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It Was Only One Night

Chapter 1: It Was Only One Night

by isilelensar

It had been a long, grueling, day of work. He stopped midway through the lobby at his hotel, and on a whim, turned for the little restaurant on his left. Not too crowded, this time of night, but the bar was still open. Good. After the day he'd had, a drink was called for.

There was no sign of a bartender, but a little bell was on the bar with a sign saying, 'ring for service.' The handwriting caught his eye; bold, with a hint of a tilt. If he looked close, a tiny little flourish on the tail of the 'e.' Oddly curious, he sat down and rang the bell.

"What'll you have?" he heard the bartender say; his voice a strong tenor. Looking up from the menu in his hand, he felt his heart skip a beat. Tall, blonde, no-rimmed glasses. Golden eyes that held their own curiosity. The light sparked off the obsidian earrings in his left ear.

Kuroo was, for once, speechless. Before him, wiping his elegant hands on a white hand towel, was this god of a man. Buff, but not overdone. White button-down shirt, open to his chest, and he could see part of a tattooed wing from his right shoulder. He couldn't stop staring.

"If you're just going to sit and stare, I don't mind, but I have work to do," the bartender spoke again, voice heavily laced with sarcasm. Kuroo's eyes traveled slowly back up to the bartender's face, which looked like he sounded; mouth tilted up with a smirk, a single eyebrow lifted. Kuroo shook himself and smirked back, hearing the challenge in that voice.

"My apologies. Long day," he said by way of explanation.
"What'll you have?" a slight pause, "or shall I pick?"
"You pick. My brainís been scrambled recently."
"Too much work?"
"You could say that."

Kuroo sat stock still as the bartender took his time scrutinizing him. He felt a little heat in his cheeks; he knew he looked like he'd been through the ringer. His hair was definitely more of a mess than usual. His suit was rumpled, tie loose and likely crooked.

A whiskey glass was set before him, and another one next to it. He watched the bartender as he put a sugar cube in each glass, carefully measured bitters and added them with a dash of water, mixing until the sugar dissolved. A few ice cubes were thrown in, and whiskey was poured.

"Old Fashioned," the bartender said, garnishing with an orange peel and a long-stemmed cherry. He nudged the drink in front of Kuroo. "Enjoy."
They lifted their glasses at the same time, tipped their drinks in silent toast at the same time, and took a healthy sip at the same time.

"You're good," Kuroo complimented.
"Thank you." A slight shrug. "I try."
"Can't help but wonder what else you're good at, Blondie," he said without thinking. But, he was rewarded with a charming bit of color on those pale cheeks, so he simply stared his own challenge.

"Jack of all trades, master of none," Blondie replied with an air of confidence, a cocky grin, and arms held out to the side. But then he shrugged. "So I'm told, anyway."

Kuroo was slain. He was about to add yet another layer to his challenge, but a few customers straggled in, and the bartender was distracted. Damn.

Blondie turned him on, and there'd be no hiding it if he stayed. He took a business card from its case, wrote his phone number on the back, and added his room number in smaller print in the bottom corner. He started to take out money for the drink, but heard, "Drink's on me."

"Thanks, Blondie," Kuroo said, took the cherry and popped it in his mouth, stem and all. Making sure he had the bartender's full attention, he showed his card, stuck it on the glass, and then took the cherry stem out of his mouth, tied in a knot. "See ya," he winked, and left.

~*~*~

Tsuki ambled over to where tall, dark, and handsome had left his card. Deftly, he picked it up and stuck it in his shirt pocket, not bothering to look at it. Not yet, anyway. Glancing around the restaurant, the late evening shift had just let out, and this place was filling up quickly.

Bartender persona engaged, he kept up with the flow of drink orders, anticipating a few others, smiling and laughing and generally acting like this was any other night. But it wasn't. The card was burning a hole in his pocket; he was dying to read what was written on the back.

When the crowds thinned out, and the overnight barkeep arrived, Tsuki handed over the keys and went to the back to get his stuff. He sat down for a few minutes, resting his feet, and slowly pulled the card from his pocket, reading the black embossed print on the front.

"Kuroo Tetsuro," he read aloud, to himself. "Junior officer, sports promotion division." The logo in the top corner was that of the Japan Volleyball Association. "Did you play before taking a desk job?" he asked no one, or so he thought.

"Another one?" he heard his friend ask.

Smirking, he looked up at the overnight barkeep. Kiyoko was dressed to the nines, and as always, looked flawless. It was a wonder the place wasn't crawling with men trying to get her credentials. But, her persona was that of a badass bitch who took no prisoners. And she was.

"Another one," he confirmed. She sat down across from him.
"That makes how many now?"
"I lost count."
"Hmmm." She inclined her head a bit, and stared. "Normally, you either ditch the card or burn it."
"So observant."
"Smartass."
"Also true."
"Why do you still have that one?"
"Dunno," he replied honestly. "Call me curious."
"Isn't too often that happens."
"Indeed." He shrugged and flipped the card over. "Phone and room number."
"Typical."
"Tsk. Cynical."
"Can you blame me?"
"Shouldn't you..." he started saying, but was interrupted by the bell.

Kiyoko got up and left to see to her customer. Tsuki breathed a sigh of relief. While she hadn't quite started her interrogation, he knew it was coming. Grabbing his gear, he left the restaurant by the employee door, and headed for the elevators, the card still in his hand.

It wasn't the first time a man left a card expecting more, and this Kuroo guy had given off definite interested vibes. He's from Tokyo, so likely wouldn't be in Sendai more than another day. What the hell. Tsuki gave in to his curiosity. It would only be one night, right?

~*~*~

Kuroo was relaxing on the recliner in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows that formed one wall of his suite. The lights were dimmed so they wouldn't interfere with the view. Sendai was beautiful at night; he rather liked it. Dangling from his fingers was a half-full wine glass.

Lilting music was playing in the background, and he was calm. For the most part. His mind kept wandering back to Blondie at the bar. Tall, golden, and gorgeous, it had been a while since anyone had captured his interest so thoroughly. He smiled as he took a sip of his wine.

To be perfectly honest, this was not something he typically did. Relationships were preferable; spending time to get to know his partner was something he loved doing. Finding out the many different facets of someone was intriguing. But a one night stand? Those were rare.

And he were truly honest with himself, he was far more interested in Blondie himself, rather than the sex. But he had one night left in Sendai, and there was no telling when he'd be back, so here he was, waiting to see if Blondie was going to take him up on his unspoken offer.

After another hour, Kuroo checked the time. Nearly midnight, and he had an early start for tomorrow's work. Sighing, he slowly eased out of the chair. He was halfway to the kitchenette when he heard it; a quick three raps on his door. His heart sped up, he put his glass down.

"I didn't think you were coming," he said when he opened the door. Blondie stood there, one hand in his pocket, bag slung over one shoulder. He held Kuroo's card in his other hand.
"I almost didn't," Blondie replied. His eyes widened slightly as they took in what Kuroo wore.

Or rather, what he wasn't wearing. Kuroo had stripped off his work clothes, and put on a pair of red sweatpants. That was it. Kuroo let him look, taking in everything... everything.
When Blondie's golden eyes came back to his, he'd lifted an eyebrow and was smirking. "Well?"

Kuroo stepped back and opened the door, waiting as Blondie walked in. As he closed the door, he watched as the younger man looked around his room, took off the bag, letting it drop on the floor, and then turned to face him. They both knew what they wanted, at least for right now. And yet, neither of them moved. They just stared at each other.

"What's your name?" Kuroo asked.
"Tsukishima Kei. You can call me Tsuki."
Kuroo took a step forward. So did Tsuki. "I like the name Kei."
"Reserved for close friends and family only," he warned. Kuroo took the hint.
"You seem nervous, Tsuki."
"So do you, Kuroo."
They took another step forward, almost close enough to touch.
"Do you usually wait this long?" Tsuki asked.
"No, but now I'm even more curious."
"How so?"
Kuroo squinted at him. "You've done this before." It wasnít a question.
"Yeah. Why? Does it matter?"
"Yes. And no," Kuroo told him. He opened his mouth to explain, but suddenly, he was being kissed. Open mouth, tongues tangling; it only took a moment to get over his surprise before he was kissing back. Clearly, there wasn't going to be anymore talking, so he went all in.

Clothes were strewn everywhere. Hands stroked, mouths kissed and sucked. They were gentle, but also rough. There wasn't anywhere in his suite that was off limits. Sofa, recliner, floor.. bedroom, bathroom, even the kitchenette. They spoke, but not using words. Time was forgotten.

~*~*~

When Tsuki showed up for his evening shift, he noticed he was being stared at. But not by a customer.
"What?" he snapped at his coworker.
"Nothing," Yukie replied, though she was trying hard not to smile. "This is yours," she said, sliding an envelope toward him on the bar.

He went over and picked it up, recognizing the handwriting on the front. It was Kuroo's.
He'd received envelopes like this before, so when he felt disappointed that Kuroo left one, he was surprised. Maybe he should be more like Kiyoko; jaded and cynical to keep from being hurt.
He very nearly binned it, but Yukie stopped him. Actually, she damn near caught it almost before it left his hand.

"Tsuki, don't."
"Why not? I didn't do it for money."
She blinked. "That's good to hear. But I don't think there's money in there."
"There's always money."
"Not this time," she said seriously.
"What makes you so sure?"
"He looked disappointed when you weren't here. Even more so when he found out he'd be leaving before you came in."
"Oh."
"Yeah, 'oh.' Look, I won't ask what happened..."
"Like you don't already know."
"Just open it."

Tsuki sat down at the bar and tore open one end of the envelope. Yukie was right; there wasn't any money. Confused at his own relief, he reached in and extricated the note inside. As he read, she set a Cosmo down in front of him. Until last night, it had been his favorite drink.

He carefully replaced the note without saying a word. His feelings were conflicted. It wasn't meant to be anything more than a one night stand. Two people hooking up for a night of mutual satisfaction, and then never seeing each other again. That was how it was supposed to work.

"He wants more," Yukie stated plainly.
"Yeah," Tsuki answered, picking up his drink and nearly shotgunning it in one go.
"Easy," Yukie warned. When she was sure he wasn't going to choke, she continued. "I'm going to guess but it looks like you want more, too."
Tsuki said nothing.

"Why don't you?"
"Why don't I what?"
"Go for more."
"What do you mean?"
"You know damn well what I mean. It's been two years since you were dumped. Time to move on."
"I have."
Yukie snorted. "Liar," she chided gently.
"Is it so wrong, wanting to stay single?"
"Not at all."
"Then why...?"
"You aren't the type. You might think being alone is the greatest thing in the world. In your case, though..." her voice drifted off as she caught sight of something. A sly smile appeared on her face. "Interesting."
Tsuki didn't turn around.
He didn't have to. It was only one night of the best sex he'd ever had, and already he knew who was standing at the entrance of the restaurant. He knew when Kuroo started walking toward them; knew when he set his bag on the floor; knew when he slid onto the seat beside him.

"What'll you have?" Yukie asked him.
"Old Fashioned," they both replied in unison. Tsuki chuckled, but he still didn't turn to face Kuroo. Not even when he felt the other staring at him. Yukie shook her head, but mixed the drink for Kuroo. Then, she mumbled some excuse, and left.

"I thought you were leaving."
"I thought so, too."
"Work keeping you?"
"Something like that."
"Oh." He couldn't stop his heart from fluttering when he heard the deep, raspy, baritone voice. Maybe Yukie was right. Maybe he should try again.
"Tsuki?"
"Yeah?"
"Look at me. Please?"

~*~*~

Kuroo waited for Tsuki to turn, for his beautiful golden eyes to focus on him. When he woke up this morning, he was alone; Tsuki was already gone. The place beside him on the bed was cold, so he probably left after Kuroo had fallen asleep. It was only just a one night stand, after all.

It wasn't meant to be forever. It wasn't supposed to feel like forever, either. But it did. Kuroo didn't put much stock in soulmates, or finding that one single person meant for you. After last night, though, he had to revise his thinking. He was being sappy, which was a first.

The lady bartender came back just as people started trickling in. He checked the time on his phone; lunch hour. Still, Tsuki hadn't looked at him.
"I'm sorry. You probably have to work. I'll just go..."
No response. Maybe he shouldn't have expected one. He was hurt, but he'd deal with it.

He took out his wallet, intending to pay for his drink, but the lady shook her head. She was glaring at Tsuki, who still hadn't moved. Kuroo had to stop himself from reaching out to touch him, to comfort him, to be comforted by him.

"Thanks," he murmured, to both of them.

At the Sendai offices of the JVA, he went through the rest of his assignment mechanically. He did exactly what he was supposed to do; no more, no less. Those who knew him well enough were concerned, but he told them he was fine. He'd be fine. He just had to convince himself.

But... how did one convince their heart that it had chosen poorly? How did one convince their heart that one night of mind-blowing sex did not equal becoming attached? How did one convince their heart that it wasn't broken? It was only one night! He'd be on the train home soon.

That's when he noticed it; he wasn't wearing his watch. It was the last gift his grandma had given him before she passed, and he'd kept it in prime condition. Diverted for a moment, he rummaged through his bag, and then his carry on. Nothing. He checked again, and came up empty.

"Shit," he muttered to himself. "Shit, shit, shit."
"You okay, Kuroo?" a coworker asked, concerned.
"Oh, yeah, sorry. I'm fine. I just... I think I left my watch behind at the hotel."
"No problem. If you need to go back..."
"My train leaves in a half hour."
"Ouch."
"Yeah."
"Well, I'll go back and see if it was left at the front desk, if you want?"
"You don't mind?"
"Nah, it's okay. What's your number? I'll text you if they have it."
Kuroo gave him his number, thanked him, and quickly made his way to the station, which wasn't far. He was going home.

At the station, Kuroo found the platform his train would be arriving at, and found an empty bench to sit down. He really hated doing it, but he'd lied to his coworker. His train didn't leave for another hour, but he needed to get out. Work was no longer the distraction he needed.

~*~*~

"I hope you're really fucking happy, now," Yukie growled at him during a moment of downtime. "I didn't take you for a cold-hearted son of a bitch, but I guess I was wrong."
"I'm not..."
"Don't. Don't say one fucking word." She glared daggers at him, and he dutifully shut up.

"What did you do?" Kiyoko asked as she came over to the bar. She was a waitress tonight, and she handed off her newest drink order to him.
"Nothing," he replied, which was accurate on all counts. Yukie nearly threw a shot glass at his head. Kiyoko whistled and went back out.

After 15 minutes of trying to avoid being killed by an irate Yukie, and fending off concerned questions by his regulars, Tsuki began clearing his station. He wanted nothing more than to go home, take a long, hot shower, and huddle in his bed. His cold, lonely, way too big bed.

He knew he screwed up with Kuroo. He hadn't meant to, but... he was scared. Yukie was right. It was time to move on after being dumped. But, he'd been dumped by his fiance right before they were supposed to get married. Could she really blame him for being gun shy now?

Obviously, she could. Even he had to admit two years was long enough to stop pining for what he'd lost. His heart might not be whole, but that didn't mean he couldn't try to start over. Did he really just let an opportunity pass him by? Had he lost his chance to be happy again?

Putting away the glass he'd just finished drying, he looked up to see a customer walk in. He was tapping his phone, and sat down once he'd sent his message.

"What'll you have?" Tsuki asked, bartender mode on, friendly smile engaged.
"A sidecar," the man ordered. "And a cola."
"Coming up," he replied. As he mixed up the man's drink, the phone rang, and he answered it.
"Hey Kuroo... No, no one turned in your watch, and housekeeping couldn't find it after searching your room... I'm sorry... Do you want me to look anywhere else? Okay, well, let me know."

This man knew Kuroo? Tsuki's curiosity shot through the roof, but how could he ask this guy questions without being suspicious?
"I'm sorry I overheard your conversation," he said hesitantly, placing the drinks in front of him. "But maybe I can help?"
"Sure," the guy replied. "My coworker lost his watch while staying here overnight. It was a gift from his grandma, and he really wants it back, but no one can find it anywhere."
"Maybe he came in here. What does he look like?"
"Tall, dark, perpetually messy hair, lady-killer smile, grey eyes."

"I saw him yesterday afternoon," Yukie interrupted. "Can you describe the watch?"
"Gold plated, large face, analog. Small rhinestones for each number."
Tsuki nearly dropped the glass he'd been cleaning. He knew that watch! He'd seen it on the side table beside the bed... oh no...

"Yukie, I need to go to the back," he said urgently.
"Okay. I need more cherries, anyway."
"Coming up!" he said cheerily, and walked to the back. He caught Kiyoko's eye, and motioned for her to follow. While he waited for her, he checked his bag. There was the missing watch.

He was pulling Kuroo's card from his wallet when Kiyoko finally made it back.
"I gotta go. Can you tell Yukie?"
"In the middle of happy hour, are you nuts?"
He showed her the watch. "It's Kuroo's. I have to get it back to him before he leaves."
"Why not just give it to that guy?"
"I have to do this, Kiyoko," he pleaded, which was unlike him at any time. She knew it, too. Yukie wasn't the only one who knew his pathetic history. "Please, Kiyoko."
It was that please that softened her. "Go. I'll see if Terushima can come in to cover for you."
"Thank you!"

~*~*~

Ten minutes before his train was scheduled to arrive, Kuroo received a text. The number wasn't one he recognized, so he nearly deleted it before reading the message. His coworker came up empty trying to find his watch, and he really wasn't in the mood to talk, text, or otherwise.

[I have your watch. Can you meet me?]
[Sure. But... who is this?]
[It's Tsuki. Can you meet me?]
[Tsuki?]
[Yeah. Look, I'm here at the station. Where are you?]
Kuroo gave his location, and waited for another text. He also went into search mode, his eyes scanning everything.

How the hell did Tsuki have his watch? He clearly remembered it was on the bedside table last night. Of course, he barely remembered anything but the amazing sex afterword, but still... he checked the time on his phone; 5 minutes left, and no sign of Tsuki. Yet.

"KUROO!"

He turned around so fast, he nearly fell over. There was Tsuki, waving his arm and running like ogres were chasing him. Kuroo raised his arms and waved, catching Tsuki's attention. Dodging people, he came to a stop in front of him, bent over and fought for breath.

The tone for his train sounded, and the whistle blared. It was time to go. He held out his hand for his watch, almost dreading Tsuki's touch. Because if Tsuki touched him, he'd turn to mush. If Tsuki touched him, he might lose what little control over his emotions he'd gained recently.

It was crazy, but he'd fallen ass over teakettle in love with Tsukishima Kei, and knew the other didn't feel the same way.
"May I have my watch? My train is here," he said, perhaps more harshly than he intended.
Tsuki righted himself and looked at him.

"I'm sorry."

"Sorry? For what?"
Tsuki winced and Kuroo almost apologized, too. But he held his ground.
"I'm sorry for not speaking to you when you were at the bar earlier. I'm sorry I left before you woke up. I'm sorry... I hurt you, and I never meant to."
Kuroo retracted his hand. "Why?"
"I was scared," Tsuki admitted.
"Scared? Of me?"
"No, not of you. Well, not specifically."
The train eased to a stop in front of them. It really was time to go. He was on a tight schedule for his next assignment, and he really couldn't afford to be late. And yet...

"Here's your watch," Tsuki said, snatching Kuroo's wrist and placing the watch in his hand. "You'd better go. Your train's about to leave."
"Thank you," he said just loud enough to be heard. He started walking away, taking one step at a time. Hating each one.

Kuroo never meant to look back. But he did. And before he had time to think about it, he was fighting his way back to Tsuki. Tsuki, who watched him leave, tears streaming down his face, his eyes showing everything he couldn't say. Tsuki, who was begging for another chance.

The train sped away, and for a few minutes, they simply stood and stared at each other. Neither of them moved. Both of them were scared, but for different reasons. Tsuki was scared to hope for a second chance; Kuroo was scared he might lose his heart all over again.

"I can explain," Tsuki offered softly.
"Are you sure you want to?"
"Yeah. But I don't think it'd make much sense right now."
"It's okay. I can wait until you're ready."
"Sure you can wait that long? I mean, you have to get back to Tokyo, don't you?"
"I'll call in a few favors."
"You'd do that? For me?"
"Yeah."

They stared at each other again, shy smiles appearing on their faces. Tsuki couldn't believe he was being given a second chance. Kuroo was willing to risk his heart all over again. Both of them were in too deep, but neither wanted to move.

"Wanna go for a drink?" Tsuki asked as they walked out of the station together. "I know a place you might like."
Kuroo laughed and held Tsuki's hand. "Sure. I'd love to."
"I hear they make a decent Old Fashioned." Tsuki smiled and he weaved their fingers together.