Saya was almost vibrating beside Lan as the elevator takes them up to her room on the 14th floor. When it dings and opens its doors, she nearly darts out, walking fast towards her room as Lan ambles along behind her. Kid on Christmas Day, he thinks.
She waits for him to catch up before she unlocks the door, the two of them entering to find two large boxes on her freshly made bed. Hers had a card resting on it, clearly addressed to one Miss Saya Travis.
Turning it over in her hand, she sets to working a thumb under the flap, opening it and pulling out the single card inside. Lan, meanwhile, tilts his part of the 'gift' open a little and rolls his eyes and lets the box close on its own. “Christ,” he murmurs, though he didn't seem very surprised.
Saya turns the card over and finds it handwritten, not exactly perfectly either, in English, but.. confusing. She starts reading it out aloud.
“Miss Saya, please find in this box dress attire for tonight dinner. If size is wrong, Lan call me.” Her eyebrows furrow as it just seems to get weirder. “Pleasure to host you at Nakashima at 18:00. Reo.”
Lan plucks the card out of her hands once she finishes reading, looking at it, then smiling slightly, despite being irked about the whole situation. “Sounds like the store used a translation app for this. But you know what it said anyway, by the text I read to you.”
He holds the card back out to Saya, who carefully reinserts it into the open envelope, setting it on the bed beside her gift. She looks over at Lan's, then up to him. “What did you get?” As if she was comparing rewards.
Lan runs his hand through his hair and scratches the back of his head, hissing as he winces at the knot in his scalp from hitting the train window. “It's a..” He sighs, “you can look yourself.”
He turns and looks at the open bathroom plan, more specifically at the shower that is frosted from the floor to shoulder height. This is gonna be real fucking awkward, Lan thinks. “Do you have any problems with me taking a shower in the same room as you?”
“W.. what? What?” Saya was about to open Lan's gift box when she's shocked to stand up straight, looking over at the bathroom area.
“You.. you know what, nevermind, I can call Reo and ask for another booking, I know this is weird.” He pulls his phone out and starts scrolling through his contacts until she grabs the top of the phone, lowering it.
“No, it's.. your family has already spent so much on this.. this trip, because of me. I'll um..” She looks around the room and centers on the desk and its office chair. “I'll turn around, face the view.” Saya picks up her gift, which she has yet to open, and sets it on the glass desk, twisting the high-backed chair towards the open window.
“And it's..” She looks at the underside of her wrist at her watch, “nearly five, it'll take some time to get there, right?”
Lan looks past her out the window, trying to remember where Nakashima is, it wouldn't take them more than 15 minutes by train, but she was right. If the reservation was at 6..
“Alright, I'll.. uh..” He walks around towards the open bathroom. “I'll be quick. Sorry, again.”


  As Lan busied himself doing.. whatever it is that is going on behind me, Saya thinks, she sets the box on the floor and finally pulls it open.
A striking navy color catches her eyes first as she bends down and picks up the single piece of clothing out of the box, raising it up and holding it in front of herself.
Whoever picked this has extraordinary taste. A loop around the neck in dark blue and down the front led to horizontal white and blue lines around the waist. Below that, a zig-zag pattern up and down of blue and white.
Behind her, the shower starts, the glass door closing, but she was interested in what she was holding for now. Saya stands up, turning the dress around and laying it against her front, looking at the faint reflective image of herself in the window.
And whoever sized this knew what they were doing, she thinks. Saya wants to put it on as soon as possible, turning halfway towards the bathroom area before stopping and spinning on a dime to face out the window again.
“Right, not alone,” she murmurs to herself. She wants a shower, and a bit of time to herself to change. Still, she admires the sundress in the reflection.


  Lan runs his hands through his hair under the shower, squeezing out the last of the hotel issued shampoo, the last of his shower routine. He turns the knob on the wall, the water getting hotter as he turns and rests his hands around the back of his neck, enjoying the endless hot water hotels provide for a bit.
He drops his hand, face down, in front of him, trying to hold it still. It was late, and he would have been drinking by now. It was only thanks to the Xanax that his hand wasn't shaking as violently as it would be without it. But still, it shakes.
Turning back to the wall, he pushes the faucet closed, the water stopping as the creep of the cool outside air start to move into the shower. Lan wipes a hand on the door to see Saya still looking away, at a head to toe dress.
The glass door slides open as he grabs a towel off the rack and yanks it in with him, starting with his hair, drying it out with zero thought to tangles, rubbing all over his head – including the sore spot at the back.
The rest was easy, leaving him dry.. ish, were the shower not a sauna now, Lan wraps the towel around his waist and hooks the edge into itself, pulling the door open in a woosh of cold air prickling at his skin, his hair looking like a ridiculous starburst of stark black before he could get a comb to it.


  Lan steps up to the sink and mirror, looking at himself. He leans forward and rubs his mouth and chin, wishing he had a razor for the stubble coming in, but finding none among the hotel's conveniences.
He freezes up a bit as he realizes that his outfit box is still on the bed, and Saya feet away from it, respectfully looking the other way. Lan steps out from behind the mirror, in just a towel from the waist down, pointing at his box before he speaks. “I uh, sorry, I forgo--”
Saya spins around in the office chair happily, thinking he was done and dressed, about to proudly show off her new outfit when she's presented with a half-naked man, pointing at the bed, with an unkempt, explosive shock of hair around his face.
Both freeze.


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About the author


Bio: apologies for everything about me, it might get better.

updates will be once a day for the next seventy days since i am migrating from another platform and have those chapters - and more - ready to go. (from 8/9)

feel free to come hang out in the discord, if you like.

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