There was a very small group of boys that were marginalized by the seme/uke system. They could only be considered as ukes who paired up with other ukes. This left them open to attacks and bullying from the predatory semes who tried to separate them as uke/uke was determined to be obscene. In some cases, this only backfired as the persecution served to bring the boys closer and rely on each other more. But there are a lot of sad stories over the years from this group of boys that I don’t have the heart to relate.
Kato woke up and looked at the clock. It was 5:12. He was lying on his side with Takahashi spooned up behind and an arm draped over. Kato felt nice and warm and didn’t want to get out of bed, but he had to pee, so he gently removed Takahashi’s stray arm and crawled out of bed. He donned Takahashi’s bathrobe and went to the bathroom.
“Good morning,” Murata said with a smile. He was at a sink, cleaning up.
“Hi,” Kato replied. A quick glance told Kato that they were the only two in the bathroom at the moment. After he did his business, he pulled up to the sink next to Murata.
“Sleep well?” Murata asked.
“Yup.” Kato was feeling good this morning. He wasn’t aching like the last time he and Takahashi had sex. He was still a little disappointed that he didn’t get to do other things. He started to brainstorm about what the “other things” might be.
“Kato-san?” Murata asked.
“Hmm?” Kato’s thoughts were interrupted.
“Since we don’t have Mass until 10 o’clock, do you wanna join me and Nakamura-san in the game room this morning?”
Back in the room, Takahashi was still lying there in bed. Kato looked at the clock and saw that there were still 8 minutes left before it was set to go off. He removed the bathrobe and climbed back into bed. Even if it was 8 more minutes, Kato wanted to be close to his wolf.
Takahashi put his arm around Kato and pulled him close. He kissed the back of Kato’s neck, which caused a pleasant tingling sensation.
“That doesn’t count,” Kato said.
“Huh?” came a sleepy question from Takahashi.
“As my good-morning kiss.”
“Well, turn over then.”
Kato turned to lie on his back and Takahashi pulled Kato’s chin over and gave him a warm and gentle kiss.
“After breakfast I’m going to go to the game room and play with Murata-san and Nakamura-san. Wanna come?”
Takahashi yawned. “Sure.”
Takahashi put his hand on Kato’s tummy and the boys laid there in silence for a few minutes, listening to each other breathe. The alarm sounded and Kato turned it off. He wanted to lay here all morning, but he knew Xan would be back in 30 minutes and he didn’t want to be caught naked in bed with Takahashi. They got out of bed and got ready for breakfast.
Just before Kato was about to leave to swapback, Takahashi pulled Kato close and lifted his chin, giving him another passionate kiss.
“What’s that one for?” Kato asked.
“Well, consider it an advance in case I can’t give you one tomorrow.”
Kato smiled then left the room. He waited at his door for only a few moments before Xan emerged and they greeted each other before he walked off.
Back to reality, Kato thought to himself. He didn’t really want to enter his room, but he mustered up his courage and did anyway.
Handa was sitting at the desk, writing something. He didn’t even spare Kato a look. There didn’t seem to be any new marks that Kato could see with a quick glance.
“Sorry,” Handa said, not bothering to look up from his writing.
“Huh?” Kato asked.
“I’m sorry I harassed you,” Handa stated flatly.
“You don’t sound sorry,” Kato said. Then he instantly felt he should not have said that.
“I’m not.” Handa said as he continued writing.
“What the hell? Are you, or aren’t you?” Kato was annoyed.
“I was told I had to apologize to you and so I did. I don’t really give a fuck about you, but Xan-san wants to be your friend. If he asks, you better say I apologized or don’t bother coming back to this room.”
“Fine, but you don’t have to be such a dick about it.”
Handa didn’t say another word. Kato really wondered why a guy like Handa couldn’t have a civil conversation with him.
After a simple breakfast, Kato met Murata, Nakamura, and Takahashi in the game room on C Wing. Murata decided for all that they would play Jinsei Game. Kato really liked this game but hadn’t played it since he was a kid. Murata started passing out the money to each player.
[人生ゲーム Human Life Game, a Japanese version of The Game of Life board game]
“We’re here!” Xan said as he entered the room, followed by Handa.
Kato looked up and his heart sunk. He really didn’t want to see either of them. He looked at Murata, who had paused in distributing money. Murata looked back.
“Move over, Kato-san. Make some room,” Xan said as he pulled another table over and then some chairs.
Xan and Handa sat to his left, with Takahashi on his right and the other two on the other side of the tables. They moved the game board into the center and Murata continued to pass out the money. Kato looked at Takahashi, who was in wolf-mode again.
Kato felt guilty, figuring it’s his fault that Xan and Handa are here even though he didn’t ask them to be. They were seated close enough to the table that their legs were underneath and hidden. Kato looked at Takahashi with a smile and placed his hand on top of Takahashi’s leg and gave a gentle squeeze. He could see Takahashi’s face soften a bit. Kato was pretty sure he turned off the wolf-mode.
Other boys started to trickle into the room and in short order, the room was full of boys. Kato learned that Sunday mornings were always like this, before Mass. Either he was busy or simply didn’t stop by and so didn’t know about this.
The boys started playing and Xan was very lively, almost naturally acting as an emcee of this event. With his gift of gab and Murata’s wit, all of the boys were laughing the entire game, and the other boys in the room were all joining in with the laughter and the jokes while playing their own games.
“Damn it!” Kato cursed as he landed on another misfortunate square. He always knew he had bad luck and this game was no exception. He was drowning in debt.
Takahashi grinned. “Another baby? That makes 5 now. Naughty rabbit.”
Kato leaned against Takahashi and turned on the charm, “Can you loan some interest-free money to your rabbit?” Kato flashed a sweet smile and blinked his eyes.
“Nope.” Takahashi said flatly.
Murata started to snicker.
“Ah, why not?” Kato whined.
“You married somebody else and had 5 kids. You’re not my responsibility anymore.”
Murata and Xan both started laughing. Kato smacked Takahashi on the arm and said, “Bah.”
Xan looked at Handa, who was clearly winning, and asked, “Would you loan me some interest-free money?” Xan flashed an amazing, perfect smile at Handa.
“What! Why not?” Xan asked.
“I’m a greedy bastard,” Handa replied. The boys laughed and then Handa added, “Though we can make a deal if you sell me your body.”
Some of the boys around the table started wooing and hooting and they all started laughing again.
Murata looked at Nakamura with a smile.
“Nope,” Nakamura said.
“I didn’t even say anything!” Murata exclaimed.
“I already own your body,” Nakamura said with a rare grin. “Do you have anything else as collateral for the loan?”
Murata blushed deeply as the boys in the room starting hooting and hollering again. Kato laughed along and wondered if that meant they finally took it to the next level.
In the end, Handa won, with Nakamura in second, then Takahashi, Murata, Xan, and Kato bringing up the rear.
The boys put all the stuff away and left as there were only a few minutes before they had to go to Mass.
At lunch, Murata spoke up first. “I kind of like Xan-san but wish he had better taste than Handa-san.”
“Handa-san is two-faced. He behaves himself when Xan-san is around but he’s still a complete ass back in the room.”
Murata looked at Kato with concern, but Kato waved him off and said, “He hasn’t done anything physical to me, but he has quite the mouth on him.”
“Okay,” Murata said.
They ate in silence for a bit as Kato really wanted to ask what Nakamura meant earlier but he showed a rare bit of self-restraint and didn’t ask. He figured Murata would say something if and when the time was right.
“I really like your artwork,” said one of the two boys eating at the table.
“Thank you,” Kato said with a bit of a surprise. Both boys rarely ever spoke, and Kato couldn’t even remember their names though he sat with them almost daily for a month.
The other boy spoke up, “Me too.”
“Thanks, but it’s nothing special,” Kato said modestly.
“The pagoda was great,” the first boy said. “Can you do portraits?”
“I suppose I could if I had a picture,” Kato said. “I could copy it in pencil, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“I would pay you,” the boy said. “It’s a picture of me and Ikeda-kun from Halloween.” Suddenly Kato remembered their names. The first boy was Matsuoka and the other was Ikeda.
“Okay, bring me a picture,” Kato said.
Matsuoka pulled out of his coat pocket a white envelope that contained the picture. Kato chuckled and took it and looked at it. It was a picture of the two boys standing together with their arms around each other’s shoulder and smiling at the camera. “This shouldn’t be too hard,” Kato said.
“How about 4000 yen?”* Matsuoka asked.
[* About $50 USD at the time]
“That’d be fine,” Kato said. “It’ll take me some time. I could have it done by Tuesday.”
“Okay,” Matsuoka said.
Kato looked at the back of the photo and saw that someone had written “Akio ♥ Katashi.” Kato looked up and met Matsuoka’s eyes, who then looked at Ikeda, then back. Kato wondered which was the seme and which was the uke, or were they both ukes? He still didn’t understand how things worked outside of a traditional seme/uke role.
Kato gave a gentle smile to put the boys at ease and then put the picture back in the envelope and pocketed it into his jacket. He was pleased as this would give him some income and maybe an opportunity to buy something for his wolf.
Back in the room, Handa entered and glared at Kato.
“What?” Kato asked. He was not interested in more of this two-faced wolf’s attitude.
“Did you tell him yet?” Handa asked.
Annoyed, Kato replied, “No. I haven’t had the opportunity.”
“Then make an opportunity this afternoon,” Handa said.
“Damn. Here I was hoping not to see you this afternoon.”
Handa started laughing, which surprised Kato.
“What’s so funny?” Kato asked, becoming even more annoyed.
“I hate your dumb ass too, but what choice do we have?”
Kato suddenly became curious and asked that burning question, “What’s going on between you and Xan-san?”
Handa sobered up and said with an implicit warning, “None of your fucking business, little man.”
Kato became hot. “How is it not my business? I want to hang out with my friends, not you, but Xan-san comes around and you follow him like a lost puppy!”
Handa’s countenance darkened considerably. “Keep your fucking condescending attitude to yourself.”
Suddenly Kato didn’t even want to talk about this anymore as it was going nowhere. “Whatever,” he said. He wasn’t so much afraid of Handa anymore, even though he knew Handa was dangerous, but even without Takahashi here, or Xan, he still felt somewhat sure that Handa wouldn’t actually do anything, provided that Kato didn’t push it too far.
Kato walked past Handa and out of the room. He didn’t want to be in there any longer, so he stood outside the dorm and waited for a while for Takahashi.
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2 thoughts on “SU: Chapter 12. The Game of Life”
Work has been hell so the update was slow. I hope it eases up a bit so I can write frequently. Thanks for your patience. :O)
Thanks for the chapter. Hope your work becomes less hellish. What we want to do and what we have to do are often two different things, but I can’t help but wish they would coincide more.