Kaito picked up the pace. Higashi’s text seemed pretty urgent. He told Kaito he needed him to come over immediately. Kaito dropped what he was doing and dashed out the door. His mind raced with different violent scenarios of whatever danger Higashi could be facing. He rounded the corner and there was Higashi’s apartment building. He took the stairs two at a time until he reached the door. He knocked loudly. The door swung open, and Higashi stepped back so Kaito could enter.
“Higashi! Are you okay? What’s going on?” Higashi rubbed the back of his neck.
“Aniki, I need your help.”
“What do you need me to do?” Higashi leaned against the wall, his arms crossed tightly across his chest.
“I have a date tonight.” Kaito stared at Higashi in confusion. His lips curved up in a playful smile.
“I’m happy for you, Higashi. But, what’s that got to do with me?” Higashi looked Kaito in the eye.
“I need your advice. You’re the smoothest guy I know.” His hands dropped down to his sides. “Teach me how to be like you.” The laughter escaped from Kaito before he could stop it. He tried to quickly cover with a few unconvincing coughs. Higashi’s eyes remained on Kaito as he got himself under control.
“Higashi, the Kaito charm is something you’re born with. It can’t be taught.” Higashi took a few steps toward him.
“Please, aniki. I really want to make a good impression on this girl.” Higashi bowed deeply with his hands on his knees. “Please.” Kaito sighed. He always did have a soft spot for Higashi.
“Fine. If it’s that important to you.” Higashi stood upright, mouth gaped in surprise. Kaito chuckled. “Let’s talk about your clothing, first.”
“What?” Higashi raced back to his bedroom where a mirror hung on the wall. Kaito followed him.
“Talk about what?!” Higashi searched himself over. “Aniki, this is a 200,000 yen suit. This shirt is 100% silk.”
“Yeah, yeah. It also screams ‘yakuza’. Do you want to date her or demand protection money from her?” Higashi grunted, still staring at himself in the mirror. Kaito walked up behind him. “First thing to go is this necklace. It’s too gaudy.” He was so close Higashi could feel his warm breath on the back of his neck. Kaito reached up and unlatched the gold chain. His hand brushed Higashi’s chest as he reached up to catch it, and set it on the dresser. Their eyes met briefly in the mirror. Higashi quickly looked away, his neck and cheeks burning. Kaito stepped back.
“Okay. What else, aniki?” Kaito scratched his beard in deep thought.
“Do you have any clothing that’s a little less fancy?” Higashi exhaled and ran a hand through his hair.
“I think I may still have my old suit.” He walked into his closet. Ten minutes later, he emerged wearing a gray suit and a plain white button down shirt.
Kaito nodded in approval. “Now, what about a tie?”
Higashi frowned. “I only have three ties. It’s not really my thing.” He walked into his closet, and returned with three ties in hand. One had Christmas wreaths on it. The second had a piano keyboard on it. The third was a pink silk tie. Kaito grabbed the pink tie from his hand.
“This one is perfect.” He flipped Higashi’s collar up, placed the tie around his neck, and quickly tied a flawless windsor knot. He glanced up at Higashi, who was watching his every move. “Sorry. I remembered from that fancy party we went to once that you didn’t know how to tie one.” Higashi shook his head.
“N-no. It’s fine.” Kaito turned him toward the mirror. Again he stepped closer until his chest was touching Higashi’s back. He slowly ran his hand down the tie smoothing it out. He leaned in closer.
“There. That’s what I’m talking about.” He gave a final tug on the knot, then stepped back again. “A touch of color and a bit of flash without overdoing it. What do you think Higashi-kun?” Higashi swallowed hard. He gently reached up and touched the knot, then slowly slid his hand down the tie, mimicking the motion Kaito had just done.
“Yeah, it looks good.” His words were barely above a whisper. It was hard to speak when all his energy was going towards ignoring the searing heat spreading through his body like a wildfire. Kaito sat on the edge of the bed, and leaned back on his elbows.
“OK. The last thing is your glasses.” Higashi furrowed his brows.
“What’s wrong with my glasses?”
“The sun’s almost down. Why are you wearing shades?” Higashi scowled, but didn’t answer. “You’ve got nice eyes, Higashi-kun. Don’t you want her to see them?” Higashi sighed heavily. He moved toward the dresser, and opened the top drawer. He pulled out his old glasses. He set his sunglasses on top of the dresser, and put the old pair on his face. He spun around to Kaito, and flung his hands out in a ‘ta-da’ motion. Kaito sat up. He smiled, pleased with his handiwork. He opened his mouth to say as much when his phone started ringing. He answered, mumbled a few quick sentences, then stood up.
“I’ve gotta go. Tabo needs me for a new case.” Kaito headed towards the door.
“Aniki, wait!” Kaito turned back to face Higashi. Higashi turned away for a moment, then turned to face his former superior. “There’s just one more thing.” Higashi drummed his fingers on his leg. “What if she wants a kiss?” Kaito raised an eyebrow.
“Then you kiss her.” Kaito turned to leave again.
“Aniki!” Kaito let out an irritated breath, but turned back to Higashi again. Higashi bit his lower lip. “I’ve never kissed anyone before. I… don’t really know what to do.” Kaito’s jaw dropped.
“I’ve been running Charles and dealing with Captain Hamura’s constant bullshit.” He raised his eyes to meet Kaito’s. “There’s not a lot of time left for sucking face. Not to mention a severe lack of choice in partners.” Kaito kept Higashi fixed in his stare, but stayed silent. “Any pointers will do.” Kaito gave a quick nod.
“Look, there’s not a whole lot to it.” Kaito tucked his phone back into his pocket. “You just have to be confident and take control.” He slowly approached Higashi. “Put your hand on her cheek like this.” Kaito gently caressed Higashi’s cheek. “Lean in, but tilt your head so you don’t hit her nose. Then you just…” He pressed his lips to Higashi’s. At first Higashi was still, unsure how to react. Then he moved his lips, returning the kiss with some enthusiasm. Kaito broke the kiss.
“Now, “ he whispered, “if she seems to be into it, try using a little bit of tongue.” He flicked his tongue, and gently lapped at Highashi’s bottom lip. Higashi gasped, and Kaito slipped his tongue into the other’s mouth. Higahsi sighed, and wrapped his arms around Kaito’s neck. Kaito’s phone rang again. He jumped, breaking the kiss for the second time. “Damn. I almost forgot about Tabo.”
He walked quickly towards the bedroom door. “I’ve gotta run, but have fun on your date, Higashi-kun.” Then he rushed out the door. Higashi was still rooted to his spot, trying to catch his breath.
Kaito sat on his couch, sipping a beer. He had just put his feet up on the coffee table, when there was a loud knock on his door. He grumbled, but got up to go see who it was. When he opened the door, Higashi pushed past him into the apartment.
“Please, come in.” He quipped as he shut the door. He turned to Higashi. “So, how was your date?”
Higashi rounded on Kaito and gave him a hard slap to his face. Kaito stumbled backwards, his hand covering his stinging cheek. He glared at Higashi.
“What the hell’s the matter with you?!”
“How dare you, Aniki!” Higashi paced back and forth, shaking his hand that was still stinging from the hard blow. “You know how long I’ve wanted you. This date was an attempt to try to move on from you.” Kaito stood up straight. His cheek bright pink from the hit.
“NO! Then you go and kiss me like that.” He reached out to Kaito for a moment, then let his hands drop. “All I could think about was your scent, how you felt.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “How I wanted more. I couldn’t think of anything else.” Higashi sniffled and tears rolled down his cheeks. “I cut the date short, and I came here instead.”
Kaito went to Higashi and wiped the tears from his face. “Higashi-kun, did it ever occur to you that I don’t want you to move on from me?” Higashi’s head snapped up. His eyes searched the others for any hint of a joke. “I knew why you worked so hard to try and get me back in the family. Maybe I can’t stand being away from you, either.”
“Shhh. I believe we were interrupted before.” Kaito pressed his lips to Higashi’s.