"Do you know why you're popular, Walter?"
"I've got an ass that won't quit and love to flirt?" Walter grins tiredly while leaning against the inside of K's door. God, he wants to go home. Shower the gel out of his hair and eat something salty, then sleep until his roommate yells at him to turn his alarm off.
"It's certainly not your humble nature, come in here. I need to talk to you before you leave." K motions for him to close the door and Walter groans, doing as his boss says. He sits on the edge of his desk instead of in a chair, tilted toward the man. K's flipping through his schedule when he starts to speak and Walter frowns at one of the calendar listings, cutting him off.
"Did Navarre request me again?"
"You know he prefers you."
"The hell he does." Walter tolerates him at most, he's required to be friendly, to be warm. And luckily it's his nature to be warm and fun loving, because he can manage to redirect the conversation from him punching Navarre in the face. "If he likes the view, he can enjoy it from across the room." With Takumi, or someone, obviously bred highly. Snot nosed short stack, he's one of the few guys under forty Walter ever sees, and it makes him prefer his older clients even more. K's pretty rugged looking for a dude who owns an escort service, but given the average age of salarymen who come in, fifty three, fifty four, it makes sense in the end.
"Well, kid, you're hardly ever booked here for group dates, gonna have to suck it up."
"Yeah, yeah. What do you want?"
"Your usual, I have a new client to start you with on Sunday."
K must anticipate his reaction because he immediately holds up his one hand to placate him. It doesn't stop Walter from snapping, too hungry, too tired, too pissed.
"My one day off? Are you shitting me, you couldn't ask Braden or Ken?"
"You know why you aren't popular, Walter?"
He's too honest in his reactions, too blunt, his lifelong curse that Walter can only temper down so much.
"My shining personality is what it is, why are you picking me?"
K closes the book and stares him down hard. "Shut your mouth and you'll get an out at the end." Walter shuts up but glares back impatiently. K digs into a desk drawer and pulls out a photograph, throws it on the desk for Walter to see. K, younger, before his accident, with another man, dressed to the nines and Walter's looking so hard he nearly misses the background and black suits all over.
"Are." Walter decides, fuck it, and goes for it. "Are you in the mob?"
"No," K says dryly. "But he is." And points to the man in the photo. A fox, back then, and probably now.
"I don't think I'm his type," Walter tries, incredulous this is happening at all. But it explains some things, Takumi's stalker in the past, who was neatly taken care of.
"No doubts here. It's his son."
"Huh, how old?"
"He just finished school, he's seventeen."
"K." Walter stands, hands in his jackets pockets. "You want me to take a mob boss' kid to the movies?" How many guns are going to be around this guy, around Walter?
"Lunch. Theater. Museums. Whatever gets him out of the house. He needs the socialization."
Like Walters need a potential bullet to the head, apparently.
"And how much is he paying?"
"I'm not at liberty to say," but K slides a piece of paper over when he says it. Walter's eyes nearly bug out at the amount. "Every Sunday, at 10am. Five or six hours, pending on the activity. Meet an Kanda's cafe, at the corner of SW. And I didn't tell you there will be at least a dozen guards in a two mile radius at all times."
If Walter were a lesser man, he'd puke. Instead he looks back up at K with a serious expression. "You never answered me."
"Why I want you to do it?"
"I'm not Ken, I'm not good at pretending."
"You're not very smart, Walter."
Wow. Walter's halfway to flipping him off when K cracks up at his exasperated face. "No, you're like a dog with a bone. When you get your teeth into something, you chew until there's nothing left. But everything else, that's where you have problems. But you're right, you don't pretend. And that's exactly why I chose you. You don't make promises you have no intention of keeping, you genuinely like the people you meet. You are fun, Walter. But more importantly, you're sincere, even if you have to play it up at times. You've come a long way kid."
There's something to be said for kind hearted manipulation, but hell if Walter knows what it is. He sighs instead, holds out his hand for the card with contact and location details.
"I'll do it."
"Yeah. Give me the damn card. I need to go home."
When he's tucking the card into his wallet, K says, "I recommended you personally, so there shouldn't be any trouble. But it's my ass on the line, so you tell me if you see or notice anything weird."
"Whaddaya mean, weird?"
"The kid had a hit put on him when he was in middle school."
Oh. Great. So dad's paranoia is completely justified.
"If I get shot, I'm haunting you and only showing up when you're about to get laid."
"Go home, Walter."
He finally does.