capncosmo: Den-Liner heading into time warp (Den-Liner)
[personal profile] capncosmo
Title: Unadorned (素)
Fandom: Kamen Rider W
Characters: Hidari Shoutarou, Philip, Narumi Akiko, bits of Terui Ryuu and the Fuuto Irregulars
Word Count: 2,278
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Kamen Rider W belongs to Toei. This is a not-for-profit derivative work with no connection to Toei, and no infringement is intended.
Summary: Shoutarou would be anyone for Philip, but who he wants to be most is himself.
Warnings: SPOILERS for the end/epilogue of W, and, kind of, the new movie(?) (If you haven't seen the movie, you wouldn't even notice them). Contains characters expressing mild homophobia, mild violence (Akiko), manhandling, sexual themes(?).
Author's Notes: Set not long after the epilogue, but before the movie. When I write, I can sort of see it in the TV of my head, and this is written in a spare sort of style (I'd rather it be a doujin, but I can't draw), so I'd advise you to do the same. Shoutarou always sits on the left because dude's friggin' name is "left" for pete's sake.



"Hey, Shoutarou?"

Hidari Shoutarou looked up from the typewriter where he had been lost in thought to see Philip approaching. They were the only ones in the unusually quiet Narumi Detective Agency.

"Yeah? What is it, Philip?"

"About the time I was gone," Philip began.

"Huh?"

"When I was gone."

Shoutarou's face screwed up in annoyance. "I don't want to talk about it." He stood from the chair, grabbing his hat.

"But--"

"I'm going out."

Philip stared after him and the closed door for a few moments. Then, he shrugged and went back to his reading.

*****

"I cannot believe you!" Akiko raged, accompanied by a swat from her slipper.

"Ow." Shoutarou rubbed the back of his head. "What are you going on about now, Akiko?"

"You refused to talk to Philip-kun!?"

"I don't want to talk about last year."

"Too bad!" Akiko swatted at Shoutarou again and again. "What kind of a failure of a partner are you?"

Shoutarou wrapped both arms around his head to try and deflect the onslaught. "Fine! Fine! I'll talk to him!"

Akiko huffed off, shooting Shoutarou dirty looks from the low table as he crossed the office to Philip's garage.

The squeak of a marker greeted him as entered and crossed the gangplank to where Philip was writing something in what Shoutarou swore was Korean. He settled down on the couch to wait for Philip to finish.

*****

"--tarou. Shoutarou."

Shoutarou woke to either a small earthquake, or Philip shaking his shoulder. "Nn?"

"You fell asleep."

"Oh." Eyes fully open, Shoutarou stretched and looked around. The whiteboard still yielded no clues in any language Shoutarou could read.

Philip noticed him squinting, and said excitedly, "I bet you've never heard of this food called Kim-chi."

Shoutarou stood. "I've had it before. It's pretty spicy." Philip didn't look disappointed, but Shoutarou didn't want to take the chance, so he changed the subject. "So, what was it you wanted to talk to me about before?"

"Before?"

"About when you were gone," Shoutarou bit out, not able to meet Philip's gaze.

"Oh, that."

Shoutarou didn't know how Philip could still get under his skin sometimes. "Yes, that," he turned to Philip and said irritably.

Philip was quiet for a moment. "If you wanted our relationship to take on a romantic dimension, I wouldn't mind."

It was possibly the last thing Shoutarou expected him to say. "What!?"

"I would not be opposed to us becoming lovers," Philip repeated. Shoutarou swore he was deliberately obtuse sometimes.

"I understood what you meant, I just-- what brought this on?"

"You were extremely upset both immediately before and during my absence, perhaps more than what is considered normal for the loss of a close friend. It could therefore be inferred that you care about me more than a friend."

"You inferred this?" Shoutarou was going to kill Akiko.

"With corroborating evidence from several other parties."

Shoutarou sighed, "Philip, it's not that you're wrong, but--"

"--You prefer women," Philip finished for him. "Terui Ryuu tried to point that out, but Aki-chan was insistent."

"It's not that either!" Shoutarou fidgeted. "It's-- I-- Do you even know what you're saying? I mean, how old are you?"

"Eighteen," Philip said without hesitation, and Shoutarou took a moment to marvel at how Philip had changed.

"Wait, Terui was in on this too?"

"I know what I'm saying," Philip said in a level voice.

A few moments of interminable silence ticked by. Shoutarou stared at his feet. Philip waited.

"Can't we just..." he said finally, quietly, "...stay the way we are?"

"I understand, Shoutarou."

Shoutarou cursed himself and the swirl of emotion in his chest that he'd spent so long trying to keep under control as he ran from the garage without looking up.

*****

Shoutarou was expecting the slipper this time.

"What have you done?" Akiko screeched. "How could you turn Philip-kun down!?"

Shoutarou tried to convey with his expression that he was really, actually angry this time.

Akiko wavered. "Just look at him! All sad and dejected."

Philip was gleefully drawing a diagram of a magnetic field under a bold header written in English asking how magnets worked.

"Doesn't look sad to me."

"He is on the inside," Akiko said in an uncertain tone, and Shoutarou already found it hard to hold his death glare when he knew she was only trying to help. "I know you don't want to admit it, but this last year was not a good time for you."

Shoutarou snorted.

"When someone can't even finish their self-indulgent, completely unreadable logs because their extended bouts of weeping ruin the paper, that's called 'love', Shoutarou-kun."

Shoutarou didn't even know where to begin with that sentence. He turned on his heel. "Stay out of it!" he growled over his shoulder as he stormed out of the garage, out of the office, and into the wind.

*****

The only light in the office when Philip crept in to get some sleep was that of Fuuto's city lights. He wasn't expecting anyone to be awake, so he moved as soundlessly as possible.

A muffled thump and whispered breaths broke the silence, and Shoutarou had him pinned against the wall, both hands on his wrists. "Shoutarou?"

"Is this really what you want?" Shoutarou asked, the dim light making his expression hard for Philip to read. He waited silently for Shoutarou to continue. "If it is, then I'll do it."

"Interesting." Philip took advantage of Shoutarou's closeness to lean forward and kiss him. He didn't pull away, but. "You're not attracted to me," Philip said when they broke apart.

"That's not what--!" Shoutarou broke off and laughed a hollow sort of laugh. "No, not like this."

"So then what more is there to say?" Philip made to slip away, but Shoutarou tightened his grip on Philip's wrists. "Let go, Shoutarou."

"No." There was a crazed edge to his voice. "Not you. I'll be whatever you need me to be. If you need me to be this too, I'll be this too. So just tell me what you want!" Shoutarou bowed his head, as if afraid of Philip's answer.

Philip could feel only desperation in the way Shoutarou clung to him. It him somehow sad to see that what the past year had done to his partner wasn't healing despite the fact that Philip had come back and was trying his hardest to show Shoutarou he wasn't going to leave him again. "I don't understand."

"What?" Shoutarou looked up in surprise, and Philip took the opportunity to pull his wrists from Shoutarou's grip.

"I need to research this." Philip headed back to the garage, sleep forgotten.

*****

"Good morning, Shoutarou-kun!" Akiko chirped. "Long night?"

Shoutarou groggily sat up from where he had presumably fallen over after sitting on the bed to brood the night before. He could tell by the light it was already late morning. "Yeah," he grunted, trying to recall if he'd actually come to any conclusions or not.

"I'm so glad you worked things out with Philip-kun."

Shoutarou noticed the smirk in her voice this time. "What are you talking about?"

"Deny it all you want, the evidence is inside on the whiteboard."

"What?" Shoutarou stood and made for the garage.

"Quiet, Philip-kun's still sleeping!" Akiko called after him. "I know you're happy, but you shouldn't tire him out so much!"

Shoutarou grumbled under his breath about meddling middle-schoolers who should pay more attention to planning their own wedding than his as he took the stairs in wide strides. He stopped abruptly when he saw the tiny black characters blanketing the whiteboards. It was times like this he appreciated the fact that Akiko had only barely passed English in school, because Philip had switched over fairly early, protecting most of the particulars from her prying. He read deliberately, ghosting his fingers along the lines of Philip's logic. He half smiled when he got to the circled conclusion; trust his partner to figure out the truth when no one else in the world could.

Shoutarou looked over to where Philip had sprawled himself over the back of the couch. Despite himself, he sat beside Philip, pulling him gently to lean against Shoutarou. Philip didn't stir. As they sat there in silence, Shoutarou let his thoughts wander.

*****

He was at Akiko and Terui's engagement party, along with what seemed like half of Fuuto. While he was glad Terui finally had begun to love his city, Shoutarou didn't see why that meant Fuuto had to love him back. He moodily nursed a drink in the corner, content to be left alone.

"It's sad Philip-kun had to miss this," he heard Elizabeth say from somewhere behind him. It figured, the one thing he was trying not to think about, and there was Elizabeth to bring it up.

"It can't be helped," Queen said, "he is halfway around the world, after all."

"I hope he can make it back in time for the wedding," Elizabeth said.

"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be having another one as soon as he gets back," Santa-san snickered.

"What?"

"You've seen how Shou-chan is moping over him," Watcher said, voice pregnant with suggestion.

"That's gross, Watcher-san!" Elizabeth squealed.

"Gross, but true," Santa-san insisted.

Shoutarou stood and stalked out into the hallway, unable to listen to Queen and Elizabeth's scandalized squeaks any longer. He leaned against the wall, tilting his head back and closing his eyes. He got so tired of pretending sometimes. "Philip."

"Ah, there he is! Shoutarou-kun!" Akiko ran over to him. "What are you doing out here? You have to give the toast!"

"Huh? Oh."

"You said you'd do everything in place of Dad, so quit shirking!"

Shoutarou had to laugh at how stupid he was being. "Coming, coming."

*****

"Shoutarou?" Philip sounded confused.

"Good morning," Shoutarou said, although he had no idea if it was still morning or not. "Got a lot done last night, I see."

"Yeah," Philip said, making no move to separate from Shoutarou. Not having to look Philip in the face made it easier to say.

"You're right."

"I know." Shoutarou could feel Philip smirk against his shoulder.

"You--!" Shoutarou wasn't actually angry, and let the tension drain out of his shoulders. They sat quietly for a moment.

"I want you, but not more than you want to give."

"Huh?"

"What you asked me last night."

"Oh, right."

A beat.

"I only wanted to convince you I wasn't going anywhere, anyway."

Shoutarou blinked hard. "What?"

"Humans tend to view relationships with a sexual component as more binding, do they not?"

"...I guess so."

"I read that in the modern era it was improper to propose more permanent forms of a relationship to someone without dating them first, so when Aki-chan suggested it, it seemed like a good idea."

"Philip..." Shoutarou wondered how he had put up with Philip's eccentricities for so long and yet they never ceased to surprise him. "But you're not... like me."

"No," Philip allowed, "But the Gaia Library has quite a lot of information on solo forms of--"

"La la la not listening!"

Philip chuckled. "You get embarrassed too easily."

"Is that a crime?"

"I could look it up." Philip brought his right hand up and laid it over Shoutarou's heart.

"Nah, 's fine." Shoutarou brought his left arm up to meet the right one already around Philip's back. "I'll find out when Jin-san comes to arrest me."

Philip smiled, and Shoutarou turned to mumble against the top of Philip's head, "Thanks, Partner."

"Same here."

*****

"Why am I here, again?" Shoutarou said from under his hat. He had slouched down on the white couch to try and avoid leaning against the large windows behind him. Watching Akiko try on wedding dress after wedding dress was turning out to be like torture.

"Because you promised you'd help!" Akiko marched indignantly out of the changing cubicle. "How's this one?" she asked, putting on her most charming smile and twirling a bit.

Shoutarou peeked an eye out. "Looks good."

Philip looked up from the lace samples he was apparently trying to memorize every detail of. "Beautiful, Aki-chan. Although maybe a little long?"

Akiko looked down at the train that fanned out around her feet and back behind her nearly a meter. "Yeah..." she said. When she turned back, her eyes were full of mischief. "Although, maybe I should buy one a little big so it could be used again."

"Hmmm," Philip said. "Do they make veils with fedoras attached?"

"Hey!" Shoutarou sputtered, pulling the hat off his face and sitting up.

Philip held some of the lace to the cream-colored hat in Shoutarou's hand. "What do you think?"

Akiko was beside herself with laughter, leaning against the door of the changing room to stay upright.

"Finally decided to make it official, Hidari?"

"Terui!" Shoutarou stood up, leaving his fedora with Philip, who was now apparently searching for the best lace-hat combination. "You're late!"

"Ryuu-kun!" Akiko, apparently recovered, latched onto Terui's arm.

"Sorry I'm late, Shochou."

"C'mon, I had Shoutarou-kun take pictures of all the dresses so far, so you can look at them while I'm changing into the next one!"

As Terui was dragged over to where Akiko had left Bat, Shoutarou wandered back over to the couch and sat with a sigh. Philip absently took Shoutarou's hand, and Shoutarou laced their fingers together. Smiling, he turned to face Philip, and it was then his partner plopped his lace covered hat back on his head.

"Philip!!"

Philip laughed, and after a moment it was all Shoutarou could do to join him. They stayed like that, laughing together.



on 2011-01-02 12:06 pm (UTC)
defeatedbyabridge: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] defeatedbyabridge
Eeeee, I really liked this. Most amusing. I love your Akiko in particular (/biased) but I love what you did with all of them here.

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capncosmo: Clueless (Default)
capncosmo

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