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Patience

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Hisae Shino was not his type at all.

Tenryuu didn't have a type, male or female. Hadn't seriously, or even half-seriously, thought about any woman other than his ex-wife since before they were married, and the slow disintegration and sudden final collapse of his marriage hasn't made him the least bit inclined to do so. There had been a few men (after it became clear that the damage was irreparable), but, with one exception, they had approached him.

If he had had a type, however, Shino would not have been it.

Worse, maddening, was the fact that he wasn't looking. Not at all. He didn't want the complications of getting involved with someone, and if he had, he certainly wouldn't have chosen Shino -- earnest, uncertain Shino, who had the further complication of his son's sudden appearance in his life. He couldn't quite imagine the theoretical person he would have chosen instead, though, given the choice between the two of them. Shino had snuck up on him, quite unintentionally, he was sure.

He didn't even know why he was so drawn to Shino. Something about the way his hair fell around his eyes, perhaps, or the curve of his bottom lip... or maybe it was the fact that he'd never once gotten the impression that Shino was playing games with him or anyone else.

He didn't know quite how he had ended up walking a tipsy Shino back to his place, though the fact that Shino had to lean on him quite heavily to walk and the way he was babbling vaguely against Tenryuu's shoulder had certainly influenced his decision. Shino couldn't get himself home like this.

"Tenryuu-san, are you listening?"

"Yes, yes..." Shino's warm, slightly boozy breath was ghosting across his chin, and after another moment or two, Tenryuu felt Shino's body slump against his as he slipped into sleep.

He had managed to unlock the door one-handed and get Shino into his bed (removing his shoes first, as he didn't really want them under his covers) and under the covers before the younger man woke again, blinking muzzily as if his eyes wanted to stick shut. "Huh? This is--"

"My room."

Shino was flushed from the alcohol and from being fully dressed under the blankets. His hair was mussed and the collars of his shirt and sweater were askew. He really was adorable.

"...I have to go home," Shino said in a small, distant voice, struggling to get the covers off of himself.

"Don't be silly." Tenryuu shrugged off his blazer and draped it over the back of a chair. "You're too drunk." He sat down on the end of the bed, regarding Shino patiently.

Shino was sitting up, looking decidedly unsteady. "But... this... I'm bothering you."

Tenryuu supposed that was where he ought to say that Shino wasn't bothering him at all, but the truth was that it was hardly convenient for him to watch over a drunk colleague, least of all one who was an unwitting temptation. Of course, he was also the one who had invited Shino out for a drink in the first place.

"You were the one who said you didn't want to go home. Your son is already in his second year of high school, so stop worrying!"

Might as well not have said it, since Shino didn't even make it out of the bed, passing out again curled on his side with a drowsy noise of protest against unconsciousness. No amount of poking and shaking his shoulder would wake him, even though he mumbled a bit more. He didn't seem ill, but Tenryuu left him on his side, thinking to get a glass of water and put it by the bed for Shino to drink if he woke again.

He was going to have a crick in his neck tomorrow, sleeping in the chair, but he didn't think it would be at all wise to try sharing the bed, for more than one reason.

Tenryuu glanced back at Shino again, about to get up. He looked like the new guy in the office, or maybe even a college kid, with his tousled hair in his face and his tipsy flush. He didn't look old enough to be a father at all, let alone of a high schooler.

He couldn't stop looking at Shino's sleeping face, the dark lashes brushing his cheeks, full lower lip that would probably taste of whiskey...

Moving to sit on the side of the bed, he leaned over Shino, just looking at him for a long moment.

This would be complicated. Even if Shino didn't remember it, he would. He didn't want to get involved with someone like Shino, with whom he strongly suspected there would be no half measures.

But he wanted Shino.

He tipped Shino's chin up, and kissed him. Slow, sensual, teasing... his tongue traced Shino's lips before parting them gently, exploring the contours of his teeth and stroking against his slack tongue, then retreating as he closed his teeth over that full bottom lip.

Shino didn't stir, though he made a soft noise as Tenryuu released his lower lip. It was not a noise Tenryuu had ever heard him produce for the microphone, and if he ever did, Tenryuu thought he wouldn't be able to stop himself from kissing Shino senseless. But right now, Shino was out cold.

Tenryuu forced himself to sit up, and just stared at Shino for a long time.

Slowly, he thought. If he took his time, perhaps he would change his mind before long. And if he didn't, he would have some idea what Shino's reaction was before he had gotten too invested.

The kiss had been entirely too enticing. With Shino's cooperation it would have been far more so. Tenryuu was looking forward to it.

He sat on the edge of the bed for a long while, Shino sleeping on obliviously behind him, until at last he made himself get up, take a shower and put on his pajama pants, and try to figure out how to get any sleep in his armchair.

He could be very patient.