Wasn’t he a little young to be in a place like this? Tsukishiro supposed that, anyway, what with the fellow’s short stature and boyish face. Then again, the Baku wasn’t really one to judge, either, as evidenced by the slip-up in the other’s speech. His own feminine build led to many such blunders, some resulting in a befuddled walk of shame from a would-be client.
If he were honest, watching those may have been a third of the reason he took this job.
“Calm down, honey, you’re going to give yourself a stroke.” Tsukishiro had adopted a certain manner if speaking from the other employees here, in line with what most would expect from a male of his appearance. Expectations and appearances, that was what was important here. People wanted to get exactly what they saw, in body and in manner, and when he did his best to provide that on the outside, they didn’t even want to look beneath the surface. It made people very easy to deceive.
“An investigator? My, we don’t get many of those around here.” Tsukishiro touched a finger to his chin in thought. Police officers, yes, but he imagined the detectives were always busy with some case or another. This kind of town hardly gave them a break. “You say you want to talk, but what about? I don’t get much time off, so I probably don’t know anything of what you want.”
The baku couldn’t help but wonder what kind of gruesome crime scenes were stamped into this little sleuth’s mind. His tongue almost slipped free of his mouth to lick his lips, but he contained himself to a somewhat unsettling smile.
“Would you like to move somewhere more quiet? I’m not trying to seduce you or anything, understand — you just seem a little uncomfortable in crowds,” Tsukishiro supplied, gesturing with his cane, trying to make himself seem innocent and probably failing spectacularly.
Near nodded slowly, once, curls bobbing softly with the motion. “A man has been found dead a few blocks away, you see. His parents hired me and gave me a lead to…this place…” His attention fled to a sudden burst of laughter from the other side of the curtain in the showcase room. “They informed me that he made regular visits, so I supposed I might as well take a look.” He knew the other man thought him just a boy and the pretense irked him. Lips twitching, a skinny finger interwove with his snowy locks. “Seeing as though it is within the vicinity, I would suppose you would have something to say once I reveal to you the details.”
Other courtesans strode particularly slowly, it seemed, and he saw their eyes dancing about him curiously. That alone was humiliating enough, and along with the occasional teasing wink from one of the passing males it seemed a torment crafted just for him. He flushed, burying his face into the high collar of his jacket.
And god, what was it that this androgynous wonder was smiling about? He noticeably leaned back, disregarding his manners at his appreciation as a meal.
“Uhm,” he murmured, taking a stumbling into his pocket for his notepad as a moment to regain his composure. He didn’t like being so vulnerable, emotionally nor physically, and it seemed the whorehouse was the one place both his cool head and his personal space could be abused and upturned simultaneously. When the Lovely spoke again, he felt a rush of relief rush to his stomach at the same time as another blush fled to his cheeks. “I-I would not assume you would try to seduce me, as a law enforcer. I thank you.”
Moving slightly to the side, Near made sure to give the other enough time to stand. He wondered why a man so young would even need a cane, but it seemed inappropriate to ask, for the time being. “Thank you for your cooperation,” he uttered quietly. “I will pay you for your time, if that’s any sort of reconciliation for whatever money you may have lost from a night without customer.”
Still inept at speaking. He grit his teeth.