Author's Note: Oy, I need to stop writing new fics. I really do. Darn muses.
Anyways, this piece is dedicated to all the young men and women of the world that have had the guts to "come out" during their years of high school. One of my close friends in high school lived through it- and as such, I was a first hand witness of the cruelty of human nature. I feel this story will be a bit of my "voice" speaking out against such actions and for the freedom for anyone- be they homosexual, bisexual or heterosexual- to receive the same rights and respect in society.
Due to the nature of the piece, this will bring up some of the harsher realities of life. Due to such language and violence I feel I should warn you. The rating will stay at PG-13 unless I feel it begins to get so bad it needs to be moved up.
Also, since I do not want people reviewing or emailing me about it- I will state right now that these are the following pairings that will appear in this piece. I will not change or alter them, so if you don't like it- turn back now.
Pairings: Jakotsu/Bankotsu, Suikotsu/Kikyou, Sesshoumaru/Kagura, Kouga/Ayame, Hiten/Kaguya.
Also- if you haven't noticed already- this deals heavily with the issue of homosexuality. If for some reason that is unsettling to you, then please turn back. I don't need your immature flames. Thank you.
Okay, this starts off with a small bit from Bankotsu's POV, then goes into the standard narration.
As always- please read, review and enjoy!
"So, you're gay?"
I could feel the older woman's scrutinizing gaze burnt into mine. It was always like this… once they found out.
"I thought- I thought that my Father…"
"He did," She looked down at the leasing agreement, "But I want to hear it from you."
"Hear what? I'm…gay, there are laws against discriminating against us," I tried to sound firm, but my voice was meek and my face flushed lightly at the topic.
"I'm quite aware of that young man; I just want to know a little more about the people I'm leasing this apartment to."
I looked at her, my eyes wide and innocent- like a lamb before the slaughter. I guess she saw the terror written there, and so she continued.
"So what's your story?"
"My…story?" I blinked, confused and definitely not following her same line of thought.
"About you and…" She paused and glanced down at the paperwork, "Jakotsu, is it?"
"Yes," I hung my head, "His name is Jakotsu."
"And?" Her aged voice held an air of friendliness to it that I was hesitant to accept. I'd seen it before- the face of hatred hidden in a kind woman's eyes. My Mother had been that way when she heard the truth- I hadn't seen her since.
"And what? Why the hell do I have to tell you this?" Temper finally snapping, I bolted upright from the chair and glowered down at her short, wrinkled form.
"Everyone in this building has become part of a small little family over the years. Each one here for their own reasons and with their own story. I simply want to know your story, young man."
Quietly, I sat back down. Still uncertain as what was going through her head.
"Your Father told me about what happened with your Mother and her family."
I raised my eyes to meet hers; trying to hold back the tears I knew were there.
"I lost my only son when he was young. Died a war-hero and left me with his daughter to care for," She paused, sipping from the mug on her desk, "I told you, all the residents in this building are like a family. And as a young man I will hold on the level of a dearest grandson, I just want to know a little more about you."
That did it. That was all my overly emotionally brain could take before one single tear trailed down my cheek. Part of me wanted to hug her right then and there for her open-armed acceptance, but I realized she might want that explanation first.
Taking a depth breath, I began my tale.
"It startedback when we were kids…."
Lives Less Than Ordinary
Chapter 1: Welcome to My World
The blaring alarm clock quickly interrupted all thoughts as the black-haired man groped for the irritating time-piece in hopes to silence it.
In not managing to find the off button, the device was easily yanked free from the wall- the digital flashing numbers fading into blackness.
Sighing, Bankotsu rolled over on his back- his arm resting limply across his face.
"Shit. Why the hell was I dreaming about that?"
Squinting his eyes about the darkened room, he forced himself to sit up.
"That was over seven months ago…" He muttered, a yawn creeping out and swallowing up the rest of his words.
Glancing to the bedside- his eyes made out the familiar picture frame in the dim light. Reaching over, he fingered the curves of the frame before his gaze shifted to the photograph it contained.
Within the confines of the cold glass surface, two warm smiles smiled back at the one who held it.
"Not much longer now- is it?"
His face quirked up into a lop-sided smirk as he tapped a finger on taller of the two men in the picture.
"Though if you still insist on me wearing a dress to prom- you can forget it."
Despite the irritation evident in his voice, there was an underlying tenderness and endearment that untrained ears couldn't detect.
"Breakfast is ready!" Another voice called out from the direction of the kitchen.
"I'll be in a minute,just gotta get showered," He yelled back.
Resisting the strong urge to ignore what he just said and crawl back under the warm sheets, Bankotsu managed to drag himself up and made for the bathroom.
Cramming the toothbrush into his mouth, the black-haired man found his mind drifting back to the other person in the photograph with him.
"That horrid monster defiled my son! I know you aren't his real mother, but please- do something about him!"
The bitterness of his Mother's voice rang out in his mind, and he paused- toothbrush still held between his teeth as the moment flashed through his memory.
"You're absolutely right, Mrs. Asazuki. I'm certain my dear sister wouldn't have died if her son wasn't such a demon. The gods were surely punishing her for even bringing the child into this world. Don't worry. I'll never let Jakotsu get anywhere near your son again, you can count on it."
He remembered it all so clearly. It had just been a simple day at school- he was ten that year and his best friend was fourteen. They were just two innocent kids- best friends since Jakotsu was five and never apart if they didn't have to be.
Then, Jakotsu's Mother died from cancer and he had to move in with his Aunt. His Aunt who had slowly began to turn their perfect life into a living hell.
Ever since they were little- Bankotsu knew Jakotsu was different. He liked the color pink when other boys didn't. He liked to put on his mother's makeup sometimes and dance around in her dresses. At first- everyone just shrugged it off that his Father had died in the war and the boy didn't have a proper male-role model. But Bankotsu knew that wasn't true. Jakotsu was just… an enigma.
Bankotsu's Father had tried to step in then and "toughen" Jakotsu up. Sure- he got tough, but he still acted like Jakotsu. Nothing really changed, and it seemed it never would.
He could remember when he was eight, asking his Father why Jakotsu was so strange, and how he said he'd tell him when he was older.
But in two years time, he'd found out himself.
It had only been a simple kiss out in the school hallway- but it was enough to set the whole town up in arms- and separate the two boys.
That night, Bankotsu's Father sat him down for a long talk- filled with words he only now would fully understand.
Their Fathers had been in the military together, served overseas and had a grand old time. But that was why Mr. Asazuki knew the truth about Jakotsu- and his Father.
The soldiers were lonely- his Father explained- and Mr. Takamachi sometimes found himself seeking out other lonely men in those dire times for comfort. He still loved his wife, and had left her pregnant when he joined the service- but he never came home.
They wrote it off as "death in the line of duty," but that was just the army's cover-up for the fact that someone didn't take too lightly of the "fag" amongst them and had rid the world of him forever.
As a ten year old who'd just been torn away from his best friend- things like this made little sense. All he could do was cry and ask why he couldn't see Jakotsu anymore.
"Because they don't understand, son. I'm sorry but they don't…"
That was all his Father could offer him then, and the words still held a dark part of Bankotsu's heart captive as he always asked "Why?"
Four years passed, and at age fifteen- the young black-haired man was making his way into high school.
During those years, he'd never seen or heard from his best friend. And from all he could tell, Jakotsu had been locked away from the light of the world by his Aunt.
That's when the telephone rang- the woman finally had enough and had thrown Jakotsu out on the street.
Insisting it was his obligation to his war-buddy, Mr. Asazuki convinced his wife to allow the young boy to move in with them.
She agreed only after days of arguments- but swore if Jakotsu so much as touched her son the wrong way- he was out.
The two friends spent a whole night catching up on the years they were apart- the horrible truth behind his Aunt's closeting slowly surfacing.
"You mean she didn't let you go to school or anything?"
"She tried one of those private schools. Said it would whip me into shape- but it didn't. She pulled me after only one year- I've only technically finished middle school."
Despite her cruel means- it left the two boys in the same grade and more than ready to face the terror of high school together.
Little did they know what troubles would await them soon after that.
Bankotsu had never really wanted a girlfriend- he never thought much on why either- shrugging it off that girls were annoying and that was that. But after four years- he'd grown in many ways- and so had Jakotsu. And despite his mind's protests against it, he certainly had noticed the changes in Jakotsu.
He was tall now- but with strong shoulders and a sturdy frame. If it wasn't for the outlandish attire and dash of makeup the young eighteen year old wore- someone might call him handsome.
Sophomore year came without much of a fuss until Christmas break…and what the two boys began to refer to as "the end of the world."
It had started innocently enough- they were just goofing off and laughing like always as they tossed a baseball around their room. The ball went up, and they both dove for it- landing in a tangled heap of human appendages as they crashed to the ground.
Looking up, Bankotsu's eyes saw the predatory gleam in Jakotsu's as he hovered over his pinned form.
Rose-colored lips hastily claimed Bankotsu's and that was all it took.
Something in his brain snapped- like a floodgate opening and pouring all the missing answers to his questions into the dried river beds his mind had become. He knew then why he missed Jakotsu so much.
It wasn't just that they were friends. It wasn't just that he was lonely and had no one to play with. It was that feeling- when his lips crushed down against his. That feeling of completion that he could never truly put coherently into words.
Jakotsu had pulled back- perplexed as to why his attentions weren't being hindered, and he found Bankotsu laying there with his brows knitted deep in thought.
" Don't-don't be. You have… no reason to be."
"What? But I…"
"Yes. And I…didn't tell you that you had to stop- did I?"
His voice was shaky, his mind was reeling and his emotions were running rampant.
It was crazy- he knew it then, and he knew it even now. But he couldn't deny it- whether he thought it was wrong, whether his Mother hated him for it, and whether the world did too. No matter how hard he tried to reason with his mind- the answer always came back the same.
You love Jakotsu. As more than just a friend.
And that's how it was. The kisses didn't stop, and he didn't want them too. His hands just as eagerly seeking to touch every inch of flesh that Jakotsu presented to him as the older boy's hands sought the same on the prone form beneath him.
It all seemed so right- but yet- it was something she could only see as wrong.
And of all the people in the world that had to find them entangled in that impassioned embrace- it had to be Mrs. Asazuki.
Then- it was as if things began to happen in slow motion; the final moments before the apocalypse hit.
"That's it- he's out! I will not let him attack my son in my own house!"
He vaguely remembered pulling himself away from Jakotsu and struggling to stand.
"He's eighteen- you're fifteen- there has to be some law against this. I'm calling the police. I should have down this years ago!"
"No! Mom don't!"
"He attacked you!"
"No he didn't!"
"What else do you call that- that unsightly display!"
"Mom, I… I love him."
And with those three words uttered- the world stopped.
The woman that had once been his Mother died that moment, her anger and her lack of understanding tearing their family at the seams.
Bankotsu was left a total wreck- his grades suffering and most of his time at school spent in the counselors office with Jakotsu.
If there was anything he had to be thankful for- it was that his Father had chosen him over his irrational wife- but that only made the guilt worse.
It took a whole year, and a lot of counseling before Bankotsu was even remotely the boy he used to be. By Junior year, things had returned to a steady rhythm of life once again- just his Father and Jakotsu left beside him.
But without the extra financial support from his Mother, the three began to face hard times and since he insisted the boys focus on their studies- Mr. Asazuki enlisted in the service again to cover the monetary problems.
Not long before Senior year, his division was to be shipped out and if he still wanted to care for his son and the other young boy he'd come to call son as well, he knew he had to go.
At their counselor's advice- Jakotsu had signed up for an exchange program to Japan which left Bankotsu needing someplace to stay while his only forms of family were far away.
And that's how he'd found himself standing before the apartment manager and faced with the question about his life. Having to move left him with no choice but to switch schools for his final year of high school. He didn't mind- ever since a few rumors had gotten out about why his Mother had left, not many people wanted to be involved with him- let alone call him friend… but at the time he was too depressed to care much.
Now he found himself entering a new school, several miles away from his last home and ready to start anew. Things had gone great for the first few months- he'd made friends quickly and even got involved with some sports teams. His Father would call when he could, and sent money to help out with the apartment bill. It wasn't so bad and for once- life was beginning to look up. Every night, Jakotsu would call and they'd talk about their day. Although he was glad to hear his voice, it never made up for the warm presence and the impish smile the older boy always had.
"You know how all those stupid romance movies drone on about how 'Distance makes the heart grow fonder?'"
"Yah… it sucks."
"I hate it when bad movies like that are right…"
"Bankotsu! Kaede is going to kill us if we use up anymore hot water this month!" The voice snapped him from the depth of his memories.
Pausing, the black-haired man found himself standing under the warm water of the shower and he wondered when he'd even gotten done brushing his teeth. This wasn't the first time he'd spaced out like this either- and their water bill was beginning to show it.
"Hurry up- breakfast is getting cold and you're going to be late for school!"
Reluctantly shutting off the warm water, he stepped out and wrapped a towel about himself, walking over towards the door.
Stepping out he found himself face to face with his temporary roommate.
"Sorry man- I kinda zoned out again…"
The brown-haired young man sighed, "Bankotsu- I know you miss your friend, but getting all melodramatic about it isn't going to make him come home any sooner. He's back what… in two days?"
"Tomorrow," He replied, barely able to contain his wide grin, "Jakotsu's back tomorrow."
"And Kaede still hasn't gotten your apartment fixed up- has she?"
"They started in on it last week. It should be done in a few days. I'll be out of your hair soon, Suikotsu."
"Hey now, I don't have anything against you man but- this apartment really isn't made for three people." His friend shrugged.
"I know, I know."
"Well I'll leave breakfast on the table. I've got to get to classes at the campus. Kikyou will get worried if I'm late…"
"And you say I have issues…"
"I'm not day-dreaming while taking an hour-long shower."
"An hour! I was in there that long?"
"Yah, if you hurry I think you can eat a few bites before running out the door."
"Okay- see ya later, Suikotsu…" He replied, heading towards the kitchen to grab breakfast.
"You forgot to get dressed."
Looking down at the towel about his waist, he gave a sheepish grin, "Eheh…"
"I hope you're less spaced out once your friend gets here tomorrow. I'm certain he wouldn't want you walking around in nothing but a towel either…"
Hiding his worry and a bit of an ironic smirk, Bankotsu thought to himself, "If you only knew…"
Preview for Chapter 2:
Life is like an ocean- calm and tranquil as your ship floats aimlessly about. Then out of no where, the waves grow bigger and bigger—until you're caught in a storm.