Rei was drowning in despair.
It was winter, and the chill in the air was enough to freeze, leaving him well aware of how his body heat was being slowly but surely sapped away as he lay with his back on the cold asphalt beneath him.
He’d long stopped caring, though. About anything–and when he’d thoughtlessly picked a fight, he’d come to lying flat on his back, limbs spread wide, in an alley in a bustling market district.
He’d probably wind up freezing to death if he just closed his eyes and slipped off to sleep–but at this point…that might not be so bad.
The city beyond the alleyway was steeped in light, glittering illumination twinkling brilliantly, and he could catch countless boisterous voices chattering noisily. As he lay there, staring blankly ahead, he released a soft puff of white breath, reflecting distantly that oh…it was December 24th.
‘Right…it’s Christmas Eve tonight…’
That was probably why the crowds bustling by looked so happy–and this realization made them seem all the more distant. The fact that it was Christmas…and the warm, friendly sights as well…
“I feel like the little match girl…” Rei muttered to himself, voice trembling as it spilled over his lips. He recalled the tale of the little girl selling matches on a street corner in the middle of winter, with no one to care for her.
‘Right…I’m gonna wind up just like her… Disappearing from this world with no one to give two shits about me…’ And with this…he closed his eyes, and the world began to fade away. All light…all sound…even the sensation of cold and chill all grew distant. This must be what it felt like…to die.
An image of his mother, who’d died in an accident only a few days prior, flickered to life in the back of his mind. They hadn’t exactly been close, but she’d been the only family he had, since his father wasn’t in the picture. Apparently she’d been someone’s mistress, but they’d been cut off from contact with the man around when Rei had been born, so he’d grown up not knowing his father’s face or even his name.
But even his mother…had been someone far removed from Rei’s consciousness. She’d raised Rei using money she made as a prostitute, and given the nature of her business, she’d never been around much when Rei was at home. He’d spent many long hours alone from a young age.
He’d stopped really caring for her sometime in elementary school, and when he’d entered middle school, he’d started picking fights with anyone who crossed his path. While he’d managed to make it to high school, his behavior had only worsened, and he got involved in a fair number of dirty dealings.
But despite his lack of studying, he’d still managed to make decent grades, and his teachers had even recommended that he take exams to get into a university, but he’d had to give up that dream due to a lack of funds. Feeling like his future had been snatched away by his family situation, he’d grown even more violent.
Lately, he’d stopped dropping by his mother’s home altogether and rarely saw her…until just recently, when he’d received an emergency phone call. It had been the police, informing Rei that his mother had been in an accident. He’d rushed to the hospital, but she had already slipped away.
The moment he’d seen her lying there in that small, white bed, her face pale…it had felt like a hole had just opened up beneath him. He’d avoiding having to see her for so long…but he still needed a mother. But it was only at that point, when Rei had been left all alone, that he’d finally realized as such.
They hadn’t spent much time together at all, but she’d been the one to raise him. She had been his only family, the only person he had any real ties to in the whole world.
He’d found himself regretting not spending more time with her, but there was nothing much he could do when that person was already dead. He couldn’t even give her a proper funeral, in financial straits as he was, and he hated himself from the bottom of his heart for this.
He couldn’t do anything. He didn’t have anything.
No family, no money, no hope. He had nothing.
And it was that sense of utter self-loathing that had him where he was now–flat on his back in an alley. He couldn’t muster up the strength to care anymore and felt everything just fade far away into the background.
The world would just keep slipping away…and maybe he could die like this. Was this all his mother had left him? A life of assured solitude and distance from others?
And that was when it happened.
The air around him suddenly changed–and he felt his consciousness snap back to the here and now. He could sense someone else near him–he’d been alone before, but there was someone else here now. It was oppressive, demanding he respond…
Someone else…was here.
A cool, refreshing scent brushed his nose–and his suspicions were immediately confirmed. He couldn’t ignore the presence now, and he slowly opened his eyes, his lids stiff from the icy chill about him–
–and found himself face to face, with only perhaps 30 or 40 cm separating them, with the face of a foreigner.
“–Uwah!” Rei immediately leapt up, scrambling back to place space between himself and the man as his heart pounded from shock, but his joints mounted a protest, sore and stiff from the cold, and he grimaced in pain.
“Oh–you’re alive! Thank goodness, I was worried you were dead!”
Rei gave a start at the perfectly fluent Japanese delivered from a rather unexpected source, raking the man over with a glance. Huh…? His face was…
On first glance, the deep lines in the man’s face had suggested he was a foreigner, but on taking a closer look, it was clear he had some mixed ancestry. On top of it all, Rei was getting the eerie feeling that he’d seen this man somewhere before.
Where, though? He wrinkled his brow suspiciously, but the man didn’t seem intimidated in the least, extending a hand. “You’re hurt! Let’s get you to a hospital.”
Rei froze for a moment at the unexpected suggestion, then shook his head. “…I’ll be fine. This is nothing.” And he truly believed that; sure, he’d thought he might shuffle off the mortal coil, as it were, just now, but that hadn’t been because of his injury–merely the chill. For the rather quarrelsome Rei, who jumped into fights without thinking, this kind of injury was just part of a day’s work.
But the foreign-looking man didn’t seem so convinced. “But–if it gets infected…”
Rei felt his irritation flare at the worried tone in the man’s voice. For someone like Rei, drowning in despair, these were nothing more than pretty words, seeming merely like hypocritical niceties.
“I said I’m fine! I’m broke, I’ve got no parents, and I don’t feel like moving from this spot!” He turned on his heel and placed his back to the man–before pointedly flopping back to the ground with his limbs spread. The man would soon leave him in peace, and if Rei happened to die, the he would likely suffer nothing more than an uneasy conscience.
Maybe he’d gotten caught up in the spirit of the Eve, hoping to do some good deed for another. Regardless, Rei wanted no part in his hypocritical experiment. It only made him irritated that now he wouldn’t be able to die in peace, unknown and uncared for by anyone.
He just wanted to get this over with already. Consequences be damned. Any feelings this man had for a stranger he passed on the street would likely disappear as soon as he left this place and melded back into his everyday life.
But while Rei struggled internally with these thoughts, the man still refused to be moved, and after a long silence that suggested he’d been mulling something over, Rei caught the sound of not feet scraping the concrete…but something rustling. Rei wouldn’t lie and say he wasn’t curious as to what was going on, but he stubbornly refused to give in, keeping his back to the man and closing his eyes as he waited for the man to leave.
“…All right then. I’ll leave you some money here, so get yourself to a hospital, okay? And also…”
With these words, something warm and heavy draped itself over Rei’s shoulders. “?!”
“There’s a ticket in the pocket there; come and check out the show if you have time.” The man didn’t seem put off at all by Rei’s attitude, instead speaking to him with a voice as light and soft and–he didn’t want to confirm, but warm as whatever he’d just laid across Rei.
In the end, he couldn’t bear it any more, and his eyes popped open as he scrambled upright again–where he realized that the man had covered him with the rather expensive-looking coat he’d been wearing…and on top of it, a wallet–cash and all–that looked very much like something the man would own.
“Wai–are you insane?!” His eyes flashed wide, and he glanced around frantically–but the man had disappeared.
‘He…seriously just left this and took off?’
He spent a few long moments in shock, just staring at the wallet. Unlike the illusions experienced by the little match girl, neither the coat nor wallet faded away, no matter how long he spent looking at the items.
“………” After much internal debate, though, Rei warily reached to take the wallet in hand, and on opening it, his eyes goggled at the sight of a thick stack of cash, a sum far greater than he’d ever before held. And it wasn’t just cash–there were credit cards and debit cards as well, all just sitting there.
“Seriously…? Looks like the little match girl’s just become little Princess Sarah…” he mumbled to himself with a bitter smile in his tone, though he couldn’t bring himself to laugh.
Was this actually happening right now? His imagination ran wild with fantasy, so unable was he to accept that this was real–maybe he’d already died and this was just some post-mortem dream. Amazing strokes of luck like this only happened inside fairy tales; never to real people like him.
But here, Rei recalled what the man had said to him and shoved a hand into the pocket of the coat hanging from his shoulders. “He said there was something in the pocket…this?” He tugged out the small slip of paper his fingers brushed over–and realized it was a ticket.
Musical Benetnasch, Theater Capella, Starring: Sena Seiya…
“AH!” He remembered now–where he’d seen that man before! It was a face he’d watched from the other side of the television screen several times. Wasn’t he a singer…or wait, maybe an actor? Rei wasn’t exactly well-versed in these kinds of things, so he couldn’t be sure, but if the guy was starring in a musical, he had to be at least one of those.
“…Guess high and might celebrities have money to burn on charity cases, huh…” he muttered with a bitter smile before standing and shoving the ticket back into the coat pocket.
He still couldn’t quite believe what had just happened, but now that he knew the man was at least a real, living human being, he was starting to regain a sense of reality. At the very least, it was no mistake that he was now in possession of the windfall he’d always so desperately longed for time and time again.
“Well, if I’m gonna kick the bucket, I may as well at least use this generously donated cash first!” he boasted as a bit of self-encouragement, and set off down the dimly lit alleyway.
The man had urged him to head to a hospital, but Rei had absolutely no intention of doing so. Injuries like this were an everyday occurrence for him, so he didn’t think he needed any treatment for one, and what was the point in getting medical care anyway, when he was just going to die soon enough?
No–he was going to do what he wanted right now, buy what he wanted, and live the high life he’d never been able to experience before. He was planning on dying anyway, so he wouldn’t have to worry about what might happen tomorrow if he spent all of the cash in one blow tonight.
But…try as he might to convince himself he was doing the smart thing…he just couldn’t get in the mood. He felt no desire to enter any of the shops he saw as he walked along, nor could he find anything that he felt compelled to purchase.
Instead, he felt his mood spiraling downward once again, hastened there by his lonely presence in the middle of so much festivity and merriment, with all manner of Christmas songs piping over speakers wherever he went and happy couples and families filling the streets.
He stopped in before the show window of a building near the train station, noting the boxes of presents wrapped in shiny silver paper and fir tree covered in what looked like snow with a white reindeer-like animal standing to its side–a beautiful Christmas display. He stared blankly at it for a long while before sighing. “What’s a guy who wants to die need money for anyway…?”
It would’ve been nice if he could convince himself that having money meant he ought to try living, but the despair that resided deep within Rei was too ingrained to be so easily dispelled, and any desires he might have had were sucked soundlessly down into a dark, black pit.
He could think of nothing he wanted, nothing he wanted to do. He didn’t need anything now, it was all pointless.
Maybe he should have just stayed where he was, just slipped off into a dreamless death flat on his back in an alleyway.
“There’s a ticket in the pocket there; come and check out the show if you have time.”
The man had had a strange voice… A deep, masculine tenor…but somehow still soft and gentle, with a lightness far from superficial. So…very, very warm.
He wanted to hear it again.
“It said he was the star, right…?” He was pretty sure the theater indicated on the ticket was around her, so if he went, he’d be able to hear that voice.
He pulled the ticket out of his pocket again–indeed, the theater was quite nearby, perhaps only a ten-minute walk. He ran his eyes over the words Starring: Sena Seiya, noting the date right below it: December 24th, 8 PM.
“Fuck, that’s today!” he yelped, and he frantically glanced around for a clock display. Thankfully, since he was right in front of a station, there was a clock set up by the bus rotary–7:55 PM.
The moment he glimpsed the time, he set off for the theater at a dead run.
In the midst of the buzz of the crowd and an excited stir in the theater, Rei felt his awareness slowly settle back into the real world. The curtain had now dropped, and the lights had come back up in the audience’s seats.
Words of praise dropped from the lips of nearby spectators as they stood and began to make their way to the exits—except for Rei, who couldn’t bring himself to stand just yet.
Something had filled him inside—he’d thought he’d been empty, a blank void of nothingness, and now he felt full again, and he couldn’t move a muscle, not just yet.
When he’d burst through the doors of the theater written on the ticket, the curtain had risen as if everyone had just been waiting for his arrival, and Rei had settled in to enjoy the musical without much background on the activity or expectations.
It had been his first time taking in a musical—hell, he’d never seen any kind of movie or play or any performance of that sort. He’d honestly always thought they were stupid, nothing more than stories full of farces with made-up lives. What was the point of sitting and watching that kind of thing?
But when the musical had ended—the musical, which should have been little more than a fairy tale—Rei had sat there in his seat…and broken down in tears. “……!”
Everything burned—his eyes, the inside of his nose, his hitched breaths, his flushed cheeks. He couldn’t recall when the last time he’d cried like this had been, and try as he might to wipe away the tears, they just kept flowing. The sight of the main character refusing to let the loss of his family and lover ruin all human relationships for him, the way he charged forward and continued on without giving up had really hit home, and it hurt.
That character…was completely different from Rei, who had peered into the abyss of despair, finally tipped by the loss of his mother, unable to do more than crouch there and wait for death to take him.
And it was this difference between himself and the man in the musical that so strongly shook him to the core. However, he understood that he hadn’t experienced this in the form of a musical, he wouldn’t have been able to so easily accept the lessons.
’It overwhelmed me…’
He’d never known how strongly a human voice could resonate within his heart. The voices, the music, the lights, had all worked in concert to force his tear ducts to burst, and it felt as if that warm voice he’d heard a mere few hours before in a cold, dark alley…was echoing even more strongly and fiercely within him now. His heart felt replenished again, as if the thoughts from before of having nothing left were little more than a dream. Something had bubbled up, warm and bright, from the bottomless pit that he’d thought of as an abyss of despair.
He would never have imagined…that this single slip of paper he’d found in the pocket of a coat could inspire such change within him. After all, absolutely nothing had changed as far as his situation went—except that he no longer wanted to die. He had even started thinking about how to go about ensuring he kept on living.
And it was all thanks to that foreigner, Sena Seiya.
“Umm…we’re closing up soon, so…”
At the staff member’s hesitant reminder, Rei shouted, “I have something I need to return to Sena Seiya-san! Please let me see him!”
The poor man likely hadn’t been expecting to hear that from Rei, and his eyes goggled in shock, before blinking a few times in confusion and offering sadly, “I’m sorry, but there’s really nothing I can…”
“Please!” He dropped his head in a deep bow as the man tried to gently refuse him. He had to see Sena Seiya. He wanted to see him, return the coat and wallet, and apologize.
The staff member continued trying to turn him down but was eventually won over by Rei’s persistence, allowing with a sigh, “…All right, I’ll check with Sena first.”
“Th…thank you so much!!” He bent into another bow as the man walked away, finally reaching up to wipe roughly at his eyes and staring holes into the door through which the man had left, pinning all his hopes on this moment.
When he stopped to think about it, the man had likely been a mere staff member of the theater, in no position to speak with or convince Seiya to do anything, but if Rei let this chance pass by, he was certain he’d never have the chance to see Seiya again. He and Rei walked in completely different worlds.
After a few long moments, though, the man returned: “It seems…Sena is willing to see you.”
The words were delivered with a measure of hesitation, but Rei released a sigh of relief, and fighting back the tears that threatened to start flowing again, he dipped his head into a bow of gratitude. “Thank you very much…!”
“Not at all—this way, please.” They passed through a side door out of the theater hall into the wings, down a long hall still buzzing with energy and unbanked fervor—before pausing at the door to a dressing room. The man knocked on the door—and a response came from within, which set Rei’s heart to pounding. “I’ve brought him, as requested.”
“Great, thanks.” Seiya’s caught Rei, standing stiff and straight with nervousness. “So…you came after al!” His eyes crinkled at their corners as he spoke. “Wait…huh? Did you not go to the hospital?”
Rei felt his eyes heat again with unshed tears when met with the same smile as before and the gentle question, and biting back the urge to weep, he thrust out the coat and wallet.
“Huh…? But—I gave those to you?”
He was probably being serious—but Rei shook his head at Seiya’s curious expression. “I can’t take them, not this much. I’m returning them to you.”
But—you don’t have any money, right? Without money, you can’t make it to a hospital.” Those words from anyone else but Seiya would have made Rei want to snap Are you treating my like an idiot?! but when Seiya said them, it sounded like nothing more than a truthful relation of the facts.
Seiya was likely a man of pure heart, merely innocently worried for Rei’s good health. “But…” He shook his head, pressing home the fact that he still couldn’t accept such a large sum. He was no longer the Rei that had wanted to use up the funds and then slink off somewhere to die. Seiya was his savior, and he didn’t want to cause the man any further trouble.
Seiya watched him for a while, scratching idly at the back of his neck—before his expression brightened as an idea came to him. “Then—how about this! Instead of accepting the cash, become my assistant!”
Assistant…? “Huh…?!” Rei gaped openly at Seiya, eyes wide at the unexpected suggestion. But Seiya didn’t seem to notice Rei’s shock, instead smiling merrily.
“That seals it, then! This is great! I’ve actually been looking for an assistant—perfect!”
“Eh…? Eh? EEEEHHHH??” Rei had simply wanted to return the money—how had he gotten from that to this?
“Oh right—how old are you?”
“Huh? I’m 18.”
“A high schooler?”
“No—I’ve graduated…” he answered blankly, still half in shock from the unexpected turn of events—then zipped his lips. What was he doing, telling a stranger his life’s story? It was almost as if he was trying to earn the opportunity to work as this man’s assistant…
“Excellent! Would’ve been tough, having you work as my assistant and attend classes.” This made it clear Seiya was entirely serious. It had definitely been a sudden decision, that much was clear, but Rei could tell it wasn’t a joke and that he wasn’t being teased or led on. Rei could feel that Seiya just wasn’t that sort of person.
But…that didn’t make him the kind of person who could just nod with a polite ‘yes’ and let Seiya take care of him.
Rei had never met someone so angelically pure-hearted as Seiya—let alone someone so blessed with talent and finances… For someone like him, with no education and poor behavior, to be around such a brilliant person just couldn’t be good. And yet…
“Oh right—when should we get you moved in?”
“Yeah; you said you didn’t have parents, right? Then you should just come live with me!” Seiya suggested lightly.
“Huh?!” Rei blinked, not quite grasping the concept of ‘with me’ at first.
“I just figured it’d be easier for you to be my assistant if you lived in my home. That way I could ask you to take care of personal business as well!”
And this explanation finally clarified what ‘with me’ mean—he would be living in Seiya’s home. “Ah-ah-aha-ahhh umm—!!” He knew he needed to turn down the offer to work as Seiya’s assistant, so how had they gotten to Rei living with him now?!
“Just…why? Why are you…trying to hire some stranger off the streets?”
“Didn’t I tell you? I’ve been looking for an assistant.”
“Yes, you said that!” That wasn’t what he’d been asking. He didn’t even really know what kind of work an assistant did—but it sounded like it involved being around Seiya and taking care of various managerial tasks.
And then on top of that, to live with the guy…? They had just met that day—and with Rei flat on his back in an alleyway; Seiya was being far too trusting here. “But…what if I wind up being a really bad person?”
Seiya simply smiled. “I know you aren’t.”
“You know…?” Despite the horrible circumstances of their first meeting?
Rei’s brows drew together in confusion, but Seiya continued with a grin, “I could see the beautiful tears you shed from the stage—that made it clear to me…that your heart must be beautiful as well.”
Shocked as he was that Seiya had noticed him crying, it was even more unbelievable to hear these words from the most beautiful person Rei had ever met, and he stared up at Seiya in awe. Was this…how he truly saw Rei? He didn’t see the type to lie, but Rei just couldn’t accept it.
“Plus—you came to see me,” Seiya added, perhaps detecting Rei’s suspicions. Still, Rei couldn’t believe him.
“‘All’? That’s more than enough, don’t you think? Not to mention, people tell me all the time I’ve got a good eye.” He punctuated this declaration with another blinding smile.
Rei felt something deep inside his chest warm in the face of that expression, urging him to return the smile himself—which cause the tears he’d been fighting back to at last overflow their banks.
“…So? You’ll be my assistant?”
’If this man believes in me…then I’ll do anything for him…’ This thought, welling up from within, was the final push he needed, and he nodded.
And that is how, from that day on, Rei became Seiya’s personal assistant.
The house was a grand three-story building, and likely out of consideration for ensuring its occupants’ privacy, it was difficult to tell from the outside what was going on within. However, along with the usual collection of windows along the crisp white outer walls, thin skylights could also be seen, making it easy to imagine the bright sunlight streaming inside.
“Welcome home; this is where you’ll be living from now on,” Seiya said, opening the door to the side of the garage—which to Rei seemed more like a gate leading to a whole new world, and with some trepidation, he followed Seiya into the inner entryway.
Truthfully, it still hadn’t quite sunk in yet—which was to be expected; after all, it had barely been three days since he’d first met Seiya and been invited to be his assistant. But in that short span of time, the environment around Rei had shifted dramatically, exposing Rei to probably the most shocking changes he’d experienced since slipping from his mother’s womb. That’s how sudden and massive a change this was.
The time that had stalled with his mother’s passing seemed to have suddenly started flowing again at great speed, and Seiya carried out all of the necessities using staff members from his own, self-run agency, SenaPro. He’d taken care of canceling the contract for the apartment Rei had been living in, transferring his ID card information, even his mother’s burial arrangements… More than anything, Rei had been so glad to be able to hold a proper memorial service for his mother at last. Because he hadn’t had any savings, he hadn’t been able to bury her, after all, even after the mandated 49 days had passed.
And then, on top of everything, he’d come to welcome Rei…
“This is the living room—come inside.” Seiya welcomed him in with a warm smile, and every time Rei met that expression, something warm and light blossomed within his chest.
’Starting from today…I’m going to be living my life in time with his…’ Such thoughts just bubbled up unbidden.
He still couldn’t manage to see himself as pure-hearted a person as Seiya had claimed that night in the dressing room, but he had vowed to change his life for Seiya’s sake, at the very least. He would pour himself fully into living for Seiya, this he promised.
“Don’t tell my you’ve actually taken in a stray human this time!” A bracing but sweet voice cut through the air, and Rei whirled around in the speaker’s direction—where he was met with a woman of unparalleled beauty. It was immediately clear that this woman was the great actress—and Seiya’s wife—Sena Nagisa.
Seiya had said he’d already spoken with his family and gotten their permission, assuring Rei that Nagisa would welcome him with open arms, but given this remark just now, she certainly didn’t seem all that happy that a stranger was barging into her home.
However, it still somehow seemed…completely normal. In fact, Seiya was the strange one here, inviting a person he’d just met to come live and work with him. Rei steeled himself, understanding this to be only the first of many hurdles he’d likely be met with.
“Now, now. Rei-kun, this is my wife, Nagisa.” He spoke in a soothing manner, and Rei dipped his head into a polite bow. Even if he couldn’t earn Nagisa’s favor right off the bat, if he worked hard and honestly, he was sure he’d eventually be able to.
Or at least—that’s what he’d thought.
“I’m Sagara Rei. I hope we can—UWAH!” He cut off his introduction as Nagisa slipped in close, her face right in front of his, and stepped back from her with a startled cry.
“Hmmmm…” She looked him over, as if evaluating a piece of merchandise she was strongly considering purchasing.
Rei felt the urge to flee well up inside but knew it wouldn’t do for him to look away just now and met Nagisa’s gaze head-on, taking care to ensure it didn’t look like he was glaring at her.
And then, after a long moment, Nagisa’s expression broke into an excited grin. “Marvelous! He’s absolutely gorgeous! Yes yes, he’ll do quite nicely! Oh, every day is just going to be grand, now!”
“………I’m sorry?” Rei gaped at Nagisa, who had her hands clasped before her.
“Right? I knew you’d like him!”
“Oh you know me so well, Dear!”
Rei stood there in silent confusion, glancing back and forth in shock between the grinning couple. He was certainly glad that Nagisa seemed eager to welcome him into their home now, yes, but…just…
’Are…all celebrities like this…? Seiya’s suggestion that I be his assistant came out the blue as well, so maybe…’
They just seemed so flighty, or to at least have a very different set of values from Rei, and while this attitude was much better than finding them cruel-hearted, when Rei realized that he’d be working with people like this every day from now on…a whisper of worry began to bubble up.
“Ooh, but don’t you think he might be more useful headlining for the agency?”
“True enough—how about it, Rei-kun?”
“Eh?” Rei’s head tilted in confusion, not really grasping what was being asked.
“I’d initially thought about hiring you as an assistant—but perhaps you might like to be one of our agency’s stars, instead?”
A star? Rei hesitated, never having expected to be offered such an opportunity, and quickly shook his head. “A—a star, that’s just—out of the question! Please let me be your assistant!”
“You heard the man.”
“Eeh…? Aww, boo. Although—it certainly will be nice to come home after a long day of work and find a pretty face waiting for me!” Nagisa’s lips had pursed into a disappointed frown for a moment, before quickly breaking into a grin as she found the silver lining to the matter. Rei, though, had no idea of how to respond to the concept of ‘being nice’ just by being there—and as he offered a nervous smile in return, a clatter from behind their group caught his attention.
He turned in place—and found a small child, perhaps in his early years of elementary school, peeking out from around a corner.
“Oh, there you are, Izumi! Come over here, I’ll introduce you.” Seiya held out a hand, noticing the boy, who finally came toddling out. “This is Sagara Rei-kun; he’ll be living with us starting today. Rei-kun, this is my son, Izumi.”
Rei felt a silent thrill of surprise rush through him. The child was so adorable, Rei had been certain he’d been Seiya’s daughter, not his son. As to be expected of the offspring of Seiya and Nagisa! He was a beautiful child, with doll-like features. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Izumi-san.” He held out his hand in welcome to the Izumi, who continued to fidget while slowly drawing near.
After a few moments raking his curious gaze over Rei, he flushed deeply and silently extended a hand to Rei.
’He’s a really shy little kid…’ Careful not to startle, Rei gently gripped the hand, finding it a bit sweaty with the high body heat of a child.
“Izumi’s 8 years old, a third-year in elementary school. His older brother’s studying abroad at the moment, so he’s a little lonely. I hope you won’t mind keeping him company?”
“Not at all, I’d love to.” He nodded to demonstrate his understanding of Seiya’s request. He’d never played with children before, so truthfully, he was a bit concerned on that end, but he could hardly confess as such. For the time being, he’d just borrow a few books on rearing children from the library—after all, he’d vowed to give his everything for Seiya…
And so, his life in the Sena household began.
Rei glanced up from the text he’d been perusing at Izumi’s voice. It was a Saturday afternoon, and Izumi had been scribbling at the table in the living room, enjoying his day off from school, while Rei watched over him and did a bit of studying.
It had already been two months since he’d started living with the Senas, and Izumi had taken to Rei so keenly that it made his initial fidgety shyness seem like a farce, spending most of his days off now with Rei.
The Senas had a housemaid who dropped by every day, taking care of the cooking and cleaning and washing, and the office side of the house had proper staff taking care of the business there, so Rei had few responsibilities. Nagisa had her own manager, and Seiya was largely involved in producing these days, so he spent most of his time in the recording studio of the house’s basement, putting together songs.
Rei’s responsibilities therefore largely involved manning the phones when the office staff were out and occasionally accompanying Seiya when he went on errands and getting his license from driving school. And, of course, watching Izumi.
“Lookie, lookie!!” He held up his drawing for Rei to see.
Rei didn’t think himself possessed of any particular talent for the arts…but he never could seem to grasp what it was Izumi had drawn. It wasn’t that it was too abstract for him, it was more…well, it was rude to think of this given that Izumi seemed to enjoy drawing so much—but it looked like something he’d drawn with his non-dominant hand, a really truly awful drawing.
But there was no way he would ever say as such. “It’s magnificent; I particularly like the colors.” He tried to decipher what the boy had drawn—probably not an animal, so a person? He chuckled softly at the thought, and Izumi returned to his sketching in high spirits from the praise.
Rei turned back to the accounting text he had in his hands and dropped his eyes to the page, determined to drill into his mind something that might help him prove useful to Seiya. It was that thought that drove him to fill his free time with studies.
He couldn’t help but think that he was just taking advantage of Seiya’s good graces right now. But if he put his nose to the grindstone and studied hard and got his license, then he would one day be able to do something for Seiya.
“Studying, are we?”
Rei glanced up in surprise when a voice called out to him. “…Ah, Seiya-san. Are you on break?”
“Oh—not quite, I just had something to give you.” Rei stood to put on some tea or coffee for the man, but Seiya held out a hand to stop him.
“…For me?” He cocked his head slightly in confusion.
“Yup. Here you are.” He held out a large envelope.
“A pamphlet—for a correspondence college.”
“Eh—?!” College? Rei’s eyes goggled—and he noticed now the seal of a university printed on the envelope. But…why would Seiya give him something like this…?
“I’ve seen how eager you are with your studies, so I thought maybe this way you’d be able to work and go to school at the same time…?” Seiya offered to Rei, who stood stiff with shock, unable to take it all in.
He had a point; with correspondence courses, he could probably get in a decent education while still working as he was now. After all, he already had a book open in his lap this very moment while he was watching Izumi.
“B—but, the tuition…”
“Well naturally, I’ll have you work it off!” he responded with a bright smile.
“……!!” Rei felt tears well up within, so happy was he. ’This man gives me anything and everything I could possibly desire… He really is like an angel…’ Even telling Rei he’d have to work off the tuition had made him happy. He probably understood that if he’d offered to fund Rei’s education for free, Rei would have flat-out refused. And indeed, Rei was sure that if Seiya had said that, he would have felt he had no right to receive such charity.
If Rei had had a father…maybe this is what it would have felt like. He could only imagine, but if he’d had someone like Seiya for a father, he was sure he would have been happy.
“I’ll study as best I can!”
“Excellent! But don’t overwork yourself, okay?”
“Of course!” As he nodded emphatically, Seiya favored him with another brilliant smile.
“Hey hey~” Izumi tugged on Rei’s sleeve, having slipped down from his chair while Rei had been overwhelmed with gratitude. Perhaps he’d been a bit lonely at being abandoned.
“What’s the matter, Izumi-san?” Rei squatted slightly to peer into Izumi’s face—something he’d read about in a book on raising children, back when he’d first arrived. Seeing as he hadn’t known the first thing about looking after children, he’d thought it best to do a bit of light reading on the subject. Izumi had turned out to be quite a bit more introverted than most children, so there were times when he slipped up in trying to force Izumi outside as advised in the books, but given how taken Izumi was with him, he figured he must be doing something right.
“What’s a college?”
“It’s a type of school.”
“School…? Are you goin’ to school, Rei?”
His expression darkened with worry, and Seiya gently patted him on the head. “No, he’s not going anywhere. This house is going to be Rei’s school.”
At this, Izumi turned his gaze to his father. “The house? Then he’s gonna stay here all the time?”
“Indeed.” He gave a smiling nod in response to Izumi’s question, and Izumi instantly brightened into a wide grin.
Seeing their interaction Rei recalled here that Izumi’s older brother was currently studying abroad; perhaps Izumi had feared that Rei would leave like his brother had.
“You must really love Rei, Izumi.”
“Yup!” Izumi gave a smart nod, and Seiya reached out and patted him again on the head, glancing over at Rei.
“…Thank you, Rei.”
“…Huh?” Rei’s eyes widened in shock at the unexpected offer of gratitude. It was one thing for him to thank Seiya—but he could think of nothing he’d done himself to merit the opposite.
At Rei’s confusion, Seiya smiled gently. “For keeping Izumi company.”
“Eh? But that’s just part of—I mean, it’s only natural.” He’d been about to say it was merely part of the job, but then wondered if it was right to say such a thing in front of Izumi.
“Yeah. Thanks, though.” And saying this, he reached forward and casually patted Rei on the head as well—and while it was the same thing he’d done to Izumi only moments before, Rei felt a shudder ripple through him as his cheeks flushed with heat. Perhaps because he could never recall having his head rubbed before?
Rather than feeling irritated at being treated like a child…he more immediately felt pride and joy at being praised.
“Well then, I suppose I’ll get back to work now.”
“O—of course, please don’t push yourself too hard!” He stood with Izumi and watched Seiya leave the living room before turning his gaze once more to the envelope still sitting on the table. “…All right then…!” And with a rising urge to study even harder now, he formed a fist with his right hand.
In this manner, Rei’s days continued to pass, consisting of light office work, watching Izumi, and studying. The only major change now was that, since acquiring his driver’s license, he now had more opportunities to drive Seiya around town—moments that where the most enjoyable for Rei.
“So, what next?” Seiya had just finished singing a song requested by Rei and offered to continue, inviting a wry smile from Rei.
“We’re very nearly to the studio now; won’t you be tired, singing nonstop like this?”
“It’s fine! I’m not belting it out or anything here.” Ever since Rei had mentioned that he loved hearing Seiya sing, the man had started serenading him in the car whenever they went out. Rei loved moments like these, where he got to monopolize Seiya’s singing voice. His heart always felt warm and light when they were together, and the feeling was multiplied several times over in moments such as this.
These songs that helped him back to his feet…Seiya’s voice, which had saved him. Every time he heard Seiya sing, he felt his feelings for Seiya grow all the stronger in time to his awe and adoration. And not just feelings that one usually felt towards a savior, but something closer to the love one felt for a parent.
But then…it happened. It was an evening in June, some six months or so after Rei had come to live with the Sena family.
Izumi had professed being scared of monsters, and so Rei had offered that evening to stay with him until he fell asleep. Apparently ghost stories had been gaining popularity among his classmates, and Izumi had happened to hear one of them. Rei had sat at his bedside, intending to simply wait for Izumi to fall asleep, but seeing how poor Izumi had trembled fiercely the moment he turned out the lights, begging, “Sleep with me, Rei?”, he’d slipped into bed with the boy himself.
Perhaps that had been where he’d made his mistake—for before he realized it, he had slipped off to sleep as well. He’d woken again as Izumi wiggled about in his sleep, and upon remembering where he was, he sat up in Izumi’s bed.
“I wonder what time it is…” He glanced to the bedside, where an alarm clock decorated to look like some character or another sat, giving off a faint green glow that lit its face to display the time: 2 in the morning. It seemed he’d taken a rather long nap indeed.
He huffed a soft sigh before slipping out of the bed, careful not to wake Izumi, and then quietly crept out of the room.
But as he wandered down the spacious hallway, headed for the stairs to lead up to his bedroom on the third floor, he heard a sound coming from the other end of the hall—and drew to a stop, curious. What could be going on in the middle of the night?
He took a few more steps closer—before he realized where the sound was coming from: Seiya and Nagisa’s bedroom. “……!”
His heart did a furious somersault in his chest, and he felt a flush wash over himself from head to toe. Panicking, he quickly turned on his heel and made a break for the stairs, taking care not to make a sound. Once he reached his room, he dove onto the bed and buried himself in the sheets, covering up. And even though he knew he shouldn’t still be able to hear anything anymore, he slapped his hands over his ears.
But this only served to make the sounds he’d heard moments before echo all the more loudly inside his mind.
He urged himself to stop thinking about it, but it was no use—quite the contrary, he couldn’t help imagining, picturing what was going on in that bedroom right at this very moment.
Seiya and Nagisa were a married couple; it was hardly out of the ordinary for them to do such things, and the fact that he was even thinking this much about it just proved how low and vulgar he was—it made him want to weep. To top it all off, no matter how hard he tried to scrub it from his memory, he couldn’t help the images of Seiya that rose to fill his mind, unbidden.
He wondered—did Seiya wear an expression no one else ever saw when he had Nagisa pinned beneath him? Something beyond that usual gentle, angelic smile he offered everyone else…?
“Stop thinking about it…!” he hissed in reprimand, but this failed to chase away the images in his mind…
Rei didn’t get much sleep that night.
The next morning came.
“Good morning, Rei-kun,” Seiya called as Rei wandered into the living room carrying the breakfast he’d helped the housekeeper prepare to the dining room table, and Rei’s shoulders twitched in surprise.
“…Good morning,” he managed to reply, but he couldn’t bring himself to face Seiya head-on, his mind still replaying his fanciful imaginings of Seiya from the night before. It felt like if their eyes met, Seiya would see right through him and be devastated with disappointment in him.
“Rei-kun? You’re not looking so good…are you feeling all right?” Seiya drew closer to the dining table, calling out to Rei suddenly and lifting a hand to his head, as if to take his temperature.
Rei froze stiff as a board at the unexpected brush of flesh, eyes going wide with shock.
“Hmm, doesn’t feel like you have a fever…” As he mumbled to himself, though, Seiya’s breath brushed over Rei’s cheek—and that was it.
“…!!” He felt the blood in his veins begin to boil, and his heart was pounding a thudding tattoo in his chest, setting his entire body to shivering.
“I—I’m sorry, I’m not feeling well. I’ll be resting in my room today!” And with that, he fled the living room, confining himself within the walls of his own room and flinging himself onto his bed, just as he’d done the night before. “Why…?!”
His heart wouldn’t stop its pounding, and his whole body felt so hot. He wanted to weep. “I can’t do this… This is wrong…!” And yet all the same, his hand crept down to his groin, unsnapping the buttons to his pants and sliding down the zipper.
“Ah…” Somewhere along the way, he’d already started to stiffen. “You’ve gotta be kidding me…!” He couldn’t believe himself. It had been nothing more than a brush of breath over his cheek—for that to make him like this was just… And to make matters worse, it was over Seiya, the man he revered beyond anyone else. The man he wanted to be happy more than anyone else. That beautiful, angelic man.
And here he’d gone and imagined that person in all manner of sexual situations, feeling these sorts of dirty desires for him…it was sacrilege!
Yet all the same, his body rebuffed the desires of his heart as his hand slipped under the hem of his underwear. “Haa-ah…”
Seiya’s hand against his forehead…his breath along Rei’s cheek… It was hardly the first time Rei had experienced either, but the moment they overlapped with the image of Seiya he had in his mind, an almost violent pleasure began to bloom.
“No…no….!” he whimpered softly, but he couldn’t stop his hand from groping between his legs. It felt amazing, better than any sexual experience he’d yet had. “Why…why is this…”
His squeezed softly at his shaft, already glistening with precum, and began to massage the hard length up and down. In the back of his mind rose images of those strangely-colored eyes and the sound of that lovely voice calling his name. “Aah—nn…nngh…!”
He climaxed in short order, but with his release came fat, wet tears dripping from his eyes. “‘m…so…rry, Seiya-san…so sorry…”
It was here that he finally realized…that he loved Seiya. And not love in the sense of a son towards a father—but romantic, sexual love. “How did this…why…?”
He had no clue when he’d started to see Seiya that way, but…maybe it had been from the moment he’d heard the man sing. Maybe all this time, he’d just been trying to convince himself it was love for a father from a child.
‘…I didn’t want to realize it…’
After all, Seiya already had Nagisa, and more so, Rei was a man.
But the biggest problem now…was that if Seiya ever found out how Rei felt about him—Rei would no longer be able to live here together with him.
“No…I don’t want that. I want to be by his side forever…!” He didn’t care if Seiya didn’t love him in a romantic sense; he just wanted to be needed, to help Seiya. He wanted to pour his whole heart into making Seiya happy. Even if it was wrong to feel the things he did for Seiya, the vow he’d made that day he’d stepped through the door had been true.
“I…will keep this secret, at all costs.” If that was what it took for him to stay by Seiya’s side, then so be it, and vowing to tamp down for the rest of his life these feelings he’d only just begun to recognize, he slipped off the bed to wash the hands he’d dirtied with his passion.
Two months passed, and then one August day, Rei found himself at the airport, bidding, “Well, I’m off now!”
Except he wasn’t the one boarding a plane; he’d only come here to see off Seiya, Nagisa, and Izumi, who were using their summer vacation time to head to Fukuoka to visit Nagisa’s family and do some grave tending. Rei had been invited along as well, initially, but he’d instead promised to watch over the house and stayed behind alone. With the housekeeper for SenaPro also taking her summer vacation now, the house would be otherwise unoccupied.
Ever since that day, Rei had worked to keep a calm, relaxed exterior while consoling himself with thoughts of Seiya when he found himself alone at night. His desire to stay by Seiya’s side for always hadn’t changed—but having to hide his feelings for the man was starting to take an emotional toll. It helped nothing that this was something he couldn’t even discuss with the one person he trusted more than anyone else.
As such, when the opportunity presented itself for him to be alone for a while, he leapt, thinking that it might not be such a bad thing, spending some quality time with himself.
“Have a nice flight; do take care.” He waved the trio off in the departure lobby before exiting the building and heading back to the Sena home in the car alone.
Stepping into the quiet, empty genkan and locking the door behind him, Rei felt as if a great weight had finally been lifted from his shoulders. “Guess it’s good to let the air out of the tires now and then huh…” With these words, he soothed the guilty knot lodged in his chest and headed for the living room.
It was empty—which wasn’t abnormal; about this time on most weekdays when Seiya and Nagisa were working and Izumi was at school, Rei often found himself alone here. So it shouldn’t have feelt strange, and yet…
“…Something…feels kind of ‘off’…” Thinking about how no one would be back for a long while made the space feel…so empty. But Rei had spent 18 years with that sense of loneliness before he ccame here. It was the past 8 months which had been out of the ordinary, when he stopped to think about it.
“Maybe Seiya-san felt the same way…” His easy approval of Rei’s suggestion that he stay behind may have been founded on the belief that if this was what Rei truly wanted, then he should have it. He’d taken into consideration the fact that Rei had been alone all this time and understood that he needed some time to himself now and then.
This was Seiya, so that was a more than logical explanation; Seiya always had a knack for giving Rei just what he wanted. Though unfortunately…he couldn’t give Rei the one thing he desired more than anything else…
Rei gave a wry smile at these thoughts. Even so far away from Seiya, his thoughts never seemed to leave the man. After all, the very reason he was here, alive right now, was all thanks to Seiya, so it was only natural.
But he finally had some time to himself, so he ought to take it easy and not worry about anything—so he headed to the kitchen to make himself an iced coffee.
“Wow, the weather’s great today…” The report had said that the next three days would be full of bright, summery weather. If he’d still been stuck in the air conditioner-less apartment he’d lived in last year, the he would no doubt have been cursing the forecast, but now that he was inside a cool, air-conditioned home, he had no particular plans to head outside.
Glancing up at the sunny, bright blue skies above, the words that came to mind made him sound like a proper housewife: a perfect day to do some laundry! Though honestly, he didn’t have much to wash himself.
“Oh yeah…!” Seiya and the others would be back the next day, so maybe he ought to lay out everyone’s futons to air in the sun. Yes, that wasn’t a bad idea at all! The housekeeper was an older woman, and the veranda for airing out futons was on the third floor; as such, Rei generally was the one to offer his help in carrying the futons up to air in the sun, so he understood how to go about the business.
He first laid out his own futon, since his room was on the same floor as the veranda, and then proceeded to Seiya and Nagisa’s bedroom. Given that he knew no one was around, he didn’t knock, merely walking straight in. But as he approached the beds, just as he always did, he suddenly came to an abrupt stop—and his heart skipped a beat.
He’d seen these beds dozens of times while coming into this room to clean or hang out the futons. But today…
“There’s no one around…so just a little bit surely won’t hurt…right?” he murmured to himself, and then took a flying leap onto Seiya’s bed, his heartbeat rising as he did so. He lay facedown on the comforter and inhaled deeply, taking in the fresh scent of laundry detergent and a faint whiff of Seiya’s own personal scent. He knew this was a bad idea, but he couldn’t help giving a sharp sniff to inhale it.
“Smells like Seiya-san…” At these words, a thrilling shudder ran through his lower body, and after a moment’s hesitation, he let his hand slide down between his legs.
He felt well and truly like a pervert now, but in these past two months, the notion that using thoughts of Seiya to satisfy himself was wrong, was taboo, had begun to fade.
He slipped his fingers under the hem of his pants and took himself in hand—then closed his eyes and began to leisurely stroke himself, keeping all his focus on the scent of Seiya.
“Aahn…Seiya-san…Seiya-san…!” He lost complete control at finally uttering the name he never allowed himself to voice, even when pleasuring himself in the privacy of his own room. Slicking his fingers with the precum now glistening at the tip, he began to probe further behind himself, and despite thinking himself deplorable, he could bear it no more, and curling himself into a ball, he pressed a finger inside. “Hhaa…ahn…nna…”
Irritated that he couldn’t reach very deep by his own ministrations, he soothed himself by working his fingers both in front and behind. However—
Just as he was about to climax—
“Ooh, that looks like fun~”
Rei’s eyes flared wide at the voice calling out to him all of a sudden. “Wh—who are…?!” He quickly sat up, glancing over to where the voice had come from—the entrance to the room—where a boy stood.
“Huh? You mean you haven’t heard about me?” He cocked his head in confusion.
“Well I’ve definitely heard all about you from my dad…” Even before he heard the word dad, though, Rei realized instantly from the fact that he had Seiya’s eyes and similar appearance…that this was the eldest Sena son, currently studying abroad.
Sena Shougo, age 16—three years Rei’s junior.
“…Shougo…-san…?” The moment realization settled in, though, all of the blood fled his face, and he scrambled to hide his lower half with a small towel. Not that it helped anything, as it was glaringly obvious what he’d just been doing.
“Huh? You look awfully pale…you okay?”
“Wh…why are you…” Nerves had sapped his throat dry, leaving his voice sounding raspy. He hadn’t heard a word from the Senas about their eldest coming home to visit.
“Hmm? Oh—you mean why am I here? Weeeell, y’see, I’m on summer vacation right now, so I thought it might be fun to come home for a visit!” He drew closer to the bed with a light step, grinning broadly.
Rei struggled to figure out what he was supposed to do now, keeping a close eye on Shougo. All he could think about was that Shougo had seen him, had found out about the feelings Rei had for Seiya—and with a mind so full of such panicked thoughts, he had no freedom to consider anything else.
“So you’re my dad’s new assistant, huh? You love my dad?”
“……” Rei’s fingers clenched tighter around the towel in his lap at hearing his feelings so casually voiced.
“…Though, heh, I guess you wouldn’t be doing this kinda thing if you didn’t, huh!” He nodded to himself, as if concurring with his own logic, but his expression betrayed not an ounce of ill feeling—in fact, his smiling face seemed to suggest he was enjoying this, which only served to stir up Rei’s confusion even further.
Wouldn’t most people be more upset at finding their father’s male assistant jerking himself off in said father’s bedroom while home alone? And yet here Shougo stood, just grinning happily as he settled himself casually on the bed.
And then— “You want me to help you out there?”
“……What?” He certainly hadn’t expected to hear that; in fact, he couldn’t believe it. Help?
Help…with what? Airing out the futons? And yet while he knew that couldn’t be what the boy meant, given the situation he’d just been found in, Rei’s thoughts jumped to ridiculous conclusions in the face of such an inexplicable development.
“You didn’t get to cum, right? Because I interrupted you? Sorry ‘bout that~” Shougo reached forward and clasped the dumbfounded Rei by the shoulder—and then eased him down onto his back. It was only then, seeing Shougo staring down at him, the he finally twigged to what Shougo was offering.
“Oh yeah—what’s your name again? I’m pretty sure my dad mentioned it before…”
Rei had raised an arm, preparing to shove Shougo away, but froze solid at these words. It felt like a cold hand sliding down his spine at the words my dad, and while Shougo might not have used them on purpose, it was still more than enough to give Rei pause.
If Shougo, for whatever reason, told Seiya about this…his efforts these past two months to hide his feelings would have been for naught. It was this thought that froze him in place.
“Hey, c’mon—what’s your name?”
“………!!” Rei’s eyes widened at the way Shougo called his name here, using a lower register than before.
“Dead ringer, right??” Shougo grinned wildly as Rei gaped at him. A dead ringer, indeed. And it wasn’t just the voice that resembled Seiya’s, it was his general appearance, his smile even… Though perhaps that was a given, seeing as they were father and son. “I don’t care if you imagine I’m my dad~”
“I—I could never…” But Shougo darted forward and stole a light peck, staring into Rei’s eyes—where he was forced to notice that they were the same strange shade as Seiya’s. Imagine that Shougo…was Seiya? He could never do that, could never allow himself to.
And yet…even as Shougo reached forward to slip his fingers under the towel covering Rei’s lap, he didn’t move a muscle—for a different reason now than before.
“Did I spook you that much? You’re all soft now…” As he spoke, he brushed fingers along Rei’s shaft, now limp from shock and fear.
“A—ah…” But as Shougo curled his fingers around him, palming him gently, a numbing shudder rippled through his hips.
“Don’t worry…I’ll make you feel a lot better soon. It’s my first time with a guy, but I’m kind of a natural at this kinda thing…”
“Th—that’s not the prob…” —lem, he’d tried to protest, but his body began to respond to Shougo’s ministrations. “Nngh…”
“’S that feel good?”
Rei shook his head in reply, but the truth was exactly the opposite. He’d been close to climax already, after all, but he couldn’t discount the influence of finally being touched by someone other than himself for the first time in ages.
Yet even that couldn’t explain it all.
“Hngh…ngh…—!” Shougo, with his eyes just like Seiya’s, a similar appearance, and that voice… The moment these sights touched his eyes and sounds filled his ears, he couldn’t help but sit up and take notice. It made him think what if it was Seiya touching me right now…
The notion that this was wrong, rather than quelling his desire, only served to turn him on even more, and he found himself feeling even more sensitive than usual.
“C’mon, you don’t have to try to keep quiet…” Despite his way of speaking being completely different from that of Seiya, Rei’s lips still quivered with desire when Shougo whispered to him.
“Ha—ah…aa—ah…!” Rei let out a keening moan as Shougo stroked him with more strength. At this rate, he was going to cum in no time. “N—o, let…go…”
“Now why would you want me to do that? You should just cum like this~” He stroked a deft finger over the liquid seeping from the tip of Rei’s cock, sliding his palm back down the shaft to spread it around, and as he drew it back gently up toward the head from the root, Rei felt strength pooling in his toes. “There you go, just cum…Rei.”
“Ya—ah…!” He clenched his fingers in the towel, quickly spurting his release into the palm of Shougo’s hand. “Haa…ha—ah…”
Shougo gently pried the towel from Rei’s hands as he lay there utterly exhausted and panting heavily, dropping it beside the bed before Rei could protest. “Mm, that was definitely nice~ I’d heard you were gorgeous, but this is way more than I expected! And so sexy too!”
“Don’…look at…me…” He twisted his body into a ball, but Shougo reached forward and grabbed for Rei’s arm before he could shield his face.
“But you’ve got such a beautiful face! Why’d you want to go and hide it? What a waste!” As he spoke, he peered curiously into Rei’s face, and unable to bear being stared at with those eyes that were just like Seiya’s, he squeezed his lids shut—which prompted a sift snicker from Shougo. “You know, when you sit there with your eyes shut like that…it makes you look like you’re waiting for someone to kiss you~”
“Wha—that’s the most ridicu—”
But Shougo pressed an audible kiss to his lips, sliding his tongue between the lips that had been about to protest the suggestion. Shougo swept his tongue lazily around Rei’s mouth, along his teeth and inner jaw.
Rei felt a shudder ripple down his spine as Shougo sought out his weak spots. “Hng…nnm…!” To be completely undone as he was by a kiss from a boy three years his junior…he hated to even conceive of the notion. But Shougo was proving exceedingly skilled, and Rei felt himself being swept away, with nowhere to run.
As Rei’s consciousness was being carried off by the kiss, Shougo’s fingers slipped under his t-shirt to push it up further. “….—!” He rubbed the flat palm of his hand over Rei’s sunken stomach, causing his abs to jerk and quiver in response, before moving to massage the skin leisurely, sliding up until he brushed lightly over Rei’s chest. His nipples had just begun to peak from the attentions, when Shougo grasped them in his fingers and proceeded to pinch them lightly.
“Nngh—…!” A nasal keen worked its way from his throat, and Rei’s cheeks flared red with shame. The dull pain mingled with pleasure as Shougo tweaked his nipples caused his shoulders to shake, and Shougo—perhaps fearing that Rei was going to bite his tongue soon—finally released him from the kiss. “Ha..ngh—!”
Compared to Rei, huffing and out of breath from the effort, Shougo seemed rather calm and collected. “…Huh, so I guess even guys get turned on from their nipples…” Shougo’s amazement at learning this fact, though, only served to compound Rei’s embarrassment. “I never realized they could get so…pointy.”
“A—ah!” Rei let out a yelp as Shougo reached forward and rolled the tip of a nipple between his fingers.
“Wonder what’d happen if I sucked on one…”
“D…on’…” Shougo placed his lips over one, as if it kiss it, and swiped his tongue over the tip. On the heels of a slight, uneasy shudder, though, came pure pleasure, and despite having just climaxed only moments earlier, Rei felt heat begin to build again in his groin.
Laving one nipple with a generous layer of saliva, Shougo began to twist it in his fingers as he turned his attentions to the other, proceeding to suckle on it.
“Hya—…!” Pleasure sharp enough to paralyze began to bubble up, but as Rei contorted his body, Shougo soothingly lapped at his nipples to calm him. “Ah—ah…” Stimulated at once by both Shougo’s tongue and fingers, Rei felt as if he were being crushed, and his body twitched with shudders.
“Damn you’re adorable like this…” Shougo snickered softly, continuing to tease Rei’s chest mercilessly.
Rei bit his lip in futile effort to fight back the pleasure rising within, but with every movement of those fingers and that tongue, his body shuddered, leaving Rei helpless to stop it. “Nn…ngh—nn…!”
“Hey, I kinda…feel like I’m at my limit here…”
“Wha…ah!” Shougo quickly sat up and lifted Rei’s hips.
“I just stick it in here, right?”
Shougo gently slipped a finger inside. “Wow…that went in easier than I thought it would. But then—you were just doing it to yourself earlier, weren’t you?” Rei’s cheeks again flushed with shame. “Ah, but you’re still really tight inside… Looks like it’d feel amazing…”
“Hya…ah—! Shougo’s fingers slid in deeper than Rei could reach on his own, twisting around to stretch him out and sending a shudder of intense pleasure bolting up Rei’s spine and through his whole body. He couldn’t help the loathsome longing that welled up within for Shougo to probe deeper, harder, his body shoving aside his heart to urge Shougo on in his endeavors.
His hips bucked, greedily sucking Shougo’s fingers in even deeper, and despite the shame, despite knowing he shouldn’t be doing this, he still…
Whether Shougo recognized Rei’s internal conflict or not, he continued to enflame Rei’s body with skill that seemed to suggest he’d been outright lying in his claim to have never been with a man before. However…
“…Mind I put it in now?”
“………” He really wished Shougo wouldn’t ask things like that so unflinchingly.
“Rei….?” He heart shuddered at the sound of his name being called. This wasn’t Seiya he was with right now, but he still couldn’t object when Shougo looked at him with those eyes.
“Just…do it…” And with that, he clenched his eyes shut in a desperate attempt to ignore the color of Shougo’s eyes, to ignore what he was doing.
The fingers slid out easily, and Shougo lined himself up—the slickness that pressed against him must have been from the lubricant covering the condom. “Ah—aah…!”
Shougo slowly pressed in, patiently sliding inside as something far thicker than any finger filled him up bit by bit. “Hnng…nn—ngh…”
“Can you…tell I’m all…in now?” Rei unthinkingly clenched tight around Shougo in response to the murmured words, and Shougo inhaled sharply.
“A—ah! ….Don’—nnaah…!” Shougo jerked himself out—before quickly sliding in again, plunging deeper this time, and Rei felt himself once again at the mercy of Shougo’s unexpectedly forceful movements and the pleasure his actions wrought, sounds he would be ashamed to hear himself make leaking from his throat.
“Rei…Rei—…!” The way Shougo kept calling his name like that muddled his senses, letting him delude himself into thinking for at least a moment that it really was Seiya’s voice saying these things.
Seiya would never do this with him, and he was painfully aware that it was Shougo here with him right now. Yet, all the same…
It felt like he was losing both his body and mind, destroyed by the pleasure that was driving him insane. Shougo plunged in still deeper with one punching thrust, and Rei climaxed instantly, without even needing to have his cock touched, and—
“Seiya-san…!” he called unconsciously, before losing himself to darkness completely…