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“It wasn’t explosive diarrhea,” he sat naked on the futon, an open cigar box on his thighs. “It was more like mud-butt,”

“They just pantsed him right there in the office?” asked Genji, fresh from the shower and in a clean pair of shorts. “Did you hurl?”

“I managed to keep from gagging until my assistant Yuki puked in the sink,” Ogata ran his tongue along the edge of the rolling paper. “It’s a risk you take when putting an elderly patient under for oral surgery,”

“What are you doing?” tablet in hand, Genji kicked their blanket to Ogata’s side of the futon.

“What’s it look like I’m doing?” he asked, rolled cigarette between his lips.

 “Don’t toke up in here,” Genji laid with his head at the opposite end.

“What’s your problem, Tanigaki?” he flicked the lighter to life and brought its flame to the tip of his cigarette. “You and the team got their quarterly drug test already,”

“Those tests are monthly now,” on his stomach with a pillow under his chest, Genji tapped open his reading assignment. “Open a window,”

The cushion shifted as Ogata stood.

“It’s breezy today,” he said, taking a long drag and holding his breath. “I love hearing the wind through the leaves,”

“I can’t believe you smoke that shit,” Genji scolded. “I hope you’re not working on anyone’s teeth while high,”

“I smoke maybe one blunt on the weekend,” he said. “And you act like I’m breaking bad,”

“Marijuana kills brain cells, Ogata,”

“Let’s talk about dead brain cells,” he said between puffs. “How many do you have left after your weekend ikkinomi bouts chugging Sapporo until the weakest hockey puck pukes off the balcony?”

Genji smiled, “I never hear you complain when the team comes over for beer,”

“Hell no,” he said lazily. “Watching you guys get drunk and fall all over each, provides free wank material for a month,”

“I’m glad we're entertaining,”

“It’s chilly out today,”

“Put some clothes on your ass,”

Ogata stepped on Genji’s buttocks on his way to the closet.

“You’re always bitchy after a blow job, Tanigaki,”

“It’s Friday, I expected some ass,” Genji swiped over his tablet screen until he found the proper subject heading. “I’m not pissed about it though, I’m more pissed about you getting high in my room,”

Ogata returned wearing his team jersey; it went clear down to his thighs.

“What are you laughing at?” he asked, joint stuck to his lip.

“You don’t hit the gym for a month,” said Genji. “Your muscles vanish,”

“You best never stop hitting the gym, Kumagaki,” he fell onto the futon beside him. “I’ve seen your pop and brother, and if they’re any indication as to how Tanigaki men age, you’re going to need maternity pants and a bra before you reach sixty,”

Genji shook his head, “Fatphobic,”

“Bullshit,” he took another hit off the joint. “I got nothing against a big belly,”

“What if I do get fat?” Genji asked.

“If you get fat,” he said. “I’d have a more comfortable place to sleep,”

“You chose that room,” said Genji. “I offered you this room, but you insisted on the one with the frame bed,”

Ogata had coerced the move from his brother’s posh LDK to a two-bedroom unit near the medical campus. The only reason Genji agreed to such a move was on the condition that Ogata never tell Yuusaku they were having sex on the daily.

At first they were screwing twice a day, until their trysts became conditional; his course load doubled and Ogata started working nights at a real dental office.

“Staying on topic,” he spoke while holding in his smoke. “In the off season when you’re not playing, you get softer. It’s nice when you’re flabby,”

Genji started, “I don’t get flabby,”

“Bears are supposed to be fat, Kumagaki,” he said, crawling between Genji’s legs.

“I’ll go to one of those clinics,” said Genji. “Get put in a trance, convinced I’m always full and I won’t eat so much,”

“Those hypnotist places don’t work,” he pressed the back of his neck into the cleft of Genji’s buttocks. “Sometimes it takes more than the power of suggestion,”

“My sister quit smoking after going to a hypnotist,” Genji opened his thighs to allow him room. “She started smoking again after her first kid, though,”

Ogata slapped the back of his knee, “Pay attention to me Tanigaki,”

“I’m not looking at you when you’re high,”

“Listen, I’m serious, it’s a hilarious story,”

“I’m not listening to you when you’re high, either,”

“After I moved in with the Hanazawa’s, I was eleven, and Yuusaku was nine,” turning, he wedged his shoulder into Genji’s crack. “Yuusaku was so spastic about having a big brother that he insisted on sleeping in my room,”

“Like you did to me our first month here?”

“Bedtime comes that first night, and Lady Hanazawa-”


“—she comes in and puts a cord across the doorway,” he began rambling. “I asked her what it was for, and she says that Yuusaku sleepwalks. The cord trips him and wakes him before he can walk somewhere dangerous,”

“Didn’t you have a bedroom door?”

“No bedroom in that house has a door,” his voice slurred. “A couple months later, our neighbor’s husband dies and so Lady Hanazawa-”


“—she says she’s going to spend a few nights with this grieving lady,” he explained. “All the neighborhood women were taking turns doing it,”

“Doing it?”

“Doing it,” he laughed, then flicked the back of his thigh. “Quit distracting me, I’m telling a relevant story,”

“Relevant to what?”

“The hypnotist!”

“Oh, I forgot,”

“So, my father-”


“—asshole starts complaining about Yuusaku sleepwalking and says she can’t go,” he took another long hit from the joint. “She says she’s going and that Yuusaku can sleep with him for the one night she’s gone,”

“Did he wet the asshole’s bed?”

“No, he never did that,” he said, heading shaking. “Let me finish my story, Tanigaki,”

“I’m surprised you can still talk,”

“Yuusaku falls asleep in my room like he always does,” he said. “Asshole comes in, and I’m thinking he’s going to pick him up and take him to bed. No. He comes in with the harness and leash we bought for the dog,”

Interested, Genji set down his tablet.

“He gets this thing on Yuusaku, right,” Ogata sat up and dropped the spent joint into an empty glass. “Then fucking secures it to my desk chair,”

“Wait, your brother didn’t wake up?”

“Yuusaku could sleep through a typhoon,” Ogata’s eyes were shining. “Later that night, I wake up and hear this clacking sound. I get up, and my desk chair and Yuusaku aren’t there,”

Genji felt light-headed.

“Yuusaku made it to the front door, Tanigaki, but the chair got caught in the door jamb and was just holding him in place. I go outside and just watch him because you’re not supposed to wake a sleepwalker, right?”

Genji took Ogata’s hand and laced their fingers.

“Another neighbor comes out and sees Yuusaku walking in place, then the old man wakes up, but by now Lady Hanazawa-”


“—mom comes across the street in her night coat and slippers, gathers Yuusaku up and gets me back in the house. After tucking Yuusaku in,” Ogata began laughing hysterically. “She walks right up to asshole, walks right up, and punches him in the face!”

Overcome, Genji laughed with him.

“Oh shit,” he sat up, alarmed. “Oh shit, Tanigaki!”

Genji inched over as Ogata moved in beside him.

“Oh shit, Tanigaki,” he repeated, alarmed.

“What’s the matter with you?” Genji asked.

“You can’t tell Yuusaku you know about this,”

Genji rolled onto his back, “Oh, it’s on!”

“No, Tanigaki!”

“Hanazawa the sleeping mutt,”

“You can’t Tanigaki!”


“I’ll break up with you,”

Genji sat up, “Are we a couple?”

Ogata stared at him stone-faced.

“Wait,” Genji caught him as he tried to leave, but he fought back. “Will you stop it!”

“What the hell do you think this is, Tanigaki?”

“You said we were roommates, with benefits,” Genji said. “Your words, not mine,”

“That was before-”

“—Before what?”

Ogata struggled anew.

“No, hey, wait a minute,” Genji got him onto his back. “Are we exclusive?”

“Why even ask that question?”

“I got asked out for next week,”

“Who asked you out?”

“It’s a simple question, N’oske,”

“Get off me, roommate!”

“Strictly sexual,” Genji let him up and watched him storm into the bathroom. “Don’t worry, I won’t bring her back here,”

“After three months of screwing me,” Ogata returned naked with the jersey in his hand. “You’re going out on a date with someone else?”

Genji shrugged, “This girl in my botany class asked me-”

“—Goddam Matagi!” he swung the jersey like a whip.

Genji put up an arm and then tackled Ogata to the futon.

“You tell me right now,” he demanded, Ogata beneath him. “Are we exclusive?”

“Get off me!”

“Are we exclusive?”

“We’re whatever you want us to be,”

“No,” he shook his head and kept Ogata trapped. “I want to know what you think we are,”

“I can’t think right now, I’m high,”

“No, you’re low,” Genji got close enough to taste the smoke upon Ogata’s lips. “You’re under me, and that’s where you belong,”

“You’re lucky I’m high, Kumagaki,”

Genji reached over and grabbed his belt.

“I’m not high enough for a spanking,” Ogata groused. “You hit me with that, and there’s going to be a fight,”

“I’d never hit you,” Genji captured his lips in a kiss before sitting up with Ogata imprisoned between his knees. “Wrists together, over your head,”

Ogata laughed, “What are you, a cop?”

“I’m your boyfriend, your only boyfriend,” Genji folded the belt and holding both ends, snapped it loudly. “Do as I say,”

Ogata raised his arms, “I’m high enough for this,”

Genji threaded the tail through the buckle and made a loop large enough slide over Ogata’s cinched wrists.

“You’re a little too good at this, Tanigaki,”

He pushed Ogata’s arms above his head head and leaning over him, threaded the remainder of the belt through the duct register in the floor.

“What now, boyfriend?”

Genji stared down at his handsome smiling lover and moving in for a kiss, snatched the cigar box up instead, and rose to his feet.

“What are you doing, Tanigaki?”

“You can complain about my drinking all you want,” Genji walked the bathroom. “But it’s not illegal. This stuff is illegal,”

“Don’t even think of flushing it!” Ogata yanked on the belt, but the register was screwed into the floor. “Damn it, Tanigaki, that’s not dirt weed, it’s expensive!”

Genji held the box up, “Is it worth the cost of losing me,”

“Losing you?” Ogata huffed. “Ten minutes ago, you were going on a date with some girl!”

“It’s me, or this?” said Genji.

Instead of making a choice, Ogata attempted to free himself; Genji stepped into the bathroom and slid the door shut behind him.

“Damn it, Tanigaki!”

Smiling, he flushed the toilet, and laughed as Ogata let loose a string of profanity. He set the bag of leaves set upon the counter and returned to the bedroom, flaunting the empty box.

“Goddam Matagi!” he railed with one hand free.

Before Genji could comment on how attractive he was when angry, the bedroom door slid open.

“Brother?” Yuusaku entered, his shaded eyes shifting from Ogata to Genji. “What’s going on?”

“Intervention,” Genji said quickly, lifting the box. “Caught him with this stuff,”

“You can’t smoke that around Genjirou, he could test positive,” Yuusaku scolded, then asked. “Where are your clothes?”

Ogata forced a smile.

“I was about to get a shower when, you know-”

“—I found his stash, confronted him,” Genji nodded.

“I followed him in here,” Ogata said.

“He thought he could get the better of me,” Genji grinned.

Yuusaku laughed, “No one gets the better of Kumagaki,”

“Not yet, anyway,” Ogata’s fake happiness was creepy.

Genji spoke up, “What did you need, Y’saku?”

“Coach moved the end of season party to next Friday,” Yuusaku stepped around him and walking to Ogata, easily undid the belt. “I thought we could go together,”

“What time on Friday?” asked Genji.

“The time changed too,” Yuusaku sat on the futon beside his naked brother. “Instead of six, it’s at seven,”

“Open bar, I guess,” Ogata mused. “I should go too,”

“You’re not on the team,” Genji spat.

“Someone needs to make sure you don’t drink,” Ogata nudged Yuusaku with a knowing elbow. “Genji’s giving up booze to help me stop smoking pot,”

Yuusaku looked to Genji, “That’s really considerate of you,”

“Kumagaki’s a considerate guy,” said Ogata.

Yuusaku jumped up and helped his brother to his feet. Clad in a sheet, Ogata’s eyes set upon Genji as he passed.

“Why do you two have separate rooms?” Yuusaku turned in the doorway with a puzzled look on his face. “You are boyfriends, right?”

Genji didn’t know how to respond.

“Mom mentioned Tanigaki to you last year for the rifle club because she thought you’d be good for each other,” said Yuusaku. “She said, you need someone to lean on, and Tanigaki needs someone to push him around, or something like that,”

Ogata cocked his head, “Does she know about you yet?”

“Good question,” Genji added.

“No,” Yuusaku scowled at them. “I’m not ready,”

“Neither is Tanigaki,” Ogata took hold of his arm. “He’s not quite ready to see things for what they are so he needs to be drawn a flow chart,”

Genji pressed his lips together before blurting, “We don’t share a room because he’s still weirded out by that time you sleepwalked outside,”

Yuusaku’s eyes went wide, “You told him!”

“Yuusaku,” Ogata stepped up, but his brother shrunk away.

“I bet that dog leash still fits, huh?” Genji asked.

“How could you tell him?” Yuusaku exclaimed. “I begged you not to tell anybody!”

“He was high,” Genji lifted the box. “That’s why we need to get him off this stuff,”

Ogata snapped, “Shut it, Tanigaki,”

“I’ll take it to the grave, Y’saku,” Genji avoided Ogata’s glare. “I got your back, bro,”

“Thanks Genjirou,” Yuusaku nodded before walking to the door. “I’ll see you on Friday,”

“Yuusaku, wait,” Ogata reached for him.

“No,” he raised a hand. “I need some time away from you, Hyakuno,”

Ogata held the sheet tight to his waist while watching his brother exit.

“I didn’t flush your shit,” Genji said. “It’s in the bathroom,”

Ogata turned slowly, “Yuusaku needs time away from me,”

Genji dropped the box as Ogata shed the sheet and jumped into his arms. Arms around Genji’s neck, he locked his legs around his torso.

“Ten to twelve days without Yuusaku,” Ogata said between kisses.

“When you come down from this high,” Genji let go of him. “You’re going to feel bad,”

“Not with your dick in my ass,” said Ogata, masturbating as he walked backward toward the bedroom.

Genji gathered him up and hoisted him over his shoulder before running back to the futon.