Playing the Part:
Part One



The tall redhead leaned back against the folds of the cushy leather sofa and spread vinyl-clad legs slightly. "Come sit on my lap and kiss me," he ordered, pouty lips curving into a sultry smirk.

Hidaka Ken scowled. He didnít know whom to blame for this stupid mess heíd gotten himself into; Yohji his skanky, two-timing ex-boyfriend, those jerks at the club whoíd tried to rape him, himself, or this weirdo, sexy German guy.

~Sexy, hell ya. Weirdo I resent~

Make that a weirdo, sexy German mind-reader. Ken kept forgetting that the redhead was a telepath, a fact that usually led to embarrassing repercussions. Like when heíd tried to convince him that he wasnít really gay. The German had pulled the file on Yohji so fast it had nearly made his head spin.

"Well?" Long fingers patted slender thighs. "Iím waiting for you, Ken."

"I donít see why I hafta do this," Ken whined, fidgeting with the hem of his tight, black T-shirt. "You can have anyone you want! Why does it hafta be me?"

"Because you owe me, thatís why." Indolent jade eyes capture his own. "As I recall, you were in quite the tight spot, before I came along."

"I didnít ask for your help," Ken grumbled.

"No you didnít," the telepath agreed. "But you got it and now you owe me. Besides, it isnít as though this is permanent. We just need to practice a bit."

Ken flushed. "Iím not in the habit of...practicing with complete strangers."

"Iím not a stranger. Iím Schuldich, your savior." Flashing eyes darkened. "Now get your tight little ass over here and kiss me!"

Ken fidgeting a bit longer and then reluctantly began a slow trudge over to the other man. Yohji, he decided. It was all Yohjiís fault. If he hadnít gone to the 'Electropolis' night club to find out if Yohji was cheating on him, than he wouldnít be standing in the Schuldichís elegant penthouse apartment about to kiss him!

"Forget about that cheating boyfriend of yours," Schuldich drawled out, interrupting his flow of thoughts. "Heís nothing but a deceitful bastard and you know it."

Ken swallowed thickly. "Y-yeah."

The wounds were still so fresh but he had to forget about them. Yohji didnít want him and there was nothing he could do about it. Ken steeled himself. The best way to forget about Yohji was to focus upon Schuldich and agree to his strange request.

He brushed jagged bangs from his eyes and stopped in front of the seat man.

~Well?~

He awkwardly slid onto the Germanís lap and straddled him, his bent knees flanking the other manís hips. He stared down into smoldering green eyes and tried not to think about how uncomfortable the situation was.

"Now kiss me."

Ken squirmed uncomfortably. "Uh...Iím not too heavy, am I?" he asked evasively, struggling not to blush.

"Youíre just fine," the German purred, long finger reaching to curve around Kenís waist. Schuldichís other hand lightly touched his cheek. "Youíve got a bruise forming. Does it still hurt?"

"Not anymore." Ken fretted for a moment, unsure of where to put his hands. He finally settled for placing them lightly on Schuldichís shoulders. He met the other manís gaze. "Thanks again for saving me. If you hadnít come along when you did then those guys might have...well you know."

"Not a problem since Iím getting what I want from you." Schuldich caressed his cheek with silky fingertips. "Clubbing isnít your scene, is it?"

"Tonight was the first time Iíd ever been clubbing," Ken confessed forlornly. "Iím not one for dancing and drinking and stuff."

A fine red brow arched. "Thatís more Yohjiís scene, neh?"

"Donít mention his name," Ken snapped, hiding his hurt behind anger. He didnít ever want to see or hear about or from Kudou Yohji again. The image of *his* boyfriend kissing a blue plate-eyed, ginger-haired, practically jailbait, kid in shorts was engraved in his mind. It had hurt and it had hurt bad. "I could care less about that lying asshole."

"So youíre over him?" Schuldich asked, his voice dripping with repressed humor.

"Donít patronize me," Ken snarled. "I am over him!"

"Prove it," he challenged, green eyes locking with cinnamon.

Ken narrowed his eyes. He would prove it. Yohji was worth nothing to him anymore. He didnít care!

He leaned forward and kissed Schuldich.

The shock of kissing a mouth that *wasnít* Yohji was so drastic that Ken very nearly pulled away. But long hands pulled him close and held him firm and Ken found himself relaxing. Schuldichís mouth was exotic, tasting of tart green apple and something alcoholic. He was tangy while Yohji was sweetness, lime to strawberry.

Though Ken initiated the kiss, Schuldich dominated it. His tongue lapped at closed lips, surprising Ken into opening his mouth. As the redhead explored his mouth solidly with drenched licks, Ken found that he liked how Schuldich tasted. He tightened his arms around the German and met his tongue. Their kiss intensified.

"Not bad," Schuldich drawled out, when their kiss had ended. "You and I are gonna do just fine."

Ken gasped for air. His forehead fell against the redheadís. "Iíve never done anything like this before," he wheezed, his heart racing.

"Thatís why youíll be staying with me for the week," Schuldich said. "So we can make this work."

"Nani?!!" Kenís shock was so great that he started and lost his balance. He fell off Schuldichís lap and onto his ass on the thick, vanilla carpet. "Itai," he groaned.

"You okay?" Schuldich asked, peering down at him.

Ken jumped to his feet. "Donít change the subject!" he snapped. "Iím not staying with you! I have my own apartment and a job and Iím not gonna leave everything behind just so I can learn how to be your boyfriend!"

Schuldich leaned back against the sofa and ran a hand through fiery locks. "Did I mention that Iíd pay you?"

"Iím not some kind of cheap whore!"

"In US funds?"

"No!"

"Youíre a couple of months behind on your rent, arenít you?" Schuldich remarked casually. "Coaching soccer is a great summer job but it doesnít pay well does it? And whatís gonna happen when you go back to university? Loans pile up you know. But the amount Iíll pay you will jerk you straight out of debt hell." He smirked, reading the Japanese boyís thoughts. He had forgotten, yet again, that he could read minds. "You canít hide anything from a telepath, Kenny boy."

It would have been all too easy for Ken to accept the proposal but his conscience wouldnít allow it because he didnít deserve it. "I understand why youíre doing all this," Ken began slowly. "And I understand that youíd pay for it. But what I donít understand is why you want me. Saving me at the club was an accident on your part and it was very nice of you to bring me here and patch me up but there are only hundreds of people more qualified than me. I really donít think this Bradley guy will get jealous if he sees me with you and isnít that the whole point of this sham? Heíll probably laugh and ask you what youíre doing with a loser like me."

"Youíve got a too low self-esteem, Ken," Schuldich pointed out. "Thatís something weíll have to work on."

"I donít wanna work on anything!" Ken cried, the redheadís calm tone infuriating him. "I just wanna go home!"

Schuldich stood up and caught his chin. "Forget about Yohji. Forget about Kase and Ran. Just because youíve had a bit of bad luck in the love department doesnít mean thereís anything wrong with you. They were the jerks not you."

Ken wrenched away. "I donít want to talk about them."

"Alright then, weíll talk in the morning," he soothed. "Itís late now and you need your rest. Come with me and-"

"I said I wanna go home!" Ken interrupted, glaring.

"Your place is far from here," Schuldich reminded him patiently. "And youíre still a bit banged up. Why donít you just spend the night? You can sleep in Bradleyís room. Itís got a lock and everything. Then, in the morning, weíll work out all the details."

Ken sighed. He was tired and if the truth be known, which Schuldich more than likely did know, he really didnít want to go all the way across Tokyo back to his apartment in the middle of the night. "Fine. But that doesnít mean I agree to staying here for a week."

"Weíll see," the German replied unconcerned. "Now come on."

Ken followed Schuldich from the huge living room and down an elegantly decorated hallway. Schuldich entered the second room on the right and flipped on the light switch. The room was gigantic, at least three of Kenís room could have fit into it. It was decorated in tones of maroon and black and was meticulously neat.

"Bradleyís a real neat freak," Schuldich explained conversationally. "Donít touch anything, especially anything on his desk and you should be fine. Just make sure you make the bed when you wake up. He hates an unmade bed."

Ken gawked at the tidy, lofty room. "Are you sure this is okay?" he asked apprehensively. "What if he comes back suddenly? Or what if I mess something up? Or what-"

"I told you, he wonít be coming back until next week," Schuldich said. "Heís in Canada on business. Now stop worrying and go to sleep."

"Fine," Ken muttered, chewing on his bottom lip nervously. "Gínight then."

To his surprise, Schuldich pressed a brief kiss on his forehead. "Good night Ken."

And then he was gone, leaving Ken in a strangerís ultra-urbane room.

"Well shit," he muttered.

He stripped out of his black T-shirt and orange cargo pants and black socks and folded them neatly. He piled them on one corner of the massive king-sized bed and then shuffled across the maroon carpet to switch off the light. He hurried back to the bed, shivering in only his boxers.

As tired as he was, sleep eluded him for a long while. He stared up at the ceiling, covered in a slightly stiff comforter that smelled of newness and expensive cologne. The silence was uncomfortable and he missed Yohji.

For a month and a half heíd been Yohjiís boyfriend. He had regained his confidence with Yohji, something that had been shattered after his messy break-up with his previous boyfriend, Fujimiya Ran.

And now, once again, he was alone. And Yohji was probably with that cute, blue-eyed boy.

~I canít help myself from loving you Kenken because youíre so sweet and giving.~

Ken cried himself to sleep on a burgundy pillow that wasnít his own under the weight of astringent memories.

~*~TBC~*~