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Don't Ask

Chapter Text

Naru

Mai arrived late again.

Oliver Davis, aka Kazuya Shibuya, aka Naru, bit back his irritation when the girl finally walked through the office door, instead finishing the tea he’d made for himself. “Why are you late this time, Mai? Surely even someone as dumb as you is still capable of punctuality.”

He still expected her to get mad—to react. But instead, she just said, “Sorry. It won’t happen again,” and headed over to her desk, her face betraying none of the anger he was accustomed to. Because that was how things had been since the Agawa case.

To put it mildly, he didn’t understand.

Was he supposed to ask her what was wrong? Ignore it and go about business as usual? Apologize? Or was she finally getting sick of him? He’d been asking himself the same questions for weeks, and had still come up with nothing. Mai gave no hints, and he kept his distance, still hoping to remind her of Gene as little as possible, and keep his own troublesome emotions further out of the equation.

Mai started on paperwork without so much as a sigh.

Frowning, Oliver returned to his office, puzzled as ever.

It had been a while since she’d gotten angry at him. But she didn’t exactly seem happy, either. Her behavior was outside her normal parameters, and therefore suspect. Yet he had no idea how to proceed.

They seemed to have some sort of unspoken understanding, even though he’d never understood the terms of it. Neither of them had mentioned anything concerning her mistaken confession, and lately had been making sure they were never alone together for more than a few seconds. On the rare attempts he tried to tease her, she responded with apathy.

To say the least, he didn’t like this arrangement. It felt odd for the girl to be so quiet. He almost wanted her to call him a “damned narcissist,” as usual. That would have been familiar territory.

Sinking into his desk chair, he glared at the files opened on his monitor. Familiar territory? That was a joke. There’d been a shortage of that since she’d told him Gene was appearing in her dreams.

His smile was really pretty, she’d said.

Feeling the familiar twist in his stomach, Oliver forced his mind back on to his work. He wasn’t going to think about that.

A few minutes passed before the front door opened, and he heard the monk and the miko’s inane babble as they walked in, treating the place like a cafe, as usual.

Oliver continued typing, though with gritted teeth.

“How’d the date, go, Mai?” Takigawa’s words made Oliver’s hands freeze on his keyboard.

“It went well,” Mai’s cheerful voice said, as if nothing had been wrong to begin with. “Shinji’s really nice.”

Oh. That was how things stood.

Really, he should have expected that. He didn’t own her, after all. She could do whatever she chose. It was none of his business, and he had no right to feel hurt. Because there was no plausible way any girl would want him, once she saw past his face.

And that didn’t hurt, he told himself. It was merely a fact he knew very well.

“When do we get to meet him?” Matsuzaki said, as Oliver tried to block their voices out.

“He’s coming to pick me up after work today.”

Of course he was.