Masao knows what they all say about Rei. It's hard to reconcile his mild, slightly blank smile as he waves, elevator door sliding shut, with the things the other patients whisper around the water fountain, clustered in groups behind the snack machine.
"Did you hear that Kashino's brother killed himself?"
"Did you know that he went on a rampage and his family bribed him out of jail?"
"None of that's true, did you know that Kashino stole his brother’s girlfriend?"
"That's a lie, did you hear that Kashino bullied his brother into killing himself?"
The whispers, rumours go on and on, each story taller, darker than the last, as Rei just sits in the art room, staring at a blank page, sits in the cafeteria, systematically eating his food; Masao watches his out of the corner of his eye.
If Rei is a monster it must be in secret, because he's pleasant, laughing in the cafeteria, waving goodbye and nodding hello, but he doesn't sustain contact with anyone. There are no photographs in his room; Masao has checked countless times, taking the long route to the showers. He's even managed to sneak a peek at Rei's home screen, pretending to have lost his phone when they were the only two left in the cafeteria, and asked to use Rei's phone to call his.
Rei hadn't even hesitated, which is a little strange, because Masao wouldn't let anybody touch his phone unless he'd at least put it on guided access.
The image on the home screen was a photograph of a pond, orange and white carp swimming beneath the surface.
It's a Friday afternoon when Masao stops tiptoeing around Rei. He's been watching him pass in the corridor all day now, empty handed one way and with boxes of books in the other direction, his arms tensed slightly, white shirt sleeves rolled halfway up his forearms, a fine sheen of sweat glowing on his forehead and upper-lip by the afternoon.
Masao hasn't added anything to his canvas at all since lunch time.
"Would you ever ask Rei out on a date?" he finally asks the girl sitting next to him, not because he wants advice but because he wants to test out how the words sound in his mouth. I'm really going to do this. Yuri shivers, the brush in her hand skipping across the canvas, smearing red.
"I'd sooner ask the doctor," she says, and then peers around the room to make sure that the older man isn't anywhere in sight. Masao just laughs. The only person who's actually scared of the doctor is Yuri. It's kind of cute. "Seriously though, you've heard the rumours."
Masao snorts. "Exactly. They're rumours." But Yuri doesn't look convinced.
The next time Masao sees Rei walk by to the art room, he follows. The door swings shut behind him with a dull thud.
Rei is facing the shelves, fingers running over the spines of binders and file folders; he turns at the sound and sees Masao.
"Hi," he says, waiting for an explanation as he smiles pleasantly. His teeth are so pretty. Masao sometimes imagines cutting himself on their cheerfulness.
"Hi," he says, leaning back against the door.
Masao doesn't bother mincing his words. He can feel his heart beating in his chest, the way the blood flows through his veins, singing in his ears. Tiny red blood cells like the carp on Rei's phone, swimming in the current.
"I want you to go out with me," Masao says, words cast like stones into the silence of the filing room, skipping across the surface of the water. Rei just looks at him, head still peering over his shoulder; it must be an uncomfortable position. Masao doesn't blink, and finally Rei turns, leaning back against the files, the paper sighing slowly as it's crushed.
"Why?" he asks, and he almost sounds tired, the smile on his face slipping as the hollows of his cheeks show. "Haven't you heard the rumours?"
Masao just shrugs. "Yeah, of course. I have ears." He can feel his heart beating beneath his rib cage; the slight vibration is strangely euphoric.
"What if they're true?" Rei asks, without preamble, his eyes fixed on Masao's. Masao doesn't blink, his heartbeat picking up; he can feel blood pulsing in his fingertips. His mouth is dry, tongue stuck to to his soft palate. It feels like if he parts his lips to respond, his dry lips with crack and bleed. He speaks anyway, voice hoarse.
"I don't care." There's the faintest taste of blood in his mouth; his bottom lip is bleeding slightly as he flicks his tongue over the injury, and it's not just his imagination that Rei is staring at the tiny bead of blood on his skin.
Masao is achingly hard in his pants and he wants Rei to notice.
Rei's eyes dart down to Masao's crotch but he doesn't say anything, and somehow Masao is disappointed. The surface of the steel door is cold against his back, even through the thin cotton of his dress shirt; he watches as Rei straightens, his silhouette indented in the paper behind him. You're going to say no.
"What do you want to do?" Rei asks, instead, and Masao's cock throbs in his pants. He ignores it.
"Can we go to your room?" he asks; he hadn't exactly thought about it but he has heard the rumours, and it would be a lie to say he isn't vaguely curious. Rei just nods, as though he can understand what Masao is thinking.
"I guess," he says, but there's a flicker of something in his eyes; the shadow of a fish, diving beneath the surface. Masao blinks but the motion is gone. Rei's eyes are placidly kind pools once more.
"You look like you want to say something," Masao says, bunching his hands in the fabric of his pants to avoid doing anything. Why is talking to him getting me so riled up? He knows that his face must be flushing red, but he doesn't care.
"I'll only say it once," Rei says, and there's a weight to his tone, a kind of gravity that only exerts its pressure on Masao. It's hard to breathe, suddenly, the air is thick and Masao can feel the tension wrapping itself around his throat, cock. "You don't want to go with me. You don't want to be with me. You really don't." He's being completely and utterly honest; Masao can tell.
"Oh but I do," he replies.
Masao thought he knew what to expect of Rei’s room, after peering in through the doorway so many times, but the blank walls stretch on and on when he’s standing on the inside, looking. They aren’t empty, as much as they feel like a canvas that’s been splashed over with white to hide the painting beneath.
The window is open, not enough for a breeze, but the sound of faraway voice drifts in to hug the blank walls; children, singing in a language Masao tastes with his tongue.
Their song echoes in Masao's head as Rei closes the door behind him..
Rei has his eyebrows raised slightly, but he's grinning. Masao suddenly feels the urge to fuck that grin off of his face.
"Are we doing this?" he asks, spreading his fingers over the white, the threadcount of the fabric smooth under his skin. He's already half-hard, the bulge in his pants noticeable through his slacks. Rei shrugs, walks forward.
He's different, somehow, in his room, and Masao thinks, this is where he belongs.
Rei's fingers run over his belt, undoing the clasp and then the fly as his slacks and boxers drop to the floor, shrugging out of his shirt as he walks around to the nightstand to pull a tube of lube out of the drawer. There’s a tenseness in Rei’s frame, as though he’s wondering if Masao will ask where he got something like that from, but he doesn't care, as Rei crawls forward, cock swinging between his legs, pushing Masao back against the pillows, undoing his pants and pulling down his briefs so that his cock, by now completely hard, springs free.
Rei hovers over Masao, knees on either side of his thighs as he lubes his fingers, works first one finger and then two into his ass, eyes fixed on Masao's as though daring him to interrupt.
Masao doesn't move, just watches as Rei fucks himself on his fingers, three fingers by now, working in and out, curling, lube dripping onto the fabric of Masao's slacks as precome beads on the tip of Rei's dick. Masao is so hard it hurts, but he doesn't move to touch himself either.
Somehow he doesn't think it's allowed.
Because there are rules here, even if he doesn't know the name of the game, eyes caught in Rei's gaze, fingers bunched in the white sheets.
The air in the room is thick by the time Rei pulls his fingers out of his ass with a shuddering roll of his hips, the sound wet, Masao's dick twitching between his legs in response. He's not ready for the feel of Rei's slick fingers on his cock, coating his length with lube as he bucks up into his grip, spine arching before Rei pushes him back down. There's no warning; Rei positions himself and then drops onto Masao's cock, bottoming out in one swift motion that leaves Masao gasping.
It's embarrassing, but he's so strung up on Rei's fingers in his ass, the tension in the room, the strange white noise buzzing in his ears, that Masao almost comes right then, at the sensation of Rei's ass sucking his cock in, his warm interior pressing into his dick, the pulse of blood, his heart racing in his chest.
"Tell me when you're going to come," Rei says, and Masao nods because he doesn't have any words left.
Rei doesn't stop after he gives Masao that sole instruction, just sets a rhythmic yet devastating pace, lifting himself up until only the head of Masao's cock is still inside, then dropping himself back down so that the flesh of his ass cheeks slaps Masao's thighs, hip bones digging into his legs, the sound muffled because Masao is still fully clothed and it's strange except Masao doesn't care at all.
He can hardly breathe.
He's been thinking about this for so long, and now it's actually happening and Masao realizes, as Rei systematically fucks himself on Masao's cock, that this is all he's ever wanted from life.
This is it.
Rei changes his angle slightly, and now it's clear that every time he drives himself down, Masao's cock is fucking directly up into the spongy bundle of nerves that makes up his prostate, by the way his asshole flutters, muscles compressing all along Masao's length, and Masao can can't catch his breath, mouth gasping for air as his fingers bunch into the sheets, toes curling, and he can feel his muscles tensing, drawing inward, spine beginning to arch off the bed as he manages to gasp,
"I'm going to come,"
and just as he can feel the electric heat in the pit of his stomach draw in and then explode, there's a sudden shift of motion, Rei reaching forward, but Masao is so caught up in his orgasm, overwhelmed, flooding Rei's ass with come as Rei's warm, tight interior spasms and keeps milking him, Masao doesn't even feel hand wrapped around his throat, his cock shooting out hot come and his face darkening, flushed against the white sheets, spine arched completely up as his body starts to rock in a different kind of spasm, staring at the ceiling.
There are carp swimming on the white plaster, orange and red scales flashing as they move in circles, ripples drawing circles in the paint.
Masao watches himself from the ceiling, drifting with the fish, as his face darkens to purpley blue, mouth gasping for oxygen that isn’t there, arching on the bed as his body quivers, rocking in hitching spasms as Rei rides him out to stillness before pulling off his now flaccid cock, milked completely dry.
Masao notices that Rei hasn't come yet, and wonders, curiously, what will happen next. Rei's cock is hard now between his legs, jutting out, and it's with a kind of detached approval that Masao watches Rei push his legs up, bending at the knee to expose his asshole. The hands are gone from around his neck, his chest slowly rising and falling but he’s out cold and his body moves like putty at Rei's touch.
It's kind of hot.
There’s sweat beaded on Masao’s body’s forehead but Rei is completely cool except for a slight flush along his forearms; Masao watches him reach for the lube and slick his cock up only briefly before pushing into the puckered tightness of Masao's ass, completely unstretched. Rei has to force his length in, even though Masao isn't resisting, his body loose, there's no give; it must feel so good, Masao can tell by the way Rei's eyes roll back in his sockets, neck arched back to the ceiling. Rei locks eyes with Masao, though Masao isn't sure if Rei can actually see him, but it doesn't matter, as Rei pushes all the way in and then pulls out, not bothering to stop at all, just pulling out and slamming in, holding Masao's legs bent, pushing his knees towards his chest, the calm stillness of his unconscious face a strange contrast to the rhythmic motions of Rei’s body.
It doesn't take long before Rei is coming, spine arched back as he pumps his seed into Masao's empty vessel as Masao watches from the ceiling. From this angle, floating with the fish as they nose gently at his skin, breathe koi kisses against his fingers, Masao can see a fine trickle of his come dripping out of Rei's ass as Rei finishes, pulling out. Masao is completely full as Rei slowly lowers his legs back to the crumpled sheets.
Masao wonders, idly, what would happen if Rei planted him in the garden, and what kind of plant he'd grow into, sprouting up from beneath the green grass, listening to the children singing on the sidewalk,