Charming the Prince
~An Overly Dramatic Love Story~
Chapter One

by Talya Firedancer

“I love you. I’ve always loved you.”

Omi sniffled.  A crystalline tear traced a glittering path down his cheek.

“I want you to always hold me...  I want to always feel this warmth.”

He extracted some crumpled Kleenex from the pocket of his tight hip-huggers.  With gusto Omi blew his nose.

“Then I’ll be with you forever,” the gorgeous young man promised, gathering the girl into his arms.

“Yamada-kun!” the girl cried happily.

“Yohji-kun!” Omi echoed, fully in the thrall the show was weaving about him.  It was his favorite because the leading character Yamada bore more than a passing resemblance to the love of his heart.  If only... “Yohji-kun, why won’t you hold *me* always?”  He sniffed again and dotted the corners of his eyes with the abused Kleenex.

The TV made no reply.  It usually didn’t.

It was a dazzling Saturday in Tokyo, and Tsukiyono Omi was indoors determinedly hiding from his teammates and coworkers.  There was hacker work to be done, and he knew for a fact that Ken was trying to track him down and foist it off on him - he’d had a close call in the kitchen, while getting a soda to drink during his favorite drama.  Omi shuddered.  It wasn’t that his teammates didn’t know how to use a computer, he was sure.  More that Ken-kun seemed to think it was a senpai/kohai matter, so the kohai had to take care of the work; Yohji-kun had no inclinations for spending time with impersonal computers, and Aya-kun... had better things to do.

Well, right now, Omi had better things to do than investigate petty criminals.  He was devising a way to snare Yohji-kun’s affections.  It was past time the older man noticed he wasn’t fourteen anymore - and did something about it!

Omi had seen enough daytime drama to know that the most surefire way of expressing his intent, and guaranteeing results for better or for worse, was to climb into Yohji-kun’s bed and wake him or wait to be discovered.  But it made Omi blush just thinking it; he wasn’t that kind of boy.  Life would be simpler if Yohji-kun would just pick him up, drag him to a quiet corner, and ravish him.

Commercial break.  Omi sipped at his soda and grabbed more Kleenex.  It wasn’t so much the wonderful acting or terrific storyline that moved him to tears; it was putting himself in Suzu-chan’s shoes.  The agonizing, the hopeless love, the cheerfully-disguised jealousy when Yamada-kun flirted with and dated other women - the only thing they didn’t share was the eventual bliss when Yamada-kun had revealed his true love for Suzu-chan on her sickbed.  As it turned out, the only thing that kept him from confessing was his fear that Suzu-chan was too young, and that she thought he was a contemptible man for his playboy ways.

“Omi?  Omi, where are you?”

Shimatta!  Ken-kun.

Quickly he flipped the TV off and ducked into the closet.  It was slightly less humiliating than hiding under the bed.

“Omi-kun?”  The door opened.  “Hey, you in here?”

Omi held his breath.  He moved back so that enough clothes would conceal him if Ken opened the door.

“Damn,” Ken sighed.  He could practically see the young man scratching his head.  “I don’t want to do these.”

Omi covered his mouth to hold in the snicker.  That was just too bad.  He wasn’t always going to be the obedient kohai, but to get around it he had to hide.

The door closed again.  Omi counted to sixty, slowly.  Ken could be wily, especially when he was trying to avoid doing work he disliked.  Then he eased open the door and jumped, startled nearly out of his skin.  “Uwah!”

Yohji-kun’s head lolled until one green eye peered at Omi.  “Ah, Omi.  Yo.”

“Hidoi, Yohji-kun,” Omi said reproachfully, heart fluttering in his breast.  “You shouldn’t go skulking around people’s rooms.”

Yohji-kun grinned at him, hiking himself up in the armchair.  “Well, you shouldn’t be hiding in closets, Omi.”

“It was Ken,” Omi said sheepishly, holding onto the closet door.  He jiggled it back and forth.

“You shouldn’t shirk your responsibilities,” Yohji crooked a finger at him.

“It’s not just mine!  Ken can process those information requests as quickly as I could,” Omi said indignantly.  He shut the closet and leaned against it.  Yohji-kun was *so* close.  “You’re one to talk about shirking, Yohji-kun.”

Yohji laughed.  “I only tell you not to because I do, and I want you to form better habits.”

“Excuses,” Omi decided.  He tilted his head.  “Yohji-kun, what are you doing in my room?”  Not that he wasn’t pleased.  He thought his eyes might be sparkling, and looked down.  It wasn’t often that he got Yohji-kun alone in his room.

“Hiding,” Yohji admitted blandly.  “It’s fun to leave Aya alone in the shop with all of his admirers.”

Omi stifled a grin.  “But what about you? Don’t you like flirting with your admirers?”

“Some things are worth foregoing a little casual flirting,” Yohji said.  He was looking straight at Omi when he said it.  His eyes were very steady and serious.

“But...why hide in my room?” he pressed.

“Well, if I hid in my room, I’d have no company.  And that’s no good, is it?”

The words warmed him to his very core.  “Hai!” Omi replied, perfectly content now with Yohji’s expression of pleasure in his company.  It was all he’d ever wished for.  His heart swelled within his breast, given life by even the simplest hint of affection from this most cherished source.

Omi moved to join Yohji on the couch.  As he seated himself, Yohji-kun’s warm hand brushed over the back of his thigh.  He turned his head, hardly believing... it was an accident, right?

Their eyes met, azure sky-rich blue drinking deep of foresty green.  Omi inhaled a trembling breath, for their eyes had made fast upon their souls what he now knew to be true - Yohji-kun loved him, he had to, and Omi’s heart was in his possession.  He would do anything...

“Omi...” Yohji breathed, tone amazed and wondering, obviously realizing just now this ultimate truth. His hand moved to cup Omi’s cheek.

Ardently Omi pressed his hand to Yohji’s, letting his eyes express the overflow of emotion his mouth couldn’t keep up with.  “I...”

“Omi,” Yohji said again, “I’m a bad man.  I’ve been a horrible playboy.  I’ve never been a lover of men, but I just realized...”

“Yes?” Omi nodded eagerly.  “Yes?”

“I think I’m in love with Ken.  Do you think you could put in a good word for me?”

Omi stared at him for a moment, then began to cry.


After frantic queries about his health, his workload, attempts to make him laugh, wheedling, cajoling, and extravagant promises, Yohji finally got Omi to stop crying.

The iron had entered his soul.

If it was to be a battle for Yohji-kun’s affections, Tsukiyono Omi would not hesitate to use every trick!  Desperation was turning him into a hardened person.  He would do anything. And he meant it.

“So... do you think you could talk to Ken?” Yohji said tentatively, rubbing the back of his neck with an endearingly sheepish gesture, finally returning to the original subject matter.

“Ken-kun?  Of course!” Omi returned instantly, restraining the instinctive quiver of his lower lip.  A plot was hatching in his head.  “But you have to do me a favor, Yohji-kun.”

“Sure, anything,” Yohji replied, looking thrilled.  It made Omi want to *hurt* Ken-kun, and he just wasn’t a violent type of boy. Well, not when it came to his friends.  Not normally.  “What is it?”

“Well,” Omi lowered his lashes, twisting his fingers together.  He gathered up his courage.  “There’s this... there’s someone I like.  And they’re completely oblivious.”  He glanced meaningfully at Yohji.

“Eh?” Yohji prompted, looking interested.

Here, Yohji-kun... heee~ere, Yohji-kun...

“I’m embarrassed,” Omi blurted, cheeks blushing in an appealing manner, “that I won’t know how to kiss properly.  Teach me, Yohji-kun! Tanomu!”  He clasped his hands together and leaned in close, raising imploring cornflower-blue eyes.

Yohji’s face was a study in eloquent surprise.  “Teach you how, Omi-kun?”

“By demonstration, of course!” Omi said brightly, using his legendary innocence to his advantage.  He had learned a *few* things from Ouka-san.  Suiting action to words, he leaned over and up and pressed his lips to Yohji’s slack, half-parted ones.  He pressed clumsily forward, the reckless excitement within him ignited by the wondrous sensation, at last, the longed-for first kiss with Yohji-kun.  Like a child, he let his lips rest against Yohji’s flesh, contented in that simple contact alone, too inexperienced to take advantage of the opening.  And then, a note of warning apprehension rippling through his soul, he leaned back and anxiously scanned Yohji’s handsome face for effect.  Was he unmoved?

“Ba-baka!” Yohji sputtered, pressing two fingers to his lips.  He looked thoughtful.  Then he opened his mouth again.  “Mm, Omi, your technique really does need work.”

Omi exulted.  He would do it, he knew Yohji-kun would take the bait!

“That’s not a nice thing to say!” Omi objected naturally.

“But you kiss like a toddler!” Yohji argued.

“Hidoi!  That’s not something anyone should have to hear!”

“Even if it’s true?” Yohji teased - Omi hoped Yohji was teasing - and shifted on the couch, gathering Omi into his arms.  “Here, I’ll show you how to do it right.”

“Ah-aa!”  Omi was in heaven.  He nestled closer to Yohji’s warmth, that indescribably wonderful scent that was musk and coffee and cigarettes and herbal shampoo and a splash of aftershave and maybe a little sweat and the whole of it meant Yohji, and he loved it.  Yohji’s arms cradled him firmly.  He fit so readily into the crook of Yohji’s arm, he could only feel that this was where he belonged.  Then Yohji bent his head and his mouth was upon Omi’s, and Omi was submerged in the heady sensation of their second kiss.
Yohji’s lips were brief pressure on his, returning to seal him in that divine liplock again and again.  The friction of their lips, merging, meshing, parting to meet once more was intoxicating.  Yohji’s broad hand was on the back of his head, lifting him up a bit to kiss him harder.  Omi was breathless.  Then Yohji pressed his mouth down with a deeper, more insistent pressure, and stayed there.  He felt the tip of a tongue questing along the seam of his lips.  Omi was simultaneously thrilled and frightened.

Letting his fear give way to the trembling desire, Omi let his lips part as Yohji cleaved them.  He almost moaned as the slick intruder slid inside, making him quiver in Yohji’s arms, hesitantly brushing Yohji’s tongue with his own.  Desire was surmounting his awareness, peaking sharply between his trembling young thighs, and he could do nothing but give into the onslaught.  Yohji’s tongue twined with his own.

“Oi, Omi, did I hear y-”

The door banged open.

Jolted shockingly from their impromptu tryst, Yohji and Omi flung themselves up and away from each other, to opposite corners of the couch.

Ken-kun stood in the doorway with a disk in his hand.  He took in the mortified embarrassment on Omi’s face, and the I-got-caught-necking-with-jailbait look on Yohji’s, and his own face did a slow burn.  “Hey, were you just...”

“NoIwasnotsuckingonOmi’stongue!!” Yohji snapped out, and he was up and out the door as if pursued by chibi shotakon-hentai demons with velvety bat wings and eager scarlet eyes.

“O-Omi?” Ken turned to his remaining teammate in the room.

“ wasn’t what it looked like!” Omi stammered, twisting his shirt in nervous hands.  Much as he’d like to proclaim to the world, Ken-kun in particular, Yohji-kun and he were *not* an item.  Yet.  “Yohji-kun was giving me kissing lessons.”

“Ho?” Ken raised a brow.  “Omi, don’t you know you’re supposed to practice those with a pretty girl?  Although you did pick an experienced guy for a tutor...”

“Datte,” Omi protested with a light flush, “the person I like is a guy.”

“It is?” Ken’s other brow raised.

“Never mind that!” Omi rushed on.  Obviously, he was going to have to plunge himself into a lesser evil to avoid a greater one.  “What’s on that disk?”

“Oh... um... ah... yeah.”  Ken refocused his priorities with an effort.  “Mission data that we need to get.  I’m having trouble with my search...”

“Ken-kun, you need to turn on the computer first,” Omi stated.

“Hey!” Ken protested.  “No, really, I do need your help.”

Omi sighed the gusty sigh of the long-suffering and the much put-upon.  “All right, Ken-kun.  I’ll help you if you do me a favor.”

“What’s that?” Ken asked suspiciously.  “I don’t want to swap any shifts!”

“No, it’s not that,” Omi lowered his lashes, “It’s really simple... I promise.”

“Okay, what is it?” Ken held out the disk.

“Pick a fight with Yohji, tell him you’re not sure you like him, then ignore him for a week,” Omi told him.

“What?” Ken said, clearly bewildered.  “What’s the catch, Omi?  That’s too easy!  It’s something I might do anyway!”

Yes, Omi knew, but timing was everything.

“What’s the catch?” Ken repeated, visibly suspicious.

He could benefit in more than one way.  Omi smiled angelically.  “You have to give me a nice, long back rub.”

Ken looked at him and his face turned slowly red.  “No kissing?”

What was this? Omi looked at his teammate carefully.  From the rosy flag of his blush, and the guilty look in the coffee-warm eyes, Ken-kun was having passionately lustful thoughts about him.  Resolutely Omi quelled the instinctive quivering of his lip.  Why Ken-kun and not Yohji-kun?  Still, this was something he could turn to his advantage.

“We’ll discuss that later,” Omi purred, taking the disk from Ken-kun’s fingers.  They both started at the intimate touch of their fingers.  Then, smiling, Omi hurried off towards the computer.

Realms of possibility were opening up.  Omi thought he’d like to try and be a male Lolita, for awhile.  If things worked out, he would have Yohji-kun for sure!!


Yohji propped his elbows on the windowsill, exhaling a gush of smoke into the cold night air.  He seemed to spend a lot of time smoking out the window.  Well, what could a man do?  If he went walking the street, someone might mistake him for something else entirely.  It had been a long time since he’d wanted to troll the bars to see whatever women he could dredge up to coax into bed.  He was through with sweaty, passionate nights of hot sex with women he barely knew.  Yohji was a changed man.

He, Kudou Yohji, was in love.

At least, he thought it was.  The way Ken’s ass moved and flexed in his jeans certainly had to do with a large part of his feelings.  But staring into those warm brown eyes, and the easy interchange of their insults, bumping up against him in the close-packed confines of the “Kitty in the House” during a rush…  Yohji was pretty sure this liquid feeling in his veins was love.  His knees went weak when he saw Ken’s gorgeous, slightly goofy expression every morning.

He’d even stopped laughing over the fact that Ken’s weapon was called a ‘bugnuk.’  It had to be love, right?

Rather than approach his teammate himself, Yohji had decided to take a circuitous route.  He couldn’t just treat Ken like a woman.  If that were the case, he would have trapped Ken against the wall and propositioned him, bought him flowers, chocolates, showered him with exquisite overblown compliments, not necessarily in that order.  And Ken wouldn’t have taken him seriously at all.

This way, he could sound Ken out without taking any risks himself, and at the same time lay the groundwork for whatever might come.

Ken had to relent.  Ken *had* to see the extent of his feelings…

Which, currently, comprised admiration over the way his butt moved in denim, and a warm gooshy feeling in his middle when he gazed into Ken’s warm brown eyes.  It wasn’t exactly what he had felt for Asuka, but Ken was a man and Asuka had been a woman, so that was only normal… right?

Yohji exhaled another thick cloud of smoke and closed his eyes.  Omi’s wide blue eyes gazed back at him from the darkness of his eyelids, intensely blue, so young, and a little hurt.  It was funny, but for the past few hours whenever he closed his eyes, he saw Omi, looking like that.  He had seemed upset at Yohji’s request.

In fact, Yohji hadn’t been able to get him to stop crying for a good ten minutes.

Yohji thought about that for awhile.  Then he thought about how Omi had conned him into that kissing game, calling in his ‘favor’ immediately.  Hn.  He’d turned down switching shifts for kissing?

Yohji scratched his head.  “Masaka…”  Omi couldn’t possibly be interested in him, could he?  “What a stupid thing!”  He pushed himself off the windowsill.

*Was* Omi interested in him?  No way.  Sure, he’d connived him into kissing him…and he’d cried inconsolably when Yohji had asked him to intercede with Ken.

K’so!  Yohji’s eyes went wide.

He was late for his shift!

Throwing his clothes on, Yohji hurried through the motions of getting ready for work and dashed to the shop.  He paused in the doorway, partly conscious that he was posing, partly just catching his breath.  *Ken* was working today, so they’d have the whole shift together.  And there he was, behind the register, and his warm brown eyes kindled with a spark when they met Yohji’s.


Yohji grinned, stepping into the shop.  Omi must have spoken with him!  Ken must return his feelings!  He was now confident of approaching Ken and achieving a positive response.

“You’re late,” Ken snapped, tone heated with anger.  “Can’t you be a little responsible, Yohji?  We’ve got a lot of orders to fill today, we definitely need two people in the shop, and Omi’s at school.”

Yohji’s hopes dwindled and died.

“O-oi.  Ken, I’m not that late.”  Self-consciously Yohji pushed back his half-tied honey-chestnut hair.  Why was he so mad?

“Forty-five minutes!” Ken blasted back at him.  “Do you know how many calls I’ve gotten?  Someone needs to tend the shop, and someone needs to run the orders!”

“Gomen, gomen!” Yohji waved his hands in deprecation.  “What do you want me to do?”

Ken stared at him for a moment.  “Run the orders,” he said at last.  “There’s a lot of paperwork to be done, and if I stay at least I can be sure it’ll get worked on.”

“Oi!” Yohji protested, stung.  He was baffled by this sudden, fierce anger from Ken.  Sure, they sparred verbally sometimes, Ken nailing Yohji for affecting to be a carefree playboy, and Yohji taking potshots at Ken’s lack of social skills.  The Yuriko incident was one of his favorite targets.  But today Ken was genuinely angry.

Masaka…could it be Ken was angry at him for finding him in Omi’s arms?  Yohji pulled a long face.  But Omi was just a kid; that didn’t mean anything…

Yohji forced his voice to remain calm and quiet.  “All right, Ken,” he said mildly, while he seethed within at the unfairness.  “I’ll run the orders.”

Ken looked surprised.  He must have expected him to put up a big fight.  “Well, then…”

“Quit trying to pick a fight with me, Ken,” Yohji stated, gliding past the counter.  “I’m not Aya.”

“I’ll say you’re not,” Ken retorted with a faint blush.

Oh, no.  No, no… it looked like Ken was still hung up on that cold fish Aya.  Yohji could’ve smacked his head.  He thought Ken had gotten over their red-haired teammate once Aya started displaying atypical Aya-kun behavior over that scrawny Sakura chick.  K’so.

“Maa,” Yohji sighed, “I can’t win with you, today.  Just give me the order list.”

Ken gave him an obscure dark glance and passed the delivery list over.  A little frisson went through Yohji when their fingers touched, and he could see the shock of it reverberating in Ken’s chocolate-brown eyes.

*Oh, hell with it,* Yohji thought.  He grabbed Ken’s wrist and pulled him close, noses almost bumping as their lips sealed together in a hard, hasty kiss.  *He’s going to punch me for this.*

Ken’s lips were warm and soft-hard, not like a woman’s but not like kissing a rock, either.  For a moment their joined mouths moved in urgent, beautiful union.

“Mmmf!”  Ken struggled free.  Abruptly Yohji was looking up at Ken, rubbing his jaw.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Ken shouted at him.  “You asshole, I’m not a woman!”

Yohji was chuckling fitfully and almost hysterically.  *Ken almost stuck his tongue in my mouth, but he caught himself, right before he hit me.*

Ken stepped past him and moved into the general shop area.  He wheeled around, gorgeous eyes shooting sparks.  “What was that for?”

Yohji stopped rubbing his jaw and picked himself off the ground.  “I thought it was obvious.”

“Well, you can’t have me!” Ken stared at him with wild eyes.  “I…I’m in love with Aya.”

“Wh-what?” Yohji felt like he’d received several sledgehammer blows to his chest.  “You can’t mean that.  Aya doesn’t love you.”  He spoke without thinking, plunged into heedlessness out of the depths of his wounded feelings.

“I know that,” Ken spoke bitterly, “but you can’t control who you love.”

Ken stared back at him, forest-green locked with chestnut brown.  “No,” he agreed in a quiet voice, “you can’t.”  He turned to push open the door to the back room.

“Yohji, wait!  Are you saying you’re in love with me?”

Yohji froze.  It was on the tip of his tongue to plead for whatever he could have, so long as he could be close to Ken.  Together, they could have some kind of comfort from their hopeless love.  Right?  Something stupid like that, anyhow.  But Yohji respected himself too much to be downgraded like that.

“I didn’t say anything,” he said, affecting careless attitude.  He half-turned to give Ken a flash of an ‘I-don’t-care’ grin. Ken’s eyes were surprised, his expression wary and unexpectedly compassionate.

Yohji wasn’t prepared for understanding.  His mask slipped; his defenses were breached by that single almost gentle look.

*Screw it.*

“Ken,” he turned back with a grimace, “I’ll take anything that you give me.  Aya can’t possibly feel for you the way I do.  I…I want to be with you, Ken.  Any way you’ll have me.  Just let me know.  I’ll give up women.  I’ll give up *smoking.*”

Ken laughed, a sound edged with nervousness.  “It must be love,” he said, turning his dark eyes away, glancing around the shop, looking anywhere but Yohji.

Yohji felt agony without the warmth of Ken’s chocolate-brown regard.  It was equally tortuous knowing he had looked away to think; was considering Yohji’s plea.  He felt he would die if Ken rejected him utterly.  These pangs and worries were unfamiliar to him; he had never cared this absolutely for a woman’s regard, his world hinged on a yes or no.  Yet the sensation was somehow natural.  He had been born to find this love.

“What about Omi?”

“Acha…” Yohji rubbed his head, felling a twinge.  Ken *would* have to cast that up to him, sooner or later.  He gave Ken an apologetic grin.  “Did it make you jealous?”

Ken nodded.  “Hell yes.  I wanted Omi’s first kiss.”

Yohji staggered.  “But…but you’re in love with Aya!”

The grin Ken turned on him was biting.  “Yeah, and you’re straight, but that doesn’t stop you from kissing Omi.”

“Oh.” Yohji nodded.  “I see. You’re using him for sexual reasons, aren’t you?”  He raised a brow.

“Well…uh…I…NO…I mean…” Ken sputtered, waving his hands frantically.  “I…I’m…”

“…a shotakon-hentai?” Yohji supplied helpfully.

“NO!” Ken shot him an angry glare.  “Besides, *you* were kissing him.”

“I was tutoring,” Yohji corrected meticulously.  “He asked me to.  And you’re changing the subject.”

“Huh?”  Ken lost him in the switch.

“I’ll take anything I can get, Ken,” Yohji reminded him patiently.

“Oh…” Ken’s eyes turned distant.  “I…need to think about it, okay, Yohji?”

Yohji was quiet for a moment.  “Okay,” he said with a deliberately careless shrug, giving Ken a snappy salute, turning gracefully and wheeling through the back door.  “I’ll see you later, Ken.”

“Later,” Ken replied, eyes troubled.

That look stayed with Yohji for the rest of the day.


Ken stared with vague unseeing eyes at the planter he had hung towards the front of the shop.  After a few minutes, he sprayed it with the bottle of liquid plant food, then checked the label after he realized the mist was faintly green-tinged.  Shit. He’d just sprayed it with weed killer.  Omi was going to lecture him; that was the third plant he’d killed today, through various means.

His thoughts were babbling onward.  He couldn’t help it.

Yohji loved him?

When did that happen?

For certain sure, Aya didn’t give a damn about his feelings.  They fought constantly.  They’d had sex a couple of times until Aya realized Ken was serious.  Now, he seemed to be fixated without even realizing it on Sakura, a junior high kid.  Who, incidentally, looked like his own sister.

Sometimes Ken wondered *why* he loved Aya.  The man was kinda sick.

“C’mon, Ken, get a grip!” he told himself, unhooking the planter and taking it into the back room.  If he doctored it quickly enough, he might be able to save the planter.

Ken had given up on the paperwork after the first few minutes.  He’d found himself doodling in the margins, mostly triangles involving Aya -> Ken -> Yohji -> Omi.  But that wasn’t a triangle.  It was a messed-up quadrangle.  Hell, where DID Omi figure into this mess?  The kid had wanted him to pick a fight with Yohji for some kind of reason, right?  And he’d been deep in lip-lock with the man last night…
So, Ken had had to haul out the white-out to erase the signs of his wandering mind.

Shit, Yohji was in love with him?

Ken thought about that for awhile.


First off, he wasn’t a woman.  Ken was pretty sure Yohji was straight.  Well, he’d been dead-sure until yesterday, when he walked in on Yohji playing tonsil-hockey with their jailbait teammate.  Sheesh.  Hadn’t *that* been a shock!

Ken wasn’t sure he liked this. It was confusing and he preferred things simple.  Yohji’s admission was coming out of the blue, after he’d been hitting on every single girl over eighteen within sight or even earshot, since Ken had known him.  Now he’d suddenly decided he wanted Ken?

He grimaced.  He was secure in his own sexuality.  He was bi, and he’d been openly bi for years.  But Yohji was a confirmed womanizer and involving himself with that kind of person could only lead to trouble.


Ken scratched his head.  But Yohji’s kiss had been so hot…

Damedamedame!! Ken shook his head firmly. “I am not doing this,” he told himself, feeling better as he said it out loud.  *Omi, on the other hand,* a small inner voice prompted.

“No, I am not doing Omi, either!”

“Ara? Ken-kun?” A ginger-blond head poked around the door-frame.  “Did you say something?”

Ken’s eyes bugged out.  “N-n-n-nan demo na, Omi!” he managed to blurt out.  “You’re early.”  He glanced at his watch.  “Really early.”

Omi shrugged.  “Today’s a half-day, Ken-kun.”  He pointed to the whiteboard that hung up over the back room work-desk.  *Omi - half day.*  *Yohji and Ken - day shift.*  *Aya - out.*

“Oh,” Ken said weakly.  “Good thing…we’ll need to get ready for the rush, because…”

“KEN-kun!” Omi blurted, staring at the four plants heaped on the work-desk.  Two were badly mangled and definitely not in saleable condition.  Ever.  “What have you been doing today?”

“Uhh…killing plants?”

“Ken-kun,” Omi advanced, expression doleful and admonishing all at once, “we can’t afford to waste product.”

Ken threw up his hands.  “I know, I know!”  *I knew I’d get a lecture.*  “I’m just…I’m kinda distracted today, okay?”

“Really?  What’s wrong, Ken-kun?”  No one in the world, Ken decided, could pull off that adorable wide-eyed blue gaze the way Omi could.  He definitely wanted Omi.  But he was still playing tug-of-war with his conscience over whether or not it was morally right, even if the boy was willing.

*He was willing enough with Yohji!* the little voice spoke up.

Oh, yeah… well, maybe he *should* tell Omi what was wrong.  Since Omi had been practicing his French with Yohji last night, and not the language, Yohji’s admission to Ken today might mean something to Omi.  Ken clutched at his head.  It was starting to hurt.

“Umm…actually, today, Omi…” Ken began, hedging, not sure how to start.  He was the last one who wanted to see anguish in those big baby blues!

“Yes, Ken-kun?” Omi moved closer, propping a hip against the work-desk.  God, the kid was sexy.

“Umm…” Ken gulped and almost chickened out right there.  Kami, when Omi gave him that look, it drilled straight to his heart!  He considered throwing Aya over for Omi.  Then he forced himself to think about Yohji’s dash of cold water.

Omi would be so upset…he might even…need comforting…

“Omi, Yohji told me today that he loves me!” Ken blurted out, rubbing one hand at the back of his neck, elbow crooked in the air.  There was just no delicate way to say it!

Omi blinked.  Several times.

Finally, “Really?” Omi said almost inaudibly, lowering his big baby blues.  “What - what did you say, Ken-kun?”

“Well…I don’t love him, Omi,” Ken replied, a little puzzled.  Omi didn’t seem surprised at all.

Omi lifted his eyes.  They were intense and melting and grabbed straight at Ken’s heart.  Perhaps the fact that Omi was toying with the hem of his shirt, twisting it well above his succulent belly-button, wasn’t hurting either.  His delicious lips were parting…

Wait, why was he thinking of Omi in terms of food?

“Who do you love, Ken-kun?” he asked simply.

Ken calculated which answer would get him into Omi’s pants the fastest.  After all, he wasn’t in love with Omi; he was in love with Aya.  He just wanted to *sleep* with Omi.  Right?

“Um. You,” Ken grinned foolishly, trying to maintain eye contact instead of staring at Omi’s dimple of a bellybutton.  Well, it was right there, and he wanted to touch it… with his tongue…

“Good!” Omi beamed.  “Dai suki da yo, Ken-kun!”

“Great!” Ken grinned back.  *Can we have sex on the countertops now?* his id inquired plaintively.

“Ken-kun,” Omi husked, closing the gap between them, “show me HOW much you love me.”

“Uhh…right here?” Ken’s arms twined around the luscious boy of their accord.  He couldn’t help himself.  Omi was like a drug, and he would happily inhale.

“Yes,” Omi breathed, then he was pressing up against Ken, a warm, sexy little boy-bundle.

*Ohh, Kami-sama, thank you…*  As Omi’s lips met his, Ken decided he was going to offer incense at the nearest Shinto shrine some time VERY soon.

Then the back door opened.  “I’m back!” Yohji called out cheerfully.

Ken and Omi broke apart with a guilty start.

Yohji was staring at them with huge, wounded forest-green eyes.

*K’so.  I was THAT close to having Omi slung over the work-desk.*

... To be continued...