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CloseYourEyes

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 2 months ago

Close Your Eyes

 

Author:NA52

Fandom: Zetsuai/Bronze

Pairing(s):other/Akihito

Warnings:extreme underage abuse

Spoilers: none

Summary: Hirose and Akihito commit an indiscretion that causes their father's anger

 

 

Nominated Category:

Best Slave Fic: TV & Movies – Slash

Best Extreme BDSM: TV & Movies – Slash

Ingenious Pervertables - Slash

Most Angst: TV & Movies - Slash

Most Intense Scene: Animated TV & Movies – Slash


 

"Take off your clothes."

 

He didn't expect that. He had prepared himself for another lecture, the words that scathed no matter how he tried not to listen to them; or for his father slapping him, as usual. Those were the things he hated but he could handle them. This order, however - it was incomprehensible; surely his father couldn't mean it.

 

Akihito frowned, looking up through the reddish-brown veil of his long fringe. There were two more adults in the room, except his father: the family doctor, his eyes invisible behind the glinting glasses of his spectacles; the servant that had brought Akihito to his father's office stood at the door, leaning against it.

 

If the man wasn't there, Akihito thought half-heartedly, he could've tried to bolt. It would mean pissing off his father even more - if such thing was possible at all - but Akihito was never the one for making far-sighted plans. If he managed to get out now, he decided, he would probably be able to find Hirose, somewhere in the house. He hadn't seen Hirose for three days! He couldn't bear it any more...

 

The thought of not seeing Hirose brought tears to his eyes. He tried not to show it but - the usual bad luck! - of course, his father noticed.

 

"Stop whining. You are not a girl. And stop playing with your hair." Akihito dropped his hand down hastily; he hadn't noticed he started pulling his bangs over his eyes - and he knew how his father hated it. "And I told you to strip. The doctor wants to check something."

 

He knew he'd better do what his father ordered; the notes of irritation in Ryuichiro Nanjo's voice were approaching dangerous level. Yet Akihito's body didn't seem to obey the reason. Frozen in stupor, simply refusing to move. He knew this state; it used to drive him to despair - it was exactly what happened with him on kendo lessons, when he got disgustingly clumsy and slow and even simplest orders from his father became impossible to follow.

 

"Faster, Akihito. Don't make us wait."

 

Pushed by anger was mixed with tiredness in these words, Akihito managed to pull the hem of his t-shirt from his pants but it was about as far as he went. He looked wide-eyed at his father and at Junji-san again - and then at the servant at the door.

 

Surely his father didn't mean for him to undress in their presence?

 

"What's wrong with you?" The open disdain in his father's voice made him cringe. "Don't pretend that you know what shame is. If you have had any shame, you wouldn't have been here now."

 

He sucked in a breath. He'd thought that for those three days, three days he'd spent in the locked room, his father cooled down somehow, wasn't so angry with him and Hirose any more. But obviously it was not the case. A surge of fear seized him, bringing the thought that Akihito tried to suppress and never really could - what was with Hirose? How did their father punish him? The craving to see Hirose, to make sure he was all right made him feel dizzy.

 

"Words are never enough for you, are they?"

 

The blow was stunning, nearly sweeping him off his feet. The left side of his face went numb, a familiar feeling, as well as the ringing in his ears. This ringing usually made it even more difficult to comprehend his father's orders - but Akihito wondered sometimes if it was an issue for his father at all.

 

Ryuichiro Nanjo waited for a few seconds, apparently giving him a chance to start obeying at last. He made a dissatisfied sound before backhanding Akihito.

 

The ring sliced across his lip, reopening the cut from three days ago and making him taste blood again. His father caught him before he fell, his fingers digging into Akihito's shoulder unmercifully, shaking him like a doll. Terror flooded him, making him scream - and this time his father slapped him to make him shut up. It always was this way - some kind of vicious circle; he couldn't keep himself from crying out in fear - and his wailing made his father even angrier.

 

"Kurauchi, help him."

 

The servant came off his position at the door and caught Akihito right in time as his father shoved him.

 

The man was tall and big - and efficient, his hand catching both Akihito's wrists before Akihito could claw him as he tried, in blind panic. The tiny rational part of his mind told him that a servant was obviously not allowed to hit him, so, there was a chance... He plunged for Kurauchi's hand, snapping his teeth.

 

The man barely escaped the bite. His hand on Akihito's wrists tightened so hard that he thought his bones would be crushed - and he shook Akihito so hard that his teeth chattered, then pulled him up, on his toes, nearly raised him off the floor. The man's dark face seemed expressionless but his eyes frightened Akihito more than his father's words had done; the dark eyes full of contempt and hatred.

 

He started sobbing; he lost his fight with Kurauchi - and he lost his fight with tears. The sobs were humiliatingly loud, racking his body - but he couldn't do anything about it, couldn't stop. He felt Kurauchi shake him out of his clothes and put him in front of the doctor, his hands on Akihito's upper arms holding him firmly in place.

 

"I apologize for his behavior, Junji-san." His father's voice above him was tight with anger. "Please proceed."

 

So, that was it... In a way, Akihito didn't know why he'd made such a fuss out of the whole thing; he barely noticed what the doctor was doing about his body; nothing painful, admittedly. He couldn't stop shivering and couldn't see clearly with tears because he'd driven himself to this level of misery, not because of the doctor's hands on his body. He just shuddered minorly and tried to move his legs together when he felt the doctor's touch on his genitals.

 

"Stand straight!" his father ordered in exasperation. "Just how stupid can you be?"

 

Stupid... of course, he was stupid. Akihito knew it, better than his father could suspect. Stupid and pathetic... now look at him! Bawling like a baby, blood and tears smeared all over his face - and over what? Because he didn't want to let the doctor check him? What would Hirose say if he saw him like that? Hirose would never behave like that. Hirose would laugh at him if he knew...

 

Closing his stinging eyes, Akihito imagined Hirose's pale, delicate face, light sparkles of laughter in his eyes. Well, if Hirose laughed at him, it would be still a good thing. Let him laugh... just let him see Hirose again... soon.

 

He was yanked back into reality when Kurauchi flipped him around and bent him over the low table. The man's hard hands on his shoulder and the back of his neck didn't give him a chance to get free.

 

He didn't like this position. He could see nothing this way except the polished surface of the table and some bit of the carpet aslant. He couldn't see what his father was doing; he couldn't see what the doctor was doing. Another onset of frenzy overwhelmed him. He thrashed, yelping incoherently, cursing Kurauchi and demanding frantically to stop and let him go.

 

It didn't help. By the moment the doctor's cold bony hands moved his buttocks apart, Akihito drove himself into another fit of hysterics. Yet Kurauchi's hands kept holding him down as the man stayed unimpressed with whatever Akihito said.

 

He couldn't bear it; his fear overwhelmed him as the name that always was his only hope broke out of him:

 

"Hirose! Hirose!"

 

It apparently was a mistake; he shouldn't have reminded about Hirose at this moment - and it certainly didn't bring any outcome - except for the convulsive tightening of Kurauchi's hands. Akihito felt something cool and slick touch his anus and slip in slowly.

 

It didn't hurt much; but the feeling of something pushed inside him made him sick. He tasted bile in his mouth and heard a sound of repugnance his father made.

 

After a few seconds of probing the finger was withdrawn - and almost immediately Kurauchi's hands let Akihito go. He collapsed on the floor, sobbing and hugging himself, whispering Hirose's name like a kind of mantra. His messed hair made him see everything through a tangle of chestnut-red but it was okay, he didn't want to see anything at all.

 

"He is apparently a virgin," the doctor said above him unhurriedly. The little soft sound was of thin rubber gloves pulled off. "There is no indication that he's ever practiced passive homosexual activities."

 

"Yokatta." The relief in his father's voice was largely poisoned by disgust. "I'll make sure it'll stay this way. Since the moment I saw them together, Junji-san, I couldn't stop worrying."

 

"A possible scandal like that for the family, Nanjo-san... do I understand you! May I say you were lucky to notice what was happening while it was not too late to prevent it?"

 

"This son of mine - I would've given up on him, Junji-san, if he'd been alone mixed into it. Akihito is just eleven years old - but he's already rotten through. It's Hirose I worry about. Hirose is different. He is a good son and he heeds my arguments. More than that, I suspect it was not his fault from the beginning - so, it won't be difficult to correct him, if we keep applying steady pressure."

 

Hirose... His name was almost the only thing that registered in Akihito's foggy mind. Hirose... his father said it was not Hirose's fault - and it was a good thing. He didn't like the part about steady pressure, though, even if he couldn't figure out what exactly it could've meant.

 

Surely his father didn't keep beating Hirose for what happened! Hirose was almost eighteen now, he was a young man... Okay, it hardly stop their father before - and this time, when he was angrier than he'd possibly ever been... The thought of Hirose hurt, maybe, bleeding made him want to clench his fists and scream his heart out. Akihito still hoped it wasn't too bad; maybe, Hirose was locked somewhere in house, just as he'd been, that's all...

 

"I have a plan regarding Akihito as well," his father continued conversationally. "Remember what we talked about? Even someone as dumb as he will understand it eventually."

 

"You are sure you need to apply such... extreme measures?" The doctor's voice was hesitant, cautious. "Perhaps you can try the medicines I recommended first?"

 

"I don't think medicines will be enough - but thank you, Junji-san. I'll do it my own way."

 

Akihito's eyes snapped open as he felt something soft shoved at him. His own clothes, handed to him by Kurauchi. The man's face was a closed book, once again, giving away no emotions. Under his impassive stare, Akihito put on his clothes, shivering not so much with cold as with the residuals of hysterics.

 

"Take him back to his room," his father said.

 

"His room?" Kurauchi's voice contained barely a trace of surprise.

 

"No, that room, of course, where you took him from."

 

Kurauchi's hand locked on Akihito's wrist and pulled him inarguably when Akihito tried to linger, gathering courage to ask his father about Hirose's fate. Kurauchi dragged him out and along the corridor.

 

On the threshold of "his" room Akihito resigned to the last chance, turning to the man and looking up at him with pleading eyes.

 

"You know where Hirose is? How is he?"

 

He'd suspected what the answer would be, known what he'd see in the man's dark eyes. Yet the hatred and Kurauchi's tight voice, amplified with his own guilt, almost made him stagger.

 

"It's your fault that Hirose suffers."

 

Akihito didn't have time to say anything, to argue or to beg, when Kurauchi gave him a hard shove, pushing him inside the room, and locked the door behind him.

 

  • * *

 

There was nothing to look at. The room was small and contained only essentials - a bed, a little table and a chair. No TV, no anything to entertain himself with. Akihito was given his schoolbooks, though - apparently so that he didn't fall back in his studies. But he decided peevishly that he wouldn't study anything. After all, his poor results at school were just a minor irritant for his father in comparison to his other faults.

 

He spent his days standing at the boarded window. It was covered with wooden planks so high that the daylight almost didn't get in - but Akihito soon found out that if he pressed his nose right to the wood, there were thin slots there, through which he could see a narrow sector of the garden.

 

There was not much to see there as well; the room was located in the back of the house - and the garden around it was the least visited and least cultured one. Just masses of green branches tangled together.

 

The trees lost their bloom during the days he'd spent in his confinement.

 

A few days ago they were pink and white with fine, sweet-smelling flowers that rose in the air with every slightest breeze. Akihito closed his eyes tightly, trying to resurrect the pinkish whiteness of the blossoms, the light, intoxicating smell. He was good at imagining things - needed just a little effort to make himself believe he was back there again, out of his electrically-lit, boring room.

 

He was in the garden, lying on the hard ground under the tree, his head on Hirose's lap. He could see so much from this position - the sky, blue and fluffy-white with clouds, the slender branches above him, covered richly with little blossoms. The cover of Hirose's book, which shielded the sun from him. Hirose's slim, pale fingers turning the pages unhurriedly. And, of course, Hirose's face, the most fascinating of sights, his thin eyebrows drawing together at the difficult places in the text, a flitting smile on his lips as something amused him.

 

"Aniki."

 

"What?" Taking into account that it was about the tenth time Akihito called for him during last quarter an hour, Hirose's non-reaction was pretty explainable.

 

"How much else do you need to read?"

 

Hirose's graceful hand ran through the book, counting.

 

"Ten pages."

 

"And then we can go and have tea, right?"

 

"We've had tea two hours ago. You don't mean you want something to eat again?" There was feigned horror in Hirose's voice but his fingers were affectionate, fishing the small petals from Akihito's hair. He didn't notice the petals in his own hair - and Akihito reached up and started shaking them out. "Stop it, Aki!" Their hands stumbled against each other, in a mock fight. "Now I lost where I was reading."

 

The book dropped on the ground; Akihito giggled looking up at Hirose who finally gave up, his serious face changing into a smile.

 

And then... He didn't know why he did it. Was it the smell of the blossoms that went into his head? Or complete feeling of well-being - something that felt so good, it just couldn't be better? Or Hirose's almost unbearable beauty that made Akihito's eyes sore with looking at it? He put his arms around Hirose's neck, pulled himself up and pulled his brother down - and pressed his lips to Hirose's mouth.

 

He felt Hirose take a short breath, a faintest sound against his lips - and Akihito himself was kind of amazed with what he was doing. He thought Hirose would push him away now - he could do it with no effort. Yet there was something so right in what he was doing that it almost didn't surprise him when Hirose didn't try to push him away.

 

Hirose's arms, strong and wiry and secure, wrapped around him, supporting him in the inconvenient position he'd taken - and Hirose's mouth was warm and soft against his lips, Hirose's breath tickling faintly.

 

Akihito screwed his eyes shut and plunged his tongue forward, to lick Hirose's lips - and met Hirose's tongue halfway, warm and moist, licking against his.

 

They both gasped; Akihito's eyes flew open and met dark stare of Hirose's widened pupils - and Hirose's arms tightened around him for a moment before he let Akihito go, lowered him back on his lap almost too carefully.

 

"Now let me find where I read," Hirose said, picking up his book. His voice was almost unaffected, normal - and only his eyes still were too dark with expanded pupils, despite the bright day.

 

Akihito sighed and turned on his side, his cheek pressed against Hirose's thigh. The taste of Hirose's lips on his was of green tea and faint blend of orange jam they'd had with their tea two hours ago. He still felt fuzzy regarding what he felt about this taste; except that it was Hirose's - and it felt good.

 

"I like kissing," he said eventually and heard how Hirose's hand stop halfway turning a page. "I like kissing you, I mean. Do you like kissing me?"

 

"Not on the lips," Hirose said after a pause.

 

They left the garden when the air became chilly; then they had supper - Akihito didn't even notice if his father was any different during it... family suppers were never fun, anyway. But after that their father stood up and his voice was heavy like a leaden plate as he spoke:

 

"Hirose, Akihito, I want to see you in my office."

 

There, the blows were first, the words second. Half-incomprehensible words - like "disgrace" and "abominable" and "sodomy" - except for the effect they had on Hirose - who got whiter and whiter with every moment, his face almost like a death mask as he looked up at their father from his knees while a thin trickle of blood ran on the side of his face.

 

"This perversion in my family... I won't allow it... You disappointed me so much, Hirose..."

 

Seeing his brother flinch under these words was more than Akihito could bear. He found himself at his father's knees, clinging to his clothes desperately, stuttering through the tears:

 

"He's not to blame, he's not, it's my fault! Please don't do anything to him, please do it to me!"

 

The shove his father gave him sent him on the floor rolling, the expression in his father's eyes the one of utter disgust as he shook off his clothes as if Akihito's touch had soiled them.

 

"My sons have an incestuous affair. I hope it's not too late to repair the situation."

 

It was the last time Akihito saw Hirose. Kurauchi took him away and Hirose stayed, still kneeling in front of his father, his hands clenched so hard that his fingernails went bluish - and not saying a word.

 

  • * *

 

The door of Akihito's room had an outlet that was normally locked as well. But twice a day it opened and he got a tray with some food. He returned the tray and the dishes during next meal. He got fresh clothes and got rid of his dirty ones the same way. The room was connected to a small bathroom, so, he didn't need to leave for that.

 

He could've stayed there for an undetermined time, should his father want to keep him there. Akihito didn't like this thought, forcibly dragged his mind away from it. On that first evening, when Kurauchi had brought him there, he found some of his possessions in the room already - and the window was covered, the smell of freshly-planed wood filling the room. His father must've ordered to do in that interval between seeing him and Hirose kiss in the garden and talking to them in his office.

 

Akihito wished he'd never have done it... never kissed Hirose! He didn't quite understand all about that - but he couldn't miss the feeling that his father considered it hideously wrong. He'd done something that infuriated his father as never before. Something that distressed Hirose, turned him into this mute, pale shadow under their father's accusations.

 

Something that meant punishment for both of them.

 

He wished he knew where Hirose was. Was there another room with boarded up window where Hirose was held? Did he feel as lonely and bored as Akihito did?

 

Or what if his father had come up with something worse for Hirose? Made him starve - or kept him in a room without light at all? When Akihito thought about it, he started crying his eyes out - or banged against the door until his hands felt tender and bruised.

 

And yet some tiny, especially stubborn part of his mind kept clung to the memory of that kiss as to some good thing, the most wonderful thing that had happened to him. The thing was even better than getting that "real" Mercedes model for his birthday he'd been weaseling off Hirose for almost two months and finally got.

 

He had to regret this kiss and everything it caused - but he couldn't.

 

  • * *

 

He hadn't heard the door opening. He always slept deeply - and he woke up only when feeling someone's hands on his face. The room was completely dark, the moonlight not reaching through the slits in the wooden planks at all. There was someone in his bed, someone touching him.

 

For a split second Akihito fancied that it could be Hirose here; he used to wake up in Hirose's bed, feeling his comforting warmth near - or to find Hirose in his room, shaking him awake gently from some nightmare. But of course, it was not Hirose now. The presence was unfamiliar - the touch was alien, even if it didn't seem threatening. And why would Hirose keep silent like that, just touching him?

 

Akihito probably would freak out - but a moment before panic seized him, the man ran his fingers through his hair, shocking him into silence.

 

"Shh..." The voice was so quiet, a rustle, with almost no sound at all but the shunt of breath. The warmth of the whisper against Akihito's cheek was real but nothing else about the voice was. A strangely fleshless voice. It was attached to the warm, heavy body that Akihito could feel against his own - and yet it didn't seem quite real, as vague as the lines of this body were. A stranger - a phantom - but warm and solid. "Are you afraid?"

 

He was afraid; but when asked, he suddenly felt it embarrassing to say that. He sucked on his lower lip, thinking furiously, and then whispered, half-confidently:

 

"No."

 

"Good." The warm hand, hard-palmed, tousled his hair lightly and all of a sudden Akihito felt a strange painful clenching in his chest, a feeling frighteningly intense in comparison with the minor reason that caused it. No one had touched him nicely like that before; no one except Hirose.

 

A long time ago, Akihito learned to believe that he didn't want anyone to touch him. Hirose's hugs and pulls were all he'd ever wanted. But at this moment, in the darkness, feeling a stranger's hand ruffle his hair, casually and yet - affectionately? - it felt good. Almost too good.

 

Akihito shifted uncomfortably. He was not supposed to feel like that; not with someone other than Hirose. But was it even real? The night visitor, the fleshless voice... Perhaps it was just a dream.

 

It hardly was, he knew; the feeling of the warm heavy body was too undeniable. The man leaned over him, with his elbows on the sides of Akihito's face, preventing him from getting away, even if Akihito made a less half-hearted attempt at it, which he didn't.

 

"I can make you feel good," the man whispered - and then his lips touched Akihito's face.

 

The lips were warm and dry, sliding over his face, tracing the lines of his cheekbones unhurriedly. Akihito blinked and felt how his eyelashes fluttered against the man's lips and felt the man kiss his eyes. He shivered; his hands rose but he was not sure what he was going to do, to push the man or to pull him closer - and he did nothing, let them fall back on the bed. The man's thumb traced his mouth, as if checking the path, and then his tongue, slick and smooth, touch against Akihito's split lip, eliminating the little pain that the rough thumb caused.

 

Akihito knew with startling clearness that it was not right what he was doing; it was the very thing - half of it, anyway - that had sent his father in that fit of unbridled rage. But his sick, mad, stubborn mind that his father always cursed him for didn't let him stop it. He liked how it felt... and it was a dream... and no one had ever caressed him like that before.

 

"Do you like it?" the man asked.

 

He nodded and stuck out his tongue, let the man slide his tongue against it - and then the man thrust his tongue into his mouth and probed there. It felt strange! Akihito gasped, almost frightened with the alien thing in his mouth. The man chuckled, withdrawing, kissed him on the lips, whispering something comforting.

 

The next deep kiss felt better - and the hands of the man on his body, the warm palms caressing his throat, cupping his shoulder, lying on his chest, emanating warmth through the cloth of his pajama shirt - it made him feel strangely dizzy and yet very comfortable. He was warm - but some touches of the man caused some kind of ice spikes going through his body, reaching right to his bottom belly.

 

"Ooh," the man chuckled. "I see you indeed like it."

 

His hand slid under the elastic band of Akihito's pants effortlessly and felt scalding hot and cold on his groin. He flinched greatly, nearly thrashed - and the man kissed his startled cry into silence.

 

"You like it. Your father was right about it. You need to be corrected."

 

Something was wrong about the voice; what Akihito had taken for gentleness in it was gone - some metal in it appeared, even through the softness of it. And the mention of his father... what did it have to mean here?

 

Akihito's mind was working furiously, trying to puzzle it out - when something angular and metallic pressed against his anus and strove in. He yelped in pain. It was not a slick finger but some thing, some object, and the cold of steel exchanged with heat abruptly as the sharp edges of the object cut him at the entrance.

 

Akihito whined in protest, trying to break free from the hands that held him. The man shoved him back to the bed easily and the thing inside him pushed in for more an inch or two.

 

"Lesson # 1 for you, little slut," the man said. "If you like doing thing like that - see what you get."

 

For a tiny moment Akihito thought that the man meant that uncomfortable, scratching thing inside him. And then pain burst out in his head.

 

He must've been screaming; he didn't know. For eternity the world became just white, scorching pain that exploded through his body, inside him, from the object forced into him - going through his spine and up to his brain. It felt like an arc of glass shattered inside - and the sharp splinters of it spread through his body, cutting through every nerve.

 

He must've arched in pain because he fell limp when the pain let him go. The remnants of it still were there, making his body convulse feebly - but at least he could breathe again, could realize something but the pain.

 

The shock was so great that Akihito actually forgot about the man in the darkness with him, forgot about the one who caused him this pain. Then he heard the voice above, cool and deliberate, apparently insistent on driving this thought home to him:

 

"Your father wants you to remember that. It's what you get when you let men kiss you, when you let them touch you."

 

The words didn't make sense; they were supposed to - but Akihito's mind refused to make a coherent connection. He felt the man's hand on his face, pawing it roughly, apparently checking whether he was conscious. This touch couldn't be more different from the way the man had felt before... before he... Akihito couldn't find the word for what he'd done, what could hurt like this.

 

He even couldn't cry; his breath had an odd, shuddering quality - and his mind felt overloaded. He was too scared to realize anything, too hurt to complain.

 

Then the first coherent thought slammed him. This thing inside him - it was still there. He stared in the darkness, almost believing that he could see the dark silhouette of the man - hoping unreasonably that the man probably would see the plea in his eyes.

 

"Please... please take it out..."

 

"Not yet," the man said.

 

His hand was between Akihito's legs, very warm, holding the thing - and the danger just started descending on Akihito when another blast of pain covered him. Any reasonable thought was wiped away from his mind. He choked on his cry and, when the spasm let him go, coughed, feeling warm, salty liquid in his throat. His tongue felt very raw and wounded, he must've bitten it.

 

He sobbed, in great, choking cries, writhing in the bed. The man held him in the place, his quiet voice reaching Akihito even in his half-dazed state.

 

"Sometimes a lesson has to be learnt a hard way. Your father wants you to know that no one in Nanjo family will be a homosexual."

 

There was no way to prepare himself for the next bout of pain. When it let him go, eventually, Akihito was left limp and half-conscious, barely realizing that the man rose from the bed, fumbled between his legs, removing the thing. It caused a sharp, short pain when being yanked out and left Akihito with a strange feeling of gaping emptiness inside. His hold on consciousness was superficial at best - and he didn't resist, sliding into blackness, when he heard the door locked behind the man.

 

  • *

 

In the morning he came round cold and on the wet, stinking sheets. He must've pissed himself. Shivering with disgust, Akihito pressed his hands to his belly, checking for the pain. But it was gone, taken away together with the object the man had.

 

For a little while Akihito nursed a thought that it all was just a nightmare, another one of those that visited him so often - and this time there was no Hirose to draw him out of it. He closed his eyes, wishing it go away, wishing for himself to wake up once more, clean and relieved, and knowing that it was just a night, a dream and nothing real.

 

But his body told him different - the slight smell of the other's touches on him, the strange laxness of his limbs - and short, cutting pain he felt in his anus when he moved. He ran his fingers carefully there and found almost dry, slightly sticky coating of blood.

 

Akihito did have almost inexhaustible ability to live in imaginary worlds but he was not a fool. He didn't need a proof that everything had been real - he knew it had. And it was devastating to realize it.

 

Eventually distaste won over his wish to curl and hold himself until he got warmer, so, he climbed out of his bed and hobbled to the bathroom. There he pulled off his stained pajamas, keeping his eyes shut, dropped the things on the floor with sick feeling and slid into the bath filling with hot water.

 

The heat made him whimper but at the same time it felt right, it was what he needed. He clenched his teeth in pain, landing on his ass, and decided that it was what he deserved.

 

He had never been more scared in his life - and he had never felt worse about himself.

 

He'd been hurt before, when he jumped from a tree and his ankle twisted and broke; beatings from his father were bad, it was granted; kendo training... this ache in his body Akihito hated most of all, even though Hirose used to call it "good pain". But nothing could've prepared him to what he'd felt that night.

 

He touched the back of his head gingerly, the place where the pain had resounded hardest; it still seemed to linger there, phantom one, even though he knew he was not hurt now.

 

How could it be... A petulant though came to him, a thought that whoever had done it to him surely would pay. He was Nanjo, no one had the right to treat him like that! But in a glimpse of insight, even as he wanted to deny it, he remembered the man's voice repeating "your father... your father..." in every second phrase.

 

He recalled the things he didn't remember he'd heard, the conversation between the doctor and his father while he was shedding tears on the floor.

 

"I have a plan... Even someone as dumb as him would understand eventually... I am sure we chose the right approach to Hirose..."

 

The memory of his brother elicited a short, animal-like yelp from Akihito. What had he done? Not only he'd brought misery on Hirose and himself - but he also... he betrayed Hirose by letting someone touch him, by enjoying it. Oh God, he had enjoyed it! He deserved all the pain that he'd been through.

 

Another thought, startling in its horror, made Akihito's eyelids flew open. What if his father sent someone to Hirose, to do the same thing? He clasped his mouth, wailing thinly, shaking his head as if trying to drive this thought away. His mind was working frantically until another idea came to him, making him gasp in relief.

 

Of course, nothing like that could've happened to Hirose - because Hirose wouldn't have behaved like that! What was done to him - was because he was corrupt, spoilt, couldn't resist a little bit of attention. Hirose was not like that! He would've declined all suggestions of the man and would've come out of it with honor.

 

If Hirose knew how he'd failed, Hirose would be ashamed for him. Akihito sighed, thinking it, and wrapped his arms around his chest, shivering despite the overheated water. Yet he almost wanted Hirose to be ashamed for him... Hirose could never be angry with him or scold him for a long time. He'd frown for a few minutes, looking at Akihito disapprovingly - and if Akihito continue to cling to him, blocking his way, having his arms around Hirose's waist and looking up at him, Hirose would sigh and brush his fingers against Akihito's bangs and say:

 

"Okay, silly. Let's go have some chocos."

 

Akihito just could see all this, behind his closed eyelids; he was putting his whole mind into keeping those fantasies with him. His body relaxed as he leaned against the edge of the bath. He ran his hand over his face, feeling the tenderness of recent bruises and washing off the blood from his bitten mouth - but all he felt was a wan smile playing on his lips.

 

  • * *

 

He flinched with shame at the thought of giving away the pissy sheets and pajama pants, so, he dumped the things in the bath and washed them best he could. There was no way they could get dry by the night, of course, his room without sunlight being quite a damp place - but so it was to be.

 

In the evening Akihito, in some strung state and dizzy with hunger - he'd refused the meal, partly as self-punishment and partly in resentment against everyone and everything - tore out a page from his notebook and took a pen. He was not quite sure what he was going to do until the pen touched the paper and he started writing.

 

"Dearest Hirose. I miss you so much. I hope you are not angry with me and you will forgive me real soon for everything and everything will be as before. I am alone here and I think about you all the time. I was hurt, a little," he regarded whether he should've written it and then decided to let it stay, "but I am already better. I hope you are not hurt and you are all right and I love you very much. I want to see you soon. Your ototo."

 

The hieroglyphs were a bit shaky but, all in all, Akihito decided, it was written quite nicely.

 

There was no way to pass this letter to Hirose, Akihito knew it. But it was what people did when they couldn't see each other - they wrote letters. And having done it, closing his eyes and making an effort, he could almost imagine that Hirose could get this letter somehow.

 

He folded it neatly and hid it between the pages of his math book.

 

He had to sleep dressed and on uncovered bed since all his things were still wet but sleep came almost immediately, taking him away into darkness, thankfully free of nightmares for once.

 

In the morning Akihito opened his eyes, his eyes squinting against the thinnest rays of light coming through the planks. He didn't understand at first what it was, lying on the carpet near the table. Then the realization hit him. His math book, lying cover-down, opened somewhere in the middle - and as he rushed to it, flipped the pages feverishly, he already knew he wouldn't find the letter between them.

 

He tried to force himself into calmness, at least temporarily, going through every book and notebook on his table, just in case if he messed up things and put the letter somewhere else. But the pounding in his temples was deafening, the grief of loss in his chest so agonizingly painful that eventually he gave up, curled over his knees, pressed his arms to his chest and howled.

 

Of course, it was just a letter - simply a letter he'd written, how could it mean anything? But somehow, he put so much belief into it, it almost became a part of Hirose, the only part of him he'd had.

 

Now Hirose would never receive it; Akihito knew he would never receive it. He couldn't even deceive himself thinking that it was some friend in the house who could've taken the letter and passed it to Hirose. He had no friend in the house, not even someone who would be for him like Kurauchi was for Hirose.

 

He was all alone.

 

  • * *

 

Two nights later the man came again. This time Akihito woke up almost immediately, feeling the heat and heaviness of the other's body against his, and thrashed in panic. The man must've expected it - because a moment later Akihito felt his wrists grabbed and wrapped with a thin rope, tied against the bed's crossbeam. The man's knee pressed across his legs, pinning him down successfully, leaving no chance for struggle.

 

"Yes, it's me again," the man said softly, a tiniest trace of satisfaction perceptible in his otherwise expressionless voice.

 

Akihito started crying, with loud desperate sobs, stammering through his wails, hastily trying to convince the man before the pain started:

 

"I understood! I understood the lesson! You don't need to do it again! I'll be good, I'll never fail again!"

 

The palm touched his face and made him choke on his words. It wasn't a gentle touch, the warmth coming from this hand impassive, impersonal - but it was not rough either. The heel of the man's palm, callused, wiped against Akihito's mouth, as if sealing his lips.

 

"We'll see," the man said.

 

The words didn't sound particularly threatening - and yet for some reason they sent Akihito into another fit of blind panic, making his body go rigid. "We'll see," - that was what his father always said when Hirose told him Akihito had learnt a new move in kendo at last. And it inevitably happened that what came off passably or pretty well when Hirose was teaching him, hopelessly failed under the steady gaze of his father's light eyes.

 

Akihito didn't quite know how he could fail now, before the man, but he started trembling as he waited for being told what was expected from him. Instead of saying anything, the man unbuttoned his pajama shirt and pulled it away from his chest.

 

He took a hitching breath as the man's warm lips covered his nipple.

 

The tension made him even more sensitive, all his body feeling tender and tingling in fear and expectation. Akihito arched, the shock of the touch going right through his mind. The lips were soft, warm and clamping on his nipple - and the tongue that licked against it cool and slick.

 

His cock twitched to life before he had time to realize it. And it apparently was all the man needed. He raised his face, so close that Akihito could feel the man's breath on his face:

 

"You haven't learnt your lesson, slut. If you want to be hurt, you will be."

 

Akihito felt the hard, cool shape of the object pressed to his crotch, through the thin material of his pajamas, and the pain that split his body was worse than anything he'd known before. Blazing heat filled his bottom belly, spreading swiftly all through him - and yet leaving him aware of the center of the agony in his groin all through that.

 

He kept shrieking and his legs and arms were trembling even when the convulsions subsided.

 

"Hurts, ne?" the man said. "Memorize it. Either you become pure - or you'll hurt."

 

Akihito realized what was happening but could do nothing to prevent it when the man pulled his pants down and inserted the thing inside him.

 

When the new wave of pain ebbed at last, he heard the man's voice, reciting quietly in the darkness:

 

"Dearest Hirose... I miss you so much... I hope you will forgive me real soon... I hope you are not hurt and you are all right and I love you very much... I want to see you soon..."

 

Akihito felt tears leak over his face and trickle onto his neck - until pain came again and he felt nothing but it.

 

  • * *

 

He tried to find some defenses. He blocked the door with the little table and he never, never switched off the light again. He tried to sleep by day and in very short periods, his fear jerking him awake every few minutes. He believed for some reason that the man wouldn't come when it was light, wouldn't come when he was not asleep.

 

But on the third or fourth night his own body betrayed him - and when he woke up from a cycle of fitful sleep, the room was dark and his hands were tied and the man was there.

 

He started screaming as soon as the man touched him. He didn't hope rationally that anyone could hear him and help him, since they hadn't done it ever before. But panic rendered him mindless.

 

The man laid the hand on his mouth, muffling his cries, covering both his nose and mouth at once. Akihito went wild, realizing that he couldn't take a breath - but the man suppressed his thrashing effortlessly. The darkness started blooming with circles of bright colors as Akihito slipped into unconsciousness.

 

He was naked when he came round and the man handled him like a doll, his hands probing various places of Akihito's body as if looking for something. His hands tweaked and pulled Akihito's nipples as he sucked on Akihito's lower lip. The metal thing was already inserted into him.

 

  • * *

 

The visits became routine. Akihito could never foresee them, could never be prepared. He could be alert for days, spurring himself to stay awake until he swayed walking and fell asleep sitting on the toilet bowl. But he inevitably missed how the man came.

 

Fear of the man's touch never left him any more, not even when he was alone. Akihito started finding it difficult to look at himself in the mirror, went through washing and brushing his teeth with his eyes screwed shut and as quickly as possible. He didn't want to touch his own body, could barely look at it.

 

He spent more hours than before standing at the window and peering through the slits into the garden there. He acquired a strange, based on nothing, belief that if he stood there long enough, one day he would see Hirose walking there.

 

In the beginning, when he still slept normally, he had those dreams of Hirose coming to the window, the boards on it suddenly gone - and taking him away from this room. But now Akihito would be quite contented with just seeing Hirose, just from far away, just for a moment.

 

There was never no one in the garden. Only once, from a distance, he heard Nadeshiko's shrill voice and Koji's snappy reply, which just made him feel even more alienated.

 

The man came at night and turned and twisted his body. Akihito choked with tears; the touches, the mere sound of the man's voice sent him into fits of uncontrollable shivering.

 

But sometimes his body failed him; the man got to know it too well, the little places on it that caused Akihito dangerous, hated reaction, no matter how much he tried to prevent it. Then the payback was inevitable.

 

The fresh masses of green in the garden were turning a yellow leave here and there.

 

By this time, Akihito learned to go in a kind of catatonic state when the man appeared, disentangle his mind from his body. He didn't feel that he was biting his lips bloody as he didn't feel the man's hands and mouth on his body any more. With his closed eyes, he saw Hirose's radiant face smile at him, felt Hirose's hand clasped in his as they walked around the garden, talking about meaningless, sweet funny things.

 

Time after time the man couldn't get any reaction from him, no matter how he tried - and Akihito didn't know if it angered or pleased his visitor.

 

One night, when the cattle prod slid against Akihito's belly, the feeling of cold steel against his skin making his mind clench while his body stayed motionless, he heard the man say suddenly with a shadow of smile hidden in his voice:

 

"You probably have learnt your lesson, little slut."

 

He left without sending a jolt of current through Akihito's body.

 

  • * *

 

He was not alone again. He was not touched - but he knew it, the presence of someone else in the room so recognizable, almost habitual. Akihito didn't scream - he gave up screaming a long time ago; he just lay and waited for the hands to go down on him.

 

This time there was a pause before the man acted; almost as if he was reticent or unwilling to do it. And the hand that touched Akihito's cheek at last was cool and soft, the fingertips running over his face lightly and drawn away as they came wet with tears.

 

Before then, Akihito's crying had never fazed the man.

 

With his eyes closed, Akihito let his mind slip into nothingness, rejecting the link with reality. The man had played too many games on him, being gentle and being crude, pretending a friend, a teacher, a ghost. Akihito had been deceived too many times to let it happen again.

 

The fingers returned to his face, brushing through the long strands of his hair carefully, then tracing the side of his face, the sharp line of his cheekbone. As if the man couldn't see him in the darkness, as he had seemed perfectly able to do before - as if he tried to memorize his face by touch.

 

A single sound, a soft sigh escaped the man's lips.

 

There were no kisses; no treacherous touches against Akihito's places of danger - his nipples, the small of his back, the hollow over his collarbone - the places where it had been the most difficult to resist, even when Akihito's whole body went into trance. But this time the man didn't try to manipulate him.

 

It seemed he was contented just being there, just staring in the darkness - or, maybe, indecisive to do something.

 

And when he moved at last, his movements were clumsy and abrupt, his hands cold and awkward on Akihito's body.

 

Akihito didn't resist when his pants were pulled off him; he'd got used to it, as he got used to having his legs spread for the penetration of the cattle prod inside him. He knew there would be pain, he knew he would scream when it came - but there was nothing he could do about it, nothing he could even try.

 

The touch against his anus, when it came, was not of the usual cold steel - but of blunt, warm flesh against it.

 

He knew at once what it was, the man had taken his time explaining him again and again what he was punished for, what danger his father was saving him from. A part of Akihito's mind reasoned that he should've felt shocked; but he didn't. He didn't feel anything at all.

 

He'd never leave this room; he'd never stop being hurt. What did it matter what else was done to him?

 

There was pain when the man pushed in - but this kind of pain was ridiculously dispensable for Akihito now. He still must've made a sound or a motion - and the man paused, as if not wanting to hurt him.

 

Not wanting to hurt him... Akihito would laugh at that, if his mind were not wandering so far away. Had there been anything else the man had been doing?

 

He knew he was tearing and bleeding as the man continued entering him but he didn't cry. The man sighed again, touching his cheek.

 

He was settled between Akihito's legs, not leaning on him as usual, only his hands on Akihito's hips and the cock inside him; as if he tried to limit the contact between them to the possible minimum.

 

And then, in silence, the man made a sound that was so much like a sob, it couldn't be anything else.

 

This sound sliced through Akihito's mind, cutting him open, yanking off the shroud of daze he was hiding behind. This sound... this voice... it couldn't be... they couldn't do it to him... to them...

 

This night - everything was different. He must've been dumb, mad that he hadn't realized it at once. The one with him - it was not the one who'd tortured him for so many weeks! It was...

 

He bit through his lip, making pain cut his thought short. He realized suddenly that his hands were not tied. He could've reached, he could've recognized by touch... He clenched his fists on the sheet, stopping himself from moving. He felt trickles of blood running over his chin as he shredded his lip with his teeth. He focused on this feeling, on warm, ticklish blood over his skin as the man thrust into him, his cool hands never getting warm against Akihito's thighs.

 

  • * *

 

Next morning the door of his room opened. An unfamiliar servant handed him fresh clothes and waited patiently for Akihito to change. These clothes were short but loose for him, he realized suddenly - something he hadn't noticed before, wearing t-shirts and baggy pants in his confinement.

 

"Nanjo-sama wants to see you," the servant said, his voice mild. He was probably a new one, not quite aware of Akihito's normal black sheep position in the house.

 

Akihito walked along familiar corridors, seeing familiar faces. It felt almost surreal how nothing had changed... How could it be? But of course, it was that way - why would anything change, with or without him?

 

His father sat at his table, a newspaper spread in front of him. He didn't raise his head as Akihito stopped in front of him, the servant leaving silently. The big clock on the wall behind his father's back ticked softly, the only sound in the room except the slight rustle of the paper.

 

At last his father folded the paper and looked up.

 

"Your isolation is over, Akihito. I assume you have understood at last what I want from you."

 

He knew that his father made the pause to let him answer. He knew what he was supposed to answer. "Yes, otosan. Arigato, otosan." But he kept silent.

 

"No Nanjo will be ever disgrace the family by being a homosexual. No Nanjo will ever have an incestuous attraction to his brother. You will remember it, Akihito, won't you?"

 

He knew those words by now; he comprehended perfectly what they meant. But they still didn't contain any sense for him. His father's voice sounded somehow from far away for him - while the moving lips on the man's face were the only thing Akihito could see.

 

Who did you send to do it to me, he suddenly felt an impulse to ask. Of course, it was impossible to say that, it would be unforgivable - but Akihito could almost feel the words break from his lips. Was it Kurauchi? Was it someone you hired? Were it you? He knew it was not his father, this he could be sure about - but he couldn't shake the thought away, it drummed in his ears, silencing his father's voice all together.

 

His father's talking mouth suddenly closed to him - and then moved away, unexplainably - and then the shadowed room around him swirled. He slipped down on the carpet and let quietness swallow him.

 

  • * *

 

He came round in the near darkness, feeling the softness of bed under himself. Back there... The thought was an exhausted one, with no real fear. But the man didn't appear and the pain didn't come - and after a while Akihito realized that there was actually some light there, from a covered lamp on the nightstand near to the bed.

 

He was in his own room, in his own bed.

 

The cloth put on his head was wet and warm, his forehead radiating heat through it. He tried to shake the cloth away but his hand was strangely weak, as if boneless, and he let it fell - and slid back into unconsciousness again.

 

He would wake up several times later, sometimes at night, sometimes to see a glimpse of the bright-blue sky behind the window. Sometimes he was alone, sometimes he saw a female silhouette against the wall. He didn't care whatever he saw. He was not sure what was real... as far as he was concerned, nothing was.

 

Then he awoke - and there was Hirose in the room with him. The little light from the lamp was orange - but Hirose's face was marble pale even in this light, his eyes gleaming and silver and his eyelashes trembling over them.

 

Akihito didn't hesitate whether Hirose was real; of course, he was. He sat up abruptly, plunged forward, caught Hirose's hand, pressed it to his cheek. He heard a small gasp Hirose made - and a moment later Hirose's hand slid out of his, leaving him with a feeling of cold softness against his cheek.

 

He saw Hirose step away, to the door, where in the shadows Kurauchi stood waiting for him. Hirose's chest was fluttering wildly as if he couldn't take a breath.

 

Then he was gone and Akihito collapsed on the bed, his abrupt movements making him hopelessly dizzy and weak.

 

When he opened his eyes again it was daylight - and he knew at once he was not sick any more.

 

He lay still for a few minutes, enjoying the clearness of his mind, listening to Sayuri-san straightening the curtains at the window. He opened his eyes when she came up closer and was amused with an almost shocked expression on her face.

 

"You are all right!" She'd never seemed to care but this time there was something like genuine relief in her voice. "If you only knew how your fever scared us. We thought it might've been meningitis. Nadeshiko asked about you."

 

He never considered it necessary to be nice with her for her lies, so, he just shrugged, nibbling his lip, looking away.

 

"You are hungry?" she didn't seem to notice. "I bet you are. Wait here, I'll order to bring you something."

 

He called for her when she was almost at the door.

 

"I want... can I see Hirose?"

 

The confusion on her face made him have an unpleasant, sucking feeling inside his chest. He watched her as she walked back to him, sat down on the bed slowly.

 

"Hirose left... He went to America, to study. Three days ago."

 

He heard her saying something else, something about Hirose certainly writing letters - and he could see fear in her eyes. Fear of a tantrum he could throw, fear of his screams and tears at this news.

 

He had screams and tears - he had them deep inside his chest, swelling so huge and so painful that it was suffocating him. He stopped looking at Sayuri and looked at the white ceiling above him.

 

He'd cry; he'd give the thought of Hirose away every bit of misery it deserved, as soon as he could. He just had to learn to breathe again; he just needed a little time.

 

Close your eyes,

Rest your head on my shoulder and sleep,

Close your eyes,

And I'll close mine.

 

Close your eyes.

Let's pretend that we're both counting sheep,

Close your eyes,

Oh, this is divine.

 

Music play,

Something dreamy for dancing

While we're here romancing

It's love's holiday

And love will be our guide.

 

Close your eyes.

When you open them, dear, I'll be near

By your side,

So won't you close your eyes.

 

Close Your Eyes

By L. Yoell and C. Vincent (1925)

 

THE END

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