Aoto Hoshino didn’t know exactly when this curious habit started.
Like any normal child, he’d been warned of the dangers of crossing the street before looking both ways. In fact, being hit by a car was his biggest fear in grade school. He lived in a busier town due to its proximity to the city, so cars often sped past at a moment’s notice, honking as they drove close enough to run you into the pavement. Even so, whenever he expressed his fears to his family, he became the punchline to dinner jokes. Now, his mother begged him to carry that same fear again years later.
“What’s the worst that could happen,” he’d ask, crossing a street fearlessly as usual. A loud car honk usually drowned his mother’s response out when they talked in the mornings. Death, they both thought. Unlike Mrs. Hoshino, Aoto didn’t fear nor mind meeting death. At least not anymore.
To compromise, he changed his departure time from home to coincide with a lull in traffic. He also planned on moving out that year and knew his mother would be more likely to say yes if he appeared more “responsible.” Initially he missed the thrill and symphony of car horns from his daring exploits in the morning.
Leaving fifteen minutes earlier really does make a difference, he’d thought to himself the first week of his new schedule. But over time he grew to like the otherworldly stillness that seemed to take over the street on his way to classes. Sometimes he nearly forgot that he was headed to school until the whispers started.
Even students from neighboring regions knew about him. Retrospectively, his reckless behavior from those few months gave people plenty more to discuss than the initial incident. The irony of it all, which almost drove Aoto mad, was that nothing even happened. But Aoto had wanted something to happen. So, he didn’t stop the rumors that circulated, and his choice of prey was too much of a coward to defend himself, much less Aoto. He escaped and Aoto soon understood he’d been a buffer far more than he’d realized.
Boys left and right harassed him into senior year of high school. That wasn’t so bad seeing as Aoto wasn’t a pushover nor weak. However he caught a cruel teacher’s eye. That was the tipping point for Aoto; not only did he start to fear something more than cars, he realized he liked being desired by a man.
That year, one day after school close to winter break, this teacher cornered him, and it would be the first time (though not the last) that Aoto found himself in a sticky situation. He knew if he didn’t do something in that moment, he wouldn’t be able to control what came later. He managed to escape and all he could think was: I need to lose it, and fast.
Finding a gay bar wasn’t as hard as he’d thought; he located a discrete one only ten minutes from his house a few days later. His stunt bought him some time to find suitable options and the look of the place made it seem like it had paid off.
The interior was dark, with dimly lit chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. There was a bar in the very back of the room with various bottles of sake backlit by blue lights. There weren’t that many people there at the time—the sun hadn’t even begun to set, but this was the only time Aoto could easily sneak over, his cover being that he was at cram school. A bartender stood off center from the display of alcohol. He was tall with dyed blond hair that shined like gold. He looked up as Aoto approached and his light eyes glinted with humor, but also confusion.
“You know where you are?” His gruff voice sent chills down Aoto’s spine and blood immediately rushed downstairs. The man I’m looking for.
“Yes, I do.” Aoto didn’t bother looking around, prey already in sight. He pinned the bartender under his gaze. “Are you a top?”
The bartender’s large hands fumbled with the glass they’d been holding. He managed to save it from shattering on the ground before placing it down. “You can’t be serious kid.”
“Look, can you do me or not? I’m already prepped.”
“… I’m thirty years old, kid; way too old for you.”
That’s not a no, and better him than Sensei. Aoto tried his best to look charming as he leaned across the bar. “I’m not asking you to be my boyfriend. We don’t even have to go to a hotel, we can just go to the back.” He lifted the crimson tie the bartender wore. “What do you say?”
The man stared back at him, and Aoto smiled for real. He knew he’d say yes to his request. Who wouldn’t?
Aoto was right and found himself in the backroom so fast it was almost as if they teleported. The bartender pulled at his tie, and his muscles bulged slightly with the movement. Excitement and fear warmed Aoto’s belly and he felt himself get wet.
“You can call me Toma-san.” Aoto didn’t get the chance to formally introduce himself before cool lips melded with his. It wasn’t his first kiss (some of the more daring bullies had seen to that), but Aoto vowed he’d remember this day as full of firsts.
“You’re shit at kissing kid,” Toma laughed in the kiss before trailing his lips to Aoto’s neck. “So pale…”
Toma’s deep voice dipped another octave and Aoto could feel himself respond. “I’ll try not to leave any long-lasting marks.”
Aoto didn’t try to hide the noises escaping the back of this throat as Toma’s lips left a trail of fire everywhere they touched. When he got to his belt, Aoto tried to stop him by pushing his head back. “L-let me do it for you.”
“It’s okay. Relax.” Toma took him in his mouth again and began doing something with his tongue that had Aoto responding in no time. “I’ll take care of everything.”
When Aoto had woken up later that evening, the clock read 20:43 and his phone was buzzing nonstop from his backpack. It was dark in the room, the only light coming from a small lamp on the desk. It smelled like sweat and sex with the evidence still clear in the disarray of the office. Aoto, on the other hand, looked and felt relatively clean. His clothes were folded neatly at the end of the couch and he felt cleaner than he should have given what his brain started to play, his own personal porno. Especially up there; it didn’t feel sticky or gross, just sore. In fact, everything felt sore. He tried to sit up, but when his thighs rubbed together something besides his anus throbbed.
He threw back the ratty blanket and stared in wonder at the marks left all over him, and jerked in surprise and pain when his fingers found the large bite mark that left a lingering sting. “What is he, a fucking vampire?”
Aoto somehow managed to get a hold of his phone and he dialed his mother back immediately. She picked up before the first ring could finish. “Where are you?”
“I’m sorry mom, I got lost in studying at a friend’s house.” The door opened and Toma walked in with a steaming bowl and a small can of what appeared to be beer. “There’s a big test tomorrow in Math, so I’ll probably stay at his place, if that’s alright.”
She sighed slowly into the receiver but they both knew what she was going to say. “Next time tell me beforehand. Had me worried sick!”
“Yeah, I’m sorry,” he mumbled as Toma placed the blanket back over him. He sat down next to him and Aoto’s mouth watered at the sight of ramen. “Gotta get back to studying. Love you, bye!” He hung up and dove for the bowl.
“You have… quite the appetite you know?”
“And you’re a dirty old man,” Aoto said around a mouth full of noodles.
“You sought me out kid, not the other way around.” He magically produced a cigarette and lighter. “How does it feel not being a virgin anymore?”
Aoto took a moment to chew and think. “Painful.”
After he had his night of firsts, he began his second life. The next time Aoto was cornered by Sensei after school, he didn’t bother fighting back. “I’ll let you do it as many times as you want today, but you have to wear a condom. And this is the first and last time.”
Aoto didn’t know that there was still someone else on the school grounds. The next day as Aoto battled a sore asshole and aching back, he received nothing but probing stares. He chose to ignore them until one of his usual bullies approached him during lunch. Aoto usually sat on the roof because no one went up there for lunch.
“Is that how you pass all your classes?” His classmate’s eyes glinted like Sensei’s often did, and Aoto knew in that moment why he was the subject of stares, and that it meant surviving graduation would be an uphill battle.
“If you’re jealous, I can open my mouth wide open for you,” he said with more confidence than he felt. He didn’t want to relive an experience like yesterday. “Sorry, back there is a little sore.”
From that point on, Aoto slept with anyone “in a pinch,” and didn’t make a big fuss. While he was praised for his sexual skills in the dark, no one dared speak to him during school hours. The day of college entrance exams, the partner the night before had fucked him so hard it was impossible for him to properly focus, so his dream of escape evaporated with his average test scores. The weeks leading to graduation were dark as a result, and it was around that time that Aoto didn’t just lose his fear of cars, but his fear of death in general. Put more simply, he stopped caring.
Luckily, the local school was big enough that he didn’t run into his past classmates. But they knew he attended the same university and it only took two months for most of the campus to be somewhat aware of his status as being like that. He wanted to avoid fanning the flames if only to avoid being stared at by everyone 24/7, so he made a rule to avoid hookups with students that attended the same university. And that rule worked for a long time. He’d never considered breaking it.
That is, until Chūshi.
His biting tone mixed with the intense look in his carmel eyes earlier that day stuck with him. And when he’d opened the email with his tutoring assignment information, the air evaporated from his lungs when he saw the very young man who’d been so callous considering his stalking behavior, would be his tutor for the semester. Chūshi Oshiba.
The other young man wasn’t his ideal type by any means, but every time he recalled those open, honest eyes and full lips smirking at him in his mind’s eye, his heartbeat picked up speed. And then he would conjure up Chūshi in various states of undress, and then the other young man would undress him. And almost every time Aoto would eagerly reach for the clasp of Chūshi’s pants to swallow him whole.
Why do I want to get on my knees for that oaf?
It was a good question, though he already knew the answer; the “oaf” in question was so built that there was no way he didn’t have a sizable dick, one to rival Toma’s. Aoto wanted the other young man for that alone, but he didn’t feel great about it.
School grounds aren’t hunting grounds, dumbass. The rumors that could start from anything that happened on campus were ones he knew a straight guy like Chūshi wouldn’t be able to take, but it didn’t stop him from fantasizing.
Of course, there was the fact that the other young man was supposed to be helping him pass English; there was no way in hell that he could pass without a tutor, and he couldn’t do better than a native English speaker. But from Chūshi’s earlier behavior, Aoto didn’t think he would want to tutor him now. Or be in the same room as him. Guess the rumors about you being a frigid bitch are true.
Just like the fucking rest of them. He sighed as he lay in the dark, staring up at his ceiling. Even so, his brain kept feeding him daydreams of Chūshi. I want to feel him… for real…