“So what’d Tokio have to say?” Sano inquired, yawning, as he entered the office. “Same as always?”
“You ask that as if you weren’t listening at the door,” Saitou replied from behind the work he’d resumed once his wife had left.
“Yeah, but you guys were talking kinda quiet; I couldn’t hear everything.” Sano seated himself on the desk, cross-legged, and peered over the papers in Saitou’s hand.
“Yes, same as always.”
“How I’m not good enough for you and she can’t figure out why you’re with me and all that?”
“That’s about right.”
Saitou looked up. “What’s wrong? I know you don’t care about her opinion.”
“Nah, what she thinks doesn’t bug me,” Sano confirmed. “What does is the fact that you never stand up for me.”
Saitou smirked slightly. “Do you need me to stand up for you?”
“If I’m not there to defend myself, you could at least say something!”
The smirk grew. “What am I supposed to say? When she points out that I normally prefer intelligent, mature, reasonable men of about my age who have something like a hope of beating me in a fair fight, exactly how am I supposed to respond?”
The roosterhead rolled his eyes. “God, you are such an asshole.”
“I doubt God appreciates that accusation.” The wolf reached up to flick him on the nose before turning his attention back to his work.
“You prick…” Sano snatched the papers away, forcing Saitou to look at him. “You really think I’m a stupid, immature, weak little kid, don’t you?”
Folding his hands and laying them on the desk, Saitou looked placidly into Sano’s face and replied, “Of course.”
“Then she’s right! Why do you keep me around?”
The officer leaned back in his chair, contemplating the young man on his desk for a long period of silence.
“You once told me I couldn’t judge you against my own level until you’d had as much time as I’d had to improve,” Saitou finally said thoughtfully. “I’m waiting for that.”
The wolf gave a brief laugh at Sano’s bewilderment. “It’s true your mind lacks cultivation, your attitude is childish, your fighting style is laughable, and you’re barely legal,” he said. “But based on what you’ve shown me so far and what I’ve come to know of you, I fully expect to see that all reversed with time. Whether it will be in two years, five years, twenty years… eventually you’re going to be perfect for me, and I feel it’s best to keep you around in anticipation of that.”
“Shit…” Sano’s face was a picture of confused irritation, with perhaps just a little gratification thrown in. “I don’t know whether to be pissed off or really happy with that answer.”
Saitou shrugged. “Do as you please.”
“Fuck, I don’t even know whether I believe any of that,” Sano continued. “How the hell can you think… you really believe I’m gonna be all great in twenty years?”
“Although you’re not entirely unpleasant at the moment, be assured I wouldn’t put up with you if I didn’t.”
Sano rolled his eyes again, but by now the pleasure in his expression had grown (mostly) to overshadow the puzzlement. “You sure have an ass-backwards way of giving a compliment.”
Almost wary of the answer Sano wondered next, “So what am I good for now?”
“Sex,” the wolf informed him matter-of-factly.
Sano shook his head. “You just said all that to make sure you get laid tonight, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” the officer admitted, “but that doesn’t make it any less the truth.”
“Bastard…” Sano leaned forward to kiss him. “I don’t know what I see in you.”
“Maybe it will take a few years to surface,” Saitou speculated with another smirk just before their lips met.
Upon beating me at the Quote Guessy Game, Dedra’s nonspecific ficlet request was for something about Saitou and Sano. As I happened to have this idea vaguely in mind at that time, I went with it.
I’ve rated this story . What do you think of it?
This story is included in the Saitou & Sano Collection ebook.