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Hardworking Photographer Takaba Akihito's Debut

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Takaba had been hearing about the event for a few months now; a fancy party for the grand opening of the new art museum. The growing guest list was in the news almost everyday whenever they got word of yet another big celebrity that was supposed to be in attendance. Besides famous artists, there were going to be actors, directors, authors, and musicians coming from all around the world.

All the publicity caused a fever among the people in the city. Takaba was out drinking with his friends as they listened in on the conversations around them.

"Wow did you hear that actress from 'The Merry Café Maid' is supposed to be there?"

"Yeah, and the guy that owns the special effects company that worked on all those science fiction movies!"

"And the lead singer from that rock band, 'Disquietous'!"

Takato turned to Takaba. "Akihito... is it possible that you can get in with your journalist credentials?"

"Unless you're celebrity reporter from a major news outlet, journalists aren't getting in." Takaba took a drink from his mug of beer. "However, I'm getting a pass to stand in an area alongside the red carpet."

"Wow! You lucky dog!" Kou exclaimed with envy.

The truth was that Takaba didn't have the pass just yet. Mitarai also wanted to cover the event, but only one pass had been allotted to the newspaper. Luckily, Takaba had been regularly scooping his own colleague, so he was certain he'd be the one to get it.

Unfortunately his editor, Shinotake, made the decision to give the pass to Mitarai.

"But I've been getting all those great stories for you lately! Why wouldn't you give this to me!?" Takaba protested vehemently to the editor.

Mitarai put his arm around Takaba's shoulders and smirked, "Well, it could be because I have such good connections. I know that famous TV newsperson from the 9:00 Morning Show. He says once I clear security, he can get me into the actual press box."

And just like that, Takaba's dreams of rubbing elbows with celebrities (or rather, close enough- should they trip on the carpet and stumble into the crowd barriers) dissipated into "what could have been".

. . . . .

Asami had been missing dinner more nights than not in the past month. Not only did this seem to be the season for fancy grand openings, but there had also been quite a few high-profile business related functions around Tokyo lately. Takaba felt dejected watching Asami dress up and go out for the evening, leaving him home alone.

What am I thinking... that I'd WANT to go with him? All those old businessmen discussing investments and profits or something like that. It would be boring as hell. I'd rather slit my own throat than attend something like that!

Still, with Asami going out all the time and Mitarai stealing his dream assignment away from him, Takaba had been feeling depressed. Although he tried to hide it, Asami-- with his keen sense of observation-- picked up on it immediately. They were having breakfast one morning when Asami casually brought the subject up.

"Something bothering you lately? You don't seem your usual perky self."

"Nothing's bothering me!" Takaba snapped at him. "You're imagining things."

Asami gave him such a sharp look that it caused Takaba to cringe. "I lost out on a job I really wanted... to a co-worker. It's actually... really nothing."

"Nothing, eh? From the way you've been acting, it seems as if it was something big. I could help eliminate your troublesome problem for you if it bothers you that much."

"What do you mean eliminate... OH NO! DO NOT get involved in my working life! Eliminate... geez! I can handle this all by myself, got it!?"

"If that's what you wish."

"Eliminate...!" Takaba shuddered. "I hope that didn't mean what I thought meant. PROMISE ME you won't do ANYTHING!"

"Calm down. It was merely a suggestion." Asami picked up the newspaper and began to read. "I have no intentions of interfering if it bothers you that much."

. . . . .

Asami called to let him know he was going to be coming home earlier than normal for dinner. As he had been working late during the past few weeks, Takaba was actually looking forward to spending time with Asami.

Then it occurred to him that Asami was probably coming home early just because he was horny.

Takaba felt unusually resentful. Yeah, he only spends time with me when it suits HIM.

Then Takaba realized he was acting just like an old bitter housewife.

Why am I thinking like that? It's been a while, since we did... that.

Takaba's body began to feel warm and tingly just thinking about it. I'm making too big of a deal out of this. He has been working long hours lately... maybe he just feels like taking some time off. I should do something nice for him then... maybe fix him his favorite dishes.

Takaba labored in the kitchen all afternoon preparing dinner, and then he thought since he was serving such a nice meal he should make the table look special as well. After he finished setting the table, he showered and then started a hot bath for Asami for when he got home. When he looked again at the table, he was mortified at the way it appeared.

He had set it up with flowers, candles, and dimmed lights as if for a romantic evening. He suddenly panicked.

Too obvious!

Just as he was about to get rid of the candles and turn the lights back up, Asami walked through the door.

"W-welcome home," Takaba stammered, embarrassed.

Asami put his briefcase down and glanced quickly over at Takaba who was standing next to the table. "That looks nice."

Asami walked straight over to the sideboard. He poured some bourbon into a glass and then drank deeply. He put the empty glass down and walked over to the couch. Takaba watched as Asami removed his coat, draping it neatly over the couch, and then removed his tie and unbuttoned the collar of his shirt. He collapsed on the couch, leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

He didn't even bat an eye at the romantic setting, Takaba thought. Takaba felt a slight twinge of disappointment that Asami didn't come in and attack him at once. He looked totally exhausted.

"You look beat. Busy day?"

"Very. I've had to attend far too many business functions lately. It's getting tiresome." Asami opened his eyes and looked at him. "By the way, there's another I have to attend on Saturday evening." He reached for the suit coat that was draped next to him and pulled out an envelope from the inner pocket. He leaned forward and tossed it on the table. "I can bring along a guest, if you're interested. It will probably be boring for you, but the dinner is likely to be good. Supposedly it's being prepared by a well-known European-trained chef."

Takaba was pleasantly surprised by Asami's rare invitation, but then he remembered how he'd rather slit his throat than spend the evening in the company of a bunch of dull old businessmen. "Yeah, I'd be bored. Thanks, but no thanks."

"I don't blame you." Asami leaned his head back again. "Let me know if you change your mind before tomorrow afternoon. I have to send them an RSVP."

"Sure..." Takaba answered, frowning worriedly. It was highly unusual to see Asami showing such obvious signs of fatigue. "You look like you're going to fall asleep before dinner. There's a hot bath waiting for you. Why don't you go relax while I finish cooking dinner?"

Without saying a word, Asami got up and walked slowly toward the bathroom.

Now Takaba was really depressed. It wasn't looking good at all for sex tonight, AND Asami was going to be gone again this weekend. Takaba returned to the kitchen and finished fixing dinner. He plated it artfully, and set everything on the table. He sat down to wait for Asami. He seemed to be taking a long time in the bath.

He looked so tired... I wonder if he fell asleep in there? Maybe I should check on him... ah, this definitely means no sex tonight! And he's going to be gone again this weekend to some stupid function. The same night as the damned art museum grand opening.

The same night...?

Takaba got up and walked over to the table where Asami had left the envelope. He picked it up, opened it and pulled out a beautifully decorated red and gold invitation card.

Mai Art Museum Grand Opening, 26 July.

He felt a strong pair of arms snake around his waist from behind, and then Asami's heated breath and lips up brushed up against the back of his neck. "Change your mind, yet?"

Takaba felt a strange thrill of excitement. He couldn't tell whether it was from discovery of the museum invitation, or the fact that he knew this sexy man who was embracing him from behind was wearing nothing but a towel.

"How... how did you know?"

"I have my ways."

He felt Asami nip him lightly on back of his neck and then Asami's warm hands slid under his shirt to caress his chest. His fingers located and lightly pinched his nipple. Takaba gasped. "Dinner... "

His other hand slid down to the waistband of Takaba's pants and then slipped inside them. "Later," Asami replied, in a low husky voice.

Takaba felt the warm hand grasp his growing erection and then slowly begin to stroke it.

Takaba moaned softly and then sighed. "I though you were tired."

Takaba relaxed his body so he was leaning into Asami. He felt a delicious hardness press up against him.

"No, not at all..."

. . . . .

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All characters from the Viewfinder Series are the property of Yamane Ayano or that of her publishers/subsidiaries. No profit is made from this fanfiction.