As he stands in the huge lobby of the Tojo HQ, putting away his phone after texting his driver to come pick him up, Mine suppresses a flinch at the painfully loud, and painfully familiar, shriek that echoes around the room. With much reluctance, Mine turns and spots Majima-san stood at the top of the stairs, shooting him a wolfish grin.
Once he has Mine’s attention, Majima jumps over the banister and hits the ground with well-practised skill, before springing to his feet and running over. A while ago, Mine might have found Majima’s behaviour threatening; now he just finds Majima’s endless energy draining to be around.
“Yes, Majima-san,” he says, raising an eyebrow.
With no regard for personal space, Majima flings an arm around his shoulders (and Mine tenses up, unsure when he was last so close to another human being). “Ya left too quickly after the meetin’. Daigo-chan wants to talk with ya.”
Mine blinks. And then he grasps Majima wrist and peels his gloved hand off of his shoulder, turning to face the man who jumped at him. Did he hear that correctly? The Sixth Chairman… Daigo-san wants to talk to him? Even though the officers’ meeting is over and Mine needs to go back to the office and sort through his investments, and Daigo-san presumably needs to go back to running the Tojo Clan? Daigo-san wants to talk to him… alone.
He hopes to every god he can name that he doesn’t blush. He must not show any ridiculous signs of embarrassment (or happiness) at having a private meeting with the man he admires… the man he loves.
“Oh, he does?” Mine says. “Well, if you’ll excuse me…”
And he walks off, ignoring Majima’s incredibly knowing grin and his attempt at a wink (it is difficult to tell if a man with one eye is winking or not), and hating that Majima has noticed his feelings before Daigo-san himself. It must be for reasons like this that the other members of the Tojo Clan fear Majima-san so much.
But enough about Majima. As he makes his way back up the stairs, Mine shakes his head to forget what just took place, and retraces his steps to the room he left only a few minutes ago. His heart races, and Mine wants to punch himself; why must he lose his composure whenever he even thinks about Daigo-san?
Reaching the large double doors, Mine opens them and steps through the doorway. Daigo-san still sits in his chair at the head of the two rows of seats (most of which have become unnecessary given the failing size of the clan), but crosses one leg over the other and rests his elbow on the arm, staring down at his hand. It takes a moment’s observation to notice that Daigo-san actually stares at his cell phone.
“Sixth Chairman,” Mine says, offering a bow and keeping his gaze fixed on the floor. “You requested me?”
“O-Oh, there you are, Mine,” Daigo says. Did he just stutter? Has he ever heard Daigo-san stumble on his words? And why does that make him want to smile like a fool?
He only straightens up when he hears Daigo’s footsteps, and raises his head to find Daigo stood before him, very interested in the cuffs of his shirt. Daigo swallows hard (and Mine definitely doesn’t notice the way his Adam’s apple bobs when his throat convulses) and meets his eyes, smiling. But an unusual, almost shy, aura surrounds him, and Mine can’t help but stare, confused.
“What do you need from me, Daigo-san?” he asks. Other than Majima (who calls everyone whatever the hell he wants), most patriarchs wouldn’t dare address their Sixth Chairman by his given name. But Daigo-san has allowed him to speak this way since the day he met, and his stomach still flutters when he says it. Honestly, he is such a fool.
“Don’t worry about formalities, Mine,” Daigo says, and he places a hand on Mine’s shoulder (just like back then, the day he fell in love), that perfect smile burning into him. “I was just wondering if you…” And Daigo hesitates, actually hesitates, and breaks eye contact before finishing, “Would you like to join me for drinks this evening?”
Again, all Mine can do is blink. His heart races, his guts flutter and his shoulder burns from the simple contact, and he prays that he won’t go red. Daigo… wants to go out for drinks with him?
No, he must not over think this. He must he asking several patriarchs out tonight, for a meeting over drinks at one of his favourite restaurants. Yes, that must be it.
But then… why isn’t Majima-san coming?
Just what is going on? Is he dreaming?
“Mine?” Daigo says, giving his shoulder a shake. “Are you okay? You spaced out for a moment there.”
“Oh, I apologise, Daigo-san.”
“It’s fine. I was just… don’t feel obligated to come if you don’t want to.” Daigo grins, but obvious discomfort hides behind the playful expression. “I get that drinks with your boss is hardly the dream night out.”
He must be dead. How else would this be happening?
Now he understands. Daigo really is inviting him out alone. And… Daigo must think his hesitation is down to awkwardly attempting to think of a good reason to get out of a boring evening with his boss. But that could not be further from the truth.
“No, that isn’t it,” Mine says. “I would love that, Daigo-san. I just… I was unsure of how to respond.” He smiles awkwardly. “Going out for drinks is not my speciality.”
Other than being dragged to Hostess Clubs by Kanda (a painfully humiliating memory), he has no experience in ‘going out’.
Daigo smiles, the discomfort fading from his expression. “Never mind that. I’ll take you somewhere with the best wine, and then you can educate me about something.”
Him… teaching Daigo-san about fine wines? His stomach flutters.
“So, how does that sound?” Daigo says.
“Wonderful,” is all he can think to say.
Squeezing Mine’s shoulder, Daigo takes out his cell phone again. “Great! Is eight good for you?” Mine nods, unsure how to speak anymore. “Okay. I’ll send someone to pick you up. Let’s have a fun evening out, Mine.”
Mine smiles, his heart beating so fast he wonders if he might go into cardiac arrest, and nods his head.
“It’s a date,” Mine says, and they both flinch. Scrabbling desperately for a way to take back his choice of words, Mine stammers, “I, I mean…”
“Mine, it’s okay,” Daigo says. And he steps closer, face going red, and whispers, “And if you want it to be… it really is.”
And then Daigo walks off, leaving Mine stunned, trying to process what just happened. Daigo-san just asked him out on a date. How did something this amazing happen?
Mine makes it downstairs in a daze, overwhelmed by his racing heart and the thoughts and emotions crowding his brain. He only snaps out of it when he spots a familiar figure stood by the door.
Yes, clad in his slick black suit and unmistakable eye patch, Majima-san stands there, grinning infuriatingly at him. “So, Mine-chan, got any plans for tonight?” he says, voice sing-song, and Mine longs to punch him. Did the bastard read both him and Daigo and deduce the situation? He truly is a terrifying force.
“Shut up,” Mine mutters as he walks past, pulling out his phone and making a note about tonight lest he forget. Not that he could forget.
Nothing could make him forget something this wonderful.