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27 September 2010 @ 06:34 pm
Veritas  
Title: Veritas
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Angst, romance
Word Count: 6,500
Disclaimer: Owning humans are illegal in most parts of the world (and I can't afford their fabulousness)
Pairings: Sakumoto, Maotsujun (?), Mao/(Male Celeb)
Summary: Sho is a divorce lawyer. He never expected to fall for the opposing party.
Notes: Written for the sakumoto  exchange. This came out a lot longer than I expected! arashijun , I really hope you like this! A special thanks to my beta. You were super helpful and amazing!<3



Johnny's Law Firm is, at the very least, an interesting place to work in. For one, it's been a little more than ten years since their head lawyer Kitazawa actually took a case himself. That, of course, is not the strangest part. There is the fact that every associate is a man. Correction, all the associates are good looking men. Even their assistants are male (and some teenagers to boot). Clients can even choose their representative “host- club style” via pictures of their website! Still, Johnny's is one of the most highly respected and paid law firms in Tokyo (maybe even Japan, if you count their branch in Kansai.)

While the firm handles cases everything from copy right infringement to property damage, Sho has only been given divorce cases since he started working there. Until now is not completely sure why. For the most part they are either really ridiculous, such as this working couple that couldn't see eye to eye about who really owned the apartment and was ready to literally tear it in two, or they were horrifying cases of domestic violence. Sho's learned by now that women aren't always the victim or men the most deserving of their share of the marital assets. There are times he thinks of what he wouldn't give to have Takizawa's job and take on tax consultation instead. He'd take income tax returns over rape any day.

However, fortunately or unfortunately, until now Sho has no case today. Actually he has had no cases since last week when he shamefully lost a case to a certain pompous and misandrous Sumiyoshi-sensei. His client lost everything to his wife for simply borrowing money from her family. It had been in all the papers. He was so totally maybe going to pay it back someday!

While placing a two of spades carefully against a Jack of diamonds, the office phone rang. Luckily, the card tower was unaffected as his assistant Aiba handed him the phone.

"Are you busy right now, Sakurai-sensei?" Julie asks from the other end of the line. It's not very often he's called by his boss's niece/secretary (and the only other female working in the firm aside from her mother).

"Um," he sputters. "No, no not really. Do you need me for something?"

"Can you come to my uncle's office now?"

"Yeah," Sho stands immediately, surprising Aiba and toppling the card tower. "I'll be there in ten minutes."

Julie hangs up on the other end. Sho slowly places the phone back on the cradle, still in shock. Was he in trouble? Did Sumiyoshi-san call and complain? Or worse, was he losing his job?

"Sho?" Aiba asks a little cautiously. Sho breaks from his daze and grabs his coat to run out the door.

"I'm going to Kitazawa's office on the tenth floor. I'll be back," he mutters.

When he reaches the tenth floor, Julie is sitting behind a large round desk busily typing something on the computer. Probably updating her movie review blog, as Sho's heard from rumors. She only spares him a quick glance and nod as he approaches Kitazawa’s office doors. Before even lifting his hand to knock, he hears a voice from inside call.

"YOU! Enter," the voice says. This is it. Deep breath.

Actually, this is only the third time Sho has been in Johnny's office. The room smells musty, old man musty. The fichus in the corner seem to be doing well. The pictures of all the associates with their names underneath each placard are still there from when he first entered the firm. He knows his boss isn’t normal, but he's pretty sure that his boss shouldn't have pictures of underage male secretaries on the wall.

And there Johnny is, sitting behind his oak desk wearing a jumpsuit. When Sho first met him he thought he was the janitor and, to be honest, he still kind of does.

"Ah Sho." The president liked to be casual with his employees. "You know about Seventh Avenue correct? The talent agency?"

Sho nods very slowly and lets out a small, "of course."

"Well, one of their actresses would like to utilize our services. Inoue Mao. You've heard of her right?"

All of Japan has heard of her. Sho wouldn't be surprised if she has foreign fans.

"She is filing for divorce."

Sho did not like where this is going. Not at all.

"And she chose you to represent her."

Inoue Mao. The famous child actress Inoue Mao? The famous child actress who is currently filming a new movie plus promotions and halfway done with a summer drama? That Inoue Mao chose him! Personally! To represent her on a pivotal moment in her life!

"D-d-don't you think that someone with more experience should handle this case?" Sho manages to blurt out. "Like Kokubun-sensei? Or Inohara-sensei?"

Johnny gives Sho a rather creepy, wry smile. "I have full faith in you, Sho. I've sent the case file down to your office already."

"B-but...ah...you...see-"

"This is a difficult case to handle, what with the press. I can understand that," Johnny continues, staring Sho down. "But should you win this case, and you will win, our law firm will benefit from the positive press. And of course, you will be greatly compensated."

Well, Sho did want a new laptop after Aiba put his in the freezer. Sho straightens himself up and gives a low bow to his boss. "Thank you for the opportunity. I accept."

"Good, good. Now don't fail me Sho."



Saturday morning at nine o’clock, the Inoue Mao is sitting on his couch with Aiba nervously serving her tea. He manages to only spill half of the tea before placing the tray down in front of her. At least Aiba remembered to set out her favorite cookies. Sho will have to thank him for it later.

A little awed, Sho shakes his head before putting on his professional face and properly introducing himself. "My name is Sakurai Sho; I am an associate here at Johnny's. This is my assistant Aiba Masaki. We're going to be representing you. Pleased to meet you."

"I'm a huge fan!" Aiba.

Inoue-san simply smiles and bows her head to the two of them. "Please take care of me."

Sho also bows his head and pulls out her file. For the past few years she has been married to an AD, Matsumoto Jun. She's been supporting the two of them during their marriage while Matsumoto stayed at home. Sho thinks that she's been so busy with work that their relationship fell apart. Or maybe with all his free time Jun took on a mistress. Either way, Sho's ninety percent sure that he's going to win his case.

Sho clears his throat a little before speaking, "To get right to the point, on what grounds are you filing for divorce? Infidelity? Abuse?" Please don't let it be abuse.

"Um, no it's not that complicated," she begins with a slight laughter in her voice. "No. Jun isn't like that. He's a great person. It's me that's the problem."

"Please don't say that Inoue-san, you are never a problem."

"No, it's true. I have a boyfriend now. I'm sorry, but my agency won't allow me to tell you who it is." Understandable. "But Jun knows and he's fine with it. Actually, he introduced us." What?

"I'm sorry." Sho is perplexed. "Your husband is okay with you cheating?" This is a first.

"Yes and no. I can't be cheating if he's not in love with me, right?" Inoue-san says with a little sadness in her voice. "Jun and I have been planning this for a while, but I decided to rush it a little. I'm going on a hiatus as soon as I am done with this movie. I figure by the time I'm done filming this will hopefully be over."

"If you and your husband both agree on a mutual divorce, you wouldn't need our services. You just need to submit a form at the main ward office."

"We can agree on everything except on one subject. Our daughter."

Sho understands. "So you want custody. Am I right?"

Inoue-san nods firmly. "Yes. I've missed almost everything in her life except her birth. I've been so busy with work and trying to get my life together that I almost forgot my own daughter. Last week on the set someone brought their kid in and he is the same age as Chiyo. I couldn't help but feel like I was, am, missing something from my life. I want to be there for her now. I want to raise her. I want to make up for lost time. And I want to raise her with my lover. I want us to give her a happy family." A tear glistens in the corner of her left eye and Aiba looks like he's about ready to start sobbing for dear life.

"I want happiness, Sakurai-sensei," she declares in almost a whisper. "For me, for my lover, and for my daughter. All of us together."

Sho put his hands together and leaned toward Inoue in his seat. "I will get that happiness for you, Inoue-san. For all of you."



Inoue-san told him that she would be at her apartment at four in the afternoon, right when her interview with AnAn ended. She would ask to meet him at his office, but she would rather not be seen going to a law office so often until her divorce is properly leaked to the press. He's also meeting her alone thanks to Aiba having a little accident with his washing machine.

Alas, it is not Inoue-san that answers the door, but her husband. Meeting Matsumoto is a just little awkward. While only maybe a centimeter or two taller and smaller in build Sho feels like he is being crushed under Matsumoto’s mere presence. He has a sort of holier-than-thou attitude radiating from his jaunty hips and quirked eyebrow, but Sho can see why Inoue-san married him. There were never pictures of the two of them when their marriage was in the papers, so Sho didn't know what to expect. Suffice to say Matsumoto-san is most definitely not unattractive.

"Um. I'm here to meet with Inoue-san..." Sho trails off when he sees that Matsumoto's hard stare has not backed down one bit. Matsumoto scoffs a little.

"She's not here yet. And I'm about to go pick up Chiyo."

"Um," he looks around the hallway. "Is there anywhere I can stay until Inoue-san comes back?"

"No offense, but I'm not letting you into her apartment without her here. And I can't stay. I'm already late."

"Well then I'll just-"

Matsumoto brushes pass him none too gently and sighs. "Come with me. I'll get Chiyo and hopefully Mao-chan will be here when we get back."

The kindergarten is not far, a good ten blocks, but Sho isn't wearing the most comfortable shoes. He notices Matsumoto pause to let him catch up sometimes, so he can't be that bad of a guy.

"Daddy!" he hears a little girl's voice yell in excitement. Sho thinks that Matsumoto's smile looks a heck of a lot better than his scowl, especially when his eyes get all glittery like that. Matsumoto lets her run into his long legs and wrap herself around one of them. He lefts his leg and plays with her for a while before remember Sho is with them. Matsumoto clears his throat and pushes his daughter forward.

"Chiyo, this is mommy's friend. Introduce yourself," he instructs her. She looks up and Sho sees Matsumoto's eyes and Inoue-san's grin. He carefully kneels down to her level, setting his suitcase next to him.

"My name is Sakurai-sensei," Sho says. "What's your name?"

"My name is Matsumoto Chiyo!" she chirps excitedly. "I'm 6 years old!"

"Wow! A big girl now!" he says exaggeratedly. God, he loves kids.

"Yup! I have to be. If Mommy leaves Daddy, I'm going to take care of him!"

"Wha...?"

"Chiyo!" her father scolds. He takes pulls her lightly and kneels down in front of her. "Chiyo. I told you not to talk about this to people okay?"

"But you said he's mommy's friend. He should know." Chiyo looks down at her feet, obviously feeling a little guilty and making Sho feel even guiltier for simply being there and hearing that.

"Chiyo," Matsumoto takes Chiyo's hands. "Thank you for saying you will take care of me. But don't talk about these things to other people yet, okay? Promise?" He holds up his pinky letting his daughter wrap her own smaller one around his. Sho's heart breaks a little just by seeing their two pinkies together, but clutches his suitcase, reminding himself it's just work.

Inoue-san sends Sho a message apologizing for her lateness and explaining that photo shoot took longer than expected. She also said she is nowhere near her apartment and maybe if he could just wait a little longer?

Matsumoto invites Sho to join him and Chiyo at a café they usually go to after school. Sho orders a small coffee for himself while Matsumoto gets small chocolate cake for Chiyo. Her face gets extremely messy and Matsumoto scolds her, but not without that little twinkle in his eye. He lets her go play with the other kids in the cafe and watches her with a careful eye while talking to Sho.

"You're good with kids-" Sho stops himself abruptly.

"-for a guy you mean?" Matsumoto finishes for him. "There is nothing with a man taking care of his child."

Sho can only give him a sheepish grin. "No. No there isn't. In fact I think more men should take care of their children."

Matsumoto quirks up an eyebrow, just like he did earlier that afternoon, and it still makes Sho a little nervous. "You're trying too hard."

"Sorry," Sho takes a quick sip of his coffee. "I've actually never gone out with the opposing counsel."

Sho's not stupid. He can tell Matsumoto is disinterested and is pretending to listen out of politeness. What really surprises Sho is that Matsumoto actually continues. "Men shouldn't have to be praised for taking care of their children."

"...excuse me?"

"Fathers should take care of their children. Just like mothers. There is no difference in gender. Just because the mother gave birth and nurses the child in the beginning doesn't mean the father is off the hook. If anything after suffering through pregnancy and childbirth, the father should care for his child. It's the least he can do for the mother."

Sho wants to ask if that's why he cares for Chiyo, but doesn't.

Jun's face hardens and he turns to glare at Sho.

"Look, you really wanna know why Mao-chan is filing for divorce now. You think it's because she is finally taking a break from her acting career? That she is going to dedicate herself to being a full time mother? Please. You want to know the real reason why?"

“Uh…”

"We could have gotten divorced at anytime. Hell, she and her boyfriend have been going out for four years now. Chiyo is going to school. That means at least eight hours a day Mao-chan doesn't have to worry about Chiyo. Mao-chan is a great person and I love her, but she is a terrible mother. She doesn't know what it is like to sacrifice herself for someone. Not yet. I don't care how much money Mao-chan has or how good a lawyer you might be, I won't let her win."

Matsumoto doesn't look at Sho while saying his last words. His gaze is lovingly, determinedly focused on his daughter. This case is getting to be a lot harder than Sho expected.



Sho, Aiba and Inoue-san are meeting at the court house with Matsumoto and his lawyer, Ohno Satoshi. Sho has heard the stories of course. He's heard of Ohno's calm, placid face that puts you in a state of security only to unexpectedly pull the world from under your feet. He almost wonders why Inoue-san didn't call on Ohno instead.

"Oh. Hello. I'm Ohno Satoshi from Ohno's Law Office," he says with his soft and pleasant voice, handing Sho his business card. Even the card is unsuspecting. The front has all the things a normal business card would have: name, company name, rank. But the company logo, a blue graffiti fish, was something anyone that picked up the card would remember. Oh, he's good.

"Um. I'm Sakurai and this is my assistant, uh..."

"I'm Aiba," his assistant answers for him. "As you should know this is our client, Inoue Mao. Thank you for taking the time out to meet with us today."

Crap. He's already messed up!

Ohno smiles at Sho and motions to the seats on the other side of the table. "Shall we begin?"

Sho clears his throat as he sits down and gathers his papers in front of him. "My client willing to give Matsumoto-san forty percent of the marital assets as well as the apartment in Ueno under the condition that he relinquishes his parental authority over Matsumoto Chiyo."

"My client is willing to receive twenty percent of the martial assets, the same amount as what he entered the marriage with, so long as he takes custody of Chiyo."

Inoue-san passes Sho a note under the desk. He quickly reads it and his nerves start rattling.

"My client is offering fifty percent of the marital assets, will not require alimony for Chiyo, and will allow Matsumoto-san the chance to have a supervised meet with Chiyo for three days a year."

"My client is willing to live on nothing but his little savings and no alimony if he has custody of Chiyo. He will also allow Inoue-san three days a year unsupervised plus special events such as her birthday and New Years."

"Um." Inoue-san nervously looks at Sho.

Ohno's stare has yet to back down. "Clearly, your client does not agree and neither does mine. I guess this will have to go to court then."

"I guess this will," Sho replies, unable to think of a better response.

"My secretary will contact yours about setting up a court date." Ohno-sensei stands and gathers the small pile of papers in front of him. He looks at Matsumoto who moves to follow him out the door. "Good day gentlemen, Inoue-san."

The door clicks behind the two of them and Sho finally lets out that breath he didn't know he was holding.

Aiba winces. "That went well."



After the incident at the court house, Inoue-san asks Sho to meet her at a bar to discuss something. Apparently she knows the owners of the bar so she feels safe enough to talk about the case there. Sho has no choice but to agree and it wasn't as if he had anything better to do that night. Aiba declined the invite, however. He has had plans with his girlfriend for a while and Sho told him to go enjoy himself. Sho is used to being alone at night.

However, there at the end of the main bar, is Matsumoto-san, drinking red wine while talking to a rather familiar looking bartender. Sho tries to sneak pass him when Matsumoto motions for him to sit on the stool next to him.

"Look, I'm not going to bite you just because you have to deal with my wife's irrational demands," Matsumoto says with a little annoyance.

"And bite he does," quips in the bartender. Sho looks at the bartender and slowly comes to the realization that he knows this person.

"Nino? Ninomiya Kazunari?" Sho asks, bewildered.

"Been a while hasn't it, Sakurai?" Nino smiles and continues to wipe down the glass he has in his hand.

"You two know each other?" asks Matsumoto.

"We went to high school together. How do you two know each other?" Sho asks.

"I'm fucking his lawyer," Nino replies for Matsumoto. Well, at least Sho can count on Nino's tact to never change.

"Where's Chiyo-chan?" Sho inquires while Nino gets him his beer.

"She's with my parents. Grandparents' night. My wife called you here?"

"Yeah, she says she wants to discuss something with me."

"She's just been called to work. I don't think she's going to come."

"Should have known." This wouldn't be the first time Inoue-san called him out this week to meet and suddenly have to go to work.

"I'm sorry," Matsumoto offers with sincerity. "Mao-chan is really busy right now. The drama ratings have gone down, so she's been having emergency meetings with the staff to talk about what they can do to save the show."

"You don't have to apologize for her, Jun-chan," Nino says setting down Sho's bottle and glass. "She's not going to be your wife for much longer."

"She's still my wife now," he answers, taking a sip. "And she really is busy."

"It's fine. I understand. She's a star. Their schedules are hectic, so I hear." Sho pours his drink and looks at Matsumoto from the side. "You're a good man, Matsumoto."

"You're not bad yourself,f Sakurai."

"Looks like I'm not working tonight so you can call me Sho."

"I guess you can call me Jun then." Matsumoto raises his glass. "A toast."

"To what?"

"My marriage. May it end gracefully and as soon as possible."



More often than not, Sho finds himself in the presence of Jun. Mostly because Mao-chan is always late or cancels later and he ends up waiting at their apartment. She is his only case so he doesn't mind. Aiba sometimes comes along and Sho finds out that Jun and Aiba actually share the same kind of curiosity, the only difference being that Jun is a little more conserved with his enthusiasm. Chiyo-chan also likes to hang out with "Sho-nii" and "Masaki-nii" and the two are more than happy to watch over her while Jun does the dishes or clean the living room.

This night he's at the Matsumoto residence with Aiba, yet again. Waiting for Inoue-san, yet again. Chiyo-chan is sleeping over at a friend's house to allow for Sho to openly discuss his career and involvement with their family. It was getting rather late so Jun cooked dinner for the three of them, saving an extra plate for his wife later.

"It was never my dream to be a divorce lawyer. Oh thanks," he says when Jun puts a plate of pasta carbonara in front of him.

"So why take job?" asks Jun as he sits.

“It was a choice between working in an office at Setagaya or at Johnny's in Shibuya. I was still living at my parent's house in Minato, so I took the one with the shorter train ride. I don't have a car."

"Are you serious?"

"Totally. It took about half an hour to get to Johnny's and an hour to get to Setagaya. So I choose Johnny's. Back then not that many people cared about Johnny's, but some friends that passed the bar the same year signed up so, I thought why not? I got in and made my choice. My parents were upset, to say the least. The office in Setagaya was run by an influential friend of theirs."

Jun merely nods in approval. Sho feels a little better about himself that he managed to impress someone like Jun.

"So what are you planning on doing after the divorce?" Aiba asks, mouth full of pasta.

"I don't know,” Jun replies. “Satoshi offered me a job at the office as an assistant. Is it hard?"

"A little. It's a lot of copying. And then you have to make sure the coffee is just at the right temperature or your boss will get really upset."

"Oi!" Sho exclaims.

"Don't worry," Jun laughs. "I doubt Satoshi will even notice. He doesn't even know that he's getting sunburned every time he goes out fishing, which is pretty much all the time."

"I thought Ohno-sensei looked rather tan during our last meeting."

Throughout the entire dinner Sho wants to feel strange about eating the food cooked by the opposing team. Wants to feel weird laughing about Nino's video game habits with Jun. Wants to reprimand Aiba for suggesting that the three of them go out for karaoke sometime. But he can’t bring himself to. It all feels so normal to him, despite the circumstances.



"You know I introduced Mao-chan to her boyfriend?" Jun states, more than asks. Sho has come by this evening to pick up papers Inoue-san signed before going off to Kyoto for filming. Jun has just put Chiyo to bed and insists that it is too late for Sho to travel. Jun sets up a futon for him in the living room and offers a drink before going off to bed. Never one to refuse a drink, Sho in turn insists that Jun share a drink with him on the balcony. It is a nice summer night after all.

"She told me when we first met."

"She told me that she was feeling like there was something missing in our relationship," Jun continues. "We were too busy for each other. She has work. I have Chiyo. Her boyfriend is a friend of mine. He's in the entertainment business like her, so they can see each other often. He's good about keeping secrets so they never get caught." Jun laughs a little into his drink. "People are still trying to get pictures of the two of us."

"I know. When I first came here, Aiba was screaming at me to get a picture of you. He wanted to know what the guy that seduced poor, innocent Mao-chan looked like."

"You took a picture of me?"

"I don't know. Maybe?" Sho feigns innocence.

"I bet you use my picture as the background on your phone," Matsumoto smirks. The two begin to laugh for no reason other than it is a nice night.

"I don't know why," Jun begins after they finish their laughing fit. "But you make me feel like it's okay that my marriage is falling apart."

Sho doesn't know what to say to that, so he takes a swig of beer instead.

"I don't hate Mao-chan. I love her. She's a wonderful girl. Smart and caring and talented and beautiful." He puts down his drink and looks out into the city. "She's everything I'm not."

"No," says Sho while shaking his head. "No, you're just like her. Better maybe. You're intelligent. You've been smart enough to avoid the press all these years. Also I've never seen a father more dedicated to his child than you. And you can't be sure of your talent because you've never had the opportunity to show it. And..."

"And?"

"I think you are remarkably beautiful."

Matsumoto looks at Sho, eyes wide and wondering.

"I didn't mean to say that." Sho ducks his head in embarrassment and wants to blame the alcohol. He doesn't.

"Oh."

"But I think you are indeed good looking."

"Thanks."

"Better than most people at least."

"What's that's supposed to mean?"

The two continue to joke and tease until Jun decides it's time for the big boys to go to bed, avoiding Sho's comment altogether. But when the lights go out and Jun closes the door to his room, Sho thinks to himself what if Jun believed what he said. What if Jun felt the same way about him? But Sho knows that no matter how close they have gotten within the last three months, he is still the man trying to take away Jun's precious daughter. There is no way that Jun will ever forgive him for that.



The verdict is today. Sho's suit is nicely pressed. His suitcase is filled to the brim with documents pertaining to the case with statements in Inoue-san's friends and family of her competence as well as bank books and medical records to prove she is physically, mentally and financially stable to care for a small child. He's sure that Ohno has the same thing in his suitcase (that smells a little of tuna and UV). Aiba is all jitters and is not helping Sho's nerves at all.

"Good luck today, Sakurai-sensei," Ohno-sensei says, giving Sho a firm handshake and a true smile.

"I wish you luck, too." Ohno-sensei bows his head and enters the court room. Sho is about to head into the room himself when he hears Inoue-san and Jun talking in the hallway.

Inoue-san has her head down, holding Jun's hands in hers. Her eyes are downcast and regretful. "No matter what the outcome today Jun, I just want to say I'm so sorry for I've put you through. I’m sorry for not being there for you and Chiyo. And thank you for everything. You’ve done so much for me. For us."

"No. Thank you for having Chiyo. I’m sorry I couldn’t be a better husband and give you the support you needed," Jun puts his hand on her chin, turning her face up to his. "I'm sorry we couldn't have a family together properly."

Sho turns away when the couple leans in for their final kiss.


Sho never felt so horrible winning before. The minute he heard the judge say his client's name instead of Jun's, he spun his head to face him so fast it almost snapped off. He's never seen such anguish. Or maybe he's never cared enough to see the pain his opponents go through when they realize have lost their money, house, and family. His shoulders slump to the floor, his breathing slows, his knees lightly shake, his face struggles to keep composure, and all of this is Sho's fault. His only hope is that no one sees how Jun's pain is reflected on his own face.

Without saying anything, Jun and Ohno bow to each other and leave the court room in solemnity. Although he hears Inoue-san thanking him, Sho follows them out, completely ignoring his very influential client.

"She's in the children's room waiting," he calls out to Jun. "Don't you want to see her?" One last time, Sho wants to say. Jun pauses a moment, but doesn't turn to him. Maybe it hurts too much.

"If I hold her one more time," Jun says slowly and in such a low voice Sho nearly misses it. "I might never let her go."



"Thank you, for everything, Sakurai-sensei," Inoue-san says again, this time at his office. Sho is busy typing up a summary of the case.

He wants to say it was his pleasure, just as he always does. But he knew it would leave a bitter taste. He says nothing. For the first time, he says nothing.

"Where is Chiyo-chan now?" asks Aiba to fill the awkward silence.

Inoue-san turns to him with a gentle smile. "She's at my mother's. My parents are going to look after her while my boyfriend and I prepare the house." Sho still rustles the papers. "I think it's time to take my leave."

"Please. Take care of Jun," she says before exiting. Sho pretends not to hear her. All he can think about is how could he even face him now?

Aiba returns and places a bottle of wine on the table. Probably from Johnny, his way of telling Sho, "Congrats on separating a loving father and child. Good thing Inoue-san chose you!"

"Wait," Sho stands. "Wait." She chose him. She personally chose him. Out of the many associates in the firm, she chooses one of the least experienced lawyers to win such a high profile case.

Sho grabs his coat from the back of his chair and sprints out the door toward the parking garage. He hears Aiba call after him, but doesn't bother to reply. Sho just hopes Inoue-san hasn't left the building yet.

He manages to catch up to her before she enters her car. It looks a bit different from her manager's car; Sho can only deduce that it is her boyfriend's car. Not that it matters.

"Sakurai-sensei!" Inoue-san proclaims, shocked. "Is something wrong?"

"Why me?" he demands between pants. "Why me as your representative?"

"What do you mean-?"

"You chose me," he interrupted. "You chose me specifically. I had just lost a case important case. Why me?"

"Because I knew you would make sure I win after a loss like the one you experienced," she replies firmly.

"No. There is something more to it."

"There is nothing more to it, Sakurai-sensei."

"Like hell there isn't! You were always late. Your manager tells me that you are never late. You're drama is doing just fine. You lied to me and you lied to Jun. There has to be a reason for it!"

"I request that the both of you keep your voices down. The press might be listening." A man comes out from the driver's side of the car. Sho recognized the man as none other than Oguri Shun, one of Inoue-san's costars in her current drama.

"Just now you told me to take care of Jun," Sho almost whispers. "Why?"

"I love Jun. I want my husband, ex-husband to be happy. I want everyone to be happy."

"You took his child away from him and you expect him to be happy?"

"No! I gave him you to make him happy. You will make him happy."

Sho is more confused than ever. "What? I don't understand?"

"You both had the same sad eyes," she explains with a little guilt. "You both had that same look in your eyes. That something stopped you from reaching your dreams. That something is keeping you from doing what you want to do."

"I still don't get it-"

"I love my daughter. I didn't lie when I said I don't want to miss any more of her life. And I don't want Jun to miss any more of his. I want him to fulfill the dreams he wanted to fulfill when he had to take care of Chiyo. It's his turn in the spotlight. And yours. I could see in your eyes that you two have so much to gain from being together. Maybe money, connections, companionship. I don't know. I just know that you two are meant to be together."

Once again, Sho is speechless. The only other times he heard Inoue-san speak with such conviction were when she first came to his office and when she apologized to Jun before the trial. He can only watch as they drive out of the garage.



It's been three months since that case. Since then the divorce has been leaked to the public in order to help the movie with promotions. Johnny's celebrity clientele has significantly increased. Meanwhile, Nino tells Sho that Jun still goes to the bar. Just not as often.

"Actually, I heard he's busy with a new show," Nino informs Sho.

"Already?"

"Yeah. Mao-chan recommended him to a friend of hers in the industry. He took it."

Oh. Jun has gone on with his life. Maybe Sho should too. Maybe he too should stop thinking of Jun's face and slow march out of the court room and out of his life.

Out of his life until Sho turns around and saw him enter the bar. Jun sits down one stool away from Sho, but faces him to talk.

"I've wanted to call you," Sho blurts out. "But I thought maybe you're busy. I didn't want to bother you."

"It's okay. I wouldn't have been able to pick up."

"Oh."

"I knew you would be here." Jun holds up his phone. "Nino texted me."

"Well, now that you're here I want to apologize for-"

"No, Sho, no. None of this is your fault okay? If she had a different lawyer I'm sure she would have won and taken Chiyo away anyway."

"I wasn't talking about the divorce or Chiyo."

"What?"

Sho looks straight into Jun's eyes. The very eyes the Inoue-san says they both share.

"You remember that night I stayed over and I told you that you were beautiful? Well I want to apologize. For saying I didn't mean it. Because I did. Or, I do. I think you are the most beautiful person I've met, inside and out. I'm so glad I took this case and I'm so sorry about the outcome, but I don't regret it because I got to meet you. And I know this sounds shallow, but I've never been happier being a lawyer."

Jun's face turns pink and Sho thinks it's the loveliest shade of pink in the world.

"I don't know what to say to that," Jun replies. "I don't know. But I do know I want to be with you without this giant elephant in the room that is my divorce."

"Does...does this mean we can...start over?" Sho asks hesitantly.

"...that's why I'm here isn't it?" The two chuckle a little and Sho moves one stool closer.

"Hi," Sho sticks out his hand. "My name is Sakurai Sho. I am a lawyer for Ohno's Law Office."

"I'm Matsumoto Jun. I'm an assistant director for a variety show. Shiyagare. You know it?"

"Really now? I watch it every Saturday."

"Thank you. You work for Ohno now?"

"I couldn't stand being in Johnny anymore. Too much drama and too many celebs. Aiba is still there. He just has to settle a couple of debts first. Ohno doesn't pay nearly as much as Johnny. He's transferring over though once he's all paid up."

"I see."

"Yeah."

"So-" before Matsumoto could even being forming the next syllable, Sho gave him a quick kiss on the lips. But as quickly as he kissed him, he instantly pulls back.

"I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. I just thought the way your lips form an 'O' looked so interesting and I know you wanted to start over but - "

This time Jun interrupts Sho by pulling him by the tie and sealing his lips over Sho's. Jun tastes like good wine, sweat, regret, and something Sho doesn't know but wants, craves so badly for. He allows Jun's tongue into his mouth, playing with it before forcing it to retreat so that Sho could run his tongue against Jun's teeth. Sho runs his hand up Jun's arm and up the nape of his neck to-

"Oi you two!" Nino yells from across the bar, waving a dish cloth at them. "Take the funny business into the bathroom or out of my bar."

"Are you okay with my place?" Sho whispers into Jun's ear just like he imagines in his dreams.

"Is it all the way in Minato?"

"My apartment is in Shinjuku, I'm afraid. Further than Minato."

"It's okay." Jun flashes him a handsome smile. "I've got a car."

 
 
 
sammyarashijun on September 28th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
COMMENTING BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY GOOD AND I REALLY ENJOYED IT AND BECAUSE YOUR A FUCKING GENIUS <3
reversemirror: arashireversemirror on September 28th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Lol I'm really glad you like it!♥♥ I'm no genius but thanks anyway. |D
sammyarashijun on September 28th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Lol whatever. It's still worthy <3 <3
明日を信じて進みたい: hot ninowy_nike on September 28th, 2010 05:39 am (UTC)
haha! i like how ur sho apologised for kissing jun cos of the "o". LOL!
thanks for sharing, i enjoyed reading this ^^
reversemirror: ninoreversemirror on September 29th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
Lol thanks for reading! ^_^
bob lemon: naked time!boblemon on September 28th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
Wow, that was super interesting. A good story, even though I usually stay away from triangle relationships... Although I guess Jun didn't really love Mao? Anyway, I liked it very much and it was a very smooth read. I especially liked the end with the two of them making out in a bar. XD And snarky!Nino was also good.
reversemirror: shoreversemirror on September 29th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
purple.torishyathetagal13 on September 28th, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
A really interesting love story. Its beautiful... thank you.
reversemirror: aibareversemirror on September 29th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
fancyann1974fancyann1974 on October 4th, 2010 02:36 am (UTC)
outstanding, wonderful
loved it
thank you for sharing
reversemirrorreversemirror on October 10th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! (Sorry my reply is so late. orz)
(Deleted comment)
reversemirror: ♥reversemirror on October 10th, 2010 04:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading! (Sorry my reply is so late. orz)