Kokoro No Kikkou
Minna No Kametachi


Hirokazu and Kenta just got here with Paperweight and Jin. Kenta brought Jin in a little plastic travel tank. Hirokazu carried Paperweight from his apartment all the way over here. Why? Because "Paperweight hates being in a tank, he's free turtle!" And you said I had a problem, Hirokazu-kun...

...Actually, I'm amazed he didn't put a leash on him and walk him here. I'm watching Paperweight do laps in the turtle pen I set up in my room. He's really fast! Tama-kun is eating in the center with Jin, I had to put out extra strawberries because he ate most of them before Jen and Shousei-chan got here. He actually picked them out of the fruit mixture! He's really smart, I think...

The turtle pen is just a bunch of folded up boxes closing off a part of my room with newspaper on the floor. The turtles are all doing their own thing, eating or playing with each other. They all get along, too, though Shouseigame is sorta shy around the others. It took him a while to come out of his shell (literally) when he first met Tama-kun, even though Tama-kun wanted to play.

The rest of us are sitting at my table, drinking soda and eating snacks. Hirokazu was in charge of snacks, he brought a ton of junk food, especially pocky...

...And, yes, he's already setting out a plate of broken up strawberry and mixed berry pocky for Paperweight and the others. I-I can't believe he lets Paperweight eat that stuff. Again, you said I had a problem, Hirokazu-kun? You have a free roam turtle in your room! Though, if Paperweight's tank is the same size as Tama-kun's or even a little bigger, that's probably a good thing for Paperweight.

"Hirokazu-kun, why the sudden change of heart? A few days ago, you thought we were all insane..." I trail off.

"Kenta, you didn't tell him?" Hirokazu asks, looking to Kenta.

"I guess not," Kenta shakes his head. "We took Paperweight and Jin to the park the other day. A cat jumped ontop of Jin. Paperweight saved his life and Hirokazu's been super proud of him ever since."

Jen and I both exchange shocked looks. "A cat?" I ask. "What did he do? And was Jin okay?"

"Bit its tail off!" Hirokazu grins.

"Not off, just bit its tail," Kenta rolls his eyes, giving us a 'Hirokazu's basing this on a true story' sort of look. "Jin was okay, he hid in his shell. It just scared him...Paperweight was a hero, though."

"Paperweight is a certified badass," Hirokazu grins.

"Hirokazu's Herokame," Jen jokes. We all laugh.

"Speaking of Paperweight..." Hirokazu looks to Kenta. "My parents know. I found out this morning."

"Wh-What?" Kenta asks. ...Th-they...know? As in...?

"My parents know we're together...At first I thought it was because you called the turtles 'our babies' and they heard it, but that just told them we'd be adopting someday," Hirokazu lets out a groan, Kenta's face is almost colorless. "...Don't worry, Kenta-chan. They're happy...And thought we've been together for a damned year!"

There's a long silence.

...Jen and I finally break it by laughing, Kenta joins in. "A-A YEAR? Th-They thought you two...?" I can't stop laughing. R-Ruki and Ryou love to joke about Hirokazu and Kenta, but...Hirokazu's own parents, too? Ha ha ha!

"A-At least...They support us," Kenta laughs. "Th-They weren't joking about that?"

"They asked again before I left, they didn't believe me when I said it'd only been a little over a month. Seriously!"

"W-Wow..." Jen laughs. "A-Actually...Um..." Jen looks to me. "Okay, Takato, don't get upset or blame yourself, okay?" ...Wh-What?

"Jen-chan...?"

"My family, after you dropped off Xiao Qinggui, sort of...Guessed." Oh, no...I am so sorry, Jen! I had no idea they'd guess because of...

...Well, I-I guess it is...sort of weird I'd randomly decide to give Jen a pet. ...And turtles aren't exactly cheap with a full set up like what I got Jen...It's obvious I really like Jen if I got him something like that...

"I-I had...no idea they'd-"

"Don't be upset, really, Takato! They support us and...Even Lianjie was happy for us, I thought he'd be grossed out. Instead...Everyone was more excited about the turtle." He laughs. "R-Really, Lianjie said every time someone asked about us, the topic was derailed by the little turtle Lianjie was playing with. They all love Xiao Qinggui."

"R-Really?"

"Really. It's okay, Takato-chan...I wasn't even all that upset when they asked me. Just nervous." Jen gives me a hug. "Really, my family completely supports us...Especially Xiaochun, she says she knew we liked each other before we were together.." That sounds like Shiuchon.

I hug back. "Thanks, Jen-cha-"

"Hiro-Mmph!" What the...?

Jen-chan and I turn, Hirokazu has Kenta by the shoulders, he's kissing him on the lips. He breaks the kiss after a few moments and turns to us, saying, "We felt left out of the lovefest."

"H-Hiro-chan...I will never complain if you do that again..." Kenta says, catching his breath. "Though, um...Takato, with this whole 'outted by a turtle' thing..."

I nod. "Yeah?"

"...You think your parents and my parents might suspect something...? We gave our boyfriends turtles," Kenta says. ...Oh, crap! I-I didn't think of that...

When I came home with Shousei-chan, my Dad asked why I bought another turtle. I told him he was for Jen and...My Dad gave me a confused look for a moment, then shrugged. My Mom thought the turtle was cute. They didn't really say anything, but...

...I-I wonder...Could they suspect...? "I-I don't know," I shake my head. "I'm a little worried about the possibility, now..."

"If they've suspected it, it's been a while so maybe they don't mind," Kenta shrugs. "My parents...I might as well just ask them tonight. You?"

I shake my head. "Um...I-I don't know..." ...If Jen's out, I should be. It's only fair, but...I really have no idea how my parents would take the news.

"Hey, look, Paperweight's got a fan," Hirokazu speaks up. Our attention turns back to the turtles.

Shouseigame is following closely behind Paperweight as he does laps.

"Aww," Kenta laughs. "Shousei-chan's usually shy, isn't he?"

Jen nods. "Yeah, I guess he really likes Paperweight."

"What's not to like about Paperweight?" Hirokazu crosses his arms. "It's only right he has fans!"

I stand up. "Um, I'm going to grab some more ramune," I say. "Keep an eye on the turtles for me."

"Okay..." Jen nods.

I go to the door and out into the hall. My parents have the bakery closed today, part of why we set up the "play date" today. Everyone still had to come in through the back, though. My parents like Tama-kun but...Reptiles and health codes don't mix too well. He's not allowed anywhere near the kitchen and I have to wash my hands twice as long as before. I don't mind, as long as I have Tama-kun.

My parents are downstairs in the kitchen, making themselves lunch. "Um...Hi."

"Hands." Mom says as soon as I come into the room. She's really strict about that, she read up on what turtles can carry...

...Tama-kun's clean, though! At least, I think he is.

"R-Right," I go to the sink and wash my hands, using a ton of the soap kept by the sink. "...So, um...Everyone's got a turtle..." I say. "Kenta got one for Hirokazu, too, and all..."

"We saw...That thing was huge!" Dad says. "Will Tama-kun get that big?"

"I don't know," I shrug. "But, um...I-I...Was wondering...You don't mind that I bought Jen a turtle, do you?" I dry my hands, looking to my parents. They briefly exchange looks. I can't tell exactly what expression they've got...Nothing suspicious, though.

"No. It's your money and he's your friend." Dad shakes his head. "And, well, Jen definitely liked the gift from what I hear."

I nod. "His whole family really likes Shouseigame," I say. "I was...just curious."

"Though, since you mention it," Dad begins, "why did you decide to buy Jen a turtle? I mean, you were saving that money for a game or something, right?"

"Um, y-yeah, but...Je-Jen bought me that game, so..." I trail off, though I realize I shouldn't have said that. Actually, I really liked the fact Jen bought me that game for our anniversary, I was saving up to buy it and a few others, but I bought Shouseigame and his set up with the money instead...And Jen got me the game I wanted the most from that list, I was really happy he did that!

"W-Wait, Jen bought you a game? Why?" Mom asks. C-Crap!

"I-I don't know, he...just bought me a game I wanted. He's...r-really nice that way, you know?" ...I-I shouldn't have done this...

"Takato, why are you nervous...?" Mom looks up from checking on what she has in the oven.

I go to the refrigerator for the case of ramune sodas. "N-Nervous? I'm not...nervous..." That's an obvious lie. If they didn't suspect anything before, I'm sure they do now...

I glance to my parents, they're giving each other a... ...really surprised look. I'm...guessing it's the 'our son might be gay' look.

Mom clears her throat, looking to me. "...Takato, are you and Jenrya...um...?"

Dad speaks up, "Exactly...How close are you and Jenrya...? I-I mean, um...Ta-Takato, please...Don't be afraid to...tell us anything, okay?"

I stare back at my parents, I feel myself starting to shake. I can think of only one thing to say...

"...Gotta go!" I start back out into the hall, quickly.

"Ta-Takato! Cou-Could you answer the question first?" My Dad shouts.

"Sorry, gotta get these upstairs before they're warm!" My face is bright red, I hurry back to my room and close the door a little hard. Everyone turns to me, I think I startled them with my entrance.

"Dude, what's wrong?" Hirokazu asks.

"...Um..." I glance away.

"...Takato, you did not just come out, did you?" Kenta asks.

"Technically, no," I shake my head. "I-I was...just wondering if they suspected something. And now they want to know if Jen and I, um...They want to know how 'close' we are..."

Jen shakes his head. "Takato, you didn't have to do that... You did it because I'm out, right?"

"I thought it'd be only fair. They didn't seem angry and the fact they didn't follow me...I'm guessing that's a good sign," I shrug. "Did I miss anything?"

"Not really," Jen shakes his head. "Paperweight still has his fan."

I look to the pen, Paperweight is still doing laps and Shouseigame is following him. "I think he likes his 'fan club.' He slowed down a little."

"Just so Jen's turtle can actually keep up with him," Hirokazu chuckles.

I sit back down, we go back to talking like before...

...I shouldn't have done what I did. My parents definitely suspect (or, given my reaction, know) now. But if Jen's out, I should be, too. And I don't think they'd be too upset...

This won't end too badly...I hope.


Jen stayed behind after Hirokazu and Kenta left with their "babies." Kenta still calls them that. Hirokazu, for some strange reason, held Paperweight to Kenta's nose while making a biting noise when Kenta said "babies." When Kenta asked what he was doing, Hirokazu said "Training."

Though, Hirokazu was almost mad at Jen for something Shousei-chan did. He followed Paperweight around a lot, for almost an hour. When Paperweight finally stopped his laps to eat, well...

...At first we thought Shouseigame was getting 'friendly' with Paperweight. Hirokazu freaked out over the idea Jen's turtle was 'violating Paperweight,' though Kenta (because Shousei is the smallest turtle and Paperweight is, by far, the biggest) thought it was hilarious (Jen and I did, too, sort of). But, in the end, Shouseigame was really just trying to climb on top of Paperweight. He sat on top of his shell as Paperweight ate for a little bit...

...And Paperweight gave him a ride around the pen for a few laps. We took pictures with our cell phones. We all thought it was really cute, Hirokazu ended up taking the most pictures. We also found out he has a picture of Paperweight as the background image for both the front and inside screens of his cell phone, too...I have Tama-kun (outside) and Jen (inside).

Though the ride ended with Shousei-chan losing his balance, falling and ending up on his back. Jen-chan helped him back up and took him to our table to "recover." He was fine, of course.

Jen volunteered to stay with me to face my parents. He was a little upset that I tried to find out if they suspected anything and sort of came out but he also said he understood why I did it. I didn't want him to be the only one out, especially since it was my gift that outted him.

We wash our hands in the upstairs bathroom and go down to the dining room, I asked My Mom earlier if Jen could stay for dinner from the top of the stairs (I was afraid to face them alone)...The nervous "sure" from her was, um, "hopeful," I guess.

We go down to the dining room together when Mom calls us for dinner. It's nothing much, just beef cutlets, rice and soup. "W-We um, washed our hands already," I say, sitting down. "Tama-kun and Shouseigame are still in the pen." Jen sits next to me, my Dad is sitting across from us with a confused look on his face...Like he's trying to figure out if we really are together or not.

My Mom pours tea for My Dad, Jen and I before she sits down.

There's a long silence, we all just stare at our food. No-one makes a move to eat.

"...It's okay," I say, quietly. "You can...ask."

"I-I think the fact you said we can ask...Confirms it, right?" My Dad asks.

I nod. "Ye-Yeah, um...Since we got back from the trip. Jen noticed Tama-kun really liked him and...You know how pets sort of, um, pick up on their owner's feelings?"

"...Even turtles?" My Mom asks.

I shrug. "I guess. Sorry if this is...a problem."

"It's...a shock, that's all," My Dad says. "We talked about it and, even without the gifts, it's obvious you and Jenrya were very close before. And obviously care about each other a lot, we don't object to that as long as you're happy. So, don't worry. We're not mad."

"Thank you," I let out a relieved sigh.

My Mom smiles, looking to Jen. "Take good care of Takato, Jenrya."

"I-I will," Jen bows his head. "Th-Thank you for accepting us."

"Don't be formal, Jenrya. You're our guest," My Dad smiles. "I'm guessing all those times you've gone to 'hang out' with Jenrya for the past month were..."

"...Dates, yeah." I nod, blushing a little.

"Jenrya," My Dad looks to Jen, Jen straightens up in his chair. "Re-Relax, really!" He laughs. "There's a place I want you to take Takato, actually...I think you'd both like it." He's...suggesting a restaurant?

"Oh? Where is it?"

"A place called The Sleeping Tortoise Tea House," My Dad begins.

Jen and I both turn to each other, then start laughing.

"What?"

"S-Sorry, but...That's where Jen took me for our first double date," I say, laughing. "It's a great place! Where did you hear about it?"

"Your Father took me there last week, we drove by it a few times and thought of you and Tama-kun each time... We thought you'd like the turtles they have in the middle of the restaurant in that giant tank." My Mom says.

"You said double date?" My Dad gives me a shocked look. "Wow! With who...?"

"Oh, um, Hirokazu and Kenta..."

My Dad nods. "Oh, right, right...I should have known, they've been together so long..."

Jen and I, again, exchange looks. "How long have you known they were together...?" Jen asks, trying his hardest to control the grin on his face.

My Dad shrugs. "I don't know, almost a year, maybe..."

Jen and I both lose control. My parents just give us a confused stare.

"...What's so funny...?"


It's been a week since the "play date." My parents really have no problem with Jen-chan and I as a couple. We even had dinner with the Lis a few days ago, I brought Tama-kun with me. Mr. Li was the one who requested that, actually. Tama-kun and Shousei-chan played with Shiuchon and Rinchei. Jaarin spent some time asking Jen-chan and I about our dates and how long we've liked each other. She thinks we're "really cute" as a couple.

Kenta found out his parents knew he was gay. His Dad told him he's "sort of obvious," which Kenta says he did not like hearing. They didn't know that he was with Hirokazu..They thought Kenta "really liked him" but Hirokazu was "straight as an arrow." And, yes, Hirokazu loved hearing that!

We also told the others. Ruki knew the whole time, she said. I think, in reality, she only suspected us but...She's Ruki.

Ryou supports us. He also thought the idea of our "turtle club" was cool. He wants to join.

And as for Juri...

...Um...

She supports us, at least, she said she did.

...But...

Well, I haven't spoken to her since we told her about five days ago. I'm worried she might have just been polite at the time and doesn't really approve... We're discussing that possibility right now as none of us have spoken to her since she found out, apparently.

"...Juri's not like that," Kenta says. "She's probably been busy."

I nod. "Y-Yeah, that's probably it," I shrug. We're having another play date in my room. Paperweight is giving Shouseigame another ride around the pen. This time Hirokazu helped Shousei-chan 'climb up' when he started to look 'friendly' with Paperweight. Shousei-chan really likes the rides.

"Yeah, I can't picture Juri cutting us out of her life like that," Jen says. "She probably has been bus-"

There's a loud scream downstairs, it's my Mom.

I stand up and hurry to the top of the stairs. "MOM! Everything okay?"

"F-Fine! Y-You have another guest! That's...all... Oh, GODS!" ...What the...?

"Hey, Takato! I'll meet you in your room! I heard you guys were having a turtle play date!" ...Juri?

"O-Okay!" I go back to tell the others, my door closes most of the way behind me. "Um...Juri's here. I guess she wants to meet the turtles."

"Why'd your Mom scream...?" Hirokazu asks.

I shrug. "N-No idea..."

There's a knock at the slightly opened door. I go and open it-HOLY SHIT!

Juri's standing in the hallway, smiling. She definitely approves of us and was just busy. Because I see what she was probably busy with...

...Juri has a huge iguana sitting on her shoulders. Its staring at me as Juri pets it with one hand. "Hey, guys! Can Leo join in your play date?"

Everyone stares at her in shock, I can only stand at the door stammering...

...That lizard is huge! I-I mean, HUGE even by iguana standards! I'm amazed Juri can support his weight on her shoulders like that!

"Sorry he's not a turtle, but the pet store was all out. And he looks so cute! I couldn't say 'no' to him! I promise, he's really friendly, please?" Juri says, scratching Leo's chin.

I can easily guess who she named him after.

"Su-Sure...Co-Come on in..." I step aside, Juri sets her iguana down in the pen. It moves out of Paperweight's way as he does a lap with Shousei-chan on his back. Paperweight stops, turns to face the iguana for a moment, then continues on his way. Shousei-chan hides in his shell until Paperweight is a bit away from Leo.

Tama-kun and Jin approach cautiously at first but they don't seem to mind the non-shelled addition to the "club."

It's a good thing I made the pen a lot bigger this time around. I wanted to give Paperweight more room to do laps this time, Hirokazu told he that he likes a lot of space. In fact, Hirokazu's been trying to convince his parents to let Paperweight roam around the entire apartment, not just his room.

Juri spends a few moments petting the turtles and introducing them to Leo...

"Leo, play nice with the turtles, okay? Be good! And, here, I brought you your favorite..." She reaches into the book bag at her side, pulling out a huge bag of chopped fruit. "Pineapples, peaches, plums...Everything you like! But you have to share, okay? You're so cute!" She pets the iguana's head, its eying the bag of fruit. She pulls out a plate and puts a few handfuls of fruit down for Leo...He eats it up. "Awww..." She turns to us. "Isn't he adorable?"

"Y-Yeah...And freakin' huge!" Hirokazu says.

"You make a great mother, Juri-chan..." Kenta adds, wearily.

Jen nods slowly, saying, "I-I never knew you to like lizards so much. Or at all."

Juri turns back to Leo. "He's super-friendly! I thought he'd like to meet your turtles! And I told Ruki to get one, too! She's thinking about it, she says, but I know I can get Ryou to get an iguana, too...He really likes Leo!" She continues petting Leo as he eats. "We could have a Turtle-Lizard School Club! Then we can bring them all to school with us! Would you like that, Leo-chan? Go to school with me?"

I look to Jen, Hirokazu and Kenta...

...I think all of our expressions are saying the exact same thing:

Juri is insane!

~Owari~


Ori's Notes:
Eh, not sure if Takato's parents finding out was a good idea or not, but I wanted Takato and Jen to not have to worry about reactions from family and friends after the fic was over. And I wanted to throw in another Ambiguously Gay Tamers "Together Since The Dawn of Time" joke. On that note: The line "Hirokazu's Herokame," is (obviously) a pun on Hirokazu's name: "Kame" means "turtle."

And the ending with Juri...I couldn't resist it, I could really see Juri doing this to support her friends and finding the iguana to be adorable, too...Not saying they aren't cute, though (they are!). And lizards need love, too!

As you can guess from this fic, I like reptiles a lot. Especially turtles!

Regarding the species of box turtle featured: The Zhou's Box Turtle is actually endangered...You can pretty much only find them in pet stores! So, yeah, Takato and the others are the proud owners of an endagered species! The main reason I went with Zhou's Box Turtles was because I couldn't think of any non-aquatic turtles from China\Japan. That and they're so cute!

Hope you enjoyed this fic!


Taiki's Notes:

Ha ha ha, Juri wanted to join the Turtle Club! Or, rather, Reptile Club since she got an iguana! I like that, especially since Juri is supporting her friends! Sort of in an odd way but support is always good!

I'm glad everyone has support from friends and family. And especially from their reptile friends. Turtles don't strike me as judgmental, though. Iguanas, too.

-Taiki Matsuki