Family Dinner

Dinner at the Matsuda household. Bread is plentiful, and it should be obvious why that's so.

I've been eating bread with dinner my whole life, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. The crisp crust, the warm, moist center...

...My parents are the best bakers in Japan, maybe the world. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't tried their bread.

It's Saturday, so tonight we're having Guilmon bread with dinner. My Dad started the weekly tradition about a year after D-Reaper...When it became obvious we may never see our partners again. Yamaki-san's "working on it," he says.

I stare down at the "eyes" staring back at me, smiling. I miss Guilmon, but...Yamaki-san says they're safe. He can't reunite us yet, but he can send messages for us. They're all safe, that's what's important.

I put some rice on my plate and pour on curry from the bowl between the three of us at the table, keeping my Guilmon bread on another plate. I like to use it to soak up what's left of the curry, Guilmon bread is best with curry...Weird, because I never gave curry to Guilmon. I almost did, but Jen stopped me...It was spicy curry, he joked that it would 'give his fireballs too much of an extra kick.' Terriermon, of course, ate a spoonful when no-one was looking and proved him right - Spicy curry and Digimon don't mix...

...Jen was a big help after Guilmon and the others returned to the Digital World. I don't think I would have gotten through it without him. He said I helped him through it, but...I don't know how I did. Jen's...great. I...I think about him all the time. A lot of things just remind me of him - Digimon especially, like Guilmon bread...

...Every Saturday, for the past three years, I get Guilmon bread with dinner. And I think of Jen every time.

"...Takato?" My Dad snaps be back to reality. "...What are you thinking about?"

"N-Nothing," I shake my head.

"Nothing, I'm sure," Dad grins. "With the look on your face... ...Thinking about a girl at school, maybe?"

I blush profusely, something I really wish I had better control over.

Dad laughs. "I knew it...Juri?"

I shake my head...I...I haven't 'liked' Juri since the fifth grade. But, she's the one my parents always talk about. Or Ruki, but not as often.

"Remember how she'd always come to the bakery,looking for him after school?" Mom speaks up, looking to Dad.

"Yeah, always getting a couple sweet rolls or choco-pan and saying, 'Where's Takato?' Always, at the park...I don't know why she never went there first, but..." Dad smiles and shrugs. "I guess she was a little shy. It was obvious she had a crush on you." He looks to me.

I nod, sort of...I turned Juri down in the seventh grade, she told me after school one day that wanted us to be boyfriend and girlfriend instead of just friends. She took it well, but...She wouldn't believe the reason wasn't "another girl." It wasn't. I wish it was. She still came to the bakery for a while after that but, eventually, she stopped entirely.

"Remember when you were kid, you'd talk about when you got married?" Mom asks, smiling. "Takehiro, you remember, right?"

"'I'm gonna marry a beautiful girl, and we'll run the bakery for you with our kids!'" Dad says, mimicking something I said when...I think I was eleven, maybe. It was...a long time ago.

I smile, laughing a little. "Yeah..." They...bring this up a lot. I'm in high school now and... ...I think they're trying to give me a hint. They want me dating, to have that big family I talked about when I was a kid. I-I talked about it a lot, I don't even know why. It was sort of fun to think about, I guess. Having a wife and kids and running the Matsuda Bakery for my parents with my kids helping out...I liked the idea.

"I remember, every year in primary school until middle school...There was a new girl, every year, from your class that you liked," My Dad says. "Remember when you got that rose for Sakura? You asked me if we could go buy her one after you came home that one day."

Fourth grade, yeah...Um... ...She...She was having a bad week, I thought it would make her happy. I...I just put it in her backpack when no-one was looking. She never found out it was from me. I was even more shy back then, if you can believe that.

I give my Dad a nod...I sort of hope that will be the end of this. But I know it won't be.

"Then, come middle school..." Dad trails off. "What happened, Takato? Find that one special girl and you can't give her up?" He jokes. "Hiding her from us?"

I shake my head. "N-No, but...Well, Dad, those were...primary school crushes. Middle and high school are...a lot different."

"I know, I know," Dad smiles. "It's just weird, you had a new crush every year until a few years ago. Come on, is there someone you're not telling us about?"

...Yes. "No," I shake my head. "I...I just don't really like anyone in my classes, I guess."

Dad and Mom keep talking, about Juri and Ruki, even Alice. I'm amazed they even remember her, I only knew her through...Well, the Dobermon incident and, after that, through Ryou.

This topic comes up a lot, more often than it used to since I started my sophomore year of high school... Like I said, I think Dad is dropping hints. Mom just likes to talk about me when I was a kid, but...Dad's just short of giving me advice on picking up girls...

...Actually, he once tried and... ...Um... ...I managed to find an excuse to get out of there. It's...not really something I wanted to talk about.

It's...apparently not obvious why I'm no longer "chasing" girls like before. Before, well, I was a little kid, and that's what we were told as kids. Boys like girls, boys marry girls, a stork brings them a baby...Until sixth grade, when the teachers finally tell us what we've known since that kid in first grade brought an anatomy book to school - Hirokazu got in SO much trouble for that!

...They never covered what I realized in middle school...I didn't like girls.

I liked Jenrya.

I liked Jenrya a lot. More than anyone else I ever liked. I didn't...I didn't even know what the word "gay" meant until fifth grade...

...Well, actually, in the third grade, an older kid asked me, "Are you gay?" I asked what that meant. "It means you're really cool." He told me...I-Um...Responded with "Oh, yeah, then I'm gay! I'm really gay!"

...That was...strangely prophetic for a schoolyard prank. A teacher later corrected me, in her own way, saying, "Gay is not cool, Takato. You don't want to be gay. No-one does."

...Again, strangely prophetic...Well, except I don't mind being gay, not since I've come to terms with it. I mind being a disappointment. I was afraid of it at first but...I just realized I couldn't change how I felt.

But when it comes to my family...

...Like I said, "Takato's crushes" are a popular conversation piece at dinner in the Matsuda household. Until a year ago, I always played along and joked with them, I didn't want them to suspect anything. I...I just don't think my parents would be happy with this. They wouldn't accept it and I don't blame them...It's not something I wanted, but I have no control over it. It's just who I am, and I have to figure out how to live with that.

So, I just don't talk about how I think of Jen, how everything reminds me of him or how I'm so, so sorry that I have to disappoint them like this. They...can't have that big family they like talking about.

Besides, Jen...He's straight. I...I won't ever be more than "Takato-kun," I can dream of being "Takato-chan." I-I actually dream about that a lot, or out what things would be like in my head when I'm alone or, sometimes, when we're together but... In dreams, I also don't disappoint my parents. ...It's going to be a problem when years down the road, they realize: I'm not married, I'm not engaged, I'm not dating...I'm alone.

...I also...don't want to be alone...But...

...I'll deal with that when we get there. Years off, hopefully...

It's Thursday, I'm helping with the cash register tonight. My Mom is meeting her friends for their weekly book club. Dad's in the kitchen, baking.

I'm not really paying attention to what's going on. I'm a little distracted, thinking about school today. I got my new class schedule today. Jen and I share three classes this semester. We sit next to each other in two of them: Art and Science. Math, I sit behind him. I... ...I might have been staring at him a bit during our algebra quiz today. I tend to do that when he's not looking and since I'm behind him...It's hard to resist but not hard to do.

"Takato, is that who I think it is?" I hear a voice whisper.

I look up, Dad's leaning over me as I sit at the register. "Huh?" He points...

Oh, crap... Juri? This is a surprise...I haven't spoken to her or even seen her in so long.

Dad gives me a quick nudge with his elbow. "Why didn't you ever ask her out, son?"

I shrug, I idea how I could answer that.

"Still a chance she could be my future daughter-in-law?" Dad jokes. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?"

I nod. A long time...since I turned her down.

Dad ducks back into the kitchen as she approaches the register with her bread, smiling. She's...gotten a lot taller since I last saw her. She's beautiful, too. No arguing with that at all, but...She's not Jen. "Hey, Takato. Been a while, huh?"

I nod. "Y-Yeah, what brings you over here?" I look at what she's buying. Guilmon bread.

"Ryou and Alice are having a picnic tomorrow, they invited me along so I wanted to bring something we all like." She smiles. "I was thinking of making it a 'double date,' sort of, but I can't find anyone to go with me."

I nod. "And the Guilmon bread...Tamers reunion, I guess?" I smile, weakly. ...She...She isn't...

Juri smiles. "Are you doing anything tomorrow, Takato?"

I shake my head, probably too suddenly and too quickly to look all that casual. "S-Sorry, but...I've got a lot of after school work tomorrow." ...I can just see the look on Dad's face. I'm sure he's listening in...And he probably knows I'm lying.

"Oh...Oh, well," Juri shrugs. "Just wondering." She forces a smile... ...Crap, she...really came all this way to ask me out...I didn't know she still thought of me, especially that way.

...Sorry, Juri.

"S-Sorry, but...Tell Ryou and Alice I said 'hi,' okay?" I ring up her bread. She pays and leaves with a bow and a smile.

...I let out a quiet sigh of relief once she's out the door.

"Takato, what was that about?" Dad...

"Um, well, I...I just..." I turn, the look on his face is...a confused look.

"You just don't like...her...that way?"

I nod. "Y-Yeah, sorry...Maybe if it was...Um...Someone else..." ...Like Jen.

Dad nods. "...All right..." He goes back into the kitchen.

...That was...close...

Mom comes back an hour or so later, we have dinner...Regular rolls, no Guilmon bread today.

"Takato, Dad says Juri came by and asked you to go to a picnic," Mom says. "You turned her down?" She also looks...confused. I-I didn't realize this would be such a big deal to them. I-I haven't seen Juri in so long, I'm amazed Dad recognized her as easily as he did.

I nod. "I...I'm not really...interested in her. And I haven't seen her in so long, I thought it would be awkward if I went with her." I reply...It sort of would be, except not because it'd been so long.

Dad's been a little upset since... Usually, he's a lot more talkative at dinner. Tonight, he's just poking at his food...Like I do when I'm upset.

"...Dad, are you okay?" I ask. ...Please don't be disappointed...

"Yeah, just...I don't know why you'd turn her down like that," Dad shrugs. "It's your decision, Takato, but...She sounded so happy to see you again, I think she came just to ask you out."

"I-I know..." I sigh. ...I knew it, he's disappointed. I haven't even told him the real reason I turned her down and he's disappointed...

I don't blame him. I mean...I'm an only child. If...I had a brother or sister, I'd feel a lot better about this. But, no, I won't be able to continue the family line, the family name... ...It dies with me. That's sort of what I'm most afraid of with them finding out, the realization that their only son is gay. With all the talk about girls and my future...

...I just know it would destroy them. It would destroy me. Not if it was my son, but being that son.

I know I could adopt, but it's still the end of the bloodline. I don't know if that would be a big deal to them or not, but I think it would be. It's just not the same, two men with adopted children. These days, I know it's not that big of a deal but...It's different when it's your own family. It's different when it's you.

That's why I'm so scared. If they knew, I don't think they could look at me the same. I won't be their son, Takato Matsuda. I'd be their gay son, Takato Matsuda - The Disappointment: We obviously screwed up raising him.

"...Takato, um..." Dad looks to Mom, they look at each other for a second or two. Mom shakes her head, then he shakes his head. "Never mind."

"What is it?" I ask. There...was something weird about that.

"Nothing important," My Dad chuckles, he smiles at me. "If find that special someone, Takato. I think we should all have a nice family dinner. Together."

"Like...a while down the road?" I ask.

Mom shakes her head. "No, as in...Well, whenever you two start dating. Just to say 'welcome to the family.' When you find that special someone, Takato, please?"

"O-Oh, right...I'll tell her, definitely," I reply, nodding and forcing a smile.

...I...I don't know how much more of this I can take...

I won't tell them. Ever.

I don't want to upset them.

It's Saturday, I just got out of school...

...Jen stopped me earlier as we left our final class together: Math. We have one more period after math, but not together.

"Takato, I, um, I need to talk to you about something important after school...Will you meet me at the park?" Is what he said to me.

Of course, I said 'yes.'

I wait on the dirt path near the old playground set from when we were kids. I see Jen approaching through the grass. I wave to him with a smile...I'm always happy to see Jen.

He...looks nervous...

"Hey, Jen-kun," I smile. "Is...something wrong?"

Jen smiles weakly. "Sort of...Um...Takato, we've been friends for a long time, right?"

I nod. "Since fifth grade."

"I-I was wondering, how close are we?"

"What do you mean?"

Jen shrugs. "We tell each other everything, right? You always told me what was going on with you, if you were ever sad or upset, and I do the same, right?"

"Yeah, that's...what friends do," I laugh, briefly. "Jen, is there something wrong?"

"I've been keeping something from you, Takato," Jen says, he's...shaking a little and looking away. He glances to me with a nervous smile. "It's something I was afraid of telling you."

"Like what?" I ask. "You think I'll be mad or something?"

Jen shrugs. "That's...possible." He looks away, clearing his throat. "Takato, I..." He pauses. "Um..."

I'm a little worried about him, now. He looks scared, he's shaking a little. What could he tell me that would


...He...He couldn't be... Th-There's no way...

"Jen? What's wrong?" Please...Don't tell me what I think you're going to tell me.

Jen takes a deep breath, he exhales sharply and goes silent.

"...I have...feelings for you, Takato," Jen finally says. "I...I guess it's easiest to just say it like this...I love you." No...Jen...Please...


"I-I know," Jen says, glancing away. "I just...I had to tell you. I've liked you for a long time and I think you should at least know. I-I don't expect you to like me back or anything...I understand if you don't, it's just...You're my best friend, I think...I think you should know this." He finishes, scratching the back of his head, nervously.

I-I don't...I don't believe this.



I can't...

"...T-Takato?" He sees that I'm starting to back up. He looks really scared now.

...Jen, no...

I do the worst possible thing I can do.

I turn and run away.

"Takato! Wait!"

Jen, you can't feel the same way! I...I've dreamed of this, but...I can't do it! I can't love you back! I can't be a disappointment like that! My parents can't know I love you too!

...I'm so sorry...

I turn out of the park, onto the sidewalk...I-I'm crying at this point. I really wish I learned how to stop crying so easily...

I just..I can't take this... I've dreamed of Jen saying those words to me for so long, but I never thought it would happen...I thought I KNEW it would never happen!

And I can't do it...My parents wouldn't be able to handle it. They want me to have a wife and kids, it's all they talk about! I-I couldn't handle it, I couldn't do that to them!

...I...I don't think I could be happy with Jen, knowing that it hurt them so much.

I'm coming up to the bakery, I can't go in the front...If customers saw me like this...Or my parents...

I try to duck in through the back...

...Big mistake, I pass Mom. She sees my face, I barely avoid running into her. "T-Takato!"

I keep running, I turn to the stairs...Dad's coming out of the kitchen with a tray of rolls. I trip this time as I try to avoid him, I land on my side and slide about a foot or two down the hall.

My Dad drops the tray, running to check on me. "Are you all ri-"

"F-Fine!" I shout as I practically leap up and keep running, I know my voice gave me away...I was obviously crying.

I kick my shoes off at the bottom of the stairs and charge up to my room.

I can't take this! I've hurt Jen, I've probably made it so he'll never want to talk to me again, he'll never want to see me again...

...Jen, I'm sorry...I-I don't deserve you, especially after this. I'm so sorry.

I close my door and go for my bed. I need...I need cry...To just let this out. I-I'll...feel better after thi-No, I won't. I-I know I won't feel better. This...I dreamed of it so long but...

Damn it, I hate crying like this. I haven't done it in so long, but...This time, I-I just can't hold it back.

This can't be happening. This has to be a nightmare. Jen tells me he loves me, something I've dreamed of hearing, and I ran away. I ran away because I loved him back.

Jen probably thinks I hate him, that that's why I ran away. I can't hate you, Jen, I love you. But I can't be with you, I'm sorry.

"Takato?" Dad's voice...He knocks on my door.

Please, don't...Stay away from me. I-I can't let you see me like this...

My door opens...Both of my parents come in. "Takato, what's wrong?" Mom asks.

"N-Nothing...I-I'm okay..." I barely manage to get out, it's...such an obvious lie. But I can't...I can't tell them the truth. The truth that I took the moment I had always dreamed about and ruined it! I made it into a nightmare...Just for them.

"Takato, haven't been like this since...Well, since Guilmon." Dad says. Mom sits next to me on my bed, she pats my head. Dad pulls my desk chair to the bed and sits down. "Takato, tell us."

"...I-I was...I was just...taken by surprise," I say. "It's...It's nothing! P-Please...D-Don't worry!" I cry harder, because I remember the last glimpse I saw of Jen's face, when he saw I was backing away. He looked so scared, scared that I hated him for how he felt.

I'm so sorry, Jen.

"Takato, please, what's wrong?" Dad says. "We won't be upset, whatever it is."

"Yes, you will..." D-Did I just...? I-I can't believe I just said that. Damn it, no! I can't tell them...

"Takato, I promise, we won't. No matter what." Mom puts her hand on my shoulder. "Please?"

"I...J-Jen...told me something..." I sniff. "And...I don't want to disappoint you with...How I feel about what he said." I sob harder as I realize what I'm doing. I'm telling them something I never wanted them to find out. Ever. But...

...I-I have no choice.

They'll find out, eventually, that I won't have that family they love to talk about. There's...nothing I can do about that, I tried so hard but...I can't change this. It's who I am. They'll either figure it out or...I'll just be alone. I-I don't...want to be alone, either. I-I hate the idea of being alone just as much as I hate the fact I'm about to tell them the last thing they ever wanted to hear from me.

I-I'm so sorry. Mom, Dad, I'm so, so sorry.

"Jen? Did you two have a fight?" Dad asks.

"N-No...Jen... He..." I roll onto my side. It takes me as second or two, but I sit up. I-I can't look at them, I have my head down, staring at my feet. "...I-I'm sorry...I have to say that first. I'm so sorry. I never wanted this to happen."

"Never wanted what to happen?" Mom sounds worried. "What's wrong?"

"I just...I can't help what happened..." I try my best to stay calm, to be able to speak clearly. "I love you both, and...I wished so badly to change this... The last thing...I ever wanted was this, because I knew you wouldn't like it."

"Takato. What happened?" Dad says in a serious tone. "Please. Tell us."

I take a deep breath, I exhale slowly. It takes me a few moments to finally speak...This is it."...Jen...told me he...Loves me." I choke on the last two words, I start crying again.

"Loves you? As in...?" Dad trails off. I just nod, it's all I can do. "I see."

"I had no idea Jen was..." My Mom trails off. "Is that why you're upset? Because he loves you?"

I manage to calm down, I manage to get out the words "S-Sort of...I...I..." ...I can't say any more. I-I don't want them to know, I don't even want them to know this much.

"Takato, c-can I...Can I take a wild guess?" Dad asks. "Do you feel the same way he does?"

I sob harder. Just...Hearing him say that... I'm crying again. I-I can't stop it.

...I can't do this! I just can't! Wh-Why did I tell them this much? I'm so stupid, I can't do this to them!

M-Maybe...I can still deny it...

I look up. Before I can say anything, Dad speaks up, "Um, to be honest, Takato," He scratches his head. "Lately, I've sort of wondered if this, well...if this might be the case with you. You stopped showing interest in girls, and the way you turned down Juri the other night. I-I...I thought it was what might be going on."

"We talked about the possibility a few times," Mom adds. "We didn't want to upset you by asking you, though. It was something we thought you should tell us when you were ready."

"I almost asked you about it on Thursday, after Juri," my Dad says. "But...Well, like your Mother said, we didn't want to upset you. I'm sure you've had enough trouble comes to terms with it on your own."

...I-I don't believe it...

They...They know...They knew...

They guessed...

Th-There's no denying it now. That's why Dad sounded so upset the other night, he knew.

...It takes me a minute to finally calm down enough to say anything. I sob the words, "Yes." And "I'm sorry."

"Well, if that's it..." Dad puts his hand on my shoulder. H-He's...smiling a little. How? "Takato, why are you so upset?" Wh-what does he mean? Why...why shouldn't I be upset?

"If you like Jen, why are you crying?" Mom hugs me. "He said he likes you. Why would that upset you so much?" ...M-Mom?

"Takato, please, tell us why you're so upset," Dad says. "Is there something else wrong? Whatever it is, we'll help you. We don't want to see you like this."

"...I-I ran away. After he told me..." I whisper. "You both...always talk about the family you wanted me to have...If I'm with Jen...I can't have that family. I didn't...I don't want to disappoint you. I'm so sorry."

Dad shakes his head, sighing, "Takato, we...We talked about that because you did all the time growing up. We thought it made you happy," he says. "I-If I knew this was why you turned down Juri...Or why you've suddenly dropped the subject...Takato, we're not...We're not trying to force you to do something you don't want to."

"If you want to be with Jen, that's up to you," Mom says. "Takato, this isn't something that would upset us. We love you, no matter what. And we don't mind if you love Jen, as long as Jen makes you happy." ...I-I can't believe I just heard that.

Th-They...wouldn't be disappointed? I sure they would be. I was so scared that they would even hate me because of this.

I can barely speak above a whisper. "Y-You mean...?" I sniff as I wipe my eyes with my sleeve.

My Dad pulls out his cell phone. "Call Jen and tell him you're sorry you ran away. Tell him you feel the same way." ...He wants me to call Jen?


"Please, Takato," my smiling. This is the last thing I'd ever expect him to smile about.

I look to my Mom. She smiles at me. "It's okay, Takato. Really."

" really have... no problem with this?" I speak, quietly. This has to be one of my dreams.

"As long as you're happy, Takato, that's all that matters." My Mom gives me another hug. "Call Jen. Please?"

Dad passes me his cell phone. I dial Jen's cell number.

Jen answers after two rings. "H-Hello?" He sounds like he's been crying too. I feel even worse for running. Jen doesn't cry easily.

"...Jen, I'm sorry..." I say, letting out a short sob. "W-Where are you?"


"I'm so sorry I ran. I...I want to talk to you," I hold back another sob. "It's important."

"I-I'm still at the park." He says. "Takato, a-about before-"

"Wait for me. I'll be there in a minute. Please?"

"...I will."

I hang up the phone and get up. "I-I'll be back...Thank you!" I give both of my parents a quick hug and go out through the back. I run as fast as I can to the park, back to where Jen and I talked before.

He's sitting on the bench. He was crying, too, definitely. I know that look...It's how I sometimes look, more often than I want to. "JEN!" I shout. I was pretty loud. I couldn't help it, I'm excited!

I can love Jen! I can be with Jen!

Jen gets up, he looks away as I run to him. "T-Takato...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"

I hug him. He goes silent. "I love you, too, Jen." ...I've always wanted to say that. My heart is pounding, I feel some tears in my eyes again. Not because I'm sad or upset. Not anymore.


"I was scared. I didn't know that I could return your feelings. I've felt the same for so long, but I-I was scared. I-I was really scared of liking you back," I say, I hold him a little tighter. "Please forgive me, Jen."

Jen hugs me back. "O-Of course...What...made you change your mind?"

"...I had a talk," I smile, letting him go. "Jen, thank you for telling me. I never would have been able to tell you. I've felt like this for a long time, and...I never thought there was a chance you would like me back."

Jen wipes his eyes. "I've liked you for a long time, too. I told you because we're always so happy when we're together, I thought...maybe there was a chance..." He shrugs, smiling at me.

"I-I'm always happy to be with you, Jen. Because I felt the same way." I sigh, lowering my head. "I'm so sorry." Jen gives me a hug...I love being hugged by Jen.

"Y-You came back, Takato. I'm not mad, not even a little. Don't apologize." He says, he sounds so relieved. I am, too.

I'm about to talk when my cell phone beeps...I just got a text message. Jen lets me go as I reach for my phone...

...I can't believe what it says:

Come home with our
future son-in-law
for that special dinner
We're so happy for our son
Love Mom&Dad

"...Jen, like to go to dinner?" I ask, putting my phone away.

"D-Dinner?" Jen lets out a surprised laugh. "Um...Sure, where?"

"I...Know a place," I smile. I hold out my hand, he takes it. We start to walk through the park. He's probably going to be a little surprised by where we're going but...My family accepts us. They told me to call Jen. They wanted me to tell Jen I loved him. They want him to come to dinner. Th-They even...

...Ha ha ha!

I laugh a little, Jen looks to me as we walk down the street. "What's so funny?"

"N-Nothing..." I laugh a little more, smiling at him.

...J-Jen didn't confess more than maybe half an hour ago and...My parents already called him their future son-in-law...

...I love them so much right now.

And I just remembered, today's Saturday. We'll have Guilmon bread with that dinner. This time, I won't be thinking of Jen...

...I'll have him next to me.


Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
Merry Christmas, Taiki. What else could I possibly give you but a Leekato? I thought since Reiji got his present today, Twerp-chan should get his, too. Hope you liked it!

The story behind this is that Taiki commented that I always write off the Matsudas with varying levels of homophobia, they never completely accept Takato and Jen's relationship. The Lis? Always (save for Jianliang's Grandfather in Duan Xiu Zhi Pi)! The Matsudas...Varies. The one exception is Blasphemous Rumors, but...That's sort of a special case given how they found out...And even then, Takehiro says he "may have had some trouble [accepting Takato as gay]." So, yeah...

Taiki, have I FINALLY made up for Blasphemous Rumors with this one? Or do I still owe Takato more "happy" fics?

Anyway, I thought I'd give Taiki a Leekato where the Matsudas have no problem with it as a Christmas present. I sort of borrowed a bit from Xiong, with Takato running away after Jianliang confesses to him.

Actually, I'll be honest, I wanted to try doing a "triple ending" for Xiong: Good (Takato loves Jianliang), neutral (Takato's straight, but still wants to be friends) and bad (Takato hates Jianliang)...Oh and COMPLETELY unrealistic (Takato hates Jianliang, Lianjie drags him to the Li apartment to apologize, Takato ends up with Jianliang, this was mostly for fun)...But in the end, I remember that what I liked about Xiong was the open ending, so I scrapped the idea but used the "good ending" as the basis for this.

I thought the "Takato's crushes" thing would work as a means to make Takato think they'd be upset when, in reality, they just wanted him to be happy with someone. Anyone. Even Jianl-Actually, because this is Taiki's Christmas present, ESPECIALLY Jianliang Li.

Twerp-chan, I gotta say though...You really, really need to obsess over another couple. I'm not saying quit Leekato (for you, I don't think that's possible, not until they invent some sort of slash-patch or gay-gum or something), but... ...Got anything else? I'm turning into a one-trick pony here!

Oh, and one last note since this occurs so many times in my fics someone's bound to comment on it: In Japan, you only get Sunday off from school. So Jianliang and Takato walking home from school on a Saturday isn't an error, Japan's school system is just...A little more intense than ours...And that's an understatement.

Japan, ever hear the words "all work and no play?" Hm?

...Oh, fine, be that way, Japan! We'll just throw a bitchin' Christmas Kegger at Toudai while the bitter old Dean isn't looking!



(Merry Christmas, everyone!)

Taiki's Notes:

Aw, I loved it! Thank you, Ori! Happy Christmas! And, um, don't drink too much at the party at Toudai.

And, regarding another pairing, could you give Taiki Kudou and Zenjirou a try? Actually, no, no, I get enough gay jokes from you as it is. The last thing I want is you to joke around that I'm the Taiki who wants Zenjirou instead of Taiki Kudou.

Honestly, Ori, we straight male slash fans do exist! And we're not that uncommon!

I can only imagine the comebacks to that running through Ori's head right now if he's reading these notes. Like that comic he drew on his DA account, right? If you haven't seen it, it's "Ori's FFN Mailbag 1." I wrote my lines for that one, by the way! Just check the "homepage" link in the profile for Ori's DeviantArt account.

Aha! I know! For someone who claims Jyoushiro is what got him into slash (well, Taito was the real catalyst for Ori and slash but Jyoushiro was his first favorite pairing) you didn't write that many. I'd love to see you give it another try! Or, maybe, just make a new version of Hidden Behind the Computer? Hm?

For those who don't know (which is all of you, pretty much): Hidden Behind the Computer was Ori's (technical) first slash (first slash on FFN, thus technical). He hates it now but I managed to get a copy of it from him and for something so early (like, his SECOND FIC EVER early) I thought it was very cute.

Again, YES, I am straight! I simply love a good romance and Jenkato is the perfect romance!

Happy Christmas to all and may you have a Jenkato filled New Year!
-Taiki Matsuki