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Dreams from the Past

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His eyes felt heavy, thick, so hard to open. Koichi lay in his bed, replaying the night before when he told Kyo he couldn’t love him the way he wanted, that he could only love Tatsu with his entire soul, and every breathe of his being belonged to Tatsu. He opened his eyes to face his first day without Kyo, but his first day on the road back to Tatsu. Koichi was happy that Kyo didn’t draw things out, didn’t have a breakdown, at least not in front of Koichi.

                What his next move was going to be, Koichi wasn’t sure. He didn’t feel like he could just call Tatsu and say ‘hey, let’s get married again’, but he needed to let Tatsu know in some way that he and Kyo were no longer seeing each other. “Pfft, that’s stupid, He’s going to know the second Kyo tells Shinya.” Getting out of bed, Koichi showered, had some tea and pulled out his phone.

                “Hey, can we get together today? I need some bestie time. I’ll come to you, and bring Gordy, I’m sure the twins would love to meet him.”

                The reply was almost instant.

                “SURE! Just come on over, any time. I’m not working today. Muzzie and Fozzie will love Gordy.”

                Koichi smiled, through all the shit that’s happened, Taka was the one constant in his life, always there, always ready to help.

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                “Hey, it’s Kyo. I just wanted to let you know, Koichi and I broke up, and it’s okay. I know what needs to happen, and I only want what’s best for Koichi, and you’re it. Call me if you need to, you know where I am.”

 

                                                                                                !

                “Wow, I’m surprised he didn’t fight it, but then maybe I’m not. He knows, Kou. He wants you to be happy, and you’re really only going to be happy with Tatsu.” Taka and Koichi were sitting at the table, having a cup of tea, watching the twins terrorize Gordy, giving him a taste of what Teo experiences. “No, it was actually quite peaceful. We both cried, but he has always told me, that if I ever wanted to go back to Tatsu, he’d make it happen. I do love Kyo, just not the same way I love Tatsu, and that’s something that will never to change.”

                Koichi and Taka had to lean back away from the table, as a terrified Gordy ran over the couch, onto the table and then down the hall, with Muzzie and Fozzie on his heels. “Poor Gordy, now he knows how Teo feels.” giggled Koichi. “Hey, are you up for shopping? I need to get some things, and we both need to get the hell out of the house.” Taka grinned. “Sure! What about Sato?”  Taka smiled, knowing that Tatsu was with Sato, “He’s at rehearsal, he’ll be home later.” Taka was hoping to keep Koichi occupied long enough for he and Tatsu to cross paths. Now that Kyo was out of the picture, Taka was going to throw his friends together at every chance he could.

                Heading for Shibuya, Taka and Koichi spent the better part of the day, wandering around, going into various shops, but avoiding the shop where Mas had been employed.  Taka glanced over at Koichi when they walked by the shop, but there was no reaction by Koichi. “What else do you need? Because I could really go for a coffee.” Koichi suggested as he steered Taka to their fave book store that had a coffee bar inside. “Oh, I want to get the next two Erase manga’s.” Dragging Koichi across the street, they wandered around in the book store, with their coffees for another hour.

                “We should head back, Sato’s going to be home soon, and I don’t’ want him freaking out over Gordy, thinking I went and got a new kitten.” Taking the train home, Koichi leaned back in his seat, head back, eyes closed, and smiling. “I needed this today…thanks Taka.” His friend grinned. Wonder how he’s going to feel seeing Tatsu today?

                “Tadaima” Taka called out as they toed off their shoes in the genkan. “Hmm, must not be here yet.” Koichi went looking for Gordy, wanting to make sure the kitten was in one piece, after the twins chased him around all day. “Taka, come look!” Koichi whispered, waving his friend into the living room. “Awww, that’s too cute!” Lying on the couch, in a pile, were three kittens and a very large Eddy, sleeping together. “Now all we need is Teo, then we have a herd of cats!” giggled Taka.

                “Tadaima” Sato walked through the door, “Okaeri, how was rehearsal?” Taka asked. Right behind Sato, Tatsu walked in. “Hi, I hope…” Tatsu stopped when he saw Koichi. “Hey, Kou.” He smiled. “Uh, hi…” There was a tiny bit of awkwardness between the former lovers, but Taka didn’t let it get overwhelming. “Hey, you look better, Tatsu. Still too skinny though.” Tatsu walked over and shagged Taka’s hair. “I’m working on it, geeze, cut me some slack.” The tension noticeably diminished at that point.

                “Rehearsal went well, Tatsu’s strength is coming back, right?” Sato nodded at Tatsu. “Yah, well I can only gain it back so fast, I need to get back in shape.” As they all sat and chatted, Taka leaned over and whispered something to Sato. “Hmm, sounds like a plan. Since Taka was too busy shopping today,” he grinned at Koichi, “I’m going to treat us all to Ojisan’s for dinner!” Koichi blushed, and glanced at Tatsu, who had the same shade of blush, that Koichi was wearing, but both were wearing the same smile.

 

                “Konbanwa Ojisan!” Sato was first through the door, followed by Tatsu. Ojisan was pleasantly surprised at Tatsu’s appearance and was greatly surprised that Koichi had walked in just behind Tatsu. “Irasshi gentlemen, are we celebrating tonight? It must be a happy occasion to see all of you.” Tatsu and Koichi both blushed again. “No, not really celebrating, Ojisan. Just in need of food, beer and of course, your presence.” Sato winked at Ojisan. As the group settled in, Taka sat next to Koichi, for moral support, he didn’t want to shove Tatsu and his bestie together too quickly, as it could backfire. “Gentlemen, would you like your usual again tonight? I will up the limit for beer to four if you’d like.” Everyone applauded Ojisan’s generosity.

                It felt the same, even with the passage of over a year, being at Ojisan’s, the four of them, felt perfect. Koichi and Tatsu were stealing glances at each other, at least until the third beer, when everyone had loosened up a bit. Then Taka had to start teasing Koichi. “Kou, really? What the hell have you been eating all this time? Konbini food?” Koichi had scarfed his first bowl of ramen, and ordered another. “Pfft, Taka you know I can cook, ask Tatsu…right? I can cook, and I do rather well with it.” Tatsu bent forward to look at Koichi down the long bar, “Yep, you’re actually a better cook than I am obviously, Tatsu stood up and shook his clothes that were much too large for him.

                “Tatsu? Really? You need a third bowl of ramen AND an extra pork cutlet! You’re too damned skinny.” Finally, everyone relaxed a bit and the teasing and joking had started in earnest; Tatsu having to sit down to sing, Sato trying to be fancy with his drumsticks and accidently flinging them behind the drum kit. Taka brought up Gordy, and how he was getting a taste of what Teo went through every day. “I need to meet Gordy, I haven’t seen him yet.” Tatsu was genuinely interested in the kitten. I’ll buy you a big house, so you can have kittens and maybe a puppy.  As they were getting ready to leave, Ojisan tapped Tatsu on the shoulder, “He still loves you, the young one, he is no longer with the smaller man, am I right?” Tatsu shrugged. “Do not give up hope.”

                Returning to Sato’s, Tatsu inspected the new kitten, picking up the gray ball of fur, and talking to the kitten. “So, Kyo found you, did he? You’re pretty damned cute! Be a good boy, don’t harass Teo too much, he’s my boy too.” Koichi heard that and turned around, hand over his mouth. Turning back around quickly, he looked at Taka. “Did he just…” Kou whispered to Taka, who just nodded. Koichi started to shake a little, a warmth pooling in his abdomen, pleasant and surprising.

                “Hey, Kou… can I give you a ride home? I know it’s a bit out of the way, but then you don’t have to take the train.” Sato was about to say something, when Taka stomped on his foot, and shook his head. “Oh” he whispered. Um, sure…taking the train sucks, so yes please, I’d like that a lot. Grabbing their coats and shoes, Taka hugged Koichi, “Text me later” he whispered, Koichi nodded, he was shaking in side, but with anticipation, and not fear.

                The ride was awkwardly quiet, but only because neither Tatsu or Koichi knew how to break the ice to actually be able to talk. Pulling up in front of Koichi’s flat, Tatsu took the plunge. “Hey, can we um…talk for a bit?” Kou looked over at his ex, “Sure, what’s up?”

                “I heard you and Kyo broke up, I’m sorry…well sort of, if I’m honest with myself.” Tatsu had resolved himself to be perfectly honest with Koichi in all matters. “Yah, we did. He understands, most everyone does I guess.” Koichi looked into Tatsu’s eyes. “You still love me, don’t you?” He whispered. “I never stopped loving you Kou, I never will. But I also don’t expect you to just fly back into my arms. What I did to you is really unforgiveable in my book. I regret with every breath, what I did, I just didn’t have the balls to do what was right.” He was looking at the floor, not daring to look at Kou.

                “I’m still a little apprehensive about moving forward…with you. And I’ll be honest and tell you, that what you did, and how you did it, it hurt me to my very core. I thought you were perfect, I thought our love was perfect. I’ve loved you since I watched that first video, and of course, when I almost passed out at the HBG. My honesty is this…I love you.” Koichi had teared up, but he was willing the tears not to fall.  “So, now what? How does this work, Tatsu?”

                “Uh, I’m not totally sure. I want you back, Koichi. Gods honest truth, but I don’t want you back in the condition I’m in, I need to be whole again, physically and emotionally, before I can commit 100%. I’m not saying that there is anyone else out there, that I’m interested in. There’s no one but you. I would like to start just dating, if that works for you. Oh, and I’ll never ask you back to my flat, it’s a shit hole now. I don’t even want to be there. Masa ruined a lot of things, and the flat is one of them.” Tatsu was hoping that being brutally honest, was getting through to Koichi. He couldn’t live his life without being honest.

                “I want you, too. But I’m like you, I’m in no shape to just jump back in where we left off. I don’t want that. I’d hope we could get past all the Masa bullshit, I already knew I didn’t want to go back to the flat, ever again. You’re right, it’s a shit hole now. But what about my flat? Kyo didn’t live with me, but he was in my bed, my shower, in my flat. What do we do about that? I can’t afford to move, and honestly I like my flat, a lot.” Koichi hoped that Tatsu would accept that.

                “I don’t have a problem with that Kou, in the least. Kyo was a man, and stepped up and took care of you, kept you safe. I was a piece of shit, or as Ojisan pointed out, a shameful man. Kyo was there, being a real man. I’m sure he’s devastated with breaking up with you. I’m sorry that had to happen, but I’m glad you decided to. I want us back Koichi! I want my adorable Kou, I want to scream at Teo, and now Gordy, for biting me on the nose, tearing around the flat, screaming for food the second I walk in the door. I want to wake up with you, go to sleep with you, every day for the rest of our lives. I want you watching me on stage, I want to be the one singing every song, just to you. I want the group dates, I want the Restaurant to be a happy place again, not one that you’re worried or I’m worried about who will be showing up. I want to have you sitting on my lap, at the HBG, during parties. I want US damn it!” Tatsu had tears streaming down his face, and his hands were twisting in his lap.

                “Yes…” Koichi said softly. Tatsu’s head snapped up. “Yes?”

                “Yes, I want all that too. I’m tired of being with out you. Kyo was there to save me, to keep me safe, but Kyo isn’t you. I’m not his adorable Kou. I don’t faint when I see him,” Koichi giggled a tiny bit. “I miss those group dates, the restaurant, all of that. I want to be sitting in your lap, at the next DCR party, and watching you at a live. I want all that as well, Tatsu. But I don’t want it all right now. Remember how quickly we started out? The third night I knew you, you kissed me? We did the exact same thing Sato and Taka did, we skipped the dating part of our relationship. I know it was just the way it had to be, because of Morrie, but we never did that, we never dated. I look at Taka and Sato now, the second time around, and they’re both so much happier. I want that kind of happiness with you, and nobody else. Even if you and I were not going to be together, I don’t think I would have stayed with Kyo for long. I’m not even sure I’d mind being alone, if I couldn’t be with you.”

                They sat there, in Tatsu’s car and stared at each other. “So how do we start?” Tatsu murmured. “I think we start with this.” Koichi opened the car door, and walked up to his front door, and stood there waiting for Tatsu. Looking at his lover, his boy, Tatsu walked up to Koichi, picking up his hands, and pulled Kou into a warm embrace. God this feels so good and so right! Both men knew this, standing there, just trying to reconnect, rekindle their love. “Okay, what if we do this? I have an early rehearsal in a few days, why don’t you and Taka meet us at the studio, and we can go for an early dinner? Then we’ll see for the next date, will that work?”

                Koichi didn’t want to break the embrace, it felt like he was home again, in Tatsu’s arms. But he recognized that they needed to start slowly, to build that trust again and not just jump in feet first without thinking. “I’d like that, a lot.” Pulling Koichi in again, Tatsu hugged the tiny man, kissing his hair, “Okay, I’ll talk to Sato about it. See what we can put together, plus we need to look at yours and Taka’s schedules. Maybe even do a bento dinner at the HBG, if we can’t go out.” One more, tiny quick hug, with promises of texts, Tatsu reluctantly got in his car and drove away.

                “OMG! We hugged! And we’re going to start dating! The hug, it felt like I was home or something, I can’t describe it at all, Taka!”

                And with that last word of his day, Koichi fell into a deep peaceful sleep, with not a few visions of Tatsu, lurking on the rim of his dreams.

               

 

 

Chapter Text

“I wanted to talk to you in person, instead of through Shinya and Miya.” Kyo and Tatsu were sitting in a small café near Kyo’s flat. “I’m sure you already know that Koichi and I broke up, right?” Kyo was looking Tatsu in the eyes, he needed his friend to know, that there would be no hard feelings, no awkwardness in the future.

                Tatsu nodded, “Miya told me. I’m sorry Kyo, I never wanted any of this to happen, you know that. You remember what Masa did to me last time around, but this time, I should have been a man and stood up to him, and told Koichi as well, I’m an asshole and a coward not to have done that.” Kyo waved Tatsu off, “You were doing what you believed to be, the honorable thing, taking responsibility for what you did, and providing for the woman and the child. You really had no idea how fucked up Masa could be, with what he would resort to in order to worm his way back into your life. That man is a complete fuckwit, he’s getting everything he deserves.” Tatsu nodded, “It still doesn’t excuse my behavior towards Koichi. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive myself for it. It ruined three lives, Koichi’s, yours and mine.”

                Again, Kyo waved him off. “I can see how you would think that, but let me tell you something; I love Koichi, with everything I have, but…I’m not you. I knew I was fighting an uphill battle, to be able to care for Kou as much as you did, and I failed, but really through no fault of my own. Look, I was there when he fell, I picked up the pieces and held them together, until you could glue them back and restore the adorable Kou. I was lucky to have him love me, even if it wasn’t forever. In the deep recesses of my brain, I knew that our relationship was temporary, and I was willing to take what I could get, while it was available.”

                “But you’re the one who’s been hurt the most out of all of this, Kyo. And I can’t blame you if you resent me, hell, I resent myself sometimes. Koichi is fragile, he has been since the rape, he’s never truly recovered from that. He still has nightmares, he’s still afraid of what he can’t see. You came to him, picked him up for me, loved him and kept him safe, I can’t thank you enough for doing that.” Tatsu reached over and clasped Kyo’s hand. “You’re still my friend, if you’ll have me. I think we’ve all gone through so much shit in the past, that our friendship, between bands and peers, will survive this bullshit, it may leave bruises, but I think we all can heal. Is that what you want Kyo?”

                “I want Koichi to be happy again, Tatsu. That’s all I’ve ever wanted, that’s all I care about. He can’t truly be happy with me, no matter how hard I try. Koichi belongs with you, he’s always belonged to you. Everyone knows it, even when you were fucking up majorly, everyone wanted you to come back to us, to Koichi.” The two men looked at each other, both smiling. “I guess we’re okay then?” Tatsu cocked his head as he asked. “We’re okay, Tatsuro. We’re more than okay.” Kyo grinned at his friend.

                “Since I have you here, what’s the shit with this guy Natsu? Taka was saying he’s bad news, he’s messing with Uta? What the hell?” Tatsu shook his head. Kyo instantly bristled at the mention of Natsu’s name.  “I’m not sure really, there is something weird about that guy, that I can’t pinpoint. Aki feels the same way, something lurking just under the surface. I’m worried about Uta, I know Kou had issues with me, about Uta, but I can’t just turn off the friendship, even though we were lovers, just as I can’t turn off my friendship with you and Kou. I’ve tried to talk to Uta, he just tells me he’s fine.”

                “Guess all we can do is hope for the best, right?” This worried Tatsu, Uta was frailer than even Koichi, he was hurt much worse than Kou. The two men talked a little more, then went their separate ways, both feeling good about the conversation, airing out what happened during the Masa debacle.

                                                                                                !

 

                “Taka, I need to speak to you when you have a minute, please.” Aki asked. “Uh, sure, we can do it right now if you want?” Taka was fairly certain where this was going. “So, I don’t like to you know, rat people out, but Uta came to work last night, in a really bad way. Like hung over or maybe drugged? He messed up on some drink orders, and kind of stood around in a daze, between customers. I finally put him out on patio duty, but even then, he would just sort of stand there, not looking at anything.” Aki was truly frightened with Uta’s appearance as well.

                “He’s got bruises everywhere, Taka. Even on his neck, like hand prints. He blows it off with ‘just a little rough sex’. I don’t see Uta being into rough sex, not after the rape. When I call him out on being drugged, he says he’s just hungover. I don’t ever remember Uta drinking much, not enough to come to work almost drunk.”  Taka shook his head. What the hell Uta? Is this because of Natsu? “Aki, I can’t do anything, at least not yet. I have to see it myself, but what I’d like you to do, is document things that happen, drink orders done wrong, anything that seems out of the ordinary for Uta. I’ll need something concrete to confront him with. Has Natsu been around?”

                Aki shook his head, “Thankfully no. He’s here, but he stays away from the building, usually just patrols the patio and the Tower. He hasn’t come and spoken to Uta while he’s working. Something’s wrong, Taka, and I’m sure it has to do with Natsu.” Taka wondered if Aki was perhaps in love with Uta, just by his demeanor, which reeked of jealousy. “Thanks Aki, I’ll make sure to talk to Uta when I see him.”

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                “Group date? You mean like we did with you and Sato? Hmm, how many of us?” Koichi was intrigued by the idea, but he wasn’t sure he wanted all the Mucc men with their boyfriends. “Could it maybe just be you and Sato? I’m not sure I’m up for all eight of us right now.” Taka had figured as much, even before asking Koichi. “Yep, just Sato and I, and you two. We were thinking maybe Genki Sushi, or Mos Burger, maybe a little shopping after, coffee and dessert as well? Or we can always go back to Ojisan’s, you know how much he loves to see us!” Taka didn’t care where they ate, just as long as he could arrange for Tatsu and Koichi to be together.

                “Hmm, well Genki Sushi sounds good, but so does Mos Burger. Ojisan’s is always the top choice, if the other places fall through. Why don’t we let Sato and Tatsu choose?” Taka wasn’t so sure about that, “Uh, we could be putting our lives in danger, Kou. Sato is not known for his choice of great dining places.” The friends sat on the couch, watching Muzzie and Fozzie play with Eddy, who was moving as little as possible. “Eddy, you fat thing, get up and play! You need exercise!” Koichi teased the cat. Eddy was already bigger than Teo, and they were approximately the same age.

                “What about this? Why don’t we do it on a night that we work, and have the guys surprise us with dinner? We could eat on the patio…it would have to be a night that there was an overlap of shifts either by Aki or Uta. Or are you not ready to see Tatsu at the HBG?” Taka hadn’t thought that perhaps Koichi would be hesitant being at work, with Tatsu coming to see him, especially since the last time, Masa got his ass kicked by Ruki. “No, I’m okay with that really. Let’s talk to the guys first, see what they want to do.”

                                                                                                !

                “Taka, I think you need to come to the HBG, it’s Uta, and it’s not good.” Aki had called Taka the minute Uta had arrived at work, as the man was obviously not in any shape to work. Aki had opened up the HBG, and was working the counter when Uta had shown up. Walking to the counter, Uta was completely out of it, almost working on autopilot, going through the minimal motions that could be considered working. “Uta? Are you okay? You look…um sick.” Aki was horrified at Uta’s appearance. Disheveled, eyes glassed over and more visible bruises and bite marks. “I’m okay, Aki…really.” Uta murmured. “Uta, what happened last night? Did you go out with Natsu?” Aki prodded gently. “Um, I don’t know…we may have gone out, but…” Uta’s thoughts trailed off, as he walked away from Aki. Shit, this is fucking bad.  At that point, Aki knew he needed to call Taka, so he could see for himself, how poorly Uta looked.

                Taka walked quietly into his office, having signaled Aki to come back and speak with him. “Aki, what’s going on?” Aki looked down and shook his head, “Just come and see for yourself, Taka. I can’t even explain it.” Taka walked towards the front counter, when Uta came around the corner heading to the supply room. “Uta? Hey, what’s going on? Haven’t seen you in a while, everything okay?” Taka didn’t want to jump right in with accusations, but needed to validate what Aki had said was happening.

                “Oh, hi Taka….” Uta walked past Taka, without saying another word. “Uta?” Taka watched Uta walk back towards the supply room, ignoring or not hearing Taka’s voice. “See…” hissed Aki, “He’s total out of it, you see the bruise’s, right?” Taka nodded, turning to follow Uta. “Uta, can I see you in my office please?” Uta looked at Taka, “Okay.” Following Taka into the office, Taka shut the door. “Uta, sit down please.” Taka was shaking inside, this was not the Uta he’d known for 3 years, this was not the same person.

                “Uta, what is going on in your life? You look like shit, I’m going to be blunt, you’re looking like someone is abusing you. Is it Natsu? Is he abusing you, Uta?” The younger man looked down at his hands. “No, he’s not abusing me, Taka. I agreed to everything. I, um…it’s not abuse, Taka. Natsu loves me, he tells me all the time how much he cares for me.” Taka knew that ploy all too well. “What happened last night, Uta? Did you go out and drink?” Uta gazed at Taka, “Uh, I think we went out last night, to eat dinner, but…I don’t remember what we did after that, I probably had too much to drink, I don’t remember much.” Taka had seen blinding drunks, but this was not what he was noticing in Uta, this was deeper than too much alcohol, this was drugs.

                “Uta, you need to go home, I can’t have you working like this, it’s not safe for you or anyone else, okay? I’m not mad, I am worried though. Those bruises around your neck, can you explain those to me? It looks like you’ve been choked…” Taka knew about the breath control play that went on in the BSDM culture, but he couldn’t believe that Uta would agree to this type of sexual behavior. “We just play a little rough sometimes, it’s okay, I agree to it.”  Taka sighed, there wasn’t much he could do about Uta and Natsu’s sex life, albeit abuse, but he had to send the young man home, that much was clear.

                “Well? What did he say?” Aki was quick to ask Taka, after Uta had left. “He claims that he agrees to rough sex, but he’s involved with some serious breath play, if that’s what he’s calling rough sex.” Aki was taken aback by the suggestion that Uta was agreeing to be abused, in the guise of rough sex. “So, what do we do? We can’t force him to stop seeing Natsu, what else can we do? If you fire him, Taka, we might as well just write him out of our lives for good. Natsu’s doing this to him, you know it as well as I do. He’s beating Uta…Uta’s mistaking that controlling behavior, as love. FUCK! Taka we have to do something!” Aki had tears streaming down his face, which finally validated what Taka had thought all along, Aki was in love with Uta.

                “Aki, I know you love Uta, but…” The look on Aki’s face when Taka said the words, was beyond priceless. “I don’t…” Aki started to say, but Taka had stopped him. “Aki, it’s obvious, okay? You’re in love with Uta, and that’s wonderful. Right now, though, we need to find a way to get Uta away from Natsu, before his breath play and whatever else they’re doing, gets out of hand and Uta ends up seriously hurt.” Sending Aki back to work, Taka knew he had to make a few phone calls.

                                                                                                !

                “Hey Kyo, it’s Taka. Do you have some time to spare for me today or tomorrow? Yah, it is, and it’s getting worse. Okay, that would be great.”

               

                “I think they’re into some heavy breath play, to the point that he has marks on his neck, bruising, and I’ve seen what look like bite marks.” Taka and Kyo were sitting out on the patio area of the HBG, discussing Uta. “He’s always spaced out as well, almost like he’s drugged. He claims he just had too much to drink the night before, but he doesn’t remember what they did. He couldn’t tell me if they had gone out or stayed in.” Kyo’s face was turning red in anger. “Damn him! Why is he letting Natsu do this to him? What’s he looking for?” Watching Kyo, Taka could see that the spikey man cared deeply for Uta, which seemed fair, as they were lovers in the past. “On top of everything, Aki is in love with Uta, although he’ll deny that to his grave.” This tidbit of information, surprised Kyo. “Aki? I didn’t even think of him being interested in Uta.”

                “I think it’s been a thing for him since Uta started working here. But then the attack and the rape happened, Uta was gone for a while, then when he came back to work, you and he started dating. Aki’s been waiting on the sidelines, he’s not going to confess to Uta, if he knows there’s anyone else interested in him, mainly you.” Kyo was bothered a bit, but he had no idea why. “All I can do is try to speak to Uta, I can’t force him to leave Natsu, hell I can’t even force him to talk to me, but I’ll see what I can do.”

                Kyo left the HBG, with the information about Uta, burning in his stomach. What the hell was the boy thinking? He’s in no way ready for a sub/dom situation, let alone something like breath play. “Damn it, Uta, what the hell are you thinking?” Walking into his flat, Kyo pulls his phone out and dials Uta’s number.

                “Who is this? What the fuck are you calling Uta for?”

Kyo knew this was Natsu, nobody would be that abusive on the phone.

“I need to speak to Uta, put him on the phone.”

“Who the fuck are you?” snarled Natsu.

“None of your damned business, I need to speak with Uta, not you.” Kyo was remaining calm, so far.

“You have no business calling Uta, he has no desire to speak with anyone.” Kyo could hear Uta in the background asking who was on the phone.

                “Nobody, I’ll handle this.” Natsu had covered the phone with his hand, but Kyo could still hear the man, growling at Uta.

                “Natsu, put Uta on the phone, now.” Kyo was losing his temper quickly.

                “Fuck off, Kyo. Yah, I know who this is, you’re the only pathetic person that would call. Uta doesn’t want you, remember? You’re a piece of shit, Mr. Dir en Grey. Uta, shut the fuck up!” Natsu was screaming at Kyo and Uta.

                “If you hurt Uta in any way, you’ll be dealing with me. Stop the breath play, you’re not capable of applying it correctly, you’re leaving bruises on Uta’s neck. Some people might take offense to that, me being one of those people.” Kyo calmly challenged Natsu to explain himself.

                “Breath play? That’s a fucking joke, what the hell do you know about breath play? Hmm? Are you a failure at it? I’m guessing that you’re a failure at a lot of things, Kyo, obviously you couldn’t keep Uta happy, because it was so easy for me to do. I make him happy! Not you!” Natsu was back to screaming at Kyo.

                “Fine, you don’t want to let Uta speak to me, then I’ll come to him.” Kyo closed his phone. That rat bastard!

                “When is Uta’s next shift? I want to be there to talk to him. Yah, thanks.”

                                                                                                !

                “I’m going to send Uta out to the patio, Aki. Kyo will be waiting for him, let’s hope this works or we can get some answers.” Taka had called Kyo, letting him know when Uta was working next, leaving Kyo to be there that next day, just in time. “You’re going to have to be careful, Natsu is working today as well, and I can’t control where he patrols, so just a heads up.” Kyo nodded, walking out to the patio area of the HBG, near the fountain, sitting down and waiting for Uta.

                “Uta, can you please go check the patio area for me? I want to make sure it’s cleaned for the weekend. Thanks.” Taka handed Uta a broom, and sent him out, but kept watch from just outside the office building.  Keeping an eye out for Natsu, Taka watched as Uta moved around the patio, until he realized that Kyo was sitting there, then Uta tried to walk back.

                “Uta, please. Stop and talk to me for a minute, just a minute.” Kyo was speaking softly. “Hey, I just wanted to see you, and make sure you’re okay. You’ve got quite a few people worried, especially me.” Kyo stood in front of Uta, who had a dazed look in his eyes. “Kyo, leave me alone, please? I’m with Natsu now, you don’t need to worry about me.” As Uta turned to walk away, Kyo put a hand on the young man’s shoulder. “Uta, is Natsu hurting you? You’ve got enough bruises and bite marks showing, that aren’t part of a dom/sub relationship. Natsu doesn’t know what he’s doing! The breath play should never leave marks on your neck.  

                “Why do you care about what I’m doing and with who? You love Koichi, I don’t matter to you anymore. We broke up, and you know why, now you have Koichi, and I have Natsu. He cares for me, Kyo, he loves me.” Uta was staring at Kyo, with a strange look in his eyes. “I don’t believe that, Uta. You shouldn’t be scared of the person you love, and I can tell, you’re scared of Natsu.” Kyo picked up one of Uta’s hands. “I care about you, Uta. You do matter to me, a great deal actually. Koichi and I broke up, he belongs with Tatsu, not me. But that’s not what’s important, what’s important right now, this very instant is that you’re not safe with Natsu, and he will hurt you, and I’m afraid of how far he will take the abuse, and if you’ll survive.”

                “Too little, too late, Kyo. I’m sorry. You can’t have me, go back to Koichi, he’s the one you really love, you’ve loved him forever. Now I have Natsu, and he loves me. Don’t worry about me anymore Kyo, you really don’t need to. I’m fine. I have to go back to work.” Uta calmly walked away, moving in an unsteady gait.

                Watching Uta and Kyo, Taka knew that it was pointless, Uta didn’t want to hear the truth about Natsu, especially from Kyo. “The patio area is clean, Taka.” Was all that Uta said when he came back inside. “Uh, thanks Uta.” Taka left the office and went out the back door, walking straight to Kyo. “What happened? What did he say?” Kyo was just shaking his head. “I don’t think we can help him, Taka. He doesn’t want it, he’s blinded right now by what he believes is Natsu’s love. He doesn’t see it as a dom/sub relationship, at least not yet. And I think you’re right, he seems like he’s drugged, I can’t smell any alcohol on him, I just…” Kyo stopped. “Thanks for trying Kyo, at least you talked to him. I’m not sure how much longer I can have him working here, it’s dangerous for him to be out of it, around the machines and the customers. I may have to let him go.”

                “That would be the worst thing you could do, Taka. He’d run right to Natsu and then we’d probably never hear from him again, Natsu would keep him isolated from his friends.” The two men stood there, not having anything to say. “I’ll let it go as long as I can, Kyo. I don’t want to fire him, I want him safe, and it seems like work is the only safe spot for him right now.” As Kyo left, both he and Taka were at a loss on what to do with Uta.

                                                                                                !

 

                “I agree, I don’t think the HBG is a good spot right now, not with what’s going on with Uta and Natsu. Taka told me that Uta even blew off Kyo, telling him that it was basically none of his business, and that Kyo loved Koichi, so why does he even care what Uta does.” Sato and Tatsu were working out a plan for the first date, a double date for Koichi and Tatsu. “I don’t think we should do the restaurant yet either, it’s too soon. What else did you have in mind?” Tatsu just wanted to be near Koichi, even if it meant dinner at Sato’s, just to be able to sit near his boy again. “Well, Genki Sushi is always fun, and it’s not overly crowded, or Mos Burger, nobody will recognize us there anyway, not like at the restaurant. Or we could do Ojisan’s again, up to you.”

                “I think Mos Burger sounds perfect, if we want we can do shopping and coffee, or just come back to your house, would Taka be okay with that?” Sato made a rude noise, “Taka doesn’t care, as long as he can get you and Koichi in the same room, he’s happy.”   

 

                Why am I so nervous? It’s Tatsu…I know him inside and out, so why am I shaking like it’s a first date and I’m in high school? Breathe Kou, just breathe, you know what to expect, right? You’ve had sex with the man for gods sake, a lot of sex. He’s seen you at your worst, and at your best, you’ve seen HIM at his worst, obviously, and at his best, so why are you shaking in your boots? It’s just another date with Sato and Taka, you’ve done this dozens of times, there’s nothing new about this. Why am I shaking then? Fuck, I feel stupid, really stupid, I’m a grown ass man, that’s going on a date with my ex-husband…nothing to it, right?

                Koichi’s phone buzzes in his pocket, “Hey, yah I’m ready. Have they decided where we’re going? Mos Burger? Sounds good to me, I’ll be ready.”

                Koichi’s internal dialogue was done arguing with himself, he just had to suck it up, act normal and everything would be fine. Ten minutes later, Koichi’s sitting in the back seat of Sato’s car, with Tatsu, literally a foot away. He hasn’t been this close to Tatsu since the night they hugged. He wondered if Tatsu was having the same problems, was he nervous? He snuck a look at Tatsu, who was talking with Sato, and didn’t notice Koichi staring at him.  Sitting back in the seat, Tatsu turned to Koichi ands mile, “You look nice tonight.” He said calmly. Koichi froze, shit, what do I say? “Um, thanks, you look nice too.” Okay, now I’m in 8th grade, trying to talk to my first crush.

                Thankfully, Koichi couldn’t see Taka, who was trying hard not to giggle, at the awkwardness of his two best friends.  As they walked up to the restaurant, Tatsu placed his hand on the small of Koichi’s back, guiding him through the door, then holding his chair for him as they were seated.

                This is so weird! I know what he looks like naked and he’s treating me like it’s an actual first date! Oh shit! Now I’ve done it…now I can’t look at him without thinking about him naked, shit!

                “Kou, are you feeling okay? You look a little flushed.” Sato and Taka looked at Koichi, “Yah, Kou … you are looking a little red, what’s up?” Taka knew exactly why Koichi was flushed, and it had nothing to do with him being sick. Koichi kicked Taka under the table, glaring at him to shut up about how flushed he was. “I’m fine, thanks for asking…can we order now?”  Diversion is the best course of action at this point, keep Tatsu from looking directly at me, I can’t look him in the eyes yet…not yet!

                After the received their food, things quieted down a little more, and it felt more like the old days, just having dinner with friends. But then the topic of Uta came up, and the mood turned somber.

                “I had Kyo meet me at work yesterday, just to talk to Uta, see what he thought about the situation. I guess Kyo tried to call Uta the night before, and Natsu answered the phone, and totally screamed at Kyo, and in the background, Kyo could hear Uta asking who it was, and then Natsu told Uta to shut the hell up.” Koichi had not worked with Uta in several days, so he had no clue that Uta appeared to be drugged. “Not much I can do really,” Taka said, “I don’t want to fire him, that would just drive him further into Natsu’s arms, but I’m not sure what else we can do.”

                To avoid ruining the entire night with brooding over Uta, the double daters decided to do some shopping in Harajuku, just to keep the date going.  Tatsu was always looking for new clothes to wear during lives, and Harajuku was one of his fave spots to shop. Of course, this meant that anything he looked at, had to be voted on by Taka and Koichi. Sato didn’t typically wear the style, as it was too constricting when he played drums.

                “You look like Uruha, with the thigh showing, so I vote no. Uruha can pull it off, sorry Tatsu, he has better legs than you do.” teased Koichi. “Maybe you can try the nose band, like Reita…no wait, don’t even go there, sorry.”  It was now Taka’s turn to critique Tatsu. “The feather thing looks like something Acchan would wear, so no. But that coat…the long black one? I like that, you could pull that off. It would also look good on Miya, but it would to be shortened… a lot.”

                After an hour looking at clothes, the group headed for a sweets shop, and had a lovely round of ultra-chocolaty ice cream cake, with coffee. Leaning back in the booth, Sato groaned. “I ate way too much junk tonight! Thank god we don’t have rehearsal tomorrow, or I wouldn’t be able to move.” The conversation then turned to what upcoming lives Mucc had scheduled. Koichi still worked for DCR, but wasn’t in on the lives that were being done nationally, since he’d been working with mostly international venues. “When is your next live? Or do you not have one schedule yet?” Taka wanted to get a jump on planning for the next live, to make sure that Koichi and Tatsu could be thrown together as much as possible.

                “Um, I think we have one coming up in about a month, maybe a week of shows really close to home, maybe an in-store? I’d have to ask Miya, he’s the one that really sets them up.” Koichi looked over at Tatsu, “Will you be well enough, you think, to be able to handle a live again?” Sato reached over and patted Tatsu on the shoulder, “He’d better be up to it, I’m not about to carry him off stage again, you’re heavier than you look!” Tatsu was taking all the good- natured ribbing in stride, just happy to be able to laugh about his situation now. He also kept stealing glances at Koichi, trying to gage his reaction to what was being said.  “I’ll be fine, I’m eating healthier, and working out, so by the time the next set of lives come up, I’ll be ready.”

                The date ended with Sato dropping Tatsu and Koichi off at their respective flats, unfortunately this did not allow Tatsu and Koichi to hug, which Sato got smacked in the back of the head for forgetting. “You didn’t give them a chance to kiss! Damn it Sato! I’m trying to get them back together some time this century!” Sato chuckled at his husband, “Taka, they’re already dating now, we don’t need to shove them together anymore, let them take their time! Remember how much better it was for us? When we took the time to date, before jumping back into sex and living together? Tatsu and Kou need that time as well, so cut them some slack.”  

Chapter Text

               

                Laying back on his bed, Koichi replayed the nights events, with his thoughts mostly on Tatsu. It felt right tonight, natural even. He wasn’t sure how long he could stand not being able to touch Tatsu, hold him, be held by him. Going slow had its benefits, but he needed that contact with his ex, the physically stabilizing contact. Koichi wondered if Tatsu felt the same way…or was he more gun shy than Koichi? Doubtful, since he was the one to leave, meaning that he probably wanted to get on with their relationship faster than Koichi. But moving too fast, he thought, may backfire on both of them. Tatsu needed to work through his bullshit leftover feelings with Masa, and Koichi needed to leave his insecurities behind him. This was all well and good, but when it came down to the minute point, taking their time with reconnecting, won over all instant gratification.

                Peering at a photo on his phone, of happier days when he and Tatsu were at an arcade, just goofing around, it’s the one picture Koichi couldn’t delete. It was an example of the high points of his marriage. The happiness, tenderness and closeness they had as a couple, he needed to look at this to remind himself that yes, they were going to be a couple again, he was hoping to remarry Tatsu, he wanted to be his adorable Kou again.  Lying in the dark, looking at the picture, his phone buzzed, and startled Koichi so badly, he dropped his phone.

                “I hope you had fun tonight, I’d like to set up another date soon, if you’d like.”  Tatsu was texting his boy, hoping to catch Koichi before he went to sleep.

                “Yah, tonight was fun. I’m having a hard time sleeping, just feeling happy I guess.” Koichi was shaking slightly, nerves strung tight.

                “When you’re ready, I’d like to take you to the restaurant, just you and me, no double date.” Tatsu pushed send, hoping that he’d get a positive response.

                “It’s a little too soon for me, not that I don’t want to go out on a date with you, but you know how the restaurant gets sometimes, so many people there at once, and usually a Ruki Rampage of some sort.” Koichi giggled as he thought about all the times Ruki had been in some sort of trouble, usually being chased out by his band mates.

                 There was an awkward pause between texts.

                “Maybe we can get everyone together and just do Ojisan’s sometime soon?” It can’t be soon enough for me, Koichi thought, as he typed.

                “Sure, are you ready to go out with all eight of us? I’m sure Ojisan wouldn’t mind the crowd,” Tatsu pumped his fist in the air.

                “Maybe sometime next week, we’ll have to check with the others. I don’t think Shinya or Kai are busy, we all have a few more months until tour season starts again.” Tatsu waited, breathing shallow, hoping for a positive response.

                “I’ll just have to coordinate it with my schedule, I’m sure we can manage.” Koichi was blushing, heat filling his body.

                “Just text me the details when you’ve come up with a date, now I need you to get some sleep, I know you and Taka have to work tomorrow. Oyasumi Kou.” 

                “Oyasumi.” Koichi closed his phone, and hugged it to his chest.

 

                                                                                                !

                “I’m going to ask you, one more time…what did Kyo say to you?” Natsu had Uta backed up against the wall, cowering on the floor. “He asked me if you were abusing me…I told him no! I told him that you love me, that you take care of me, that you’d never hurt me. Then I told him to mind his own business and go back to Koichi…that’s all I said!”  Natsu had seen Uta talking to Kyo at the HBG earlier that day, furious that Kyo would approach Uta.

                Natsu’s face softened, “Of course I love you…you’re everything to me.” As he walked towards the chair, Natsu’s face changed again, into an explosive look of anger. “Has your boss asked any questions?” Uta shook his head, “No.” he whispered. “Taka never says anything, I think he’s too wrapped up in Tatsu and Koichi.” Uta dared to lie about Taka, he needed to steer Natsu away from Aki and Taka.

                “Come…sit with me.” Natsu beckoned Uta from his chair. As he walked slowly towards Natsu, Uta tried to calm himself, Natsu would be angry if he could feel Uta shaking. Natsu started petting Uta, as the young man sat in his lap, “My beautiful dark child, everyone wants to take you away…fucking conniving thieves!” rasped Natsu, his grip on Uta’s waist tightened. “They’re all getting too close to you,” Natsu pulled Uta’s hair, causing the young man to cry out in pain. “You’re mine…no, you won’t be taken.” Smashing his mouth against Uta’s, Natsu started pawing at Uta’s clothing. “Let me show you what I’d do to them, if they ever tried to take you from me.” Uta whined, he knew what this meant, “Please, can I have my medicine first? Please, Natsu?” Uta begged. “Natsu raised an eyebrow, “You want your medicine first?” Uta nodded. Natsu was surprised at the request, as the drug that he gave Uta would leave the him most pliable for whatever Natsu’s twisted mind would create for the boy.

                Natsu gave the boy his medicine, and waited a few minutes for it to start to take hold of Uta, which wouldn’t be long. Uta’s body was rife with the drug, Uta was rarely sober completely. Leading Uta to the bedroom, Natsu planned his fun for the night. “They really think you’ll leave me? Assholes, they know nothing!” As Natsu pulled Uta into the room, he slammed the door and locked it. “I love you, my child. There is no one who will love you more than I.” Uta whined as he was pushed down onto the bed, praying for the drug to take hold quickly, so he could be lost to the darkness.

                                                                                                !

 

                “Ojisan’s!” That was the general consensus for the first group date with Mucc and the boyfriends. “I’m just going to call ahead, and let him know that we’ll all be there.” Taka pulled out his phone. Koichi and Taka were working the early shift at the HBG, in order for them to have the night off for the group date. “He said that was fine, that it’s usually not busy in the middle of the week.” Taka was so excited, he could barely contain himself. This was going to be the night…for Koichi and Tatsu. “Aki and Uta are closing, I’ve told Aki to watch Uta carefully, especially if he see’s Natsu.” Koichi still had not see Uta since the problems with Natsu had developed, as they usually worked opposite shifts, not that he denied that Uta was in trouble, as Kyo wouldn’t go this far if it wasn’t true.

                Kyo. Koichi hadn’t spoken to his ex, since the breakup, although Taka told him that Kyo seemed fine, more worried about Uta than himself. “He’s not like heartbroken, or if he is, he’s hiding it well. He’s upset with what’s going on with Uta, and that he can’t help.”

                The day went by quickly, which was a blessing for the two men, and Koichi had decided to  spend the night at Taka’s house, as it would save him a trip on the train. “Miya and Shinya should be here soon, they had to pick up Kai and Yukke first. We should go see Shinya soon, we haven’t seen Miyu in months! I’m sure she’s gotten a little bigger by now.”  Just as Taka was speaking about Shinya, Sato arrived, followed in the door, by the others. “Perfect timing!”  The next fifteen minutes were spent hugging and smiling, and making sure that Koichi knew that everything would work itself out, in relation to Tatsu. “You just need some time, that’s all Kou-kun, you’ll be back to full speed in no time.” giggled Shinya. “Full speed? Um, what do… oh!” it took Koichi a few seconds to understand what Shinya was saying, which of course, then made the younger man blush.

                “We’re meeting Tatsu at Ojisan’s, so if everyone is ready?” The group had to take two cars, which would make things easier at the end of the evening, as Koichi was staying the night at Taka’s, who secretly hoped that Tatsu would want to spend a little extra time with Koichi. Taka had even gone further, telling everyone but Koichi and Tatsu, that there would be a seating chart, to maximize the time Kou and Tatsu were together. “You’re just a little busy body, aren’t you Taka-kun,” chided Kai. “No, I just want them together before the end of this century! It’s been too long, they need each other.”  Both Shinya and Kai grabbed Taka into a three-way hug. “We love you Taka-kun, you’re too sweet, and we both agree, it has been too long.” Kai chuckled. “And we’ll stick with your seating chart.”

                Tatsu had not yet arrived, when the group walked into Ojisan’s, and were then greeted with a big smile from the proprietor. “Irasshi, gentlemen! It pleases me that you all have chosen to come tonight.” Taka had also informed Ojisan of his plan, when he called ahead for the group. “I’m just trying to push them together a little sooner.” The group had been seated, with Koichi next to Taka, and an empty seat next to him, ostensibly for Tatsu. Beers had been ordered and the group was becoming livelier, and before too long Tatsu arrived. With only one seat left at the small counter, Tatsu sat next to Koichi, both furiously blushing.  “Since this is a group celebration, I will waive the three- beer limit for tonight.” Ojisan announced, which of course, received a rousing cheer.

                “May I ask, what you are celebrating, that all of you would attend?” Ojisan already knew, but he wanted to hear it from his guests, the one’s he had become so fond of over the last few years. “This is a group date, Ojisan!  Koichi and Tatsu have started dating, and this is our first night out as a group.” Taka volunteered, that earned him a punch in the shoulder from Koichi. “Taka!” he hissed. “What? It’s true, right?” Taka grabbed his arm in mock pain. “But you didn’t have to say it like that…did you?” Koichi whined. As Koichi was picking on Taka, Tatsu patted Koichi’s thigh. “It’s okay, Kou. I don’t mind.” Tatsu smiled at Koichi, he didn’t care what anyone said, or how anyone described what was happening, Tatsu was just thankful that it was.

                The teasing, the pretend fighting, all the good-natured ribbing, went on throughout the meal, with Ojisan joining in at times. “I make a lot of money when you are all here, you keep my counter full, and my heart as well.”  They all cherished Ojisan, who had an uncanny ability to see through most everyone’s bullshit, and had no problems calling people out on their actions, such as Tatsuro. This night was no different. Standing in front of Taka and Koichi, Ojisan said something that shocked the group,
“There is another than needs help, from the small man with the large presence.” Taka gaped at Ojisan “How do you know…?” None of the group ever remember talking about Uta to Ojisan, although he had met Kyo previously. “That one needs to be saved, soon. You will lose him if the small man does nothing.” The group looked at each other, with Shinya speaking first. “Ojisan, we know…right now Kyo is trying to help, but the boy doesn’t believe he’s in danger.”

                This disturbed the shop owner, but if he had other ideas or thoughts, he kept them to himself. The night continued until the closing of the shop, and as everyone went to their cars, plans were made for yet another group night out. “Maybe next time, we could go to the restaurant, Kou-kun. When you’re up to speed…” giggled Shinya. Koichi stuck out his tongue at his friend, “Don’t worry about my speed, Shin…keep yours up with Miya!”

                Arriving back at Sato’s house, Koichi and Taka made tea for everyone. The awkward silence was back, but in a different way. Nudging Sato, Taka stretched and yawned, “Okay, time for bed for us. Tatsu, you know where the blankets are, I’ll see you in the morning.” Koichi startled, “Wait, you’re spending the night too?” Tatsu nodded, “Yep, we have an early rehearsal, so it’s just easier to stay here. You don’t mind do you? I mean, you’ll have the guest room to yourself.” Koichi’s stomach fluttered, “Uh, no. I don’t mind.” With Taka and Sato off to bed, Koichi and Tatsu sat quietly for a while, neither one knowing what they should do next.

                “Do you mind if we talk for a while? I have a lot of stuff I’d like to tell you, I don’t want anything hidden anymore. I want to tell you everything, so maybe we can get past all of this bullshit that Masa dropped on us.” Tatsu spoke, looking down at his hands. Koichi looked at his ex-husband, “Okay, we can do that. I want to go change into my pajamas, I’m pretty sure this will take a while.” Tatsu watched as Koichi left the room. “You’re in charge now, don’t fuck this up.” whispered Tatsu.

 

                                                                                                !

 

                Koichi walked back into the living room in his pajamas, clutching a blanket and a pillow, noticing that Tatsu had also changed into sleep pants and a t shirt. Settling down on the couch, sitting at opposite ends, Koichi smiled, “You first…” Tatsu nodded. “Um, I guess I should start when I met Masa?” Koichi nodded, “Probably.”

                “I met Masa about ten years ago, at a live, he was just another fan in the crowd, but I still noticed him, he stood out.  You know that he’s beautiful, I can’t lie about that, but he had something that drew us together.  I made it a point to go out and find him during the intermission, and invited him out for coffee after the live. He seemed genuinely thrilled, and said yes immediately. We went and had coffee, and spent about three hours talking that first night. He seemed to be everything I had searched for; beautiful, smart, funny and sexy, and we hit it off right away. We started dating, nothing super serious really, but our relationship moved rapidly. The others thought he was sweet, Shinya told me that Masa was perfect for me, I’m sure he regrets that now in hindsight, but we had no idea what was coming.

                Masa is about 8 years younger than me, so he was basically a fresh-faced teenager when we met, and it was cute how star struck he was around the others. He fit right in with the other boyfriends, going to lives, working with the DCR people for events, it was like I’d found who I’d been searching for. Everyone approved of him, Miya, Yukke…it wasn’t a problem, they all really liked him.”

                Tatsu looked at Koichi, who had his head cocked against the couch, trying to absorb all of the information. Tatsu hesitated bringing up the next part of the story, but it was part of the whole. “Um…I have to tell you this part, in order for you to understand, and like I said, I don’t want to hide anything from you, ever again.”  Koichi nodded, “Okay, I understand…is it that bad?” Tatsu shrugged, “It is in a way, but it’s important.” Tatsu paused, “It’s about our sex life…” Tatsu cringed, waiting for a negative reaction, but was surprised he got none. “I’m sorry, Kou. This is hard for me…” Koichi reached over and patted Tatsu on the hand. “I understand, but I need to know everything, not like the gory details of course.”

                Tatsu took a deep breath, “It was freaky…he was freaky. I’d not had…um…how should I say it, a lot of weird sex, pretty much straight forward stuff, pretty vanilla. Masa changed that, even the first time, it was freaky. He was into mild bondage, which I’d never done, and some other things, leather, toys, whips, and mostly verbal abuse. He wanted me to be super vulgar, which isn’t all that freaky, until it’s mixed in with some of the weirder things. It seemed that the longer we were together, the weirder our sex life got. Masa wanted us, as a couple, to try various drugs, which I said absolutely not, alcohol was enough, but he disagreed, he said I was too straight, and boring.  I don’t know how or where he got them, but some of the drugs turned him into a raving sex fiend.” Koichi giggled, “Like that’s a bad thing?” Tatsu waved him off, “If it’s not the norm, yah it was a bad thing. Sometimes I didn’t know who I was coming home to.”

                “It became a problem when we couldn’t just have regular sex, it always had to be freaky, and I mean always. He didn’t want me to hold him, or make love to him, he just wanted me to fuck him into the wall, as often as I could.” Tatsu was frowning, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Anyways, it just started to be too much, then shit really got bad. Masa stopped going to lives, giving me all sorts of excuses, he stopped being involved with DCR stuff. You know as well as I do, if you’re dating or married to someone contracted through DCR, we help each other, we’re there for each other. If something happens, we can always rely on the wives and partners of DCR. Masa stopped dead, telling me he wanted to go have fun with his friends, not hang around with a bunch of boring married people. So, when the novelty of me being in a band wore off, he just found something new to occupy his time.  This is when he started hanging out with some people that were a little shady, I’m not saying they were criminals or such, but they weren’t what you’d call nice either.”

                Tatsu slumped back in the couch. Turning his head, he gazed at Koichi. This was his boy, the only thing in his life that mattered, and he had hurt Kou so badly. Yet he was being given one more chance, a do-over, to make his life what it was before.

                “Masa’s new friends were young, like him, they had ideals about things. Alcohol and drugs were always in the foreground, it was always party central when he hung out with those people. He started coming home drunk, and high on something. The first few times it wasn’t bad, just being sick and hung over, but it escalated into several nights a week, and I’m talking sloppy drunk, more than a few times his so-called friends dumped him at my door, for me to find in the morning. I’d bring him in, sober him up, we’d fight and not speak to each other for days, but then he’d apologize, tell me he wouldn’t do it anymore, and then he’d want me to fuck him, and then things would be okay for a while. This had become the normal cycle of our life together.”

                “Why didn’t you just leave him at that point? What made you stay with him and take his abuse?” Koichi couldn’t understand that part of the story. “I can use the lame excuse of because I loved him but I think I was afraid of being alone. It was hard to watch Miya and Yukke, with Shinya and Kai. Sato hadn’t had a lover in a long time, but he seemed okay with it, never complaining. I wanted that someone, that person that I could look forward to coming home to, and that’s why I put up with Masa’s shit. But it started to change quickly when I found out he was using drugs, some sort of pills, that if you mixed it with alcohol, it was dangerous. He was coming home and passing out, not waking up until the next evening, then doing it again. We fought almost constantly, back and forth between I love you, I hate you, that sort of thing. Towards the end, Masa just stopped coming home every night, and I stopped caring really. I couldn’t do it anymore, Kou. I couldn’t stand being hurt one more time.”

                Koichi had shrugged down a little on the couch, now laying down with his blanket and a pillow. “How did the woman come into all of this?” This was the final part of the first episode with Masa. “I was stupid and weak, I needed someone, something to hold on to. She was there, attractive, willing and not wanting anything more than just that night. She told me she was on the pill, so I didn’t use protection, which was really stupid on my part, aside from the pregnancy. I freaked out after, and went and got tested for every known disease. After that, feeling guilty, I told Masa. Masa laughed in my face, he called me pathetic for having resorted to fucking a woman. That fight ended up with him not coming home again.

                I tried for another three months, to make it work. Everyone was telling me to get rid of Masa, that I didn’t need to be in that type of relationship, but then Masa chose for me, he disappeared. After not coming home for several nights in a row, I started calling his friends, who just laughed at me. I couldn’t find him, I looked everywhere. I went to bars, nightclubs, I searched the crowd at every live, finally I just gave up. He wasn’t there, and he wasn’t coming back. That’s when I folded in on myself, I gave up much like I did with you. I wasn’t eating right, I would show up at lives barely able to perform, I was like that for about six months. That’s when I got the post card from Masa, and coincidentally the call from the woman. I received a post card from Los Angeles that said “Do not forget it, the beauty of our future that we dreamed.” Those are lyrics from Ryuusei. It was a slap in the face, telling me that what we had dreamed of, for our future was a joke. It wasn’t three days later, I get a call from the woman. It didn’t occur to me to question her; how did she get my number? I just believed her, the timing was right, everything was just falling into place.”

                By now, without even thinking twice, Koichi had his feet in Tatsu’s lap, and Tatsu was absentmindedly rubbing them. This was such a natural position for them, one taking care of the other, without even thinking about it.

                “I agreed to support her, and the child, with the guarantee that she didn’t reveal anything. After the child was born, she sent me pictures, I just assumed it was true.  In hindsight, I should have contacted DCR’s legal team, but the guilt was so overwhelming, I just did what I thought I should do. I had a secret bank account, that nobody knew about, that I would deposit money into, that she drew out of. This obviously went on until Masa came back, and threatened me with blackmail. The money that I had been sending her, was going straight to Masa, in Los Angeles, and it only stopped because she didn’t want to be involved anymore, that’s the reason he came back.

                “When we saw him in Harajuku that day, I almost passed out, seriously. That’s why I faked the headache, I was so sick to my stomach. And at Buck Tick, he knew I’d be there, and he waited until you had walked back into the theater, to approach me. That night is when he gave me the ultimatum, dump you and take him back, or he’d reveal everything to the press, including our marriage.” Tatsu was tired and wrecked, and it showed, with pale skin and red eyes. “You can stop now, if you want. I pretty much know the rest of the story.” Offered Koichi. “No, I have one other thing to tell you.” Koichi nodded. “I have our wedding rings, I took them from the flat, and I still have them, I just didn’t know what to do with them.” Koichi was indifferent and it surprised him. “Throw them away, they mean nothing to me anymore. They’re part of our past, and have nothing to do with our future.” Koichi sat up on the couch, edging towards Tatsu. “So, what is our future? I’m assuming you want the same thing I do, don’t you?” Turning on the couch and facing Koichi, Tatsu looked at his boy, leaning slowly towards Kou, Tatsu gently cupped his boy’s face, and gently placed a chase kiss on Koichi’s lips. “This is what I want, forever.” Koichi sighed with the kiss, with a tiny sound that was like heaven for Tatsu. “I do too. Can we? Please…” he whispered. Scooting closer, Tatsu cupped Koichi’s face again, this time leaning in for a slow, languid kiss.

Without breaking the kiss, the two men pulled each other into an embrace, both moaning each other’s names. “Kou…I love you, please tell me that you love me…please I just need to hear those words from you again.” Tatsu pulled out of the kiss for a moment. “I love you, Tatsu.” He mewled. Resuming the kissing, Tatsu tugged Koichi closer, not wanting to let go, ever. After ten good minutes of kissing, the couple pulled apart, “Um, I need to stop, or we’re going to um, regret it in the morning.” sighed Tatsu. “I doubt we’d regret it Tatsu, but it is too soon I think, at least for me.” giggled Koichi.  Tatsu drew Koichi close and laid back on the couch, his head on the armrest. Covering them with a blanket, the two reunited lovers fell asleep in each other’s arms. 

                “Sato, come here!” whispered Taka. “Look!” Sato peeked around the corner, and saw Tatsu and Koichi in each other’s arms, asleep on the couch. “Looks like you made it happen before the end of the century, Taka.”

Chapter Text

                Koichi slowly opened his eyes, not wanting to move…not yet. He wanted this to last forever, the feeling of being in Tatsu’s arms again, the feeling of being safe, where he belonged, as long as he could, he wanted to remain just as they were. Tatsu was still breathing evenly, no movement, not a sound other than the gentle breathing of his ex…wait, could he stop saying ex now? What were they? Boyfriends? Ex’s? He didn’t know of a specific status for ex’s that reunited. Closing his eyes, he wormed against Tatsu, hoping that this would last another hour, even if it were only for today.

                Tatsu woke to Koichi snuggling against him…but he stayed perfectly still, not letting Koichi know he was awake. He too felt perfect, his boy was in his arms again, and even though it would only be for a short while, Tatsu wanted to relish the feeling, to remind him of what he had done, what he had lost and how much he desperately needed to get it back. He wasn’t sure if he could make it up to Koichi, how do you correct something that was so wrong? That hurt so many people, the one’s you claimed to love beyond all others. Tatsu felt like it may take a lifetime to prove his love to Koichi, and he was willing to throw his entire life at Koichi, everything.

                Unfortunately for both Koichi and Tatsu, nature’s way of waking you, the constant press on your bladder, was the culprit in spoiling their morning. Tatsu hesitated only a millisecond, then kissed the top of Koichi’s head. He tightened his embrace just enough for the smaller man to know that he was awake. “Morning… did you sleep well? This wasn’t my idea of how we would spend our first night together, but I have to say, I loved every second of it.” Koichi hummed, “I enjoyed it, it felt nice. Comfortable and well, you understand.” Untangling themselves, Koichi headed to the bathroom first. Tatsu sat up, and ran his fingers through his hair, replaying the previous night’s confessions, hoping that it was the right thing to do, to lay bare his soul in order to relieve some of his guilt. “You can use the bathroom now; would you like me to make tea?” Koichi asked as he padded back into the living room. “Mmm, that sounds nice, I’ll be back in a minute.” How he wanted to grab Koichi and kiss him senseless, the kiss they share last night, it had made Tatsu hungry for so much more.

                “Morning you two!” Sato yawned as he walked into the kitchen. “Start enough tea for all of us, Kou. I’ll have to go drag Taka out of bed in a few.” Sato elbowed Tatsu as he walked back from the bathroom. “How did you sleep?” teased Sato. “I slept just fine, thank you very much…no complaints at all.” Tatsu smiled.  Taka wandered in from the bedroom, and walked up behind Sato, obviously still sleeping, “It’s too loud out here…I need tea.” Leaning over Sato’s back, Taka followed his husband around the kitchen, until he almost fell over Muzzie and Eddy. “Taka, go sit down before you step on one of them.” Sato pushed Taka towards the table.

                Opening his eyes, he glanced over at Koichi, and winked at him, leaving Koichi blushing. “Taka, I’m calling out sick, just so you know.” Koichi wanted to get a rise out of his friend, in revenge for the wink. “Oh, hell no you’re not! I’m not working all damned day by myself! If you call out, you’re fired…” Koichi had to laugh at Taka’s reasoning. “If I call out, I’m not there, and then you’ll fire me…then I won’t be showing up at all…catch 22, Taka!” Throwing his head back moaning, Taka conceded defeat. “Fine…you’re really not going to call out today, are you? OH! Hey, you can’t! You need to come in, Uta’s opening this morning and I want your opinion on him.” The mood turned serious. “Taka, is he really that bad? Kyo has been known to exaggerate sometimes.” Tatsu didn’t know what to believe. “You come by today and take a look as well, Tatsu. This isn’t a joke, not even close to being funny.”  Taka was being dead serious, with no room for humor. “Kou, would you like me to come for lunch? Just tell me what time…and I’ll be there.”

                                                                                                !

                “Hopefully, today I’m wrong and Uta will be fine. I doubt it though…it’s been too long.” Koichi could see how concerned Taka was about Uta, and how the tone in his voice changed when he spoke about the young man. Standing in the door way of the office, Taka was warning Koichi about what he might see. “His eyes will be glassy, and he’ll just space out. I think Natsu’s drugging him, constantly. If he doesn’t have any new bruises or bite marks, I’d be surp…” Just as Taka was finishing, Uta walked in the door. “Morning Uta,” Taka greeted the boy. “Hi Taka, Hi Koichi…” Uta continued to walk right by the two men. “Uh, Hi Uta! I haven’t seen you in a while,” Koichi tried to hug his friend, but Uta got very stiff, leaving Koichi to back off. “Yah, you don’t work the same time I do. Aki does though, and Taka, but not you.”  Koichi watched as Uta went through the motions of opening the counters at the HBG, just moving along as if on autopilot. “God, Taka! Is he like this all the time now? No wonder Kyo’s upset!” Taka nodded, “it’s been like this for weeks, and it seems to be getting worse, and I have no clue what to do. It’s not like I can kidnap him and hold him hostage away from Natsu.”

                The change in his friend, shocked Koichi…gone was the vibrant soul, that recovered so well after his traumatic rape and attack by Morrie. Uta was now almost a zombie, going through the motions of life, with no awareness, with no enthusiasm…just moving. Shooting a look at Taka, Koichi tried to approach Uta again, not wanting to give up on the young man. “How’s things, Uta? I miss working with you…we used to have so much fun working together with you and Aki.” Uta glanced at Koichi, “Everything’s great, Natsu loves me and he cares a great deal about me. I just wish everyone would leave us alone…like Kyo. You should tell your boyfriend to leave me alone, Koichi.” There was no emotion behind Uta’s words, scaring Koichi. “Uta, Kyo and I broke up…I’m back with Tatsu now. I’m sure Kyo’s just worried about you, that’s all. You guys did date for a while, it’s only natural that he’s concerned about your happiness.”

                “No, he just wants to take me away from Natsu. I love Natsu…he cares for me, he loves me.” It was almost as if Uta were programed to recite these phrases, in an attempt to prove that Natsu loved him. “Are you sure, Uta? You seem to have a lot of bruises…why do you have bite marks, Uta?” Koichi pressed the issue. “No, we just have rough sex, that’s all. I agreed to it, I’m okay with it. Please Koichi, just forget it, don’t bring it up anymore.” And with that last statement, Uta walked away from his friend, leaving Koichi slack jawed.

                Koichi walked back to the office, “Oh my god, Taka, you’re right! He’s a fucking zombie, what the hell is Natsu doing to him? He’s so out of it, and he told me basically to mind my own business, and to leave him and Natsu alone. Taka, this is bad, really bad.” As they watched their friend, Taka and Koichi were at a complete loss about what they could do for their friend. “I don’t think we can do anything, Koichi. If Uta doesn’t want help, if he doesn’t ask for it, what can we do? I can’t force him to stop seeing Natsu. I guess all we can do is wait.”

                Uta worked through the rest of the shift quietly, not engaging the customers, so unlike him from the past. Tatsu and Sato had arrived for the breaks for Taka and Koichi, meeting them out on the patio. “Go ask Uta for a drink, Tatsu. See if you can get him to talk to you.” Koichi prodded. Walking to the counter, Tatsu ordered a drink. “Hey Uta, how’s it going?” Tatsu tried. “Hi, Tatsu. It’s going fine. You’re back with Koichi, aren’t you? That’s nice.” Uta slid the drink across the counter, and turned away from Tatsu.

                “I told you, Kyo wasn’t exaggerating, this is some serious shit.” snapped Taka. “Now do you believe me?” The rest of the lunch break was spent talking about Uta, and what, if anything could be done about it. “We can’t do anything, all we can do is make sure he’s safe here at work.” That was the final call for Taka, who didn’t want to give up on Uta, but had no solutions to the problem.

                                                                                                !

                For Koichi and Tatsu, the next few weeks were a combination of bliss mixed with some small amount of resentment and regret. Koichi still had issues with the way Tatsu had left him, with no word nor reason, and Tatsu couldn’t get away from the guilt and regret. These two bedfellows, led to some interesting and sometimes heated conversations between the two, refereed at times, by Taka. “Okay you two, time out! Tatsu, go take a walk or something…just leave for a bit please.” Taka scolded Tatsu. “Fine, I’ll be back in a bit.” Tatsu stomped out of Taka’s house, slamming the door. “So, what started it this time? Obviously, Masa is the main reason, but you guys looked like it was getting close to being a bit physical, so what gives?” Taka had not heard the heated exchange between Koichi and Tatsu. “He’s just being an asshole, that’s all.” snapped Koichi. “Um, that doesn’t explain why you guys were arguing, Kou.” Falling back onto the couch, Koichi covered his eyes with his arm. “Of course, it was about Masa, it’s always about Masa. Today was the ‘Masa and the weird sex’ topic.” This caught Taka by surprise, “Weird sex? Um, do I even want to know?”

                “No, you don’t. Basically, whatever Tatsu ‘learned’ from Masa, he, um…brought it into our relationship, which now feels gross, like never again will I be able to do something of these things, without thinking of Masa. I told him that! And he doesn’t understand why now, I wouldn’t want to do these specific things.” Koichi threw his head back on the couch. “I don’t know, Taka. Maybe this wasn’t a great idea…maybe we can’t go back to what we had.” A single tear slid down Koichi’s cheek. “Kou, depending in what exactly these um…sex things are, would they be considered normal to anyone else? Are we talking weird positions, or um…toys…god, this is so embarrassing!” Taka shook his head.

                “Yes, and yes and yes. All of that, I don’t know if they’re considered normal or not, Taka! Remember, I was basically a virgin when I started dating Tatsu, so how am I to know what’s normal and what’s not?” Koichi lifted his head and looked at his friend, “How am I suppose to go back to what we were, now knowing that Masa was behind some of the…well the sex stuff? Are we going to have to change everything we ever did in the bedroom, that was related to Masa…in order to move on?” Tears now started to fall, Koichi feeling lost and confused.

                “Can I come back in?” Tatsu poked his head inside the genkan. Taka looked at Koichi, who then nodded. “Yes, Tatsu.” Tatsu walked directly to the couch, where Koichi was sitting. “I’m sorry, Kou. Can we talk now?” Taka got up and left the room, leaving Koichi and Tatsu to return to their discussion.

                “Kou, I had to remind myself, about what we had when we started dating, that you were basically a virgin…and I’m sorry that I had honestly forgotten that.” Tatsu reached over to wipe a tear off Koichi’s cheek. “I didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t! You have to see it from my side, what was freaky to me, was it normal? If is normal, how do I accept that it’s stuff that you did with Masa?” Tatsu reached over and clasped Koichi’s hand. “Unless you want a play by play, which I could give you, you’re going to have to accept that both of us will now be bringing a bit of baggage to our relationship. You’ve been lovers with Kyo, and no…I don’t want details, I don’t even want to think of it actually. But I can’t change that, I can’t question what you and Kyo did together, either.”

                Koichi snuffled, “I guess I’m going to have to accept that what you did with Masa, has nothing to do with me, and the same goes for me and Kyo. Since you know what you did with Masa, maybe you could not do it with me? Unless of course it’s just basic sex stuff like blowjobs or finger fucking.” Both men heard a gasp, coming from the bedroom area. “Taka, quit eavesdropping!” A slight flurry of footsteps followed. “Blowjobs and finger fucking…can you be a bit blunter, Kou?” teased Tatsu. “Well, I could, but I don’t think you want a play by play about Kyo and I, do you? You know what I mean…” giggled Koichi. “NO! I don’t need to hear about that! Oh god, Kou…now I have the mental picture of it!” Tatsu leaned over and quickly kissed Koichi, “I guess we’re just going to have to start all over with the sex thing…maybe you could be a born-again virgin?” This made Koichi blush a deep crimson, “Um, well…I guess. I’m not really ready for that part yet…are you?”

                “I’m not going to lie, Kou. If I could, I’d fuck you into the wall right this second…but no, I don’t think we’re ready for it yet. I need a few more dates first… then I’ll fuck you into the wall.” Tatsu laughed. Tatsu reached over and grasped Koichi’s face and with a whisper and a kiss, “I love you Kou”

                                                                                !

                “This feels so weird, everyone is staring at us!” Koichi looked around the restaurant as he and Tatsu walked towards their table, nodding and waving to people who called out his name. The couple had decided it was time to go on their first public date, and both felt it would be a bit less awkward if they dined in a familiar setting, but now Koichi questioned their choice. “It’s fine Kou, they’re just happy to see us together, so no worries.” Tatsu had his hand on the small of Koichi’s back, guiding them to their table. Tatsu ordered wine for them, and they made a quick choice from the menu.

                “Do you remember the first time I brought you here? You were so star struck, it was freaking adorable, you met Shinya for the first time that night.” Tatsu was resting his chin, in his palm, propped up on an elbow, gazing at his boy. “Feels like a hundred years ago to me. I feel like that was a different person…not me, not how I am now.” Koichi wore a sad little smile. “But look at us know, Kou. We’re not perfect, but at least we’re together, and putting the work and effort to change our lives so we can move past all this bullshit.” Tatsu stood and leaned over the table, kissing Koichi softly.

                “I’m sorry to intrude, I just wanted to say hello, and how happy I am for both of you.” Sakurai Atsushi slowly approached their table. “Thank you, Acchan…we’re pretty happy ourselves.” Tatsu smirked, “Make sure you stay this way, or I will not hesitate to shake some sense into you again. Excuse me.” Sakurai bowed and walked away.

                For the rest of their evening, random friends approached the couple, some only to shake hands, or in some cases, they were told, ‘it’s about time’. The biggest reaction was from Ruki, but he was a little more subdued than his normal over the top personality.

                “Kou-kun! I’m so happy for you…you too Tatsu!” Ruki hugged Koichi, “Thanks Ruki, we appreciate it.”  As quick as he was excitedly happy for Tatsu and Koichi, his demeanor changed in an instant, with a brooding look, Ruki had to ask, “I’m hear rumors, Kou-kun…about Uta and some guy he’s dating, that he’s being abused, is it true?”

                Koichi nodded, “Apparently, yes. You should speak with Kyo or Taka, they know more about the situation than I do.” Ruki stood quietly for a moment, then reached out to hug Koichi. “I’ll call him tonight. I love you, Kou-kun.” Ruki turned and went back to his table.

                “I don’t think I’ve ever known someone who’s mood can change that quickly” observed Tatsu, “There is no hesitation, it just happens.”

                “I don’t think we’ll ever know someone like Ruki, he’s special…in a good way” Koichi murmured.

                                                                                                !

                “Kyo? It’s Ruki. Yes, I know it’s strange. I spoke to Koichi earlier tonight. No, he was with Tatsu at the restaurant. I’m sorry…but not sorry, I know you understand. He’s happy, I know. Tell me about Uta, I’ve been hearing rumors. Shit! What? Bruises? Bite marks? Fuck! So, who’s the guy? Natsu, huh? Have you…of course, that’s the pattern. If he doesn’t…you’re right, not much we can do. Taka? Okay, I’ll call him…Kyo? Thank you for keeping Kou-kun safe.”

 

                “Ruki? Um, no it’s fine, what’s up? Okay, did Kyo explain it? Well, it’s really involved, um…can we meet at some point? I know you guys got close. I’m at work tomorrow if you have time…that would work. Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

                “He talked to Koichi and Kyo tonight.” Sato and Taka were in bed, reconnecting after a long day. “He’s pissed, like spitting pissed.” Taka sat up on one elbow. “More people are finding out, do…do you think Uta will be safe?” Taka worried endlessly about Uta’s safety. “I don’t know, babe. I don’t have an answer for you.” Sato said lamely.

               

                “I’d like to speak to Uta, please.” Ruki needed to hear Uta’s voice, he needed Uta to explain why bruises and bite marks were acceptable in a relationship. “Who the fuck are you?” snapped Natsu. Ruki stiffened at the sound of Natsu’s voice.

                “Tell Uta that Ruki needs to speak with him, not you.” Ruki could hear Uta’s voice in the background, asking Natsu who was calling. “Shut up, Uta…Uta doesn’t want to fucking talk to you, Ruki.” Natsu snarled. “You’re just another washed up flunky from that bunch of so called friends that Uta had. Now he’s with me, you little shit. He doesn’t need you or anyone else…he has ME!” Natsu was yelling, totally loosing his temper.

“He does need me, and his other friends, because that’s just it, we’re friends, we don’t leave FUCKING BITE MARKS AND BRUISES ON OUR LOVERS YOU MOTHER FUCKER! YOU BETTER HOPE I DON’T FUCKING EVER RUN INTO YOU BECAUSE I WILL KILL YOU FOR HURTING UTA! I’M COMING FOR YOU…NATSU. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE UTA’S FRIENDS, ASSHOLE!” Ruki slammed down the phone.

                 “Damn it, Uta! You’re smarter than this, what is he using to control you?” Ruki paused, Kyo had said something about drugs. “Fuck…drugs?” flopping down on his couch, Ruki felt lost, not knowing what he could do to rescue Uta.

 

                “No! I haven’t! Please Natsu…I haven’t seen Ruki in months, I promise! He must have talked to Kyo, that’s the only way he’d find out!” Uta was sobbing, why wouldn’t people just leave them alone?  “That little fuck Kyo, must be spreading rumors!” an angry seething Natsu glared at Uta, “This is YOUR fault! It’s your friends who are trying to come between us!”

                Natsu muttered under his breath, seeking a solution to the problem of nosey friends. Uta had slowly walked towards Natsu, wanting to be near his lover. Curling up on the floor next to Natsu’s chair, Uta whimpered softly, leaning his head against Natsu’s legs. Natsu moved his and, letting his fingers lightly pet Uta’s hair.

                “There is one solution…I had not planned for it, this soon, gut the time may be now.” Upon hearing Natsu’s promise of a solution, Uta’s fear rose up into the back of his throat, threatening to choke the young man.

Chapter Text

“That was nice, I’m glad we decided on the restaurant, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it might be.” Tatsu was driving them back to Koichi’s flat after having dinner at the restaurant. Tatsu had his hand on Koichi’s thigh, Koichi covering it with his own hand. Koichi kept stealing looks at Tatsu as he drove. Damn, he’s still so fucking hot! Koichi felt a slight tightening in his abdomen, a small twitch of his cock. Maybe tonight? We did say it was too early, but he wants to fuck me into the wall…that sounds nice actually.

                “You have a sneaky grin on your face…what are you thinking about Kou?” Tatsu was hoping he was thinking the same thing he was…tonight may be the night. “Nothing, just remembering how much fun we’ve had together over the years, and how it outweighs the bad shit.” Koichi smiled at Tatsu. “Why? What are YOU thinking?” he bet he knew the answer but wanted to play a little longer. “Um, that maybe I’ll wear a dress for our next live…maybe one of those Scottish kilts, with my white Doc Martens.” Damn I’m good, he wasn’t expecting that for an answer. “A kilt? Really Tatsu? Don’t do it, please, your legs aren’t all that attractive, kind of skinny and boney. Unlike a certain member of Gazette, who has the most beautiful thighs…I could jerk off to that vision.” Now it was Koichi’s turn to mess with Tatsu and give him an answer that he wasn’t expecting.

                “I have ugly legs? Since when? Uruha’s got really girly legs…not much muscle.” Tatsu shot back. “But they’re soo soft! And such a beautiful pale color, he looks dreamy in those weird garter belt pants he always wears. Yah, definite jerk off material.” Koichi bounced back with an even snappier answer. “You’re telling me, you’d jerk off to visions of Uruha’s thighs? Does he know about this?” Tatsu started to pout, “Guess I’ll just have to keep my legs covered up from now on.”

                Pulling into the spot in front of Kochi’s flat, they kept the banter up between them as they walked into the flat. “Ruki’s got pretty sexy legs as well, remember what he told Kyo about wearing heels? Kyo’s legs are strong, but not that attractive either.” Koichi felt confident that adding the Ruki, Kyo mix wouldn’t upset Tatsu, not at this point. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ruki’s legs, so I have no comment. Now Reita? He’s got a nice ass, not as tiny as yours, but firm and tight.” Tatsu’s was making shit up as he kept talking. “Reita? How would you know if his ass is tighter than mine? When was the last time you felt Reita up?” Koichi was sure Tatsu had never done such a thing.

                “Before I knew you, of course. I haven’t felt anyone’s ass…well…” Now it got awkward, because Koichi knew that the only other ass Tatsu had been near was Masa’s. Tatsu blushed, “Guess this game is over, but it was fun!” Koichi walked over and put his arms around Tatsu’s waist. “I enjoyed it, and for the record, I know about Reita’s ass, probably more than you do.” Koichi winked at Tatsu the walked into the kitchen. “What? How the hell do you know more about Reita’s ass than I do?” Koichi just giggled, “You’re so gullible, Tatsu!”

                “You little shit!” Tatsu ran towards the kitchen, Koichi yelped and ran towards the bedroom, “No! Don’t you dare Tatsu! I’ll fucking scream!” he knew that if Tatsu caught him, rampant tickling would begin. “You started it!” Tatsu grabbed Koichi and threw him down on the bed, and started to tickle him. “Noo! You promised! Hahaha! Nooonot the feet! Nooo!” Koichi couldn’t breathe. “I promised nothing! You deserve this for Reita’s ass!” Tatsu growled.

                Pinning Koichi down, Tatsu stretched his long lean frame, over Koichi’s tiny body. “I love you…you’re such a damned dork sometimes!” Tatsu whispered, nuzzling Koichi’s neck. “I love you too, but you still have ugly legs.” Koichi giggled. Tatsu melted against Koichi, putting all his weight over his lover, “I…need to stop, or we’re going to get too far into it,” Tatsu started to get up, but Koichi threw his arm around Tatsu’s neck. “What if I don’t want you to stop? What if I want you to get really deep into this?” Koichi purred. “Then I won’t stop, and you better be sure of this, because once I start…there’s no return.” Tatsu couldn’t believe what he was hearing, consider the night before they though they’d wait a while longer, not that he was complaining.

                “I don’t want you to stop, I’m tired of waiting. I need to be yours again, completely.” Koichi pulled Tatsu down for a soft sensual kiss. “Kou, baby…I’ve waited so long to hear that…I want you to be mine, forever.” Sitting up, Tatsu straddled Koichi’s hips, and pulled his shirt off. Reaching down, he pushed his hands under Kou’s shirt, teasing a small nub. “You’re so fucking beautiful…I will never let anything come between us again…you’re stuck with me, Kou.”

                Stretching out next to his tiny lover, Tatsu teased Koichi’s tattoo, just visible at the waist band of Koichi’s pants, it was a known weak spot for Koichi, and Tatsu took full advantage of that knowledge, ghosting is fingers over it. A slight flush on Koichi’s cheeks appeared, Tatsu cupping his lover’s chin, and holding him there, as he pressed another soft kiss. “Kou…” Tatsu whispered as let his hands wander over his boy’s petite body, rediscovering what he had lost. “You’re gorgeous,”

                The couple moved seamlessly back to the groove of love making, although Tatsu was overly conscious of the Masa issue, trying to remember anything that Masa did, not wanting to repeat any of that with Koichi. Tatsu didn’t want to fuck Kou that night, he wanted to reclaim his lover, push out all the negativity that had surrounded them, and bring back what he felt was the purity of their relationship, and hopefully bring back the purity of their marriage.

                “Please…I want you,” Koichi mewled in Tatsu’s ear. Tatsu ran his fingers up the inside of Koichi’s thigh, caressing it lightly, causing Koichi to shiver. “Don’t tease me…please!” Tatsu moved his hand, lightly tracing Kou’s ridged length with his fingertips, Kou arched his hips, small sounds of desire slipping from his lips. “Lube…” Tatsu whispers. “Drawer…” Kou flung his arm in the general direction of the night table.

                With deft precise movements, Tatsu slid a lubed finger into Koichi’s tiny ass, causing his lover to arch his back. “God, you feel so good Kou.” murmured Tatsu as he slid a second finger in. “Please…Tatsu, now…I can’t wait!” Koichi whined, “As you wish” Tatsu whispered. Tatsu took Koichi by the hips and gently lifted his tiny lover into his lap, positioning the tip of his cock, at Koichi’s entrance. Koichi licked his lips and moaned softly as Tatsu pushed. “Damn, Kou…you’re still so tight…” Tatsu groaned, “Still? Do you think Kyo would have…” Koichi giggled. “I have to say, I was worried about your safety for good reasons! But my fears obviously…are unfounded…shit!” Tatsu loses the ability to speak for a moment.

                “Fuck…I can’t believe we’re here again…finally. You feel so damned good Kou…” Tatsu moaned, as both men started to move together, slow and languid, matching thrusts, Tatsu grinding hard against Koichi, who’s cock was flexing against his body as they moved. With his thighs pressed against Tatsu’s hips as they moved, Koichi had his eyes closed, and his head lolling back and forth as he started crying out as Tatsu’s thrusting increased in speed.

                “I’m not going…to last long, Kou…” Tatsu growled. “I don’t care…fuck…so good!” Koichi gasped. As the two lovers reached orgasm together, they cried each other’s names out, both shuddering as they went over the edge. Tatsu collapsed onto Koichi, breathing hard. They laid there for a few minutes, catching their breaths, but when Tatsu sat up to look at Kou, he was horrified, “Why are you crying! Oh my god, did I hurt you? Shit, I knew you were going to regret doing this too soon…baby I…” Koichi reached up and placed a hand over Tatsu’s mouth. “Shut up dumbass! I’m not crying because I’m hurt… I’m crying because I’m…happy.” Koichi was blushing through his tears.

                “You’re happy? Like you’re happy that we had sex or happy that I didn’t hurt you?” Tatsu couldn’t quite grasp what Kou had said. “Crap, you’re so dense sometimes Tatsu, I’m happy because we’re together, like this was the final step in you coming back to me.” Now it was Tatsu’s time to cry, which he did…almost sobbing. “I never thought I’d be able to call you mine again…not after what I did to you. I wanted to die, you know that. I’ve had so much fucking shame and guilt, tha…that…” he couldn’t finish his thought, he just laid next to Koichi and cradled his lover in his arms.

                “We’re a couple of saps, aren’t we?” Koichi asked through his sniffling. “No, we love each other, and we were both hurt so badly, I don’t call it being a sap, I call it being thankful.” Tatsu nuzzled Kou’s neck. “Can we stay like this forever, please?” Kou didn’t want to move, it was perfect. “Sure, let’s not move from here for a least a week, just lay here like this. Stewing in our own fluids, sweaty, dry mouth and hungry. We could last a week…right?” Koichi reached over and smacked Tatsu in the back of the head, “You always have to do that, don’t you, Mr. Smartass.” Tatsu just pulled Koichi in tighter, nuzzled his lovers neck a little more, and sighed. “Yep, I do have to always go there, because I love you.”

 

                                                                                                !

                “If you want to stay with me, you will sign this. If you don’t sign it, you can pack your things and you can walk out the door. There are no other options.” He sat there looking at the contract, reading it for the tenth time, trying to understand exactly what it meant. “Can I leave if I want to, if I sign?” The other shook his head, “It had to be mutually agreed upon by both of us, but why would you want to leave? I love you, you know that and I take care of you so no one else can harm you. When you sign, you get to wear this, as proof of my love.”

He handed Uta a box, opening it, the younger man gasped. “This is for me?” Natsu nodded. “I want only the best for you, Uta. You should understand that now. I want everyone to know who you belong to, and for all those asshole friends of yours, to show them how much I love you.” Natsu walked over to Uta, leaned down and kissed the boy passionately, with a softness Uta hadn’t experienced in months. “I told you, Uta…you’re my beautiful dark child, the most precious being in my life. I want you by my side, I will cherish and protect you forever, Uta.”

Natsu pulled Uta up from the chair, clutching the young man to his chest, pinning Uta’s arms against his body. “Come with me, you can sign it later…first I want to show you exactly how much I love you.” Walking Uta to the bedroom, for the first time in many months, Uta experienced the Natsu that he fell in love with, the kind gentle loving man, who worshiped Uta’s body, instead of the rough, punishing sometimes brutal master that was becoming the normal personality for Natsu, who was making sure, that he lulled Uta into a false sense of security. Uta was going to be his ticket, in his training of Uta, Natsu would be sure to be accepted by the one he coveted praise from the most. There was only one person he needed to impress, and his training of Uta would show his worth.

 

                                                                                !

 

“Morning Aki, how was your weekend?” Taka was in a fairly good mood that morning, having had a good weekend with Sato, enjoying some downtime that would sure to stop as soon as the concerts were scheduled. Sato had an inkling about one show, but nothing concrete yet, Miya was still hammering out the details with management. “It was good, just quiet, I didn’t go anywhere really, just hung out at home.” Aki was miserable, but he tried to blow it off in front of Taka, although Taka knew what the problem was, and had confronted Aki with it. Aki was in love with Uta, but he never had enough confidence to confess to the young man. Instead, Aki sat on the sidelines, never saying anything, just letting Uta go with whomever was pursing him, be it Kyo or Natsu.

                The duo started opening duties for the HBG, they knew they would be busy, the late spring was always a reason for people to start enjoying the outdoors. “Uta should be in soon, have you seen him lately?” Taka hadn’t worked with Uta in a few weeks, so he didn’t really know how things were going. “I saw him, um…three days ago? He was working with Koichi, and I came in to close. He was the same, quiet and defensive, but it seemed that he was less out of it, maybe a little more normal. Maybe Natsu’s changed, is treating Uta better?”

                Taka found that hard to believe, he knew that Natsu’s brutality was ingrained, almost as if he was born a monster. “Well, guess we’ll see how it goes today.” They continued with opening duties, and opened on time, with Aki working the counter, and Taka in the office doing the never-ending paperwork. It was quiet for the first hour, infrequent customers early in the day, but it changed dramatically when Uta arrived at work. “Hi Taka,” he called out as he walked by the office. “Hey, Uta,” Taka didn’t look up from his paperwork, just waved. Five minutes later, Aki was at his door.

                “We have a problem, a big problem.” Aki stuttered. “What’s wrong? Is he hurt? Damn Natsu!” snapped Taka. “Worse…just come see.” Aki went back to the counter area, followed by Taka. “So, how was…” Taka stopped and stared, not knowing exactly what to say. “Um, Uta? Whe…when did Natsu collar you? Did you sign a contract…please tell me you didn’t” Uta’s hand flew up to the collar on his neck, “That’s really none of your business Taka.  But I’ll let you know, I was collared this past weekend, and yes, I signed a contract. Now if you’ll excuse me, I don’t want to discuss this with you, or anyone. Please, just mind your own business and let me be. This will not affect my job.” Uta turned and walked towards the supply room.

                Taka groaned as Uta walked away, “Mother fucker! Shit! Now what the fuck do we do? This is bad, Aki. Take care of the counter, don’t talk about it to Uta, just go about your business as normal. I need to make some phone calls.” Uta left a shivering Aki to deal with Uta, and went back to his office, closing the door.

                “Kyo, sorry to wake you. You need to come down to the HBG today, before 2pm if possible. Yah, it’s bad. Uta’s been collared and contracted by Natsu. I know! He basically told me to fuck off, said it was none of my business and that it wouldn’t affect his job. No, I don’t know, Kyo! That’s why you need to get your ass down here! Okay. Ja ne

                Rolling over in bed, Kyo rubbed his face. “Uta, really? Fuck what the hell are you thinking?” Kyo got up and started getting ready to go down to the HBG, which he thought was probably an act of futility, considering how Uta had reacted in the past when confronted with his relationship with Natsu. Kyo just could not fathom how Uta, the sweetest boy he’s ever known would agree to the abuse that Natsu heaped upon him, especially considering the attack and rape Uta survived the year before.

                But, typical of Kyo’s personality, he wouldn’t give up on the young man, he had loved him for a time, and still desperately cared for him. His feelings in fact, had been a bone of contention between Kyo and Koichi, when they were dating, with Koichi believing it was odd for Kyo to care that much for an ex-boyfriend, someone who he had only dated for a short while. When Kyo loved, he loved hard and forever. He was on good terms with almost all of the people he’d dated in the past, he didn’t see them need for animosity between ex-lovers.  “I’m sure you’re going to give me hell today, Uta. But I have to try…I love you and I have to try to get you to see that you’re going to get hurt.” Kyo muttered as he left the house.

 

                Kyo arrived at the HBG before 2pm, and knocked on the back door. “Kyo…good. I don’t know if you can do anything, honestly. Uta’s hell bent on staying with Natsu, and wearing that collar. He won’t listen to anyone, well at least not to Aki and I.” Taka made sure that Kyo knew, that Uta was a little more clear headed, and that he would likely lash out at Kyo. “I have to give it a shot, Taka, you know that.” Taka said he’d send Uta out to the patio. “Natsu isn’t here today, so you don’t have to worry about that.”

                Sitting at a table, Kyo made sure he was closer to the back door of the HBG, knowing that if there was going to be an argument, Kyo didn’t want it to be public. Just as he sat down, the door opened, and Uta walked out. As soon as he saw Kyo, he turned around and walked back towards the door. “Uta, wait. Please? Just talk to me.” Kyo pleaded. “What do you want Kyo? You know this is stupid on your part, you know exactly what I’m going to say, so why are you even bothering, again?” Uta was annoyed. Now he understood more, about Natsu’s anger with his friends.

                “You signed a contract? Do you realize what you’ve done? You’ve signed your life away, to someone who believes that love lives inside a bruise or a bite…and that choking you out, is sexy. Uta, you’re in some severe danger, if you stay with Natsu, you’re going to die. I’m just going to be blunt. No more begging or pleading…straight up. One day, one scene, Natsu will kill you, either on purpose or accident. I for one, will do just about anything to keep that from happening, whether you like it or not. So, you remember what I’m saying to you today, remember it when you’re close to losing consciousness because Natsu’s taking breath play too far, or when he’s beaten you because you didn’t suck is cock well enough.”

                Uta looked at Kyo, he had tears beginning in the corner of his eyes, and Kyo thought he may have gotten through to the young man. Then it happened, “Kyo, Fuck off. Period, end of discussion, stay the fuck out of my life, leave me the fuck alone, we broke up. You had your chance to take care of me, to love me like you said you did. But fuck, really? The second you knew that Koichi and Tatsu were having troubles, your focus went from me, to him. So, fuck you, Kyo. Natsu does care about, does love me. You obviously know nothing about the lifestyle we live. So just go away Kyo, don’t speak to me again.”

                Uta walked away, leaving Kyo to stare at his back. He tried, he did what he could, but it wasn’t good enough. Kyo sat down at the table, his head in his hands. “Kyo?” Taka walked up to the smaller man. “I’m guessing he didn’t care what you had to say? He was pissed off when he came back in.” Kyo shook his head, “Nope, he told me to fuck off and leave him alone, that I know nothing of the lifestyle they live. I told him that Natsu was going to kill him, either on accident or on purpose. He did hesitate after I said that, then told me to fuck off. I can’t do anything more for him, Taka. We’re just going to have to let it go.”

                Taka sat down next to Kyo. “I guess he’s right, we can’t force him to listen to us, to believe us. It’s going to end badly, I think we both know that now.” Kyo stood up, “Taka, thanks for calling me. I’m glad I got to try at least once more, but now? I’m done. I can’t help him. I’ll see you around sometime.” Taka watched as the defeated man walked away, shoulders slumped. “Fucking Natsu!” growled Taka. Going back into the HBG, Taka approached Uta. “Since you refuse to listen to any of us, Uta, I’m going to tell you this once. Keep your lifestyle out of work. I don’t want you wearing the collar at work, and don’t try to tell me that I can’t do that. I can and I will. A good master will not force you to wear it when you are away from him. Remember, I said a ‘good’ master. You’re refusing to listen to our warnings, and that’s your prerogative, but I don’t want you coming in hung over from drugs either. I will send you home in those instances. I love you, Uta, but I’m not willing to put mine, Aki or Koichi’s life in danger, because your boyfriend doesn’t like you speaking to us. I want you to stay here at the HBG, it’s the only place I can personally keep you safe. That’s all I have to say. Go ahead and get back to work.” Taka turned on his heel, and went back to the office, shutting the door. “Damn it!”

                                                                                                !

               

                “It made me so angry! I told him to fuck off, and leave me the hell alone, that he had his chance and he fucked it up being in love with Koichi and not me.” Uta was almost yelling, telling Natsu about the reaction by Taka and the others, of him wearing his collar. “Why the fuck can’t they just leave me alone! I don’t understand it, they don’t even really know you very well!” Tears were trying to escape. “Then Taka said I can’t wear my collar at work, because it’s a distraction. Taka said a good master won’t make me wear it to work, and that if I do wear it, it’s putting them all in danger. Danger from what? The fashion police, because my collar doesn’t match my uniform!”

                Natsu was touched, for about three seconds, then the anger flared. “They’re jealous, they don’t have strong relationships like ours.” Natsu hugged Uta. “Kyo’s a failure, he never loved you like I do, and Taka? He ran away from Sakurai…I’ll never understand that. Sakurai is like…” he stopped, Uta didn’t need to know any more about Sakurai Atsushi. “As for your collar, Taka is right, I can not force you to wear it when you’re not with me, but since the only time you’re away from me is at work, it’s fine to leave it at home.” Uta started to protest, but Natsu waved him off. “No, that is a common decision that is almost universal.” Natsu had to back pedal, knowing that most Dom’s do not force their subs to wear the collar outside of the home. It’s the sub’s decision to wear it or not. Natsu would prefer that Uta has no power over anything, let alone when or when not to wear the collar.

                “Things will be changing my child, don’t worry yourself over trivial matters by people that have no power in your life. You and I are the only two that matter, and soon everything will be in place and no one will be able to say a word to you about who you love or what you do. Be patient, just continue to work, make sure to try to stay at least semi-agreeable with your co-workers, and soon we’ll be through with these peons.”

                                                                                                !

 

                “I’m hiding it just as you did, and it worked out fine…didn’t it?” Tatsu was trying to rationalize the reason he’s hiding the purchase of his house, from Koichi. “Yes, it did work out. But considering the nature of your breakup with Kou, and mine and Taka’s…I’m not so sure it’s the right way to go about it, that’s all I’m saying” Sato wasn’t happy with Tatsu lying to Koichi, and Taka was livid over it. “You’d better make damn sure that this doesn’t blow up in your face Tatsu, I’m just warning you. I think you should tell Kou, maybe surprise him with a drive by!” Now Tatsu was worried that he was making a mistake. “Which house are you thinking of, Tatsu? One that you and Kou both liked? Or has Koichi seen this house online?” Taka was thinking through a solution. “No, it’s the one we had marked as our #1 choice, it’s only about 2 miles from here, I’ll give you the address and you can drive by it. It’s very similar in lay out as this house, the garden is a little smaller though.”

                Koichi and Tatsu were seriously looking at houses before Masa had come back to destroy their lives, and now Tatsu wanted to fulfill that dream of buying Koichi a house. “Have you and Kou talked about you moving into his flat yet? That would be the next logical step, unless you two haven’t…” Taka blushed. “Don’t worry about that, Taka. That’s been taken care of.” Tatsu smiled. “What? Shit…I’ll be back in a bit, I have to make a phone call!” Taka ran into his bedroom, pulling his phone out as he slammed the door closed.

                “Well, I’m going to guess it went well then? The little um, special reunion?” Sato smirked at his friend. “It was perfect actually, and no, you’re not getting details. Let’s just say, we’re almost 100% what we were last year…the only things missing are the marriage and living together, and I’m working hard on both of those right now. I’m going to think on whether or not I should tell Koichi about the house, I sort of wanted to do something similar that you guys did. You know, surprise Kou with it after we get married…as a wedding gift. But now that you’ve brought up the fact that I’d be lying to him, I’m not so sure that’s a great idea.”

 

                “Why didn’t you tell me you guys finally had sex? Geeze Kou…that’s pretty fucking important, don’t you think?” Taka was drilling Koichi. “Um, Taka, it’s kind of private don’t you think? I mean…I’m not going to go around shouting about it to everyone. But yes, we have and yes it was wonderful, and yes, I love him and he loves me. That’s really all there is to it.” Koichi was embarrassed, he didn’t want to give blow by blow details on his and Tatsu’s sex life. “Okay, yah I guess, but at least you guys are moving forward, right? What’s next? Living together? At your flat obviously, like Tatsu always says, his flat is a shit hole now, he doesn’t spend much time there anymore.” Koichi had been thinking about Tatsu moving in, but was hesitant. “Are you free tomorrow for lunch? At my place? I’m going to ask Shinya, Kai and Ruki over too.”

                “Yah, I’m not doing anything until later, I have to close tomorrow night. Why a lunch?” This made Taka nervous. “Well, I just want everyone’s opinion on a few things, that’s all. And you guys are my closest friends, so I thought I’d make lunch for everyone and we can just hang out and talk…it’s okay, isn’t it?” Koichi needed to hear from the others, hopefully they’d support his ideas. “Ah, okay, yah sure, what time?” “Around 1pm, I’m going to call the others now, so I’ll see you tomorrow ne?”

 

                                                                                                !

 

                “Since I asked you guys over, not just for lunch, but I want to bounce some ideas I have off of you. Not really ideas…but, shit… I just need to hear your opinions on a few things.” The five men sat around Koichi’s kitchen table, eating a nicely prepared lunch, and up until that moment, had been talking about Uta’s problem, which nobody had a solution to.

                “Kou-kun, what’s wrong?” Shinya was concerned it was bad news. “Oh, nothing’s wrong per se, but, well I want to know what you guys think of Tatsu moving in with me…good idea or horrible idea?” Kai looked at Shinya, then at Ruki and all three started to laugh. “Horrible idea! What the hell is wrong with you Koichi? How is Tatsu living with you a horrible idea? Isn’t that what you want? Don’t you want to get married again?” Kai was just flabbergasted over the idea that Tatsu and Koichi living together would be anything other than perfect. “Well, it’s the next big step, I don’t see us getting married like next week or anything, but we’ve already moved past the uh…” Koichi stammered, then said nothing. “They had sex the other night.” Taka blurted out. “TAKA! OH GOD!” Now Koichi had his hands covering his face, totally embarrassed. “What? It’s not a bad thing Koichi” teased Taka.

                “Sex? YES! WHOOHOO!” Kai jumped up and pumped his fist in the air, then hi fived Ruki and Shinya. “Oh my god, you guys! What the hell are you doing? Hi fiving me having sex? God, we’re all going to hell.” Koichi was laughing along with the others, it was just too funny not to laugh. “Kou-kun, we’re all just super happy for you, that’s all, we love you and it makes us happy to know that you and Tatsu are fucking again” Ruki stated as it was fact. “Fucking again? Oh, Ruki-kun.” Shinya sounded slightly disappointed at the terminology that Ruki used.

                “Kou-kun, as Ruki not so eloquently put it, we’re just happy, that’s all. So, when’s the wedding?” Shinya giggled. “Not you too? Really Shin? Shit you guys, that’s it! You can all go home now, stop eating and leave!” By now the entire group were slinging all sorts of shit at each other, Ruki and his rampages, Kai and Shinya laughing at the ‘kids’, and Koichi laughing the hardest of them all.

                “This is perfect…just perfect.” sighed Koichi, gazing at his friends. “So, should I let Tatsu move in?” As a group, the other four men shouted “YES!” which then started another round of laughing and jokes, all at Koichi’s expense of course. “Told you it was the right thing to do,” Taka leaned over and whispered to his best friend. “I know, I just wanted to make sure…cut me some slack, I’m still a little gun shy”

                “Kou-kun, can I ask you something? What would make YOU happy, not what makes all of us happy, but what do YOU want?” Ruki as usual, cut straight to the point. “Waking up with Tatsu every morning and going to sleep every night, with me in his arms, for the rest of our lives.” Ruki smiled, then got up and ran to hug his friend. “Perfect answer. It doesn’t matter what we think you should do, all that matters, is what you, and Tatsu want. If living together will make you both happy, then do it. Fuck what we have to say.”  Everyone around the table nodded in agreement. “Thank you Ruki… everyone. It helps to know that I have such supportive friends to fall back on. I love you all.” That started a round of weepy men, trying to drink their tea without sobbing too hard.

                                                                                                !

                “How was your luncheon with the guys? Taka said you had a lot of fun, courtesy of me.” Tatsu raised an eyebrow. “It wasn’t because of you, but it was about you, and well me too. We just had a boy’s lunch, and yah, it was fun. But I need to talk to you about something a little more serious.”  For whatever reason, Koichi had major butterflies in his stomach, there shouldn’t be any reason Tatsu would say no…is there? “Um, since you’re spending so much time with me and I know you hate your flat, what do you say to moving in here with me?” Koichi closed his eyes, not sure what Tatsu would say. “Sure, that’s fine.” Tatsu answered nonchalantly. “Wait…what did you say?” Koichi was expecting Tatsu to jump up much like Kai did, and pump his fist in the air, not the laid back, blow it off answer he got instead. “Sure, it makes sense, this flat is bigger, and it’s well it’s not our, I mean my flat, which is a piece of shit to be sure.”

                “Oh…okay, cool” murmured Koichi. “When can we move your stuff? I really want my work station back, working on a lap top at a kitchen table sucks.” Tatsu got out his phone, and pulled up the calendar. “Well, we have an early rehearsal on Saturday, we could do it then…if it works for you?” Koichi did the same, grabbing his phone. “I’ll be at work, but Saturday will be good. You already have a key” he snickered. “Yep, now I won’t feel like the sneaky boyfriend, skulking around your door at night.” Leaning over, Koichi kissed Tatsu, “You can still skulk around, but I’d prefer it to be in the flat, not outside.” The couple took a ten-minute break in their discussion for a make out session, that Koichi had to put the brakes on. “Wait, we need to stop or we’ll get nothing decided. What do you want to bring? I don’t like saying it, but I want nothing of his in this flat, ever. I don’t care if he never used it, it’s not coming into my flat.” Tatsu nodded, “That’s why I don’t want to bring anything out of the bedroom except what clothes I may still have in there. I’ve been sleeping in the guest room since he left. I can bring the stuff in the guest room, your work station, and um, well not much else. He did live with me, and used all of the kitchen, bathroom and laundry stuff, so it’s all staying. I have some pictures and artwork, that’s about it.”

                They snuggled on the couch for the remainder of the evening, planning on the move, making notes of what they needed to re-purchase or purchase more, like towels. “Uh, throw all of those at your flat away! That place needs to be fumigated once you leave.” Koichi had his nose crunched up with the thought of using a towel that Masa may have touched. “Want to hear something, that’s sort of funny?” teased Tatsu. “I went through and threw away ALL of my underwear and sleep pants, and bought new ones.” Koichi turned his face up, fisting Tatsu’s hair and pulling him down into a kiss. “That’s not funny, it’s smart. What’s funny is I think of it as Masa had cooties, icky boy cooties.” Tatsu stopped and looked at Koichi, “Cooties? What? Are you like 6?” then Tatsu threw his head back and laughed. “Cooties, Kou?”

                Koichi attempted to pout, but had to give up because yes, he was 6 yrs old and yes, Masa had icky boy cooties. The rest of the evening, anytime Koichi whispered cooties, Tatsu started laughing. It felt wonderful for the couple to be this relaxed with each other, no worries about offending the other. Calling it a night, they wandered down the hall to the bedroom, with Tatsu holding Koichi around the waist from behind. As they changed into sleep pants, and crawled into bed, Tatsu spooned against Koichi, nuzzling his neck and breathing in his boy’s beautiful scent.

                “I love you, Koichi” whispered Tatsu. “I love you too, even if you have cooties.” The giggling started but stopped quickly, it was hard to giggle about your lover having cooties, if your lover had you in his arms, making you moan with desire.

Chapter Text

                “Not saying anything, is not necessarily lying, Tatsu” It surprised Tatsu at times, how absolutely brilliant Ruki could be, considering the flightiness of the small man “No, you’re right. I wouldn’t be lying, if I never bring it up.” Tatsu had asked for Shinya, Kai and Ruki to meet him at the studio, as he wanted to bounce some ideas off of them, away from his bandmates.

                “Ruki has a point, Tatsu-kun. You wouldn’t be lying if you didn’t say anything, but how long do you need to do this? How long until you have to place a bid? That’s the only issue I’d be concerned about.” Shinya was the last person that wanted anyone to lie to Koichi, especially about something life changing.

                “I need to decide by the end of the month, then the house will be updated, so it would still be a few months before it would be ready to move in. Oh, by the way, I need you guys at my flat on Saturday, after rehearsal. I’m moving in with Koichi, and I need help moving his work station. I don’t have much else to move, clothes and some artwork. Kou wants nothing in his flat that Masa touched or whatever, he says it’s covered in icky boy cooties.”

                Kai snorted, “Icky boy cooties?” Ruki reached over and punched Kai in the shoulder. “Don’t say it like that, Kou-kun has every right not to have his flat infested with Masa’s cooties.” Shinya and Kai looked at each other, then fell over laughing. “Cooties? Is he 5?” Kai giggled. “No, he’s 6, that’s his official age when dealing with cooties, we established that last night” teased Tatsu. The laughter continued for at least another fifteen minutes until Tatsu put a halt on it. “Okay, I’m going to wait, at least until I have to sign the purchase papers. “I’m going with hiding isn’t lying. That’s my mantra until I sign the papers, then I’ll have to tell him.”

                Leaving the studio, Tatsu decided to drive by the house he wanted to purchase one more time, stopping in front of it. Thinking of where he was just six months ago, to where he was now, planning the rest of his life with Koichi…again, Tatsu smiled. “Hold on a little longer Kou, we’ll get there.” Driving away, Tatsu was formulating a plan on when and how to tell Koichi about the house, worried that if he made it a surprise, Kou would be furious that he lied by not telling him that he bought the house. “I can’t do that, I’m going to have to be upfront before I sign the papers. Everything out in the open.”

                Walking into his flat, Tatsu was overwhelmed with the malicious atmosphere that engulfed the small apartment. Tatsu could see Masa’s mark on everything, surprising him as he really thought purging the flat of anything related to Masa, would clear up the bad joojoo.  He hoped that whomever the new tenant would be, that they maybe have a Buddhist monk come in and bless the flat. Shaking off the depressive feeling, Tatsu started to gather some easily moved items to take to Koichi’s, mainly clothing and artwork, and take them to the car. Looking at the work station, he knew he would have to box up all the office supplies and started that next.

                He smiled to himself, remembering the moment that Koichi found the work station, the day after his birthday. “You were so damned cute that day…” he muttered. Boxing up paperwork, supplies and the desk top computer and labeling them, took a good portion of the day. When he was finally at the limit to what he could accomplish, Tatsu walked into his bedroom. “You destroyed all my beautiful memories of this room,” he whispered. “Everything…gone.” Shaking his head clear, Tatsu double checked everything, going through drawers and the bathroom. He found nothing that Masa had not contaminated and as he walked out of the room, “Fuck you, Masa.” And he slammed the door shut.

                                                                                                !

 

                “Tadaima” Koichi stepped out of the genkan, “Tatsu? Hmm. Not home yet” Koichi had stopped and gotten dinner for the couple, and went about sorting through the grocery bags, talking to Teo and Gordy, who of course believed if they didn’t get food right that second, they would die. “I think you both are worse than Eddy, at least he doesn’t scream anymore.” Koichi fed the cats then started to prepare dinner, when he heard a banging noise coming from the genkan. “What the hell?”

                Opening the door, he saw a stack of boxes with feet and hands, but not who was holding the boxes, “Um, can I…” “Tadaima, Kou…hold the door for me.” Tatsu’s voice came from behind one of the boxes. “Tatsu, what the hell is all this?” Koichi asked, while propping open the door. “Paperwork, supplies and your desktop, I went and emptied out the flat today.” Tatsu struggled to keep the boxes balanced until he could put them on the floor. “You went to the flat today? I thought you were going to do it all on Saturday?”

                “I don’t want to keep the guys longer than needed, so I just went and boxed up your work station stuff, and grabbed my clothes and the artwork. That way on Saturday, we just have to break it down, we’re borrowing a truck from DCR to move it.” Koichi shivered, “It’s all coming together, isn’t it? I mean, we’re almost back to…” Tatsu reached out and pulled Koichi to his chest. “Back to normal? Yes, we are, although there are a few things missing. Well, maybe just one.” Tatsu didn’t want to say the M word, not yet. He’d rather that Koichi bring it up first.

                “Yep, just one thing missing” Koichi shivered again, then pulled away from Tatsu, “I’ve got dinner started, if you want I can help you move the rest of your stuff, I can help with the clothes.” Koichi went out to Tatsu’s car and reached in the trunk, pulling out a wad of clothes on and off hangers. “Shit, you have more clothes than a woman.” He muttered. “I’m going to dump these on the bed, we can go through them after dinner” he yelled at Tatsu, who was in the guest bedroom putting the boxes in the corner. “Sounds good, is dinner ready yet?” Tatsu walked over to Koichi who was standing at the stove, “My little house-husband,” he nuzzled the nape of Koichi’s neck, wrapping his arms around Kou’s tiny waist. “Not yet, we’re not married, so I’m your little ex-house-husband.”

                “We can fix that anytime you know, just say the word.” Tatsu had worried about approaching the subject of them re-marrying, but this gave him the opportunity. “What word would that be?” Koichi’s stomach tightened, “Um, the ‘I do’ words…” Koichi nudged Tatsu away, “Go sit down, dinner’s done.” Do we start talking about this now? He just moved in! Is it too soon? Shit… Both men had this thought beating on their brains, and partially in their hearts.

                “Is this the topic for dinner tonight? Or are you playing with me?” Koichi wanted to be blunt. “No, Kou. I’ll never ‘play’ with you when it’s this important. Do you want to discuss this now?” Koichi waited a while, eating his dinner, although he couldn’t really taste it, his mind was flying in all directions. “Yes, I think we should…it is the last step in all of this, isn’t it?” After they had finished eating, Tatsu guided Koichi to the couch. “Do you want to get married again? I can’t be any blunter than that” Tatsu’s heart was beating in his ears.

                Koichi knew what was in his heart, he knew that what he was feeling was true, that he wanted no other man, Tatsu was everything to him. “Yes…I do want to marry you again, if that’s what you want.” Tatsu face palmed, “If that’s what I want? You’re joking, right? Kou…I never wanted the divorce, I understand completely why you did it, and I didn’t deserve to be married to you, I was a fucking idiot. You asking me if I want to be married to you again… uh, yes…duh.” Tatsu deadpanned.

                “How do we go about this? Do you want me to propose? Bended knee, suit, big fancy wedding, everyone and their brother invited? If that’s what you want, that’s what I’ll do. If not, you have to tell me.” Koichi had something to do first, before answering any of Tatsu’s questions. Cupping Tatsu’s face, Koichi leaned in and gave Tatsu the ‘yes’ kiss that he’d been waiting for. Tatsu knew it, this was yes, I want to marry you. Pulling back, Tatsu whined softly. “No, you don’t have to propose, we basically covered that right now. No, I don’t want a big fancy wedding, but I’d like an intimate party for our close friends, no I don’t want it at the HBG, or the restaurant, I’d like to have it either here, or maybe at Taka and Sato’s house, it’s bigger than the flat.”

                Tatsu’s heart clutched, buying the house just became a higher priority. “That sounds perfect, a small reception type party, no gifts. I’m sure if we ask, Sato and Taka would be more than happy to let us have the party at their house,” Koichi was blushing, “Are we planning a wedding right this second? Or are we just sort of throwing around ideas. I need to know if we’re planning, because I don’t want to do it last minute and it be some random party. Oh! Shit! What about a fucking SURPRISE PARTY!” Koichi was bouncing on the couch.

                “How do you do a surprise wedding, Kou? It’s not like I can kidnap you from our own home, and drag you in to a ceremony.” Tatsu had no clue what a surprise wedding would be. “Not for us, duh… but for the actual party! We could just invite the people we want, under a surprise party for something, but it’s a secret, we can figure out the ruse later. But when it’s ready to yell surprise…you and I are the one that’s surprising them…you know like ‘Surprise! We’re Married!” Koichi started looking for a piece of paper, “Hold on a second.” Koichi got up and ran down to the guest room and grabbed a notebook.

                “Okay, I guess first, is a date. Do you have any specific date for the wedding?” He looked up at Tatsu. “I’m guessing we’re planning the wedding right now. No, I don’t have a specific date yet, we can hold onto that for the time being.” Koichi was quickly writing in the notebook. “Colors? We did black and red last time, we should do something totally opposite, traditional white?” “Well, that would surprise the guests, especially if you wore a white wedding dress.” Tatsu snickered. “I might just do that! You guys wear dresses and skirts all the time on stage…oh! I could ask Ruki! Remember those white suits they had on at Sato’s and Taka’s wedding, Kanon’s suit matched Ruki’s” Tatsu nodded, “Hmm, I actually like that idea, that’s a keeper.”

                For the next two hours, Tatsu and Koichi planned their surprise wedding, with Tatsu more resolved to tell Koichi about buying a house, he could no longer keep that a secret. They had not settled on an exact date, but Tatsu knew how long it would be until the house was ready. “One last thing, should we let Taka and Sato in on this? I mean it would be almost impossible for me not to somehow screw up and have to tell Taka, so I think those are the only two that should know, right?” Tatsu smiled, “I couldn’t see myself doing anything remotely like this, without Sato and Taka involved, so yes, I would like to tell them.” Koichi bounced on the couch and clapped, “Oh my god, this is going to be epic!” Tatsu smiled and shook his head. “What?” Koichi stopped bouncing. “Oh, nothing. I’m just enjoying this.” Koichi bounced one more time, landing in Tatsu’s lap. “How about enjoying this?” Koichi began to slowly grind his ass into Tatsu’s lap, throwing his arms around Tatsu’s neck. “Kou…” moaned Tatsu. In one fell swoop, Tatsu grabbed Koichi around the waist, stood up and walked them to the bedroom. Tossing Koichi on the bed, Tatsu started to undress, “Here, I’m going to give you a surprise right now” Watching his lover strip, Koichi’s breath hitched, he knew what the surprise would be, but it didn’t stop him from wanting Tatsu to give it to him, over and over.

                                                                                                !

                Tatsu and Koichi didn’t have a chance to much more wedding planning, as Mucc was in the studio daily, rehearsing for an upcoming live. The first Saturday after rehearsal was moving day for Tatsu.  Gathering at Tatsu’s soon to be ex-flat, the members of Mucc along with Kai and Shinya walked up to the door, which was open. “Come on in guys, I’m in the guest bedroom,” Tatsu shouted. “This place is creepy now, it feels weird.” Shinya shivered and hugged himself. “I thought it felt weird the other day when I came to get clothes and box up some stuff. Don’t laugh, but I think the flat has some real bad joojoo.” The men hesitated…the all of them started laughing. “Bad joojoo, what the hell does that mean?” Sato snorted.

                “Fine, I’ll just say it, this place is creepy, almost like it’s haunted, just super bad vibes, left over Masa cooties.” Kai giggled. “Okay, can we drop the cooties comments please? We’re suppose to be adults. Tatsu, let’s get that work station broken down, I don’t really want to be here any longer than we have to be, this place is creepy.” Shinya was sole voice of reason. “It shouldn’t be too hard to break down, but you’re right, let’s get this done with so I can close this shithole up.” Tatsu lead the way, and within an hour, the work station was broken down and in the truck. “I just need Sato to help unload it, since there’s no stairs. Thanks guys, I’ll see you tomorrow at the studio.” The moving party departed, leaving Tatsu and Sato to drive to Koichi’s flat.

                “I was thinking of asking Miya to see if we could change up the live a bit…I think we need one song of Mucc Inverse,” Sato mentioned as he and Tatsu were moving the pieces of furniture into the flat. “We haven’t done that in a while, might be fun…or, we could try to have another guest musician again…I kind of feel like Die got cheated, I wasn’t worth shit that night, I feel bad about that.” They agreed to bring it up with Miya and Yukke at rehearsal the next day. Sato and Tatsu put Koichi’s desk together, leaving Sato the job of returning the DCR van.             Tatsu wanted to have everything on the work station set up, ready to go, before Koichi got home from work, checking the time he had about two hours left. “Yus…computer first, then everything else.” With minimal help from Teo and Gordy, Tatsu was able to get the entire room set up as a guest room and a home office, ready for Koichi to log into his computer and start working.
                                                                                                !

                “Mucc Inverse? Hmm, I think I’d like to leave that for a larger live, this one has already been promoted as the rescheduled live, from when Tatsu collapsed. I’d like to keep the Inverse, or maybe Die for a later date, but you’re right, we haven’t done that in a long time.” Miya was in Leader-san mode, with the group meeting before rehearsal actually started. It was a typical meeting, talking about set lists, what they needed to work on as a group, problem areas for certain songs, and the most important topic, Tatsu. “You’re feeling what? 70%? 80% better? How about your weight and stamina?” Sato poked Tatsu in the ribs, “Maybe we should ask Kou about your…um, stamina.” Yukke giggled, Miya rolled his eyes, and Tatsu just grinned. “Ask him, as far as I know, he has no complaints. Yes, Leader-san, I need about 5kg more to gain, and as far as stamina, that’s fine as well, as long as I don’t have to do three lives, back to back. I’ll be back in shape, well ahead of tour season.”

                “Any one with something else? Tatsu, I know you said you wanted to do something for the fans, what did you have in mind?” Tatsu still held some guilt about cheating the fans out of the last live, with him collapsing, and the piss poor performance over all, and he had gotten dozens of emails from fans wanting to know if he was well. “Can we maybe give out any left-over swag, or DCR swag, especially if I cover the cost myself? I’d like to secretly sign some t shirts or stickers or something. I know it doesn’t make up for it completely, and I know that all tickets from that show are being honored, but I’d still like to maybe say something, and throw out some merch, if that’s acceptable?”

                “I can check with management, and see what they can do. That’s not a normal practice, but then that wasn’t a normal live either. I’m going to guess that it will be okay, and if you need help in covering any cost, I’m willing to throw in for it as well, Yukke? Sato? Sounds okay to you?” Everyone agreed to help out, knowing how much the fans would appreciate the gesture.

                “One last thing, tomorrow night, Koichi wants you all to come for dinner. He’s excited about me moving back in, and he just wants to have a small party, just the eight of us, and he’s cooking. About 6pm, I guess, if you want to bring wine or beer, please do.” The meeting broke up and rehearsal began. Tatsu was emotional for some reason, perhaps the familiarity of how things had molded back into a semi-normal routine, the comfortable feeling of friendship and comradery with his bandmates. He had to turn his back on several occasions, just so the others wouldn’t see him tearing up. Life was good. But you know what they say about life being good…there’s always something down the road.

                                                                                                !

                 Tatsu had been running errands for Koichi all afternoon, as his small lover was overly nervous with the thought of having a dinner party at their flat. Tatsu didn’t understand the nerves, it wasn’t anyone he hadn’t known for years. “Everyone will be here at around 6pm, Kou. Does that give you enough time? Do you need me to do anything for you?” Tatsu had crashed on the couch when he got home from shopping, still admittedly a bit tired, he still wasn’t perfectly healthy. “No, not really, all that’s left is to set the table, chill the wine and get you in the shower.” Kou talked over his shoulder. “Do I have time for a quick nap?” Koichi leaned over the back of the couch, “Yes, but a short one, no more than an hour!” Kissing Kou, Tatsu snuggled down on the couch, throwing a blanket over himself and closed his eyes.

                Koichi soon heard soft snoring coming from the couch, and he couldn’t resist peeking at Tatsu. As he watched Tatsu sleep, tears started to well up, which he quickly wiped away. “Silly me, everything is perfect” he whispered. Kissing Tatsu lightly on the head, Kou went back to preparing for the party.

                The party went off without a hitch, much to the relief of Koichi, as he had never actually held any type of party before. The meal was delicious, the wine and beer were amazing, and the conversation was fun and comforting. Koichi did draw Shinya away from the others to ask about Kyo. “Is he doing okay? I know he’s really worried about Uta, which everyone is.” Shinya smiled, “He’s doing well, he knew that he could only hold on to you, until Tatsu returned, he freely admitted that to me, not that it didn’t make it hard when you two separated.” Koichi had loved Kyo, but not as hard as he had loved Tatsu.

                “My brain tells me not to worry about Kyo, but my heart says otherwise. I never wanted to hurt him, Shin. You know that, and I will be forever grateful that he was there for me, he made falling much easier.” Shinya loved the young man, and knew that Kyo would have walked through fire for Kou, but they both knew that Tatsu was the only man in the world for Koichi, there were no other choices. 

                Joining the others, Kou talked to Taka about Uta, and if there had been anything new, hopefully not worse. “He’s been up and down, some days he’s pretty clear headed, other days, it’s back to almost not being able to work, and I either have to stick him on patio duty, or send him home. He’s not wearing the collar at work, nor is he speaking to Natsu. Aki’s still a wreck over it, that boy has it bad for Uta.”

                “Kou-kun, will you be going to the next live?” Kai wanted to move away from depressing conversation, to something a little more fun. “I hadn’t planned on it…” Tatsu turned to his lover and gapped at him. “You…you don’t want to be there? Why?” Koichi flushed, “Um, I didn’t say I didn’t want to be there, but I wasn’t just going to invite myself, that’s a bit rude, we’re not married.” Kai got up, stuck his tongue out at Tatsu and put his arm around Koichi, “I’m inviting you, Kou-kun. You can be mine and Yukke’s guest, HE can go alone!” Taka covered his mouth and giggled, “Hey, Kou, you can be mine and Sato’s guest as well, you need no invitation from him.” Shinya just HAD to jump on the bandwagon, “Same here Kou-kun, Miya and I would love for you to be backstage with us.” The three men surrounded Koichi.

                The seven of them, turned and looked at Tatsu, trying to keep straight faces and not burst out laughing, then Tatsu made his move. He walked over and stood in front of Koichi, bending down on one knee, everyone gasped, “Koichi, would you do me the honor of…” he stopped. “YES!” Koichi clapped. “I will go to the live with you!” The room was silent for a moment, until Kai reached out and smacked Tatsu in the back of the head. ‘THAT WAS SO WRONG! We thought…” Tatsu peered at Kai, “You thought what, Kai? That I was going to propose to Koichi? Sorry to disappoint you, Kai.” Koichi stole a look at Tatsu, then winked at him. “Don’t do that to us! You’re going to give Yukke a heart attack” Yukke looked surprised at his husband’s claim of his ill health. “Why would I have a heart attack? Are you saying you want me to die? Thanks babe, I love you too.” This started an hour of good nature ribbing, which Tatsu and Koichi were thankful for, as it took the attention away from them.

                Later that night, when the party was over and Kou and Tatsu were in bed, Koichi started to giggle. “Cooties again Kou?” Tatsu was nuzzling Koichi’s neck. “No, just at how funny it was when Kai thought you were proposing, I almost blurted out that we already had decided to get married again! I almost bit through my tongue on that one. Taka kept looking at me the rest of the night, I think he’s probably figured it out already.”

                Tatsu was tracing Koichi’s tattoo with his finger, ghosting his hand over Koichi’s hip, leaning down and kissing his navel. “Are you listening to me at all? Or are you just trying to make me horny, because it’s working.” Koichi sighed. “Yes, and definitely yes.” Tatsu started to lick Kou’s hip, then moved up, circling a nipple, sucking on the tiny nub until it was hard, “Tatsu…” mewled his lover. Tatsu slid his hand under the waist band of Kou’s sleep pants, gently stroking his lover’s half hard length, Kou gasped softly.

                Tatsu gently bit Kou’s collar bone, sucking on the soft skin, wanting to leave his mark, letting anyone who looked at him, that this beautiful boy was taken. “Kou…you’re so fucking sexy…sometimes I can’t even think straight when I look at you.” Koichi giggled, “If you’re thinking straight with me, uh, I hate to tell you, but I’m far from straight” Tatsu was tempted to tickle Kou in retaliation for him being a smart ass, but he didn’t want to take the time for that, not right now.

                Tatsu moved to stretch his lean frame over Koichi, sliding his body against Kou’s, making the smaller man moan, “Don’t tease me…just get on with fucking me please!” Tatsu chuckled, “Bit pushy tonight, aren’t we?” Tatsu reached for the night table drawer, fishing out the lube. Sitting back up, he started to prep his lover’s ass, sliding in one finger and quickly adding a second, “Just fuck me already!” Tatsu raised an eyebrow, bit horny, are we?” Koichi grabbed Tatsu by the hips “Yes, this is only what our third or fourth time Yes I’m horny, just fuck me already, less talking, more fucking.” Koichi growled.

                Tatsu sighed, “Yes dear,” Tatsu slid off of Koichi, then pulling his legs apart, Tatsu reached down and pulls Koichi into his lap, then Tatsu fell backwards, “You’re going to ride me tonight, is that clear? You’re going to fuck yourself on my cock, and I’m going to watch.”  Now it was Koichi’s turn to raise an eyebrow, “You thinks so? Guess I’ll have to do what I’m told, but I’m warning you, this will be a bumpy ride.” Placing the tip of Tatsu’s cock at the entrance of Koichi’s tiny ass, Kou stared at Tatsu, watching his lover’s face as he slowly worked his way down, sheathing his cock in warmth. “Ready?” Kou asked as he started to move, “Mmm…” groaned Tatsu. Watching is lover, Koichi started at a gentle pace, making sure he was ready before kicking it into high gear. “Fuck...you feel amazing!” Kou whined. Tatsu had his hands on Koichi’s hips, digging his fingers into the tender flesh.

                Koichi had his head thrown back, his hands on Tatsu’s chest, balancing himself as he started to move. “Kou…babe you’re so unbelievably sexy right now! Damn…” Koichi bent down to kiss his lover, Tatsu lifting his hips to slam into Kou’s ass, leaving him breathless. “I can’t…please… on my back…” whispered Kou. Without hesitation, Tatsu sat up and pushed Koichi back down on the bed, raising his legs as he continued to fuck his tiny boy.

                With a few more, hard thrusts, both men were heading for the edge, both wanting to fall together. “Tatsu…iku…” mewled Kou. “I’m right… Kou…now Kou!” As the orgasm spread, hips jerking in the last spasms, Tatsu collapsed onto Kou, breathing hard. “That was fucking…amazing!” he groaned. “Could you maybe get off of me? I can’t really breathe very well” grunted Koichi, trying to move Tatsu over so he could catch his breath. “How romantic of you, babe” Tatsu gently chided. “Well, I’m sorry if you’re a big oaf, and I can’t breathe if you’re laying on top of me,” Kou giggled. After a quick clean up, the couple snuggled in, Koichi in Tatsu’s arms. “Perfect…” Kou whispered as he drifted off to sleep

Chapter Text

“Are we ready for this?” Miya looked at Tatsu, wanting to make sure that the man would be able to hold up physically, for the live event that they were getting ready to start. “Yes, Leader-san…let’s do this!” Sato was out first, waving to the crowd. Miya walked over to his spot, the tech handing him his guitar, and Miya bowing to the crowd. Yukke was next, shyly moving towards his mic. Then the crowd was silent…waiting to see who they all had been so concerned with over the last few months. There were cries of “Tatsu-kun, we love you”. Tatsu could not help but to smile. Walking out onto the stage, Tatsu was greeted with a huge wall of love, walking to his mic stand, he bowed low.

                “Minna, arigato.” As Tatsu started to speak, the crowd went dead quiet. “First, I want to apologize for my last appearance.” Shouts of ‘we love you’ filled the room. “I was having some personal issues, and stupidly, I wasn’t taking care of myself, which resulted in my illness. I never meant to hurt you, your loyalty to me and to Mucc is more than I deserve. But things have changed, I am back to almost 100% full health, and I promise to take special care with you, you are all that I love!” The crowd cheered, and Mucc slipped into their first song.

                Standing in the crowd, was a small man, with light pink hair, huge dark eyes and delicate features. Nobody knows who he is, he’s just another fan of Mucc, there to see his favorite band. What others in the crowd did not see, was the eye contact between the petite man, and Tatsuro. The crowd had no idea that Tatsu was speaking directly to the man, even when he was looking at the crowd. But he knew, Koichi knew who Tatsu was speaking to. Nobody noticed the tears welling in Koichi’s eyes, they couldn’t hear his heart rapidly beating as if it would burst. They couldn’t see the shiver that affected Kou’s entire body. The crowd didn’t see any of this, but Tatsu did. And when Mucc started to play, they didn’t know that Koichi was the one person in the crowd, that Tatsu was singing to, the words were all meant for Koichi.

                Kou watched for a while, then wandered off to meet Taka, Shinya and Kai, backstage in the dressing rooms. “That was nice of him, Kou-kun.” Kai offered, “Tatsu was speaking to you though, wasn’t he?” Kou blushed. “No, not really…he was speaking to all of us. Not just me, but Shinya, you Kai, Taka and everyone else that kicked his ass back into gear, and helped him get through the shit with Masa. That’s who he was really talking to.”

                Kai looked at Koichi…wondering how someone could be so intuitive, “You’re right. I didn’t see it that way, but now that you’ve said that, and hearing what he said, you’re right.” Kai walked over to Kou and grabbed the young man by the shoulders. “But he was speaking to you directly…we all know that to be true as well.” Hugging Koichi, Kai smiled. “You’re a special one, Kou, that’s for damned sure!” Kai then laughed, his sparkling smile and lone dimple brightened the room. “Okay! We need to stop dwelling on the past and let’s get going into the future!” Kai looked around, everyone was staring at him. “What?”  Then Taka had to say it, “Kai, you’re a dork, you know that, right?”

               

                                                                                                !

                Uta had started to become more nervous around Natsu, something just didn’t feel right. The relationship was tracking backwards, with Natsu treating Uta the same as he had when they first started dating. Flowers, love making with no violence or pain, no bondage, no beatings or bites. Uta was wondering if the change would be permanent, had Natsu finally listened to what others were saying, when Uta was showing up at work bruised and battered? Uta liked domination, he was a natural submissive, but Natsu had taken it to an over the top level, leaving Uta in pain more days than not.

                Uta prayed that this was going to be the norm again, domination but without the brutality, without the bite marks, the breath play that often left him unconscious for longer periods of time each time it happened. He wanted to stop taking so much of the “medicine” that at times blocked out multiple days that he couldn’t remember what had happened, where he had been or what had been done to him. Uta needed his friends to stop harassing him about Natsu, he knew at a deeper level that they were only concerned with his wellbeing, but it was becoming a problem at home. He couldn’t tell Natsu what the others had said, as it often times put Natsu into a rage, that Uta bore the brunt of.

                Why couldn’t their relationship be like every other? A lover, that is happy to see you when you arrive home, someone that wouldn’t change moods in half a second. Lovers that wanted to take you out to restaurants, concerts or just shopping. Someone who wouldn’t jump down your throat if you looked at him the wrong way. Kyo had said that he was afraid that Natsu would eventually kill him, on purpose or accident, for something like giving Natsu a bad blow job. Uta didn’t want to say that Kyo was right, that it had already happened more than once, that some of the bruises and bite marks were from those incidents.

                Kyo. Uta had truly loved the abrasive man, but was so hurt by his rejection when faced with Koichi’s issues, and as a result of that, Uta wasn’t sure if he could ever forgive Kyo. He knew that it wasn’t Koichi’s fault, none of what had happened was, but it still grieved him to know that he was dumped by Kyo, so that the other could pursue a relationship with the boy of his dreams.

                Uta no longer had any dreams, real or imagined. He didn’t dream at night, he just slipped into the darkness, usually over medicated. He sighed, looking at Natsu again. He knew it would be difficult if not impossible to leave the man, considering he had signed the contract. He tried to remember what had happened with Taka and Sakurai, there was a contract there, but he was fuzzy now, on what had happened. He was fuzzy about a lot of things in his life and where it was going, and would he end up happy. He closed his eyes, glad to have some quiet, peaceful sleep, he took advantage of it when he could. He didn’t know what kind of mood Natsu would be in when he woke, it was always a crap shoot, good or bad. Uta hoped for one, but the other was almost always guaranteed.

                                                                                                !

                “Have Taka call Koichi and ask us over for dinner. That way if I’m standing right there, he can’t refuse, I’ll push him a bit.” Tatsu and Sato where in a huddle at the studio, rechecking equipment from the live, making sure it had all been packed up and brought back. “Why? It’s not like we have to be weird about it, right?” Sato didn’t understand the reason for lying about coming over to their place for something as simple as dinner. “No, but I want to drive Koichi by the house! I want to gauge his reaction to seeing a house that we looked at before Masa. I need a reason to drive by it…on the way to your house for dinner!”

                Sato thought it was a pretty elaborate plan just to look at a house from the outside, but he didn’t know of Tatsu and Koichi’s plan on getting married. “Okay, sure. Tonight? Let me call Taka first, see if he’s working or doing something. While Sato called Taka, Tatsu was running dates in his head, sale date, remodeling, move in and finally the wedding date. “Taka says we can do it tonight, they’re both off. Want him to call you in like 45 minutes? Gives you time to get home and what not.” They agreed on a time, and Tatsu rushed home, wanting time to shower and see what Kou was up to, and figure out a way to just drive by the house, the reason for a different route to Sato’s.

                “Tadaima, Kou” Tatsu called out from the genkan. “Okaeri, in the office.” Kou rolled his chair back and yelled out the door. “I’m going to shower, I feel too grimy right now, so give me fifteen minutes, and I’ll be back.” Tatsu kissed Koichi and quickly showered.

                “How’s your day been?” Tatsu came up behind Koichi, water dripping from his hair. “Boring, just catching up on over due spread sheets, which are just so fucking NOT fun to deal with.” Tatsu was running the towel thru his hair again, shaking it out and finger combing it. He snuck a look at the clock, he had maybe three minutes. “I’m going to go blow dry my hair, I’ll be right back.” Walking out of the office, he went back to the bathroom and started to dry his hair. Not more than three minutes later, Koichi walked into the bathroom. “Hey, Taka wants to know if we could come for dinner, I’m beat so I’d love not to have to cook tonight.” Kou had his phone covered, “Yah, sure that’s fine with me. In what? Half hour?” Koichi nodded and walked out. “He said yes, I told him we’ll be over in a bit.”

                In the car, Tatsu was driving, but not their usual route, which of course Koichi questioned. “I heard that there was an accident on the main road, so I’m just going to go the back way.” Accidents don’t leave a permanent traffic jam. Driving down the back road to Sato’s, Koichi was looking around at the street names, “Isn’t this where we looked at the house, that was about the same size as Sato’s? But had a smaller garden? Do you remember which one I’m talking about?”

                Tatsu slowed down, “Was it on this street? Do you remember the address?” Koichi was watching as they drove slowly down the small street. “Isn’t that it? It’s still for sale? Stop! I want to look!” Tatsu smiled, as he pulled over. “Are you sure? I don’t remember the outside looking like this? Didn’t it have like a huge bush in front of that window on the side?” Koichi stepped out of the car, and peered into the yard. “It’s still empty, I wonder why?” Koichi had loved this house, same size and almost the same layout as Taka and Sato’s, but with a slightly smaller garden.

                “Come on Kou, we’re going to be late.” This is PERFECT! He totally fell for it! “I’m going to look up the address when we get home, I just want to see what the status is, if it’s really still for sale. This was my first pick…well you know.” Koichi looked down, memories flooding back in. “It’s okay Kou, I understand. Let’s get to Sato’s, I’m starved.”

                “Can we go by that house again? I just want to look at it one more time, please?” Dinner was fun, it always was with Sato and Taka, but all night, Kou had been a little distracted, to the point that Taka pulled him aside, worried that something maybe going on. “What’s with you tonight, Kou? You’re like totally spaced out. Everything okay? No fighting is there?” Koichi laughed, “No, no fighting. There was an accident earlier, so we had to come in the back way, and we went by a house that I had really liked before…you know. And we stopped, I think it’s still for sale! I’m going to check it out when I get home. I’m not sure if Tatsu’s still interested in buying one though, now that he lives with me and my flat is a lot larger than the other one.”

                Taka smiled slyly, “Maybe he’s dropping a hint? Maybe he wants you to see the house!” Kou didn’t think so, “Tatsu wouldn’t be that sneaky, not anymore…he promised not to keep anything from me, but…” This left Kou’s mind spinning even faster; a house? Still maybe buying a house? Oh! Shit!

                “Sure, we can stop again.” Tatsu knew he had Kou hooked. “I want to look in the windows, do you think it would be okay? Or is someone going to call the police on us?” giggled Koichi. “No, we’re not trying to open doors or anything, and I think it must be empty, there’s no lights on and the front garden is pretty shoddy. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.” Kou hopped out of the car and went through the small gate. “It’s empty, but there’s a lot of construction material laying around, like it’s being remodeled?” Kou called over his shoulder. “Well, let’s go home. You can look online when we get back” Trying to sound casual, Tatsu started throwing ‘ideas’ out at Kou, “Maybe it needs a lot of work, I think people were still living there when the pictures were up, I remember furniture.” Koichi was talking excitedly, coming up with all sorts of scenarios about why the construction was being done, if the price had dropped, what was wrong with the house that it needed to be fixed.

                “Kou, calm down! It’s just a house, babe.” Koichi started to pout. “But it was my fave out of all of the one’s I found online, and it’s still for sale, what if…maybe we could…” his voice trailed down to a whisper. “Let’s just see when we get home, then we can talk about it, okay?” Tatsu bent across the seat and quickly kissed Koichi’s cheek, he could see that his lover was having a difficult time reining in his excitement, and all but flew out of the car when they got home.

                “Oh my god, Tatsu it’s still for sale and they DID lower the price! But it’s being renovated, and won’t be available for move in for a while yet, ‘several months’ it says.” Koichi had rushed through the genkan, not even taking off his shoes, just running to his office and powering up the computer. Tatsu straggled in behind, then reached under Kou’s desk and removed his shoes. “It looks like, um… painting, new grass in the garden, some landscaping, and uh… appliances!” Kou was writing down information as fast as he could.

                “Do you still love it? If we could, would this be our house?” Tatsu had leaned over the back of Kou’s chair, running his hands down his tiny boy’s chest, kissing the top of his head. “Are you kidding? I’d buy this house tonight if we could! Why? Are you … are you saying we can buy it?” Koichi had pushed Tatsu away, whipping his chair around quickly. “Is it what you want, Kou? Truly?” Koichi’s eyes started to swell with tears, “Don’t tease me Tatsu, don’t be cruel! If you’re teasing me, I’m going to beat the shit out of you! This isn’t funny!” Squatting down in front of Koichi’s chair, his hands resting on Kou’s knees, Tatsu stared at the boy he had loved from the minute he saw him. “I’m not teasing you, babe, I’m asking you is this what you want? Is this where we can live forever? With me?”

                Koichi started crying, “YES! This is exactly what I want! I’ve never wanted anything more in my entire life! Please tell me that you’re going to do this…are you?” Tatsu nodded slowly, “Yes, this is exactly what I want to do. Initially, I was going to pull a stunt like Sato did with Taka. But I thought about it, and it felt like I would be lying to you. I can’t lie to you anymore Kou, I promised I wouldn’t.” Koichi was sniffing, almost sobbing, he couldn’t catch his breath.

“Then I thought tonight, I would drive by it and wait for your reaction, if it was good, that’s all I needed. So, do you want to go with me and buy a house in the next few days?” Koichi fell off the chair into Tatsu’s arms, both of them falling backwards onto the floor, Koichi on top of his lover, sobbing happily. “I’ve never loved you more, than I do right now. You’re everything to me, you always have been. I can’t breathe without you.” Tatsu tightened his arms around his tiny, soon to be husband. “I feel the same about you, babe. Never again will we ever be apart, I will do everything in my power not to disappoint you, hurt you or be angry with you. I love you.”  Koichi kissed Tatsu, “Thank you.” Crawling up off the floor and back into his chair, the couple spent the rest of their evening taking notes, running numbers and generally figuring out what they needed to know in order to put an offer on the house.

                Koichi was almost too excited to sleep, instead talking to Tatsu, without even noticing that his lover had fallen asleep. Gazing at Tatsu, Koichi thought back to the last year, and how it went from the worst time in his life, to now, the most wonderful time of his life. He curled up against Tatsu, nuzzling the man’s hair, taking in the natural scent of his lover. “I love you” he whispered. Tatsu turned over and pulled Kou against his chest, sighing deeply “Mmm, Kou…” he mumbled. Koichi closed his eyes, “Warm Tatsu.”

                                                                                                !

                “Do you want to meet me for lunch today? Or do you have studio stuff?” Koichi was stretching out in bed, not really ready to start his day. “Studio stuff, sorry. I’ll probably be there fairly late. I am going to call the realtor today at some point, and see if we can get a chance to go into the house and make sure it’s exactly what we want. We could do that tomorrow, if you’re not working?” Koichi jerked up in bed. “Go see the inside? Oh god yes please! That way I’ll be able to figure out what we’re going to need furniture wise, and just decorating in general. I have to find the perfect spot for a Christmas tree too! Hopefully in front of the big window that you can see from the street!”

                Tatsu chuckled, “You’re just way too excited about this, aren’t you?” leaning over the bed, he kissed his lover. “Of course I am! I’ve never bought a house! I want to make sure it’s perfect, inside and out! And decorating for Christmas is important to me.” Eating breakfast, Kou and Tatsu went back and forth with the teasing, when suddenly Kou stopped. “Oh.My.God! We can have the wedding party at OUR HOUSE! It’s perfect!” Tatsu looked down, he was smiling. “Wait, you did this on PURPOSE! Didn’t you? Once we decided to get married again, then you drove… and then … Oh! You’re so sneaky Tatsu!” giggled Koichi.

                “Well, I had to be sure. Once we decided to get married, I knew that was the time to start thinking about the house, so it just pushed me a little bit faster. I know you’re not really mad, if you were, you wouldn’t be blushing.” snickered Tatsu. “Well, now we have the excuse for the surprise wedding party… a house warming party. I can have Taka and Sato set it up as a surprise, and then we can spring the marriage on them!” Tatsu shrugged, “Works for me! Okay, I need to get out of here, I’ll see you later tonight.” Tatsu kissed his lover and left for the studio.

                 Koichi wasn’t too far behind Tatsu in leaving the flat, for the HBG. His fingers were itching to text Taka the news about the house, but he waited until he got to work, then dragged his friend into the office. “I have a surprise for you, Taka.” Taka was puzzled, “Uh okay, so what’s the surprise?” Koichi could barely contain himself. “Last night, after we left your place, we stopped by that house again, and I peeked in the windows.” Taka had a feeling he knew where this was going. “We went home and I got on the computer, and the house is still for sale, and they lowered the price! It needs some renovations, but Tatsu said we are going to BUY THE HOUSE!” Koichi shouted. Taka whistled “Woah! You’re kidding? Tatsu just said ‘sure, let’s buy a house’?”

                “Kind of, but he said he was going to buy it anyways, but he thought that we might do what Sato did and do it as a surprise, but he didn’t want to lie to me again, so he just said yes. We’re going to go look at it tomorrow!” For the rest of the afternoon, Taka and Koichi talked about nothing else, than the house, what they were going to do with the decorating, and the smallish garden. “Puppy?” Taka suggested. “I’m not sure, that’s going to have to be something we decide on later. Teo and Gordy cause enough trouble just the two of them.”

                There was one slightly awkward moment that day at work, although the awkward moments were starting to be the norm. Uta came in that afternoon, and he was working with Aki. Taka had told Kou that Aki was in love with Uta, but not being able to do anything about Natsu, left Aki depressed. Uta on the other hand, seemed to be more aware of his surroundings that day, less drugged possibly, he even greeted Taka and Koichi, “Hey guys…how’s everything?”

                “Hi Uta, good, we were just talking about Koichi and Tatsus buying a house in a few months.” Uta looked surprised, “That’s great, congrats Kou. Nice to see you and Tatsu back to normal.” Uta then went to get ready to start working, with Aki arriving shortly after Uta. “Hey Aki, how’s things?” Koichi hadn’t seen much of Aki these last few weeks, and it was the first time they’d really had a chance to speak. “Good, just living the life…whatever that means.” It was obvious that Aki was not ‘good’, especially when he looked up towards the counters and saw Uta. “Do I really have to work tonight, Taka? Isn’t there some way I could go home?” Taka cocked his head, “Why? You don’t want to work with Uta?” Looking at the floor, Aki back peddled, “It’s fine, I’ll just deal with it.” Then he walked away.

                “That’s not good, Aki not wanting to work with Uta? Because of Natsu, or because of the way he feels about Uta?” Koichi had a vague idea. “Both really,” Taka explained “He’s in love with Uta, and hates what’s happening to him, and it makes him uncomfortable to be around Uta. But he needs to suck it up, I’ve got at least another week before we can do summer hiring.”

                Finishing up, Taka and Koichi left together, both taking the train. “What’s going to happen to Uta? Are you going to have to fire him? I hope not, I don’t think he’d be safe if he wasn’t working at the HBG.” Taka knew this, and had a huge internal struggle over it. “If I can get him to hang on until summer, then hopefully we might be able to do something…I don’t know what though.”

                                                                                                !

                He skulked into the Fetish Club, his insecurity flooding his mind as he moved along the walls, not wanting to step into the flow of the other patrons. Checking faces, looking for that one person that he needed to see, needed validation from, but not finding him in the crowd. He walked around the small dance floor, peering into the dimly lit booths, being glared at as if he was intruding on someone’s scene. Moving carefully, his switch mentality working against him, seeking approval, but blocking it with unseen demands.

                Moving to the bar, he orders a drink, then taking it and standing against a wall near the DJ booth. Watching who is walking by, those with their own pet, and those who were seeking one. There are others who sneer at Natsu, openly and maliciously, their malevolence dripping and pooling. Natsu is not on the inside of this crowd, he has yet to be accepted by either position. He’s failed at both, his training methods are improper and dangerous, his attitude is rebellious and disrespectful. The community as a whole, openly shuns him, if a former pet was in the vicinity, they would cling to their new lovers.

                “This will all change soon; you people will be crawling on your hands and knees to lick my shoes” he muttered to himself.  Going to the bar for another drink, a tall elegant woman approached the bar, standing next to Natsu, she barely acknowledging his existence.  “Good evening, Madame F, you look beautiful this evening.” Natsu nodded to her, not showing her deference from either side. “Natsu, why are you here? I would venture to guess that you possibly have made a mistake in coming here, did you lose your way?” Madame F sneered, looking down at Natsu, both physically and figuratively.

                This attitude pissed Natsu off, “I am in search of the one who holds court here, and my business is my own with him.” Madame F chuckled. “As if he would degrade himself by speaking with you, Natsu. You know you are not worthy of his attention, let alone his time.  He has made that perfectly clear in the past.” Natsu turned on Madame F, “You don’t get to decide for him, if he wants to speak to me, he will with no interference from you or any one else here at this shit hole” growled Natsu.

                The people standing near the bar turned to watch the drama between the tall woman and the unfavored patron. “Natsu, must I remind you of your past interactions with him? The humiliation he handed out to you? Furthermore, I will remind you that he rejected you on both sides, you’re a failure. You can neither lead nor be lead, your methods are unethical and dangerous, we’ve all been privy to the knowledge of the treatment of your pets.”

                “You need to shut the hell up, woman. You have no direct knowledge of anything I do.” snarled Natsu. “Au contraire, Natsu. I know a great deal of what you do, and how you handle yourself. I know about the drugs, Natsu. The way you abuse your pets, no safe words listed in your contracts, the details of your contracts…are far away from anything ethical. No, Natsu. I’ve personally been privy to exactly what you do.” And as to push the issue, Madame F turned on Natsu.

                “You need to disappear you maggot.” She starts invading Natsu’s space, pointing a very long finger with a very sharp fingernail in his face, causing Natsu to back up. “You dare tell ME to shut the hell up? Child, you should be whipped for that slight indiscretion, you should be banned from our community, seeing as you neither follow nor lead, you have no status here, Natsu. You can’t claim switch, because you don’t do either side justice. Go away, Natsu. Just go home to your drugged-out mongrels.”

                Madame F turned her back on Natsu, which left not a few people to openly laugh at him. Glaring at everyone, Natsu walked away from the bar. Before heading down the stairs, Natsu turned and sneered at the crowd, “This is the last time you will have a laugh at my expense. You will all eat your words and BEG me to lead you! You will BEG me to collar you! You’re all filthy pieces of shit.” Natsu walked down the stairs, anger roiling in his gut. “Mother fuckers, when they see Uta… their tunes will change.”

                                                                                                !

 

                “Bye Uta…be careful please.” Aki called out to Uta as he left the HBG, his heart dripping with sorrow. “Why can’t it be me? What the hell does he get out of being beaten? Seriously? It doesn’t feel good, does it? Why Uta?” Aki talked in a low whisper to himself on the way to the train station, leaving others to avoid the strange young man. He could not fathom what Uta got in the way of sexual enjoyment out of Natsu, “I would love you, the right way Uta, I’d never leave a bite mark or choke you out.”

                Going to bed that night, Aki had a routine. Laying in bed, with his phone open, Aki would page through his pictures; Aki and Uta at the first HBG party they worked together. A selfie with Uta with Kyo standing in the background looking pissed off. Uta and Ruki, arms around each other’s shoulders. Uta, his arm around Aki’s waist, holding him close. This was right after Uta broke up with Kyo, this was the happiest Aki had ever been, he was certain that he’d be able to confess to Uta. Then Natsu appeared, and everything Aki had hoped for, disappeared. Closing his phone, Aki put it on the night table and turned to face the wall. He didn’t want to spend all night looking at the same eighteen pictures, he wanted to escape, to hopefully dream of Uta, in his arms, in his bed, under him, kissing him, saying “Aki, I love you.” But he knew that slumber would never come.

               

                When Uta arrived home from work, Natsu was waiting for him. He no sooner put down his bag and toed off his shoes, when Natsu grabbed him by the hair and dragged him into their play room. “Natsu! Wait…what?” Uta was gasping, trying to get to his feet, “Wha…Natsu please!” Natsu threw Uta into the room and on the floor, “STRIP NOW!” he yelled. Uta got up and took his clothes off, trying to figure out just what was happening. “OPEN YOUR MOUTH!” grabbing Uta by the chin, Natsu shoved two of the pills that he used to subdue Uta, he then turned and started to get equipment out. Grabbing Uta by the hands, Natsu slapped a set of ringed cuffs on his wrists, dragging him to the wall, clamping the rings into a hook, set high above Uta, in the wall, leaving Uta standing on his toes.

                Leaving Uta alone in the room, hanging on the wall, Natsu went into their bedroom, sitting on the bed planning what he was going to do in revenge for Madame F’s slight. After fifteen minutes, Natsu shed his clothes, and went back into the playroom. Walking up to Uta, Natsu grabbed him by the hair, and pulled his head back. Uta was almost unconscious, his eyes barely open and glassy. “Na…tsu,” he slurred. “This is YOUR fault! YOU’RE NOT READY YET!” Natsu picked up the scourge and slashed Uta across the back, with Uta crying out. “YOU’RE NOT READY TO BE LEASH TRAINED!” Natsu was whipping Uta as hard and as quickly as he could, the scourge leaving long red welts across Uta’s back.

                “I should have had you ready to walk by now.  It’s your friend’s interference into our relationship, that has caused the delays.” Uta by now was no longer aware of what was happening to him. He had black out from the pain and the drugs, he could only hear a few words and none of them kind. Uta finally slipped all the way out, in the blessed darkness that hid the physical and emotional pain being inflicted by Natsu.

 

 

                Uta woke in the early morning, the drugs slowly leaving his body and the pain coming on rapidly. His eyes felt gritty, swollen and sore. Not daring to move, Uta looked for Natsu, he didn’t want to be punished for moving if he had been told not to. Natsu’s side of the bed was empty. Carefully Uta stretched, but almost immediately he screamed, pain radiating from his back and his ass. He laid there, trying to breathe through the pain, hoping that Natsu wasn’t home and didn’t hear him cry out. No such luck, as Natsu walked into the room.

                “Uta…” Natsu whispered “I’m going to help you turn over, so I can tend to your back, okay? I’ll try not to hurt you more than necessary, but I need to clean your wounds.” Uta just nodded, not knowing what his injuries were, or how severe. Gently guiding Uta, Natsu turned him over, leaving his tiny lover to try to breath through the pain. Uta was crying, he couldn’t help it, it hurt so badly. “I…I’m sorry for crying…please…don’t be mad” he whimpered. “No, I’m not mad Uta. Now this is going to hurt, you may pass out, but I’m here, I’ll take care of you, alright?” Uta nodded into the pillow. Just as Natsu started to wipe Uta’s back, the boy passed out.  “Will be easier this way…” Natsu whispered.  

                Uta had no idea how long he had been out, but he had a clean soft shirt on, and was lying in bed, on his stomach. He could feel that there were bandages of some sorts on his back, but has ass still hurt badly. “Not like he can put a bandage on that” he muttered. Natsu heard that he was awake and walked into the bedroom. “Uta, here’s some juice, you need to drink this,” Natsu put a bottle with a straw, close to Uta’s mouth, “Thank you,” Uta smiled. He didn’t know if he should ask Natsu what happened, what did he do to make Natsu so angry.

                “I’m going to take a look at your back, and your ass…I’ll try to be as gentle as I can, just lie still.” Natsu raised Uta’s shirt, noticed that the bleeding had stopped. Uta hadn’t realized that he had no pants on, as Natsu checked for any anal tearing. He was slightly remorseful, Uta had no idea what had gone on at the Fetish Club, but as a good pet, he would not question what Natsu had done, it was all just to be taken as it was handed out.

                “You seem to be fine. Would you like for me to call the HBG and ask if you could have a sick day?” Now that shocked Uta, Natsu agreeing to do something like call him out of work? Who the hell was this man? “Um, if I can stand up and move around, I should be able to tell if I need to stay home.” Uta tried to push himself up off the bed, but his arms gave out. “I think that’s a no, Uta.” Natsu had a small sad smile. “I’ll call Taka right now, and tell him that you’re ill.” Natsu got up and left the room, and Natsu could hear him talking to Taka.

                Taka’s going to know that I’m not sick. He’s going to know that we were too rough last night, or at least Natsu was. I have to go in tomorrow, no excuses. Spend today trying to move around, I’m going to have to shower, probably with Natsu, not sure I can do it alone. Fuck.

                “All set, Taka says he hopes you feel better,” Natsu sat down next to Uta on the bed, “I’m going to put some antiseptic cream on your back, it might sting a bit.” Pushing up Uta’s shirt, Natsu traced the crisscrossed bloody welts that covered Uta’s back, lightly with his finger, hoping that his overuse of the scourge left no permanent scars. Scars on your pet was never a good thing, it meant that you had lost control of your scene, which was the exact reason Uta was in this condition. Natsu knew he’d have to be more in control, if he wanted validation, to be accepted, to be able to shove Madame F’s finger down her own throat.

                “I’ll come back in a bit, then we can try to get you up at least to sit on the couch.” Natsu covered Uta back up, leaving the room. Why is he being this gentle? What was last night? I’m so confused, what the hell is going on? No rough sex for weeks, then this? Fuck. What did I do wrong?

                                                                                                !

 

                “Kou, can you come in today for a bit? No, it’s Uta. Natsu called him out sick today. I don’t know, I’m more than a bit worried. Yah, just for a few hours until I can get Aki in here early. Okay, I’ll see you soon.”

 

                “Taka called, he needs me to come in early today, can you schedule the viewing of the house to later this afternoon? Maybe around 4pm?” Koichi had just gotten off the phone with Taka, when Tatsu had walked in. “I don’t think that will be a problem, why are you going in?” It was unusual for Taka to call people in to work, but Tatsu had a gut feeling this wasn’t a normal day. “Natsu called Uta out this morning, said he was ‘sick’” I don’t like this, Tatsu. Sick to Natsu means Uta’s hurt. Fuck!” Koichi was getting changed, getting ready to leave. “You don’t know that for sure, Kou. Maybe Uta really is sick, although I doubt it. See what Taka has to say, then let me know what time you’ll be off. I’ll come to pick you up and we can go straight to the house viewing, then dinner after if you’d like?”  Koichi kissed his husband goodbye, and walked to the station. “I’m so fucking lucky” he whispered.

               

                “I know, I don’t like it either, Kou. But what can we do?” Taka and Koichi were opening up the HBG, getting it set up for a late spring weekend night. “I’m going to start interviewing people next week, Mao is coming back for the summer at least. But I do need one more permanent employee. I thought I could get away with three, but it’s not working. Not with me having to send Uta home frequently.” Taka did not want to terminate Uta’s position. “I can’t fire him, I’d hate to see what Natsu would do to him.” Koichi agreed, Uta was at least safe when he was at work.

                “Tatsu’s picking me up, and we’re going to go look at the house tonight…I’m so excited Taka! Our own house! No Masa cooties to worry about” Kou giggled. “You’ll help me with decorating? Please say you will, maybe Ruki as well?” Taka patted Koichi on the shoulder, “Of course I’ll help! You don’t want to leave Tatsu in charge of that, I did the same with Sato. He would have made it look like a bachelor pad again.” Koichi wanted to tell Taka about the wedding and the surprise party so badly, but he knew that they had to have a move in date before letting them in on the secret, and they had not even been inside the house. “What if it’s a shit hole, Taka? What if the pictures I don’t know…lied or were faked? Then what?” Taka shook his head, “Stop worrying about it. You will know the second you walk into the house, if it’s yours or not. My mom always said that, the first impression of a house is usually the key” He loved how excited Kou was about the house and how happy he was again. “If you get to see it tonight, maybe we could go together on a different day?”

                Koichi stopped what he was doing. “What is Sato doing tonight? You’re off at what? 4pm, same as me?” Taka walked back to the office, looking at his daybook. “Um, I don’t think he’s doing anything, why?” Checking to make sure there were no customers, Koichi grabbed his phone, “Give me a second.” Walking out the back door, Koichi called Tatsu. “Hey, do you think it would be okay if Sato and Taka came tonight? Because he’s already bought a house and he knows what to look for! Like to check the water or electricity or whatever. Yah, well he can do that too. Okay… we’re off at 4pm. You want to? Okay, oh…maybe see if they want to do dinner, Ojisan’s I think. Okay, love you.”

                Walking back into the HBG, Koichi gave a thumb up to Taka, as he ran to take care of a customer at the counter. The stream of customers grew a little steadier, leaving Kou and Taka to take the rest of the shift to get together. “Hi Aki!” Taka waved at the younger man as he walked in. “Where’s Uta? He was supposed to overlap me tonight.” Taka winced. “He called out sick today…sounded pretty bad.” Taka lied, he didn’t want to wreck Aki’s entire shift. “But on a high note, Mao’s coming back for the summer and he should be here um…next weekend. That means no more closing by yourself Aki! And I’m hiring one more permanent guy in a week or so.”

                Taka and Koichi stayed another hour, making sure everything was set to go for Aki, then went out to the street to get picked up by Tatsu and Sato. “I heard that, Taka. I think that was probably the best thing to do.” Taka was leaning on his elbow, staring out of the window. “What’s this babe? What did you do?” Sato turned to talk to Taka. “Natsu called Uta out today, said he was sick. I lied to Aki, and told him that Uta himself, called out. Aki’s wrecked over Uta, and I didn’t want to add more pain to his night.” The foursome talked more about Uta, Mao coming back and the hiring of a new person.

                Koichi started to fidget once they were getting closer to the house. Pulling up they saw that the realtor was already there, and the lights were on in the house. Koichi bolted for the front door, telling Tatsu to hurry up. Walking into the house, Tatsu and Sato stayed to talk to the realtor, and Koichi and Taka went off to explore. The house was very modern, very western in appearance, with only one room that had tatami and those were in bad shape.

                “Oh! The master bathroom is huge Kou! Even bigger than ours. Nice storage in here too.” Taka was inspecting the bathroom while Kou was checking out the closets. “Enough space for both our clothes, and with the two spare bedrooms, I might have to buy some new clothes!” As they walked around, Koichi was choosing which room would be his office, and if they could also fit another bed in there. The third bedroom would be the true guest room, since it was closer to the secondary bathroom. “The carpet is pretty ugly and it’s not in very good shape, maybe that’s something that they’re changing? And the paint in the guest bath? Purple? Who fucking paints a bathroom purple?” Taka was laughing. “You know, now that I look at it, I bet old people lived here. Look at the curtains Taka, and the fixtures…old people lived here.”

                Taka and Koichi had finally made it to the small garden, which really wasn’t that much smaller than Sato’s. “There’s plenty of room for a table and chairs, and a grill, so you could have summer parties here, Kou.” It was getting dark so they moved into the front part of the house. Koichi ran to the large picture window in the living room. “It’s perfect!” Taka cocked his head, “Perfect for what, Kou?” Koichi put his hands on his hips, “Really Taka? The Christmas tree! Duh!” Taka just laughed, as Kou pouted. “Wait till we get back, I’ll show you some pictures of how people in the US decorate their houses for Christmas, instead of the Illumination, people put the lights on the outside of their house! And they have like lighted Santa’s and Reindeer, all sorts of things that they put in their yards! I’d love to order some of that and do it here, but the neighbors might complain!”

                Moving to the kitchen, Sato and Tatsu were just finished with the realtor, so Taka and Koichi dragged them through the house, a second time. After about an hour, the foursome let the poor realtor go home, and they headed for Ojisan’s. As they walked up to Ojisan’s, Tatsu stopped and grabbed Koichi and kissed him stupid for about a minute, as Sato and Taka kept walking. “What was that for?” Kou asked breathlessly. “Just because I love you, and I can’t wait for this next part of our lives together. Koichi pulled Tatsu into the restaurant so they could start eating.

                “Konbanwa, Ojisan!” Tatsu leaned over the counter to shake hands with the proprietor. “Good evening gentlemen, what’s the occasion? I can tell this is a small celebration.” They got comfortable, got a beer and Tatsu announced, “We’re buying a house, Ojisan!” The older man clapped, “That is perfect, my friends! No more living in a tiny flat, although the one you’re in now, is spacious? More so than the flat that is contaminated?” Sato thought that was an odd choice of words. “Contaminated, Ojisan?” The older man nodded, “The remaining energy from the malicious one that interrupted your lives, still lingers in that flat, does it not?”

                They stared at Ojisan like he was a three-headed monster. “Ojisan, how did you know that? I mean about the flat feeling bad? Only a few people were there to help me move, so I never really told anyone about that. So, how did you know?” Ojisan just winked, and turned to the kitchen to prepare their meals. “Sometimes he creeps me out, but in a good way!” giggled Taka. It was an enjoyable evening at the tiny Ramen hut, with good nature ribbing and teasing. At one point, Koichi leaned over and whispered “Do you think we could get Ojisan to come to the party? If we ask him to cater it, do you think he would close down the hut just for us?” Looking over at the older man sitting on a small stool, watching his customers, “I’ll try like hell, Kou. If he’d do it for anyone, he might do it for us.” Tatsu snuck a quick kiss in before turning back to his meal.

                After dropping off Sato and Taka, Koichi was quiet on the ride back to their flat, “Kou? Everything okay, you’re kind of quiet.” Kou smiled at his lover, “I’m fine, just thinking about everything, you and me, Ojisan, Uta and Aki. Just where are we going to be in a year, and who might not be with us.” Tatsu hummed a quiet response. “Don’t over think it, things may change for the better, you know that. He has a lot of friends that care a great deal. We’ll manage.” As they walked into the flat, Koichi realized he hadn’t asked what the realtor had said, “When can we buy the house, and how long until we can move in? I totally forgot to ask you about all that. Are there any like huge problems?”

                Holding Koichi’s hand, Tatsu pulled him down on the couch. “The price has been lowered again, mainly because it’s going to take at least another four months until it’s move in ready. The carpet has to be replaced, the tatami in the one room is trashed, but structurally and the under workings, everything is good. No power or water problems, the roof is fairly new. It’s mostly cosmetic” Tatsu was carding Kou’s hair as he laid his head in Tatsu’s lap. “Taka and I think old people lived there, the décor screams old people. Did you get a look at the curtains in the master bedroom? Horrid! And the carpet? Green shag? Who does that anymore? Old people, that’s who” Koichi was very animated in his critique. “The garden isn’t as small as I thought, enough room for a nice table with chairs and a grill. Perfect for a summer surprise wedding! Once we pick a date, I’m going to tell Taka, because if I don’t, he’ll pester me forever, probably with the whole ‘you’ve bought a house, now you need to get married’, line.” Tatsu was talking about something to do with the front garden, explaining what needed to be done, and he noticed that Kou had stopped talking, looking down, his petite lover was asleep. “Poor baby, tuckered out from dreaming about the house. Okay, Kou…babe, let’s get to bed. Come on, I’ll even carry you.” Koichi sat up, Tatsu picking him up bridal style. “I’m practicing for the wedding day, we should do this when we walk into the house…me carrying you over the threshold!” Koichi giggled, nuzzling Tatsu’s neck. Calling for Gordy and Teo, who both came running in and jumping on the bed, the little family settled in for the night, with at least two of them, dreaming of the future.

Chapter Text

 

                Natsu helped Uta into the shower, gently and tenderly washing his body, Natsu’s concern for Uta was throwing his sensibilities off. He still couldn’t trust that Natsu had completely changed, as it was obvious that he hadn’t, and Uta was now bearing the pain of Natsu’s uncontrolled fury. “Let’s see if you can get your shirt on by yourself, you’ll need to see how far you can stretch as well, love.” Natsu was applying soothing cream to Uta’s back, which still felt both hot and tight. Reaching his arm up and over his head, Natsu giving small encouragements. “Now bend from the waist, in case you have to retrieve something from under the counter.” That proved to be a bit more difficult, and painful.

                “I’m not sure who’s working with me, might be Aki, but Mao is coming back, you’ve never met him, he worked for us last summer.” Natsu’s eyes narrowed, but Uta waved him off. “Mao doesn’t know anything about the scene, so he won’t say anything to me, and we were never super close.” Natsu nodded, “Alright, I’ll trust you on this, but you make sure people mind their own business, correct?” Uta pressed against Natsu, asking for a kiss, which he was rewarded with. Natsu had insisted on driving Uta to work that day, not wanting him to be jostled too much on the train. Kissing his battered and bruised lover, Natsu drove off, leaving Uta to take that long walk, hoping for no questions.

 

                “UTA!” He turned to see who was shouting his name, and watched Mao making a bee-line for him, wanting to hug him, which he blocked right away. “Mao! Stop, don’t hug me please!” Mao stopped dead, “Well why the hell not?” he pouted. “I’ve been sick and my back hurts from coughing, that’s all. I am happy to see you though, welcome back!” Taka was watching this from his office, neither of the other men knew. “Thanks! I’m glad to be back, school was starting to dive me fucking crazy, I so need the summer off!” The two men talked and caught up with their respective lives, Mao wanting to know about the mysterious Natsu, that he’d heard about. “What have you heard about Natsu?” Uta was concerned that Mao had been fed certain information. “That he’s older, he’s tall, has long purplish black hair and is sexy, that’s all.” Mao looked confused.

                “He is super sexy, want to see a picture?” Uta got out his phone, “Oh my god, Uta! He’s beautiful! So jealous!” As they got ready to open the counters, Taka asked to see Uta. “Hey, are you feeling okay? You look a little pale, if you’re sick, I don’t want you here…nothing personal mind you.” Uta shook his head, “Just sore, that’s all.” Taka stood in front of Uta, looked him in the eyes, “Okay, let’s get back to work.” As Uta turned, Taka patted him on the back, causing Uta to scream as he fell to the floor.

“UTA! WHAT THE…” Taka fell to his knees next to Uta. “What the hell is wrong! Here, let me…” Taka tried to help Uta up, “NO! LEAVE ME ALONE! I’ll do it myself.” Uta struggled to get up, once he stood, he tried to walk away, but Taka stopped him. “My office, NOW!” he growled. “What the hell was that?” Taka slammed the door. “You tell me the TRUTH Uta! I don’t care if it’s none of my business…YOU’RE MY EMPLOYEE AND MY FRIEND!” Taka was livid, he was trying to look at Uta’s back, gasping when he saw blood leaking through the material.

“What the fuck is that? Oh my god, Uta you’re bleeding!” Uta had tears flowing, but he didn’t say a word, he just stared at the ground. “Uta, I’m going to look, don’t you move!” Taka went behind Uta and pulled his shirt out of his pants, then raised the hem. Taka groaned, “Oh, Uta… this is…, what happened?” lowering Uta’s shirt, Taka wanted to hold the younger man, and made an attempt, just pulling Uta to his chest, but not embracing him, Uta let his forehead rest on Taka’s shoulder.

                “Please, just this once, tell me what happened, I’m not going to judge you, I just need to know, please Uta.” Taka pleaded. Uta sat down, “Can you help me take my shirt off please, Taka. I’ll have to wear something else while I work.” Taka helped the boy take his shirt off, and offered him a black t shirt to wear. “I don’t really know what happened, Taka. I came home from work, and Natsu just flipped out. He said something about it was my fault, but he never said what it was. He gave me more of my medicine than usual. I woke up like this.” Uta was concealing some of the information, and Taka didn’t press any harder. “Taka he’s been so loving and caring the last two months! He’s been making love to me, no scenes or anything, just like a normal couple would. Then that night…I’m confused, he’s never done anything like that before.” Taka knew that was a lie.

                “The next morning, he helped me shower, and put cream on my back and fed me, he took care of me, he loves me Taka. I don’t know what I did, but it must have…” Uta stopped, looking down. Taka wasn’t sure he could take much more of this. “Uta, if I send you home, will you be okay today?” Uta’s head snapped up. “No! I don’t want to go home, I need to work! I’ve been sent home too many times, I always tell Natsu that we’re slow and you’re letting me go home early. But I need the money too, Taka, please, just let me work tonight, I’ll tell Mao that you hit a bad nerve or…” Uta stopped. He couldn’t do it anymore. “Alright, Uta. You can stay, please be careful when you’re moving around. Tell Mao to come in so I can talk to him. No…don’t worry I won’t say anything about Natsu. Just go back to work please.”

                As Uta left, he could hear Mao asking questions, and Uta telling him to go see Taka. “Mao, come in and sit please.” Mao shut the door and sat down. “Uta has been sick quite a bit lately. When I patted him on the back, I hit a tender spot where he had pulled a muscle from all the coughing he’s been doing.” God, I hate lying like this...shit!  “Is Uta going to be okay? I mean, shouldn’t he be home?” Mao looked like he was about to cry.  Taka smiled, “Yes he should be home, but like a lot of people, he needs to work. So as long as he’s not coughing, and he wears his mask, it should be fine. Now, just go back to work, don’t ask him too many questions, he’s a little embarrassed about the whole thing, okay?”

                Mao left the office, Taka listening to Mao tell Uta that he’d help out, that he didn’t want him coughing too much, and to not lift anything. Mao was a sweet kid, always wanting to help out when he could. Taka thought about what may happen when Aki arrived, Taka wouldn’t be there to run interference for Uta, so he decided to leave Aki a fairly detailed note, letting him know what was going on, but to keep his comments to himself by not asking Uta a thousand questions, as Taka was in confidence for the young man. Taka sighed, the situation was getting to him, dragging him down at times, the entire Uta – Natsu drama, and at times it touched a nerve. He was fairly certain that Sakurai would not have treated him as poorly as Natsu treats Uta. Could Sakurai give some insight to why Uta’s staying? Why Natsu is flipping back and forth from real to unreal? Dealing with Uta was draining, but there was no other course to take, he was in it for the long haul.

                                                                                               

                Taka;  

Thanks for warning me about Uta, it was pretty rough tonight, he couldn’t move around much and as the night went on, he ended up being pretty tired. I hope you don’t mind, but I sent him home a little early, but not enough to make Natsu flip out. I’m going to try to keep my opinions to myself, but I’m not sure how long I can do it. Taka, honestly, I’m not even sure I can work here for much longer, it’s just too fucking hard to see Uta every day, coming in all beat to hell. He was bleeding through his shirt again, I just handed him another of our black t shirts and told him to go change. Mao had already left so he didn’t see. I’m just going to keep my mouth shut, thanks.

 Aki.  

                                                                                                !

                Taka sat on the back patio of the garden, lost in his thoughts as he watched Muzzie and Fozzie tear around in the yard. He fought with himself on what he could do for Uta, if he could do anything at all, considering the young man resisted and railed against anyone getting involved. Taka didn’t hear Sato call his name, and jumped when his husband touched him on the shoulder.

                “Are you okay, babe? Didn’t you hear me ask you about dinner?” It was Sato’s turn to be concerned. “No, sorry. I was thinking about Uta…again.” Taka frowned. Sato sat next to Taka, shoulder bumping him, “I don’t have an answer for you babe, it’s difficult but maybe you’re going to have to walk away at some point.” Taka couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he turned on Sato angrily, “Really Sato? Don’t you remember when Tatsu told Kou to walk away from me? Is that what friends do? They walk away when you’re in trouble? Fine…fuck you, Sato! I’m walking away right now! Leave me the fuck alone!” Taka got up and walked way, hearing the bedroom door slam. “Well that was stupid Sato.” He said to himself.

                Slamming the bedroom door, Taka went as far as to lock it, he didn’t need his stupid husband coming in trying to smooth things over. “Dumbass! Guess you didn’t learn from Tatsu’s mistakes!” Taka muttered. “Like I’m going to fucking walk away from Uta.” Taka threw himself on the bed, lying on his back, staring at the ceiling. What the hell AM I going to do? We’re all trying, Kyo, Koichi and Aki… god, poor Aki. This has to be tearing him apart. Taka closed his eyes, he didn’t want to face the reality that Sato voiced…there was no way he’d walk away from Uta, but what if Uta walked away from his friends? What the hell do they do then, just write him off as a loss?

                Turning over and laying on his stomach, Taka grasped his pillow and covered his head, screaming into the mattress, and just threw a tempter tantrum in frustration. “Taka? Can I come in please?” Taka heard Sato knocking at the door. Heaving a sigh, he got up and unlocked the door. “What? You have another bright idea on how NOT to save Uta? If you do, I don’t want to hear it.” Taka turned and walked back to the bed, sitting on the edge.

                “You know what I said isn’t what I meant, right?” Sato stood with his arms crossed. “No, actually, you meant what you said…or you wouldn’t have let it run from your mouth. You think I should just give up on Uta, let him fall under Natsu’s destruction. You’re only worried about me, what may happen if I try to help Uta, right?” That’s what Taka believed, Sato being all clingy and wanting to keep Taka safe… for all the wrong reasons.

                “I’m not going to lie, yes I worry about you, that’s natural as a husband and a partner, and given your past, you’re damned right I’m worried about you. But what I didn’t mean was that we should abandoned Uta.” Sato was back peddling as quickly as he could. “So, what did you mean when you said to walk away from him? That sounds to me like… eh, give up on Uta, he’s not worth saving. That’s what it sounded like…and if you think for one minute, I’m giving up on Uta…you’re wrong and you can go fuck yourself!” Taka turned his back on his husband, who was shocked by the language his lover spit at him.

                “Whatever, Taka. You’ll do what you want, with or without me. If you want me to go fuck myself, guess I’ll leave and do just that.” Sato left the bedroom, Taka could hear him gathering up his keys, and heard Sato leave the house. “Asshole. He should have known better than to say that, he was with Tatsu and Kou when Tatsu made his asshole statement. Fine, I don’t care.” But Taka did care, he was shaking inside, but refused to admit how much he did care.

~

                “Kou? Can I come over? Long story. Okay, thanks, I’ll be there in a bit.”

                “He said that? What a dumbass! He was sitting next to Tatsu, at Ojisan’s, when Tatsu said the same thing! What the fuck is wrong with them?” Koichi was definitely shocked with what Taka was telling him, Sato knew better. “Then I told him to go fuck himself, and he left the house.” Taka worried that he may have made a mistake, “I didn’t want to run off, so he did…I hope he comes back…” Taka’s thought trailed off. “Duh, he’ll come back, after he realizes what an asshole statement that was. Don’t worry Taka, you did nothing wrong, this is Sato’s stupidity.” Koichi reached over and picked up Taka’s hand, “It’ll be fine, I’m sure of it.”

~

                “You said what? Fuck Sato! That was stupid, really stupid, even for you.” Tatsu was at the studio, and had been surprised when Sato had walked in, even more surprised with what he had to say. “I know, but shit! This Uta thing is getting out of control! Taka doesn’t sleep well anymore, he doesn’t eat much, and forget sex…I don’t even approach him for that anymore.” Sato sat on the couch, his head resting on the back. “What I don’t understand is, what does Taka think he can do? That was my point in telling him to cut his losses.” Sitting back up, he put his head in his hands. “Tatsu, Natsu scares me. Did you hear what condition Uta came into work the other night?”

                “No, Kou didn’t say anything…why?” Now it was Tatsu’s turn to get a little uptight. “Uta came in, Mao saw him and ran over to hug, and Uta screamed at him not to.” Sato was frowning, deep furrows in his brow.  “Taka patted Uta on the back and the boy screamed and fell to the floor. Taka made him come into the office…Tatsu, Uta’s back was bleeding through his shirt! Taka looked under the shirt and there were like whip marks, and they were bleeding.” Sato was starting to tear up, describing Uta’s injuries.

                “Fuck!” Tatsu shook his head. “Taka made Uta tell him what happened, evidently Uta had come home from work, and Natsu basically attacked him, totally flipping out. But the next morning, Natsu was all caring, helping Uta bathe, eat, and putting cream on his back. Uta’s confused, because Natsu’s switching back and forth, moment to moment. That’s what scares me about this guy, he can’t be trusted to be one way, without jumping back again.”

                “You should probably tell Taka this, it’s the same thing that I did to Kou. We can’t ever tell them not to care about their friends, that’s just wrong. But we need to explain why we say what we do. Frustration, anger, fear…it’s all part of the greater problem.” Sato stood up and walked towards the door, “You’re right. I guess I’m done fucking myself as Taka so eloquently told me to do.” He smirked. “We have pretty amazing guys…sometimes it takes one of them to slap the crap out of us to remember that.”

                                                                                               

                                                                “Are you home? We need to talk

 

                “First, I apologize for what I said about walking away from Uta. Yes, that is exactly what I meant when I said it, but hear me out on why.” Sato and Taka were sitting on opposite ends of the couch, Taka had his arms around his knees, pulled against his chest. “Maybe because you’re involved, maybe because you’re not sleeping or eating well right now…let’s not even bring up sex.” “You just did, Sato.” Taka pointed out.

                “Yah, well, anyways. I’m scared that you’re going to get hurt. Natsu is so unpredictable, if he’s that way with Uta, what could Natsu do to you…if he thought you were interfering in their relationship?” Taka had his face hidden in his knees. “He won’t get to me…you don’t have to worry.” He grumbled. “No, that’s not true. I thought Sakurai couldn’t get to you, and he did. We thought Morrie wouldn’t get to anyone after Kou but he did, twice, almost killing Uta and Shinya. No, Taka. I’m not taking chances with your life.” Taka glared at Sato. “You really don’t have a say in that, do you? It’s my life, Uta’s my friend. If you don’t want to watch me help him, protect him, or anything else, I suggest you don’t’ watch. I REFUSE to let Natsu destroy Uta if I can do anything to stop it.”

                “It’s your life, true. But you’re MY husband! I do have a say in what you’re doing, who you’re helping, that’s part of being married!” Sato was getting a bit heated. “Part of being married? You’re fucking joking, right? Does marriage come with a written statement saying that YOU have control over what I do? I don’t remember seeing that in any of the papers we signed!” Taka had sat up, no longer hiding his face. “Guess what Sato? If you don’t like me helping MY friends…too damned bad. If you want some submissive, that does everything you tell him to do, you’re going to have to divorce me and find someone else! I don’t give a shit what YOU say! I’m helping Uta anyway I can! So once again, Sato… FUCK OFF!”  Taka got up and ran into the bedroom, slamming and locking the door behind him, leaving a dumb struct husband sitting on the couch.

~

                “Can I stay with you for a while? Thanks, I’ll be waiting outside.”

                Taka grabbed a backpack, shoved some clothes in and walked out into the living room. Without saying a word, he glared at Sato, then walked out the front door. “Where the hell do you think you’re going, Taka?” Sato got up and followed Taka to the genkan. “Somewhere other than here.” They stared at each other, both seething in anger. Ten minutes later, Sato heard a car honking, and Taka walked out of the genkan and got into the car with Koichi and Tatsu. “Are you sure you want to do this, Taka?” Tatsu was hesitant, but like Kou, he wanted Taka to be safe. “I’m very sure, Tatsu. Let’s just go, please.”

                Sato watched as Taka left with Koichi and Tatsu, eyes burning with angry tears. Slamming the front door, Sato walked to the kitchen and grabbed a beer out of the fridge. “Little shit! I’m not apologizing for caring and loving him and wanting him safe. He can just move the fuck out…” Sato sat on the couch, staring at the wall, watching the shadows grow longer. Eventually Eddy and the twins jumped on the couch, demanding food, so Sato had to at least feed them, although all he wanted for dinner, were several more beers.

~

                “What the hell, Taka?” Koichi was sitting on the bed in the guest bedroom, watching Taka empty his bag. “He’s an asshole! I can’t stand him right now! He’s throwing the ‘do as I say because I’m the husband’ shit at me. He’s being a control freak! I told him that if he wanted some submissive freak, then he needs to divorce me and go find someone else. Then I told him to fuck off again.” Taka was violently emptying his bag, shoving his clothing into a dresser drawer. Koichi and Taka didn’t know that Tatsu was lurking just outside the bedroom, eavesdropping, he needed to know what the argument was all about so he could confront Sato later.

                “Did you really have to leave though? Couldn’t you have just, you know…stayed in separate rooms?” Koichi hated seeing Taka so upset. “Do you want me to leave, Kou? I will if I need to. I’d rather be here, unless of course it’s going to be a problem.” Taka could feel his defensiveness rise with every word. “No Taka, I don’t want you to leave. I want you to work it out with Sato. But if you need the time, of course you can stay here. You can stay as long as you like, you know that.” Koichi got up from the bed, and drew his bestie into his arms. “I’m sorry Sato’s being a dick, sometimes it’s the alpha card they think they need to throw it around and don’t realize that they look stupid doing it.”

                Turning to leave the room, to give Taka some quiet, “Dinner’s in about two hours, so take a nap or something. I’ll come get you when it’s ready.” Taka waved Kou off, and fell on the bed. “Why the fuck, is it so hard to understand that all I want to do is help Uta? Is that asking too much? Fuck!”

                “What are you going to do, babe? Just let it lie for now?” Tatsu had walked into the kitchen, standing behind his tiny lover with his arms around Kou’s waist. “I don’t know, let them cool down for a few days? Maybe you could talk to Sato…at rehearsal or something? This feels as bad as when you did it.” Koichi hated reminding Tatsu of what a jackass he had been, but it was appropriate to mention now. “I’ll try to talk to him tomorrow at the studio, what will you do about Taka?”

                Koichi shrugged. “Let him cool off for a few days, see how it goes at work. We both open tomorrow, and Uta and Mao close, so I’ll be able to see Uta, see what his mental state is. I’m hoping it’s not like Taka and Sakurai. I doubt Sakurai would have ever been that cruel, he doesn’t strike me as a seriously vicious man, even as a dominant.” Kou continued to cook dinner, Tatsu leaning against the counter, trying to stay out of the way. “What about Kyo? Do you think he may be able to shed some light on what’s going on in Uta’s mind, that he feels the need to stay with Natsu? Have you thought about asking him?”

                Koichi had not, in fact thought about Kyo, “Hmm, I hate to ask him about his personal relationship with Uta, that’s pretty private, don’t you think?” Tatsu nodded, “It is, but we’re talking about Uta, and the possibility that Natsu could do more damage than he has already. I think we should call him, see if he’ll come over…tonight even?” Koichi looked at his husband, wondering how it was possible he was so blessed. What other husband would invite his lover’s ex-boyfriend to their house, to discuss the ex of the ex…convoluted didn’t begin to explain the relationships involved in this drama.

                “I’m going to get Taka, dinner’s ready.” Koichi went to the spare bedroom, knocked and peeked in. Taka was on his bed, face down, pillow over his head. Reaching over the bed, Kou shook Taka gently. “Hey, Taka…dinner.” As Taka sat up, Kou could tell he’d been crying, but thought it better not to mention it. “Okay…I’ll be there in a minute, thanks Kou.”

                “He’s been crying, don’t say anything.” Whispered Kou to Tatsu as they sat down to dinner. The trio sat down and started eating, when Koichi brought up Kyo. “I was thinking, maybe we should call Kyo? He might be able to let us in on what’s going on in Uta’s head…what do you think?” Taka stopped eating, “Wouldn’t that be kind of awkward for you guys?” Koichi and Tatsu looked at each other. “No, not for us, maybe for Kyo, but we need to at least make the effort to see if he can shed any light into Uta’s mind. I’m going to call Kyo after dinner, see if he can come over.” The conversation during the remainder of the meal was anything other than Uta.

                “Hi…I know, we should. Um, can I ask a favor? Do you have time to come by the flat tonight? No… silly ass, I’m not leaving Tatsu… seriously though, we need to talk about Uta. Well, if you come over I’ll explain it. Okay...thanks

                “Kyo will be here in about thirty-minutes.”

 

                                                                                                !

                “What… God no…Uta!” Kyo was pale, almost as if he was in shock, after Taka told him about the incident at the HBG, and Uta’s wounds. “What we don’t understand is his thought process, why is he staying with Natsu? Was there anything in your relationship with him, that may give us a clue?” Taka really hoped that Kyo had something, even a tiny clue, would be better than none. Kyo shook his head, “He was sort of into light, I mean super light domination, blindfolds, some toys, wrists held together, but flogging? What the hell did Natsu use on him? A barbed wire, whip?”  Taka shrugged. “He wasn’t into that when you were dating him? Not that I think you’d ever hurt him,” Kyo bent over, elbows on his knees, face in his hands. “No, I’m more into restraints, gentle restraints. Whips? Nope. Bite marks that bleeding? Oh, hell no. Whipping hard enough to bleed? Never. I don’t know what’s going on, but Natsu’s using drugs, we know that much. Uta was never much of a drinker, he’d maybe have one or two glasses of wine, but nothing stronger.”
                Taka knew that the excuse of drinking too much, was a lie, and it was just drugs. “What does the community think of using drugs on their submissives? I thought that was frowned upon? And if he’s drugging Uta, does he take him to clubs?” Kyo was silent for a few minutes, then as he looked up at the others, a fire in his eyes could be seen quite plainly.

                “Drugs are never used. No self-respecting dominant would ever use drugs to subdue their pets.” Taka’s breath hitched slightly at the word pet. “I personally have never met anyone that uses drugs in training of their submissives. It’s just not done. But obviously Natsu is doing it, but I can’t understand why, unless Uta really wants to leave, and keeping him drugged is the only way for Natsu to hold him.”

                “Uta told me that Natsu loves him, that for the last two months, they were making love, with no scenes…he didn’t call it sex either. The fact that Natsu cared for him after the injuries, helping him bathe and applying meds, is concerning. That to me means that Natsu’s totally unstable, to be able to switch the violence on and off so easily?”

                “I can suggest one other person to talk to, and maybe you’d not agree… Sakurai.” Kyo knew it was a chance, but he also knew how serious the issue was, that taking the risk of talking to someone on the inside, was something that they had to do. “I can call him, or you can. It’s your call, Taka. I’m not sure what Sato would think…” Before Kyo could finish, Taka cut him off “Fuck what Sato thinks, he has no input into this, none whatsoever.” Kyo shrank back a bit, this was new…fuck Sato? Tatsu’s eyes told Kyo not to ask.

                “Both Kou and I work tomorrow, and Uta and Mao close, so let me see how Uta is, before I ask for any help from Sakurai. I’m seriously not worried about him anymore, Kyo. He doesn’t dare do anything to me, there’s the entire music community watching him when he talks to me. He’ll be fine.” They talked for a little while longer, and then Kyo bid them goodnight.

                “What do you think? Does it sound any better or worse coming from Kyo?” Koichi didn’t know if talking to Kyo had any impact or not, it just seemed to confirm what they already knew. “I think that the fact that Uta wasn’t into severe BSDM before he dated Natsu, is important. Leads me to believe that he’s being forced and kept against his will, and Natsu uses drugs to do it. But who do we turn to? If Uta won’t listen to Kyo, or any of us…what makes us think he will listen to anyone? Are we going to have to literally kidnap him?” At this point…everything was an option.

Chapter Text

“Are you even going to call him today? Or let him stew a bit longer?” Koichi and Taka were on their way into work, sitting on the train trying to decide what the day’s plans would be, in regards to both Sato and Uta. “I don’t know… I’m still so fucking mad about the whole control thing. He should trust me, didn’t I prove to him that I could be trusted again? He needs to back off telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with my own flipping life!” Taka was leaning back with his head against the window, fighting angry tears. “I think you should probably text him at the very least, Taka. Don’t let it go too far…not that I think he’s going to leave, but the longer it’s like this, the harder it is to get back to normal.”

                Besides worrying about Sato, the bigger picture of course was Uta. Neither Koichi or Taka had a specific plan in mind, and after Kyo told them what is normal for the BSDM community, they felt a certain amount of urgency in saving Uta. “Would you be okay talking to Sakurai? You haven’t really talked much, other than listening to him scold Tatsu that day at the hospital.” Standing up to exit the train, Taka didn’t say anything right away. “If he can help get Uta away from Natsu, I’ll spend all damned day with Sakurai if I have to!” Koichi giggled, “Yah…if you want to really piss off Sato…do that!”

                The early shift at the HBG was mainly prep time for the evening shift. Summer was coming soon, and Taka had the task of leafing through applications for summer hires, something which he hated doing. “I can’t tell which of these are worth interviewing and which might be huge mistakes! Kou, can you just check these five applications please? Just look to see if you can find anything, I dunno, weird that maybe I missed.”

                “Sure…” Taka handed the applications to Koichi. “Hmm, I don’t like this one, he seems to have bounced around a lot, never staying very long at any job, which would be a pain if he quit in the middle of summer.” Taka took the application and tore it up, throwing it in the trash. “I think this one sounds promising… He’s only had two jobs and stayed for over 2 years at both, I’d call him in for an interview for sure.” The other applications were nothing special, so Taka decided to call the applicant that Koichi had suggested. “If he turns out to be hell…I’m blaming it on you, Kou” Koichi flipped Taka the bird and walked away laughing.

                “I have an interview with Tora after lunch today, Kou.” Taka was hopeful, the HBG needed one more crew member, before the summer rush got into full swing. “Kou…has anything come across your desk for any DCR events here…a pre-summer tour event?” Taka rolled out of his office, “Not yet, but I usually don’t hear anything until about two weeks before hand, so I’ll let you know the second I hear any rumors.”  Business at the HBG was busy for a lunch time crowd, with the weather changing, meant more people wanting the famous High Ball Cocktail, before heading back to the office.

                Koichi was running the counter, when the potential new hire showed up. “Kou, I’ll be in the office, give me a yell if it gets crazy.” Koichi waved Taka off, but not before sneaking a look out the back door, to get a glimpse of the potential new crew member. A little on the tall side, with shaggy black hair and a wide smile, the potential new crew member was definitely attractive. “Who could we match him up with? Aki?” While Taka was interviewing the new guy was up front with the customers. He had turned around to do something when a customer cleared his throat, trying to get Kou’s attention.

                “Sato? Um, what are you doing here?” Koichi started to shake a little, his face flushing. “Is Taka around, Kou?” he asked quietly. “He’s interviewing someone right now, I don’t know how long it will take. Do you want to wait on the patio for him?” Sato nodded and walked off. “Shit!” Kou looked back at the office…the door was still closed. Damn! How am I going to warn Taka?

                “Thanks for coming in, Tora. I’ll contact you in the next few days to set up a training schedule.” Taka turned to walk back into the office, before he could, Kou hissed “Taka! Sato’s here!” Taka walked to the front of the building. “Where is he? What does he want?” Taka was not happy about this. “He’s on the patio, waiting for you. I don’t know what he wants, obviously to talk to you.” Taka shook his head, “Hold down the fort…I’ll be right back. This won’t take long.” Taka pushed through the back door with a bang.

                “Why are you here? What do you want, Sato?” Taka stood in front of his husband, his arms crossed over his chest, hip cocked. “We need to talk.” Sato wouldn’t look at his husband. “We can’t talk here, I’m working. I’m doing interviews for summer new hires. If you want to talk, you’ll have to wait until I’m off. Meet me at Kou’s.” Taka spun on his heel and walked back to the HGB, leaving a stunned Sato sitting on the patio. “What happened? Did he yell at you?” Taka was scowling, “He said we needed to talk. I told him not now, but to meet me at your flat tonight. I hope that’s okay? I’m going to need you to sit with me and Tatsu to referee. I have a feeling it’s going to be a pissing match and not a discussion.”

                Koichi didn’t like the sound of what he and Tatsu might be getting into the middle of. “Sure, let me text Tatsu, and let him know, see what time he’ll be home. Are you sure you want to do this with Tatsu and I in the room? Don’t you want to take this private?” “No…I don’t. I’m tired of him thinking I’m helpless with out him. He’s too clingy, he doesn’t trust my judgement and blames it on him caring and loving me. It’s bullshit. He should support my decisions, and he should NEVER have questioned the fact that I want to help Uta.” Taka then went into his office and slammed the door.

                “Shit…I can’t wait… I need Tatsu now.” Koichi usually didn’t used his phone while he was working, but this felt like an emergency.

                “Hi…um, well no. Everything isn’t good. Uh, when will you be home tonight? Could you be home by like 4? Sato came to see Taka here, and it didn’t go well, so they want to meet up at the flat, but Taka wants both of us to sit in on the discussion…if that’s what it’s going to be called. I know, but he wants it that way. I don’t like the feeling of this…it’s feeling, I don’t know… just wrong! Okay… I will. I love you too.”

                “Taka? Tatsu said he’d be home around 4…will that work for you?” Koichi poked his head into the office. “Yah, that will be fine, thanks Kou.” Turning back to paperwork, Taka indicated he wanted to be alone so Koichi went back and continued working. Looking at the time, he saw that Uta and Mao should be coming in soon. He wanted to check with Taka on how to approach their friend.

                “Taka, Uta and Mao are due in soon, what do you want us to do? Confront him or just play it as it goes?” Koichi didn’t want to confront his friend, he felt that it did no good. “Let’s just see how he is when he gets in, and play it as it goes.” Taka appeared to be less angry than an hour ago, having time to cool off from Sato’s visit. I hate this, everything just fucking feels wrong! Taka and Sato, Uta and Natsu…what the hell is going on? Koichi had little time to think any further, as Uta and Mao walked in together, chatting away seemingly unfazed by Uta’s current situation.

                “Hi guys! What’s up?” Koichi wanted to sound as neutral as possible, with no hints of judgment that could alarm Uta. “Nothing much, I just happened to be on the train the same time as Uta.” Mao was smiling, not appearing to be upset. Uta at least seemed less drugged than he had in the past. “How’s things Uta? Ready for the summer rush and maybe a DCR event?” The second Koichi said DCR Event, Uta’s face changed from pleasant to almost terrified. “Uta? You okay?” Mao saw it as well. “Yah, I just worry about…you know, Ruki Rampages, he’s always getting into trouble.” Uta tried to laugh it off, without much success.

                “Well, it wouldn’t be a successful DCR event without at least a tiny Ruki Rampage!” Mao was trying to deflect the bad vibe…laughing at everything being said. “Well, you guys should get to work, Taka and I will be leaving soon. Have a good shift!” Koichi turned to let Taka know he was ready to go.

                “How’d did he act?” Taka peered out the door, watching Uta. “He was fine, until I mentioned a possible DCR event, then he got a little pale and nervous, saying he was worried about a Ruki Rampage, and I know he doesn’t really care about that. Not sure what was bothering him.” As they gathered their bags, Taka stepped up front to speak to Mao and Uta for a few minutes then headed for the back door with Koichi. “What did you tell them?” Kou prodded his friend. “Just that if anything weird happened, to call me and let me know, and just to you know, be careful tonight.”

                Taka was silent on the train ride home, Koichi knew he was thinking about what to do about Sato. Would there be a screaming match? Or quiet fury from both. He knew Sato loved Taka without a doubt, and the same for Taka loving Sato, but would this battle over what one considered controlling and the other considered legitimate concern? Koichi wasn’t looking forward to the meeting. “Hey, want to stop at the konbini and get some beer?” Koichi thought if he could get them both to relax, maybe… “No, I don’t think so, I want to make sure I’m clear headed, so I can tell that Pigheaded husband of mine to stop trying to control ever fucking aspect of my life!” Koichi knew…this was not going to turn out well.

~

                Taka had been right…it wasn’t a discussion, it was more than a pissing match, it was a full-fledged fight, with Kou and Tatsu in the middle.

                “You want me to what? FUCK YOU! I will NOT come home just because you want me to! Damn it Sato! I’m your husband… your EQUAL PARTNER in our marriage and you’re acting like…like… NATSU!” Koichi and Tatsu gasped. “Taka… please…” “STAY OUT OF THIS KOICHI! Snapped Taka. Sato was glaring at his husband, “IF YOU THINK, I’M GOING TO STAND BY AND LET YOU CONFRONT THAT ASSHOLE, YOU HAVE IT SERIOUSLY WRONG!” Sato shouted at Taka.

                “Come on guys…let’s take a break and sit down…both of you!” Tatsu had stood up and gotten between the two men. Taka sat near Koichi, and Sato walked into the kitchen with Tatsu. “Taka… really? You compared him to Natsu? That’s not really fair, is it?” Taka humpfed, “No, but it’s pissing me off, Kou. He’s trying to control me…he doesn’t want me to help Uta... HE WANTS ME TO MIND MY OWN BUSINESS!” Taka started shouting again.

                Tatsu wasn’t doing much better with Sato, “Why don’t you want Taka to help Uta? If someone doesn’t do something, Uta could, well …it could be bad, like deadly. So why not Taka? He’s Uta’s friend and his boss, so why the reluctance?” Sato looked at Tatsu, “I told you…Natsu is dangerous, just as dangerous as Morrie and Sakurai. There’s NO TELLING WHAT HE COULD DO TO TAKA!” Sato yelled back at Taka.

                “Look, if you two can’t calm the fuck down, you’re both leaving! This is asinine! Talk it out or both of you shut the hell up!” Koichi was standing in the middle of the flat, hands on his hips. “I’m tired of us being in the middle! No more! Talk it out, NOW! Tatsu come on…we’re leaving” Tatsu shrugged and got his bag, and walked out the door with Koichi.

                “You might as well leave too…I’m not changing my mind. I’m going to do everything in my power to save Uta…whether you like it or not. You have no say in what I’m doing for my friend. That’s not being a supportive husband and partner. You’re being a fucking troll…you’re pushing your insecurities on to me! I’m not the one with the problem, Sato, you are!” Taka sat back down on the couch, not wanting to speak to his husband anymore.

                “That’s how you see me? A fucking troll? Because I’m worried about you? Because I care what happens to you…that I worry any time you’re out of my sight? Really Taka? Then why are we married, if you don’t want me to care? Why did we go through all that bullshit, if you don’t want me to love you and be worried about your safety? Maybe you’re right, maybe I am projecting my insecurities on to you, but I can’t help the way I feel, Taka. You’re my life, babe. I can’t imagine being without you…ever again”

“Those months were the worst time in my life. I had no where to go, nothing to hold on to, it scared me to damned near death. And now? I’m worried that you’re possibly going to confront someone who has hurt Uta as badly as he has, that he’s screamed at Kyo, at Ruki, and now you want to confront him? No, Taka. If that makes me a bad person, or a fucking troll, then I’ll wear that tag without regret. You think about my side, and then tell me. Wouldn’t you be doing the same thing if the roles were reversed? Would you freak out if I was putting myself in danger for someone else? Would you Taka?”

                “Sato, nobody else is doing jack shit for Uta…nobody. He is dying inside, you don’t see it. I do, every day that boy is coming in with less of himself. He’s not Uta anymore! Sato he’s a drugged-up shell, there’s no Uta in there anywhere! What would you have me to, Sato? Leave him, not try, just watch as Natsu kills him slowly? What exactly do you expect me to do? What? Tell me, Sato. What do you want me to do?” Taka had tears streaming down his face, he didn’t understand why Sato didn’t want him to help Uta, since nobody else could.

                They stared at each other across the table, neither one with an answer. Sato sighed, shook his head and stood up. “I’m going home.” Is all that he said, and he turned and walked out the door, leaving his husband sitting in disbelief. That’s how Koichi and Tatsu found Taka, just staring at the wall, not crying, but tears running down his cheeks. “Where’s Sato, Taka?” Koichi asked gently. “He went home.” Taka whispered. “Did you…are you okay with him now?” Turning to face Koichi, Taka shook his head, “No, I think we’re done, Kou. There’s no other explanation for him walking out on me. We’re done.” As he said those last two words, Taka leaned over, his head falling onto his best friend’s shoulder. “Oh, Taka…no.” Koichi whispered. He pulled Taka into his arms as the young man fell apart, sobbing from his heart. Tatsu watched from the kitchen…unable to come up with anything to say to either of them. “Damn it Sato!” he muttered under his breath. “You were going to fix this, but now you’ve destroyed it.”

~

                Sato walked into their house…his house, throwing down his things in the genkan, he walked into his living room, sitting down on the couch, not bothering to turn on the lights. Soon Eddy was next to him, chirping and nuzzling Sato’s arm. “Hey Ed, looks like it might be just you and me and the twins again.” Sato said sadly. Eddy, sensing something was wrong, got into Sato’s lap, then put his front feet on Sato’s chest, head butting him, and licking Sato’s tears. “I think I’ve fucked it up, Ed. He’s not coming home.” Sato spent the night on the couch, sleeping, waking and crying, only to fall asleep crying again. He didn’t know where to turn or what to do. He couldn’t lie about his feelings, the fear he had of Natsu harming Taka if he stood up for Uta. He couldn’t lie…he promised himself, and Taka that the lying was over. So now what does he do? Wait…for how long… for what?

Chapter Text

 

                “That was perhaps the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard or seen you do, Sato. You went from trying to talk it out, to basically walking out on Taka. Are you trying to take a play out of my book? Didn’t you learn anything from what I did?” Tatsu was reading Sato the riot act, for his actions the previous night with Taka. “You basically told Taka that Uta didn’t matter, and that he should obey your commands. What the hell, Sato?”

                Sato looked like hell, swollen red eyes from crying and looking like he had no sleep, which of course he didn’t. “I don’t expect you to understand Tatsu… this is nothing like what went on with Koichi and Masa, this is completely different.” Sitting behind his drum kit, Sato was fiddling around with his sticks. “Understand? Oh, fucking spare me, Sato! I understand that you’re acting like an asshole towards your husband by questioning his motives and feelings on helping Uta get away from Natsu. That’s what you’re doing.”

                Miya walked in with Yukke a second later, and just caught the tale end of the discussion. “Hey, um…is something wrong?” Yukke could feel the obvious tension in the room. “Yah, Sato’s being an asshole to Taka.” Tatsu muttered. “Sato? Why, what’s going on?” Sato explained the Uta problem, which Yukke and Miya knew parts of the situation. “But, he wants to confront Natsu, and I said no. Natsu’s on the edge of a cliff…if he see’s Taka trying to help Uta, Natsu’s going to flip his shit and take it out on Taka. I’m not willing to let that happen, and Taka’s told me to fuck off and he’ll help Uta whether or not I like it.”

                “You told Taka that he’s not allowed to help Uta? Sato, you…well never mind.” Miya sighed, he knew Sato wouldn’t take any advice from him or anyone else. “Sato-kun, you can’t order your husband around like that, you’re just pushing him further away if you do. Why aren’t you helping him? Is there reason you don’t want to help Uta?” Yukke brought up a good point. “No, there isn’t a reason, and no I’m not helping Taka.” But Yukke’s question gave pause to Sato, why wasn’t he helping Taka? Sato shut down for the next hour, to the point that Miya called the rehearsal off. “You’re not into it Sato, I’m not going to force you to practice, if you’re not ready to play. Sounds like you need to re-think your lack of compassion for Uta.”

                “Look! I know I fucked up…okay? Call me what you want, but I only want what’s best for Taka! Fuck, nobody seems to understand or care about what I want!” Sato was getting a bit pissy. “Because what you want, isn’t what’s right, Sato. You’re throwing Uta to the wolf, as it were. Taka wants to help Uta, the boy’s in serious trouble, Sato. The whip marks were bleeding for fucks sake!” Tatsu was close to blowing up at Sato. Now it was Miya’s turn to be pissed off. “What? Bleeding? What the hell happened?” This was the first Miya and Yukke had heard about the whip marks.

                “Natsu pretty much attacked Uta the other night when he got home. Used some type of whip, and cut Uta’s back all to hell. Taka patted him on the back at work, and Uta fell to the floor screaming, and then his back was bleeding through his shirt.” Tatsu was shaking his head as he spoke. “This is why it’s so important to support Taka! Sato, how can you not see it?” Sato got up from his drum kit, and threw his sticks down. “FINE! FUCK ALL OF YOU!” Sato walked out, slamming the rehearsal room door. “What the hell was that?”

                Sato was seething with hostility…nobody could see his side of the problem, no one wanted to admit that Taka could get hurt by Natsu if he interfered in Uta’s relationship. “Fine, Taka can do whatever the hell he wants!” Driving home from the studio, Sato’s anger was just below the surface, contained only because he was behind the wheel. Walking into his house, he slammed the door to the genkan, scaring the cats, as he stomped through to his bedroom. Pulling out his phone, he shot off a heated text to Taka,

                                “Do whatever the fuck you want, but don’t come crying to me when you’ve been beaten by Natsu…I’ve tried to warn you, and everyone else fucking refuses to listen to my concerns about what might happen. So fuck you as well. Don’t you dare call me when you’re in the hospital recovering, because if you do, I’m going to throw it in your face that I warned you!”

                Throwing his phone across the room, Sato went back into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Sake and a beer, “Fuck all of them…I’m fucking done with this stupid shit.” Turning on the TV, Sato proceeded to get drunk… shit faced drunk actually, finally after several hours and a lot of sake and beer, Sato passed out on the couch.

~

                “Wow, he’s totally lost it, Taka. That’s harsh, and so out of character for him.” Taka had shown Koichi the text he had just received from Sato. “Wonder what happened at the studio? Something must have been said for him to text that to you” The two men were sitting on the couch, discussing Sato’s outrageous text to Taka. “Tadaima” Tatsu was toeing off his shoes in the genkan. “Okaeri…you need to see this…” Koichi waved Tatsu over to the couch, with Taka handing him his phone. “Holy shit…really? He’s fucking lost his damn mind.”

                “What happened at the studio?” Taka frowned, he knew Sato was pissed. “We asked him why he didn’t want to help you or Uta, he told us we didn’t understand his point of view, told us to fuck off and left during practice.” Now it was Taka’s turned to be pissed off. “Damn him! He’s so fucking selfish!” Taka got up and left the room.  “What the hell went on at the studio? This is starting to get worse.” Flopping down next to Kou, Tatsu reached over and drew his lover close. “Miya and Yukke questioned Sato why didn’t wand to help Taka with Uta’s problem. Yukke called him out on it, and he basically said we don’t understand his point of view…then Miya told him it was because he was wrong. That basically shut Sato down and he walked out.”

                “Taka got the text probably 20 minutes later then, he must have gone home.” Koichi sighed, “What the hell is wrong with him? Why won’t he give us a legitimate reason he won’t help Uta?” Tatsu shrugged, “Maybe it has nothing to do with Uta, maybe it’s all about Taka.” Koichi leaned over, putting his head in Tatsu’s lap. Tatsu started to card Koichi’s pink locks, running his fingers through Koichi’s long hair. “What if this has something to do with Sakurai?” Koichi was throwing out random thoughts. “How would it be about Sakurai? I don’t see the correlation.” Tatsu was skeptical about this idea.

                “I don’t know…” Koichi whined, “I’m just throwing things out there!” Taka walked back into the living room. “Guys, don’t worry about it anymore. Sato’s not going to change his mind, he doesn’t obviously care enough about anyone other than me, which is selfish. I can’t explain it.” Tatsu waved Taka over to sit with them. “What will you do about it then? Sato, I mean, will you go home? Stay here? I’m not telling you to leave, you know I’d never do that. But I want to be on the same page as you, when it comes to Sato. If he won’t help with Uta, that’s fine, we can handle it. But what happens after? I mean if we’re successful in getting Uta away from Natsu, what will you do then?”

                Taka shook his head, “I don’t even know, Tatsu. I can’t be with someone who’s going to be that selfish, that unconcerned with others, and that controlling. Maybe I made a mistake…” Those words made Koichi’s heart jump. “Mistake? Like in marrying him again? Taka no…don’t say that.” Taka wouldn’t look Kou or Tatsu in the eyes. “Guys, I’m going to bed, thanks for everything. I’ll make a decision on what to do soon. I don’t want to be a burden, again. I love you guys. Goodnight.” He slowly got up and made his way to the back bedroom.

                “Shit! We have to do something Tatsu! We ca…” Tatsu put a finger over Kou’s lips. “Let’s not jump in right away, we need to let them figure it out. I sort of agree with Taka, Sato’s acting selfish and controlling. We need to let them be for now. Let’s see how it goes, before we step in, okay?” Tatsu bent down and kissed Kou on the forehead. “Let’s go to bed, I have a feeling it’s going to be a rough few next days.”

                “You don’t have to worry about me anymore. I will do what I want. I will help Uta.”

 

                                                                                                !

 

                “Taka? You awake?” Peeking in the bedroom door the next morning, Kou found Taka sitting on the bed, looking at his phone. “Yah, what’s up?” Looking up, Koichi could see that Taka had been crying again, but chose not to mention it. “I got an email, DCR is planning a party with the HBG, next weekend.” Kou walked over and handed Taka his phone, so he could read the email. “Hmm, looks like the same as the previous parties, we may have to hire one more person, or ask to see if Miku or Kanon could just work that night.” Koichi sighed in relief that Taka was acting fairly normal, not in any sort of panic or distress over Sato.

                “Well, this year I’d actually be working the event, so that would give us five people, counting Tora, if he’s up to speed by then.” Taka tapped his finger on his chin, “Aki tells me that Tora’s already doing well, is kinda loud…but it a fun way, not annoying. With five people working, that would give us two at the counter, and three on the patio, as long as Uta is fit to work. I’ll have to talk to him today when I go in.” The fact that Uta needed not to be drugged in order to work was a serious concern. Taka knew he’d have to approach the subject carefully, in a way that Natsu couldn’t take out his anger on Uta.

                “What about Natsu? Would he be working the party as well? Could you ask his boss to put him somewhere other than the patio? I don’t think it would be wise to have him where he could see Uta, he might flip his shit if Uta has to talk to people, like on the patio or even at the counter. That may be something to consider.” warned Koichi. “Good point! If he could stay in the shops on the other side of the tower, and maybe around the base of the tower, but not near the patio area, Uta should be okay, and so would everyone else.”

                Koichi had to say it, “Taka, what about Sato? He’s going to be there, well at least he should be there.” Taka shrugged, “That’s his fucking problem, I’m done with him.” Taka got up and walked past Kou, and went into the kitchen for some coffee. “Are you sure? Do you really think you guys are like, over?” Koichi busied himself with cleaning up some dishes as Taka went and sat at the table. “Yah, I do. I can’t be with someone that’s going to try to control me by guilting me into doing what he wants. That’s not a partnership and that’s sure as hell not a marriage. I’m not going to do anything legally right now, he’ s going to have to decide what the hell he wants, if it’s me, or if it’s control, he can’t have both.”

~

                “We need to talk, okay, I’m on my way.”

 

                “Have you heard from him?” Tatsu had gone to Miya’s to talk to him and Yukke, about Sato and his problem. “Nope, I tried to call last night, but there was no answer, straight to voice mail.” Miya handed out coffee, while Shinya was in the bedroom with Miyu. “Shin thinks we should just leave him alone for a while, let him calm down. What about Taka? What’s going on with him?” Tatsu frowned, “He’s ready to write the relationship off. He’s not giving in, and I don’t blame him one bit. He’s going to stay with us for now, but I’m not sure what his ending will be.” Yukke couldn’t believe that this was going on, “Why is he being so damned stubborn? I don’t understand, is there something we don’t know? Is there something underneath that’s bothering him about all of this? It’s just not rational for Sato not to want to help Uta” Tatsu threw his hands up, “Fuck if I know, but it pisses me off beyond reason.”

~

                “Shit…” groaned Sato as he woke up, a blinding alcohol induced headache greeted his day. Trying to sit up on the couch, where he had passed out, was becoming difficult as every time he moved, his head wanted to explode and his guts want to expel themselves from his body. “That was fucking stupid…but you’re doing a lot of that lately, aren’t you, dumbass?” talking to himself, Sato rolled off the couch, and slowly made his way to the kitchen, needed coffee and water. “Eddy, stop screaming so loud!” Eddy, Muzzie and Fozzie were all in the kitchen asking for food, at a vocal level that wasn’t near screaming, but to Sato’s addled head, it sounded like an orchestra out of tune.

                “Fine, you little fat bags, here!” Sato almost tipped over, and had to shove a hand against the wall to keep from falling over from the alcohol spins. “Shower…then food.”  He was thankful he remembered to close the curtains last night, which now was blocking the annoying late morning sun. Stepping into a hot shower, Sato stood under the stinging spray, trying to gather his shit for brains thoughts on what he would do for the day. “Call Taka? Go see him? Fuck that…he’s coming to see me! It’s not my fault he’s being reckless with his life.”

                Sato finally got out of the shower, when the hot water ran out. Toweling himself dry, he found some clean sleep pants and a t shirt, and decided to take a hangover nap, which he sorely needed. He didn’t want to face anything at that moment, it could all wait until later. Until he was…what? Sober? Sensible? Moaning about his indecision, Sato grabbed a pillow, placed it over his head and hoped that maybe he wouldn’t wake up or that if he did, Taka would be next to him, clinging tightly and grinding his hips against his husband…husband, not controller.

~

                “Since all of you are here now, just wanted to let you know we have another DCR scheduled party, next weekend. Tora, since you’re new to the crew, I’ll speak with you separately. Everyone else, standard routine. Uta and Mao will be at the counters, Kou, Tora and Aki on the patio, and I’ll be lurking between the two.” Taka discussed what the HBG would be providing, “As the norm for these parties, HBG supplies the alcohol and the security, and DCR provides the food. Any questions?” No one seemed to question the event, so Taka dismissed the crew and pulled Tora into the office.

                “What’s up? Something I should know about?” Tora was genuinely enjoying working at the HBG and he was excited for the event. “There’s a few things you’ll need to know. Number 1, no fanboying allowed during the event. I know it’s going to be difficult considering who usually attends these parties.” Tora was sitting on the edge of his chair, leaning in eagerly. “Who might be there that I have to, um…control myself?” Taka had to laugh. “Sakurai Atsushi is probably the major fanboy dream, and while he’s not with DCR, but Buck Tick has an open invitation to crash any industry party they’d like.”

                “Really, the only potential problem I can foresee is Ruki.” Tora cocked his head to the side, “Gazette Ruki?” Taka nodded. “He’s been known to um…be a little out of control at these parties, or at least he has in the past. We all love Ruki, he’s just a bit squirrely sometimes.” Taka gave Tora another outline of what his duties would be, then asked if he would send Uta back to the office.

                “You wanted to see me, Taka?” Uta asked quietly. “I just wanted to ask you a few things, and this is for your safety and the safety of the staff and the bands. I’m going to ask Natsu’s boss, not to have him patrol the patio during the party.” Taka instantly saw what he believed to be a rush of relief. “I don’t want him freaking out during the party, because he see’s you speaking to a guest. I have one other request, and I don’t know how you’ll handle it. Can you please, not be so…um, out of it, for the party? If Natsu will allow it, don’t take so much medicine for the next few days.” Taka wanted to say drugs, but that would provoke a negative reaction from Uta. “I can try, he’s been really sweet to me since…” Uta didn’t finish his sentence. “That would be awesome. If you want to see Natsu during your break, please keep it away from the party.”

                Sending Uta back to work, Taka then had to think of his own potential drama, seeing Sato at the party. How the hell is that going to play out? Will he even speak to me? Will he try or just ignore me? “How are you going to handle seeing Sato at the party, Taka?” Koichi had been standing in the doorway, watching Taka as he tried to sort through his troubles. “Not even sure if I’ll approach him, not if he hasn’t come to me and apologized. I’ll just avoid him, which means I’ll probably be avoiding everyone, and I’ll be too busy to worry about Sato.”

Chapter Text

 

 

                “Do you want to talk at all? Or are we officially over? It’s your call, and I’m willing to listen.”

 

                Lying on the bed in Koichi’s guest room, Taka stared at the text for over an hour, trying to decipher the intent, which is almost impossible via written words, a simple statement.  Did he want to talk to Sato? What happens if nothings changed, does that mean they’ll get a divorce? How important was saving Uta, versus keeping his marriage in tact? Staying married was important, but Sato had chosen sides, he had refused to even entertain any ideas in helping Uta.

                “Only if you’re willing to talk about Uta.”              

               

                Why does it always have to be about Uta? Sato was sitting behind his drum kit, waiting for the others to come to practice. It had taken Taka over an hour to respond to Sato’s text, and when he did respond, it had to include talking about Uta.

Why don’t we talk about us instead?”

 

Because the problems we are having, include Uta. This was your problem, not mine.”

“Pfft! Like I’m not going to bring up Uta in a conversation about why he doesn’t want me helping Uta! Dumbass.” Taka almost had to laugh at his husband, who just couldn’t grasp the concept of helping someone that was in danger. He waited for another text…the one that would signal the continuation or demise of his marriage to Sato.

“Kou, can you come sit with me please…just for a minute?” Taka had walked into the living room looking for Koichi. “Sure…why?” Kou hesitated. “Here,” Taka handed over his phone. “Shit, Taka.” Handing Taka his phone back, Koichi realized that this could be a life changing text, he then reached over and took Taka’s hand in his. They waited. Fifteen minutes after his last text, his phone buzzed. “Kou…I don’t know if I can look” Taka’s voice was shaky. “Want me to read it first?” Taka gulped, then handed his phone to Kou.

Give me some time, I’ll text you later today.”

“Well that’s super evasive! Time for what? To come up with a fucking excuse? Fuck, whatever Sato.” Taka got up and walked back to the bedroom, leaving Koichi to wonder what the hell was wrong with Sato. “He’s avoiding talking about Uta…why?” he mumbled. Shaking it off, Kou returned to his office, working on details for the upcoming DCR summer tour kick-off party.

~

                “Could you come to the house please? No, alone. Thanks.”

 

                “Tell me what to do, Shinya. Whatever I’m doing isn’t working, I’m losing Taka.” Sato had called Shinya to his house hoping to get the gentle man’s opinion on what was going on. “Sato-kun, what is it that has you so worried about helping Uta? You won’t tell Taka why you don’t want to help, so tell me.” Sato looked down at his hands, “I’m not even sure Shin, it’s irrational, I get that but maybe because it involves the whole BSDM lifestyle that almost killed Taka, maybe that Natsu is somehow going to take Taka away from me.” Shinya saw right through the irrational fear comment, that it was that single thing, Sato feared, Taka being around that community and perhaps being lured back into it by way of Uta.

                “Why haven’t you told Taka-kun this?” Shinya looked Sato straight in the eyes, “Would you rather hide your fears from him and lose him, or expose your heart and tell him everything you fear. Is it really that hard to do, Sato?” Shinya had scooted to the edge of the couch, closer to Sato. Reaching for Sato’s hand, “Do you need someone else to tell him why you’re being pigheaded?” Sato’s head snapped up, “Pigheaded? Is that how you see me?” Shinya laughed softly. “Of course not, but it’s how your husband sees you. Taka is correct, when he said you’re projecting your insecurities onto him. You must trust your boy, Sato-kun.”

                Sato was hunched over, elbows on his knees, rubbing his face and raking his fingers through his hair. “I should go to Koichi’s and talk to Taka…I shouldn’t wait, if I wait any longer, I may not get him back.” Shinya patted his friend on the shoulder. “You should do that Sato, but will you? You drummers are a stubborn bunch, Kai is one of the worse I’ve seen.” Shinya laughed. “Thanks Shinya, you’re the most level-headed man I think I’ve ever met, you cut right to the core of things, but you have the uncanny ability to convince us it was our own idea.” Sato got up and hugged Shinya tightly. “I’ll make sure to talk to him tonight.”

~

                                                “Can I come and see you at Koichi’s?”


                “Hey, come on in, he’s in the living room.” Koichi was nervous, he hoped he wouldn’t be an observer to the death of his best friend’s marriage, and with Tatsu being out, it would leave him as the one to pick up the pieces if Taka shattered.

                “Thanks Kou, uh… could you leave us alone please?” Sato wanted no distractions when he talked to his husband. “Sure, I’ll be in my office.” Koichi excused himself and went into his office and closed the door. Shaking inside and dry mouthed, Sato walked over and sat in a chair near Taka. Taka was simmering, anger barely contained, he was ready for the blow up, ready for starting his life over.

                “Can I just say what I need to first?” Sato watched Taka’s face for any hint of what to expect. Taka nodded. “I love you, that’s the first thing I want to say. I’ve been unfair in my reactions to your trying to help Uta, but not because I don’t want you to help the boy, I agree Uta needs help.” Sato took a deep breath, and began. “I have this stupid, irrational fear that you’re going to leave me, I’m scared that Natsu is somehow going to lure you away, and force you into the lifestyle that almost killed you. Yes, we had our little scenes, which were nothing like what the deeper community is involved in, we were just playing.” Sato looked up at Taka, trying to get a feeling on how he was reacting, but got nothing but a blank stare.

                “Yes, I want to help Uta, I care enough about him to say that, but I care about you more, that maybe selfish, but that’s the truth. I’m scared of losing you, losing you to the thing that made you not care if you lived or died. Natsu is drugging Uta, this means he’s dangerous so much so, that he may attack you for interfering. Taka, this may be irrational to you, but it is very real to me, the thought of losing you to that deviant? It’s more than I can handle.

                Taka looked down for a few moments, thinking about how to respond to his husband. “You’re right, it is an irrational fear. There’s no way I’d ever go back to that lifestyle, and I thought you knew that. The fear that Natsu somehow would take me away from you, don’t you know that I would never let myself get into a situation that would make that possible? I love you, Sato, more than I think you even realize.” Looking up at his lover, Taka had tears in his eyes. “What bothered me the most, is that you were acting like a dominant, treating me like I had no choice over my own actions, my own life. You were attempting to order me around, and using the alpha husband card on me. That’s what upset me the most, that you were essentially forbidding me to help Uta.”

                “I never meant it to be that, forbidding you to help, I was just so scared Taka, you almost died, I almost lost you forever, because of that lifestyle, because of Sakurai.” Taka shook his head, “But it wasn’t because of that lifestyle, it was because I thought you all were throwing me away, you left me to go on tour, Sakurai made all those promises, and yet it took only two days, not even a week and he threw me away.”

                Sato got up from his chair, sitting on the couch next to Taka. “Babe, you are my entire world. I could live without Mucc, I could live without music, but Taka I can’t live without you. It may sound hokey or whatever but those months that we were apart, I had no soul, I just existed. I’m sorry if my crazed fear of losing you hurt you, it was never my intent to do that.” Taka’s entire demeanor softened as he looked at Sato. “I know you love me, but I can’t abandon Uta, you have to understand this, please.” Sato opened his arms, Taka falling into the embrace. “I do understand it, and I want to help. Please just forgive me being a jackass, an idiot and anything else you called me. Please don’t tell me to fuck the fuck off, fucking off by myself is boring, I’d rather do it with you” Sato teased.

                “Will you come home with me tonight…please? Eddy and the twins miss you so much, I hadn’t realized that they were so obnoxious when you’re not around.” Cupping Taka’s chin, Sato kissed his boy, long and hard…needing that first step in reconnecting with his boy.

                “YAY! YOU’RE GOING HOME!” Koichi screamed as he ran out of his office. “Uh, gee thanks Kou,” snorted Taka. “I thought you liked me living with you, guess I was wrong.” Taka leaned into Sato’s chest, his arms around Sato’s waist. “I don’t mind you living here, but seriously? You need to go home with your husband, that’s where you belong.”

                “Tadaima…Kou” Tatsu stepped out of the genkan, surprised at the small gathering. “Sato? Um…everything okay?” Tatsu said carefully. “Everything’s great, I’m no longer a huge asshole, or what was the other one?” he looked at Taka “Fucking troll? Is that the one?” Sato laughed, “Yah, I’m no longer a fucking troll.”  Tatsu showed obvious relief at the announcement. “How about dinner? I feel like Ojisan’s tonight?” “YAY! I don’t have to cook!” Kou threw his hands up, any day that Koichi didn’t have to cook was a bonus. “You guys up for it? Or do you need to go home and have makeup sex right now? Taka blushed, and Sato giggled like a teenager. “We can have makeup sex later…Ojisan’s and a beer sounds great.”

~

                Lying on their bed, arms around each other and still breathing hard, Taka and Sato’s makeups sex had lasted well into the wee hours of the morning, with both men exhausted by dawn. Nuzzling Taka, Sato inhaled his husbands scent, taking a deep relaxing breath. “Mmm… you always smell so good” He got a muffled response as Taka’s eyes closed and his breathing had started to even out. “I guess this means we’re sleeping in this morning.” Sato looked down at his sleeping boy, his eyes welling with tears, “I love you, Taka” he whispered. Pulling the covers up, and snuggling against Taka, Sato knew that all things were right in his little universe.

                                                                                                !

 

                “Kou, have you spoken to Uta today?” In the hours leading up to the DCR party, Taka had yet to speak to Uta, not knowing how drugged up he might be during the event.  “No, he was in the storeroom when I came in, want me to go talk to him?” Taka nodded, “Yes please” Koichi walked towards the storeroom and almost knocked Uta down as they both turned the corner at the same time. “Oh shit! Uta are you okay? I didn’t see you!” Koichi giggled. “Damn Koichi! Watch out, you’re going to kill someone walking around like that.” Uta joked. Hmm, he seems pretty together, not totally out of it, but how do I make sure?

                “Ready for tonight?” Koichi was trying not to be obvious. “Yah. It’s just another party, but at least we don’t have Mas… I mean…” Uta stammered. “It’s okay, you’re right, at least we don’t have Masa to worry about, or Morrie! Maybe this will be a drama free party!”  Koichi smiled at his friend. “How do you like Tora? He seems like he’s a good guy.” Uta smiled, “I’ve only worked with him a few times, but he seems nice, a little loud sometimes, but not in a bad way.” Koichi and Uta continued to get the counter area ready for the party, while Taka was eavesdropping on the conversation. He doesn’t sound too drugged up…have to keep Natsu away from him.

                Taka had a last-minute meeting with the crew, making sure everyone knew their job and what to expect, then sent everyone home, “Be back by 6pm, party starts at 8” Taka and Koichi headed out for Koichi’s flat to have a quick dinner with their husbands. “Okay, what’d you think of Uta? He sounded like he was fairly sober,” Taka’s only concern that night was Uta and Natsu. “Yah, he sounded maybe a little fuzzy, but not terrible. Did you get Natsu situated for his patrol area? He’s not going to be on the patio, is he?” This was the biggest concern of the night.  “He will not be near the party, I spoke to his boss and explained the issue between he and Uta, obviously without getting into detail.

                Koichi and Taka were dropped off by Sato, who had to run home and take care of the cats. As Taka opened the back door, he looked at Koichi, “Are you ready for this?” Kou nodded “Let’s hope it just goes smooth” Koichi started to open the covers on the counters. The rest of the HBG crew came in and there was no time for idle conversations. The catering crew had arrived and Taka showed them the area that was already prepared for them, the security personnel for the party had arrived, with no Natsu in sight. Uta looked nervous when the security chief  was speaking with Taka, “Uta, are you okay?” Kou had come up behind Uta, and tapped him lightly on the shoulder. “Yah, I’m good. Was just…” he spoke in a whisper “I just want Natsu to stay away, I don’t need a jealous scene tonight.”  Seeing that Uta was a bit shaky, Taka had him on prep duty right away, diverting his attention to something constructive and time consuming.

                “Okay guys, it’s 8pm… people will start showing up soon. Let me know if anyone has any issues, I’ll be going between here and the patio. Most of all, have fun!” Taka followed Tora, Kou and Aki out onto the patio, greeting guests as they walked into the patio area.

 

                                                                                                !

 

 

                The DCR party was in full swing in less than two hours, with some guests being fashionably late, including the boys from Dir en Grey. Standing in line for a drink Kyo was watching Uta, with Die checking out Mao. “I don’t remember that cute boy…was he here last year?” Die was always up for a new toy. “Yah, and he shot your ass down, I’m talking flaming death, shot you down” Kyo snarked. “Really? I don’t remember that…are you sure?” Die knew Kyo could be teasing, “I’m sure, ask him again, his name is Mao.” Walking up to the counter, Kyo wanted to say something to Uta, but chose instead, just to order his drink. “Hey Uta, just one drink for me please.” He said softly. “Sure, Kyo.” Uta slid the drink to Kyo and turned his back, waiting for the next customer. Kyo took that as a big ‘fuck you Kyo’ statement from Uta, and walked away without saying another word.

                “Mao, right?” Die was fumbling a little. “Yes Die,” Mao was a little miffed, Die had hit on him at the last DCR party, and Mao had turned him down. “Don’t even bother asking me out, Die. I told you last time, I’m don’t date musicians.” Die turned red “How do you know that I wouldn’t be the exception? I might not be like other musicians.” Mao slid him his drink. “No, Die. You’re the exact reason I don’t date musicians!” Mao waved the next customer up to the counter, effectively shooing Die off. “I told you, Die.” Kyo chuckled when he saw Die’s face. “I didn’t even get a chance…he just assumes I’m like all musicians, I’m a nice guy…right?” Kyo patted his friend on the back, “Yes Die, you’re a nice guy, but Mao knows better.”

                The boys of Mucc stopped by the bar to grab their drinks before sitting down. Sato looked at Uta, and what he saw made him both sad and angry. This sweet boy, that almost died from the attack by Morrie, was now living in his own personal hell, with the abusive Natsu, and that just burned Sato’s ass. “Hi Uta, how’s things?” Sato tried to be nonchalant and non-accusatory, “Hi Sato, I heard you and Taka are together again, that’s great. I’m good, thank you.” Sato saw that Uta was almost robotic in his mannerisms, which now he understood. “Thanks, Uta, hope to see you again soon. Maybe come over to our place for lunch soon, just let Taka know.” Sato walked away, once he was out of Uta’s sight, he just shook his head, “Taka wasn’t kidding…this kid is in rough shape.”

                The night proceeded much like all the other DCR events, with the typical infatuation of a new boy by Ruki, who took one look at Tora and fell in love…well falling in love for the night. “Kou-kun! Who’s that beautiful tall boy with the dark hair? He’s delicious!” Ruki had cornered Koichi near the table where he was visiting Shinya and Kai. “His name is Tora… would you like me to introduce you?” Ruki nodded furiously. Koichi led Ruki to where Tora was standing next to the catering table. “Hey Tora, have a minute?” Tora’s eyes got wide when he saw who was with Koichi. “Um Tora, this is Ruki, he…” Before Koichi could finish, Ruki was standing next to Tora, with a wild look in his eyes. “You’re tall…very tall. Your eyes are beautiful, did I say that you were tall? Kou-kun is one of my best friends, you should come to Kou’s one night, and maybe we could talk, or something.” Ruki’s one sided commentary rattled on for about five minutes before Taka stepped in.

                “Ruki, let Tora do his job, please?”  Taka pushed Tora towards the HBG, “Go cover for Mao, please.” Turning back to Ruki, Taka couldn’t resist, “Falling in love again, Ruki? He’s a bit tall for you, isn’t he?” Ruki flipped Taka the bird, “Taka, if we’re lying down, it doesn’t matter how tall he is, now does it?” Taka’s mouth hung open, but then he smiled, realizing that comments like that were expected of Ruki. “True. Ruki, please don’t harass Tora too much during the event, you can talk to him when he’s on his break.” Ruki blushed, “Yes Taka-kun, I’ll leave Tora alone… for now!”

                Koichi and Taka looked at each other and laughed, “Averted Ruki Rampage? Or is it too early to call that yet?” Koichi had started to say something when arms appeared around his waist. “Hey Kou, just trying to sneak in a kiss.” Tatsu kissed the nape of Koichi’s neck. “Tatsu! In front of my boss? Please, control yourself, man!” Taka rolled his eyes, “I’m not seeing anything…not a damned thing. Oh, look! There’s Kai…Kai! Wait…” Taka laughed and walked away. “Everything okay so far tonight? I saw Uta, he looked a little better than he has, not so drugged out.” Koichi put his arms around Tatsu’s neck, pulling him down for a blistering quick kiss. “Mmm…I needed that. Uta seems fairly sober, he was joking around earlier.” Koichi pulled Tatsu down for one last blistering quick kiss, “I love you,” he smiled as he walked away.

~

                Aki was watching Uta help customers, the boy was being friendly to customers, chatting a little with anyone he knew. Aki turned away to grab a towel and when he turned back, Uta had a paled expression, and was visibly shaking. “Uta? What’s wrong?” Aki looked out onto the patio area. Natsu was standing just outside the patio, looking at Uta, staring the boy down. “Uta, go back to the store room and bring up some more cups, please.” Uta nodded and moved towards the back of the HBG. Aki glared at Natsu, challenging him to step forward and say something. He had started to lift his hand, to wave Natsu over, “Aki, stop. Don’t do it. Walk away from the counter now.” Taka had seen Natsu staring at Uta, and had moved into the building. “Taka, I want to…” Aki was still glaring at Natsu. “Aki, I said walk away, right now. Do as I say!” snapped Taka. “Fine, but I’m only going as far back as the office”

                Taka stood at the counter, taking Aki’s place in glaring at Natsu, almost daring the man to come forward…Taka wanted so badly to confront Natsu face to face, but as the way of a coward, Natsu turned and walked away. “Is he gone, Taka?” Uta called out softly. “Yes, he’s gone, Uta.” Uta and Aki walked up to the counters. “I’m sorry, Taka. I didn’t know…” Taka waved Uta off, “It’s not your fault, Uta.” Aki was behind Uta, and draped his arm across the shaking young man. “Uta, don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen while we’re all here, okay? I won’t let him hur…” Uta stopped Aki and sighed, “It’s okay, he’s just jealous, he wouldn’t do anything to me, he’s been so loving lately.” Aki dropped his arm from Uta’s shoulder, realizing that Uta couldn’t say anything bad about Natsu, he just couldn’t stand to hear Uta defending his abuser.

                They stood quietly, Taka looking at Uta. “Okay, let’s get back to work. Uta, if you see Natsu again, send Aki out to find me. He’s not suppose to be out of his patrol area. I’m sorry.” Patting Uta gently on the shoulder, Taka went back out onto the patio, seething with an angry heat. “Taka-kun? What’s wrong? What happened?” Kai had seen a little of the disturbance, from nearby as he was about to step up and order another drink. “Nothing, Kai. Natsu just scared Uta a little. That asshole! He’s got balls showing up where Uta could see him, he knows better, and it makes it worse when Uta still defends him.” Taka looked at Kai again, “Sorry, Kai. It’s just frustrating. Enjoy the party, don’t worry about us.”

                The party’s tone had changed slightly, as Sakurai Atsushi and his bandmates had arrived, which always kicked any party up a notch. Sakurai was a natural presence, people were automatically drawn to him, without even knowing why. Sakurai mingled for a time, then went to the bar to get a drink. Approaching the bar, he noticed Uta for the first time, “Hello, could I have a drink please?” He said in a low deep voice. “Of course,” Uta blushed like he was caught naked. What a beautiful boy…so delicate, fragile. What is he afraid of? “Thank you, my dear. Have a lovely evening.” Looking into Uta’s eyes, Sakurai could see nothing but fear.

                “Always intense, isn’t it?” Aki was standing next to Uta. “Wha…what do you mean?” Uta was breathing a little shallow, still warm from his blush. “Sakurai, it’s always an intense experience, when you’re standing in front of him. That man is sex-on-a-stick fucking sexy.” Uta giggled, “Sex-on-a-stick? What the hell does that mean, Aki?” Aki laughed, “It means that he’s sexy as fuck.”

                Sakurai walked away from the, mulling over the young man with the beautiful, frightened eyes, he almost ran into Taka, bumping shoulders with his ex-lover. “Taka-kun, my apologies, I was lost in thought” Taka smiled at the man, “No worries, Sakurai.” Taka noticed that the man seemed distracted. “Is there something wrong?” Taka looked around the patio, checking for anything out of place. “No, not wrong, per se” Sakurai hesitated for a moment, “Taka-kun, the beautiful boy, the one with the haunted eyes, tell me who is he?”

                Taka frowned, “His name is Uta. Why?” Taka was suspicious, knowing Sakurai well. “He looks so unhappy; his eyes were full of fear.” Taka eyes softened, Sakurai was keenly observant, “He’s in a bad situation, Acchan.” Taka risked using the man’s informal name. “He’s collared, and in an abusive contract. I don’t have time to talk about it now, but thank you for your concern.” Taka bowed slightly, and walked away. “Acchan, please, come sit with us.” Sakurai was pulled away, leaving the thoughts of Uta to ponder at a later time.

                As the various bands mingled, Die and Kyo came to speak with Miya and Tatsu, who were sitting with Shinya. “Shin, tell Die that Mao is the one who shot him down at the last party, please. He refuses to believe me.” Kyo was getting tired of Die’s whining. “Die…Mao shot you down last year, he said you’re the exact type of musician that he’d never date, that you’re too sketchy, in his words.” Die’s eyes grew big “Oh, that’s the little shit that…” Kyo elbowed him in the ribs, “Don’t say it Die, Mao’s a good kid, he just saw right through your bullshit.” Die was now pouting, which he was very good at.

                Kai walked up to the table, and sat down in a huff. “What’s wrong babe?” Yukke leaned over and picked up Kai’s hand. “Nothing really, I’ve been trying to keep Ruki away from Tora!” Just as he said that, Tora walked briskly by, and three seconds later, Ruki on his tail. “RUKI!” Kai jumped up and grabbed the small man. “Stop! Taka’s going to kick you out of the party if you don’t stop pestering Tora!” Ruki wrenched his arm out of Kai’s grasp, “Fine! But if I don’t get his phone number, it’s YOUR fault Kai!” Ruki flipped Kai the bird, and stomped off.  Tora walked by and mouthed ‘thank you’ to Kai, then making a bee-line for the HBG. “Never fails…Ruki always makes a party more interesting.”

                The party was in it’s final stages, with Tora, Kou and Aki making rounds cleaning up the patio area. As soon as the counters were closed, the guests started to make their way out, with not a few of them hailing cabs. With the counters closed, Uta and Mao were helping clean and organize the patio. Kai, Ruki and Shinya were sitting together, waiting for the crew to be done. Ruki was watching Tora carefully, not wanting to miss the opportunity to speak with the boy. “Ruki, let him breath for a moment! You’re going to scare him off before you can even speak to him.” Kai warned. “I’m fine, I’ve done this before you know.”

                Ruki was watching Tora, when his face suddenly darkened, “That mother fucker…” Ruki got up, leaving Kai and Shinya to figure out who Ruki was talking about. “Oh shit! Tora! Go get Taka!” Shinya shouted. Tora took off at a run, even as Shinya and Kai were going after Ruki. “TAKA! It’s Ruki,” Taka swore to himself. “Now what?” As Taka ran towards the patio, he could hear Ruki,”

                “YOU MOTHER FUCKER! I TOLD YOU I’D KILL YOU! ASSHOLE!” Ruki was making a run at Natsu, who had turned up on the patio area, looking for Uta. “RUKI, NO!” Taka shouted, but it was too late, as Ruki hit Natsu with a flying tackle, then began swinging, much like he had with Masa. “I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU FOR HURTING UTA, YOU BASTARD! MOTHER FUCKING ASSHOLE!”             

                “Ruki, no please, don’t!” Uta was crying, Ruki’s fists pummeling Natsu in the face. “YOU LITTLE PRICK, GET OFF ME!” Natsu shouted, as he blocked Ruki’s blows. “RUKI!” Kai shouted. Sato, and Tatsu, with Kai tried to pull Ruki off, with Shinya holding Uta in his arms, Yukke, Miya and Taka were grabbing Natsu by the shirt, trying to pull him out from under the furious Ruki. Koichi, Aki and Tora just stood and watched, not knowing what to do. “RUKI LET GO!” growled Sato, who had Ruki by the waist. “I’M GOING TO FUCK HIM UP, ASSHOLE’S HURTING UTA! MOTHER FUCKER I TOLD YOU I’D KILL YOU!” Sato heaved Ruki off of Natsu, holding the smaller man in a bear hug. “Ruki, stop already.” Sato growled. “That fucktard is hurting Uta and you want me to stop? Fuck no!” Ruki screamed.

                “Uta, go with Natsu and go home, just go home. I’m not mad at you but you two need to leave now.” Taka was terrified for Uta, what would Natsu do when they got home, but it was the only way to get Ruki to calm down. “Taka…I’m sorry.” Uta whined as Natsu got up and grabbed him by the arm and drug him away from Shinya. “Let’s go, that asshole is fucking crazy.” Ruki continued to struggle with Sato, until Natsu and Uta were out of sight. “I’m going to let you go, Ruki. Don’t run after them.” Sato released his grip on the smaller man. “What the hell, Ruki?” Kai asked. “That bastard is hurting Uta, Kai!” declared Ruki, as he shrugged his clothes back in place. “I told him that night, the night I called Uta, that if I ever saw that bastard, I was going to kill him for hurting Uta.”

                As the adrenaline dissipated, the group gathered their things, with only Sato and Tatsu remaining with the crew, but not without Ruki trying one last time to get Tora’s attention. “Please, don’t judge me on that little…episode, ne?” Tora laughed, shook his head and handed Ruki a piece of paper. “Maybe, I’m not saying yes, but I’m not saying no.” Ruki smiled and trotted off with Kai and Yukke.  “Let’s get the bare minimum done tonight, and I’ll just come in early tomorrow.” Taka wanted nothing more than to go home and fall into bed. 

~

                “What the fuck was wrong with that asshole? He just jumped me for no reason!” Natsu was still shaking from the attack, but had not turned on Uta…yet. “Are you okay? Ruki didn’t hurt you, did he?” whispered Uta. “No, I’m fine. I don’t think you should work there anymore.” Natsu wasn’t yelling, he didn’t seem to be blaming Uta. “I have to work! I need the money, we both do! Please, I like working there, Ruki’s just weird! This isn’t the first time he’s done something like this. Please don’t make me quit” Walking into Natsu’s flat, he was gently holding Uta’s hand. He led Uta to the couch and sat down, pulling Uta into his lap. “I’m sorry, Natsu. I didn’t…” Natsu put his finger to Uta’s lip. “It’s okay, I know it’s not your fault, they’re all a bunch of fucking freaks.”

                This version of Natsu scared Uta, the quiet after the storm, in between the next storm. Uta snuggled into Natsu’s chest, whimpering softly. “It’s okay, I’m not mad at you. Let’s go to bed.” Uta got up, and started shaking in side. Would the scene tonight be brutal? Would he be able to work the next day? Sliding into bed next to Uta, Natsu drew his lover into his arms, kissing Uta gently. “I love you,” he said softly. “I love you, too” Uta whispered as he shrugged down into Natsu’s arms. He really means it, he loves me.

~

                “I want to try, you’ll be here, and I can ask Kou and Tatsu as well. He might be able to give us an idea of what we’re up against. He may even know Natsu. Just let me try please?”

Chapter Text

The days following the DCR party had been quiet, Uta showing up for work the next day with no new signs of abuse by his lover. “He wasn’t mad at me, he was pissed off at Ruki, which I don’t really blame him.” Uta explained to Taka.

“You’re right, but I also think Ruki’s right, but you already know my opinion on that, let’s just get to work.” Taka wanted to talk to Uta more, but thought better of it knowing that Uta would be resistive., and with Natsu still keeping his distance from the HBG while Uta worked, it was a relief to all involved.

~

                Tatsu and Koichi were going over the plans to purchase their house, before Mucc left on a short national tour.  “We sign the papers tomorrow, and then after the tour we can move in. This gives you and Taka time to decorate and buy what furniture we’re going to need.” Tatsu and Koichi sat at the table, having a quick breakfast before Tatsu had to hit the studio for last minute rehearsals before the short, three-week national tour.

 “Three weeks should be enough time to get everything ready, and I’ll have Taka help me pack up” Koichi was taking notes as they talked, making sure everything would fall into place neatly. “Some of the lives will be close enough for us to come home, but I think the last three require us to spend the night at a hotel” /

                “Should I start looking at dates for the wedding? When do you want to let Sato and Taka know about our plan? I’m going to need to get Taka in on it, I’d like to send out invitations still stating that it’s a surprise house warming, are we’re still agreed on that part of the plan?” Tatsu chuckled at the barrage of questions coming from his lover. “First thing I want you to do is breathe, slow down and breathe. Second, anything you want, Kou, if you want the party to be a surprise, then that’s what we’ll do. You’re in charge of all things wedding related, I’m just going to show up, and wear whatever you want me to wear.” Koichi just rolled his eyes.

“I can ask Sato today at the studio if he and Taka want to come to dinner, or you can tell Taka and I’ll let Sato know…whatever way you’d like to do it.” Koichi thought for a moment, “You can tell Sato, and I’ll tell Taka today, just don’t let Yukke or Miya hear you.”

“Guest list, any suggestions yes or no?” Tatsu sipped his tea, “I can’t think of anyone off hand, although I’d really like to invite Sakurai, if you’re okay with that” Koichi shrugged, “It’s fine with me, do you think Sato will object, or even Taka?”

                “No, I don’t think they will, it’s our wedding and they’re both good with Sakurai now.” Tatsu got up from the table, and kissed Koichi, “I have to get going, I’ll see you tonight?” Koichi nodded, “Yep, I’ll be here!” Another kiss, and Tatsu left for the studio.

 “What do we need for the house?” Koichi went to his office to do some DCR work, while also compiling a list of essentials for the new house. Just as he pulled up his DCR work, his phone buzzed, it was Taka.

                “Hey, what’s up? Just doing some DCR stuff, and making a list of things we’ll need for the house. Like furniture, extra bedding, all that shit you don’t use when you live in a small flat. Sure, I’ve got some stuff to tell you anyways. No, you’re going to have to wait. Okay, ja ne.”

~

                “There were no obvious signs and he didn’t say what happened once they got home. He didn’t seem as drugged up either.” Taka had come over essentially to talk about Uta. “Hmm, maybe Natsu’s changed? Maybe him whipping the shit out of Uta and Ruki kicking his ass, maybe he’s backed off?” Taka doubted it, so did Koichi, but there wasn’t much they could do to ensure that Natsu had changed.

                “So, what did you want to talk to me about? House stuff?” Taka leaned forward, elbows on his thighs, eager to hear more about Tatsu and Koichi’s new house. “Yah, we sign papers tomorrow, then it’s ours! But there’s one other minor thing that you and Sato need to help us with.” Koichi was purposely teasing his friend. “Okay, what’s that?” Koichi smiled, dragging out the moment. “Kou!” Koichi finally laughed, “I need you to help me plan a surprise party.” Taka sat back in his chair. “Um, if it’s a surprise party for you… then how do we plan that?”

                “Okay, here’s the deal. I want you and Sato to plan a surprise housewarming party, for us at our house. But the real surprise will be when Tatsu and I walk in…after getting married.” Koichi waited for what he knew would be an epic response by Taka.

 “Surprise housewarming…marrie… WHAT? OH FUCK!” Taka jumped from his chair and pounced on Koichi. “When? Uh…why?” Pushing Taka off, Koichi sat back up, ready to fill in the missing information. “Tatsu and I don’t want a wedding, in the traditional sense. We’ve already done that. We just want to be married quietly, just us two and the monk. But after that, we want to surprise everyone else.”

“We can’t do that without having you and Sato involved, and I wouldn’t be able to keep something like that from you anyways. So, are you in? Tatsu was going to tell Sato today at rehearsal.” Taka rolled his eyes, “Pfft! Of course, we’re in! I don’t even have to ask Sato! When is the wedding?” Koichi pulled out his planner, “The tour starts in a week, they’ll be gone for just three shows, where they don’t come home. The house will be ready um…in three weeks. I want to get everything moved in, and decorated, that puts us at the beginning of the month.”

The rest of Taka’s visit was spent on picking an exact date and arranging the guest list, with Taka being in charge of sending out the invitations. “I think I want Ojisan on the list, he’s been there for us, given us good advice and he’s known us forever. And Tatsu I discussed this already, he really wants to invite Sakurai…”

Koichi was hoping for a positive response. “That’s fine with me, I don’t care. Not my wedding, not my party. I’m sure Sato won’t mind…we’re good with Sakurai.” Instant relief washed over Koichi.  After making a list of household goods that were needed, Taka left and went home. Koichi then called Tatsu, and let him in on the plans.

                “I told Taka and he almost lost it, he jumped on me! Did you tell Sato? He did? Shit! Did Miya or Yukke notice? When you get home, we can go over what Taka and I discussed, oh and we want to invite Ojisan. No, Taka didn’t care, he said it wasn’t his wedding. I think it everything will be fine. Okay, I’ll see you in a bit.”

 

 

~

 

                “I have a gift for you Uta, I’m sure you’ll love it.” Natsu took Uta by the hand, leading him into their playroom, Uta shaking inside. “Um, okay.” Natsu had Uta sit in a chair, turning then to pick something up. “I’ve bought this for you, I think it will look lovely against your beautifully pale skin, it matches your hair as well.”

Natsu placed a box in Uta’s lap, Uta looking up for permission to open it. Natsu nodded, “Open it.” Uta opened the box and gasped, “It’s beautiful! It’s almost the same color as my hair!” Uta held up a beautiful stamped dark purple leather collar with a d-ring on the front. “There’s something else…” Natsu grinned. Uta took out the tissue paper, and pulled out a matching leash. “A leash? Is this something new?” Uta wasn’t sure what to say, he wasn’t sure what the leash meant.

“You will be entering leash training now Uta. You will be taught the correct way to walk on your leash, when you are out with me.” Uta shivered, he wasn’t sure he liked the way that sounded. “Um, where will we go, if I’m on the leash?”

                Natsu grinned, “I have a few places I’d like to take you, mainly just small clubs that cater to our lifestyle. This leash will guarantee that nobody is allowed to touch you or speak to you. It shows that I am 100% in control of your life.” Natsu’s tone scared Uta, was he going to revert to old habits? Were the scenes going to start again? Natsu placed the collar around Uta’s neck, “It fits you perfectly! Everyone will want you, but no one will ever come between us, you are mine.” Natsu bent down and kissed Uta, leaving the young man whimpering, and afraid that his hellish life had returned.

 

~

 

                “What do you think Ruki? Bold or natural?” Taka and Koichi had asked Ruki for some design tips, for Koichi’s new house. The trio were currently discussing what color to paint the master bedroom. “Unless you’re going to have a separate room just for fucking, the choice should be a natural color. It’s more calming and relaxing.”  Koichi had his mouth hanging open.

“What? Kou-kun, if your bedroom was deep red, or something wild, you’d never get any sleep! If you want a separate bedroom for like intense fucking, that’s fine. But your master bedroom needs to be a safe relaxing place to start and end you day.” Ruki explained.

                “He’s right, Kou. You need an intense room for fucking” giggled Taka.  Koichi had thought of asking Ruki for help with his new house, as the smaller man had a genuine flair for design. “Okay, bedroom and bathroom natural colors? Or can we do something else with the bathroom?” Ruki shook his head, “NO!” Ruki rolled his eyes, “Kou-kun! Bedrooms and bathrooms are designed as retreats, as in soothing and calming places. Unless you’re going for a 1970s porno look, natural colors are the choice.”

                Taka and Koichi followed Ruki, room to room and took notes on Ruki’s suggestions for décor and design. “Kou-kun, your kitchen is huge! This western style stove and refrigerator are so amazing! The parties you could have here would be epic!” When Ruki mentioned party, Taka and Koichi glanced at each other. After Ruki gave Koichi pointers and suggestions, he had to leave for the studio, Gazette were also getting ready for a very short national tour. “Hope the house will be ready by the time we get back, Kou-kun! Remember! No bold colors in the bedroom!”

~

 

                The short summer tour for Mucc had been successful both for the members and the fans. Sold out crowds and Tatsu’s need to show their fans that he was in great physical shape. He thanked the audience each and every show, and the fans showed their appreciation as well. On the road home after the last show, Tatsu had texted Koichi and let him know he’d be in late.

                “I work until 1am, so you might be home before I am

                Tatsu just wanted to hold Koichi and sleep in his own bed, no matter what time they pulled into the studio. Without much to say, the four members went home to their lovers, and a promise to meet up in the next few days to discuss the tour.

                “Tadaima, Kou” whispered Tatsu as he slid into bed with his boy. “Okaeri…so glad you’re home.” Tatsu had seen his tiny lover asleep when he got home and instead of waking Kou, Tatsu took a quick shower, changed into sleep pants and crept to bed. “I’m glad to be home, we can talk in the morning.” With a quick kiss, Tatsu pulled Koichi against his chest and curled around him tightly. Gordy and Teo had heard Tatsu come home, and both cats came to bed as well, curling up against Tatsu’s back. The little family was together again.

~

                “Is there something wrong, babe?” Sato and Taka were sitting at the table, having breakfast, Taka wearing a small frown. “Not really wrong, I’m just trying to figure out the guest list for Tatsu and Koichi’s party, I’m worried I’ve missed someone.” Sato reaches for the list, “Let me look.” Running down the list of names, Sato couldn’t think of anyone that was obviously missing.

 “I think this is fine…you’ve got the key people, and including Ojisan, Sakurai, the HBG crew, DCR people, I don’t think you’re missing anyone, we can always keep the list open.” Sato handed back the list to Taka. “Are you thinking the ruse will be housewarming party?” Taka nodded, “That way everyone will think that Tatsu and Koichi haven’t set a date for the real wedding.”

                “Do you know what they’re wearing? Or is that going to be a surprise as well?” Sato asked. “Kou wouldn’t tell me, he said he didn’t want a fancy wedding, they’ve already had that. It’s going to be simple, and what they’re wearing will be part of the surprise.”  Sato and Taka were heading to the new house, to help move in the new furniture and Taka would help start decorating. While the tour was still going, Taka and Koichi had painted the master bedroom and bathroom, making sure the color was neutral.  “If you’re ready, let’s get going, there’s a lot of shit yet to be done.”

                “Finally! Taka…come help me please!” Koichi had seen Sato and Taka walking up the path to the house, and Kou was in a bit of a panic. “Shit…Ruki’s going to kill me!” Dragging Taka by the arm to the master bathroom, he stopped at the door. “If Ruki see’s this…” Taka peered in, expecting to be horrified. “Um…what exactly is it that you’re freaking out over, Kou? There’s nothing obvious.” Rolling his eyes and heaving a huge sigh, Koichi pointed the huge mistake to Taka, “The trim! Taka the trim is the wrong color! It’s white! The walls are beige!” Koichi groaned, “Ruki’s going to kill me.”

                Taka covered his mouth, stifling a laugh, “Uh, Kou…you worry way too much, you can’t even tell the difference. Ruki’s not going to care, and if he does? So, what? It’s your house!” Taka walked away laughing and shaking his head, leaving a worried Koichi in the master bathroom. “What can I help with, Tatsu?”

And with that question, Taka was busy for the rest of the day, moving small furniture, unboxing the kitchen items and trying to keep Koichi calm. “Kou, really? It’s going to be fine! The house looks great! It will look even better when all the artwork is hung, all the beds are made, and the bathrooms set up. Please, Kou. You’re killing the mood.” Taka bumped shoulders with his friend. “I know, but this is my first house! You were the exact same way!” Taka turned a little red, “True, but not nearly as panicked as you are.”

The last task was bringing Teo and Gordy to the new house. “I’ll go pick them up” Sato offered. Koichi was sure the first night would be noisy, with the two cats exploring their new digs. “What else needs done, Kou?” Koichi was sitting on their new couch, rearranging the pillows a million times. “Did we make the beds?” Pillows on the floor again. “Yes, and we decorated the bathrooms.” Koichi was now standing in front of the couch, finger tapping his chin. “Are the dishes put away?” All the pillows on the left side of the couch. “Yes, and we even brought over what food you had for the cabinets and the fridge.” Taka was covering his mouth, trying not to laugh at Kou and the couch pillow problem.            

Pillows on the floor again. “KOU STOP WITH THE FLIPPING PILLOWS! PICK A LANE DUDE!” Taka finally couldn’t stand it anymore. “What? But if they’re not exac…” Taka put his hand over Koichi’s mouth. “Put the pillows on the couch…and walk away, and I promise not to suffocate you.” Koichi smacked Taka’s hand away. “Fine, I’ll leave them where they are, but as soon as you’re gone, I’m rearranging them until their perfect!” Taka threw up his hands and walked away.

Sato arrived with Teo and Gordy, handing Koichi their carrier. “I’d let them out in your room first, and wait until everyone is gone, they won’t freak out as much, we did that with Eddy.” Taka and Koichi carried the two cats to the master bedroom, securing the door. Koichi opened the carrier door and Gordy shot out, hiding under the bed. Teo, peered through the door, sniffing the floor. “Teo, come on, this is your new house, kitty.” Koichi tried to call him out. Seeing Koichi, Teo ran out of the carrier and launched himself on the bed, and into Koichi’s lap. Taka dragged Gordy out from under the bed and plopped him down next to Teo. “They’ll be fine, let’s leave them alone for a while.”

Flopping down on the couch, Kou laid his head back and closed his eyes, memories of the last year flashing in his mind. From the day that Tatsu had left him without a word, to this day, sitting in his house, waiting for Tatsu, it had been a long journey with not some of it, hellish. Tatsu had taken Sato and Taka home, thanking them for helping with the moving in process, with Taka teasing Tatsu about Koichi’s pillow problem. “He’ll get tired of it, eventually.” Taka teased.

“Tadaima…” Tatsu walked into the genkan, calling out the greeting for the first time in their new home. “Okaeri” Walking into the living room, Tatsu smiles at the sight of his lover, slouched down on the couch, feet up on the coffee table. “Tired?” Tatsu sat down next to Kou, drawing Kou’s head into his lap. “Mmm…but in a good way. Carding through Koichi’s hair, watching his boy slowly slip into sleep, he nudged Kou, “Do you want to go to bed?” he whispered. “Mmm…yes please, carry me?” Kou threw his arms around Tatsu’s neck, Tatsu picking him up bridal style, and carrying Kou to the bedroom. “I have to set you down to open the door.”

As Tatsu opened the door, Teo and Gordy bolted, skidding to a stop once they got out, both cats tails puffed up, and they slowly started sniffing. “You go get in bed, I’m going to show them where the litter boxes are.” Tatsu scooped both cats up, and walked toward the utility room. Koichi got into his sleep pants, and slid under the covers, wiggling down in his bed. “Litter box and food bowls located,” Tatsu walked into the bedroom, heading for the bathroom to change.

“You’re still awake?” Tatsu peered under the covers, to find Kou buried deep. “Sort of…this just feels SOOO good!” Tatsu pulled the covers back, and slid into bed next to his lover. “Do we get new house sex tonight? Or do I have to wait for wedding night sex?” Tatsu reached for his lover, pulling him into his chest and curled them into a little ball. “I love you,” Nuzzling Koichi’s hair, and nipping at his neck. “I love you too…I couldn’t possibly be any happier than I am right now.” Kou turned to face Tatsu. “You won’t be any happier once we’re married again? Maybe we should forget the wedding, if you’re so happy right now?” Koichi answered with a blistering kiss, Tatsu reaching around and grabbing Kou’s tiny perky ass, “I don’t think that’s an option, if you want to keep me. Marry me or get out” purred Koichi. With fingers wandering, reaching and caressing every possible inch of each other’s bodies, and the sounds of love making, the lovers soon found themselves sweaty and exhausted, completely content to lie in each other’s arms and falling into satiated slumber.

Chapter Text

The surprise was monumental, in a way that it did surprise everyone in attendance, that Koichi and Tatsu had snuck off and re-married. It took some a few seconds to notice, that the groom and groom were both wearing the same white suits, although Ruki saw it immediately. “Kou-kun! Those suits look a lot like the one’s Kanon and I wore!” Ruki hugged his friend, “I stole the idea from you, you and Kanon looked so good that night.” Ruki whispered in Kou’s ear, “I’m so glad you’re back with Tatsu, but I’m sad that Kyo is alone now. I hope you understand.” Holding Ruki at arms-length, Kou nodded. “I’m sad too, but even he knew that nobody could replace Tatsu.”

                The party was in full swing, alcohol fueled and food laden tables groaned. Ojisan had brought his famous Ramen and pork cutlets to serve, as a hidden gift to Tatsu and Koichi. When the couple cornered the man, he found himself being hugged on both sides. “I am so pleased that your lives have come full circle. I was worried about this one” Ojisan patted Tatsu on the back, “But you, my dear boy. I did not worry about your care. Your small man with the large presence was taking very good care of you, even when he knew it would not be forever.” Koichi hugged Ojisan again. “Arigato, Ojisan. I’m lucky in so many ways.”

               

                Sakurai stared at Uta. Mesmerized at the young boy’s beauty, his frailty. He noticed that the boy was collared, but he knew he had not seen him at any event, he would have remembered if he had. As he moved toward the boy, he stopped short of approaching him. The boy had noticed that Sakurai had been staring at him, and was becoming uncomfortable. Sakurai simply smiled, bowed his head slightly, and moved away.

                “Uta, what’s wrong? You’re shaking!” Mao was standing next to Uta, holding his hand when he felt his friend go ridged and start to shake. “Sakurai Atsushi was staring at me! He looked like he wanted to talk to me. I can’t…I need to leave Mao. Please, tell Koichi and Tatsu I loved the party.” Uta hugged Mao quickly, and left the party, walking out the front door towards the train station.

                “Mao, what’s up?” Aki tapped Mao on the shoulder, “Um, Sakurai sort of freaked Uta out, he said that he was staring at him, so he left.” Aki bristled. “Thanks.” The young man turned and walked away, leaving Mao stunned that he’d been dumped twice in two minutes.

                “Excuse me, Sakurai-san.” Aki had tapped Sakurai on the shoulder. “Can I have a moment of your time?”

                “Of course, um…” Sakurai did not know this young man. “Aki, I work with Koichi and Taka at the HBG. Why were you staring at Uta? You made him uncomfortable and he left the party. Did you say anything to him?” Aki was clenching his fists.

                “No, I noticed him, he’s beautiful, I was going to attempt to speak to him, but I noticed that he looked like he was afraid, so I walked away. Is there a problem?”

                Aki sighed, and unclenched his fists. “Not really, he’s just… maybe you should talk to Taka about Uta. I’m sorry to have disturbed you.” Aki bowed and walked away. Now Sakurai was even more intrigued by the young man, Uta.

 

                As the party started to wind down, Sakurai searched out Taka, who with Sato was in the kitchen cleaning up. “Taka-kun, Sato-san, do you have a moment?” He was taking Aki’s advice.

                “Acchan, what can we do for you?” Sato spoke first, a slight way of showing Sakurai his alpha card. “I have a question for you both. Tell me about the boy Uta, if you please.” Taka turned as soon as he heard Uta’s name. “Why? What happened to Uta, did you speak to him?” snapped Taka. “Woah, hey babe, it’s okay.” Sakurai was a little taken aback at the fierceness in Taka’s voice.

                “No, I didn’t speak to him. I wanted to, but it seems I may have caused him some discomfort, not my intention of course. His friend Aki, asked me the same questions. I just wanted to know about him, he’s beautiful.”

                Taka let out a breath, “It’s a complicated situation. If you have time, could you stay a little longer, so we can talk about it a little more. You may even be able to help us.”

                The guests had all finally gone, leaving the four friends together, with Sakurai and Kyo. Kyo wanting to stay, he wanted to hear what Sakurai had to say.

                “Uta, he works for me at the HBG, if you’ve met him before, it would have been at this last DCR event, he was working the counter that night.” Taka went on to explain a little about the situation, and what he knew of it. Sakurai’s face, became darker and darker as Taka spoke, and once mention Natsu’s name, Sakurai closed his eyes and sighed.

                “Natsu, yes I know of him. He’s a maggot, an outcast in the community. He’s a very abusive dominant, and an even shittier submissive, mouthy and rebellious. I have not seen him at Fetish in over a year, and now I know why.”

                “Are you aware that he’s giving some sort of sedative to Uta? Has he used drugs in the past on his pets?” Kyo was leaning forward, hanging on Sakurai’s words.

                “It has been rumored although never confirmed, most of his pets leave before they sign a contract. I’m guessing since he’s collared, Uta has already signed, correct?” Kyo nodded, “I confronted him the first day he wore the collar to work, of course Natsu has him believing that he loves Uta, and is trying to keep him safe.”

                “What other incidents do you know of? I need to know specifics please.” Taka looked at Kyo and then at Koichi. “Natsu beat Uta with a scourge of some sort, so badly, he bled through his shirt at work. He’s come to work so drugged up, I have to send him home, he’s also had some pretty severe bite marks and bruises.” Taka was shaking a little bit, only calming when Sato held his hand.

                “Bleeding from a scourge? It takes a great deal of effort over a long period of time, to draw blood from the normal type of scourge” Sakurai shook his head.

                “Is there anyway we can take him away from Natsu?” Taka asked, then Kyo coughed.

                “Sakurai, Natsu’s using breath play, and not applying it correctly, he’s choking Uta out. I’ve seen the hemorrhaging in his eyes. Highly visible hand prints in the wrong area on Uta’s neck. He’s going to kill Uta, either accidently, or on purpose because Uta sucks his cock wrong or some other minor fault.”

                “Breath play?” Sakurai sighed, “Yes, he will kill the boy, if he’s improperly applying pressure to the wrong areas.” Sakurai took a moment. “We can’t force Uta to get away from Natsu, it’s going to be tricky, even legally. If Uta says it’s an agreed on sexual situation, then there’s nothing we can do. If the community see’s something, in public at Fetish or any of the other clubs, we may be able to take Uta away, and Natsu will be banned from the public community. But only if Uta agrees. That’s your key problem, Uta.”

                The newlyweds thanked Sakurai for attending, and especially aiding them in trying to help Uta, letting him know of any further developments. “Do you think he can help, honestly?” Taka asked Kyo as the smaller man was getting ready to leave. “If anyone can, he can. He’s fairly well respected in that community.” Walking over to Koichi and Tatsu, Kyo stood in front of them, silent for a few moments.

                “Kou, I love you, I always will. Tatsu, don’t be an asshole ever again, because if you do, I’ll take Kou away again, and I swear to god, I’ll never fucking let him go.” Kyo hugged Koichi, kissing him on the cheek, and hugged Tatsu, “Good party, had a lot of fun.” And the small man with the large presence went home.

                “We’d better be going as well. It was a hell of a party Tatsu, and you guys pulled off the surprise epically! Nobody knew what to think when they saw Kou in your arms, both of you wearing those white suits! Couldn’t have pulled off a better surprise.” Sato kissed Koichi on the cheek, hugging Tatsu.

                “I love you Kou, Tatsu…watch yourself! Kyo’s first in line, I’m second in line!” Sato turned and looked at his husband. “Wait what? You’d leave me for Kou? Taka!” Taka giggled. “No, you’d just have TWO husbands… but only one that you’d get to fuck… ME!” Hugging his best friend, Taka dragged Sato out the door, with Taka teasing about having two husbands. “It wouldn’t be fair if I couldn’t fuck both of you…would it?” Kou blushed when he heard Sato whining.

                “Guess that’s the general message…don’t fuck up! I’ve got your replacements lined up already!” Tatsu reached down and swept Kou into his arms. “Nope, you’re not going to need a replacement, ever. I’m here to stay, nobody else, especially NOT Sato, ever gets to fuck you! That’s my job…would you like me to show you how well I do my job?” Throwing his arms around his new-ish husband, Koichi bit Tatsu’s lower lip, sliding his tongue in after. “Yes please, I need a full demonstration of your skills.”

                The job interview lasted well into the early hours of the next morning. Tatsu passing with flying colors.

 

~

                “Where…where are we going Natsu? Please, tell me! What about my flat? All my things, can’t I go get them?” Natsu was pushing a bag into Uta’s arms, telling him to pack his things. “No, I have all we need at the new flat. You only need to bring what you have here. I’ll supply everything else. You can leave your phone here, I canceled it.” Natsu was busy, throwing toys into boxes, having taken down the racks that were portable and placing them in his car.

                “Where is the new flat? Is it nice?” Uta was trying to sound upbeat, but inside he was terrified, where the hell were they going? “It’s a loft, it’s a lot larger than this space, we need more space.” Natsu was muttering to himself, constantly talking about having validation, praise that he’ll have the prefect child.

                “Get in the car, NOW!” Natsu shoved Uta hard, making Uta hit his head on the door frame, the cut bleeding. “Fuck! Now look what happened! If you’d only listen like YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO!” Natsu slapped Uta hard, in the face. Uta sat in the passenger seat, cowering and trying to keep the blood from flowing into his eyes. “I’m sorry…” he whispered. “Just fucking shut up already. Damn, your training is starting tonight, as soon as we get to the loft!”

                Training? Oh my god, what does that mean? Shit, I was right…he hasn’t changed.

                Pulling up to an industrial building, Uta looked out the window of the car, horrified at what he saw. The building was vacant, it didn’t even look like it had power, let alone water. Before he could react, Natsu yanked the car door open, dragged Uta out and shoved him on the ground. “Wait until I get the stuff out of the trunk, don’t fucking move!”

                Uta sat on the ground, not daring to even sit up all the way. Natsu threw two back packs at him, “Take those, follow me.” Getting up from the ground, Uta followed Natsu in through a side door, that he had a key for. Walking through the deserted building, that smelled of old dry papers, they found a service elevator. Sliding open the cage door, Natsu pulled Uta in, slinging him into a corner.

                Closing down the cage door, Natsu pushed the 9th floor button, and the elevator started to move slowly. Natsu was back to mumbling to himself, leaving Uta terrified about what was going to happen to him. Maybe I should have stayed at the party, maybe Taka could have helped. Too late now.

                Finally reaching the top floor, Natsu slid the cage door up, grabbed Uta by the hand and led him down a long hallway, to an open area the size of an office space, with no dividing walls, just an open room, with windows along two sides. There was already some equipment in place, including a large X rack, that had hand and ankle cuffs.

                There was a bed in one corner, and a small kitchen, with a two-burner stove and a small fridge and a sink, none of which looked like it had been used in years. “Is this our new home?” Uta asked. “Yes, your training will begin tonight. Come with me.”

                Natsu dragged Uta by the hand, back out into the hall way, into a locker room that had showers. “I’ve had to pay extra for the water, use it wisely. Strip and sit on the counter.” Shakily, Uta took off his clothes and sat on the counter near a sink. Natsu took out a small kit, that had shave cream and a razor. “Wha…what are you going to do?” whispered Uta. “I’m going to shave you, your cock needs to look presentable, and it doesn’t with all that damned hair. Spread your legs and hold them up so I can shave your asshole as well.”

                With a steady hand, Natsu shaved off all of Uta’s pubic hair, asshole and balls. “Now, that looks pretty, doesn’t it? It will look even better when you’re hard. Get in the shower, scrub yourself well.” Natsu stood outside the shower watching Uta, making sure he was sufficiently clean. “Get out, you’re clean enough. Here, wear this.” From the back of the door, Uta’s bathrobe was handed to him. It was obvious that Natsu had been planning this for a while, since everything seemed to be in place.

                Pulling him back to their new loft, Natsu put Uta’s collar back on, and snapped the leash in place. “Your leash training begins now. If you learn quickly, you’ll be rewarded, if not, punishment, and I have a few new ways of punishment for you.”

                Reaching behind Uta’s head, Natsu grabbed a handful of hair, “Open your mouth!” Natsu shoved two of the sedatives in Uta’s mouth, and tipped a bottle of water so he could swallow. “Come over here.”

                Natsu grabbed Uta’s hands, placing a leather cuff on each. Pulling the young man to a wall, much like at their previous flat, there was a metal hook, at arms height with a chain, sticking out of the wall. Natsu stretched Uta’s arms up and snapped each cuff on each side of the chain. Uta couldn’t stand flat footed, but he wasn’t terribly uncomfortable physically. Mentally his brain was screaming. This was the same position he was put in when Natsu beat him bloody with the scourge.

                Uta whimpered softly, tears starting to flow down his cheeks. Uta hung on the wall, stretched out, for over fifteen-minutes, the drugs starting to slowly take effect. Natsu walked up behind Uta, running his hands over the boy’s body, pinching nipples, roughly grabbing Uta’s soft cock.

                “You will be perfectly behaved, starting tonight. There will be no crying, no whining, no objections. You will obey me perfectly. The sooner this is done, the sooner you’ll be able to walk with me, the perfect pet.” Natsu was stroking Uta’s cock, which despite the pain and the drugs, was starting to stiffen, causing Uta to moan. “Yes, moan pretty for me Uta… that’s the only sound you may make, moan my name”

                Natsu’s cock was growing stiff with every sound, every mewl that came out of Uta’s mouth. Natsu stripped, walking up to Uta, he jerked his cock to full staff. He pushed Uta against the wall, prying his ass checks apart roughly and with no prep, shoved his cock into Uta’s ass, causing the young man to scream. Natsu reached up and slapped Uta. “I SAID NO CRYING!”

                Natsu slammed into Uta’s body, pounding the boy’s tiny ass, pulling out and shoving it back in, harder with each thrust. He reached around and mashed Uta’s cock in his hands, causing the boy to cry out again, which was rewarded with another slap to the head. Natsu brutally fucked Uta for what seemed like hours, but was a mere ten minutes before Natsu shot his load, filling Uta’s ass. After his orgasm, Natsu violently jerked Uta’s cock off to orgasm, but Uta felt none of it. The boy had passed out from pain, his head lolling unconsciously.

                Natsu was breathing hard, leaning against Uta’s body, “That’s the way to train a good pet, you can’t coddle them, force is all they understand.” He mumbled. Staggering off to clean up, Natsu left Uta hanging on the wall, with no perception of what was happening to his body, perhaps it was better that way. After almost an hour, Natsu unsnapped Uta’s hands from the chain and hook in the wall, letting the boy fall to the ground, still unconscious.

                Natsu staggered over to the large bed, against the wall and fell face first, asleep in minutes. Uta lay on the cold concrete floor, blood seeping from an anal tear. In the drug induced sleep, Uta dreamt of Kyo and the kind and loving touch that he always experienced with the small man. Reality had given him fault, not accepting his own natural kindness. Now he could only hope to die…as there was no other escape from Natsu.

Chapter Text

                “I need to shower, I have to work today, Natsu please help me up.” Uta was still on the concrete floor, where he had fallen the night before. He was having difficulty getting to his feet, the drugs still raging through his system, combined with the cold of the concrete that had seeped into his bones. “Natsu…?” Looking over at the bed, Uta could see Natsu sleeping, unaware of Uta’s need for help.  Crawling towards the bed, Uta tries once more. “Natsu? Please, I’m suppose to work today, can you help me shower?” He leaned up against the bed, trying to rouse Natsu.

                “What the FUCK do you think you’re doing!” Natsu jerked awake, sitting up and reaching over and slapping Uta across the face, knocking Uta back to the floor. “You’re going NOWHERE! So, shut the fuck up, I’m trying to fucking sleep.” Natsu fell back into the pillows. “But, my job,” Uta whispered. “You have no job,” Natsu mumbled “your job is to learn to walk on a leash properly. Shut up and go to sleep. There’s a blanket on the bed.”

                I have no job? How do I not have a job? Did he call for me? I don’t understand. I’m so cold.

                Uta pulled the blanket off the bed. Shivering, he wrapped the blanket around his body, as best he could, and curled up on the floor, next to the bed, falling into a restless sleep, wondering if anyone would notice that he was missing.

 

~

 

                “Uta didn’t show up for work today, I tried calling but his phone has been disconnected. I’m not sure what to do next, go to his flat? Try to call Natsu?”

                “Natsu didn’t show up for his shift today, either. His phone is also disconnected. And now Uta’s missing?”

                “I got Uta’s address from Kyo, but we don’t know where Natsu lives, I guess we could call his boss and ask”

                “Uta’s flat looks ransacked, Natsu’s is empty. Where could he have taken Uta?”

~

                “Get in there and clean yourself thoroughly, especially your ass, I want it spotless.” Natsu had gotten Uta up, and dragged him off to shower, ignoring the obvious pain Uta was in. As he tried to wash, Uta couldn’t help but whimper in pain, praying that Natsu didn’t hear him. “Get out.” Throwing a towel at Uta to cover himself, Natsu led Uta back to the loft.

                “Put these on.” Natsu handed Uta a pair of very tiny black latex shorts, with a hole in the ass. “Oh, look how cute you are in those!” giggled Natsu. Snapping the leash to Uta’s collar, Natsu pulled Uta to the center of the loft.

                “You will learn the following non-verbal commands. Fail to recognize any command I give you, will result in punishment. Is that clear?” Uta nodded. For the next hour, Natsu drilled Uta relentlessly on learning the commands; one tug on the leash meant walk, two for halt. The command that scared Uta the most, was the command to present, shoving Uta on the floor, to his hands and knees, he was then to spread his ass cheeks for inspection.  “You will be able to show that lovely little asshole, but no one will be allowed to touch you, it will drive them insane with jealousy, to know they can’t have the perfect child, my perfect child.”

                Natsu’s constant mutterings about ‘the others’ confused Uta, as he wasn’t sure who Natsu was speaking of. What others? Where are they and why would they want to touch me, why would they be jealous? Of course, Uta knew better than to ask, who those people were.

 

~

                His dreams that night were filled with the soft visions of the boy with the haunted eyes. Uta. His feelings were not that of what he experienced with Taka, Uta felt different. The haunted eyes, full of fear, he saw those eyes that night at the DCR party, and again at Tatsu’s and Koichi’s wedding.  He imagined what Uta would like if he were smiling, laughing or in the throes of passion.  But his mind also flashed red hot at the thought that the maggot Natsu, was abusing Uta, beating the boy and drugging him into insensibility.  “When I find you, I will destroy you.” Sakurai muttered.

                Sakurai had put a plan in motion, with the help of some close friends in the BSDM community, specifically, Madame F., a long-time associate who had always been reliable. “That maggot Natsu, is abusing his latest pet, not that we should be surprised.” Phoning the woman, Sakurai wanted to start keeping tabs on Natsu, to be notified if he showed up at Fetish. Madame F had informed him, about a recent run in with Natsu, who stated something about a new pet. She ignored it, but would most happily call him, when Natsu was sighted.

~

 

                “I’m not sure what we can do, Taka. We could try to call Aoyama, but I think this is out of his field.” Taka was deeply concerned that Uta had disappeared. “I don’t think Aoyama is a good fit either” Taka admitted. “this isn’t technically a legal issue, unless Uta wanted to press charges again Natsu. I think we’re going to have to do a smash and grab.” Sato was puzzled, “Smash and grab? How does someone do that with a person?”

                Taka’s eyes gleamed. “We find Natsu and Uta together, you and Kyo smash the fuck out of Natsu and Tatsu and I grab Uta and run like hell.” Sato chuckled, “That doesn’t sound unreasonable to me in the least. The problem is finding Natsu and Uta together at the same time, where there would be no interference.”

               

~

                “Now for further training.” Natsu took Uta’s leash off and led him to a strange round wooden stand, covered in leather with hooks on the side. “Get on…drape yourself over it.” Uta cringed, doing as he was ordered. Natsu reached for his wrists, snapping the cuffs to each side of the horse, moving to the rear of the rack, and sliding cuffs over Uta’s ankles and securing those.

                “I have some new toys for you, Uta.” Natsu was standing in front of Uta, holding a small red box. Opening it, he showed Uta the contents. “Three sizes! I’ll take pity on you and start you with the smallest, but I’ll need to fuck you to open you up.” The box contained three different anal plugs, Natsu held up the smallest, which to Uta still appeared huge, bigger than any they had played with in the past. Moving back around the horse, Natsu picked up a bottle of lube, and drizzled it over Uta’s hole.

                “I’ll even prep you a little more…you don’t need another tear, do you?” Natsu didn’t start slowly, he lubed up his fingers and shoved three into Uta’s ass, causing the boy to gasp in pain. “Oh, I’m sorry, did that hurt?” Natsu asked sarcastically. “Here, let me fix that for you!”

                In an almost seamless move, Natsu pulled his fingers out and thrust his cock in violently. “This should make you feel so much better!” Natsu snarled as he started to thrust violently, spanking Uta each time the boy made any sound other than a moan of supposed pleasure.

                “You’re almost too tight! Let’s open you up even more!” Natsu was laughing as he was fucking the petite body, ramming his cock brutally into Uta’s ass. It took a mere five minutes for Natsu to cum, pulling his cock out and blowing his load over Uta’s back.

                “That felt great! Didn’t it?” Natsu was breathing hard. Walking around to the front of the horse, Natsu picked up Uta’s head by his hair. “You loved that, didn’t you?” Uta nodded, “Yes, it was good” he whispered, knowing if he said anything else he would be punished.

                “Let’s get that butt plug in, then we’ll have lunch, ne?” He let go of Uta’s hair, the boy’s head dropping. Uta could hear Natsu behind him, then a cold hand was on his ass, “Look! You’re already lubed up!” giggled Natsu, as he thrust the anal plug in quickly, causing Uta to cry out again. “You’re such a fucking slut, you love things shoved up your ass, it doesn’t matter what it is, I could use a beer bottle and you’d still moan.”

                Tears fell from Uta’s eyes, blurring his vision. He couldn’t understand…why had Natsu been so loving for almost two months, then revert back to this sadistic monster?

                “Lunch time! I’ll bring you something when I return, don’t go anywhere!” Natsu was laughing as he walked out of the loft. Uta could hear the metal cage door of the elevator open and close, the laughter continuing.

               

~

                 “This is a disturbing development. It seems desperation has driven the maggot to burrow.” Sakurai had met Taka and Sato, along with Kyo at the DCR studios to discuss Uta. “I have spoken to some of my associates within the community and have advised them to contact me if they see Natsu at any of the clubs.”  Taka told Sakurai of his smash and grab plot, leaving the older man to chuckle.

                “That seems perfectly sane to me, although I’d love to see Natsu squirm, right before you do it. I have some plans of my own, that I will reveal when I finally set my eyes on this disgusting piece of shit.”

~

                “Honey! I’m home!” Natsu sang out as he entered the loft. “I hope you’re hungry, Uta! I brought you some lunch.” Releasing Uta from the horse, Natsu half carried the smaller man to the bed, sitting him down and handing him a cold ramen bowl. “Delicious ramen! Good for all!” Natsu was practically waltzing around the entire length of the loft, in an almost drunk like frenzy, finally coming to rest in front of Uta.

                “I bought you a new outfit as well! Tonight, will be your obedience test! So, after lunch, you get to take a nap, then I’ll have you shower, I’ll do your make up and hair, I don’t trust you to do it correctly.” Uta looked up at Natsu, “Can I use the bathroom? Please…master?” Uta thought to try calling Natsu master, in a bid for some sort of relief from the brutality.

                “Master…I like that! You must call me master at all times, and yes you can the bathroom, but do not let that butt plug slip out!” Uta heaved himself up, staggering to the bathroom. He did not have the strength to stand to pee, so he sat on the toilet like a girl. He was past being embarrassed by anything, he was past caring what happened. He cared only that his friends would worry, and he never wanted to be a burden to them. “Maybe they’re happy I’m not around to worry them.” He whispered.

                “Okay, nap time! Come, let’s cuddle and be warm, I want you to look your best tonight! How you look is a reflection on me. You must be the perfect pet, in your mannerisms and your appearance.” Uta laid down in the bed, next to Natsu, who drew the shaking young man to his chest, covering them both with the blanket. “I love you, Uta” Natsu murmured. Uta feigned sleep, so he wouldn’t have to answer.

~

                “Are you serious? I don’t know, Tatsu. It could be dangerous, you don’t know the people at those clubs…what if someone saw you and it went public. How would you explain “Mucc Vocalist at BSDM Club” or if someone took pictures” Koichi groaned and buried his face in his hands.  “Kou, this isn’t about Mucc or me, or Sato or even Kyo. If we are able to get Uta away from Natsu, do you really care how it’s done?”

                Koichi stared at his hands, ashamed that he had doubts about where Uta might be rescued from. “No, I don’t care. But I don’t want anyone else hurt in the process either. You will be careful, won’t you? Please…” Looking up at Tatsu, Kou had tears welling in his eyes, ready to spill. “Yes, I will be very careful, there are no plans set just quite yet.”

~

               

 

                “We’ve got people looking for him, Aki. That’s’ all we can do for now. Without knowing where he is, it’s a hurry up and wait situation.” Taka was trying to comfort Aki, who had been on edge since the day Uta went missing. “I understand Taka, it difficult for me to stand around and not be able to help.” Tora was standing behind Aki, and put his arm around the distressed man’s shoulders.

                “You can help Uta when he comes back. That’s going to be important as well. You don’t know what kind of condition he’ll be in. He will need his friends.” Tora laid his head on Aki’s shoulder. “We’ll all be there to help each other.” Tora looked like he wanted to nuzzle Aki’s neck, an observation kept quiet by Taka.

                “Aki, Sakurai has the community looking for Natsu, they are all aware of what Natsu’s doing, which in that community is, for lack of a better term, illegal. It goes against all of their ethics.” Aki snorted and laughed, “That sounds weird, the BSDM community has ethics.” Aki waved off Taka’s retort, “I know enough about it, Taka. I know they have unwritten rules in which they play by. It’s fine.” This time it was unmistaken, Tora tried to nuzzle Aki’s neck, and Aki didn’t seem to mind.

~

               

                “Hold still! I can’t do your hair if you move around so much!” Natsu wanted to slap Uta for being unsteady, but he knew that it would leave a mark, and that would be frowned upon at the club. “Master, where are we going tonight?” Uta was looking at his hands. “To a club called Scream, it’s not one of the finer clubs, but it will suffice for your debut.” Using copious amounts of hair spray, Uta’s hair resembled something like a bird’s nest, with pieces sticking out randomly.

                Uta was allowed to assist in his own makeup, mainly due to the fact that Natsu was afraid of poking his pet in the eye with a liner pencil, but only applied what Natsu instructed. “Let me look at you” Uta was wearing a girls tiny red plaid skirt, that barely covered his ass. Thigh-hi fishnets and a net shirt, finishing the outfit was Uta’s collar and a set of bondage cuffs. Uta thought he looked like something out of a what not to wear show, but Natsu seemed pleased.

                Confusing Uta even more, Natsu leaned in, and gave Uta a blistering sensual kiss, causing Uta to moan. “Yes, pretty boy. You moan, but only my name, never moan for another. Ever. Snapping Uta’s leash on his collar, the couple leave the loft, and into a cab that was waiting downstairs.

                The drive over was silent, with the cab driver glancing at Uta. “Keep your filthy eyes on the road!”  Natsu snarled. Uta was staring at his hands in his lap, shaking inside. What would tonight be like? Will it get better or worse after this? Please, someone…

                Shifting in his seat, Uta can feel the anal plug in his ass, and every little movement causes his cock to twitch, even with the drugs that were still coursing through his body. “Sit still!” hissed Natsu. Pulling up to the club, Natsu paid the driver, leaving no tip, pulling Uta out of the cab.

                “Stand up straight, remember your commands, say nothing unless I allow it. If someone touches you, it’s because I gave them the right to. Do you understand all of this?” Uta nodded, “Yes, master. Making sure the leash was secure, and paying the cover charge, with a show of complete arrogance, Natsu entered Scream.

                It was dark in the club, causing Uta to stumble a few times, only to be yanked up by his leash. With the only light coming from the small dance floor, it was difficult for Uta to keep his balance on the high heels that Natsu had forced him to wear.  As Natsu paraded Uta around the club his attitude was one of pure conceit and self-importance. Any time he made eye contact, there was a show of contempt, as if everyone at Scream was beneath him.

                “What a cute pet!” an older man approached Natsu. “May I?” Natsu nodded and the older man went straight for Uta’s crotch. “He’s so tender!” Uta was shaking, trying hard not to vomit. “Yes, he is.” Natsu pulled Uta away, with the older man patting Uta’s ass.

                Whether Natsu was aware of it or not, Uta was being groped and molested as they walked, as he was behind Natsu, not able to see the men and women that were fondling the boy. Even as they stood at the bar, Uta next to Natsu, someone had their hand on Uta’s bare ass. Uta froze, he wasn’t sure what to do. He elbowed Natsu, and tried to get the man’s attention, but Natsu was too busy watching to see who was looking at him.

                Natsu finally turned to Uta, and seeing the boy’s pale face, he looked at the man behind Uta. Natsu glared at the man, and led Uta away. “You should speak up when that happens Uta, I will not be angry with you.” Uta nodded. “Yes master.”

                As they walked around the club, a finely dressed woman approached Natsu. He stopped and stared at her. “Natsu, you have a new pet. Poor thing” the woman scowled. “Ah Davina, always jealous of other people’s pets. You’re alone as usual.” Natsu heckled the woman. “Oh, I’m far from being alone, you maggot.” The woman snapped her fingers, and a very tall man, wearing a very tiny pair of shorts with suspenders, appeared at her side.

                “Don’t ever underestimate me, maggot. You’re still not welcomed. It looks like you still abuse your pets as well, so many marks on that dear little boy. Is he drugged as well? Would you like to come home with me, little boy? I never mark my pets, I don’t drug them senseless either.” The woman smiled at Uta, lifting his chin with a long, pointed fingernail.

                “You’re much too beautiful to be with this worm.” She purred. Uta wanted to scream, he wanted to pull away from Natsu and cling to the woman, cling to her tall pet, anything to get away. But he remained silent.

                “Uta.” Natsu jerked the leash, walking away from the woman. Uta glanced back at her, pleading with his eyes. I want to go with you, please.

                “Stupid bitch, she hates the fact that you are superior to anything she owns” muttered Natsu. It was then decided that Natsu had had enough, and he pulled Uta towards the door, only to be stopped by the woman Davina, again.

                “One last word maggot. Just know that it won’t last, you’ll never be accepted, you will always be scorned. You’re the worst type of owner there is. Beating your pets into submission does not make you successful.” She turned to Uta. “My dear boy, if you are able to get away from this putrid piece of shit, all you need do, is to come here, and ask for me. I treat my pets very well.”

                Before Natsu could stop her, the woman kissed Uta lightly on the lips, turning and walking away. “Like you’d ever leave me.” Natsu tried to laugh it off, but it did put a bug in his ear. Would Uta try to leave him if he had a chance?

                The cab ride back to the loft was deadly silent. Natsu had Uta’s leash in his hands the entire ride, almost dragging him to the elevator once they arrived. Walking into the loft, Natsu unsnapped Uta’s leash, throwing the boy down on the bed.

                What Natsu called loved making, was nothing more than rape. No prep, no lube, just Uta being slapped across the face, turned over on his hands and knees, skirt and panties being ripped off and Natsu dry fucking the boy. The anal tear from the first night at the loft, was re-torn, the blood being the only lubrication Natsu used, Uta screaming into the mattress in agony.

                Throughout the rape, Natsu was screeching nonsensically, with every violent thrust, he ranted about his place in the BSDM community, yelling about validations and acceptance by the only one that mattered. He didn’t care what others thought, they didn’t mean anything in the grand scheme. There was only one name Natsu called out and it was not Uta’s.  It was Sakurai.

                When Natsu had finished with Uta, he pushed the boy away from him. “Go clean up, you got blood all over the damned bed.” Natsu panted. Uta got up slowly, carefully removing the high heels he had been wearing and walked to the bathroom. Stripping down, Uta got into the shower, sat on the bottom of the tub and sobbed. He didn’t know how long he had been there, only getting out when the water had run cold.

                Wrapping up in a towel, Uta walked back to the loft, changing into sleep pants. He didn’t know if he should get into the bed with Natsu. He just stood there, looking at the man he had fallen in love with, who now he wishes were dead. “What are you doing, get in bed before you catch a cold” Natsu mumbled from under a pillow.

                Carefully sliding into the bed, Uta laid as close to the side as possible, not wanting to touch Natsu, but Natsu had other plans. Grabbing Uta around the waist, Natsu pulled Uta against his chest, and spooned the young man. “You were beautiful tonight, I love you.” Natsu mumbled into Uta’s ear.

                How can he say he loves me when he just raped me? How can he say I’m beautiful when he beats me? How can I live with this? I can’t.

~

                “That maggot was at Scream tonight. Yes, I did. I even told the boy to leave him and come with me. No, he was drugged. There were obvious scars and lash marks. The maggot was letting whomever, just touch the boy indecently. It was disgusting. I fear for that one, you’re going to have to do something, and do it soon.”

Chapter Text

                Searing pain is what woke Uta up the next morning, as he cried out when he attempted to roll over in bed. “Nat…su, please…” he whimpered. Natsu groaned and sat up, “What? Crap Uta!” The tone of Natsu’s voice scared Uta. “There’s blood in the bed…what the hell?” Natsu got out of bed, and walked to the other side. “Here, give me your hand.” Helping Uta out of bed, the amount of blood on the sheets was alarming. Turning Uta, Natsu looked at his sleeping pants. “Damn it!” he muttered, the pants had a large stain, soaked with blood.

                “Let’s get you into the shower…” Leaning on Natsu, they walked to the small bathroom in the hall. Peeling Uta’s sleep pants off, Natsu gasped, “Shit!” Turning on the shower, Natsu got in with Uta, gently washing the blood away, Uta crying silently. “I’m sorry, Natsu…” Uta cried. “It’s okay, I’ll take care of it.” Natsu had flipped back to the caring, loving boyfriend, confusing Uta once again.

                Drying Uta off and leading him back to the loft, Natsu had Uta lay on his stomach so he could inspect the anal tear. Spreading Uta’s cheeks, Natsu gently felt the area, Uta crying out in pain. “I think it’s more painful than it looks, baby.” Baby? “I’m going to put some pain cream on it.” Natsu got up and walked to back to the bathroom. What the hell? He’s psychotic! How does he go from raping me to calling me baby?

                “I’ll try not to hurt you, just hold still.” Natsu carefully put some cream over the torn area, massaging it in. “Are you hungry? I can go get us something to eat?” Uta just stared at the man, “Yes please…Master.” Uta flinched, as Natsu stroked his cheek. “I’m sorry…Master.” Uta looked down. “It’s okay, I understand.”

                Natsu smiled, looking much like the handsome man Uta had fallen in love with and not the sadistically cruel master. “I’ll be back soon.” Uta could hear the cage door open and close, and the elevator moving down the floors.

                Uta thought about getting up, dressing and trying to escape, but he had no clue to where the loft was located, other than in an industrial park, that had obviously been abandoned. Where would he run to? He had no phone, no money, and was in a great deal of pain. Resigned, Uta just closed his eyes, and fell into a hurtful slumber.

 

~

 

                “Acchan, you look like hell.” Those word the first words out of Kyo’s mouth. “Thank you for your keen observation, Kyo” sniped Sakurai. They had gathered at Taka’s house, on the request of Sakurai, who let it be known that he had new information on Uta’s plight. “Last night, a lady friend called me to report she had seen Natsu with Uta, at a club called Scream.” They all exchanged glances. “She told me that Uta was obviously drugged, and that unawares to Natsu, there was uncontrolled groping of Uta as he paraded him around the club.”

                “What do you mean by uncontrolled?” Sato wasn’t sure he understood the term correctly. “Uncontrolled is just that, people touching Uta without express permission from Natsu. Most likely, the boy was being fondled as Natsu led him around.”

                “My lady friend actually confronted Natsu before he left the club, about the fact that Uta was heavily drugged and scarred up. She also said she tried to get Uta to leave with her, but the boy was terrified of Natsu. She took a chance and kissed Uta lightly, promising him a safe place if he ever decided to leave Natsu.” Sakurai rubbed his eyes, raking his hands through his hair.

                “I’m frightened for Uta, I fear for his safety. I can’t imagine what Natsu might have done to him last night, as he was angered by the confrontation.” Tatsu spoke up, “We need to have a plan, a solid plan in which we can grab Uta and take him away from Natsu. Suggestions?”

                Sato told them about Taka’s suggestion of a smash and grab, which was starting to sound like a valid plan. “I’m in on the smashing part, you can grab Uta. Just let me handle Natsu.” Kyo growled. Ideas were throw around for the next fifteen minutes, but Taka’s suggestion was really the best idea.

                “So, how do we coordinate this? How will we know when to be at the club? And who’s doing what?” Tatsu turned and looked at Kyo.  “Except for you, we know what you’ll be doing.” Tatsu grinned at his friend. “I can arrange the club portion of that, I have enough good friends that will aid me.” Sakurai offered. “The only other detail is when?”

                “How much time would you need to get to the club, once someone see’s Natsu and Uta?” Taka asked. “Within twenty minutes, at the longest.” Sakurai thought he could be there quicker, but stayed with the twenty-minute mark.

                “Are there areas in the club, where we could hide? And who exactly is doing the smashing and the grabbing?” Sato wanted to make sure that Taka and whomever else was would be safe, out of harm’s way. “I’d like to be there for the grabbing, maybe I could wait in the car?” Koichi said softly.

                The group ended up with the plan of Sato and Kyo grabbing Natsu, with Tatsu and Taka taking Uta out to the car where Koichi would be waiting to comfort the boy. “I will make sure to have it arranged for an exact night. That won’t be hard once we lure Natsu out. It takes but one brief look of approval by me, to get that maggot where we need him to be.”

               

~

 

                “Uta? You need to eat, love. I have a bento for you, and some tea.” Natsu was nudging Uta awake, as the boy had fallen asleep while he was out getting them lunch. “Bento? Thank you, master.” Natsu looked down at the boy he loved, “You can drop the master for right now.” Uta didn’t look up, he nodded and dug into his bento. “I think you need to sleep and heal today. I don’t want you bleeding the next time we go out.” Shit, he’s already planning another night out?

                “The next time we go out, I’ll be taking you to the Fetish. It’s the premier club in our community, I’m sure he’ll be there! He’ll appreciate how well trained you are, unlike those dregs at Scream.” Finishing his bento, Natsu told Uta to sleep, that he’d be gone for a while. “I have to go pick something up that I ordered just for you!”

                Natsu left the loft once again, leaving Uta on his own. “Fetish club? That doesn’t sound good, damn it, I need a phone.” Uta got up and walked to the windows of the loft. The deserted industrial park lay quiet, not a soul moving. He knew then that in order to get away from Natsu, he was going to have to do something when he was out at a club. “I should have left with that lady, right then.” Uta whispered, “Too late now.” Uta left the loft to take a shower, and then climbed back into bed.

~            

                Taka opened the back door to the HBG, only to immediately press himself up against the wall, in order not to get run down by a screaming Mao. “NO FAIR! YOU SAI…” Mao stopped dead when he saw Taka. “Oops” Mao muttered as he walked back to the counters. “Uh, what’s up guys?” Taka walked up to the front, finding Tora and Aki doubled over with laughter, Tora almost hanging on Aki.

                “Sorry Taka, we were just teasing Mao about Die again. Die showed up earlier today and asked Mao out…again!” Taka shook his head, Die was persistent if nothing else. “They said they were going to call Die and set me up!” Mao whined. Tora still had his arm around Aki’s waist, which Aki didn’t seem to mind. “Well, I suggest you leave Die out of all of this.” Taka turned to go to his office, laughing.

                “Die…he never quits.” Taka remembered when Die wouldn’t quit with him, which made him flush a little. “Taka?” Tora was standing in the door way. “What’s up, Tora?” Waving the boy in, Tora sat down. “I’d like to ask a favor, if it’s do-able that is.” Tora was beet red, and dry mouthed. “Could you…rather would you schedule me with Aki just a little more, please?”

                Taka looked at Tora. “Sure, I can do that.” Tora was confused, did Taka just say yes without wanting to know why? “Um, don’t you need a reason for this?” Taka shrugged, “No, I already know the reason, I knew it a few weeks ago.” If it were possible, Tora blushed a deeper shade of beet red. “You…know? How?”  

                “It’s pretty obvious, Tora, maybe not to Aki, but it is to me and I’m more than willing to help you out, I think it will be good for Aki.” Tora was beaming when he thanked Taka and went back to work. “Another love connection courtesy of the HBG.” Taka chuckled to himself.

               

~

                “Stand up Uta.” Natsu was back from shopping, his voice edgy and not at all what it was before he left. “Yes…master.” Uta stood, still a little shaky. Natsu grabbed his wrist and led him to the St. Andrews Cross that was set up in front of the windows. “Strip” Uta slowly took his sleep pants off, glancing at Natsu, “Yes, underwear too.” Uta stood in front of Natsu, naked. Pushing the boy towards the cross, Natsu went about securing Uta with ankle and wrist cuffs, with Uta facing the windows.

                Grabbing Uta’s cock, Natsu placed a leather cock cage, with a cock ring, strapping it on tightly. Natsu walked to the bed, picking up a small box. Standing in front of Uta, Natsu opened the box, and retrieved a wooden clothespin, that he clipped onto Uta’s nipple, causing Uta to gasp, but not cry out.

                For the next ten minutes, Natsu attached clothespins to virtually everywhere he could; nipples, ball sack, earlobes, lips, nose, and Uta’s cock. Stepping back, Natsu admired Uta like a work of art, tilting his head this way and that, as an appraisal of his work.

                “You look beautiful, love. A work of art, my masterpiece, and you are on display to the world.” Natsu rolled the St. Andrews Cross, as close to the window as he could get. “I’m going outside to gaze at you,  to see how well you are presented.” Leaving Uta strapped in the cross, the clothespins pinching, the pain starting to spread across his entire body, tears started to fall.

 

~

                Natsu returned to the loft, and proceeded to remove the clothespins, with a sigh of relief from Uta. “We need to get ready, I want to go to Fetish tonight. You need to shower and I’ll lay out your new clothes. I think I want your hair down tonight, long and flowing. Dark eyes tonight, deep red lips, that will go well with your new clothes.” But before Uta could step down from the cross, Natsu shoved two pills in his mouth. “I need to have complete control over you tonight, it will be the most important of my life, yours as well. You need to be perfect” Natsu caressed Uta’s cheek, then led him to the bathroom.

                Natsu had Uta sit on the counter, so he could shave Uta, “You need to be perfect, not a spec of hair.” He was then ordered to shower, making sure his hair was exceptionally clean. After his shower, Natsu dried Uta’s hair and started to brush it out. “Can you do your makeup tonight? Or do you need help?” Uta shook his head, “I can do it…master.”

                Laying out Uta’s new clothes, he wasn’t surprised on Natsu’s choices. A pair of seamed stockings, with a garter belt, with another tiny skirt barely covering his ass, he had Uta wearing a thong with the cock cage underneath. A bare midriff shirt, and shorter heels than he had worn last time they were out, finished the outfit. As Natsu was putting Uta’s collar on, he first gave the boy two more pills. “Pay attention to whatever it is I’m asking you to do. Understood?” Uta nodded, starting to feel the effects of the extra drugs he had been given. Snapping his leash onto his collar, Uta and Natsu went downstairs to wait for their cab.

 

~

                “Is he? Is the boy with him? Wonderful. My many thanks to you my dear, I will arrive shortly, keep an eye on his activities please.”

               

                Stepping out of the cab first, Natsu glanced around the entrance to The Fetish Club, in an attempt to determine who was there. Seeing no one of importance, Natsu helped Uta out of the cab. Before walking into the club, Natsu fussed over Uta’s appearance, adjusting his clothing, smoothing down his hair, and trying to get the boy to focus, which considering how saturated his body was with drugs, was proving to be difficult.

                “Stay close to me” he warned Uta. With an air of pomposity, as if he were the only true dominant in the room, Natsu walked into the Fetish. Uta had to stare at the floor to keep his balance, the drugs wreaking havoc on his coordination. Natsu guided Uta around the dance floor, nodding to people who typically would sneer at him in contempt. But it was Uta who was getting all the attention, whispers between friends, pointing out the beautiful boy that was with the maggot.

There were murmurs of accusation, ‘the boy is drugged. The scars on his back, he’s been beaten’, could be heard throughout the club. Approaching the bar, Natsu ordered a drink and turned to see who might be jealously watching him, and searching for the one who he needed to impress.

                With drink in hand, Natsu led Uta towards the dance floor, with no intention of letting his pet dance, but it was the spotlight in the room that drew the flies. Someone shoved past Uta and Natsu, eager to get to the dance floor, Uta swaying dangerously and falling against Natsu who spilled his drink. He yanked Uta’s leash roughly, and slapped Uta, “Do not do that again!” Natsu growled.

                Too many people saw that it was not Uta’s intention to disobey, and grew angry with the abuse of Natsu’s power, and not a few of them voiced their opinion.

                “Maggot, do you punish your pets for something they had no control over? Is that how you train them?” Madame F had seen Natsu slap Uta and walked up to the man, with her very tall pet trailing her. “You’ll not impress him, if you’re seen abusing your pet for no reason.” She snipped. Natsu glared at her and moved away from the dance floor.  Natsu was angry at himself for losing control and slapping Uta, he took a deep breath and continued to walk towards the back of the club, where the small private rooms were located, for use by Dominants and their pets.

                Stepping out from a darkened booth, Davina stood in front of Natsu. “Davina, please. You’re out of your league here, nobody here will look at you or your pet…not even for an instant.” As much as she wanted to lash out, Davina had a single task appointed to her.

                “Maggot, someone wishes to see your pet.” Without another word, the woman turned and walked towards a private room. Natsu suddenly realized that is what he had been waiting for. Tugging Uta’s leash, he followed the woman into a small private room.

                Sitting in a low chair, Sakurai Atsushi had his finger tips pressed together, resting just under his lower lip. Davina grabbed Uta’s leash out of Natsu’s hand, with a look that told him not to object.

                “Come here, child.” Sakurai asked Uta softly.  “What is your name?”

                “His name is…” Sakurai lifted a hand, dismissing Natsu’s answer.

                “Uta, my name is Uta…sir.” Uta was so heavily drugged, he did not recognize the man.

                “Let me look at you, Uta.” Davina urges Uta to step closer, to stand between Sakurai’s legs. Leaning forward and reaching up, Sakurai ran his fingers through Uta’s hair, caressing his cheeks, and titling Uta’s face, looking for the signs of abuse. “Turn for me Uta,” Sakurai ordered. Uta turned, looking up at Natsu, who’s eyes were shinning brilliantly.

                “Bend over for me, child.” Uta did as he was told, Sakurai sees the signs of abuse. “Thank you, Uta.”

                “He’s beautiful, isn’t he Sakurai-sama? And so perfectly trained, he will do anything you ask, with no resistance.” Uta had walked over to stand next to Natsu, Davina giving him back Uta’s leash.

                “Thank you…?” Sakurai feigned not knowing Natsu.

                “Natsu”, he answered, showing a bit of contempt.

                “Ah yes, now I remember.” Sakurai gave Natsu a sinister grin. “You’ll be hearing from me.”           

                Dismissing Natsu and Uta with a wave, Natsu walked out of the private room, as a conqueror, thrilled to be one of the chosen to be graced with Sakurai’s approval. 

                “You showed great restraint, Sakurai-san. More than I could ever show.” Davina admired Sakurai, as most people in the community did. He was a stern but loving keeper of his pets. He also was a highly respected voice for the ethics of the BSDM community, if you angered Sakurai, you might as well move.

                “Only because I know what I must do and it appears we must do it quickly. Uta is worse than last I saw him.” This surprised Davina, “You know this boy, Uta?” Sakurai nodded, “It’s a long story, but yes. I know the boy, not intimately though. He is a friend of a friend as they say.”

                Sakurai went home that night, more determined to rescue Uta from Natsu, hoping to get to the boy in time, worried that Natsu may intentionally or unintentionally kill Uta with bad practices. Lying in bed, Uta’s drug destroyed eyes haunted him. There was nothing there, not even the look of fear that he saw at Tatsu and Koichi’s wedding party. “Damn him! I’ll fucking destroy that son of a bitch.”

 

~

                “You were perfect Uta! Did you see how he looked at me? He approved of my training methods! He thought you were beautiful and so perfectly trained! You were so beautiful tonight! I love you!” Natsu crowed over his supposed victory on the cab ride home, with Uta sitting numbed next to him. The rant over his training methods, Sakurai’s validation of him, that was all Natsu could see. He couldn’t see that Uta had not said a word since he told Sakurai his name. He thought he knew who the man was, but he didn’t care much. One man wouldn’t make a difference at this point.

                Natsu fussed over Uta when the got to the loft, helping the boy undress and get into sleep pants. Getting into bed with Uta and drawing the covers over both of them, Natsu pulled Uta close, spooning against the boy’s whip scared back. “I love you!” was whispered against Uta’s neck, followed by a shower of kisses. But Uta didn’t hear nor feel the confessions, the drugs took over his mind and his body, and he drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

 

~

                “Call me, it’s critical

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

                “He looked like a drugged-up child. He did not recognize me, he didn’t say a word, only his name when I asked. There was nothing, no light behind those eyes.” Sakurai was in a somber mood, explaining what had happened the night before at The Fetish Club, when Natsu brought Uta to Sakurai. “A lady friend had called me, telling me that Natsu and Uta were at the club. As I have a private room at the club for personal activities, once I arrived I had Natsu brought to me there. I wanted no extra eyes watching us.”

                Sakurai had called Kyo and Taka the night before, requesting that they meet, so he could discuss what had happened at the Fetish. “How was Natsu? Did he suspect anything?” Kyo didn’t know Natsu’s history with the BSDM community. “No, he suspected nothing, he was falling all over himself, in my presence. The man is a failure on both sides of our collective coin. As a submissive, he was mouthy, arrogant, and rebellious, and angered too many masters. As a dominant? I’m sure you all understand why he’s a failure at that as well. We do not drug our pets into submission, that is highly unethical and frankly illegal.”

                “Within our community and the club system, Natsu has been nothing more than a maggot. His pets always leave before they sign a contract, and as I have spoken with a few of them, they all say the same thing; Natsu was abusive, and he used drugs to subdue his pets.” Abusive was hard for Taka to understand, “How as Natsu abusive?”

                “He raped many of his submissives, beat them until they were bloodied, burns, bite marks, much as what has happened to Uta. Many of the submissives, said that his mood, or personality would change from one minute to the next. Caring and loving to cruel and violent.” This Taka understood, nodding his head. “I’ve seen that. No more than a month after they started dating, Uta would come to work badly bruised and there were some bite marks. When I’d ask Uta about them, he passed it off as rough sex, that he totally agreed to.”

                “In other words, the abuse has been going on from the start.” Turning to Kyo, Sakurai asked the obvious, “Was your relationship with Uta such as this?” Kyo shook his head, looking down at his hands. “Very light bondage, tying him to the bedpost, blindfolds, edging, the occasional toy. Nothing even remotely what Natsu has done. I don’t treat my boys like that, ever.” Taka could see a tear forming in the corner of Kyo’s eye, and he reached over and patted his friend on the knee. “It’s okay, Kyo. None of this is your fault, and I know that’s what you’re thinking, so stop it.”

                Kyo looked up at the younger man and smiled. They had starting to discuss a means in which  the men could create a distraction in order to get Uta away from Natsu. They discussed the idea of just beating Natsu and physically taking Uta away, or the smash and grab as Taka had put it. Another option was to do it in front of the club members, as so the community would understand the reasons for removing by force a contracted submissive from his dominant.

                “How could we do it safely? With that many people watching?” Taka wasn’t sure he liked it, but Kyo seemed on board. “If you do it in the open, everyone will recognize that Natsu is unwelcomed in the community, and if he ever tries to contract anyone, there would be repercussions? Correct?” Kyo looked at Sakurai. “Yes, there are repercussions that would be dealt to him.”  A different, but no less important topic came up; what to do with Uta once they have him safely with them?

                “I know Koichi would take Uta into his home, we would do the same of course. Kyo, probably not your place, at least not yet.” Taka looked at Sakurai intently. “I think he’d probably be better off with you, Acchan.” Taka was blushing. Kyo looked at Sakurai, “Taka’s right. You’re set up for it. You will know what to do and how to handle an abused submissive. Uta would be safe with you.” Sakurai nodded, “I thought the same last night. That boy is going to be so traumatized, he’s going to need special handling. I believe this is the better solution, I will take Uta into my home until he is detoxed from the drugs and given time to rest and recover.”

                The men continued for another hour, discussing their options and finally had come up with a reasonable plan with some safety measures in place, in the event of some outside influences. “I will call you both, when I have an idea of what night this may happen. The Fetish’s busiest night is Thursday, and for maximum impact on the community, I am certain that is when Natsu will make his next move.  Natsu is much too vain not to want to have as many people as possible to witness his elevation in the ranks.” Sakurai also would ask several of the regulars at the club who could be relied on, if needed in assisting in the execution of the plan. Kyo had to laugh when Sakurai said ‘execution’ “It’s only what he fucking deserves, that shitbag” growled Kyo.

                As the men departed, Taka drew Kyo aside, “Hey, I’m sorry I said that it might not be a good idea for Uta to go to your place, I didn’t mean it to sound like that.” Kyo slapped Taka on the shoulders, “Kid, you’re right, it’s not a good idea for Uta to come to my place, I’m not the one he needs, maybe at some point, not now. He’s going to need Sakurai’s specialized help in become whole again.”

~

                Taka went home and told Sato what the plan was going to be, “Uta’s going to stay with Sakurai? Is that a good idea? I’m not saying that Acchan would do anything to hurt Uta.” Taka hugged his husband, “Acchan actually is the best place for Uta. He knows how to deal with submissives that have been abused, or taken away forcibly from their dominants.” Sato snorted at part of the comment. “Submissives that have been abused? Wasn’t that you?” Taka tightened his arms around Sato’s waist. “I wasn’t abused, my issues were mental, I caused the physical part of it. Acchan is a good man, obsession can do weird things to people. Look at Masa and what he did to Tatsu.” Sato conceded to that point. “I need to call Tatsu and Koichi… let’s meet them at Ojisan’s if they’re available.”

 

                An hour later, the foursome was sitting at Ojisan’s counter, talking about Uta’s rescue from Natsu. “Hmm, out in the open, like on the dance floor or what?” Koichi didn’t know what the club looked like, “It’s a smallish club, small dance floor, some tiny private rooms in the back and the booths are all recessed into the walls, that are fairly dark. We could be sitting in a booth, and Natsu could walk by and not see us.” Taka had only been to the club once, but the circumstances around the visit were unforgettable.  “Acchan also said he would have some of the regular customers at the club, on deck just as backup, if Natsu freaks out.”

                During their discussion, Ojisan had politely turned his back, but he was listening to the conversation, pleased that his loyal customers were being loyal friends as well. “Okay, so you two, Kyo and me? Should we bring Kou with us, maybe to help Uta just until we get him to Sakurai’s?” Taka raised an eyebrow at the suggestion. “Kou, think you can handle men and women, some not wearing much, on leashes and with god knows what else?” Taka giggled. “Probably, not that I’ve ever seen anyone on a leash before, and undressed? Please, I’ve seen more of naked Uruha, than Tatsu has of Reita’s ass. Believe me, I’ll be fine, all I want to do is get Uta out of the club and into the car.”

                “Naked Uruha? Reita’s ass?” Sato and Taka stared in disbelief at the comment, while Tatsu and Koichi were falling all over themselves laughing. “It’s a long story, once we have nothing to do, I’ll explain, but it’s true, Tatsu knows a lot about Reita’s ass.”

                “Gentlemen, I’m going to have to cut your beer allowance tonight…such talk from my favorite customers is scandalous.” Now it was Ojisan’s turn to laugh. “That’s not fair Ojisan!” The group discussed the timing of the rescue, and how prepared they had to be. “Sakurai said most likely it will be Thursday night, that’s the busiest night at Fetish, so I’m going to just plan for that night, I’ll call Kyo and you guys should come over, then we can leave together.” Taka was in a leader-san mode, which gave Sato more than a little pride in his husband.

                “Okay, I’ll be over by 8, Thursday night…this should be fun!” chuckled Kyo as he closed his phone.

                “I’d be more than thrilled to assist you, Sakurai-sama. Anything to get that precious boy away from that maggot! Do you know, will the boy be looking for a new position perhaps?

                “Yes sir, I’d love to. Will you ask my lady for permission please? Thank you, sir.”

                “Of course, Sakurai darling! Anything for you! The poor boy, I know that Davina tried to get him away, but the boy has been drugged for so long. Yes, it will be beautiful to have that rancid piece of shit out of lives.”

               

                Leaning back in his office chair, Sakurai had the pieces falling into place, but he felt something was missing. As he got up to make himself a drink, the thought struck him. “Uta’s going to need a place to sleep, which room would be best?” Sakurai’s house was large, with four bedrooms, but one of the guest bedrooms had its own bath, and that would be preferable for Uta, having as much privacy as he wanted. Sakurai spent the next several hours, making sure the room and bathroom were ready, then realizing he may need some other items.

                “He’s going to come here with nothing. Shit!” He started making a list, but was puzzled on what sizes. He texted Taka. “Taka-kun, Uta will be coming to my home, with the clothes on his back, he will need some basic clothing, but I have no idea what size? Do you know Koichi’s size? He’s about the same build as Uta…yes! Thank you so much.”

                “Clothing, food, oh! First aid…some bath items.” The list was growing quickly and Sakurai realized that he needed to shop for the boy. “I’m going to need help…Taka?”

                “Taka-kun, so sorry to bother you again. Would it be possible, with Sato’s blessing of course, that you could assist me in shopping for Uta? I have no clue to what young people are wearing. Koichi? Of course, that would be splendid. Mid-morning? Fine. I will pick you both up.”      

                “What? Um, you’re joking right? No, really Taka. Seriously? Well that does make sense and yes, Uta and I are about the same size. Okay, if that’s how it has to go, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

                “You’re never going to believe what Taka and I are doing tomorrow morning?” Tatsu and Koichi were lying in bed, almost ready to shut their life down for the evening. “Um, pickle farming? No wait! Goat herding?” Koichi smacked Tatsu across the chest. “No! Taka and I are going shopping for Uta…with Sakurai!” Now it was Tatsu’s turn to be surprised. “Sakurai and shopping? What for?” Leaning his head on Tatsu’s chest, he explained. “Sakurai brought up a good point, Uta will have nothing, just what he’s wearing. He has no clothes, no shoes, nothing to wear when he gets to Sakurai’s. And the man wouldn’t know what size Uta is, but we’re about the same size. I think Sato probably wanted Taka to ask me along, you know…as a chaperone.”

                “Hmph. Well, it does make sense, Uta’s going to have nothing, not until we can figure out a way to get into the place they’re staying. I wonder if Uta has any documents or papers that he needs?”  Before another word was said, Kou bounced out of bed and ran to his office, coming back with pencil and paper. “Shit! I didn’t even think of anything like that.” The couple spent the next twenty minutes on lists for Uta, eager to make sure that the boy gets as far away from Natsu as possible.

 

~

                Taka and Koichi were waiting for Sakurai to pick them up, slightly nervous about being with the man, on their own. “Sato didn’t care? I mean, Tatsu questioned it, but I thought it would be fine.” Koichi was wondering if they’d made a mistake. “No, Sato cared, but since you were going to be with me, he knew Sakurai wouldn’t do anything questionable.”

                “Good morning, gentlemen.” Sakurai opened the door for his guests, and started towards the city. “Where should we go? I need some regular things, such as toiletries and what, but he needs just basic clothing but I have no idea.” Taka and Kou thought about it, “What about that one store…the um, dressing room store.” Taka was turning a bit red. “Oh, good idea! They have a good selection of clothes, and I’m going to smack you for being embarrassed, it’s done, that was ages ago, Taka.” Sakurai didn’t know what to think of the exchange, and decided to say nothing.

                The men spent a few hours shopping, buying most of what was needed, except for shoes. “I have no clue Acchan, just buy him slippers for now.” Taka and Koichi noticed how easily Sakurai moved about in public, with people noticing who he was, but keeping their distance not wanting to intrude. “Gentlemen, I’d offer you lunch, but my schedule is very tight, I’m sorry.” Taka waved it off. “Acchan, go get your house ready for Uta, we can have lunch together anytime.” Sakurai dropped them off at Taka’s and told them to be ready to go at a moment’s notice the next night.

                “Tadaima” Taka yelled from the genkan, “Okaeri, how was the shopping?” Sato had just made a large sandwich, which Taka grabbed off the plate as he walked by Sato, into the kitchen. “Sorry, but we’re both starving, Sakurai didn’t have time to take us to lunch.” Sato grabbed his sandwich back from Taka, “Sit down, I’ll make you both a sandwich. Were you able to get what you needed for Uta?” Koichi was chugging down a bottle of water, “No shoes, because we have no deal what size Uta is… just slippers.”

                Taka and Koichi had their lunch, Tatsu was coming by to pick up Koichi. “Hey, how was it?” Tatsu leaned over in the car to kiss his husband. “Weird. Sakurai is like this total sexy man, yet it was like he had never been shopping before! He didn’t have a clue to where to go.” Tatsu chuckled. “As long as you got what you needed for Uta.” They chatted more on the way home, about what apprehensions they had about the actual rescuing of Uta. “I think everything will go as planned, Acchan will be there, he’s got people that he knows in the club that will be ready. Kyo’s going to be a one-man assault team, you just need to be ready to grab Uta, and run for the door. Things will be fine, everything will go smoothly.”

                Koichi thought that Tatsu had just jinxed the rescue.

Chapter Text

 

                “Uta…love you need to get up dear. We have a big day today, I have a treat for you!” Natsu had let Uta sleep off some of the drugs in his system from the night before. He had been so pleased at the reception by Sakurai of Uta, that he wanted to treat his lover. “Uta, please… I’m taking you shopping then to lunch. We have to prepare for tomorrow night!”

                Uta had heard Natsu the first time, but was reluctant to get out of bed, mostly because it was warm and the loft had little heat. “Yes sir…” Uta got up out of bed, standing before Natsu. “Should I shower first?” Natsu reached to caress Uta’s cheek, with the boy trying so hard not to flinch or pull away. “No, we can take care of that later tonight. I want to get out and get those clothes for you. And lunch!” Natsu helped Uta get dressed, brush out his hair and remove most of the makeup from the night before.

                “No leash today, but I’d like you to wear your collar, it’s trendy enough to blend in.” Natsu put the collar around Uta’s neck loosely. “You’re still the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen.” Natsu grabbed Uta and laid a blistering kiss on the shocked boy. “Okay, let’s go shopping!” Natsu had already called for a cab, and they were driven to Harajuku. Once in the trendy shopping district, Natsu asked a rather odd question of Uta. “What would you like to wear tomorrow night? It’s your big presentation, and Sakurai will be there as well! You must make a perfect impression on everyone.”

                Uta thought for a moment, trying to come up with clothing ideas that Natsu wouldn’t object to. He really wanted a long sleeve shirt and pants, but he knew that wouldn’t be approved. “Uh, maybe a tighter mini skirt? It would show off my ass.” Uta wanted a skirt that wouldn’t leave his ass out bare.
“Hmm, I’m not sure, but let’s just go into some stores and look.” The couple wandered the shops, Natsu picking out bare midriff shirts, some new stockings and a new garter belt. “Could we look for some shoes? I keep tripping in mine, a wider heel maybe?” Uta was pushing his luck.

                “Wedge heels would look on you as well, and I have noticed that you do stumble quite a bit. Now for a skirt.” Going into a punk fashion store, Uta found a cute black skirt with straps, that Natsu said he could clip to Uta’s wrist cuffs. “Oh! You’re going to look so delicious!” The couple had a quick lunch, hailed a cab and went back to the loft.

                There was no scene that night, no training, Natsu on his computer, and Uta sleeping as much as he dared. When it came to go to sleep, Natsu kissed Uta, and much like the other nights, “I love you” slipped from Natsu’s lips, and pulling Uta in close. Uta wished it would always be this way, but he knew better. His life would not change, it may get shorter, more painful…but it would never change.

 

~

                Sakurai was doubting himself, something that he rarely did. Standing in the kitchen, hands gripping the counter and his arms stretched out, he wondered if he was the right choice for the job of helping Uta become a whole person again. He was attracted to Uta, who wouldn’t be? But the boy was frail, he was broken into tiny pieces. Sakurai reminded himself of what he had gone through with Taka, but dismissed it. “I was an idiot.” He muttered to himself. “This is completely different, Uta has no contract with me.” As he moved through the house, he couldn’t help but see the dead eyes of the beautiful boy, his doll like loveliness tainted by violence and cruelty, seared into his brain. This of course, bent Sakurai back into anger, wanting to do to Natsu, what he had done to Uta. “If he makes a wrong move…” A deep breath, brought him back to the tasks at hand. Glancing at the time, he still had several hours until he would leave for the club. “Yus… time to work out!” Changing into his gym clothes, Sakurai spent the next two in his home gym, burning his excess energy, and plotting that night’s spectacular. “Tonight, will be spectacular! One will crash and burn, the other will be delivered into sanctuary.”

 

~

                “Uta, we absolutely need you to be stunning tonight, you are the one key element that will set our place in the community, how you look and act is a reflection of me as a dominant.” Uta was sitting on the bed as Natsu brushed out his still wet hair, as Natsu rambled on about that night’s trip to the Fetish Club, but Uta couldn’t hear, nor did he care anymore. Natsu had given Uta more pills than he had normally done, three at once, and had also inserted a large anal plug, and Uta’s cock cage was in place, all concealed by a tiny thong. Through all of this, Uta remained silent, too drugged up to respond.

                “Let’s do your makeup, ne?” Natsu applied Uta’s makeup without much trouble, Uta was in no coherent condition to assist. Natsu started to dress Uta, fussing with every little detail, making sure that his stockings were correctly lined up, enough of his ass was showing and generally standing back with every new item of clothing, assessing Uta’s appearance. “Tonight, you are absolutely stunning! Let me put your collar on and we’ll call for a cab.”  As they rode the elevator down to the first level, Natsu turned to Uta and embraced the boy, “I love you, Uta” he whispered in his boy’s ear. Uta muttered a reply, but Natsu heard nothing. Getting into the cab, Uta’s leash in his hands, all of Natsu’s thoughts were of acceptance and revenge.

 

~

                Walking into the club, Koichi stayed near Tatsu, intimidated by what he saw around him; people in various stages of undress, men walking on all fours wearing some questionable leather items, and just a general feel of uneasiness for Koichi. Tatsu squeezed his hand, noticing that his small lover was more than just a little nervous. Bending down, he whispered in Kou’s ears. “Most people here know what we’re doing, I’m sure Sakurai has told them not to bother us.” Kyo on the other hand, was randomly greeting people he knew, most of them were women which surprised Koichi. He made a mental note to ask Kyo about this at another time.

                Madame F approached Taka and Sato, and as she gazed upon Taka, she raised an eyebrow. “Yes, now I remember you. Sakurai-sama had rescued you from this hell hole that night, I’m pleased to see you have a Dominant now.” Taka was going to correct her when Sato stopped him. “I thank you Madame, for keeping watch over this boy during that unfortunate incident.”  Sato bowed, Taka gaped at Sato, “Who the hell are you? You never…” Sato squeezed his hand, and winked.

                Madame F escorted the group to one of the dark booths that faced the entrance. “Sakurai-sama will be with you shortly.” She nodded her head and walked away. “Sato, we have some serious things to talk about when we get home!” quipped Taka. “Yes dear” Sato was having fun teasing Taka.

                Sakurai walked towards the booth, greeting the group. “He’s not arrived yet, but I can guess that there will be a rather obvious commotion once he has. Please stay hidden, I need to have as much time as possible to ensure I have Uta in my grasp, before you can have Natsu.” Sakurai bowed and walked to the back of the club. The group is quiet as they wait, not wanting to speak to assure that they didn’t miss Natsu’s arrival. After thirty minutes, the group was getting antsy, “Maybe he’s not coming tonight?” Kou whispered to Taka. “Oh, I’m sure he’ll be here, it’s crowded and he wants to make an impact.”

                The group heard the general noise level change in the main part of the club, it was clear that Natsu had arrived with Uta. Koichi peered out of the booth, and gasped. “Oh shit…Uta” he whined. Uta had his head down, shoulders were slumped, and with the cuffs attached to the straps on the skirt, he moved like a zombie. The only time he looked up was when Natsu yanked on his leash, Uta almost fell to the floor, having no balance as he walked behind Natsu.

                Madame F walked up to Natsu, glaring at him. “You need not yank that boy around, maggot. He’s obviously too drugged up to obey any shit command you give him” the woman snarled at Natsu. “Shut your mouth, hag. You have nothing worth hearing.”  The tall woman laughed, “I’m guessing then, that a message from Sakurai-sama doesn’t interest you in the least? That’s fine, I’ll let him know you did not want to hear what he had to say.” Madame F turned and started to walk back to the private rooms.

                “If he has called for me then I will see him, of course. You have no decision in that, hag.” Natsu jerked Uta’s leash, almost dragging him towards the rear of the club. The group in the booth shrank back as far as they could, Kyo quite literally needed to be restrained. “Fuck!” he grunted. “I could have taken Uta right there!” Sato grabbed Kyo and held him back. “Kyo, don’t do it! Let’s do this Sakurai’s way!”

                Natsu stopped Uta just as they were going to enter Sakurai’s private room, giving the boy a once over for his appearance, “Look up, Uta.” Natsu chucked him under the chin. “Yes…” Uta mumbled. Natsu knocked once and opened the door. Sakurai was sitting much as he had the first night he saw Uta, fingers together under his chin, sitting in a deep chair. “Natsu, so lovely to see you again, and Uta of course.” Sakurai was wanting to lull Natsu into a sense of acceptance on his part. Natsu bowed, “Of course, Sakurai-sama” Sakurai stared at Uta, noticing that the boy seemed more drugged than the previous encounter.

                “Please, detach his leash.” Sakurai ordered, he wanted no obstructions. “I prefer to leave it on at all times, this club has drawn a certain amount of deplorables and riff raff, I’m just protecting my property, you understand.” This caused Sakurai’s face to darken, which Natsu took immediate notice. “Uta, come here please. You may drop the leash.” He ordered Natsu. “Uta sit on my lap, please.” Natsu frowned, someone other than him, touching Uta. He took a slight step forward.

                Sakurai ran his hands down Uta’s thigh, caressing the soft skin, Uta didn’t seem to notice. Sakurai watched Natsu as he put his hands between Uta’s legs. Finding the cock cage under the thong, Sakurai said nothing. Moving one hand down and rubbing the boy’s ass, he noticed an anal plug in place, then gently slid his arm around Uta’s waist.

                “He’s delicious, ne?” Natsu stuttered. “Yes, he is. It’s a pity he’s in this condition.” Natsu was about to speak, when Sakurai held up his hand. With his arm pulling Uta closer, Sakurai nuzzled Uta’s hair, “If he’s hurting you, moan Uta.” Sakurai whispered as he made a great show of licking Uta’s neck, with the boy leaning his head back and moaning. Natsu was not happy, he wanted to speak but he knew better.

                Caressing Uta’s ass, Sakurai pulled the boy even closer, once again asking the boy, “Do you want to leave him?” Once again, licking Uta’s neck, causing the boy to drop his head and moan. Placing a finger under Uta’s chin, Sakurai lifted Uta’s head, turned the boys face towards his and very gently, kissed Uta, causing an instant reaction in Natsu. “I did not agree to you using my property.” He growled and picking up the leash, yanked Uta off Sakurai’s lap, leaving the boy to fall to the ground. Sakurai remained seated, knowing that Uta had to endure just a short time more. “Uta, get up,” Natsu screeched. Jerking Uta’s leash, and grabbing the boy by his collar, Natsu fairly dragged Uta out of the room, leaving Sakurai with a wicked grin on his face.

                As Natsu stomped towards the front of the club, he was stopped by Madame F’s tall pet. “My lady says you are not to leave.” The man said in a low voice. “Your Lady is a fucking HAG!” Natsu screamed. “Get the fuck out of my way…NOW!” The tall man moved aside, only to have Davina standing behind him. “Guess your time is up, Maggot” she chortled. “My time is better spent with quality people, unlike the filth in this shithole.” Davina made a grand sweeping gesture for Natsu to continue to the door.       

                Natsu was nearing the door, when Kyo stopped him, Natsu laughed, “Kyo, Uta’s throw away toy. I’m surprised to see you in an establishment such as this, it would not bode well for the public to know that their beloved Dir En Grey singer, is into this particular type of extracurricular activity.” Now it was Kyo’s turn to laugh in Natsu’s face. “My fans would be more than thrilled to know that I rescued someone from an abusive relationship. You really think that my fans…Diru’s fans, would believe someone like you? You’re an idiot, Natsu.”

                “Just let me take Uta, and you can be on your way, Natsu” growled Kyo. “I’m not leaving here without him. You’ve damaged him, perhaps beyond repair, with your drugs and rapes and beatings. I’m sure EVERYONE HERE WOULD LIKE TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR SUCESSFUL TRAINING METHODS!” Raising his voice, making sure the entire club heard.

                 Sakurai stepped up, walking slowly towards Natsu and Uta, “ Natsu, your life is now over in this community. My reach is far and wide, just one word and you’re done. Now, give me Uta and I’ll let you walk away, but know this, you will never be accepted in another other community anywhere in the world, your name will be known.  You will never collar or contract another single person. You’re too obnoxious to be a submissive. You’re not welcomed.”

                During all of this, Koichi was watching Uta sway, so unsteady on his feet that the boy looked like he would pass out at any minute. Everyone was watching Natsu and the others, Koichi slowly crept closer to Uta, with only Taka seeing what he was doing. Sakurai called out to Uta, “Uta…would you rather stay with Natsu, or go home with me?” Uta looked up, confused who Sakurai was. As he looked around, Uta saw Davina, the nice lady who he should have gone with. “I want to go home with her.” He lifted is hand, gesturing to Davina.

                “Of course, you do little boy, you know I never abuse my pets. Would you like to come home with me?” Davina moved slowly towards Uta, who’s hand was still out. Natsu couldn’t choose who to watch, Sakurai, Davina or Uta. Ultimately, Uta made the choice for him, as he started to walk towards Davina. Natsu growled and yanked Uta backwards, hitting the boy in the head with a closed fist, knocking Uta to the ground. That strike was all it took for Kyo, who then jumped Natsu and started beating him, with a fury that had not been witnessed since he had attacked Morrie so many years ago.

                Running towards Uta, Sakurai scooped the unconscious boy into his arms, waving Koichi to go with him. Taka grabbed Koichi’s arm and followed Sakurai, while the rest of the group dealt with Natsu, who was getting a taste of his own abuse. “In here…” Sakurai went into one of the private rooms, and laid Uta down on a couch. Taka went to Uta, “Uta…come on buddy…Uta?” Petting the boy’s hair, Taka talked to Uta, trying to wake him.  As gently as he could, Sakurai removed Uta’s collar. “I’ll be right back…don’t move him!” Sakurai left the room.

                Kyo was being hauled off Natsu as Sakurai walked back to the main room. Natsu lie on the ground beaten and bloody but able to stand, albeit shakily. Sakurai walked up the man, and grabbed him by the front of his shirt shaking the man violently. “You, putrid piece of shit, tell me what type of drug have you been giving Uta? TELL ME NOW OR I’LL KILL YOU!” snarled Sakurai. This side of Sakurai Atsushi had never been seen by most people, and it was frightening, people stepping back from the man.

                “Valium, sometimes oxycotin” Natsu mumbled, not daring to look anyone in the eye. “You mixed the two?” Sakurai cocked his arm back and slapped Natsu to the ground. “YOU COULD HAVE KILLED HIM!” Sakurai reached down to pick Natsu back, but there was a strong hand on his shoulder. Turning around, he was faced with Madame F’s tall beefy pet. “I’m sorry, Sakurai-sama. My lady doesn’t want you striking that person anymore.” Madame F was standing near-by. “Acchan, enough. He’s going to suffer more in life, than he will in these next few moments.” There was a murmur through the room, the fact that someone had challenged Sakurai, was unheard of.

                “I’m sorry, you’re right.” He shoved Natsu back down. Squatting down, Sakurai said one last thing to Natsu. “If I ever hear another word about you…I personally will come and hunt you down, this is no idle threat. Take it very seriously.” Sakurai then shoved Uta’s collar in Natsu’s mouth. “Someone get this piece of shit out of here.” Sakurai then turned and bowed to Madame F, who then kissed Sakurai on the cheek.

                Sakurai walked back to the room where he had taken Uta. Opening the door, he was surprised to see Uta sitting up, and speaking with Koichi. “Uta, this is Sakurai-sama, do you remember him from the HBG and my wedding party?” Uta’s eyes were still dilated, his vision blurred. “I remember…did he help me?” Sakurai sat next to Uta on the small couch. “Uta, would you like to go home with me? I have a lovely house that is safe, a warm bath and a very comfortable bed ready for you. You are no longer under contract with Natsu. You are free to choose where you want to go.”

                Taka had been telling Uta what he could expect at Sakurai’s house. “He won’t hurt you, Uta. He’s not like Natsu. You’re not his pet…you have no Dominant now. You can go home with whomever you want. I think Sakurai’s would be the best place for you.” Looking at his friends, Uta suddenly felt so tired, exhausted beyond means. Laying his head on Sakurai’s shoulder, Uta whispered “I want to go home with you, please.”

               

~

                He was barely able to stand; his legs wouldn’t hold him up…he was just so tired. He had been bundled up in a blanket and carried to a car, and Koichi and Taka were with him, but that’s all he could understand.  He next remembers being carried into a building…a house, and given some water. “Uta, do you want to sleep or bathe?” Looking up at the man…who is he? “Sleep please.” Laying his head on the man’s shoulder. Koichi and Taka helped him into some sleep pants and a warm shirt, but both men shocked at the cock cage and the anal plug, informing Sakurai of their find. After getting Uta comfortable, Taka and Koichi were ready to leave, hugging him and saying that they would call tomorrow.

                Uta was alone in a bedroom, he wasn’t sure where he was, he was just so tired and his head had started to hurt. Reaching up and feeling around on the side of his head, there was a large lump, tender to the touch. “Would you like to put some ice on that?” The man…Sakurai, “I’d like to go to bed please, I’m very tired.” Sakurai stood, bending down he scooped Uta up as if the boy were a small child. Kissing Uta on the forehead, he went into the guest room he had set up for the boy. “No! Please! Stay with me!” Uta whimpered loudly. “If Natsu comes back…”

                “That man will never touch you again, I’ve sent him away.” Carrying Uta into his own room, Sakurai lay the boy down, “I’m going to change, I’ll be right back.” As quick as he could, Sakurai changed into his own sleep pants. Getting into bed as Uta laid down, Sakurai covered them both in a warm blanket. “Are you warm enough Uta?” the boy nodded. “Good night Uta…” Sakurai reached to turn off the light.  

The man knew he would get no sleep this night, listening to the small sounds that Uta was crying, it broke his hear to know that this beautiful boy, had been so abused. Sakurai started to turn over, when Uta whispered, “Hold me, please?” This tiny question put Sakurai over the edge, tears starting to fall. “Of course, baby, I’ll hold you and keep you safe.” Sakurai nuzzled the nape of Uta’s neck, embracing the boy tightly and with a contented sigh, the two fell into a peaceful slumber.

Chapter Text

 

                Uta woke to the smell of coffee, bacon and cologne. He could process the coffee and bacon, that made sense, but the cologne? Opening his eyes, he was startled fully awake. “Um…hello?” He had no idea where he was, or where Natsu was. “Natsu??” Just as he was starting to get out of the bed, he heard a knock. “Good morning, Uta-kun. Would you like some breakfast? Coffee or tea?” Uta stared at the man, slack jawed and in awe. “Um…you’re…” Sakurai smiled. “Yes, I am. Please…call me Acchan. When you’re ready, the kitchen is at the end of the hall, turn right at the dining table.” The door closed.

                “How the fuck am I in the bed of Sakurai Atsushi!! Oh my god…did Natsu give me to him? Wait…we went…did we? Shit!” Carefully, Uta looked around the bedroom, and saw the door to what he expected was the bathroom. He washed his face, as his eyes were red and swollen, the side of his head was tender, and his hair…well there wasn’t anything he could do with that at the moment. Looking down, he wondered where the sleep pants he was wearing came from…they fit. “This is weird, what the hell happened last night?” he muttered as he walked down the hall to the kitchen.

                “Did you sleep well? You moved around a bit” The vision of Sakurai Atsushi, in pajamas and wearing an apron, cooking breakfast, was almost more than Uta could handle. “Coffee or tea?” Uta stuttered, “Coffee, please.”  “Let me finish making breakfast then we can talk, I know you have a lot of questions, but they’re better answered after a cup of coffee and some breakfast.”

                Sakurai tried not to stare at Uta, but he could not help but notice, the vigor in which the boy was attacking his food. “This is very good, thank you…uh,” Uta didn’t know what to call the man. “Acchan is fine, Uta-kun.” Uta nodded, “thank you…Acchan.” The smile that Uta gave Sakurai was more than enough thanks, it made the boys eyes sparkle which was something Sakurai had never witness in the young man.

                “Well, I guess we should start. What questions do you have for me?” Pushing back from the table, Sakurai got up and offered a hand to Uta, then walked them into the living room, and flopped down on a large comfortable couch. “Where is Natsu?” was Uta’s obvious first question. “I don’t know, honestly. The shape he was in last night, he could be in the hospital, or on the run, either choice is good for me.” The word hospital puzzled Uta, not understanding how Natsu would end up there. “Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?” Sakurai explained the last few weeks, what he had heard and what he had seen. He apologized profusely for staring at Uta at Koichi and Tatsu’s wedding.

                “Your friend Aki came at me with fists bared…it was quite moving. He questioned me and what I had done to make you leave. It was all a mistake on my part.” Then Uta became quiet. “Do you remember the first night we met, at the Fetish? When Natsu brought you to see me? You were not as drugged as you were last night.” Uta shrugged, “I remember bits and pieces, nothing very solid.”

                “Let me just say; you have an amazing group of friends that care deeply for you. They were persistent, pushy and loud. Kyo is a demon, and is loyal to you, even outside of a relationship.” Uta stared at his hands. “I feel like a fucking idiot, I ignored everything they said about Natsu, how are they going to forgive me? I don’t deserve it” Sakurai reached over and lifted Uta’s chin, “You deserve it more than you think. What Natsu was doing to you was a crime, regardless of any contract you signed. He raped you, several times from what I understand, and he beat you until you were bloody. Those actions are illegal, and if you’d like I can assist you in pressing charges against him.”

                “Why am I with you? Do you own me now?” Sakurai’s face paled with that question. “Uta, nobody owns you, you have no contract, you are no longer collared. No, I do not own you. You were brought into my care, as I have had experience helping abused submissives in the past. And before you ask, yes, that included Taka, but that was an entirely different issue that had nothing to do with me abusing him.”

                “Can I stay here? Do I have to go back to the loft?” Uta said in a tiny voice. “You can stay as long as you like. You have your own room, your own bathroom, there are no sexual expectations or demands. You are just a young friend, having a rough go and I’m here to help you through that.” Uta smiled, making Sakurai’s heart skip, the boy was beautiful, in a dark vixen like way. But he could not look at Uta like that, it was wrong, so he shut those feelings down immediately.

                “Come, let me show you what we have prepared for you.” Leading Uta to his bedroom, Sakurai showed him what he had bought, with the help of Koichi and Taka, hoping the size was correct, and it was. “We didn’t buy shoes, we didn’t know your size, but you have slippers until we go out.” The bathroom was amazing, Uta couldn’t wait to take a long hot bath. “This is a bit delicate I’m afraid. But it has to be asked.” Sakurai took a breath. “Do you have any injuries that need to be treated? I know you had some toys in last night when we took you away, Koichi and Taka were very discrete. Do you think you need to see a doctor, or will it heal on its own?”

                Uta blushed. “I had a bad anal tear a few weeks ago, but it’s healed.” Sakurai sighed in relief. “Could you look and see if I have any scars on my back? I could never see, we had no mirrors.” Uta was worried, the marks left by Natsu were more than a physical scar. “Take your shirt off and I’ll look at your back, I know about that particular incident.” The first thing that concerned Sakurai, was how thin the boy was, at least 10kg underweight, but that was easily taken care of. “I’m going to touch your back,” Sakurai carefully checked Uta’s back, looking for anything out of the ordinary in addition to scars.

                “You have a few, but they seem like they could be treated with shea butter. When your friends come over, we can have them apply some if you’d like.” The skin felt so smooth, Sakurai wanted to linger, but knew otherwise. “I will leave you then, to your first hot bath. There are salts and oils in the cabinet next to the mirror. Enjoy yourself, Uta.”

                Uta came so close to falling asleep in the tub, with only the water going cold to wake him. Getting out of the tub, he looked at himself in the mirror, something he had not done in quite some time. He was horrified at his appearance, he was gaunt, his skin color was ashy, almost gray. His hair, that he had always taken such good care of, was dull and broken. “I need a haircut” he muttered. Moving to the bedroom, he found boxer shorts, another clean pair of sleep pants and a hoodie. Wanting to be as covered and as warm as possible, he didn’t hesitate before getting dressed.

                “You already look much better! The wonders of a long hot bath, always soothing and refreshing. What would you like to do now?” Uta blushed, which made Sakurai’s cock twinge just a tiny bit. “I know this sounds silly, but could I watch TV? I haven’t watched TV in months!” Sakurai got up, moved to another room, and came back with a large pillow and a soft blanket. “You can have an official veg-out day, you deserve it. Here are the remotes, I’ll be in my office, third door on the right, if you need anything.”

                Uta was in heaven. TV, a full meal, warm clean clothes, a hot bath, although the drugs were still coursing through his system, today he felt more clear headed than he’d had in months. But it was those same drugs, the valium, the oxycotin, that drew him back into a deep sleep, making it through about fifteen minutes of TV. When Sakurai checked on him an hour later, he found Uta snoring softly, his face peaceful. Sakurai couldn’t help himself, he reached down and brushed a stray strand of hair, letting his fingers ghost Uta’s cheek. “This boy…went through hell…no longer” he whispered. Leaving Uta to sleep on the couch, Sakurai started to prep for dinner, wanting to lavish as much good food and attention onto Uta as he could, since he knew the boy’s stay would be brief. But what if he wants to stay? Should I? What relationship can I have with a boy, 20 years my junior? He shook his head, trying to knock some sense into himself.

                He knew that Uta would want to move into his own flat again, work with his friends, and live a normal life of a 20-something young man. Being in a relationship with a 40-something old man, most definitely was not in Uta’s future. Still, Sakurai fantasized about the dream…content to have Uta near him for the near future, and with a tiny bit of hope, he smiled.

                A nicely cooked meal, more water for Uta to flush out the drugs, and a delicious chocolate dessert, all of which Uta raved about. “Half the time I didn’t get to eat, cold ramen bowls were the norm, or if he splurged, I’d get a konbini bento. But this is amazing! You’re a wonderful cook, Acchan!” Again, Sakurai’s heart skipped, his face grew warm…his smile beamed. “Thank you Uta,” he bowed his head. “I have always enjoyed cooking good food and pouring a good wine, mixed with wonderful guests, makes my life enjoyable.”

                The food was making Uta drowsy, as he was yawning every few minutes. “I think you need sleep, young man. You still have health issues…sleep will cure those in a few days.” Leading Uta down to the bedroom he had prepared for Uta, the boy hesitated. “What’s wrong, Uta?” Uta had tears welling, “Um, I know this isn’t right, but… can I sleep with you again tonight? Please!” Uta begged. Drawing the young man into an embrace, Sakurai kissed the top of Uta’s head. “Yes, you may. I know this is all overwhelming, you’ll settle in soon enough.”

                Uta got into Sakurai’s large king sized bed, and shrugged down into the blankets. Sakurai was in the bathroom, trying to breath and calm himself. This is going to be difficult. Walking back into the bedroom, he stops and gazes at Uta, who is already snoring. “Maybe it would work…” sliding in on the other side, Sakurai reaches for the light. Laying on his back, breathing slowly, he had started to doze, when a whimper from Uta brought his attention. Turning onto his side, he gently pulled the boy into his chest, whispering soothing sounds of comfort. Uta’s breath evened out quickly, but Sakurai did not release his hold on the boy. Not now, not yet.

~

                Sakurai made sure to be awake before Uta, he wanted no awkwardness between the two if Uta woke up and found Sakurai cuddling him. Gazing at the sleeping boy, Sakurai’s heart was conflicted; part of him wanted to keep Uta for himself, perhaps not as a submissive…but as a lover. The part of his heart that was sensible told him to get the boy healed and able to function, and send him on his way. He sighed, either option would be difficult at best.

                As Sakurai walked away from the bedroom, he heard Uta waking. He hesitated for a moment, should I go back in? No…just walk away. Making coffee, Sakurai busied himself in the kitchen waiting for Uta to come for breakfast. There were a few things they needed to discuss, things that really couldn’t wait. Sakurai worried about how to present these topics, without causing Uta any distress.

                “Good morning, Acchan.” Uta wandered into the kitchen, still wiping the sleep from his eyes. “Uta, did you sleep well?” Sakurai couldn’t look at Uta, he wanted to say so much more. “Yes…um, thank you for letting me sleep in your bed. It’s just been forever since I’ve slept alone.” Sakurai offered Uta some coffee, then sat down across from him. Was it too early to ask? I don’t want him to feel uneasy. “What would you like to do today? I need to go into the studio for a short time, I could call Taka and Koichi, they wanted to visit with you, once you were rested.” Uta looked down, “Were they mad at me? I mean…were they in any danger when you took me from Natsu?”

                “No, they were not angry with you, and there were quite a few people that assisted in taking you away from Natsu, friends and people that you don’t know. You made quite an impact with some of my friends, none of these people were ever angry with you, it was all Natsu.” This is what he needs to talk about. Before the discussion could continue, Sakurai’s phone buzzed and he excused himself with the call.

                “Yes, he is in fact doing well. He’s still a bit dazed, the drugs are taking longer than I had anticipated to leave his system. I do need to go into the studio. Yes, I think that would help. In an hour? That’s fine. Thank you.”

                Walking back into the kitchen area, Sakurai was grinning. “You’re going to have two visitors today; Taka and Koichi have offered to come stay while I am out. I know you’d probably be anxious if I left you alone. They will be here in about an hour, plenty of time for you to shower and try on some of the clothes we have for you.” Standing next to Uta, Sakurai made a move, not sure how Uta would respond, he hugged the boy and gave a chaste kiss on the forehead. Uta almost melted into him, “I’ll leave my cell number with you…do not hesitate to call me if you need to.” Patting Uta on the shoulder, Sakurai walked down to his bedroom.

                I’m an asshole, I should know better than to tempt myself, but it felt

~

                “UTA!” Koichi ran and tackled Uta on the couch, with Taka right behind him, creating a small pile of bodies. “You look SO much better!” Koichi was tearing up, not quite crying, but very close. “Thanks Kou, I feel a lot better.” Uta would not make eye contact with his friends. “Uta, what’s wrong?” Taka kneeled next to the couch, trying to get Uta to look at him. “I don’t know why you would still want to talk to me…I was awful to you both.”

                “Uta, we’re your friends, we care about you. We know that you did was not your fault. Yes, we tried to warn you, but love can do make you do stupid things. We never stopped caring about you, Uta. You’re important to us, we love you…well I don’t love you…but you know what I mean!” Taka smiled at his friend, trying to easy Uta’s pain. “Taka’s right, we do love you… some of your friends might actually love you, that way too.” Koichi teased.

                “Let’s forget all that crap…how do you like Acchan’s house? It’s huge, isn’t it?” The three friends spent the better part of two hours talking about the last few months. “Do you remember us being at the club with you?” Uta shook his head “You were both there? I don’t remember that! I’m so sorry!” Taka laughed, “You were soo out of it! You missed Natsu getting his ass kicked by Kyo! Sato and Tatsu had to pry him off, then Sakurai went after him.” Taka explained what Sakurai had done to Natsu, what he had said about him never being accepted in any BSDM community worldwide. “He has that much power? But he’s so nice!” Uta couldn’t believe that the gentle man who was taking care of him, did in fact, have that much power in the tiny communities of the scene.

                “Kyo beat up Natsu?” Uta seemed to shrink into himself, pulling away from his friends. “He’ll never forgive me, I was positively horrid to him, I remember telling him to fuck off, and leave me the fuck alone, that he had… that he had you, Kou.” Taka explained how Kyo had dealt with Uta’s rejection, “He never gave up…he never stopped trying to help you. I’m pretty sure he’s still in love with you, Uta.” With this revelation, Uta’s head snapped up “What? No…he couldn’t be!” Uta looked at Koichi, turning red, “But, I can’t…it’s not fair to anyone. I have to start over with everything, I have to fix all of it.”

                Taka touched Uta’s arm. “There’s nothing to fix, Uta. We want you back when you’re healthy, and if it takes a month or a year…that’s what it takes. Your job is waiting for you, when you’re ready. Aki, and Mao miss you, Tora can’t wait to meet the real you, not the drugged version. I think you’ll like Tora, he’s a lot of fun.” Uta leaned in to hug Taka, and Koichi hugging them both. “We’re just happy to have you here with us.”

                They talked of other things, then Koichi and Taka looked at each other and nodded. “Uta, how are you doing with Sakurai? Are you planning on staying with him for a while?” Taka was watching Uta’s face, ready to back off if needed. “Um…Acchan is nice to me. He’s a good cook…thanks for helping him buy me some clothes!” Do I tell them I’ve slept in his bed? “He said I could stay as long as I want. He also told me that there isn’t any…” He didn’t finish the sentence, he didn’t need to.

                “We should go…you’re looking like you need a nap. Thanks for letting us come see you, we’ve been worried about you for so long, and we’re so happy that you’re okay.” Koichi hugged his friend. “Call me if you need a break, lunch or whatever, promise?” Uta nodded. “Look at me, Uta.” Taka stood up, “I want you to accept whatever Acchan does for you, he’s a good man.  What happened between him and I? That was more me than him, don’t doubt anything he does for you, ne?” Taka pulled Uta in to a bear hug.

                Uta was tired, the visit with Koichi and Taka was almost over whelming considering what environment he had endured for so long. He considered taking a nap, but didn’t want to sleep in Sakurai’s bed, where he oddly felt the safest. Instead he got the large pillow and blanket, and decided to nap on the couch, curling up on his side, it took little time before he was sleeping soundly.

                Sakurai didn’t know what to expect when he got home, but was hoping for something positive for Uta’s sake. Walking into his living room, he found the young man sleeping on the couch, with a little frown upon his brow. Sakurai squatted next to the couch, reaching over to run his finger along the furrowed brow, wishing he could just wipe it away. Uta stirred, leaving Sakurai to stand quickly and move away, not wanting to be caught touching the boy.

                Hi, when did you get home?” Uta sat up, stretching his arms over his head, rubbing his face to wakefulness. “I walked in about five minutes ago, I hope I didn’t wake you?” Sakurai went to the kitchen and made himself a drink, coming back to sit on the couch with Uta. “How was your visit today with Taka and Koichi?” Uta got up and got a glass of water, “It was fine, informative at least. I don’t really remember the night you rescued me…bits and pieces. Taka and Kou helped fill in the blanks, which was most of the story.”

                Uta fell silent, “How long can I stay with you? I don’t have a job, so I can’t pay you rent.” His voice was barely above a whisper. “How long would you like to stay…with me?” Sakurai’s heart was beating so hard, he was sure Uta could hear it. “Could we agree on something that I could do in exchange for staying here?” Uta was shaking, just enough for Sakurai to see the quivering of the boy’s shoulders. “Uta, I will not force you to do anything against your will, that means anything. You do not have to do anything in exchange for staying here.”

                Uta raised his head, “I have to do something for you…you, rescued me from Natsu! I can’t stay for free…please, let me clean the house, cook for you or do laundry, please?” This boy…I can’t say no, I don’t want to say no…I want him… “If we can agree to a mutually beneficial arrangement, yes you may stay with me.” Sakurai smiled, he wanted to hug the boy, he wanted to… Stop thinking about it, I’m such a pervert. Uta was visibly relieved, “Thank you,” and without warning, Uta threw himself into Sakurai’s lap, throwing his arms around Sakurai’s neck tightly. “Thank you, Acchan” Uta whispered.

                “You’re more than welcome, Uta.” Sakurai wrapped his arms around the small man’s waist, welcoming the hug, he would have stayed like that for hours.  Uta pulled away first. “What can I do for you tomorrow?” Sakurai chuckled, “Let’s wait until you’re completely well, let’s say at least another two weeks? Then I’ll think of things for you to do, much like a personal assistant, ne?” Uta nodded, Sakurai reached out and caressed Uta’s cheek. “I’m just happy that you are safe now, you have no idea how upset I was when I was told that you were with Natsu…I was devastated.”

                “But I thought you didn’t know me, from before Natsu…did you?” Uta was a bit confused. “I knew your name and that you were connected to Koichi and Taka, and the HBG. But the first time I saw you was at the DCR party, do you remember?”  Uta nodded. “Then I was told that you were with Natsu, and I’ve known of him, for several years now. I was appalled that he was dating you, or whatever you want to call the relationship.” Sakurai’s demeanor changed when he spoke of Natsu.

                “Natsu has a history with the local BSDM community, and not a good one. The man is cruel and vicious, not to mention violent. He was repulsive as a submissive and a failed dominant. His temper worked against him in both instances. He was rejected by the majority of the community, and became a part of the fringe element.” Sakurai downed the rest of his drink before he continued to speak. “Natsu failed at being a submissive… he was rebellious, non-compliant and he had a sour mouth, nothing anyone wants in a pet.”

                Uta stared at Sakurai, eyes wide. If what he was telling Uta was true, then Uta was lucky to have lived through it. “As a dominant, and as you know, Natsu used some questionable training methods, mainly drugs and vicious beatings and rapes.” At the mention of rape, Uta shivered…there were too many of those that he remembered. “Uta, I don’t want to cause you any more distress. Let me say that once I found out you were with Natsu, I had to do something. Taka and Kyo are your saviors, they are the ones’ that continued to push, that came to me and asked for help. Those are the one’s to be thankful for, not me.”

                “But you took me into your home, without knowing anything about me…you’re letting me slee…” Uta blushed, “You’ve let me sleep in your bed, you’ve held me. Why would you do that for someone you don’t know? I’m not ungrateful, I’m just a bit confused. I like you, Acchan, you’re doing so much for me.”  Sakurai froze…Should I tell him…don’t lie! If I lie, it will come back on me!

                Sakurai took a breath, thinking about how to word what he wanted to say to Uta, not wanting the words to scare him. “Uta, I will not lie to you…ever. Yes, I’m letting you stay here…for two reasons. I will not see you without a place to live. Taka and Koichi both have husbands, and I know that you would feel in the way, but you would be welcomed to stay with them, but they have no experience with submissives that have been abused, and fortunately, I do. I have cared for boys that have been abused for a long time, years. I have a home, that I live in alone, and it’s a safe haven for those boys.”

                “The second reason is selfish, I admit. Uta, the simple answer is I find you very attractive, you’re simply exquisite, the moment I saw you at HBG, I was captivated. When you were brought to me at the Fetish Club, it took everything I had, not to snatch you away right then. I’m sorry I waited, I wish I wouldn’t have, but it was necessary in removing Natsu from the community.”

                Sakurai stopped…waiting for a reaction from Uta, but what he got was an almost blank stare. “Let me say this, please Uta. I would never in any circumstance, force myself or my attentions on you. I’m an old man with a slightly deviant mind. I have no interest in collaring or contracting you, that has never entered my mind, when I look at you” Stop, I’ve said enough, shit…he looks like he wants to run.

                Covering his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose, Sakurai groaned inside, believing that he had just chased away the loveliest boy he’d ever seen. “You don’t want to collar me? Why not?” Now this question was a bombshell. “Why not? Because I could not do that to you! You’ve been traumatized enough, I don’t see you as a submissive!” Sakurai stumbled over his words, he couldn’t believe what Uta was asking! “Then what do you see me as?” whispered Uta.

                “I uh…well, perhaps in time…no, I’m too old…” he didn’t know how to answer the boy. “Acchan, answer me, please. If you don’t see me as a submissive, then what?” Uta was a little more to the point. Rubbing his face and running his hands through his hair, he just said it. “A lover”

Chapter Text

                Uta and Sakurai sat and stared at each other, both stunned in silence, “A…lover?” Uta finally found his voice. “Yes, although it’s not…” Sakurai shook his head. “Let me make you dinner. It’s fine, Uta. I’ll have some work for you soon.” He got up and walked to the kitchen, cursing himself under his breath. “That was a fucking stupid thing to say” he muttered. Banging around pots and pans, Sakurai finally settled on a quick simple meal. Setting the table, he still couldn’t look at Uta, who was still sitting on the couch.

                “Please, come and eat, Uta.” Uta walked over to the table, his eyes looking at anything other than Sakurai. There was no dinner conversation, Uta eating quickly, and excusing himself. He left the table and went down the hall to his bedroom…not Sakurai’s, and closed the door. “Well, you fixed that right up didn’t you?” Sakurai muttered.

                Clearing the dinner dishes, Sakurai poured himself a large glass of wine, and went out to sit on his patio, finding solace in the dark, replaying everything that had happened since the first night he had seen Uta, at the DCR party. “What the hell am I doing?” he shook his head.

                Sakurai finally had to come in off the patio, as the night air held a chill. Closing up his house for the evening, he walked down the hall towards his bedroom, pausing at Uta’s door. There was no light from under the door, Uta most likely asleep, he sighed and went to his room.  Changing into sleep pants, and getting into bed, Sakurai missed the feel of the young man next to him, even as they’d only slept together twice, but his bed was much colder. Rolling over, he grabbed the pillow that Uta had used, and put it over his face, breathing in the lingering light scent of the boy.

                Curling up with the pillow to his chest, Sakurai felt like a teenager, love struck and acting dumb. As he drifted off, his thoughts were only of Uta, holding the boy close while they slept, and wondering how he could keep the beautiful boy in his life, without hurting him.

                Lovers? Why would he want me as a lover? He can have anyone, all he has to do is ask, and people fall all over themselves to do his bidding. Me? I don’t get it. If anything, he’d want to push me away, Natsu has ruined me for anyone. He must be feeling sorry for me, which I don’t need. Maybe I should leave, and not stay with him. I could talk to Taka…he might help me with a flat. Kyo…I know I could stay with him, but that would be leading him on. I can’t do that. I could try my parents…but that just sets me back further. Same with Aki, he’s in love with me, but that would be the same ending as with Kyo.

                Do I want to be his lover? He’s sexy as hell…but for how long would he keep me? A few months? A year? How does it work with someone who is a natural dominant…but he doesn’t want that, so how does it work as boyfriends? Not like I can top him…that would be weird. Fuck…why me?

~

                Neither men slept well and it was obvious the next morning, when they both showed up for breakfast, looking like hell. “Morning…” Uta shuffled in to the kitchen and sat at the small table. “Would you like coffee or tea?” “Tea please” Sakurai couldn’t help but notice that Uta looked ill, pale and sickly.
“Are you feeling ill, Uta? You look unwell.” Uta looked up at him, “You also look sick, you look like I feel.” Sakurai snorted, “Well, then we both look and feel like shit, and it’s my fault. I’m sorry, Uta. I should have stayed silent. Now our situation will be awkward, and you will leave.” Placing Uta’s tea in front of him, Sakurai sat down.

                “Do I have to leave? I will if you don’t want me here any longer.” Uta stared at his tea, slowly stirring the spoon. “No, I don’t want you to leave, on the contrary, I’d like you to stay. But only if you are comfortable being near me. I will not act on my confession, that’s not going to happen. I over stepped my boundaries, and said something that I should have kept to myself. I would really like you to stay, until you are well enough, and have recovered your life.”

                “Well…thank you.” Uta looked up at Sakurai and smiled, which of course went straight to Sakurai’s dick. This is going to be a challenge! I don’t know how much I can stand. “Let’s get you healthy first, what would you like for breakfast?” Making sure the slight tent in his sleep pants was not visible, he went into the kitchen, and grabbed his apron, hiding anything that may be showing. “Pancakes?” Uta suggested. “Great choice, give me fifteen minutes!”

                “Do you have plans for today?” Uta asked carefully. “No, I don’t, or I should say nothing that can’t be postponed until later, what did you have in mind?” Uta shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “I don’t like asking for anything, you’ve already given me so much, it’s just…I don’t have any shoes.” Uta giggled, something else that sent a small charge right to Sakurai’s groin. “Then we need to go out and get you some, are you okay with walking in slippers? Or would you like me to call Taka or Kou? I can just buy you some, I just need your size.” Now Uta laughed, no more giggles, this was a genuine laugh. “Acchan, slow down! I just need a pair of shoes, I’m not asking for a car!”

                Sakurai grinned, “Okay, so I’m a little nervous… cut an old man some slack!” The tension that was felt just moments before, had melted away.  “I can just walk in my slippers, I’d like to go shopping with you, if I could please.” “Okay, then it’s a date” Sakurai grimaced at his choice of words. “Sorry…I don’t mean a date date…I mean… well a date would be nice, but that’s not…” Uta covered his mouth and giggled again. “You’re just digging yourself deeper, Acchan. Stop while you can.” Then Uta winked, and threw a napkin at the older man.

~

                The shopping trip was just shy of a real date, at least in Uta’s mind. Acchan was gracious, opening doors, listening to what Uta had to say, his opinions. Shopping for the shoes, Acchan attempted to buy the most expensive, arguing that they were better quality, and Uta telling him, it wasn’t needed, and they had finally compromised with a pair of shoes in the mid-price range. Sakurai bought them lunch at a very swanky izakaya, which left Uta feeling a little out of place, but the owners of the restaurant were long time friends of Sakurai, and Uta was made to feel very welcomed, almost as if he were Sakurai’s lover. There were some shy smiles and winks traded between the owner, his staff and Sakurai, which left Uta blushing, and elbowing Sakurai as they left. “They thought I was your boyfriend! Why didn’t you tell them that I wasn’t?”

                “Do you care what they thought? If they wanted to believe that I was lucky enough to have you as my boyfriend, who am I to tell them otherwise, ne?” Uta gaped at Sakurai, but had no argument to fall back on, choosing to stay quiet. The drive back to Sakurai’s was a little tense, Acchan sensing that he may have over stepped his boundaries yet again. Entering the house, Uta took his packages and went to his bedroom, leaving Sakurai sitting on the couch, head back and wondering how he was going to fix this mess.

                “Acchan?” Uta was standing in front of him. “I’m sorry about today, I shouldn’t have complained about the whole boyfriend thing.” Sakurai shook his head, “No, it’s not your fault, I should have made it clear that you are just a young friend, not my lover. I’m sorry Uta.” Sitting on the couch next to Sakurai, Uta had tears running down his cheeks, he leaned into the older man, who wrapped his arm around the boy. “I don’t know how to behave, all I’ve known is do what I’m told. Every time I do something, I feel like it has to be approved, or I’ll be punished.”

                Resting his cheek on Uta’s head, Sakurai tried to comfort the boy. “I know it’s hard to come back to the regular world after being so caged, made to forget yourself, and that your feelings don’t matter. That’s why I am so committed to helping you regain your own life Uta, your feelings matter a great deal to me, and to your friends, we are here to support you.”  Sakurai pressed his lips to Uta’s head, in a lingering kiss.

                Uta turned his face up, looking at Acchan, “Thank you,” he whispered. The words had hardly left his lips, when Acchan’s lips were on his. Acchan cupped Uta’s chin, running his thumb over the tears on the boy’s face.  “Uta…” he whispered, sliding his tongue across Uta’s lower lip, Uta let a tiny moan escape. “I promised I wouldn’t do this…yet here I am, kissing you…” Acchan whispered. Placing one more chaste kiss, Acchan pulled away.  “I’m sorry Uta, I refuse to take advantage of a time in your life when you’re the most vulnerable. I want this, Uta…so much do I want this, but it’s not time, not yet.” Leaning his head on Acchan’s shoulder again, Uta nodded. “I understand, but you do want it?” Acchan chuckled, “Yes baby… in the worst way possible, but I’m going to wait, we’re going to wait.”

~

                “He still was a little woozy from the drugs. He’s also terribly embarrassed and ashamed of himself, he doesn’t seem to understand that we know it wasn’t his fault.” Taka was sitting with Kyo and Aki at a table at the HBG. “But, we know it wasn’t his fault!” Aki whined. Kyo shook his head, “He doesn’t understand that yet, he’s still in the submissive mode…anything that goes wrong is his fault, that’s been drilled into his mind over the last few months. I’m sure anything he did that upset Natsu, he was told it was his fault.”

                Kyo looked at Taka, “Is he doing well with Sakurai?” Taka knew what Kyo was asking, without saying the words. “Yes, Sakurai has given him his own bedroom and bathroom, he’s safe Kyo.” Kyo nodded his head. “Do you think he’d agree to see me? Maybe I could go over and visit? Has he asked to see me yet?”

                “I think he’s still processing everything, he hasn’t asked to see anyone yet. Kou and I called and Sakurai had to go into the studio, we just offered to sit with Uta while he was gone. I’m sure if you call Sakurai, you could arrange a good day to see Uta.”

                Taka had also been watching Aki, trying to gage his reactions, but Aki was hiding his feelings. “Will Uta come back to work? I mean at some point he’s going to have to move out of Sakurai’s, he’s going to need to work” Aki didn’t seem very enthusiastic in his questioning, which could be related to his new feelings for Tora. “I told Uta that his job is waiting for him when he’s ready. He said he was only going to live with Sakurai until he could save up enough money for his own flat.” Aki seemed satisfied with the answer, but there was still something lingering, that he didn’t reveal.

 

                                “I’d like to come and visit Uta if it’s possible. Whenever fits your schedule. That’s fine. Thank you, Sakurai”

               

                “Do you want me to stay home? If you’re uncomfortable being alone with Kyo, I can stay.” Sakurai had asked Uta if Kyo could visit, and while Uta agreed, he was a little uneasy. “If you could be home, I’d appreciate it. Maybe if you’re in your office? It’s not that I don’t trust Kyo, I just don’t want to hurt him.” Acchan hugged Uta, “Anything you want. I’ll just stay in my office, unless you call for me.”

                “You look good, brighter.” They  were sitting on the couch in awkward silence. Kyo finally decided it was time. “I want to explain something to you. About the way I am…the way I treated you and Koichi.” Kyo and Uta didn’t know that Sakurai was listening from his office, he was intrigued by what Kyo might have to say.

                “I like to rescue people, especially people that I have dated before, like you and Koichi. Although to be honest, I fell in love, or what I thought was love, with Koichi the night I met him. But it wasn’t love, it was the idea, the infatuation and possibly the fact that I knew I had no chance with him, he loved Tatsuro and it was a done deal.” Uta was listening intently, “So what about me?” he asked quietly. “I think that when I was with you, I was in love with the idea of being in love…does that make sense?” Uta cocked his head, “No…not really.”

                “Koichi and Tatsu, Sato and Taka, even Ruki and Kanon…everyone was ‘in love’ and I was lonely. I did…I do, care a great deal for you, Uta. I don’t know if it was love or not, maybe I don’t truly know how to love someone.” Uta had his knees pulled up, resting his chin on them, “I think I understand that, maybe I didn’t then. You did tell me you loved me, rather quickly. But then once Kou was having problems, you just faded away, even before he and Tatsu split up, I think that’s what hurt the most, you just starting to pull away.”

                “I never wanted to hurt you, and it kills me that I might be the reason for you and Natsu. Please tell me I wasn’t…that you didn’t rebound with him.” Uta reached across the couch, taking Kyo’s hand, “You were the reason, BUT! You were not the reason I let him abuse me Kyo, that was no one’s fault but mine. You told me, Kou, Taka, Aki…they all told me and I was an idiot not to listen to anyone, that Natsu was hurting me.  When we were together, the teasing that I endured, from everyone who couldn’t understand why I liked you, you don’t know how tired I got of defending our relationship to everyone.”

                 “When people started telling me that Natsu was an asshole, my stubborn, pigheaded mind and ego, took it as a challenge, to stick it out with someone that nobody else would accept. So, no, you were not the reason that Natsu abused me, it was not a rebound in that sense. It was my stupidity and stubbornness, my and the belief that I was in control, that it was a mutual agreement with Natsu, that’s was all my own fault.”

                “What’s next for you? Going back to the HBG I hope?” Looking up at Uta, he saw a different person than the one they rescued, this version of Uta was stronger. “That’s my plan, at least right now. I have to get back to work, although I’m earning my keep here, I’m sort of a personal assistant to Acc…Sakurai.” Uta stammered. “I do housework, and basic home stuff, there’s nothing going on between us, I’m just staying here until I can go back to work.” He was lying to Kyo… “If you ever need anything, please just call me. I still care about you, I want you happy above all else.” Kyo got up and kissed Uta on the cheek, hugged him and said goodbye.

                Uta stayed on the couch, knees up with his face buried in them. He didn’t hear Acchan walk in. “I can tell that was a difficult decision for you to make, Uta.”  Looking up, Uta smiled, “Not really, we don’t have anything between us…not just yet. If we do, I’ll never hide it, unless you and I agree. I don’t want to be the secret in your life. I don’t want you to be mine. If we end up having something, it has to be equal Acchan, or I can’t do it.”

                Sitting on the edge of the couch, Acchan looked at the dark and beautiful boy sitting before him. He slowly leaned in and kissed Uta, softly biting the boy’s lower lip. “I will never hide how I feel about you, ever. My biggest fear is that I’m too old for you, and that you deserve someone younger, and that I’ll end up loving you, and you’ll leave, but I would never hold you hostage with my love.” Uta giggled, totally breaking the serious mood, “You’re not too old for me, Acchan. But I may be too young for you…you might have a heart attack, if we have sex!”

                The furrowed brow and major frown made Uta’s heart stop…did he just push this too far? Shit! “Um…I’m sorry…I didn’t mean…” Uta lowered his eyes, almost whispering. He’s a dominant! I just laughed at him. He’s going to punish me! Acchan sensed the boy’s distress immediately. “Uta, look at me.” He lifted Uta’s chin, “If I have a heart attack while I’m fucking you…I’ll die a very happy man.”

Chapter Text

                “You need to do it soon, Tora. Before Uta gets back, that’s your best chance. If Uta comes back and you’ve said nothing? You’ve probably lost your only chance. Tell him how you feel!” Mao had his hands on his hips, scolding Tora. “But, what if…what if he doesn’t …like me the same way?” Hands in his pockets, kicking at the floor, Tora worried about confessing to Aki. He knew that if didn’t say anything and Uta came back…he just knew Aki would reject him, and he wasn’t sure he could deal with that and continue to work at the HBG.

                “When and where though? I can’t walk up to him here and say ‘hey Aki, I like you, let’s fuck’” Mao giggled, “I’d pay to see you say that to him, Tora, I’d pay a lot!” That got Tora to smile, which Mao was thankful for. The boy had been pining away over Aki almost since the first day he had joined the HBG crew, although he knew that Aki had feelings for Uta.

                “Fine…I’ll do it tonight, after work. If this backfires or goes really wrong, Mao…I’m coming after you!” Tora wiggled his eyebrows. “I’m so not your type, Tora. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to date me!” This caught Tora’s attention, “Um, why not? Are you like a psycho path boyfriend?” Mao turned his back, “No, I’m a flipping diva bitch, and I expect to be spoiled, properly. Not some stupid plushie from a claw game. I’m talking flowers, jewelry and nice dinners. That’s why I’m usually single.”  

                Tora went over and hugged the smaller man from behind. “You’ll find him…you’re way too nice and super cute…some guy will come and snatch you up!” Mao twisted around and hugged Tora. “Thank you, I think you’ll be surprised about Aki, just a gut feeling.”  

                “He should be here soon, I just hope he’s not all stressed out over Uta. Do you think Uta is like, with Sakurai?” Tora didn’t know about the Taka incident, or any of Sakurai’s other misdeeds in the last eighteen months. “I don’t think so…Taka said that he’s just living there, he has his own room and bathroom, he does like odd jobs for Sakurai. Honestly? I’d just damn near do anything Sakurai Atsushi told me to do!” Mao giggled. “The man is a walking sex bomb!”

                “Mao! I told you to stop bragging about me!” Aki had just walked in when he caught the comment about Sakurai. “You wish, Aki!” Aki was smiling. “Talking about Sakurai again, Mao? You should just go throw yourself at his feet, and beg.”

                “Don’t give me any ideas, Aki. I’m not beyond doing something like that.” The teasing between the three friends continued until Mao was done with his shift. “Text me tonight, after you’ve talked, good or bad, ok?” Mao cornered Tora in the supply room. “Yah, I will. Let’s hope it’s good news.”

                Clock watching, the night dragged on for Tora. All he wanted to do is talk to Aki, he wanted to get it done with, good or bad. With an hour to go, Tora had to start the process. “Hey Aki? Do you have like fifteen minutes after we close to talk to me?” Tora’s face was flushed. “Sure, not a problem.” Tora let out a breath that he didn’t know he was holding. Now he was faced with the bigger problem; how to tell Aki, and without breaking down if he was rejected.

~

                Tora and Aki were just outside the door of the HBG, Tora leaning against the brick wall, and Aki, just off to the side. “So, what did you need to talk to me about?” Aki was shuffling his feet. Tora took a breath, and dived in;

“How do you feel about Uta?” Tora’s voice was shaking.

“I care about him, but when I confessed he shut me down, told me it was too little too late.” Aki shoved his hands in his front pockets, locking his elbows in place, his shoulders in his ears.

“Are you going to try again when he comes back to work?” Tora was looking anywhere, other than at Aki.

“Why would I? I don’t need to be told twice, that would be embarrassing for both of us.”

Tora was shaking a bit, a tear escaping the pressure of keeping them locked into Tora’s eyes.

“Tora, what’s wrong are you okay?” Aki was looking at Tora, the other boy was blushing.

“No, I’m scared” mumbled Tora.

“Of what?” Aki’s brain clicked

“Rejection”

“By who?” Aki knew the answer.

“You, because here’s the thing. I like you, a lot. But I know how you feel about Uta.” Tora was now looking Aki in the eyes.

“But Uta doesn’t feel the same way about me.” It was becoming clear to Aki, what Tora was trying to say.

“But you still care, I wouldn’t want to come between you,” Tora was fighting a loosing battle with his tears, that now flowed freely down his cheeks.


                “Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe I’ve given up, I can’t be in a one-sided relationship.” Aki felt his cheeks flushing.

“What about a two-sided relationship… with me?” This is it…he’s going to say no.

Aki walked forward, and leaned into Tora, their hips touching, Aki placing his forehead against Tora’s.

Tora’s breath is shallow, his cock twinging because Aki is so close, touching Tora.

Aki places his hands, on Tora’s hips, pulling him closer. Looking Tora in the eyes, Aki runs his tongue over Tora’s lips, sliding the tip over his bottom lip. Tora sighs, a huge wave of tension disappears, as Aki’s tongue searches for his. Tora softly moans in Aki’s mouth, and again as Aki puts his hands in Tora’s back pockets, pulling Tora’s hips tightly against his.

Breaking the kiss, and rubbing Tora’s nose with his, Aki looks at Tora, with a smile. “I think a two-sided relationship with you would be very nice.” Tora slid a hand up Aki’s back, cupping the back of Aki’s head, he pulled the man closer. “Yes, it will be” Tora whispers, as the kissing resumed.

 

It didn’t go well...I’m sorry.”

“Why not? It went badly?”

“No, it was perfect!”

Mao threw his phone in the air and danced around his room.

~

               

                “Can I come in here and clean when you’re finished? This is the last room, but I don’t want to bother you.” Uta had started paying his way by cleaning Sakurai’s house, which Sakurai didn’t really want him doing. “Yes, you can come in right now. I’m done for the day. But you really don’t have…” Uta glared at the man. “I do have to, and we’ve already had this same discussion today and yesterday, I really don’t want to have it again tomorrow.”

                There had been some terse language between the two men, regarding Uta doing house cleaning in lieu of paying rent to Sakurai. Uta felt that he needed to do something in payment for being allowed to live with Sakurai. “Uta, you’re my guest, not my servant, and not my submissive.” Uta responded by walking into the kitchen, getting some cleaning supplies, and walking by Sakurai, sticking his tongue out. “No, I’m not your servant, nor your submissive, but I’m also not a free-loader. If you want to keep me as a lover, then just hush your face, and let me do this.”

                “Hush my face? What does that even mean?” chuckled Sakurai. “It means be quiet and let me work.” Uta turned his back and walked down to the bedrooms. The other issue Sakurai had with Uta cleaning is what the boy was wearing. It was completely distracting…to the point of Sakurai’s pants becoming a little snug in the crotch. Uta was cleaning the house, wearing shorts…not just any shorts, but tiny shorts, and a tank top. Anytime Sakurai looked at Uta, the boy was bending over, with his cute tiny ass wiggling around.

                And it wasn’t just cleaning. Uta wearing pajamas, eating ice cream, sleeping, laughing, just out of the shower… pretty much anything Uta did, left Sakurai in a constant state of arousal, walking around with a half hard cock. Sakurai had taken to jerking off frequently at night, with plenty of visions of Uta, pushing him over the edge.

                Uta had caught Sakurai watching him, had heard the older man softly groaning at times and Uta definitely knew that Sakurai was jerking off at night. Acchan had kept his word, and not forced himself on Uta, which at times, Uta wished he would have. It was terribly antsy for Uta, being around someone like Acchan, and not touching or being touched.

                On one of those antsy days, Uta couldn’t help himself, and he purposely tried to entice Acchan into a little groping session. He had worn his shortest shorts, decided on no shirt as it was rather warm in the house. One of the walls in Acchan’s house had multiple large windows, that faced the living room. Acchan was sitting on the couch with his tablet, and Uta was cleaning the windows outside.

                Stretching, leaning his hips and rubbing his crotch against the windows as he reached to try to get the window’s clean. He dropped a rag, and bent over from the waist, with his ass against the windows. Uta tried everything he could to entice Acchan into action. While he was cleaning, Uta hadn’t noticed that Acchan was no longer sitting on the couch. Curious, Uta went back into the house, looking for Sakurai. Then he heard it. Sakurai in his bedroom, obviously jerking off…Uta listened outside the door, the moans and the words…Uta’s name being called out. Uta’s hand dropped to the front of his shorts, and stroked his already half hard dick. “Fuck…” he whispered to himself.

                Uta heard Acchan’s climax, and darted off to his own room, not wanting to get caught. He lay on his bed, hand shoved down the front of his shorts, stroking his stiffening length, with visions of Acchan doing the same, it wasn’t but mere minutes before Uta own orgasm, had him calling out Acchan’s name. Uta waited until he heard Sakurai move back to the front of the house, before he went into his bathroom and cleaned up. He then walked into the living room, nonchalantly as if he had just been in his bathroom.

                “All done for today?” Acchan asked, not looking up from his tablet. “Yes, just finished cleaning up.” Uta sat at the small kitchen table, drinking a glass of water. “Should I make us something for dinner tonight?” Acchan rose from the couch, and came to the kitchen, standing behind Uta. Leaning over, he licked Uta’s ear, causing the boy to shiver. “Do you feel comfortable enough to go out to eat?” Uta stopped breathing, he tensed up and Acchan felt it right away.

                “That’s enough of an answer for me. What shall we make then?” Acchan patted Uta on the shoulder and walked into the kitchen opening the big refrigerator, peering in to see what they had for ingredients. Uta still hadn’t said a word, and when Acchan turned back to look at the boy, he didn’t like what he saw, Uta was silently crying.

                “Baby, why are you crying? I’m sorry about asking you to go out. It’s still too soon. We can make dinner or I can order delivery, what ever you’d like to do.” Acchan had kneeled next to Uta and had his hand covering the boy’s hands. “Uta, we don’t need to do anything. We can just stay in, have a movie night and eat junk food, ne?”

                Uta didn’t respond, he just got up and walked to his room, shutting the door, leaving a very confused Sakurai at the table. “What the hell did I say this time?” Leaning on his elbows, and putting his face in his hands, Sakurai once again tried to figure out what had upset Uta. Getting up, he went to Uta’s bedroom.

                “Uta?” Acchan knocked on Uta’s door, pushing it open just a crack, he saw Uta sitting on his bed, looking confused. “Uta…baby? Talk to me.” Walking in, Sakurai set on the edge of the bed, not touching or crowding the young man. “I’m not sure what just happened…can you tell me please?” Uta turned and looked at the man who was helping him recover his life…and he just fucked it all up again.

                “I don’t think you want to be seen with me in public, Acchan. It’s…I’m not…no, you don’t.” Uta stammered. “Why not?” Sakurai gently asked. “I’m not anyone that should be with you, it’s not right. You need to be with special people…people that are important…” Uta was surprisingly calm, he wasn’t crying, but the dead look in his eyes had returned and that frightened Sakurai. Uta’s demeanor, his whole presence had turned back to the drugged boy at the Fetish Club.

                The steps that had moved Uta forward in his recovery, had just fall out from underneath him, leaving the boy, in the almost catatonic state that Sakurai had seen only two weeks prior. “Uta, look at me. “You are important…to me and to other people. You are worth being seen in public with me. What you are not, is a slave to Natsu and his abuse, that portion of your life is over. I now see that it was much too early to ask you out to dinner. We need to back up and start again, with simple things, like perhaps having your friends visit you here, at our home.”

                Uta blinked at the words ‘our home’, stunned at what he just heard. “Our home?” Sakurai smiled softly, “Yes, our home, for however long that may be.” Uta laid back on the bed, curled up in a ball, just staring at the wall. “Our home?” he whispered. Sakurai moved to the other side of the bed, lying down next to Uta, and gently sliding his arm around the boy’s waist. He waited a few seconds before pulling Uta to his chest, nuzzling his hair and neck.

                “Uta, do you want to go to sleep? We could take a nap, and have a late dinner, would you like that?” Sakurai felt Uta nod. Getting up, Sakurai took a blanket from a chair, slid back into place, spooning Uta, covering them both. Sakurai had had a false sense of the amount of recovery that Uta was having, and stupidly and selfishly believed that Uta had progressed further, then he actually had. Now Uta was paying the price of Sakurai’s selfishness, his desire to become more than just the man who had taken him from an abusive relationship, and become the lover he hoped Uta would want.

Chapter Text

                Kyo laid in bed, reluctant to get up and greet another day…it just seemed pointless somehow. Koichi was with Tatsu happily married…again. Uta was safe with Sakurai, hopefully healing physically and mentally. There he was, lying in bed alone. Rolling over, Kyo decided today wasn’t worth getting up for. Diru wasn’t doing anything this week, the short tour was next month, he had no reason to get out of bed. None.

~

                Tora couldn’t stop smiling, and giggling, and just feeling silly. Aki. Aki. Aki. He laughed, and rolled over in bed. Aki had accepted his confession, with open arms and soft warm lips. They had spent hours on the phone that night after they had left the HBG, talking and learning about each other, outside what they had at work. Tora always had a small worry wart in the dark recesses of his brain, and that wart’s name was Uta, but he was fairly certain, that the wart would not worm its way to the surface. Aki had accepted the rejection of Uta, and even now with Uta being freed from Natsu’s abuse, he knew that the man didn’t love Aki, would never love Aki. Tora would. Tora would be the one to make Aki smile, and laugh and act like a dork, Tora was Aki’s new line to happiness. Tora giggled like a girl and rolled over, hiding his face in his pillow.

~

                “I don’t want to get up today…can’t we have pajama day please?” Koichi whined as his husband got up and dragged the blankets off the bed. “No, you have shit to do, I have shit to do, so no pajama day.” Tatsu stood at the foot of the bed, glaring at his tiny husband. “Get your ass out of bed now, or I’m just going to throw you out.” Kou flipped a middle finger at his husband. “I dare you!” he huffed. Tatsu shook his head, bent down and grabbed the bottom of the mattress, and rolled it and Kou onto the floor, amidst Koichi’s screaming. “You’re an asshole, Tatsu!” Kou yelled. “No, I told you I was going to do it, not my fault you’re now on the floor.” Koichi looked for something to throw at Tatsu, finding a bottle of lube under the night stand. “Are you propositioning me?” Tatsu raised an eyebrow in question. “Maybe, but maybe I just want you to take this lube and go jerk off, because you’re getting nothing from me for at least a week!” Koichi got up and stormed off to the bathroom, slamming and locking the door. “Why me?” sighed Tatsu.

~

                “EDDY!” Sato yelled at the cat, who had gotten on the kitchen counter and had stolen a piece of cinnamon toast. “TAKA! Get your damned cat out of my kitchen!” Taka walked into the kitchen. “My cat? Uh, I’m sorry, Eddy is your cat, not mine.” Taka laughed. “Muzzie and Fozzie are good boys…” Just as Taka said that… a flash of gray, then of white whizzed past him down the hall. “Uh, Taka YOUR cat has the toilet paper…AGAIN” Now it was Sato’s turn to laugh. The twins had been caught several times, tearing the toilet paper off the roll and running through the house…leaving bits of white all everywhere. “Your turn to clean it up, Taka”

~

                Uta opened his eyes, they felt gritty from too much sleep. He could feel Acchan still spooned against his back, the man’s arm around Uta’s waist. They had taken a nap, but slept through the night, and as a result, never got up and had that late-night dinner. Now Uta was still and uncomfortable, but not wanting to move. He had made a mistake last night, he shut down completely when Acchan had asked him if he had wanted to go out to dinner. The large hand of Acchan tightened as Uta ran his fingers over it. “Uta, good morning.” Acchan whispered against the boy’s neck. “Would you like coffee or tea?” Uta didn’t really want to move, the feeling of being held tenderly was still new, he didn’t want it to end…but there was that pressing need of using the bathroom that finally forced both men to move. “Coffee I think, please.” Acchan kissed the nape of Uta’s neck, and slid out of bed. “Take your time getting up, I’ll have it ready in a few minutes.” Uta smiled, he knew that the morning’s topic would consist of what had happened last night. Uta also knew that Acchan had not upset Uta purposely, and Uta really should apologize for freaking out. He just still wasn’t sure how to act around the older man. Teasing Acchan one minute, and trying to push away the next, Uta was sure he was sending confusing signals to the man. He needed to get his shit together, he needed to toughen up, if he didn’t and he kept being weak, crying at every little thing, Acchan would eventually become tired of the boy and ask him to leave.

                They needed to talk, seriously about moving forward with whatever their relationship was going to be. Uta was still unsure of himself, he had such low self-esteem after months of being abused by Natsu, who tied Uta’s self-worth to his own, always reminding Uta that the boy was nothing without him. Now, Natsu was gone, Uta was free of the abusive violent man, but now was ironically in a budding relationship with someone even more powerful than Natsu. But there was a glaring difference, Acchan would never physically nor emotionally abuse Uta, ever, and had never doubted that from the start, with Taka, Koichi and Kyo assuring him of that.

                The older man had said he wanted Uta as a lover and not as a submissive, which still baffled Uta. As a former submissive, Uta was unsure how their relationship, especially a sexual relationship would work. It wasn’t like either could turn off their sexual proclivities, Uta couldn’t suddenly top Acchan, any more than Acchan could bottom with Uta. That mental vision caused Uta to giggle. “Me fucking Acchan? Yah! Right.”

                “What are you laughing about? You have a very devilish grin right now… should I even be asking?” Acchan had come back to the bedroom to find Uta, “No, you don’t want to know, at least not yet.” Uta blushed. “Your coffee is ready” the older man smiled. “I’ll be there in a moment.” Uta used the bathroom, washed his face and went to the kitchen. He knew the conversation had to happen, but he wanted to at least have coffee first.

 

                Uta and Acchan watched each other over their coffee cups, both men trying to get a feel of when the conversation should start, and who would start it first. Uta was nervous, wondering if his hot and cold moods would be held against him, and Acchan would not want to put in much effort in having a relationship with the boy. “Uta…we should talk,” Acchan couldn’t bear to keep the boy in any more suspense. “What happened last night, was my fault entirely. I pushed you further than you were comfortable with and I apologize for that, sincerely.”

                Uta shook his head, “I should be the one apologizing, I freaked out over nothing,” He was embarrassed as hell over it. “Okay, then we’ll both be at fault, that way we can move past all the silly apologizing for something so minor.” The older man smiled at Uta, who returned it. “Now we have to figure out what we have…what we both want out of this relationship.” Uta returned to being nervous, not sure how to respond. “I’ll be blunt, I want you as a lover. Not a submissive, not collared or contracted. My fears are real to me, that I’m just too old for you, you’re a young man who should be living a young man’s life.” Acchan’s heart was heavy.

                “First off, you’re not too old for me, secondly, while I’ m too young for you, I need stability, I need kindness and I need patience, none of which I had even before Natsu.” Uta felt the need to bare his soul, to make sure that whatever happened next in his life, was positive and happy. He wanted to move forward, and have no doubts about returning to his past.

                “Are we going to argue the ‘too old, too young’ points all day? Or can we agree we both have reservations about our ages and how things will play out?” Acchan was teasing Uta, but it was an honest fear for him. Uta giggled, “I say we meet in the middle, ne?” The giggle, the bright beautiful sound that Acchan could never get enough of, was the catcher of his heart. “Alright, in the middle…now we have to be honest with each other, about our expectations that we have.”

                “I have to ask…it’s bothered me a little ever since you said you wanted me as a lover,” Uta was staring at his coffee cup, blushing a crimson red. “How does…our um…sexual relationship work?” Acchan was puzzled, not seeing the problem. “I’m not sure I understand what you mean, Uta.” Looking up at the older man, Uta squirmed in his seat. “I’m a submissive, you’re a dominant. How do we go from that that type of a relationship to just lovers? Have you ever had a relationship like that before?”

                “Legitimate question, yes I have had relationships that were ‘normal’, though it has been quite some time. I think that this can only be answered when we get to that point, I don’t have a true answer. How would you like to handle it?” Turning the question back on Uta, Acchan had hoped for some hints, “I don’t even know. I’ve always been like this, had others take care of me. Kyo did it, Natsu had been that way in the very beginning.”

                “I suppose we’ll just have to wait until we get there…to see how it works.” Acchan didn’t want to pressure Uta any more than he felt he already had. “Uta, do you want to have our relationship public knowledge? We don’t have to…we can stay as private as you like.” Sakurai Atsushi did not care if the general public knew of his romances, as the specifics were usually wrong. In many instances the man had been linked to a famous actress or other musician, when in fact he didn’t know the other person.

                “I have no problem, I just don’t want to be your dirty secret.” Uta wouldn’t look at the other man. “I would never do that, Uta. I want you to know that. If we’re in a relationship, we’re both in the open about it.” Although the boy was still looking at his hands, Acchan saw a smile spread across the boy’s face. Acchan got up and walked to the boy, cupping Uta’s face, the older man kissed his boy, leaving Uta breathless. “I want to be the one that makes you happy, I will shower you with love and attention, and make you cry out in pleasure, calling my name.” Wrapping his arms around Uta, Acchan lifted the boy effortlessly, hugging him tightly to his body.

~

                “Tora, um…are you okay? You seem a little distracted today.” Taka asked, even with the knowledge of the budding romance between Tora and Aki. “I’m a little tired, that’s all.” Tora was wearing a grin that lit up like a birthday cake. “I’m going to guess that everything is going well? Between you and Aki?” Tora nodded, blushing furiously. “Yah, everything is going great, Taka. Thanks for all your help and support.” Taka waved Tora off to start opening the HBG, satisfied in the knowledge that some of his friends and co-workers were happy.

                Koichi walked into the HBG, waved to Taka and went in search of Tora. “Hey Tora! So! Tell me about Aki…” Koichi wiggled his eyebrows, wanting to dish the dirt on the latest HBG romance. Tora flushed with embarrassment. “Hi Kou, um everything’s great. We haven’t gone on an official date yet, but we’re planning something soon.” Koichi was a little let down, he was expecting more gossip, but didn’t push the issue, instead walking back to the office. “Taka, what’s the dirt on Aki and Tora? I couldn’t get anything out of him!” Taka shook his head, “Really Kou? Leave the kid alone, it’s all new to him. Give them time to know each other before you go digging for juicy tidbits.” Kou huffed, “Fine, you’re no fun either.” Now that Uta had been taken from Natsu, life had settled down to the normal roar, everyone involved happy to breath a little easier. Uta was with Sakurai, Sato and Taka had resolved their issues, Koichi and Tatsu happily married again. Tora and Aki were starting something new, and Mao was his bouncy overly happy self. There was a much-needed collective sigh of relief.

                The only one that wasn’t happy, was Kyo, although no one would ever be able to get him to admit that. Taka worried a bit about the small man, loosing Koichi and Uta, he was alone once again. Kyo never seemed to be able to keep a boyfriend for long, and that bothered Taka a great deal. “No one to push at him…” he muttered. “Who needs to be pushed, Taka?” Mao had stuck his head in the door of the office, just catching those last muttered words. “Oh, it’s nothing. What did you need?” Mao laughed, “Money would be nice.” Taka frowned, “What?” Mao heaved a greatly over exaggerated sigh. “The registers, Taka! We don’t have cash draws yet and we open in 5 minutes. What the hell did you think I was talking about?” Taka had to laugh at himself, “Yah, okay…give me a few minutes.” Mao walked away shaking his head, but also wondering who needed to be pushed.

                “Hi! Uta it’s Taka. Doing well…how about you? Nice…I’m sure it’s wonderful. Well, I wanted to ask about you coming back to work, if you have a date in mind. No…there’s no hurry, but I know you’d like to come back, money is always an issue. Okay…talk with him and let me know. Ja ne.”

 

~

                “It was Taka, he wanted to know when I’m going to come back to work.” Uta was uneasy, but not sure why. “Do you want to go back to work, Uta? You don’t have to if you don’t wish.” Acchan did not really want Uta to work, although he would never tell the young man not to. “I don’t know, I need to work, I need my own flat…but can I stay here until I save enough money?” They had been sitting on the couch, lazing about watching TV, with Uta snuggled up against Acchan. “You can stay here as long as you like, I’ll never force you to leave. That is entirely up to you.” Please say you’ll stay, please!

                Uta was quiet for some time, before he spoke, “I’m confused really. Do you want me to stay because…um, because we’re going to be dating? Are you saying you want me to live with you?” Now it was Acchan’s turn to be quiet, which scared Uta for some reason. “Uta, I want you to do what will make you happy. My feelings aren’t of any consequence in this decision. I could be selfish and say yes, I want you to live with me, but that’s not fair.”

                “Can I think about it for a while? I need to come up with a date for Taka though, but…I’m not sure I’m ready to be at work. Can I have some time?” Uta shivered at the thought of being at the HBG, even with the knowledge that Natsu would not be there. “You can take as much time as you’d like, and Taka will understand that. It’s been but a few weeks since you’ve been away from Natsu, a few more weeks won’t make that much difference to Taka, I’m sure.” Acchan wanted as much unrestricted time with Uta as he could possibly have as he was hoping to keep the young man with him, even if it took the sexual powers of persuasion in order to achieve it.

                Acchan wanted to change the subject, but carefully as the last time the topic came up, it didn’t end well. “I’d like to ask you again, when would you like to go out to eat with me? I’m not pressuring you in any way. I suggest this as a way for you to ease back into being out and about. Where I’m proposing to take you is an industry friendly restaurant, where most if not all the cliental are musicians, some who you will know.”

                “I don’t have anything to wear.” Was the answer that Acchan was not expecting. “You what?” he wasn’t even sure he heard the boy correctly. “I don’t have anything to wear, to go out to dinner.” Uta had a snarky smile on his face. “Are you saying, that if you had something appropriate to wear, you’d agree to go out with me?” Acchan was stunned, over joyed but stunned. “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. If you take me shopping, I’ll go out with you. It’s a bribe, sort of. I only have very causal clothes and as I haven’t started working yet…and, I don’t want to ask you to buy me things, but this is a special occasion, right?”

                Acchan threw his head back and laughed, “You’re positively devious! Of course, we can go shopping for something appropriate for you to wear, even though anything you own would be suitable. The restaurant caters to musicians, so I’m sure you’ll most likely be overdressed.” Uta sat up and wiggled closer to Acchan, not quite in the man’s lap, but close enough. The boy reached up and wrapped his arms around Acchan’s neck, leaning in and biting his lip. “Uta…” Acchan moaned. Wrapping his arms around the smaller man’s waist, Acchan pulled Uta close. “Young man…you will be the death of me…just so unbelievably sexy.” Uta smiled, “Do you still believe you’ll have a heart attack if we have sex?” Acchan answered by smothering the boy in kisses.

~

                “Tell me who I might see there? I want to be ready, in case…” Uta didn’t want to alert Acchan to his nervous excitement, but he wanted to be prepared if he saw certain people. “Yes, Kyo might be there.” Acchan knew. “The boys from Diru, and Gazette are frequent diners. If you’re lucky, there will be some sort of incident with Ruki, he typically tries to run off leaving the bill with his bandmates.” Uta giggled, “Ruki can be a handful…I know that.” The couple had been shopping in Harajuku, trying to find the perfect first date outfit for Uta. “I think a deep purple with something black would look stunning on you.” Uta had also asked for a haircut, as the months of not being able to take proper care of himself, had left his hair damaged. “Not too short please, just all the dead broken stuff.” Uta told the stylist. Acchan had whispered something to the stylist, and as a result, Uta had his midnight blue black hair back. “Thank you!” Uta threw his arms around his lover’s neck, breathlessly kissing the man.

               

                Arriving at the restaurant, the valet opened the door for Uta, holding a hand out to assist the boy in exiting the car. Acchan came around and held Uta’s hand, as they were greeted by the concierge, “Welcome Sakurai-sama, and to your guest as well.” The man bowed to Sakurai. “Thank you, it’s been a while since I have dined.” The concierge led them into the dining room, seating them at a table against a wall. Uta was quivering, too nervous to look around and see who might be there. It didn’t take long for someone to notice them. “Uta-kun!” Ruki shrieked as he ran to the table, lifting the boy up into a bear hug” “Uta-kun, you look wonderful! Your hair is stunning, I’m so happy to see you.” The squirrely vocalist was almost crying. “I’m sorry Ruki… I should have listened.” Ruki joined the two at the table for a few moments. “Uta-kun, it’s not your fault honey, love blinds us to a lot of things. Natsu lured you into his life, lying and deceiving you with love and attention, once he had you hooked, is when he changed.” Ruki looked at Acchan. “Sakurai, you’re taking good care of my Uta, aren’t you? You’re not fucking him…yet?” Uta’s head snapped up. “RUKI! OH MY GOD!”

                “What? Is that a bad thing, Uta? Sakurai is sexy as fuck, and you’re living with him and obviously dating him…I want to know if he’s taking care of you, that’s all.” Sakurai chuckled, “Ruki-kun, I am taking very good care of Uta, whether or not I’m fucking him, is irrelevant at the moment, but thank you for your concern.” Ruki laughed, hugged Uta one more time and went back to his table. “I’m sorry! Ruki has no filter at all! You should have heard what he asked me when I was dating Kyo…I almost died.” Now it was Uta’s turn to laugh, as his last statement raised an eyebrow from Acchan. “Do I dare ask?” Uta shook his head, “Maybe I’ll tell you about it sometime.”

                Uta had enjoyed his dinner with Sakurai, blushing anytime someone came to their table to talk with them, Acchan proudly sitting with his arm around the boy. He had wondered if he would run into Kyo, but the small man did not appear that night. The ride home was a quiet and the sexual tension between the two was obvious.  Acchan wondering if he should try, Uta wondering if he should. As they entered the house, Uta was unsure what to do. Thank Acchan for the meal and go to bed? “Um…” he couldn’t just blurt it out.

                “That was fun tonight, thank you.”

                “You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.”

                “…….”

                Awkward silence.

                “Uta…”

                “Yes?”

                “……”

                Acchan groaned and laid his head back on the couch. “I feel like I’m 15…and I want to kiss a girl on a first date, but I’m too damned scared.” Raking his hands through his hair, he didn’t know what to do. “Acchan…you’re not 15…and I’m not a girl.” Uta whispered and moved across the couch, and settled on Acchan’s lap. The older man’s head snapped forward, his eyes wide. “Uta…we don’t…” The boy shook his head, leaning in to brush his fingers across Acchan’s lips, the caressing the man’s face. “No, we don’t, but maybe I do.” Acchan slowly slid his hands up Uta’s sides, “Uta…are you sure…it’s only been…” His hands slid back down Uta’s sides, and around to cup the boy’s tiny perky ass in his hands. “God…Uta please don’t tease me…if you want this, you need to tell me right now, no tormenting me” whined Acchan.

                “I want this.” Without a moment’s hesitation, Acchan grabbed Uta under the arms and stood, Uta wrapping his legs around Acchan’s waist. “I want this.” Uta whispered against his lover’s ear. Acchan walked them towards his bedroom, stopping at the door. “Uta…” And for the third and last time, “I want this.” Acchan captured Uta’s mouth with his, and stepped carefully to the bed. Laying Uta down, Acchan stretched his long frame next to the smaller man, their kiss never breaking. Slowly Acchan slid his hands under Uta’s shirt, reveling in the soft warmth of the boy’s skin. Uta arched his back, hips reaching for Acchan’s.

                Every move that Acchan made was calculated for the most intense pleasure he could give to Uta, he thought only of the boy and his satisfaction, none of his own mattered. Uta deserved to be worshiped, after being abused, and he knew that he had to be very careful in their love making. “Uta, if I do anything that makes you uncomfortable, you must tell me! I don’t care if it’s sucking on a nipple or biting your ass!” “Biting my ass? Really Acchan?” Uta giggled.

                Acchan looked seriously at the boy. “You know what I mean you little brat.” He gently bit Uta’s nose, then giving the boy a blistering kiss. “Just make love to me…that’s all I want. No scene, no submissive under a dominant…just us.” Uta murmured. Sakurai Atsushi did exactly that, showering Uta with equal parts tenderness and love. The sounds that Acchan drew from Uta, the moans, the gasps and the crying out of the older man’s name, was music.

                Late into the night when the couple could love no more, Uta lie next to Acchan, his leg thrown over the man’s hip, Acchan’s arm pulling the boy close. “Am I still breathing, Uta?” The boy sat up, thinking what an odd question his lover asked. “As far as I can tell you are…why?” The man laughed, “If I remember correctly you said that I may die of a heart attack if we had sex…I’m fairly certain that what I’m feeling now, is not death.” Uta snuggled closer to his lover. “I can try again and see if you’re still breathing afterwards.” Acchan laughed, “No, I think that if you were to do that, I genuinely may die.”

                They laid quietly, Uta’s fingers tracing circles on his lover’s chest, Acchan’s hand on Uta’s ass. Uta sighed and closed his eyes, he had never felt this way with any lover, not Kyo and definitely even on the best night, Natsu. He had reservations of course but who wouldn’t? Sakurai was a nationally known celebrity, his music loved by millions, and Uta was nobody in particular. Where did he fit in, in Sakurai’s life? How long would he want Uta? The old self-doubts came flooding in, leaving Uta shivering. “Are you cold, baby?” Sakurai moved to cover them with the blankets.

                “No, I’m fine.” Uta said weakly. “You don’t sound fine, what are you thinking?” Uta shook his head, “I’m just tired, that’s all. You sort of wore me out.” Acchan murmured, “Yes, I did, and I couldn’t be happier right now.” Kissing the boy’s forehead, Acchan wiggled out of Uta’s grasp, and went to the bathroom for a wet cloth to clean them both. When he returned, Uta had already curled up into a ball, and was sleeping. Sakurai looked down at this perfect little creature that had captivated his soul.

                He worried though, he knew that Uta was scared of being in any relationship, even one with him. How he would convince the boy to stay, to let himself be loved by Sakurai, he wasn’t sure how to do it. “I’m going to prove to you, that you’re worth loving, and worth everything to me.” He whispered. Changing into sleep pants, Acchan slipped back into bed, pulling Uta close and kissing the boy. “I think I love you, Uta…you might not believe me, but you will.” Acchan whispered, nuzzling Uta’s hair. The boy whimpered, leaving Acchan to hold on even tighter.

Chapter Text

 

                “Hi…I missed you this weekend.” Aki held Tora close, as they met for lunch at a café in Harajuku, the couple had been on opposite shifts over the weekend and only had time to speak on the phone. Kissing Tora, Aki was still amazed that he could possibly be this happy…without being with Uta. For unknown reasons, Uta had evoked strong feelings in Aki. In hindsight, Aki wasn’t sure it had been love, but he was devastated when Uta rejected him, and it was even more hurtful when Uta refused to listen to his concerns over Natsu.

                “Halloo?” Tora tapped Aki on the nose. “Sorry, just got lost in the brain for a minute. How was work for you this weekend, anything interesting?” Tora laughed, “You’ll never guess who showed up, twice?” Aki was pretty sure he knew the answer, “Die…for Mao?” Tora rolled his eyes, “And Mao shut him down, yet again. Does Die not get it? Or is he stupid?” Aki had known about Die for a few years, and yes, the man was a little dense in receiving rejections from objects of his desire. “He’s just persistent, he really is a nice guy, but he’s flakey. But don’t ever piss him off, or Kyo. Those two together are everyone’s worst nightmare.”

                “Kyo? He’s so short! How is he a danger?” Aki shook his head. “Ask Koichi about Kyo beating Masa, or Morrie.” Tora had heard snippets of the stories concerning the other two men, and had only really seen Kyo react to Natsu. “He was worse than with Natsu?” Aki sighed, “Just be happy you weren’t around then. Masa just fucked up everyone’s lives, Morrie was scary, and deadly.” Tora shuddered, “Tell me about Morrie?” Aki spent the next hour telling the Morrie tale, and was fairly explicit, which made Tora pale at certain details. “Uta? Is that why everyone was so freaked out about Natsu? It’s understandable. But Koichi? And Diru’s drummer?”

                Tora was shocked at what had happened, he had not heard of anything via the media. “The lawyers for the record company kept things very quiet. Morrie was caught at the restaurant, he had jumped out and stabbed Tatsu in the shoulder. Tatsu screamed and went down, with Morrie on top of him. Kyo heard Tatsu, jumped Morrie and called for Die to help, and beat the man into the ground. Die and Kyo had both been cut but didn’t even know it.” Aki told Tora that Morrie had tried to hurt him, but he had gone into a konbini to hide.

                “Drama at the HBG seems to be normal, if it’s not Ruki rampages, it’s crazy people.” Drawing Tora into his arms and kissing him softly, Aki reassured Tora. “It’s over for now, I mean you can never be truly certain that something won’t happen again, but I’m pretty sure the craziness has stopped.” Aki held Tora close, wondering how he finally ended up with someone to love, after loving in silence and distance for so long. “I really like you…” he didn’t dare say the other L word. Tora giggled, “um, I’m really, really fond of you, too.” Aki stuck his hands in Tora’s back pockets, and squeezed the man’s ass. “So perfect, fits just right.” Tora’s breath hitched, “Aki, don’t tease me please, when you do that it makes it hard for me to walk!” Tora whined. “Maybe I don’t want you to walk” Aki whispered. “We are I public, it’s not like we can…well you know, right here!” Tora whispered, leaning in and running his tongue across Aki’s bottom lip, catching it in a soft bite. “I guess we’re going to have to find some place, aren’t we?” Aki leaned his hips into Tora’s. “Yes, I think we need to find a place soon…”

~

                “When were you thinking? Do you need another week or two? What ever you decided is good for me, just let me know a few days ahead so I can add you to the schedule.” Taka and Uta had met at the HBG to discuss Uta’s return to work. “Will Sakurai be okay with this? He does tend to get a little clingy at times.” Taka was smiling, making sure Uta knew he wasn’t passing judgement. “Yes, we talked about it the other night. He did tell me that I didn’t need to work while I was living with him, but that doesn’t feel right for me.”

                Taka had suspicions that Sakurai wanted Uta to live with him permanently, but didn’t ask. He didn’t doubt that the older man had fallen in love with Uta, and he wouldn’t blame him either. “Whatever you need to do is fine. Have you been able to get anything out of your old flat?” Uta blushed, “Not yet, the rent is paid for another month, I guess I should go over and get some of my things, it’s just…” Taka put his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “If you’d like, one of us could go with you, Kou or I, I’m sure Sakurai would be willing to take you. Just let me know what you want to do. Let me put you down to start next week?” They agreed to a start date and Uta left for home, happy to have a final date to getting back to work and moving on.

 

                Sakurai looked over at Uta as they were driving to the boy’s flat to retrieve items that had been left when Natsu had taken Uta to the loft. He noticed that Uta was shivering, but said nothing. “Ready to go in?” Sakurai asked as he pulled up to the flat. “No, but I need to” Uta said softly. “I’m here, there’s nothing that’s going to hurt you, we’ll just grab the important stuff and be out of here quickly.”

                As Uta opened the door, Sakurai heard the boy gasp. He reached down and picked up Uta’s hand. “It’s okay” Sakurai was stunned, the flat was in total shambles, papers and clothes thrown around the room as if hit by a tornado. “Where do we start? Is there some place to look first?” Uta shook his head, “I doubt it’s still here, but I had a little file box that had all my documents in it. It’s gray and it has a black handle. Other than that, I just want to pick up some of my clothes and some other little memento’s.”

Uta moved away from Sakurai, finding a backpack, he started to go through the clothes on the floor. Sakurai moved into the small bedroom, looking for the file box. What he found instead, angered him; a pair of handcuffs that had traces of blood on them, a scourge that had been soaked in water at some time, making the leather stiff and hard. Bloody underwear, straps and cuffs also with traces of blood. In the bathroom, more bloody items, towels and wash cloths.

                Peeking out the door, he saw his young lover on the floor, sitting on his knees, with a small book in his hands. Uta didn’t hear Sakurai walk up to him, and as he squatted down, Uta quickly wiped his eyes, not wanting his lover to see him crying yet again. “Are those happy tears?” Taking the book from Uta, it was a photobook. Pictures of Uta with Koichi and Taka, with Aki and Mao at the HBG during some event, pictures of Kyo, selfies of Uta and the small man in happier times. But not one photo of Natsu, either they never took any or they had been torn out and destroyed.

                Uta put the photobook in his back pack and started shifting through the clothes, finally under a pile of shoes, finding the file box. Opening it, Uta was relieved that all of his personal documents were still in the box. After an hour or so, with several boxes and a few bags, Uta was ready to leave. “I’m done, can we go? I’ll have to call the landlord and tell him to throw everything out.” Shutting the door for the last time, Uta felt he could finally be rid of anything related to Natsu, his former life now had no hold on him.

~

                “We need to discuss something again, that’s pretty important.” Sakurai and Uta were having lunch at the small kitchen table. “Uh oh, am I in trouble? I swear it wasn’t me, or my fault! I had nothing to do with any of it!” giggled Uta. “No, but if you keep acting like a dork, I may have to punish…shit!” Sakurai pulled up short, not believing he said that. Uta paled, “Um…I was kidding, I’m sorry.” Sakurai quickly got up from the table and hugged his lover “I’m so sorry! I’m an idiot! Please, I didn’t mean anything you know that.” Kissing away Uta’s tears took several minutes. “Sorry…” Uta said shyly, “I know you didn’t mean it, I’m just such a weenie”

                “I need to watch my mouth more, we both need to work on ourselves. Anyways, back to the discussion. I would like to introduce you to the others in the band, how do you feel about that? We could make it very simple and do it here at the house, or we could meet them at the restaurant. Your choice. I want you to be comfortable around them, as they are often here at odd hours prepping for recording or a tour.” Acchan watched Uta’s face carefully, but was satisfied the boy wasn’t going to freak out.

                “Um, that’s fine. You pick where we do it! I’m happy with what ever you’d like to do.” Uta wanted to make sure he caused no trouble for his lover. “Hmm, let me call them and I’ll let you know, sometimes one place is better than the other.” Uta spent the next few hours going through what he had brought home from his flat, and getting things in the wash. Acchan was on the phone, arranging a time and place for Uta to meet the other members of Buck Tick.

                “Looks like tomorrow night at the restaurant is the best option. Do you need another new outfit for this dinner?” Sakurai was teasing, and this time Uta caught on quickly. “No, I think I can manage now that I have some of my own clothes again, but I’d like to request dessert please.” Acchan raised an eyebrow at his lover’s strange request. “And what would that be?” Uta walked over to Acchan’s desk chair, and climbed into the man’s lap. “I want this for dessert” Uta smiled seductively as he started a slow grind of his ass into Acchan’s lap.

                “Really? Tomorrow night for dessert?” Uta  nodded as he slipped his hands under Acchan’s shirt, rubbing across his chest, lingering over the older man’s sensitive nipples. “Uta…” moaned the man. “Yes? Is there something I can do for you, sir?” Acchan quickly wrapped his arms around Uta’s waist, pulling his boy close to his chest. “Yes…there is something you can do for me…” Acchan nuzzled Uta’s neck, licking at his collarbone, nipping the soft fleshy spot under the boy’s chin. “You can stay with me forever, you can tell me that you love me, and that you’ll always be next to me, near me so I can do this to you when ever I want.” Acchan slowly ran his hands down Uta’s back, dipping into the back of the boy’s pants, and firmly grasping the tiny ass.

                “Uta…I love you…” moaned Acchan, as he massaged Uta’s ass. “You’re everything to me now, I can’t…” Uta had stopped moving, and was staring at his lover. “You…love me?” uh oh, did I fuck up again? “Yes, I love you Uta. I do not say this lightly, I’ve only said it to one other person, in my adult life.” Acchan pulled Uta close again, taking his hands and cupping the boy’s face. “I know you probably don’t feel the same way, at least not yet. It may be too early for this confession, but I can’t lie to you, Uta. I love you.” Kissing Uta again, the boy melted into Acchan’s arms.

                “I want to believe you… I do believe you. But…I’m not…” Before Uta could say another word, Acchan had put his fingers against the boy’s lips. “You are, and I do, and I don’t want to hear another word about your worthiness.” Uta threw his arms his lover, “Acchan…” clinging to the man’s neck, Uta stilled, trying hard not to sob and show his lover that he was still weak. He wanted to believe, but who his lover was, it made believing him difficult. “Um, can we go to dinner with your friends? I would like to meet them.” Uta whispered against Acchan’s neck. “Yes, we can. I’m sure they’ll be happy to meet the person who’s changed me from being a cynical old fart, into a less cynical old fart.” Uta giggled. “Old fart and little shit, sounds like a rap group.”

~

                “Are you nervous?” Acchan had gotten them to the restaurant a little early so they could be seated when the other’s arrived. “Excited more than nervous actually. Toll intimidates me, that mohawk is sort of scary.” Acchan had to laugh, “Toll is the least one to be scary, Imai…now he’s scary”. “Telling stories are we, Acchan? Don’t listen to him kid, I’m the nice one.” Uta looked up and Imai, Yutaka, Hide and Toll were standing at the table. “Sit down you fools, you’ll make us look bad.” Yutaka sat next to Uta, and clasped his hands. “We’re happy for Acchan, you seem like a nice boy.” Uta blushed. “No, I think I’m a band influence on him, he’s actually really nice now.”

                Sakurai’s head whipped around, “I’m what? I’ve always been nice!” Uta covered his mouth and giggled. “Got’cha!”  Sakurai glared at Uta, “They’re the one’s that are a bad influence on me!” This line of conversation gave Uta the confidence that he needed, seeing how close he was to his band mates, and that he could actually tease Acchan along with them.

                The dinner went well, but did not run late as everyone had other things to tend to the next day. Yutaka and Toll hugged Uta, both whispering in his ear, then the three of them looked at Sakurai and laughed, making the older man pout. “What was that all about? Planning on stabbing me in my sleep?”  Uta just shrugged, “No idea what you’re talking about!” The teasing went on even as they got into bed. “Dessert tonight?” purred Uta, “What’s on the dessert menu? I only want the creamiest, softest and tastiest dish, nothing else will do.” Uta smiled seductively, “Would you like a small portion or the complete dish?” Acchan smiled wickedly. “Oh, I want it all.” And Uta served him the entire dessert menu.

Chapter Text

This is not a chapter, but a memorial for the real person that I feature in my fictions.


Mikio Fujioka, who is a Detective with Hideki Aoyama, in my stories, are in real life members of the Kami Band for BabyMetal.  I was lucky enough to have seen Fujioka-san play twice.

 

Fujioka-san died Jan 5th after a fall from an observation deck, while star gazing. Anyone who knows BabyMetal, knows Fujioka-san as 'Ko-Kami" or Little God.

 

His face was always smiling even as his fingers were on fire, flaming the strings of his guitar.


                                                                                                        Mikio Fujioka RIP

                                                                                                            1981-2018

Chapter Text

 

                “Welcome back, Uta!” Taka had just walked into the back door of the HBG, when Uta ran up behind the man and tapped him on the back. “Thanks…it feels weird though. I haven’t been here in months.” Uta was nervous with excitement, hoping that he had not forgotten how to make the famous High Ball cocktail. “It won’t take you long, you’ll get back up to speed in a few hours, but that’s why I wanted you to start mid-week. No long lines like we have on the weekends.” Taka was relieved, he had needed Uta, that extra person makes a huge difference when the HBG became busy, especially in the summer months.

                “Just to let you know, Aki is working with you today” Taka was trying to be nonchalant, hoping that there would be little to no awkwardness between the two young men. “Good, I need to talk to him.” Taka raised an eyebrow, this was not what he had expected to hear. Uta started the opening duties, keeping himself busy until Aki arrived. “Taka can I have a few minutes to talk to Aki when he gets here in private?” “Sure, you guys can use the office, that’s fine.” He’s changed, that’s for sure. This is the Uta we all wanted and hoped to see.

                “Uta…” Shivers when up the boys back, “Hey Aki…long time no see” They stared at each other for a moment, then Uta grabbed Aki by the hand and led him to Taka’s office. “Leave Taka…” Uta commanded. “Yes sir!” Taka closed the door behind him.

                “Aki, I have a few things I’d like to say to you, but you can’t say anything until I’m done.” Uta was looking Aki right in the eyes, no wimping out today. “I want to first, apologize to you. I was absolutely horrible to you and quite a few others. Part of the reason I stayed with Natsu, was you.” Aki was startled, and wanted to respond, but Uta stopped him. “Not that you forced me into his arms, but when you used to tease me about Kyo, about us being an odd couple, I stupidly decided that no matter what anyone said, I was going to stick it out with Natsu. My pigheadedness drove me to stay with Natsu.”

                “I was a fucking idiot, beyond idiot. When you confessed to me, and yes, I do remember it, I wanted to hurt you. I’m sorry, I truly regret being nasty to you. I regret a lot of things right now, and I’m trying very hard to come to terms with what I did and why.” Uta sat down in Taka’s chair. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to all of you, considering Natsu almost killed me, with the abuse and the drugs. I didn’t know until Sakurai told me what drugs Natsu had used, a combination of Valium and Oxycotin.”

                “I really can’t say I’m sorry enough, Aki. I don’t expect you to forgive me, but I’m hoping at least we can still be friendly at work.” Uta looked at his friend. “Stand up, Uta!” snarled Aki. Uta hesitated, wondering what Aki might do. Standing up, Uta waited. Aki paused, then threw his arms around his friend and hugged him tightly. “I was so scared, Uta, you have no idea. I’m just so fucking happy you’re safe.” Releasing Uta, Aki held the man by the shoulders. “Of course, I forgive you, most of it wasn’t your fault, I lay the majority of the blame on Natsu. We were all just so scared. I’m sorry I teased you so much about Kyo, now that I know him better I can understand why you liked him so much. He’s a very caring and amazing guy, but still a little scary. My confession was ill timed really. I was doing pretty much anything I could to get you away from Natsu.”

                “Can I come in now?” Taka opened the door slowly. “No blood to clean up?” Looking at the smiles on Uta and Aki’s faces, Taka was thankful that the little conversation they had was a success. “Okay, now that you two have made all nicey-nice, can you please go back to work? I really don’t want to work the counter, that’s one of the perks of being a boss…letting you guys do all the grunt work!” Taka had wondered if Aki had mentioned his relationship with Tora yet, but didn’t want to say anything in case he hadn’t. The day continued on, with more than a little silliness, between co-workers, insults, thrown lemon peels and ice down the back of an unsuspecting Taka.

                “Uta, are you going to get a new flat? Obviously not right away, but eventually?” Taka took a bold step, trying not to be obvious. “I’m not sure, Taka. I like living with Acchan, but having my own place, well it would be smart I think. I just don’t know.” Hmm, he called him Acchan without hesitation, that’s a good sign. “I think you should do whatever it is you feel is right, Sakurai will understand, he won’t hold it against you.” Uta was biting his lip, shifting from foot to foot, looking down. “He confessed” Uta whispered. “He what? Did you say he confessed?” Taka wasn’t sure he had heard Uta correctly. “Yes, last night actually.”

                “Is that a bad thing, Uta?” Taka didn’t know which way to go with his feelings, he was protective of Uta, but didn’t want to say anything negative about Sakurai. “No, it’s a good thing. I, um…I want to tell him too, but he’s Sakurai Atsushi…Taka that’s a big deal, isn’t it?” Taka chuckled, “But he’s Acchan to you, isn’t he? He can be a big dork, he laughs a lot, he likes to cook and drink wine, his friends think he’s a dork, Imai will tell you that over and over. He’s not Sakurai Atsushi, he’s Acchan, that’s who you’ve fallen in love with, ne?”

                As if the sky had cleared and the sun was shining, Uta’s face changed. “Acchan? Yes, you’re right. I don’t know him as well as Sakurai Atsushi of Buck Tick, mostly only as Acchan. They’re two separate people, aren’t they?” Taka just nodded. “I knew him as both, and Sakurai was a different person than Acchan, definitely. But my problems with him, were not caused by him, they were caused by my misguided sense of abandonment.” The two men were silent. “Can I go on break, I need to use my phone.”

                                                                “Acchan…I love you.”

                Sitting back in his chair, Sakurai Atsushi looked at the screen of his phone for ten minutes. For the entirety of the day, he couldn’t stop smiling. Clock watching for the moment he could leave to go pick up Uta. Dashing around the house, making sure everything would be perfect for when his boy would come home. If his friends could see him, they’d all be laughing hysterically at his teenage nerves, but he’d just smile, he knew the reason he couldn’t stand still for more than a moment. He knew.

               

                As Uta put his phone away, he heard a voice that he didn’t recognize, speaking with Aki. Walking to the front counters, Uta see’s a tallish younger man, with wildly messy black hair and a wide grin. “Aki?” Aki waved Uta over. “Uta, this is Tora…my boyfriend. You’ve met him before, but it was only a few times, and you were pretty drugged up at that point.” Boyfriend? “Hi, Uta. It’s great to see you, I mean…it’s great to see you coherent! We never really talked much before, but then you didn’t talk much at all then. I’m glad to see you’re okay.”

                “Hi, sorry about before, I’m sure you already know all the details, my apologies if I did anything to offend you.” Uta bowed. “Dude! Don’t do that! You have nothing to apologize for! It was all that asshole Natsu, not you. I sure as hell don’t hold anything against you!” Tora walked up and hugged Uta. “I’m happy that you’re safe, Aki was so worried about you, but we all were.”

                “Tora, let him go! You’re going to freak him out!” chided Aki. “It’s okay Aki, I get it. Thanks Tora. How long have you guys been going out?” For the rest of the shift, the three young men filled each other in on what had happened those long months of Uta’s drugged out captivity, Uta relieved to see that Tora obviously loved Aki. Towards the end of the shift, Sakurai showed up at the front counter, with Tora being the one at the register, the young man stopped and stared.

                “Hello, Aki, and um…” Sakurai looked at Tora’s name tag, “Tora… pleasure to meet you, Tora. Is Uta ready?” Tora turned and yelled for Uta, Aki smacking his boyfriend for being loud. “He should be out front in a few, Sakurai-san.” Taka hearing Sakurai, joined Tora and Aki. “Sakurai, nice to see you again. I’m pleased to see Uta doing very well.” Taka winked. Sakurai blushed, and chuckled. “We’re boing doing very well Taka-kun, thank you.” Uta came bounding around the corner of the building, bouncing into Sakurai’s arms. “Acchan…” Uta was greeted with a kiss, and the couple left for home.

                “That was…” Tora understood that Uta was dating Sakurai, but the reality of the famous musician standing in front of him, was a difficult thing to just blow off. “You’ll get used to it, Tora. We all have our fanboy moments, then we get to know them, and it’s, no more fanboy…we get to see their warts and all.” Taka laughed. “I doubt Sakurai has any warts, Taka.”

                Uta’s shift replacement was Mao, who was upset that he missed seeing Sakurai. “I can’t believe that Uta’s fucking Sakurai Atsushi! I’m jealous as hell!” Taka chastised Mao, “He’s not fucking Sakurai Atsushi, his boyfriend is Acchan, two totally different people.” Mao rolled his eyes and laughed, “Uh huh, right Taka. I understand though. WE see him as the famous musician, Uta see’s him as Acchan. I’m still jealous, I’m sure Uta’s spoiled, but he deserves it more than any of us.”

                Taka went home leaving Aki, Tora and Mao for the closing shift. “Think Die will show up tonight, Mao?” Tora teased, “God I hope not! He needs to just give up! Don’t get me wrong, he’s probably very nice, but he’s a fucking guitar player…nope! Not a chance.” “Who would you date, Mao? If it had to be a musician…anyone in particular?” asked Aki. “Hmm, Heath from X Japan, I’d so do him! Sakurai of course. Hmm, Hazuki of Lynch maybe, his tattoos are sexy, but really, I can’t think of anyone else, at least no one we really know. I’d say Tatsu…but Koichi would kill me!” Mao giggled.

                “Heath? Yah, I guess I can see that. Hazuki… nah, not my type at all.” Tora was watching Aki’s face as he played along with Uta. “Oh, I know! Reita… he’s pretty sexy, nice ass too.” Aki frowned at his boyfriend, seeking revenge, he blurted out another name. “Ryo of Girugamesh is hot, his eyes are sexy.” Tora looked at Mao and both men fell over laughing. “Ryo? That’s a stretch Aki! He’s tiny! Not Ruki tiny but he’s short!” Tora walked over to Aki and hugged his boyfriend from behind. “I only want you…nobody else…I lo…” Tora nuzzled Aki’s hair, stifling any further confession, but Mao knew what he almost heard, and couldn’t stop from smiling at his friends. “

“You know who got the shit end of the deal in all of this? Kyo. I feel bad for him. He lost Uta, then he lost Koichi, then he lost Uta again. He needs someone, anyone have a lonely friend that could deal with Kyo?” Mao had brought up the issue before, when Die had come to see him. “He puts up with Die’s antics all the time, I’m surprised their still friends after all these years, I can’t possibly be the first one he’s chased after and been denied by.”

                Kyo. The lone survivor of the ill effects of love.

 

~

                “Another DCR party? What the hell, didn’t we just have one?” Koichi shrugged, “Not my fault, I’m just the messenger.” Taka, Koichi, Sato and Tatsu were having dinner together at Ojisan’s, not having hung out as a foursome in a few weeks. “Summer Tour wrap party, is what the email said, same deal, HBG pays for alcohol, DCR pays for food. They’re really not very creative with these parties.” Taka groaned, “Well, at least we have a full crew now that Mao is staying.”

                “He is? I thought he had to go back to university?” Taka explained about Mao’s online classes and living with his brother and his wife. “He just wants to work more, says he can’t make enough money to move out unless he works almost full time, but you know what that means?” “No, what?” Taka grinned, “Because of Mao and Uta, Tora and Aki, we have a full staff, which means you and I can actually attend the party!”

                Ojisan cleared his throat, “Your small friend, he safe now? Living with the famous one is working out for him?” Once again, Ojisan amazed and kind of freaked out the friends, as they never remember saying anything about Sakurai in front of Ojisan. “Um, yes he is, Ojisan. He’s quite happy actually. How did you know about Sakurai?” Ojisan smiled, “Beers on the house.” The diversion worked. Ojisan would never reveal his secrets.

                “Once nice thing about this party, is that you and I will be able to actually attend, Kou. Aki’s going to run the party, and will really only need help if it gets crazy, which it will, but I think that will happen on the patio, and not at the counters.”

                “Um, I have something to tell you guys, that I really shouldn’t be putting off.” Tatsu turned quiet, suddenly. “I got a call earlier today from Aoyama. He told me that Detective Fujioka had died suddenly.” “Oh my god!”

                “He was out at some observation deck, star gazing and fell, they said the deck was fairly high. He passed away from his injuries a few days later.” Tatsu hated to put a damper on the fun, but it he needed to tell his friends. “That’s so sad! He was kind of a rough guy, old school as Aoyama put it, but still, did he have family?” Koichi was close to tears, “A wife and two daughters, they were with him when he passed.”  

                The news of Fujioka’s passing had quieted the rest of the evening, with Koichi and Taka making plans to send a letter of sympathy to Fujioka’s family, via the police department. They had spent so much time with the two detectives, that now seeing one without the other would be strange. “We should have some Sake, and have a toast in his memory at the party?” suggested Koichi. “I’m sure that would be fine. I’ll arrange something, thanks Kou.” Taka would make damn sure that Detective Fujioka was honored.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

                Taka glared at Aki. “You’re more than capable of doing this Aki, I have all the confidence in you. I know you don’t like a lot of high responsibility duties, but Koichi and I need this party. We haven’t attended a DCR party together in a few years. This one won’t be huge, some of the bands are still on tour. You have Mao and Uta at the registers, Tora and yourself on the patio. If it becomes too much, Kou or I can always step in to help.”

                Aki hadn’t taken the news very well, not quite having a 5 yrs old tempter tantrum, but close. “But, Taka! Really? Can’t I just clean the patio?” Taka sighed and rolled his eyes. “Will it help to know you’re going to get paid more for this? Its special event pay.” This made Aki’s eyes light up. “Special event pay? Hmm, so like any time we have a special event, and I’m in charge, I get paid more?” Taka laughed, “Yes, and if you became a manager, you would get even more pay. You think I’m going to cheat you? Really Aki.”

                Taka took the next hour to train Aki on what to do, which the boy really didn’t need, he had worked enough DCR parties to understand his tasks. “I’m going to be asking the owners for a special beverage, Sake.” Taka told Aki about Detective Fujioka’s death, and how they would honor the man. “Wow, that’s sad! He was a nice guy, a bit gruff, but he still cared about all of us.”

               

~

                Uta was a bit unhappy at the prospect of having to work the DCR event, and Sakurai would be there with the members of Buck Tick, yet Uta wouldn’t be able to speak to his lover. Since the day Uta said those three little words, the couple had been almost sickening in their affection, with Imai running to the bathroom and pretending to puke, which got him a smack in the back of the head by Yutaka. “Leave them alone, they’re happy, asshole!” Imai grinned and winked at Uta, mouthing ‘just kidding’. Uta knew they were teasing, but he couldn’t have been happier. Sakurai was pouring the love onto the boy, almost drowning him in attention.

                “Give the boy a chance to breath, Acchan. Shit, you’re going to drive him away if you don’t!” Toll chided his friend. “I doubt he’d run very far, he’s kind of small. I could just catch him and drag him back into the house, and tie him up… shit!” Acchan face palmed. “Really Acchan? You just can’t walk away from that scene, can you?” giggled Uta. “It’s not that I’m actually thinking of tying you up Uta, it’s just a figure of speech really.” Imai started making the motion of shoveling, “Deeper Acchan… just a little deeper.”

                Acchan had reined in his natural dominant lust when Uta and he had sex, but it was difficult. He could see Uta under him, his arms pinned above his head, Acchan licking the boy from neck to hip, swallowing the boy’s cock, and teasing the tiny ring of muscle. He wondered if Uta would ever be comfortable with any of that type of play, but he would never force it on the boy. He just wanted Uta to be happy, and to let Acchan smother him in affection which the boy so rightly deserved.

                “I can come sit with you on my break, and you can make sure to come to me at the counter, ordering your drinks from me.” Now it was Hide’s turn to laugh. “Don’t tell him that Uta, I really don’t need a drunk ass Acchan to deal with on the ride home. He’d just stand in front of you ordering drinks all night.” Uta leaned over the chair Acchan was sitting in, “You could give me large tips too. Tips are always appreciated.” Now it was Uta’s turn to make fun of Acchan. “Although, since we live together, does that mean you’d just be giving me money that I’d just turn around and spend on us?” Tilting his head back, looking for a kiss, Acchan got Uta back for that one, “I’ll just tip you in a different way when we get home” Uta blushed and hid his face in Acchan’s hair.

~

                “IF you need me, and that’s a big IF, I will be sitting with Koichi and the others. Please listen to Aki, he’s running the show. Also, if you are interested in the salute honoring Detective Fujioka, you are welcomed to join the rest of us on the patio, that will be at 11:30. Any questions?” Taka dismissed his crew and left the office.

                Sato, Koichi and Tatsu were already sitting at a table, with Shinya over with the Diru boys, and Kai talking to Ruki, which Ruki wasn’t looking too happy about. “What’s going on with Kai and Ruki?” Taka asked as he walked up. “Kai is threatening Ruki with some sort of punishment if he gets out of hand tonight. He knows Aki and Tora are dating, so that doesn’t leave anyone from the HBG to worry about, but who knows who Ruki will suddenly chase after, it’s anyone’s guess” laughed Koichi.

                It was a nice change to be able to enjoy a DCR party, instead of having to run back and forth to the counters. Koichi was sitting on Tatsu’s lap, whispering things to his husband that caused Tatsu to blush. Sato and Taka were sitting close, watching everyone on the patio. “Kou-kun, Taka-kun, it’s nice to see you boys enjoying the party instead of working.” Shinya and Miya had walked up and taken a seat at the table, chatting about band stuff and tours. “We heard about Detective Fujioka, such a sad thing. He was a nice man.” Shinya smiled sadly. “It was nice of you to arrange an honor for him, Taka-kun.”

                “It’s the least I could do for him, he helped all of us during a real shit time in our lives, it would be wrong not to. Aoyama called me today, asked if he could stop by for the toast, I told him of course.” Taka shook his head, thinking of the family of the detective. “We have enough sake for everyone, it will be a nice gesture.”

                Watching everyone mingle, the tone of the party changed when Buck Tick arrived, many of the guests teasing Acchan about his boyfriend. “Sakurai, nice to see you here, crashing is always welcomed” Kai giggled, “Have you stopped to visit Uta yet? I’m sure he’s anxious to see you, he’s asked me to keep an eye on you, make sure you don’t stray.” Acchan sighed, “Yes Kai, I’m going to stray, right in front of everyone that knows that Uta is mine. Silly man.” Acchan smirked, knowing it was all in great fun. “Yes, I have stopped to see Uta, ergo why I have a drink in my hand.”

                As the party was hitting its peak, Aki and Tora went to cover the breaks for Mao and Uta, with Uta making a beeline for Sakurai, who promptly pulled the boy into his lap, and the short make out session started, with some gentle teasing from everyone around them. Mao was speaking with Ruki, Die standing a bit away from them, leering at Mao, who could feel Die’s eyes on him.

                “Die, give it up. Mao’s not going to change his mind” Kyo patted his friend on the back. Just as Die was going to respond, Mao walked up to him. “Die, please. You’re a nice guy, but I don’t want to go out with you.” Die was about to say something when Mao slipped his arm around Kyo’s waist. With the sudden contact from the younger man, Kyo stiffened. “Uh…Yah Die, quit harassing the boy.” Damn, this boy smells good. “But he doesn’t even really know me that well, so how can you be so sure I’m not worth the time?” Mao sighed, and just as he was going to reply, Kyo made a move and slipped his arm around Mao’s waist pulling the younger man closer. “Like I said Die, you’re a nice guy but seriously, you don’t want to go out with me, I’m such a diva bitch, I doubt you could afford me!” Kyo tightened his grip on Mao’s waist and the man leaned into the embrace. “Fine! I get it!” Die walked away in a huff. Mao removed his arm from Kyo’s waist, “Thanks for backing me up Kyo, I don’t want to be mean to him, but he just won’t give up!” Kyo just nodded, “I have to get back to work, thanks again Kyo.” Mao slipped out of Kyo’s grasp and headed back to the HBG.

                Shinya was watching the little interaction between the three men, with a smirk on his face. He caught Kyo by the arm as the man returned to the party. “Are you okay, Kyo? You look a little dazed.” Shinya peered at Kyo. “Um, yah I’m fine. Wish Die would stop harassing Mao though. Kid has told him a dozen times that he’s not interested.” Shinya took a chance. “Who do you think Mao is interested in?” Kyo shrugged, “Don’t know, probably nobody. Shame really, the boy’s cute enough. He’ll find someone.” Kyo wandered away.

                “Did you see that? Kyo almost freaked out on Mao” Shinya was sitting with Kai and the others. “What? I didn’t see anything.” Kai was puzzled. “When Mao put his arm around Kyo’s waist, he totally froze…” Shinya hissed. “Kyo and Mao? Nope, totally don’t see it. Mao doesn’t want to date musicians, he says they’re shallow and too self-absorbed.” Taka was sure that Mao wasn’t interested in Kyo either. “Look where Kyo is now?” Shinya nodded his head to table where Kyo sat alone, looking very serious. “Yah? So…what’s the big deal? He sits by himself a lot.” Kai didn’t see it either, seemed like Shinya was the only observant one. “Okay, you boys remember tonight, the next time you see Mao around Kyo.”

                At 11:30, the party went quiet, as Taka and Koichi got to a mic and asked for the guest’s attention.

                “I’m sure all of you have worked with Detectives Aoyama and Fujioka at some point in your careers, they’re our industries go-to police, with the horror that was Morrie, and other individual incidents, they were always there, lending their support and expertise.  We learned just a few days ago, that Detective Fujioka had passed away from injuries he received in an accident.” Some in the crowd had not heard of the detective’s passing and were shocked. “Tonight, as a way to honor Detective Mikio Fujioka, we’d like to offer a toast… everyone grab a cup of sake.” This took a few minutes…with even Mao and Uta coming out to the patio.

                                                “To Detective Mikio Fujioka; We salute you sir.”

                The patio was quiet, everyone drinking somberly, remembering the fallen Detective. As the party resumed, Taka was approached by Detective Aoyama. “That was very nice of you and your friends to honor Fujioka, we’re all still a little shocked, it was such a freak accident.” Aoyama sat with the boys of Mucc. “He helped all of us, even if he was a little old school, he never gave up on anything we threw at him.” Aoyama looked at Tatsu, “Old school was an understatement.” The group spent a time just listening to stories Aoyama had, remembering the interactions that they had with the man.

                “His wife and daughters wanted me to thank you all, DCR records sent a lovely card and Koden to his wife and daughters.” Aoyama hung out for a while longer, then excused himself and left the party.

               

~

                Tora and Aki walked the patio, cleaning as they went, making sure everything was still stocked as far as food. Tora kept looking around, looking a bit worried, “Tora, what’s wrong?” Aki thought his boyfriend was acting a bit strange. “Just making sure Ruki doesn’t try to grab me, I don’t know if he knows that we’re dating.” Aki laughed, “I’m sure someone told him, or he would have already grabbed your ass.”  Aki didn’t have the word ‘ass’ out of his mouth for more than a half second, when Ryo of Girugamesh walked by, shaking his head. Fifteen or so seconds later, Ruki was seen trotting after Ryo, with an intent look on his face. “Uh oh, Ruki’s after Ryo again…this may not end pretty.” Aki was watching, as were the others. Just as Aki was going to talk to Taka about the potential Ruki rampage, Ryo stopped in front of Diru’s table, and looked at Kai and Shinya. “Want me to talk to him, Ryo?” Kai was not happy. Dealing with Ruki was like dealing with a teenager with raging hormones. “Nope, I’ve got this one, Kai.”

                Just as Ruki walked up to the table, Ryo turned, grabbed Ruki by the shoulders and soundly kissed the smaller man, and not just a peck, but a full blown ‘I-want-to-fuck-you’ kiss. Ryo finished the kiss with a squeeze of Ruki’s ass, and walked away, leaving a stunned Ruki staring at the man’s back. Those that witnessed the kiss were speechless, and waiting for the following incident that they all were sure would happen.

                “Ruki?” Kai called the man to sit down. “Um, Ruki…you okay?” Ruki just looked at Kai, nodding but not saying a word, he just sat down. Ruki remained quiet for the rest of the party, watching Ryo as he sat at the Gazette table, Aoi, Uruha and Reita teasing the man, but never getting a rise out of him.

~

                Aki and Tora were in the office of the HBG, counting cash drawers as Mao and Uta closed down the counters. Most of the guests had left, a few lingering for obvious reasons. Sakurai stood across from the back door, waiting for Uta with a smile on his face. Koichi, Taka Sato and Tatsu were still sitting at the table, quietly talking.

                “Full circle.” Taka mumbled. “What? Full circle what?” Koichi was sitting next to his bestie. “Seems like we’ve come full circle, that’s all. From before you worked here, to now.”  Koichi sighed, “Yah, almost 6 years now? All the shit that’s gone on…good and bad.” Looking over to the wall behind the HBG, Kou and Taka saw Sakurai embracing Uta, gazing at the beautiful boy.

                Kyo was still sitting alone at a table at the far end of the patio, staring up at Tokyo Tower. “What’s up with Kyo?” Taka leaned forward, watching the small man. “Not sure, Shinya thinks he’s in shock over Mao…maybe a love connection?” Taka and Koichi looked at each other and laughed. “Wouldn’t be the first time… look at you and Tatsu, me and Sato, one thing in common with a lot of people?

                                It all started at the HBG.

 

End…I think.