by Yasudamura Megumi (安田村惠)
“I told you not to call me that,” Ayumu grumbled, shoving his slippers in their cubbyhole and stepping into his shoes. As if he didn’t get picked on enough for his looks; Mari had to make him sound even more like a girl. “What do you want, anyway?”
“Well, if you’re gonna be like that, I’m not telling,” Mari pouted, her lip sticking out ridiculously far.
Ayumu slung his bag over his shoulder and folded his arms across his chest. “All right, I’m sorry… What?”
Brightening immediately, Mari grabbed his arm and tugged him out the front door. “Okay, look, I was thinking…” she trailed off, frowning, and squinted up at the sky. “Is it raining?”
The sky was a dull grey and though the rain wasn’t visible, the students streaming out around them were opening umbrellas, those who hadn’t brought one of their own huddling in with those who did. “Fuck, it is,” Ayumu said. Even as he watched, the rain came down harder. If it kept up like this, it’d be pouring within minutes. “I don’t suppose…?”
“Nope. You neither, huh?”
Ayumu shook his head. He’d woken late, dashed out the door with a piece of toast in his mouth and his jacket still unbuttoned; there hadn’t been time to watch the weather report.
Scanning the crowd, he could see his brother down by the curb. Naoto had an umbrella, but he also had his girlfriend with him. No chance of Ayumu squeezing in there, and no way he’d want to, either. He’d just have to make a dash for it. Mari could fend for herself.
“See ya,” he muttered, and took off down the walk. He could hear Mari calling after him to wait, but by the time he reached the sidewalk, he was already well on his way to being soaked; no way was he turning back for more of Mari’s chatter now.
Half a block from home, wet through to the skin despite his heavy wool jacket, Ayumu tripped and fell headlong into a puddle, his bookbag skidding across the street in front of him, but staying miraculously closed. Well, if there was any inch of me left dry, it’s gone now.
Ayumu groaned and started to push himself up when suddenly there was a hand on his arm and a voice asking if he was all right. An umbrella over his head, too, he realized as he stumbled to his feet. Not that it mattered much now.
The guy’s glasses were speckled with rain and his hand, still on Ayumu’s arm, felt hot. He was wet now, too, from helping Ayumu up, his bangs plastered to his forehead.
“Are you all right?” he said again, and Ayumu finally realized he’d been staring.
He looked away quickly, face hot. “Sorry,” he stammered, and then, “thanks, I. I gotta… My bag.” He crossed over to where it lay, probably soaked through now, and without looking back, he snatched it up and ran the rest of the way home. It was a miracle he didn’t fall again.
That night he tossed and turned, unable to get to sleep for hours.
Dinner hadn’t been any better than the rest of his afternoon. Mom had announced that she’d hired a tutor for him, a college student who would come twice a week to help him study for his college entrance exams, and when Ayumu had tried to protest, she’d said it was already a done deal. Apparently this tutor had been by earlier in the afternoon and they’d worked out all the details without even consulting him.
Then when he was doing his math homework, Naoto had poked his head in the door, wandered over, and after looking over the page for a few minutes, solved the equation Ayumu had been laboring over for the better part of an hour.
He sighed and rolled over, bunching his pillow up under his head. Maybe he did need a tutor, if his little brother could do his homework easily.
With his luck, the tutor would be beautiful, big-breasted…and take one look at Naoto (who would be there, too, for reasons as yet undecided by Ayumu’s imagination) and fall madly in love with him. Or in lust, anyway. Regardless, it was sure to be a humiliating experience and Ayumu wasn’t looking forward to tomorrow afternoon one bit.
He must have finally fallen asleep at some point, because when he woke up it was to the sun streaming in his window. He rolled over and pulled the blanket over his head and pretended to be asleep until his mother banged on the door and told him he’d be late for school.
His bookbag was still damp, but it was the only one he had. Great. Just what I needed. It was already shaping up to be another stellar day.
By the time he was out the door, he was cutting it close, but at least he wasn’t as late as yesterday. Instead Mari was waiting in front of the house, waving cheerfully. He wasn’t sure which was worse.
“You ditched me,” she said, apparently unfazed by his lack of acknowledgement.
Thank God he had. The last thing he needed was for her to see him fall on his face like that; she’d never let him live it down. “It was raining. What did you want me to do?”
“We could’ve run together. I didn’t get to tell you what I was thinking.”
“What were you thinking, then?”
“Well,” she tilted her head, glancing sidelong at Ayumu, “it’s like this… You’re cute-”
“It’s not a compliment to call a guy cute, you know.”
“You’re nice,” she went on, ignoring him, “you’re friendly. A little bit shy, but that just adds to the mystique. So why, I asked myself, does Ayumu not have a girlfriend?”
“There’s just no one I like,” he shrugged, “not like that, anyway.”
Looking determined, Mari stopped dead in her tracks, grabbed his hand, and placed it over her breast. There was a moment of stunned silence and then Ayumu jumped back, holding his hand up as if burnt. “What the hell’re you doing?”
“Keep your voice down, idiot.”
He glowered at her. “Mari, we’ve been friends since we were in preschool, but we can stop any time if you’re gonna act like this.”
“Don’t worry,” she said, looking pleased with herself. Ayumu wasn’t sure what sort of reaction he’d expected, but it certainly wasn’t triumph. “I’m sure of it now.”
“Sure of what?”
Mari started walking and after a few moments, Ayumu hurried to catch up. “Sure of what?” he said again.
“You don’t have to pretend with me, Ayu.”
“Don’t call me that. And I’m not pretending anything.” He grabbed her arm. “What’re you talking about?”
“You didn’t even try to feel me up.”
“I…what?” Quickly letting go of her arm, he looked around to make sure no one was listening. The only person he could see was an old woman watering her lawn across the street. He lowered his voice anyway. “Of course I didn’t. What do you think I am?”
“Gay,” she said, not missing a beat.
“You’re gay.” She sounded even more convinced this time. “It all makes sense now. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before.”
“What do you mean it all makes sense? Just because I don’t have a girlfriend, I’m gay?” Ayumu felt sick to his stomach and like he couldn’t breathe all at once. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. “You’re crazy.”
“And you weren’t even interested in copping a feel,” Mari added. “But it’s not just that. It’s…everything. I can’t explain. It’s just a feeling I had, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.”
For some reason the guy from the day before kept intruding into his thoughts. Ayumu could swear he could feel the warmth of his hand still on his arm. He shook his head.
“Well, you thought wrong!” And without a backwards glance, he stalked off.
It was all he could think of all day. Was he really gay? He’d never thought about it before. Mari was right about him not being interested in girls, but it wasn’t like he thought about guys when he jerked off, either. He didn’t really think about anything.
Or he hadn’t before. Now every time his mind drifted he felt that hand, saw the guy’s lips moving as he asked if Ayumu was all right. His lips…
Ayumu was mortified to find he was getting hard in the middle of math class. Oh fuck, he thought. Was Mari right?
He made it through the rest of the day somehow and managed to avoid Mari after school. The last thing he wanted was to be badgered about this all the way home, too. She wasn’t right. How could she be? He’d never had thoughts like that before, and it was only because she’d been saying weird things that he’d started having them now.
In other words, this was all Mari’s fault.
By the time he got home he was so angry he stomped into the house and up to his room without even saying hello. He threw his bag down on his bed and then flopped down next to it, glaring up at the ceiling.
Ayumu bolted upright. Sitting at his desk was the guy from yesterday. “What…?” Feeling a flush creep up his cheeks, Ayumu tried to forget everything Mari had said today. It wasn’t working.
His first thought was that this must be some sort of prank, something Mari put this guy up to. But Ayumu hadn’t mentioned it to anyone, so unless Mari was psychic – a thought so horrible it didn’t even bear contemplating – this wasn’t a joke.
“My name’s Seiji Tanabe. I’m here to tutor you for your exams…?”
The guy – Tanabe – looked confused, and Ayumu realized he’d been gaping. “Oh! Oh, right.” He looked away, running his fingers through his hair. “Sorry, I…uh. I forgot all about that.” At least Tanabe didn’t appear to recognize him. The last thing he needed was that humiliation on top of everything else.
Tanabe smiled and Ayumu was thankful his school jacket was long enough to cover his crotch. What the hell is wrong with me today?
“So, do you have your books with you?” Standing, Tanabe motioned for Ayumu to have a seat. “Why don’t you just show me where you are so I can get an idea of what we need to focus on.” He looked around the room. “Do you have another chair?”
“Uh…oh. Yeah. I’ll get- My brother’s at soccer practice, so we can use his.” Ayumu hurried into Naoto’s room and grabbed his desk chair, hauling it back to his own bedroom.
Once they actually got down to business, Ayumu’s nervousness faded somewhat, at least to the point where he wasn’t stumbling over every other word. Still, whenever Tanabe would lean close Ayumu could feel his face getting hot, and he got goosebumps every time their hands brushed each other.
He didn’t sleep well that night, either. He kept waking up from dreams he couldn’t remember, left with a raging hard-on and vague images of Tanabe. Rather than jerk off, he squeezed his eyes shut and rolled over, trying desperately to ignore it. It wasn’t easy, especially not when thoughts of what Tanabe would look like naked kept forcing their way to the forefront of his brain. He had no desire to see Tanabe naked. He just wanted to sleep.
After the third time waking up like that, he finally gave in. Maybe he’d be able to sleep better if he could just get rid of this stupid hard-on.
He pushed his pajama pants down around his thighs, moaning softly as he wrapped his hand around his cock. It felt like he’d been hard forever, and a few rough pulls were all it took to bring him off. Heart racing, he stared up at the ceiling and absently wiped his hand on the sheet.
When he next woke it was to the sound of his alarm, and after a bit of fumbling to get it to stop, he jerked off again. His pants were still twisted around his legs, his cock slightly sticky from before. He didn’t hurry this time, stretching out and kicking his pajama pants the rest of the way off.
He tried to think about girls, about the porno mags he knew Naoto kept in the bottom of his desk drawer, but it was too hard to concentrate on. His mind didn’t want to hold the image. Instead his mind defaulted back to Tanabe, and to Tanabe doing things to Ayumu he’d never let himself think about before. He bit down on his knuckle when he came, trying to muffle his moans.
Running late meant he’d almost certainly miss Mari, which was why he’d held off on leaving the house til the last possible minute. He knew he couldn’t avoid her forever, though, and sure enough, she was waiting for him outside the classroom after second period.
“Did you think about what I said?”
“No,” Ayumu lied. You think I’m going to admit it’s all I’ve thought about over the past twenty-four hours?
He expected her to protest, to try and drag it out of him, but instead she just looked at him thoughtfully. “All right.” And she dropped the subject as if it really didn’t interest her in the least.
It wasn’t until he was nearly home that afternoon that he realized Tanabe wouldn’t be there today. Of course he won’t. He’s only supposed to come twice a week. The afternoon and evening seemed to drag by. Nothing he did kept his attention longer than a few minutes, and he ended up going to bed a full hour earlier than usual.
The next day and the day after dragged just as slowly, but the hour spent with Tanabe Friday evening seemed to pass in only minutes. Several weeks passed like that and Ayumu wasn’t sure he was learning a thing. He spent each tutoring session trying not to blush and stammer, or worse, get an erection. He couldn’t look Tanabe in the eye without thinking of all the times he’d jerked off thinking of him.
It was worst when Tanabe would get up for something and not sit back down, when he would stand behind Ayumu like he was now, bending over and resting his hand on Ayumu’s shoulder. Ayumu could feel Tanabe’s breath on his cheek and it sent a rush of heat to his groin.
If I don’t get out of here, I’m going to end up with a full-blown boner. Ayumu turned to excuse himself, only to find Tanabe’s face mere inches from his own, eyes heavy-lidded behind his glasses and his lips parted slightly.
“Ayumu…” he murmured, and before Ayumu could answer, Tanabe’s mouth was on his, hot and demanding. Moaning, Ayumu reached up, ran his hand over Tanabe’s chest, fingers curling in his shirt.
This had to be a dream.
Eventually Tanabe pulled back, blinking, and adjusted his glasses. “I, uh…”
“Yeah,” Ayumu agreed breathlessly.
He was about to pull Tanabe back down when his mother called up from downstairs, “Ayumu? I’m going to the store. Is there anything you want?”
“No,” he answered, praying he sounded normal, “I’m good.”
“All right. I’ll be back in a bit, then.”
As soon as he heard the front door shut, Tanabe was tugging him up out of his chair and over to the bed. Oh fuck, the bed. Ayumu felt light-headed.
“Hey.” He reached up for Tanabe’s glasses, set them down on the nightstand. “There…that’s bet-” And Tanabe was kissing him again, grinding his cock against Ayumu’s hip.
They writhed against each other, kissing for what seemed like forever. Tanabe wormed his hand between them, tugging down Ayumu’s fly and then his own, and soon Ayumu’s hand was down there, too, wrapped around Tanabe’s cock. It was awkward, jerking someone else off, but Tanabe wasn’t complaining. In fact, he made this desperate little noise into Ayumu’s mouth every time Ayumu twisted his wrist just so on the upstroke.
Ayumu came first, mouth going wide as he stiffened, cock pulsing in Tanabe’s hand. He sank back against the mattress, breathless and grinning, and only remembered to keep stroking when Tanabe rocked his hips up to remind him. “Sorry,” Ayumu muttered, the grin still threatening to split his face in two.
“No problem.” Tanabe kissed him again, kept kissing him as he thrust into Ayumu’s hand, his fingers digging into Ayumu’s shoulder. When he came, Ayumu was too surprised to try and catch the warm jets spurting over his hand and onto their clothes.
After a while, Tanabe groaned, rolled onto his back and zipped up his pants. “Your mom’s probably going to be back soon.”
“Yeah,” Ayumu said. He didn’t think he could move just yet, but eventually he had to. He pushed himself up, zipped his fly, and grabbed a handful of tissue to try and scrub his pants clean. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Tanabe put his glasses back on and then do the same.
“So…” Glancing over at Tanabe, Ayumu smiled hesitantly. “I guess I’ll see you Tuesday, then.”
Grinning, Tanabe leaned in and kissed him again. “Definitely.”
It was nearly dark when Ayumu looked out his window and saw Mari walking up her driveway. Pulling the window open, Ayumu leaned out and yelled, “Hey, Mari!” She looked up and waved, and before she had a chance to say anything, Ayumu added, “You were right!”