Title: Desire: Right As Rain

Source: Manga and Yaoi novel - Desire: Dangerous Feelings by Maki Kazumi (art by Yukine Honami)

Author: ibshafer

Rating: PG – R

Character: Toru and Ryoji

Disclaimer: I don't own "Desire" and I make no money from writing these stories.

Summary: It had to happen someday; Ryoji's parents find out about his relationship with Toru

Desire: Right As Rain

-ibshafer

Toru had never been so worried in his life. His hands grasped the bus seat in from of him and he kept both eyes on the rain-drenched street rushing by, afraid that if he looked away for even a second he might miss the stop he wanted.

Ryoji's bus stop.

Toru couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly wrong.

For the first time since he'd known him, Ryoji had missed school.

They'd been friends for almost three years now and since the day, over a year ago, when Toru had finally admitted to Ryoji that he loved him and Ryoji had finally admitted to Toru that he only wanted him (and later, in bed, that he loved him), Ryoji had not missed a single morning phone call.

Until today.

Ryoji always called the very first thing, before his feet had even hit the floor. He called to ask Toru if he'd had good dreams (and dreamt of him!), to ask what he was bringing for lunch that day, to ask if he'd studied for some exam or quiz. He always told Toru that he loved him and some days, he would tell him that he'd just come thinking about him. Sometimes Ryoji would ask if Toru was hard (he often was) and then, both of them breathless and giggling, they would quietly, skillfully talk each other through to orgasm.

But today Ryoji hadn't called him. Toru had been calling his cell all day long and had left a dozen messages, but he still hadn't heard from him. Tadashi hadn't spoken to him either and Toru had even appealed to the secretary in the school office, but all she would tell him was that Mrs. Nakajo had called to say Ryoji would not be in school today.

Ryoji never got sick - he was the strongest, healthiest person Toru had ever known – but what if Ryoji had gotten into an accident? What if he were seriously injured?

Toru grew dizzy and his heart raced at the thought. What would he do if something had happened to Ryoji? What if he were Toru couldn't let himself even think it.

He was wiping tears off his face when the bus turned onto the right street and he had to grab his things in a hurry or he would have missed getting off in time.

On the street, he fumbled clumsily with his umbrella and when it refused to open, he pitched it into a trash bin and took off at a run, by now nearly frantic.

Ryoji's building was a high rise and the Nakajo's lived on the second to last floor. Riding the elevator, Toru tried to dry his face with a tissue he found in his book bag, in the end giving up.

He didn't care if he was wet. He only cared that Ryoji was all right.

In front of the door now, Toru was about to hit the buzzer, when he heard something very strange coming from the apartment; the sound of loud angry voices.

The Nakajos were all like Ryoji – easy-going and friendly. Was that Ryoji's father's voice? Were they arguing?

What was happening?!

Maybe something was going on with the family.

Should I even be here?

If they were yelling at each other, that must mean at least Ryoji wasn't sick or hurt. He desperately wanted to see that for himself, to see Ryoji standing whole and well and happy, but he knew he couldn't intrude, that he had no place here.

Toru stood in the hallway, embarrassed and annoyed with himself at his own impetuousness - what had he been thinking? Wasn't that just like him to jump to conclusions and then act on them? If he had just been patient, just trusted Ryoji to contact him when he could, he wouldn't have put himself in this position.

At this point, Toru reminded himself that he hadn't actually done anything yet. He'd taken a bus to Ryoji's apartment and gotten one of his school uniforms soaking wet. That was it. He didn't want to think about the scare he had given himself, the worry he'd put himself through all day, the calculus quiz he'd probably failed. (Well, he wasn't going to do that well on it anyway)

He would just go home, barricade himself in his room with his cell phone and wait to hear from Ryoji.

He trudged back to the elevator, sodden book bag trailing behind him.

He was just about to press the button when he heard the metallic click of the door latch behind him.

"Maiki-kun?"

Toru spun to find Reiji, Ryoji's older sister, standing in the open doorway of the Nakajo apartment.

"Oh! Reiji-san!" Toru bowed, face red.

In the young woman's hand was a small bag of trash and Toru thought she had probably offered to take it to the garbage room as a way to get out of the apartment for a little while. Sparing a glance behind her, Reiji quietly pulled the door closed.

"How have you been," she asked nervously, clearly embarrassed.

From the apartment, more yelling and the sound of someone stomping across the floor.

"um, okay" Toru mumbled, utterly distracted by what was happening inside.

There could now be no mistaking the sounds of a heated argument coming from within the apartment. He could hear Ryoji's voice. He couldn't make out what he was saying, but his tone said he wasn't going to budge an inch. Toru knew that tone all too well. He imagined the expression on Ryoji's face, the set of his brow, the clench of his jaw, and he knew Mr. Nakajo was in for a real fight.

Again, he wished he could see Ryoji, just to get a glimpse of him. He no longer thought Ryoji was sick or hurt, but it had been almost a whole day since they'd seen each other and he hadn't quite been able to shake the dread he'd been feeling all day. It had seeped into his body, chilling him as much his wet clothing had.

Toru realized he probably looked like he was trying to stare a hole through the door and he forcibly pulled his eyes away and back to Reiji who had just asked him why he'd come.

"I-I was worried about Ryoji," Toru said, keeping his voice low. "He didn't come to school. I'm sorry. I should have--"

His apology was cut short when Ryoji's voice, louder still, cut out into the hallway and this time, there could be no mistaking what he said.

"I told you - it was my idea!! Stop blaming Toru!!"

Toru felt all the blood drain out of his body.

What?!

Toru wasn't always quick to catch on to things, but you didn't have to be a genius to know what they were arguing about.

Ryoji's parents had found out.

They had found out about Ryoji's relationship with Toru.

Ryoji's sister looked stricken, clearly sorry that Toru had heard what he'd heard. "I'm sorry, Maiki-kun! Maybe you should go home now. I promise I'll tell my brother that you came by."

She put a hand on his arm to steer him back towards the elevator, but Toru was in shock, rooted to the spot, stock still in front of the apartment door.

Ryoji's parents knew

What would they do to him?

Would they send him away? Would they forbid them from ever seeing each other again?

He felt like he couldn't breath, clutched his chest to try and calm his pounding heart. Reiji still had his arm, but he was numb and couldn't feel it.

What if they sent Ryoji away?

What he heard next was Ryoji's voice, Ryoji's wonderful, beautiful, passionate voice.

"I don't care! I told you - I love Toru! No woman could ever make me as happy as he does!"

Ryoji!

Ryoji loved him. It had to be all right because Ryoji loved him!

More muffled angry words from inside. It sounded like they were yelling at each other from opposite ends of the apartment, like they couldn't stand to be any closer to each other.

Ryoji!

What was Ryoji going through because of him? How could Toru leave him here to bear the brunt of this? Wasn't Toru partly to blame? If he hadn't come running back to Ryoji on another rainy day, wouldn't their brief affair have just faded away into nothing?

Wasn't this really Toru's fault after all?

He felt the tears start to spill down his face, brushed them away angrily.

"I-I've got to go in there. I have to explain" Toru was shaking his head and mumbling, talking to no one in particular. "This is all my fault. I'm the one. I'm the one that fell in love first."

"Maiki-kun. Toru." Reiji pulled at his arm again. "You really don't want to go in there. Father is livid and Mom's been crying for hours. It's a total scene" She huffed once in disbelief. "They called me this morning to come home from university, though I don't know what I'm supposed to do. So my stud brother is gay? Big deal." She rolled her eyes, then seemed to remember herself, touching Toru on the arm again. "I'm sorry, Toru. I didn't mean anything by that. Just so you know, it's fine with me. All the girls my brother has dated have been bimbos. I think you're good for him. Right now, though," she cast a glance back towards the door, "is not a good time. He'll call you tonight. I promise."

"No," he said, shaking his head. Ryoji had brought more than just love into Toru's life; he had brought strength. "I can't leave him to deal with this alone."

Reiji's eyes pleaded with him. "Please... I promise I'll go back inside and tell Ryoji you were here, but you really need to leave now. My father is very very angry..."

Toru knew she was only trying to help and he appreciated her clear wish to spare both him and her brother from further confrontation, but he knew he had to make this right somehow. Ryoji would do the same for him, would take care of him. Ryoji was always taking care of him.

"I'm sorry, Reiji-san," he whispered. "But I'm going in there - no matter wh--"

"Toru?!" Ryoji was standing in the door, leaning out into the hallway, a look of utter confusion on his face. "What are you doing here?!"

Before Toru had a chance to answer, Ryoji was in the hallway and Toru was in his arms. He let himself be wrapped up in all that warmth, for a moment forgetting what he'd just heard, what it meant, what it could mean, for both of them, unaware until just then that he had been shivering.

"You're wet, idiot," Ryoji said, all trace of anger gone from his voice as he pressed a kiss to Toru's damp forehead. "Is that umbrella still giving you problems? You really should throw it away."

"I did" He buried his face in Ryoji's neck, basked in the reassurance of Ryoji smells; peppery aftershave, minty chewing gum, a faint whiff of chlorine from the pool that always seemed to accompany him, even when he hadn't been swimming recently. He slid his arms around Ryoji's back with a sigh of pure relief.

It didn't last, though; it wasn't long before Ryoji remembered that his sister was standing there with them. He spun them around to face her where she still stood, smiling and blushing in front of the elevator.

"Reiji, what were you saying to Toru?" The anger was back, throwing shadows into the sunlight of Ryoji's voice.

"I was trying to save him from the battle royale in there!" she huffed, smile fading and arms folded at her waist. "Just because you're an idiot, doesn't mean he should suffer."

Ryoji seemed like he was going to start shouting again – he and Reiji were always picking at each other, like most brothers and sisters - but instead he just shrugged.

"Fine, fine. Point taken."

Ryoji ran a hand up Toru's back and whether from pleasure or the cold, Toru shivered.

"Jeez," he gasped, "You really are wet." He stood back, patting through Toru's sodden clothing. "You're gonna catch a cold."

To Toru's utter humiliation, Ryoji started to pull Toru's uniform jacket off, then looked over his shoulder. "Reiji, let me borrow your sweater."

"Ryoji, please – that really isn't necessary," Toru said, attempting to pull away from Ryoji's hands, feeling more pathetic by the minute. "Let Reiji-san keep her sweater. I'll be fine."

Hands at the buttons of Toru's wet shirt, Ryoji looked back from his sister to Toru, eyebrows knit. "Don't be ridiculous. Do you want pneumonia?" He freed a hand and beckoned to his sister. "C'mon, Reiji. Please?"

Reiji was wearing a heavy, cable-knit cardigan of nubby cream wool. She gave him an exasperated look, but then Toru began shivering again and she blanched, handing the sweater to her brother with a weak smile.

Ryoji had gotten him stripped down to the skin, much to Toru's embarrassment. He rubbed his big hands up and down Toru's arms a few times to warm them, then wrapped him up in the sweater, buttoning it to the neck. The cardigan had been oversized on Reiji and was a little tight on Toru but it was long enough in the sleeves and length and did the trick just fine. He felt warmer immediately, the sweater's texture trapped his skin's heat and held it there; his shivering slowly subsided.

"I'll have it dry cleaned and send it back up to school for you," Ryoji said to his sister while he rubbed Toru's arms with long strokes. He stood back to take in the look. "Hmmmm Not too bad. A little girly, but really, not too bad. Sorry I couldn't do anything about your pants, though."

"I'm fine. Don't worry about them. I've been wet before, you know."

Toru was just relieved to see Ryoji and know that he was all right, at least physically and the other issues seemed to diminish now that he was warmer. What were wet pants when he had that?

Ryoji winked at him. "I know you have."

Suddenly, there were voices again from inside the apartment and Ryoji stiffened against him.

Would his parents discover them in the hallway?

Toru felt the panic start to rise in him, but Ryoji was feeling the same urgency.

"Reiji, do me a favor," he said quickly. "Go back in there and tell the old man I've gone out for a walk to cool my head."

She nodded. She might have wanted to argue that this wasn't the best time to be leaving the house and Toru was certain she was unhappy to have to go back in there herself, especially with that news to deliver, but she was a good sister and despite the verbal sparring between them, she supported him. Her smile to Toru was warm and sisterly.

"It's still raining, idiot," she said to her brother. "Want me to try and sneak an umbrella out?"

"Nah," Ryoji said. "We'll be fine."

Reiji seemed confused, but relented with a nod. She disappeared back into the apartment closing the door quietly behind her.

Ryoji stood frozen for a moment, as though he expected to hear his father's voice again, perhaps angry at Reiji now, but when there was nothing, he grabbed Toru's wet shirt and jacket and pulled Toru towards the stairwell at the far end of the hallway.

As they went through the doorway, Toru had a million questions, not least of which was why they weren't taking the elevator to the lobby and just what did Ryoji plan to do with his wet clothes, when Ryoji spun on his heel, pushing Toru back hard against the door. Toru had the quick image of Ryoji wetting his lips, then Ryoji was kissing him, big hands buried in his hair, thumbs caressing Toru's cheeks.

Toru's reflexive moan was all surrender.

He wanted to argue, he thought he should push him away, but as always, Ryoji was too persuasive.

Against his better judgment, Toru felt all his resistance melt away and he gave himself up to the kiss, arms tight around Ryoji's broad back. They hung like that for a moment, suspended between floors, between resolutions, until Ryoji pressed himself more tightly against him and Toru realized with a shock that Ryoji was hard.

With an effort, Toru pulled away.

"What are you thinking?" he asked, glancing downward, annoyed with himself for doing it, at the same time feeling a quick rush of lust he was immediately ashamed of. Ryoji was very hard.

Ryoji, as usual, was unfazed. "I'm thinking that I've been wanting to kiss my boyfriend all day long and that I'm very happy I'm finally able to do it." His grin was pure Ryoji.

"Do you really think this is the time for this?" Toru suddenly felt as though the heavy fire door at his back were made of glass. "What if they find us out here? Show some respect."

"Cut me some slack, Toru. I'm a healthy boy in love."

Toru flushed, but stood firm, arms folded in front of him.

He wanted to be flattered, he wanted to give in – he always gave in – but todaytoday would be different. Today he'd thought he might have lost Ryojionly to find out that he might still lose Ryoji.

The whole awful day, all his fears and frustrations, the implications of what he'd since learned, came boiling to the surface.

"Do you have any idea how worried I was, idiot?!" he sputtered, breathing hard, fists balled at his sides. "I was scared to death! You didn't call me this morning and I couldn't reach you. All day long. No one knew what was going on. You--you've never missed school before. I've never seen you even have a cold. All I could think was that you were in a car accident or you drowned or something! God, Ryoji, and now your parents are upset because...because of us!" He waved a hand at Ryoji's very evident erection. "And you're excited by this? What the hell is wrong with you?!"

"Nothing's wrong with me," Ryoji laughed. He glanced downward, then whistled in appreciation, grinning at Toru. "You should be flattered that under the worst possible circumstances, you still have this affect on me."

Toru was flattered, but if there was anything he was a master of, it was masking his feelings; his face showed nothing.

Eventually Ryoji sighed, his expression sobering.

"Okay, okay, you're right. I know this isn't the best time, but it's been a pretty crappy day for me, too, you know. I just needed you, that's all," he finished quietly.

For the first time since he'd gotten there, Toru could see the day's affects on Ryoji. He'd been so focused on his physical health and safety he hadn't noticed how hard Ryoji was trying to seem normal. But it was clear, now, that he was exhausted and upset, too.

Toru's heart broke. As much as he loved the Ryoji that was full of life, it was at times like these, few and far between, that Toru really loved Ryoji; when he was vulnerable and seemed less the force of nature and more like someone who existed in the same world that Toru did.

And maybe Toru needed someone to protect just as much as Ryoji did.

"All day long, all I could think about was you, that no matter what happened, it didn't matter because you loved me. Even if they don't, you do." The perpetual bubble of feeling in center of Toru's chest began to swell and his face grew warm again. He reached out and touched Ryoji's hand, took it in his own shyly. Ryoji's smile was grateful and warm and made the balloon in Toru's chest begin to spin.

"I do love you," Toru murmured. "I always have. I always will."

Ryoji slipped a hand along Toru's jaw line and into his hair, tipping his chin up as he drew him forward to kiss him sweetly and deeply. When he finally pulled away, Toru was breathless and flushed.

"C'mon," Ryoji said, grabbing Toru's hand and pulling him towards the stairs.

"W-where are we going?"

Ryoji had draped Toru's wet jacket and shirt over the banister when they'd come into the stairwell. He grabbed them as they started to climb.

"The roof, silly," he said with a grin.

Toru was about to remind Ryoji that it was raining – and he was still wearing wet pants – but Ryoji was so intent on their destination, he decided he would just have to deal with being wet again.

Ryoji always wanted to go to the roof and if that's what he wanted right now, then that's where they'd be.

Out in the rain.

In a way, it almost seemed like synchronicity, as though every turning point in Toru's relationship with Ryoji had been accompanied by the rain; more specifically, on their being in the rain.

When he thought of it that way, he almost welcomed it...

Ryoji led him up the flight of metal stairs to the roof, their footsteps echoing down into the depths of the high rise.

Toru didn't know what to expect when they reached the top, but an elaborate rooftop garden would not have been his first guess.

"Wow," he said, trying to take it all in. "This is amazing."

Ryoji just grinned and nodded.

Beneath a tin overhang, they stood holding hands and watching the falling rain render the garden in pure, lustrous glass. The rooftop had been broken into what looked like family gardening plots complete with raised beds and, in some cases, small storage sheds. Half the roof was taken up by a single landscaped area bordered by evergreen shrubs in buckets, flowering vines and potted plants. In the center, he could just make out a covered gazebo. Toru bet there was a bench in that gazebo and with the natural screen of the arbor vitae and morning glories, it would be a fairly private place for a make-out session.

Which is why Ryoji had brought him up here, Toru thought.

Instead of the gazebo, though, Ryoji pulled him over to the left, where there was, of all things, a laundry room. It was small and cramped; a half dozen machines, a few beat up plastic chairs and a utility sink, but it was clean and well-lit and dry.

Toru was confused. They'd come to the roof to do laundry?

"It's for the upper floors to use," Ryoji said, misreading Toru's surprise. "They set it up when they realized the one in the basement wasn't big enough for the whole building. Plus there are clothes lines strung up here because some people like to line dry." He grinned. "My parents bought a washer and dryer last year so we don't come up here anymore, but with the garden and all, it was sort of a cool place to hang out. I never minded when Mom would ask me to do the laundry."

Toru poked him in the arm. "You don't fool me. You'd probably drag whatever girl you were seeing at the time up here with you so you could make out in the gazebo."

"Am I really that obvious," Ryoji asked, with a wry grin

"Maybe." Toru shrugged. "And maybe I just know you really well."

Well enough to know when it was time to stop playing and deal with what was really going on.

He squeezed Ryoji's arm. "Tell me what happened today. Obviously, they found out about us. How bad is it?"

Ryoji blew out a breath. "Well... It's not good." Opening the nearest dryer, Ryoji tossed in Toru's jacket, shirt and white undershirt. He dug a coin out of his pocket, slipped it into the slot, turned the dial to "Permanent Press" and started the machine. The hum of the dryer filled the small room. "They've been taking turns yelling at me all day. You just caught dad in his latest round. Mom was resting her mouth."

Toru scowled at him. "Don't make a joke out of it, Ryoji. This is serious."

"After seven hours of tag-team tough-love, you don't think I know that?"

He hoisted himself up on the dryer, then jumped down again, holding out his hand. "Here, you should be the one up here. It's warm."

Ryoji lifted him easily onto the vibrating dryer and the heat immediately began to seep into his chilled lower half. He closed his eyes. It felt a little too good...

Toru didn't know how to ask this next question. Even though they'd been making love with great frequency for several months now, they'd never broached the subject of sexuality, as moot as it may have seemed.

Toru had no doubt that he was gay, but Ryoji? How did he think of himself. He'd certainly slept with a lot of girls, and now Toru (a lot...). Did that make him bi? Did it matter what he was?

Clearly, it mattered to Ryoji's parents.

He opened his eyes to find Ryoji staring at him and blushed.

"So...um," Toru stammered for a moment, then jumped into the deep end. "So, they found out you were gay..."

Toru was startled when Ryoji shook his head.

"I'm not gay, Toru," he said and Toru's heart sank.

"I-I know you're not, your bi-"

"I'm not bi, either." Ryoji moved closer to the machine Toru was sitting on, slotting himself between Toru's legs. "I'm in love with Toru Maiki. That's what I am." Hands on Toru's hips, he leaned forward and kissed him and Toru thought he would swoon from the intensity - of the kiss, of the feeling. Ryoji pulled back, his tongue lingering on Toru's lower lip. "I'm not interested in anyone else - girl or guy - and I never will be."

Toru bit his lip. "Never's a long time, Ryoji."

"I'm counting on it," he said, kissing Toru's forehead.

The spinning balloon of feeling in his chest suddenly burst, sending warmth and light and what felt like helium rocketing throughout his body.

Toru thought he'd been in love before, but he'd just found out what love really felt like.

To keep himself from floating away, Toru looked the 800-pound gorilla straight in the eye.

"So, what now?"

Ryoji had pulled him closer so he could lay his head on Toru's shoulder and now Toru leaned in just enough to brush Ryoji's errant bangs off his forehead and kiss him there. He lingered for a moment, lips against Ryoji's warm skin, and then closed his eyes. A fresh shower of tears rained down his cheeks.

"What will they do? Cut you off? Send you away? Should we get a place together? And what about school? If they won't pay, if they're going to force you to marry someone, what will you do th--"

"Whoa! Whoa!" Ryoji caught Toru's face in his hands and steadied him. "That's a lot of questions. Don't flip out on me, okay? This is gonna work out. I promise you."

"How can you be so sure? Your father isn't going to change his mind." Toru was crying full out now. "Isn't it a father's right to expect certain things from his children? My dad died when I was little, but I know how I'd feel if I disappointed him. You're supposed to carry on the family name. You're supposed to be a good son, go to school, get a good job--"

"All of which I have done or will do."

Toru looked at him like he was crazy. "Yeah, right, and how are you going to carry on the family name if you're with me?"

"You've never heard of surrogates? The baby can even be mine."

Toru sat blinking. Ryoji had really given this some thought. He'd thought of a way to give his parents what they wanted without having to give up what he wanted.

Which was Toru.

Feeling suddenly flushed, Toru fanned his face with a hand.

"What? Now you're hot?" He started to move Toru off the dryer, but Toru stopped him.

"What are you really saying, Ryoji?"

"I'm saying that I hadn't really thought about the future before but now it's all I can think about and I know I'm never going to want to be with anyone else ever again. You're all I need, Toru. When you think of it in those terms, it's really pretty simple."

Did Ryoji really mean that, what it sounded like he meant, or was this just a joke? Toru fought past the helium threatening to carry him up to the ceiling and grounded himself by looking Ryoji straight in the eye. Nope, he wasn't kidding.

"I'm pretty sure, Ryoji, that you and your parents have completely different ideas of what "simple" is and I don't think you having another guy for a "wife" or letting some strange woman carry their grandchild is what they have in mind. Have you forgotten we live in Japan?"

Ryoji just stared at him. "Have you forgotten who you're in love with?" Without warning, he slid his hand into Toru's pants. "Have I ever not gotten what I want?"

Toru was about to say a number of things, such as "Of course, I haven't. I'm in love with Ryoji Nakajo. the Steamroller," or "Why no, you haven't, that's how you got the name Ryoji Nakajo, the Steamroller," or lastly, "I'd ask you to take you hand out of my pants, but then I'd have to kill you..." but he found the connection to his brain wasn't functioning properly and all he could think to say was, "Mmmmmm...."

Toru was sprawled in a most unseemly way atop the clothes dryer, head lolling on the instrument panel. His eyes were half closed and his body was half asleep. Not so far into it, though, that he had forgotten what they had been talking about when...when he'd usurped control of his brain to that force of nature known as Ryoji Nakajo.

Ryoji licked his lips and stood back.

"That wasn't fair, you know," Toru muttered, but he was a little too sated to be that mad. "I'm gonna make you pay..."

Clearly feeling industrious, Ryoji pulled Toru's now dry and warm clothing out of the dryer and began dressing him.

"How do you know that wasn't my plan from the beginning," he said with a wink, slipping the undershirt over Toru's head.

Toru felt like a little kid again being dressed by his mom...except his mother wouldn't know that if you touched him just...underneath, he'd come really quickly.

His uniform shirt was next. Ryoji paused while buttoning it up to pinch Toru's already perky nipples.

"Stop trying to distract me," Toru hissed, but it was a losing battle and he knew it. "T-this isn't - stop! - this isn't over and you know it. You walked out on him - while he was yelling at you. Do you think if you stay away long enough he'll forget he was mad?"

"No, of course not." Ryoji turned around and leaned back against the dryer between Toru's legs.

Toru was feeling relaxed and loose after Ryoji's...surprise. He was thinking it was surprising in more ways than one; for someone as selfish as Ryoji to do something...selfless like that. He was happy about it though, even if Ryoji expected something reciprocal, and soon, because he loved Ryoji and wanted him to feel good. And because he liked...doing that sort of thing, too.

Needing to feel more of him, Toru sat himself up and wrapped his arms around Ryoji's body.

"I'll say it again," Ryoji continued. "Have I ever not gotten what I wanted?" Toru only had to think about this a second before he shook his head. "And who do you think I take after in my family? My father. That means I know what makes him tick. He's like me, I'm like him." Grinning, Ryoji wrapped Toru's legs around his waist and hoisted him up to piggyback him.

"Which means what?"

Toru clasped his hands together to steady himself as he perched comfortably on Ryoji's back. He marveled at how easily Ryoji carried him; like he weighed nothing.

"Which means that he just has to get used to the idea." Ryoji bounced Toru once, chuckling when Toru squeaked in surprise. "Just like I did. Some part of me knew you were the one for me, long before my heart figured it out. That's why I would think of you when I was having sex with girls, because I really wanted it to be you instead. And then when I...when I made you sleep with me...and it was better than I imagined and I just got addicted to you, I threw myself into it, but still, you know, I wasn't thinking about it. I was just feeling good." He paused and Toru could feel his shoulders tightening beneath his arms. "I still feel bad--"

"It's okay," Toru whispered, lips against Ryoji's ear. "Stop beating yourself up, Ryoji. It was a long time ago. I forgive you." He kissed Ryoji's ear, tightening his arms around him. "I love you."

Ryoji's big body shivered beneath him, just a little bit.

"You've got to stop that," he said, his voice low. "Or I'm going to have to fuck you..."

"Ryoji!" Toru found exposed skin, Ryoji's forearm, and pinched him hard.

"Ow!" he cried, stopping in his tracks. "What'd you do that for?"

Because we need to get back downstairs and deal with this.

"Because you're just stalling for time, Ryoji. That's not like you at all." To emphasize the point, Toru squeezed Ryoji with his thighs, realizing a little too late that that was probably the wrong thing to do.

In a split second, Ryoji had dropped Toru to the ground and backed him up against the laundry room door.

"It's not like me to want to fuck you?" Ryoji hissed, but Toru could hear the amusement mixed with the arousal in Ryoji's voice and he knew he wouldn't be able to resist no matter how strongly he tried; the look in Ryoji's eyes was pure determination.

Ah!

Toru wanted to remind Ryoji...wanted to remind him of something, but right now...right now he couldn't remember what that was.

We were going somewhere, weren't we...?

Ryoji ground their hips together and Toru felt his eyes start to roll back into his head, but before he completely lost his vision, something caught his attention.

"Wow," Toru whispered, reverently.

Oblivious, Ryoji blushed. "I know. That's what a whole day of 'wanting Toru' feels like.

"No, idiot," Toru giggled, unable to pull his eyes from what he was seeing. He pointed with his chin. "Look."

Ryoji had taken them back out onto the roof again and they stood in the doorway staring in wonder at the garden. While they had been in the laundry room doing...laundry, the rain had stopped and the clouds had broken up. Everywhere, water dripped from flowers and leaves, collected in buckets and ran from gutters, and the late afternoon sun caught all of it, setting fire to water, painting the rooftop in brilliant, crystalline light.

"Wow..." Ryoji echoed.

"I wish I had my sketch pad with me," Toru said. The urge to draw was almost as strong the urge to touch Ryoji.

Just then, Ryoji started to laugh. It was a helpless sort of laughter and, confused, Toru just stared at him as it ran its course.

"What was that all about," he asked suspiciously, when Ryoji was sighing out the last bit of mirth.

"What you said reminded me of something." Ryoji bit his lip, blushing again and Toru's heart clenched in his chest. Ryoji didn't blush often and Toru knew it meant something big when he did. "You...um, you never asked me how my parents found out about us."

Toru stopped short, taken aback by the juxtaposition of the serious against the backdrop of silly.

"I...hadn't even thought about it, I guess. Probably, you let something stupid slip..."

Ryoji was still biting his lip as he shook his head.

"Nope, no slips..."

Now Toru was really spooked. What was the look on Ryoji's face all about?

"Did I ever tell you about my folder?"

Toru stood blinking at him in surprise. "Your folder? Folder of what?"

"I...um, I keep a folder, under my mattress..."

Toru was starting to lose patience.

"Why would you keep a folder under your mattress, Ryoji?" But he knew the answer to that one before he'd even asked it.

"Remember that drawing you gave me for my birthday? The one of me and my dick."

Toru rolled his eyes. "That was not the point of that drawing, Ryoji! It was the light coming through the blinds leaving bars on your skin," Toru sputtered, then had to laugh. "Your dick was just being cooperative and lining up with the bars." Ryoji was staring at him meaningfully. "Wait - what about that drawing?"

"Well, it started me thinking about...about how we can't always be together when we...when one of us might...um, need the other. That's when I started taking those pictures."

All at once, Toru felt the blood drain from his body again. His knees felt weak.

He knew exactly what Ryoji was talking about.

Sometime after that birthday, nearly a year ago now, Ryoji had pulled out a tiny digital camera - while they were making love. Toru hadn't even known, he'd had his head thrown back at the time, and it wasn't until Ryoji started to review the images, whooping with glee, that Toru had looked up and seen the camera, still pointed...still pointed where they were joined, and realized what was going on. He started to protest, tried to pull away, but Ryoji was too fast and grabbed him hard, throwing him over onto his back. He explained he was just taking the pictures for himself - in case he needed Toru and Toru weren't there... He hadn't had to finish that sentence. Toru had been embarrassed and covered his face with his hands, but then Ryoji groaned and put the camera down and it was all business after that... Eventually, Ryoji talked Toru into posing for some shots. He even got Toru to touch himself a couple times. And through all of it, he promised that no one would see them. The images would live in his computer and no where else.

Toru fixed him with a heated glare.

"You promised me."

"I know! I know!" Ryoji started backing away, hands up in front of him. "But...but then I realized I wouldn't be able to take the laptop into the bathroom - too suspicious - so I...uh, I printed out some copies..."

"And you kept them in a folder under your bed..." Toru said, voice dead, which was how he felt.

Ryoji's parents had seen those pictures. They'd seen Ryoji having sex with him. They'd seen...he felt himself starting to swoon...they'd seen Toru sucking on Ryoji's member.

"How did they find the folder, Ryoji."

Ryoji's nervous laughter did little to lift Toru's mood.

"That's pretty funny, actually," he said, pulling on Toru's arm, but Toru was currently stiff as a board and propped up against the side of the building. "...um, well, my mom had been after me to strip my bed, but...well, you know, I was busy and hadn't gotten to it yet." Out of the corner of his eye, Toru could see Ryoji grinning at him, but he refused to respond. "This morning while I was in the shower, she got annoyed and decided to come in and do it herself. I...uh, I hadn't slipped the folder all the way back the last time I'd used it and...and she found it." His smile faded. "I could hear her screaming from the bathroom. I ran out, thinking something awful had happened, and found both of them white as sheets, looking through the folder. When they saw me, they really lost it..." Ryoji stared blankly ahead of him for another few seconds, and then seemed to snap out of it. "...um, oops?" He laughed and raised his eyebrows.

"'Oops?!'" Toru was incredulous. "'Oops!!?' Is that all you can say?!" He punched Ryoji in the arm. "Do you think this is a joke?! And how could you be so careless?"

With this thumb and forefinger, he started flicking Ryoji - his head, his arms, his belly - and Ryoji didn't do much to defend himself at first.

Finally, he grabbed both of Toru's hands and held them still at his sides, a sweetly intense look in his eyes. Leaning in quickly, he kissed Toru full on the mouth, pulling back before Toru could protest.

"Are you done now," Ryoji asked, his voice low, but gentle. Toru nodded. Releasing him, Ryoji started talking again. "I think... Well, this is going to sound deviant, but I think I wanted them to find out. I just didn't know how to tell them. I think maybe I was careless on purpose. I didn't expect it to turn into a full scale family crisis with them calling Reiji down from university, but at least it's out in the open now. And we can talk about it."

Toru snorted. "Is that what you were doing when I got here? I didn't hear any talking - only yelling."

Ryoji shrugged. "That's how it starts with us. We get all the yelling out of the way and then we think about it and wrap our brains around the idea and find a way to make it work."

Toru couldn't believe it. This was all part of the Nakajo Crisis Protocol?

Huh.

"Y-you're serious, aren't you," Toru asked. "Do you really think it's going to be all right?"

Ryoji nodded, taking Toru's hand and kissing it. "I do." He raised an eyebrow, realizing what he'd just said. "How about you?"

Toru's heart fluttered in his chest like a caged bird. Helium was filling the balloon again.

"If you do, then I–I do, too..."

Ryoji took Toru's hands again, pulling them around his own back until Toru was holding him that way. He slid his hands into Toru's hair again - it was his favorite way to kiss him - and then pressed his lips tightly against Toru's, tongue slipping into Toru's mouth.

After a moment, he pulled away. "It's going to be okay, Toru. You have to trust me."

"I-I do trust you," Toru replied, still breathless from the kiss. He slid his arms up Ryoji's back and held him close. Then he thought of something. "Did you really tell your parents you'd find a surrogate to carry a baby?"

Ryoji stepped back, lower lip between his teeth. "Not exactly..."

Grabbing Toru's hand, he started pulling him towards the door to the stairwell.

"I told them you would carry it."

"Ryoji!!!"

en fin