Concerning Him - Epilogue

by Stray

19. 08. 2004 - 02.01.2005

rating: R

Disclaimers: not mine, only fussing around.

Warnings: bad English, angst, heavy OOCness, yaoi, Fluff-warning!

Pairing: HxA, IxW mentioned

Betaed by Quirk othe Trade

A/N: this is the R-rated version. The NC-17 rated version can be found on my homepage or at mediaminer . org

We have lived in the USA and played for the national team for years. Meanwhile and after that, we have traveled quite a lot around too - have played in other countries like Canada, Australia, China, I can't possibly list all of them.

They were good years. No one questioned us about why we had to leave Japan and why 'professionals of our caliber' would want to play for another country. People had been quite thoughtful, of course they had to if they didn't want us to leave after they had gone to such lengths to get us. We were almost instantly initiated into the American Go league, where we soon realized that we were amongst the best players, though Go didn't have such tradition there like in Japan and people didn't have such opportunities to learn to play. It wasn't a national sport like at home, so people, who weren't players, didn't take it that seriously. Being a Go professional was a less acknowledged profession than participating in trading card competitions. Most of the people in the league had an eight-hour job next to being a Go player and we two were the odd ones out. Not that we had to take other jobs to live, our hosts were most generous about our payment; we didn't have to worry, even without the game prizes.

We have advanced quickly and not even two years have passed when we already competed in the top league. The games were exciting and the Go-related events involved lots of traveling, which both of us enjoyed very much. We had a surprisingly large number of invitations. I think, our attraction for the event organizers lay more in our oriental looks than our actual skills in Go.

The best thing though, after having the opportunity to play Go again, was that we could show ourselves in public together – as in being together. In most parts of the States people didn't care about our orientation. Since we weren't switching our partners regularly and weren't involved in any kind of scandals, our living together became old news that didn't interest anyone anymore. Except once, when we had a request from a homosexual organization, which asked us to become their poster couple. We nearly accepted, but then we were told that they would release our naked photos in some monthly magazine and that wasn't something any of us particularly wished for. I still remember Akira – I think I can call him that, since by now no one would be surprised that in private I don't call him on his family name, right? –throwing shoes at and chasing out the photographer of our garden, who didn't want to understand that his presence was unwanted, and he wouldn't get his pictures.

After five or so years international competitions provided the only challenge. In the US league we played half of the time against each other and the other half against a small circle of players, who we had already known so well that the games didn't provide us real contentment. We both knew that our performance was strongly influenced by this feeling of dissatisfaction, and felt restless. So after eight years we quit and decided to try in other countries as well. We didn't play for their professional teams, but we played their top players in semi official games and still got to play in international games in the American team. But somehow it has all become empty.

On our travels we have met with several of our old friends, who – not surprisingly – have risen in ranks while we were away. We held large get-together parties on the last night of our stay, and swapped stories from our 'new home' for accounts of what happened in our old one. We always had a great time, but usually both of us felt depressed and homesick for several days afterwards. It always seemed, as if life back home has turned out more interesting and worth living than ours. Probably because that was home. And most likely – because we weren't there. It seemed as if the things that really counted were happening there and not where we were. As time has past, we felt more and more secluded from the pulse of the Go world.

Ten years past of our leaving home, my aunt (the sister of my mother) suddenly died. I was requested to appear at the funeral, and Akira started to pack our trunks without a question. We were both excited to be able to come home again, even if on such a sad occasion. I was still speaking with my mother on the phone, and mentioned her that we would arrive the next day. I remember it clearly. Her voice drifted off for a second, and then she asked me if I intended to bring Akira to the funeral too. I said, 'of course', and then she started to stutter lightly. It turned out that it would be more desirable if I hadn't come at all than bringing my male lover with me to a family gathering of this type.

I was angry with her for weeks afterwards, and I don't really have to mention that we didn't go anywhere. After I had put down the receiver, I asked Akira to put everything back from our trunks. I could tell that he was disappointed, even before I had explained the reason. He had really wanted to go home, even if it was only for a few days. He even mentioned it to Waya, who called me, and ended up speaking with Akira as I wasn't home at that time.

I don't know if that conversation had been the cause, but the story leaked out to the press and caused a scandal a few weeks after that. My mother called me again to tell me about it, and we reconciled again. Of course, I had known before she apologized that it really hadn't been her fault, that if she have had a say in it, I could have brought Akira with me. But the older members of our family were still ignorant and condemning about the existence of a same-sex relationship within the family.

The occasion though, had unexpected results – good results for us. Because even if it didn't seem so, the world still had changed in ten years, and the scandal had influenced the public opinion about us – this time in our favor. And now…

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

"Akira! Are you ready now?" I yell, and lean back on my chair. He steps out of the shower wearing his bathrobe. His hair is clinging wetly onto his temple and shoulders, though he combed it before. He doesn't like to use the hair dryer, says it makes his scalp dry and itchy.

"Are you finished with it now?" he asks nodding towards the notebook that I have shut down just in that minute.

"Not yet, but almost," I answer grinning, and head towards the bath to take my shower. "But that can wait." I brush him on my way, touching his crotch lightly through the robe, untying its sash in the process. He scowls lightly, recognizing my intentions with him. Even if he hadn't known me intimately for more than a decade, I couldn't have been more blatant.

"But think of tomorrow! I don't want to be tired and I don't want you to be tired either!" he yells after me upon my closing the bathroom door.

"I won't tire you out! I just want to make sure that tomorrow both of us are relaxed and devoid of any unnecessary… tension," I shout back through the door – I am aware that my reasoning couldn't be more transparent, but if he wanted me to lay off, he would have said so.

I just hope the neighbors feel adequately entertained by us not to call the police. Damn, I always forget that the walls are thin and people here, though appearing more generous towards other people's indiscretions as in the States, still like to listen, even when they pretend not to. The apartment is still new. A month before we still lived in a hotel suite. Not because we didn't want to settle down permanently, but because Akira has wanted to get an apartment similar to our old one before we moved to the States. Funny, I have always thought he would want a house, like the one he has grown up in.

While in thoughts, I start the water, step under the stream and clean myself accurately. I want to rush to him, but being clean is more than worth the time if I think what is about to follow soon, so I proceed to towel myself dry and then hurry into the bedroom.

I find Akira stretched out on the king-sized bed. His hair has nearly dried, cascading all over the pillow and his naked chest in shiny waves. He has visited a hairdresser just the day before we boarded the plane, but, thanks to my irresistible charms over him, I could talk him out of cutting it short. So it reaches below his shoulders, but instead of making him look feminine, combined with his sharp features, it gives him a wildness when he wears it loose like now, and a very cultured look when he ties it together into a sleek ponytail. And I just love the feel of it everywhere on my body - well, except in my mouth.

I drop the towel that I have held around my waist, since it is too small to have wrapped around me properly. He draws a sharp breath, looking at me, and I grin, knowing the reaction was purposely overplayed. Nonetheless, it fuels my desire further, as I am already every bit excited, just by having thought of him while in the shower. He has the blanket covering his lower half, but since the material is thin, I can see every clear cut line of his body through it. I can tell that he is hard, too.

"I want you in me," he tells me, eyes blazing with desire, even if his lazy movements as he stretches his muscles and makes the blanket slide down a bit, revealing the tip of his erection try to convince me otherwise. Does he think I wouldn't notice that he did it on purpose?

"But it's your turn now," I pretend to be surprised, not that I am really. It is true that we take turns, but he likes to bottom and does so twice as often as topping. I am not the one to deny him; I like it both ways as long as I can have him.

I step beside the bed and yank the blanket down of Akira, dumping it into a pile at his feet. I don't do anything for a few seconds apart from taking in the sight of him.

His skin is smooth and hairless at most places. As we got older, his body started to sprout a few hairs around his nipples and scattered about on his stomach, and he got obsessed with plucking them out. The next thing I knew, he got nearly his entire body depilated, and took to doing it regularly. Not that I am complaining, of course! I just wished he would stop pestering me about wanting me to do the same. I relented a few times when he got too unbearable, but God, it hurt! I don't know how he can stand it. Not to mention that I am not keen about strangers seeing and touching certain body parts of mine. So we made the compromise that it would be him doing it and only at places that make personal hygiene easier and certain activities more enjoyable for the both of us.

When I can't stand any more to just look at Akira, I crouch down next to his middle section and put my palm on his stomach, lightly caressing the skin, but not touching anything else. He enjoys it for a while, but then he gets restless and growls lightly. I push him back onto the bed as he tries to sit up to grab me and pull me down with him, but I follow my hand and place a light kiss onto his awaiting lips. He complains when I pull up too soon, and I smirk at his impatience, since I know it actually turns him on. And I would be lying if I said it doesn't do anything to me.

I let my fingers wander lightly from his shoulder over his chest and nipples. He isn't very receptive to nipple stimulation during sex, but I know I can drive him crazy with light strokes before I actually begin to touch him at other places. His skin starts to flush, and I lift my other hand from his stomach to stroke down his smooth legs and then up again, touching the sensitive skin of his inner thighs, coaxing them to open a bit. He shuts his eyes and throws his head back in a lazy, humming pleasure and smiles.

"Come on, don't tease me any longer!" he breathes. He knows that I always react at this husky tone of his the same way. He knows - and I can feel it; the warmth gathering between my thighs shoots directly into my dick. I shudder as I feel the tension get more and more unbearable by every second I'm not touching Akira with everything I have.

I cannot restrain myself anymore and give up the attempt of taking it slow. I start kissing the place where my fingers stroked his thigh and proceed towards his crotch. When I'm there, though, I surpass completely his hardness (he doesn't like the teasing smile I shoot at him while doing so) and start to lick the sensitive skin of his navel. My face touches to his erection lightly and I enjoy the gasping moan that my action coerces from his throat. I revel in the smoothness of his skin (see, I understand completely, why he likes me smooth). His knees lift slowly, almost by themselves to prompt my attentions towards the area between them, as his voice drifts into new heights and drives my pulse to an erratic drumming in my chest and ears.

Then I really can't take it anymore. I pull up and in a swift motion and lay down on him, forcing his thighs apart to make way for me. After Akira complies I lean on him and kiss his lips fully, with lots of tongue and enthusiasm. I have mastered breathing through my nose, so I can do that for quite a long time, while my hands roam his body and then pull up his legs to wind them around my waist.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

Through the years we have developed the more or less regular habit of lying around for a while after sex in each others' arms, until one of us decides that he is done with being all sticky. This time he is the one who gets up first, and ten minutes later we both are ready to sleep. I remember having wanted to turn down the heater and proceed to do so while he is still in the bathroom, and then crawl into the bed, smoothing out the rumpled linen.

I am half asleep when Akira slips between the sheets and drapes his body over mine, nesting his head under my chin. He places his palm on my chest and tickles one of my nipples until I place my own hand onto his and stop it, smiling at his antics. I swear I can hear him smirking and I feel the urge to open my eyes. But I am just too lazy and comfortable. I feel him moving and the next instant my lips are captured by his own and I succumb to the warm and wet fuzziness of the kiss. We continue to play with our tongues and mouths until we get too sleepy. He complains a bit about being hot and extricates himself from my embrace. He ends up in his usual position with his bottom turned towards me, and eventually drifts off for the night.

I am very careful not to wake him up as I slip out of the bed and sit down again before my computer.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

I know it is perhaps not the best idea of me to deprive myself of much needed sleep since tomorrow is our big day, but I just can't lay on my back when my head is full of things I yet have to tell.

I told you about how our life got after we left Japan but not why we are back now. Though if someone is reading this, I cannot imagine they don't know about it already, seeing as it has been on every media for a while, much like the case with the funeral-scandal. Fact is that we have been invited back after ten years of playing for other countries and winning several international tournaments. Evidently, people have reconsidered having condemned us for what we do outside of Go, and decided that we are good enough to play for our nation after all. I don't want to blame anyone, since people who have invited us back are hardly the same ones who have cast us away fourteen years ago. Some of them had died; some just retired or lost their venom.

Touya Koyo is still alive and unforgiving – hard-headed as ever. Akira has tried to mend things with him, but he hasn't even granted permission to see him, when Akira went to visit. After that he wrote a letter, apologizing for 'not showing the respect due to his father' – that I have found ridiculous, by the way, and managed to get into a row with Akira about it – but not for being what he is and the choices he has made in his life. He told him straight that he was proud of who he has become, what the two of us have accomplished together in our life – in our careers as well as our private one. He has offered reconciliation if his father would be willing to lay aside his prejudices and see past their differences. There was no answer to his letter and he hasn't written any more.

Touya Meijin is but one end of the equation. Most of the people are more forgiving towards us. The world has changed; people have changed to be more accepting. Or perhaps they are willing to take us the way we are, because they now think us to be some American celebrities who are allowed to be different.

I'm not sure what I should think, but I have decided that it doesn't matter for me. We are here now, reinstalled into the Go world of Japan, and nobody cares about our private lives as long as we don't draw attention to it. Our life is like the one we thought we could have had, all those years ago.

Now here we are at 38… oh, and married… I know, I know! Okay, the story is: once we have been to Las Vegas at a Go tournament. Whoever had thought that someone could hold a serious Go event in Vegas? Never mind. To continue, on the last night we both got soused with other players, and found this Elvis-Chapel. The truth is, I don't remember the half of what happened, only that both of us laughed so hard, we couldn't say our oaths properly - and the 'wedding night' afterwards in the adjacent motel, on a gaudy, pink, heart-shaped waterbed. Not that it changed anything in our lives, apart from providing a good opportunity to shock Waya shitless… What counts is that we are together, doing what we have always wanted to do - play Go.

I'm not sure we would be still together had we stayed here, had Akira's past remained unexposed. I don't know how long we could have held up the pretense, and how long it would have lasted until we decided that we are fed up with the secrets and chose the easier path. Waya and Isumi did that after all. They never came out with their relationship and never told anyone their true preference. Both of them got married and have children of their own, though they continued to be friends, maybe more occasionally. But their relationship wasn't strong enough to survive under these circumstances. I wonder if our case didn't have something to do with their decision. I wonder if we would have done the same in their position.

Maybe America was good to us that we could be openly together and didn't have to keep it secret like they had. Or was it because they both wanted a family? I wanted to have children too; it just seemed always so far away. Now… I don't know. But I don't fear to loose Akira because of that. Remember? Married? But that's not the real reason, of course. I have faith in us and I know that he also has. We can always adopt.

I'm babbling, I know. The point is that we are quite happy, if I dare say so. Our lives weren't always like that, and there are still people who would like it better, had we stayed where we were, but they are now the minority, or at least not the majority. Other Go professionals on our level tend to judge us based on our game and not our sexuality, which isn't their concern. The ones who think it is have no say in how things are and cannot make us leave again. Not that they haven't tried at first, because they have. And I'd have hated the disappointment in Akira's eyes, had they succeeded. Neither of us said it out loud, for fear it could go awry again, but we both want this to last. This is our home and this is the place where most of our friends and families still are. This is where we want to stay. This is where our futures lay. Some of it has already begun.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Meijin finals. That means, whoever is going to win, will be the new Meijin. And the two finalists are Akira and I.

End of story. Everything else belongs to the future.

-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-

A/N: everything I wrote here about Go in the USA is based on my guess and artistic license. If someone discovers a rude mistake in it, I will correct it willingly.

A/N2: I don't plan a sequel. It just seemed odd to write 'The End' after that last sentence. :P