“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
—Harriet Beecher Stowe
Kato entered the room. He saw that Takahashi was seated, who immediately rose and began to approach Kato. This freaked Kato out and he turned about in a panic to flee. He was halfway out the door when his arm was caught, and a voice said, “Wait.”
Kato stopped. The hand that was holding him firmly pulled him around, pulled him back into the room and the door was shut behind him. Kato was pushed up with his back against the wall as Takahashi slammed his hand against it, near Kato’s ear. Kato flinched then looked up into Takahashi’s eyes as he was leaning uncomfortably close. He spat out the words, “What’s your name, Newbie?”
Kato stammered, “K-k-Kato.”
Takahashi glared. “I know that, you idiot. I mean your full name.”
“Do you know why you are here, Ren Kato?”
Kato shook his head.
“I can’t hear the marbles rattling around your head. Yes, or no. Speak!”
Kato stammered out, “N-no.”
“I’m Kensuke Takahashi, your seme. Do you know what that means?”
“Oh, I think you do. I spoke with Tachibana-san and made sure that he explained it to you.” Takahashi cocked his head slightly. “So, do you know or are you lying?”
Kato stood frozen, completely immobilized. He was staring at whom he figured was the school’s most notorious monster, and he was a poor, defenseless rabbit that was about to be eaten alive.
“Speak!” bellowed Takahashi.
Kato cowed a little and said, “I-I-yes, he did explain it, but I don’t u-understand it a-all.”
“What don’t you understand?”
“The s-s-sex part. About ukes f-forced to have s-s-sex…” Kato trailed off as he couldn’t complete the scary thought.
Takahashi leaned in even closer with an evil grin, looking Kato dead in the eyes. Is he going to rape me right here, right now? Kato thought. Will he beat me up and send me to the hospital when I refuse? These thoughts made Kato weak in the knees and he thought we was about to collapse.
Takahashi pulled Kato over to a chair and pushed him in it, and he took a chair and brought it over, sitting in it backwards. He looked for a minute at Kato and started to laugh hard, “Tachibana-san told me you like to ask silly questions.”
Kato just didn’t know what to do. Where can I go? Where can I run? he pondered. He tried running once, it got him nowhere. Why did bullies like this have to exist in the world? he lamented. There were a hundred other silly questions in his little mind that had no answers. Despair grew heavy on him.
Takahashi leaned back a bit and starting calmly talking, “Listen. He told you what the rules are, but you didn’t pay attention. He told you that it’s the seme’s job to protect his uke, right?”
Kato remembered hearing something like it, but his mind was so frazzled that he couldn’t remember the details. He nodded.
“Fucking knock that shit off!” exclaimed Takahashi. “Yes, or no, damn it. Be clear with me.”
He sighed. “It’s my job to protect you. Not abuse you. I may be an ass, a jerk, whatever you think of me, but I won’t hurt you.”
Kato was hardly assured by any such words coming out of this wolf’s mouth.
“Seme/uke forbids semes from abusing their ukes. Yes, yes, before you ask a dumb question, it has happened in the past, well maybe it’s happened more than it should have. But any upstanding seme that is worth a damn would not harm his uke. It’s unconscionable.”
Kato still wasn’t convinced and wondered how much longer he would have to endure this “non-abuse” from Takahashi.
Takahashi looked down, then away. “I beat the fuck out of a seme that did that once to his uke. I made him my uke. I had him licking my boots and cleaning up after my shit for weeks. He eventually had some outside help and got transferred out of here.”
Kato suddenly thought of another question that must be answered, so he plaintively blurted out, “Why me?!”
Takahashi looked at Kato and was quiet for a moment. “Well,” he slowly replied, “I need an uke. You need a seme. You were as bold as fuck to sit in my chair at the chow hall. I thought maybe there was something more to you. But all I see right now is a scared little rabbit who, by some chance of fate, sat in the wrong spot on his first day of school. It’s too fucking late now. I’ve chosen you and now the whole goddammed school knows about it.”
Kato looked down at his feet. He didn’t understand why, but not even measuring up in the eyes of this guy who was obviously at the bottom of the barrel at this school for humanity, made him feel even worse about himself.
“Fuck me. Would you just look at me in the eyes? Are you sixteen or six?”
Kato looked up and began to open his mouth, but he was cut off—
“Rhetorical question. I know how old you are.” Takahashi said with a wave of his hand.
For once, something other than a question popped into this mind. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know it was your seat. I was scared. I didn’t know where else to sit. I felt safe at an empty table.”
Kato was looking in Takahashi’s eyes. He wasn’t into other boys, but he again realized that Takahashi was an attractive boy.
“Alright, alright. What’s done is done. No sense stressing over it. And for fuck’s sake, relax a little. You look at me as if I’m wolf about to devour a rabbit.”
Kato did a mental eye roll at that joke. Yes, yes, my name. Got it. Was funny the first time, not the 50,000 other times he’s heard it since in my life, he thought.
“As I already explained, and so did Tachibana-san, I won’t hurt you. I’m here to protect you. But that requires something on your part.”
“S-s-sex?” Kato dumbly asked.
Takahashi chuckled a bit and noted, “What is it with you a sex? Is that all you think seme/uke is about?”
Kato just stared blankly.
“Look, it’s a working relationship. You got my back, I got yours. And I’m not talking about backside. I mean we take care of each other. Also, there are some truly predatory boys here. I wouldn’t even dignify to call them semes. It’s also my job to protect you from them. Is any of this making any sense?”
Kato nodded his head and then instantly blurted out “Yes!” before he was chastised again.
“Good boy. We might make a go of this anyhow. I was rather dubious of you making a good uke. I don’t need more baggage to carry about here. I need someone I can depend on.”
Kato wasn’t quite sure how cleaning Takahashi’s room, licking his boots (which he didn’t want to do), and having sex with him (which he certainly didn’t want to do) was going to be of any help.
“Well, that’s it for today. You look exhausted and I’m tired too. But, now’s your chance. Do you have any questions for me?”
What a stupid question, Kato thought. Of course, I do. Only a million or so. But he only had one that rose to the top: “When will I see you again?”
“So anxious to see me again, are you? Or anxious to never see me again?” Takahashi laughed. “I’m in your class. I will see you tomorrow at 8:00 sharp. Don’t be late. Sister Mary is a motherfucker to those who are late even 30 seconds.”
Takahashi rose and walked to the door. Before he opened it, he looked back, “Try to relax a bit. You are my uke, my special property. I will make sure nothing happens to you.” Then he opened the door and left.
Kato sat there for a few minutes, trying to wrap his mind around what must have been the scariest conversation he’s ever had with someone in his life. He got up and as he left the room he could only think, Relax? What the fuck?