After the wonderful karaoke night Kiryu shared with Majima and his friends, the two were definitely closer. Kiryu even decided that he would wake up a little earlier on the days where he had to work so he'd be in Kamurocho right when Omi Coffee opened. According to Majima, customers usually didn't start trickling into the little café until twenty or so minutes after they opened, so if Kiryu showed up early, the two men could hang out for a little while before Kiryu had to walk across the street to work. And the conversations between the two men were always the highlights of Kiryu's entire day.
They'd laugh about a shitty customer Majima had during his last shift. They'd discuss good movies that were playing and what's good on television and, occasionally, baseball. After a couple of days, during a discussion about their childhoods, Kiryu had opened up and shared a few tidbits about his past - a story about growing up in Sunflower Orphanage with Nishiki and being fostered by a soon-to-be-ex-yakuza member named Shintaro Kazama. Majima hadn't pressed for more information when Kiryu abruptly decided to change the subject and the younger man was glad he didn't. He didn't want to possibly change Majima's opinion of him.
Finally, on one particularly dreary, rainy morning, Kiryu walked into Omi Coffee with a goal.
"Ah, g'mornin', Kiryu-chan!" Majima chirped, waggling his fingers as a greeting. The silly gesture and comment distracted him for a moment, but Kiryu forced himself to steel his resolve. He had already psyched himself out two other mornings and he sure as shit wasn't going to let this happen a third time.
"Hey, so, um," Kiryu began. "I'm working late tonight, so you want me to meet you here after you finish your shift and we can go out to dinner? We had, uh, talked about that after the karaoke night and I was wondering if you, ya know, wanted that to still happen." The younger man felt as if his entire body was submerged in scalding fire.
He couldn't believe he actually asked Majima on a date. Well, Kiryu wanted it to be a date. Majima had never made a mention of a past boyfriend - as far as Kiryu remembered, he had only mentioned a few ex-girlfriends in their previous conversations. Kiryu's bisexuality was something he kept close to his chest, an identity he was proud of but was just scared to share with people he wasn't close to. His friendship with Majima was blooming and he wanted the one-eyed man to know his interest, but the thoughts of past disgusting remarks from ex-friends surfaced and realized that it was too much to risk for now.
"Oh, yeah, we can do that tonight, Kiryu-chan, I'd love ta. And I get off at seven since Nishida's scheduled to close the café tonight," Majima replied with a hint of a smile on his lips. Kiryu's eyes shot up from where they were laser-focused on staring at his shoes to look at Majima. The other man had said yes. It was actually happening.
"Great, that's great!" Kiryu managed to get out, trying to conceal his excitement. He was certain the excitement was apparent due to the fact that he was currently grinning from ear to ear, but Majima made no comment indicating he had noticed. The younger man cleared his throat and prayed he didn't come off as creepy. "I'll make my way over here when I'm done working for the day. Oh, and, uh, I'll take my usual order to go now."
Majima gave a toothy grin and turned his back to Kiryu to make his usual latte.
A few minutes later, Majima was handing Kiryu his drink and the younger man headed to work across the street. He had to contain his excitement for the upcoming evening for fear of looking unprofessional or mentally deranged, but Kiryu was finding that very hard. He took a gulp of his already-coolling latte as he exited the elevator and made his way into the office he shared with Oda-san. And the second Kiryu arrived, Oda could sense that something was up.
"What's gotten into you today, Kiryu-san?" the older man asked, giving Kiryu a look from where he was typing something into his computer. "Did you get laid last night or something? Or is your coffee just particularly good today?" Kiryu chuckled and sat down at his own desk before pulling out some files he was going to look over.
"I have - uh - something planned for after work tonight, let's just keep it at that," the younger man said. Kiryu turned his attention down to the papers sprawling over his desk, but Oda was now looking at him with interest. The older man had turned away from his computer to stare at him with a smug smirk on his face. Kiryu was hoping that if he ignored his superior, he'd leave it be, but there was no chance on earth that that was going to happen. Which is why Kiryu wasn not surprised in the least when Oda piped back up from across the room.
"Let me guess, you have a date tonight. Either that, or you're getting laid immediately after your shift."
Kiryu felt his cheeks turn bright pink as he stared the older man down. Oda just wasn't going to leave it alone. Fortunately, Oda knew about Kiryu's sexuality (hell, learning that both him and Tachibana were gay and were madly in love with each other under their professional working relationship was a big factor into why he felt comfortable sharing the detail), and he could say he was going out with a guy.
"Look, let's just say that I'm going out on a platonic date with a person I'm interested in tonight. You fuckin' happy now?" Kiryu sighed, hoping that that was enough to sate the other man for the time being. Just barely in his field of view, Kiryu could see Oda nod and turn his attention back to his computer.
"If it's the cute barista I know you've been talking to, tell him I say hello," Oda said smoothly. Kiryu almost spit the sip of coffee he had taken all over his desk as Oda doubled over in laughter. As Kiryu wiped his mouth to clean up the slight amount of his latte that escaped past his lips, Oda turned to him with the smuggest grin of all time. "Alright, that's all I got for the day. Now, get to work."
Kiryu more than happily returned to poring over files and checking his email.
The rest of the day was dull and uneventful and it hadn't gone fast enough in Kiryu's mind. Not to mention, it was still overcast and rainy as morning slowly turned to afternoon, so the dreary Kamurocho sky wasn't helping if not making it much worse. It was a slog to try and stay focused all day, Kiryu's mind filled to the brim with thoughts of the impending "date". He was able to keep his own anxious tendencies in check for the most part, but he couldn't help the fact that every once in a while, it was like a shadow snuck up on his and whispered in his ear that the date was going to go horribly wrong and he would have to stop going into Omi Coffee every morning. It was those thoughts that were crushing Kiryu's psyche and making him consider telling Majima he got sick and they'd reschedule for next week.
But that thought never made its way out of Kiryu's brain because, as soon as Tachibana said it was okay to leave for the day, he was striding out of the office and across the street to meet up with the handsome one-eyed barista.
When Kiryu opened the door to the small coffee shop, his nose was filled with the smell of baked pastries and freshly-brewed espresso. The smell was like an enchantment to his mind, all of his anxiousness and trepidation melting away. Kiryu walked towards the front counter just in time to catch a glimpse of Majima hurrying to the front of the store with a tray of croissants.
"Oh! Kiryu-chan!" Majima said, breathlessly. "I didn't realize ya'd be early." Kiryu felt heat rise to his face. It wasn't a lie that he had left work a little earlier than he'd usually do just so he wouldn't be late for tonight, but he suddenly felt really terrible for coming so soon since Majima looked not able to leave yet at all. The younger man watched as Majima set the croissants onto the little shelf they were stored on next the counter and then hurried back to the kitchen area of the café. Several minutes later, the one-eyed man was back to the front of the café, but this time he wasn't wearing his apron and he was in a snakeskin jacket. As Kiryu eyed him, his heart started to beat a little faster. This was actually happening. And Majima looked even hotter than usual, if that was even possible.
"You, uh, ready to head out?" Majima asked, shoving his hands into the pockets of his pants that looked way too tight to be comfortable. Just as he moved to step out from behind the counter and head out, the bell over the door to the shop rang out, indicating someone had come into the café. Kiryu watched Majima's face pale and his body tense up. The younger man turned around and found himself looking at an older, gray-haired gentleman in a brown pinstripe suit. The man looked Kiryu up and down and then moved past him towards Majima.
"So, you have plans tonight?" the man questioned. "Heh. Didn't know you even had friends." Majima ducked his head down and started to walk by him but the man shoved Majima back with a push to his right shoulder. The one-eyed man stumbled back a bit, caught by surprise, and Kiryu hesitated. He was ready to drag this asshole outside and give him a piece of his mind for being rude to Majima.
"Sagawa-han, this is one of the few nights I don't have ta close, alright? I took care of everythin' and Nishida's capable of closin' up," Majima said quietly. Kiryu almost couldn't believe the complete change in personality his companion had, but he knew it had something to do with whoever this guy, this man named Sagawa, was. The older man was quiet for a few minutes before placing a hand on Majima's arm.
"Alright, fine, I'll see ya tomorrow," Sagawa sighed. "Go have fun doing whatever you're doin' with your...friend here." Kiryu's blood boiled in his veins. Watching Majima get shit on by this guy was pissing him off and his desire to give this guy a swift ass-kicking increased tenfold. Just as Kiryu was about to make a remark about how this guy should watch himself or else, Majima gave Kiryu a look as if trying to tell him to not get involved, to not say anything. The younger man kept his seething anger in check just long enough for Majima to nervously adjust his jacket and step out from behind the front counter of the coffee shop.
"Well, if that's it, let's get outta here, Kiryu-chan," Majima said through gritted teeth. The one-eyed man walked briskly to the entrance to the café and stepped outside without even giving either of the men another glance. Kiryu shot the older man a glare and then turned and followed Majima out of the little café.
Majima couldn't believe his luck.
Sagawa dropped in on the one night Majima had prayed that he wouldn't. He wanted to scream or throw a fit or pull out a knife from the back kitchen and stab Sagawa until he was reduced to nothing more than sliced flesh and a puddle of blood on the café floor. But, somehow, he was more mortified than angry. Kiryu just had to be there to make everything worse. Majima had been trying to portray himself as a strong, confident guy, but, in that moment, he had been reduced to a weak and pathetic pile of flesh and bone and sinew. It was enough to make him want to be sick.
Majima walked alongside Kiryu in complete silence. The only time either one of them said anything on the entire fifteen minute walk was for Kiryu to say that he wanted to take the long-haired man to the popular izakaya called Yoronotaki Kamurocho for dinner. Majima had just nodded and made a grunt of approval before falling into step with the younger man. His mood had been more than a little ruined, even though he was happy about going out to dinner with Kiryu.
Finally, the two men arrived at Yoronotaki and got a table. The little restaurant was mostly empty save for an older man finishing up a glass of beer and a happy-looking young couple sharing a platter of sashimi. A few more awkward minutes of silence passed between Kiryu and Majima before the waiter came over and asked for their drink orders.
"I'll get your signature drink, the Bakuhai," Kiryu replied. "What d'you want, Majima?" It took a few seconds to process Kiryu had said something and their waiter was staring at him in anticipation of his order.
"Uh, I'll just, uh, have what he's having," the one-eyed man muttered, fidgeting with the end of his jacket. The waiter hurried off to get the drinks and it was finally time that Majima said something about what happened back at the café and apologized about how he'd been acting so far. But, apparently, Kiryu had somehow read his mind.
"Majima, you can talk to me about what's going on, y'know. I'm not gonna judge you, I swear. Besides, you have a right to be mad at that asshole. He's a fuckin' jerk. Just...don't let him ruin our night together, okay?"
The tension and anger Majima had been feeling ever since he was face-to-face with Sagawa melted away and was replaced by an even bigger crush on Kiryu. He suddenly felt like the biggest douchebag in the world for being angry and upset and letting Sagawa get in the way of what should be a nice evening. The waiter returned with the two drinks and then took their food order. Kiryu had asked for a recommendation on what to get and the young waiter had suggested to get two plates of sharable skewers and sashimi, since those dishes were two of the most popular things they sell.
"You cool with that, Majima-san?" Kiryu inquired. Majima nodded and took a sip of the drink he'd ordered. Its status of being the signature drink of Yoronotaki was definitely warranted - the cocktail was refreshing and helped the older man relax and let his feelings toward his boss slip out of his head. As soon as the waiter had walked off, Majima decided to pipe up.
"Look, long story short, that guy was my boss. He's an asshole. I'm only workin' at the café ta pay him back the money I owe. He...helped me out of a tight spot," Majima rattled off. He took a long swig of his drink before he continued. He didn't want to scare Kiryu away, but now was as good as a time as any to lay everything out and let the younger man know what he was dealing with if he was truly interested in being his friend. "A guy who's like a brother ta me got in some trouble. Shot up a known yakuza hangout an' killed more than a dozen guys. I was gonna help him but...I chickened out. He didn't sell me out ta police when he got caught, but the yakuza traced me back to him. Some dude fucked up my eye as revenge. They would have done worse, but my boss, Sagawa, heard my story through tha yakuza grape vine thanks to his close associate an' they rescued me. Paid off tha yakuza after me to leave me alone. In exchange, I'd work fer them to pay off my debt. Which is how I ended up at one of Sagawa an' Shimano's business ventures...which is Omi Coffee." Majima reached up and touched his eyepatch gently when he was all done, remembering the pain of losing his eye. The soft silk material of the patch underneath his fingers was akin to a constant, bitter reminder.
By the time Majima had finished, the waiter had brought their food, but neither man touched it. The information hung in the air, the tension so thick it could have been cut with a blade. When a minute had passed and Kiryu was still looking at Majima with a look of surprise on his face, Majima felt like he was going to be sick. He had royally fucked up. Just when the long-haired man was about to apologize and say that he had to leave, Kiryu spoke up.
"Majima-san, we all have our own shit from our past, it's okay," Kiryu said, reaching across the table and touching Majima's hand. "I'm...really glad you told me that. Thanks for trusting me. And I swear that nothing changes my feelings towards you."
The younger man's hand was warm and the touch comforted Majima more than he could put into words. Not to mention hearing Kiryu use the phrase of "my feelings towards you" made Majima's heart flutter wildly. He had denied the feelings inside of him for so long, but Majima had fallen head over heels for Kiryu. He wasn't even sure how it happened. He had never expected that his shitty coffee shop job that he got only to pay his debt to meet someone he was really into.
When all was said and done, Majima and Kiryu finally dug into their dinner and it was as delicious as Majima had hoped for. The two talked and drank and laughed and had a great time. After a while, the confrontation with Sagawa from earlier was a distant memory.
Finally, the two men decided to head out and go their separate ways for the night. The two men chatted about anything and everything as Majima walked Kiryu back to the Hotel District after the younger man explained that he takes a taxi to get to his apartment on the outskirts of town. They got to the sidewalk next to the car and Kiryu and Majima turned to face each other.
"I had a lot of fun tonight," Kiryu said with a grin. Majima blushed a little and looked away for a second. Internally, he was freaking out a little bit. Hearing Kiryu say that he had a good time made him feel really happy. It was enough to make him feel ready to short-circuit. The way Kiryu was looking at him, the way he smelled of cologne and cigarette smoke and alcohol, the small smile on Kiryu's perfect-looking lips - all of it together was more intoxicating than the alcohol from earlier could ever make him feel.
Suddenly, on a complete whim and praying to any deity that would listen that this wasn't going to be a massive mistake and he was about to ruin everything, Majima leaned forward and gave Kiryu a chaste kiss on the lips. The older man felt Kiryu stiffen and was about to back off, but Kiryu melted into it and reached out to take Majima's hand in his. The two kissed and Kiryu's thumb absentmindedly was brushing over Majima's knuckles as they did. Majima felt like an entire century had passed before they broke apart. As much as the older man wanted to go in for another kiss or spill his feelings, he felt like it was all too soon. The night had been better than he had hoped and, in the back of his mind, he was hesitant and anxious that Kiryu was just leading him on. It had, unfortunately, happened to Majima before and he wasn't ready for it to happen again.
"I - uh - I'll see ya around then, Kiryu-chan," Majima sputtered out. Kiryu gave him a smile and nodded as he got into the taxi and sped off into the night. The long-haired man reached his hand up and touched his lips as his heart beated wildly against his ribcage. His lips felt a phantom sensation, like Kiryu was still in front of him and kissing him back. He carried the feeling all the way back through town to get home and even as he changed out of his clothes and got ready to go to sleep.
Even as he was sprawled out in bed, staring at the ceiling back in his apartment, he knew he was hooked and there wasn't a damn thing he could do about those feelings.