EDITOR'S NOTE: This chapter is out of order with the others, it takes place any time between Chapter II and Chapter VI. -Taiki Matsuki


Mizuiro No Yuuki
Chapter VIII: My Son (Matsuda Takehiro)


So, it's...official. Takato is, in fact, gay. I...I admit, I never thought this would happen, but... Well, it's something I know he had no control over. I'm not disappointed in him or ashamed. Surprised, yes, but...He's still my son.

I never even considered this until last night. I'm sorry Takato overheard us, I'm sure he was either really nervous or really embarrassed at the thought of us discussing that sort of thing about him. But I'm actually proud of him for writing that letter. I know it's not something that's easy to tell people. Especially your own parents.

I look at the computer in the back office of the bakery...The gay teen help site my wife looked up is displayed. I want to know what Takato might have been going through. I want to understand so it's easier for both of us when he comes home...

...Especially if things don't end well. I'm actually really nervous about how his friends might react. I'm trying to think about what each of them would say...

...Juri, I know she liked him and I think he did turn her down. Takato never really talked about it. I know she doesn't come by as often as she used to and she doesn't bring up the idea of them going out any more when she does. In fact, I once overheard her ask Takato about his "mystery girlfriend." I guess he told her he liked someone else or something, I meant to ask him about it but it slipped my mind. It was a day I had to get out a huge order of Guilmon bread...That stuff sells so well, it's amazing. Everyone loves Guilmon, I guess. I don't think she'd be too upset, if she's still his friend after being turned down.

Hirokazu... ...That's going to be interesting. I know he's girl-crazy. I often overhear him and Kenta talking about the girls at school...That's not a good sign, I think. Well, they could be open minded but...Given how much Hirokazu goes on about girls (especially this one waitress at a ramen shop, he came by ONCE last week and would not stop talking about 'Yuki-chan'), I'm worried he'll be a little "grossed out" or something. But...At the same time, they're both Takato's oldest friends. They wouldn't abandon him so easily. I hope.

Jenrya... ...That's who Takato loves and... ...Gods, please, let Jenrya at least stay his friend if he doesn't like Takato back. Even before the idea that he was gay came about, I know how close those two are and how much Takato cares about Jenrya. If Takato couldn't be his friend... ...He'd be devastated. I-I don't think Takato could handle that. He's always talking about Jenrya. Jenrya this, Jenrya that, what he and Jenrya are going to do that weekend... ...It's amazing that I never suspected anything just from that. If Takato says he loves Jenrya, then... ...It's obvious.

Takato, I really hope you end up with Jenrya...I know, most Fathers don't wish their son to be with another male but... ...If it would make Takato happy, then that's what I want for him.

Now for this web site... ...I feel sort of weird looking at this, but...I want to understand. I want to be able to talk to Takato about this and not constantly ask stupid questions I should probably know the answer to. I just...never really looked into this kind of thing. At most, I've seen a couple gay comedies on television if there's nothing else on. And...Takato doesn't act like that. He's not "flaming." He's...Takato.

...Okay...I think I should start with... "Why am I gay?" ...Well...Because...You like men? ...Th-That's...why! I mean... They don't know "why" people are gay yet, do they? It's just...what happens. I know it's not a choice...

...Okay, what about this... "Coming out." That...That would be a good place to look. It's what Takato's doing today. He's coming out. Let's...see how people do that.

I click on the link and it loads a list of "user submitted coming out stories." ...Okay...Let's read...

Dear Gay Teen Help,

My name is Hideo. Last year, I came out to my family in an email while at college. I had just entered a relationship and I thought it was time my family knew about me. I wish I could say they all took it well..

My Mom supported me, she said she had suspected it for a while. My sister was also behind me. My little brother, Yosuke, however, hasn't really spoken with me as much as he used to.

What? ...His little brother? Why?

I guess he wasn't ready to know. Despite my Mom and Sister's attempts at talking to him, my little brother thinks that I'm "gross." He and I used to be really close and...I still care about him but he doesn't really want much to do with me. I think it's because, after I came out, some of his friends started picking on him for having a gay brother.

That's not your fault, though! It's those punks who he should be mad at! That's just not fair.

Things have gotten a little better between us. Yosuke's birthday was a couple weeks before I sent in this story and I got him the new Digimon World Game. He was really excited and wanted to play it with me. It was the first time we'd done anything like that together in a year. We're both gamers, I guess. Things are more like they used to be, as long as the subject doesn't come up but... ...I'm sorry he's taking it so hard. I'm not mad at him, I'm mad at whoever picks on him.

-Hideo

I'm glad this guy's brother is coming around but...He shouldn't distance himself from his brother just because some stupid kids make fun of him. Then again, kids are cruel... Well, Takato wasn't. He was...always a nice kid. Jenrya, too.

I click on another story.

Dear Gay Teen Help,

I don't regret coming out, not anymore but...For the first year it was Hell.

...That's...not a good start.

My name is Takayoshi. I'm in high school, I want to be an artist when I'm out of college. I used to draw a lot of Digimon artwork when I was younger...I still do but a lot of it is, well, my favorite pairings. Daiken forever!

...Takato's an artist and Digimon fan. I-I don't think he draws his favorite 'pairings,' but...If he did, it wouldn't surprise me with this "gay" revelation. I know a lot anime and game fans draw or write stuff like that, their favorite couples. I've seen a lot of Takato's recent artwork, though, he still draws Digimon and things like that. He drew a really amazing picture of "Vampiredemon" or something like that doing this attack with these red whips or something. Takato is really good at drawing these days.

I met my best friend through Digimon, actually. He was a huge Adventure fan like I was, we even had the same favorite character: The Digimon Kaiser.

Um...You lost me. He's the bad guy, right?

A lot times, we joked about how the Kaiser always had a trap for Daisuke and called him things like "pretty boy" and stuff...I guess I was kind of hinting that I was...into that kind of thing with him, I just made it sound like a joke. We joked that the Kaiser had a thing for Daisuke, I supported the pairing, I didn't think he did. Sorry to go on about my favorite yaoi couples, but it's part of the story.

Uh-huh.

Well, anyway, one day I was on my friend's computer and found a fan fic he was writing. It was of Daisuke and Ken after Ken wasn't the Kaiser anymore. Daisuke forgave him and...He left off just before the kiss. When my friend saw I was reading it, he freaked out and claimed it wasn't what I thought it was. I asked him if he could finish it, I wanted to know if Daisuke felt the same way or not. After that, he told me he was bi and I told him I was gay. We, um, actually waited a long time before our first kiss. We were just that in the closet. We were "gay friends" not "in love." We held hands sometimes but nothing was official for a while. I guess we were afraid or something.

He...met his...best friend through Digimon. That's sort of what Takato did. Takato...he's still a huge Digimon fan. I know he's a little old for it but... ...He went to the Digital World, he's allowed to be a fan for life. He loves the games, too...He spent months saving up for a hand held system so he and Jenrya could play Digimon World or something against each other. I-I helped him with it, I bought the game for him after he bought the system.

He was really happy, I think it was because it meant Jenrya would be coming over even more.

...This...kid really reminds me of Takato, I guess.

When we were in high school, we started to take things seriously. We kissed for the first time during freshman winter break. After that we were an item. I called him 'Ken-chan,' since his name is close to Ken's (I won't give his name to you, though, sorry). Come our second year, I thought it was time my family knew about us. My Dad had been telling me to go out with someone, about how when he was in high school "he had a ton of girlfriends." ...It was after one of those conversations, I asked him, "Dad, what if I told you I was in love with Ken?"

He freaked out, telling me I was "confused" and "going through a stupid phase." He didn't let "Ken-chan" come over anymore, we only saw each other at school and his house (his parents were actually cool with it, his sister once walked in on us kissing and said we were cute together after the shock wore off). When he found out I was still seeing Ken-chan, he threatened that I either stop seeing him or get out of the house.

Wh-What? ...What the hell kind of Father would do that to their son? O-Over something he had...no control over...

...Is this what...Takato was afraid of? That...I might react like this? ...Takato...I-I would never, ever do that to you! But, then again, I'm sure...Takayoshi thought his Father wouldn't... ...Gods...I-I feel so bad for this kid...

I-I could never threaten to throw Takato out. Especially over this... ...But, even I know that's one of the worst horror stories out there. It's what Takato was probably afraid of, or at the very least I would be disappointed in him. ...I'm sorry you were so scared, Takato.

My Mom sort of helped, she wasn't thrilled about Ken-chan and I but she didn't want me to get thrown out. My Dad just stopped speaking to me for a long time, he'd ignore me mostly. A few times he set me up on blind dates with girls, friends of the family. It was really annoying, especially since he'd sort of chaperone us to make sure I didn't sneak off or something. I-I wouldn't, actually, I'm not into girls but I don't want to be rude! And it was also really embarrassing.

Gods...That's just horrible. I-I wouldn't force anything like that on Takato. H-He likes Jenrya and if that's who he likes, that's who he likes! I wouldn't want to make him "go straight," h-he can't!

...This "Father" is an idiot and... ...To think he'd do this to his own son.

In the last few months, I think he's given up. He knows I won't grow out of this "phase" and that I'm just not into girls. He's even let Ken-chan come over again. Ken-chan can't spend the night or even stay for dinner but it's an improvement. We still don't talk like we used to. I wish I could say my Dad still cares about me like before but..I just don't know. I hope he does because I still care about him, I know he just doesn't understand what I'm going through. I know, if he did, he wouldn't be like this.

Things are looking better, I guess. I'll keep you guys posted if things change,

-Takayoshi

I...I can't believe it... His own Father is like that...

...And...Takato was probably afraid that would be a best case scenario for him. I-I know Takato doesn't think I'm some kind of monster but I know he was probably afraid of that sort of reaction from me or his mother...

...Takato, I-I want you to be happy! I want you to be with Jenrya! I don't care who you love, as long as you're happy! Please, Takato...Don't...be afraid to talk to me about this. You're...my son. You'll always be my son... I'm proud of you.

"...Takehiro?"

"H-Huh?"

"...Are you...okay?"

"Y-Yeah..." I turn. My wife is standing at the door frame, looking at me. "S-Something wrong?"

"...Takehiro...You're...crying."

Wh-What?

I feel my cheeks...I...I am crying. I-I can't believe I didn't notice... "I-I...was just...reading some of these stories. About teens who came out and...This one kid, he reminds me so much of Takato. H-His Father...isn't speaking to him because he's gay. I-I think...that's what Takato's afraid of. That...we'd act like that."

"I know he doesn't think we're that kind of people, Takehiro."

"I know," I nod, wiping my eyes. "But...The fact it even ran through his mind, I-I can just imagine how afraid he was before he overheard us. ...Wh-When he gets home, I want Takato to know he can talk to us about this, always. I-I'm not ashamed of Takato...My son."

"T-Takehero... H-Here..."

I wipe my eyes again, looking away. I feel a tissue pressed against my arm. "Th-Thanks..." I take the tissue, wiping my eyes.

"I-I can't...believe you're this worked up..."

"...He's an artist. Like Takato. I guess when I read his story, I thought of Takato instead of some nameless kid online. N-no, he wasn't nameless... H-His name is Takayoshi. I-I..." My wife gives me a hug, I stammer a bit before going silent and hugging back... ...I kinda needed that, I guess...

I-I never thought I'd get this upset reading these stories but... ...I think about this poor kid and then Takato, how Takato was so afraid he would end up like this kid if he told us. Or if we found out. And I know Takato doesn't like to talk about personal things like this, so the fact he left a letter...That tells me how much it took for him to write it and actually tell us. And how much of a relief it is to him that we'd accept him...

"...I'm glad you're this worried for Takato, but...I-I think you should go to another part of that site. I-I've never seen you cry over something like this," she says. "Please?"

I nod. "I-I guess I should...A-And I should..get back to baking. We have some Guilmon bread to make for Takato. ...Do you think he'll be okay?"

"Takato's strong and his friends are good friends. I'm sure he'll be okay when he comes home. And, no matter what, we'll be there for him."

"Yeah..." I smile. "Takato...doesn't have anything to worry about from us."

Takato, I promise...I've never been more proud of you. It takes a lot of courage to do this, knowing how some people would react. Please, no matter what, be yourself and don't be afraid...

...Son.

~Owari~


Ori's Notes:
After the "last chapter" (Takato POV, not Lianjie POV) I wanted to cover Takehiro on the teen help site. Sorry this one is out of order with the others.

This was a little weird to write since I usually play Takehiro as the homophobic parent, but it was also really easy to write him as supportive. I hope you liked how it turned out.

Anyway, I think that's it for this fic (for real this time!)...These two ideas just sort of hit me and I wanted to write them out. Hope you enjoyed! Now I need to work on the other stuff I've been planning for January...Oy, I got a busy month ahead of me.


Taiki's Notes:

Takehiro's not the only one to shed a tear for Takayoshi! Poor Takayoshi, and I can see why his story got to Takehiro so much. I'm really glad to see another fic where Takehiro supports his son, especially this much.

Thank you for the extra chapters, Ori, and good luck with your January projects! I'll be waiting patiently to edit them for you!

-Taiki Matsuki