"Take it more seriously," Suoh complains as Reisi's guy on the game screen is flattened by a bulldozer type alien blobby. "Now we gotta start this whole level over."
Reisi mumbles an apology but he's not even apologising for screwing up in-game; he's not sorry for that. He's sorry that it happened because he got distracted by Suoh's face. Again.
He imagines scooting closer to Suoh, not close enough to touch him but close enough to feel it when he moves. Suoh would give him one of his sidelong 'what's up?' looks and turn back to the game. That would be just fine with Reisi; he doesn't want Suoh to look too closely at him, to notice how flustered Reisi gets when Suoh's near him, how loudly his heart beats, how his eyes can't seem to stay away from Suoh for long.
Reisi can just sit here and stare at Suoh all day, which is more than a little weird. He knows that. He knows that trying to ignore these feelings isn't making them go away. He knows that for Suoh's sake and his own, he ought to start increasing the distance between them. He knows, and it hurts.
If Suoh weren't his best friend, Reisi could just tell him how he feels. Even if he were rejected, it would be fine -- painful and embarrassing, yes, but that's to be expected. But Suoh might not feel right rejecting him. He might decide to accept his feelings to avoid ruining their friendship, and Reisi doesn't want that. He doesn't want Suoh to do such a thing out of obligation.
Reisi blinks. "Yes? What is it?"
"I've been calling your name for a minute already. Man, you're really out of it today."
"I'm sorry. Maybe I should just watch you play."
"I can't believe you still remember this old thing," Reisi said.
Mikoto paused the game and looked up. "We never did beat the co-op version."
"Don't look at me like that," Reisi said. "I haven't touched a controller in years. It's been sitting under the TV gathering dust until you showed up."
"The graphics are shit but it's still kind of fun," Mikoto pointed out.
Reisi sighed. "So we'll pack the console up with the rest and you can play as much as you want at home. I'm going to get changed."
He went into his bedroom, where he'd left the change of clothes he'd brought with him that morning -- old jeans he hadn't worn since university and a Tigers shirt that used to be his father's: fine in the shoulders but too short. Reisi peeked in the dresser to see if he'd left a normal-sized shirt behind. The drawers were empty except for the book of his letters to Mikoto in the top one. He'd found it in his uniform pocket the other day and stashed it in the dresser.
Reisi glanced at the bed -- still made. Mikoto must've slept on top of the covers the night Reisi had had the last of his near-meltdowns. He couldn't have made a bed neatly to save his life.
"Where do you want me to-- oh, is this where it was?"
Reisi looked at Mikoto in the doorway, puzzled. "Where what was?"
"The notebook," Mikoto said. "I had it in my room. Thought I lost it."
"Oh," Reisi said. "Sorry."
"I'm just glad it wasn't lost," Mikoto said, staring at Reisi. "Nice shirt, by the way."
Reisi blushed and tugged the shirt down. "Shut up. It was dark when I picked it out."
"No, I like it," Mikoto said.
Reisi placed the notebook on top of the dresser. "Of course you do. Come on, let's get started."
He walked to the doorway, but Mikoto put both hands on either side of the frame. "I want to kiss you."
Reisi gave him a kiss, quick and soft. "You don't have to announce it every time."
Mikoto grabbed Reisi's ass with both hands. "What about something like this?"
"You give him a hand, he wants the whole arm," Reisi murmured, letting Mikoto draw him closer. They kissed again, slower this time, slow and so deep Reisi forgot what he was supposed to be doing. He turned aside, wishing his dick's sense of timing would go jump off a cliff.
Mikoto put his arms around Reisi's midsection and tightened them. "What if I want more than the arm?" he whispered.
Now? "I was running up the stairs earlier and got all sweaty," Reisi said. "I should really take a shower."
Mikoto shook his head. "You smell really good."
"There's no lube."
"I don't care; we don't have to go that far."
Mikoto linked his hands at the small of Reisi's back and pressed his forehead against Reisi's. "I want you," he mumbled. "I want you bad."
Reisi drew a fingertip across Mikoto's lower lip. "Then have me."
He couldn't quite recall anything he'd ever said that had come so easily. He twisted out of Mikoto's embrace, took one of his hands, and led him to the bed. Reisi sat down on the edge and looked up into Mikoto's face, finding such a thunderstruck expression that he had to suppress a snicker.
"What's with that look?" he asked, working the buttons of Mikoto's jeans open.
Mikoto lifted Reisi's glasses off and put them on the bedside table. "I didn't think you'd actually agree."
"Oh, was this a gamble? How rude," Reisi said. He slid his thumbs along Mikoto's hips, hooked them underneath the waistband of his underwear, and pushed both jeans and underpants down at once, touching his half-open mouth to the base of Mikoto's cock as it came free, hard and pointed upwards. Reisi curled his hand around the middle of it, knuckles brushing Mikoto's lower belly, and pressed the flat of his tongue against the base, the frantic heart-pulse beneath Mikoto's skin going through him like distant summer thunder.
Mikoto drew in a breath and put his hands on top of Reisi's shoulders, fingertips digging into the shirt, trying to twitch it upwards, failing. Reisi stroked the underside of Mikoto's cock with his thumb, rolling the soft skin over the hard flesh beneath, his tongue still working the base with his mouth sealed tight against it. Mikoto's faltering breaths grew heavier as Reisi eased away a little to lick higher up Mikoto's length, cupping his hand over the head and letting it rub against his palm, so wet it made Reisi want to hurry up and taste it.
With anyone else, he would have hurried; it was all about quickly seeing things to the preordained conclusion. With Mikoto, Reisi wanted to stretch every second to its limit. He probably could, if Mikoto let him do as he liked, but the way Mikoto's fingers dug into his upper back with every lick told Reisi he wasn't going to get to do as he liked for much longer. And once Mikoto put his hands on Reisi, the waning semblance of control at Reisi's core would be the first thing to go.
"Stop," Mikoto gasped, pushing Reisi back by the shoulders.
"You don't like it?" Reisi asked, falling down onto the bed.
"That's not the problem," Mikoto muttered, staring at Reisi's stomach. He reached out with two fingers and brushed the barely-there trail of fine dark hair that began beneath Reisi's navel, then did it again. "Shit."
"What is it?"
Mikoto fiddled with the top button of Reisi's jeans. "Is this a fucking chastity belt?" he mumbled.
"You're trying to unbutton it as if the jeans were on you," Reisi explained, reaching down to help him.
Mikoto didn't lift his gaze as he opened the zipper, then tugged Reisi's jeans down and down and all the way off, leaned down, dragging Reisi's shirt up his chest, kissed Reisi's mouth. Mikoto's hand wrapped around his cock, and Reisi lost it -- he moaned, dug his hands into Mikoto's hair and lifted his hips off the bed, trying to get closer. Mikoto stumbled forward and fell on top of Reisi with a grunt.
"Did you trip over your pants?" Reisi asked.
"Yes," Mikoto admitted, his voice muffled against the comforter.
Mikoto let go of him, sat up, and hauled Reisi all the way up onto the bed, settling between his spread legs, then pulling his shirt off. Reisi put his legs on either side of Mikoto and sat up to take off his own shirt. His hair fell into his face, and Mikoto brushed it aside as he leaned in for a kiss, his other hand slipping around Reisi's cock again. Reisi whimpered. Mikoto's hold on him tightened, and he leaned in, pushing Reisi down on the bed, kissing his mouth, his neck, his shoulder; his hand on Reisi's cock steady and sure as if he knew exactly what Reisi liked.
Though let's face it; when it comes to Mikoto, I like everything. Maybe a little too much.
He put his hands on Mikoto's ass and tugged him closer, kneading, squeezing, dragging him open; Mikoto panted into his ear and lifted his ass a bit for an easier angle, his dick bumping against Reisi's belly; just imagining what Mikoto looked like from the side right now sent fire through his groin, making him gasp. "I want-- I'm close, let me up," he breathed.
Mikoto settled back on folded legs; Reisi sat in front of him, braced against one arm behind him, knees on either side of Mikoto, and took both of their cocks in hand. Mikoto put one hand around Reisi's, squeezing his fingers tighter; his free arm went around Reisi's shoulders. One kiss was all it took to make Reisi start whimpering again, and he became completely useless when Mikoto started to to jerk them both off by making Reisi's hand move. All he could do was raise his hips off the bed to match the pace Mikoto set and let desperate little cries into Mikoto's soft mouth until release shook him like a doll and he spilled it out over their clenched hands, aware only of Mikoto's arm tightening around his shoulders, of the small, choking noise Mikoto made as he came.
After they pulled apart, Mikoto eased him down onto the bed; Reisi flopped onto his side and curled up, his mind sluggish, his breath trapped in the space between his throat and lungs for a few blank moments. He exhaled and opened his eyes. Mikoto lay facing him, grinning that sly little grin that Reisi had thought he'd never see again, the one that said let's do something naughty, let's see what they say when we do, let's be bad together, come play with me. Reisi smiled back; there was nothing else he could have done.
Mikoto threw an arm out over Reisi's shoulders and pulled him closer. Reisi lightly pressed his lips against the thin layer of sweat beneath Mikoto's throat and breathed in the scent they made together as his heartbeat wound down.
No grand emotional epiphany, no miraculous end to all his worries about the future. Just a feeling that he was safe, so strong that even Blue Aura -- which was never far from reach, ready to save him at the slightest hint of danger -- went far and deep, leaving him unprotected. He had forgotten it felt like not to carry that invisible shield. But here and now, he didn't need it.
"I thought you were just teasing when you said you weren't the quiet type," Mikoto said after a few moments.
Reisi tilted his face up to look at him. "Is that so? Do you dislike it?"
"No, I just -- if you didn't, you know. I could've gone for longer," Mikoto said, then sighed in obvious frustration. "That was over too quickly is what I'm trying to say, damn it."
Reisi laughed and ducked out from underneath Mikoto's arm. "It's a little late for performance anxiety from either of us. Besides, we have things to do."
Mikoto made a grab for him. "First let's do it again."
Reisi rolled away and pointed to the clock display on the wall, faint in the darkness gathering outside the window. "There's the mess we just made here. There's the packing. And I've still got work tomorrow." He turned over onto his chest and propped himself up on one elbow. "It's not like this is the last time. Please pass me my glasses."
Mikoto handed them over. "Don't be such a wet blanket. Who knows when the next time will be? Last time at home, you didn't want to because of Auntie."
"Mother leaves for an hour every day after dinner," Reisi pointed out.
Mikoto gave him a look. "We gonna watch the clock every time?"
Reisi glanced away. There was no use pretending like he hadn't thought about this. "The master bedroom's practically in its own wing of the house. And soundproof besides."
Reisi opened his eyes and stared at the teenager fiddling with her phone in the seat across from him. Seat. Train. He must've fallen asleep on the journey home. Suppressing a yawn, he sat up straight.
"Our stop's coming up," Mikoto said, and only then did Reisi realise that he had been using Mikoto's shoulder as a pillow.
"I'm sorry," he said quickly. "I didn't mean to do something so embarrassing."
Mikoto's eyebrow twitched. "Sleeping isn't embarrassing."
"Sleeping on top of a person in full view of the public is," Reisi said with a rueful shake of his head. The train began to glide to a stop, and he got up.
Mikoto -- who was the type to remain seated until the very last possible moment -- caught up with him by the doors just as they opened. "Stop caring so much about what strangers think."
"One of us has to," Reisi shot back.
"You'll get grey hairs."
"I don't want to hear that from somebody two months older."
"One month and a half. You'll still get grey hairs sooner."
After they ascended the escalator and emerged into the street, Mikoto took Reisi's hand and didn't let go until they reached the house.
"I feel too awkward about it after all," Reisi said, taking a seat next to Mikoto on the back porch to continue the conversation they'd started while washing up after dinner. "Isn't it obvious why we'd want to use that bedroom?"
Mikoto took a drag of his cigarette. "Yeah, it's obvious. So?"
"So she's my mother. I can't just walk up to her and say, 'by the way, Mother, I want to have a lot of sex with Mikoto so we're going to use the bedroom where I was probably conceived, is that quite all right?'"
Mikoto smirked. "If that's how you're gonna put it to her, maybe I should talk to her about it instead."
"That's not what I meant," Reisi objected. "Even if I don't say such things, they're obvious. It's rude." He hadn't mentioned that Mother had technically already given permission. Taking advantage of that felt like using a loophole.
"Were you really conceived there?" Mikoto asked after a couple of silent smoke exhalations.
Reisi rolled his eyes. "It has never occurred to me to ask."
Mikoto stared at the lit end of his cigarette. "You feel like we're being watched?"
Reisi glanced towards the fence where he'd sensed movement earlier. "For a while now, yeah." He wasn't terribly concerned -- the garden was large enough that anyone on the other side of the fence wouldn't be able to hear anything being said on the porch.
Mikoto peered into his face. "Wanna go check it out?"
"Whoever it is would see us coming."
"Use your air-walking trick," Mikoto advised. "They couldn't outrun that."
Reisi looked at the fence again, doubtful. "I prefer not to use Blue Aura for trivial reasons."
Reisi made a face. "If you hadn't used your power for everything under the sun, your Weismann level wouldn't have reached threshold for another decade at least."
"But then we wouldn't be together," Mikoto said, stubbing his half-finished cigarette out in the ashtray. "I don't miss it. Especially since coming clean to my guys."
"What do you do over there, anyway?" Reisi asked. Mikoto spent mornings helping Chisato around the house, then went downtown and spent the afternoons at HOMRA before meeting Reisi at the station after work. The pattern had started just last week, after Reisi had moved the last of his things out of the apartment.
"I dunno," Mikoto said with a shrug. "Sit around, have a drink or two, shoot the shit. The usual. I'd tell you to stop by, but you're gonna say no anyway."
"I do not like to go where I'm not welcome," Reisi said, now staring at the fence openly. Something had definitely moved behind it just then.
Mikoto leaned sideways against him and placed a hand atop his thigh. "If you can pay for the booze, you're welcome. It's a bar. And you're with me."
Reisi stared at Mikoto's hand on his leg and tried to work out how long it had been since Mother had set off for her walk. All at once, he lost interest in the person behind the fence -- he sensed no danger, in any event. He put his hand on top of Mikoto's. "I think I might've forgotten something at the apartment. We should go check."
"Good idea," Mikoto said, leaning closer to nuzzle Reisi's neck.
They'd gone to check for forgotten items on six out of the last seven days.
Mikoto's teeth closed softly around his earlobe. "Or we could check out the big bedroom right now. Maybe you forgot something there."
Reisi shook his head, freeing his ear. "Mother will return soon."
"We'll be quick," Mikoto breathed, giving Reisi's thigh a squeeze.
"I don't want it quick," Reisi said.
"You say the worst goddamn things at the worst goddamn times," Mikoto complained. "You have to be doing it on purpose. How the fuck am I supposed to wait now?"
Reisi kissed his cheek. "Don't blame me for your overactive imagination. If we hurry, we can catch the seven-thirty train. I'll call Mother from the station and let her know we'll be back later."
They were halfway down the block when Mikoto took a sharp right into a branching alley. Reisi followed him on instinct.
Inside the alley, staring at them like a small animal caught in a car's high beams, stood Yata Misaki.
[to be continued]