Chapter Seven: More Than You Know


Keiji, Ieyasu, and Motochika all stopped working to marvel at the sight before them. Down the stairs came Yukimura hand in hand with Masamune. It was an unbelievable sight to them. Keiji was the first to recover from their shock. He grinned madly and gave a small chuckle. "Hey, if it isn't the two love bi-"

"Hey, guys! How did the cleaning go?" Ieyasu asked as he sharply jabbed Keiji in the ribs, a huge smile plastered on his face as if nothing was wrong. Motochika snorted into laughter.

Masamune had caught Keiji's remark and refused to blush. He acted as if he hadn't heard the comment at all and kept his hand in Yukimura's, even giving it a slight squeeze. Yukimura glanced down at Masamune's hand in his when he felt him squeeze it tighter. A smile crept upon his face then, though he wasn't sure why the contact made him so happy. He was brought out of his happy thoughts when he heard Keiji and Masamune arguing. Masamune gave a vicious smile to the three teens and said, "Though it was a big room, there wasn't much to clean." Masamune looked over the mural. He smirked as he saw an opportunity for revenge. "Oh, wow. That's looking pretty cool, but I think you're missing something, Keiji. You should use a color like the one on my hat." Masamune pointed to his hat using the middle finger of his free hand. Keiji frowned and turned back to the mural. Masamune let his hand fall to his side and smirked at Keiji once again. "I thought so, circus clown."

With a pout, Yukimura elbowed Masamune in the side, "Do you always have to start fights with people?" He glared disapprovingly, though he had to admit, Keiji was overbearing sometimes and he has been tempted to give him a good punch in the face as well. Still, Yukimura fought with good intentions while Masamune... didn't seem to think on the same plane he did.

"Me start the fight? As far as I'm concerned he started the fight!" Masamune growled point accusingly at Keiji. Keiji held up his hands in defense.

"Hey, now! I only said that you two are-"

"Shut up! Don't say it again!" Masamune shouted finally allowing a blush to creep on his face. He glared at Keiji and pulled Yukimura away. "Are we gonna go on that walk or not?"

"S-Say what-" Yukimura bit his lip as he cut himself off, seeing Masamune seemed a little too flustered to speak. He looked at Ieyasu and the others and saw they were laughing at something, and he wanted to know what it was, "But... what did he say?"

"I was saying how you-"

"You two should get going on that walk or it'll get too dark out to enjoy anything!" Motochika interjected this time, pitying his friend as he had never seen him blush so hard in all the time he's known him. He smirked at Masamune, and then watched as he practically dragged Yukimura out of the bar. Once the doors closed behind them, he and Ieyasu glared at Keiji.

"You do know that there's a time and place for certain things, right?" Ieyasu sighed, shaking his head at the artist.

"What? I was only having fun. Besides, love is a beautiful thing!" Keiji beamed. Motochika just about screamed while Ieyasu laughed the matter away and returned to cleaning the paint supplies.

Masamune quickly pulled Yukimura away from the bar and into the park across the street. He walked at a brisk pace to escape Keiji's torment, but once they were safe in the park, he slowed down his pace and actually started to take in their surroundings. Then, he remembered that Yukimura was the one to suggest the walk. "Oh, um... Is this place good for the walk?" Masamune asked slapping himself for how nervous he sounded.

Yukimura blinked and looked at Masamune, then doubled over in laughter as he let go of his hand to clutch his sides. Masamune frowned and fought the urge to leave the kid, not sure if he was offended by the laughter yet.

"Sorry, Masamune-dono, I just..." He paused to let out the stray chuckles, "I just find it entertaining how flustered you get and how much you try to hide it." He smiled, but it easily changed into a smirk, "Maybe it's payback for your relentless teasing, just to show you that I can do the same to you!"

This time it was Masamune's turn to laugh. While he didn't kneel over in laughter, he did wipe away a few tears. He was still chuckling when he chose to speak next. "You? Tease me? That'll never happen. I'd love to see the day that you're able to tease me," Masamune laughed once more as if it were funnier a second time.

Yukimura pouted, cutting his eyes at the man, "You say I can't tease you yet you blush quite often when you're around me." He stated flatly and crossed his arms.

Masamune stopped laughing immediately when he heard that and panicked as to how to respond. The longer he didn't answer though, the more he felt compelled to because of Yukimura's pout. "W-Well... This and that are two different things..." Masamune mumbled not quite sure where he was going with this.

Yukimura smirked and raised an eyebrow, "Oh really? Do explain, Masamune-dono." The smirk on Yukimura's face gave away how much he was enjoying these turn of events. Masamune only served him further enjoyment as he started mumbling about, unable to come up with a good response. Every sentence that was cut short only embarrassed Masamune further. Yukimura was about to change the subject when Masamune finally gave a heavy sigh signaling the surrender of his pride.

"When I blush around you, it's not like you're teasing me or doing anything special, you know? It's just... you."

Yukimura's face instantly sobered and even grew very warm. His heart fluttered and his throat closed up, but outwardly, he remained very calm. "I... don't understand." The brunette smiled sheepishly and saw this was only making his friend even more nervous... Oh, the woes of a heart that shows much mercy, "F-Forget it, it's fine, let's just keep walking, hm?" He wanted to reach for his hand again, but stopped himself, unsure of why he wanted any of those kinds of things from Masamune in the first place. Masamune saw Yukimura reach for his hand and he wanted him to grab it. Though when Yukimura shoved his hand in his pocket, Masamune felt his heart fall for some unknown reason. He had half a mind to just seize Yukimura's hand from his pocket and hold it, but he didn't want things to get more awkward. He pulled his hand away from Yukimura's side and shoved it into his pocket as well.

Without another word, the two continued walking down the path. Yukimura walked with a childish bounce to his walk taking in everything and anything while Masamune walked with large awkward steps barely glancing around, just enjoying the soft sounds around them. A contented smile stayed on both their faces, but then Yukimura saw it. He stopped walking, big red-brown eyes set straight ahead of them as he deeply inhaled the sweet, sweet smell of a treat he knew all too well.

"Dango!" He exclaimed, now running in the direction of the little dango shop.

"Dango? He's running for dango?" Masamune asked himself before running to catch up with Yukimura who was already only a few feet from the shop. Seeing the distance between them he then started to run faster hoping to catch up before he lost his companion.

Yukimura skid to a stop as he took in the scent of the delicious treat. He sighed, then looked at Masamune who just now caught up to him, "Oh, sorry... Dango is my favorite, and it's been a while since I've had it." Yukimura scratched the side of his cheek and waited in line. After a little thought, he looked up at his companion, "Want some? I'll pay." He offered.

"Huh? You've gotta be kidding me," Masamune breathed out, still trying to catch his breath. He glared the menu before sighing. "Fine I'll get some. It won't kill me after all."

Yukimura quirked an eyebrow, "What's that supposed to mean? If you don't like it, I'm not forcing you to get any, I just offered..."

"No, that's not what I meant. I just don't eat sweets too often. I want some," Masamune insisted trying to not offend the other once again.

"Hmm... Mmkay." Yukimura dug his wallet out of his pocket and ordered some dango for him and Masamune. After paying and receiving the food, he found a bench nearby and led his friend to it, already grabbing a stick of dango to eat. "Yessss, it's been forever since I've had this!" He quickly bit into the first ball, but flinched, "Ow, it's hot!" He pouted and waited for it to cool down, but he obviously wasn't very patient as he just stared the dango stick down intensely as if he were speaking to it in his head.

Masamune laughed at Yukimura's impatience. He really was such a child sometimes that it amazed him. "Why don't we talk to each other while waiting for our dango to cool down?" he offered to distract Yukimura from his impatient waiting.

The brunette pouted as he stared at his dango, but put it back down on the plate and set it aside, "Alright, then what would you like to talk about?" He relaxed on the bench and looked up at the other with curious eyes.

Masamune thought for a few seconds before deciding something to talk about. "You ran pretty fast to get here. Is it safe to assume that dango is your favorite food or is it just all sweets?" he asked genuinely curious.

"I like sweet foods, yes, but dango is definitely my favorite! I could eat it forever..." Yukimura said almost dreamily. He groaned and glared at the steaming dango sticks, "Why'd you wanna talk about the food if I'm already waiting for them to cool down?!" He whined, though it was all in good fun.

"Not sure. It was just something that was on my mind till just now. If you don't like the way I run a conversation then you run it," Masmaune challenged, grinning madly.

"..." The brunette glared at the other intensely, trying to search for something to talk about, "...Hmm..." He fidgeted a little as he thought harder, and then sighed as he gave up, "Okay, I'm too curious. What's your favorite food?"

"My favorite food? It's probably gotta be tonjiro. Yeah, it's most definitely tonjiro, especially the tonjiro that Kojuro makes. It's the best thing ever," Masamune sighed dreamily, recreating the tonjiro to taste in his imagination.

"It sounds like it tastes good." Yukimura laughed at Masamune's reaction, "...Can I come over some time and try it?"

Masamune thought about it for a second before realizing he really didn't have to think about it at all. He really did want Yukimura to come over to eat dinner with him. "Hmm, I think I can arrange that. I'll have to ask Kojuro when he's gonna make it again," he said thinking about the last time he had eaten tonjiro.

Hearing this, Yukimura smiled, "Great! Hmm... I can't think of anything but food, so are there any foreign foods you've had or wanted to try?"

"I've had some American macaroni and cheese. That was pretty good. Their pasta over there isn't bad," Masamune said with a shrug.

Yukimura pouted, "No fair, I want American food... It looks really good." He sighed and slouched in his seat, "I also wouldn't mind trying Italian foods. They look pretty good too." He stared up at the clouds overhead as he spoke, staring at nothing in particular.

"Well maybe we can go to America together one day. I know Kojuro leaves for America every now and then so it shouldn't be so hard to go, right?" Masamune offered with a shrug. He really wasn't sure of anything, but he didn't want to see Yukimura look so down about never eating American food.

"What? That's crazy!" Yukimura laughed a little at the idea, "I've never imagined myself going to America. I'm not very good at English anyway." He paused for a moment, and then looked at Masamune, "If we do end up going, you better make sure to teach me! You promised earlier..." A small blush made itself visible, as he only half remembered that conversation and remembered more of the desire to...

Yukimura flailed and sat up straight, his own thoughts torturing him.

Masamune raised an eyebrow at Yukimura's sudden jumpiness. "Hey, are you okay? You're kind of... spazzing out..." Masamune trailed off taking notice of Yukimura's state. His face flushed and his red-brown eyes flitting to and fro everywhere. He was starting to worry about the kid, more than he thought he should.

Yukimura laughed uneasily, "I'm fine! Just kinda freaked myself out there for a second..." He beamed a wide smile, hoping he wouldn't question him any further.

Masamune didn't exactly believe Yukimura when he said he was fine, but he took the hint and dropped the subject. He shrugged and gave Yukimura a lazy smile. "I did agree to teach you English, and I'll still do it too, if you want me to," Masamune said reaching out for a dango. He took a bite and smiled. "It's cooled off now so you can eat if you'd like."

Quicker than Masamune could have even noticed, Yukimura grabbed his dango stick and bit into it happily. He sighed contently and relaxed into his seat, "Dango gets better and better every time I eat it." He mused, already halfway done. Masamune sat and watched Yukimura happily scarf down his dango while enjoying his at a much slower pace.

Once Yukimura finished, he set the stick down on the plate and stared at the scenery before them. Even though he calmed himself down considerably, he still couldn't help but wrap his mind around what happened before Sasuke interrupted them... What if Sasuke hadn't interrupted them? What would that make Masamune to him, and would it affect their rivalry? A bunch of questions buzzed around in his head and soon enough he developed a slight headache. 'Idiot, you dodged the main question!' he thought to himself as he ran a hand through his hair, brows furrowed in thought.

Masamune noticed Yukimura's frustrations and slowly put down his stick though he was in mid bite. He raised an eyebrow at Yukimura. "Alright, I'm not gonna let you talk your way out of it this time. What's bugging you so badly? And don't say it's nothing 'cause I can tell this is eating you up." Masamune leaned back in his seat and folded his arms across his chest. He was determined to find out what was bothering Yukimura this time. He wasn't going to accept any lie or let it be brushed off. He was genuinely concerned now.

Yukimura's face reddened from the sudden pressure and he glared, "No, I'm not telling you." He said quickly. No way was he gonna embarrass himself like that.

Masamune growled and leaned towards Yukimura using the bench to steady himself. "Yukimura, tell me what's bothering you. You're starting to really worry me, and I'm not taking no for answer this time," Masamune demanded though it sounded more like a plea.

As he backed away from Masamune, he let his words sink in for a moment. He must have been serious, because it sounded less like a threat and more like genuine concern. His tense shoulders relaxed a bit, but he still glared at his friend, "You're gonna laugh at me though." Yukimura feebly protested.

"I'm not gonna laugh. If I do then I give you permission to hit me or whatever punishment you wanna do. I'm not kidding when I say I'm worried about you," Masamune said trying to convince Yukimura to open up to him.

Yukimura narrowed his gaze as he searched Masamune's eye for any sign of a lie. When he finally decided to give up, he drew in a deep breath and averted his gaze, "Have you k-kissed anyone before?"

Masamune blushed deeply, the red covering even his ears. He looked away from Yukimura and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, um, you see. Funny thing is, it's a long story, and I'll probably just bore you with the details. It was just such a long and tedious event that I… I mean I just... I... No," Masamune finally admitted refusing to look Yukimura in the eyes.

Yukimura deadpanned, returning his eyes to Masamune. He noticed the blush and the averted gaze and knew he was telling the truth, "What? R-Really?!" He paused to allow himself to regain his composure, afraid that his friend will take his freak-out as an insult, "W-Well... Wait a minute, how is it a long story if you haven't...?" Yukimura pondered his own question, then snapped his fingers, "Were you rejected by a girl?" He tilted his head curiously as he took a stab at guessing. He wouldn't admit it but he found it really surprising that someone as... attractive as Date Masamune never kissed anybody.

Masamune stammered a bit more before regaining his composure. "Well, um, yes and no... I've asked girls out before, but they all turned me down. I've been told I'm rude and intimidating, but I've gotten so used to it I didn't think it was that much of a problem," He laughed bitterly, then sighed, " I only said it was a long story because I was gonna lie to you, but then I just changed my mind. There's no long story just... I've never kissed anyone before," Masamune explained glancing quickly at Yukimura before averting his gaze again.

Yukimura frowned, "To be honest, I don't see how they could reject you..." he thought out loud, not even realizing he did.

Masamune looked back at Yukimura shocked at what he had just said. "What? What do you mean by that?"

"Huh? Oh... What I mean is; you... are..." Yukimura rubbed the back of his neck as he tried to carefully choose his words. As an awkward child, conversations proved to be quite a challenge, but he didn't want to let it get in the way of a friendship with Masamune. Aside from Sasuke and a select few other people, he seemed to be one of the only people he felt remotely comfortable around, "You do have a rough outer appearance, one that may intimidate people or make people angry... But in all honesty you're a very kind person and even though you say things to mock or tease people, I think you do it to see them smile, or react to your existence." To prove his point, the boy smiled reassuringly, "Not to mention, I… have noticed you're very picky with people you let become close to you, but you treat those few people very well. A quality like that is endearing, to say the least."

Masamune felt something bubble inside of him and he smiled nervously. Having Yukimura compliment him like this was such an uplifting feeling that he didn't want it to go away, though he was done with his fill of embarrassment. It was at that moment that he remembered that Yukimura still hadn't answered his original question. "Oh, I asked what was bothering you. What does my kissing anybody have to do with it?" Masamune asked.

Shit.

"Because..." Yukimura's throat went dry again. "Well, before, while we were in the upper level of the club, you..." He tried desperately to piece together a proper sentence but absolutely nothing wanted to be said. Finally he just gave up and after taking a deep breath, "I wanted to know if you actually intended on kissing me earlier or if it was an accident or if I was just going crazy!" He said in one fell swoop, leaving his face burning hot and him wanting to crumble away into dust and fly away with the wind.

Masamune was stunned into silence, unsure of what to do. He too wasn't sure what the moment back the club was, and he was sure that if Sasuke hadn't shown up, they would have kissed. Masamune then tried to find something to say in order to cover up what would have happened, but as he looked at Yukimura's red face, he found it impossible to lie to the boy seeing as how he was already suffering enough just by asking.

"Well... To be perfectly honest with you, if your friend hadn't shown up when he did I may have ended up... Kissing you. I'm not sure if that's what I intended to happen or not though!" he added quickly feeling this situation become even more and more awkward.

Yukimura listened to his friend intently, then after finally mustering enough courage, he spoke softly, "Would you have been okay with that...?"

Masamune froze knowing he had a tough choice to make. Should he tell the truth or should he lie? Which would end up being the worst choice to make? Giving up on thinking of an easy way out, Masamune took a deep breath and decided to tell the truth. Gathering up his courage he looked Yukimura in the eyes. "Honestly, I would have been okay with it... But please don't let that freak you out," he added as an afterthought. He would hate to lose Yukimura as a friendly rival this close after getting him.

Yukimura stared at him for a moment, too shocked and mentally flustered to speak. Finally he sighed and slammed his forehead to the table, "Finally, I feel better!" he exclaimed in his usual voice. He laughed a little bit, as if all of this awkward questioning could have been avoided had he just been direct (which was probably true). After he calmed down he sat up and smiled at Masamune, "I think it's you who needn't worry, Masamune-dono. Because, in truth... I-I would have been okay with it, too." This time, Yukimura kept his eyes locked on Masamune. Seeing as the man seemed to relax a little at the reassurance, he continued, "Growing up, I never really took much of an interest in relationships, I guess. I was just busy doing my own thing and… Well, it's not much of an issue for me either way, but please understand when I say you don't have to feel uncomfortable about matters like this with me." In the span of a couple hours, they managed to open up to each other a lot, and by now Yukimura felt comfortable enough to talk to Masamune without letting his social anxiety kick in... for the most part.

Masamune knew he was elated by what Yukimura had just shared with him, but how should he react? Should he shout loudly out of relief and happiness? Should he further advance on Yukimura? Should make subtle hints to him? Should he just sit there like an idiot with his mouth open? Yes, because that's all that he was capable at the moment. His mind had shut down replaced by a high giddiness floating about him. He was unable to speak or move, even though his face was embarrassingly happy.

Yukimura closely studied Masamune for a bit, and noticed that something seemed a little off. He waved a hand in front of Masamune's face, but that didn't help. As his curiosity increased, Yukimura smirked deviously and leaned in really close to Masamune's face, a good two inches apart. Seeing he still didn't know how to react, Yukimura drew in a deep breath and blew in his face. Upon seeing the man flinch and back away from the sudden gust of air, Yukimura burst into laughter and sprinted away down the path they came, instigating a chase.

Masamune growled and started chasing after Yukimura. "Sanada! I'm gonna get you! Don't think you'll get off easy!" he shouted hustling after Yukimura.

They ran all the way back to the club, Yukimura practically throwing the doors open and jumping over tables until he fell to his knees from running so hard (and laughing so hard at that).

"Woah there, tiger, what the hell happened?" Motochika asked from the bar. He was currently snacking on a few things he picked up from a convenience store down the street and was downing a bottle of green tea.

"Uh..." Yukimura didn't know how to answer that, but it's not like he had the breath to anyway. Instead he stood up and glanced at the door waiting for them to open once again.

Masamune charged into the room seeing nothing but Yukimura trapped. Taking full advantage of this situation, Masamune pounced and tackled Yukimura back to the ground. "Ha! I've caught you. Don't think you're gonna get off with just a tackle either for that little stunt. Try this on for size!" he exclaimed blowing into Yukimura's face with more force than Yukimura had used. Whenever he would run out of breath, he would just inhale and blow into Yukimura's face once again. Yukimura squirmed and wriggled underneath Masamune trying to break free of the air blowing on his face.

"Masamune-dono! S-Stop!" Yukimura shouted in between laughter and genuine panic. Masamune laughed and smirked down at Yukimura.

"If you want me to stop, then make me," Masamune cooed, blowing a soft and quick blow to Yukimura's face. Yukimura pouted at Masamune, sending a quick jab of guilt through him. Though, in the midst of his guilt, Masamune felt something else. It was something he was unfamiliar with but something he couldn't stop. Taking both him and Yukimura by surprise, he quickly closed the distance between them and pressed his lips to Yukimura's.

Choking on the cookie he was eating, Motochika sprang from his chair and shouted unintelligible things, "W-What the- DATE MASAM- WHAT THE HELL?!" He coughed and looked around for Keiji, but he remembered he left to put the boxes of paint away, "Fuck, of all times to... IEYASU!" He called as he ran to get him from upstairs.

While Motochika was freaking out, Yukimura was completely frozen under Masamune's body. He tried to verbally protest and push him off, but knew it was useless as Masamune just pressed harder into the kiss. To prevent any further headaches, Yukimura let his eyes slide shut and he surrendered to the sweet (but rough) sensation. Though it was only supposed to be a short kiss, Masamune couldn't bring himself to pull away now. The high giddiness from before had returned tenfold, and he didn't want it to end. He pressed harder into the kiss, moving his lips clumsily against Yukimura's, enjoying however much of this kiss he could.

Unable to fight Masamune's growing curiosity, Yukimura opened his mouth ever so slightly to allow for breath, but instead was met with the other's tongue running along his own. He blushed furiously and quickly grabbed a fistful of Masamune's jacket. He didn't pull or push away though, only held on tightly as a means of anchoring himself to reality. As they clumsily danced further into the kiss, a soft but content sound rose from Yukimura and just like that, his eyes shot open and he moved his hands to Masamune's chest, roughly pushing him away. He stared at the man above him with nothing but dazed shock on his face. He panted heavily, not realizing just how out of breath he was from the kiss.

Also panting heavily, Masamune looked to Yukimura for answers why he was pushed away when he thought they were both enjoying the kiss. That's when the previous events finally registered in his head. He quickly scrambled backwards away from Yukimura. "Shit! Um... Sorry! That was- I didn't mean to- I mean I didn't- I just," He finally gave up on his stuttering and quickly left the room. He scrambled up the stairs towards where Motochika and Ieyasu were talking suspiciously together. Masamune grabbed Motochika's jacket and started pulling him away. "Hi, Ieyasu! Bye, Ieyasu. We REALLY need to get home now, so I'll see you later!" Masamune frantically pulled Motochika downstairs, breezing by where Yukimura sat, still in shock at the recent turn of events. Seeing Motochika slow down to call out to Yukimura, Masamune shoved Motochika outside and towards his motorcycle. He hopped in the side car and held out the keys to Chosokabe. "Drive home. Now. Now, let's go. Please just HURRY UP."

"Woah, slow down there, you sly sonnuva bitch!" Motochika smirked and took the keys, stuffing them in his pocket to trap his friend, "I don't think it's really gentleman-like of you to leave the poor guy like that. Not after that rather steamy display." He whistled a mocking tune and laughed, then wrestled Masamune out of the side car and pushed him back toward the club entrance. "Get yer ass back inside." He demanded.

Meanwhile inside, Yukimura sat up and had a hand over his mouth, unsure of how to feel. He contributed to the kiss. He let it happen. And he... he moaned?

"SO SHAMEFUL!" He shouted and buried his face in his hands, falling back to the floor. He looked up and saw Ieyasu laughing at him and his face just got redder, "I-It's not funny, Ieyasu-dono!" He groaned and got up, hastily marching over to get his plaid jacket. He shoved his arms in the sleeves, all the while trying to shake out the shameful thoughts from his mind.

"Sorry, I don't mean to laugh my friend, but you look so happy. I know you aren't the type for love, so knowing that you've finally kissed someone is a major accomplishment," Ieyasu said calmly. He smiled as he heard loud voices from outside. "Your bond with him is already so strong. I can only imagine how much stronger it will be over time. You've gotten yourself a once in a lifetime encounter, Yukimura. Consider yourself lucky." Yukimura paused in his shuffling around to glance at Ieyasu. Everything he had just said, he had said in earnest- though most everything he says is in earnest.

"Ieyasu-dono, but we're supposed to be rivals and yet I… I… S-So shameless!" Yukimura shouted hiding his red face in his hands as he once more remembered the kiss. Ieyasu gave a short chuckle.

"So what if you're rivals? Mitsunari is my rival and yet I want to become closer to him as well. I envy your relationship with Masamune since Mitsunari seems to want to have nothing to do with me lately," Ieyasu trailed off, an almost pained look on his face. As Yukimura was about to console him, a carefree smile once again played on his face. "Instead of worrying so much about small things as that, just enjoy things as they are and have fun. I'm sure Masamune wants the same as well."

Just then, the door opened once again. Masamune walked inside with a determined yet considerably red face followed closely behind a smugly grinning Motochika. Masamune made his way over to Yukimura, stopping a few feet in front of him. He took a deep calming breath before looking Yukimura in the eyes. "I'm not sure why I did what I did and I didn't mean to do it, but I am not going to take it back. It may be a bit confusing, but I don't care so long as our rivalry isn't affect by this. I don't want anything to get between our rivalry until someone wins. Nothing like that is gonna happen again, not until I beat you at least," Masamune said, smirking at Yukimura towards the end.

Yukimura smiled, knowing that nothing had changed between him and Masamune. It was an overwhelming feeling knowing that he was that relieved by this news, but that relief was the least of Yukimura's worries now. He gave Masamune a cheeky smirk knowing full well that last comment was made to tease him. "I think you mean not until I beat you, Masamune-dono," Yukimura said with a confident chuckle. Masamune growled in annoyance.

"Yeah right, Sanada! The whole crowd will be calling my name in the future, not yours! You can bet on that!" Masamune argued moving towards Yukimura, gearing to start an argument. Motochika quickly grabbed Masamune from under his arms and started pulling him back.

"And this is where we leave now. Ieyasu, tell Keiji I have to get him home. I'll come back if he still needs help, but it is about time we returned. Later, bitches," Motochika called, pulling a very annoyed Masamune along with him. He continued shouting and struggling against Motochika until they were out the door. Once the arguing had stopped and the sound of the motorcycle had faded away, Yukimura and Ieyasu both burst into laughter.

"I look forward to the day we dance against each other again, Masamune-dono," Yukimura smiled, his laughter finally dying down.

Masamune and Motochika sat on the couch after eating dinner that night. Masamune was lazily lounging, barely paying any attention to the action movie on the t.v. He found himself distracted by the sly glances Motochika would slip Masamune every once in a while. Finally at his wit's end, Masamune turned to glare at Motochika. "What?" he asked snappily. Motochika gave a childish snort of laughter; something that let Masamune know what was coming next would be unpleasant.

"That was some kiss, huh?" Motochika asked slyly. Masamune blushed and quickly moved his hands to his ears.

"Nope! We are not gonna talk about this! Not now, not ever!" Masamune shouted, trying to block out what Motochika was saying.

"Well get over it, you sonnuva bitch, because we're talking about it, right here, right now," Motochika demanded.

"La la la la! I can't hear you!" Masamune shouted, trying to drown out Motochika. Motochika glared at Masamune and moved his arms down.

"Masamune, cut the crap and let's get serious. I just wanna know what's going on. I thought you hated him after all, so imagine my surprise when I see you kiss him so suddenly. I just wanna know what happened between you two to change things like that," Motochika rationed. Masamune frowned before reclaiming his captured hands. He glanced away from Motochika, a bit embarrassed.

"I never hated the guy. Sure I was angry, but more than anything I really respected his skill. I just felt stupid after finding out he was a guy. Imagine how you would feel if after hitting on Magoichi you found out she was a guy," Masamune supplied. Motochika grimaced and open his mouth to object, but Masamune cut in again. "Sorry, that was a bad comparison and not really fair to you. Plus Magoichi would kill me if she found out I was calling her a man, so don't tell her I said that. But anyways, Yukimura and I, we got to talking and… We just hit it off, I guess. I don't really know what's going on now either, but I do like Yukimura. Though I like him, I'm not just gonna let him beat me in dancing either."

Motochika sat in thought, absorbing what Masamune had told him. Everything made sense to him, and he was more than happy for Masamune but one thing still stood out to him… "If you hit on him when you thought he was a girl, then why do you still like him when you know he's a boy?" Motochika asked. Masamune blushed furiously. He grabbed the pillow from the couch and shoved it in Motochika's face.

"Don't ask me! Why would I know?" Masamune shouted. He then ran upstairs to his room, locking himself inside with a loud slam. Motochika grabbed onto the pillow shoved in his face and began to think.

So Masamune is gay… or at least bisexual, he's got his own issues to work out. I guess he's the only- wait… Mitsunari likes to wear those skinny jeans and stuff, and he had two dads before they died... And he's been having issues with Ieyasu a lot lately, so he's got his own issues to work out. I guess Ieyasu is the only normal one lef- wait. He's having issues with Mitsunari… And I can tell that he at least doesn't hate Mitsunari. If anything it's like he wants to get closer to him… Who do I have to talk to about all of this? There's Magoichi! Wait… I can't talk to her about this, and then there's that bastard Keiji. "I don't have any good friends," Motochika finally said aloud, letting the revelation become fact as he groaned in defeat. Kojuro, who had just finished the dishes in the kitchen, came into the living room and heard Motochika speak.

"What was that Motochika-san?" Kojuro asked. Motochika turned to Kojuro.

"I've got some bad friends, and I don't have anyone to talk to about it," he sighed.

"I'm sure that's not true. What kind of friends do you have?"

"Well, one is having gay daddy problems and is taking that out on my other friend who seems to have a thing for him. Another friend is having his own issues about liking some guy he used to not like and almost hated, and then my only other friend left I kinda… have a thing for. But it's hard talking to her because some other bastard has a thing for her and takes up most of her time."

"Well, I can't condone those issues, though I myself would never partake in that kind of lifestyle. I guess as long as the issues work themselves out then one can live their life… that way. I can just say that I am proud of you and Masamune-sama for not letting your friends influence you to… that lifestyle," Kojuro said proudly, a small smile on his face. Motochika gave a nervous laugh, reading Kojuro's awkward feelings like a book by the way he was speaking.

"But uh, Kojuro… Masamune is one of the guys I was talking about," Motochika trailed off, feeling the levels of awkward rise within the situation. Kojuro froze, then the shock took over his face.

"What?! Ma-Masamune-sama!" Kojuro shouted, working his way upstairs. Motochika instantly felt a bit of pity for his friend when he heard the door open. Their shouts could be heard all the way downstairs, and Motochika was sure this was more awkward for Masamune than it was for him. He sighed and flopped on the couch, the pillow covering his face.

'I need new friends.'


Two weeks had passed since that eventful day, and neither Yukimura nor Masamune made it to the event held at the club then. Keiji sighed as he stood at the bar watching the television on the opposite wall. His glance shifted between the screen and that of his cellphone, as he was expecting at least someone to give him some details on the two love birds' conditions.

But alas, no word came.

"Man, I didn't think matchmaking would be this hard," he groaned, resting his chin in his open palm. Just then, he saw a familiar brunette come strolling into the club. He wore signature red attire and his long brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and Keiji couldn't help but beam a wide smile, "Yukimura-kun!"

"Nice to see you again, Maeda-dono," Yukimura greeted, Ieyasu following behind him, "My apologies for not having stopped by in a while. I've been busy practicing my dancing."

"I've heard the details, no need for those innocent excuses." Keiji smirked inwardly, a devious glint in his eyes. Yukimura immediately got the hint and he turned on his heel, his face flushed a deep shade of red rivaling his plaid jacket. Keiji laughed and watched as the boy easily made his way up the stairs to the upper floor, his second home. On that note, he turned to Ieyasu, who was patiently waiting out Keiji's distractions, "So how've things been? I haven't heard from neither you or Motochika-san."

"They actually haven't been communicating much, and I've not seen any of Masamune lately either," Ieyasu frowned, crossing his arms as he sighed in disappointment, "These two are harder to force together than they are to challenge each other. It makes me question whether their bonds are as strong as I thought they were, in the right sense I mean."

Keiji nodded in agreement, "They haven't shown up here for the past two weeks, and it's starting to worry me a little bit... From what I've gathered, they sound more like sexually frustrated enemies than potential passionate lovers. I wonder if we were wrong after all?" Ieyasu laughed at the choice of words, but even then his thoughts were in sync with the street artist's.

Before the two could get comfortable in their silence of defeat, Ieyasu's cellphone buzzed in his pocket, "Ah, it's Motochika!"

"Date's pretty fired up right now and looking for a challenge. We're on our way to the club now, you and Yukimura busy?" read the text.

Keiji laughed, "Looks like we've got ourselves a potential encounter!"