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Youji Kudou ([personal profile] slantedcross) wrote2010-03-27 10:04 pm

dream (interactive!) † 002 † 03-27-10

This dream is so, so interactive.
Warnings/Notes: About a gallon of UST between Youji and Asuka, but nothing explicit. Everything is in black and white, because Youji is a dork like that. Also, Youji will be in his earlier design with the detective outfit, like he is in the icon I'm using here.

The woman he's talking to is the one in the icon, as well. Her name is Asuka, she's dead, Youji is (literally) crazy about her, and she will be tagging back as well. Whether or not you just laugh at how much of a loser he is (this is all-but pure fantasy) or actually bring them a case is left to your discretion. Have fun!]

The world has been bled of color, left with nothing but black and white, and all the intermittent shades of gray. The light filtering through the Venetian blinds is white; as is the cigarette smoke drifting silently up, laying itself against the black of Youji’s hat and coat.

The contrast would be pretty and thought provoking, were it not the same as it was yesterday, and the day before, and every day before that.

The heat of the room is heaving and tiring, seeming to sit overhead, over even the tobacco smoke, seeming to sink ever lower. It’s a quiet burden, but noticeable, and gaining with every exhale.

It is with a great sense of effort that Youji opens his eyes, shifts his sunglasses further down his nose, and crushes the end of his cigarette in the gray-ceramic ashtray. He glances at the clock on his desk, old, analog, and two minutes fast, and nods to himself, leaning further back into his chair. Even the anticipation is too much effort, but it’s there. It is a special anticipation for a special woman, one that hasn’t diminished in nearly ten years.

Out of respect for the expected lady, he removes his black fedora, standing up to put it on the hat stand by the door. His cowboy hat is already there, and he knocks it askew as he turns to leave. He straightens his tie and smoothes his hair in the reflecting glass of the window, having to twist a bit to see himself around the peeling paint that reads “Youji Kudou, Private Eye.

It is with indecent haste that he hurries back to his desk chair when he hears the sharp clack of her heels on the ground outside. He’s settled back by the time she eases the door open, calm and cool as ever. Has even lighted another cigarette.

Her gaze washes across the room like a wave on golden sand, cool and all encompassing. It focuses on him, sharp and knowing, as she leans against the doorframe. Her eyes narrow as he offers her a bland smile in greeting, and she speaks.

“Haven’t you gotten tired of this dream yet?” she huffs. “I can’t run in this skirt, let alone these heels, and the black and white is just a bit too much.”

“But the chiaroscuro certainly flatters your complexion,” Youji answers brightly.

Youji--or would you like ‘Detective?’”

Youji laughs a little. Strange because it was a happy laugh, not a sarcastic one.

“What you usually call me is fine,” he says grandly. “Unless you’d rather switch to ‘darling.’”

“How about ‘idiot?’”

“I did say you what you usually call me.”

“Idiot it is, then,” she declares, striding into the room, enjoying how Youji enjoys the way her hips sway as she approaches. She smirks at him, fully aware she has his complete attention, and fully aware of that anticipation he barely has the energy for.

Youji nods towards the two chairs placed in front of his desk. “Please take a seat, Asuka.”

It is with a sly smile that she takes him up on the offer, purposefully crossing the room as if she owned it—and, in real life, Youji thinks with a smile, she had. Even if he dreams that the office is his, the confidence will always be hers.

Her eyes slide over the chairs, sharp with disdain, and she bypasses them—ignores them. She strides right up to Youji’s side and hops up onto his desk, right in front of him, and neatly crosses her ankles, her shoes buckling around them. She leans back, as if to give him a better view, hands gripping the edge of the desk.

She levels a heavy look at him, heavy with years’ worth of repeating similar dreams, similar scenarios, and she overpowers everything else; she’s the only weight he can feel, the only strength he can draw from, the only source of warmth to make him sweat. The anticipation is well rewarded, well in proportion to the effort, and she knows it. She knows him better than he knows himself, even now.

Especially now.

“Well?” said Youji.

“Well?” said Asuka. She smiled.

“I’m surprised to see you,” he answered. “It’s been a while.”

“I wanted to wait until we could be alone,” she said.

“Alone,” Youji repeated. He beckoned her to lean forward. “I like the sound of that.”

She leaned forward, loosening her choker. The high-collared blouse was white against the rest of the gray, the purest, clearest white, and was form-fitting without being tight. Her other hand, the one not playing with her jewelry, gripped the desk tighter, either to keep her from falling or to keep her from touching his face. He could swear the same anticipation rolled off of her, the same joy that the wait was over, that she felt the same heaviness permeating the bleakness of the room.

But she shook her head.

“Then I’m sorry I got your hopes up,” she said. The choker was off now, and she dropped it on the ground.

“Hopes up?” he echoed. He was brilliant tonight, really.

She leaned closer, then, her nose just a fraction of a centimeter away from his, then not, just the briefest touch before she leaned back, back, back.

Asuka kissed the tip of her finger, and then tapped him on the nose.

“There’s someone at the door, Youji.”

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:02 am (UTC)(link)
That someone was Sena, hair puffing out from underneath a plaid newsboy cap, wearing suspenders, a white button-down shirt half-untucked from light colored pants--what particular light color was lost in the grayscale.

" have some strange dreams."


[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:08 am (UTC)(link)
"I've been telling him that for years," Asuka said dryly, turning to face Sena. She smiled at his little hat and suspenders.


[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:09 am (UTC)(link)
Youji just shook his head. He'd been hoping this wouldn't happen to him.

"Isn't it past your bedtime, kid?"

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:21 am (UTC)(link)
"I'm asleep, what more do you want?" Sena shrugged--at least he wasn't in his pajamas for this ridiculousness.

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:27 am (UTC)(link)
Asuka smiled, and stood up; if Youji was terribly disappointed, he kept his thoughts to himself. For once.

"I'm on your side," she said, nodding to Sena. "I really don't think he's in a position to complain. It's his fault for not letting go of this stupid fantasy.

"I'm Asuka Murase, the actual owner of this establishment. What's your name?"
Edited 2010-03-28 06:28 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:43 am (UTC)(link)
Ken had a hat in this. He wasn't sure what kind it was. It wasn't a cap, he was pretty sure of that, and it wasn't a top hat or anything a woman would wear, and with that one reached the absolute limit of Ken Hidaka's understanding of the Wild World of Hats.

Maybe it was a stupid hat like Youji'd had. That was a possibility.

Ken was also in monochrome. His skin tone didn't look so great in monochrome. He looked like... well, okay, so he looked Japanese but in this setting he thought maybe he should pretend to be Italian. It was just more appropriate, somehow. On the other hand he wasn't very good at accents and chances were Youji would think he was trying to be Greek. Or Russian. Or, well, pretty much anything that wasn't Italy. So that was out, too.

He stepped into the office and looked around himself curiously, taking the hat off because he'd seen enough movies to know guys with hats were supposed to do that. And he blinked.

Filing cabinet, desk, chair, Youji. Girl.

If this were real he would probably have blushed, stammered half an apology and run out the door, but something about the grayscale and the silly clothing and... and everything made this impossible to take quite seriously. Instead he stood his ground, spinning the stupid hat on one finger - he was too young for it, really, or for any of his clothes - and staring at it contemplatively until it came to a stop.

"So, who am I then?" he asked. "Your client or a cop or what?"


[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:55 am (UTC)(link)
"You're a home-wrecking pest," Youji muttered in annoyance. "Go away."


[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
"No, don't go away," Asuka contradicted. She spun around, knocking over the ashtray she did so, and faced Ken. Legs still crossed, smile still smoky.

"What do you want to be?" she inquired. "If you're a client, we're actually pretty good at this. We have an seventy-six percent solve rate."

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 07:25 am (UTC)(link)
"Well, you were the one left the door open," Ken told Youji - the logic, to his eyes, was watertight. "And I can't be a home-wrecker, you're in an office."

The girl he liked the look of, though. Probably because she didn't want him to go away and it was always nice to have someone watching his back, round Youji... He smiled at her, letting the hand holding the hat fall by his side.

(Weird: she didn't seem like the usual type of woman Youji went for at all, insofar as there was a type there. Youji's taste in girls was, admittedly, omnivorous, but he didn't tend to have much time for girls who basically casually owned the Hell out of him then acted like it was no big deal. He wondered who this girl was and if she'd really existed.)

"Okay," he said, as if it really was that simple. "I'll be a client, then. What kind of cases do you take?"

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
"Our home's the not-shed apartment on the top floor," said Asuka with a grin. "It's a beautiful sight in the morning, the sun coming up and all the boats going out to sea. You should come visit us there sometime."

Youji just shook his head as she continued. Asuka was a consummate tomboy, but she had a flair for romance. So had he.

"All kinds," Asuka said grandly, accepting Ken's smile with a little more coyness than warranted.

Youji didn't really like that, and gave her an irritated look, before correcting her: "Kinds that are a little more than you can afford, Kenken."

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 06:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Unfortunately for Youji, Ken was getting used to those kinds of looks by now, so the glare really didn't have the deterrent effect he was hoping for.

Didn't seem to put the woman off, either: yeah, Ken thought he liked her already. Youji should hang round with girls like this one more often, it might do him some good... The last bit, though, about the cases? That was going to have to wait. The bit about the apartment was more interesting, and it's not because of the view - pretty though it sounds, it's just boats, right? There was something else, something a lot more important--

"Hey," Ken said enthusiastically, "you guys live together? Youji you never said you lived with a girl." Then, turning to the woman - it'd probably do to ask her name sometime, right? - he said, "Was he a pain?"

He glanced around for somewhere to leave the stupid hat, didn't find one, and dumped the thing down on the desk, then sat down in the client's chair. And this is why people stopped wearing stupid hats, they were annoying.

"Okay, if I'm a client... hm, I'm gonna need a case then, aren't I?" Ken hesitated for a moment, thinking. Okay, mysteries, mysteries... what mysteries did he have that he desperately wanted solved? Well, aside from the Case of Why Does Youji Write His Name In His Underpants, that was. That likely wouldn't be mysterious enough. He'd need something suitably detective-y, like a missing person or a cheating wife or-- "Okay, how about this. If we're all being dragged off into this dream world, why hasn't anyone noticed we're gone?"

Of course, that might be a little bit... was there a word for being in a story and making reference to it? Self-referential? Maybe that was the one. Oh well, let's go with it anyway - he could always make up a new one if he had to.


[identity profile] 2010-03-29 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Asuka stood up--only to sit right back down in the other chair in front of the desk. She faced Ken with a confused smile; confused as to whether it was happy or sad. But the moment passed quickly, and she settled into a pleasantly sultry, warm poker face.

"It really might be more honest to say I'm a very frequent overnight guest," she replied. "But just barely. Both the office and the apartment are in my name, even though he pays half the rent here, and all of it upstairs."

She nodded towards Youji. "And shouldn't I be asking you whether or not he's a pain? You've seen much more of him recently than I have. I wonder if I should be jealous!"

[identity profile] 2010-03-29 07:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Youji, upon hearing that, abruptly stood and picked up Ken's hat. There was a hatstand right by the door, for heaven's sake. Just like in Youji's apartment in Somarium, his room at the Koneko, their apartment in Munich, etc. etc. etc.

And having Ken inside his mind, where Asuka was, was not going to be fun. She was already giving him clues to figure out who she was--and he rather liked having Ken reset to before they knew too much about each other. It was simpler that way.

But he sat back down behind the desk, pulled a sketch pad (sketch pad?) out of the desk drawer, and a mechanical pencil from a groove on the surface, and wrote it down.

"'Why we're disappearing and not being missed,'" Youji repeated. "Into a dream world." He frowned at Ken. "Where would you like me to start looking for clues?"

[identity profile] 2010-03-30 08:23 am (UTC)(link)
"Yeah, but I'm not a woman," Ken pointed out. (Well... most of the time. Thanks, Loki.) "He's different to girls."

Call it walking in another person's shoes, or something - even if they were high heels, and he would have fallen over in them. Ken (how could he help it?) just wanted to hear another perspective on Youji, wanted to know if everybody got the same guy he did, or if it was just him... honestly, Ken couldn't believe that Youji would talk to a girl, any girl, in the same way he talked to him. He'd never get laid at all, would he?

Funny, he thought, how weirdly specific some of these details were. How much of this, Ken caught himself wondering, is real?

(To be totally honest, Ken wouldn't have put it past Youji to show up at work dressed like that - before, he meant. The guy had been a detective, right? And that was how detectives always dressed in movies, right? He'd even had a stupid hat...)

He raised his eyebrows as Youji picked up the hat he'd acquired, placing it rather pointedly on the hatstand before sitting back down. The look in his eyes said ken was being horribly uncouth and Ken just didn't get it. The hat had been perfectly happy on the desk, it wasn't like it was gonna throw a tantrum if it wasn't on a peg, right? An expression of blank incomprehension on his face, Ken simply sat and watched and waited for Youji to get tired of making his point: eventually Youji must have grown tired of waiting for a response that never came, because he took a pad out and made a production of writing something down.

"I don't know," Ken told him, "You're the detective... there's gotta be someone round here knows what's going on, though. Maybe you need to get into the castle? Someone there might know, and... well, if there's nobody there, isn't that worth knowing? Plus, you might be able to find something out."


[identity profile] 2010-04-01 11:01 am (UTC)(link)
"Unless I'm getting paid, I don't really care," Youji said with a bright and mocking smile. He did like a mystery for the sake of a mystery, but anything unsolvable was a frustrating waste of time.

And doubly so if he wasn't getting paid for it, and dreaming even if he was.

He did decide to throw Ken a bone, however.

"Back when the nightmares were going on," he began, "before we were stuck in that warehouse, Naoya mentioned an 'Overlord' to me, but that she didn't bring us here. She does need dreams for energy, but nightmares weaken her."

He was doodling absently now. "I suppose you can make of that what you will. Where else would an Overlord be but a castle?"


[identity profile] 2010-04-01 11:06 am (UTC)(link)
"Brilliant deduction," Asuka deadpanned. "Next time, bring us one you made yourself, hm?"

She grabbed her choker from the ground, and flung it at Youji's head, as well. "And quit being mean. I'm beginning to see what you were saying," she said disapprovingly, before turning a sympathetic look to Ken. "He does have a smart mouth and he plays around with that more than he should, but he's a good kid. He notices things."

She laughed. "I guess he does treat me differently, though. He knows anything he says to me is going to get thrown right back at him if I can manage it, and nine times out of ten, I can. That helps me a lot. Really, you just have to know him, and know how to handle him. He's a big softy, I swear."
Edited 2010-04-01 11:07 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2010-03-28 10:30 am (UTC)(link)
Loki was in his human form: suit, tie and everything else in a shade of crisp black that would have made a Renaissance artist proud. Or an Italian Mafia boss snicker, whatever.

He also had the most smug smile on his face when Youji opened the door, and he saluted the other man jauntily, not seeing Asuka at first.

"I'm not a fan of monochrome, but this sure is interesting, boyo."
Edited 2010-03-28 10:31 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2010-03-29 08:06 pm (UTC)(link)
Youji had a detective's memory for descriptions; having only spoken to Loki through texts, all he knew of the trickster god's appearance was what Ken had told him at the auction and the demon form he'd been in after death. It took him a half-second to connect the dots, but the salute, the smugness, and the speech sealed the deal instantly.

There was only one thing to do, really.

"I'm afraid our normal business hours just ended," Youji said pleasantly. He reached to pull something off the hatstand, and hung it on the outside doorknob, intending to afterwards politely slam the door in Loki's face--

It was a small plastic sign that said "No Soliciting."
Edited 2010-03-29 20:07 (UTC)