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A helping hand

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“Uh, excuse me, I need to get to my boyfriend,” Giyuu said to the stranger, batting away the guy’s sneaky hand. He really regretted taking those skin-tight jeans now.

“Oh, baby boy, don’t be like that. We all know there is no boyfriend. But you sure can get one. So I’m Douma.”

Giyuu swallowed the uncomfortable feeling. “As I said. I’m here with somebody.”

“Well, sounds like you’re lying, I don’t see anyone around,” Douma said, his hands flying out as if to illustrate the lack of Giyuu’s boyfriend. Giyuu flushed, his lie caught.

He looked around, spotting the bar nearby and a white-haired guy that seemed to be sitting alone and sipping on his drink. There were no other glasses on the places next to him and the seats were empty too, so Giyuu assumed he was there alone.

Giyuu pointed at the stranger. “He is right there.”

Douma seemed to see right through his lie. “Oh, really? Then we wouldn’t want to keep him waiting, c’mon, go to him, your boyfriend must be losing his sanity waiting for that ass to show up.” Douma smiled sweetly at him.

He was fucked. Genuinely and fully fucked. Giyuu didn’t know the guy at the bar. Now he had to go there and pretend. He wasn’t sure what this Douma would do once he saw the stranger yell at Giyuu to get lost.

Giyuu couldn’t be sure but Douma looked a bit dangerous and he was persistent. He wouldn’t take a no for an answer. His smile was bright and sweet but there was a hidden cunningness behind it and that kind of started to scare Giyuu. Just what was this guy capable of?

Well, it was at least worth a shot. Giyuu could feel Douma’s intense gaze on his back, the feeling making the hair on his neck stand up. He slowly approached the bar, stealing himself for the rejection and the subsequent dealings with Douma.

The white-haired guy had a hand on the counter, holding his cup. Giyuu put on a forced smile and put his hand to the guy’s forearm. “Hey, baby, sorry for the wait,” Giyuu said loud enough even for Douma, who had not so subtly walked closer, to hear.

Giyuu’s smile dropped right away. The man turned around to face him, luckily not doing anything to get rid of Giyuu’s hand. And as he turned, Giyuu got a full view of the man’s face. Scars all over and a murderous glare to match. Giyuu prepared himself for the shouting.

“What-” he started loudly, but then, Giyuu squeezed his arm urgently, and the panic must have shown on his face because sudden understanding passed the guy’s expression. “-took you so long, huh? I didn’t even know what shit to order for you.” He changed his sentence.

Giyuu visibly relaxed, his grip on the guy’s arm loosening a bit. He sat down on the bar stool next to him and let go off his hand completely. A bartender came right away and Giyuu ordered a soda. He was in no mood to drink today. He would just get away once Douma was gone.

The guy next to him, however, placed the palm of his hand to the back of Giyuu’s bar stool and leaned close to him. Giyuu tried to ignore the way he brushed against his butt. He couldn’t help but shiver as the guy leaned even closer, making Giyuu feel his hot breath on his skin.

“Pretend to laugh,” the guy whispered in his ear. Giyuu did just that, pretending that he was being told something really funny right now. The man continued. “I’m Sanemi. Who is bothering you? Is it Douma?”

He leaned back, but his arm was still around Giyuu who only nodded. Giyuu didn’t go to clubs like this often. Sanemi must have if he knew Douma by name.

Seeing his nod, Sanemi frowned. He glanced around, spotting Douma right away who was still staring at Giyuu, and quite intently at that. Sanemi didn’t let his eyes wander for too long and returned his full attention to the guy he was helping. He didn’t even know his name.

It didn’t matter, though, he could just call him something he would call his boyfriend. The most important thing was to get the guy out of there. Douma was real trouble for everyone involved.

Sanemi asked the guy about his day, just to get him talking. He wasn’t saying anything specific, nothing to indicate what his real job was or where he did it, however there was one line that finally told him his name. ‘Giyuu this and Giyuu that, I really feel like they can’t do anything without me there.’

He wasn’t sure if Giyuu really meant what he was saying, it sounded more like he was trying to subtly tell Sanemi his own name, and it worked so he didn’t care that much.

Giyuu’s voice wasn’t loud, no one around them could make out what he was saying, except Sanemi, of course. That was a good sign. It meant that neither did Douma. They could talk privately without being overheard.

Giyuu seemed to notice that fact, too. Turning to Sanemi, he lowered his voice even more. “Is he still there?” He knew Douma was there a while ago, but he couldn’t see him without turning fully around and he didn’t want to give Douma the pleasure.

“Yeah, just give it few more minutes, he’ll get bored eventually and leave.” Sanemi waved his hand. He knew Douma all too well. He would return to the mingling crowd soon enough, ready to find another guy to spend night with, or whatever it was he did with guys.

Not really knowing what to do, they sipped their drinks slowly, exchanging a sentence here and there, enough to make it look like they were having a good time. Though to be honest, the conversation flowed pretty easily. Sanemi didn’t have to look too hard for topics, and Giyuu always answered, even hit him with some questions of his own.

For the kind of situation they were thrown into, it wasn’t too bad. Sanemi kept talking. “And you know, he always say-” Sanemi stopped talking as he noticed something. Giyuu was gripping his glass, his fingers almost white from how strong he was holding it. Sanemi leaned in closer. “What’s wrong with you?”

Giyuu looked up at Sanemi. He saw where Sanemi’s eyes were and let go off the glass. “Right. It’s just- I can feel him staring.”

Sanemi frowned again. Still? He glanced over Giyuu’s shoulder, and surely he was there, sitting at the end of the bar, his eyes firmly on Giyuu. Douma was really determined today.

“I have an idea, but don’t freak out on me, got it?” Sanemi said.

Giyuu nodded and before he knew it, Sanemi was leaning in. He froze, his eyes instinctively closing. Sanemi got to him quickly, but to Giyuu it felt like the time had slowed down. There was a hand on his cheek. Calloused yet gentle and its presence there grounding him. He wasn’t as uncomfortable as he thought he would be. He let Sanemi kiss him.

It was a long and passionate kiss. If anything, this was bound to convince Douma that there was something more between them, that Giyuu wasn’t just making it up.

When Sanemi pulled back, Giyuu was still too stunned to say anything. He figured why Sanemi did it, after all he told him in the beginning, but a kiss still wasn’t exactly what he imagined. True to his words, or well, a nod, Giyuu didn’t freak, but he couldn’t fight his surprise.

His face was still too close to Giyuu. “He’s standing up,” Sanemi said, looking at Douma behind Giyuu. And really, the kiss truly seemed to do the trick. Douma stood up, glared at Sanemi and then he was leaving, out of their sight within a minute.

Sanemi finally made some distance between them. “Fucking finally, that creepy as bitch is gone.”

This made Giyuu get over himself and his swirling mind. He looked around and really, there was no Douma. He sighed. Finally. “I should go now.”

Sanemi nodded. Giyuu had already paid for his soda so there was nothing holding him back or making him stay. He stood up, but before he left, right after he turned away, he turned back to Sanemi. “Thank you.”

“Fuck, don’t give me that shit, anyone would help.”

Giyuu smiled at him, his smile small but not forced like before. “Well, thanks anyway.” He didn’t wait for Sanemi to argue. He was grateful and pretty sure that not everybody would help him like Sanemi did. He even went as far as to kiss a stranger. Yeah, not everyone would do that without batting an eye.

He got outside, unaware of Douma waiting just for that. Douma kept himself hidden in the shadows of the corner and just as Giyuu exited the club, he waited few seconds to give him a head start and then followed.

However, what Douma was unaware of, was the fact that Sanemi, with his cheeks flustered a bit from what Giyuu had said, was watching Giyuu leave and noticed Douma leaving as well. His drink was still unfinished, but Sanemi couldn’t care less. He stood up right away and hurried outside.

Since Douma was trying hard for Giyuu not to notice him following, he hid behind the building’s corner and was waiting again for Giyuu to get to such a position that he could start following him properly without being noticed.

As smooth as Douma thought he was, he really wasn’t. Sanemi could clearly see him dodging behind the corner, when Giyuu turned around. He didn’t even know why, but Sanemi felt a little bit of pride swell in him. Giyuu was being careful and he knew something was wrong. He was smart. But he didn’t have to, Sanemi was there to help.

Sanemi passed the corner where Douma was without sparing him a single glance, instead he walked in a steady pace toward Giyuu. As if on cue, Giyuu turned around, this time feeling Sanemi’s eyes on him, just not knowing it was Sanemi.

He wasn’t hard to make out. Giyuu recognized him right away, his brows furrowing as he wondered why Sanemi was there. He stopped and waited for him to catch up.

When Sanemi got there, he pulled an arm around Giyuu’s shoulders. “He’s still fucking following you. Let’s go over there, I’ll wait for you till a cab gets here.”

Giyuu’s eyes were on the ground. He knew there was someone behind him, but every time he turned around there was no one. Until there was Sanemi. “I actually live pretty close.”

“Damn, okay, fine. I’ll just walk you there then.”

They walked for about ten minutes, Sanemi’s arm still very much there on Giyuu, but it was still obvious that Douma was relentlessly following them.

“What the fuck is wrong with him?” Sanemi muttered.

“I don’t want him to know where I live,” Giyuu said when it occurred to him.

“Shit, I didn’t even think of that, it’s probably why he’s still fucking there.” His tone rose to dangerous levels as he said the last few words. Sanemi was getting pissed. Any minute now, he would just snap, turn around, go to Douma and throw some punches. He knew that calling the police on his ass wouldn’t help. It never did. Everyone local or a regular at the club knew to avoid Douma like a plague.

They walked mostly in silence after Sanemi told Giyuu to take a different, longer route home. Giyuu agreed that it was for the best, but also told Sanemi that he himself should go home and not walk with him if it meant it would take longer. Sanemi barely let him finish. It was a dumb idea. He most likely wouldn’t be able to sleep without knowing if Giyuu got home safe or not. He wanted to think of him as stranger, but he couldn’t anymore. They had talked surprisingly a lot tonight. He wasn’t a stranger now.

There were a lot of twists and turns since they had decided to take a short cut through the market. There may have been no vendors at this hour but the stalls were still there, making it a perfect place for losing the unwanted follower. And lose him they did. Once they were out of the stalls, Giyuu shook off Sanemi’s arm and took his hand in his instead. Then he broke out into a run, pulling Sanemi with him, who was forced to run next to him.

By the time they reached Giyuu’s place, they were both sweaty and panting, but also laughing like crazy, wiping away stray tears and holding their bellies. It was the kind of laugh that hurt. But neither could help it. They felt like teenagers again. Douma and the danger he meant pretty much forgotten now.

It took them a while to calm down, both of them needing some time to regain their breaths. Sanemi was the first one to recover. “Give me your phone.”

Giyuu was still a bit out of it, in need of more time to calm down properly and so he handed Sanemi his phone without giving it much thought. Sanemi swiftly typed something into it and then gave it back. Giyuu stared at a row of numbers, confused. He looked up at Sanemi.

“If another creep follows you, or well, anything else, call me.”

“Oh.” So it was Sanemi’s number. Giyuu knew he was sometimes dense and so he would rather have a clarification for that. “Are you telling me to call you, whenever about whatever?”

“Yeah, dumbass. Just maybe don’t call at freaking 3 am.”

“Unless there is a creep following me?” Giyuu asked, a hint of mischief in his eyes.

“Shit, yeah, unless that happens.”

In the end, Giyuu still ended up with a nice guy’s phone number. Despite everything, his night at the club was a success, even if he would have never guessed this was how it would all end. This was the kind of first meeting he would never forget.