|Back Stage Novel Chapter 8|
|Previous Chapter||Back Stage Novel Chapter 7|
Rei is quite dumbfounded–Nagisa has always been picky about special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays, and Seiya has, in the past, always gone along with it and met her demands, greeting her with beautiful bouquets and extravagant gifts. But recently, Seiya’s finally been given the chance to produce his own original musical–with himself in charge of the script and music, lyrics, direction…and of course, the starring role. It’s been his dream for years, but he’s never had the time to take off to prepare for it before, and then there was the throat surgery and rehabilitation associated with it. But now that the CRUSHERZ and Izumi are doing well on their own, Seiya finally has the chance to really pour himself into stage planning.
But all of that preparation combined with Seiya’s usual eccentricities means that he’s been even more strange than usual since getting started with this musical, and while he’ll sometimes be found at his desk or piano, deep in thought, other times he’s simply reading a book or watching a movie, lazing about really. Sometimes he’ll babble on and on and on, while at other times he won’t want to talk to anyone. Nagisa’s birthday just fell at a bad time, when he didn’t want to speak to anyone and had just let it slip his mind with these other matters weighing on him.
He attempts to calm down Nagisa, explaining that Seiya is likely busy with his musical, but she turns on him reminding him that Seiya just the previous evening was playing video games and drinking–he had time for that but not to prepare for her birthday? Rei honestly can’t defend this–he knows it was simply Seiya’s way of gathering his focus, but to others, it would’ve seemed ridiculous.
He suggests that they wait for Seiya to return and then talk this out together, but Nagisa is having none of it and orders Rei to head to the Ward Office right away and retrieve divorce papers. Rei nods along, well aware that she’s just overreacting and deciding to give her time to cool off, feigning a call from the office downstairs and leaving Nagisa to herself.
~Evening~Shougo and Izumi are finally home for the party–with a tag-a-long in the form of Ichijou Ryouma. Rei had thought about explaining to the brothers about their parents’ situation here, but he stops short when he sees their guest (who looks very uncomfortable–likely because of the death glare Shougo’s giving him). Izumi’s invited him along, and Rei reasons to himself that this might actually help Nagisa’s mood.
While everybody was enjoy themselves, and after cutting the cake and sharing some tea, Rei ducks out for a bathroom break, pausing to check his phone for any messages from Seiya while he’s at it–to no avail. As he comes out of the bathroom, he finds Shougo waiting for him in a chair near the entrance. Shougo told him he found out about the fight between their parents, although Izumi didn't.
Seiya wound up not returning in time for the party, and after closing down the festivities, Rei leaves the Sena home for his own apartment–with Shougo catching up to him a few moments later, looping his arms around his shoulders from behind in greeting. Rei chides him for drinking too much champagne and reminds him that they’re outside; it’ll be bad if someone sees them like this. He shakes off Shougo’s embrace, and they start walking beside each other again. They arrive at Rei’s apartment a short time later, and Shougo steps inside first, while Rei turns in the genkan to lock the door–when Shougo embraces him again from behind, squeezing him hard in his arms.
Rei protests that he hasn’t showered yet, but Shougo brushes off the suggestion–he can do that later–and shoves Rei against the door, pressing his lips to Rei’s neck and ignoring his protests. He then frantically starts tugging at Rei’s tie, prompting Rei to question what’s gotten into him, but Shougo is silent, pressing his mouth against the nape of Rei’s neck and biting. He yelps in surprise–but before he can voice his irritation, he’s whirled around and forcefully kissed. Throughout this rough treatment, though, Rei’s thoughts are filled not with anger, but confusion. Shougo’s never this forceful, and he could easily put a stop to this with one sound punch–but he doesn’t, instead wrapping his arms around Shougo and sliding their tongues together of his own volition, questions whirling in his head.
Shougo’s hand goes to Rei’s cock and starts to jerk him off feverishly, and Rei begins to respond to the familiar motions, hips shuddering as pain finally gives way to pleasure as Shougo thrusts with abandon, going deeper and deeper with each punishing thrust. Rei’s brought to climax with Shougo’s hands, with Shougo following just behind before slipping out, leaving Rei to balance himself against the shoe box in the entryway.
“What’s…the big idea all of a sudden…?!” But any notion he might have had to complain about what just happened dissipates the instant he sees Shougo’s expression–one of pain and sadness he’s never seen before. “What…what’s wrong with you?”
“I’m…sorry.” His voice leaks out as he stares at the ground. He’s silent for a long moment before seeming to come to a decision, and he fists his hands at his sides. “I’m just…so worried…”
“Worried?” It’s a word he’s never associated with Shougo before.
“If my dad…ever seriously went after you… I know I wouldn’t have a chance in hell of winning you over.” He lifts his head, and his expression clearly shows the worry he speaks of. “If I ever asked you…to choose between me or him, you’d definitely choose my father, right?”
But Rei can’t respond immediately. If the ‘usual’ Shougo had asked him that sort of question, he’d have easily responded, Damn straight! but with the way Shougo is right now, Rei feels like responding that way would break something in him. He stands there for a while in silence, and at length, Shougo clenches his eyes shut and laughs dryly, “Sorry, I…I can’t do this tonight. I’ll leave.” Which he does, slamming the door behind himself.
Rei stares after him in shock before finally gathering himself together, muttering that he needs a shower now. He strips and heads into the bathroom, reflecting that Shougo’s been acting strange all evening, asking Rei things like wouldn’t you be happy if Nagisa and Seiya divorced. He’d never imagined the couple’s fight would affect Shougo like this–but then he recalls Shougo’s expression as he confessed his unease.
Rei had always assumed that their relationship would continue as it was forever–but how did Shougo feel about what they were doing? He’s never considered it–never had to really, because he recalls long before that Shougo had once joked that he’d finally be able to move up to person-Rei-loves-most after Seiya died, that all he had to do was bide his time. Thinking back on it now, though…that was indeed a long time ago. Maybe Rei’s the only one who thinks nothing has changed since then. He’d honestly never realized that Shougo was so worried about their relationship and recalls here that…he’s never even once told Shougo anything that might comfort him, keep these worries from rising. Sure, he’d said things like I really like you, and Shougo himself had resolved to wait for Rei, but perhaps Rei has been taking it for granted all this time.
He’d thought he’d done enough to get across how important Shougo was to him, but… “I guess it’s not as easy as just hoping he’ll divine it from my actions, huh…” Plus, no matter how successfully he might have made his affections known, Shougo had always known that he’d merely been relegated to “second best”. Maybe Rei had been the only one ever truly comfortable with their relationship; Shougo had always loved Rei and Rei alone, earnestly and wholeheartedly pursuing him all these years. “He must…have been in so much pain…” His chest throbs painfully as he recalls Shougo’s expression moments before.
He exits the bathroom, glancing at himself in the mirror on the way out, and catches sight of the red mark left by Shougo on his neck. “This…is all my fault.” He traces the stinging mark with his fingers, resolving to apologize to Shougo. While the immediate cause of all of this might be the fight between Seiya and Nagisa, he’s the real one at fault underneath it all for his insensitivity. But how to go about it? “Like…’You’ll always be second-best, but I really have feelings for you, so I’d like us to be together’?” He laughs bitterly at his own appalling selfishness. That’s not an apology–that’s pouring salt in the wound.
He slips into sweatpants and heads out back into his living room–where he catches something moving in the darkness ahead. “Who’s there?!” He reaches for the lights and flips them on–and finds Seiya crouched in a corner of his room. “Se–Seiya-san…?”
Seiya apologizes, explaining that he’d thought to surprise Rei and had hidden to do just that–but then it kind of got to the point where it was a little…awkward to show himself. Rei’s thoughts go blank for a moment at Seiya’s words–what is he doing here? How did he get in (well, his apartment is one managed by SenaPro, so he probably had a key huh…)? How long has he been here? And ‘awkward’? Was he here before Rei even got home?
At this realization, a shudder runs down Rei’s spine–because that means, then…that Seiya has heard everything he’d just done with Shougo. “Um–the–that before, that was…” Rei gropes for words, but none come, and he can think of no way to explain himself.
It’s all over.
If he’d heard everything Rei and Shougo had discussed, it means Seiya’s aware of Rei’s feelings for him now, and of course has realized about his and Shougo’s relationship. It’s the thing he’s always feared.
He can’t possibly stay with SenaPro any longer. This place he’d wanted to protect for himself at any cost–he can feel it all crashing down around him. But then–Seiya stands up and loops an arm through Rei’s own, tugging him forward. “Well, shall we go?”
“I’d kind of like you to come with me. We’re running away.”
Seiya glances over at Rei superiorly, pasting on that familiar smile he always wears. “You said you were going to help me figure out how to deal with Nagisa, right?”
Rei wakes to the sounds of birds calling, slowly opening his eyes to the morning light. He feels like he’s just had the worst dream, with a feeling of despair still weighing heavily on his chest, and after blinking a few times, he realizes that he doesn’t recognize where he is, sitting up and glancing over his surroundings. “Where…am I?”
There’s gentle morning light streaming through delicate lace curtains, and he tries to locate a clock to see what time it is, but there’s none to be found, not even his own watch, which he’d taken off before his shower–
“Oh right…the shower…” At this, everything about the previous evening comes back to him. It wasn’t a dream–Seiya had really been in his room and now knows everything, but after that…what happened? He vaguely recalls being led out of his apartment…and riding in something, a taxi maybe? The shock seems to have made much of the previous evening a blur.
He does, however, recall Seiya saying they were running away, and that they were going to deal with Nagisa together. But…why would Seiya bring him along to run away? After discovering how Rei felt about him, Rei had been sure Seiya would never want to see him again.But, speaking of Seiya…where was he? Rei stands from the bed and begins to wander about, finding that he’s on the second floor of whatever house he’s in. There’s a broad blue sky stretching out outside the window, with something twinkling on the distant horizon. The sea…? Or, a lake? Wherever they are, it’s not the city at least. He heads down to the first floor and finds Seiya busy in the kitchen, and after exchanging morning greetings, Seiya urges him to set the table for two–breakfast is almost ready.
Rei does so, still thoroughly confused, and Seiya sets the breakfast spread out for them to dig in.
When Rei hesitates to eat, Seiya asks if he isn’t hungry, and Rei presses Seiya for some explanation–where are they? Why has Seiya brought him here?
Seiya picks up a rice bowl and answers easily, “I just thought you needed some time.” At Rei’s confusion, he adds, “And I needed some time as well, so it all worked out nicely. And if you don’t hurry up and eat, it’ll get cold!”
Needed some time? Sometimes Rei has trouble understanding Seiya, but chalks it up to artistic eccentricities. They finish their dinner in companionable silence before Rei recalls he hasn’t brought anything with him–no cell phone, no laptop, nothing. He won’t be able to get any work done now! Seiya waves him off, though–they’re in such a nice place, it’s best not to worry about the little things. Rei can’t so easily brush off his duties, though, and reminds Seiya that he has to accompany Izumi on a shoot today. Seiya explains that Sotomura will surely be able to handle it, and as the company president, orders Rei to forget about work for now.
Rei struggles–if the president says it’s fine, then surely it must be…but despite all the precautions he’s taken to ensure no one’s schedule will be messed up should Rei not be able to come in at some point, he’s still worried and sure the office is in a panic. “I’ve got to…at least call them…”
“No phone!” They don’t need one–and it’s better not to have one, as this way no one can bother them. Rei now realizes that this is indeed Seiya’s little getaway spot.
Seiya starts suggesting what they can do after breakfast–maybe some sunbathing? Or fishing? Seiya seems thrilled to be able to take Rei on this excursion–and thus begins their ‘runaway lifestyle’.
Three days later, Rei’s sitting in a rocking chair on the veranda reading, glancing up at the movement of the sun and deciding it must be around noon. Life these past few days has been quiet and uneventful. There’s nothing connecting them to the outside world, no reason for them to fret about the hours passing by. They wake whenever they want, with Rei usually rising whenever he hears Seiya cooking breakfast. They pass the time reading or going on walks, eating the fish they catch along the way. Rei feels a sense of urgency pushing him to return as soon as possible, but he’s finally starting to actually enjoy his time here. It reminds him of his early days in the Sena household, where he passed lazy days reading and looking after Izumi.
…That had all been before he’d met Shougo. He’d always known of the existence of an elder Sena son, but Shougo had been studying overseas and hadn’t been home in some time.
“God, that first meeting was horrible…” he mutters to himself with a dry laugh before bringing his fingers to the mark on his neck; it still stings a bit.
Rei has found himself thinking about Shougo from time to time while out here. Despite finding himself starting to enjoy this lifestyle, something still tugs at his heart concerning Shougo. He sighs to himself and sets the book aside, heading back into the house. In the living room, he finds Seiya asleep on the sofa, a book on the floor where it had apparently fallen from his hand when he drifted off while reading. Rei picks up the book and places it on the table–then takes a moment to watch Seiya sleeping.
Seiya had confessed that this was his secret hideout, and that he was showing it to Rei, special. He’s shown Rei many things out here–a bird building its nest in a tree branch, how to make a whistle out of grass, a little waterfall up a hill–even just yesterday, he’d taken Rei fishing for the first time and then cooked their catch over a fire. All of these things were first-time experiences for Rei, but he still felt a sense of nostalgia with them. Seiya himself had been the same as always, so much so that Rei had started to think perhaps Seiya hadn’t overheard his conversation with Shougo after all. Sure, he’d probably been able to divine what they’d been doing, but they’d been all the way in the entrance area and Rei had tried to keep his voice down, so…maybe? There’s no way Seiya would be spending time with him like this otherwise.
But, while he’s truly enjoying this time…it’s been three days, and the more he enjoys himself, the more difficult it comes to keep calm about everything. What’s going on with work? Is Izumi doing well in his duties even without Rei to guide him? Has Nagisa recovered and gone to her photoshoot properly? Is Sotomura laid up in bed with an ulcer from all this stress?
And Shougo…given the way they’d parted before, what’s he doing right now? Maybe he’s totally freaking out about Rei’s disappearance, calling on his Twitter followers the world over to search for Rei?
Rei shrugs off this worry, though, and heads into the kitchen, inspecting the contents of the fridge for lunch. As he sets about preparation, Seiya wanders in asking what’s for lunch. Rei suggests that if sliced pork over vegetables is fine, he can probably handle that, and Seiya offers to make the dressing. Seiya sets to work merrily, and this sight makes Rei recall his discomfort and worry now, and he broaches the subject, “Seiya-san, we…really should contact someone now… Everyone’s going to be worried sick.”
“It’s fine,” Seiya assures. “I’ve contacted someone already.” Rei is shocked–who? “I texted Shougo and let him know I was with you.”
At this, Rei goes pale for a moment. “Shougo…? But, why would you…” Seiya reasons that while no one would really worry with how often he goes off the grid like this if he didn’t tell someone, the same can’t be said about Rei going missing, so he made sure to let them know. Rei accepts this…but why Shougo of all people?
Shougo was so worried about his father’s importance to Rei–so how must he be feeling now, knowing that they’re alone together? He recalls Shougo’s expression, confessing how worried he was, and his heart clenches painfully in his chest–not pain for himself, but for Shougo. “I’m going back… Please let me go back!” He wants to fly back home immediately, to reassure Shougo that there’s nothing to worry about. He wants to comfort Shougo, to offer him relief.
Here, though, Seiya gives him a strange look. “Oh? But I thought you were in love with me? You were going to choose me if forced to pick between Shougo and me, right?”
Rei’s eyes widen at the accusation; so, he had heard… Rei gropes for words, and it’s just like that night is playing over before him all over again now. Shougo asks him the question again, and he still can’t respond–because he’s sure if he does, he’ll hurt Shougo.
But then, this brings in a new element–wait, that’s strange… Why can’t he respond now, then? It’s Seiya standing before him now, not Shougo. Even if he says he loves Seiya, he can’t hurt Shougo right now, so there’s no reason he should be hesitating here…
So why can’t he answer?
“Rei-kun…are you really in love with me?” All Rei has to do is say yes, just nod, but his tongue won’t move, and his body is frozen stiff. He knows he must be in love with Seiya, saying that he’d choose Seiya ought to be the answer… “Then, shall we give it a test…?”
Rei’s heart thuds in his chest, and Seiya slides around the counter, slowly approaching, and brings a hand to Rei’s cheek. These hands that patted him on the head, thanking him for taking care of Izumi, hands that Rei loved so much…
…but right now, they frighten him, and he can hear the sound of his teeth chattering as he shudders. He doesn’t understand what’s going on, can’t believe it–doesn’t want to believe it. This isn’t right, it’s not, and he squeezes his eyes shut–just as Seiya’s lips brush his own.
It’s a moment he’s dreamt of for so long–a moment where something he’d always thought to be a dream has finally become reality. And yet–
“…Why’re you crying, Rei-kun?”
Rei struggles to apologize, but the tears keep coming–why? These aren’t tears of joy, he understands well; he’s shocked and disgusted, rather. But–why does he feel the same sense of revulsion and discomfort with Seiya that he had felt with Mitsuzaka before…? He’s always loved this man…
“Rei-kun,” Seiya softly calls his attention, “When I kissed you…who did you think of?”
“Shougo…and Nagisa-san, and Izumi-san…” He’d felt how wrong this way, that in doing this he was betraying Shougo–as well as Nagisa and Izumi.
Seiya nods, satisfied, “Yeah, I figured.” And at Rei’s confusion, he explains, “Rei-kun–you don’t love me romantically, you love me as family. Something closer to a father, I suspect.”
“Exactly; you never really had a father before, right? So I guess you’ve come to think of the Sena family as your own.” And…perhaps he’s right. Seiya was the first person to ever teach him what it meant to have a warm, loving family. “That’s why my kiss felt strange to you; and why you felt like it was unfair to Nagisa and Izumi. Am I wrong?”
He might have a point, but… “No, you’re wrong… I really did love you!” This person taught him the warmth of family, but at the same time, he truly had loved Seiya, who shared his light with Rei. “Loved you so, so much, but it was just too much to bear living under the same roof as you, so I left… I’d always thought about you–and you only!” The first person he’d ever truly been in love with. He’d felt it the greatest honor to be by Seiya’s side, to work for him. He can’t imagine any way in which that was not romantic love. And yet…
“Mm, yeah–but that’s why you loved me. In the past, right?” Rei jolts–‘loved’? “What you feel for me right now is more like familial love, isn’t it?” Rei parses this suggestion, and Seiya continues. “Because there’s someone else you’re in love with, right?”
Rei takes in all of this new information as realization hits–the feelings he’s felt for Seiya have, somewhere along the way, changed from lust and desperation to a warm sunbeam, leaving him light and radiant. Even in their little getaway here, despite being under the same roof with Seiya all alone, not once did he feel overcome with lust or anything of the sort. It’s instead felt rather…comfortable, laid-back. This…must be what familial love is… He’d never understood that before, always assuming that these changing feelings were just an extension of his romantic emotions. Everyone says that when you marry someone, romantic feelings over time shift to those of intimate family ties, so Rei had just assumed that’s what this was.
But that’s not what happened with Rei; he hadn’t just shifted to such familial love with the natural flow of time–rather, someone had caused it. And that person is…
“Then…the one I’m in love with now…is Shougo, huh…”
“Exactly,” Seiya praises, obviously pleased that Rei’s finally come around. Rei realizes he’s been in love with Shougo for a long, long time now. He’d always assumed Shougo was second in his heart, but he’d risen up to first long ago.
He’s a bit confused–is this why Seiya brought him here? To make him realize this? Seiya hedges a bit–he’s not really sure himself. He probably just didn’t want to be alone out here. Rei ponders that perhaps this is what Seiya meant that first day when he’d said he thought Rei needed some time.
“But…are you sure it’s okay?”
“Just…I’m a guy, and I’m…with your own son…”
Most parents would rail against such a union, but not Seiya: “Nah, I’m perfectly fine with it. I figure it’s your business.” The easy response is very “Seiya-like”, but Rei still has some doubts, and Seiya allows, “Though I’m not sure how Nagisa will react.” Indeed; she doesn’t seem a bigot, but there’s no telling how she’ll react when it comes to her own son, and Rei resolves to keep it a secret for now.
Rei’s heart feels lighter now, and he’s overcome with the urge to see Shougo again and tell him how he truly feels, what he’s realized–and at this, Seiya finally suggests they return, since Rei seems to have figured things out and Seiya as well has reached his own conclusion for how to deal with things.
Seiya checks his phone and grimaces–20 missed calls and 145 missed texts, yikes! The phone suddenly rings here, though–it’s Sotomura. Seiya answers a bit warily, not wanting to be chewed out likely, but immediately grows pale with shock, frantically gathering their things to leave after cutting the call short on hearing Sotomura’s news. Rei, confused, begs for an explanation, to which Seiya replies that he’s got a car on the way to pick them up–because Nagisa and Shougo were just in a car accident and have been taken to the hospital.
Rei’s vision goes dark–an accident? Nagisa and Shougo…? He tries to pull details out of Seiya on the way, but Seiya’s as ignorant as he is, having only heard the news of the accident from Sotomura who also didn’t have many details. Sotomura’s texted them the hostpital’s address, and they pile into the taxi and speed off. Seiya ponders aloud that they might have been coming to find Seiya and Rei, and this knowledge sends a cold shudder of guilt through Rei. If something has happened to the two of them because of this…
He’s never been religious before, but he finds himself seeking every available avenue, clasping his hands together and praying to God, Buddha, even his own mother…to hear his plea and keep them safe.
They finally arrive at the hospital, only to find that mother and son were treated separately and are in separate rooms. Seiya offers to go to Nagisa and urges Rei to take care of Shougo, and the pair split up–but when Rei finally reaches Shougo’s room, he’s met with a sign: No Visitors. He’s always had the worst luck. But a nurse draws near and asks if he’s family–to which he responds no, but that he was asked by the patient’s father to check on him. She lets him in, to his surprise, and there he finds Shougo unconscious on a hospital bed, tubes and wires attached everywhere and with an oxygen mask on his face.
“Shougo!” he calls out over and over again, rushing to the bedside. It’s all he can say. There don’t seem to be any obvious injuries, and when he questions the attending physician about his state, the doctor replies that he seems to have hit his head badly and all they can do is wait. He urges Rei to try talking to him, though, and suggests that it might bring him around. The doctor leaves Rei alone with Shougo, and Rei tries to speak with him. “Hey…you’ve gotta be kidding me here, right? Open your eyes, dammit! I still haven’t gotten to tell you how I feel…” Tears start to fall, flowing down his cheeks onto the bed. “I’m so…so sorry for being so half-assed about everything all this time–I didn’t even realize it myself, see. But Seiya-san…helped me finally understand. I finally get it, so… Just open your eyes! I love you, okay? Love you the most, more than Seiya-san, more than anyone else, and I never got to tell you that…”“…Seriously?”
Rei’s head snaps up, eyes wide, and for a moment he didn’t understand what had happened–“Shou…go?”
“WOOHOO! I totally got you!” Shougo shoots upright, holding a sign with SURPRISE! written on it in one hand and the oxygen mask he’d been wearing in the other.
………………..‘got you’? “Wha…but, you…you were hurt…and…wait, the accident…? Huh? But–you weren’t allowed visitors…?”
“Oh–no no, there really was an accident! But we just got bumped from behind and came to the hospital for a checkup just in case. Then we all thought it might be kind of fun to surprise you sooooo~”
The door opens with a bang, and in charges Nagisa, seeming completely uninjured. “Rei-kun, we really pulled one over on you! Even the doctors and Sotomura-kun were all in on it!”
Behind her, smiling uneasily, is Seiya. “They really got us good.”
Nagisa turns on him. “It’s all your fault to begin with! Disappearing like that and snatching up Rei-kun as well!” Seiya apologies, and Nagisa’s expression melts into a fond smile, and she agrees to forgive him, since he apparently had given her a rather heartfelt confession of his own as she lay on the hospital bed. It appears their fight has been resolved. “Oh–and Rei-kun!”
“Just so you know, Seiya-kun is mine. I’m not giving him to you!”
“You can have Shougo instead, so I’ll thank you to give up Seiya-kun.”
It takes Rei a moment to process this–Nagisa professing that Seiya is hers…and that Rei can have Shougo instead…
“Wait, you mean…?”
“Of course I knew! I’ve known for ages that you were in love with Seiya-kun! You always looked at him like some lovestruck girl, after all. But–sorry, I’m neeeever giving him up to you! And I’m not divorcing him!” With this, she hugs Seiya tightly for good measure.
“Of course! Don’t underestimate a woman’s intuition!” Which seems to suggest that the only one who really thought he was keeping it a secret…was Rei himself.
He chuckles softly and reassures her, “Don’t worry, please. I promise not to take him from you. But in return…”
“Would you please…accept me as a member of your family?” He’s always wanted that, he thinks, but was perhaps blinded by his love for Seiya from this desire.
Nagisa is shocked, though, and responds promptly, “What’re you talking about? You’ve been a member of our family for ages now!” She’s known about his feelings all these years, and yet hasn’t thrown him out or pushed him away, simply letting him feel the way he was drawn to. Of course, it likely helped that she was confident that she was loved by Seiya, but more so, it showed how much she truly cared for Rei as well. She was indeed the mother of the Sena household, watching over Rei like a mother and ensuring he wasn’t hurt.
“Thank…you…so much.” His eyes well up with tears, but he fights them back and bows his head, and when he looks up again, Seiya is smiling gently at him from within Nagisa’s embrace. This man has given him a place to be, has brought him this far and shared his warm light with Rei, and Nagisa has always watched over him to ensure that he kept that place.
But…what he needs now, is… “And one more thing…”
“More requests?”Rei bobs a nod before turning to face Shougo. “I’ll take Shougo, as you so kindly suggested.” As he speaks the words, a happiness wells up within his heart, and a smile blossoms naturally on his face. He’s so happy to be able to express his feelings not just to Shougo himself, but to the people he calls his family.
“Rei…” Shougo’s eyes flare wide, and tears start to stream down his cheeks.
“Eh–wait, what’s wrong, Shougo?!” He peers into Shougo’s eyes with concern, “Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
But Shougo shakes his head, laughing through his tears. “No, it’s just…you finally smiled at me…with that smile you’ve only ever shown my father before…”
Rei freezes at these words, recalling Shougo’s long-ago request when they’d only just met: “Hey… Smile at me like you smile at my dad.” He’d said it was a beautiful smile…one that Rei only showed Seiya, probably because of how much he loved Seiya.
Maybe Shougo…had been waiting all this time to see that smile.
Shougo reached over and dragged Rei into an embrace, “I love you so much Rei! I’ll cherish you forever!” As he gives into the embrace, though, Rei notices all of the wires and tubes used in their gag…and wraps both arms tightly around Shougo, squeezing with all his might. “OWOWOWOWOW! EH?! What’s the big idea, Rei?!”
“I don’t care if it was just a joke–it was in horrible taste!”
Shougo protests that he was really worried about Rei, though, and that they went through a lot trying to track him down. Rei returns that while he may have a point, there are limits to what you should and shouldn’t do to get back at someone, and does he have any idea how worried they were?! Shougo continues to try and apologize, but Rei is having none of it, sinking back into the punk mode he so long ago rose above.
On finally returning to Tokyo, Rei slips back into work mode and picks up where he left off, relieved to see that Sotomura has handled everything splendidly, though the poor man is quite exhausted now. After apologizing thoroughly, he lets Sotomura off early for some well-deserved rest. He finishes up what work he has for the day before deciding the rest can wait and finally heads home–but just as he steps out of the SenaPro offices, he feels someone watching, and turns to find Shougo waiting for him, expression like an abandoned puppy.
He sighs to himself; he’d kind of expected this. “…All right, come on.” Shougo scrambles to his side, all but wagging a tail behind him, and Rei warns that they’re in public, so if he doesn’t take care, he’ll break up with him. Shougo droops again at this, keeping quiet as they plod along, and Rei reflects, ‘Ah crap…he’s really too adorable like this…’
Once they reach his apartment, he asks if they should shower first–but Shougo appraches him from behind and wraps his arms around him. “…What’s wrong?” he asks softly.
“I really…thought we were done…” Shougo’s voice is soft and trembling, and Rei can only catch it because of their proximity.
“I was so scared…you were going to go to him…”
“Yeah…” Rei can only nod, not able to bring himself to say anything more, and a warmth blossoms in his chest–Shougo is so precious to him, and it warms him from the inside out. “Hey, loosen up a bit?” Shougo does so, and he twists in the embrace to face Shougo. “But…you’re not scared anymore, right?” He smiles at this and hugs Shougo tightly.
“…Nope, not scared.” He hugs Rei close. “…I really love you, Rei.”
“…I love you too.” He brushes a kiss across Shougo’s lips. “More than anyone else.” He never would’ve been able to bring himself to say these things usually, but they just seem to flow out of him here, and he finds himself happy to finally be able to speak his mind.
“Rei…” Shougo starts, and Rei brings his palms up to cradle Shougo’s cheeks.
“Idiot…what’re you crying for?”
“I’m just…so happy, I’m so, so happy now…” He brings his hands to cover Rei’s own, and they slowly kiss–first their lips, then forehead, then just at the corner of the eye, then the cheek, and again on the lips. The soft, gentle kisses tickle, rousing a bit of impatience along the way. Is this perhaps what true happiness is…? Usually Rei is eager to move on to the real thing as quickly as possible, but right now he’s satisfied with just these butterfly kisses. Of course it’s not as if he doesn’t want to step things up, but he feels like he’d be just as happy just touching like this forever…
Shougo calls his name, and Rei feels his temperature start to rise; Shougo grabs him by the hips and gently lifts him up before setting him down on the bed as they start to remove each other’s clothes. “You know…thanks to you, now I really like the sound a tie makes when you pull it off,” Shougo confesses, and Rei snaps that he’s an idiot as he works at the buttons on Shougo’s shirt with trembling fingers.
It’s been years since he and Shougo started their relationship…but it feels like this is the first time they’ve ever touched one another like this. No teasing or desperation, just gentleness, like fingers conversing through touch. Shougo’s fingers and tongue brush along Rei’s skin, up and down his body, and he asks softly for permission to mark him, which Rei grants so long as he’s sure to keep the bites where no one will see. Shougo is thrilled and sets to work, suckling eagerly at the skin of Rei’s thigh to leave red welts in his wake. Rei reflects here that Shougo’s always wanted to leave these marks, even when Rei protested, and realizes that it was probably out of worry and uncertainty that deep down, Rei wasn’t really his.
“Tonight…” Rei offers, “tonight…you can do whatever you want.”
Shougo’s eyes go wide with shock before he smiles softly. “…With an offer like that, I won’t be able to hold back, you know.” Shougo continues his trek along Rei’s body, pulling up pleasure in his wake, and settles at his chest to suckle and tease on his nipples with one hand while tugging Rei’s cock to life with the other. Shougo’s strokes are gentle and slow, and Rei thrashes beneath him, legs locked around Shougo. “You look about ready to burst,” Shougo teases softly, swiping a finger across the tip. “It’s all right–go ahead and cum.” At this, Rei spills over Shougo’s hand, breathing harshly as Shougo reaches over to the headboard to retrieve the lotion, rubbing it over Rei.
Rei can already sense the pleasure building from the preparation, and Shougo asks if he wants him already, sliding a finger inside. Rei’s hips shudder in response, and Shougo brushes his fingers around inside. “Certainly seems like you want me here…” He increases the number of fingers, each time bringing Rei to new heights of pleasure. “Can I put it in now…?”
“Just…hurry…” Rei begs, and twists in pleasure when Shougo brushes a finger over his prostate. If he hadn’t just climaxed, that certainly would’ve sent him shooting over his peak. He feels more sensitive now than he’s ever been before–but Shougo pauses here.“…Hey, Rei?”
“Wh…at?” Why does Shougo look…a little worried?
“Say…you want this. Say that…you want me.”
“Shougo…” He’s heard this request a thousand times before. Shougo always wants to hear Rei say it. He’s never asked why Shougo asks this, because he’s probably always known: these aren’t the words Shougo wants truly, but he’s too afraid to ask for what he really wants.
He’ll probably regret these words in the morning. “I want…you, Shougo. I don’t want anyone but you.”
Shougo gulps in shock, slipping his fingers out before mounting Rei and pushing his hips up to slide himself inside.
He slides in to the hilt and starts thrusting with abandon, making his earlier gentleness seem like a lie. Rei wraps his legs around Shougo’s hips and cries out as Shougo pistons in and out–it just feels too good to handle. Shougo chants his name, and Rei reaches out both arms to wrap around Shougo’s neck to hold close, gripping tight enough that he feared he might leave marks. As Shougo climaxed, spilling inside Rei, he as well reached his peak.
After one round in the bed, Shougo had carried Rei into the bathroom under the pretense of helping him take care of the afterwork of spilling inside, but… “H…ow…is this…taking responsibility…in the least…”
“‘S not like you can blame me… You’re the one who said I could stick it in.” Shougo diligently uses his fingers to clean away the evidence of their joining, but Rei is having trouble bearing it, up on his knees in the bathtub as Shougo fingers him from behind, each movement sending the water in the tub splashing. “Baths sure are nice, though… The way that sexy voice of yours echoes…”
“Sh–shut up…!” While he’d admittedly told Shougo he could do whatever he wanted, it’s not like he can help getting embarrassed.
Shougo ponders here that a bigger bath would be nicer, though–and he’s just had a great idea: Rei can move someplace with a bigger bath! Rei chastises him for losing focus–and if he’s not going to do what he came here to do, he should just get out. Shougo scrambles to comply, slipping his fingers out before quickly replacing them with his cock.
“Certainly doesn’t seem like your body wants me to get out, though…”
“Don’t…have to narrate…the whole damn thing…”“Yessir~” he responds with a chuckle before slowly starting to move. The narrow space makes his thrusts naturally slower, and given that they’ve already gone at it passionately on the bed, this is great for Rei’s tired body. Their bodies somehow feel even closer in the water, and as the waves lap against him, Rei presses himself backward to meet Shougo’s thrusts, seeking deeper penetration. “I–‘m gonna…nna…cum…!” He spurts his release into the water, and after another few passes, Shougo climaxes inside him again.
Shougo embraces him tightly from behind and presses his lips to Rei’s nape. A dull stinging sensation reminds Rei that this is where Shougo bit him four days prior. “I’m sorry…that I hurt you.”
He laves the mark with his tongue like a dog, and while Rei admits to himself that it did hurt, it wasn’t nearly as bad as the pain in Shougo’s heart, he’s sure. Rei offers instead, “Just…make sure you only leave love bites from now on,” a suggestion to which Shougo agrees wholeheartedly.
Rei wakes in the darkness–and soft breathing next to himself in the bed. He rolls over and finds Shougo sleeping next to him. He doesn’t recall making it here himself after their second round in the bath, so he assumes Shougo must have carried him here.
He lies there for a long while, watching Shougo sleep, mumbling to himself, “Sure did take us long enough to get here…” Granted, it was all his fault it took this long in the first place. He’d thought things would continue as they were, with him being in love with Seiya most and keeping Shougo as second best…so for it to all chance in the course of a single day is just…
Well, he supposes it’s fairer to say that he just realized in the course of a single day that things had changed a long time ago. He doesn’t think he has any place, now, lecturing Izumi–not when Izumi seems far more mature when it comes to his love life. He accepts his feelings square on and makes sure his partner knows how he feels, and as Rei thinks about Izumi facing down love so straight-forwardly, he laughs softly.
One night…has turned into a revolution, and he can finally call Shougo his full-fledged lover. And to have his ‘family’ accept that love as well is just…
“Nn…Rei…?” Shougo calls out, opening his eyes sleepily–but the moment his gaze falls on Rei in the dim light, he breaks into an easy smile, lids drooping. When Rei catches this smile, he realizes that this must be what Shougo was talking about–the beautiful smile that you only show the person you love most. It’s lovely and fills Rei with a swell of happiness. “We’ve still got time, right? Come back to bed~” He reaches out and tugs Rei in for an embrace before drifting off again, and Rei follows shortly after.
As for how their relationship developed after that…
Finally back in the office, Rei recalls that Shougo texted him while he was driving and slips a hand into his pocket to check his phone.
/All done with work! Mind if I head over to your place now?? (//▽//)/
Rei sighs at the usual emoticon-filled message and returns a quick response: /I just got back, so I’ll head home after doing a bit more work. You can head on inside./
Not a minute passes before Shougo’s follow-up comes: /WOOHOO! I’ll be waitiiiiiiiing~ o(≧▽≦)o/
The text draws a smile–Rei doesn’t doubt that Shougo is making exactly that face right now. Truthfully, Rei’s a bit excited as well, since it’s been a week since Shougo came over; while they might have realized their mutual feelings, they’ve both been rather busy, as usual. Shougo keeps trying to get Rei to move in together, but Rei doesn’t feel like moving from the conveniently located apartment he has now, and in addition to it being a little embarrassing to live together, there’s also the problem of Shougo likely letting it go to his head. However, this hasn’t stopped Shougo from scouting out nearby places (equipped, of course, with properly large baths), but Rei’s remained firm.
Plus, he doesn’t quite want Izumi knowing about their situation yet either, and if they were to move in together, there’s little doubt he’d catch on. Shougo may be crazy about his little brother, but Izumi is just as crazy for his big brother in return, and while Rei doesn’t think Izumi will object to their being together, he might pout and claim he doesn’t want to see Rei anymore, which could affect his work.
Rei steps off of the elevator and heads for his room, calling out, “I’m home.”
The moment he opens his door, Shougo leaps for him like a dog, “Rei~! I missed you!”
“Yeah yeah, okay–lemme go. I can’t take off my shoes.” Shougo swipes a kiss over his cheek, though, claiming it’s a welcome home kiss. Rei ignores him and shoves him away by the forehead as he heads further inside, prompting Shougo to trail after him begging not to be left behind.
Rei recalls here the emoticons in the text from earlier and smiles to himself. “Yup, I knew it–exactly alike.”
“Huh? What is?”
Shougo breaks into a smile here, though, beautiful and shining as ever. “Eeh? Now I’m curious! What!”