Title: Lose Some to Win One
Total word count: 1,594
Tags: first kiss, high school, age difference, abuse, verbal abuse, physical abuse, first love, some fluff, unrequited feelings, angst
“Tadashi, have you ever kissed anyone before?”
Shindō Ainosuke blinked as innocently as he could at his father’s secretary, Kikuchi Tadashi. Though Tadashi was only a few years older than him, he had the part-time job of working under his father. Tadashi had been a staple in the Shindō household for as long as Ainosuke could remember. He was sure that his parents had worked for the Shindō family as well, though he was sure anyone he asked wouldn’t give him a straight answer. His father and aunts he’d rather avoid if he could help it, and the man himself thought it “improper” to talk about himself. Which, Ainosuke thought was a load of perfunctory bullshit, but if he said that to Tadashi’s face, the goody-two shoes would have a stroke.
It looks like he might pass out … He’d asked the question knowing it’d invoke a strong reaction from the stick in the mud, but his face was even whiter than white and Ainosuke could tell he wasn’t breathing. Fuck, if he passes out I’ll never hear the end of it.
“I’ll take that as no, now please sit down and take a breathe Tadashi!” He gestured at the space on the garden bench next to him.
For once Tadashi didn’t make a fuss about what was “proper,” falling onto the bench rather than sitting. “Y-you shouldn’t ask such personal questions Ainosuke-sama, it’s—”
“Improper, I know! Jeez, you’d think you’re in your thirties already Tadashi.” Ainosuke forced himself to laugh it off.
“As long as you understand.” he cleared his throat, fiddling with his necktie.
So adorable, Ainosuke thought, noting the faint blush that now colored his. I wonder if this is how he’d look after being kissed?
Intrusive thoughts like these had been swarming in Ainosuke’s head as of late, and he couldn’t leave Tadashi alone. He found any and every excuse for them to talk when he was at the residence, much to his father’s annoyance. But his father never yelled at Tadashi for indulging his selfish requests, saving the anger and frustration for Ainosuke alone. But it was worth it to have that serious face break out into a soft smile only meant for him. He’d do anything to keep being on the receiving end of that smile and would deal with consequences.
“Do you have time tonight?” Ainosuke looked at his feet, fearing the face Tadashi would make as he turned him down again.
“… I’ll come get you after lights out Ainosuke-sama, but you have to finish your work for cram school.”
He looked up, rewarded with a soft smile and doe eyes shining at him. Ainosuke ignored the tightening of his pants. “What do I get if I win this time?” It took everything inside of him to stop from suggesting what he really wanted.
“How about you actually win a beef first before talking about prizes, Sir.”
Ainosuke liked this version of Tadashi; the one that wasn’t afraid to make an “improper” joke, the one that had learned to fly with the aid of a wooden board on wheels. Tadashi had been secretly teaching him since they were children how to skateboard. It wasn’t until recently that their beefs started to end in ties. They usually bet small things, like Ainosuke promising to leave Tadashi alone to do his work the next day, or the one time Ainosuke had won (because Tadashi let him), he’d asked for the latest volumes of the manga series he was reading at the time for the next week (what could he say, he had been eleven at the time). But he had the sneaking suspicion that he was close to surpassing him and wanted to put his theory to the test.
He held out his hand. Tadashi managed to make his looking around seem natural, and not like he was afraid of Ainosuke’s father or aunts catching them. His grip was firm, hand warm and soft. “Deal.”
Dinner was insufferable as always, his father and aunts speaking at him, telling him his schedule for the rest of the week and what was expected of him. They might as well tell me when I should shit next. The only saving grace was that Tadashi was allowed to dine with them, and due to the hierarchy, he was placed next to Ainosuke. That night he was more grateful than usual to have Tadashi there because his family found out he made a less than perfect mark on his last English examination.
His father had thrown water on him, claiming that he hoped it “woke him up,” before excusing himself from the table. His aunts had sent him meaningful looks and his wrists ached in response. However, Tadashi reached for his hand briefly under the table before standing up and following after his father, leaving him alone with his aunts. He did that from time to time and it both comforted Ainosuke as well as made his stomach churn. Tadashi was technically his only friend yet there he was, contemplating ruining this “friendship” for feelings he wasn’t quite sure of yet.
“Where has your mind been Ainosuke?” He hated the slow windup whenever he entered this study. Both he and the three witches in front of him knew what happened here. One already held the thick wooden ruler in her hands, twirling it as if it were just any ruler. He opened his mouth to lie about feeling under the weather, but a red welt and stinging pain appeared over his forearms. Okay, no slow windup today.
“Remember why you need to have perfect marks Ainosuke?” It was the shorter of the three who asked in that prim voice of hers.
“So that I can get into K university.” Another pair of welts. “So that I may attend K university as a law student.”
And so it went for what felt like an eternity, but was no more than fifteen minutes. He’d long since stopped crying and now blindly nodded, repeating what they said to him over and over until it felt true.
But, the minute he was alone in his room again, he felt as if his very insides were facturing from the strain of stifling the things growing inside him. Ainosuke’s eyes stung from tears he refused to let fall as he opened his closet. He kicked and threw his shoes and clothes until he reached the loose floorboard in the back of his closet. With Tadashi’s help, they’d chosen this spot to hide his skateboard, helmet, and kneepads, though he had taken to leaving the padding behind, much to Tadashi’s dismay.
Thinking about him managed to stop the feeling of being split in two, if only for a moment. But feeling how he did then, Ainosuke knew that there was no way in hell that he could win a beef against Tadashi now. But it makes sense, I never get what I fucking want anyway.
There was a soft knock at his door and Ainosuke swore he peed a little before he remembered there was only one person that knocked that softly on his door. Hell, there was only one person that knocked on his door at all. He waited until the footsteps sounded closer before flashing a strained smile up at Tadashi.
“Ready to go?”
Rather than respond right away, Tadashi squatted to his level, reaching for his hand. Even if he’d tried to stop it, Ainosuke’s heart skipped several beats and it was suddenly hard to swallow. “Are you sure you shouldn’t rest, Ainosuke-sama?”
Although his skin flushed from anger at the possibility that his means of flying was at risk of not happening that night, he gripped Tadashi’s hand and pulled. Ainosuke fell on some of his dress shoes, the stiff leather digging into his back. But that paled in comparison to the feeling of Tadashi’s cool and slightly chapped lips clumsily pressing against his. Tadashi tasted like cinnamon and something sharp, and Ainosuke was reminded of that time he snuck into his father’s liquor cabinet. Did father offer him a drink?
The thought of his father drinking with his Tadashi made him grip the front of Tadashi’s shirt and he worked his mouth so that their lips were fully flush against each other. It felt even better than he’d dreamed it would, and he wanted to stick his tongue so far down Tadashi’s throat that he’d never forget the feel of him.
“A-ainosuke-sama, get ahold of yourself!”
It’s the first time that Tadashi has raised his voice at him. But rather than be upset, warmth began to pool in Ainosuke’s lower belly, and he became distinctly aware of just how close every inch of their bodies were. The additional warmth was as comforting as it was arousing, and he could smell the sweet skin at Tadashi’s neck. Ainosuke had only dreamed of scenarios like this, and he wouldn’t let the moment pass.
So, even though his forearms cried out at the movement, he wrapped them around Tadashi’s neck and pulled him back down so that their lips met again, Ainosuke taking advantage of Tadashi’s surprise and slipping his tongue inside. Tadashi’s mouth did indeed taste like liquor, which he found fitting because his head spun like he was drunk.
He laughed internally at Tadashi’s efforts to talk through his kiss. It doused the air with the smell of expensive brandy and it only made Ainosuke hunger for more. “Tonight’s beef, if I win,” Ainosuke whispered, noting how Tadashi shivered with satisfaction. “We do more of this.”