“I’m bored,” Takasugi says, apropos of nothing. He pushes aside his half-eaten konbini bento box and nicks one of Youji’s cigarettes along with his lighter. “We can’t go outside, and you’ve barred me and Aya-kun from sparring.”
Aya keeps his eyes on his own meal but watches the man from his peripheral vision, suppressing a sigh. Up until the moment Takasugi opens his mouth, today’s lunch had been a relatively peaceful affair, with Youji making small talks with Sakamoto and asking about his progress on fixing the dubious device that supposedly dropped the two strange men into this world, and Takasugi for once not making passive aggressive remarks at Aya to goad him into an argument and/or a fight.
Sakamoto snorts into his own half-eaten bento—no, actually, his box is empty, and he’s now digging into the one that manchild didn’t finish—before replying, “Because you weren’t sparring, you were trying to stab each other for real.”
The kitchen has been declared off limits by Youji after, on their second night in the villa, Aya tried to throw a knife at Takasugi while cooking dinner, so they’ve been having their meals in the living room. The sliding glass doors are opened to let the late spring air in, and that’s the only reason Aya stays quiet as Takasugi lights the stolen cigarette up, grumbling something along the lines of ‘like that’d be such a bad thing, stupid Tatsuma, you traitor’ under his breath all the while. Said Stupid Tatsuma only looks on with an indulgent smile at that.
“Say, Youji-kun,” the bastard starts again after a few long drags, “would you be interested in a threesome?”
That got everyone’s attention. Aya’s head snaps up so quickly it leaves him feeling a little dizzy. The one Takasugi mentioned by name sits frozen with a can of coke pressed against his bottom lip. Meanwhile, the bastard’s boyfriend, curiously, doesn’t look perturbed. Surprised, yes, and a little puzzled, but not perturbed.
(In hindsight, Aya should’ve noticed the forced flippancy in Takasugi’s tone and recognized his question for the bait that it is. At the moment, however, he’s too caught up in the way the man can annoy him just by breathing, as well as the fact that he’s not allowed to reach out and throttle Takasugi for propositioning his l— his teammate. His friend. His— whatever.)
“You, me, Tatsuma,” he clarifies, as if it wasn’t already obvious who he’s leaving out. He then turns his face towards the latter, free hand coming up to caress the side of Sakamoto’s face in a way that makes Aya want to retch, especially combined with the utterly besotted look Sakamoto always has on whenever he’s looking at Takasugi. “I remember you once said you’d be interested in having sex with a clone of yourself, love.”
Aya raises a brow. Clone? Youji and Sakamoto could, at most, pass as cousins; they’re around the same height, and they both have curly brown hair, big expressive eyes that they hide behind ridiculous sunglasses, and admittedly nice jawline, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Their personalities are also similar in some ways, yet clearly neither a carbon copy nor complete opposites of one another, which doesn’t align with the common perception of an ‘alternate universe self,’ much less a clone. The same goes for—ugh—him and Takasugi, or at least that’s what Sakamoto claimed all too amusedly on their fifth day here.
Next to him, Youji laughs good-naturedly, “I’m the clone?”
Youji has a beautiful laugh; Aya has always thought so, even way back when he saw the man as merely a reliable but annoying teammate. Life feels ever so slightly less bleak whenever Youji laughs.
Not this time, though. He hates that Youji is being good-natured about this. Hates that he doesn’t look perturbed either, that Aya seems to be the only one who is.
Then again, he wasn’t supposed to feel upset over this, was he, considering he was the one who walked away from Youji all those months ago. Made his bed and must now lie in it.
It’s only due to him leaning all the way back against the couch that he catches Youji stealing a glance at him, and it unfortunately sows a seed of hope in him that the man will turn it down, but all he says when he opens his mouth is, “and what about...”
Takasugi finally turns his gaze on him, that condescending expression he reserves for Aya and Aya alone, and it only serves to worsen the anger simmering underneath his skin. “Well, I myself am not into clone-fucking, but if Aya-kun asks nicely I might just let him join.”
All of a sudden, Aya finds himself wishing that they were doing this while standing up, because then at least he could physically look down on Takasugi. It seems to be the one thing that Aya can do to annoy the man as much as he annoys Aya, and then at least he wouldn't be the only one losing his head during this outrageous conversation.
“So?” Takasugi asks Youji again after realizing he’s not going to get more out of Aya than the glare he’s currently receiving.
“...I’ll think about it.”
Except his face shows that he’s already thinking about it. The sounds coming out of the couple’s room at night left little to the imagination, and Aya would bet Youji is more than happy to fill in the blanks. Biting his lips, Aya barely refrains himself from calling Youji a word that rhymes with ‘bore’ out loud. Barely refrains himself from launching across the table to claw Takasugi’s face off, too. Whoever said Aya has poor self-control when it comes to situations that he has a personal stake in owes him an apology. (It was Youji. Youji is the only person who would say something like that to his face. Youji owes him an apology, and then some. Youji has to turn down the offer. Youji—)
He turns to Sakamoto as a last resort. Say something you idiotic hairball, Aya tries to telepathically communicate via his glare. This isn’t some porno, surely no one would be okay with their long-time serious partner propositioning some guy they just met out of nowhere, moreso when the guy looks similar to them but better. Sakamoto’s eyes meet his, and it takes a second but Aya sees understanding dawning on him. Aya’s assessment of the man so far isn’t exactly a positive one (though he’s definitely the better half of the pair); it doesn’t matter that the man allegedly was an accomplished war general turned accomplished merchant, Sakamoto can’t prove any of that right now, so Aya will stick to the evidence he has on hand, and from it he’s concluded that the man can sometimes be a little slow, but maybe this will rectify that—
“I’m fine with anything that involves sex with Shinsuke.”
Aya looks away, closes his eyes. For a split-second he’s tempted to call out to Schwarz’s Mastermind and tell the psycho to just put him out of his misery, but then realizes that while Takasugi has been driving him insane, he’s not quite that insane yet. In the end, he settles for a simple thought of I want to kill everyone in this room and then myself.
Feeling, and ignoring, Youji’s eyes on him, he gets up from his seat to throw away his empty meal box.
“Aya...” There’s so much pleading packed within that one word that it stops Aya in his tracks. He doesn’t turn around, though. He knows if he does he’ll turn into the one pleading.
He takes a moment to make sure his voice comes out level. “Do whatever you want.”