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The Mystery Man

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Nino could clearly see the differences in Sho after he came back from the holiday. He wondered if being on a cruise would have an enormous effect on a man. He was happy to know that his friend was happy but he couldn’t help being curious about the reason for it. From his office, he could see that Sho was packing up his things and was ready to leave the office. Nino glanced at his clock. 5.00 o’clock. Sho never left the office early. Usually, he would be the last person to leave. Nino casually got up from his office and walked to the hallway.

“Eh, you’re leaving already, Sho-chan?”

“Ah - yes! Thanks for the hard work!” Sho said as he walked quickly to the elevator and left. Nino tilted his head and thinking about the possible things that would make Sho left the office at exactly five o’clock.

“Nino, is Sho-kun here? I need him to sign something” Toma asked.

“You missed him. He just left”

“Eh? It’s rare for him to leave so early”

“He seems different lately” Nino mumbled. Toma looked at him - eyes wide.

“You notice it too?”

Nino nodded. “Only blind people won’t notice it. It was so obvious!”

**************************

Jun sat on the couch and gave Sho one of the can beers that he had taken from the fridge. Their eyes were fixed on the television screen - watching a movie.

“I’m going to Okinawa for a conference this weekend. We need to reschedule the date. Sorry”

Jun patted Sho’s hand and smiled.

“It’s okay. Work comes first. Besides, I don’t want people to accuse me as the reason you ditching your work”

“So, you do aware of yourself being a distraction?” Sho asked huskily. He put the beer on the coffee table and pulled Jun towards him - brushing their lips together.

“I’m fully aware of my own potential”

Jun bit Sho’s lips playfully as he pushed him to lie down.

*******************************

Nino looked at Sho whose eyes’ fixated on his phone and he could clearly see the smile on his friend’s face. He strode towards Sho and sat beside him.

“What do you think about the talk?”

“Good. You know, I’ve been thinking that maybe we should continue with the project that Toma suggested before”

“Which one?”

“The one about giving back to the society. We should proceed with it. Maybe we could go to some orphanages and doing some volunteer works”

“Sure. It’ll give a boost in our company’s image too. Oh, by the way, Sho-chan - did people tell you that you seem different?”

Sho frowned and then chuckled.

“Me? Different?”

Nino nodded. “At first, I was thinking that you’ve been possessed by some sea’s ghost. Especially when you kept on leaving the office early”

Sho laughed. “Nonsense!”

******************************

Jun listened to Nino’s rumbling about how Sho was being different and tried his best to maintain a neutral expression.

“Why is it so weird for him to leave the office early? I’m sure that he has some social life too”

Nino wailed in despair when he heard Jun’s words as if Jun was saying something outrageous. Jun rolled his eyes as he took ate some monjayaki.

“You obviously don’t know Sakurai Sho”

Jun want to retort at the statement but decided to just shut up and listened.

“I told you, right? That Sho-chan is a working robot. His life revolves around his works. Sakurai Sho does not have social life. His social life is the corporate parties - where he needs to show his face there. Besides that, he usually stays in his office”

“Then, isn’t it good that he looks like he has a social life now and not being a working robot anymore?”

“Well - technically he still is a working robot. I found him sleeping in his office when I got into the office this morning. He was staying over because of some video conference with client in America. To answer your question, I am happy with the changes”

“So, what’s the problem?”

“It’s because I want to know the reason behind it! Ninomiya Kazunari knows everything and I am dying to know what makes Sho-chan changed!”

“Ask him”

Nino rolled his eyes. “Do you think it is easy? I asked him and he just laughed at me”

********************************

Jun told Sho about Nino when they were having their lunch date on Sunday. Sho thought about it and chuckled when he finally admitted that perhaps he changed in a certain ways.

“I can’t believe that Nino was bothered with such trivia thing”

Jun chuckled. “He must be shocked when he knew that we’re together”

Sho cut a piece of his steak and shove it into his mouth. “You know - it’s kind of weird that he didn’t have any idea that we’re together. I mean - he knew that you were on the cruise too”

“Maybe he doesn’t know that you’re a dangerous man who likes to seduce other man on a cruise trip” Jun teased. Sho raised his eyebrows.

“Are you talking about yourself? Because as far as I remember - you’re the one who kissed me first”

“I did and I don’t regret it” Jun said nonchalantly. Sho laughed.

*******************************

Toma was shocked when he heard Sho’s voice. He looked around the cinema and tried his best to strain his eyes in the dark - searching for the owner of it. His eyes stopped when he saw a figure walking to his seat - two rows below Toma’s. He couldn’t properly see the face but from the silhouette and the sloping shoulders, Toma was sure that it was Sho. He was about to send a mail to Sho - informing him that they were in the same cinema when he saw Sho tilted his head - whispering something to the person beside him. Toma quickly typed a mail and sent it to Nino.

To: Nino
From: Toma
Subject: Sho-kun’s mystery
I saw Sho-kun in the cinema, acting intimately with a man.

Within seconds, he got a reply from Nino.

To: Toma
From: Nino
Subject: Re:Sho-kun’s mystery
That does explain the changes. Get me a picture!

To: Nino
From: Toma
Subject: Re:Re:Sho-kun’s mystery
Later. The movie’s going to start.

Toma couldn’t focus on the movie. He kept on observing Sho and the mystery man below. Once the movie finished, his sight was being covered by the people who were leaving the cinema. Toma tried to catch up with Sho as he pushed through people. He could see Sho from afar and took a picture of him and his boyfriend. Sadly, he could only get a picture of their backs.

*****************************

Nino and Toma stared at the picture of Sho and his boyfriend that Toma had taken. They met a dead end while trying to ponder about the man’s identity.

“Why are we so curious about this man? We don’t even know him!” Toma muttered under his breath.

“Because he manages to change Sho-chan from a robot to a human” Nino stated as it was the obvious thing. Toma sighed and nodded in understanding. He wondered why Sho never told them about it. They’ve known each other for years and they told each other about everything.

“God! This is making me crazy! I just go and ask him about it!” Nino said as he got up abruptly from his seat.

“He’s gone already. Exactly at five o’clock”

Nino clicked his tongue in annoyance. It was like a routine for Sho to leave the office at five o’clock sharp every Wednesday. Toma stared at the picture. There’s something about it that seemed familiar but he couldn’t grasp.

“Hey, Nino. Don’t you have a date today?” Toma asked - pointed at the clock.

“Shit! I’m late!”

Nino ran out from the office after taking all his belonging. Toma chuckled as he left Nino’s office and headed to his own office to pack his things before going home.

********************************

Jun clicked his tongue when he heard the continuous doorbell. He stirred the tomato sauce and turned off the heat before he went to get the door.

“Nino” he said coldly when he opened it.

“God, what took you so long? I need to pee!” he yelled as he pushed Jun and ran towards the toilet before Jun managed to stop him.

“Ahhhhh!!!!”

Jun let out a sigh when he heard the scream and saw that Sho being pulled out from the toilet - clad in nothing.

“Let me pee first and then you guys have some explanations to do!” Nino yelled. Jun rolled his eyes as he went and to take a towel and a bathrobe for Sho.

****************************

Nino stared at Sho - now clad in a bathrobe and was sitting beside Jun on the couch with a guilty expression. He then shifted his stare towards Jun who was playing with his fingers.

“I guess that if I didn’t stop by to pee, I wouldn’t know about this”

“I guess it’s your lucky day, today” Sho muttered. Nino rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, my lucky day. I’m so lucky to see you naked” Nino said mockingly. Sho pouted with beet red cheeks.

“I guess you’re the mysterious guy who Toma saw at the cinema last week. I can’t believe that you kept this a secret! Especially you!” Nino pointed at Jun.

“How long have you’ve been together?”

“Ever since the cruise” Jun mumbled. Nino wailed in despair.

“That long and nobody told me about it!”

“You know - you should figure about it since you do know that Jun was there on the cruise too” Sho mumbled. Nino rolled his eyes.

“I’m not some psychic! How should I know that you’re going to fuck my best friend? Ugh, I think it’s my lucky day indeed. It would’ve been worse if I walked into the house and find both of you fucking each other”

“Nino!” Jun hissed warningly. His face was red. Nino pouted as he crossed his arms.

“As a friend, I was hurt that you guys kept it a secret from me and Toma”

“We’re sorry, okay? We just thought that it would be better to keep it as a secret first. Besides, we thought that you would figure it out sooner or later”

“I’m hurt and there’s nothing that could heal it. I thought we’re friend”

“God, Nino! It such a trivial matter! What should we do to make you forgive us?”

Nino tried to hide his smirk that was threatening to show itself.

“Well, there’s a custom made trump card that I always wan -“

“We’ll buy it for you!” Sho said before Jun managed to stop him. Jun groaned when he could see Nino’s wide smile. Nino threw himself to Sho and kissed his cheek.

“Aww, thank you, Sho-chan! You’re such a nice friend!”

When he was about to kiss Sho again, Jun peeled him off Sho and stood between them.

“Now that he promised you to buy the card and you know about us, I would be happy if you stop being overly friendly with my boyfriend” he huffed. Nino chuckled.

“Aww, princess Jun is jealous! Don’t worry! I won’t take your boyfriend. He’s boring!” Nino said and took his coat. He walked to the door and opened it.

“I’ll be waiting for the trump card, guys!”

He gave them his trademark salutation and left.