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Paid for the Rental

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Ukai leans against the wall outside of Takinoue's Bar and lights up. "Sweet nicotine," he mumbles under his breath. He puts the cigarette to his lips and inhales, watching the end glow orange in the night, ignoring the bar door swinging open and letting the noise from inside bleed out.

"I'm getting too old for this," the guy who just came outside says, bending over and putting his hands onto his knees.

"You okay?"

The guy waves one hand. "Fine, fine," he says, and straightens up again so Ukai can get a good look at him. He's about Ukai's age, plus or minus a couple of years, but he has that boyish befuddlement thing going that probably means people think he's way younger than he is. The giant glasses and messy hair don't help. The cute little drunk blush that spreads across his cheeks and nose probably doesn't help, either.

"You're a little dressed up for this place, aren't you?" Ukai says, gesturing with his cigarette.

Drunky looks down, like he forgot that he was wearing a tuxedo, and snorts. "My old college roommate got married today. Can you believe it?" He laughs, like people getting married is inherently ridiculous, which Ukai sort of agrees with.

"Is that a problem?" Ukai asks.

"He got married to a girl," the guy mumbles. Then he shakes his head. He gives Ukai a sheepish smile and shrugs. "Let's just say that I didn't see that one coming."

Ah, thinks Ukai as he takes another drag. It's one of those situations.

"I'm Takeda," drunk guy offers, reaching up to tug at the bowtie that's strangling his neck. He pulls until it hangs loose on either side of his shirt buttons and then undoes the top two of those, too. Ukai can see the collar of an undershirt peeking out from underneath, and he finds it ridiculously charming.

"Ukai," he says, even though he wants to ask Takeda if he always wears an undershirt like an old man or if it's just a formalwear thing. "So what brings you to Takinoue's? I know it's not the ambience, since it's a shithole. I'm just here because my friend owns the place, so I get free booze."

Takeda laughs again. "Well, shitholes are good places to get shitfaced, Ukai-kun."

"Excellent point," Ukai says, because it is. He stomps on his cigarette and walks over to Takeda, putting two fingers under his chin to lift it up. Takeda blinks at him with wide, dark eyes and that cute blush immediately deepens. Ukai smiles a little. "I have two ways to help you forget your troubles."

"Oh?" Takeda asks. He swallows and Ukai watches his throat bob up and down.

"One, we go back inside, and I get my good friend Takinoue to comp you until you're face down on the bar." Ukai leans in. "Or two, we get the hell out of here and go back to mine, so you can forget that college roommate of yours. It's not far."

"I don't –"

"Usually do that kind of thing?" Ukai interrupts. "Yeah, me either. No hard feelings if you say no." He shrugs like he doesn't care, even though he does.

Takeda glances at the door, then at Ukai. There's a flash of steely resolve in his eyes, and it surprises Ukai enough that a hot zip of anticipation races down his spine. The zip makes its way to all his extremities when Takeda goes up on his toes so he can press their mouths together, fast and promising.

"Let's go," Takeda says. He tugs at the lapels of his tuxedo jacket. "And let's make sure to mess this thing up. The groom paid for the rental."