There was an onsite shop staffed with certified mechanics. There were also classes for the Grade 12 students in mechanical and automotive repair. It was an extremely popular class and often hard to get into.
This shop kept up on the maintenance and repairs of the monastery’s many vehicles and equipment. The staff were encouraged, with a generous discount in the cost of labor, to bring their personal vehicles for the students to work on, under the supervision of a licensed mechanic, of course.
—Life at St. Catherine’s vol 2, p. 98
Takahashi let go of Kato’s hand and said, “Let’s go.” He had that unreadable look again, like he simply shut himself off to Kato.
Kato got up and followed Takahashi out of the crowded theater. If he thought it was chilly on the way here, it was downright frigid now, though he wasn’t sure if the source was the weather, or Takahashi.
“Blend with the crowd,” Takahashi instructed. Kato followed closely behind. They entered the dorm in the mob, walking right past the little old nun who was attempting to direct traffic. He followed Takahashi right onto his wing and right into his room.
“That’s how it’s done.” Takahashi chuckled.
“Oh, I was wondering how we would swap since it’s already 10:30.” Kato smiled.
“Make yourself at home,” Takahashi offered.
Kato still felt that there was an elephant in the room. He should not have asked that question. Are you in love with me? Kato snidely asked himself. What the fuck was I thinking? Even if he was, would he admit it, let alone do it in a crowded movie theater? And if he is, what then?
He sat in a chair and held onto his wolf. Takahashi sat down on this bunk, looking down at his feet. Kato looked at his wolf and he gave it a small hug. They sat in uncomfortable silence for a few minutes before Takahashi finally spoke.
“Maybe a little,” he said very quietly.
Kato was nervous. He simply hugged the wolf and looked at the floor.
A few more minutes passed before Takahashi again spoke, “Ren-san, I want you to know that you did nothing wrong. It just happened.”
“What do we do now?” Kato asked softly.
“Nothing,” Takahashi said firmly.
Kato looked up at Takahashi.
“Nothing has to change. We’re friends now. We can keep things just the way they are.”
Kato didn’t know a lot about these kinds of things, but his gut told him that it was impossible to keep things just the way they are now.
“Also, listen. I’m not asking you for sex either. I know you don’t want to. I can accept that.”
Kato changed the subject away from sex. “How long have you had feelings for me?”
Takahashi looked down at his hands that were laying in his lap. After a minute of silence, he replied, “Since the first night I took care of you when you were sick.”
Kato was surprised. He remembered it well and he didn’t consider that at the time Takahashi may have felt this way toward him. He thought he was simply being taken care of.
Kato suddenly dropped the wolf as his mind went crazy as he considered all of the intimate moments they had together: sleeping in the same bed, Takahashi’s hand on Kato’s belly, getting naked together while changing, holding hands during the movie, “comfortableness training,” and much more. He felt betrayed.
“Y—You—fucking pervert!” Kato angrily exclaimed and picked up his wolf and threw it at Takahashi.
“What the hell?” Takahashi exclaimed.
“You’ve been in love with me this whole fucking time and had your goddamn pervy hands all over me all the while? Making me get naked with you?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Takahashi barked. He sounded wounded at the accusation, but Kato was too mad to care.
Kato stood up and yelled, “Were you playing with tummy and my belly button trying to seduce me? Why didn’t you just grab my dick while you were at it, you fucking pervert!”
Takahashi became silent. He simply looked down at his hands.
“I can’t believe I didn’t see this earlier. You’ve been playing me this whole fucking time, just to get into my pants!” Kato screamed. “You don’t know what love is! It’s just some fucking romantic line in a goddamn song to you!”
Takahashi didn’t say a word or even look up.
Kato went over and picked up his little wolf and plopped himself down into the chair and hugged it fiercely. He was angry and hurt.
After a few minutes, Kato angrily asked, “You gonna say something?”
“I am sorry,” Takahashi spoke softly.
“Sorry for what?” Kato barked.
“I am truly sorry that I did all of those things. I meant no harm. I wasn’t trying to seduce you at all. I just wanted to be close to you.”
Kato simply harrumphed. He was quite annoyed. He hugged his wolf then threw it at Takahashi. “Bet you bought that for me just to get me to sleep with you.”
Takahashi sat still as the doll bounced off his chest and fell to the floor. Kato felt sorry for the plushie and instantly got up and grabbed it and sat back down and hugged it.
“I simply wanted to make you happy, Ren-san. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.” Takahashi’s voice was very somber.
“Yeah? What would you have done when I refused to have sex with you?” Kato asked bitterly.
“You’ve made your position very clear on that matter. From day one, I knew that sex with you was an impossibility. I’ve never pushed for it, nor have I ever tried anything. You would never have had to refuse me because I would never have asked.”
Kato looked at Takahashi with doubt in his mind and his heart.
“I actually intended to never tell you my true feelings but when you asked me, point blank, I didn’t have the heart to lie.”
Kato looked back at his doll. At least his doll would never betray him, he thought.
“I am sorry about putting my hands on you. I simply wanted to touch you and hold you. I didn’t ask for more. I was happy with just that.”
Kato was just plain irritated. “I’m not saying I didn’t like those things.” He hugged his doll again. “But if you love me, that changes everything.”
“What do you mean?” Takahashi looked up.
“How can you sleep next to me knowing I don’t want to have sex with you?” Kato asked.
“I’ve already accepted that we can’t be anything more than friends,” Takahashi admitted.
“Friends with benefits?” Kato grumbled.
“No. Simply friends,” Takahashi replied softly.
Kato snuggled his doll. A long silence between the two developed. Takahashi got up, took some blankets and a pillow and made the top bunk. He took off his clothes down to his boxers, climbed up into the bunk. “Turn off the light when you’re done,” he said. He turned to face the wall and pulled the blankets over him.
Kato sat there for a while. He still felt betrayed. All those little things that Takahashi did for him now seemed tainted by an ulterior motive. He tried to guess at what that ulterior motive was. If it was really sex, he imagined Takahashi could have tried that at any time. Kato was vulnerable plenty of times. So that couldn’t be the reason. He tried to come up with other motives, but he ended up with love as the only real possibility. He suddenly recalled what Murata said, “Love isn’t an evil thing.” Kato conceded that maybe Takahashi really didn’t mean any harm. Had he never taken Murata’s advice and just accepted Takahashi’s love? Was he still so stubborn?
He felt hurt, not for himself but for Takahashi. The only thing that he really wanted lately was not to make Takahashi sad. He looked up at the bunk, at Takahashi, and his heart started to break apart again. Kato imagined Takahashi was a faithful wolf that was just ruthlessly and mercilessly beat by his master. He felt awful about himself now.
“Ken-san,” Kato spoke softly to Takahashi’s back.
“Yes?” he responded.
“I’m sorry,” Kato said.
Kato paused briefly. “I’m sorry that I doubted your feelings for me.”
Takahashi didn’t say anything, or even move.
Kato put his doll on the bottom bunk and took his clothes off, down to his boxers. He crawled into bed. “Ken-san, I don’t want to sleep without you next to me. Please come down here.”
Takahashi didn’t move but he did speak up, “Are you sure? I don’t want my pervy hands to make you uncomfortable.” Takahashi sounded wounded still.
“Just get down here, please.” Kato said firmly.
Takahashi sighed and slowly got down from his bunk and climbed into bed with Kato who was facing the wall. Kato had his wolf in his arms. Takahashi lay next to him but there was a space between them. Kato scooched backwards a little and closed the distance. After a minute, Takahashi put his arm on Kato’s shoulder.
“Ken-san,” Kato started.
Kato grabbed Takahashi’s hand put it on his tummy and held it there. “Thank you for showing me love. You’re the only who’s even tried. And thank you for my wolf.”
“I’m glad it makes you happy because that makes me happy. Simple as that.” His breath tickled the back of Kato’s neck.
Suddenly a thought came to Kato. “Ken-san,” he spoke softly.
“I’m sorry I called you a pervert. That was very wrong of me and uncalled for.” Kato felt really bad about this. “I don’t actually feel that way about you.”
“I won’t pretend it didn’t hurt when you said that. To me, a pervert hurts someone. I like you too much to hurt you.”
“Ken-san,” Kato spoke again.
“Just so I understand clearly, you do want to have sex with me?” Kato asked frankly. He wanted to get a firm answer, so he knew what he was dealing with.
Takahashi was silent and still for a good minute before he said, “Yes.”
Takahashi quickly spoke, “But listen, this isn’t about my own personal gratification. If I really wanted just that, I don’t need you. I can do it myself. I just want to make you feel good.”
“But why? Why me?” Kato complained.
“When you love someone, and are attracted to them, it’s just natural to want to express that physically. I would love to kiss you and make love to you. But I deny all those urges because I would rather not lose you as my friend.”
Kato sighed again. “I’m just not there yet.”
Takahashi said nothing.
They both sat there for a very long time before Kato could hear and feel Takahashi’s breath become shallow and even as he obviously fell asleep.
Kato was wide awake though. He said some nasty things to Takahashi, stuff that he truly regretted now, stuff that will not be soon mended or forgotten.
He tried to brainstorm about how to fall in love with Takahashi. But it just didn’t seem possible. How could he let down his guard enough to let Takahashi in. Why was he so guarded anyways? What does it really mean to love someone? Was this really about sex? What would be so terribly wrong with being physically intimate with Takahashi? Would it hurt to try? Kato didn’t know what it would take to move that mountain in his head so that he could be sexual with Takahashi, but it would have to be something momentous, he figured, something like blunt-force trauma.