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beyond kissing

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Summer days are for skating for hours non-stop, either at the skatepark or all over the city. They are for scrapes and bruises on their knees and elbows, for sore muscles and overheating and then cooling off with ice cream and lukewarm soda in the shade, heads pressed together as they squint at YouTube videos of skateboard tricks.

They are days that Langa wishes would never end. No matter how much time he spends with Reki, it never gets boring. Reki talks enough for both of them, and ever since they became boyfriends, there seems to be a permanent sparkle in Reki’s eyes, and the wide grin on his face comes even easier than before. It makes Langa stare at Reki instead of paying attention to what he’s saying a lot of the time, but Reki just gestures wildly and keeps talking and doesn’t notice if Langa spaces out a little to daydream about kissing that wide grin later.

Eventually, fatigue and hunger drive them homewards as the sun paints the sky the colour of Reki’s eyes, and they have long figured out the best way to skate hand in hand, comfortable and unhurried, just cruising across the sidewalks into the suburbs towards Reki’s home. Sometimes they let go to pass rubbish bins or cyclists, but they always come back together just as easily.

Summer days are also for homemade dinners that Reki’s mom cooks for them and keeps simmering on the stove because they always lose track of time. Summer days are for staying over at Reki’s house and the unspoken thrill of knowing that soon they’ll have all the time in the world to curl up together and make out for as long as they want.

Since it’s vacation, Langa’s mom has given him permission to sleep over at Reki’s whenever he wants, as long as he texts her when they get home, so that’s what Langa’s done every other night all summer so far. Reki often complains that his house is too loud and offers no privacy, which might be a little true, but Langa loves the energy of the Kyan home. In any case, Reki’s youngest sisters are usually in bed by the time they come home and eat leftover rice and fish, or curry, and Koyomi is more than happy to leave them alone—although she will make loud kissy noises while Reki chases her towards her bedroom.

They eat and sometimes watch TV for a bit. Reki's grandmother knits in her chair, and sometimes Reki’s mother joins them in the living room, watching with them or reading her book.

And after they yawn loudly and excuse themselves, no one bothers them in Reki’s room. There’s a spare futon on the floor, but it’s been weeks since Langa last slept on it. Reki’s twin bed is a little cramped for two teenage boys, but they make do. Reki likes to sleep draped half-across Langa, Langa found out quickly, and to his surprise, that’s actually not at all uncomfortable.

Also, when they’re making out, a small twin bed doesn’t matter anyway.

Summer days are also for making out. A lot of it.

It’s a full moon, and the buzz of the cicadas outside is a soothing background song. Reki has rolled himself on top of Langa, knees bracketing Langa’s hips and his hands cupped around Langa’s face. Their kisses are slow like thick honey; the perfect ending to a perfect summer day.

Langa likes being on his back. He likes having Reki’s weight on top of him, just the right side of heavy. Spending all day on a skateboard leaves him feeling like his entire world is still spinning even when he’s lying down, but Reki grounds him. They trade little kisses, lips and just a hint of tongue, a little shy, still—but just enough to make the slide of their mouths together smooth and slick. He likes getting to hold Reki, although for now, his hands are only cupped around the backs of Reki’s thighs, just above his knees.

There’s the echo of skateboarding sounds—wheels spinning across the concrete, the snapping sound of their boards landing after a spin—in Langa’s ears, but the breathy noises Reki is making right now do a good job of drowning them out. Reki is always in motion, always loud, and when they kiss, it’s no different. Langa found this out quickly after they stumbled their way through awkward confessions with aborted sentences and blushing faces.

Their first kiss was hesitant, and it took Langa a few moments to realise that their noses wouldn’t be squished together if he tilted his head, and it took him a few moments longer to realise he could slide his hands into Reki’s hair to help Reki angle his head in return.

Fortunately, both he and Reki are fast learners.

“Langa…” Reki mutters between kisses, sucking a little on Langa’s bottom lip. “Langa…”

Langa hums in response, sliding his hands up Reki’s thighs, over his bright yellow shorts, and circling them around to rest at the small of Reki’s back. He can’t bring himself to pull away from the kisses Reki is scattering across the corners of his mouth, which makes it hard to reply. A questioning sound leaves his lips. “Hmm?”

“Nothing,” Reki murmurs, his hands smoothing up to brush Langa’s hair away from his forehead. “I just like saying your name.”

Langa feels his entire face light up at the words, and that breaks their kisses with a little smacking sound. 

His voice comes out a little bashful when he replies, “I like it when you say my name.”

He wants to say more, to try and get out all of the feelings inside him, coiled tightly in his stomach, but then Reki is kissing him again, and there’s a haze in his brain that’s hard to think around. Reki kissing him always does that. Reki is just amazing like that. There are so many things Reki is amazing at, and kissing is absolutely at the top of the list.

For a few moments, Langa loses all train of thought as Reki licks into his mouth with slightly more focus than before, curling their tongues together and then sliding his over the roof of Langa’s mouth in a way that makes Langa’s stomach swoop oh so nicely.

When Langa responds with a quiet moan, Reki redoubles his efforts. The way they’re kissing now is somehow both mind-numbingly easy and turns Langa on like nothing else; there’s a heat building inside him that is impossible to ignore. The slick sounds of their lips pressing and releasing, the way their breathing speeds up and gets so loud in their little bubble that it drowns out the sound of the cicadas.

Between kisses, when Reki is catching his breath and they’re just looking at each other for a few seconds, Langa blurts out, “How are you so good at this?”

As he’d hoped deep down maybe, Reki flushes a bright shade of crimson and he freezes for a few seconds before burying his face in the pillow next to Langa’s head. He lets out a drawn-out groan, and he squirms.

Reki doesn’t reply, but Langa can somehow still tell how pleased he is to hear those words. And that’s enough.

Langa’s not sure what makes him a little daring. It might be that he can’t remember ever feeling as relaxed as during evenings like this, with Reki so warm and so close, the smell of his deodorant—like mandarin and the salt of the ocean—the aftertaste of the curry they had for dinner. But something undefinable swells in his chest and he pushes Reki’s t-shirt up so he can get his hands on that warm, smooth skin underneath.

Reki makes a sound between a hoarse moan and a choke. He shifts a little to bury his face in the curve of Langa’s neck, breath hot and damp against the collar of Langa’s shirt.

Langa’s heart, which was already beating at twice its usual rate, starts racing as if he’s just landed a hardflip after hours of practising.

They haven’t ever gone beyond kissing. Not for lack of desire on Langa’s part (nor Reki’s part, if the way he carefully angled his hips away from Langa’s sometimes after their kisses turned wet and deep was anything to go by) but… thinking of things like that is a little scary. 

Besides, Langa was fine with waiting until the right moment. Kissing Reki was already more than he ever wanted.

But Reki is panting into his neck now, wrapped around Langa like an octopus, all long limbs and spineless in how relaxed he is. And Langa is hyperaware of how every inch of their bodies is touching, summer-warm and a little sweaty through two thin layers of shirts and shorts. 

He is a little hard. He wonders if Reki is able to feel it.


It takes a few seconds before the reply comes, and when it does, Reki’s voice is too high-pitched. “Y-yes?”

“Say my name again?”

Langa feels Reki smile against his neck, senses the vibrations of his words almost before they reach his ears. “Langa. Langaaaaaa. Langa.”

The shiver that runs through Langa is involuntarily, but not at all unpleasant.

“I like your voice,” Langa says, because here in the dark, especially when he’s not looking at Reki, it’s easy to talk.

It’s Reki’s turn to shiver a little.

“I…” Langa continues. “I like a lot of things about you.”

“Langaaaaaaa,” Reki whines, and Langa can hear the shy embarrassment in his voice. 

It’s not fair that Reki doesn’t know just how amazing he is. Langa is reminded of that evening all those months ago, when he had felt so relieved that it made him bold, and he had just blurted out all of the things he loved about Reki. The image of Reki covering his face with his arm and blushing so brightly that Langa was able to see it clearly even in the dark hasn’t left his thoughts since.

“It’s true,” Langa says softly, afraid to break their little bubble if he speaks too loudly. 

His admiration for Reki is almost boundless; it’s constantly bubbling up inside his chest as if it’s a tangible thing, and sometimes he holds it back, but Reki… Reki likes it when Langa compliments him. Even though he doesn’t say, Langa is almost one hundred percent sure. So far he’s said three sort-of compliments to Reki, and Reki has responded to them with kissing him, blushing and squirming, and then with shivering.

Langa brushes his hands up across the dip in Reki’s spine. They’re both breathing hard, their chests pressed together so he can feel the matching racing rhythm of Reki’s breaths.

“Is this… okay?” he asks, because even though Reki hasn’t pulled away, right now he can’t see Reki’s face and suddenly it seems important to check. 

“Yeah,” Reki answers quickly. “Yeah. Uh, it’s… very okay.”

“Okay,” Langa says, and his hands settle into a soothing rhythm up and down. And then, shyly. “I like the way you feel against me.”

Reki inhales sharply, and he tenses for a second, but then he relaxes again. 

“I like the way you kiss me, all eager but gentle, too.” Langa takes a deep breath. “I like watching you skateboard. You look so carefree and so… happy, and it makes me happy, too. You’re so good at teaching me new tricks, and you always notice when a screw needs tightening just by the way I am skating. I know I told you before, but all those modifications you thought of for my board… They were all so brilliant.”

Reki is trembling a little now, and Langa doesn’t know if it’s from his touch on Reki’s bare skin or the words. Or maybe both.

“Langa…” Reki whispers hoarsely. “What are you doing?” 

“I’m complimenting you.”


Why? Does Reki not know? Langa tries to get his brain to produce coherent thoughts through the haze of feelings and Reki

“Because you’re amazing, Reki. You deserve all the praise in the world.” 

There it is again. The full-body shiver, like a wave surging through Reki from top to toe.

“Stop,” Reki murmurs, but he’s squirming in a way that makes Langa bite back a moan. “Too much.” 

And everything about Reki in this moment makes Langa bold, so he says, “But, Reki, you’re the coolest, kindest, best person I know. I wanna tell you. So… What if I don’t want to stop?

There’s a beat, two, three, and for all of them, Langa holds his breath. Maybe that was too pushy? If someone said stop, he was to stop, his dad had always taught him. But… but how could he ever stop complimenting Reki? 

But then Reki deflates, his entire body going soft and heavy and melting into Langa’s with a long sigh. Langa wraps his arms tighter around Reki’s waist in return, keeping him the closest he could. 

“Fine,” Reki says hoarsely. “You win.”

Slowly, Langa’s lips curl up into a fond smile. They’re both silent for long, long moments, just lying and breathing together.

Then, Reki whispers, “What else?”


Reki squirms a little, and the feeling of the cotton sliding between them makes Langa bite back a tiny moan. “What else do you like about me?” 

Langa’s face splits into the widest grin possible.


Where does Langa even begin?

“I like your smile. I know it’s like a silly cliché from a pop song, but when you smile at me, I just feel so happy. When I nailed that first ollie, the feeling was amazing, but it was even better to see you smile at me afterwards. That’s when I knew—” Langa inhales sharply, suddenly cutting himself off when he realises what he was about to say.

“Knew what?”

Langa lets the air out of his lungs with a whooshing sound. Reki can’t see his face anyway. And it’s not like he hasn’t said it before. “That I wanted to skate with you forever.”

Reki scrambles around on the bed, pushing himself up onto his knees and elbows again. His face is bright red when he looks at Langa, but his eyes are shining in the light of the moon, and he’s smiling, too. More shy than bright this time, but it makes Langa’s skin tingle regardless.

“Me too,” Reki says. “Forever.”

Langa keeps stroking his hands up and down, feeling the muscles in Reki’s back tremble beneath his touch. “You’re so kind and cool and loyal. You wouldn’t ever hurt someone deliberately, I’m sure of that. The way you defended Miya from Adam that night… I loved how fierce and protective you were. You’re the best friend anyone could ever have. I’m so glad you’re my best friend.”

“Langa…” The flush on Reki’s face spreads lower with Langa’s every word, onto his neck and underneath the v-neck of his t-shirt. Langa moves one hand to touch the side of Reki’s neck, fingers curling against the hot, hot skin there.

Seeing Reki blush is one of Langa’s favourite things. It makes his skin all tingly, too, knowing that he is the reason for that blush.

“And now you’re more than my best friend. I wanted you to be my boyfriend ever since then. Reki, I’m so lucky…”

“It’s me that’s the lucky one.” Reki pouts a little, but he looks pleased, too.

“You’re just…” Langa can’t stop the sappy, fond smile from spreading all over his face. He can see Reki’s face go soft in return. “You’re amazing, Reki.”

“Ah,” Reki gasps, and then he surges down to kiss Langa again.

He doesn’t waste time; the kiss turns deep and hungry instantly. Langa tugs them flush together with the arm that’s still wrapped around Reki, and Reki whimpers softly into the kiss. Reki’s hands slide in his hair, tangling into the strands that have gotten a little too long.

And then— And then Reki rolls his hips against Langa’s, and it’s impossible to miss. Reki is hard.

It could’ve been the kissing or the touching, of course; Langa knows Reki’s been hard before when they were making out. But now they hadn’t been kissing for quite some time, so… what if it’s Langa’s praise? What if that is what turned Reki on?

Langa likes the idea of that so much that he can’t keep still, and his hips jerk up involuntarily. He’s hard, too, that contented haze coming over his brain again, which makes everything between them easy and frantic at the same time. He can barely breathe, and the lack of oxygen is not helping the way he feels his entire body reel. Once again, Reki’s weight against him grounds him, only now it’s decidedly hotter than before. Knowing that they’re both hard… 

Before, Reki used to pull away when it happened. Now… Now he settles into a clumsy rhythm against Langa, rubbing back and forth in little thrusts.

“Reki…” Langa whispers when Reki pulls away for a second to breathe. “Reki, I… If we don’t stop, I’ll…”

Reki’s panting hard, shaky gasps that brush over Langa’s cheek. “Do you want to stop?”

“No,” Langa says, peeling his eyes open to look at Reki. Reki’s eyes are glassy and it takes him a few seconds to focus his gaze on Langa’s. “Is that… okay?”

“Yes,” Reki says, kissing Langa again. And again. Until Langa’s brain is nothing but Reki, Reki, Reki, so close and not quite there yet. “Langa… Ahhh, Langa…”

Somehow, Langa manages to slide his hands to Reki’s hips, holding him there and guiding his thrusts so they settle into the same rhythm. 

He has imagined this moment hundreds of times in his own fantasies. The reality of it is even better. The noises Reki makes, desperate little mewls, his voice husky with need. The rustling of their cotton shorts sliding together, the way Langa’s entire body feels like it’s on fire, but in a pleasant way. He never wants this feeling to stop, he wants to rub against Reki like this forever.

Through the haze in his mind, Langa remembers the praise he wants to give Reki. The praise Reki wants him to give, even though he gets flustered and embarrassed. 

“You feel so good, Reki,” Langa gasps. “You’re the best kisser. You’re amazing.”

At the praise, Langa can feel Reki twitch against him, and his rhythm becomes sloppy. Langa wonders if he should shove a hand between them, give Reki that final push by touching him, but he can’t bring himself to move. Instead, he keeps talking.

“Reki…” His voice is a mere rasp, hoarse and deep. “I like you so much. I like everything about you.

Reki moves his mouth away to bury his face in Langa’s neck again, and part of Langa wishes he could see him, but getting to feel him like this is also amazing.

“You’re perfect.”

Reki lets out a strained sob, and he thrusts against Langa a final time before shuddering forcefully. Langa holds him through his orgasm, listening to his moans and whimpers, sliding his right hand up underneath Reki’s t-shirt again. Reki’s skin is fever-hot, and so soft beneath his touch that he can’t stop stroking it, soothing both of them as Reki comes back down.

Eventually, Reki goes boneless against him with a long, drawn-out whimper. He twitches a few times with aftershocks, and Langa just lets him gather his breath, even though his body is telling him to move and get some friction now, please.

It’s not long before Reki lifts his head, and his face is caught between wonder and hesitancy.

“Langa…” He sounds absolutely wrecked, and Langa feels himself shudder at the sound of his name from Reki’s lips like that.

Langa’s not sure how he’s still forming words right now, but somehow he hears himself say, “That was… really hot.”

Reki flushes even darker, and he smiles, all soft and sated.

“What, uh—” Reki starts, then pauses. He glances down, shifts a little experimentally which makes Langa gasp. “What about you?”

“I’m… really close,” Langa says.

At those words, Reki rolls off Langa, but only a little. He keeps their legs tangled, and before Langa can begin to wonder why he moved, Reki’s hand is on his dick—Reki’s hand is on his dick!—and even with the layer of clothes between them, Langa’s brain short-circuits.

Vaguely he’s aware that Reki’s asking him something, and it sounds like “Okay?” so Langa nods eagerly, unsure if he could speak now even if he wanted to.

And then Reki’s hands are undoing the button of his shorts, a little clumsily and it takes a few seconds, but Langa’s so far gone that everything is just static in his mind. It’s all good. He lets his eyes flutter shut to focus on the feeling, on the sensation of Reki pushing his shorts down a little to wrap an experimental hand around him.

“Reki,” he pleads, and he doesn’t recognise the sound of his own voice, high-pitched and so needy.

And then Reki presses his lips against Langa’s once more in a wet, clumsy kiss and starts to stroke.

Langa had been serious, he really is close, and his hips jerk unceremoniously into Reki’s tight grip. When Reki takes his hand away, Langa isn’t proud of the desperate sound he makes, but Reki hushes him and Langa opens his eyes just in time to see Reki spitting into his hand.


But then Reki is kissing him again, and that hand wraps itself around Langa again only now the slide is wet and even hotter.

Langa tries to make it last, he really does, but this hot wave of arousal has been building in him for too long, and his skin feels like it’s on fire, the coil in his stomach tightening, and Reki is still kissing his lips, his chin, then down to his neck where his mouth trails wet and hot and slippery.

“Reki… Oh, Reki. More, please…” 

“Langa… Langa…”

And it’s the sound of Reki saying his name like that, hoarse and eager, that sends Langa tumbling over the edge. There are white exploding stars behind his eyelids, his hips shiver and thrust into Reki’s hand a final time, and then there’s the overwhelming relief of his release, the sensation of Reki stroking him through it heightening every surge. It’s so much more intense than when he gets himself off; it’s the idea that Reki is watching him, Reki is touching him. A sweet warmth spreads out from his core to his limbs, and a sated lethargy sinks into all his muscles one by one.

There are long, blissful moments during which Langa feels like he’s floating, all limp and warm and sweaty, after which one by one his senses return. The sound of Reki’s rough breathing, and then a soft, low chuckle. The feeling of Reki’s hand in his hair, stroking a little through the sweaty strands. Reki’s smell, still mandarin and sea salt, but now it’s a little muskier, too.

Slowly, Langa opens his eyes and blinks to try and get the world—Reki—back into focus.

“Hey,” Reki says gently.

“Hey,” Langa replies, his voice croaky.

It’s awkward for a second—what do you say to the boy who's just gotten you off?—and then they’re both smiling at each other, giggling a little. Reki wraps his arms around Langa’s chest and buries closer, heedless of the mess between them, tucking his head underneath Langa’s chin.

“I’ve wanted to do that for so long.” Reki’s voice is muffled by his t-shirt, warm and soft.

“Me too.” Langa shifts a little so he can slide a hand into Reki’s hair, revelling in the little shiver in Reki’s spine.

“We have to shower,” Reki says with a note of regret.

“Mmm,” Langa agrees, but he makes no move to get up. He’s way too comfortable right here, with Reki in his arms like this, both of them relaxed and content.

“Or we can shower in the morning,” Reki says, sleepy.

“Yes.” And Langa doesn’t even think about it consciously this time when he says, “You’re so clever. You always have the best ideas.”

He only realises what he said when Reki squirms against him again and whines, “Langaaaaaaaa.”

Langa laughs fondly. “I just like praising you.”

Reki is silent for a few seconds, and then Langa can hear the pout in his voice when he replies, “I noticed.” And then, quieter. “I like it when you praise me.”

I noticed, Langa thinks but doesn’t say out loud.

Reki pulls away to get the tissue box off the nightstand and hands it to Langa while he shimmies out of his shorts and underwear, turning away from Langa to change into clean boxers to sleep in. When he slips back into bed, he immediately cuddles close as Langa pulls the sheets over both of them, their skins now cooling down rapidly.

If they weren’t both so tired, Langa would have loved to do this again. As it is, it will have to wait until tomorrow. 

Langa hopes that summer days, no, all days will be for doing this with Reki from now on.