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New Lap Dog

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     Sagawa peered down at the man before him, an eyebrow raised.

     “So, this is my new lap dog?” He questioned, taking a deep drag from his cigarette. “I’m not a miracle worker, kyodai,” he continued, shifting his attention to Shimano. He knew he had his work cut out for him, the man’s left eye, or, what remained of it, was completely trashed. Dried blood clung to various parts of his body. It was evident they had cleaned him up somewhat, tossing a filthy towel over him in the meantime, likely to cover up the extent of the damage, rather than for the man’s personal comfort.  

     “I’m not asking you to fix him up, do whatever you want with him. You’ll figure something out, won’t you?” The larger man asked, both ignoring the too-thin man that sat on the floor.

     “Ah, I guess,” he nodded, allowing the cigarette to fall to the ground, stepping it out. “I’ll take good care of you, Majima-chan,” Sagawa assured him, a smirk spreading across his face, his eyes meeting the man’s remaining one.

 


   

     Getting the man to his apartment was easy enough, he seemed to follow orders, although, they were simple orders. Get in the car. Put on your seat belt. Although he wasn’t a talkative man, Sagawa didn’t mind for now. He was sure the guy had been through absolute Hell this past year trapped down there. He was certainly a broken man, and it would take a lot of work to even get him to resemble a civilian, although the glimpse of the man’s tattoos across his chest earlier proved it may be a hard task at times.

     “I’ll get some clothes for you after you bathe,” he said, as if he was speaking to no one. With how quiet the man in the passenger seat was, he practically was. Majima nodded, proving he was at least listening. They may have cleaned him up, but, he was still absolutely filthy.  

     A whole year in the hole. And this scrawny kid pulled through? Seemed like Shimano didn’t exactly go easy on him. I have my work cut out for me, if I intend on putting him to any form of work. Otherwise, he’ll be a pencil pusher at the office.

 


 

     “Welcome to your new home, Majima-chan,” Sagawa smiled, unclasping his seat belt and getting out of the car, watching the other man slowly do the same. He didn’t seem to have much energy, and seemed absolutely exhausted, then again, when you’re forced into the same few positions for a year, and likely hardly fed, it would sap all ones energy just to try to stand up. His legs wobbled a bit, leaning against the side of the car for support.  “Let’s get you cleaned up, then, I’ll get you something to eat,” he continued, unlocking and pushing open the front door, watching Majima slowly enter.

     The pants they put him in seemed several sizes too large, although, for all he knew, they could have been the size he worn before all this went down. A large bandage covered his left eye, held there with medical tape. The button down dress shirt they gave him was easily a men’s large, when he clearly needed a small. The sleeves were rolled up slightly so he could use his hands, and his shirt wasn’t tucked in, hanging awkwardly over the black slacks. Overall the guy just looks awkward and out of place.

     The door clasped shut between them, Majima glancing around, hanging out close to the door, trying not to get in the other man’s way, leaning against a wall for support, legs threatening to buckle underneath him.  

     “Home, sweet home,” Sagawa huffed, tossing the car keys onto the coffee table that stood in front of the couch, slipping off his shoes, watching Majima mimic his actions. They were scuffed up, but looked like they weren’t in too bad of condition. He would still need a new pair after a while, but, they would get him through for now. Wasn’t like he was going to be going anywhere for awhile, not in this condition.

     “Let’s get you cleaned up,” he motioned for the man to follow him into the bathroom, turning on the lights. “Take those rags off, I’ll find something better for you to wear at the store,” Sagawa huffed, turning the shower on, shrugging his own coat off. “You can sit in the shower, can’t have you falling over and hurting yourself even worse,” he said, not looking back at the other man, hanging the jacket up on the back of the door quickly.

     He was grateful and thankful that Shimano had some medical personnel come in and check on the guy, prescribing multiple antibiotics for his wounds, infections having wracked across his body. He would have to swing by and pick them up when getting clothes and food for him later, the last thing he needed to deal with was some sort of medical emergency and have to rush this guy to the nearest hospital for an infection that got out of hand.

     Majima worked on the buttons on his top, fingers not cooperating with him and the buttons being too small. He didn’t seem coordinated, slowly leaning to one side. But, with a missing eye, doing tasks may prove to be difficult in the beginning, especially things he hadn’t done in a long time.

     “Here,” he hummed, gently working on the buttons, Majima staring off into space as Sagawa pulled the top from the man. Deep patches of black mixed with red petals and green leaves, snakes coiling their way across his chest and upper arms. Bruises peeked out from between the gaps in the colors and lines, all various shades of healing, yellow ones were spread across his abdomen, his chest and arms were more fresh, shades of blues and purples. Dried blood clung to him in various areas as well, which, would be a bit trickier to get cleaned up.

     He had a feeling that beatings weren’t the only form of torture he endured in the hole, and it would likely make his job of getting this man back into working order, all that much more difficult. At the very least, he could work a desk job at the family office, although, from how highly Shimano spoke of him, having him in a job like that would be a waste of his potential. Then again, he doubted he could get this guy to fly Omi colors, after the Hell he’s been through, the guy probably would never want anything to do with Yakuza again.

     He pulled a towel from the small closet as well as some rags, knowing it would make getting the blood of easier. The other man was so silent, just the sound of his pants rustling and hitting the floor, aside from the sound of the shower, filled the air of the bathroom.

     “Let’s get you cleaned up, eh?” He asked, pulling the door to the shower open, Majima leaning against it as he stepped in, flinching as the water cascaded down him. Sagawa hummed, setting the towels down on the ground, getting down on his knees on them, setting the rags next to him.

     “How old are you?” Sagawa asked, grabbing the bottle of soap and lathering up a rag, reaching out to grab Majima’s arm, working on cleaning it first, working on the blood that was caked around Majima’s fingernails, likely from scratching as his own healing wounds.

     It didn’t surprise him he was answered with silence, but it still annoyed him.

     “It’s good manners and respect to answer questions you are given,” Sagawa continued, the hot water from the shower loosening up the dried blood, the rag gently pulling it away as Majima reached over, grabbing the other one and working on cleaning his legs off. “But I guess we can work on that later, one step at a time, eh, tiger?” Sagawa chuckled. Yup, getting this man in working order was definitely going to be a challenge. But, there had to be a reason Shimano just handed him over, rather than doing this on his own, or, instead of putting a bullet in him and saving everyone the trouble.  

     Cleaning Majima’s hair proved to be a bit more difficult, taking several thorough washes and a large amount of conditioner to work through it all. His hair was long, he wasn’t sure what it looked like before hand, but he had a feeling it resembled nothing of what it used to. He made a mental note to eventually get him in for a haircut once things started improving.

     He learned a few things about the other.

     He didn’t like having his wrists grabbed. He didn’t like having his face grabbed or touched. He had a large hannya tattoo, extending down onto the back of his thighs. And he still wasn’t talking. The first two were an obvious given, reasons that he didn’t want to truly dwell on or think about, Shimano definitely didn’t take it easy on this one. Then again, most men didn’t last long in the hole, let alone a year, and being yanked out to possibly tell the tale one day. He knew that the payoff would be worth it in the end, it was a long road ahead of him, but, the more work he put into this guy, he knew he would get it back tenfold.

     Sagawa dropped a towel on top of Majima’s head after turning off the water, letting him work on drying himself off by himself. He was practically spotless, blood seeping from a few wounds that hadn’t fully healed, scabs being pulled off in the bathing process

     “Think you can manage on your own? I need to go get some stuff for you,” Sagawa explained, Majima peeking up at him from under the towel, giving a gentle nod. “I’ll be right up the street, dry off and sit on the couch, I’ll be back soon,” he insisted, pushing himself to his feet, using an extra towel to dry off his arms, grabbing his jacket.

     “Dry off, sit on the couch,” Sagawa repeated, making it clear that Majima was to follow orders, watching as he nodded a few times, droplets of water falling from his nose and chin as he did so.

     He looked so helpless, sitting on the floor of his shower, bruises and cuts littering his body, completely naked, and shivering from the cool air brushing across his wet skin. He pitied the poor guy, he wasn’t sure exactly what he had done to endure Shimano’s wrath, but, he knew his kyodai didn’t take things lightly, and for what this man went through, it had to have been tough. What? Did he try to leave the family? Did he attempt an attack on the patriarch? He intended on finding out one day.

     Majima watched as the man left the bathroom, eventually hearing the front door open, and clasp close, letting out a soft sigh as he continued to dry himself off. Aches and pains littered his body, but, he did feel slightly better now that he was cleaned off. He was exhausted, purely. His limbs felt like they were made of lead and his mouth felt dry.

     He grunted as he pulled himself up, leaning against the wall of the shower, finishing drying himself off, grabbing the other towel and wrapping it around himself as he stepped out, glancing in the mirror, both hands bracing himself against the counter top for support.  

     He didn’t even recognize himself.

     Pristine cut hair with a shave underneath was completely gone, his hair hit past his shoulders and the under layers were several inches shorter due to having been shaved previously, just barely hitting his shoulders. A large pad of gauze was fixed onto his face, beige medical tape running from his eyebrow to his cheek to keep it secured and in place. He ran his fingertips across it. Soft. He didn’t want to know what it looked like underneath, the thought of it made his stomach lurch, it still ached and burned from time to time, likely due to the lack of medical attention he had received following having it destroyed.

     The burns he had received had healed over fairly well, then again, his first brand mark on his first day in the hole, directly after his talk with Shimano. Thinking back, that felt like it was ten years ago. But, according to what he had heard, it had only been a year.  

     He had already been thin, especially in comparison to Saejima, but, it made him even more sick to look at. His ribs were visible, elbows and shoulders were jagged. His gold chain rested awkwardly against his collarbones. His wrists were a sickly shade of purple, bruised from his restraints that he was almost always in. He looked sick and like he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

     It didn’t feel like he was looking into a mirror, rather a window, peeking into some weird reality, looking at a horribly distorted version of himself.  He pulled himself away from the mirror. He didn’t want to look at himself anymore. He thought he did, but, he regretted peeking at himself. It only made him feel worse.

     The apartment was nice, a million times nicer than the one he had lived in. This one had a couch, a radio, a coffee table, a small table to eat at. Fully furnished. He debated putting the pants back on, but, they were filthy and he had just bathed, it felt counterproductive to put them back on.

     He did as he was told, wrapping himself in the towel and sitting on the couch, leaning back into the back of it, closing his eye with a soft sigh. He wasn’t sure how long the other intended on being gone, not that he minded. He didn’t seem on having any intention on hurting him, yet. It felt nice to be cleaned up, rather than just being hosed down from time to time.

     It was warm in the living room, meaning there must have been a heating system, which, he was fairly excited for, too many frigid cold nights in the past. He peeked out the window, a large street stretched in front of the apartment, and the car was still in the driveway, meaning the other had walked to his destinations.  

     It looked like the sun was about to set as well, he wasn’t sure what time of the year it was, but it looked nice outside, possibly Spring? He wasn’t certain, but it didn’t matter. He sat on the couch, staring off into space until he heard the front door swing open, glancing over at the man who was holding several bags of stuff.

     “Good, you can follow orders,” Sagawa taunted, kicking the door closed with his heel, the door slamming shut causing Majima to nearly jump off of the couch, chest heaving as he looked over at the other man, eye wide with fear. “Calm down,” he shook his head, making a mental note to not slam doors. He let out a sigh, setting the stuff down on the floor, pulling out a pair of black sweatpants, handing them over before setting a black tee shirt on the couch next to the man.

     Majima pushed himself up from the couch, pulling the fresh clothes on. They felt nice, soft even. After wearing slacks for so long, the feeling of simple sweatpants felt foreign to him, but, most certainly not unwelcome. They would be much warmer than what he had previous worn, and, he couldn’t really remember the last time he had worn a shirt. He sighed as he pulled it on over his head, running his fingertips over the material before he sat back down.

     A bag that rattled was pulled out next, tossed onto the coffee table; which Majima assumed was medicine for him.

     A few small boxes were pulled out and opened, set on the coffee table, steam coming out of them; food. And a few small cans of soda and beer were also pulled from the box, including some more soap and shampoo and some other necessities for Majima.

     “Got you something easy to eat, don’t want you getting sick on me,” Sagawa said, placing a container of rice on the couch as Majima pulled the new clothes on. “Comfy?” He asked, eyes meeting Majima’s, the man nodding softly. “Good, now, eat up,” he said, cracking open a beer for himself, shifting to grab a take out box of something else, Majima didn’t really care, too busy staring off into space.

     “Kid,” Sagawa said, trying to pull Majima out of it, “You need to eat, once I know you can keep this down, you can have the good stuff,” he assured him. “And your medications have to be taken with food, even more reason to eat,” he continued, taking a few large gulps of beer, Majima making no motion to even touch his food.  

     “Eat.” Sagawa commanded, glaring at the other, “Last warning I will give you,” he didn’t want to play the bad guy right off the bat, but, he was really starting to piss him off.

     Majima still made no effort to move, just glancing down at the container of rice that rested by him on the couch, he was hungry, but, he really didn’t want to eat, he was grateful that the other was feeding him, but, after a year of simple water and rice, one got tired of eating it. It was cheap to get and kept him going, didn’t provide him with much energy, but, it kept him alive.

     “Listen,” Sagawa said, setting down his own food, shifting. “I don’t want to be the bad guy here,” he assured him, eyebrows furrowing together. “I really don’t, and I know you don’t want that either.”

     Majima definitely didn’t want that, especially since he was more than positive the other man didn’t truly want to hurt him, but, he knew that in the Yakuza world, intentions could change in less than a moments notice. Sagawa hoped that a thinly veiled threat would convince the man to eat, but, Majima still made no signs of moving, let alone eating the rice beside him.

     “You want this instead?” Sagawa asked, yanking a small box from the bottom of the box, tugging the lid off and holding it out for the other to see, a steamed pork bun resting inside. Sagawa’s interest was piqued as Majima eyed it. “Oh? You do want it then,” he chuckled, “go on, take it,” he insisted, watching as Majima moved, gently pulling it from Sagawa’s open hand, positive that he was going to yank it back at the last moment. “Guess rice is off the menu,” he shook his head, taking the rice from the couch, working on eating that as well as the other food he had bought for himself, watching Majima take a few small bites from the pork bun.  

     The two ate in silence, Majima eating his entire pork bun, setting the empty box on the table, taking a few sips from his soda. A generic lime soda, nothing fancy, but, still leaps and bounds better than water. It almost burned, the carbonation so foreign and new, it was like he had never eaten a pork bun before, or had soda, in his entire life.

     “Good?” The man asked, glancing over at Majima, who was still taking small sips from his soda, hands shaking a bit. He was answered with a small nod. “So no rice, and you like pork buns,” he noted out loud, Majima nodding once again. “Anything else you like?”

     Trying to still get him to talk, to say anything.

     Silence.

     “Let’s get these opened up,” Sagawa hummed, yanking the small bag back over to him, pulling out a few small orange bottles. Cilastatin for bacterial infection, Imipenem to boost the previous medications effectiveness. “Couple antibiotics, iron supplements as well,” he said, reading the labels. Doesn’t surprise him the kid had an iron deficiency, probably lacked just about every vitamin there was in existence, they definitely weren’t giving him supplements in the hole, probably just the bare minerals.

     He pulled them open, setting one of each pill on the table.

     “Bottoms up, Majima-chan,” he smiled, Majima just glaring down at them, clearly not wanting to take them. Sure, they were from a doctor, but, he didn’t know that doctor, nor his motives.

     Too many pills, too many effects, his vision fading in and out, body growing too hot too fast, sweat dripping down the small of his back and down his face. He was parched, coughing on nothing, body throwing itself into overdrive. There had been something in that last bowl of rice. That was the only explanation.

     He learned to not always accept what he was given.

     Majima shook his head, focusing his attention on the wall.

     “You’ll feel much better once you take them, then you can go to sleep on the couch,” he said, trying to barter with him, two pills in exchange for sleeping on his couch. It beat the floor, not that Sagawa intended on having the guy sleep on his floor in the living room. Knowing the condition this guy was in, he wouldn’t wake up.

     He still refused to take the medicine.

     “Majima-chan, I’m only going to tell you one more time, take the medicine,” he said, giving the man a few moments to decide as he finished up the rest of his food, shoving all the trash back into the bag, standing up. Majima hadn’t moved a muscle.

     He really didn’t want to have to force the guy to do something on his first night here, especially not using physical force. But, he needed to know his place, and that he was his superior, and he was to do as he was told. Sagawa was positive the man was still terrified of everything, of what he may do to him, but, this needed to be done.

     “You made me do this, don’t remember that, kid,” he shook his head, plucking the pills off of his table. Majima shrunk into the couch, shifting away from the man, peering up at him. “If you won’t take them, I will make you,” he sighed, lashing out to grab the man’s bruised wrist, twisting it up and outwards violently until he felt tough resistance.

     Majima tried his best to lash out, foot pressed against Sagawa’s hip, trying to keep his distance, but, he had absolutely no energy to push him away, breath picking up as Sagawa shifted, the heel of his foot slipping off easily, other hand pressing against his chest, tears running down his face as his eye met Sagawa’s.

     “I’m doing this for you, Majima-chan,” Sagawa insisted, twisting the man’s wrist sharply, pulling a loud gasp from him, a soft cry in pain being tugged from his lips. Fear shown in his eye as he looked up at the man that towered above him, threatening to snap his wrist.

     Seizing his opportunity he forced his hand against Majima’s mouth, forcing the pills in. He let go of Majima’s wrist, which he was sure was in pain, clamping down onto his nose.

     “Swallow them,” he demanded. It was the waiting game. Majima would either have to choose between swallowing, or breathing. Sagawa’s knee dug into his ribs, keeping him pinned to the back of the couch. It pained him to have to be like this, not a good first impression he wanted to put on the man, but, he was given absolutely no choice, and he gave Majima plenty of chances, and he rejected them all.

     Majima jerked, face wet with tears as he swallowed the pills, coughing and sputtering against Sagawa’s hand, who handed him the small can of soda, watching Majima greedily take a few large gulps out of it, coughing into the back of his hand, wheezing between each inhale.

     “Don’t make me do that again, Majima-chan, I don’t want to hurt you,” he insisted, Majima looked hurt, holding onto his bruised wrist, face red from coughing, tears running down his face as well as snot, Sagawa grabbing a few napkins, handing them over to the other man who took them without even looking at him, wiping his face off.

     “You’ll sleep good tonight, Majima-chan. No pain, on a warm couch, I’ll get you some blankets, you’ll sleep nice and sound tonight, probably the best sleep you’ve ever had,” Sagawa chuckled, knowing it was probably right, shifting towards the bedroom to grab a few blankets, nabbing a pillow off of his own futon for the man to use.

     Majima hadn’t moved from the couch, staring off into space as Sagawa dropped the pillow and blankets on the armrest of the couch, rummaging through the bag.

     “Here,” he said, handing over a toothbrush and a fresh tube of toothpaste, as well as a brush and a stick of deodorant. “This should be everything you’ll need for a while,” Sagawa said, the other main still remaining silent as he looked down at the items in his hands.

     “You’ve had a long day, let’s get you to sleep,” Sagawa huffed, watching as Majima put his possessions down on the ground next to the couch in a small pile. They were all he owned now. Some toiletries, a pair of sweatpants, and a tee shirt.

     Majima didn’t really want to sleep, not in this new house, with someone he didn’t know, but, it honestly couldn’t be any worse than his previous year or so. And, the couch he was sitting on was fairly comfortable, better than the futon he had owned in his teenage-years.

     The other man pushed himself to his feet, collecting the empty food containers and taking them into the kitchen, Majima leaning back on the couch, fairly comfortable.

     “Once ya can walk around on your own, I’ll take ya into town. Fresh air will do you a world of good,” the man explained, tossing the trash away.

     It was tempting, it sounded nice, going outside again after so long.

     “Get some sleep tiger, bet you’ll be out like a light, and you can sleep in tomorrow,” he continued, soft smile spreading across his face. It felt fake, slightly forced. Majima wasn’t sure if it was all a front, or, if the other just wasn't good at being friendly. But, he supposed to he would find out eventually.

     Majima shifted, pushing himself to his feet, slightly wobbly as he unfolded the blanket. It was nice, which, surprised him slightly. As much as he didn’t want to actually sleep, it pulled at his every limb, weighing his body down like lead, pulling him down deeper and deeper with every passing moment.

     Vision blurred violently as he stumbled, bracing himself on the edge of the couch, knees slamming into the flooring.

     “Hey, don’t be pushing yourself,” Sagawa grumbled, striding over to the other man. “You’re tired, not well fed, and recovering. You’ve already been moving around a lot today,” he shook his head, reaching down, arms wrapping around the man’s middle, pulling him up to his feet for him; Majima clinging onto him tightly, brown pinstripes shifting under his grasp.

     He could smell the other’s beer he had drank, the small hint of cologne, not much, but, it was there, and a faint smell of cigarette smoke. The smells were so different than those he was used to, smell of blood and sweat was what he had been accustomed to for the past year.  

     “Come on, let’s get you into bed,” Sagawa hummed, helping the other over, setting the man down onto the couch, watching as he lied down, the man throwing the cover over him. “Try to take it easy,” he chided, shaking his head. “I know you’re probably excited to be out, but, your body isn’t ready, Majima-chan,” he laughed a bit, the other man looking away.

     “Get some rest, if you need me, just shout, I’m right in the other room,” he assured the man. “Oh, and, I shouldn’t have to tell you, but, don’t even think about leaving,” he insisted, walking over to the light switch and flipping off the light.

     It should go without saying, he knew that Majima wasn’t strong enough to be able to leave, even if he did, he had nowhere to go, and, wouldn’t get very far, not in this condition.

     The man was silent, shifting to roll over onto his side, tugging the blankets over his shoulder as he did so, listening to the sound of the others footsteps vanish into the back room, door clasping closed. A streetlight outside gave the room some illumination, enough that he could glance around at his surroundings.  

     The pain was slowly starting to be curbed, medication slowly kicking in, muscles were relaxing, and his pulse no longer thrummed painfully through injured areas. Majima ran a hand through his hair, trying to push it out of his face the best he could, pressing the good side of his face into the pillow with a soft sigh.      

     He hoped he could go outside tomorrow, even just sitting outside would be nice. He wished he had a pack of cigarettes, the withdrawals only adding to the endless hours of torture he endured, but, he was a civilian now apparently, and, it was a fresh start for him. He was sure he would be given a basic civilian job.

     Majima knew it would be a rough path, especially compared to the yakuza life he previously lived, but, then again, it wasn’t even the best life for him. Money was always tight, his apartment was pretty bare, fridge almost always empty, living off of instant food most of the time.

     A sigh escaped from his lips as he closed his eye, tomorrow would be the first official day as a civilian, and he knew it wouldn’t be easy for him.

     Civilians didn’t fight.

     Civilians didn’t have tattoos.

     Civilians usually had both eyes.

     All of the three, he was already failing at.