. It was pointless trying to deny it now. And he'd fight it every step of the way.
"Put it on, boy. Let's see how it looks on you."
That was all Asaki had been waiting for. Taking the offered jacket from Tristan's hands, he let the hanger fall from his fingers and onto the couch, then slipped the garment on. His movements continued to be slow and careful, a strange reaction he was having to this entire situation without being entirely aware of it. It wasn't reverence... not exactly anyway... this was just a coat after all. Still, the shock had yet to wear off.
Damn him... The thought repeated itself incessantly within his head as the jacket was shrugged over his shoulders, only to fall about him perfectly. The inner fabric felt smooth and cool against his sleeveless arms... It would be great for when he was performing... It felt nearly weightless and hardly restricting. Despite how hot he got on stage, he doubted this would do anything to annoy or stifle him. And the lights... he could already imagine how they would be reflected in the sleek outer vinyl. Asaki enjoyed that particular material after fastening the gold clasp at his waist, drifting his fingertips across his chest, down his sides and over his arms. He was vaguely aware of Magira-san's gushing, alternately directing it toward his appearance and Tristan's skill, but he had tuned her out long ago.
The mirror in the room was long enough for him to see most of the jacket and his appreciation only doubled once he turned toward his reflection. The way it clung to his torso and cascaded in a ripple of fabric to the floor... God, why the hell couldn't it have been awful? At least then he would've known how to react. With this... now... he had no clue what to say or do without feeling absolutely idiotic. While thinking this, blue eyes shifted from the glass to the designer before he could stop them. His lips parted, but the thanks on his tongue was immediately swallowed before even a breath could escape. In addition to words, the odd feeling that had arisen when he caught Tristan's gaze on him was pushed far down as well. Nothing had changed. Nothing at all. In fact... Asaki hated him more for this. Yes, hate. There was no reason to look at him any differently, no matter how brief that moment might've been...
It was true however. As much as he tried to keep himself from acknowledging it, for once the Japanese singer had seen something new in Tristan when their eyes met. He wasn't just an intrusive, foreign bastard... He had talent. Suddenly, that ever present maturity and professionalism wasn't quite as irritating, and... What the hell am I thinking. It's just a fucking jacket!...
"I have to go." He stated flatly, abruptly. Undoing the clasp, he slid the jacket off and returned it to the hanger with surprising neatness. Laying it across the cushions of the couch, on top of the garment bag, he grabbed his own coat far less ceremoniously and hurriedly threw it on.
"You keep this until tonight." Whether Asaki was speaking to his manager or the Englishman was unclear for he looked at neither of them. Yes, escape seemed best right now... It really did. Besides, there were two people he still needed to meet with before the concert. However, on his way out the door, he glanced back over his shoulder, and fortunately, the faint grin he showed Tristan was more like a typical, arrogant smirk.
How could you make something this perfect for me...
"But... but Asaki-kun!" Magira's voice protested. "Norcross-san still has to fit it..."
No I don't, Tristan thought. I saw how it looked when Asaki put it on. It fit him perfectly. I designed it that way... just for Asaki... wait... why the hell am I calling him---------
Tristan realized, with horror, that it was his own voice that spoke the singer's name.
What he would have given to be able to retract the second it took for Tristan to say his name and replace it with his usual polite "Harada-san". But, no, what had to come out of his mouth was "Asaki." His first name. To do so implied familiarity, amongst other things. Oh God, Asaki would kill him for this later... He, of course, hadn't meant to say that. It had just sort of happened, much to his annoyance.
And, unfortunately for him, there was no way to take it back now.
He could feel Magira's eyes on him, watching him. He could picture them, wide with shock. Asaki's too, most likely. Attempting to act as though he hadn't said anything, he moved towards the jacket and put it back in the garment bag. "Well, it's obvious that I don't have to fit this. It fits you perfectly, as we've just seen. As I'm no longer needed... I'll drop the jacket off in your dressing room before the concert tonight, Harada-san. Where are we meeting, Magira-san?"
"The backstage door," Magira replied, noting that the Englishman wasn't meeting her gaze. "Norcross-san, is something wrong?"
"Nothing whatsoever," Tristan assured her, a false smile on his face.
He never would have thought the sound of his own name would cause such shock... that it would make him stop dead in his tracks and freeze. Nevertheless, that's exactly what happened. Asaki couldn't move from where he stood, halfway out the door, and was infinitely glad that his expression couldn't be seen. It shouldn't be such a big deal... but from Tristan... the polite and collected Englishman who always tacked on respect, no matter how annoyed he should be. To hear his first name from him... it absolutely stunned Asaki more than he could say. He simply continued to stand there, tense and silent, his hand on the door knob but the act of stepping past the frame seemingly forgotten.
The momentary, albeit heavy, silence was soon broken by the designer's next words, an attempt to recover that Asaki couldn't help but notice. While listening to the exchange between Magira and Tristan, a slow smirk pulled at his lips and his body relaxed. Such a small detail, but now that the surprise was wearing off, it amused him greatly. Asaki never turned around, preferring to picture a somewhat flustered Tristan, packing away the jacket and avoiding Magira's looks. Oh yes, he would remember this.
Although the hours that followed were exceedingly busy, they passed quickly. From the building where the so called fitting had taken place, Asaki drove a fair distance to another studio he used to use frequently before Magira-san came along. It was there that he had planned to meet, and practice, with Katai and Masaru... two very last minute changes to tonight's performance. Their appearance as backup dancers had been discussed yesterday with his fastidious manager only in the most vague manner... She would never agree otherwise, that was for sure. He had worked with them before, knew them well. They were perfect for the show he intended to put on for his fans... and for Tristan.