The idea for this story was conceived in my head when I was reading through the OVA1 DVD Extra Manga for Koisuru Boukun for about the fiftieth time this week. You all know the one I'm talking about with Morinaga envisioning all the horrible things that would have happened if he had showed up five minutes and twenty-five seconds later to save Senpai from being molested. Then I thought to myself 'What if Morinaga arrived in time for that particular incident but was weeks too late for the first one?' There we have it. 'And So It Is' was born.
Disclaimer: Koisuru Boukun and all of the characters contained therein are the sole property of Takanaga Hinako. I own nothing. I profit nothing. I am nothing.
Title: And So It Is
Synopsis: That first night with Tatsumi Souichi was absolute bliss but what Morinaga Tetsuhiro doesn't know is that what he thinks was Senpai's first time...wasn't.
Chapter Note: Laying the brickwork for 'And So It Is.' Can be considered an AU due to my complete disregard for the proper timelines of both 'Challengers' and 'Koisuru Boukun.' Major differences are that 'Challengers' has ended without Morinaga's confession about his feelings to Senpai and that kiss that tasted like tobacco never happened. Where did all that go? Maybe they were figments of Morinaga's hyperactive imagination. Who knows.
Tatsumi Souichi was not in a good mood. Regardless of his reputation as being a constant downer, even Souichi himself would turn tail and run if the situation that he met himself on the streets occurred. As ridiculous as an idea like that was, it was still the truth. He was in a shitty piss-poor mood and nothing was likely to turn it around. He was alone in the university lab doing nothing while the seconds of the clock ticked by above him. It was times like these that made him curse the judicial system for it's decision to deem murder a moral sin. Case by case scenarios didn't count for anything these days?
Souichi glared at his cellphone that lay silent near him. It's dead demeanor rankled him severely. He had been sitting there and waiting for a certain dark-haired moron for nearly forty-five minutes now. Did that jerk not understand that a good portion of his lab credit depended on Souichi's overall review? And would it kill that asshole to let him know why the fuck he was so late? The situation made Souichi want to hit something. Hard. Preferably something that was inconsiderate, empty-headed, and made up of many bones that could be easily shattered.
The sudden shrill call of his cell jolted Souichi out of his kouhai-directed fury. So the coward had finally decided to beg for his forgiveness. Well, if he thought that Souichi would just roll over and give it to him then he was sorely mistaken. And stupid. Souichi snatched his phone up and was about to accept the call when the blinking caller ID caught his eye. He grimaced at the name that flashed on the tiny screen. For someone supposedly intelligent and ahead of his time, the person on the other line couldn't take a damn hint. When was that infuriating man going to realize that Souichi did not want to be buddies and would rather have nothing to do with him at all? If the guy wasn't an assistant professor and vital to Souichi's semester grade then he would have knocked him out the moment he met him.
Souichi tossed the phone down with a clatter and reached a hand up to loosen his hair tie. Annoyed by the ringing that continued on as well as the man behind the incessant noise, Souichi tugged the tie out and let his long hair flow freely around his shoulders. He ran furious fingers through the soft locks and smoothed his fringe down with the palms of his hands.
Souichi rarely let anyone see him this way in public. He knew how much younger and vulnerable he looked with his hair down and it irritated him to all levels of hell. But touching his hair calmed him down for some reason or another. Kanako would always tease him about the fact that while most people pull at their hair when frustrated, he caressed his like he was in love with it. His family assumed that was why he kept his hair so long. With a temper as short as his, Souichi needed as much hair as he could get his hands on. Maybe they were right but the reason for his choice of hairstyle wasn't anything to waste time thinking about. It was just hair after all.
"Senpai, I'm sorry I'm late," a breathless voice gasped from behind him. "There was a short blackout in my area last night while I was asleep and my alarm didn't go off this morning."
Well what do you know. Ask and you shall receive. An outlet for his frustrations had just presented itself nicely. With a deadly grin, Souichi slowly spun around to greet his errant kouhai.
Morinaga Tetsuhiro had barely a moment's time to blink before a fist came colliding with his unguarded face. A resounding crash echoed through the lab as Morinaga hit the ground taking a tray of beakers with him. Disbelief etched across the younger man's bewildered face as he looked up into the reddened face of his furious senpai.
"Senpai!" he wailed as he gingerely held a palm to this throbbing cheek. "I said I was sorry! I don't control the power plants!"
"Idiot!" Souichi hollered in return. "Do I care about your fucking problems? You should be here when I say you should be here! No fucking exceptions! Now get up and clean this mess. I can't concentrate in it."
Morinaga sighed and nodded. He slowly got to his feet and carefully walked over to the lab closet where he pulled out a broom and dustpan. Souichi watched silently as his kouhai swept the pieces of broken glass away.
"I really am sorry, Senpai," Morinaga said amidst his sweeping.
"I know," Souichi snapped back. "Just don't let it happen again. When you're finished, I need you to look over the cultures from Experiment B. I need a second opinion on them."
Morinaga's head shot up at Souichi's order. "You need my opinion, Senpai?"
Souichi rolled his light eyes at Morinaga's bright expression. "I asked for it, didn't I? Don't get all fucking namby-pamby about it. I need a solid opinion on this and none of these other morons know this experiment as well as you do. Now hurry the hell up. You've wasted enough of my time waiting for you today."
Morinaga watched in awe as the older man stalked away, his long hair that he had surprisingly left down today whipping behind him. A smile emerged on his face and he ducked his head down to insure that his bad-tempered Senpai didn't hear the chuckles that fell from his lips. So he was worth much more to the other man than he would openly admit. Morinaga would gladly accept the veiled compliment that Senpai had unknowingly paid him. Morinaga was so heart-over-mind in love with him that he would accept a lit stick of dynamite from his beautiful senpai if it were handed to him.
"Morinaga, will you hurry the fuck up?"
"Yes, Senpai," the dark-haired man replied dreamily.
"Honestly, Morinaga," Souichi continued on angrily. "I don't know why I keep you around!"
"Senpai, don't say such harsh things like that," Morinaga replied with a pout. "Someone as beautiful as you shouldn't speak in such a way."
"Y-you think I'm beautiful, Morinaga?" Souichi stuttered out with a light blush on his smooth face.
"Of course, Senpai. I noticed you from the moment I stepped foot onto this campus. You stood out like a beacon amongst the darkened skies of a lost harbor. Your lovely long locks beckoned out to me like the famed Sirens of the mystic ages. Senpai, you look absolutely stunning today."
Souichi's shy gaze slipped down to the floor as his blush intensified. "Well, I-I was just trying to get your attention, Morinaga-kun. There are so many beautiful women here and I assumed that someone as handsome as you would never even consider a couth person such as I."
Morinaga let the broom slip from his hands to the floor with a clatter. He stepped over it and strode over to his trembling senpai. Gathering the slim body of his beloved within his arms, he slid his hands into that heavenly mane of hair. "Senpai, I could care less about the most beautiful woman on the planet because right now I hold the most beautiful man. And he is the one that is meant for me."
"M-Morinaga-kun?" Souichi gasped.
"No, Souichi," Morinaga interrupted with a finger on those plump pink lips. "It's Tetsuhiro."
He claimed that beckoning mouth with his own and knew that-
"Oi! Morinaga! Wake the fuck up! Honestly why do I bother keeping you around?"
"But, Senpai," Morinaga replied thickly with the image of the other man trembling in his arms still fresh in his mind, "you look really good today. I like what you did with your hair."
Souichi stopped in his tracks and tugged at the ends of his hair. A growl bubbled up from within his slender frame and he pulled his hair up into a low ponytail and held it with one hand. Morinaga looked on in amusement as Souichi's head whipped from side to side as he frantically searched for his hair tie. Gleefully, Morinaga picked up the wayward tie from it's forgotten position on the table nearest him and quickly shoved it into his pocket.
"Move," Souichi ordered as he elbowed Morinaga out of his path. "Where the hell did I put the damn thing?"
"Put what, Senpai?" Morinaga questioned with as much feigned innocence that he could muster.
"My lighter, Morinaga. I'm going to torch that fucking hideous sweater that you have on and do the entire world a favor before it goes blind."
"Senpai! I happen to like this sweater! It was a gift from Yamaguchi-kun."
"Then you should kick him in the crotch because yellow is not your color. That disgusting shade isn't anyone's color."
"Well dont ask me stupid questions then! What else would I be looking for? My tie!" Souichi stood in the middle of the lab with one hand still placed in his hair holding it together and the other on his hip. "Have you seen it?"
Morinaga couldn't seem to hear the words aimed at him. He was much too busy trying not to drool unattractively at the sight before him. Senpai looked absolutely mouth-watering with the way his hip was cocked to one side and his hand buried away from view. His posture just drew attention to his slim waist and wondrous torso. How could Morinaga get him to let his hair down again? If he shouted out "Fire!" and scrambled away like a maniac, then that should be enough, right?
"Oi, Morinaga! Answer me!"
Morinaga blinked himself to the matter at hand or rather the furious gorgeous man matter at hand. "No, I haven't seen it but I am ready to look at the cultures now."
"I can't work with my hair in my face. It'll get annoying!"
"Senpai, you said it yourself. You already wasted enough time waiting for me. Should we spend more looking for a hair tie?"
Souichi slitted his eyes in response to Morinaga's statement to which the taller man widened his own in continued false innocence. For a moment, Morinaga was certain that the other man had seen through his act and would tackle him to the floor in a mess of fists and flying kicks. Not that Morinaga would mind having his senpai on top of him. No, he wouldn't mind that at all.
"Whatever," Souichi muttered as he released his hold on his hair and let the tresses fall much to Morinaga's delight. "Get over here."
Morinaga nodded in joy and quickly dumped the glass into a wastebasket and put the broom and dustpan away. He walked over to his senpai who was standing next to the tray of cultures. Morinaga took a seat on a stool and was slightly startled when the tray was shoved to him.
"Check it," the irate older man growled before seating himself next to Morinaga.
Morinaga tried to immediately follow Senpai's orders but such a simple thing was too much to be asked of him at that moment. The man was just too gorgeous with his hair loose even when he was angrily placing slides in the viewfinder of the microscope. The way it flowed and framed Senpai's body sung out to him with it's silky call. It was almost too much for him to bear.
"I am going to kill you very soon, Morinaga."
"W-what am I checking for?" Morinaga responded swiftly in an effort to ground himself and get to work. He really didn't want to anger Senpai even more than he already had with his tardiness.
"You'll know it when you see it," was the stunted response he received.
"Well, yes...but if I know what to specifically search for then I can give you my take on it faster."
"Had you been here when I said to be here then I would have had the time to give you the full report. I have no time for that now."
"Senpai, I already explained that. I'm sorry!"
"Check it, Morinaga!"
Silence sat cheerfully on Morinaga's shoulder. He waited for a few more minutes for a response but none came. The other man continued to view the slides in stony stillness. Morinaga huffed in disappointment and gazed down at the cultures but found himself unable to concentrate on them at all.
He wished that he could tell Senpai everything. He wished that he had the strength to look Tatsumi Souichi square in those gorgeous eyes and tell the man how much he loved him. How long he's loved him. How his heart fluttered like the quick wings of a hummingbird whenever the bespectacled man was near. How absolutely perfect he was in every aspect of the word.
Morinaga found himself once again admiring the lean lines of Senpai's profile. This was pathetic. Watching from afar for four years and not doing a damn thing about it. Morinaga would scoff at such behavior if it weren't his own. Maybe now was the time. What was he waiting for? A graven invitation? After all, Tomoe's boyfriend was still alive and breathing. Senpai couldn't despise homos as much as he claimed to, right?
Morinaga took a deep breath and plundered on before he lost his twitchy nerve. "Senpai?"
"What?" the man in question muttered with eyes still trained onto the slides.
"Senpai, I need to tell you something."
"What is it?" Souichi replied as his long fingers twirled at the knobs of the microscope.
"Well, Senpai...I...well,I...Senpai, could you look at me, please? This is very important."
The man continued to work despite the pleading undertone that had begun to seep into Morinaga's voice. "Important to you or important to me?"
"I said is it important to you or me? I'm not going to break into my work schedule for some silly thing, Morinaga."
Morinaga's face flushed in indignation. So his confession of pure unfiltered love wasn't even going to be considered important now? Did this insufferable man not understand that he was about to bare his entire heart here?
"It's important to me!"
Souichi turned his head and fixed a look of scrutiny on Morinaga at the unexpected outburst. His elegant eyebrows rose as the younger man floundered for words.
Morinaga wanted to hit himself. He wanted this moment to go as perfectly as he always dreamed and instead he was a flushed undignified mess. Why was he always so ineloquent around Senpai? And why couldn't that man make things easy for him for once?
"A-and it's important to you too," Morinaga said softly. At least he hoped with all his being that it was.
Souichi's stare bore through Morinaga for a few more seconds before he sighed and turned on his stool to face Morinaga. "Fine. What is it?"
This was it. He had Senpai's full attention now. It was time to sink or swim, kill or be killed, soar or crash in a giant ball of all-consuming fire. He had to do this right or his entire world would go up in flames and black smoke and his heart would burst it's capillaries causing him to writhe in agony and-.
"Morinaga, what the fuck is it?"
Morinaga snapped back to attention. Right. Senpai. Confession of love. Got it. "Well, Senpai...I've been wanting to tell you this for a while now and I think the best way is to just come out with it. Senpai, I lov-."
Morinaga whirled around in surprise at the boisterous voice that resonated through the lab. He was met with the sight of a muscular older man with slicked black hair and a prominent mustache on his upper lip. The man strolled in without a glance at Morinaga and his stunned expression and threw an arm around Souichi's shoulders. Morinaga couldn't help noting how the man's bulky arm seemed to cause Senpai's tall frame to shrink down in comparison.
"Tatsumi-kun!" the overly loud man proclaimed as he jostled Souichi to and fro. "Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to contact you? I've been trying to reach you all day!"
"I've been busy, Miyoshi-sensei."
"You don't say! And here I was thinking you were ignoring me!"
"Because you wouldn't ever do such a rude thing as purposely ignoring me, would you, Tatsumi-kun? I wouldn't like that very much. No, not at all."
"It would be very hard to ignore a man like you, Miyoshi-sensei."
The larger man let out a hearty chortle at Souichi's response. He raised a hand back and patted Souichi on the back soundly causing him to pitch forward off of his stool. "Tatsumi-kun, you kill me!"
Morinaga caught his senpai quickly as the long-haired man jolted forward into him. "Are you all right, Senpai?"
"I'm fine," Souichi hissed and brushed the concerned man away. He sat himself on the stool and fixed his glasses with a huff. Turning towards the still-chuckling man, he stiffened with annoyance. "What did you need, Miyoshi-sensei?"
"Oh, right!" the burly man exclaimed once his laughter had died down. "Some co-workers and I are going out to have a couple of beers later tonight. You should come."
"Oh, dont be that way, Tatsumi-kun. Come!"
"I don't think so."
"Why not? You got a hot girl to entertain, is that it? Who is she, Tatsumi-kun? Is she one of my students? You lucky guy!"
Souichi fell forward once more as the exuberant man gave the smaller Souichi another pat on the back. Morinaga stiffened in surprise when his senpai landed face-first into his crotch. He couldn't help the grin that spread on his face as Senpai scrambled up with a sputter.
"You okay, Senpai?" he asked through his wide smile.
"Shut up, Morinaga," Souichi replied icily before setting a glare onto the brawny man. "There is no girl, Miyoshi-sensei. I'm just busy."
"With what? You're always working, Tatsumi-kun. Come on. Live a little!"
"I have other plans," Souichi stated and pointedly fixed his gaze on Morinaga. "With him."
Both Morinaga and the other man were taken aback in surprise. It was the stranger who shook out of it first. He studied Morinaga intently as he spoke.
"And who is this?"
"Morinaga Tetsuhiro," Souichi answered. "He's my lab assistant. Morinaga, this is Assistant Professor Miyoshi. He transferred here not too long ago."
Morinaga pulled himself out of his shock at the introduction and politely bowed to the other man. He rose to find the piercing gaze of the professor still on him. "It's nice to meet you, Miyoshi-sensei."
"Have I taught you before, kid?"
"I see," the professor said and took his unnerving eyes off of Morinaga. "I love the new look, Tatsumi-kun. It suits you."
Morinaga felt a flare in his chest when Professor Miyoshi reached down and ran a hand through Senpai's hair. A maelstrom of emotions ate at his ribcage at the sight of Senpai's hair cascading over and around Professor Miyoshi's entirely undeserving hand.
"It's against my will," Souichi said as he angled his head away from the professor's grasp. "I can't find my hair tie anywhere."
Morinaga fought the violent urge to push Professor Miyoshi away from his senpai. The older man was fiddling with the ends of Souichi's hair despite the smaller man having attempted to move away from him. Seeing the scene in front of him, Morinaga regretted taking Senpai's tie. If he hadn't been a selfish loon then he would have saved Senpai's mane from the molestation it was currently receiving. But he couldn't yank the tie out of his pocket and yell "Oops, here it is!" at this point. Senpai would kill him and probably kill Professor Miyoshi as well. Morinaga couldn't enjoy that if he were dead too.
He searched around himself quickly and snatched up a rubber band that he had tossed to the side a few days earlier. "Here, Senpai! You can use this."
Souichi glanced at the rubber band and shook his head. "Those hurt."
"I've got something," Professor Miyoshi piped up and reached into his back pants pocket. "Here."
Morinaga watched dumb-founded as the man presented a vibrant red ribbon to Senpai. "Where did you get that?"
Professor Miyoshi glanced at Morinaga with unabashed disdain before answering. "A student of mine left it behind after my morning class. I was keeping it to return to her but I'm sure she won't mind if Tatsumi-kun borrows it. She's a nice girl."
"No thanks, Miyoshi-sen-."
"Hold still now, Tatsumi-kun," the professor broke in and swiftly gathered Souichi's hair into a high ponytail. The man deftly wrapped the ribbon around and knotted it into a bow. Beaming pridefully, he stepped back to admire his handiwork. "There you are! Absolutely great. I really like it, Tatsumi-kun."
Morinaga could just feel the anger radiating off of his senpai and for once it wasn't aimed at him. He bit his lip at the tight jaw and clenched fists he saw but was completely amazed nonetheless at how oblivious Professor Miyoshi was to the murderous aura surrounding the silver-haired man. Or perhaps he simply didn't care?
"She's probably looking for this right now so just take it back."
"Nonsense, Tatsumi-kun. She probably hasn't even realized she left it behind."
"Whatever. I don't want it so just t-."
"Leave it in, Tatsumi-kun." Professor Miyoshi had stepped closer to Souichi and in the blink of an eye had his hand at the back of Souichi's neck. "I like it. Leave it in."
"Miyoshi-sensei, I have other plans tonight. I'm sorry. Did you need anything else?" Souichi bit out between gritted teeth.
The professor gazed down at the ribbon and nodded slightly before releasing his touch on Souichi's neck. "No, I'm off now. Take care to remember what I said about working too much, Tatsumi-kun. I don't want to see that pretty face of yours full of premature lines and wrinkles, okay? It was good to meet you, Matsumoto-san."
Morinaga ignored the blatant flub at his name and bowed deeply. He didn't rise up until he heard the sound of the lab door sliding shut. He settled himself comfortably on the stool and turned his gaze to Senpai.
He wasn't surprised at all to find Souichi piercing holes through the lab door with his eyes. His senpai was a very private person that absolutely abhored physical contact whether it be congenial or not. Not to mention the manner in which Professor Miyoshi completely disregarded Souichi's obvious discomfort was certainly enough to bring Senpai to a boiling point.
"Some guy, huh, Senpai?" Morinaga questioned tentatively, not wanting to bring the other man's wrath down upon himself.
A tense silence filled the air around the two men. Morinaga felt absolutely terrible at that moment. It was all his fault. Souichi had already been in a bad mood because of that blackout and Morinaga's resulting alarm clock mishap and now the light-haired man was practically seething due to Professor Miyoshi's behavior.
"Give that to me," Souichi snapped and snatched the rubber band out of Morinaga's hand. He yanked the red ribbon out and tied his hair into a low ponytail once more. After tossing the offending ribbon onto Morinaga's lap, he resumed his study of the microscopic slides.
"But, Senpai...won't that hurt to take out later?"
"I don't care," Souichi replied heatily. "Just shut up already. Your voice is getting on my nerves. And get rid of that."
Despite his senpai's harsh words, Morinaga was pleased with the situation. So it seemed that there existed a person that enraged Senpai even more than he did. Perhaps Morinaga could figure out a way to get the older man and Senpai in the same room more often. Morinaga was sure that he would look better and better to Senpai by comparison. Morinaga contemplated the idea for a bit before the unbidden image of Professor Miyoshi stroking Senpai's hair brought him to a screeching halt. Professor Miyoshi in the same room as his senpai was most certainly not a good idea. Well, at least when nobody else was around.
"Morinaga," Souichi called out to him unexpectedly.
"What was it you were gonna tell me before that idiot came in?"
"Oh!" Morinaga sputtered at Souichi's words. His confession of love. He had been interrupted by the professor but he now found it difficult to summon up the shaky courage that he had earlier. It pained him to admit that the moment had passed.
"Forget it, Senpai. It's not important."
Souichi looked like he was about to call out the contradiction of Morinaga's claim now from his claim earlier but instead shook his head and resumed his work. "Get rid of that."
Morinaga glanced down at the red ribbon lying placidly in his lap. "Really, Senpai? I thought you looked good with it. Red is definitely your color."
"I don't care about that! Get rid of the fucking thing!"
"I can't just throw it away, Senpai. It doesn't belong to either of us."
"Burn it, bury it, shove it in your ass! I don't give a shit about what you do with it!"
Morinaga shut his mouth at the heated statement and picked up the ribbon. Wrapping it around his fingers, he smirked wickedly. Well, Senpai did say that he didn't care what he did with it...
"Kanako, that hurts! Quit yanking it!"
"But that's the only way I can get it out, Big Brother, so please stop complaining!"
"Just cut it out!"
"I would but Auntie Matsuda misplaced the scissors."
"I'm so sorry, Sou-kun!"
"It's not your fault, Auntie Matsuda. It's Big Brother's fault for using a rubber band to tie up his hair despite what happened last time. Nii-san, why did you let your hair down anyway?"
"None of your business, Kanako! It's that damn Morinaga's fault anyway! If he hadn't been late then I wouldn't have gotten so upset!"
"Don't you blame Morinaga-san for your problems, Big Brother! There it's out."
"Is that how you thank your wonderful helpful little sister for bailing your big head out?"
"Looks like it."
"Fine. Thank you very much for what you did, Kanako."
"Sou-kun, why didn't you just use this?"
"Oh, it's so pretty! Red is my favorite color! Where did you get it, Auntie Matsuda?"
"It fell out of Sou-kun's lab coat."
"Big Brother will look so cute! Can I tie it in your hair, Nii-san? I don't care what you say. I'm doing it anyway. Auntie Matsuda, come help me!"
"Kanako, get away from me!"
"It came from your lab coat, Big Brother! So be a man and let me tie a big pretty bow in your hair!"
"I told you to quit blaming Morinaga-san for your problems, Nii-san! Now let me make you pretty!"