"Just to Touch Him..."
Chapter Three: Bond of Brothers
Notes and Warnings: Characters in this story are based on those from the cartoon, Digimon. I do not own Digimon, nor do I have authorized permission to use these characters, but I am because this is a piece of fanfiction.
Matt was prompt in his answering of the door after only one knock by TK. He and his band had been busy on a European tour, and it was only recently that he had gotten back home to Japan. He had been away for months, and it was the first time since returning home that he was going to spend some time with his beloved little brother. But Matt was unsure of how this meeting would unfold. TK had called him out of the blue, obviously distressed about something, but what that something was, Matt didn't have a clue. TK could be very cryptic when speaking to others, scared to share secrets, too often leaving them bottled inside. But if he ever needed an ear to spill out his inner demons to, Matt would never hesitate in lending one. And he had a hunch that this union would be a cerebral one.
As the front door opened, the two blonds both immediately smiled upon seeing one another. But TK quickly felt a sagging lump build in his gut, reminded again of why he was here, and what he risked losing by telling his brother about his secret shame. Earlier in his room, TK cried at the prospect of being disowned by his older brother due to his involuntary homosexuality. But now, seeing Matt in the flesh, that scenario was even harder to envision. Matt was the best big brother he could ever ask for. And should the taller, longer haired sibling ostracize TK due to homophobia, TK knew that suicide would be the only course of action to take. But even with such fears, TK still smiled at the joy of seeing his big bro for the first time in ages. He felt comforted by just being in Matt's presence.
Matt stepped out from to doorway to embrace TK in a quick, friendly hug. "Great to see you again, bro," Matt stated.
"You have no idea," TK responded. "Thanks for letting me come over on such short notice."
They broke their hug, with Matt saying, "You don't need to thank me for that. It's not like we're business partners. You're my brother. And this is your house too." TK smiled at his Matt's unfaltering display of brotherly love. Matt continued, "So c'mon. Let's go inside."
Through the front door, TK stepped, where he was greeted by a messy living room. Matt was aware of the unkempt nature of the house, apologizing, "Sorry it's so unorganized in here. I'm never really home, and dad's not really the best housekeeper."
TK laughed, "Dad never was good at mom sorta stuff, was he."
"You're not kidding," Matt agreed. "I didn't think it could happen, but his cooking has gotten even worse recently."
Again, TK laughed, thinking of the times when the family lived together. Thinking back to those nights when his mom wasn't home, placing dinner duty in his dad's hands. He remembered how bad those meals were, despite his father trying his best to please his two sons. TK rarely tasted his father's cooking since the divorce. Oddly enough, he missed it. As bad as it tasted, it was still indicative of a time when he, Matt, and both parents lived happily under one roof together. He'd eat his dad's vile dishes everyday if it meant reuniting the family again. Of course, this option was null. An impossible fantasy. And though the separation happened years ago, it was still something that TK had yet to emotionally overcome.
"Speaking of food, do you want something to eat or drink?," Matt asked.
"Um, no thanks, Matt. Maybe later. But now, I just need to talk."
"Yeah, I know," Matt worriedly said. He knew something was gnawing at TK's mind, and being his older brother naturally dictated Matt to be concerned about what was upsetting TK. He only hoped that he could be of some help. "Let's go on up to my room," Matt said.
After ascending the stairs, TK stepped into Matt's room which had changed since the last time TK had seen it. The walls were totally covered in stuff related to Matt's music career. There were copies of 'Teenage Wolves' concert flyers written in several different languages, as well as articles from newspapers and magazines, including one from Rolling Stone which gave the latest 'Teenage Wolves' album 5 out of 5 stars, proclaiming it as "album of the decade." Various photos were hung on the wall, depicting Matt and his bandmates standing amongst famous foreign landmarks during their world tour. The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia U.S.A., Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow Russia, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Big Ben in London England, Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem... Matt had snapshots of he and his bandmates in front of all these exotic wonders and many more.
Plenty of items which were sentimental to TK were in the room as well. The standout was a photo blown up to poster size, which was framed and hung in the center of the wall. It showed TK and Matt in Shibuya, standing between two playfully wild Digimon, Pumpkinmon and Gotsumon, shortly before Myotismon arrived on the scene and inhumanly destroyed the two fun-loving pranksters. Upon seeing the two benevolent mischief makers, TK nearly welled up with tears before something else caught his attention. Amongst the clothing and clutter in Matt's room lay a harmonica. Few material items exemplified the brotherly bond that TK shared with Matt as did this small musical instrument. Since before TK could remember, Matt would bring it out and whistle a comforting tune whenever TK was uneasy or nervous about something. The future grammy winner would play it through the nights in the Digital World, allowing its melody to usher the other kids into slumber, where they would have dreams which were not nearly as bizarre as the reality they happened to stumble into. TK wished that Matt would pick it up and play him a song at this moment, to help him calm his distraught nerves.
TK crouched down to take a closer look at the harmonica laying upon the dirty floor. Upon doing so, the waistband of his pants lowered whilst the bottom of his t-shirt raised up. This actually exposed the back of TK's yellow thong underwear to Matt, who sat on his bed behind the teenager. Upon catching a glimpse of TK's skimpy thong, Matt could only roll his eyes with a smile while thinking, 'Oh jeez. My little brother is getting gayer by the minute.'
After standing back up, TK looked at Matt, then looked around for a nice place to sit for the upcoming chat. Matt seemed to pick up on TK's problem, and offered a solution, "You can just push those clothes off my beanbag chair if you wanna take a seat." TK did so, and plopped his little backside into the low green cushion.
A few seconds went by with Matt looking at TK, wondering what was weighing so hard on his mind, and TK looking down at the floor, trying to collect his thoughts. 'This could be it,' TK thought to himself. 'This could be the last few moments that my brother will love me.'
Unwilling to sit through anymore silence, Matt asked, "So what's up?"
TK dodged the main issue he needed to talk about, electing to make small talk. "Nothing much," he told Matt. "Just school, stuff like that."
"That sounds cool," Matt said.
"I bet it's not as cool as touring the world," TK spoke, referring to his brother's bedouin lifestyle as a musician. "Looks like you've been to some really interesting places."
"Yeah, it's been a wild year, that's for sure. But trust me, being a musician isn't all fine and dandy."
"Somewhat. Our record company is putting pressure on us to make our next album less rock and more pop."
"That's pretty stupid," TK observed. "You guys are only like the biggest band in the world. Obviously, whatever you're doing is right. They should leave you guys alone."
"You'd think they would, but nooooooo, we gotta dumb down our music," Matt began with sarcasm. "We gotta sound more like a boy band. We gotta sell our souls and sell out, even though we already sell out every gig we do anywhere in the world. Ha, what a load."
"At least there's no problem with your bandmates," TK optimistically spoke.
At this, Matt sighed. "I wish that were true. But Takashi. Well, Takashi has been letting fame get to his head in a bad way," Matt spoke of one of his fellow 'Teenage Wolves' bandmates. "Been doing some really stupid and dangerous stuff. He thinks he's invincible, but he's not. I'm just scared that the stuff he's doing is gonna catch up to him in a really bad way. Fame is just a terrible thing for some people. I don't think anyone as young as us should have fame, ya know. We just can't keep it, or ourselves, in check and under control."
"It's always sad when someone you care about, someone you thought you knew, changes for the worse," TK commented, thinking of his own situation while doing so. Matt was acute on picking up that fact.
"TK, you didn't come here to see how my band is doing," Matt said, diverting the conversation. "What do you need to talk to me about?"
Pausing first to look at the floor a few more seconds, TK stammered, "Matt, I. I don't. I don't know how to tell you..." In that second TK felt like he was gazing into an unavoidable near-future fate. He saw Matt, disgusted and disappointed over TK's homosexuality, ordering him to leave the house. Telling him that as far as he was concerned, they were no longer brothers. TK began to weep as he said, "Matt, please. I'm so sorry. I'm just so sorry."
Unable to bear watching his little brother suffer any longer, Matt stood up from his bed, went up to TK, and knelt down so that his eyes were at the same level. Putting a comforting hand upon TK's quivering shoulder, he softly asked, "TK, please tell me. I'm your brother. You can tell me anything. Please."
"I'm gay," the younger blond blurted out. "I'm gay, Matt. I'm sorry."
Matt removed his hand from TK and walked back to his bed, where he sat down once more. TK looked up to gage his brother's reaction to the painful revelation. He didn't know what to make of Matt's expression. The older boy just stared at him nonchalantly. Lowering his head again, TK whispered, "I'm sorry for everything."
"Is that it?," Matt asked.
TK stopped crying, thinking about what Matt had just said, how it seemed that he'd shrugged it off as being insignificant. Matt continued, "Jeez TK. I thought something horrible happened. I thought that you were going to tell me that Patamon had died, or that mom was sick, or something tragic."
"You. You mean. You mean that you don't care?"
"TK, whether you're attracted to boys or girls doesn't make a bit of difference to me," Matt explained. "Like I said before, I'm your brother, and I'll always be there for you."
It all evaporated. All the false worries and confounded fears that TK had about coming out to Matt, they all evaporated. He felt a sense of unrivaled relief at that moment, causing tears of despair to be supplanted by tears of joy. "I was so scared to tell you," TK revealed. "I was scared that you'd hate me. But I just needed to tell you. No matter what, I needed you to know."
Matt stood up from his bed again. "Come here bro," he calmly said. TK stood and walked to Matt, who gave him a hug. "TK, you have to stop beating yourself up," Matt said in the embrace. "I could never hate you. Don't you ever forget that."
TK let a few tears fall upon Matt's shoulders before they broke apart and again took their respective seats. It took a few moments for Matt to ask, "TK, how could you think I'd hate you for something so unimportant as your sexuality? If you want the truth, as your brother, it actually hurts me to know that you were uncomfortable and even scared to talk with me about this."
"I guess I was just ashamed," TK sniffled. "I've been ashamed about it since I realized that I like other boys. So, I was just assuming that you'd be ashamed of me too, even though I really had no reason to think that way."
"There are a lot more things to be ashamed about, especially when it comes to love," Matt explained. At that moment, all he could think about was Sora screaming at him the night their relationship ended, after she discovered his infidelity. She discovered that he had cheated on her with another girl, and unleashed verbal hell on Matt, before walking out on him with tears streaming from her eyes. Little did she know that even while they were still going out, Matt had plenty of one night stands, sleeping with countless other girls and boys, fans and roadies, from dozens of countries while on his world tours.
Matt continued, "Besides, it's not like this was a revelation to me, TK."
"You knew? How did you know I was gay?"
"C'mon TK," Matt said with a tone of obviousness. "Most people don't give their teenage brothers fuzzy pink bunny slippers on Christmas."
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because nothing needed to be said. It has been, still is, and always will be a non-issue for me. I have more important things to talk to you about."
TK could only smile. "This is such a huge relief for me, Matt. You have no idea. I'm so happy that you don't care that I like Davis."
TK shut his mouth as quickly as he could, but it was too late. He meant to say "boys" but "Davis" was who he was thinking of at the moment, and the name slipped out. It didn't even take a second for his older brother's face to adopt a look of bewildered curiosity.
"What did you just say?," Matt slowly questioned.
TK froze for a second, embarrassed, looking for an excuse to salvage his vocal blunder. "I, um, I said ah, I'm so happy that you don't care that I like dudes."
Matt wasn't buying it. "No, you said Davis. You said you like Davis."
Looking at his feet, TK's brain became jumbled with words, yet he couldn't speak. His head simply cocked to one side as he shrugged his shoulders.
"Oh my god," Matt said, his voice carrying what would seem to be a slight dash of disgust. "You do. You like Davis."
Again TK shrugged his shoulders. "Yeah," he spoke softly in embarrassment.
"Davis?," Matt asked, still in disbelief.
"Yes, yes, I like Davis!," TK proclaimed, clarifying all Matt's doubts.
Then came laughter. "Hahaha, oh man. I can't believe you have a crush on Davis."
TK, whose sniffling had finally stopped, now began laughing too. "It's not funny, Matt," he said even as he kept chuckling. Matt began laughing harder, and so did TK. It felt good for TK to laugh about the situation. He had always been either horny or depressed whenever thinking about his feelings for Davis, but never laughed about them till now.
"TK, I'm not just saying this because I'm your brother, but I think you're selling yourself short. You can do a lot better than Davis when it comes to guys."
TK stopped laughing at the comment, knowing that it wasn't the case. Truth was, Davis was far too incredible a boy for him to ever land, even if Davis was gay (which TK was pretty sure wasn't the case). "Thanks for the vote of confidence Matt," TK moped, "but Davis is too good a guy for the likes of me."
"Seriously TK," Matt began as his laughing started to die down, "what do you see in Davis anyway?"
At this question TK seemed to go into a trance as he answered, "Everything. His jokes, his stubborn courage, his personality, his brown hair, his dark eyes, his athletically taut legs, his kissable cheeks, his perfect underwear bulge, his..."
"Ok, ok, t.m.i.," Matt cut his brother off before the list became explicit. "I really think you're delusional because the Davis I know is a bonehead."
"No he's not, and you know it," TK defended. "And besides, he's not as absent minded as his sister."
"I never said he was. And I don't see what Jun has to do with it," Matt said, referring to Davis' older sister.
"Well," TK started to reason, "you're making fun of me for liking Davis, who you say is a bonehead, but you had sex with Jun."
At the statement, Matt blushed. "So, um, you heard about that, huh."
"Everybody knows about your threesome with Jun and Tai, who by the way is not nearly as cute a goggle boy as Davis."
"First off, you're dead wrong about that. Secondly, there is a difference in our situations, TK. I had sex Jun, but I don't have a crush on her."
"What about Tai?"
"What about him?"
"Do you have a crush on him?"
"No." It was such a monster lie that it proved difficult for Matt's lips to even shape themselves correctly for the word to be vocalized. Nothing could've been further from the truth.
Because they were on an issue of sex, it was on TK's mind to bring up a personal question to his big brother. He heard through the grapevine that Matt had a nine inch penis. TK was curious as to whether such a rumor was real. If so, then it would mean that Matt's penis was over twice the size of TK's, which only reached four inches. He really wanted to know if there was any validity in these rumors, yet he wisely decided against asking, knowing that it would be a really creepy and bizarre discussion for siblings to have. Besides, there was no way of being sure that he could ever get the truth. Not a single boy in the world is truthful about penis size.
A moment of silence had passed before Matt broke in, asking, "So how did Kari handle the news?"
"What news?," TK asked, though he knew what Matt was referring to.
"Your homosexuality. How did she take it when you told her?"
Again, TK's head hung under the weight of guilt. "I didn't tell her."
"Don't tell me you two are still dating?," Matt asked.
"Yeah. We are."
Matt sighed before reprimanding, "TK, I don't mind you being gay at all. But what I do mind is when you threaten to crush the emotions of people we both love. She needs to know the truth."
"I know," TK concurred. "It's just... I don't want to hurt her. She's been my best friend for a long time now. I know she'll be hurt when she finds out."
Matt couldn't help but think again of his relationship with Sora. It was a situation with deceptive undertones almost identical as the one his younger brother was now in. After the initial few months of dating, Matt realized that while Sora was a friend unlike any other, he didn't really care too much for her romantically. He should've told her the truth early on, but he didn't want to face that scenario. So the relationship carried on. It became more serious and Sora's feeling towards Matt augmented as his feelings towards her weaned. On tour, he began sleeping around with random groupies, but continued lying to his girlfriend for the sake of the relationship. Then, finally, the truth was revealed, an argument ensued, curse words were thrown like vocal napalm, and tears were shed. Now, the girl who was once one of Matt's dearest friends hated his guts and still had yet to forgive him. Matt knew that if he had been honest about his feelings, instead of perpetuating the lie, he'd still have Sora as a friend. He refused to let the same catastrophe happen between TK and Kari.
"The more you keep up this lie, and the longer you date her, the more hurt she'll be when she finds out the truth," Matt sternly said. And trust me TK, she will find out. Sooner or later, somehow, someway she'll find out. Just tell Kari now, and clear your conscious. Don't prolong this lie."
"I know you're right, and I do think about telling her my situation. But every time I see her I just can't muster up the courage to let her know. My heart is weak in circumstances like that."
"Would you like me to talk to Kari?," Matt offered.
"No, no. It's something I need to do myself."
"But will you do it?"
"Yes," TK sighed. "At some point soon."
The two brothers spent a few more hours making small talk, reminiscing, and hanging out. Matt even picked up the old harmonica and played a few of the tunes he had written back in the Digital World all those years ago. When it came time for TK to leave, upon standing the boy felt like he could keep drifting upwards towards the ceiling. Dispelled of the fears he had about coming out to Matt, he felt light and free. Things went better with his big brother than he imagined in his best case scenarios, with the exception of accidently revealing his lust for Davis, which Matt jokingly made fun of him for. Even after hugging his brother goodbye, TK hardly took a few steps out the door before hearing Matt teasing him from behind, singing, "Davis and TK sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G..." All TK could do was blush.