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24 February 2011 @ 10:48 am
12 - flesh and bones, sho/jun (side: ohmiya, aiba/becky), r for implied, AU  
flesh and bones - AU, sho/jun (with side ohmiya & aiba/becky), r, 2489 words
Sho, for all intents and purposes, was a prude. - AU Android thing written for the 2010 je_holiday for astrangerenters.

Sho, for all intents and purposes, was a prude. Having grown up in a fairly affluential family had earned him manners and the knowledge that any transgression would be for public consumption within hours. Ambitions for politics always came with sacrifices and Sho was more than willing to make them. His friends, on the other hand, didn't necessarily always agree with Sho's morals.

"Oh come on," Aiba whined, sitting across from Sho in one of their favorite haunts, Hold Up Down and drinking far too much cheap beer. "I've never been and it's my bachelor party! You have to come!"

Sho sighed. The pleasure parlors had never been of very much interest to Sho - he liked his partners actually human, thank you very much. Just because they looked human didn't mean most of the employees were. Pleasure Bots were commonplace these days and exceedingly hard to distinguish from humans. Ohno had assured him many a time that they might as well have been humans, considering the emotional programing that had gone into most of them. Sho valued Ohno's opinion, even if he didn't agree with it. It was hard to tell a Bot engineer his creations were simply robots programmed to be as we wished. It was also hard to tell someone the person they wished to be with for the rest of their lives wasn't really a person. Sho had long gotten past thinking of Nino as a bot, though - a fact he attributed to Ohno's skill at creating him and the fact that Nino had started out as a living, breathing person. Mind-transfer was something still drastically new, though, and most bots were simply programmed to do and act as their master or employer pleased.

"I don't know, Masaki…." Sho began, taking a sip of his beer. "What does Becky think about all of this?"

The smile on Aiba's face said it all. "She wants me to take plenty of holos."

Sho sighed again, though this time into his palm. "Why am I not surprised? Who else is going?"

As Aiba began rattling off the names of their friends and co-workers, Sho resigned himself to his fate. He'd just have to work on a good disguise or hope he just wasn't that well-known yet to draw attention.


Luckily for Sho, the parlor Aiba had chosen for his last hurrah as a single man was of the more upscale variety. Crazy Rainbow catered to the Tokyo upper class with the top of the line Pleasure Bots, the best booze and - most importantly - discretion. Still, Sho had chosen to arrive with Ohno, Nino and Aiba in a taxi, not wanting to risk his vehicle registration being tracked by some vindictive opponent or lobbyist.

As they entered the bar, they were ushered to a private room - Aiba had gone pretty much all out for this, thanks to Becky's encouragement and bankroll. Sho supposed marrying a highly successful model and holo-actress had its perks, even if the girl scared the ever living shit out of him sometimes with her temper and wit.

The night started out fairly slow - expensive looking Hors d'oeuvres and free-flowing alcohol. A few female-bot dancers had come in and put on a show, but they'd yet to be presented with their choices of companions for the evening. Sho squirmed.

"Loosen up, Shocchi!" Aiba said, boisterous and just a bit unsteady on his feet. Nino had made him a ridiculous sash with rotating projections of 'Kiss Me I'm Getting Married!' and 'Save Me From the Ball and Chain!' in the most obnoxious of colors. Currently, an animation of a woman dragging a man away by his collar with a rolling pin in hand flashed in Sho's vision. Did anyone even use rolling pins anymore?

Sho scoffed lightly, taking a sip of his rum and coke and trying vainly to dislodge Aiba from his shoulders. "I am loose. I'm just not a loud drunk like you," he argued, though he did give Aiba a smile. It was hard to begrudge Aiba his happiness - he'd be marrying the love of his life tomorrow, provided he didn't end up with alcohol poisoning tonight.

The lights dimmed in the room and Aiba began to bounce beside him on his chosen couch of solace. "Ooo! I think we get to choose now!" With that, Sho was left alone on his little couch to ponder whether or not he should simply sneak out now or wait until everyone was distracted with the Pleasure Bots.

Deciding to chance it now, Sho set his drink down and stood to leave, only to collide with someone solid and warm. "Oh excus-"

"No need, I wasn't paying attention, either," a voice said. It was deep, smooth. Sho looked up into a pair of piercing brown eyes and it was a miracle he didn't gasp or gape like a fish. He stepped back enough to take the man in, finding the eyes and the voice did indeed give way to a very nice complete package. He hadn't noticed the man earlier in the night, but he supposed he was one of Becky's model friends.

"Sorry," Sho apologized again, holding out his hand. "I'm Sho. I don't think we've been introduced."

The man smiled and shook his hand. Sho confirmed his suspicions about this man being one of Becky's fellow models - he had a drop-dead gorgeous smile. "Jun, and believe me, I would have remembered you." The charm was palpable and Sho felt a small blush rise to his cheeks. It was a stark reminder of just how long it had been since Sho had let himself be effected by someone else this way.

He collected himself though and withdrew his hand after the shake. "As would I. Say, do you want to go somewhere else? I think this party is about to take a turn I really don't want to stick around for, but I'm not too keen on going home just yet."

Jun smiled. "I know a place."


As it turned out, the place Jun knew was his own apartment in a high-rise condominium in Ginza. Despite Sho's own personal wealth, he'd never even given thought to buying a condo in Ginza - since its founding, the district had maintained its reputation of affluence. Sho was impressed. Jun's condo didn't disappoint either - imported crema marble in the entryway, rare Brazillian Cherry wood throughout the living area. Sho imagined the rest of the apartment was suitably impressive. He tried not to imagine the possibilities that would lead him to seeing the bedroom. All of it cemented Sho's idea of Jun being one of Becky's friends - and a successful one at that.

"Have a seat," Jun said with that same charming smile as he brushed past Sho into the condo proper. Sho shivered just a bit with the contact. "Would you like a cup of tea?"

Taking a seat on the white leather sofa, Sho smiled. "Please. This is a very nice place, Jun. You must be very successful."

A chuckle came from the kitchen, slightly muffled from the wall separating them. "I suppose I am. I'm very good at what I do," Jun said. After a moment, Jun returned to the living room with two steaming cups of tea - the real deal with teabags. Sho couldn't remember the last time he had tea that hadn't come out of a replicator. Or any food at his own apartment that didn't come out of a replicator. Sho was definitely impressed as he took the cup and steeped the tea to perfection. Jun took a seat beside him, barely an inch between them and sat in a way that could only be described as artful perfection.

They sat in comfortable silence through their tea, simply close and enjoying one another's company. Sho was definitely attracted to Jun and he had an idea the feeling was mutual - you simply didn't invite someone you met in a Pleasure Parlor of all places over for tea. Sho hadn't gone with the idea of getting laid that night, but it didn't mean the other members of the party had felt the same way. Finding boldness he didn't really believe he possessed without the help of alcohol, Sho's hand found its way to Jun's knee and stroked.

The resulting smirk and lick to the shell of his ear was all Sho needed to know.


Sunlight reached Sho's eyelids far earlier than it would have if he were in his own bed. The fact that he had a headache the size of the greater Tokyo metropolitan area only served to increase his loathing of said sunlight. He groaned and rolled in an attempt to flop out. Something stopped him, though, something warm and solid and smelling deliciously like Jun. The night before replayed in Sho's mind and despite his hangover a smile crept to his lips. Jun was on his stomach, arms wrapped around his pillow and facing away from Sho. The line of Jun's neck, pale and soft, taunted Sho. He leaned in and brushed the hair away from Jun's nape to kiss it. As his fingers brushed away the silky black strands, the lines of a barcode became visible.

Sho froze. Jun, his Jun, was a Bot. Considering where they'd met, Sho had a feeling Jun was a Pleasure Bot, and one employed by the Crazy Rainbow. Sho's stomach lurched and he pulled away. A Bot. A Pleasure Bot. A creation to do nothing but please for profit. No emotion, no attachment - Jun had taken him home last night to simply serve his purpose. The realization hit Sho hard and he pulled away. His clothes were strewn haphazardly around the bedroom and he gathered them up without thought. Should he just leave, forget it ever happened? Sho dressed in his boxers and slacks, leaving his shirt unbuttoned on his shoulders as he made his way to Jun's couch to think.

Seeing the pristine white leather of the couch brought Sho back to the events of the night before and his stomach gave another lurch - nothing about last night had felt manufactured, unreal. Jun had been soft and warm beneath him, around him. Jun had felt alive. Sho sat and pulled his knees to his chest, trying to wrap his head around it all.

Time passed but Sho paid it no mind. Ten minutes or an hour, either way it seemed like nothing to Sho before he felt a gentle hand rest on his shoulder from behind the couch. "You saw it?" Jun's voice asked. He sounded timid - nothing like he'd been last night. Sho's chest tightened painfully, but he nodded.

There was a sigh from behind him and the hand left his shoulder. The couch dipped as Jun sat beside him, though there was distance this time. It felt wrong.

"I haven't always been one," Jun began after a moment, eyes downcast. "A bot," he added after Sho hadn't spoken. "Like your friend, Ninomiya. We've met before, you know. You and I. Before I got sick. Before I became this."

Sho remained silent. The hem of his shirt was twisted horribly in Sho's fingers as he took it all in. Jun was like Nino - not just a bot but a human conscience given new life in an artificial body. They'd met before, apparently, but for the life of him Sho couldn't place Jun in his memory. Over and over he replayed situations in his mind, trying to place Jun.

When it clicked, it hit him like a ton of bricks. "The Christmas party!" Sho gaped. He'd danced with Jun, then. They'd danced and kissed and when Jun had invited him away from the party he'd turned him down - he'd still been in University then and so focused on his studies he couldn't let things like beautiful men distract him.

Jun gave a sad sort of chuckle. "Bingo. I never held it against you, you know," he said. Jun's posture relaxed slightly, but he still seemed guarded as Sho watched him - it was a far cry from the Jun he'd been with the night before. "Becky explained it, told me how you were dating your books and married to your studies. I never actually thought I'd see you again, to be honest. And then I got sick." Jun sighed and Sho could hear the pain in his voice. Sho placed a hand on his knee, though this time it was without the meaning it had held the night before. This time it was simply comfort. Jun gave him a grateful smile and continued. "I know not everyone is as accepting as Ohno. Most people just see Bots as tools, as servants. There are only a few like Nino and I - humans given another chance at life. I know I shouldn't expect it, but I'd hoped…" Jun trailed off and looked away.

Sho's fingers tightened around Jun's knee. It felt real and solid beneath his fingers, just like Jun had felt to him the night before. He'd carried so many ideas of what a Bot was really like. Despite knowing Nino's past and his current situation, it was easy to ignore his artificial body and simply think of him as the human he once was. Still was. Sho had gone into last night holding a prejudice against everything Jun was, the very thing that had saved his life and given them a second chance at an attraction that had been there years previously but denied a chance to grow. Being with Jun last night had been nothing short of amazing for Sho and he'd been willing then to explore a relationship, if given the chance.

Thinking on it now, he was still willing to give it a chance.

His fingers loosened around Jun's knee and became gentle strokes again - softer than the night before but holding just enough meaning, even if the meaning this time was different. Jun looked up and Sho gave him what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

"I think," Sho began, "if you're willing to accept me as a work-a-holic junior politician, then I can get over something as little as that. That is, if you still want to."

Jun's face settled back into the confident, charming man he'd gone home with. "I think I can manage that." Jun glanced at the clock hanging by the kitchen wall and grinned. "Say, you don't have a date to the wedding tonight, do you?"


Nino didn't corner Sho until the reception was more than halfway over. Jun had gone off to get them new glasses of champagne, leaving Sho leaning against the wall. "So." Nino said, smug grin plastered on his face.

Sho groaned. "Oh, do shut up."

Nino just kept on grinning as he patted Sho on the shoulder. "You're welcome."

AN: Sorry for the delay on posting this. Not going to bother to cross post this one, due to how long it has been. OTL
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