Title: The Play
Pairing: Fei Long/Akihito, Asami/Akihito implied
Words: 1 309
Summary: “You and Asami, you both fucked me up and fucked me over. I’m sick and tired of it. It’s time to set things straight.”
Liu Fei Long watched the young man fidgeting between two of his biggest bodyguards.
Takaba Akihito hasn’t changed much in the last six years. Granted, his people did bring him the bi-yearly reports on the young man but the pictures never really showed anything. The still frames couldn’t possibly show the strength of character that was so specific for the young photographer.
He still looked much younger than in reality. It was so hard to imagine that they were only two years apart. Fei Long always felt so much older…
The only thing Takaba had with him was an old backpack and camera case. Both probably already checked by security.
Only the other man’s eyes, still brave and true, changed.
Fei Long saw shadows in them and didn’t like it. He saw enough of them when he looked in the mirror. Takaba was always someone free from that particular disease, a proof that some people could live without being tainted.
It hurt, unexpectedly, to see the man no longer so untouched by the filth that Asami and Fei Long surrounded him with.
“Well, this certainly is a surprise.” Fei Long said quietly, motioning for the guards to go away. Takaba wasn’t a danger to him. “What brings you here?”
“You owe me something,” stated the younger man with a clear and strong voice, his eyes true and defiant.
Fei Long could feel his eyebrows climbing up. He definitely couldn’t remember the last time someone spoke to him this arrogantly. He couldn’t remember the last time someone looked him in the eyes when talking to him. He could feel the way his bodyguards tensed, expecting him to lash out at such impertinence.
“Oh?” Fei Long smiled slightly. It’s been such a long time since he last saw Takaba. He forgot how strong the boy was. His eyes were always fierce and honest. He was so different from the people around Fei Long.
“You and Asami, you both fucked me up and fucked me over. I’m sick and tired of it. It’s time to set things straight.”
The Baishe leader watched the fierce young man with an air of amusement and curiosity. Takaba obviously had something planned. As usual, his courage was astonishing. He had to know the risk; that even uttering those words towards Liu Fei Long was considered a great offence. He could be killed.
Yet, he stood there, his unflinching gaze fixed on the seated leader of Hong Kong’s mafia.
“Why now?” Fei Long asked. After all, it’s been years already.
“I waited, hoping that Asami would get over it. But it’s no use. I was eighteen when it all started. A kid, really. Now I’m older and, quite frankly, I had enough. He needs to get over his issues eventually.”
“What issues? There are so many.” Fei Long was proud of the way his voice stayed calm and even. Over the years, he managed to come to a certain peace with his feelings towards Asami Ryouchi. He no longer flew into wild rage upon hearing the man's name or seeing his face.
Akihito looked at him for a moment, his eyes surprisingly mature.
This time Fei Long didn’t quite manage to control his expression. To say that he was surprised would be an understatement of the century.
“Yes, you. I might be his lover, but I never was and possibly never will be his equal. Equal in power, intelligence and cruelty. You are his opponent while I was conquered a long time ago.”
“I thought you loved him? And I know he loves you too, otherwise he wouldn’t have come for you back then.”
“I do,” Confirmed Takaba, “And, in a way, he does love me. But he doesn’t respect me the way he respects you.”
Fei Long gave a sign and the rest of the bodyguards left the room. This talk was getting too private to be carried on in front of his underlings.
“So, you intend to take your revenge on both of us, huh?” Fei Long wondered, thinking that the unease he felt was odd. Takaba couldn’t possibly scare him, right? “You come here of your own free will, which means Asami doesn’t know where you are. But he will know eventually and it’s going to hurt him.”
From the way Akihito looked momentarily abashed, Fei Long knew he was right. Takaba truly changed. Back then he wouldn’t even consider something like this.
“And me?” Fei Long asked, a little amused, a lot curious. He liked this Takaba. A stronger, more mature version of the boy he almost loved before. “What do you have planned for me? What’s your revenge?” He taunted, truly curious.
Takaba looked at him fiercely, his brown bangs as unruly as ever, did nothing to hide the fire in his eyes.
“The same you did to me.” He stated firmly.
Fei Long felt his eyebrows go up.
“I will strip you naked and expose everything you are…”
The Baishie leader wanted to burst out laughing at the ridiculous notion but what Akihito did next stopped him cold.
The young man lifted the camera case.
“With this. Let me take your pictures. Without restrictions, without censure.”
And, suddenly, Akihito’s idea wasn’t as ridiculous as it seemed at the first glance. If there was one thing that could show a person’s true self, it was art. In the last years, Akihito became quite an accomplished photographer.
“Why should I agree?”
“Two reasons,” answered Akihito confidently. It seemed he really had thought it out.
Fei Long waited.
“First is your honor. In the end, you do think that you owe me something for the kidnapping, rapes and drugs. Second…” Akihito took a deep breath, “you are not over Asami either.”
Fei Long wouldn’t shame himself with denying something as obvious as this. Even though, ever since that fateful encounter on his casino-ship, he stopped waging an open war with Asami. It didn’t stop either of them from messing with each other's business from time to time. A spy here, a spy there, a bribe here, a hit there... they both kept playing those games for so long it became a tradition now.
“So, you want me to be a tool of your revenge.” Fei Long said thoughtfully.
“It’s not revenge.” Akihito said quietly. “Not really.”
And it wasn’t. He loved Asami, of that he was sure. He needed that man, wanted him. But he knew that their relationship had to change or it wouldn’t survive. He wouldn’t survive.
“Then what is it?” Fei Long inquired with a cool, level voice. He refused to show just how much the words said by Akihito shook him.
“A desperate attempt to save what is left of Asami.”
Takaba stared at Fei Long with calm, powerful eyes. And the Baishie leader understood then, that it was the last attempt. That Akihito wasn’t sure he would come back to Asami.
The long haired man glanced at the seemingly innocent camera case at Takaba’s feet. It was such a terrifying thing, to have his pictures taken anywhere, anytime. Without censure, without control. Still, it was interesting, in a vaguely morbid way, to see just what would come from this insane idea.
“Very well. I will take part in this play you are so determined to conduct.” He rose from the chair, all sleek muscles and power. “However, there’s going to be a price to be paid.”
The warm, unflinching amber eyes stared at him without fear. He envied this courage, this unbreakable spirit, because Fei Long knew just how fragile a human soul could be. How broken his own was.
As he closed the distance between the boy and himself, he wondered if the ache in his chest was an echo of the regret he felt, when he let Akihito leave that time…