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The Relative Value of Things

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Ogata has an appreciation for valuable things, beautiful and fascinating things. Money is of no real object, though through the years he has realized that having it makes it easier to indulge his other interests.

Shindou Hikaru is turning eighteen today and Ogata is watching him from low-lidded eyes, considering and surprised. The last time he looked at the boy--really looked at him--that was exactly what Shindou Hikaru was, a child, a brilliant, shining one, befitting of his name, but no more, no less. But Ogata has always sensed the extraordinary in him, and now, it has smoothed itself over Shindou's sun-golden skin, the round fullness of his surprising mouth, the curve of his eyes.

And Akira is, as usual, arm's length away, a slightly puckered expression on his face that might pass for irritation if Ogata hadn't known Akira since he was a very young boy. Touya is happy and too proud to show it.

Ogata feels a smile on his mouth, a small, bass thing, and he slides a finger across his lower lip to feel it, feels his skin against the inside of his clothes, something warming and curling in the lower parts of his stomach.

He's watched Shindou and Touya chase one another, grow up at each others' sides, push and pull and circle like fierce animals over the grace of a Go board, and he wonders if perhaps the distance is what gives him enough perspective to see the truth.

It is a waste, he thinks, in one of those detached, abstracted ways, that Shindou and Touya are so busy being obsessed with one another that they'll never pause long enough to see that there's more to it that competition, that probably not everybody is driven to masturbating in the Go Institute bathrooms after tournament games, after the last moves and their envelopes have been sealed.

But Ogata's no matchmaker and their potentials are all their own--like money, it's of no consequence.

Ogata's smile darkens, though, and he puts out the cigarette he's been nursing. No object, he knows, but useful, and he stands up and walks across the room.

*

Shindou isn't obvious, not the way that Akira's been obvious since the day he was born. But Ogata sees Shindou enough to know that even though Shindou Hikaru's most involved relationship is with his Go board, when he looks too long, it's never at women with all their soft, submitting curves.

And also unlike Touya, Shindou is not afraid.

So Ogata says, "Congratulations, Shindou-kun, and happy birthday."

And Shindou says, with a slight and awkward pause, like he's learning the new parameters of the way that Ogata has formed his syllables, smoother like a drag of sickly sweet opium on the pink flesh of his tongue, "Thanks...Ogata-sensei."

Ogata cocks his head to the left, and says, "Let me buy you a drink. To celebrate."

As they're leaving, Ogata thinks again of what a terrible shame it is about Touya, but Ogata sees, as he opens the door of his car, the way that Touya is standing near the doorway of the Go Salon with his hand fisted against the wall, unmoving and frowns. Ogata has no patience for cowards, so he stares at Akira's dark, dark eyes and lights another cigarette, slipping into the car without apology and driving away with a shriek.

*

Ogata doesn't think about the relatively scandalous difference in their ages until Shindou finally stops trying to vibrate out of his skin, makes a decision, and presses his mouth awkwardly against Ogata's, with the eager inexperience of the shining boy he still is, somewhere inside.

Ogata bites back the laugh rumbling up through him, because he's always encouraged enthusiasm, and slows Shindou with a large palm on both Shindou's flushed cheeks, feeling the cool skin of his hands against the hot flesh of Shindou's face and wonders how it will feel--when his hands are lower, sliding, smoothing over Shindou's curved back, his ass, the backs of his thighs--and cannot help but to smile and bite Shindou's mouth.

They are in the parking lot of the bar that Ogata had driven them to, parked into a disreputable corner where Ogata can see a dumpster out of the driver's side seat, but Ogata's getting this strange feeling that they're not going to make it inside or outside or even down the street around the corner where Ogata has a perfectly serviceable apartment with a very large bed.

Ogata's almost forgotten what it's like to be that young, but the way Shindou's mouth is hot and slick with spit and his mouth feels bruised from full-contact kissing is rapidly reminding him, and he's jerking up Shindou's t-shirt, sliding his hands over Shindou's ribs, feeling the flutter of muscle under the pads of his fingers, the pebbled skin on his nipples, the slender curve of his side.

Shindou's mouth tastes like a peach, ripe and overflowing and Ogata is ravenous, suddenly unsatisfied with playing a willing participant and shoving hard, slamming Shindou against the passenger seat door with a rough thud breaking their kiss to suck on Shindou's neck, his collarbone, the exposed curve of his shoulder.

Shindou is making noises, short, pleading gasps, and his fingers are jerking at the shirt on Ogata's back, tugging at his suit jacket, desperate to feel skin.

But Ogata's feeling indulgent, selfish, dirty, so what he does instead of shucking out of his suit is slick his palms down the skin of Shindou's stomach, unbuttoning Shindou's dark jeans and slipping his calloused fingertips underneath the waistband of Shindou's boxers, feeling the smooth bones of his hips.

Shindou says something that starts out as "Wait" but turns into "Ohfuck" when Ogata curls his hand around his cock, feels his hands in the wiry curls around Shindou's dick and licks a long stripe up Shindou's neck, feeling the desperate, panting bob of Shindou's Adam's apple.

"Yes, Shindou-kun?" Ogata murmurs into Shindou's neck, the undercurve of his jaw, grinding his own erection into Shindou's leg through their pants, slow and patient. Ogata feels like a collector, inspecting his newest acquisition, and he is pleased by the deep, attractive flush of Shindou's skin, the rapid rise and fall of his chest.

"Nothing, don't stop," Shindou says very quickly, and arches up into Ogata's touch, head banging against the glass and fingers digging into Ogata's shoulders. "Ohfuck," he says again, just as Ogata slips his left hand down to his own pants, frees his cock.

And then it's as easy as star, tengen, block to pull his hands out of Shindou's pants and put them on his hips, jerk the boy down until he is dazed and red and gasping, laying flat on his back along the front seats, legs splayed awkwardly over Ogata's bent knees and his waist against the stick shift.

All of this is probably going to leave a lot of embarrassing bruises and aches in the morning, but at the moment Ogata's far more interested in seeing how brave Shindou's feeling tonight, so he smiles and leans down over the boy, pressing their mouths together again, and he is gratified to find Shindou eager and pushy and hot, pulling Ogata's shirt out of his pants and touching skin, jerking his hips up so that the heads of their cocks touch, just barely, enough to make both of them hiss.

It's the bastard inside Ogata that makes him say, "We can stop anytime you want, Shindou-kun."

Shindou manages to bat at him ineffectually for all of three seconds before he growls, fists Ogata's cock with surprising skill and says, "You're such a bastard."

Ogata manages not to make any particularly embarrassing noises, but he does hitch up Shindou's legs and grind their cocks together, faces close enough so that he can see the sweat beading on Shindou's upper lip, a perfect, angelic bow curve.

"So you're okay with this," Ogata manages between huffs, hips driving against Shindou's, the edge of his zipper biting his skin, the wear of denim on the side of his cock and the friction is so unsteady and imperfect that he cannot help but to pin down Shindou's distracting arms and just shove against him, impatient.

"I think I'll be ok--" Shindou says, voice breaking on a gasp "--ay." He yells something and wraps his left leg over Ogata's hip and for one second this whole awkward, sluttish thing is so exquisite that Ogata thinks he's in love.

Shindou comes first, with a breathless moan, splattering Ogata's expensive shirt, thumping against the car door, and thrusting against Ogata so hard that Ogata comes--at which point Ogata has a passing, brief thought that they've got to be killing the car's suspension--before he shoots all over Shindou's stomach, on the pushed-up cloth of Shindou's t-shirt.

It takes them about three minutes before they disentangle themselves and shove around until they're sitting in their respective seats again. Shindou is rubbing uselessly at the stains on his obnoxious yellow t-shirt, and Ogata wants to say, "Good riddance," but figures, you know, it's Shindou's first time and special and all, so he won't wreck it.

A couple of minutes later, Shindou rolls his eyes and says, "You can cut it out. I'm not going to make you marry me or anything. Just put the damn car in drive."

Ogata cocks one eyebrow and pulls on his seatbelt.

They're in the winding, hilly roads of Shindou's neighborhood the next time Shindou talks, and then, it's to say in a surprisingly old voice, "We shouldn't have done that."

Should is very low on Ogata's list of reasoning abilities, but it bothers him that it's bothering Shindou, enough so that he says, "Sorry."

Shindou shrugs, and looks out the window, saying, "Not really. You're not the one who should be sorry."

Ogata laughs and makes a left turn, and Shindou's house looms imminent. "You were pretty insistent, Shindou-kun. I'll have bruises for weeks."

This makes Shindou smile, but it is small and tight, and when they pull up to the house Shindou says, looking at his lap, "The thing is, I'm not stupid, Touya's only fearless when he's playing Go." And when Shindou looks up at Ogata it's with a vague, resigned smile on his face. He says, "Anyway, thanks. Don't, you know, cry yourself to sleep over it or anything."

Ogata's never been thanked for fucking anybody in the front seat of his car before, he's not sure how he feels about it. But he gets it together enough to say, "Anytime," and not, "I'm sorry Touya's too afraid to be in love with you."

And Shindou's smile at this is as surprising as his Go, as shining as the sun, as he gets out of the car, winks, and says, "I'll hold you to that."