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Title: The Camera Eye: Man in the Middle
Chapter: Thirty-first in The Camera Eye series. Links to previous installments can be found here
Author: Boots
Rating: NC-17
Genre: Porn industry AU, drama, smut, romance
Warnings: Male/male sex, polyamory, 69, bukakke
Pairing: Uruha (GazettE) x MiA (Mejibray) (main), Kai (GazettE) x Uruha – and hints of a future relationship between MiA and one of the other Mejibray members
Disclaimer: GazettE belongs to PS Company, Mejibray belongs to White Side Group, I own the story only.
Summary: MiA is happy in his growing relationship with Uruha, even though he knows he will always be number two in his life – until his friends figure out what’s going on, and he finds himself caught in the middle of new ambitions and old promises.
Notes:: Direct sequel to the previous Camera Eye fic, Life of the Party, so you probably should read that one before this. MiA birthday fic! (It’s still his birthday here in North America as I post this!)

When it came to indie porn companies, the level of their success didn’t always translate into the quality of their office space. Most of them were housed in single dingy rooms – if they had physical offices at all. More often than not, they were virtual offices housed from a single computer, with meetings taking place over Skype.

Avalon Video was no exception. The company that gave birth to the Suicide Boy movement had an office, all right – but it was a single room in a back corner of a shabby and under-used office building, the kind of place that would be used as a set for the bad guys’ hangout in an American movie.

MiA pushed open the creaky door of said office and glanced around. Good, nobody else was there yet. He’d have a few minutes to sit down and sort out his thoughts before the meeting.

He had a lot of thoughts to sort out – especially when it came to the last 24 hours. It had started out as a pretty ordinary day – shooting the non-sex scenes for a video, the sex was done already. And then, he had an urge to text Uruha.

Before he knew it, he was at the kind of party he normally wouldn’t touch with a 100-foot pole just to be with this man, and skinny-dipping with him, and having sex with him in a cabana, and going back to his apartment (after being invited by Uruha’s boyfriend, yet . . .)

Yes, he needed a few quiet moments to process it all.

“MIIIIIIIAAAAA!!! So, when are you going to answer my messages, hmmm?”

. . . Unless, of course, Koichi had actually gotten there first and was lurking behind the door.

“That was a pretty long time to just slip out for a couple of minutes. Like, all night?”

. . . And Tsuzuku was lurking as well. Which meant that - yep, there was Meto, leaning out from behind the other two and waving.

Well, now he had no choice but to turn around and face the others, right? Which he did. Koichi was wearing a scowl under his mop of pink hair. Tsuzuku had a rather smug looking smirk. And Meto . . .was Meto, meaning he just kind of had an unreadable expression at the moment.

So much for getting off easy with this.

“I didn’t get a chance to charge my phone until this morning,” he said.

“Says the man who always carries TWO phone chargers in his computer bag?” said Koichi.

“Meaning you didn’t have the chargers with you,” said Tsuzuku. “And you weren’t paying attention to the phone.”

“Well, I told you I was going to put in an appearance at a party last night.” MiA tried to give them a smile. It looked more like a facial muscle tic.

“We know.” Koichi suddenly pulled his iPad out of his shoulder bag with a flourish worthy of an attorney presenting a piece of incriminating evidence at a trial. “We saw.”

And there on the screen was one of the porn blogs - not the hipper kind that usually wrote them up, but the kind that covered the old guard gay porn companies - Hard Candy, Adonis and the like. It was sporting a big picture of Uruha and MiA at last night’s party.

“When . . .when did they take this?” He didn’t remember any cameras during the brief time he was at the party proper. That didn’t mean they weren’t there. With Uruha in front of him, a hydrogen bomb could have gone off in the room and he couldn’t have noticed.

“Obviously, before you got lucky,” Tsuzuku said.

“How did you see this?” Okay, he wasn’t going to panic. Nope. Maybe a little anxiety, but not full-out panic. “I mean, this usually isn’t a blog you look at.”

“I got a tip-off from Hochi” - meaning a cameraman they worked with on a regular basis. “He asked me if it was really you, because he couldn’t believe you were at a party like that.”

“I just went to say hi,” MiA said. “To Uruha, I mean. Since we’re going to be working together and all . . .”

“You said a lot more than that,” Tsuzuku said. “More like ‘Oh, yes.’ And ‘Don’t stop.’”

Well, crap. He was busted. Panic was sounding pretty damn good. “That doesn’t mean that . . .”

“Let’s see,” said Koichi. “You meet up with Uruha. You start texting each other. You go to his house to supposedly talk to him about the video you’re doing, and suddenly, your phone goes silent for a whole evening. Then, a few nights later, you go to this party with him, your phone goes silent again. Either Uruha is giving off some kind of magnetic field that makes phone batteries go dead, or you’re doing a lot more than talking.”

“I . . . I really can explain. It’s . . .”

Tsuzuku leaned over and put an arm around MiA’s shoulders. “MiA,” he said, “you’ve got to stop thinking with your dick.”

MiA looked like he was going to drop through the floor. “But . . .”

“First you run into Subaru at the Suicide Ball. You disappear with him all evening. Fine, he’s a hot little piece of ass. But then you decide you absolutely decide you must work with him even if it means selling out to PSC.”

“I didn’t say anything about working at PSC!” said MiA. “I said Eros. They just happen to co-produce with PSC.”

“But you got called in to meet with PSC’s producer,” said Tsuzuku. “And then, suddenly, he’s all you ever talk about. Uruha’s a great guy, Uruha’s got a lot more indie cred than we give him credit for . . .”

“But he does,” MiA said. “You have to watch his videos. The stuff he makes . . .it’s not like the plastic crap churned out by Adonis and Hard Candy. Really, it isn’t!”

The others looked at each other. Koichi’s frown curved to the left. Tsuzuku’s smirk curved to the right. Meto was the straight line that connected the two.

MiA sank into a chair, defeated. “He’s just a really good person to get to know, that’s all.” And he wasn’t going to think about the night before, about the two of them wrapped in each other’s arms on Uruha’s bed, pressing their naked bodies together, feeling each other’s hot breath and the thud of their heartbeats . . .

“You remember what we promised each other,” Koichi said. “We were going to meet our goals, and get the money we needed - without selling out. For any reason.”

“I’m not selling out,” MiA said. “Really. And I’m not just doing this for a couple of pretty faces.”

“Or pretty dicks?” Tsuzuku said.

“Or pretty dicks,” MiA said. “Look, guys - Yuuki trusts these people. Would HE be working with them if they were all that bad?”

“Is Yuuki fucking Uruha, too?” Tsuzuku said.

“No!” said MiA. “I mean, not that I know of. Well, he’s got kind of a thing going with Subaru, but that started before Subaru was working for PSC.”

And finally, Meto spoke. When he did, his words were usually not wasted.

“He has a point,” he said. “Remember the Suicide Ball last year?”

“Yes!” MiA pointed to Meto. “Thank you! Yuuki told those guys from Hard Candy to fuck off – loudly – when they asked him to work with them.”

Well, there was no arguing with that. They all knew that Yuuki had a history of bucking the majors – until Uruha got him to trust him. There was a long moment of silence.

Koichi tossed his pink mop. “I still had this hair color before Yuuki did,” he said.

The door opened again and their boss came in. “Okay, guys,” he said. “Sorry I’m late - we’re going to start the meeting now.”

The group reshuffled themselves and headed for their usual seats around the boss’s desk - MiA on the right, Koichi on the left, the other two between them. The discussion of MiA and Uruha was over - for now.

They were in for another long, dull session about how their current videos were selling, and the merger progress with Eros, and how they were still supposed to keep the Eros merger top-secret. And then the boss would repeat again that he’d requested right of refusal for his actors to be in any PSC films.

Except MiA was determined to overcome that right of refusal. He wanted his friends to see Uruha the way he did. Well, not exactly the way he did. Those emotions were his alone.

As the meeting droned on and on, he found his thoughts drifting back to the previous night . . .

* * *

He felt a little awkward when they walked into the apartment. It wasn’t like they were completely alone together, like the first time. Kai was very much with them. Okay, he’d been the one to extend the invitation to MiA - but still.

“I’m just going to grab a blanket and pillows and lie down in the living room,” he said. “Maybe watch some TV. You two want anything to eat or drink?”

“I’m fine,” MiA said, glancing around. The apartment was far bigger than anyone of his own acquaintance lived in. You could just about bowl in here.

“I am, too,” Uruha said. “I think we’re going to wash up a little and then go in the bedroom.” He leaned over and whispered to MiA, “You go first. I’ll get you a clean yukata. We need to get the chlorine off.”

Oh, yes - the residue from their skinny dipping, right before they’d made love in the cabana. He remembered the combined smell of sweat and musk and pool chemicals that he was breathing in as he hurtled toward orgasm. It was more erotic than any cologne.

He washed off in the bathroom rather quickly, drying off and putting the yukata on. As he walked to the bedroom, he paused by the cocoon of blankets that was the current state of Kai on the floor.

“Good night,” he said, bowing low. “Thank you for having me.”

“Of course.” Kai stuck his head out of the cocoon. “I’m just glad you’ve made Uruha happy.”

MiA quickly went to the bedroom and shut the door. While he was washing Uruha had already gotten out all the supplies - condoms, lube, dental dams - and lit the candles. He thought about all the noise they’d made last time, when they were alone, and at the pool tonight - would they wake Kai up?

He untied the robe, lay it over a chair and lay on his back on the bed - because they both knew what they were in there for.

MiA couldn’t ever remember feeling this way when waiting for a lover. Breathless. Like his heart and stomach were in knots. Like his whole body was anticipating this man’s touch. And they’d already been together once tonight!

This wasn’t like doing it in front of the camera, though. Or casual sex with friends. This was, well . . . a true connection. It was the only way he could describe it.

The door opened and Uruha walked in, dropping his yukata on the chair next to MiA’s. He sat on the bed beside his lover, running his fingers slowly over his body.

“Every time I look at you like this, I can’t take my eyes off you,” Uruha said. “You’re like some kind of erotic painting.”

“I’m real,” MiA said with a small smile. He raised his head, watching Uruha’s fingers circle his navel piercing. He was now very, very glad he got that thing, considering how much both Uruha and Subaru seemed turned on by it.

“I’m glad you are,” Uruha said, leaning over toward him, bringing his lips toward the other man’s. “I’d hate to find out you were just a dream.”

MiA lifted his head again, closing the last of the distance, kissing Uruha hard. His lips were always so wonderfully soft, and wet, and eager . . .

A tongue pushed into MiA’s mouth, and he welcomed the invasion, coupled with a light tugging on his belly button ring, making him shudder a little. He moaned a little, rubbing his tongue on Uruha’s, raising his hips, rubbing against his lover.

The friction of skin on skin was so absolutely delicious, the warmth and the scent of him, the feel of Uruha’s thick hair under MiA’s fingers as he pulled the older man’s head closer There was the sensation of losing himself in his lover, drowning in him in the nicest possible way.

Their heads pulled apart, but their tongues still rubbed against each other as long as they could reach, the two men looking into each other’s eyes, the way they had when they made love earlier.

Then, as if on an unspoken signal, they rolled over so that MiA was on top. He began to kiss down Uruha’s neck, sucking at the skin, licking at him, feeling the other man writhing under him, tipping his head back.

“More,” Uruha murmured, and MiA continued downward, licking at a nipple, taking it in his lips, sucking very lightly. He just tasted so very good, felt so wonderful, like that little bud was just made for his mouth.

He dragged his nails lightly over the flesh of Uruha’s stomach, just enough to surprise his lover, make him jump and cry out, and then licked his way down the marks he’d just left, as if to soothe the hurt.

As he moved down further, the wet trail dipping below Uruha’s navel and heading south, a wicked idea occurred to him. He sat up, and threw a leg across Uruha’s body, so he was straddling his shoulders.

Then, he lowered his head to the wonderful cock in front of him, while pushing his hips downward, teasing Uruha’s lips with his own erection.

“Oh, God,” he heard Uruha murmur before a tongue started to stroke his hardness, back and forth across the head, running along the shaft. Yes, yes, yes, it was so good, Uruha was so wonderful at this . . .

MiA began to kiss along Uruha’s own hardness, wrap his lips around the tip, and start to move downward slowly, sucking hard, his tongue moving back and forth. He was savoring this like with no other lover, feeling every bit of the hard flesh that slid over his lips and tongue.

Uruha lifted his head, and was sucking at MiA now, the tip in his lips, sending shudders of pleasure through the younger man – who responded by sucking Uruha faster, pulling his head back, sucking hard at the top, then plunging downward again.

He felt Uruha’s hands grabbing at his ass, squeezing it as that tongue worked him further, sliding along hard flesh. He moved down hard, taking Uruha deep, and heard his lover moan, felt him shiver.

And Uruha responded by rubbing his tongue back and forth directly over the slit, which made MiA tremble in response, groaning around the cock in his mouth.

The two men began to move together faster now, both of them moaning, Uruha licking rapidly up and down MiA’s shaft, then sucking at the tip; MiA pulling his head backward, feeling the glide of hardness over lips and tongue, taking it almost all the way out, pushing back downward.

It was as if they were devouring each other in the most wonderful way, becoming truly one, with no beginning and no end – an endless chain of pleasure, of sucking and licking and heat and wetness, of pleasure sounds and musky scents.

MiA felt the pleasure building in his belly, and he pushed his hips forward, trying to push more of himself into Uruha’s lips, and his own head moved back and forth faster as he sucked harder, feeling Uruha start to throb, wanting to push him over the edge into ecstasy.

He felt his lover shudder, and tense, and he opened wider, moving down as deep as he could, sucking with his whole mouth and throat – and he was rewarded with a loud, keening cry, and a rush of hot fluid into his mouth. He swallowed it eagerly.

When Uruha relaxed beneath him, MiA pulled himself up, turning his body around, resettling himself so that he was still straddling Uruha’s shoulders – but facing him this time.

“Do you want to make me come?” he said.

“Yes,” Uruha replied, lifting his head, putting another pillow behind it to hold it up – and opening his mouth.

MiA angled his hips, and pushed into that soft wetness, and Uruha started to suck. He began to move back and forth, thrusting in and out of those lips – face-fucking him. Uruha moaned, the vibration sending delicious pulses through MiA’s body, heightening the sucking.

He began to move faster, and Uruha sucked harder, and he was moaning louder, feeling his body tense, knowing he wasn’t going to last much longer, not the way that Uruha was flicking his tongue against him on the outstroke, and moaning louder around his cock . . .

The pleasure suddenly burst in him, and MiA was overwhelmed by a wave of blazing ecstasy. He pulled out of the other man’s mouth just in time to bathe that too-beautiful-to-be-behind-the-camera face with come.

MiA lay down next to Uruha, and the two men kissed, MiA’s come smearing over both their faces.

“Oh, God, yes,” MiA sighed, snuggling against Uruha, wrapping his arms around him, breathing in his scent.

“Mmmm,” Uruha said, his eyes still closed, as if he was trying to process the intensity of what had happened between them.

They lay there for a long moment, maybe an eternity, just completely wrapped up in one another. They didn’t say anything. They didn’t need to.

Then, Uruha raised his head and said, “I think I’m thirsty. Do you want something to drink?” He reached for the baby wipes they kept on the nightstand and began to clean both their faces off.

“Yes,” MiA said. “Whatever you’ve got.”

“I’ll go look. Quietly.” Meaning, he didn’t want to wake Kai up. He kissed MiA’s lips, softly. “I’m so glad you came back with us tonight.”

“I’m glad, too.”

He fell back on the pillows, watching his lover leave the room, thinking he’d never felt this wonderfully mellow in a very long . . .


* * *

“MiA?” There was a hand waving in front of his face. “MiiiiiAAAAA!!! Are you on the same planet as the rest of us?”

He blinked and turned his head. The hand in question, which bore brightly colored patterns of nail polish, belonged to Koichi.

“Um, what was that?” Oh, yes, meeting. That’s where he was. He glanced down to see if his remembrance of the night before had caused him to respond physically. Thank God it didn’t.

“Are all of us going to the Japan Adult Video Expo? Or are we going to hold off on that because of the merger thingy? You’re the only one who hasn’t answered.”

“Oh,” MiA said. And he didn’t hear what anyone else said, so he didn’t know what the group consensus was. “Well, we still have products to promote, don’t we? So we should still go to the show.”

“That makes sense,” their boss said, and MiA let out a sigh of relief. He just said the first thing that came into his head. He didn’t even know if it was coherent.

“Okay, I’ll go with that,” Tsuzuku said. MiA wondered what his friend had said at first. He knew Tsuzuku wasn’t exactly happy about the merger.

“Well, you already know my opinion,” Koichi said. (MiA wished he did).

Meto just shrugged and nodded.

“Okay, we’ll have another meeting about the expo next week,” said the boss.

“ANOTHER meeting?” said Koichi. “Can’t we just continue this one?”

“I need to have a meeting of my own,” the boss said. “With the Eros guys. I’ll talk to you all later.”

When the boss left, Koichi sighed. “Merger meeting, my ass,” he said. “He’s going off to play pachinko.”

“He doesn’t play pachinko,” MiA said.

“Off to boink some young stud, then,” Koichi said, getting up and stretching. “One that isn’t one of us.”

“I didn’t know you were interested,” Tsuzuku said as the others started to file out.

“I’m not,” said Koichi. “In fact, if he were the last man on earth? I’d turn straight.”

MiA was just happy at the prospect of a few unscheduled hours. He needed a nap to recover from the night before. That was something else about being with Uruha - he hadn’t needed that much recovery time before.

* * *

Unfortunately, the recovery time didn’t happen.

As soon as they were outside, Tsuzuku and Meto headed in one direction, MiA headed in the other, looking for the train . . .

Until a hand shot out and grabbed his wrist, firmly.

“You’re coming to Starbucks with me,” Koichi said.

“But . . .”

“No buts. Come on. I’m buying. What do you want?”

Well, there was no escape. Koichi was holding onto him tighter than a sumo wrestler’s topknot. He was being dragged into the direction of Starbucks like it was a giant magnet and they were a pair of pink and yellow paper clips.

And admittedly, free Starbucks was a hard offer to turn down.

“Do they have the caramel pudding Frappuccinos yet?”

“You always go for the sweetest stuff.”

“I like sweets.” They were in the coffee shop now - an outlet that had gained the nickname “Pornbucks” since it was frequented by so many people in their industry. The salarymen who occasionally showed up at the counter had no idea they were standing next to people who had appeared in titles like Pacific Ream and Fifty Shades of Gay.

“Have a seat,” Koichi said, pulling out a chair and plunking his backpack – shaped like a pink bunny with an eyepatch – down on the table. “I’ll be right back.”

MiA glanced out the window, briefly considering an escape. He decided against it. Knowing Koichi, he’d take off down the street after him.

“You’re in luck, they had it.” Koichi plunked a cup in front of MiA. “Just put it back on the menu.” He sat down opposite MiA with a big latte.

MiA took a drink. The sweetness permeated his soul like a splash of maple syrup on the snow. “I like it,” he said.

“I swear, you consume too much sugar,” Koichi said. “I’m going to start calling you L.” He sighed. “Maybe our NEW bosses will like my idea for a Death Note porn parody.”

“Koichi . . . You didn’t just bring me here to buy me Frappuccino, did you?”

“Whatever gave you that idea?”

“The fact that you almost pulled my arm out of its socket to get me here?”

Koichi took a gulp. “Okay, you’re right. It’s about, well . . .that guy. The one you were with last night.”

“Uruha?”

“See? I knew you were going to do that.”

MiA blinked. “Do what?”

“The moment you said his name, you lit up like a Christmas tree. It’s like even your toenails were smiling.”

MiA sighed. “Koichi, you’re not going to accuse me of thinking with my dick like Tsuzuku did, are you? Because . . .it’s not like that.”

“I know,” Koichi said. “And that’s what worries me.”

MiA frowned. “Worries you?”

“You’re falling for this guy like a ton of bricks, MiA.” Koichi took his little stirrer stick and poked around inside his cup with it. “A ton of LEAD bricks. I know your love life shouldn’t be any of my business, but . . .”

Oh, crap. Here it comes. “I’m not compromising us by working with PSC, Koichi. You know how much our partnership means to me.”

“This doesn’t have to do with PSC!” Koichi was poking the stick in and out like a piston now. “Look, MiA. Everyone in the industry knows that guy has a primary boyfriend. He and Kai are considered a ‘power couple,’ even.”

“But it’s an open relationship,” MiA said. “Kai was even the one who invited me to their place. And Kai’s had his own boyfriend since, well . . .almost as long as he and Uruha have been together.”

“I know it’s open,” Koichi said. “There’s two types of guys in our business - the ones who are polyamorous and the ones who are lying. That’s not what I’m worried about. What I’m worried about is, well . . .”

“That I’ll get involved with both of them?”

“NO! It’s just . . .” Koichi put the cup down and looked straight at MiA. “I’m worried that you’re going to give him your whole heart when he can only give you part of his, okay? I don’t want to see you invest SO much into this that you have your heart broken.” He picked up the cup and turned it around in his hands. “You were always the SMART one of us. You were the smart one, I was the cute one, Tsuzuku was the sexy one, and Meto was, well . . . Meto.”

“The unique one,” said MiA.

“And since you’re so smart, well . . . I don’t want to see you making stupid choices.”

So that was it. He was getting the lecture a woman would give an old friend who’d become the mistress of a married man. (Well, in a way, it wasn’t too far off from what his position was, now, was it?)

MiA reached over and put the hand not holding his cup over the one Koichi had currently resting on the table. “It isn’t a stupid choice, Koichi. I’m going into this with my eyes open.”

“Are you SURE of that?”

“Of course I’m sure. I knew about Kai when I met him. I know that we won’t ever be more than part-time lovers. But the relationship is going beyond sex. I’m learning from him, Koichi.”

“Learning how to get played for a fool?”

“No. Learning how to be a film director.”

There was a pause. Koichi suddenly looked at him as if he had three heads. “You . . .want . . .to . . .be . . .”

“I’ve kept it inside,” MiA said, “because of our master plan. Because of what we decided to collectively do. And I’m not abandoning it, or you. I’m going to still work on the brand - in fact, the first thing I’m going to direct is promo films for us. But I know in my heart now it’s what I want. When we started working on the videos, and I talked to the directors, and the cameramen . . .remember how I said that I wished I had some specialty area to call my own, like the rest of you? This is my specialty area.”

He’d wondered how the others would react when he told them about his ambition, especially considering the plans they’d made in the past, which he’d told Uruha about last night . . .

* * *

“This photo album here is of my friends’ designs,” MiA told Uruha. They were snuggled in the middle of the bed together between rounds, wrapped in a blanket, looking through the pictures on MiA’s phone.

“They’re in fashion?” Uruha said.

“Kind of,” said MiA. “We own a brand together called Counting Goats. That’s basically what we went into the porn industry for - to finance the brand and get it off the ground. Each of the three of them has a specialty. Tsuzuku’s a jewelry designer.” MiA flipped to a series of pictures of silver rings, necklaces and bracelets featuring Gothic crosses, stylized skulls and magic sigils.

“Very beautiful,” Uruha said.

“Koichi does other types of fashion accessories - hats, bags, laptop cases, that kind of thing.” He showed pictures of cases that sported copious amounts of pink, animal prints, and one inventive purse that was topped with devil horns – not to mention Koichi’s own bunny backpack.

“Your friends really are talented.”

“Meto is the most talented of all, though.” MiA flipped to another album. “He designs Gothic dolls. He works with a sculptor who makes the bodies, and then he designs the faces and clothing. They’re really works of art.” He stopped at a picture of Meto holding a doll in a white lace dress with a huge bonnet, wearing elaborate, clownish makeup - and he was dressed exactly the same way. “He even dresses as his own creations when he displays them at doll shows.”

“This is amazing,” Uruha said - and then looked at MiA. “And what about you? What’s your specialty?”

“Up until now?” MiA said. “Modeling the jewelry and the accessories. Writing the publicity pieces. I didn’t really have an artistic calling like they did - or so I thought.” He smiled, softly. “That changed the first day I had a camera in my hands.”

“You went into porn to finance your friends’ callings - and you found your own calling,” Uruha said.

“Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” MiA replied.

Uruha put an arm around him and hugged him tight. “I don’t think it’s ironic at all. It’s an example of how funny life can be, though.”

“In this case, it’s the good funny, isn’t it?” said MiA, looking over at Uruha. “Because since I decided to be a director, it’s how I got to know you.”

Their lips met again, and the phone fell to the bed.


* * *

Koichi was just sitting there looking stunned. He continued to look stunned when MiA said, “Please believe me, Koichi – I wouldn’t abandon any of you. But I need to follow my own heart – and this is where my heart is taking me.”

Koichi looked away. “We said we weren’t going to get sucked into porn for life,” he said.

“It’s not necessarily porn that I want to direct,” MiA said. “I mean, it’s a stepping stone, because that’s the industry we’re in now. But I want to make REAL films someday. And advertising. I told you that I was going to make promo clips for the Counting Goats stuff – and I promise you that I’ll make the best promos in the world, because I understand what you’re doing.”

“Is that why you got involved with him?” Koichi said. “Because he’s a director?”

“That was the attraction at first,” MiA said. “But it’s going beyond that. He’s a great director, but he’s also a wonderful person.” He reached over and grasped Koichi’s hand again. “And I promise you – I swear on our friendship – that I’ve got a firm control on all this. I won’t let the relationship get out of hand. I won’t let my being a director get in the way of Counting Goats.”

There was a long moment of silence. Koichi had a small frown on his face, as if he were still processing all this.

Then, he gave MiA’s hand a squeeze. “A director, huh? I always wondered if you’d find something to do. Other than be pretty. And smart. And at least I know I’m going to have someone to always make me look good on camera – unlike that last jerk we had. He made me look like a pink, fuzzy potato.”

“I can promise you I won’t do that,” MiA said.

“You’d better not. Who wants to fuck a pink, fuzzy potato?” He let go of MiA’s hand, slowly. “Are you going to tell the other two?”

“They’re going to figure it out,” MiA said. “Tsuzuku’s already asked me why I seem to have so much interest in the cameras when we’re shooting.”

“He’ll REALLY be glad he has someone to make him look good,” Koichi said. “So, you’re going from Performer of the Year to director.”

“I’m still baffled as to why I won that award,” MiA said.

“They told you why. It’s because you’re” – Koichi formed air quotes with his fingers – “’the most versatile switch in porn.’ Meaning you can give as well as you get.”

Well, MiA had to agree with that one – he was equally comfortable with seme and uke roles, and had performed both with ease – sometimes even in the same video. Apparently, this was an unusual and sought-after commodity in the industry.

“I just want you to remember this, MiA,” Koichi said. “We all love you. A lot. We want you to be happy, and we never want to see you get hurt. We’ll stand by you with everything – as long as you’ll come out happy in the end. If anyone hurts you . . .”

“I know,” MiA said, quietly. If things with Uruha fell apart, it wouldn’t be pretty. Not for him, and not for his lover.

But he wasn’t even going to consider that. Right now, that was, well, unthinkable.

“That caramel pudding thing looks real good, by the way,” Koichi said. “I think I’ll try it myself next time.”

MiA smiled as he went back to his drink. Well, that was over . . . for now, right? And it wasn’t as bad as he feared.

He just hoped fate wouldn’t have cause to make things turn nasty later on.

* * *

MiA was sitting on the couch of his apartment (such as it was – the place was barely big enough for a couch, a chair, a TV and a mini-kitchen) with his iPad in hand and the script for Datenshi Blue 2 on the screen.

It was, well, good. No, more than good. It was amazing. It was the kind of screenplay he only wished they got for their own videos. The role he was playing, a fallen-angel-turned-demon who was caught between two worlds, the loyalty he’d sworn to King Lucifer and the desire deep in his heart to protect humans from total ruin . . . it was rich enough to be in a mainstream film.

He dropped the iPad in his lap and closed his eyes. He would learn so much from this experience - about writing, and directing, and all the behind-the-scenes elements that came together to form a good video. He could even learn about marketing – and put it to use for Counting Goats.

He wasn’t thinking with his dick. Even if the memory of Uruha’s touches sent shivers through his whole body.

Breathing deeply, he thought about what it would be like to make love to other men with Uruha filming it. He’d promised Subaru their first penetrative sex would be in front of the cameras, and he’d kept that promise.

He still desired Subaru, still found him adorable. His feelings for Uruha hadn’t changed that. But still . . . when he envisioned the moment, it was less about being buried deep in the boy’s hot ass at last, and more about Uruha’s eyes moving over the scene.

Would Subaru be willing to have a threesome with him and Uruha afterward? Now, that was a very nice thought.

And suddenly, while thinking of the possibility of post-on-camera fun, a memory filled his head . . . but it wasn’t of Uruha this time. No, it was Koichi, after they’d filmed their encounter together that was part of MiA Amore, sprawled on the pillows as the crew broke down the equipment.

“That’s the thing with you,” Koichi said. “You always want a round two afterward. You claim you’re not in this for the sex, but every time we do a scene together? We end up at your place afterward.” He lifted his head and flipped a lock of pink hair out of the way. “Not that I exactly mind.”

And why did he think of that? Of all things to be popping into his head right now . . . okay, maybe he was thinking with the little head. A bit. But that didn’t mean he did it all the time!

His phone went off with a call and he grabbed for it. “Hello?”

“MiA? Are you working?” Uruha.

“No. We had a meeting before, but it’s over. I’m reading the screenplay now. It’s pretty amazing.”

“Jin does great work. He always has. I’m just calling to see how you are.”

“Are you working?” A note of hope in his voice.

“I’m between meetings right now.” (Well, damn, MiA thought). “How did yours go?”

“More merger stuff.” MiA sighed. “I guess it’s definitely happening now. My friends aren’t entirely pleased.”

“Because of having to work with us?”

“They have the wrong idea,” MiA said. “I’ve tried to convince them that it wouldn’t be selling out, but they don’t want to listen. I don’t think they understand what it would mean to them. To us.”

“They might come around,” Uruha said.

“I don’t know. I think they’re afraid they’d lose their Suicide Boy cred, you know? Even though it hasn’t harmed Yo-ka or Yuuki. You’d think they’d be happy about better scripts and higher budgets. We’ve talked about videos we want to make all the time – like a pirate film, or erotic sci-fi – and then we realize we can’t do it with what we’ve got.”

“Pirates, hmm?” There was a pause. “What are you doing later on?”

“Another meeting. Informal one this time. Really more of a get-together. My friends and I do that sometimes – we’ll all go to the ramen place by our office and toss around ideas for Counting Goats. Whether there’s any shows coming up that we can get our work into, that kind of thing.”

“Around dinnertime?”

“Yes – usually about five.”

Another pause. “I’ll call later,” he said.

MiA dropped the phone after Uruha hung up. He didn’t really want to go to the Counting Goats meetup tonight. He didn’t have a choice, though. He just hoped that none of his conversation with Koichi would come up. He wanted that to stay just between them.

* * *

The owner of the ramen place where they hung out had gotten very used to the assortment of oddly dressed characters who occupied a corner table from time to time. They lingered a bit longer than his other customers – especially since they spent more time talking about things like skull rings and bunny bags than eating – but they never left a mess and were good for word-of-mouth business.

Tonight, he brought them their steaming bowls as usual. Koichi dove right in, Tsuzuku picked at and poked his noodles more than ate them. And MiA just kind of stared into his bowl.

“We should ask if we can display our stuff at the Expo,” Koichi said. “You know, next to the Avalon table.”

“Nobody else offers that kind of stuff there,” Tsuzuku said.

“Maybe nobody’s tried,” Koichi said. “MiA, what do you think? You’re our marketing expert.”

But MiA wasn’t answering. His eyes had gone from the bowl to the doorway – and stayed there. A very familiar figure had come into the room.

“Well, hello,” Uruha said, approaching their table. “I was just passing through on the way home and thought I’d come in and say hi.”

Four heads turned and looked at the director – well, Tsuzuku and Meto had to turn all the way around, because their backs were to him. MiA just sat with his mouth open. Koichi sort of glared at the newcomer.

“Um . . . hi?” said MiA – and then suddenly remembered his manners. “Uruha, these are my friends that I was telling you about. Tsuzuku is over there, Meto is here – and Koichi is next to me.”

“Very nice to meet you,” Uruha bowed. “I’ve heard so much about you – and your brand.”

The other three looked surprised at that. “You know about Counting Goats?” Koichi said.

“Yes. MiA told me all about it. And I mentioned it in the meeting I just had with my boss. We have need of some jewelry and accessories in the film we’re about to make. You see, the characters that Yo-ka and Byou are playing have opened a boutique together – a hip store in Harajuku. We already have the clothes for that scene, since we have a deal with Nemesis” – the clothing brand PSC actors had modeled for. “But we need other things to put in the shop.” Pause. “Your jewelry and dolls and bags would be perfect.”

The four of them – MiA included – exchanged glances. Nobody was expecting this.

Tsuzuku was the first to reply. “Are you shitting me?”

“Do I look like I am?” Uruha replied. “This is all on the level. Oh, and I’m also interested in having some of our actors who are playing devil characters wear your jewelry pieces as part of their costumes. They’ll be keeping the jewelry on for sex scenes. I might be interested in cross necklaces for our angel characters, too.”

Tsuzuku’s jaw nearly hit the table. Koichi still looked skeptical. “Are we going to get credit for this?”

“I’ll make sure the name Counting Goats is prominently featured in the credits of the film,” Uruha said. “Oh, and that it’s in the publicity materials for the video, too. We’re opening wide with this – I’ve even been talking to Bixxxworks about an international deal.”

“International?” When Meto said something, as usual, it counted.

“Oh, and Koichi? You’re the one who designs the accessories, right?” Uruha said.

Koichi nodded.

“I’d like to use that white laptop bag covered in feathery stuff for Subaru’s character to carry his computer in onscreen. That’s got a gold cross on it, right?”

“Y-yes,” Koichi said. Now it was his turn for his jaw to almost hit the table.

“Good. Who among you to I talk to about the business end of things?”

“I can handle it,” MiA said, quickly.

“All right. I’ll have my boss call you directly. Oh, one more thing before I go? I understand you’re joining the Eros Films family. We have a co-production deal with them – as you well know.”

“How do you know about the merger?” said Koichi. “It hasn’t been announced yet.”

“I found out through Eros themselves,” Uruha fibbed. “Anyway, I got off the phone with them before, and our next co-production after this is going to be a pirate-themed video. There’ll be parts for you if you’re at all interested.”

Now Koichi couldn’t hide his enthusiasm. “Pirates?” he said. “Did you say pirates?”

“Oh, yes, I did,” Uruha said.

“I’m interested! Count me in!” MiA could almost see stars in Koichi’s eyes.

“Whoa!” Tsuzuku said. “Tone it down!”

“But it’s pirates!” said Koichi. “We’ve always wanted to do that! Remember, you said you were going to be the pirate king, and you were going to have a harem of cabin boys . . .”

Meto, meanwhile, was nodding enthusiastically. He was obviously in on it, too.

“But it’s . . . “ Tsuzuku glanced over at Uruha. “You know.”

“Well, it won’t come out under the PSC imprint, if that’s what you’re concerned about,” Uruha said. “We’re starting a sub-brand called Phalanx of Swashbucklers Company to release the co-produced videos. I figured the pirate video would be the best title to launch it with.” He headed for the door. “Think it over, okay?”

Tsuzuku took a deep breath. “All right, I’m in. I get the harem of cabin boys, right?”

“Of course,” said Uruha. He waved at them and left the building.

Tsuzuku went back to poking at his ramen. “Your director friend sure drives a hard . . .”

But then, his head snapped up, as did the heads of MiA and Meto. Koichi was suddenly getting up from the table and racing outside, catching up with Uruha in front of the ramen place.

MiA leaned his head forward. The two of them were talking, but he couldn’t figure out what they were saying. Koichi looked agitated for a moment, then he relaxed and calmed down. Uruha patted his shoulder, and then Koichi calmly walked back into the restaurant.

The others stared at him as if he had three heads when he walked back in. “What the fuck was that about?” said Tsuzuku.

“I was having second thoughts about something,” Koichi said. “He calmed me down about it.”

“Second thoughts about what?” said MiA as Koichi sat back down next to him.

“Never mind.” Koichi grabbed his chopsticks and resumed eating. “It’s not important now.”

MiA shrugged – but went back to his own food. He’d find out later – if Koichi would let him.

* * *

He had barely settled back into his apartment when his phone rang. He knew who it was before he even looked at the screen.

“Hi,” Uruha said. “I said I’d call you later, and I did.”

MiA sat down on his couch, slowly. “You did. I didn’t expect to hear from you, though, after . ..”

“My visit to the ramen place?”

MiA lay back on the cushions. “You’re really doing all that for me? For my friends? Putting the Counting Goats stuff in the video, the new subdivision, the pirate move . . .”

“It was all stuff that had been cooking on the back burner for awhile anyway,” Uruha said. “This just gave me reason to move it to the front. And I showed my boss your friends’ designs, and he really liked them.”

“You’re a wonderful person, you know that?” MiA said. “We’ve been trying to get the Counting Goats name put in the credits of Avalon videos forever. Our boss wouldn’t hear of it. He said he wanted our so-called side business kept separate from what we do onscreen.”

“He called it your side business?” Uruha said. “Really?”

“Really. And when you said you were going to do that for us . . . I think they started to trust you. They started to see you the way I do. And, well . . . that makes me grateful. And happy.”

“I’m glad,” Uruha said. “And I really am looking forward to the pirate video.”

“Uruha . . .” Part of MiA wanted to invite Uruha over right here, right now. He wanted to see him again, feel him close, like he did last night . . .

But another part of him knew that he couldn’t take him away from Kai two nights in a row. Kai was generous with sharing, but generosity could be pushed too far. Besides, he genuinely liked Kai, and didn’t want to hurt him.

“You don’t have to thank me for any of this,” Uruha said. “I did it because I wanted to.”

“What if I thanked you for last night? Because it was beautiful. All of it.”

“I wanted to do that, too. And it was also beautiful for me.”

“We’re . . .” MiA closed his eyes. “Well, we have something here, don’t we?”

“We do,” Uruha said. “And we’ll hold onto it until . . .” He suddenly stopped. “Well, as long as we want to.”

“What if I come in early before tomorrow’s meeting?” MiA said. “Will you be there?” There was definitely an implied “desk sex” there.

“I’ll be there.” And that was an implied “Yes, please.”

“Good. I’ll see you tomorrow, then. And I know you didn’t want me to say it, but . . . thanks. For everything.”

“I told you – I wanted to do it. Goodnight, MiA.”

“Goodnight.”

He hung up and let the phone rest on his chest, over his heart. Yes, they had something here. And even though neither of them wanted to say the word that began with an L and ended with an E . . . that’s what it was becoming.

And if it were a part-time love – that was okay, right? He could live with that, especially if there were someone else waiting for him to say the right thing . . .

He yawned, deeply. Where did that last thought come from? He had to be tired. Yes, he was . . .he was drifting off to sleep, his last conscious thoughts wondering just what Koichi had run out there for . . .

* * *

Uruha stared at the phone in his hand after he hung up. Tomorrow, in his office? Oh, yes. He was eager to have an office tryst. His life was becoming like one of his own videos. And he was going to enjoy it while he could, because . . .

“Uruha?” Kai poked his head out of the kitchen. “The coffee’s done. And I got that cake you liked.”

“Coming, love,” he said, putting the phone back in his pocket, still thinking of the conversation in the street outside the ramen place. He would enjoy the piece of MiA’s heart that he had, because he had a feeling most of it was elsewhere – and not even the two boys involved fully knew it yet.

”Uruha!” Koichi burst out of the restaurant. “Look, there’s something very important I need to say . . .”

The director turned around to face the pink-haired boy. “What is it?”

Koichi stood there, hands clenched at his sides. “I know you’ve got something going with MiA. And I know you have a primary boyfriend. And it’s just . . . I don’t want MiA getting hurt. He’s . . . he’s very important to me.” And then, he added, quickly, “To us. To all of us.”

Uruha turned to look at him, saw the expression on his face . . . and then reached out, putting a hand on his arm.

“Koichi, I can assure you, MiA won’t get hurt. He knows the nature of our relationship. He understands it, and so do I. And he’s happy.”

“I hope so,” said Koichi. “Because if he isn’t . . .”

“You don’t have anything to worry about,” said Uruha. “And if he finds the one who’s going to be the center of his life, I’ll step aside for that person if he wants.”

“You . . . will?” Koichi looked stunned for a moment – and then said, quickly, “You won’t have to if that person is open-minded!”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Uruha said. “But seriously – he’ll be fine, Koichi. Can you trust me?”

A moment of silence, and then Koichi said, “You really do care about him, don’t you?” Another pause. “All right – I’ll trust you. Because he does. And besides – I really do want to make that pirate movie.” He turned to go back to the ramen shop. “Thanks for that, by the way. It means a lot.”

“You’re welcome,” Uruha said. “And I really do think we’ll work well together.”

He watched the boy head back toward where MiA was, wondering if what he’d just seen was more significant than he first thought.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
hamhamheaven
Sep. 17th, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
Another terrific installment in honour of the birthday boy! I confess I was a bit worried about the hints at break-ups and heartache, but once Koichi said he could be open-minded my worries melted away. MiA can be for Uruha what Shou is for Kai. And I predict MiA/Koi in the very near future, which makes me very happy!!!

The flashbacks interspersed throughout the story work really well, and I LOVE your take on the Mejiboys as designers. It's very in keeping with what you've brought up in the past about post-retirement lives of stars while being unique and 1000% believable for the characters.

It sounds like Koichi has enough ideas for plots that he could give Saga and Jin a run for their money. (Don't think I didn't catch the pirates reference. If you don't have them filming on a replica galleon, I'll be shocked. ^_^)
puss_nd_boots
Sep. 17th, 2015 08:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you! The relationship between MiA and Uruha is definitely falling into its final form - MiA feels very attached to him, yet is realistic about the fact that Kai will always come first for Uruha. And yes, Uruha is definitely picking up on something else going on in MiA's life . . . Koichi is full of ideas, believe me - the character is turning out to be a much stronger muse than I thought he'd be! And I'm so glad you liked my choice of "real" professions for the guys! I decided on jewelry for Tsuzuku since he seems obsessed with Chrome Hearts stuff, accessories for Koichi since he always has interesting ones, and, well . . . Meto's is obvious. ~_^ As for the pirate thing, well, I do like incorporating incidents from the real-life industry into my fics . . .
hamhamheaven
Sep. 17th, 2015 09:09 pm (UTC)
You'd better watch out for Koi! He's one of those pushy muses we talked about, and every bit the scene-stealer Aoi is.
leifang666
Sep. 17th, 2015 08:49 pm (UTC)

Awww this is all so cute and adorable.  :) Mia doesn't even know what he's getting into does he?

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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