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Red Vests

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“We,” Sako said, sucking in a breath and taking another sip of his drink. “We need more adults in this organization. You, myself, and Giran are not enough.”

“Is that so?” Kurogiri refilled the glass as Sako held it out. His sleeves were rolled to the elbows, the buttons undone giving it more of a messy appearance than the crisp, attractive look it should have been. “You don’t think that the young master and his associates can handle the work?”

“No, no. That’s not what I meant,” Sako said. He pointed at Kurogiri, sloshing a spoonful of liquid over the edge. It soaked into his glove and dripped on the counter. “I meant it’d be nice to have more like company. We could do with some more peers in our line of work.”

Sako sipped at his fourth glass of the evening, his eyes half lidded and body malleable in his intoxicated state as he leaned on the bar. Sako could hold his liquor, but he let him go easily tonight as he tended to do when only he and Kurogiri remained in the bar late at night.

“And here I thought you enjoyed these intimate talks,” Kurogiri said. He wiped up the droplets from the table with a rag, using his free hand to nudge Sako’s arm higher and out of the way to clean under it. “You always go on and on about wanting to have me all to yourself and now you’re asking for more company. Have you lost interest already?”

“If I have, it’s because I’m tired of waiting,” Sako said. He dropped his elbow on the counter, still sipping from his glass and still drunk. “A man has needs and you’ve made yourself very…very clear. You’re all flirting. No action.”

The man cleared his throat and finished off the glass. He slapped the cup on the counter and stared at it, mentally debating. Sako swayed as he leaned back and fell forward again, grabbing the counter.

“One more,” he said, pointing at the cup.

Kurogiri filled it with soda water and Sako watched the bubbles fizz before he shrugged and swallowed half the cup a large gulp. Kurogiri chuckled, his warp waving with the motion. “All flirting, am I?”

“Yes,” Sako said. He spoke over the lid of his cup, still surprisingly awake for someone at the limits of their liquor tolerance. “You’re a horrific flirt. You’ve been doing it all night but I know…I know you aren’t going anywhere with it. We’ve done this dance before.”

“How observant,” Kurogiri replied. He played with lid of the soda water bottle, twisting it back and forth as he leaned on the other side of the bar. “It hasn’t stopped you from flirting back before. What changed your opinion tonight?”

“You changed your outfit and it looks amazing,” Sako said, reaching over with his wet glove. He pinched the side of Kurogiri’s new vest and twisted the fabric. The red of his vest clashed against the darker shade of Sako’s glove. “I thought about how much I wanted to bend you over the counter while you wore it and then I remembered you’d never let me.”

Sako let go of the vest and dropped back into the bar stool. Kurogiri refilled his cup once more. He drank it, his throat still moving with every swallow.

“Maybe if there’s another person hanging around, you’ll stop being so damn distracting and I won’t keep going home disappointed,” Sako said. He set the glass against the side of his head, slumping onto the bar top. He tilted the glass until the leftover soda water spilled down his cheek. Too drunk to care or notice, he allowed it without blinking. “What made you pick red for the new vest?”

“To match the young master’s shoes,” Kurogiri answered. Sako put the glass on the counter, staring openly in disbelief. Kurogiri cleared his throat and replied, “In truth, it was a gift. Young Tomura picked it out so we would match and look more uniform as a unit. I believe he also bought Ms. Toga a ribbon for her hair and a jacket for Dabi in the same shade.

“I thought the gesture was rather considerate,” Kurogiri said. He brushed off the front of the vest. “I wanted to make sure and wear it to encourage his newfound interest in proper team bonding.”

Sako nodded and braced his hands flat on the bar top. He pushed up and stood, making his way to shaky legs.

“Well, that killed the mood,” Sako said. He sniffed and swayed as he took shaky steps to the small swinging door that led to the back of the bar. “I can’t think of you as sexy with that on now that I know where it comes from.”

Kurogiri leaned on the counter with one elbow, watching his companion fumble with the handle of the door. “I thought you’d given up on me.”

“I had too,” Sako said. He let out a soft “Success!” under his breath when he opened the latch and pushed the door open. “I need you to be sexy again, which means the vest has to go.”

Kurogiri stayed put, amused at his drunken friend.

Sako made it four steps before he pitched forward and passed out on the floor of the bar.

“Better luck next time,” Kurogiri said. “If you’d made it, I would have let you undo a few buttons.”

Sako breathed heavily on the floor, his mouth open and a line of drool forming.

He looked rather young.

Kurogiri stopped admiring the man and went to work. He stooped to gather the snoring man from under the arms and lifted. It took some effort, but he opened his warp enough to transport both himself and Sako to his room. Kurogiri dropped the man on his bed, pausing long enough to loosen the man’s tie and pull it off to set on the night stand.

Sako, still dead to the world, was unable to thank Kurogiri for his efforts.

Kurogiri left the sleeping drunk be and returned to his bar to clean up for the night. He hummed under his breath and made notes to tell Giran that he should continue to scout the young ones and find another red vest that matched Sako’s gloves.