Better Silver than Gold
Lee Chaolan shut the door to his office and sighed heavily. Reaching into the breast pocket of his suit, he pulled out a crumpled pack of menthols. He tapped one out and placed it between his lips, eyes narrowing against the light of the flame, reflecting the red glow at the tip of his cigarette. Sauntering across his spacious office, trailing a cloud of smoke behind him, he stood at the window and looked over the darkened city of Tokyo. It had been a long and stressful day, balancing two large contracts that were ready to fall through at the slightest hint of trouble. But there hadn't been. He had held everything under control. Everything had gone smoothly. He exhaled a stream of smoke, the slightest smile curling the corners of his lips.
A gentle knock interrupted his thoughts, and he turned with a frown.
"Who is it?" He said, annoyance showing clearly in his voice.
"It's Kazuya." His boss replied. Lee paled, and chewed on his lip. He really wasn't in the mood to have a last minute task dumped on him. And Kazuya was infamous for dropping massive workloads on Friday nights.
"It's open, come on in." Lee replied, turning back to the window. The door opened and closed with an almost soundless click.
"I'm surprised to find you still here, Chaolan. Thought you'd run home with the rest of them to avoid homework." Came Kazuya's silky voice from across the room. Lee snorted, but didn't turn.
"You know me, Kazuya, a glutton for punishment." He listened to Kazuya's footsteps approaching over the thick carpet.
"I have something for you." Kazuya's voice came at his shoulder. Lee turned partially, a brow arched. Kazuya backed off, moving over towards the desk. "You know, we can afford to pay the electricity bill around here. You don't have to be in this dimness."
"I like the dimness. Keeps me from getting headaches." Lee turned to face his brother, who had made himself comfortable in Lee's chair. There was no stack of papers on his desk. Lee frowned, eyes shifting to Kazuya, who set a bottle on the mahogany desk.
"Thought we would celebrate your accomplishment. You did much better than I expected." Kazuya's voice hinted at a trace of sarcasm. Lee rolled his eyes and went over to the bar, getting two fluted glasses.
"Thank you so much for your confidence, brother. It's so inspiring." Lee purred, setting the two glasses down in front of Kazuya and sitting across from him, shrugging out of his suit jacket. Kazuya's intense gaze made him shift a bit uncomfortably in his seat. Ever since they had been children together, Kazuya had reveled in being able to turn Lee's gaze. Now that they were both grown men, it hadn't changed. Lee was the only person on staff who wouldn't quake before Kazuya's wrath, but he couldn't stare him down.
"With all sincerity, I am pleased with your performance today, Lee." Kazuya worked at the cork in the champagne bottle. "To retain both contracts was something beyond even MY hopes." The cork popped out rather unceremoniously, and Kazuya filled both their glasses. Lee stubbed out his cigarette and took the proffered glass.
"Well thank you, Mishima-sama." Lee replied, holding up his glass. "It most certainly didn't come easily." Kazuya raised his glass as well, and they both drank. Lee sat back and lit another cigarette, loosening his tie. "I'm surprised you didn't have an engagement tonight." Lee watched him over his glass.
"So am I." Kazuya said lightly, looking over the contents on Lee's desktop. "A relief, really. It was beginning to become oppressive." Lee snorted again.
"That I do not believe." He leaned forward and ashed into an ornate marble ashtray on his desk. "You who live and breathe this company?"
"I didn't use to." Kazuya watched Lee with his dark eyes. "And I find it most irritating having to work with imbeciles." Lee quirked a brow, taking another sip of champagne.
"Present company excluded?"
"Occasionally." Kazuya smiled, a rare occurrence. Lee shook his head and looked away. "So what am I interrupting? In your dim office?" A hint of amusement was in Kazuya's voice.
"Just a moment of meditation." He stood, draining his glass, and moved back over to the window. There was a clink as Kazuya refilled it, and a whisper across the carpet as he stood and brought the glass over for Lee, who took it with a murmur of thanks.
"Well, if you have nothing else planned this evening, brother, I think it would be pleasant if we went out on the town. Like we use to."
"Like we use to? Kazuya, really. I hardly call a few times, a number I could count on one hand, going out on the town." Kazuya shrugged, and looked out over the city.
"Would you like to or not? I could always call Shimoto back and tell him I can make it after all." Lee frowned at the emotion in Kazuya's voice.
"I would, Kazuya. I meant no offence." Lee watched Kazuya's face.
"I know. I didn't mean to snap at you. It's been a long day, as you well know." Kazuya drained his glass and went back to pour himself another. Lee watched him curiously, wondering what had brought on Kazuya's sudden desire for his company, which was so regularly shunned.
"I'll just shower and change, and we can go." Lee said, finishing his glass, and going to the washroom with a glance at Kazuya, who merely nodded and sat back down at the desk.
Stripping out of his suit and kicking it almost angrily out of the way, Lee stepped into the shower, relaxing a bit under the hot water. Closing his eyes, he let the water course over him. It was possible that Kazuya was honestly pleased with his work, but he had never done anything like this before. Adopted into the Mishima family, Lee had always felt left out of the constant attention Heihachi paid to Kazuya, negative though it was. Kazuya had always been distant and often aggressive with him, so their bond had always been tense. Lee stepped out of the shower and toweled off, combing his silver hair, and dressing in simple black leather pants and shirt. Exiting the washroom, he almost collided with Kazuya. Kazuya had changed as well, and was standing beside the washroom door, his arms crossed over his chest.
"You ready?" He asked, looking him over. Lee only nodded, and motioned him out the door. They both walked in silence to the limo that was waiting outside, and settled back.
"What did you have in mind for our night out on the town?" Lee asked, flitting a glance over at Kazuya, whose brooding face was illuminated by the passing streetlights. Kazuya looked over as Lee lit another menthol.
"Arrangements have already been made. Just sit back and relax." He replied, looking back out the window.
As the limo stopped in front of a sophisticated bar, Lee stepped out in awe.
"Whose arm did you have to break to get us in here Friday night?" Kazuya merely smiled as they were led past the lineup and into the bar. "I feel slightly underdressed. You could have said-"
"You look fine." Kazuya murmured something to a waitress before sitting down on a lush couch on the second level of the bar. Lee sat back and smiled.
"It must be nice being a Mishima." He looked out over the bar from their prime vantage point. A waitress came over with a bottle of steaming rice wine and two cups and set it in front of the two men with a smile and a wink. Kazuya leaned forward and poured them both some wine, raising his cup in a toast.
"To you, brother." Kazuya said, dark eyes intently on his counterpart's. Lee raised his glass with a smile, and drank, closing his eyes, relishing the warmth spreading down his throat.
The evening went on in much the same way, the two men drinking, lapsing into comfortable silence. Lee's porcelain features were aglow from the alcohol, and Kazuya felt his eyes constantly drawn to his seeming angelic brother. This did not go unnoticed to Lee, who preened under Kazuya's dark gaze, pleased at having his full attention. Lee glanced at his watch some hours later.
"It's late." He said, watching Kazuya's face.
"Would you like to go?" He replied, not taking his eyes from Lee's face. Lee nodded, getting to his feet with some struggle.
"I need some air." He added, smoothing his silver hair with a pale hand. Kazuya also stood, handing the waitress some money discreetly, before leading the way out of the bar.
Lee collapsed in the back of the limo, eyes half open.
"I don't think I've had that much to drink since I was a teenager."
Kazuya slipped in across from him, removing a mostly burnt cigarette from Lee's fingers and tossing it out the window.
"Are you ok?" Kazuya asked, an element of compassion in his voice that Lee had never heard before.
"Yeah, I think so." Lee looked out as the limo slowed to a stop. "Would you like to see my place? Stay for a nightcap?" He asked tentatively, unable to look at Kazuya.
"I would." As Lee stepped from the limo, Kazuya leaned in and spoke to the driver in soft tones. Lee waited by the curb until the limo pulled away, and Kazuya came to his side.
"You've never been to my place before." Lee said matter-of-factly.
"I've never been invited." Kazuya replied with a smile.
"I never thought you'd be interested." Lee said, entering the lobby and leading Kazuya to the elevator. He stuck his key in a keyhole and turned it gently. He glanced at Kazuya as the elevator began to rise. Kazuya remained silent, looking up as the numbers rose. Lee fidgeted almost anxiously, reaching for his cigarettes again. Stepping out when the elevator stopped, he moved aside so that Kazuya could see his loft-style penthouse. Kazuya stepped in slowly, looking around at the many paintings and sculptures that adorned the large room. Kazuya moved soundlessly, pausing in front of various things that caught his eye.
"I'm going out on the balcony... I'll get you a drink." Lee moved off towards the bar, and poured two glasses of amber liquid, watching his brother look over his things. Turning, he made his way to two tall glass doors that opened out onto his balcony. Setting Kazuya's glass down on a nearby table, he leaned on the balcony, smoking in silence. His eyes closed and he smiled happily, the alcohol coursing through his veins, making him feel almost giddy. When he opened his eyes, Kazuya was beside him, glass in hand, looking up at the moon. He gazed at his strong profile; his proud nose and hard jaw, watching their outlines blur and focus. Kazuya looked back at him, dark eyes burning with an internal light. Lee's brow creased ever so slightly before shifting his eyes away. Kazuya reached forward, taking Lee's chin in hand and drawing his gaze back. Lee didn't turn his eyes away, couldn't turn his eyes away. Kazuya leaned in and pressed his mouth to Lee's, dark eyes shutting against the look of surprise on his adopted brother's face. Lee pulled away, brow furrowed. Kazuya chewed on his lip, but held Lee's confused gaze.
"Kaz... " Lee slipped back into the boyhood nickname. Kazuya simply shook his head, holding a finger against Lee's lips. Caressing his cheek briefly, Kazuya turned, and went back inside. Lee stood, silver bangs falling over his face, watching Kazuya's back recede. The sound of the elevator pinging its arrival brought Lee back into motion. He ran, stopping the elevator doors from closing just in time. He took Kazuya's hand and led him out of the elevator and back into his apartment. Pulling him in closer by his hand, Lee brought his other hand up to rest on Kazuya's solid shoulder. He stood unmoving; looking down at Lee, face devoid of any expression. With a hesitant glance, Lee moved his hands down Kazuya's chest, unbuttoning the pristine black dress shirt slowly, timidly. Kazuya took a deep breath, black eyes lingering on Lee's lips. He leaned forward, brushing his own lips against the corner of Lee's mouth. Lee's fingers paused at Kazuya's belt, sagging a bit against the older man's larger frame, returning the hesitant kiss. Kazuya's arms snaked around his waist, pulling his body in closer, tugging almost impatiently at the fabric of Lee's shirt. Lee finally freed Kazuya of his shirt and slipped it off his shoulders, dropping it thoughtlessly on the floor. He pressed his lips against Kazuya's skin, hands tracing the mapping of scars covering his back, breathing in his musky and familiar smell. Kazuya shivered slightly under his fingers, his head tilting back with pleasure. Lee nuzzled his neck, pressing his lips to the throbbing vein, tonguing the indent where Kazuya's neck met his shoulders. Kazuya's breath escaped his lips sharply, and he pushed Lee back, dark eyes lit with passion.
"Where's the bedroom?" He asked huskily, fingers threatening to tear Lee's shirt from his back. Lee moaned at the intonation of Kazuya's voice, leaning in once more against Kazuya's burning skin. Kazuya pushed him back insistently, grasping his face to capture his attention.
"Where?" He insisted, smoothing Lee's silver hair tenderly. Lee's eyes fluttered closed, and his lips found Kazuya's once more, holding him firmly in his arms, he pushed Kazuya back gently but firmly towards an archway. Kazuya backed into the darkened room until he felt the back of his legs hit something. He turned Lee, pushing him down on the bed, tearing his shirt away with a purring noise. Dropping the ripped shirt to the floor, Kazuya knelt on the bed, large hands running up Lee's leather-clad thighs. Lee's muscular torso gleamed in the dim light, silver hair a halo around his alabaster face, dark eyes half lidded and intent on Kazuya. He reached down and pulled Kazuya up to meet his lips, hugging him tightly against his body, kissing him with breathless passion. Kazuya returned the embrace, wrapping his arms around Lee's smaller frame, lifting him, teeth nipping at Lee's tender lower lip. Lee moaned against his mouth, hands entwining in Kazuya's hair, as if trying to become one with him. He felt the heat baking off Kazuya's body, the softness and hardness of his skin. He cupped his hands around Kazuya's face, putting some distance between their lips, and looked him in the eye. Kazuya looked back, licking at his lower lip, tasting alcohol and menthol cigarettes. Lee caressed the face he had only touched in battle, brushed his fingertips along lips that had often remained closed to him, and couldn't understand how all this could be happening so suddenly, how he really felt about this. Kazuya watched him, following his eyes as they traveled over his face, understanding Lee's disbelief. He leaned down and pressed his lips against Lee's gently, moving up beside him and taking him into his arms. Lee pressed against the warmth of Kazuya's body, fingers tracing the scars on his chest. Kazuya stroked Lee's hair, keeping him close.
"I don't know what to think, Kaz." Lee murmured, lips brushing Kazuya's skin.
"I don't either, Lee. I never saw you before, the way I saw you tonight... " Kazuya murmured against Lee's forehead, his fingers continuing to trace patterns against Lee's skin. Lee's eye fluttered closed, and Kazuya became aware that Lee had fallen asleep. He lay awake a bit longer, lulled finally by Lee's sleeping breath and warmth.
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