Teacher, father figure and lover? Warning: boys' love.
The sleeping figure before him looked too beautiful to be real. Porcelain smooth skin, sharp nose and curvy lips so luscious they seduced you. But it was real and was breathing softly.
‘Pi? Pi! There you are. They switched us to a bigger room. Come on, let’s go,’ Kame beckoned.
‘What? Oh yeah? Sure. Sure,’ Pi replied in a fluster.
‘What were you doing there, squatting suspiciously close to that sleeping person?’ Kame teased.
‘Nothing. Nothing at all,’ Pi assured.
‘Naughty, naughty,’ Kame chided.
‘What? I didn’t do nothing.’
‘But you wanna,’ Kame smirked.
‘Damn you, turtle. I really hate you sometimes,’ Pi cursed inaudibly.
But Pi wasn’t really the least offended. He was happy that he still had a friend here in Japan. After being away for so long and not keeping in contact, Pi was surprised to find his childhood buddy, Kame, ever as welcoming. It seemed their friendship had been safely locked away in a time capsule.
When delinquent Pi was sent back to Japan to live with his grandparents, one of the first things he did was to look Kame up. And he found himself right where they left off, at the doorstep of Kamenashi mansion.
It was also evening when he reluctantly left in his parent limousine for America a decade ago. Back then, he was fighting back tears and wildly waving goodbye to his brooding friend. He would have cried if Kame didn’t looked so comical like a turtle whose head was about to shrink into its shell.
Seeing Kame stroll down that same street, basking in the golden glow of the setting sun, Pi felt his face aglow too. His pet turtle was more than alive and kicking. It was breathtaking. Kame was quite taken aback too, to see his friend from way back, leaning outside his house waiting for him, like he always did.
‘Hey, asshole, where’s the letter you promised?’ Kame demanded.
‘I was waiting for you to write first,’ Pi retorted.
‘What?! Are you a girl?’ Kame exclaimed.
‘No, you are. You’ve become quite fetching,’ Pi answered, boldly pinched Kame’s chin.
‘But I’m not the one with man boobs,’ Kame protested, pinching Pi’s nipple in return, earning toned arms around his neck in a mock strangle.
As the two friends wrestled clumsily in the street, it was apparent that some things never change, and some feelings never change too.
For the sake of having someone to watch over their son, Pi’ parents enrolled Pi in the same high school as Kame. It was an elite school and Pi’s parents had to sponsor a whole new extension to the school library to persuade the management to overlook Pi’s long record of bad conduct.
All these were oblivious to Kame because the Pi he knew was not a bad kid. He just did stupid things, stupid things for the attention of his parents who were never around. And the smoking, shoplifting, and drunken fights also served as some kind of excitement Pi hoped would fill the emptiness that was eating away at him.
‘I think I’ll call her,’ Pi carelessly tossed a love letter onto Kame’s table.
‘She’s already the fifth one and you’ve only been here three weeks. Take it easy, will ya.’
‘But they keep coming. What’s a Casanova to do?’ Pi shrugged his shoulders in lazy justification.
‘At least Casanova was serious about them, even for a fleeting moment. You, you just use them. I sometimes wonder if you even really like girls,’ Kame winked playfully.
‘Maybe if it’s you, I’ll consider switching camp,’ Pi put on his dreamy eyes and winked back.
While the rest of the class was engrossed in their lunch, Jin was hardly hungry. The mushy exchange between Kame and Pi had ruined his appetite. And not even the sumptuous lobster lunch made by his sixth girlfriend of that new school year was enough to tempt him.
Being the school heart-throb, it was only natural that he felt threatened by Pi’s popularity with the girls. But even more so, he was disturbed by the intimacy he shared with Kame, his secret object of desire. It was bad enough that Kame only used to have eyes for their Japanese language teacher. Now he had another love rival. What would it take for Kame to look his way? Sometimes he wondered if he really needed to kick a soccer ball his way for some attention.
‘Pi, have you selected a club to join? You should. It’ll help you take you develop healthier interests.’
‘What’s wrong with sex?’
‘Too much of a good thing, you know,’ Kame almost shook his head in disbelief at his friend’s lifestyle.
‘Too much of a good thing is… great!’ Pi answered with glee.
Seeing Kame roll his eyes in exasperation, Pi grudgingly offered, ‘Maybe soccer.’
Being the school soccer captain, Jin of course accepted Pi’s application with delight. He was ecstatic that he could finally get a chance to lay his hands on Pi. But considering him a love rival, Jin wasn’t gonna let him off with the regular let’s-beat-the-crap-out-of-the-new-recruit drill. Pi deserved better.
‘Kick those balls, beyond those bushes. That’s, if you can,’ Jin taunted.
Never one to step down from a challenge, Pi kicked hard. But none of his balls made it anywhere near the bushes.
Suddenly, he saw a ball fly past him. It flew with such velocity that it easily made it past the scrubs, onto a passing teacher’s head.
Before he realized, he was standing in the school infirmary, looking down at a bandaged head.
‘Apologise! I say apologise now!’ The principal hollered.
‘I didn’t do it!’
‘The whole soccer team said it was you. Are you implying that they’re all lying? Mind you, I know of your past record in your American schools. You were transferred so often for misconduct. If you don’t want history to repeat itself, apologise! Now!’
Pi swallowed hard. It was one thing to disappoint parents who were never there, but a totally different story for doting grandparents.
‘I believe him,’ Takki said.
Pi was momentarily stunned. The victim sided with him. Nobody had ever sided with him.
‘It could've been an unintentional act by another boy. But the culprit was just too afraid to own up,’ Takki smilingly defended.
‘Anyway, I get hit by soccer balls more often than you can imagine. Only this time, it was more serious. Maybe I’m just a ball magnet,’ Takki good-naturedly explained.
‘Either way, you’re not starting this new school year very well. You’ve only just reported to work after a serious cold. You’d better take care.’
Then, having more pressing matters to handle than verifying if his teacher was indeed a ball magnet, the principal left matters as they were. He was leaving just as Kame rushed in.
‘Are you all right, Takizawa-san?’ Kame anxiously inquired.
‘Everything’s fine, except my glasses,’ Takki assured.
Sitting on the bed, Kame lightly caressed the bandage and examined the fortunately still flawless face.
Satisfied, Kame was ready to grill someone.
‘What happened, Pi? I heard you were involved.’ Kame interrogated.
‘Not as involved as the soccer captain himself,’ Pi defended heatedly.
It was all becoming clear to Kame.
‘Why the hell did you do that for? First, it was Ueda, then Junno then Koki then Maru. Just what do you have against my friends?’
Seeing Jin sullenly silent only infuriated Kame.
‘You make me sick. Get out of here.’
Jin, despite his flamboyance, was actually at a loss in front of the person he really liked.
‘If you’re not leaving, then I am.’
Jin was stupefied. His plan had backfired. Not only did he fail to get Pi expelled, Kame was now furious with him.
‘Go after him. Tell him how you really feel, instead of beating up ever perceived threat,’ Takki gently advised.
Dumbfounded, Jin was offended that the teacher read him like a book. Nevertheless, he slowly shuffled his way to the exit, bowed slightly and disappeared.
‘I’ll be your eyes,’ Pi said as he gently took Takki's hand and placed it on his shoulder.
‘Sorry to trouble you, Yamashita-kun. Without my glasses, I’m almost as blind as a bat.’
‘No, it’s my pleasure,’ Pi replied sincerely. It had been a while since he last saw Takki, sleeping in that karaoke room he mistakenly entered. Now the beautiful creature, albeit a bandaged one, was walking so close to him it was like a dream.
‘And please call me Pi. All my friends call me that.’
At the optical shop, Takki arranged for a pair of replacement spectacles, despite Pi’s vehement objection.
‘You really do look better without them, Takizawa-san.’
‘But I’m so used to them. Besides, I’m not the good-looking sort.’
‘Are you blind?! You’re so cute it hurts.’
Pi couldn’t stop himself in time and let it blurt out. Takki was so flattered, he blushed. He had never considered himself much to look at. And dressing up was never his thing, besides he had no reason to. Most of the time, he was a loner, leading a simple and quiet life.
‘But why does it hurt?’ Takki asked in all innocence.
‘I don’t know. It’s just an expression,’ Pi shrugged.
To thank him, Takki treated him to a sushi dinner. And it was the best dinner Pi had in a very long time. Dinners with his grandparent were usually silent affairs as they believed in showing reverence to the food they ate. But while Takki was fairly silent too, he listened. He listened to Pi’s stories, ideas and mindless chatter.
That night as they went their separate ways, Pi prayed that there were more dinners to come.
It didn’t take long for Pi’s prayers to be answered. He was soon sharing dinners with Takki as often as a few nights a week.
Thanks to the disgraceful grades of his neglected Japanese, he was enjoying private tuition at Takki’s place after school. Although Takki was not only his Japanese language teacher but also his homeroom teacher, Pi couldn’t see enough of him. Likewise, Takki was also very fond of the young boy’s company. It was like a ray of sunshine.
After tuition, it had become a ritual to cook dinner together.
‘No, silly. You don’t wash rice with detergent,’ Takki corrected.
‘Yes, Papa,’ Pi answered teasingly.
Over the many weeks, Pi had learnt so much from Takki that he was beginning to regard him more and more as a father figure.
‘You'd better blow dry your hair or you’ll catch a cold,’ Takki advised a topless Pi as he stepped out of the bathroom.
‘No… I want you to do it. Blow me, Papa,’ Pi breathed into Takki’s ear as he wrapped his arms around the latter’s shoulders.
‘Ehh?!’ Takki exclaimed.
‘No? Then let me blow you instead,’ Pi replied, tongue in cheek, as he winked suggestively.
‘If you misbehave, then no more sleepovers,’ Takki jokingly threatened.
Pouting, Pi sank into his futon. But not to be defeated, he requested, ‘Ne, Papa, will you tuck me in?’
Seizing the moment when Takki bent over to pull the sheets over him, Pi kissed him goodnight.
The kiss stung his cheek.
‘Will you kiss me too, Papa? Kiss me in the dark.’
Teasing his teacher was such fun, especially since he blushed easily. And when he smiled broadly, his eyes would disappear into thin crescents and his smooth face would scrunch into a bunch of lines.
That night, when the lights went out, both retired to their silent reverie. Though they slept on separate futons, they mused over the same thing - the kiss. And every now and then, Takki and Pi would touch their burning cheek and lips respectively.
When he was sure that Takki was sound asleep, Pi snuck into the former’s futon and hugged that thin yet strong body as it slept.
‘It hurts. It hurts because you’re my teacher, my friend, my father, my so many things.’
When Takki woke up the next morning to find Pi wrapped around him, the latter explained that it was merely because it was too cold.
After learning about his good grades in a major examination, Pi’s parents were over the moon. Heartedly, they congratulated themselves on making the right decision to return Pi to Japan. They were in such high spirits that they even offered to visit Pi, when they could find time.
Although almost certain it was another empty promise, Pi was still genuinely happy that he could finally make his parents proud. To celebrate, he offered to give Takki a treat.
‘We could just go for a meal. There’s not need for a movie too? This feels too much like a date.’ Takki said, a little uncomfortable.
‘Why stop at being my teacher and father when you can be my boyfriend too?’ Pi reasoned, as he fed Takki a handful of popcorn.
‘No misbehaving, Pi.’
‘Yeah, you keep saying that.’
‘What are you doing now?’
'I’m cold,’ Pi answered as he held Takki’s arm hostage and rested his head on that sturdy shoulder.
Takki was at a loss. He was never taught how to reject a student’s advances. Worse still, maybe he didn’t really want to. He liked how he only needed to turn his head slightly to smell Pi’s hair. He liked how he only needed to reach out a little to feel Pi against his skin. He liked how warm and blissful it felt.
‘We do look a little like father and son, don’t we?’ Takki remarked as saw their reflection in the lift’s mirror.
‘But you’re really too young to be my father,’ Pi objected.
With that, lunch was sacrificed for a complete makeover.
Dinner was in danger of being sacrificed too as Pi insisted that they had to visit one last shop.
‘What are you doing in my cubicle?’ Takki asked as Pi barged in.
‘There’s a queue and I don’t want to wait. Since I’ve have been servicing you all afternoon, and this is the last stop, I want to get something for myself too.’
Takki could hardly argue with that. Pi had been buying him things: clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc. all afternoon. He almost felt he was a host on a paid date. And after a trip to a reputed salon, he was beginning to look the part too. His hair was cropped and dyed into the latest fashion and colour. Also, his dark rimmed glasses were unceremoniously replaced with contact lenses. Every time he insisted on paying, Pi would sulk and pout and Takki would turn into putty in his hands.
‘You’re beautiful.’ Pi whispered as he saw Takki’s naked torso for the first time.
Daringly, Pi advanced towards his furiously blushing teacher. Instinctively, Takki retreated, onto a wall, right where Pi wanted him.
As Pi lovingly caressed those toned abs, Takki froze and could only look away as he tried his best to suppress any whimper. Drawing circles with his thumbs, Pi almost made his way up to Takki’s nipples, when pushing him away, Takki shouted, ‘No!’
Outside the cubicle, Takki almost fell over. Heart pounding away and breathing heavily, he almost didn’t notice the queue of ladies giggling away. Only then did he realize that he had escaped with only his boxers on.
Making his way back in as hurriedly as he left, Takki was once again face to face with Pi.
Though in the cubicle, they could still hear the hushed gushes outside.
‘He’s cute.’ A girl swooned to her nodding friend.
‘Too bad, he’s gay.’ Another chipped in.
‘Takki, you’re gay?’ Pi asked with mock disbelief.
‘No, I’m not!’ Takki defended weakly, still in a daze.
‘You’re not?’ Pi asked again as he cornered Takki, his groin leaning onto his, the tents in their pants touching.
‘Gentlemen! Might I remind you that this is a fitting room and there’s a queue waiting!’ The shop manager suddenly announced aloud.
‘We’re almost done here,’ Takki replied meekly but grateful for the timely distraction.
‘Looks like we have to buy them all,’ Pi informed as he pointed to the mountain of clothes he had carefully selected for Takki.
For once, Takki couldn’t agree more.
‘No, you’ll faint if you see it.’
‘But I can’t let you get everything.’
‘Then, get me these two.’
Takki looked at the price tag and like Pi said he almost fainted. It was only two items and Takki shuddered to think how much the rest cost.
‘What are these two for?’ Takki asked.
‘Wear this one for me.’ Pi requested too sweetly.
When Pi wore the other identical one around Takki’s neck, even a blockhead like him knew that they were lovers’ necklace.
‘Now we don’t look like father and son anymore.’
‘Then what do we look like?’
‘Like lovers, silly.’
When Takki looked at their reflection in the mirror, much had changed. He looked so youthful that they didn’t look a day apart.
Maybe for today, just for a day, he could allow himself to forget that he was his teacher. ‘Today, we are ….. ‘
As they were waiting at the traffic conjunction for the light to turn green, Pi sneezed. Seeing him huddle his shoulders, Takki pulled him into his embrace and with his large overcoat, covered him up protectively.
‘You used to laugh at my old-fashioned coat. But now I think it’s laughing at you.’
Pi couldn’t deny the warmth it gave. But it wasn’t the warmth of the coat but Takki’s warmth that he really needed. It was the first time Takki hugged him. As they snuggled up against each other, forgetting time and place, Pi felt giddily happy and incredibly safe. Yet, he was sacred too, very sacred.
Pi watched Kame and Jin bounced happily on the banana boat as it sped past him. For a moment, he thought, ‘That could be me and Takki.’
Although it was the summer holidays and he hadn’t once called on Takki, his teacher saturated his thoughts.
‘Hey, you ok?’ Kame asked, still panting from the exhilaration of the ride.
‘You look like it’s Doomsday. Lighten up! Say, you wanna go for a ride with me?’
‘Nay, in case, Jin kicks a ball to my head.’
‘Hey! He’s not that childish,’ Kame argued.
‘He did kick one onto Takki’s. I mean Takizawa-san’s. Maybe more.’
‘That was ages ago. And Jin’s actually really sweet when you get to know him,’ Kame blushed.
Jumping onto another topic before he start to wax lyricals about his sweetheart, Kame asked, ‘Anyway, how’s Takizawa-san. He’s giving you tuition, right?’
‘Yeah. He’s all right.’
‘He’s sweet too, isn’t he,’ Kame voiced whimsically.
‘What do you see in him anyway?’ Pi queried, trying his best not to sound too jealous.
‘He feels real.’
‘Yeah, everyone’s trying to be the cool guy, to be in the in crowd, to be like everyone else. But he showed me that it’s okay to be different,’ Kame explained.
Talking about Takki only made Pi yearn for him more, even when he thought it wasn't possible. So he quickly steered the conversation away.
‘How did you end up with Jin, anyway? You haven’t told me the story,’ Pi feigned interest.
‘Well, it’s a long story. So I won’t bore you with the details,’ Kame lied, looking away too embarrassed to recount the incident.
‘Quit following me!’ Kame shouted, not looking back once.
‘Ouch! Why the hell did you hit me with the ball?’
‘I just want you to look at me.’
‘To see me.’
‘What the hell for?!’
‘I … because I… ‘
Kame, still oblivion to the awkward confession, was about to leave.
‘I want your balls. I mean... I want my ball back,’ Jin hurriedly corrected in a fluster.
‘I’m keeping it.’
‘Wait! Then I want something in return,’ Jin said as he rushed forward and pressed his lips onto Kame’s.
In a daze, Kame answered, ‘You can have my balls. I mean… your ball back.’
‘I think I prefer your balls instead.’
The next thing Kame registered was Jin’s hand reaching hungrily into his pants.
Pi finally braced himself to visit Takki. But he had no reason to.
‘Maybe I could apologise. Apologise for wanting him to be someone he’s not.’
But Pi knew that wasn’t the real reason. He just missed him insanely.
Nevertheless, he wasn’t expecting him to be home anyway. He had heard that after his transformation, Takki had been receiving dates from female teachers in the school and even from neighbouring schools. Feeling jealous and weak, Pi lashed his frustration out on the innocent doorbell. Surprisingly, the door opened.
‘Do you miss me that much?’ Takki asked, bewildered at the abuse on his doorbell.
‘You... you’re home? I thought you’ll be out on a date,’ Pi stuttered and reddened, unprepared for this encounter.
Inside the flat, as he removed his apron, Takki sighed, ‘I’ve tried. But even if my appearance changed, I’m still the same old me. The same old boring me. Now who’d wanna go out with a bore anyway.’
‘You’re not a bore. You listen and you care. I’d go out with you in a heartbeat. If you’d ask.’
‘Would you ask me out?’ Pi almost pleaded.
‘Pi, you know… What are you doing?’
Having his glasses taken from him, Takki could hardly make out anything.
‘If you can’t see, then it’s not real, right? Then I can kiss you and it’ll be all right, right?’ Pi asked, this time almost tearing.
‘No, I want to see. I want to see you.’
‘Then you’re not sacred?’
‘No, I’m scared, sacred shitless. But I want to see you anyway.’
‘Because I… you… you’re so cute it hurts.’
Pi laughed at the answer.
‘That… and… I love you like crazy.’
As Takki’s glasses fogged up in their steamy first kiss, they were not teacher and student or father and son, but simply lovers, madly in love.
~End~ More at http://avery-averette.livejournal.com. Enjoy!