A/N: Hello, my darlings! I can't believe I have two lovely people favoriting this! Thank you so much Calico Productions and rjanarielle! Oh, and rjanarielle, dear, of course you can write something about the whole butler cafe concept! Thanks for your reviews as well! c:
Yuuki's training days passed quite quickly, and Masato was almost exclusively his trainer, due to Itsuki's workload in helping open up the merchandise store. While Itsuki was extremely likable and Yuuki could easily see them becoming friends, he was blissfully happy that he was able to spend so much time with Masato. Yuuki found himself developing quite the crush on him, not that he hadn't seen that coming when he first laid eyes on him. Never in his life did he have a crush like this; it was both wondrous, yet absolutely terrifying. Despite getting to know Masato a little bit better, he still had no idea how to read him or if Masato even found him palatable, not to mention likable.
"Kaname. Can I talk to you for a second..?" Masato approached him, giving the room another look over.
Yuuki and Masato were the only two at the cafe, finishing most of their closing duties. Kou, who had been working along side them, had left a little early for a gig after helping clean part of the cafe.
Yuuki's heart skipped a beat, "Y-Yes? What is it?"
Masato hesitated. He seemed uncomfortable and almost nervous, eyes darting from Yuuki's face to the floor and back up again, "I, um...Are you doing anything Friday night? This Friday is your last day of training and Ayu will be testing you, so maybe after..." Masato's face was red.
A big smile grew on Yuuki's face, "Yes. Yes, I'm free." He was overly elated. Yuuki couldn't believe that Masato was asking him out! He had to restrain himself from dancing around the cafe in joy, "Um...but if you want, I'm also free right now too." The excitement Yuuki got from Masato's shy proposal made him bolder than he was used to being. He couldn't believe this was happening, and he was going to take this golden opportunity and run with it.
Masato was clearly taken aback, "W-Wait, what? Right now? What are you suggesting...?"
And just like that, Yuuki's high was immediately shot down and replaced with utter horror, "Um, well...it's dinner time, and I have a long train ride back home, so...I thought that maybe we could go grab something for dinner. If you'd like. But, uh, if you're busy, I completely understand. I-I'm sorry, I shouldn't have suggested something so spontaneous and last minute..." Yuuki was feeling more and more foolish the longer he spoke. Did he possibly misread Masato's initial intentions? What was he thinking, asking another man out so arbitrarily? Could he have possibly sounded more desperate or pathetic? He just wanted to go home and bury himself in the sheets, hiding away from his embarrassment and the world.
A faint smile appeared on Masato's face, "...That sounds nice, actually. But just keep Friday open anyway, alright? So...where do you want to go?" He inspected the cafe carefully, making sure everything was in place.
Yuuki's heart leaped and pure relief washed over him, "Yeah? Great! Okay! Um, well, what do you recommend around here?"
The two made their way up the stairs, Masato pulling down the shutter and locking it into place.
"Do you like American food?"
Yuuki thought for a minute, "Like McDonald's?"
Masato looked over at him in disbelief before laughing, "Not...exactly. It's much nicer than fast food. C'mon I'll show you. It's this place called Friday's."
They walked down the street together, Yuuki's heart began beating joyfully against his chest. He couldn't believe that he was going to dinner with someone as gorgeous and marvelous as Masato. It was probably just a friendly, co-worker dinner as opposed to a date, but Yuuki refused to lose hope.
Whether it could be considered a date or not was completely certain, but Yuuki was not going to let that bother him in the slightest.
"This is it. Ever been here before?" Masato asked, looking up at the red and white stripes adorning the sign.
"No, I've never even heard of it...I hardly ever go to restaurants outside of my hometown, and we certainly don't have many foreign restaurants." Like always, Masato held the door open for him.
The decor of the restaurant was very unique and unlike anything Yuuki was accustomed to seeing. It was as if an American garage sale exploded all over the wooden walls. There were random items such as musical instruments, to fishing equipment, to American street signs all over the place. It had a bar like feel, but had a cozy and warm environment. Yuuki's eyes were wide in awe.
A very friendly waiter greeted them and placed them in a booth near the back.
"...You like this atmosphere? You look wonder-struck." Masato was smiling at him affectionately.
Yuuki blushed, "It's just...so cool in here! I feel like we're in America. Well, what I think America looks like anyway.." He laughed to himself.
"Well, I'm glad you like it."
"...So, what do you recommend here?" He asked, flipping through page after page of the menu.
"Their drinks are amazing...here." Masato handed him the drink menu.
"Drinks? Oh, alcohol..?" He read the list, not recognizing any of the names.
"You're twenty, right? Do you not drink very much?"
"Yeah, but...I turned twenty two weeks ago, so I haven't ever had anything with alcohol..."
"But you haven't tried it before? Like when you were in high school?" Masato stared at him curiously.
"N-No! That's illegal, so of course I didn't. Why, did you?" Yuuki was shocked at his question.
"Ah, I had a feeling you were that kind of person." He dodged the question, and Yuuki took it as an admission of guilt.
"...That kind of person?"
"The kind of person who does everything by the book. It's everyone's choice whether they want to drink or not...I'm not judging you. Honestly, it'd be better if more people were like you." What Yuuki thought was going to be an insult turned out to be a compliment.
Yuuki smiled, "Thanks...It's not like I'm completely opposed to it, really. I just have no idea what to try..."
"Well, since you're new to it, I'd suggest a fuzzy navel. It's sweet, and doesn't have a bitter, alcohol aftertaste. It's orange juice with some peach schnapps."
"Ooh, well I love peaches, so I'll try it."
Masato pressed a small button on their table and ordered drinks for both of them.
This started a long, uncomfortable silence as they flipped through their menus.
"Umm, so..." Yuuki finally spoke up when he couldn't take it anymore, "D-Do you have any pets...?" As soon as it left his mouth, he felt stupid. But he couldn't think of anything not too intrusive on Masato's life that would make for good discussion.
"...No," he replied simply, looking up from his menu. He paused for a moment, "Do you?"
"Yeah, a little longhaired dachshund named Lotte. Do you like dogs?"
"Yes. But cats are my favorite...I'd like to have a pet, but my current apartment has a no pet policy."
"That's too bad..."
The drinks came and a very sophisticated clear drink in a martini glass was placed in front of Masato.
"What did you get?" Yuuki asked curiously.
"Just a dry martini." Masato swirled the spear that had two green olives on it, "I don't suggest you try this anytime soon since you're not used to alcohol."
Yuuki's fuzzy navel was served in a regular glass, and it looked just like juice. He took a sip and beamed, "It's really good! It's like enhanced orange juice!"
"Well good, I'm glad that you like it."
They ordered their food, another rather awkward silence forming between them. Yuuki took a long sip of his drink, trying to think of what to say. He wasn't the best at making conversation.
"You...uh, you said that you have a long trip back from here...where about do you live, if you don't mind me asking? Somewhere in the suburbs I'm assuming?" Masato asked quietly, taking a sip of his drink.
"I live in Hitachi."
"Sorry, I don't know where that is..."
"It's about two hours away on the Joban line. It's in Ibaraki prefecture near the ocean."
Masato's eyes widened, "Really!? That's so far! Do you go to school here in Tokyo, or..."
"No, I go to a university in my hometown. It's pretty close to where I live, so my only real commute is to work."
Masato was clearly impressed, "That's quite some dedication to a part time job."
"Oh, but it's much more than that to me. I absolutely love Ikebukuro. I love Otome Road. The fact that I have the opportunity to be a part of this community makes me so happy." He smiled warmly to himself.
"I see...That's great. It's important to love your job..." Masato grinned and bit one of the olives off of the spear.
"What...is that green thing exactly?"
"It's a green olive with a pimento inside."
Yuuki was completely puzzled. He had only seen black olives a few times in his life at some Italian restaurants, but they were never green. And he had absolutely no idea what a pimento was. It was like some sort of alien food. Was this the hidden side of American cuisine? What exactly was an olive anyway? A fruit? Vegetable? Did it grow on a tree or in the ground? Yuuki was filled with questions that he didn't dare ask Masato, in fear of looking uncultured or stupid.
"Would you like to try one? It's a very...unique taste. I don't think you're gonna like it." He offered the spear to Yuuki, who took it cautiously.
"Are you sure it's okay?"
Yuuki eyed it curiously before he put it into his mouth, the taste giving him chills. Unique was too kind of a word for the weird taste that was spreading through his mouth. It was as if the olive bitch-slapped his tongue, making him taste all sorts of flavors-sweet, salty, bitter-simultaneously. The alcohol taste added to the overall terrible flavor, which was surprisingly strong given the fact that the olive hadn't been in the liquid all that long. He tried to chew on it, but it just made it worse, and he choked.
"That good, huh? Don't feel like you have to swallow it just cause of me..." He laughed, handing him an extra napkin.
Yuuki attempted to spit it into his napkin as gracefully and politely as humanly possible.
"S...Sorry, but that..." He drank his fuzzy navel in an attempt to get rid of that horrible, lingering taste.
"Don't apologize. To be honest, I would've been more surprised if you thought it was delicious." Masato eyes were bright and he was obviously amused by the whole situation.
In the time that Yuuki had spent with Masato, he had never seen him act so casual. He was usually so stone faced, but he seemed quite relaxed and almost friendly. Yuuki wasn't accustomed to it, but he absolutely loved it.
Their food arrived, and the relaxed air between them continued.
"So...what's your major? Do you like college?" Masato asked.
"College is okay. I chose business, but...that was because of pressure from my parents. I felt like business was the socially acceptable choice for me, especially since I had NO idea as to what I wanted to do. But now that I've met you guys...it gives me hope that I could work for a cool, fun company." Yuuki smiled to himself.
"Hah, well...if you stick around Castle Gardens, I'm sure that you'll land a job like mine or Hatori's easily. Ayu's desperate for someone who can help with the website...and I'm not planning on staying there forever..."
"Oh, that's perfect! I'm really good with computers! Um, but why are you not planning on being there forever? What's your ideal job?"
Masato hesitated for a moment, "Being a photographer. I'll take any kind of job, frankly. As long as I get to take pictures, I'm happy. I...like capturing moments and simple things that make life beautiful, I guess." He smiled sheepishly down at his martini.
Yuuki was impressed with his response, "That's...beautiful. So how did you get the job at Castle Gardens then?"
"Ayu and I were college friends, so she offered me the job when she started the place up. I did it more as a favor than anything."
"I see...so you were there from the beginning. That's so cool."
The rest of the dinner went relatively well. Despite Masato being an overall quiet person, he seemed genuinely curious about Yuuki and was much more relaxed than he was at work. Yuuki couldn't help but feel special that he was seeing this side of Masato.
"Well, thanks for taking me here...it was delicious." Yuuki finished off his fuzzy navel, feeling a little hot.
"No problem," Masato laughed, "You're kinda red. I can't believe that barely 4% alcohol is affecting you like this."
Yuuki felt himself flush, but couldn't protest; he had no idea what his face looked like.
When the bill came, Masato snatched it and paid for the full amount.
"H-Hey! We can split it...how much do I owe you?" Yuuki felt horrible, knowing from the menu how expensive this place was.
"Don't bother. It's my treat. Think of it as a belated birthday present, okay?" Masato grinned, putting away his wallet, "Ready to go?"
Yuuki nodded and thanked him, and the two left together.
"I...uh...it was nice. This. It was kinda unexpected and spontaneous, but...I had a good time." Masato muttered as they walked the streets, a cool breeze sweeping past them.
Yuuki blushed, "Yeah. It was fun. Thanks for joining me."
They approached the Ikebukuro train station and Yuuki began digging through his bag for his Suica card.
"Um, Kaname..." He looked up, noticing that Masato was fidgeting uncomfortably, "May I have your phone number?" He turned red, "Since we're coworkers and all..." he added.
Yuuki was taken aback, but absolutely thrilled, "Of course! Let's swap our information." He grinned, holding up his cell phone.
"I...I won't bother you or anything. I just think it's wise to have your number in case anything happens at work or you need help with something." He looked down, embarrassment clear in his expression.
"It'd truly be no bother at all. Please feel free to message me whenever about whatever. It'd...make me really happy." Yuuki looked up at Masato, his heart fluttering in his chest.
Masato said nothing, but nodded gently, smiling softly at him. It was very faint, but Masato was blushing.
Seeing Masato like this made him even more attractive to Yuuki. Any doubt that he previously had about this dinner not being a date quickly vanished; Yuuki could see it in his eyes that this was something a little bit more.
"Well...have a good trip back. I'll see you again soon." Masato put his hands in his pockets, looking away from him.
"Thanks. What line do you take?"
"Oh, I don't take the train. I live in Toshima, so I just take the bus. I'm kinda on the border of Shinjuku and Toshima, actually."
"But...you walked with me here! We passed the bus stop a bit back..."
"I just...wanted to walk you here. To see you off. That's all. It's barely out of my way." Yuuki was clearly embarrassing him.
"Oh, thank you. Well...I'll see you later!" Yuuki beamed and waved before making his way inside the station.
On the train ride home, Yuuki placed one hand on top of the other, closing his eyes. For the first time in his life, he imagined that Masato, and not some unknown future lover, was the cause of the warmth he felt. His heart skipped a beat at the thought.
He had never received someone's number in this fashion. He had never had a boyfriend, never been out on a date, or never even had his first kiss. Truthfully, he always felt somewhat hopeless when it came to romance; which was extremely ironic considering the fact that he wanted it more than anything in the world. But now, with meeting Masato, he truly felt hope.
A/N: I'm going to try and put up another update sometime this weekend...sorry for being sort of slow on the updates orz
Some super random trivia about Japan:
1 Olives (black or green) are seriously the mystery foreign food for many Japanese people. While I was studying there, I put some olives in my pasta and my roommates flipped out. They were so curious but refused to try it lol
2 TGIFridays is in Japan...and it is EXPENSIVE. D: