The day had started off so well, Shintarō wasn't sure how to feel about the turn of events. He had woken up approximately at 5 a.m., taken a brisk, cold shower to wake up quicker, then had dressed. His fingers moved like clockwork as he buttoned, tugged, pulled, and zipped the various clothing items onto his body, securing them neatly. A long, but very familiar walk to the kitchen at 5:15 and several greetings to the other maids and butlers as he passed them officially started his work day.
He never noticed the many stares he received from women and men, but it was no surprise that they openly ogled the head butler. Standing tall at 6'4", but was seemingly taller with the way he held himself, Shintarō had green hair that was slicked back neatly, a small strand falling down the left side of his forehead and beautifully clear green eyes behind black glasses. Incredibly broad shoulders were covered in a fancy, black silk suit coat and long legs were hidden by wrinkle-free, deep black trousers. As he walked, with his hands held behind his back and chin held high, his broad shoulders and muscled chest were heavily emphasized. Despite all of that, the man had an IQ of over 140: an absolute genius. It was no wonder how he won the hearts of men and women alike.
Shintarō stood in the kitchen, preparing his Lord's breakfast. This morning's breakfast consisted of 3 ounces grilled salmon, steamed white rice, traditionally prepared miso soup, and rolled omelets. He prepared the omelets and miso soup first, making each of the two dishes by hand. As he did, maids scurried around the kitchen, cleaning cooking stations that Shintarō would either not use that morning, or soon would. The head butler ignored many of the maid's red-faced greetings, letting a cool yet indifferent 'Good Morning' roll of his tongue with practiced ease. After the two dishes were finished, he pulled out his pocket watch and clicked it open: "5:31". A frown grazed his lips. "Not fast enough, I must wake up earlier next time." he thought.
While he went to the fridge to find a small, breakfast-sized salmon, his gaze flittered around the room. "Mori." he called. Said Mori walked calmly to the head butler.
"Yes, Midorima?" The small - actually average-sized man, yet small to Shintarō - butler held his hands clasped behind his back, much like he himself had done on his way to the kitchen.
"Can you prepare the rice dish for our Lord? I am unfortunately two minutes behind schedule."
A deep bow, "Certainly, Midorima." Then he was gone, a packet of traditional white rice sitting in his gloved hands.
Shintarō proceeded to the grill, grasping two large knives: one for skinning, and one for cutting. The butler took the cutting knife, gently cutting the tail and head off of the fish. Switching his knives out, he placed his right hand on the fish's side and removed the skin with his left, exposing the pinkish-orange flesh underneath. White, thin veins could be seen amongst the flesh, which entertained the green-haired male's eye for a slight second before using the knife to lift the fish and set it on the scale, letting the piece be weighed. "3 ounces…exactly." he murmured under his breath. Once again, he used the knife to lift the salmon and place it on the grill. Small sizzles reached the butler's ears from the fish's skin being grilled, as well as the gentle sounds of silverware and china clinking together as the Lord's food was dished and arranged just as he liked it.
As the salmon finished cooking, the butler dished the very last breakfast item and walked over to the grand china cabinet. In the center, on the third shelf set the most expensive tea set in the mansion, and was reserved only for the Lord's use: Capo Di Monte, a nineteenth century tea set. Each tea pot, cup, and plate was decorated with old Italian art, hand-painted by an old, famous artist. Lord only trusted Shintarō with cleaning and handling the ancient tea set, since it was one of a kind.
After placing each of the breakfast plates on the cart, arranged with perfect spacing and placement, so aromas from one dish did not effect the scent of another, the butler picked up a small golden container, which contained Tieguanyin, the most expensive tea in the world. Placing a tea cup with a silver strainer inside of it on the cart, the golden box, and a tea pot filled with hot water, Shintarō was almost ready to go and wake the Lord. Before he could go, he checked the time once again. "5:58."
Now ready, the head butler rolled the cart to his Lord's room, knocking on the door softly three times. "My Lord?" No sound reached his ears, and he sighed, opening the double doors with a soft swish as the bottoms of the mahogany doors swept across the pure white carpet. Shintarō pushed the cart through the doors and parked it beside the immensely large king bed, and the green-haired man noticed that his Lord was absolutely lost in the softest blankets and fluffiest pillows, yet he could see strands of black hair peeking out from under the large comforters.
"My Lord?" Again, no answer. A sigh escaped the large man's lips, before he walked to the large french doors, pulling the curtains apart and letting the early morning sun penetrate the room. Finally, a groan came from the clouds which had captured his Master.
"Hey…" A thick, sleep-ridden voice reached the butler's ears, causing Shintarō to smirk. He turned to face the half-asleep man, placing his right hand over his heart and bowing. "Good Morning, my Lord. I trust you slept well?"
"Shintarō…" The name was drawn out, and it sounded oh so sinful coming from his Lord's lips, deep and trodden heavy baritone notes. The butler knew his Lord only showed off his power and status when he openly flirted with him, yet he drowned in the attention. Might as well take advantage of the benefits of being his Master's personal butler, no?
"Lord Takao. Would you like your-"
"Shintarō!" His Lord cut off the butler's sentence, and the tone he used made the large man stand up straight once again. "How many times have I told you to call me by my given name?" The voice was sharp, yet childlike. A tiny, cute pout rested on the man's lip, which made his butler smile ever so slightly.
"I apologize, Lord Kazunari." Shintarō was always slightly uncomfortable with using his Lord's first name, since he did not feel as if the familiarity was appropriate in their relationship.
A sigh came from the young Lord, and a smile touched his lips. "Close enough. Someday, I'll make you drop the 'Lord' title as well." His silver-blue eyes gleamed mischievously, while his hand was pressed down against his thigh as he sat indian-style on his bed. Shintarō was openly able to see his Master's chest: it was slightly defined by muscle, but not overly-so. It looked as if he worked out every so often - which the butler knew he did, and it very much suited his smaller stature. Luckily, his Lord had the decency to keep a white sheet around his hips, so he was not showing too much to his employee.
"Would you like your breakfast, Lord Kazunari?" His hand was once again over his heart, eyes on his Master, upper body bent slightly in a formal bow.
"Yes, thank you. Please set it on my desk, Shintarō."
Said man bowed even deeper before going to the cart, wheeling it over to large wooden desk. First, he placed the salmon closest to where his Lord would sit. Beside that plate to the left was the rice, and to the right was the soup. Above the salmon dish was where the omelets sat, and finally, beside that plate is where Shintarō set the tea cup, and placed a spoonful of Tieguanyin leaves in the strainer. After setting the hot tea pot onto the desk, the large man walked over to his Lord, and offered his hand. "Let me help you dress, my Lord."
A smile graced the man's lips as he took his butler's hand, standing up as the sheet fell off of him onto the floor. Kazunari watched as Shintarō's face became red for a brief second, and then noticed that his stride was more tense than usual as he walked to the large closet, taking out the silvery-blue suit he usually wore. The young Lord enjoyed seeing his personal butler become flustered during this part of the morning. It didn't matter how many times the green-head helped him dress, he always did it with a blush on his cheeks. It was absolutely adorable.
Shintarō approached his young Lord, setting the suit on his bed. "Excuse me, Sir." He bowed deeply, speaking with his head still down. "I will step out while you dress." As he stepped out of the room, Kazunari pulled his pants up his legs and over his hips, fastening them. He had gotten used to the soft, expensive silks and fabrics he dressed in that their value didn't even faze him. But, one thing always crossed his mind when he touched his clothes: the memory of when Kazunari first hired Shintarō.
"Takao. He's in here." The large, incredibly tall Judge nodded at the young Lord. With black hair and an intimidating face, his personality was a huge contrast: responsible, caring, and motivated. The man was well above six feet tall, and had incredible presence. Kazunari followed the man to an old board-meeting room. In the center sat a large, wooden oval table that had been surrounded by many uncomfortable looking chairs. In one, at the very opposite end of the table from where Kazunari stood, sat a large, disheveled man.
The first thing the Lord took in were the man's eyes: unfocused, red, and beautiful. He had been blessed with the finest emeralds as his irises, which shined and expressed so much emotion. He next noticed the man's hair, as green as his eyes, which hung in his face and ended just above his eyes. Dirt and oil dirtied his hair, while blood matted several sections of that soft-looking hair. Despite looking tough and proud, there was a hint of fear buried deep in his eyes.
"Judge Ōtsubo. Who is this man and what is the meaning of his current state?" The tone of his voice contrasted heavily with his body language - while his voice was soft, the clenched fists at his sides and the fire in his eyes told the Judge that he was absolutely pissed. At what? The man wasn't sure.
"Shintarō Midorima. He has been living on the streets for quite some time. His parents and sister were murdered when he was 16, and has been on the streets for almost 2 years." Ōtsubo adjusted his suit jacket. "Even though he is an adult, I decided from careful observation that this boy needs great help."
"No, I don't!" The stranger - Midorima, if he remembered correctly - finally spoke up. His voice was deep, rough, and cold; Kazunari was in love with the sound. "I'm perfectly fine on my own, I always have been!" The hurt in the man's eyes was even more evident as his body lurched forward, as if challenging the two with his body language, but soon his entire chest met the table and large hands grasped those green locks. A strangled sound came from his throat, and his entire body tensed.
"What's happening?" Kazunari's voice was panicked, unsure where he should be standing - where he was currently or at the poor man's side.
"Midorima here has sustained a head injury from a street fight. Nothing life-threatening and he won't have permanent damage, but sudden movements make his head spin." The large Judge walked over to the man, and placed a hand on the large shoulder. It didn't remain there very long though, as Midorima slapped it off. "Don't touch me." The voice was strangled, feral, and Kazunari couldn't believe it came from someone of his same age.
"I accept your proposal, Ōtsubo."
Kazunari couldn't stand to see this man like this: desperate, hurting, and alone. His heart ached, and the young Lord couldn't deny how captivated he was by this stranger. He absolutely desired to take this orphan under his wing, nurture and help him, since he had felt the same pain. Kazunari had never questioned his sexuality, and didn't take that into consideration as he walked to the green-head before him.
He stopped just beside the man, who looked up at him. His genuine smile graced his lips as the Lord extended his hand, bowing to this stranger. Ōtsubo, who had not thought the Lord would actually accept his proposal, was completely stunned by the sight before him. "Come work for me, as my personal butler. I will give you clothes, food, shelter. Please, accept my hand."
Green, burning eyes seared holes into the Lord's hand. Anger, denial, and confusion flashed over the man's face in a beautiful symphony, which Kazunari enjoyed watching. Not that he was a sadist or anything, but he enjoyed seeing the different emotions that this man had to offer. And he wanted to see more.
"…" Instead of answering, the stranger took the Lord's hand. He stood, and the green-head was a whole half of a foot taller than the Lord. "Jeez, he's even taller than I thought…" the thought crossed Kazunari's mind, and a smile split his face.
"Let's go, I have clothes that should fit you. We can clean you up at my place."
The duo left, and the Lord let the orphan change in the courtroom's bathroom. As the giant emerged, Kazunari's breath was taken away. He looked amazing, absolutely regal in the expensive, soft silks that caressed his body.
"Is this…silk?" The voice was a lot more passive, but deep all the same.
A nod and a smile were his immediate answers. "The best money can buy."
"It feels good…" the taller man mumbled. A blush dusted the man's cheeks as he looked at a spot above the Lord's left shoulder, hiding his happiness. "…or something."
"I'm glad you like it."
Despite the green-head's following argument that the Lord misunderstood, Kazunari could never forget the look on his face when he was given clean, nice clothes. And since that day, he wanted to see that face once again.
"…my Lord?" Shintarō's voice cut through the thick haze Kazunari was in, and the Lord gave an apologetic smile in return.
"I'm sorry, Shinatrō." Kazunari noticed that his shirt was on and buttoned, his tie was fastened neatly, and his suit coat was sitting on the bed beside him. "I have finished dressing you. Are you ready for your breakfast?"
"Yes, thank you Shintarō." He followed his personal butler to the desk, and watched as Shinatrō poured him some tea. The aroma immediately resonated with him, "Tieguanyin?" His silver-blue eyes took in the sight of the leaves, and the golden liquid that seeped from them. The sound that met his ears was a pitch-perfect ringing sound, the kind that people only heard once in a lifetime, and made one's heart clench. "Why the fancy tea? Not that I mind, but it is quite expensive for tea."
A small smile graced the butler's lips. "It's your birthday, Lord Kazunari."
"Ah, yes." The Lord lifted his tea cup, and before taking a sip, he spoke, "To my 21st."
"May the stars smile upon you, Lord Kazunari." Shintarō's voice was soft and pleasing, and he almost looked happy. Happy for his Lord? The thought itself made the Lord's insides stir a bit, and made the butler himself blush a tiny bit.
"Thank you, Shintarō." He set his cup down, the chestnut flavor lingering in his mouth. "Any thoughts on my fate, my Butler?" Kazunari smiled, but his eyes were more teasing, as he already knew the answer to his question.
"You know, my Lord." The green-head adjusted his glasses, a smirk playing with his lips. "Man proposes, God disposes."
The Lord eyed his favorite Butler, starting to eat his meal. He had a feeling this year of his life would be one to remember.