EDITOR'S NOTE: I cannot stress enough that this fic is VERY different from just about anything else Ori has ever written. Please proceed with caution! This is a previously unreleased work from Ori written in 2004 that he decided against uploading due to the content (suicide)! You have been warned! - Taiki Matsuki

Blasphemous Rumors

I...I can't take it anymore... I just can't... For five years, I've been like this. I can't believe I've lasted this long. I want it to stop, so badly.

Jen. I love him.

And I hate myself so much for that. Everyone would...I'm sick. And, no matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, I can't cure it.

I've tried everything to stop it. I tried avoiding him, and when he told me he was worried I was mad at him. He sounded so upset, so sad...I felt so guilty for hurting him. I couldn't do that to him...

...But now...

I just want it to stop. I want it all to stop. And I don't care how it stops anymore.

I've thought of...what would happen if I "ended" everything. For about a year now. How I'd do it, what people would think...

Jen would be sad, I know. My parents, Hirokazu, Kenta, Juri, too. But...

...I wouldn't have to live every day hating myself, trying to act like everything's okay when I'm around Jen. I don't have to regret every time I think of Jen as more than a friend. I don't have to wake up after dreaming of him, terrified that I can't...That I can't change, it's impossible. I wished, I hoped, I prayed that I could change but, if anything, I only got worse.

I never wanted this. Ever. I-I liked Juri! Or I thought I did... She's a girl, she's my friend! Why couldn't she be my girlfriend? Why couldn't I be attracted to her?

I...I once peeked on her changing. At her place. She never found out, but...I felt nothing. The times I've peeked on Jen... Um...I had to sit down, almost every time. And hate myself for doing it. I wanted to cry the first time-No, I did cry the first time. Jen...Jen wanted to know what was wrong. I'd gone from happy to be with him to crying, and I couldn't control it. ...I can't control myself!

I can't take this anymore. I was with Jen at the park today. We were at Guilmon's old spot, the first time in five or six years. We didn't go inside. Jen climbed the tree outside of the spot, I climbed up after him...

There wasn't much room, I nearly fell off just climbing up. He offered to let me...Um...Sit against him for balance.

I...I loved and hated every minute of it. And I think he could tell I was nervous. He didn't mind at all, he was so casual about it. I mean, he was...hugging me the whole time to keep me balanced... ...His arms under my arms, his hands on my stomach and lower chest... We were there for a couple hours, just talking like friends but in such a compromising position.

I loved it, and I so badly wish I didn't. I don't want to love him. Like some sick pervert...You can't be together with another guy! It's not natural! It's wrong! It's disgusting! It's a perversion! It's...

...It's me.

If he found out...That thing in the tree would probably never happen again. Who would want to be around some freak who...lusts after them? That's what it is, an uncontrollable lust for Jenrya Li...

If he found out I would be even more miserable. As much as I hate these feelings, I'd hate being without him more. And that just makes me even more upset. It's as if I depend on his existence to live. I need to get my daily dose of vitamin Jen or else I'll wither and die...

...If only it would make me wither and die. That would make things easier...

...I've thought about how to go. I've made my decision...

My Dad hurt his back a few months ago. There's still some vicodin in the medicine cabinet. I'll take those first, to make the next part easier...

...A razor, across my wrists. The vicodin should make it hurt less, right? I don't think there's enough for me to overdose on it but maybe four is enough. Four and death are one and the same, right?

...Maybe it's a sign...

I decided that tonight's the night. When my parents are out, they're going to dinner and then seeing a movie.

I'm sorry, I'm so sorry but I can't take this anymore.

I want to be free. I don't want to hate myself, I don't want to hate Jen for-...No, I don't hate Jen. I love him, I could never hate him. As much as I hate myself, I can't blame him for this. It's not his fault I'm a sick pervert.

Should I...leave a note? No, I-I want to take this to the grave with me. I want to die with this secret. No-one will remember Takato Matsuda the faggot...Just Takato Matsuda: He was depressed, we guess he was bored with life.

"Takato! We're leaving!" My Mom calls from downstairs.

"Enjoy the movie!" I call from the door.

"There's some money on the dining room table, feel free to order out!" My Dad shouts.

"Thanks!" ...I won't be using it.

I watch from my balcony, I see them walk down the street...

...It's time... I-I can do this...

...Can I?

I'm scared. Not of dying but...I don't want it to hurt. Th-That's what the vicodin's for, I guess. It's a pain killer, right?

I walk back into my room and to the downstairs bathroom... I'll sit in the tub and wait to die. I won't do that naked in a tub of bloody water thing, though...I'd rather not be found naked. That's...just embarrassing... Who would even want to do that?

I open the medicine cabinet behind the mirror... ...Vicodin...Vicodin... Where is it?

...Here, prescribed to Takehiro Matsuda by Doctor Taku. Four pills left. I take off the cap and pour them in my mouth from the bottle. I swallow and drink some water from the faucet to help them down...

No turning back, I took the pills. Maybe I'll be lucky and they'll be enough to kill me. ...I'll...Just wait for the pills to kick in... Where's that razor?

I search the cabinet for a razor... ...The only one I find is a packet of shaving razors. I use a pair of tweezers to break off the wire skin guards and get the blade at a better angle. I run my finger across one when I'm done... Sharp.

...I'm bleeding, actually. I barely even felt it...It's...not as bad as I thought it would be...This should be easier than I thought.

I sit in the tub and wait...The drain is unplugged, not that I think I have that much blood in me...I just need to wait for the pills to work...

I've never taken pills like this before, how do I even know when they work? ...Well, people get stoned on these things, I guess I wait until I feel stoned... ...If I knew what that felt like...

If I feel nothing after an hour, I'll just use the razor.

While I wait, I think...What will my funeral be like? ...My parents...They'll be sad...Jen would be there. Hirokazu and Kenta, too. What about Ruki or Ryou? Would they show up? Juri would.

...I wonder who would and who wouldn't cry. ...What would they say about me? Especially since I killed myself... Will they blame themselves? ...Would Jen blame himself?

...I...I don't blame Jen for my decision to do this. I...I love him, but...It's my fault for that, not his. I-I hope he doesn't feel guilty. I hope he...I hope he can just forget about me after a while. I was...just a friend from school...

...We've been through so much... ...We're closer than most friends... He won't forget me, I know because I could never forget him.

...This might be a mistake. Not because I suddenly want to live, but...Because it's going to hurt Jen so much...

...Here I go again, thinking about Jen. Who cares about my parents or my other friends and how they'll feel? I'm worried about Jen and only Jen... ...I...I need to do this... It's not your fault, Jen...I just can't live with myself. I'm sick, I'm disgusting, I can't control my feelings or my body. I shouldn't live like this. I shouldn't live.

I took the pills anyway, it's too late to back out. I'm sorry, Jen, maybe if I thought of this before...I hate myself, but I hate that this is going to hurt you more. I'm sorry, it's selfish of me, but...I'm so tired. Please, Jen, let me be selfish.

I think the pills are starting to have an effect. My stomach feels kinda numb, my eyes are...Warm? I dunno, they just feel weird, I don't know how to describe it... My vision is still the same, I think...

...I feel calmer, too. I can see why people like these things... ...Too bad I'm not going to enjoy the "trip" or whatever they call it.

I pinch myself, to see how much pain they'll block out... I-I still feel it. Maybe I need to wait longer. Then again, these things don't block out every single bit of pain. Or do they? I honestly have no idea.

...Yeah, time to go...

I put the razor to my left wrist and run it across...Nothing. The blades are at a bad angle for this, the wire guards may be gone, but these aren't the kind of razor for this sort of thing. ...It's...It's going to take some work, but that's always how they do it in the movies, on TV, in the news... They always cut across their wirsts and drift off to "sleep." I just need to get the blood flowing...

It hurts, a little more than I want it to. But I'm too stoned to care, I guess.

I'm bleeding a little profusely...I guess that's enough for that wrist. I switch hands, the blood is running down my arm, dripping into the tub, my pants and shirt... I do the same with my other wrist. Grabbing the razor with my other hand makes the blood flows a bit more...

Yeah, this is it.

Ow...! Damn it...This one...I'm bleeding a little worse from my right wrist. Not much, the blood is just more of a stream than the other wrist...

...What do I do now? ...I'm...already starting to feel weak... ...Feeling sleepy...

...I-I'm going to die. My heart skips a beat as it...really hits me...

I'm going to die.

...And I'm ready. I-I want to die. ...I'm not backing out. I'm not going to go to the phone and call an ambulance...I'm going to wait here. ...And die.

My eyes are feeling heavy... It's...faster than I thought it would be... My wrists sting, but...

...They won't for much longer...

...Not much longer...

...At all...

Hirokazu's POV...

Takato wasn't at school today, Kenta and I are bringing him his homework. We're running a little late, the sun's already set. We're just down the street from the Matsuda Bakery...

"Wanna grab some Guilmon bread while we're there?" Kenta asks.

I nod. "Yeah, I could use a snack."

"...Is that...Mrs. Matsuda?" Kenta points ahead, to the small shrine on the way to Takato's house.

"Is she crying?" I give Kenta a quick look, we both run over to her. "Mrs. Matsuda!"

She looks up at us, she had been praying. "...Hirokazu, Kenta..." She'd been crying, too. Just from the look on her face, I can tell it's something serious...

"What's wrong?" Kenta asks. "S-sorry, but you...You look really upset."

"Takato's okay, right?" I ask. I don't know why I asked about him, but...He wasn't in school, and now, just seeing his mom like this... "H-He was just sick today, right?"

Just from the expression on his mom's face, I can tell this...This isn't going to be good at all. As soon as I mentioned Takato, she looked like she was going to cry again. "...Takato...tried to kill himself last night," Mrs. Matsuda starts to sob.

"H-He...did what?" I...I couldn't have heard that right... T-Takato is not...He would never even think of doing something like that!

"...We came home early from dinner, we forgot our movie tickets. He was...in the bathroom, he..." She starts to cry. "He took some pills and cut his wrists... He's...He lived, he's at the hospital right now..."

"Wh-Which hopsital? What room?" I shout.

"...Shinjuku General, Room 2-012. ...He hasn't spoken since he woke up."

Kenta hasn't said a word, I look to him...He looks like he's in shock.

"I-I gotta...I gotta go see him!" I take off running, I don't...I don't know what else to say to her. Kenta hurries after me.

Shinjuku General is close, about ten blocks up...I'd go back for my bike, but...It'd take too long. I have to see Takato...

...What the hell was he thinking? H-He's always so happy, what the hell could have made him do this?

I slow down when I realize I've lost Kenta, he catches up after a minute or two, panting heavily. "S-Sorry, Kenta...Wanna try-"

"Just keep going, I'll catch up," Kenta says.

"...Why would he do something like that?" I say, leaning against a lightpost. I'll wait for Kenta...I need him to be with me for this. I don't want to see Takato alone.

"He's...He never looked depressed," Kenta says, he rests on the sidewalk. "You saw him in the park yesterday with Jen, right?"

"Oh, shit! Jen!" I reach for my cell phone. "...He has to know about this..." I dial Jen's number.


"Jen...It's Hirokazu...Look, I...I don't know how to tell you this, but...We just ran into Takato's mom at that shrine by his place..." I feel a tear run down my cheek, I do my best to sound calm. "Takato tried to kill himself last night." My voice cracks near the end, I'm doing my best not to cry. I can't believe Takato would do something like this...

Jen is silent at first. It takes a while before he replies, barely above a shocked whisper, "He...tried to...what?"

"I-I don't know all the details, we just know he's still alive. Kenta and I are on our way to Shinjuku General right now. He's in room 2-012. I don't...I..." I stammer for a moment or two before finally saying, "Jen, did he seem at all depressed to you? W-We didn't...We had no idea."

"N-No, we were...We were at the park the other day, hanging out...He was...He was the same as he always was...I-I'll get there as soon as I can!"

"We'll meet you at his room, Jen...Sorry you had hear this." I hang up, I look away from Kenta and wipe my eyes quickly with my sleeve. "...Ready to keep going?"

Kenta gets up, he's still panting. "Y-Yeah, sorry I'm slowing you down..."

"We'll take it a little slower...Sorry, I just...I panicked."

"I understand," Kenta says. "...I want to get there as fast as I can, too."

We continue to the hospital as quickly as we can, I try to stay at a pace Kenta can keep up with. We run inside and go straight to the elevators, skipping the reception desk...They'll have to drag me out if it's past visiting hours.

I press the elevator button over and over again frantically, Kenta takes my wrist.


"...I know, I know," I sigh.

As soon as the doors open, we dart inside. It was empty, but when we got to the second floor I almost ran into an old man as I ran out. "S-Sorry! Emergency!" I say, passing by. Kenta takes another second to apologize for me and hurries.

I-I had to see it to really believe it. The plaque by the right side of the door, with the patient's name... ...Matsuda, Takato. Damn it, it is real...He really tried to do it...

I find myself staring at his name...I'm afraid to go in. The last thing I'd want to see is my friend in the hospital...Especially for something he did to himself.

Kenta puts his hand on my shoulder. "...Are you okay?"

"Y-Yeah, I just... Needed a second..." I reach for the doorknob and open it. Kenta follows me inside.

Takato's in bed, he's handcuffed to each of the side rails. It's a precaution they use for suicidal patients... His wrists have bandages on them, some patches of blood. He's... awake, just staring at the ceiling.

"...Takato?" I say.

He's silent, but the look on his face changes...Like he's about to cry.

"What...what's wrong?" I ask.

"...Hirokazu... You heard?" Takato turns his head to me.

"We...were bringing your homework from school, we ran into your mother," Kenta says. "Takato...what made you even think of trying this?"

"I'm tired," Takato says. "...I-I have a problem..." No shit. "I couldn't take it anymore. I hate it, myself, this...sick obsession..."

"Sick obsession?" I ask. "What do you mean?"

Takato sobs. "...J-Jen."

"Jen?" Kenta asks.

"What the hell does Jen have to do with this? He's your best friend!" I shout.

"...I know..." Takato sighs. "And I can't take that anymore..."


"I-I think I know what he's saying," Kenta speaks up. "...Takato, you're...'obsessed' with Jen, is that it?"

Takato lets out a sob, nodding. "...I'm sorry. I couldn't stop myself. I hate it so much. I wish I could-"

I interupt him. "Y-You tried to kill yourself...Because you're gay...?" I-I can't believe this... "You fucking idiot! What the hell is wrong with you? Who gives a shit about that? You..." I let out a frustrated growl, clenching my fists and throwing them downward, stomping. I...I want to punch him...I know, that sounds horrible, but I want to beat some sense into this idiot!

"H-Hirokazu, he's...been through a lot-"

"He's a moron!" I scream.

"Hirokazu!" Kenta goes to my side, he pulls on my arm. "...Just...Just go outside a minute, okay? Calm down, we'll come back in a few minutes... Okay?"

I can't help but glare at Takato, I shout at him, "I'll be back, Takato! We're gonna deal with this, got it?" I turn with a growl and go with Kenta out into the hall...

...I can't take it anymore. I punch the wall, hard.

... ... ...That was a bad idea...


"...I think I need some ice..." I wince, holding my hand by the wrist. "...I had to hit something...It was either the wall or Takato."

"Well, you picked the best place in the world to break your hand," Kenta says. He takes my good wrist. "Let's go to the cafeteria, calm down and we'll find a way to help him with this. Trust me, I have an idea of what he's going through."

I nod. Good thing Kenta's here...I probably would have hit Takato if he wasn't.

We go down the hall, when we get to the elevators we run into Jen. Shit...I should have realized that Jen seeing Takato might...be a problem right now.

"D-Did you...see him?" Jen asks, he's sweating and out of breath. He must have biked the entire way here from his place. He also looks worried out of his mind.

"...Jen, um... ...It's...a little complicated..." I trail off. "Can we...talk with you first?"


"Trust me, he's...You need to hear this first, okay?" Kenta says. "Please, Jen, I know you want to see him as soon as possible, but... The reason he did this was... ...I don't know where to begin, but...Please, trust me, Jen."

Jen nods. "All right." He gets back into the elevator, Kenta and I join him. "Hirokazu, what happened to your hand?"

"Um...I didn't want to hit Takato, so I punched a wall," I say. Jen probably loved hearing that...

"Why would you want to hit Takato?" Jen frowns at me. Yep, thought so.

"Trust me, it wasn't hard..." I sigh.

The three of us go to the cafeteria. Kenta gets me a cup of ice for my hand from the ice machine. "I'll get some sodas. Wait for me, okay?" He says, we both nod and he walks off.

"...Is he okay, at least?" Jen asks.

"He's awake, he was talking a little," I say. "He's...really upset."

"...Why didn't I see it? I...I'm always with him, I should have seen this..."

"Jen, don't," I say. "We didn't see a thing, either. This is...out of nowhere." I don't want to play the 'this is my fault for not seeing it' game... I really don't.

Kenta comes back with three cans of soda. He sits next to me, across from Jen. "...Um...Where do we start?"

"...He's gay, Jen," I say. "That's why he did it. He couldn't stand being gay."

"That's it? I wouldn't have cared, he's Takato. Why...couldn't I see him? Because of that?"

"He said he had a 'sick obsession' with, um, someone, and he couldn't stand that obsession anymore," Kenta takes a deep breath and exhales sharply, looking at Jen. "...He loves you, Jen."

"M-Me?" Jen slumps forward. "I...I'm the reason?"

"No, don't even think of starting that, Jen!" I shout. "He's an idiot! He thought he was sick in the head for this, it's not you."

Jen sighs. "...I can't believe this..."

"I can...um...Sort of understand..." Kenta trails off. Oh, shit...Kenta, are you sure about this? Then again, Jen said he wouldn't care if it was Takato, and now, you probably would be a huge help to him...

"What do you mean?" Jen asks.

"...I'm...'that way,' too, Jen," Kenta glances away. "I should have told Takato, too. Only Hirokazu knew."

"Why Hirokazu?"

"I confessed to him about a year ago, I know he's straight but...I just thought he should know. If I told Takato, too, I could have helped him, maybe. He wouldn't have felt alone..." Kenta looks back to Jen. "Jen, when...When I kept it a secret, I felt alone. Like the only gay guy on Earth. It was such a relief to tell Hirokazu because he still wanted to be my friend, it didn't bother him at all." I really didn't have a problem with it at all. I was a little surprised back then, but...Kenta's been my friend since we were in diapers. That'll never change.

Jen sighs. "...Would it even be a good idea for me to see him? I mean..."

"I think it would be best if you did," Kenta says. "Jen, um, not to put you on the spot, but...any chance you might return those feelings? I-I know it's a little rude, but you two have always been, well, close. I mean, closer than anyone else I've ever seen."

Kenta sort of has a point. We knew Takato since before kindergarten, Jen only met him in the fifth grade but shortly after they met...Takato and Jen were on a different level than when Takato was with Kenta and I. Skip ahead six years, it's only gotten stronger.

Jen turns slightly red. "...Well... ...Um...I-I don't know, actually."

"You don't know?" I ask. Oh, bullshit, Jen... That's, actually, kinda classic denial. D-Don't ask how I know this-Okay, fine, I know it from what Kenta's told me... ...I like talking about it with him, since...He feels less "alone," you know? For the first couple months...I was bringing it up because I knew talking about it made him feel better, he was afraid to even approach it since he thought I'd be disgusted. I wasn't at all. And Kenta was kinda depressed, not like Takato but...I never told him, but I was a little worried about him at the time.

"I feel different around him, but..." Jen sighs. "...I don't know what it is."

"Okay, here's a way to find out: What kind of porn do you look at?" I ask. Jen turns bright red.

"...Hirokazu..." Kenta groans.

"What? What guy doesn't look at porn? I know I do." I reply. "Answer, Jen!"

"...If it makes it easier for you to answer, Jen, I do, too. Gay porn, obviously." Kenta says. He gives me an annoyed look.

"What? Porn never lies!" I say. "...And my preference is...Uh...Gay but with two girls, you know?" I blush slightly at that statement, but if it'll get Jen to say something...

"...I knew it..." Kenta rolls his eyes.

"...A little of both," Jen says after a moment or two, as quickly and quietly as he can. Before I can speak, he says, "C-Can we just get back to Takato, please?"

"Whether you return his feelings or not, Jen," Kenta says. "He needs to know you still care about him, that this isn't an issue for you. I...I went through a phase where I hated myself for how I felt about Hirokazu. I never thought about suicide, but...It was scary, I'd always grown up thinking I'd have a wife and kids and all that. It was something I ran from for a while because...It wasn't what I considered 'normal' at the time."

Jen nods. "I understand."

I realize, this entire time none of us opened the sodas Kenta got. "...Want to go to his room?" I ask.

Jen nods.

We leave our drinks, I make a mental note to pay Kenta back for them...We go up to Takato's room again.

He's still alone, he's...been crying, it looks like. He's just staring up at the ceiling from his bed.

"...Sorry about earlier, Takato. I couldn't control myself," I say as I walk in. "...Jen's here, too."

"No...Not Jen..." Takato sobs. "Don't...let him see me like this..." He shakes his head back and forth, still looking up.

Jen walks up behind me, then steps forward. "...Takato, we...We need to talk. Hirokazu and Kenta...told me why you did this."

"...I'm sorry, Jen... I'm...I'm sick." He turns his head, away from Jen.

"No, you're not," Jen walks to Takato's side, he wipes his eyes. "Don't...Don't scare me like this again, Takato. I don't want to know what things would be like without you. I don't even want to imagine it, you're my best friend. No matter how 'sick' you think you are."

"Takato," Kenta stands at the foot of Takato's bed, resting his hands on the adjustable tray over the bed. "I'm gay, too. Until now, only Hirokazu knew."

Takato's eyes go wide, he looks over to Kenta. "Wh-What?"

"...You...You can't be like this," Kenta says. "I understand how you feel, I hated it at first, too. But it's not worth this. It's not worth killing yourself. You're not a freak, you're not sick, you're just you. That's it. It's scary at first, with how people might act towards you if they knew, but...It's nothing bad, it's just who you are. You're normal, Takato. There's nothing wrong with you."

"I couldn't take it anymore," Takato sighs. "I...I'm such a screw up anyway. I didn't even need a blood transfusion, the vicodin just put me to sleep...I thought I was dying and I was just going to sleep."

"Dude, that's a good thing," I say. "You lived."

Takato turns away, letting out a light sob. "...I just don't know what to do about this. I'm sorry, Kenta, but I just saw myself as a sick pervert the whole time. It just...I didn't think it was natural. I...I still don't want this. I'm sorry."

Kenta nods. "I understand, I'm not offended. It's a shock at first, I tried to 'change,' too. It was because of what people around me said about 'them.' But I realized 'they' were no different from 'them,' and neither was I. It also helped that I had someone to talk to," he looks to me, then lowers his head. "I really, really wish I told you, Takato. I'm so sorry."

"Takato, I want to know...What was the last straw? Was it that time in the park?" Jen asks.

"Time in the park?" I look to Jen.

Jen's shaking, he looks to Takato, then to me. "T-Takato and I were at Guilmon's old spot, I climbed a tree and asked Takato to climb up with me. I-I was using it as an excuse, since there was barely any room up there, he'd have to hang onto me, to lean against me... ...I...I...I did this, didn't I? Because...I-I wanted to..." Jen starts breathing heavily, he looks like he's about to cry. Damn it, Jen, don't... Please, don't...

"N-no! Jen, you...You didn't," Takato quickly shouts. "It was what I wanted to do, too...I...I loved being with you, as much as I hate myself. You...Jen, you were all I could think about when I thought I was dying. All I could think about was how upset you would be...That...If I hadn't thought I was at the point of no return, I...I think I would changed my mind...I...I didn't want to hurt you."

Jen...loses it. I've...I've never seen Jen cry like this, even when we lost our partners. Takato does the same almost immediately after Jen starts... ...I...I'm doing my best to stay calm, Kenta's...His sleeves are wet, his glasses are a little foggy. He's always been quiet when he cries...

The door opens after a few minutes, we've all managed to calm down a little by that time. Takato's Dad walks in. He's surprised to see us. "O-Oh, I...I didn't...know you all heard..." He sighs. He looks to Jen first. "Is...he talking?"

Takato only nods, slightly. He's managed to stop crying, but it's obvious he's on the verge of starting again. Jen is still trying to recover.

"...Why, son?"

We keep out mouths shut. This is something Takato has to chose to do. He can either make up some excuse, 'Juri dumped me,' 'I just can't take school anymore,' 'I was bored,' whatever or...The truth. Kenta still hasn't told his family... ...That's...Something he'd rather avoid.

"...I..." Takato chokes. "...Dad, I have...a preference... ...And I couldn't stand it anymore."

"A preference?" His father asks.


"...Oh..." Takato's father lets out a sigh. "That was...it? ...Takato, I-I...I would accept this. Before, I might have had some trouble, but...It's not worth losing you. How could you even consider killing yourself over this?"

"I was tired of it, I wanted it all to stop," Takato says. "I-I'm sorry. It was too much for me."

"M-Mr. Matsuda," Kenta speaks, "I-I can help Takato deal with this. It's...something I'm familiar with," he sighs, turning back to Takato, "I wish I told you, Takato. Things would be different..."

"Yeah, Takato, does it make any difference?" I ask. "Knowing you're not alone?"

"...A little," Takato sighs. "I'm sorry... I...I just didn't know what to do. I was afraid to tell anyone...I thought you would hate me."

"I-I need to call your mother, let her know you're talking. ...Do you want me to tell her about this too?" Takato's dad asks.

Takato nods. "Yeah, you can. Also, um...Jen, will you stay a while?"

Jen nods. "A-As long as you need."

"If anyone asks, he's your cousin Kai. I'll tell the nurses that." Takato's Dad says with a nod. Yeah, family can stay as long as they want. He walks out of the room, reaching for his cell phone.

"...Jen, um..." Takato sighs. "Please, don't think this is your fault. When I...first started feeling this way, I tried to avoid you, to see if it would go away. You, um...do you remember when you ran into me at the park?"

Jen nods. "I asked if you were mad at me. I didn't know what I did, but I would have done anything to make it up to you, Takato."

"You looked so upset, I-I hated myself for hurting you like that. I wanted to make it up to you somehow, I never wanted to avoid you again. Jen...If anything, I think you kept me from trying this a long time ago."

Jen leans forward and hugs Takato as well as he can, sobbing a couple times. Takato tries to hug back but...The handcuffs make it impossible.

"...If you ever need someone to talk to, Takato, I'm here," Kenta says. "Anything, anytime."

"Thanks, Kenta."

"And if you try this again...I'll kick your ass, if you even think of it," I say. "Takato, we've been friends since...Hell, I can't remember a point where we didn't know each other. You're... ...Takato, I... I..." I stand there, stammering like an idiot for a moment.

Kenta comes to my rescue. "I think Hirokazu's trying to say he loves you without using the word love," he says, smiling ever-so-slightly at me. ...Yeah, something like that...

I glance away, nodding slightly. "...I'd really miss you, let's put it that way."

Jen stayed with Takato the whole night, falling asleep in the chair next to his bed. Takato's dad didn't even stay that long. Kenta and I left close to midnight, when the nurse finally spotted us and kicked us out. We came back as early as we could the next morning. We ditched school, my parents even suggested doing just that after I told them what had happened. My whole family sort of spent the next few hours talking about it, I only got a couple hours sleep because we were all up so late. They were really upset, my mom cried...If you had seen her, you'd think I was the one in the hospital.

Takato...was more like his old self. He and his parents talked about the "issue." ...His parents accept it, as Takato's dad said - The idea of losing him was a million times worse than any negative feelings they could have ever had.

Kenta says just losing the anxiety of someone you care about potentially hating you is a huge weight lifted, and Takato...Looks like he lost that weight. He smiled a little. That's huge, I think.

Jen's still "confused" as to how he feels, he says but... ...He thinks Kenta and I didn't see it, but he gave Takato a kiss on the forehead this morning just before we got there...He said "I love you." We saw it through the door, it was open a crack. We came in afterward... The look on his face said even more, but we played dumb. For now.

...Kenta's a little jealous, since Takato's with someone. He didn't say anything, but I can tell...

...So, while Jen and Takato chat, I'm buying Kenta some ice cream from the cafeteria. He's waiting at the table, thinking I'm getting a soda...Funny story: Our sodas stayed put at the table after we left them. Kenta and I passed the cafeteria on our way out and saw them, so we took them and drank them outside and talked about everything that had happened before we each went home.

I walk back to the table with two cups of green tea ice cream. I put the bigger one in front of Kenta.

"Wh-What the...?"

"...You're so obviously jealous of Takato and Jen," I grin. "I thought this might make you feel better."

"I know I shouldn't feel that way, but..." Kenta sighs. "Are you sure you're straight?"

"Sorry, Kenta. If I wasn't, though, you'd be my first choice."

"Thanks," Kenta starts to eat. "...Think Takato's going to be okay?"

"They took off the handcuffs, and he'll see a counselor for a while," I nod. "I think he'll be better."

"...And Jen?"

"He'll be there for Takato. I can't believe he's still denying he likes him to anyone else," I roll my eyes. Seriously, Jen, Kenta's gay and I'm his best friend, who are we to judge you?

"Closet case," Kenta rolls his eyes. "But, as long as Takato knows he likes him."

"Yeah, that's what's important," I say. "He'll come out when he's ready."

"...I think I should tell my family," Kenta says after a few moments.

I almost drop my spoon. "What?"

"Well, with Takato...He told his family, and I think it would be best if we were both out. You know? He shouldn't be completely alone, like I felt. Until last night, you were the only one who knew. And now, well, I think I should be more open about it. At home, at school, with myself."

I nod. "...You've got balls, Kenta. Want me to be with you when you do it? In case things go south?"

"Thanks, I-I think I will need you," Kenta nods. "It'll be a relief to not have to feign interest whenever my Dad points to a girl on TV, or when someone at school invites me to check out a girl."

I laugh, "Yeah, sorry about that..." Kenta...told me he was gay when I was checking out a girl. He, um, he said 'Nice ass.' I said, 'What?' Since we couldn't see her ass. He said, 'I can see a nice ass from here.' I turn and...saw he was looking at mine...

...I thought he was joking until...He just told me everything after school that day. He let it slip, earlier, since he would check me out and give commentary on me when I was too busy looking at a girl and I thought he was talking about her. He did it to amuse himself, he said. ...I actually sort of liked that.

I was surprised but, even more...I felt bad. I couldn't like him that way. Kinda weird, I know, but...Kenta's just that good of a friend to me, it made me feel bad.

"Don't apologize, you're great, Hirokazu," Kenta smiles. "That's why I like you so much."

"Thanks," I sort of blush, since I know exactly how much he likes me. "Well, if you're more open now...Think you might, I dunno, find someone?"

"...That's sort of my other reason, seeing Jen and Takato... ...Could you feel the love?"

"Love and Jen's 'I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I'm not gay, I am SO gay' vibe." We both laugh, it's true, Jen is only ready to tell Takato, and I'm okay with that. He may have more or less outted himself with that 'my excuse' thing last night but we're not going to push him.

"Can I...ask you something?" Kenta says, poking at his ice cream with his spoon.


"...How come...this wasn't a problem for you? I mean, you...barely reacted, like nothing changed. I was sort of expecting you to freak out."

"You're my best friend, if my best friend is 'that way,' than 'that way' isn't a problem to me," I say. "And...It meant a lot to you that someone else knew and you could talk about it. ...I was happy to be that someone."

"...Can I say 'I love you,' without it being awkward?"

I laugh, "Go for it."

"I love you so damn much sometimes, Hirokazu," Kenta smiles.

"Thanks." I try not to smile, but... ...I do.

...School heard...

...I'm kinda pissed...

They're doing a teens, depression and suicide assembly right now, because "a sophomore nearly took his life over fear of being ridiculed for his sexual orientation." ...And practically everyone knows they're talking about Takato. Word that he tried to kill himself was spreading like crazy before he was out of the hospital, but no-one knew why...And then the faculty outted him to the whole school! ...Idiots... The last thing Takato wants or needs is to be the center of attention right now for trying to off himself because he was gay...

...Which is why we're ditching it. Takato's not suicidal anymore, he doesn't need to see it. Hopefully, at the very least, it might help someone who feels like Takato did, but... ...I just wish they could have done it without practically putting a "Gay Suicide Boy" sign on Takato's back...

Jen, Takato, Kenta and I are in the bleachers, by the track field. Takato's bandages are off, he's letting his wounds air out a bit. It's been a little over a week, there were only a few stitches and it's...Mostly a mess of scabs. He...did a really bad job at cutting himself with that razor. Thank the Gods he didn't know what he was doing.

"So, how pissed do you think the teachers will be hearing you of all people skipped this?" Kenta asks, looking to Takato.

"Really pissed, but...I don't care, I don't want to be reminded of it. I'll tell them that if they complain," Takato says.

"If they say anything, I have some words for them," I mutter. I look to Takato. "How's the counselor?"

"Annoying," Takato laughs a little. "He's one of those obviously on 'happy pills' types. 'Life is precious, every moment counts, you are the most special person on Earth!' I'm not depressed anymore but...There's a difference between enjoying life and dedicating yourself to finding a way to marry and have your way with the concept of 'life.'" I can't help but laugh, we all do. "At least it's not much longer, two more weeks."

"...And you're really okay with everything?" Kenta asks. "You're gay and okay?"

Takato smiles, he turns to Jen... ...And kisses him on the cheek, Jen turns bright red and laughs nervously.

"I knew it," I grin. "Seriously, Jen, why are you...still denying it? Even to Kenta!"

"I...I just...It's new to me, being open about it...I guess I'm just scared. But, for Takato, I'll be as...open as I can be." Jen smiles at Takato, then looks to Kenta with a serious expression. "Is it true you told your parents last week?"

Kenta nods, slowly... ...That was not a pleasant experience. His parents are...kinda keeping it as a dirty little secret. It's a "phase he'll grow out of eventually." ...I had a bit of an argument with his Dad in the middle of it and...

...They think I'm...dating him...So, I'm not really allowed at the Kitagawa household right now. I told my parents what was going on, since they were cool about the news with Takato (they even visited him in the hospital, my mom brought him a crapload of candy to cheer him up). They're letting Kenta come by whenever he wants, he's got a second home with us as far as they're concerned.

"...They're...getting used to it," Kenta says. "How about your parents, Takato?"

"They...um... ...They didn't know I was with Jen until a few days ago and...My Dad actually tried to set me up with someone...To make me feel better."

"...Holy shit. Are you serious? Was he cute?" Kenta asks. ...I did not see that bit of news coming...

Takato laughs. "...I'll give you his number. His name's Takeshi Himura, and...He was a little upset I was with someone already, but...I told him I had a friend who might be interested."

"I love you, Takato," Kenta says with a smile.

Jen laughs, "Stay back, Kenta, he's...He's mine," Jen blushes as he realizes he's saying that, but he still wraps his arm around Takato.

We all laugh. Seeing Takato laugh after...all that...

...I'm so relieved. He says he's accepted his orientation. He's happy with Jen...Life is worth living.

Never scare us like that again, Takato.


Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
Oooooy gevalt...Where to begin? Well, maybe the title since it doesn't make a lot of sense. Originally, lyrics to Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumors" were spliced into certain parts of the fic - But since FFN no longer allows songfics, we had to get rid of them. I really liked the title, though, so I kept it anyway. If you haven't heard Blasphemous Rumors before, give it a listen. It's an awesome song!

This was originally meant to be the final installment to the Schnapps\Amaretto fic series but because I got stuck on Amaretto I ended up writing this as a standalone. Because it would have been my final fic before I left FFN, I didn't upload it. I didn't want to leave on this note...That and, like I said, I was worried someone would read too far into it and think it was MY suicide note.

Don't think I'm being paranoid about that, by the way - Thanks to Gomamon, I had one reader CONVINCED I was a raging alcoholic. That just bugged the hell out of me... And I won't even start on some of the flamers and what THEY though about me...

In the original draft, Takato actually did pass out from blood loss...But, re-reading it, I thought the scenario was too unrealistic and gory.

Now, as a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, I know opiate painkillers better than Doctor Gregory House (I'm also pretty handy with my cane these days, too), so I thought it would be better if Takato took a not-so-lethal dose of vicodin to "help ease the pain," (Vicodin doesn't quite work that way, but I didn't expect him to know that) and it made things so he could "die" without really dying, you know?

I should make it clear though, that much vicodin IS a dangerously high dose! Do not take that much vicodin at once! Takato may have lived, but you might not! ...Then again, if you are taking vicodin I'll assume it's your own prescription and you have a valid reason for taking it! ...If not... ...I'm not mad, just disappointed... ...And really pissed.

A side note, regarding the line "four and death are the same" when Takato was referring to the number of pills: In Japan and China the words for four and death sound alike so they're associated with each other (four is a serious bad luck number in both cultures, like thirteen in the West). NEVER give someone in the hospital four of anything, by the way, it's like wishing death on them!

Given the subject matter, I was doing my best to keep the dialogue and characters' reactions realistic without sounding melodramatic or making light of suicide... A lot of this was re-done and touched up before I sent out a copy to Taiki. This is the LAST kind of fic I'd want to half-ass in any way shape or form.

Seriously, this is one of those "fic writers proceed with utmost caution" subjects in my opinion. You gotta be or have at least one of the following to be able to pull it off successfully:
1. Really good (Pffft...Yeah, right, don't look at me...)
2. Have a VERY good knowledge of or some experience with the subject matter (Eh... ...Not suicidal, but some aspects were pretty easy since Kenta and I are- ...Err...*Whistles innocently*...)
3. At the very least, know what areas of the subject matter are safe and stupid to tread on (that's...generally hit and miss for me)

So, uh, yeah, let's hope I didn't create a written train wreck here...

I will admit, I have no strong idea of the logic that would go into "I'm gay, I wanna die," so with Takato's POV and dialogue I was making educated guesses on how someone would justify wanting to end things based on that. Kenta's "it's scary at first\you feel so alone" thing was easier to write for reasons that you should be able to figure out on your own. Though not everyone goes through that, it's fairly common.

I think Hirokazu was pretty in-character for the whole thing and acted realistically, especially with wanting to hit Takato. As for Jen's denial of his orientation... ...I didn't want things to be a simple, "Oh, but I love you, too" type of story. However, I did want Takato to have a happy ending. Back then, this was one of my favorite pairings...Though, Taiki takes it up a couple notches...Not that I mind when he begs me to write a Leekato now and then, it's fun to watch.

As for Kenta...Like I said, I cannot see him as straight. Ever. Hirokazu, hit and miss. I really don't see Hirokazu as one to abandon Kenta over something like that, too. I also wanted Takato to actually have someone other than Jen to talk to about "his problem," and Kenta is the voice of reason in the trio. That and...Let's face it, Hirokazu's got an ego and he would have no problem having someone fawn over him, regardless of gender.

I might do a prequel where Kenta confesses to Hirokazu and Hirokazu's reaction, mainly because I want to explore that aspect a little more. But no promises. I'm trying to avoid doing slash these days, but... ...Twerp-chan's a bad influence on me sometimes.

I didn't include Juri or Ruki since...Well, I don't know how either of them would react. Juri would cry, I know that, but...Ruki? No clue.

...Oh, HELL! I just thought of a good use for Ruki as I typed that... "You wanna know how I got these scars? Here's how I got these scars..." ... ... ...Okay, that Joker reference was probably in really bad taste, but you get what I'm hinting at here, right? Eh, still, I'll let someone else use that one for their own fic, though. I don't want to re-write the whole thing on just a "Oh, hey, that could work" thought bubble. It was depressing enough writing this the first time.

I should also mention, provided that Taiki followed my instructions, there is a comedy fic being uploaded alongside this called "The Meeting of the Goggle Boys." Give it a read if you think you need a chuckle after this...Okay? Takato's in it, and he's Happy-Takato!

Oh, and I couldn't help but toss out a reference to Akogare at the end when I did my re-edit...Did you catch it? Looks like someone's finally come to terms with himself...

Taiki's Notes:

I am now going to take a page from Ori's book and use elipses to express silent horror, shock and awe.

...Holy shit.

... ...Holy Shit!

... ... ...HOLY SHIT!

Ori, please, be nice to Takato in the next few fics you write. You really owe it to him after doing this one! Sure, he had a happy ending but my God!

I-I need a bleedin' drink now to calm my nerves! I didn't know Ori had this in him! GOOD GOD, ORI! You used to write nothing but humor, please, do that instead of this! Please!

-Taiki Matsuki