This story is mature.
How did I get here? The thought crossed Yuuto’s mind while he gazed into Akaishi-kun’ eyes.
If he could, the teacher would have already dashed out of there. To the bathroom or anywhere else, but in the situation he was in, held by Akaishi-kun by the hand and hip, and dancing around under people’s stare, running away wasn’t an option.
The student, on the other hand, had a smile on his lips while leading the dance. Akaishi-kun seemed so happy it made the teacher’s cheeks redden. At least he’s having fun after that, the teacher sighed in his mind and a smile popped on his lips before he realized.
“What’s the matter? You seem red.” Akaishi-kun slipped a hand from Yuuto’s hip to his lower back, pulling the teacher closer. “And I can tell it’s not the makeup,” he whispered in Yuuto’s ear.
The teacher gasped and stepped away out of reflex, but in the middle of the dance, he tripped on the heels. The student caught him and brought Yuuto even closer, their faces mere inches away from each other, their noses almost touching. “Don’t worry. I told you I’d hold you.” He closed his hand around Yuuto’s with more strength, and somehow it was still gentle.
The teacher didn’t know if it was because of the dancing around, or the growing whispers he believed he could hear, but Yuuto definitely felt his face flushing. How did I get here? The thought crossed his mind once again.
That Saturday morning started better than most. He had work, so Yuuto woke up, ate breakfast and went to school, but since it was half-day, he was back home by lunch. And thanks to the fact that Akaishi-kun had already solved his absent situation with the vice-principal, the teacher didn’t had to see the student on school grounds anymore. Despite growing accustomed, and perhaps somewhat fond of their rather different situation, Yuuto didn’t like dealing with the mixed feelings he felt every time he laid eyes on Akaishi-kun.
Things went so well that morning the teacher believed nothing could ruin his mood. Since he had no school related work to do, he decided to work on his newest cosplay. With a bit of luck, he could finish it before midnight.
I’m sure Akaishi-kun will love to paint this one tomorrow, Yuuto thought, the smile popping on his lips before he realized it. What pose should I do? He caught himself thinking that and humming. With that in mind, the teacher sat on his chair and turned on the sewing machine, his hands already moving the fabric.
Ever since Yuuto became a muse, he posed for Akaishi-kun in almost every Sunday. At first, the student didn’t like the arrangement. He told, in his rather demanding way, that he wanted to spend more time together. Those where his exact words. The teacher had to remind Akaishi-kun that he had responsibilities and one afternoon was the most he could spare.
The reason was half-true, one that Yuuto had come up after a long time thinking. Since Akaishi-kun seemed to be able to read the teacher so well, he had to consider his words carefully. While it was true he did have responsibilities, he could spare more days if he wanted. But right now it was already hard enough to disappear every Sunday with a cosplay without raising his sister’s suspicion. If he posed for more days, Yuuka would certainly notice, and the last thing Yuuto wanted was to lie to her. Not that he could. She too could read him easily.
I can do this! Yuuto thought a few hours later, whipping the sweat off his brow with the back of the hand. If I keep this up, I can finish by midnight! Completely concentrated, the teacher sewed faster and better, the image of Akaishi-kun’ surprised face fueling him. Nothing can stop me!
Or so he thought, but around six o’clock, his cellphone beeped and the screen blinked with an email.
With annoyance flashing across his face, he picked up the phone. When he saw whom the email was from, the anger was gone almost at once. To his surprise, it was from Akaishi-kun. How did he know my email address? Did I give it to him? The teacher brushed off the thought with a shake of his head.
With a smile on his lips, he unlocked the phone, read the email… and then almost dropped the phone. What…? Yuuto blinked a couple times and then, thinking he might had misread it due tiredness, even if the email had only three lines, he read it again.
He got it right the first time though. The content was so simple and commanding Yuuto could even hear Akaishi-kun’ voice while reading it for the third time. Come to my apartment. In one hour. But what made the teacher almost drop the phone was the last, and weirdest, line. No cosplay.
Huh…? He wants me to go, but not in cosplay? Why? Even now, after reading it for the fourth time, it was hard to believe. Did something happen? Is there something wrong? Sometimes he might be a little unreasonable, but this’s different… Yuuto had noticed, a little too late to stop, that not only he had grew accustomed to their situation, the teacher also caught himself thinking a few times that Akaishi-kun’ way was somewhat cute.
At first, the teacher thought Akaishi-kun was just some spoiled rich kid. But after a few muse sessions, Yuuto learned a bit of what was behind that sly smile, intense eyes and usual teasing. While it was true his way of bossing Yuuto around was because of his upbringing, since people around him used to do what he said whether he asked nicely or not, Akaishi-kun also had his considerate moments with the teacher.
One afternoon, when Yuuto started shivering a little from the cold, the student raised the temperature. On another Sunday, when he coughed a few times, Akaishi-kun rested the brush, went to the kitchen and brought a glass of water for the teacher. And on another occasion, Yuuto had a slight fever, so Akaishi-kun gave some medicine and made him rest, saying he could paint once the teacher felt better. Even though the student ended up painting Yuuto while he rested, Akaishi-kun did all this before Yuuto could say a word.
There has to be something wrong, the teacher thought while moving his fingers. In less than twenty seconds, he had written a reply. Did something happen? Why no cosplay? Yuuto hit send and then left the phone on the desk, resuming the work on his cosplay. But after he caught himself looking at the cellphone for the third time in less than one minute, he gave up sewing.
Yuuto placed both feet on the chair and watched the device, tapping his fingers on his knees. After what felt like hours, the phone ringed again, and the teacher’s hand flew to get it. When he read the email, he narrowed his eyes. It was even shorter than the first. Bring your white wig.
Why is he way bossier today? That’s not cute at all! Typing as fast as he could, Yuuto wrote back and hit send. This time the phone ringed almost instantly with Akaishi-kun’ newest reply. When the teacher saw why it was so fast, he closed his eyes and breathed slowly through the nose, trying to calm down. It didn’t work. Somehow, the email was even shorter. Come.
With anger bubbling, Yuuto wrote back. If I’m not gonna pose, I don’t see why I should go. Tell me what’s going on, otherwise I won’t go.
The reply was just as fast this time, but at least it was longer, though the content almost made Yuuto fall from his chair. If you’re not here in one hour, I’ll go there pick you up.
It’s a bluff… right? He doesn’t know where I live, does he…? Yuuto tried remembering their muse sessions, as the student insisted calling. It was hard to remember all of them, but the teacher didn’t believe any of their conversations ended up on that subject. Then how did he know my email?
Yuuto could very well imagine Akaishi-kun coming to the apartment just to get the teacher. And given his way, he’d come in a flashy way, like in a car, or a limousine, or something. Then Yuuto imagined his sister meeting Akaishi-kun… a shiver went down his spine.
With his fingers moving slowly, the teacher wrote the final reply. I’ll go. He hit send with a feeling of complete defeat. The reply also came quickly. I’ll be waiting for you. Yuuto threw the phone on the bed.
Damn it… once again he’s just manipulating me, Yuuto though while he looked through his cosplay material for his wig. Which one is it? The teacher held three wigs that match Akaishi-kun’ description. After a moment thinking, he chose the longest, the one that reached past his shoulders, and stored the others neatly among all his wigs.
Before Yuuto realized it, his anger and the feeling of defeat were gone, replaced by the memory brought by that wig. It’s the same one I was using when Akaishi-kun found out about my art, he thought, a gentle smile on his lips. Does he remember?
Another ring from his phone woke Yuuto from his daydream. With the wig in hands, he picked up the cellphone. It was another email, and the teacher sighed when he read it. Hurry.
Why is he so impatient today? With that in mind, Yuuto grabbed his backpack and tossed the wig and the pins to hold his hair inside. Why only the wig? He asked himself again, but he’d get nowhere thinking. With a last look at his almost finished cosplay, Yuuto sighed, got out of his bedroom and said goodbye to his sister, so fast he didn’t give her time to ask anything.
When he turned the corner around Akaishi-kun’ street, he almost froze. It’s just a coincidence, right…? Parked right in front of Akaishi-kun’ building, was a limousine. It’s just a coincidence… he said to himself again. This is a fancy building. There’s lot of rich people living here… Yes, that’s it. A coincidence…
With difficulty, Yuuto took his eyes away from the limousine and before he could even say anything, the doorman let the teacher in with a smile and bow. When the elevator’s door opened, an old woman stepped out, smiled when she saw Yuuto and then asked if he liked the fabric store she had recommended. Yuuto thanked her, saying it was great.
I come here too much, he thought when they said goodbye and the doors closed. Though he had started to like it, Yuuto often wondered what else Akaishi-kun was getting from their relationship. What will happen when I can’t inspire Akaishi-kun anymore? The thought caused a queer pain in his chest, so the teacher decided to simply enjoy the present and not worry about the future. But even so, those doubts caught him every time he was off guard.
“You took your time.” Those were Akaishi-kun’ greeting words when he opened the door.
“I was working,” Yuuto replied, taking his shoes off and coming inside without waiting for Akaishi-kun’ invite. “You’re becoming more and more unreasonable.”
“Today I have my reasons.”
“That’s a first.” Yuuto picked up a glass of water and drank it in one gulp. “Then tell me the reasons why you decided to call me today with only a wig and no cosplay.”
Akaishi-kun flashed the sly smile and Yuuto gulped, already regretting playing his little game. “I asked you here today because I have gifts for you.”
“Gifts…?” Yuuto repeated the word slowly. “That doesn’t explain the wig.”
Akaishi-kun ignored the teacher, turned around, went to his bedroom and came back with two boxes wrapped in gift paper. He handed them to Yuuto with a smile. “Pick the one you like most, though both are yours.”
Yuuto accepted them, looking with suspicious between the boxes and his student. He knew there was a catch, but no matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t figure out what it was, so the teacher gave up and tore the dark red wrapping paper Not believing, he opened the other box as well. He turned speechless to his student when he saw what the gifts were. “I picked them up myself,” Akaishi-kun said proudly.
It took a while for Yuuto to recover his voice. “Akaishi-kun… what’s the meaning of this?” He showed the box to his student.
Akaishi-kun tilted his head with the fake innocent aura in the face that sometimes Yuuto thought it was cute. “It’s my gift to you,” he said, and then he showed a hurt expression. “You… didn’t like it?”
The teacher knew that expression was fake as well. “Stop joking around. What kind of gift are these?”
“I’m not joking,” he said, suddenly serious. “You’ll need them for what I have planned for us in this special night.”
Yuuto knew Akaishi-kun was just teasing him, but even so it was hard to keep himself from blushing. He always chooses the wrong words. With deep breaths, he had regained enough control. “Then please, tell me what you have planned, otherwise I’ll go home. I have work to do.”
Akaishi-kun sighed and dropped his shoulders. Soon in their muse relationship, Yuuto had noticed his student got like this when the teacher didn’t fall for his teasing. “But I’m serious. I need you tonight, and for that, you’ll need one of these.”
This time it was harder to fight the blushing. Why do you always choose the wrong words? “You’re still not telling me why I would need lingerie.” Again Yuuto waved the boxes at Akaishi-kun’ face. “Could you please tell?” he said, a bit louder than he intended.
“I never thought you’d prefer do go commando.” The teacher bushed and the student noticed that, the sly smile back. After a while he stopped smiling and became serious. “I mean it. I need you by my side tonight, and for that, you need to dress properly.”
“For what you need me tonight?”
“Party?” Yuuto repeated the word, tilting his head. “What party?”
“Just a gathering of family and friends,” he shrugged off. “I have to go. But since I’m not in the mood, my sister convinced me to bring a date.”
“So I’m a last resort?” For some reason that both hurt and annoyed the teacher. “Just someone to entertain you when you get bored?” he said, his voice angrier than he intended.
“No,” said Akaishi-kun serious. “You’re my first and only choice. I’m not taking you to keep myself entertained. I need you there,” the student said in a low voice, looking right into the teacher’s eyes. No matter how much he tried, Yuuto couldn’t tell if Akaishi-kun was joking or not. After many seconds staring at each other, the teacher made his mind. But before he could say, the student said, “Things are more fun when I’m with you.” He looked away, his cheeks slightly red.
“Fine,” he finally said, looking at the boxes in his hands to hide his smile and his red cheeks. Though he’d rather work on his cosplay, a party was more interesting. And if it was a gathering of family and friends, it meant it was an Akaishi Family event. Suddenly, a thought crossed Yuuto’s mind. “I get now why you asked for the wig, but I don’t have anything to wear.”
“About that, I’ve already taken care. All you need to do now is choose one of my gifts.” The sly smile was back.
Yuuto didn’t like how things turned out. Though he was interested in the party, the feeling of being manipulated annoyed him. “Then I’ll choose.” The teacher stared between the boxes and then raised his head, smiling at Akaishi-kun.
The student watched Yuuto closely, paying attention to his every reaction. He’s probably expecting me to get embarrassed, the teacher thought. Suddenly, he smiled to his student, went to the bathroom and locked himself there. That expression was wonderful! Yuuto had trouble containing his laugh. Akaishi-kun’ face taken aback because the teasing hadn’t worked as he planned was priceless.
Smiling from ear to ear, Yuuto turned his attention to the so called gifts. Both presents were lingerie, a dark green silky one and a black laced one. It’s too fancy! I’ve never worn something like this! There was no price tag, but given the Red Stone logo, the teacher knew it was too expensive. I’ll bet it’s more expansive than all my cosplay underwear!
“Which one did you choose?” Akaishi-kun’ voice came from the other side of the door.
“I’m still choosing!” again he said louder than he intended.
With no other choice, he took the dark green silk out. Just one look was enough for Yuuto to tell it was too erotic for him. What is he thinking? Is this for real or he just wants to embarrass me? He opened the other one. Though it was a different style, it was just as erotic. Now the teacher noticed something else; both were strapless.
In the end, Yuuto chose the dark green silk. It fits me better, he reluctantly admitted to himself. Somehow, it looked more erotic when he wore it. At least it’s comfortable… The upper portion held his chest perfectly after a little adjustment and the lower part seemed to hide his manhood without forcing the fabric.
“How is it?” Akaishi-kun spoke again.
Is he listening from the other side? Yuuto held his tongue though. Something else caught his attention. “How did you guess the cup size?” he asked through the door.
“Do you think I’d forget your chest after fondling that much?”
Even without seeing, Yuuto could tell Akaishi-kun had the sly smile, and this time the teacher’s cheeks burned hot. Thank the gods he can’t see me now.
As if he could read Yuuto’s mind, he added, “Let me see.”
“Could you please bring me the clothes?” Yuuto had found out that Akaishi-kun hated when people ignored him, but he had to do it anyway. There was zero chance he’d let his student see him in this too erotic lingerie. Even if part of him wanted to see Akaishi-kun’ expression, the teacher knew he’d die of embarrassment.
Yuuto heard a click of a tongue and then heavy steps from the other side. They got lower and after a second of silence, they were back. “Here,” said Akaishi-kun.
The teacher opened the door just a bit, shoved his hand through the slit, grabbed the clothes Akaishi-kun offered, pulled his arm back and then slammed the door shut. All this so the student couldn’t sneak a peek inside the bathroom.
Only when his heart calmed down, Yuuto stared at the clothes in his hands. Wow… it was the only thing he could think. The blue short dress was simply marvelous. Though Yuuto didn’t care much for cross-dressing itself, it would be a shame not to wear this.
He raised his arms and slipped the dress in, tying the end around his neck. Yuuto turned around and looked at his reflection on the mirror. He thought it was short at first, but it was barely above his knees. There was a little cleavage, but there was no focus on the chest area. At least Akaishi-kun can think about these things. The back was just enough to cover the underwear, matching the strapless lingerie. Though I hate to admit, Akaishi-kun has great taste…
“How is it?” the student’s voice came once again, but this time he was the one who sounded annoyed. That put a smile on Yuuto’s lip.
“I’m done,” the teacher replied, unlocking the door. Akaishi-kun was the one who pushed the door, but when he saw his teacher, his mouth was slightly opened, no words coming out. “What do you think?” Despite the situation, Yuuto really wanted to know Akaishi-kun’ opinion and the few seconds that took Akaishi-kun to recover felt too long for him.
The student showed the sly smile, but it vanished almost right away, replaced by the real and gentle one. He sighed. “You look too good for words.”
Yuuto wasn’t expecting this reaction, and the genuine compliment took him off guard, so much the teacher blushed and looked away. “Thank you,” he managed to say in a low voice.
Teacher and student stayed in silence for a while. “There’s more,” Akaishi-kun broke the silence, walking away and then coming back with a huge makeup set, another Red Stone product. He handed the makeup and without waiting for Yuuto’s request, he walked out of the bathroom, closing the door behind him.
Is he… embarrassed? It was one of the few times Yuuto saw something like this. It’s too cute, the teacher had to admit.
Again another a smile popped on his lips before he realized. The box alone was too heavy for the teacher, so Yuuto rested it on the counter and then checked the set. It had pretty much everything. So many colors… the artist inside him envied it all. This, with the lingerie and the dress probably cost more than all my cosplay material together, the teacher inside him thought.
But there was no time for that, so Yuuto’s eyes quickly searched for the colors that matched his skin tone and clothes. In less than ten minutes, the teacher again unlocked the door.
Akaishi-kun wasn’t standing next to the door this time. Instead, he was sitting on the couch, reading a book. But the moment he heard the door, he raised his head and stood up, throwing the book on the table.
Akaishi-kun stared him, his mouth slightly opened. “You look… worthy… of a canvas…,” he mumbled the words and Yuuto chuckled. The teacher knew Akaishi-kun must had thought that up beforehand, but in a rare moment, the teacher caught him off guard. The student looked away, but Yuuto could swear he saw the cheeks reddening a bit again.
“I’ll take those words as a compliment,” Yuuto said smiling and putting a lock of the wig behind the ear. When he saw himself in the dress in the mirror, the artist knew immediately how he should arrange his hair; one side tied, and the other free. It was a good choice. Akaishi-kun’ expression was too cute. “I could say the same for you,” he said honestly.
Akaishi-kun had changed clothes as well. Now he wore a black suit with a dark blue shirt. He had an expensive looking watch on his wrist and even from the distance, the teacher could sense his cologne. The only thing that was the same was the hair, same as always. “Thank you,” said the student awkwardly.
Despite trying to conceal it, Akaishi-kun kept stealing glances from the teacher, and when their eyes met, the student turned his head away immediately. Finally, he coughed. “There’s… only two things… left…” He picked up another box, this time bigger than the other two, but no wrapping paper, and handed to Yuuto.
The teacher opened the lid and after a moment of surprise, he smiled. Heels that matched the dress. “You have surprisingly good taste,” Yuuto complimented his student.
“My sister chose those,” he admitted, tightening his mouth. I’ll bet it’s hard for him to say this. He’s showing me a completely new side, the teacher thought chuckling again. “But I chose this,” he said taking from his pocket a necklace with a flower pendant.
The teacher observed the jewel for a while and then turned around, exposing his neck. Akaishi-kun gently placed it around Yuuto’s neck. He turned around, holding the flower carefully.
“It’s beautiful…” Akaishi-kun said after a moment admiring.
“Thank you,” the teacher said in a low voice, not looking the student in the eye.
“I had earrings to match, but I know your ears aren’t pierced…”
“I’m surprised you noticed that.” The teacher did had earrings, but they were all non-piercing. He once thought about piercing his ears. It would be easier, but after he imagined showing up at school with both ears pierced, he gave up the idea.
“I have been looking at you for a while.” Yuuto blushed lightly and they stared at each other.
They stayed in the awkward silence for a while until Akaishi-kun broke it with a cough. “Let’s go, then.” He headed to the door with no other word. Yuuto laughed in his mind while joining Akaishi-kun at the entrance and putting on the heels.
Teacher stood up, testing if he could stand all night on those heels. Though he was somewhat used to them, thanks to a few of his cosplays, every time he wore them, he was cautious. The last thing he needed was to relive the time when he fell on the convention, especially in an Akaishi Family event. But, just like the underwear, it fit Yuuto perfectly. “I’d like you to say thanks to your sister for me,” he suddenly remembered.
“You can say that yourself,” Akaishi-kun said, locking the door, and already dashing for the elevator.
“Is she going to be at the party?” Yuuto asked when he caught up with Akaishi-kun. Though he wasn’t unfamiliar with them, he couldn’t walk at his normal speed in heels. At once, the teacher realized it was a silly question. It was an Akaishi Family event after all.
The student was about to answer when a ringing came from the student. Akaishi-kun took out his phone from the pocket and winced when he read the text. For a second he stayed like that, and then he turned to Yuuto. The teacher looked back puzzled and then Akaishi-kun’ expression softened. Breathing deeply, he texted back and then turned his phone off.
“Of course she’ll be there,” he said when the elevator’s doors opened. “She’s the most important person tonight.”
“Is it her birthday or something?” Yuuto wondered. Isn’t rude to show up when I don’t even know her? He kept the thought to himself though. He knew the student would just brush the idea as if it was nothing.
“No, no. Nothing like that.” They were outside the hallway and Yuuto looked at Akaishi-kun. How are we getting there? Only now the thought crossed his head. If it were him, the teacher would probably go by train, or perhaps taxi. But that would hardly fit the Akaishi Family image.
The student didn’t hesitate, walking with quick steps. The teacher followed as best as he could and then his mouth hanged open. No way… Akaishi-kun was walking directly to the limo Yuuto saw earlier. Before he got to the car, the driver next to it bowed and then opened the door.
“It’s my sister’s wedding,” Akaishi-kun said, gesturing for Yuuto to get inside the limo first.
The teacher was already having trouble believing the limo, so the words took longer to process. “What did you just say? Wedding?” Yuuto asked just to be sure, stopping midway to the car.
“Yes. My sister’s getting married today,” Akaishi-kun had the sly smile back on his face. He had finally gotten the teacher completely off guard. He pulled gently and then made Yuuto get inside first.
Yuuto was still processing. If it might be considered rude to show up at a birthday without even knowing the person, a wedding surely was worse. The door slamming woke him. “You said it was a gathering of family and friends!”
“It isn’t?” Akaishi-kun asked cocking his head, his voice mocking the teacher.
“We’ll be there in less than thirty minutes, sir,” The driver said before Yuuto could protest any further.
“Thanks. This way we’ll have plenty time to prepare,” Akaishi-kun said and then he raised the partition. Yuuto looked at him in disbelief, his face burning. “This way we’ll have privacy.”
Privacy for what? Prepare for what? The teacher thought, feeling the night had just begun.
“You cried,” said Akaishi-kun. Though he tried hiding it, the teacher could see the smile behind his lips.
Yuuto avoided looking at his student and didn’t bother answering. It was true after all. The moment he saw Akaishi-kun’ sister, so beautiful and beaming in her white dress, walking down the aisle, the teacher knew he’d cry. He did his best to hold it in, but after the bride and groom exchanged their vows, even if it was in English and with some heavy accent, Yuuto felt the tears coming down, despite his willpower. Even if he had some difficult understanding all the ceremony, it was simply wonderful.
“I’m not making fun of you.” Akaishi-kun leaned in so only Yuuto could hear, though there was no need for that. In the huge room where the reception was, it wasn’t hard to find a place to have a private talk.
The teacher closed his eyes and took a deep breath, ready to face his student. But when he turned, Akaishi-kun was offering a tissue. Yuuto widened his eyes for a moment, and then smiled, drying the tears with it carefully. “Thank you.”
“What did you think?” Akaishi-kun asked when the teacher cleaned his face. “Did you have trouble understanding the ceremony?”
“It was… hard,” he admitted. “I can understand English, but that accent… Where the is groom from?”
“Colombia or Argentina, I think,” Akaishi-kun shrugged off. “I know for a fact that he’s from South America.”
“That narrows it down a lot,” said Yuuto rolling his eyes. Suddenly the teacher sensed something he might tease Akaishi-kun. “You know that much about your brother-in-law?”
“Ah well…” For a moment, he avoided the teacher’s eyes. “It’s… been a while since I had a proper talk with my family…” Akaishi-kun trailed off.
Yuuto regretted his words immediately. He had forgotten Akaishi-kun had some sort of fight with his family. That’s why he said he wasn’t in the mood to come. “A gathering of family and friends…” the sentence came out of his mouth before he realized it. He had lost count how many times he had mumbled that.
Akaishi-kun looked around. “I suppose I could’ve looked for a better way to say it.” Despite his words and the sighing, the student smiled for finally seeing his teacher reacting the way he expected.
Better way… you should have. They aren’t friendly towards you at all, the teacher thought, but he held his tongue. There was no reason to say this aloud and remind the student. He could tell that by himself. Those who came to talk with Akaishi-kun were polite enough, but behind their words and their actions, even Yuuto could tell there was something… off. Though the teacher was interested, it wasn’t any of his business and he’d rather not bring any more trouble to Akaishi-kun because of his curiosity.
“So you came after all.” A man dressed in a black tuxedo greeted Akaishi-kun, ignoring Yuuto completely. He looked like the student, with the same face, though the eyes had none of that mesmerizing glow, and the nose was a bit bigger, and somehow his aura seemed even more arrogant. “I’m glad you can put aside your feelings and celebrate this moment.”
“It was for my sister,” Akaishi-kun said coldly. “Of course I’d be here.”
“Only for her you can act like an adult,” the man spoke almost in the same tone, pressing his glasses with a finger. “Have you given any thought abo—”
“I won’t change my mind,” Akaishi-kun said curtly, staring the man right in the eye.
The man sighed heavily. “When will you grow up?” Akaishi-kun narrowed his eyes.
That’s bad, the teacher thought immediately. Yuuto knew that things could turn into the wrong direction. Every time the student did this, he suddenly teased the teacher much more, but he doubted it would be like this here.
“Loving grandfather and not killing him is being a child?”
“If you call that love, then you’re a sadist.” He stared the student.
In one second, Akaishi-kun widened his eyes and made a fist. People were starting to stare them. “Akaishi-kun!” Yuuto whispered in a hushed voice, grabbing the student’s fist with both hands.
Akaishi-kun looked at the teacher, his face full of anger, and then his expression softened. He breathed deep and then his fist disappeared. He held the teacher’s hand, who squeezed in return.
The man was surprised for a second and then snorted. “I’m impressed you can control yourself. I guess spending some time away from us gave you some maturity.” He turned to Yuuto for the first time. “I supposed I have to thank you for that. You may be completely unknown, but of my little brother’s previous companion, you seem to be able to control him. Thank you for keeping Seiji entertained enough so he can’t embarrass the family. If you could, please try putting some sense into him.”
The student squeezed the hand tighter and watched the man walking away in silence. “Akaishi-kun…” Yuuto said nothing more in respect. He knew if Akaishi-kun wanted to talk, he would, though it would be through teasing.
Yuuto looked around, trying to find something that could distract Akaishi-kun. His eyes rested on the dance floor, where others joined the now husband and wife. Gulping, the teacher knew what he could do. He felt his cheeks reddening a bit. “Let’s… let’s dance… Akaishi-kun.” he meant inviting the student in a firm voice, but all went away the moment he spoke.
Akaishi-kun turned to the teacher with a queer look, but after a second, his lips turned into a smile. “If that’s what my muse wishes, I’ll obey,” he said, leading the teacher by the fingers.
I shouldn’t have done that, the thought immediately crossed Yuuto’s mind while Akaishi-kun held the teacher by the hand and waist. Though there were others dancing on the floor, for some reason, Yuuto felt everyone’s eyes turning to them. I shouldn’t have done that, he thought again.
“Don’t worry,” said Akaishi-kun when he noticed the teacher’s red cheeks. “I’ll be gentle.”
Yuuto didn’t pay any attention to the teasing; he was too busy concentrating on his own feet when the music started. They started slowly moving from one side to the other, and then Akaishi-kun started to dance faster.
Somehow, the teacher managed to keep up, or perhaps it was the student who led perfectly. Despite thinking once or twice ‘how did I get here?’, before he realized it, Akaishi-kun stopped leading him. “It’s… over… already?” he said puffing a bit. Part of the teacher felt a bit sad. Even with a little almost slip incident, one where the student held him, Yuuto had a fun. “You’re a great dancer, Akaishi-kun,” he said when they got out of the dance floor.
“I know,” he replied with the smile. “Though not anywhere near that,” he indicated the dance floor with his head, watching the teacher’s reaction.
There was only one couple on the floor now. Given by their appearances, Yuuto knew they were from the groom’s side. For a moment, the entire reception room was in complete silence. The couple stood in a queer pose, the woman facing the man’s back, and then the music started. At once Yuuto suspected it was a foreign song, but when the couple began moving, he was certain.
The dancers stood still, then the woman’s hand went to the man’s chest, and her leg locked with his. He held her hand and then she spun around him, moving away and then stared her partner as if he was the only one in the entire world. They closed the distance, and the man raised the woman by the waist and spun her in midair, the red tail on her dress swaying elegantly behind her. Now he stood behind her, grabbing her hand and waist. They moved like this from one side of the floor to the other, their legs moving in smalls and quick steps, so fast Yuuto barely followed.
The music became faster, and the dancers kept up, exchanging from small and fast steps to long and elegant ones. At one point, the woman’s leg twisted around the man’s, almost as if she was holding him. From time to time, she stepped away, but then he held her by the hand, pulling her back spinning as if she was the most precious woman in this world and he’d not let her go.
Their foreheads met each other so many times, their faces so close, Yuuto was impressed they didn’t kiss passionately at one point. If it was me with… he glanced at Akaishi-kun, and turned back to the dance floor immediately, his face burned hot.
Luckily Akaishi-kun was too distracted to notice, and then the thought was swept by what Yuuto saw the next moment. The man raised his partner again, but this time it was in the middle of a spin, and the red tail of the woman’s dress swaying so much it was mesmerizing.
In what seemed too quick, they stopped moving at the same time as the music ended. The entire room was in silence, and then burst into applauses. Yuuto blinked and then joined the claps. “That was… that was…” he had no words to describe.
“Agree,” Akaishi-kun replied, leaning in. “I’d like to try that with you sometime,” he whispered.
The thought of teacher and student dancing around like that, their foreheads touching, Yuuto’s leg around Akaishi-kun’, his hand on the student’s chest…his face became an alarming shade of red. He avoided looking at Akaishi-kun. “You said I wasn’t here to entertain you.”
“But I mean it,” he said, and the teacher could feel the sly smile even without seeing.
“And yet I feel like entertainment,” he complained, but more to hide the smiles on his lips. It seems he forgot that thing with his brother.
The waiters moved around holding trays of food and drinks. Despite already having dinner, Yuuto started feeling hungry. “Let’s eat,” Akaishi-kun said before Yuuto could say anything. He offered a hand and Yuuto took it and then the student led him to their table.
It was empty, but when they sat, an older woman joined them almost immediately. “Sei-chan! I thought you would not be here…” she trailed off and then laughed. “I’m so glad you came.”
Yuuto chuckled a bit in his head. The idea of someone calling the Akaishi-kun he knew Sei-chan was hilarious. So there was a time when he was little and innocent to the point where people called him Sei-chan, he smiled.
“I’d never miss my sister’s wedding,” Akaishi-kun replied with a smile, but Yuuto could tell it was different from the one he usually received. “Besides, I’d hate missing that dance just now.”
“I know, right?” the woman’s eyes spackled. “That tango was incredible. It’s amazing what these South Americans can do.”
“So it’s call tango, huh? It would be interesting to try a bit.” Akaishi-kun spoke and looked to the woman, but Yuuto knew those words were aimed at him.
“Too bad my husband would never try,” she sighed, shaking her head slowly.
“For that, you need the right partner.”
“Speaking of partners, who is this lovely young lady you brought?” The woman turned to Yuuto for the first time.
The teacher was surprised for a moment. People here only spoke to Akaishi-kun, and when turned to him, it was to say or ask something about the student. It took a few seconds for him to recover.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said, bowing his head slightly with all the politeness he could muster. “My name is Yuu—” before Yuuto could finish introducing himself, he felt a hand touching his knee under the table, a finger sliding slowly up the teacher’s inner thigh. He blushed, widened his eyes and looked at the owner of the hand. I remember, Akaishi-kun! There’s no reason for doing it! And I said not do to this! It was a sign the student had arbitrary set himself. Yuuto tried conveying it with his eyes before looking at the woman again. “I’m… Yuuno,” he said before things turned awkward.
“It’s a pleasure meeting you, Yuuno-kun,” the woman said with a smile. “So what’s your relationship with our Sei-chan?”
“I help Aka—” Yuuto felt Akaishi-kun’ hand again, but this time he didn’t stop at the thigh, the hand slipping under the dress. Blood rushed somewhere it shouldn’t and he blushed some more. The woman tilted her head. “I help Sei… Seiji-kun with his art…” the teacher hurried up and added. The hand stopped moving, but it was still there.
“Oh, yes. I heard Sei-chan was keeping himself busy with those little paintings. We were so glad that he found something to pass his time.” The woman nodded her head in approval. “So do you paint as well?”
“No. Actually, I—” Yuuto started.
“Inspire me to paint,” Akaishi-kun finished with the sly smile on his lips.
“Oh my,” the woman chuckled while Yuuto turned to the student. “You’re such a lady’s man, Sei-chan. And Yuuno-san seems so pleasant I hope you still be around next time,” she said before standing up and walking away.
They kept quiet for a while, until the woman was far enough. “I though you said you’d remember.” Akaishi-kun turned to the teacher.
“I…” It took a few seconds for the teacher to notice the student’s hand was still on his thigh. When he did, his manhood started growing again, so he quickly remove it and closed his legs as best as he could. The last thing he needed was Akaishi-kun noticing it right here in the wedding. “I did remember. You should’ve given me time to prove.”
“Sorry. I was a little worried you might have forgotten,” he replied with the sly smile.
“How could I forget that?” Yuuto said, more to himself than to his student. Akaishi-kun bit his lower lips to hold the laugh. The teacher breathed loudly to calm himself. Despite this, the memories from the limo ride came back.
“This way we’ll have privacy.”
It took a few moments for Yuuto to regain his composure. “Akaishi-kun… I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to attend your sister’s wedding,” he said in the most teaching voice he had. “It’s rude to…”
Akaishi-kun touched Yuuto’s lips with a finger. They stayed like that for a second, looking at each other. Yuuto was starting to blush. “Sei,” the student said, the finger sliding down the mouth slowly. “You must call me Sei tonight.”
Yuuto blinked a few times. “What?”
“You must call me by my name this night,” he repeated.
“Why should I?” Yuuto was getting uncomfortable. Dan-kun might call people by their first names, specially his students. But he was a foreigner, and also had a sort of good explanation. Yuuto wasn’t him though. Calling Akaishi-kun by his name… the teacher already had mixed feelings about his students that he avoided thinking. This wouldn’t help at all.
“I’m bringing you to a wedding. Don’t you think people might find strange if you call me by the family name? And it’s a family event. How many ‘Akaishi’ do you think will be there?”
“You… make good points…” the teacher reluctantly agreed. “But still, calling you by name suddenly…”
“That’s why I said we had some time. Now, let’s start.” He smiled, but it wasn’t the sly one. It was more like a kid opening a present.
“You seem awfully excited about this,” Yuuto said, trying to gain some time. It didn’t work. Akaishi-kun still looked at him with anticipation and a smile on the lips. The teacher sighed. “S-s-se…”
“Come on,” Akaishi-kun leaned closer, lifting the teacher’s head so he could look into Yuuto’s eyes. “What’s my name?
Yuuto blushed and tried looking away, but Akaishi-kun didn’t let him. “Se… Sei…ji…kun,” he managed to say and the student released him with a satisfied smile.
“That wasn’t so bad,” he said, almost humming. “How about you use something more intimate, like, Sei-chan?”
“Impossible,” the teacher said at once. Just picturing himself saying ‘Sei-chan’ would leave his face red.
“Okay, okay. I know when my muse says it like that, it takes time to convince. Time which we don’t have.” Akaishi-kun sighed and dropped his shoulders in an exaggerated manner, and Yuuto could tell right away that he had something else prepared to embarrass the teacher. “Now let’s talk how I’m gonna call you.”
“What?” the teacher said again.
“I’ll introduce you as my muse,” he said as-a-matter-of-fact while Yuuto was still struggling with words. “But I’m sure you’d like to keep your real name our secret, am I right?”
“Yes…” he admitted.
“What’s your artist name?” he asked suddenly.
“What do you mean?” Yuuto tried playing dumb, but at once he realized it wouldn’t work.
“Don’t underestimate me. I did my research,” Akaishi-kun said chuckling. “Artists like you have… let’s say an artist name.”
Yuuto dropped his shoulders in defeat. “So you know about that…” Ever since they began their muse relationship, the teacher tried his best to hide his artist name. The thought of the student searching and finding his blog and specially the pictures the internet was too embarrassing. But he couldn’t hide it anymore. “It’s… Yuuno…” Yuuto knew he would regret telling Akaishi-kun about it.
It happened faster than he thought. At once, the student’s face beamed it with the sly smile. Why do I feel like I’ve given him some ammo against me?
“Yuuno… Yuuno… Yuu…no,” Akaishi-kun said the name again and again, each time, changing the intonation, the smile never leaving his lips.
The teacher didn’t like it. He could almost see where Akaishi-kun’ thoughts were heading. “It’s better than the name my sister gave me on the first convention,” Yuuto said, trying to make the student to stop saying the name. It worked. Akaishi-kun turned his attention back to him, an interested look on his face. “People were asking her about me and all, because even then I did a great job,” he said it with some pride in his voice. “So out of nowhere she pulled the name Mozi moe.” Yuuto had a smile on his lips and chuckled, surprising himself. It had been too long since he thought about that.
Even Akaishi-kun laughed hearing the name. “Mozi moe… that’s a unique name. Though I prefer Yuuno,” he said with the sly smile back and Yuuto sighed. The diversion hadn’t work as he thought. “So you’re Yuuno that inspires Seiji-kun with the paintings. Now that’s settled, all we need is a sign.”
“Sign for what?”
“Sign if you forget about us,” he said emphasizing the last part.
Again Yuuto didn’t like were Aka… Seiji-kun’ thoughts were heading. “I’m sure I can remember something this simple.”
“It’s for precaution,” he said leaning in closer. “How about if I discretely touch you here?” he asked, his hand already down on the teacher’s inner thigh, a finger moving up.
“No!” Yuuto protested. It tickles… and other stuff… he kept that part to himself.
“I think it’s a perfect sign. It’s discreet and no one will realize under a table,” he kept moving the hand. “But you’ll need to control your reactions better. Though I love seeing you blushing, people will notice. And I want to keep that part of you only to myself.” Those words didn’t help Yuuto with the blushing and other reactions he was having, so the teacher took the hand off.
That didn’t stop Akaishi-kun though. He kept touching Yuuto, pretending to find another sign. He touched the lower back, before his hand slipping down. Then he touched the teacher’s inner arm. It wasn’t so bad, but not only this sign wasn’t discreet, it reminded Yuuto of their first encounter. In the end, the teacher said he could remember without any help.
The waiters brought their food, medium rare steaks, along with the side dishes. Only then Yuuto noticed; there weren’t any hashi.
“Can you use knife and fork?” Seiji-kun asked. Though his tone was low, so only the teacher could hear, Yuuto felt there was some teasing behind those words.
“Yes I can. Thank you for worrying,” he replied in the same tone, but still Akaishi-kun smiled. It was true Yuuto had used western utensils before, though it had been a while ago. Dinner at Dan-kun’ house sometimes had fork and knife.
When he grabbed it, it felt as he remembered, but then he felt a breeze on his neck that sent a shiver down his body. “You’re using on the wrong hands,” Seiji-kun whispered in his ear.
Flushing, Yuuto exchanged the fork for the knife, but when he tried cutting the meat, it wasn’t that easy. Hashi are better, he thought sully.
“Let me,” Seiji-kun whispered again when Yuuto started losing the fight against the food. With the people around the table shooting glances at him, the teacher knew it would be easier to just let the student do it. Cutting slowly, Seiji-kun showed the way, and then, “Here,” he said, raising the fork with a bit of the steak.
Widening his eyes, Yuuto looked around. People were definitely glancing at them. With his cheeks red, he ate it, the juice filling his mouth with each bite. “Delicious!” Despite the embarrassment, he had to admit.
The rest of the meal went with no other remarkable situation. Most people were talking while some went back to the dance floor. Yuuto noticed there were many Argentinian men asking Japanese women to dance. Seiji-kun turned to the teacher and offered a hand, asking if Yuuto would like to dance again.
With a smile, he took the hand and Seiji-kun led him. This time, the dance was faster but somehow Yuuto managed to keep up. The next music, however, was similar to the tango, and the teacher blushed immediately when the student smiled invitingly.
“I-I need to excuse myself,” he managed to get out of that dance.
Seiji-kun was a bit disappointed, but it only lasted a heartbeat, because right away he pulled the teacher closer, almost embracing him from the back. “Remember to use the right restroom,” he said with the sly smile. Yuuto walked away without a word, but his reaction was enough to leave Seiji-kun too satisfied.
Though it was just an excuse to leave the dance floor, since the restroom was empty, Yuuto decided to use one of the stalls. When he came out, he wasn’t alone anymore. There was a blond girl using the mirror to check her makeup and hair. Yuuto used the sink to wash his hands and noticed the girl checking him through the reflection, not trying to hide what she was doing.
“So you’re Seiji’s latest,” the girl spoke suddenly after turning back to herself. It wasn’t a question.
“Excuse me?” Yuuto turned directly to her. Now that he paid attention to her, the teacher realized there was something about the girl that was familiar, though he couldn’t tell what it was.
“Everyone was wondering if Seiji would attend the wedding and if he’d bring one of his latest time fillers. I knew he would though. Even if he’s not speaking to most of his family, he loves his sister too much.” The girl finally took her eyes from Yuuto’s reflection, closed her purse and looked at the real one. “At least you seem like a decent girl so I’ll give you some advice. Enjoy this as much as you can, because Given Seiji’s recent history, chances are you won’t be around the next family event.” She stared at the teacher, apparently waiting to see how he’d react to her words.
“You’re Aka… Seiji-kun’ ex-girlfriend.” The teacher had finally recognized where he had seen her, or at least part of her. He had admired so much he wondered why it took him this long to realize she was the model of Seiji-kun’ nude paint.
Yuuto wasn’t bothered by the girl’s words at all, but for some reason, she seemed offended by that. “What do you know about me? About us?”
“Only what he told me.” Yuuto could say exactly what Seiji-kun had told him about his ex. But this girl was just a kid, and the teacher would never hurt a kid because of something like this.
Again Yuuto’s lack of reaction seem to hurt her more than he thought. “You know nothing. What I did was… a mistake. I know I should’ve been more considerate of his feelings, but everyone was almost fighting about his grandfather’s inheritance even if he wasn’t dead yet. I said that because I didn’t want to see Seiji losing what was his by right!”
Yuuto was wordless. Now a few things starts to make sense. The way he speaks about his ex, how he’s evasive when I ask about his family… “Seiji-kun was really hurt by you.” Given how he talks about his grandfather, no wonder he’s that angry with you. He kept that part to himself though. It would only hurt this girl.
“Don’t you think I know?” She said in a voice full of rage, the tears threatening to fall. “I know and love him since we were kids. Just because of a little mistake, he broke up with me,” and then she cried.
Yuuto wanted to console the girl in front of him. It was his job as a teacher to help. Two things held him though. He knew she would feel worse if she were consoled by Seiji’s latest. But there was something else. Part of Yuuto wanted to say I don’t want you hurting Seiji-kun again. The face the student made on their first encounter after he asked about the nude painting still worried Yuuto. He never wanted to see Seiji-kun doing that kind of expression again.
After a while with only the girl’s sobbing breaking the silence, she recomposed on her own. She took a handkerchief from her purse and dried the tears. “Enjoy while you can. Seiji will get tired of you just like the others. In the end, I’m the one who knows and loves him the most. When this all passes, I’ll apologize and he’ll get back to me,” she said and then left the restroom, leaving her purse.
What a troublesome kid. She can’t let go of the past, Yuuto thought. He was experienced enough to know when things breaks, they can never be put together the same way. The only option is to create something new or let go, but given Seiji-kun reaction, only the latter for them. Maybe I should tell Seiji-kun to talk with her.
He wondered how that conversation would go. The teacher knew that sometimes the old love could overtake the moment. It had happened with Yuuto himself last year, just before Seiji-kun found out about him. But when he imagined what happened between Yuuto and his ex-girlfriend happening with Seiji-kun and that girl, a pain crossed the teacher’s heart.
Before he could leave the restroom, the door opened again. For a second Yuuto thought the girl was back, but then he saw a white dress through the mirror.
She’s beautiful, the thought crossed his mind while he stared the bride for a second. Only then Yuuto remembered that she probably had no idea who he was. “Ah, congratulations. The ceremony was wonderful.”
“Was it?” She asked in a carefree tone, stretching her arms. “I feel exhausted. The party is fun and all, but I’d rather enjoy the rest of the night with my new husband, if you know what I mean,” she said sighing.
Yuuto was surprised for a moment, and then couldn’t help but chuckle. Her words felt completely different from the beautiful bride walking down the aisle. And somehow it felt like something Seiji-kun would say. They are indeed brother and sister.
“Can you keep a secret?” The bride suddenly asked. The teacher nodded his head out of reflex, though he wasn’t good a keeping secrets from a few people. “Don’t tell anyone about this.” She pulled from Seiji-kun’ ex-girlfriend’s purse a cigarette and a lighter. With the first drag, she dropped her shoulders, relaxing. “Somehow it doesn’t fit the Akaishi image, right?” She asked when she noticed Yuuto’s surprised expression.
“A little,” he admitted. “And yet you somehow looks just like Seiji-kun,” Yuuto said smiling.
“I should be offended by that, since my little brother is like the bad seed in the family now.” Despite her words, she laughed and smoked. “But I get him. With all this stress around, I’d rather blow off some steam.” She breathed in and exhaled smoke. “Can you keep another secret?” Yuuto nodded again. “The ceremony was a sham. We were already married.”
“What?” He said a bit too loud.
“Yeah,” she smirked. “About a month ago, we were in Argentina solving some problem about the steaks and another stuff for the wedding when I got tired. We eloped that very night. The spur of the moment honeymoon was awesome. Too bad our families didn’t thought so.” She laughed and Yuuto couldn’t help but do the same.
Though she was the bride, the most important person tonight, it felt like she was somewhat an outsider, just like he was. Even with the gap between them, it was fun talking like this. “You’re impulsive, just like Seiji-kun,” Yuuto said smiling.
“If you say it like that, I’ll take it as a compliment.”
“How did you manage to calm both families?”
“We lied. My husband said we eloped because we were too happy since I had just found out I was pregnant.”
“Do they know the truth?”
“No, hence the secret,” she said shaking the cigarette. “But I’ll probably get pregnant this night. Latin men sure know their ways. Some say the tango is just a foreplay.” She laughed when Yuuto blushed. “Seiji said it wasn’t hard to make you blush, but I never thought it would be this easy,” she laughed some more. When she finally stopped, she turned to him with a more gentle expression. “Thanks for being here. I know that if it wasn’t for you, Seiji would get into a fight, or perhaps not even be here.”
“Ah, no. I’m the one who should say thanks,” Yuuto said, bowing. “You even took time for this,” he gestured at the dress when he remembered that she was the one who chose it.
“It was nothing. Believe me, I had plenty free time. My mother and mother-in-law choose everything in this wedding. It was fun choosing something and not have your opinion shot down for a change. Apparently a beach wedding isn’t fit for The Akaishi Family.”
They both laughed again. “But then I don’t think we could see that dance,” said Yuuto.
“They can dance anywhere, believe me. Tango on a starry beach surrounded by bonfires is simply too amazing.” She put out the cigarettes. “I should go back out there. I think people perhaps might notice if I’m not around.” She walked towards the door, but then turned to the teacher. “Really, thanks for being there for my little brother. He needs you more than he shows. Please, be by his side from now on, Yuuto-san.” And she was gone.
It took a few seconds for teacher to get past the fun he just had and realize what she just said. Did she call me by my name…? No… I misheard… that’s all… yeah… I’m sure… Yuuto tried convincing himself, though he wasn’t doing a good job. Would Seiji-kun tell her who I really am? If it were my sister… he shivered with the thought.
“What’s taking you so long?” A voice brought Yuuto’s mind back and he once again found himself with someone in the restroom.
“You shouldn’t be here…”
“Well, technically neither should you,” Seiji-kun said with a smile. Yuuto opened his mouth to reply, but only a sigh came out. He’s right, the teacher thought, though he wasn’t going to say.
Yuuto took a better look at Seiji-kun. His breathing was short and his cheeks were slightly red, but it didn’t look as if he was dancing just now. Given the closed fist he had, the teacher realized it. He got into another argument… “Then let’s get out there. I’m in the mood to dance,” he said with a forced smile.
“No… I’d rather be alone with you for a while.”
The teacher held the blush. Even if he was used to it, the student’s sudden burst caught him off guard, especially when the words were actually sincere. “Don’t you think it would be a problem if you were caught in the ladies restroom?” Yuuto went along to take Seiji-kun’ mind off his troubles.
“It wouldn’t be the first time… nor the first wedding,” he said smiling.
“Why am I not surprised?” Yuuto chuckled despite himself. “I met your sister. She seems nice.”
“It’s only for the first time,” he said shaking his head. “Give time and you’ll feel like you’re walking on thin ice around her.”
“Really? Then I should do the same around you.” Seiji-kun opened his mouth to reply, but nothing came out and he closed it. That’s cute, Yuuto thought, smiling. “She’s just like you. Or perhaps I should say you’re the one who’s just like her.”
Seiji-kun bit his lips. “I’d like to deny, but sadly I heard that before,” he said dropping his shoulders in a forced way. “But you’ll see what I’m talking about. Next time, ask her how she treated me when we were kids. Every time I said or did something stupid, she kept it a secret, only to use against me later.”
This time Yuuto laughed. “I think that’s just how siblings are. At least my sister is, though not that intense, apparently,” he said. Something his student said caught his attention. Next time… Seiji-kun and his sister seemed to be the only ones who thought Yuuto would be around for that. “I also met your ex-girlfriend,” he said slowly, paying attention to Seiji-kun’ reaction.
For a heartbeat, the student was surprised, his eyes widening a bit. The next second, his expression became blank, almost without any emotion. “Is that so?”
That’s a bitter voice. The teacher had never heard this tone. With Yuuto, Seiji-kun was only fun and teasing, but when they entered a touchy subject, the student spoke, though most of the times it was reluctantly. “She misses you.”
“Is that so?” he repeated.
Yuuto sighed. “Do you really need to be that cold? Aren’t you two are childhood friends? Do you want to leave like that?”
“You don’t know what she did,” he avoided looking the teacher on the eye.
Yuuto held the chuckled this time. He really is just a child. “It’s true I don’t know. But you’re not doing any good holding on to that anger.” He felt a pang in his chest, but he had to say it. “I’m not telling you to get back together with her. All I’m saying is to let go of the past.” Yuuto stared at his student, holding his breath, waiting for a reaction. He knew it was a sensitive subject, but something inside him wanted to get it out now.
For a moment Seiji-kun stared at the teacher, his eyes expressionless. Then his face relaxed and he showed a weary smile. “Are you lecturing me here in a restroom?” he said jesting.
Yuuto relaxed and smiled too. “I’m a teacher after all.”
Seiji-kun sighed loudly. “You’re right. She may be insensitive, but I guess she’s an old friend. I’ll talk to her, but not here, not today.”
The teacher beamed. “You’re such a good kid.”
Seiji-kun suddenly shortened the distance between them. “Is that so?” he said it for the third time, but he whispered into Yuuto’s ear now. “I don’t want you thinking that. It would ruin my reputation.”
Yuuto blushed, but before he could say anything, the student lifted him and brought the teacher to the last stall, locking the door.
“W-w-what—” The teacher tried mumbling something, but Seiji-kun brought a finger to Yuuto’s lips, looking away, almost as if concentrated on something the teacher didn’t know.
They stay that way for a while, but when the student turned back to the teacher, the only thing Yuuto could think was that Seiji-kun’ lips were too close. They stared into each other’s eyes and at some point the student closed his eyes, bringing his face closer. Yuuto did the same. He could feel the warmth emanating from Seiji-kun, their lips about to touch… and then the restroom door opened and closed.
Teacher and student opened their eyes and blushed, both looking away.
The next moment, they heard voices. “I can’t believe she made you cry. What a bitch.”
“Who does she thinks she is?”
“Don’t worry about her. She’s just enjoying herself because she knows I’m right.” Yuuto recognized the third voice. It was the ex.
“You made her cry?” Seiji-kun whispered in Yuuto’s ear.
Despite the student doing this a lot, right now the teacher was very aware how close Seiji-kun’ lips were close to his ear. And all that Yuuto could think of was what almost happened a few seconds ago, a big part of him wishing the girls hadn’t interrupted them.
“Did you really make her cry?” Seiji-kun whispered again.
“No, I…yes, but—” the student interrupted him with the finger again.
Silence followed, and then came a knock on the stall door. Yuuto looked at Seiji-kun and shook his head. The student on the other hand nodded his slowly, smiled and unlocked the door.
The ex had a smug on her face, but when she saw that Yuuto wasn’t alone, her face lost some of its color. “Hello Amira,” the student said trying to hold a laugh. She and her friends were speechless at the sight of Seiji-kun and Yuuto almost embracing on the stall…
“That was embarrassing, to say the least,” Yuuto said, almost with a sigh.
“Is that so?” he said it for the fourth time in the night, but now his voice was full of joy. “I’m really glad I went with you,” Seiji-kun said smiling and taking his keys from the pocket. “I had way more fun that I believed I could.”
“Well, I’m truly satisfied that you had a good time despite my embarrassment,” he tried be sarcastic, but the fun he had made it harder to sustain the tone. The student unlocked the door and let Yuuto go in first.
“There’s no need to be like that. I know you had fun too. You even got that,” he eyed the bouquet on the teacher’s hand.
Yuuto looked down at the flowers on his hands and a small smile formed on his lips. He brought the bouquet closer and smelled them. “No comment,” he said at last, avoiding Seiji-kun’ eyes.
“To me, apart from you, the best was Amira’s reaction,” he laughed. “She was so pissed you got the bouquet I could swear she’d fight you right there.” Yuuto opened his mouth, but then just sighed. “I know, I know. I’ll talk to her. But you saw there was no way I could talk to her at that time.”
“Please, be gentle… and don’t be yourself.”
“You say that like I’m a brute or something.”
Again Yuuto opened his mouth to replied, but gave up midway. He was exhausted from dancing, red from embarrassment and a bit dizzy from so much champagne. It’s his fault I drink that much. Why did you keep insisting? He thought, but never voiced it. On the entrance, he took off his heels, scrubbing the marks on his ankles and then stepped on the bare floor. Though it was fun to be taller for a few hours, it was an amazing relief to be standing on his own two feet after the heels.
The student stared at the teacher for a moment, his expression unreadable. “Come here,” said Seiji-kun suddenly. Before a reply, he gently led Yuuto to the couch. The teacher went along, trying to recover some energy. They both sat and then the student lifted Yuuto’s foot. “I thought you were used to heels,” he said in a low voice, observing the red marks.
“Not as much as you think. Only few of my cosplays used them. Besides, though I have worn on them for hours, I never danced before,” he said, closing his eyes and breathing slowly. Before he knew it, he felt a gentle moving on his foot. “What are you doing?”
“Are you so drunk you can’t tell?” Seiji-kun asked. “It’s because of me you’re like this, so let me do something,” he said with a genuine smile.
Yuuto sighed and closed his eyes again, letting the student massage him. It’s good… too good… he thought, his mind drifting into a blur… He shook his head and looked around, rubbing his eyes to get rid of the drowsiness.
“Morning,” Seiji-kun said smiling.
“What?” he turned to the window, but the curtains were closed. Did I really sleep on my student’s couch? “It’s morning already? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“You looked so cute, I couldn’t…” Seiji-kun blushed lightly and looked away.
That face is cute… Yuuto thought, but there was no time for that. “I have to get home now. My sister! Oh God! She’ll know…” the teacher quickly threw the blanket he didn’t remember having aside and stood up, trying to think. I have to… to… change clothes! Yes! If I get home in a dress…
In Yuuto’s panic, he barely noticed Seiji-kun acting weird. He looked away, trying to hide his mouth with the hand, but after a while he simply laughed, his voice echoing in the apartment.
“What?” the teacher turned to him in anger. “It’s your fault! Why didn’t you wake me?”
It took a while for the student stop laughing. “I’m sorry. I just had to,” he said, walking to the table and getting a remote. With one click, the curtains opened on their own, revealing the night view. Yuuto widened his eyes in surprise and then turned to his student. “You only fell asleep for half hour or so.” He laughed again.
With his head pounding a bit, Yuuto breathed slowly and rubbed his temples. At least my sister won’t suspect… he thought. “What time is it?”
“A little past one in the morning,” Seiji-kun answered without checking a clock or anything.
“How am I supposed to get home?” Yuuto said forcing some anger in his voice. It was Seiji-kun’ fault after all. But he was too tired for that.
“Don’t worry. The limo is still waiting for you.”
“Did you make the driver wait for me all this time?” the anger was gone, replaced by some dejection.
“Don’t worry. He was hired for the entire night.” Seiji-kun said it so fast Yuuto wondered if the student already prepared the answer knowing how the teacher would think beforehand. That information did make the guilt vanish a bit, but then something else occurred to him. If he arrived in a limo, some neighbor certainly would see… “If you think it’s too flashy for you, then your other option is to sleep here. I must tell you, I only have one bed, but if it’s with you, I don’t mind sharing,” Seiji-kun had the sly smile and Yuuto’s cheek reddened.
Why does it feel like he’s reading my mind? But some part of him felt the offer didn’t sound bad at all… I’m still drunk from the champagne, he deduced. “I told my sister I’d go home afterwards,” he said.
It was half-true. During the limo ride, after Seiji-kun arbitrarily set up the sign after testing others, Yuuto called his sister with the student’s cellphone. He said he’d go to a party, so she shouldn’t worry about him.
“A party with that special someone, huh?” She said. Even if Yuuto did his best to hide, his sister had picked up something. “Don’t worry about me. Just make sure to hook up after the party. I’m guessing you’re too shy to take the lead, so try your best. If you don’t sleep home, I’ll know you managed to seal the deal.”
“I’ll sleep home. See you later,” he said, blushing before returning the phone. He tried to take his mind off his sister; it wouldn’t do him any good to think about the weird things she said with the student by his side.
In less than five minutes, Yuuto had changed clothes and washed the makeup. He tried giving the dress, underwear, heels and necklace back—he’d keep the makeup kit—but Seiji-kun insisted those were gifts and wouldn’t accept. The teacher was too tired and in a hurry to argue and simply stuffed everything in his bag.
Yuuto hurried to the door, and Seiji-kun followed him. He looked into the teacher’s eyes. “I had more fun than could possibly expect, all because of you. Thank you,” he said in a rarely seen honest expression.
It took the teacher off guard, and he looked away. “Me too. I never thought a western wedding would be like that. It was very interesting,” he said with a smile on his lips. They stayed silent for a while, Yuuto’s heart beating a bit faster. “Well then, I have to go. Bye.”
“Until our next Sunday.” The real smile was the last thing Yuuto saw before he closed the door.
With quick steps, he walked to the elevator and pressed the button. But when the doors opened and he stepped in, Seiji-kun came down the hallway. “You forgot this.” He threw the bouquet and Yuuto caught it for the second time that night. He looked at it, trying to find words, any words, but the doors closed before he could find any.
He was still admiring the flowers when the driver opened the door, let Yuuto in, closed it and sat in the driver’s seat. Yuuto gave the address, his mind thinking about the tradition behind the flowers.
When the bride walked to the dance floor with most of the women following her, Seiji-kun insisted Yuuto went too, saying the teacher should trying getting the bouquet too. Yuuto was a bit drunk and decided to go. The women barely paid him any attention. Only Amira and her two friends looked at him, pushing him off the dance floor.
The bribe threw the bouquet upwards and the women went wild. At some point Yuuto could swear he saw someone pulling by the hair the woman who had it for less than a second, and then a sort of elbowing, but since his vision was blurred with champagne, he didn’t trust his eyes at the moment.
The bouquet went up again and somehow fell in his hands. He widened his eyes and then stared the flowers, vaguely aware that some women glared at him a bit angry, specially Amira and her friends. But all he could do was smell the flowers and smile, while the bride laughed and Seiji-kun had almost the same reaction as his sister.
After everything settled down, Yuuto sat back on their table and asked why the women fought so much for the flowers. The student leaned in and whispered so only the teacher could hear. “The person who gets the bouquet will be the next one to get married,” he said with a smile.
At the time, to Seiji-kun’ disappointment, Yuuto had almost no reaction, smiling and smelling the flowers again, his face red due the champagne. But now, with his head a bit more clear, when he thought about those words again, the image of Seiji-kun smiling popped into his mind.
Yuuto’s entire face became an alarming shade of red, but he didn’t hate the feeling at all.