"...Hirokazu, are you okay?"
"You're shaking like...I've never seen you shake like this before. Are you sure you want to do this?" Kenta looks to me, taking my wrist. "We don't have to if you're still not ready..."
"I-I'm sure the others...have already guessed or, at least, suspect. E-Everyone...knows about you," I say. "I-I just..."
"I know, you're the 'super-manly' one of the group...And you still are," Kenta smiles. "I mean, Hirokazu, you're...Hirokazu. You can still kick ass in a fight, you're still...yourself! You're bi, you didn't turn into a girl. And if you magically did, you'd be more like Ruki than Juri."
"I-I know, I know..." My eyes dart back and forth, I hope no-one heard that. Kenta and I are walking through the park...
...Ever since last Christmas, we've...been more than friends. Kenta came out ot his parents, they freaked out so he ran out and came to my place for the night. His parents apologized the next day for their overreaction and accept Kenta now, but... It was one hell of a Christmas Eve.
It's been a month since then and...Everyone's heard about Kenta. They all know he's gay, just not that we're...together. Well, okay, the first thing Ruki did was congratulate us for being a couple but... ...I-I sort of...immediately denied it. I-I felt like such an ass afterward but...When we were alone, Kenta told me he understood. ...He knew I wasn't ready. He knows I'm...really, really, really "in the closet."
...That was about three weeks ago. I-I'm ready now. We're...telling the others. They're waiting for us at Guilmon's spot. ...They all probably know, I mean...Kenta and I got enough gay jokes from Ruki and Ryou before we were together...Hell, Jen, Takato and even Juri would join in sometimes! It...didn't bug me too much before because, well, it wasn't true at the time but...
...I-I'm bi. I like guys and girls. I just liked Kenta the most between the two. A-And that's cool with me, I'm happy with Kenta! He was my best friend before and, now, he's... ...Well, my best friend who I can also kiss on the lips. "Boyfriend" just...sounds too weird for me to use.
My family knows, after Kenta came over and I confessed to him we kinda fell asleep next to each other on the couch. My Dad woke us up and...They, um, were more shocked I was bi. Long story involving browsing history and some shounen-ai manga. So, it's...not like it's that big of a secret at home. But...I still don't talk about with my parents, I-I can't without stammering like an idiot with my face bright red the whole time...I'm glad my parents were cool with it, though...I just wish the fact I also liked girls wasn't a shock!
I-I just...never wanted to advertise this. It's...not something people expect about me. I-I'm Hirokazu, damn it! No-one...expects Hirokazu to be gay! I-I know, not all gay guys are...y'know, flaming or super-girly but... I-I just...don't want to be associated with either stereotype.
At least Kenta's understanding about this. And I...kinda...want to be out, 'cause I know how much it'd mean to him if we both were "officially" together. To where people would go "Aw, they look perfect for each other" or I'd kick the ass of anyone who said a certain word that begins with F. I already punched out one guy who did it...Oddly enough it was before Kenta came out, but let's just say he might have trouble saying that word without those teeth.
We approach Guilmon's spot, Takato's keeping lookout at the entrance. He waves to us...
...This is it...
...I can do this...
...This won't be hard...
...I can do this...
I. Can. Do. This!
"...Kenta, how about I go get us a spot at a restaurant and you give everyone the message for me?" I turn to Kenta, smiling weakly.
"Hiro-chan..." Kenta trails off with a smirk. "You said you were ready..."
"That was before I realized this would...actually happen." I swallow.
"They didn't react to me...We're all still friends. At worst, Ruki's ambiguously gay tamers jokes lose the word 'ambiguously.'"
"...Yeah, but..." I sigh, hanging my head. "...Okay..."
"...Hirokazu, I...I don't want you to think I'm forcing you to do this," Kenta stops, looking to me.
"Kenta, I think the only way I will be able to do this is if you forced me, so it's cool if you do," I say. "Think you can drag me?"
"I might have to get Ryou's help."
"...Tell Ryou I want him on butt support," I grin. Hey, Ryou's HOT! I'm super-closeted and I'd say that to his face!
Kenta laughs. "And you think you're not ready..." He trails off.
"Y-You're right...I-I just need to prepare-"
"GET YOUR ASSES OVER HERE, WE'RE FREEZING!" Love you, too, Ruki.
I look up, Ruki's standing by the entrance to Guilmon's spot with her arms crossed, glaring towards us. Takato's trying to calm her down. "Okay, let's go. I'd rather be embarrassed than on her bad side." I say.
Kenta and I hurry over to Guilmon's spot. "Sorry we're late," Kenta says. "I got caught up on my way to Hirokazu's." He lies, I think because saying 'Hirokazu had to psych himself' says too much.
"We get it," Ruki goes into the structure after Takato. "Let's get this over with, what'd you call us together for?" Her tone says 'I know what it is, but I'm playing dumb for you.'
Kenta and I step inside. Everyone's sitting together. Jen, Ryou and Juri. Takato sits next to Jen while Ruki sits next to Juri. Kenta and I sit across from everyone.
...There's an awkward silence, everyone stares at us...But I feel like every eye on Earth is on me... ...I'm...shaking. I'm actually shaking.
"...So, um, what's going on?" Jen asks. "You said you wanted to meet us here and then take us out for dinner." Y-Yeah, we...thought it'd be a good excuse to get everyone together that didn't say 'Hirokazu's coming out.' I'm the one paying, though Kenta wanted to help out...I-I couldn't ask that of him, I feel really bad that he's out and I'm not.
"Spill it, I'm hungry," Ruki says.
I clear my throat. "...O-Okay, um... ...Everyone, you all...know about Kenta and what happened at Christmas, right?"
"...So, you're-" Ruki begins.
"Uh, Ruki," Ryou speaks up. "I know what you wanna say, but...Let Hirokazu do this one, please?"
"...Fine." Ruki nods, looking to me and rolling her eyes. Y-Yeah, she...sort of knows. Hell, even if Kenta and I weren't together she'd suspect it. E-Everyone does, I think, it's...just not official.
They're just...not talking about it for my sake.
"Yeah, we...we know what happened," Jen nods. "Sorry again about that, Kenta. I'm glad your family supports you now, at least."
"Thanks, Jen," Kenta smiles. "You guys...all took the news really well."
"We...sort of suspected it," Takato says. "N-Not that we were spreading gossip or anything but...I-I just thought, well...I-I don't even know why I thought it."
"I just have a gay vibe?" Kenta smirks. "It's okay, Takato...I'm not ashamed of it...And I'm glad you guys sort of knew and never asked or anything. You waited until I told you...That means a lot to me." Kenta looks to me. "And...I can't thank Hirokazu and his family enough for Christmas Eve...I-I was a wreck that night, I doubt I'd have survived without him."
"Kenta..." I trail off. "If my family freaked out, too, I'd have gone with you wherever," I say. I look to the others. "I really would have...Kenta gets kicked out, I get kicked out."
"You're...a great friend, Hirokazu-kun," Takato says. "Kenta's lucky for that."
"W-Well...That's the thing..." I trail off. "I-I..." I...I can do this. They all freakin' know anyway! They're...just being polite and pretending. "...Y-You guys... ...Can drop the act." I sigh. "Y-You can...say it now. Okay?"
"...Say...what?" Takato asks.
"Wh-What you...all at least suspect," I look to Kenta. "I-I'm sorry, I can't say it."
"You did good enough, Hirokazu," Kenta smiles. "I know...It's hard for you."
I look to everyone. "So...Questions? Comments? ...Go ahead, I'll...try to answer."
"...Why is it so hard for you to say you're with Kenta?" Takato asks.
"'Cause...Guys, it's me. I-I'm...Y'know..."
"...Hirokazu, if you're trying to say you're the least gay among the guys here..." Ruki looks over the others. She points to Takato. "Closet case." She points to Jen. "Gay for goggles." She points to Ryou. "Not. Fooling. Anyone." She then looks to me. "Being the least gay guy here, Hirokazu, is like being the fastest turtle in the race - You may feel good about yourself, but no-one watching is going to be very impressed."
"...We love you, too, Ruki," Ryou, Takato and Jen say in unison. We've all gotten into the habit of saying that in response to her put downs. Ruki chuckles, Juri tries to hold back a laugh. So does Kenta, actually.
"I-If it counts...I-I'm bi!" I say, quickly. "I-I like girls, too...I-I just...like Kenta the most."
"Prove it," Ruki smirks.
"Wh-What? That I like girls?"
"No, kiss Kenta." Ruki says,. "I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, since I know how hard this is for you. I'm not convinced the oh-so-manly Hirokazu Shiota is gay, or bi or tri or Kentasexual or whatever! You have to kiss Kenta for me to believe it!"
"As much as Ruki's being Ruki," Jen speaks up, "it might be a good thing for you to do, Hirokazu...I mean, you're...really, um, closeted. No offense, but...You need to work on that. I mean, you knew we wouldn't be upset and..." He trails off.
I nod. "I-I know, but... ...Kenta, what do you think?"
I look to Kenta. He shrugs with a smile. "I don't know if it'll help or not, but I'm not going to argue with that idea." ...Yeah, Kenta...likes being kissed. I do, too, just...when it's only me and Kenta. No witnesses.
"Kiss him, Hirokazu!" Takato cheers.
"I just love how enthusiastic you are about seeing two guys suck face, Takato," Ruki says with a smirk.
"Ruki..." Takato rolls his eyes.
I turn to Kenta, he faces me with a smile. "...A-Are you sure you...want to kiss in front of the others?" I ask. Kenta nods. "...Completely sure? Still time to back out."
"Kiss him! And yes, Ruki, I really do want to see them kiss. They're my friends," Jen speaks up. "I want my friends to be happy."
"Spoilsport," Ruki chuckles.
"...Okay..." I lean forward and... ...I give Kenta the most pathetic kiss in his history of kisses. It was...more like a peck and run, I don't even know if he felt it. Ruki laughs, so does Ryou. I turn bright red, saying, "S-Sorry, Kenta..."
"I'm not mad," Kenta smiles. He leans forward and kisses me on the cheek.
"Try on the cheek first," Juri says after Kenta does just that. "Then move onto lips...Hirokazu, we're really happy for you. And we don't think you're any less, um...Hirokazu-ish than before."
"We know you're a tough guy," Takato says. "And that you'll fight anyone who makes fun of you and Kenta. And beat them up!"
"You're not...'fruity' or anything, you're...still Hirokazu," Jen adds.
"Be a man and kiss Kenta!" Ryou shouts.
"Try for...take two?" I look to Kenta. He nods...This time, I go for the lips again instead of the cheek. I don't do things in steps, it's all or nothing...
...And this time...it's...
...All. I actually kiss Kenta for a couple seconds. Kenta almost puts his arms around me, but...I break the kiss before he can do that "I-I did...I did it!" I shout, though I feel sort of bad when I realize he wanted to hug me, too. Sorry, Kenta...
Ruki smiles. "I'm so proud of my not-so-ambiguously gay boys. Was that so bad, Hirokazu?"
I shake my head. "...This is all new to me. I thought being bi I could just...like girls. But, well, Kenta's just better than girls. No offense, Juri," I look to Juri, bowing my head.
"...What about me?" Ruki asks, raising an eyebrow.
"What? I just apologized to all girls present," I smirk. Kenta puts both hands on my cheeks and gives me a quick kiss on the lips. "Wh-What was that for?" I say, my eyes wide. I feel my cheeks warm up...I-I'm sure I'm practically glowing from this blush I have...I-I wasn't prepared for that, Kenta!
"I will always love you, Hirokazu, and I will miss you. Our love was...beautiful while it lasted." Kenta says.
...Oh, shit, I just realized what I said to Ruki...
I'll watch over you from the Heavens, Kenta-chan!
I swallow and turn, Ruki's...actually smiling, sort of. "See? You do still have balls, you actually said that. To me."
"S-Sorry...Can we just call that uneven payback for all seven million of your Ace and Gary jokes throughout the years?"
"Letting Kenta have a non-castrato for a boyfriend will just count as a late Christmas present," Ruki says, crossing her arms. "Just. This. Once."
I nod. "R-Right." It's a delayed Christmas Miracle... "So, um...A-Any other...questions or anything?"
"Who confessed?" Juri asks. "I-I mean...I know you found out Kenta was gay that night but...Who confessed?"
"...I-I did," I say, I feel that blush coming back tenfold. "I asked Kenta who he...liked and...W-Well, I told him, if I could get one thing for Christmas that year it'd...be mistletoe." I say, quietly.
"Hirokazu...You confessed?" Takato asks. "W-Wow! I didn't expect that from you...Just, y'know, with how you're acting."
"He...didn't exactly say 'I love you,' he just held some 'mistletoe' over my head and...We kissed for a while," Kenta smiles at me. "Then...I fell asleep in his arms on the couch in the living room. ...I-I was so happy after he confessed, I-I sort of...forgot everything else that was going on until the next morning."
"Can I ask you guys a question?" I say. "A-And, Ruki, please...Don't answer, I know what you're gonna say, but...Did anyone else...think this would happen?"
"...Yeah," Jen nods.
"I had a hunch after you really wanted to talk about Kenta being gay," Takato adds. S-Seriously? Damn it, Matsuda, when did you get gaydar?
"Ruki told me about the Digital World kiss...I thought you'd both look cute together," Juri says. "But...I didn't think you two would ever be together."
"Um, I sort of did. You guys...Are...Well...You two," Ryou shrugs. "N-No offense, but...I mean..."
"I-I get it, Ryou," I nod, trying not to roll my eyes. ...A-Am I...obvious or something?
"And my honest answer would be...I just liked screwing with you two, I didn't really think you were an item until Kenta came out," Ruki says. ...Wow...
"S-Seriously?" My jaw drops. "I mean...Every single gay joke you made about us...You weren't serious?"
"They're called 'jokes' for a reason," Ruki says.
"Amazing, Ruki, 'cause...I based my theory of that time you ranted about MarineAngemon being a Digital Teacup Poodle for Kenta," Ryou says.
"Same here, except it was at Ambiguously Gay Tamers joke number...Seven-thousand-two-hundred-forty-two-ish," Jen says. He looks to Takato. "You?"
"N-No, I just had a hunch from Hirokazu...Hirokazu, you were...really curious about why I thought Kenta was gay, remember? Y-You didn't...really want to stop talking about it. I thought it was a little weird. For you, especially."
"Really?" Kenta looks to me.
"I-I...sort of...really wanted it to be true," I look away, that blush does not want to leave and...I-I can't really..face the others right now, admitting to this. "I-I've liked you for, Gods...A long time, Kenta. P-Probably since about a year after the Digital World. I didn't admit it to myself until about year or so ago...I-I was afraid." I-I can't...believe I said all that. I-In front of the others, too...I-I haven't even told Kenta all that!
"Hiro-chan..." Kenta smiles, he gives me a tight hug. "I-I'm...kind of touched by that. You really liked me that long?" It...takes me a moment before I hug back and...I feel sort of awkward doing that. Kenta gives me an extra squeeze, I think to hint that...he wants me to hug back more.
S-Sorry, Kenta...I-I just...I can't...I'm sorry, I can't...
"Y-Yeah...Sorry I never...went into detail 'til now." I-I really haven't...Kenta knows I don't like talking about the whole thing. I like the, y'know, kissing, dating, hand holding and...just being closer to him in general but... ...I-I don't...like talking about feelings and stuff. I-I'm...a guy after all! W-Well, so is Kenta but...You know what I mean!
"Kenta, how long have you liked Hirokazu?" Jen asks.
"...Um...Probably about the same time but...I always accepted the 'fact' Hiro-chan was straight," Kenta says, still holding onto me. He's kinda positioned himself in my lap...I-I...I don't...know how I feel about this...I-I'm amazed the others don't mind the excessive affection between us. But, then again, they...want me to be more...open with Kenta...But...I-I...
...I-I really do feel bad that...he was out for so long before I even considered telling anyone. I love Kenta, I really do...I Just... ...I'm not a big fan of being 'that way.' It's just too weird for me, I guess. I-I never thought I'd like guys! EVER! I don't read shounen-ai manga or anything! Well, not until...Recently. I avoided that stuff for years, it wasn't until AFTER i realized I was...attracted to guys! I don't...I-I don't know how this happened and when it did...It scared the hell out of me! I-I was gay! Or I thought...I-I didn't even know I could like both! I-I thought I was forcing myself to go straight, until the internet told me it wasn't a choice and I was stuck this way! Then...
...I cried. Okay? There, I-I said it! I cried!
I-I cried because... ...I was...in love with Kenta. I-I still wanted to be his friend but... I-I didn't want to love Kenta... It...took a long time before I got used to it, before I thought I could just hide it. And then, well, there's that...Digital World kiss that Ruki won't let us forget and that...I definitely won't forget. I-I spent a lot of time thinking that was what "turned me gay," until I realized how stupid that sounded.
What happened was Ruki kicked me on top of him and we...kissed, accidentally. Kenta told me he retroactively counted me as his first kiss once he realized his feelings for me...
...I-I...was so freaked out at the time, the first thing I did afterward was tell Ruki she was cute. To restore my manliness! I-I didn't think much of it, I even forgot about it once we got to Jijimon and Babamon's place (I think I made myself forget about it). Hell, Kenta and I took a bath together right after that at Jijimon and Babamon's place! Things weren't that weird between us after the kiss!
...Well, Kenta also admitted, he checked me out a few times at hot springs and bath houses years later (Not during the Digital World, though), after he realized he liked me. As for me...
...I might've done the same to him. ...And I wasn't proud of it. Kenta checking me out? Hey, he liked what he saw! Me? ...I-I liked what I saw, but I didn't like that I liked what I saw...
This is all...just too weird to me. I-I'm...in love with another guy and as happy as I am...I-I feel just as weird for it.
Kenta puts his arms around my neck, he gives me a worried look. "Hiro-chan? ...Are you...all right? You're...quiet all of a sudden..."
"Y-Yeah, I just...I.." I sniff, I-I'm almost...crying? D-Damn it! I-I shouldn't...have thought about the past like that...I-I always kinda tear up, remembering how scared I was. It's why I hate talking about it! "S-Sorry, Kenta...I was just thinking." I-I...I just...I-I can't believe I'm...in love with Kenta. I-I want to be with him, always but...
...Does...everyone else have to know?
"...You're...still feeling weird, right?" Kenta says, looking away with a sigh.
"...A little..." I whisper. Kenta lets go of me and starts to get off my lap. I 'stop' him with one hand on his shoulder. "N-No, don't...Please."
"Hirokazu, I know you...don't want to be this open with the others," Kenta says. "S-Sorry, I was...getting too personal with you. I know you're...not really ready for all this." ...He sounds...hurt. Like I just rejected him...
...Well, actually... I did just reject him... ...Damn it...I-I'm sorry, Kenta.
Kenta goes back to sitting next to me. "S-So, um...Where should...we eat?" Actually, he's...sitting a little further from me than when we first sat down. I-I know it's not because he's mad, he...just wants me to be comfortable. And he knows that...means not being too close...It means...Not... ...Not...
...Not acting like we're a couple. As happy as he is that...we're together, I-I'm...I don't think I'm that much fun to take out-No, I know I'm not that much fun to take out. Because...I don't want to be "out." Kenta's...been really understanding about that, like I said, but...
...I know he's getting tired of it.
Everyone sort of exchanges looks. "Um...We didn't...really...think we were going out," Ryou says. "We knew it...was for Hirokazu and all."
"S-Still, we...brought you out here, it's freezing...Let's get some nice warm ramen or...something..." Kenta has his head down, he looks like he might cry...I-I'm basically saying I'm...ashamed of us with all this stupid 'closet' crap, aren't I?
Damn it! I'm an asshole...I-I gotta do this. I don't care if everyone else is here!
I jump up to my feet.. "Kenta! I love you!" I shout as loud as I can.
Kenta looks up to me, his eyes wide. "H-Hirokazu-"
"I-I love you a lot, Kenta-chan! I've loved you for years! I-I love being with you, I love to...h-hold you in my arms, like...That night I confessed, when you fell asleep on the couch next to me! I love kissing you, like with that fake mistletoe! I-I love being around you, even when we were still 'just friends!' I-I love the fact you're always there to support me, e-especially with what we're doing now! Th-The entire way here and even after we got here, you...You were trying to make me feel like I could tell everyone that... that...That I love you!" I turn to the others. "I'm bi, damn it! I love Kenta!" I turn to Kenta. "Stand up!"
Kenta cautiously stands up, stammering. "H-Hirokazu-Mmph!" I kiss him. On the lips, wrapping my arms around him, even though a huge part of me is saying 'don't do this,' an even bigger part of me is saying 'shut the hell up!' After a moment or two he hugs back, putting both arms over my shoulders. We kiss so long that Kenta's the one who ends it...He steps back and looks at me like I'm crazy. "H-Hiro...chan..."
"...I love you, Kenta. And...I want everyone to know that," I say. "I'm...sorry I've...been...acting like I'm ashamed of that... Until now. I-I want everyone to know that...You mean so much to me, Kenta."
Kenta stares at me, his jaw down. Everyone else is quiet...
...Ruki finally breaks the silence, clapping. For real, not the usual sarcastic clap she's so fond of using. "That, Ladies and Closet Cases, was love."
Kenta steps forward and hugs me, tightly. "Th-Thank you, Hiro-chan."
"I love you, Kenta-chan...And I don't care if everyone else knows."
After our moment and a few extra kisses for emphasis, Kenta and I sit back down. I have an arm around Kenta the whole time as we all decide on a place to eat near the park. In the end, we decide on a place Kenta knows about. He leads the way, I walk next to him. As we get to the bottom of the steps to Guilmon's spot, I turn to Kenta. "Wait...Something's wrong."
"What?" Kenta asks, turning to me.
I hold out my hand. "This."
"...Thank you, Hiro-chan," Kenta takes my hand. I hear a three 'awwws' from...Juri, Ruki and, while the second was a little hard to believe (though it was kinda sarcastic sounding), the third 'awww' is from Takato!
We all walk down to the restaurant...And I hold Kenta's hand the entire way...
Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
I had to do another Hirokenta, I feel like I've been neglecting the pairing. And Kenta needs to be happy.
After looking at Issho Ni again, I thought I'd write a "coming out" fic for Hirokazu and Kenta that explored just how reluctant Hirokazu is to admit he's gay\bi. He doesn't even like saying it to himself, after all. In fact, he doesn't even say "I love you" in the prequel...Or anything more than "I like you." So, I thought I'd play with that for a while.
This title means "Forever," by the way. I thought it'd go well with the prequel's title, "Issho Ni."
Issho Ni...Eien Ni.
Hope you liked it!
I felt so bad for Kenta near the end when he felt rejected before Hirokazu's "I love you" scene. But it was wonderful to see him so happy in the end. Especially since Kenta's usually the one left alone in Ori's fics.
I have to point out that this one did have some strong implications for Takato and Jen. But that could just be what I saw. Ha ha ha! Why were those two so interested in seeing Hirokazu kiss Kenta? And I had a laugh at Ruki's description of Jen: Gay for goggles.
I got this one just after I ate dinner, I wanted to see if I could get it up on the same night as the other two fics. Ori's on quite a roll today, it seems. Not that I'm complaining at all! Thank you for the fics, Ori, I was happy to edit them!
EDIT: Ori noticed a continuity error in Hirokazu's rant about being bi, that he avoided shounen-ai manga. We changed this to reflect that this was BEFORE he realized he was bi (as he read Kyou Kara Maou online in Issho Ni). We apologize for the error. - Taiki Matsuki and Ori