Nagato’s thoughts, drifting during a rather boring meeting, are interrupte when he’s drafted by Kurosawa to be the system development head for the project that Kurosawa has just been made leader of.
Nagato is reluctant initially–he’s never headed up any part of a project himself before, but Kurosawa remarks that he has a rather impressive number of successful projects under his belt already, and he and the section chief have agreed that he’s good enough for this post.
Kurosawa: “And feel free to consult me should you have any troubles; I’ll help support you as best I can. So–let’s do our best together.”
Nagato can hardly turn him down now, and despite the fact that he very much does not want to have this much responsibility thrust upon him, he’s forced to concede. Meeting Kurosawa has brought him nothing but trouble, it seems.
When Nagato returns to his apartment that evening, he’s startled to find the landlady at his door–perfect timing, as she’s there to inform him that the apartment building is going to be torn down. The foundation is rotting, and it’s dangerous for people to live there now. She doesn’t have the money to rebuild, so they’re just going to tear it down and sell off the land. Nagato will have to find someplace new to live.
With no other choice, Nagato begins to look for a new place to live in his off-hours, but he isn’t having much luck. Kurosawa corners him one evening after work, just as he’s leaving, by calling him by his given name–which Nagato very much doesn’t take kindly to.
As apology, Kurosawa invites him out on a date the next Saturday, and Nagato reacts with predictable malice–why the hell should he go out on a date with Kurosawa of all people? Kurosawa reminds him that he said he’d help Nagato buy a new suit, but Nagato explains that he’s busy on Saturday. Sunday, then, perhaps?
Nagato: “I’m busy on the weekends; I’ve got no time to waste with the likes of you.”
Kurosawa: “Busy with what?”
Nagato: “Visiting realtors.”
Nagato reluctantly explains about his living situation and his apartment complex’s upcoming destruction, and Kurosawa offers to introduce him to a friend who’s a realtor. Nagato rejects the offer–as any friend of Kurosawa’s is bound to try to get him into a place he can’t afford. He’s looking for the cheapest of cheap places.
Kurosawa comments here that he understands that Nagato is paying off debts to relatives…but surely he’s making plenty of money with his job at this company, right? Nagato explains that he’s nearly done paying off his debts…but he has a younger sister going to a private high school who’ll have to transfer if she can’t pay the expensive tuition. With their father dead, Nagato is the only one who can keep her from having to leave the school she worked so hard to get into–that’s what he’s earning money for, and why he’s so poor.
Kurosawa: “…Then want to shack up with me?”
Nagato: “Excuse me?”
Kurosawa is all smiles now–he has an extra room, and if it’s Nagato living in it, then that means no rent or living expenses to worry about. He can send the extra money he saves back to his family, then, so why not shack up?
Nagato is in no mood to “shack up” with a lover–and certainly not Kurosawa. When Kurosawa reminds him that Nagato certainly didn’t seem all that averse to being his lover the other night, Nagato flushes darkly and explains that he simply got carried away in the heat of the moment. They slept together–that doesn’t make them lovers.
Kurosawa: “Then…does that mean you’ll sleep with anyone if you get swept up in the moment?”
Nagato: “Of course not! Do you take me for a fool?!”
If that’s not the case–then why did he sleep with Kurosawa? Nagato fumbles for words before protesting that Kurosawa forced him into it–but he admits to himself that it was the force of Kurosawa’s emotions that swept him away.
Kurosawa reminds him that he’s in love with Nagato–and when Nagato is clearly uncomfortable at hearing this again, Kurosawa relents and agrees that Nagato can move in simply as a roommate, not a lover. Nagato is clearly relieved by this suggestion, and the deal is made.
However, before he can commit 100%, Nagato reminds Kurosawa that his moving in does not come with a promise of sex–Kurosawa better not make a move on him.
Kurosawa: “That…I can’t promise.”
Nagato is astounded at the gall, but Kurosawa isn’t budging; he’s in love with Nagato–and they’ll be living under the same roof. It’s his chance. He takes Nagato by the wrists and hems him in against the wall, leaning in close.
Kurosawa: “If you seriously don’t want me…then all you have to do…is just not get swept away in the heat of the moment. Right?”
Nagato agrees with a meek whimper–but quickly acceeds to the kiss that Kurosawa draws from him immediately following.
Kurosawa: “I want you, Hiroki–body and soul. So I’m going to seduce you…with everything I am.”
Nagato is already regretting his decision.
Move-in day arrives quickly, though, and it isn’t nearly as bad as Nagato expects. His new room alone is bigger than his old place, and there’s a gym and a pool inside the apartment complex. It’s sheer luxury!
He and Kurosawa even have an almost domestic relationship now–and Kurosawa is clearly enjoying little luxuries like having Nagato bring him coffee in the evening.
Kurosawa: “Oh, nothing. I’m just…really glad I get to have you bring me coffee.”
Nagato brushes off the compliment, changing the subject to ask if Kurosawa is done with work yet. Kurosawa admits that he isn’t quite yet–and apologizes for leaving Nagato to his own devices. Snapping that he isn’t lonely, Nagato goes to take a bath and reflects on what he’s gotten himself into–he doesn’t to give in, definitely not.
A few days later and Kurosawa is held up at work, leaving Nagato to head on home alone and eat dinner by himself. Nagato does so, wondering when Kurosawa will be in–and a beep from the intercom has him wondering if he’s back early.
The man on the other end, however, is definitely not Kurosawa, and after a tense exchange where they both ask who the other is, the man lets himself inside, as he already has a key to the apartment.
Nagato is a bit irritated that Kurosawa hadn’t mentioned someone else having a key to their apartment–and if strange people are going to be showing up asking after Kurosawa, it would be polite to at least let Nagato know.
The doorbell rings, and Nagato goes to let their guest in–asking hesitantly if the man is kin to Kurosawa Naoya. He’s greeted with nothing but silence as the man strides past him into the living room, flopping down on the couch and making himself comfortable.
Stranger: “I could ask you the same thing–just who the hell are you?”
TO BE CONTINUED…