Akihito gifted Asami with a photo album.
Asami did not take it. He did not untangle his arms from over his chest. He only gave Akihito a sidelong glance with unreadable expression.
"It's your photo album," Akihito added, putting the book on the space between them at the backseat of Asami's car.
Asami plucked his cigarette from between his lips. "Why would I want a photo album?" he asked, squinting his eyes at Akihito.
Akihito shrugged. "I don't know. Everybody has at least one. An archive of their life history. I just notice that there is not one single photograph either in your apartment or in your office."
"Well, maybe I have my own reason not to keep any of them," said Asami.
"But, why not? People love to keep photographs. You must admit, it is the greatest thing ever found after..." Akihito scowled. "After electricity."
Asami snorted and out the cigarette back where it should be.
"Especially when they have connections with famous people," Akihito continued. "Come on, don't you want to keep your picture taken with the Prime Minister? Or the Emperor?"
Asami laughed softly. He plucked his cigarette again, it's finished now, and he crushed the butt in the door mounted ashtray. "I don't know the Prime Minister, or the Emperor."
Akihito found that hard to believe, however, he decided to let it drop. "Anyway, I happen to have some of your photographs, some that you or your bodyguards did not get to confiscate. So I decided to make this photo album. It's a pity, they're pretty pictures, but they will never get to the front page of the newspapers."
Asami lit another cigarette. "Well, maybe that's because I don't want them to end up there," he said after taking a deep drag of smoke.
"Exactly my point." Akihito straightened his legs, leaning comfortably at the back of the chair. "Not to mention that it took me a lot to take those pictures. I did not feel like throwing them away."
Asami did not say anything, he only blew some rings of smoke.
"Why?" asked Akihito.
No answer. No repeated question.
"Why don't you keep photographs? Why don't you let your photographs taken?"
"Because it's dangerous," said Asami with frankness in his deep voice. "I thought you knew that already."
"No, I mean: just normal photographs. Such as, when you attended the wedding of politician Nobuhiro's daughter. I know the photographer. I checked every single picture he took during the occasion. There was none of you. He - my friend - said that your bodyguard paid him a visit right after the pictures were developed. They took and destroyed the ones that had you on them."
"I came to pay my respect to Nobuhiro-san, and to wish his daughter the best for her wedding. Not for a photoshoot."
"Still - sending your bodyguards to the photographer who took the pictures is a little too..." Akihito nibbled on his lower lip, trying to find the right word.
"I call it: precaution," said Asami. "You can't be too careful."
Akihito sighed. He did not even know why he started the conversation. Why did he even jump into this car in the first place to see Asami? Oh yeah, the scrapbook.
"What about important moments of your life?" he asked again. "You know: school graduations, first date... the prom... winning basketball competition... which university did you go to?"
Asami laughed again. "Nothing that you need to know, Akihito," he said.
"Twenty years from now - you must want to see how you look like now, to boast to people that once you're this goodlooking." Akihito smirked at the thought of Asami with thinning, greying hair.
"Thankyou for the compliment, but I might not live to see twenty years later."
Akihito shot Asami a dirty glare. Why couldn't he have a decent conversation with this man? Why couldn't he get a piece of Asami's life, and not only his body? Why did he care?
Anyway, one more block, and they would arrive at his apartment.
"Well, yeah, I guess you're just hopelessly unromantic," Akihito concluded.
"I bet you don't even remember your first time."
Asami gave him a sidelong glance again, this time with a teasing, meaningful expression. "No, I don't," he admitted.
Akihito laughed, covering his face with his palm. "Gods, you're a real bastard. How can you not remember such an important point of your life? I always remember mine."
When Asami suddenly leaned closer, staring at him sharply, Akihito knew that he must have said the wrong thing. Asami winked at him. "Oh, I know you will never forget your first time. I knew you liked it so much you will always remember it."
Akihito suddenly felt his face warm as his blood turned cold. How could he be so stupid? "I was not talking about you," he snapped.
Asami still smiled at him. "Really? I think you're lying, Akihito. Because I know a virgin when I have one. And you were a virgin when I did that to you the first time."
Akihito scowled. With the corner of his eyes, he noticed that his apartment building was coming closer and closer.
"However, getting older as I am now, I tend to forget things," said Asami. "Will you be so kind by reminding me?" He pressed a button attached to the door.
"I have to get off now," Akihito muttered with trembling voice, hand reaching for his backpack on the floor. Under his breath, he cursed his stupidity.
The glass partition rolled down.
"Let's go straight to my place," said Asami to the driver. "Akihito-kun will stay the night there."
Akihito parted his lips to protest, but Asami was quicker in sealing them with a deep kiss.