In the huge conference room of a famous hotel a group of the most known businessmen in Japan was having their first meeting in the new year. The tension in the room was quite high since all the men had to endure seeing their biggest enemies without making a ruckus. Many people were wondering why all these men were having such conferences when they couldn’t stand each others’ guts. The answer was quite simple, actually – all of them wanted to show off, make their rivals to grit their teeth in anger and jealousy.
Though all of the men in the room didn’t like each other, there were two of them that clashed whenever they were closer than fifty meters away from each other.
Ueda Tatsuya and Kamenashi Kazuya.
They both were directors of the most earning companies, not only in Japan but in the whole world. After all, they say Japanese watches are the best, don’t they? Yes, their companies were producing and distributing watches so the men always fought about the number of sold goods and earned money. There was one funny thing though; they both took their turns in winning the first place in monthly sales but they produced two completely different types of watches.
Kamenashi decided to follow the tradition. His watches were elegant and fashionable but with a hint of the past when cell phones and computers didn’t exist. In his collections people could find watches that their grandparents were wearing with care, treasuring a piece of, sometimes, the only valuable thing they had. Kamenashi wanted his watches to have a soul and the warm feeling of familiarity.
Ueda on the other hand, wanted to make something modern and multifunctional. His watches were packed with many up-to-date technologies, from simple timers to weather sensors and music players. He was proud of his products which were popular with teenagers seeking for the newest accessories and scientists who always wanted to have the whole world in one hand.
These two men, with completely different tastes were fighting from the beginning, no one even remembered anymore how it had started but most people didn’t care anyway. What people cared about was how to stop the two men when they tried to rip each other to pieces. Now was exactly one of such moments.
The meeting finally ended. All the men exited the room and looked for their respective assistants and secretaries. Ueda Tatsuya and Kamenashi Kazuya weren’t an exception. Unfortunately, their co-workers happened to sit not so far away from each other making their bosses to also find themselves close; close enough to talk.
“Nice meeting you, Ueda-san. We haven’t seen each other for a while, have we?” Kamenashi stopped in front of his rival, starting a conversation with a small half-smirk.
“Indeed, it’s been a while. How are you, Kamenashi-san?” Ueda asked with a polite smile on his face but no one had doubts that the man was also smirking inside.
“I’m good, thank you very much for asking. And how are you?”
“Oh, I’m rather good though I had this huge commission from a Swiss company. The time was quite hectic last month but the contract was too great to just pass it.” Ueda smirked at the twitch of Kamenashi’s lips. The man could barely hide his anger. The company Ueda was talking about, had a contract with him before and losing it to his biggest enemy was like a punch in the face.
“I’m glad for you. Tell me…” Kamenashi stopped looking thoughtful before he continued with a hint of irritation and smugness that could be heard in his voice. “How did you managed to get such a contract? Somehow I can’t imagine a man like you to spread his legs for some old pervert like a cheap whore.”
If before you could hear murmurs from all directions, now all sounds suddenly disappeared. Everyone froze on the spot and looked at the two in fright. While they normally were great men to make deals with, collected and serious about their job, once in each others’ presence they changed into hot-headed, always ready to fight alphas. There was no doubt that they both were the type that loved to dominate so Kamenashi’s insult surely got to Ueda.
Ueda’s face was blank for a few seconds while Kamenashi smirked at the older man. His smirk faded away though when a smile similar to his own blossomed on Ueda’s face. The older didn’t seem affected at all.
“Hm… Interesting theory. Is it the way you got that contract at first? Well, thankfully I didn’t have to go that low.” Ueda looked into Kamenashi’s eyes with mischief, grinning at sight of the other’s angry expression. He wanted to have even more fun – pissing Kamenashi off was a great pleasure. “You know what? I may consider giving the contract back to you. I kind of wonder which part of you impressed the president so much to give you the deal.”
Saying that Kamenashi was angry would be an understatement. At the moment the younger wanted nothing else but to grab his rival and give him a slow and painful death. It was actually quite amazing how the men didn’t care about their reputations in situations like this one. They would do everything to humiliate the other, even if they had to bear consequences of their actions later - there were times when people broke off the deals with them.
At the last moment, the assistants of both men came and stopped them from starting a fight in the middle of the hotel’s hall. Akanishi Jin and Nakamaru Yuichi grabbed their boss, Kamenashi Kazuya, by the arms and gently guided him towards the exit. None of the two said anything afraid that it will only make the man explode.
Ueda watched the scene with satisfaction but soon his smirk was replaced by a cold, serious gaze. He gestured to his two co-workers, Taguchi Junnosuke – the technological genius, and Tanaka Koki – the designer, to follow him out of the building. Outside his shiny, expensive car was already waiting for them. They went inside and Ueda gestured to his driver to get them back to the company. Taguchi and Tanaka looked at their boss to check his mood. Even though he won the fight, he was still heavily insulted and no one was brave enough to speak when their boss burnt with anger.
The ride to the company was silent. When the machine finally stopped in front of the building with a neon sign saying “Art of Life”, the three came out of the car and made their way inside and to the last floor where Ueda’s office was. The boss took off his coat and after placing it on the hanger next to the door, he sat on his black leather chair grabbing one of the documents from his desk.
“Boss?” Tanaka spoke softly trying to bring the other’s attention. “Are you okay?” he asked when Ueda looked at him.
“Why shouldn’t I be?” the man asked back eyeing his worker.
“Well…” Koki averted his gaze, scratching the back of his neck. Ueda leaned back in his chair.
“I’m okay, Koki. I can’t take every of his insults to heart. Not now anyway. We still have a lot of work to do. I wasn’t here for a few hours and my desk is already piled up with documents.”
“But Uepi~ You just signed a big contract. Can’t you take a little break? We haven’t met up for a month already!” Taguchi whined at his boss to be smacked on the head by Koki.
“Shut up, Taguchi. You’re annoying! Go to your laboratory.” Koki pointed to the door behind him and Junno exited the room with a pout while rubbing the hurt place. “Ueda, better if you find some free time quickly. I promise to kill Taguchi the next time he starts whining about you. It’s driving me nuts!”
“Fine, fine. I will try.”
“Oh, no, no, no my friend. You have to promise to meet us on Friday.” Koki crossed his arms.
“I can’t. Family dinner.”
“Then next week. I bet you’re free so don’t you dare to decline my offer, Tat-chan.”
“Fine, it’s not like I avoid you but the company is my priority.”
“I know but take better care of yourself. We don’t want to see our boss in bad shape. How would it look like? The boss who trains boxing, looking like a skeleton.” Koki laughed while Ueda smirked and added.
“Or like Kamenashi.” Koki just rolled his eyes.
“You should stop that too. He doesn’t look like that anymore and at least he can cook for himself. You’re too lazy to even look into your own fridge.”
With that said, Koki exited the room. Ueda only rolled his eyes at his friend and concentrated on the papers in front of him. He didn’t have time to think about anything else. Nothing could disturb him, not even Kamenashi’s insults. His work, deals and contracts were the most important at the moment – he couldn’t lose to Kamenashi, not to him.
* * *
Kamenashi stepped inside his office and closed the door behind him with a loud bang. His startled friends looked at each other before slowly knocking and entering the room. The angry man was standing in front of his desk leaning on it on his palms with his head hanging low. The two co-workers could see how tensed his back was but there was no solution to it. Kamenashi Kazuya was stubborn and independent; trying to cheer him up at the moment would only make the situation worse. Kamenashi hated pity.
After a silent minute, the man straightened up and turned around with a serious expression. Though he was still rather stressed, Akanishi and Nakamaru knew that their friend will be alright. Somehow work was a better remedy than a day off.
“Akanishi, my schedule,” the man ordered and the older quickly took a step forward opening a black thick notebook.
“You have an appointment with the president of “Sen Corp.” at three and then dinner with our new advertiser team at six. Tomorrow there are three appointments with our new clients at ten, one and four. Later that day you’re free but the next day the designer asked for a meeting concerning the newest line of watches for the spring collection. I think he and our big-nose couldn’t agree with each other.”
“Oi!” Nakamaru protested immediately, scolding the smirking man.
“It’s nothing new, is it? They always have some ‘buts’. Really, Yucchi, you shouldn’t pick up fights with our designer,” Kame said with a lopsided smile, feeling better while he watched his friends antics.
“It’s not my fault that he wants to make a watch that has ONLY hands. I can agree for a watch with hands and small dashes indicating numbers but not a watch with only hands. You wouldn’t even know how to wear it!”
“And having dashes is suppose to help? I don’t see the difference.” Akanishi shrugged while he scratched his head in confusion. Kamenashi rolled his eyes at his dumb friend.
“Trust me, Jin, it makes a difference.”
“It does?” he looked at the man with wide, childlike, curious eyes.
“Yes, with dashes you’re at least able to tell where the numbers should be,” the man answered while going around the desk to pick up some documents. “Now, shoo! You’re supposed to be sitting outside, checking my emails and phone calls.” Jin just stuck out his tongue and walked out of the room.
“So… what are you going to do about the designer’s idea? I hope you won’t let him make such a watch?”
“Don’t worry, I will think of something but first we need to take care of our current deals. I don’t want to lose to Ueda once again,” the younger one answered while collecting a few papers. “Can you check if the new delivery arrived? We were suppose to get brand new belts’ samples. I’m going to check on the production.”
“Sure, no problem.” Yuichi observed the man who already collected all the needed papers and was ready to go out of the office. “Kame,” the older tried to stop his friend for a second and when the man turned to him with questioning look, he said. “Don’t overwork yourself. We really don’t want to see the old Kame back.” Normally the younger would ignore the comment but seeing how worried his friend is, he couldn’t just brush him off.
“I will, Yucchi. And if I won’t, you have my permission to lock me in the house.” Kame smiled to him before he exited the room, leaving Nakamaru behind.
“Of course, I will do that. But first I will confiscate all your phones, computers, tablets and pagers.”
The man sighed and left the room, locking the office with a spare key.
* * *
Even though Kamenashi Kazuya kept his promise to his friend and stayed healthy, it didn’t mean he would slow down his pace. It was amazing how he was able to take care of all the documentation while checking everything twice and yet have time to help in other departments of the company. If someone wanted to meet Kamenashi without making an appointment beforehand, he needed to either wait a few hours until the man came back, or try his luck and search for him in different places of the building.
Kame was everywhere where he was needed. The company was his baby. His friends were even saying that “Kizuna” was his one and only love. Well, it might be true if you counted the times when Kamenashi called off his dates only to help with a new design even though Nakamaru was completely capable of taking care of the designer’s team himself.
Kazuya was young but hard-working and devoted to his work. There were times when people laughed at him saying that he doesn’t have enough experience to run a business but with his determination and seriousness slowly he gained a lot of respect. Even though the days when people under-valuated him were long over, Kamenashi hadn’t change and the newest sales were the proof of it.
Kame sat in his chair and sipped on a coffee before opening a folder in front of him. He scanned the page in silence. When his eyes reached the bottom, Kazuya smiled widely, satisfied from the week’s results. His company gained another few percent, becoming the week’s number one with “Art of Life” following closely behind. Anyway, it was enough for Kame to be happy. He lost one of his precious contracts but was still able to outrun Ueda.
Kazuya closed the file and relaxed in his chair, drinking his coffee. He turned around and looked outside the window. The sun was already setting low and most of the workers were going home but for Kazuya the day hasn’t ended yet. Five minutes later the man stood up and walked out of the office leaving the empty cup on Akanishi’s desk. Even if the results were good, the work was waiting. After all, he couldn’t possibly let Ueda defeat him again.
* * *
The room was dark. The only light was coming from the small lamp standing on the desk on which Ueda put all the documents. The man himself was sitting on a chair bend forward and reading reports his employees had given him earlier. Two hours later Tatsuya put his glasses aside and turned off the lamp. In the dark he found a sofa, sat heavily on it sighing tiredly and he sighed. Like always, on the table in front of him, stood a can of beer and a glass. The man stared at the items for a while before he slowly took the can and poured gold liquid into the glass.
Silence and darkness. Two things that accompanied the man at the moment. He preferred it that way. Well… at least he preferred darkness because when it was dark, he didn’t have to face the reality, the empty house with white walls. Ueda didn’t have much; nothing that was important. For him the house was just an object where you sleep, eat and work but nothing else. Of course, he had his dogs but he kept them in the smaller building next to his house. It was quite ironic that he felt much better in his dogs’ place than in his own but that’s how it was.
Ueda Tatsuya was a loner… No, he wasn’t a loner.
He was lonely.
The house was big, too big for one person. Tatsuya had friends; great people who were always by his side. But even though they were there, Ueda was shutting them out of his life. He loved his friends deeply but they couldn’t understand him or his problems. He didn’t want to worry them so every time something happened he kept quiet and locked himself in his office for long hours, working.
* * *
Saturday came and with it another family dinner. Ueda reluctantly stepped out of the car and went inside the huge mansion greeted by a butler. Tatsuya made his way towards the dining room where he knew his family was waiting for him. He stiffly bowed to his parents and older sister and took his place on one side of the table. A minute later maids set many delicious dishes on the table and left the room.
Ueda hated family diners. He respected his parents and his sister but he would prefer not meeting them. In the press, when they were far away from each other, his family looked good – the father, a very well-known architect, the mother – elegant lady, a master of tea ceremony, the sister – respected surgeon and the son – a president of one of the biggest companies in Japan. From the outside everything looked perfect. Ueda wanted to believe in a picture projected by the media but reality was different.
“Ayumi,” his father took a glass of wine in his hand. “How are you? Is everything going alright in the hospital?” Ueda looked at his sister faking curiosity; he just wanted to leave this place, especially now, when the conversation started.
“Everything is good, papa. This week we needed to perform a really difficult operation on human’s heart. For a second we were worried the man won’t make it but thankfully we brought him back at the last moment.” The young woman smiled warmly at her father who nodded proudly to his child. Then the man looked at his only son with a cold expression.
“And you, Tatsuya? How’s your… business going?” the man took a sip of wine.
“I’m doing fine, thank you,” Ueda answered looking at his father with hard eyes.
“I heard that you lost to that Kamenashi,” the man eyed his son.
“That’s true,” Tatsuya admitted bravely knowing perfectly well what will follow after his words. The older put his glass down and looked disapprovingly at his son.
“I can’t believe that someone like that Kamenashi is better than you. He’s just some plain commoner who thinks that he knows everything. Does he has any class? I doubt that,” the man snorted and leaned a little towards Ueda. “Listen Tatsuya, it’s better if that man won’t destroy our image. If I hear that-”
“You won’t, father,” Ueda stopped the man from speaking further.
The older man looked his son into the eyes and after a while nodded not wanting to start a fight. Ueda was glaring at his father, equally with braveness and arrogance. A few minutes later, Tatsuya stood up and excused himself from the table, saying his goodbyes. He didn’t want to spend any minute longer with his parents who looked at him disapprovingly. After all, being number two is something they couldn’t tolerate.
Ueda hurried to the door of his car and went inside. He felt angry and slightly humiliated. His sister almost lost a patient but it’s alright because she saved him. His father was rich but it was Tatsuya who was even richer and yet it wasn’t important that he had great contracts, that the whole world was buying his products - the most important fact for his parents was that Kamenashi sold more this week. Even though Tatsuya stole one of the biggest deals with a famous Swiss corporation and his face was more often seen in magazines than any other person, he still was a nuisance, a bad son who was bringing shame to the family.
It wasn’t new and Tatsuya got used to it but the thing he hated the most was when his father brought Kamenashi into their conversation. He always said ‘that Kamenashi’. Tatsuya wanted to tell his father to shut up many times; to stop calling Ueda’s biggest enemy ‘a commoner’. Yes, Kamenashi’s family wasn’t rich but Kazuya was a smart, honest man - a great rival and even though Tatsuya fought with him all the time, he also felt respect towards the younger and didn’t like it when people were badmouthing him. No one had that right, not even Tatsuya’s father.
* * *
For Ueda Monday came way too quickly. Even having the whole Sunday just for himself, he wasn’t able to calm down enough; he was still reminiscing his father’s harsh words. He just wanted to forget the dinner and move on but every time he saw a happy family, Tatsuya felt his anger and disappointment raising in him. And today’s encounter didn’t help at all.
Ueda bowed to the staff who were sitting inside the room before he walked outside where Koki and Junno were already waiting for the end of the interview. The older man nodded slightly and the three of them went away towards the lift. A small noise announced the arrival of the small rectangular cube and the door opened. Both, the waiting three and the people who just came, stood stunned totally surprised by the situation.
Tatsuya watched as the men came out of the lift and stopped in front of him. The two at the back were eyeing the president of “Art of Life” and his co-workers warily while the man standing in front of them smirked. Ueda only furrowed his eyebrows; he wasn’t in the mood to deal with Kamenashi right now but unfortunately, fate liked making cruel jokes.
“Kamenashi-san,” Ueda greeted the younger man trying not to snap.
“Ueda-san,” Kamenashi nodded. “I see I’m not the only one who they wanted to interview. It’s not a surprise though. After all, I won this time.” The man smirked trying to irk the older.
“This week is yours but next is going to be mine. I bet they know it too,” Ueda answered but couldn’t force a triumphant smile on his face.
Just when Kazuya opened his mouth to make a retort, his phone start ringing. The man excused himself and picked up, seeing his mother’s name on the wide screen. Ueda stood there listening to the conversation and observing the younger’s changing expressions.
At first Kamenashi looked concerned, afraid that his mom wanted to tell him some bad news but soon he scowled slightly annoyed. From what Tatsuya heard, she just wanted to remind Kame to buy groceries and pick up the dress she ordered on his way home. Kazuya massaged the bridge of his nose with two fingers, while explaining to his parent that he had his own house now. The woman whined for a moment before her voice faded away and was replaced by a man’s voice.
Ueda eyed the man. Even though it was hard for him to admit it, he was jealous. Seeing how the man in front of him had such a good contact with his family members was making him angry and sad. He envied the younger one. The way he laughed with his brother, how his smile widened when he heard his niece’s voice or the way Kazuya was freely talking with his parents without having to worry about being scolded. Ueda was also jealous of how Kamenashi didn’t care about the media, about his image at the moment, talking with his family over the phone in public.
Tatsuya didn’t need to ask to know that Kazuya loves his family and they love him. That feeling; it was something he wanted to feel, to have parents and siblings that would show him their love and praise him for his achievements. At the moment, he wished to be Kamenashi Kazuya.
“I’m sorry, mom. I need to go, I have interview in a few minutes. Bye.” Kame ended the call and hid the phone in his pocket smiling slightly, amused by his mother’s behavior. “Well… I don’t think we have much time left today thus we will be going now. Have a nice day, Ueda-san. I hope you won’t cry when I win again.”
Kamenashi bowed and went away followed by his two friends. Ueda watched the man angrily until he disappeared behind the door he himself had exited some time before. Tatsuya quickly turned around. Not waiting for his friends he stepped into the elevator. Koki and Junno rushed after him seeing that their boss was in a bad mood.
The man was tensed and ready to scream at anyone standing in his way. The younger men watched him carefully and tried to be invisible the best they could. They even advised everyone to not/not to approach their boss for the time being. They could only hope that Tatsuya’s senses will come back to him in a short time.
* * *
A few days have passed but Ueda’s mood didn’t improve much. He was calmer but still avoided his friends by shutting himself in the office. He tried to forget about everything that happened with his family and his rival by reading the documents that piled up on his desk.
At two in the afternoon Tatsuya’s secretary came in to remind the man about a meeting with one of his business partners at four. Ueda looked at the table and sighed. Practically living in his office in past days, Tatsuya sorted out almost all of the papers; only a few of them left, waiting to be checked. The man stood up, took his coat from the hanger and called for Koki and Junno. He always took them with him but this time they were really needed; Koki designed the watch while Junno put all the upgrades in a piece of electronic plastic that was going to be part of a bonus added to the employees’ salary.
The ride was rather silent but not as suffocating as before. In front of the building to the company, the three men came out of the car and went inside. At the reception they were told to wait since the president had an important meeting. Normally Ueda would be angry; he didn’t like to wait but it was one of the rare times when he arrived too early - it was no surprise that the client was still busy.
The three waited patiently for a few minutes. A sound of the door opening on their left made them look up. Ueda couldn’t believe his eyes; just a few meters away stood his own father talking with a bunch of people. Tatsuya raised from his sit and neatened up his suit. When his father’s eyes finally caught his own, the man was ready to greet the older properly. What Ueda didn’t expect was that his father would ignore him and pass by without uttering a single word. Tatsuya only stood frozen in his spot.
No matter how much he wanted to dull the emotions inside him, he couldn’t. He almost felt his heart tearing apart even more. Tatsuya couldn’t understand his parents and didn’t even want to but wasn’t it enough? Him, working every day with all his might, dealing with various clients, managing one of the most known and respected corporations… wasn’t that enough to feel proud of? For his father, it wasn’t. His father wanted him to be on top, every time, all the time…
Ueda clenched his teeth and fists tightly, overwhelmed by his own feelings. Koki and Junno watched worriedly, with sadness. They knew Ueda for a long time and his family problems weren’t new to them. Even though they couldn’t do anything besides being with their friend when he needed it. They wanted Tatsuya to feel that they will always be there for him.
* * *
During the time Ueda closed himself in his office, Kazuya spend all his days watching over the production of his watches. He, himself, was helping to put on small crystals and attaching leather or metallic belts with perfect precision. For Kame’s watches weren’t only accessories, they were small ticking hearts that accompanied their owners, holding memories.
Kazuya was proud of his products and even more happy when the sales went up, leaving “Art of Life” behind.
The young man sat on the chair and relaxed. The week was already long and exhausting but it wasn’t over yet. It was late but there were still documents that he had to read and sign. Kame wanted nothing more than to have even a short break, so he decided that drinking a cup of freshly made coffee was a good idea. He quickly made one and came back to the chair. On the way he grabbed today’s newspaper.
Kazuya took a sip from the cup and sighed as he enjoyed the strong, hot taste. Slowly he put it aside and opened the magazine. He skipped the part about politics and looked at economics. He couldn’t stop a victorious smirk from appearing when he saw his interview from the other day followed by corporations ranking. Ueda’s second place made his day.
Slowly Kazuya flipped the pages. Being a baseball lover, he wanted to read the sports column. Lately he had spent all his time in work and he started missing the times when he could watch the important matches. The results were good. His favorite team gained some points and it looked that they will become Japanese champions; Kazuya couldn’t miss that match and quickly checked his planner. Thankfully, he was free on that day.
Grinning widely, Kame turned the page.
Kazuya froze before he intently read the article under a huge photo. Another baseball record was broken. Kame smiled lightly but the smile didn’t reach his eyes. It wasn’t a smile of happiness, more of resignation, loss and sadness. The picture showed Yuya, Kame’s younger brother, holding a big Cup while he was being lifted by his teammates in a sign of triumph.
Kame put the newspaper down and leaned his head backwards, resting on the chair as he looked at the ceiling with the same small smile. Kazuya really lost to his brother.
In his family, baseball was important so every achievement in that sport, was something big; bigger than being the most famous businessman in Japan. Kazuya was number one in the business world but he never was ‘first’ for his parents and siblings. Always, when he thought that for once he will be in the spotlight, one of his brothers did something that was better, bigger and more valuable.
Kame closed his eyes and sighed. When he opened his eyes again, he was calm and focused. The documents waited for him. Even if his family couldn’t appreciate his work, it didn’t mean he could laze around. He loved his job, his company and even though he already lost, he would never stop to care about that small pieces of the world that became a part of his heart and soul.
* * *
On Friday night Ueda let his friends take him to some new club in Roppongi. No matter how much he disliked such places and rarely went there, he couldn’t decline the offer this time. He was in need for something strong anyway.
Tatsuya snorted when Koki abandoned him for two blonds winking at him from the moment he stepped inside the room. Taguchi wasn’t better than Koki. The man immediately started dancing, hyper from the loud music. Or maybe from sugar? Ueda wasn’t sure but only shrugged it off and made his way towards the bar. He sat on a stool almost at the end of the counter and asked for a glass of whiskey. Waiting for the drink, Tatsuya looked around the club, to check out the people. Ueda blinked and furrowed his eyebrows, for a second there he thought he saw Akanishi dancing with a bunch of foreign girls.
The barman came with his drink and Ueda thanked him with a nod. While taking a sip from his glass, Tatsuya heard a soft cling of another glass being put on the table. He froze on his spot when a very familiar voice asked for a refill. Slowly Ueda turned to his left, his eyes widening in surprise.
Ueda stared at the man slightly shocked. It was the first time for Tatsuya to see Kame after working hours and in clothes other than a suit. He looked different; good though the older could see that something bothered the other. Kazuya hadn’t seen him and yet they sat next to each other, closer than ever before.
The man studied the younger one for a minute. Kamenashi surely was attractive. Easy on the eyes, rather polite and hard-working. He had nice honey-brown eyes, pouty lips and a slim figure. The man didn’t look like it but was rather strong from what Ueda heard. They both were. Suddenly it dawned on Ueda why people always froze when the two of them were quarreling; if they started fighting with fists, no one could stop them without being injured.
A clang of the glass made Tatsuya snap out of his thoughts. This time he thanked the barman verbally and watched how Kamenashi froze before looking at him surprised.
“Hello, Kamenashi-san. Came for a drink?” Ueda asked politely pointing to the glass in Kame’s hand. Kazuya only snorted.
“Nakamaru decided I need to go out from the office. And you, Ueda-san?”
“Taguchi and Tanaka wanted to hang out.” They both sipped their drinks.
“I see they left you alone too.”
“Hm,” Ueda hummed in agreement. “I saw Akanishi dancing with some ladies a while ago. I guess it was his idea to come here?”
“Who’s else could it be,” Kame smirked and rolled his eyes. “At least they have good alcohol.” He raised a hand, asking for a new glass.
“Good enough,” Ueda nodded.
They sat in silence for a moment enjoying the burning sensation of liquor sliding down their throats. Ueda thought that the conversation from seconds ago was the most civil one they’ve ever had. It was weird and slightly awkward to talk normally with Kamenashi but not especially bad. It was kind of nice actually and Ueda was slightly startled. Suddenly, when Tatsuya remembered everything that happened in previous weeks, he felt a building anger. The problem was that this ‘anger’ felt weird, especially when he was looking at Kamenashi.
“I was thinking…” Ueda started and waited for Kamenashi attention. “What makes you drink here alone? Do you have some problems with your company? Or maybe the girls here were too smart to actually try their luck with a workaholic?” Kamenashi glared at the smug-looking man.
“Look who’s talking. What about you then? Rejected at first sight?” Ueda glared back at the smirking Kame before ordering another round.
“At least girls look at me. They can’t see you when you’re surrounded by a bunch of horny guys.”
“But it’s not me that, after getting drunk, lets himself get fucked by one.”
The men were staring at each other passionately, both displeased by the other’s comments. They were pissed off and people around them started to back off, afraid of being dragged into the fight. The only calm person was the barman who glanced at his clients before smirking knowingly and going back to cleaning glasses.
* * *
Akanishi was dancing wildly in the middle of a crowd, enjoying the girls around him. Jin smiled widely as he came out of the mass of bodies only when he felt tired enough to stop for a moment. He went to the small table where to his surprise, he found Taguchi Junnosuke who tried to make Nakamaru laugh. Well, for now he didn’t succeed. A moment later, Jin saw Tanaka Koki coming over as well.
“Hey, guys! What are you doing here?” Koki asked with a smile.
“I think the same as you, partying!” Jin answered with a grin.
“Koki, can you stop Taguchi? I really want to murder him right now,” Maru said to the man quietly enough for Junno not to hear.
“Sorry, Maru. Once he starts there’s no way to shut him up. Just try to cope with it for a while longer.” Yuichi only groaned and sat down on his place. Koki and Jin chuckled at the sight of the desperate man.
“So, did you find yourself some interesting chick?” Koki wriggled his eyebrows suggestively.
“Not yet but the night is still young.” Jin smirked.
“Got you, bro!” Koki laughed with Jin.
“You two only think about one thing,” Maru concluded.
“What do you expect of us, dude? We’re all guys, beer and chicks are what we need!” Koki said before he wrapped an arm around Yuichi’s shoulder. “What about you, Yucchi? You shouldn’t sit here alone all night. Go dance!”
“No, thank you. I will stay here.” Maru sipped on his drink.
“Chicken,” Jin said with a smirk and took a sip of his beer.
“I wonder what Ueda’s doing… I haven’t seen him from the time we came here,” Junno suddenly commented and Koki shrugged his shoulders.
“Kazuya’s probably drinking at the bar. He really doesn’t know what ‘having fun’ means.” Akanishi closed his eyes relaxed.
“Same with Ueda.” Koki laughed but stopped when Yuichi tensed under his arm.
“Guys?” Junno, Jin and Koki looked at the oldest who had his eyes opened widely. “Ueda and Kazuya are both in this club. What if they met?”
“Impossible! The club is huge, there’s no way that they both had the same… idea?” Koki turned towards Jin quickly. “Akanishi, did you just say Kazuya is at the bar?”
“Um… y-yeah?” The men stared at each other for a minute with wide eyes , full of fear, before exclaiming together.
Without delay the four men stood up and started to force their way through the crowd of dancing people. There was no point in asking where the bosses could be. They both wanted a drink so there was no doubt that they went to the bar.
Four friends tried to frantically reach the place. The directors of both companies fought a lot but the assistants were always there to stop them from using their fists. Unfortunately this time they were left alone. The guys were cursing at themselves for being careless even though it wasn’t their fault; no one could predict that they would go to the same club and on the same day.
Finally the four of the guys could see the last row of people. Breathing heavily Akanishi stepped out of the crowd. The three others wanted to come out too but Jin stopped frozen, blocking the way. Maru, Koki and Junno froze as well, afraid of what the man in front of them could see. The worst thoughts came to their minds and all of them paled, not wanting to come out any more. Finally, Koki asked bravely.
“Is it bad?” Jin only nodded. “Dude, how bad is it? Please, don’t tell me they killed each other?!” Jin shook his head and Koki relaxed a little even though Jin’s state was worrying him.
“Then what’s wrong, Jin? Why are you not saying anything?! Don’t tell me they…” Maru gulped heavily. “Don’t tell me they knocked each other out?” Jin moved slightly, registering his friend’s words.
“Well… I think you can say that…” The three men looked startled before Jin continued. “I think I finally know why they wanted to jump each other.”
“What?” Koki asked.
“It was a withdrawal.”
“What? Jin, what are you talking about? It doesn’t make sense!” Maru said a little frustrated.
“Trust me, it does make sense because I’ve never seen someone so ‘addicted’.” The man chuckled lightly.
“Jin, what’s going on? I can’t understand~!” Junno whined.
“Take a look yourself.”
Jin stepped aside and let his friend to come closer. Their reaction was similar to Akanishi. They all froze on their spots with mouths and eyes wide, shocked from the view in front of them. The scene was really hard to believe and so unrealistic that for a while their brains stopped working, overheated from the illogical picture. Jin only chuckled again and smirked knowingly.
“Well… I think they finally gave up and decided to take their dose of a drug but, man, I would never thought that someone can last so long!” Akanishi whistled.
“But… how could it happen?” Koki asked in a tiny voice, still shocked.
“The answer is simple.” The guys looked at the man curiously who in all his seriousness added, “UST.”
The men looked back to the scene and, how much they wanted to scold the other for saying weird things, somehow they couldn’t agree more. After all, what other than that can trigger two grown-up men who can’t stand each other’s guts, to start kissing hungrily in the middle of the crowded club?
The two men didn’t even realized that their friends suddenly appeared behind them, just as they didn’t see the trio going away after waking up from the shock. Yes, they left; somehow they felt it’s better for the two men to resolve their problems in a different way than screaming from anger. Though other kind of screaming was probably more than welcome, like Jin had to point out.
On the other hand, Koki wondered who will be the one screaming…
Ueda pinned Kamenashi to the wall ravishing his lips. The younger groaned unsatisfied because even though he enjoyed it, he didn’t like losing control. In one swift and strong move Kazuya turned them around without breaking the contact. Ueda growled, equally annoyed trying to push Kame to the previous position. He was successful. Tatsuya smirked into the kiss like a cat that got his portion of cream but huffed irritated when Kazuya broke the kiss.
“What do you think you’re doing, Kamenashi?” Ueda hissed.
“And what do you think you’re doing, Ueda? I won’t let you pin me to the wall,” Kame said and flipped them again.
“Too bad, I won’t be the one pinned either,” Tatsuya answered and shoved Kamenashi again.
Before they knew it, they were pulling and pushing each other towards the staircase. Kissing each other energetically, they went up the stairs and then to one of the private rooms provided by the club. Once inside, Kamenashi, who for a moment gained control, closed the door with his foot while Ueda locked it.
A minute later they were lying on the bed, rolling in the sheets, fighting frantically for control. None of them wanted to be dominated by the other. Finally Ueda got an upper hand and grabbed Kame’s wrists pinning him down. They were both panting heavily glaring at each other. Kame tried to free himself from Ueda’s hold but the man used his weight to stop the younger. Kame’s head collapsed on a pillow with a soft thud.
“I will… fight. Don’t… even think… I will let you fuck me,” Kazuya wheezed out.
“And… what are you… going to do? You’re… stuck under me,” Tatsuya smirked, breathing heavily but grunted when Kame somehow turned the tables.
“Are you… sure?” he asked in a hoarse, seductive voice leaning his face to Tatsuya’s left ear.
Ueda gritted his teeth but said nothing. In a sudden move he grabbed Kamenashi’s shoulders and pulled him to seal their lips together. Tatsuya got impatient. Somewhere in the middle of their struggle, his lower body awakened and needed immediate attention. Of course, it didn’t mean he will submit to Kame’s will.
They were tossing on the bed trying to win the fight and claim their prize while stripping each other of clothes. It took a few hard tugs and some ripping for the two men to lose most of their garments, leaving them only in boxers. Meanwhile their lips and tongues were battling for dominance over the kiss, from time to time leaving a wet, hot heaven to explore other parts of newly revealed skin.
In the middle of pushing, Tatsuya and Kame ended on their sides facing each other. None could push the other back, being already too tired while the rival was resisting with all his might. It was meaningless; two strong, stubborn and horny guys trying to take over control they would never give up and those times called for a compromise.
“Wait…” Ueda wheezed out when Kame tried to pin him again.
“What?” he asked annoyed.
“Let’s make a deal,” Ueda said breathlessly.
“What deal?” Kame furrowed his eyebrows while trying to catch a breath.
“I don’t want to bottom… And you don’t want to bottom,” he said breathing harshly. “What about… borrowing a hand?”
“Are you serious?” Kazuya asked still panting slightly.
“What? Do you prefer to suck me off? I wouldn’t mind but we need to do something… at this point we’re going nowhere… and I have no intention of going anywhere… with the fucking hard on… so do you, right?” Ueda looked into Kame’s eyes.
“You have a point. Fine,” Kazuya answered while tugging on Ueda’s boxers. “Now get down to business, you’re not the only one needing a hand.”
Ueda muttered some curse under his breath but nonetheless started pulling Kamenashi’s boxers off. In a second, both pieces of garments were lying somewhere on the floor. Kazuya took the other’s cock in his hand and squeeze it lightly eliciting a soft moan and impatient bucking of hips. Tatsuya returned the teasing gesture, soon adding more pressure. Kame hissed when Ueda gripped especially hard indicating for Kame to start moving his palm. Annoyed, Kazuya did the same before moving his hand up and down.
They were grunting and moaning while jerking each other off. From time to time they swiped over the slits making the other to lose his concentration. No matter how desperate they were, it was still a battle that either wanted to win. In his advances Ueda bit lightly onto Kame’s lower lip. The other groaned as he shoved his tongue inside a hot cavern. Tatsuya broke the kiss, only a string of saliva connected their mouths but it was soon broken when the older started kissing Kazuya’s neck and shoulders, from time to time biting him. When Kame realized what the other is doing, he put his free hand on Ueda’s chest, finding a nipple. He grazed the bud lightly drawing out a deep moan from the other and making the man stop his ministrations. Taking the opportunity, Kazuya leaned forward leaving marks on Tatsuya’s body himself. If he was a ‘property’ then Ueda was too.
Ueda tugged harder on Kamenashi’s length before moving his fingers lower. He gripped the younger man’s balls massaging them in slow movements. Kame moaned and squeezed Tatsuya’s cock harder moving his hand faster and more frantically. They both wanted the release and stopped caring about anything else.
They growled when they felt that it’s not enough. They were desperate and needed more. Kazuya looked up and saw that the man had a similar expression to what he himself was feeling. Kame cursed and wound his free arm around Ueda’s waist. The older looked at him surprised and wanted to scold the other but quickly changed his mind as he caught on to what Kamenashi was trying to do. Instead Tatsuya wrapped his on free hand around the younger bringing him closer. They took shaky breaths when their shafts touched each other. Both grabbed their pulsating members at the same time moving their bodies up and down to increase the friction.
With the rubbing of their bodies and their hands stroking the rods together, the release was near. They could no longer fight, concentrating on the feeling of skin against skin. Unconsciously, they moved even closer, making not only their shafts touch but also their torsos. Their hot breaths were blending together. They felt even more aroused listening to each other’s panting, moaning and grunting. The provocative sounds were making them crazy.
They both knew they are close the minute their eyes met; tempting and full of lust. Their breaths were fast just like the motions of their intertwined hands on the shafts. Not really thinking they leaned forward to connect their lips in another deep, messy kiss; all tongue and saliva. With some last few strokes they both came almost simultaneously, moaning each other’s names while still locked in a heated kiss. Breathing heavily, their stomachs and chests dirty from the white sticky fluid, they moved slowly, lying on their backs, coming down from their highs.
They were resting next to each other on the bed. All of the tension that had built up over the last two weeks suddenly disappeared which left them relaxed and peaceful. For the first time they had no intention to fight, too lazy to even move a single finger or clean themselves from the already dry come.
“Hey,” Ueda broke the comfortable silence while turning his head to the left. “How did we end up here like this?” he asked catching Kame’s attention who shrugged looking back at the other.
“We were stressed and it just… went from there?” Kazuya didn’t know the answer just like Ueda.
“Right…” they stared at each other for a moment before turning back to observing the ceiling. “You weren’t so bad,” Tatsuya admitted.
“So weren’t you. Actually, you were better than those sluts that dated me only for fame or money,” Kame said while rolling his eyes at the mention of his exes. “Just don’t feel too smug about it, some of them couldn’t even give a proper handjob.” Ueda snorted but didn’t comment.
The silence fall again. Tatsuya appreciated the ‘compliment’; at least someone thought that he’s good enough. It was actually funny how his ultimate rival was seriously praising him while his father couldn’t even say ‘good job, son’ for once. In comparison to his family, Ueda felt much more valuable spending his time with Kazuya. It didn’t matter how often they argued, it was still nicer than family diners. It was actually kind of… enjoyable.
“Funny. I’m more relaxed lying here with you than when I’m with my own family. I wonder what my father would tell me if he knew that I’m with you right now.” Kame looked at the man but didn’t say anything. He thought that Ueda isn’t exactly aware that he’s confessing his feelings to his enemy but he didn’t mind Tatsuya talking. “You know… Sometimes, I really wish to be someone else, or for my family to be less… strict, less famous.” Ueda turned his head again to look at Kame seriously. “How about your family? How they are?”
Kazuya blinked at the question but didn’t ignored it. Instead he looked at the ceiling putting one arm under his head. Ueda did the same waiting for the younger one to answer. Tatsuya didn’t push him though he was really curious how it is to live in a family where you could tell everything without the worry of being scold.
“I have three brothers,” Kame started, catching Ueda’s attention immediately. “I was born third. Poor mom wanted to have a girl but unfortunately for her, we’re all boys.” Kazuya chuckled slightly. “We’ve never been rich but we weren’t poor either, just average. Dad worked a lot while mom took care of us and the house. My older brothers were training martial arts, I wanted to be a baseball player. The youngest from us tried it too. Now he’s one of the main players in Japanese representation. Last week he became the MVP. It was a championship match.”
Ueda observed Kamenashi’s expression. At first he felt jealous at how fondly he talks about his parents and siblings. He was smiling while completely engrossed in his tale and it seems that he loves his family deeply. But the more Tatsuya watched the more he saw. The smile was the one of love but also the one of hurt, sadness and psychic exhaustion. The older man didn’t really understand the other man but something was telling him that the younger had his own part of a burden that he didn’t want to share with others. His smiles and laughs being his mask.
The two men stayed in their positions for some more time, enjoying the peacefulness of the moment. Soon they will go back to their respective lives, insulting each other every time they meet. For now, they could be civil enough to try and not to kill each other.
“I would have never imagined us like this, all silent and relaxed,” Kame suddenly commented with a smirk.
“Me neither.” Ueda nodded in agreement. “It was pretty good but this will stay between us.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t say anything to your co-workers about how their boss can be so submissive when he’s hard.” Kazuya smirked while Ueda elbowed him lightly in the stomach.
“Don’t forget that you were no better.” They both laughed while Kame massaged his hurt belly.
They took quick showers to get rid of the dried sperm, sweat and smell of sex before gathering their clothes and walking out of the club satisfied and ready to face another week of work and troubles.
* * *
On Sunday Kame went to his parents house. Like always he was welcomed happily by his brothers, niece and nephews. Kazuya himself felt happy to see his whole family and being able to hug his precious people. The Atmosphere was nice and everyone was talking energetically and eating the delicious food that was made by Kazuya’s mom and his sisters-in-law. But Kame was aware of one thing; when the diner will come to an end all previous topics would be get forgotten.
That’s what happened. Instead of gossiping about his brother’s co-workers, his father hugged Yuya close and praised him for the won match. He was proud of his youngest son, as much as he was of his two eldest sons, saying how glad he is to have such successful family. Kazuya smiled trying to hide his disappointed, hurt and sadness when the father asked him if Ueda was first again. When Kame admitted that it was him who sold more, his family only laughed good-heartily patting his back and saying that it won’t probably stay long that way.
Kazuya knew that his family is only joking and they don’t mean any harm but their words hurt him every time. He was the only who was teased and laughed at while his siblings were hugged tightly in a loving embrace. He could see his father’s eyes sparkle every time he talked about his three sons achievements when the same orbs were laughing at Kazuya’s expense. It was bad and good because even if it hurt, Kame could see happiness on his precious ones’ faces. He didn’t want to put awkwardness to their relationship; his family’s well-being was much more important than his own wounded heart.
* * *
Ueda spent his Sunday at home, working out in the small gym he had built in his basement. He was punching a sandbag with all his might trying to clear up his mind. It wasn’t working, or at least not as much as he wished it would. His thoughts were full of Kamenashi. It would be a lie if Ueda said he never thought about the younger man, he did, quite a lot actually but since yesterday Kazuya occupied his mind every second of the day. Was it only curiosity about Kame’s family life? Tatsuya wasn’t sure but he had dealt with his feelings long enough to know it’s better not think too much about them; they were there, stronger than before but only time will show if Tatsuya will follow upon them or not.
* * *
Ueda and Kamenashi saw each other again a few days later in a meeting with other businessmen. Like always they took their friends to accompany them and like always the four had to wait for their respective bosses outside the room. Fortunately, most hotels and corporations had cafeterias or, at least, coffee machines.
“How’s Ueda after… you know?” Akanishi asked Koki who was waiting for his coffee.
“It might sound weird but I haven’t seen him like that for years,” the man answered when they sat at their table.
“That’s true. Tatsuya hasn’t glared at anyone for the whole week. And he even smiled at my joke!” Junno beamed.
“Yeah, that was creepy… What about Kamenashi?” Koki moved his eyes to Yuichi.
“Well… He hasn’t changed that much but he seemed less tired. Normally after family meetings he looks like a walking corpse. The worst thing is that even looking like that he smiles widely. He kind of resembles a doll that someone destroyed but the happy features remained.” Maru smiled slightly.
“Now when you said that, I think I can understand what you mean. Kame is always hiding his feelings, he cares too much for others and forgets about himself.” Akanishi hummed.
“Ueda hides his feeling too but he can relieve them in the ring whenever he wants to.” Koki shrugged.
“True, but he always makes me his training partner~ I’m bruised everywhere afterwards~!” Taguchi whined, pouting.
“Shut up, Taguchi!” Koki and Jin scolded the guy who sulked for a second before he started grinning again.
“Guys?” Yuichi tried to catch the others attention. They looked at him in question; the man was playing with his cup. “Are you sure it’s a good that they are… doing that? I mean… they’re enemies, same field rivals. Won’t that make things difficult?”
“Hm… It’s not like I don’t understand your point but it’s their decision anyway. We should support them no matter what. Who knows, maybe they will be happier that way?”
Koki answered thoughtfully and the rest had to agree. There was nothing for them to do in this situation. The two men looked better lately and if that state was going to increase they were even ready to help. There are things in this world that seemed impossible but which happen anyway so the friendship between Ueda and Kamenashi might be believable too.
The moment the last plastic cup found its way into a bin, the door to the conference room opened and all men left it. To everyone’s surprise, Ueda and Kamenashi, came out walking next to each other and talking. The four friends were staring at them with wide eyes but relaxed when they could hear the men’s topic. They were quarreling again over sales.
“What about a bet?” Kame asked while smirking.
“What bet?” Ueda raised an eyebrow in interest.
“Who will sell more, wins. The loser has to take care of the winner’s dogs for one day. What do you say?” Ueda looked at the man’s stretched out hand, before shaking it.
Both men smirked convinced of their win while their assistants were watching the exchange nervously. Bad or good, surely their bosses had weird ways of showing affection to the other. Hopefully, the dogs would come out of it unharmed.
* * *
The next few days both men spent working. When for Kazuya it was normal to go around his companies building to take care of every part of production, it was quite new to see Ueda doing it. Koki was shocked at the sight of his boss changing designs and checking the quality of materials used during production. Ueda was not only more serious about his work but also he didn’t seem bored; he was genuinely interested. Seeing Ueda like that, Koki had no doubts who would win this bet. Well, pity for Kamenashi.
* * *
There’s no need for a genius to guess that Ueda indeed won the deal to Kame’s displeasure. When the men met Ueda had a triumphant smirk playing on his lips like a Cheshire cat while Kame was glaring at him angrily. Nonetheless Kazuya admitted that he had lost and agreed on coming to Tatsuya’s house on Saturday to wash the man’s four big dogs; the fact that all of them were Labradors didn’t help the situation. Kazuya walked away muttering silent profanities while the older observed him with a glint in his eyes.
* * *
Ueda was sitting on the stairs, sipping on a drink and watching the scene playing in front of his eyes with a mischievous smirk. It was nice to observe your biggest rival kneeling in front of a bathtub covered in foam from head to toes. Kamenashi’s hair was totally wet just like his white shirt.
Tatsuya chuckled meanly at the sight of his dogs trying to lick the man’s face every few seconds. Kazuya grimaced pushing the dogs away while cleaning the one sitting in the bathtub. It was hard to wash them; the dogs were fidgeting and changing positions while wagging their tails energetically. If they weren’t so big, Kazuya would think that he’s taking care of puppies, not four grown-up labs.
Kame dropped a towel on the last dog and started scratching him. Unfortunately, the dog was rather impatient and before Kamenashi could fully dry him off, the animal jumped out of the bath and started shaking off the water, wetting the man and the whole bathroom. Ueda laughed at the scene, especially when his happy ‘little’ friends started jumping around Kazuya wanting him to play with them. Even though the younger one was rather angry and muttering curses when he was cleaning the bathroom, Tatsuya was happy that his dogs liked Kame.
Ueda couldn’t stop smiling. Not only did he have Kamenashi as his slave for the moment but also watching him with such an expression was somehow interesting. Unconsciously, Kazuya was pouting slightly while furrowing his eyebrows in obvious irritation. Tatsuya couldn’t complain; the man looked much cuter that way and the floor in his house hadn’t been so shiny since the day he bought the place; not to mention that the view of wet Kamenashi in a now practically transparent shirt was nice, very nice.
Half an hour later, Ueda was leaning on the doorway to the bathroom while Kame was drying his hair with a towel. The dogs were safely locked outside the house, running around the huge backyard so the two were left alone. Tatsuya observed Kazuya with a mischievous spark in his eyes. He chuckled at Kame’s sour expression, amused by the man’s childish behavior; he looked like a kid that could throw a tantrum any minute now. Hearing the older one, Kazuya glared at him while wringing his shirt to squeeze out the rest of water. He left the shirt to dry off and turned towards the smirking man crossing his arms, towel still around his neck.
“Having fun?” Kazuya asked annoyed.
“Yup, a lot actually,” Tatsuya answered while staring up and down at the man in front of him. “The view’s not so bad either.” Kame grunted and rolled his eyes, before pushing the man out of the bathroom.
“Do you have something I can wear so I can get out of here?” The younger asked as he followed the older one to the bedroom.
“Aww~ Want to go already? I hoped that you would clean my kitchen and living room,” Ueda teased the man, he was in a surprisingly good mood, especially after being able to see new faces of the younger one.
“Shut up,” Kame hissed in irritation.
Ueda only laughed at the sulking man, trying to irk him. His mission succeeded when Kame pinned him to the wall, hands on both sides of the older man’s shoulders, growling dangerously. Tatsuya smirked and leaned comfortably on the place behind him. He had fun teasing the man and his good mood made him want to do more; he wouldn’t mind a repeat from last time, even if this time it would be a little different.
“Is Kazu-chan angry? Do you want a lollipop to make it better?”
“One more word and I’m going to rape you,” Kame retorted while clenching his teeth tightly.
“Did I hurt you pride just now?” Ueda gave out a lopsided smile and Kame sealed their mouths together in a violent kiss, biting on Tatsuya’s lower lip.
“I told you to shut it, now stop pissing me off or I will do something that you wouldn’t like,” he grunted and started kissing the older man’s jaw sucking lightly on the skin. Ueda chuckled at the younger’s antics, knowing perfectly well that it was Kazuya’s way of releasing annoyance; somehow Ueda didn’t mind.
“Fine, have it your way, kiddo, but next time you’re bottoming,” Tatsuya said.
Ueda rolled his eyes while smirking and pushed Kazuya on the bed before locking the door and turning off the lights. No matter how much Ueda liked to dominate, he loved how the other man was slowly losing control and giving it up to Ueda. After all, there still existed something called ‘topping from the bottom’ and Tatsuya really wanted to check that theory right now.
* * *
They were lying in the bed, Tatsuya with a wicked smile, leaning his back on the headboard while Kame huffed heavily avoiding the older man’s teasing stare. Ueda patted the younger one’s hair but Kazuya tried to swat it away half-heartedly; he’d already taken out all his anger and his intentions to strangle the man abated. Kamenashi surely was in a better mood than before.
“So… did you get over your tantrum, brat?” Ueda chuckled when Kame huffed annoyed and sent him a short glare. “Okay, okay, sorry. Stop sulking, I did you a favor so next time we’re doing it my way.”
“And what tells you there will be a next time?” Kame looked up at him.
“Maybe the fact that we just had sex after we had agreed to never say anything?” Ueda pointed out with irony, rolling his eyes. “Come one, Kamenashi, it was good. Do you really want to end it? If I remember correctly we’re both single and no one of us is stupid enough to get himself a lover who will complain if we’re spending more time working than we’re staying at home.” Kame thought for a moment.
“You’re right but how do you want to decide who’s going to bottom?”
“Well, next time is your turn but later we can just play jan-ken-pon.” Ueda shrugged his shoulders.
“Hm, sounds reasonable.”
Kazuya agreed with a small smile as he propped his head on the left arm and closed his eyes. Ueda watched the man for a moment before sliding down and copying the younger, relaxing his muscles. The situation they’ve just gotten themselves into was maybe weird but they both enjoyed it and their constant rivalry couldn’t change a thing; just like they say: ‘You should keep your best friends close by but keep your enemies even closer.’
* * *
Koki, Jin, Maru and Junno observed their friends closely. They were shocked how much their bosses changed. They were happier, more open, less stressed but also more easy-going and fun. They were even more civil with each other. Of course, they still argued at every meeting but the fights weren’t that serious and stopped jeopardizing their jobs and people around them. Actually, you could almost see a friendly aura around them. Not that the four men believed in it. Ueda and Kamenashi were still rivals but on good terms and that was the most important.
* * *
Some time has passed from Kame’s last meeting with Ueda and Kazuya started to wonder what the older man is doing lately. He was surprised at himself for thinking about his worst enemy but the thought wasn’t as scary as someone would assume. Kame didn’t exactly understand why but he started to become curious, he wanted to know more about the older man. From the time they talked almost normally, without trying to kill the other, he saw a part of Ueda that he didn’t expect to see. The man was interesting and spending time together was not so bad. In comparison to his family, Ueda treated him seriously. Even during their bet, Tatsuya was really giving his all and it warmed Kazuya’s heart. For once, he felt important.
Kame was sitting at the back of his car, waiting in a traffic jam, when he caught someone coming out from a hotel a few meters ahead with the corner of his left eye. Kame furrowed his eyebrows when he realized that the mysterious person was Ueda. The man looked angry and stressed, completely different from the last time they saw each other. Kazuya wondered what could piss off Tatsuya so much to rush out of the building, leaving Tanaka and Taguchi behind. Kamenashi got even more puzzled when a few minutes later, from the same place, came out Ueda’s father. Slowly, the situation sunk in and Kame concluded that Ueda’s outburst was probably related to the old man; Kazuya still remembered their weird talk from the club when Ueda complained about his family. Was it possible that the father had something to do with Tatsuya’s bitterness and loneliness?
* * *
A few days have passed but Kazuya couldn’t forget Ueda’s hurt and frustrated expression. He had no idea how the father could make his son so stressed during only one meeting. Kame’s own dad hurt him too but not to the point of exploding. Something wasn’t right but he didn’t know what to do to make Ueda spill the beans. Fortunately for Kamenashi, the opportunity to get to know more came quite quickly but not from Tatsuya but from his father.
From all the business meetings, Kazuya loved those with old directors the most. He could easily charm them and make a few great contracts that were way more profitable for him than for the other side. The old sharks didn’t even suspected anything, believing in Kame’s every word and his bright smiles. It was simple; a few compliments, some praises and the deal was made, putting a few more millions into Kame’s wallet.
After Kazuya found another victim of his appeal and made him agree to buy watches exclusively from “Kizuna”, the young man walked out of the room to catch some fresh air. On the balcony stood three older men but Kame couldn’t see their faces clearly. He wasn’t really interested in their business so he stood a couple of meters away, smoking a cigarette. A minute later two of the men bowed to the third and went inside. At the moment Kame finally caught the sight of the man that stayed out. To his surprise it was the old Ueda, one of the most famous architects in Japan. The man also saw Kamenashi and apparently decided to talk to the younger man.
“Ueda-san, I’m surprised to see you here. It’s good to meet you in person, sir.” Kame bowed politely though he was rather aware that the man didn’t like him.
“Kamenashi Kazuya, right? You’re my son’s biggest enemy. Somehow I can’t imagine you being happy at such an encounter,” the man spoke a little harshly.
“That’s true that your son’s my rival, but I don’t see why I should disrespect you, Ueda-san,” Kame smiled lightly but the man still watched him strictly.
“Well… at least you seem like a hard-working man. Tatsuya is too lazy to do anything, he can’t even suppress your sale results.” Kame’s smile didn’t waver even though the older not only insulted his own son but also Kazuya’s company.
“I’m trying my best. I want my family to be proud of me,” Kazuya answered and the man nodded in agreement.
“I wish he was working harder. Tsk, that boy is probably just playing around with some whores. You shouldn’t worry about your business, Kamenashi. Tatsuya will bring his own corporation down in a short time. Then I will make him work under me. He will learn how to do his job properly and stop bringing shame to the family.” With that the man wanted to go inside but before he was even able to step through the doorway, Kazuya spoke up, angry at the man.
“With all respect, sir, I think your son is hardworking. His sales this month were higher than mine.” Kame didn’t like to lose but Ueda-san’s attitude was annoying. The man looked at Kazuya and snorted.
“Do you really believe it? You’re naive then. His sales being higher? Just an accident, he’s not that good.” This time Kame snorted, forgetting about politeness; it was too much.
“Do you really know your son, Ueda-san? I think not. The one who brings shame to the family is probably you, ignoring your own son in front of the media. When your business is going down the drain, Tatsuya’s is spreading abroad to Europe. His face is in almost every magazine and his products can be seen everywhere. I admit, it pisses me off but I respect him for always fighting fair and square. He’s the most honest and straightforward businessman I know. If we weren’t rivals I would be delighted to make business with him because I know he would never lose, we would never lose. You should know people to be able to judge them but you don’t seem to even have any interest in Tatsuya. What kind of father are you? Because mine at least is encouraging me, not scolding me for drastically increasing sales in barely a week. Now excuse me, I have more important things to do than teaching you about your own son.”
With that said Kamenashi stepped inside and walked out of the conference room, leaving the shocked man on the balcony. He just disrespected a very influential person but he didn’t regret it. Kazuya hadn’t been so angry for a long time and losing a few percent in exchange for being able to scold Ueda’s father was totally worth it. The man was telling bullshit; it was obvious how he doesn’t care about his son’s business. Kame could take a lot but such intolerant, judgmental people were something he despised to the core.
* * *
The same week, on Saturday, one of businessmen was throwing a party and invited many famous people. On the guests’ list happened to be both Ueda and Kamenashi. It was rather normal to want them to attend such an event since the two young, handsome men would not only be a good bait for journalists who will describe the party but also it was a great chance to make a deal with one of them.
The atmosphere wasn’t that bad but Kame was bored anyway. He had never liked events like this one, especially when they were thrown on his day off. Unfortunately, he had to take part in such parties so people wouldn’t start gossiping around. The only thing worth something was quite wide assortment of delicious wines and food.
After greeting some more or less important persons, Kazuya moved towards a fully set table intending to grab a glass of the best wine he was able to find. He smiled victoriously when he spotted a bottle of his favorite alcohol. He quickly took it and poured himself half a glass. He took a small sip and closed his eyes enjoying a rich taste of grapes and a small note of burnt wood and flowers. Perfect composition.
He was brought out if his sweet heaven when a strong hand grabbed his wrist and pulled him towards one of the empty halls. Kame managed only to look at the person that disturbed him and put the glass back down, realizing it’s Ueda Tatsuya. Kazuya frowned a little at the strength the older man was putting in his hold; the case seemed serious so Kame didn’t protest and let himself be led away from the main room. Once safe from the prying eyes, Ueda pushed Kame harshly, making the other’s back to hit a wall behind him.
“What the fuck did you tell my father?!” Ueda glared at the younger one in visible anger.
“Nothing that is not true,” Kame answered truthfully.
“Did you tell my father that he brings shame to his own family?! For Christ sake, he’s my father! A very, very respected person! Are you aware how much influence he has?!” The man screamed.
“I know and I don’t care. My sales didn’t go down that much, neither did yours.” Kame shrugged.
“Kamenashi,” Tatsuya growled. “my father has refused to let me into the house the last time I was there. He wants apologies!”
“I won’t do it.” Kame crossed his arms while Ueda combed fingers through his hair in frustration.
“Idiot! He doesn’t want your apologies but mine!”
“And you won’t do it too.” Tatsuya stopped his pacing and looked dumbfounded at Kazuya.
“What?” he asked with wide eyes, not understanding the younger.
“Simple. He’s the one who should apologize to you, not the other way around.”
“You don’t make any sense.” Kame rolled his eyes.
“Listen, Ueda. I don’t regret a single word I said back then. He doesn’t know you at all and yet says such things.“ Kazuya grimaced.
“And you do know me?” Tatsuya replied with a snort.
“Maybe not that much but enough to know how hard-working you are and how good you are at your job. You care about “Art of Life”, I can see that just like all your co-workers. Also, no matter how bad our relationship is, you never cheat.” Kamenashi explained.
“What about Swiss?”
“My contract terminated before you snatch the deal away from me. I was reckless and hadn’t thought that someone else would take my place. It was my fault from the beginning.”
“Whatever! It doesn’t change the fact that you insulted my father. What am I supposed to do now?!”
“Geez... At the moment you’re doing exactly what you’re father is - throwing a tantrum.” Ueda suddenly stopped and Kame smirked. “Oh, did I hit bull’s eye? Does little Tat-chan have some daddy issues?” Kazuya hissed when Tatsuya grabbed his shoulders harshly, almost bruising them.
“Shut up, Kamenashi,” the older drawled out through his teeth and Kazuya only laugh meanly.
“And who’s a brat now, huh?”
Kazuya smirked and the next second he was being dragged to the nearest bedroom and thrown onto the bed, being attacked by an angry yet turned on Ueda. And like Tatsuya said it was Kame’s time to bottom but just like the older one before, Kazuya didn’t mind as long as he was the one in control of their steaming, hot and wet session.
* * *
“You know what?” Ueda panted out.
“Hm?” Kame murmured too lazy to speak.
“I’m glad.” Kazuya opened his eyes and rolled on his side.
“What are you glad for?” he asked the man as he propped himself on his left arm.
“I’m glad that you told my father all these things. I wanted… I mean, I…” he stopped and Kazuya raised his eyebrow. “Thank you,” Ueda finally said in a soft voice.
“You’re welcome.“ Kame smiled and laid on his back again. The silence was like always comfortable and relaxing before Ueda regained his strength enough to start teasing the younger again.
“You know, I might be grateful but it doesn’t change the fact that I was kicked out. How are you going to recompense it to me?” the older smirked while Kazuya propped himself on his elbows staring at the other.
“You heard me.” Ueda shrugged and Kame furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. Finally he sighed and asked.
“What do you want?”
“I don’t know, come up with something.” Ueda looked at the man next to him who was thinking deeply.
“How about you…” Kazuya licked his lower lip in a nervous habit. “Would you like to… come with me to my… family… house?” he asked hesitantly while observing Tatsuya’s reaction. The man was quite stunned by the proposition. “You see, since I kind of made you ‘homeless’, you can go see mine.”
Ueda agreed after a moment. It was a weird kind of compensation but sounded interesting; Tatsuya would finally get to know the reason for Kazuya’s sad smiles. Some time passed since they first real conversation but the older man remembered every detail of it with perfect accurateness. He had to even smile a little remembering everything that happened before and after it. Who would have know that one simple trip to a club will change so much. Ueda chuckled lightly and Kazuya smiled mischievously as if reading the older man’s thoughts.
“You know…” Ueda stopped laughing and looked at Kamenashi who was smirking while looking at the ceiling. “It starts to be a tradition, us lying on bed and talking.”
“Now that you mentioned it… you’re right, we do it every time. Weird, isn’t it?”
“Just a little.”
They smiled at each other before laughing heartily. The rest of the party they stayed at the table eating and drinking happily. They used their reputation to scare away anyone who wanted to make deals with them by faking a fight. After all, no one was stupid to get in between the two biggest enemies of the business world.
* * *
Next Saturday, Kamenashi took Ueda to a family dinner. The older one was surprised when the Kamenashis not only greeted him warmly, despite knowing who he is to his third son and brother but also treated him like a part of the family. They joked, talked loudly and enjoyed their time spent together. Ueda wasn’t used to such bright people and he was quite puzzled what in this happy atmosphere made Kazuya so sad.
Tatsuya looked at his younger rival and couldn’t contain a smile as he saw him happily playing with his niece and nephews. It was a rare view and the man never thought that the workaholic, which Kazuya was, could be so energetic even after a full week of working after hours; not to mention that the man was almost always stressed and tired. Seeing him now, Ueda could tell how much the younger loves kids and how good his relationship was with them. It was mesmerizing.
Unfortunately for Kazuya, the diner came to an end. Tatsuya who was sitting next to the man, watched how Kame was tensing up with every minute of casual conversation. It puzzled Ueda but it didn’t take him long to figure out why. The father talked about his two oldest sons and the youngest one with great pride but when Ueda thought that the man would start praising Kazuya for his big achievements in business, he was surprised by the way the old man started joking of his work and praising Tatsuya instead.
Ueda felt quite uncomfortable listening to all of that but it would be rude to go home now, especially when he came with Kazuya. Tatsuya only bowed and thanked him for the good words and when the father stopped focusing on him, he started observing his rival. Kame was tensed but his wide smile didn’t waver. He wasn’t objecting to anything his brothers said even though he was hurt. Ueda could tell. He, himself, was getting slightly angry at the men but if Kazuya didn’t want to do anything, he wouldn’t do either.
The meeting ended two hours later when the mother gave Tatsuya a piece of a great pear pie made on a family’s secret recipe. The two men said their goodbyes while Ueda promised to come again because of the mother’s nagging, and went into the car that was waiting to take them home. A few minutes later, Ueda couldn’t stand the silence anymore and decided to talk with the younger man about what had happened at the house.
“Kamenashi,” Ueda catches the younger one’s attention. “Why didn’t you say anything when your father… well…” The topic was rather awkward but Kame seemed to not mind Tatsuya’s question.
“I think… I think that at some point I got used to it a little. It’s not the main reason though.” Kazuya looked at his companion with a sad smile. “I’m afraid.”
“Afraid? Of what? You’re family surely loves you, even if they say things that hurt you.”
“I know they love me and that’s why I’m afraid of telling them to stop.” Ueda furrowed his eyebrows but waited for the younger one to continue. “They are happy being able to meet every week and spend time together. Even if their jokes seem cruel, are cruel, I want to see them happy. I don’t care that they laugh at my expense as long as they enjoy being with me. I don’t know what would happen if I tell them to stop making fun of me. I don’t want things to be awkward between us. I’m already on the bottom of their list, being crossed out of it would be even worse. I really don’t want to see their disappointed faces.”
Kazuya explained his situation with a smile. Ueda was surprised by the confession. Their problems weren’t identical but he realized that they were both working hard for their families to be proud of them so their fathers would say: ‘my son is great, he’s my pride’. Tatsuya was aware that the younger shouldn’t bottle up his feelings and that it would be good for him to talk with his parents and brothers openly. At the same time, Ueda could understand Kame’s decision. He himself wasn’t able to speak with his father so why would Kazuya?
Ueda didn’t bring up the topic again but decided to help the younger one however he can, even if it was only letting the younger one dominate in bed to release all the stress gained during the unpleasant meetings. Kame helped him a little when the man insulted Tatsuya’s father so he wanted to return the favour. Yes, the man had kicked out his own son from the house but after he calmed down slightly, he even greeted Tatsuya in one of the companies they both had contracts with. It was a big step in their relationship. For the first time Ueda senior hadn’t ignored his son in front of other people.
* * *
Since then the relationship between the two men improved significantly, their meetings becoming more regular. Though many people were still afraid of what may come later, until now everything seemed to be better. Kazuya and Tatsuya found it much easier to talk with each other about personal problems than with their own friends. In addition to that, sex and bed-talks helped them release stress and tension. Of course, every time Akanishi Jin talked about the strange relationship between the bosses with his friends, he mentioned the word ‘UST’ that became a permanent description of the reasons behind the two men’s scandalous behavior.
* * *
On one Friday night, the six men decided to meet. Since Ueda and Kamenashi became civil, their co-workers were more than happy to be able to meet together in one place. Even though Akanishi and Nakamaru always stood on Kazuya’s side and Tanaka with Taguchi on Tatsuya’s, the four assistants were friends for years. Unfortunately, the rivalry made it impossible to see each other often. Their bosses improved relationship surely helped in this matter.
The men sat at a table in a bar, waiting for their drinks. They chatted about everything and nothing, relaxing after another stressful week. Nonetheless they were smiling, satisfied with how the things were right now. Ueda looked at his friends faces and was quite happy seeing them so energetic and free; before they were worried about Tatsuya’s every encounter with Kame. He could see the difference clearly, especially when Junno became brave enough to tell jokes. Like always they weren’t funny at all but everyone’s eyes widened when Kazuya started laughing almost landing on the floor.
Tatsuya looked at the younger man and though he looked cute while stomping his feet and clapping his hands, Ueda had bad feelings about it. He could see that the younger was genuinely happy, even more than when they met last time. The older furrowed his eyebrows deciding to observe the other from now on. It was a good decision; about an hour later a handsome young man came inside the bar, looking around. When he spotted Kame he bowed with a smile. Ueda was shocked when Kazuya’s smile widened and he excused himself to talk with the newcomer.
Tatsuya was pissed off for the rest of the evening. He didn’t like how close to Kazuya the mysterious guy stood, nor did he like the smile his rival was giving to the unknown man. Ueda gripped his glass harder and glared at the back of the guy’s head when the man leaned even closer to Kame, whispering something into his ear. Tatsuya knew he was jealous; during the weeks he spend with Kazuya, he got to know the younger man more and had no other choice but to accept his feelings. Ueda wasn’t sure if it’s love but it didn’t change the fact that he wanted Kazuya only for himself, to have his attention every minute of the day, be it by fighting or having sex.
Finally the handsome stranger exited the bar and half an hour later the guys decided to call it day. Ueda and Kame were walking together to Tatsuya’s house. In the last few weeks some things became different; now they were arranging their meetings beforehand. This time they chose Ueda’s place since it was closer to the bar.
Kazuya stretched his arms above his head with a smile. Tatsuya observed him with a frown, wondering who the guy at the bar had been. The younger boss was too excited for Ueda’s liking. He promised himself not to butt into Kame’s life but he couldn’t help himself; he needed to know what was going on and why Kazuya met with the guy.
“Hey, who was that man in the bar?” Ueda asked trying to sound not that interested.
“Hm? Oh, he was a model from an agency I tried to get a contract with. The guy is so handsome and yet stylish. My new collection will look perfect on him. He agreed to help me with the deal in exchange for being the main face of my company’s products,” Kame answered with a glint in his eyes.
“Wait, you say that he will be in all photo shoots?” Tatsuya looked at the younger when they entered the house.
“Yes, he will be also coming to the corporation’s office once a week to gain girls’ interests in our products, you know, like a bait. The kid is actually quite smart, he studies economy at Tokyo university. He knows a lot about our business and keeps track on our sales. Maybe I should hire him when he graduates; new blood is always welcome.” Ueda froze looking at his companion.
“You want that guy to work for you?” Kazuya seemed a little puzzled by the question.
“Yes, why not? I bet he would help in increasing my sales.” Kame shrugged like it was obvious while the older stared at him incredulously.
“Are you insane?! You want him to ruin your own company?!” the older man shouted angrily while Kamenashi looked rather surprised.
“What are you talking about? I just think that an additional hand would be helpful. I don’t see what you’re so worked up about.”
The younger rolled his eyes but blinked when Tatsuya pulled him inside his bedroom with force. Kazuya was surprised by the action but didn’t protest. Ueda looked angry and ready to strangle someone. Kame wasn’t exactly frightened by the other man, knowing that the older wouldn’t do anything bad to him. Kazuya decided to ignore Tatsuya’s rough reaction, blaming jealousy for it. After all, Kame himself would be annoyed if the older one got such a good proposition from one of the best agencies in the whole country.
* * *
In the morning Ueda woke up to the rustling sounds of clothes. He opened his eyes lazily and propped his body on his arms trying to localize the source of noise. Kamenashi was walking around picking up the pieces of his attire lying in different parts of the room. When the younger man caught Tatsuya’s stare, he smiled apologetically.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to wake you up. You can go back to sleep,” Kame said while putting on his jeans.
“Why are you up? And where are you going?” The older asked seeing how Kazuya grabbed his wallet and the keys.
“Huh? Oh, I have a meeting in an hour with Suzuki-kun, the guy you saw yesterday. He promised to teach me how to charm his boss.” Kazuya looked at his watch. “I need to go now, see you later ,” the man said with a big smile he turned and quickly walked out of the house.
Tatsuya sat on his bed dumbfounded and even angrier than the night before. It was the first time for Kamenashi to leave so early, without even eating breakfast. That Suzuki guy was pissing him off more with every minute. Ueda wanted to nothing more but to kill the guy and hang his head in his office as a trophy. Kamenashi Kazuya belonged to Tatsuya and Ueda didn’t like it when someone took his things away from him. He would do everything to separate the two and get rid of annoying pests.
“No one messes with me. Kazuya’s mine and none model will take him away from me. If I have to play dirty, then so be it.” Tatsuya muttered to himself while grabbing his cell phone and dialing a certain number. “Get me the name and phone number to the modeling agency Kamenashi wants to sign a contract with. It’s urgent.”
* * *
For two weeks Kame and Ueda haven’t seen each other. Kazuya was busy with trying to make a deal with the agency, while Ueda was planning how to stop Suzuki from meeting Kamenashi outside of working hours. Tatsuya hated the fact that the much younger model might be alone with Kazuya in one room. Jealousy was eating him alive. Ueda always was stubborn and when he once set his mind on something, he wouldn’t let it go until he achieved what he wanted.
When Kazuya met the older man again everything seemed good like always. The problem appeared when, soon after coming down from their highs, Tatsuya simply stood up, put on his clothes and exited Kame’s house. Kazuya was shocked by the man’s behavior but couldn’t ask for the reason of it. Ueda looked serious while he walked out, only informing the younger one that he has something important to do. In any other situation, Kazuya would think that the man was cold towards him and angry but the look on Ueda’s face told him that’s not it. The man was somehow determined and really focused. Kame had rarely seen him like that so it meant that Tatsuya was serious about the matter.
Even though Kazuya understood all of this it didn’t change the fact that the older man started to ignore him. Well, maybe not exactly; Ueda was so concentrated on what he was doing that he had no time to meet with the younger boss. Probably any other person would already find someone else to fulfill the need, but not Kamenashi. He was angry with Ueda but at the same time he started to realize something.
He missed Tatsuya; more than he thought.
Kazuya thought a lot about their situation and slowly the answer to many of his questions dawned on him. Ueda slowly became a huge part in Kame’s life, taking up the place in his heart. Before the young man even realized it, he fell in love with his biggest enemy. When Kazuya understood it, his jaw dropped – he was shocked with himself. It was crazy but not exactly unpleasant.
When in the next few days, Tatsuya still couldn’t find time for Kame, the younger one became desperate. He didn’t know that Ueda was as frustrated as him. They were both more stressed and got angry easily; the time from before their first normal conversation, came back. Everyone could see it. Maru, Koki, Jin and Junno started to pray for the two bosses to fuck again and release all the tension; working with two ticking bombs was like a death wish.
* * *
Finally Kazuya had enough. The constant ignorance from Ueda’s side was making him mad. He decided to take things into his own hands. He needed Tatsuya badly and it was about time he focused on something other than his job. Kame wanted to confront the older man and made clear what relationship they really had; sink or swim, Kazuya had no other choice but to confess his feelings towards the boss of “Art of Life”.
“Listen, I know we are rivals and that our relationship started weirdly but something changed. I didn’t realize it at first but after you started ignoring me for some stupid deal, I missed you. When I started to ponder why I miss you I discovered something. It might sound unbelievable and you may laugh at me but I have to tell you this.” Kazuya took a deep breath before saying loudly. “Ueda Tatsuya, I love you!” Kame ended his speech seriously and turned to the left. “How was it?”
His two dogs were eyeing him curiously while wagging their tails. When the man turned towards them, the pets barked happily hoping that their owner will play with them. Kazuya smiled slightly and grabbed the keys to his car. He was determined and didn’t want to waste more time. Feeling brave enough he drove to Ueda’s mansion. Kame came out of the car and went to the door. Before he knocked, the man took a calming breath. He waited for the older one to open the door and when it happened he was ready to speak but the moment he opened his mouth, Tatsuya spoke first.
“You’re here? Good, I was about to call you anyway. Come in,” Kame was stunned but nonetheless stepped into the living room.
“Why would you call me?” Kazuya asked, both men standing face to face.
“I wanted to inform you that I just signed the contract with the company that Suzuki guy works for. Now it’s meaningless for you to meet that model,” Ueda answered firmly and Kame watched him wide-eyed. When the information sunk in, Kazuya clenched his fists tightly before exploding.
“Why did you do it?! Are you aware how important that contract was for me?! I would have had the best promotion in Japan! I was working hard to make that deal and you know how I wanted it! Why, Ueda?!!” he screamed angrily.
“Because I don’t want you to have any connections with that agency,” Ueda said calmly but fidgeted slightly.
“What? Why?! Explain it to me because it doesn’t make any sense!”
“I just don’t want you near that Suzuki guy, okay?!” Ueda shouted. Kame watched him incredulously while the older guy was muttering profanities under his breath, calling the model ‘a man-whore’ and ‘a cock-sucker’, and that were only less degrading names.
“…What?” Finally Kazuya’s voice came back and rage was slowly raising inside the younger man. “I still don’t understand why you would snatch the contract from me! Explain!”
Kame crossed his arms on his chest and looked at the other intently. Ueda said nothing, only tsked and rolled his eyes while turning his head to the side. Kazuya couldn’t understand the man’s behavior but the way he treated the younger man now, was making his blood boil in his veins.
“Fine, whatever! Now excuse me, I’m going to talk to Suzuki-kun. He will help with getting back my contract.” Kamenashi announced and turned on his heels to walked out of the house. Before he could do exactly that he felt a strong hand grasping his wrist and pulling him back.
“You’re not going anywhere!” Ueda hissed and locked the front door.
“What the hell is wrong with you?! First you’re ignoring me, then take away a contract and now you won’t let me go?! What the fuck?!”
“It’s for your own good!”
“What?! Are you crazy?!”
“No, I’m not. That guy, Suzuki,” Ueda said feeling distaste at having to say the name again. “He just wants to take advantage of you, don’t you see it?!”
“So what?! Why do you care, huh?!”
“Because I love you, damn it!”
They both froze at the older man’s words. Kazuya was surprised by the sudden outburst and Ueda, himself, was shocked at the words that left his mouth without his consent. He surely didn’t plan it but there was no way back now. Of course, he could just pretend that Kame misheard him and deny everything but he was sure it would only make things worse. There was no choice but to be honest so Tatsuya sighed defeated and started explaining.
“You see… I was attracted to you for a long time, even before we had sex for the first time. You’ve always been interesting; hardworking, devoted and strong. I was amazed by your skills, by the way you dealt with obstacles. It might sound funny but I think that I started falling for you during our first fight. You just started your own company when I had a strong position in business already and yet you weren’t afraid to insult me. Even though we were worst enemies I liked to clash with you now and then. You’re a great rival, Kazuya, and I never regretted losing to you. Actually, being able to surpass you was like the best thing in the world.”
“Anyway, I was trying to suppress my feelings for you but after that moment in the club, and knowing more and more about you with each passing day, I wanted more. I wanted you only for myself. When that guy came, I was jealous. I hated how you smiled when you talked about that model. I was so pissed off. When you told me he will work with you from now on, I couldn’t take it anymore. For the last weeks I tried my best to sign the contract before you so you would never meet that guy ever again.” Tatsuya looked up, staring straight into Kame’s eyes.
“What I want to tell you is… I love you, Kazuya. I’ve loved you for years but started acting on those feelings only when I realized I might lose you. Kazuya, I can always be second in sales’ rankings but I won’t stand being second in your heart. You mean a lot to me and I don’t want to let you go, I can’t let you go.”
Tatsuya watched his loved one, feeling completely exposed in front of the younger man. For the very first time in his life, Ueda felt utterly scared. Kame was important to him more than his own company; he was ready to sell it to anyone if only Kazuya stayed with him. He wanted the younger one to return his affection but the man’s face was blank, expressionless. So it was more of a shock when Kazuya spoke in a low, angry, hissing voice.
“And that’s why you snatched the contact away from me? You fucking asshole!”
Kazuya pounced on the other with his fists trying to punch the older who grabbed his arms in self-defense. They were fumbling and tugging on each others’ clothes while yelling, cursing each other and expostulating the other’s bad points and mistakes. They were both riled up. Kame because of a lost contract and Ueda because of Kazuya who only cared about the deal, completely ignoring Tatsuya’s confession. Suddenly, in the middle of the whole mess, Kame kissed Tatsuya harshly, sucking hungrily on his lips. The kiss was short but full of passion mixed with anger.
“You idiot! Instead of fretting over some guy you should have just told me the true!” he glared at the man who was glaring back.
“Oh, and you think it’s so easy?! I just confessed to you but you said nothing!” Tatsuya said with sarcasm and a roll of his eyes.
“Fine! I love you too, okay?! I came here to confess to you but you just had to play dirty. Give me back my contract, jerk!”
“Never! Not as long as that guy works there!”
They argued and argued, trying to release some of the stress that built up in them during the last days. It didn’t take long before they stumbled over the doorstep of Tatsuya’s bedroom, locking the door behind them. Soon you could hear wanton moans and groans of pleasure echoing through the house when the two men were taking care of getting rid of any potential tension accumulated in their bodies.
* * *
A few hours later, the men, now satisfied were calmly lying in each others’ arms. Tatsuya was playing with Kame’s hair while the younger discovered that Ueda’s chest makes for a really good pillow, firm yet soft. Kazuya had his eyes closed, enjoying the sweet caress of the older man’s fingers, feeling how his body was instantly relaxing. The silence between them was like always comfortable until Kame didn’t decide it’s a good time to tease the other.
“Ne~, Tat-chan? Will you give me back that contract? It was really a great deal for me,” the man whined, pouting slightly while Ueda rolled his eyes annoyed.
“Do you have to always think about business?” he asked the younger.
“Like you are any better, seducing the director of the agency just because you’re jealous of some lousy model,” Kame said while making a pattern on Ueda’s chest with the tips of his fingers. Tatsuya sighed, having enough fights for one day.
“What can I do so you would, please, stop whining about it?” Kazuya smirked mischievously.
“After our next fight, I’m going to top.” He looked up at the older with a lopsided smile but Ueda only tsked in response while turning his gaze away from Kame’s sparkling eyes. “I knew you would agree,”
The young man said satisfied with his lover’s reaction. He wound his arm around Tatsuya’s waist getting comfortable on top of him and smiled widely while slowly drifting off to sleep. Ueda observed the man for a while, a soft smile playing on his lips, before he also followed his beloved one’s example, falling into a peaceful sleep voided of fear, anxiety and loneliness. From now one they would live happily, probably fighting and arguing a lot, but always ending in each other’s warm embraces, seeking for acceptance and unconditional love.
# 40 years later #
Four men were sitting with walking canes in their wrinkled hands, on the bench in the park, next to the small pond. Two of them, Akanishi Jin and Taguchi Junnosuke, were watching the scene in front of them with smiles on their faces. Nakamaru Yuichi was slightly frowning and Tanaka Koki was scowling, both not understanding how it’s possible for two 70-year old men to not change at all during the years. Yes, Kamenashi Kazuya and Ueda Tatsuya haven’t change even one bit, they were still stubborn, energetic, loud and completely oblivious to their surroundings while being in each others’ presence.
Their friends and former co-workers were watching another fight between the two. Bad words were escaping their lips while they were arguing about which pudding tastes better, strawberry or vanilla. Kazuya bet on the first one, strawberry being his favorite fruit, while Tatsuya preferred vanilla since it’s taste reminded him about his long time lover.
The two old men were quarreling for half an hour already but the disagreement didn’t seem to end quickly. Koki stopped scowling when a sudden idea popped out in his head and decided to stay there. Not having any other choice to get rid of it but satiate his curiosity, the man asked.
“Hey, do you think they are still doing it?” the three looked at him.
“You mean having sex? Who knows,” the men turned their eyes towards the arguing pair.
“I’m quite impressed. So many years have passed and they are still insulting each other like the first time they had met,” Maru and Junno nodded in agreement when Jin smirked; no matter how old he was, his mind was still as perverted as in his youth.
“I told you years ago, it’s UST. Somehow they don’t seem to be able to live without it. If they hadn’t fucked at least once a week, they were pains in the ass. I’m just happy that at the same time they had found love because they really had deserved it. Just like they deserve each other.”
The men had to agree. At first the two needed sex to release stress but with time came other feelings; strong and powerful yet amazingly beautiful. Remembering the times the pair had spent with each other and observing their blossoming love, the four men couldn’t help but smile. They were happy for their friends who, thanks to being rivals, had found their own sanctuary.
Suddenly, Junno, who through the years became even lamer, asked a question that would make you weak in your legs instantly.
“Guys?” the men looked at him. “What’s UST?”
The men groaned at their friend's stupidity but decided to just ignore the question. They slowly stood up from the bench walking away from the couple and leaving poor Junno behind still looking puzzled. Of course, at the end Taguchi didn’t get to know that ‘UST’ meant ‘Unresolved Sexual Tension’.