A/N: So...out of all things, this one I wasn't so sure on posting. Not because I don't think it's good but because of all of the things I have written at the moment, I thought that this was one that I had a good chance of actually publishing. Since that isn't quite an option right now, it gets to go online instead.

This story is a slash tastic story so if that's not your cup of tea, you may want to pass it by. Or not, if you want to try something different. Rating may go up later, depends if I want to leave the more frisky things in it.


Chapter One

" 'If anyone was going to choose a protagonist for a story, Suzuki Ayato would be the last person considered. The reason would be simply because he was so ordinary and even somewhat dull. He worked a full time job as a waiter and used his spare time to attend college classes. He kept to himself quite a bit and though many said he was friendly, he was the type of person to have many acquaintances and no truly close friends. He enjoyed things like movies from America, cooking and collecting coins from around the world while he despised things like natto, rodents and things being somewhat out of order at home. His fears were normal as well, the three biggest being his apartment catching on fire, large spiders dropping suddenly from the ceiling and dark alleyways that made the perfect spot for a mugging. If someone was going to ask about a fourth fear...it would be...' um... 'it would be...'"

"Do you always make it a habit to say what you're writing out loud?"

Kakeru jumped, slamming his notebook closed and nearly falling off the stool he was perched on. When he regained his balance, he spun around to look up at the speaker with wide eyes. "A-Ah, Rui-san, you nearly gave me a heart attack."

Rui raised a thin eyebrow, dark eyes still fixated on the slightly frayed notebook on the bar counter top. "Writing for your own pleasure?" He asked, deep voice almost sounding like he was amused.

Kakeru felt the beginnings of his famous bright-red flushes starting to creep up his neck. "No, not exactly..." he glanced down at the closed notebook and sighed. "It's for an assignment in a class I'm taking." He offered Rui a small, embarrassed smile. "I'm not really that great at creative writing though."

The other man looked like wanted to make some kind of remark on it. As he opened his mouth, another form appeared behind him and clipped him sharply on one of the ears. "Shinohara! You realize that I'm not paying you to stand here and chit chat, right?! I'm paying you to clean tables!"

Rui shot the other a dark look, rubbing the shell of his ear. "Not like you actually pay me enough to clean your damn tables..." He muttered lowly.

He quickly sidestepped out of the reach of the older man and walked back to the neglected tables. The older man yelled after him. "And what have I told you about your hair color?!"

The younger man acted as if he didn't hear him. As the other man's face began to turn an interesting color, Kakeru decided that now would be a good time to intervene. "Kawamura-san, I don't think that he means any harm. I think that the blond in his hair looks quite good. And when he works, he's quite good at his job and you've seen that."

Mr. Kawamura made something that sounded like an agitated growl deep in his throat. "If I had any good sense, I'd just fire the brat."

Kakeru smiled slightly, pushing the bridge of his wire-framed glasses up onto the bridge of his nose, "But you remember just how hard of a time we had getting a busser here, right?" As Mr. Kawamura sputtered and began to turn an interesting shade of reddish-purple, Kakeru turned back to his notebook and picked up his pencil again. "I'd rather not go back to being short handed again."

His boss was quiet for a moment before he sighed. "Why is it you are always the first one to defend that kid?"

Kakeru shrugged. When Mr. Kawamura realized he wasn't getting an answer, he muttered something and wandered towards the kitchen. He sighed and twirled his pencil between his finger and thumb, opening the notebook to a blank page. Why indeed?

He glanced over his shoulder at Rui, who paused from his task of wiping down one of the tables in the small restaurant to tuck one of the locks of bleached hair behind his ear. In the quiet, dark atmosphere of the Kurokasa, Rui was a loud splash of color. It wasn't unusual to see him breaking some kind of the dress code that Mr. Kawamura imposed, whether it was his hair, which was bleached or styled in some sort of fashion, his choice of clothing, from t-shirts to studded belts and dark-colored jeans a few times, or even the barest hint of make up on his face, like today. Combined with an attitude and sarcastic tongue, by all accounts, he really should have been fired a long time ago.

Kakeru found himself smiling. Except that when he worked, he worked harder than anyone else there. Or that his charisma made it almost impossible to truly dislike him. Even Mr. Kawamura couldn't deny that.

He sighed, flipping back to the previous work of writing. He wondered if he could talk to his professor about this assignment. A short story with the main character based on yourself? It was already a difficult task to write anything that didn't come out dry like sandpaper. Why was he forced to write about someone so lackluster and so very boring like himself when he could be writing about someone interesting and bright like Rui?

Maybe it's a mistake to think I could pick journalism as a major...

He shook the thought aside. There was no point in thinking about it. He picked this as his career choice and he wasn't the type just to let things stop him just because they were hard! He reread the paragraph and brought his pencil down to the page again to pick up from where he left off.

' If someone was going to ask about a fourth fear, it would be something childish. It would be someone learning his secret fears. That he was scared that he wasn't ever good enough at whatever he chose to do with his life. That he was still afraid of monsters under the bed and things that went bump in the night. That the real reason he didn't want people to get close to him was because he was afraid of what they would do if they knew he was gay.'

He paused, making sure he didn't say any of the words he just printed on the page out loud. With a sigh, he scratched out the new addition to his writing and closed his notebook. Even if the professor wanted them to be as truthful as possible as they were writing about the character that they based on themselves, this was a little bit too much.

He slid off the stool, packing away the notebook and stowing it under the bar once more. He put on his apron and clocked back in at the computer near the kitchen and turned just as the bell to the front door jingled merrily. "Welcome to the Kurokasa!" He smiled brightly at the woman that walked in. "Will it just be you today or will someone else be joining you?"


A/N: First chapter is short and sweet, but please, let me know your thoughts!