“Yoshitake! We have a traitor among us!” Hidenori announced, whipping around so fast that he accidentally elbowed Yoshitake in the stomach.
“…who?” The blonde managed to wheeze out a response as he clutched his abdomen and sent a short glare at the other.
Hidenori ignored the look and pointed at the sleeping boy on the floor of Tadakuni’s room. “I see a mark of betrayal upon our third musketeer’s neck.”
Confused, Yoshitake straightened and looked over at Tadakuni, who must have fallen asleep while reading; he lay on his side, book open beside his head. Yoshitake’s eyes roved up to the student’s neck, where the collar of his white uniform shirt had slipped down slightly. Then, he saw it.
“Is…is that…?” His voice was quiet, as if the shock threatened to render him speechless.
A sudden glare struck Hidenori’s glasses, hiding his eyes. “Yes,” he said solemnly and looked down at the ground, like he was mourning a fallen soldier.
“Nooooo!” Yoshitake wailed and fell to his knees in distress. His hands flew up to his eyes to hide the dreadful sight from his vision.
“It is no mistake. That mark is only given to men who have gone through the deepest of trials and recruited an untamable beast.” Hidenori explained, each word low and serious. “Don’t look away, Yoshitake. We must endure the fact that our trio’s bond has been shattered forever. One of our own has transcended into a realm where we cannot follow.”
Yoshitake tentatively peeked from behind his fingers to catch the appalling sight once more. A small circular bruise adorned the skin on Tadakuni’s neck, the purplish color evident on the pale skin.
Tadakuni slept on, oblivious.
“Wait.” Struck by a realization, the blonde pulled his hands away. “Doesn’t this mean…we’ve become inferior?”
“No!” Hidenori’s voice boomed and echoed around the small room. “You must not give up on our trio’s friendship so easily, Yoshitake!”
“You were the one who said our bond was broken.” Yoshitake deadpanned.
The brunette promptly ignored him. “If we are not at a high enough level, then we can bluff.”
“Hm…so you’re saying that we should create a fake mark on ourselves?” Yoshitake surmised, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “It’ll be hard to do a punch or jab to make that shape.”
“That’s why we have each other.”
“Although certain parts of our anatomy may differ from those of a female, our mouths are essentially the same.” Hidenori elaborated. Yoshitake gawked in understanding.
“We’re…we’re going to give each other hickeys?!”
“Desperate times call for desperate measures, my dear comrade. I will allow you to complete the deed to me first. If it makes it easier I can go grab one of Tadakuni’s sister’s skirts and—”
Yoshitake shook his head, gathering his resolve. “We’ll do this like men. If we can’t face each other as our true selves then we really are inferior to Tadakuni.”
“That was a beautiful speech.” Hidenori pushed up his glasses in order to rub at his teary eyes. Then, taking a deep breath, he set his jaw and closed his eyes. “Attack at will.”
“I will do my best to ensure victory, commander.” The blonde got to his knees and leaned forward. He hesitated nervously once he was within a few inches of the other’s face, an unwilling blush beginning to tint his own cheeks. Forcing himself to remember the importance of this task, he ignored the odd fluttering sensation in his stomach and pulled back Hidenori’s collar. That done, he plunged in before he could lose his nerve.
Yoshitake placed his mouth on the junction between the other male’s neck and shoulder. He suckled on the skin, lightly at first, and then with more determination. When he deemed it enough to leave a blemish, he pulled back. As he glanced at Hidenori to announce that he was finished, he noticed that the other seemed rather tense. It must be the seriousness of the situation at hand, Yoshitake decided.
“…it’s done.” The blonde announced.
Hidenori nodded, opening his eyes. He turned his head as much as possible in order to get a look at it. Sure enough, there was a patch of reddened skin that hadn’t been there before.
“Good work. Now it’s your turn.”
After Yoshitake sat back down and shut his eyes, Hidenori felt a sudden anxiety well up within him.
How exactly did he give someone a hickey, again?
He had never actually asked anyone about these kinds of details before, and his pride wouldn’t allow him to ask Yoshitake. If the other could do it, then it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out anyway. Once he started doing it then his instincts should do the work for him. Or at least he hoped.
Steeling himself, he leaned forward—only to stop when he nearly bumped noses with his friend.
Well that couldn’t be right.
Shifting more to the left, he looked at the smooth expanse of Yoshitake’s neck. Now all he had to was start sucking on it, or at least Hidenori thought so.
Picking a spot fairly close to the collarbone, the brunette placed his lips on it and quickly lapped over it with his tongue experimentally. It had a strange taste with the slightest hint of salt. Was this how his own skin tasted, or was this just how Yoshitake tasted?
Hidenori, unsure what to make of that strange thought, cast it aside in order to focus on his quest. He started to suck. And suck.
How long was he supposed to do this for? If he kept it up too long it would be awkward, but if he didn’t do it enough then the whole mission would be a failure. Maybe he could make it quicker somehow.
He gently took the skin between his teeth and nipped it lightly. A shudder ran through Yoshitake’s body, surprising Hidenori. Had he hurt him by accident?
The other didn’t tell him to stop, though, so he did it a few more times, swiped his tongue over the area to soothe it, and then finally pulled away.
Hidenori swiftly plastered on his tough, serious expression in order to hide his earlier nervousness. “There. We now both carry the same mark as Tadakuni.”
Yoshitake opened his eyes, blinking at Hidenori before feeling his neck. The brunette found himself glancing away, but thankfully the blonde was too busy touching the hickey Hidenori had left to notice.
“Great! Our friendship will live on. Take that, Tadakuni!” Yoshitake excitedly pumped his fist into the air.
Tadakuni continued to sleep.
“Hey, Hidenori. I just thought of something,” the blonde slowly said, enthusiasm dying down.
“If the other guys at school see these, all of us will be in a shit load of trouble.” Yoshitake fearfully looked over his shoulder, as if he could already see the horde of male students stampeding after them. In an all-boys high school where the power of virginity was strong, they would be sniffed out like an injured swimmer in shark infested waters.
Hidenori froze in alarm. “Damn it! Does the dress code allow scarves?”
“I don’t know, but that would make it too obvious that we’re trying to hide something.”
“We’ll just have to pull our collars up then. Maybe we can excuse ourselves from school by saying the doctor only gave us ten hours to live.”
“We already used that excuse. It’s not going to work again.” The blonde groaned.
“You’re right. We solved one quest only to be poisoned in the process.” His gaze drifted over to Tadakuni’s innocently sleeping form. “This is all his doing. We must take revenge!”
“Yeah, he could have at least told us he got a girl,” Yoshitake mumbled.
“But what should we do? It must be something befitting the crime.”
“How about we just give him more hickeys? That way all the other guys will be too focused on him to notice us.”
“Brilliant!” Hidenori exclaimed as they rose to their feet and headed over to the napping boy. Yoshitake sat down and started pulling Tadakuni into his lap. Hidenori aided him and started to unbutton the raven haired male’s shirt for more access.
“Hm…? What is it…?” Tadakuni’s voice was soft and slightly slurred. Giving a quiet yawn, he sleepily rubbed at his eyes before blinking questioningly up at Hidenori.
Both Hidenori and Yoshitake froze.
“Don’t look so cute while we’re trying to get revenge on you, dammit!” Hidenori insisted.
“Your charm attack won’t work on us!” Yoshitake added, pulling Tadakuni back against his chest.
“H-Huh?!” Tadakuni, alert but no less confused, looked down at the hands holding his waist and the others at his shirt. “What the hell are you guys doing?!”
“We were so heartbroken, Tadakuni. We…we saw your neck.” Yoshitake explained, voice choked from sadness.
Hidenori sniffed, holding back tears. “We did. We were afraid that you had gone somewhere that we could not follow.”
“So we did what had to be done.”
“But now we’re all in danger, and since it’s your fault, we’re going to make enough hickeys so that everyone at school will want to burn you at the stake!”
Tadakuni’s face flushed a light pink as he fully comprehended what they were about to do. “It’s not what you think! You don’t need to do this—“ Yoshitake’s lips against his neck interrupted him, causing him to gasp.
“I am afraid we must protect our honor, you understand,” Hidenori said as he yanked open another shirt button far more harshly than necessary.
“H-Hey! I don’t like it rough—”
The slam of the door sliding open cut Tadakuni off midsentence. Everyone stopped in their tracks, feeling a sudden wave of overwhelming fear at the familiar sound. Moving in unison, the three boys slowly looked up at their doom.
There stood Tadakuni’s sister, mouth open in shock. In mere seconds her face darkened with a mix of a blush and anger.
“Don’t you dare have a threesome while I’m in the house!”
Before the boys could so much as move she managed to grab Hidenori by the back of his shirt and hurl him at the wall, where he hit with a mighty thud before sliding to the ground. She then yanked Yoshitake away in order pull him to a stand and promptly knee him in the gut. The blonde’s oxygen left him in a rush and he fell over, wheezing painfully and wondering why his stomach seemed to be the prime target that day.
Fearing for his life, Tadakuni started scrambling backward. “L-Little sister, it’s really not what you think it was.”
“Like hell it wasn’t!” She yelled as she turned to him. The next thing Tadakuni knew, he had been picked up and slammed bodily into the ground. Head spinning and groaning in agony, he was barely able to hear her murmur of “I knew you were a uke” before she stomped out of the room.
For a good five minutes, none of the boys moved or spoke, all wallowing in their own pain. Finally, Hidenori managed to drag himself up to sit against the wall.
“You faced the little sister’s wrath alongside us like a true friend. We forgive you, Tadakuni,” Hidenori said, as if the other male had had a choice on whether to be beaten merciless by his own sibling.
“Yeah, we’re good, even if you got a girlfriend without telling us.” Yoshitake agreed, still a little breathless.
Tadakuni turned his head with a long sigh. “That wasn’t a hickey, guys. That was a bruise from where my little sister threw some chopsticks at me.”
There was a full thirty seconds of silence before both Yoshitake and Hidenori muttered, “oh.”
Stretching his battered body in order to look at the other two, Tadakuni noted the red marks on their necks in confusion. “But what about you two? Why do you have bruises?”
Hidenori and Yoshitake shared a look before quickly glancing away from each other.
“Let’s not dwell on the past.” Hidenori insisted.
“We’d better hurry and go to the store. I hear it’s hard to find scarves this time of the year.” Yoshitake added.
“…okay.” Tadakuni agreed with a shrug.