It happened to him one night.
A night where he forced himself to sleep – albeit with the help of the sleeping pills his secretary had provided for him when the said man realized he had trouble sleeping. He had stayed awake most nights, flipping through briefs or staring through his bedroom window into the night sky. He knew his health would be in jeopardy if this goes on. No man could withstand more than four days of sleepless night without any repercussions. Hence, to remedy the situation, Kirishima had discretely handed him the pills before he excused himself for the day.
Asami always thought he never dreamt. Or he simply couldn’t recall any significant details from his dream enough to bring those pieces back into his waking world.
He didn’t know what made tonight any different. It might be the fact he was aware of the exact moment he went under. Thus, when the dream sequence started he knew without a doubt he was dreaming.
Or it might be the fact that there was a young man (more like a kid) – with the most mesmerizing pair of hazel eyes, sitting directly in front of him, grinning like a fool.
It took him quite a while to take in the rest of the details. They were currently sitting in his living room. Him with a glass of scotch in hand and the young man sitting cross-legged on the sofa opposite of him.
“As I was saying, you should really book for a vacation one of these days before you keel over and die, old man” the young man spoke teasingly.
Old man? Asami thought in amusement. No one has ever dared to use a degrading title on him ever since he climb to the top of Tokyo’s elite food chain years ago.
“And who are you to be telling me this?” Asami remarked casually as he sipped his scotch.
The young man frowned at him, clearly shocked that Asami didn’t recognized him.
“You don’t remember me?” tentatively, he asked. Seemingly afraid of Asami’s next words.
“I would certainly remember if I’ve met a kid as expressive as you” Asami replied off handedly.
Asami could practically hear the gears in the man’s mind turning before he came to a conclusion with a decisive nod. The man stood up abruptly, snatching off a red hoodie that was thrown carelessly on the carpet below him.
“Well, if that’s the case I should really get going” he said with a shrug. “See you next time, Asami” and before Asami knew it, the mysterious boy was gone out of the door.
Asami woke up the next morning, feeling rather slow on the uptake than he usually was but somehow refreshed. He had all forgotten about the mysterious man from his dream until Kirishima brought up a week-long vacation plan just for him. It seems that his secretary had the same idea as that dream guy.
“Do I really look like I’m about to keel over, Kirishima?”
“I wouldn’t suggest for a break if you didn’t look worse for wear, Asami-sama” ever so diligent, Kirishima replied truthfully.
“If you agree, I can clear your schedule from tomorrow onwards” he added after a beat with a hopeful tone.
Asami could only chuckle at that. It seems that both his subconscious and secretary is telling him to take a damn break before he killed himself. What are the odds?
“See to it that you do.”
The next time it happened, it was the night before he was scheduled to arrive back in Tokyo.
“So you took my advice after all!” a cheery voice interrupted his musings.
Asami immediately took in his surroundings, it seemed that he was in a private jet, but not his own. His gaze landed on the young man who was perched on top of the small counter with a Cheshire Cat smile.
“I followed my secretary’s advice, not yours” Asami refuted coolly.
The young man scoffed and waved his hand dismissively. “I don’t care if you’re stubborn enough to admit that I was right. I know I was.”
He flopped gracelessly on the unoccupied seat next to Asami. Immediately like a child, he flipped and pushed all the buttons on the seat testing out the features it provides.
“Woah, dude! Never knew a chair can dip this low.”
Asami studied the odd man, trying to figure out why his mind deemed it fit for him to be accompanied by a man-child.
“Why are you here?” he asked, albeit confused.
“You don’t want me here?” the man asked, wide eyed. “I could go if you want.”
Oddly enough, Asami didn’t mind his company. As confused as he was with the situation, he find it rather endearing. It has been awhile since he was in the presence of a person who didn’t give a damn to who he was.
Without meaning to, he replied “No, you can stay.”
It never occurred to Asami to ask for the dream guy’s name until their fourth meeting.
“Do you have a name?”
With a grin, he replied “You can call me Akihito.”
Akihito wasn’t always there, but Asami can guess when he would appear or materialize in his dream. There was a pattern to when and why Akihito would be there. Some nights he was there when Asami worked himself to the bone. Other nights, he was just there to annoy the hell out of him.
Like that one time when Akihito commented how he needed to loosen up.
“You know, Asami…sometimes I think you have a stick shoved up your ass” Akihito commented rather flippantly. “Why don’t you have some fun for a change?”
“As if you know what fun entails. You’re not even real” he remarked with an eyebrow raised to prove a point.
Akihito snorted. “At least I don’t end my days alone with only a glass of scotch for company.”
“What makes you think I’m in need of one? Maybe I like to be left alone” Asami replied dismissively. He rather be alone than having to suffer through a conversation that would bore him out of his skull.
“To prove my point, exhibit A” Akihito said dramatically while gesturing to himself.
“You? What’s anything got to do with you?”
“Well, for starters, I’m still here aren’t I?” Akihito raised his eyebrow to mirror Asami’s own. “If you’re really the lone wolf you said you are, I won’t be standing here talking to you. You would’ve kicked me out of that door long ago.”
Suffice to say, Akihito got what he deserved. Akihito laughed his head off when the door to the penthouse slammed shut on his face.
Somehow, his interaction with Akihito bleeds slowly into his waking life.
He would caught himself thinking what the younger man would prefer when he sat down for lunch. Or the fact that his eyes now would immediately notice a mop of blond hair among the mass of black during peak hours.
It wasn’t until Kirishima mentioned that how easy he smiles now – when it was rarer than total solar eclipse to be seen before, that he knew whatever this is… it needs to stop.
As if it was not enough for him to slowly taw for the young man.
Akihito does not even exist for Christ’s sake!
Asami wondered if he should have a talk with Kirishima about his dream situation. Poor Kirishima would go hysterics if he knew that his charge is going mental. Asami bet his fortune that Kirishima would immediately get in touch with the world-ranking psychiatrist, surrendering himself to the torture of people probing into his brain – before using all the techniques he learnt from the said torture to apply on Asami. Kirishima would never in a million years, let such a delicate situation as this - thrown out for the world to see.
The said secretary would probably start a nuclear war before that happens.
“Are you perhaps my subconscious?” Asami had asked Akihito once - while they walked side by side across a street that looked eerily familiar to Shibuya, but not.
“You think I’m your subconscious?” Akihito has asked incredulously before doubling over at the sidewalk laughing himself to tears.
“This is priceless. Me! Your subconscious? Man, how can you come up with that?” he continued, wiping his tears using his sleeve.
“It’s not such a huge leap” Asami shrugged. “Your timing is impeccable.” And what Asami said is true to a degree as he would normally found the man popping up in his dream when he was mentally exhausted.
“Still, you’ve got to admit that I’m not exactly an image of confidence! You’re a self-assured man that’s brimming with confidence from every pore. And you think me, with my ragged jeans and band t-shirts is the representation of that? Wouldn’t I be forced to don in a three-piece suit if that was the case?”
“Speaking of, you do have some questionable taste” Asami admitted after giving Akihito a once over. Akihito had a lean frame of a model but his image has suffered due to his poor wardrobe choices.
This won’t do, Asami thought. And just like that they were suddenly inside the clothing store Asami had often visited. Rows and rows of clothes hung on display around them. They might have the same range of style to what Akihito would prefer, but they were obviously branded.
Akihito could only shrieked incredulously. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Asami ignored Akihito as he went through the clothes, occasionally picking up some shirts and jeans and throwing them at Akihito to try.
“I’m not some mistress for you to throw branded clothes at!” Akihito seethed in annoyance even as he conceded with Asami’s whims.
“No, you’re just my dream guy” Asami replied off-handedly and chuckled in amusement at Akihito’s reaction as the man gaped at him with wide eyes.
“Is that a pun? Did you just seriously made a pun? Or was that a double entendre?” Akihito hedged uncertainly. “Because for the life of me, that just went borderline flirty.”
“Whatever helps you dream at night” Asami added with his signature smirk.
“Oh ha ha ha, you’re hilarious. So punny, Asami” Akihito replied sarcastically, rolling his eyes in disdain.
They spent the rest of the dream until Asami’s waking hours arguing over clothes and the practicality of said clothes in their dreamscape.
“I would’ve just appear with my usual clothes anyway. It has been the same every time!” Akihito had argued.
“You’re forbidden to appear in front of me looking like an abandoned kitten from now on. I would strip you naked the next time I see you in these rags” Asami had countered.
“Oh, you wouldn’t dare!” Akihito eyes narrowed to slits.
“Try me” Asami replied, obviously up to the challenge. Silently hoping for Akihito to defy him as he wouldn’t pass up the chance to strip the man naked.
To Asami’s delight (and a bit of disappointment), Akihito rather petulantly wore the clothes he’d picked from the store the next time he appeared in Asami’s dream. It seems that the kid has some self-preservation instincts after all.
Chapter 2: Kirishima's Woes
Kirishima contemplates over Asami's unusual behavior.
I'm writing again *hooray!* This is just a short something I wrote to help me jog my brain before delving into my other unfinished stories. I had made a promise to myself to at least complete "A Secret to My Grave" or "The Sun that Chases after The Shadow" within this year. It's time I give you an ending to these stories. Thank you for your undying support!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The clock strikes midnight and like clockwork these past few weeks, Asami stood up from his chair, buttoning up his coat and left his office for the day. The first time Asami had so much as left the confines of his office this early (when most underworld business dealings had only just begun), Kirishima had almost dropped dead from the shock alone!
The said secretary couldn't believe his eyes when his ever workaholic employer had willingly called it a day and waltz out of the room as if he hadn't just rewired the poor secretary's brain. Kirishima knew that something was going on with Asami, but for the life of him, he didn't know what!
His Boss was no longer as trigger happy as he was just two months ago. Kirishima shuddered at the mere thought of that gruesome memory.
Let's just say that nobody would ever dare to cross Asami again after that night.
Now however, his employer was somewhat calmer... in a way. Don't get him wrong, this doesn't mean that his Boss was any less terrifying. Rather this new him had sent a few grown ass men crying like a little girl before confessing all their darkest sins!
Why? That’s simple enough to answer.
It's an unspoken understanding among the dark dwellers of the underworld that Asami Ryuichi's smile meant instant death (as he only graced his victims with it before he shot them at point blank, no remorse). They said dead man doesn't talk. But in this case, rumors spread like wildfire and anyone worth something or is lucky (or unlucky enough) to be graced by Asami's presence knows this irrefutable fact: if he smiles, you're good as dead!
So why is this such a big deal now?
Well, the fact that his Boss is quick to smile nowadays had sent almost everyone running to the hills! In fact, the first time Asami had smiled at Kirishima (even for a second after he placed Asami's favorite coffee blend on the table), the secretary had thought his life had been forfeited. But when Asami had merely continued on with his paperwork and didn’t decide to decorate the office with Kirishima's brain matter, the secretary had stood to gawk like an absolute idiot at his employer.
What being had took over Asami- sama's body?
Being the ever diligent secretary, Kirishima began to research on body snatchers (who knew what mad scientists had achieved under his nose!) and paid close attention to his employer's body language. Nothing seems amiss. His Boss still had his normal habits. He was still a heavy smoker. He still kills without batting an eye. His eating preferences are still the same.
Nothing truly trips Kirishima's list of possible body snatchers theory (yes, he has a list!).
Just that: Asami would smile every now and then at absolutely random times.
If that wasn't terrifying, Kirishima doesn't know what is! Suoh had agreed with him.
I always love to write Kirishima's POV as an ice breaker. For me, he's such a fun guy to write :B If you're wondering if I'll continue on with this piece, I would say 50/50 as I think I wanna concentrate on my other ongoing series first. But who knows what my plot bunnies will give me in that meantime!