Saitou had just risen from a full night of unbroken sleep when noisy footsteps sounded in his entry hall. They were familiar footsteps — though when Sano had acquired the means to let himself into the house Saitou wasn’t sure — so he merely continued with his preparations for the day. Having become accustomed, lately, to half-nights of less perfect repose, snores and sprawling limbs, the unexpectedly smooth period of rest had left him slightly less alert than he usually was upon awakening; he was, in fact, splashing cold water onto his face as the bedroom door opened.
It seemed like Sano stood in the doorway, and Saitou stood staring at him, for a very long time.
With the appearance of the tired, slightly grinning, very rumpled young man whose clothes and hair were in great disarray, there came also the faint smell of flowery perfume; it floated into and seemed to permeate the room in a single instant: a clinging, distinctly feminine scent that might have been considered an olfactory representation of the pinkish color that had smeared faintly in places onto Sano’s face and neck.
It seemed like Sano stood in the doorway, and Saitou stood staring at him, for a very long time, but it actually took only half a moment for the story of the night to be told — half a moment’s dismay and resentment of which Saitou had no real desire to make a great display — before he returned without a word to the task of getting dressed.
He should have known better. This was Sagara Sanosuke, after all. He had known better: he’d always known the boy was an impetuous idiot and a good-for-nothing. However, he would not have guessed that even a clearly intoxicated Sano would have the nerve to show up here smelling like the woman he’d spent the night with.
After not too long, he heard footsteps behind him and felt the delinquent’s arms slip around his waist to stop his progress in fastening his pants. “D’you really wanna put those on?” Sano wondered in a rumbling slur, drunken hands attempting clumsily to enter the garment in question.
Saitou pushed him roughly away, marveling at this shamelessness. “It would be inconvenient to go to work without them.”
The moron could sleep with whomever he wanted, of course, and be as reckless and indiscreet about it as he chose, of course. When had anyone implied anything else? Since when did Saitou want anything else? Why should Saitou want anything else?
Obviously not even a little put off, Sano asked, “Well, d’you really wanna go to work?”
“In case you didn’t notice as you stumbled over here, ahou,” Saitou snorted, “the sun is coming up. Those of us who don’t waste our lives gambling and whoring have things to do.”
For once, he had to admit, his irritation with Sano was not as great as his irritation with himself: that Sano had not even bothered to wipe the lip-color off his neck was brazen or perhaps just careless, but either way seemed typical of him; that Saitou was reacting to it like this was more than a little atypically foolish… when had he starting thinking of their convenient-sex arrangement in relationship terms?
Sano was frowning in bleary disappointment. Evidently the ‘whoring’ comment had not made even the slightest impression. Of course not; why should it have? “Guess I’ll just take a nap, then.” And he flopped down onto the futon Saitou had not yet put away.
“I don’t want you in my bed smelling like you’ve been rolling in a gardenia bush all night,” Saitou said coldly. Or rolling some cheap woman in a gardenia bush all night.
Sano buried his face in his sleeve and inhaled loudly. “Damn whore was wearing a fucking gallon of that shit,” was his muffled comment. Then, with a yawn but not even a touch of compunction, he rearranged the blanket around himself, put his hands behind his head, and looked blandly up at Saitou.
As he finished buttoning his shirt and donned his jacket with movements that might perhaps have been a little more forceful than was entirely necessary, the officer considered tossing the thoughtless young man out on his ear, telling him to go back to aforementioned whore if he wanted to freeload. It would certainly be the appropriate treatment.
But for some reason he didn’t.
“Chou had better be on time today,” he was growling to himself as he put out the lamp and turned to leave.
“I doubt it,” was Sano’s faint, unexpected, and uncalled-for reply, “if he shows up at all…”
Saitou paused in the doorway and turned to look back at the half-awake ahou. “Why?”
“He took that stupid woman home…” the younger man answered sleepily. “Broke up a really good game, too, horny bastard.” He yawned again before adding, “Well, least it stopped her gettin’ all over me.” Turning onto his side and tugging on the bedding so that all Saitou could see of him was a blanket-covered lump ending in a jagged brown mass, he finished at a mumble, “Some chicks just won’t take ‘I have a boyfriend’ for an answer.”
Heavy seconds passed as Saitou stared, wordless and motionless, down at Sano. Presently the latter began to snore.
So Chou was not likely to show up at all today, was he? That meant Saitou had to run his own errands. He hated running his own errands when there were more important things to be done; perhaps, he thought as he started to remove his jacket, having Chou at his beck and call had spoiled him. Unbuttoning his shirt, he reflected that Chou was hardly competent enough to merit that distinction. By the time he got his pants off, Chou had entirely fled his mind.
Working his way under the blanket in which Sano had twisted himself was no easy task, but, once he’d gotten there and wrapped his arms around the young man, he was rewarded with an incoherent but affectionate-sounding mutter and a sigh as Sano’s body squirmed slowly to fit against his.
“Next time tell her you have an extremely jealous boyfriend,” he murmured, and pressed a kiss to the spiky head. In doing so he caught a stronger whiff of the omnipresent flowery scent, and had to reflect that, on his Sano, it actually smelled quite nice.
This story is for 30_kisses theme #11 “Gardenia.” I’ve rated it . What do you think of it?
This story is included in the Saitou/Sano Collection 2 ebook.