A Glass of Water


Ugh...Hirokazu had to talk me into that extra helping of tonkatsu ramen...Sure, we split the bowl but I've never had heartburn like this. Not even close.

I woke up about an hour after I went to sleep and every couple minutes my throat burned, I tried to fall back to sleep for about half an hour before I realized I had to get a glass of water and some stomach pills from the bathroom medicine cabinet...

I pass by my parents' room with the glass of water, I took the pills in the bathroom. The water is to try to put out my throat if the pills aren't enough.

"...You...really think it's possible? Takato could be...?" ...What? Dad? ...I could be what?

"Well, he's in high school now and...Well, he just doesn't talk about it." I don't...talk about what, Mom?

I stand off to the side of the door...I know, I shouldn't listen in but if they're talking about me...

"High school isn't...all about dating, you know that," my Dad says. D-Dating? Wh-What's this about...d-dating?

"Yeah, but...Well, there's also, um..." Also what?

"...How often he's with...Jenrya, right?" ...Oh, no...

"Yeah...I mean, they're always together and...Jenrya practically lives here at times, same with Takato at Jenrya's... If you replaced Jenrya with Juri, what would you think?" No, no, no...

"...I'd think he and Juri were dating," my Dad says, quietly. ...Please, no...

Suddenly...Heartburn is the least of my worries...

...I might throw up instead...

"I'm wondering if that might be what's going on with him," my Mom says. "He's been sort of distant lately, too. He's been so quiet and, honestly, I think he's been a little depressed. Maybe he's...still dealing with it."

Th-They...They're talking about...me being...

...Gay...

I don't believe this! My parents actually...talk about that sort of thing? My Mom actually suspects me of that? She pays...that much attention to how I've been acting lately?

I didn't know she even noticed anything like that...Like if I'm quiet or...

...Sort of depressed...

...I...guess I didn't do as good a job hiding it as...I thought. ...Damn it...

I-I at least know how to prepare, in case they ask...I-I can plan my reaction, I'll know what they might say. I can still hide this, I don't have to tell them.

Ever.

"Dealing with it?"

"...I looked up a teen help site earlier, Takehiro. I mean, we both know it's not a choice, right?" Wait, she did research on this? I-I've been to a couple sites but...They didn't help me that much.

"Yeah, I know, if...it's the case, Takato didn't choose it. It's...just what happens." ...Why does it have to happen to me, though? That's what I've been asking myself for a year now, in-between bouts of denial in the form of 'oh, look, sexy girl! I'm still straight! She's so hot, look at her hot boobs...Yeah... ...hot... Can't...get enough of those-Wow, Shirts and Skins game on the soccer field! Boobs suck! Shirts, too, go Skins!'

...That was actually last week, after school, Hirokazu was checking out the girls that were doing track sports near our bench while I was more than a little distracted by a shirts and skins soccer game not too far from us. I felt relatively safe since Hirokazu was a lot more distracted than I was.

...If Jen was skins in that game instead of shirts, though...

"Would it bother you if he were gay?" ...Good question, Mom.

It takes Dad a second to answer. "...It'd take some getting used to, but... ...In the end, Takato's no different than he's always been. I-I'd just be shocked at first." ...Really?

...I've had nightmares of how they'd react... ...Or how my friends would react. If Jen...didn't want to speak to me anymore, I-I don't...I don't know how I'd be able to handle that.

I'm really hung up on Jen, and it's been driving me insane. Especially for the past year. We're such close friends, I-I'm sometimes so tempted to tell him because...I sometimes think he might feel the same, but I know...I'm just being delusional. He can't. I'm not that lucky.

We're always happy together, though. But that's because we're friends, not because he likes me that way. I don't even know how he feels about... ..."This." I don't know if "this" would bother him or not. I don't want to risk it, I don't want to bring "this" up around him...Ever.

However, the fact...my Dad would 'just be shocked at first?' ...I-I...I'm dreaming, probably. I've never pictured my Dad to be thrilled about his...gay son... I thought I'd just disappoint him, and that was the best case scenario.

"I...wouldn't even be all that shocked," my Mom says. "I just don't like seeing Takato upset. The site said that it's...really hard, keeping it a secret, having to put on a show for friends and family. And telling parents, the site said it's one of the hardest and scariest things to do." ...It is. It really is, just thinking about telling my parents is scary...And I sometimes want to just so I don't feel like I'm lying to them...

And with my friends...I know I probably sound like an idiot every time I talk about girls with Hirokazu. He gives me these 'dateless loser for life' looks now and then because of it...I-I just...

I don't like girls, how am I supposed to rant on and on about how much I "love" girls when I love Jen?

...I-I...I love...

...Jen...

...That's the first time I've...ever said I love Jen to myself. ...That's progress, I guess. I-I wish I could say "I love you" to Jen and he wouldn't be grossed out or offended. And he could even say it back to me.

...I wish...

"Really? ...Do you...think we should talk to him about it? Just ask him or something?" Th-That...No! Even knowing they wouldn't mind, I don't see any way that wouldn't be a really awkward conversation...

How would they even start it? 'Takato, do you like boys or girls?' ...Not something I'd want to hear from my parents...

"No, I mean...if we're wrong, especially," my Mom laughs a little. "...Takato would...be so mad, I think." ...I-I...I'd actually...admit to it after hearing this...Maybe. "But, I sort of...want to hint at things, at least. Just in case, to let him know that it's okay."

"...Yeah, it's okay. What should we do? ...Jokingly say 'off to see your boyfriend' whenever he goes to see Jen or something?" ...No, please, anything but that, Dad! Anything!

My Mom laughs, "No, maybe... ...I don't know...Um...Just bring up the subject and...show support. Like if there's...something in the news or something. Or even...make up a story about a pair of gay customers when he comes home...Just, let him know we don't have a problem with that subject. It might put him at ease, even if he doesn't tell us right away, he might feel better." ...Thank you, Mom. That would be a lot easier.

I still don't know how I'd tell them, even after hearing all this. I'm just so used to hiding it and I've always had it in my mind that I would take this secret to the grave.

"Okay, tomorrow...Um...I'll say...These two customers came in and...I thought they were a gay couple. No, I knew they were a gay couple. I could just...tell how much they loved each other from how they interacted. It...was very touching, they cared about each other so deeply and...I was happy to see a young couple so in love." ...Wow...Dad...Just... ...Wow...

"T-Takehiro, that's...I-I can't believe you came up with that!" Mom laughs.

"...Neither can I," Dad laughs. "...Do you really think it's possible, though? Not that I disapprove, but..."

"...I really think it is. Juri is...the main reason. She's given up on asking him out, have you noticed?"

...Juri...

"Right...I mean, she...really wanted to be with him. ...Yeah, she's stopped coming by and all that, too. It was obvious she really liked him." ...I know...

I told Juri...there was someone else. I-I was just so tired of how she wanted us to go out and...I didn't want her to think I was leading her on. She took it well but now, whenever I see her she asks who my 'mystery girlfriend' is. She even asked me earlier today when I saw her at school...

...I jokingly said 'Jen.' I-I don't even know why, I was just...being stupid, I guess.

She took me seriously. And...congratulated me! I-I told her I was joking, she was really embarrassed (not as much as I was, though, but I think I hid it well). I laughed, to...hide that I was really worried she suspected something...Actually, it's sort of obvious she did, if she...congratulated me! Wait, does that mean she suspects Jen, too...?

Well, at least I know how she'd react if I ever came out for real. That really helped...

...I almost did, actually. We spent...a few minutes joking about it. It was fun, I got to "pretend" to be gay for a little bit. But at the last second, Hirokazu came up behind me and gave me his dinner invite for that ramen shop he'd been going on about for a few weeks now. Not so much the food but the "really cute waitress."

"I know it's not undeniable proof, but...They were so close, if he didn't love her back...Well..."

"I know what you mean...We'll...start to hint that it's okay. And see what he does."

They finish their conversation shortly after that, just...talk of how to 'hint' that it's okay for me to...tell them.

Their lights are off and they're either going to sleep or already asleep...I've just...been standing here, lost in thought...

...They guessed. If they did, who else might have? ...I mean, what if...Jen suspects? ...If he...suspects then...

...He hasn't acted any different around me. ...No-one else really has...Maybe it's...just my parents.

Wait...Today at dinner...I went with Hirokazu, Kenta and Jen to the ramen place Hirokazu liked.

Last week, when he first brought it up, he said it had a "really hot waitress with a great ass. She's there every night." He talked about her a lot, I think he has a thing for her, even...

But tonight...

...Hirokazu got his favorite waitress, her name was Yuki and she was the one assigned to our table. Not once did Hirokazu do his usual "check her out" thing. I was expecting it after we left, in case he was trying to be polite (for once) around her. I even asked when we left, "Was that the waitress?"

His response was a nod, saying, "Yeah, that was her. ...Like her?"

I replied with a shrug, I wasn't up to "girl talk." And Hirokazu said, "Yeah, I thought so." In...this sort of playful tone. I didn't think anything of it at the time but, looking back...

...I-I think he suspects or even knows. I mean, what else does "I thought so" mean in a situation like that? ...But...

...The whole time at dinner, he was acting like the same friend he always was. Kenta and Jen, too. ...Do they...?

No, I'm...just reading too much into things. Unless...

...Did Hirokazu overhear me talking to Juri? I almost panicked when he came up behind me and put an arm on my shoulder while I was joking with Juri about... ...going out with Jen... He didn't say anything or act any different, so I figured that he didn't hear me.

But, after dinner...Does Hirokazu suspect? Did he tell Jen and Kenta? Should I just...admit it now? I-I'm so tired of hiding it but I don't want to lose my friends...

...But...

...If my parents would accept me...

I look to the glass in my hand. I...I don't have heartburn anymore, the pills...must've worked or what I heard gave my digestive system something else to worry about... I still have some of that lingering 'butterflies in my stomach' feeling from what I heard.

...Well, at the very least...I need to do something before I go to bed.


Mrs. Matsuda's POV


Takato left for school a few minutes ago. He was really quiet at breakfast, he said it was because he had trouble sleeping, but something really seemed to be bothering him. He was nervous when he left, I could tell just from his voice as he said goodbye and ran out the door. Actually, he ran out pretty quickly, too.

I looked for something in the paper that I could say to Takato at breakfast, like Takehiro and I planned. I didn't find anything.

I'm amazed by how Takehiro took to the idea. I was concerned that he'd disapprove, even at the mere suggestion. This morning, before we made breakfast, he told me he thought about it some more and...He just wants Takato to be happy, to not have to worry. He doesn't care who our son is with, as long as he's happy like he was before. We even talked about how Takato has been acting lately.

Takato really has been depressed for a long time now, it's just become more and more obvious in the past few months. Looking back, it's hard to tell how long but...It's been too long. Takato would often be so quiet in his room, even after finishing his schoolwork and...

...I didn't tell Takehiro this but now and then, if he has his door open, I'd see Takato looking at a picture he keeps, one of himself and Jenrya. That's why I think he might like Jenrya. And, well, the two are really close, it's also the few times Takato's ever really happy these days...When he's with Jenrya.

And that website talked a lot about just how stressful it is, having to act "normal" and be so afraid of how people around him might act if they even suspected him as gay...I don't want Takato to be scared. If that's who he is, that's who he is and he shouldn't have to hide it.

...So, Takato, if this is what's been bothering you, please don't be scared anymore.

I pass through the hall behind the front, Takehiro is in the kitchen baking while I'm about to open up for the day.

I unlock the door and sit at the cash register, I open it up to check if it needs change-What the...?

...There's an envelope on top of the cash tray. It has "Mom" written on it. I open it and pull out a letter...

Dear Mom,

Last night, I had to get a glass of water and I passed
by your room. Please don't be upset that I
listened in but I heard what you and Dad talked
about. I didn't know you suspected this of me.

I was very relieved to hear what you said because
you were right. For the past year I've been dealing
with the fact that I've been attracted to Jen.
I can even now say that I love Jen.

It's always scared me, thinking about how you and
Dad would react if you found out. I was so scared
at first when I heard you say you suspected this but
I was so relieved when I heard Dad say he would
accept me.

I've decided that today I'm also going to tell my friends.
Hirokazu, Kenta, Juri and, especially, Jen. I'm going to
tell Jen how I feel. I think I can do this now because
I know you two will be there for me, no matter how
things turn out.

Thank you, so much.

Love,
Takato

...Takato...

Good luck. I-I hope Jenrya...feels the same way.

"Hey, I think I got an idea...for your hinting-at-it thing..." ...Takehiro, your timing is perfect.

"...He's gay," I say, softly, still looking down at the letter.

"Wh-What? How do you know?"

I turn, I pass Takehiro the letter. "...He heard us talking last night. I found this in the register."

"...Wow..." Takehiro reads the letter, just looking at his eyes as he reads it I can tell he's being thorough. "...He's...going to tell his friends? Really?"

"I'm just as shocked...I can't believe knowing we'd accept him would do this much for him." I smile for a moment, but I then give Takehiro a serious expression when I realize something. "This...could go either way."

Takehiro nods. "...When it gets close to when he usually comes home...I'll make some Guilmon bread to either celebrate or make him feel better."

"I'll keep an eye out for him up front...I hope Jenrya feels the same."

"Me, too..." Takehiro says, smiling slightly. "If Jenrya doesn't feel the same though, I think he'll still be Takato's friend."

"Jenrya wouldn't abandon Takato," I say. "I can't picture it."

Takehiro reads over the letter once more before passing it back to me. "I'll start on the dough. I hope we're celebrating."

"I'm really glad you're supportive of Takato...I was worried about how you'd react last night," I say.

"It wasn't something I planned on for him but...It's not something he could control, I shouldn't get upset over something he didn't choose," Takehiro says. "...What website did you look up? I sort of...want to get some information from it."

"Watch the register for a minute, I'll go put it up on the computer for you."

"Thanks."


I've been watching the clock non-stop since 3:00...Takato's school let out then, it's been almost an hour. He doesn't usually take this long to come home... I-I'm so nervous for him, just...what might happen if his friends don't approve. Especially Jenrya...I know Takato wouldn't be able to handle Jenrya being upset at him...Even possibly hating him.

Takehiro spent the morning on the website I had looked up. He's become even more supportive of Takato. Not to say he wasn't supportive before but...I think it has to do with reading a few of the "horror stories," of parents who aren't so accepting. He said he wanted Takato to feel completely comfortable around us, no matter what...He wanted Takato to be himself, to be happy.

Takehiro just put a fresh batch of Guilmon bread in the oven, he's been checking up front every few minutes, too. I think he's even more anxious than I am.

I look at my cell phone...Maybe I missed a text message or call.

As I open my cell phone's menu, I hear the bell at the door ring. I look up...

...Takato...

...And Jenrya is walking in after him...

...Thank the Gods...

"...Takato, how was school today?" I ask with a smile. I'm tempted to hold up Takato's letter, but...Just in case he lost his nerve and Jenrya is just here as a friend, I'll play dumb.

Takato looks to Jenrya, smiling, "It couldn't have been better. Sorry I'm a little late..."

"...Takato and I...had a long talk," Jenrya says.

I'm about to ask what they talked about when I notice...

...Jenrya is holding Takato's hand.

~Owari~


Original Author (AKA Ori's) Notes:
Eh...I don't know where this came from. I guess after doing Twerp-chan's Christmas gift and Midnight Buzzed, I wanted to do another "The Matsudas accept it" fic before the year was out.

As usual, I don't know if this is one of my better ones...But I feel that way about every fic. Though, I kinda want to do some related follow ups to this, but...Eh, we'll see how they go if I type them out.

On a related note: I've decided that I'm going to spend January working on some multi-chapter projects. I only let Taiki post multi-chapter projects after I've mostly finished them (Life of A Dark Master being the exception - No central plot, it's a short story collection so it's always going to be technically finished\unfinished). So, don't expect to see any of them right away.

I've only got two projects I'm ready to give any details on:

The first is the Limping Osamu Project, which I can't make promises on but...I'm going to give it a shot and try to make it worthy of putting up. I'm still worried about some of the content, but...Well, no-one complained about Ryou in Midnight Buzzed, so I think I can kick it up a notch with this one without too much to worry about (please, correct me if I'm wrong here!). And thanks to everyone who's given feedback on this idea, by the way!

As for the other...I've got a little Kenta-centric fic in mind that's reminiscent of Akogare, I think. It's called "Just The Way I Am." It's mostly in the planning stages with parts of the first chapter written but...I think it'll be a fun one. Kenta's always fun to write about!

Hope you all have a Happy New Year!


Taiki's Notes:

The Matsudas accepting Takato? Right at the beginning? And it's not a Christmas fic?

Who is this? And what has he done to Ori? How dare you impersonate Twisted Bastard-sempai! I don't care if you did write a Jenkato, Ori's the one I edit for! Not you, impersonator!

Ha ha ha, I think Ori's officially made it up to Takato for Blasphemous Rumors. Now he just needs to make things up to Ryou and Kenta for their fics! Well, actually, I think last Christmas covered Kenta. Ryou, however, Ori told me feels bad for pairing him with Osamu and having to follow 02's continuity (especially in Omoide Ga Ippai).

As for his multi-chapter fics: The reason Ori has a "don't post until it's finished" policy is because he doesn't want any abandoned projects on the new account. He wants to play things safe. Which works nicely for us since I can often put up a chapter (or two or three!) a day if Ori lets me. Wish him luck, everyone!

Happy New Year, everyone! May 2011 be the Year of Jenkato!
-Taiki Matsuki

EDIT: Apologies if at one point you clicked this link and got The Life of A Dark Master Chapter V instead, I fixed an error I found after I posted this and accidentally replaced the old version with that fic instead. It was for all of thirty seconds but just in case I still apologize for it.

That's what I get for misplacing a period! - Taiki Matsuki