[identity profile] stormymood.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] arashi_exchange
A piece of rainbow for [livejournal.com profile] gurajiorasu Part 1

Title: scheherazade
Pairing: Jun/Sho
Rating/Warnings: NC-17. Occasional depictions of graphic violence. Smoking. Mentions of drugs and arms dealerships, prostitution, tattoos. Assassination plots. Secrets. Injury, but SPOILER ALERT: no one important dies so no need to worry about your faves.
Summary: Matsumoto Jun is a man with a mission when he finally assumes the role he’s been groomed for all his life. But there is someone who wants to do away with him and will stop at nothing until he’s out of the game for good.
Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] gurajiorasu. Your sign up had yakuza AU and mafia AU, and since I couldn't pick one, I went with a mashup of both in a totally made-up Japan. I hope you can enjoy this despite me not sticking very much to your original prompt. I'm sorry for that. Thanks to my betas who helped me improve this thing.

Meetings had become an integral part of his life.

There was always someone important, someone crucial he had to speak to in order to lay out one plan after another, to place a piece that would serve as a foundation towards an improvement, to something better, greater. Man is what he makes of himself, his father used to say. He had taken these words to heart, and with each carefully worded pleasantry exchanged with someone of influence, he had to remind himself of where he was, of what he had. Power is what you make it. Some had power handed to them, delivered, gift-wrapped even. Some had to take it. And yet there were those exceptional ones who had to do both, and that made those individuals ruthless and the most dangerous of them all.

He was not like them, not entirely. He was where he was because of tradition—old but honored by his peers, revered by his subjects, and exalted by those beneath him. Despite the power that was passed on to him, he had to cultivate it, nurture its essence and utilize it in the proper time. Respect was something he’d earned, not received as a consequence of a timely death. The fear eventually came after he’d secured that his peers held him in high esteem, but not through the methods those around him would have undoubtedly preferred. Old men were always insistent on spilling blood, deeming it as a spectacle, something to behold. A vital component of their daily lives.

He, meanwhile, had always abhorred unnecessary violence.

“And I reiterate,” he said, feeling the pinpricks of a migraine building in his temple, “that as long as we are not defending the borders, there is nothing we ought to be anxious about. Your goods remain yours, as mine remain mine.”

The meeting dragged on and ended with a fragile understanding that while men cower in the face of power, trust wouldn’t be handed over just as easily. Yielding was not synonymous to breaking. He’d known this, but seeing it in person never failed to astonish him. There would always be more he had to do in order to win someone over.

He collapsed on his chair, cradling the side of his head where the headache had sprouted and where it was now intent on making him suffer. There was only one meeting left. One more and he could rest, close his eyes and shut out the world. Empires weren’t born in a fortnight, but all it would take to bring them down was a miscalculation he could never afford.

But even the most powerful of rulers required rest, he thought, and he was nearing his limit.

His intercom buzzed, and he heard his assistant drawl that whoever he was supposed to meet had arrived. He ordered for this another significant individual he had to meet to be ushered inside his office while he made a quick trip to the washroom.

As soon as he crossed the threshold, the mirror revealed that he looked terrible. He had seen this reflected countless times, sometimes on the eyes of men whose lives had been ending. This look was not a surprise to him: dark circles under his eyes, in which the capillaries in the whites have begun to flood with red, his complexion that could use more color. His only consolation, he figured, was the absence of blood anywhere on his face. Usually there’d be a cut somewhere, iron oozing freely until he could taste it on his lips, flood his nose.

He splashed water on his face, savoring the cool, refreshing feeling the droplets had brought him despite their impermanence. He could never trap enough cold in him, being a source of it himself. He had always lacked warmth. Some people had it in abundance, like they were vessels of quasars and supernovae, but him, he was always deficient in it. It made him greedy for heat and anything close to it.

He wiped his face with a small towel, watching how his cheeks glowed to a pink tinge as he applied pressure, only for the color to dissipate as soon as he let go of the force he’d applied. Heat or cold—it didn’t matter. He could never hold on to either long enough.

He stepped out and found his visitor admiring the view that his window provided, the rays of sun obscuring most of his form. Living in the penthouse suite meant he had a spectacular view of what he owned, how far his legacy stretched.

His guest had his back turned to him, hands clasped behind him, eyes fixated on the port that was the primary source of money. The fact that the port was under his control meant that he governed the trade, and he’d like to keep it that way as long as he could.

“Armani, as always,” the man said, still not looking at him, but it was enough to make him freeze in place. “I always thought you looked pristine in those fancy suits of yours, but perhaps seeing it in person after all this time is something I could never account for.”

It couldn’t be.

“You,” was all he managed to say, and it came unbidden—breathless, accusatory, and full of disbelief.

The man faced him, the same lopsided smile etched on his face. As their eyes met, the room suddenly felt too warm: the heat threatening to suffocate him and swelter his insides, every fiber of his body, every osteon that formed his bones. The kind of heat that could ensnare him and leave ashes in its wake.

The only kind he would allow to do so.

“Hello Jun,” the man—Sho greeted. “It’s been a while.”

Follow the link for part 2


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