Title: So Dawn Goes
Disclaimer: Konomi's characters, not mine.
Pairings: Shishido/Gakuto, Oshitari/Gakuto, Hiyoshi/Gakuto
Rating: Hard R
Warnings: BL, talk of sex, a bit of angst, language
Author's Note: I hope this turned out as well as I wanted it to :x It's my first fic after a long line of RP tags.
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay
Gakuto loses his virginity at the tender age of twelve years, very soon after he begins school at Hyoutei Gakuen middle. He'd like to tell some exciting story about being swept off his feet into a whirlwind romance and ending up horizontal and on his back before he could protest, but really, it isn't like that at all. His first time is comfortable if a little awkward, pleasurable if a little fast, and afterwards, he feels giddy and doesn't at all regret having just had sex with his best friend.
After all, sure, he and Ryou had always been best friends, but the winter break before middle school, that somehow melded into friends who kissed, and then, later, friends who kissed and touched, which culminated into friends who kissed and touched and fucked. But Gakuto doesn't mind; in fact, he likes it quite a great deal, because when he's with Ryou, he feels secure and happy and content, and Ryou definitely understands him better than anyone else in the world. He's more than pleased with the dorm situation, and they're together more nights than apart, school nights and weekends alike. They finish their homework (or choose to procrastinate) together, talk about tennis and school work and the other boys in their grade, watch some TV, and inevitably, one of them gets bored and before the show is done they're rolling into bed and peeling away clothes with an urgency that will fade away with age.
The sex is clumsy, unskilled, and fast, but it is far from mindless fucking; Ryou cradles Gakuto's head in one hand as he pushes him back onto the bed and Gakuto clings at Ryou's shoulders to bring him closer and whispers hoarse sanctions when Ryou asks are you all right, does it hurt, are you all right? over and over and over again, and when they're together it's like what Gakuto always dreamt flying would be like, only he can't do it alone, because Ryou is his wings.
Atobe watches them play at tennis practice before deciding they are to play second doubles, and that's when Gakuto is really sure he can fly.
Gakuto has his first affair at thirteen years old during a spat with Ryou over something so stupid he almost immediately forgets what they even fought over. All he knows is that he's filled with something that's hot and prickling and painful inside his chest, and he can't even hold back the tears until Ryou's gone, and it's in this state of hurt that he decides to get his revenge. After tennis practice, he selects an upperclassman who looks easy to seduce and does just that. It's jarring, actually, and Gakuto has always known, vaguely, that he's pretty and that helps him get his way, but overt sexuality and the sway of large eyes and long eyelashes and toned legs and a curvaceous ass are entirely new to him, and he's still getting over the shock of his success as the upperclassman is shoving him up against the wall and yanking down his tennis shorts.
This is the first time that sex is painful for Gakuto, and it's a shocking reality, but saliva is no substitute for real lubrication, and a wall is no substitute for a bed, and lust is no substitute for love. The upperclassman ravishes him without reserve or consideration, and, after limping home in a bruised, sticky mess, he washes and goes to bed, despite that it is only eight-thirty.
The next morning, he wakes up to his phone informing him of seven new emails from Ryou with various messages that all simmer down to forgive me, and Gakuto has never before been more relieved in his life.
Gakuto's first and only experience with topping is between his first and second year of middle school at Ryou's house and is the direct result of a challenge Gakuto never meant seriously in the first place. But that's how it goes with Ryou; he pushes and Gakuto pushes back harder, and the cycle continues until somehow, unintentionally, Gakuto pushes hard enough that Ryou ends up on his back, and Ryou pulls Gakuto with, and when Gakuto goes to draw back, Ryou grins at him and raises an eyebrow and asks, scared? And Gakuto is most certainly not scared, even if he is a little nervous and unsure, so he kisses Ryou, mimicking what Ryou has always done to him, and when he feels Ryou melt a little under him, he knows there's no going back now.
It's strange to be the one in control, strange to be the one calling the shots, and it takes more getting used to than Gakuto would have anticipated. Watching Ryou, eyes squeezed shut, lips swollen, mouth open, face flushed with pleasure is more than enough to make the challenge worthwhile, but still, there's an insecurity that trembles in his fingers with every touch, in his arms and legs as he tries to support himself over Ryou, spread and just a little unstable, because he's so goddamn small. He tries desperately to remember what exactly it is that Ryou always does to him that feels so good, but it tough when, usually, he's too incoherent to care, and even now, lust is hazing his memory and, on top of the nervousness, making recalling just that much more difficult. It isn't until Ryou grabs him by the shoulders and pulls him down flush against his body and kisses him open-mouthed and long and deep that Gakuto realizes that he really doesn't need to be nervous at all.
Once Gakuto gets into the rhythm, gets into the flow of it, it's comfortable enough. And, as is always the case, he very quickly loses control, holding Ryou close as he moves inside, deeper and deeper until he reaches a loud and hurried conclusion. Afterwards, Ryou kisses him lovingly before making fun of him for finishing so quickly. Gakuto dares him to do better, and, after a brief tussle, Ryou does, much better, in fact, and, a sore loser, Gakuto decides that Ryou will just have to be the one who does all the work from now on.
Gakuto knows what he feels for Ryou is love, so when, at thirteen, he loses himself to a racing heartbeat and clouded thoughts and flushed cheeks every time he's within a ten foot radius of Oshitari Yuushi, he's understandably confused. After all, up until now, Oshitari had been skinny and slightly awkward and the southern kid with the silly Kansai-ben, but at the beginning of second year, Gakuto swears he's a different person entirely, like the butterfly from the cocoon. Because now he's all long legs and sharp eyes and toned muscles and that sexy, sexy lilt, and Gakuto feels like he might swoon just thinking about him without even knowing what swooning is.
Watching him play tennis, too, is the most transfixing thing Gakuto has ever experienced, and he starts hanging around later to watch Oshitari finish his matches, always decidedly longer than Gakuto's own. Ryou has remarked on it a couple times, teased him or else hurried him with annoyance because they have homework to get to, dammit, so stop being so lame (which Gakuto knows really meant that he was in a hurry to be alone together, a knowledge which should be sweet but is, for some reason, uncomfortable instead), but it is Atobe who first broaches the subject with Gakuto in perhaps not the most delicate way. Gakuto attempts to argue that Atobe can only tell because of that stupid insight of his, but Atobe simply laughs in his face and tells him to figure out what he wants, because if his love life starts affecting his tennis, he'll be off the regulars just like that. Gakuto scowls and calls Atobe a few choice names, but in all reality, he knows it's true; he and Ryou are lined up for first doubles this year, and he can't let this stupid infatuation get the best of him.
The stupidity of it is rather up for debate, but Gakuto does just what he was trying to avoid two weeks later, when, somehow, he's caught alone with Oshitari in the locker rooms after practice. He's hurrying to finish up, to leave, because this situation is so uncomfortable and so dangerous, and he's almost out the door, almost home free when suddenly, Oshitari grabs him by the wrist and presses him against the lockers and kisses him hard on the lips.
And it's one hell of a kiss; it's like no kiss Gakuto has ever experienced before, and without meaning to, while consciously trying not to, he melts, and allows Oshitari to pull him closer, and when they break apart, Gakuto's flushed and his heart is racing and he can't find his voice. Oshitari looks into his eyes for a moment and smiles, just slightly at one corner of his lips, before leaning in and whispering in Gakuto's ear in that terrible, wonderful Kansai-ben, I want you. And Gakuto is completely helpless and weak in the knees and all he can do is nod because, yes, oh god, yes, he wants Oshitari, too.
The subsequent breakup is a terrible emotional mess, because neither he nor Ryou have ever been good with their feelings, and Ryou feels betrayed and Gakuto feels terrible, but there's nothing that can be done now, now that he's been so thoroughly won by another. They part badly, both in tears and hoarse, Ryou throwing insults and Gakuto apologies, and after that, they don't speak for a week. By the weekend, Gakuto has sent about seven emails from Ryou with various messages that all simmer down to forgive me, and when Ryou finally responds with a yeah, whatever, Gakuto has never before been more relieved in his life. Still, after that, it's a little different than it had been before; they're still best friends, but there's a feeling of something lost between them that neither of them will care to acknowledge or admit for the rest of their lives.
Still, despite the problems with Ryou, Gakuto has never been happier with love in his life. While Ryou was comforting and sturdy and always there for him, Oshitari is a true romantic who brings him flowers and takes him out to dinner and disgustingly sappy movies that Oshitari seems to enjoy more than he ought to. He's perfectly gentlemanly, perfectly sweet, perfectly considerate, and Gakuto is more than entirely won over. It's no surprise that, when his doubles with Ryou crumbles, Oshitari steps right up to more than fill the gap, and now Gakuto is pleased to have an excuse to wait for his new boyfriend after practice. While love with Ryou had been warm and comfortable, love with Oshitari is bubbling and hot and overwhelming and passionate, to such a degree that soon, Gakuto no longer finds himself comparing.
Gakuto's first time with Yuushi, a few weeks after they start dating, is the best sex he has ever had in his life. It was with Ryou that he discovered sex, but it is with Yuushi that he discovers sexuality, really, discovers everything. Never before had Gakuto conceived that there was more to sex than just the simple mechanics of it, because that had felt good and been nice enough, but Yuushi makes it something entirely different, something wonderful and amazing. It is because of Yuushi that Gakuto learns to love sex, it is with Yuushi that it becomes habit to do it twice, three times a day, even on school nights.
And with Yuushi, it's always an adventure, too. He uses Gakuto's flexibility and his own imagination in ways that simply blow Gakuto's mind; he never knows what to expect next, but he doesn't care, because it's part of the thrill when Yuushi pushes him up against a window, displaying him for the world to see, or else carries him into the mirrored club room and strips him naked, or else presses him against his bed and bends Gakuto's legs back behind his head farther than he thought they could go. And Gakuto loves, it, loves every moment of it, and it only gets better over time, as their trust and experience grows. Their doubles seems to get better in tandem, and Gakuto is pleased when they are awarded first doubles their second year and doesn't care that they're getting a reputation first with the tennis club and then with the entire school as that couple who's always at it. He's happy, and Yuushi is happy, so what does it matter what they think, anyway?
Gakuto knows, with absolute certainty, who he wants to spend the rest of his life with at 17. He and Yuushi have been dating for four years now, which seems like an eternity as it is, and when Ryou mentions to him off-handedly that he's looking at rings for Ohtori, Gakuto is hit, in one discrete pang, with more jealousy than he can recall feeling in a very long time. He's always been a little spiteful towards Ohtori, for taking away Ryou's attention from him, and for taking the first doubles spot away from he and Yuushi in middle school, just as he suspects Ryou's always been a little jealous of Yuushi for taking him away. But now, now that Ryou's pondering aloud to him whether Ohtori would prefer something simple or a little nicer, and if he'd able to afford it, Gakuto feels that envy as a stinging burn and he hopes desperately that, soon, Yuushi will be asking himself the same questions.
But senior year of high school is tough, and there are enough things to take Gakuto's mind off of the matter. It comes to the forefront of his mind now and again, like when Yuushi takes him to a particularly sappy chick flick, or when he passes a jewelry store on the street, or when Ryou finally does pop the question right before he graduates, but he has other things to worry about the rest of the time, and he tries not to let it bother him. It's not as if Gakuto isn't popular, other tennis club members, other boys at school have confessed their feelings for him, propositioned him, begged him, but he has faith in Yuushi and eyes for no one else. Besides, Yuushi is just as sweet as he's always been, and Gakuto has no question in his mind that, eventually, Yuushi will propose to him. He can be patient, if it's for Yuushi; for Yuushi, he can be anything.
When Yuushi decides to go pro at the end of high school, Gakuto wants very badly to go with him, despite the fact that it's entirely not a possibility. After barely passing high school and failing every single one of his college entrance exams, finding work is the most important thing, because Yuushi can't support him and he can't support himself, and so, as much as he wants to follow, he can only give Yuushi one last kiss goodbye at the airport and wait faithfully with the promise that Yuushi will be true to him and will be back soon and then he'll be able to take Gakuto with him and then they'll be together forever.
And so time passes slowly and uneventfully. During the day, Gakuto waits tables at a local cafe and at night he tends the bar at a popular club, and it's just enough to pay his rent for his cheap studio apartment in the less-favorable side of town. Naturally, his father doesn't help at all; they've all but cut ties since Gakuto's moved out, and occasionally, Yuushi will send home a fraction of the money he earns from his wins in tournaments abroad, but he's nothing to depend on, and even when he does send something, it's never enough, anyway. It's not the style of life Gakuto would have liked, nor the kind he expected back in high school, but it's what he's left with, and he somehow scrapes by.
Three times in the year and a half after graduation, Yuushi comes back home. All three times, he calls Gakuto from Osaka to tell him he's visiting family and will be back in Tokyo tomorrow, and Gakuto bites his tongue from voicing that he hates being second-best and tells Yuushi that, of course, of course he's welcome in Gakuto's apartment, in Gakuto's bed. When Gakuto meets him at the train station, he kisses him and acts as if nothing's changed, and Gakuto tries his hardest to pretend, too, even though he's got dark circles under his eyes from long hours and the bones show just a little bit more at his wrists and ankles and hips and ribs. The visits last a week or two, short enough for Gakuto to be clinging at the ends, clutching for more time, and he tries not to let the desperation that seeps into his voice be too apparent when he asks, can't Yuushi take him along this time? But the answer is no, always no, not this time, of course next time, I love you, I'll miss you, goodbye.
It's a few days after the third visit, lonely and miserable, that Gakuto calls Yuushi one night. It takes four tries for Yuushi to even pick up the phone, but when he finally does, Gakuto gives in and begs to be taken along, says he's do anything, because he would, at this point, he would. Yuushi doesn't understand, even when Gakuto begins to cry, he doesn't understand, and when Gakuto realizes that nothing's going to change, nothing's ever going to change, he has no choice left.
Breaking up with the love of his life in self-preservation is the worst feeling Gakuto could ever imagine; it's as if his heart is being torn out of his chest and ripped to shreds, but he forces himself through it and hangs up before Yuushi gathers himself enough to make response. Feeling broken and more alone than ever, he throws his phone across the room and crumples into bed, crying himself to sleep with desperate hopes of being woken in the night by a call the never comes.
Despite the fact that they're no longer a team anymore, word still travels fast in the former Hyoutei Gakuen Boys Tennis Club, and it's only days after the breakup before Gakuto opens the door to his apartment to find Hiyoshi there, looking awkward but worried nonetheless. Gakuto is a hot mess; he's called into work sick ever since the breakup and he hasn't bothered to get very far out of bed, not to mention fix his hair or get dressed or worry about his complexion. He looks over Hiyoshi wearily; he's called Ryou, but no one has seen him since his whole world came crashing down, and he isn't sure how to feel about it. Vaguely, in the back of his mind, he remembers Hiyoshi mumbling some sort of confession of love to him back in high school, but it's blurred now because, at the time, Gakuto couldn't care less, and he hasn't thought about it since. But Hiyoshi looks positively concerned for him, and when Gakuto simply stares, he says, I was worried, and Gakuto tries to say thank you, but it comes out as more of a hoarse croak than anything. Hiyoshi asks, is there anything I can do, and Gakuto's about to say no when he notices the look in Hiyoshi's eyes, like he would do anything for Gakuto, and it's in that moment that he breaks down into tears and begs Hiyoshi to come in.
Hiyoshi returns every day after that to take care of him. Even when Gakuto goes back to work, Hiyoshi comes to the cafe at the ends of his shifts to take him home, stays with him and escorts him to his second job after dinner. Despite that life is still rough, and the breakup is still heavy on him, wearing him thin, it's nice to have someone dependable, someone there to take care of him when he needs it. Gakuto is fairly certain that, once he gets back on his feet, Hiyoshi will fade back into the background, but somehow, this way of life works itself into routine, and before he realizes it, a month has gone by, then two. Hiyoshi seems no less devoted to him than he ever was, and Gakuto is no less grateful. And so, it only seems natural that, when Hiyoshi abruptly asks Gakuto to dinner one night, Gakuto agrees without a second thought.
It's not the companionship that he had with Ryou nor the passion that he had with Yuushi, but dating Hiyoshi is comfortable and dependable, and it quickly becomes an easy part of Gakuto's life. Hiyoshi might be a little awkward, but he's kind and considerate and treats Gakuto right, which is more than enough at this point in Gakuto's life. Having taken over his family's kobujutsu dojo along with his brother, he's more than financially sound, and without Gakuto even dreaming of asking, he begins to pay half of Gakuto's rent, allowing Gakuto to quit his second job and begin saving a little, even. He's there for Gakuto whenever Gakuto needs him and more, and though it's not romance, it's perhaps the kind of structure and dependability that Gakuto needs. Though it's not the burning hot passion that he once had for his high school sweetheart, he soon settles into something that's close enough to love, and Hiyoshi seems to be content with that, Gakuto learns to be, too.
It's a long, two year courtship before, when Gakuto is twenty-one, he marries Hiyoshi in a small ceremony with only Hiyoshi's family and some of the old club members as Gakuto's substitute for one in attendance. It's nothing of what he dreamt of in high school, but Gakuto has long since learned that he was stupid and naive in high school, and that this is the kind of life in which he'll be comfortable and cared for. With Hiyoshi, he doesn't have to work long hours, and it doesn't matter that he very nearly flunked out of school, with Hiyoshi, he never has to worry about paying the electric bill and the taxes, and, more importantly, with Hiyoshi, he's never left waiting up for a call, never left wondering when someone will come home, never left alone in bed. Certainly, passion would be nice, but a home to stay in and a husband with a steady income to keep food on the table and real, unwavering devotion are realistic, and it isn't as if Hiyoshi doesn't keep him warm at night. Besides, it's been so long, he hardly remembers what it was like, back in high school, back with Yuushi, anyway.
The last thing Gakuto is expecting in the world one week short of his three year wedding anniversary is for Yuushi to appear on his doorstep unannounced with a car at the curb and his hand extended, but, when the doorbell rings that Tuesday afternoon and Gakuto answers, that is exactly what he finds. He's completely lost for words, lost for how to think or how to feel, and so, for a moment, he only gapes at the man he used to love. His hair's a little longer, now, pulled into a ponytail at the nape of his neck, and he's lost the false glasses, and, of course, he's a little older, a little tanner, a little more tone from years of professional tennis. But, all in all, he's the same, those violet eyes still as intense as they always were, and Gakuto feels his knees go weak, even now, even after all these years, after everything.
When Gakuto fails to speak, Yuushi does, with that same horrible, wonderful lilt, and Gakuto has to close his eyes and swallow hard as he hears that same old charismatic apology that follows on the heels of, hello Gakuto, and he's clutching at the door frame to keep from collapsing and hoping against hope that this isn't what he thinks it is. But then Yuushi speaks, I've come back for you, finally, I'm here to take you away, and it's all Gakuto can do to keep from crying, because god, oh god.
It's terrible, but Gakuto has always been selfish, and for a moment, he almost considers it. After all, this is what he always wanted, what he always dreamed of for the majority of his life, this was what he expected after high school, a glamourous life with the man of his dreams. After all, he's heard Yuushi's name on the TV a few times recently, knows that there's a chance he might be hearing it more when the Australian Open rolls around, and, by the looks of the convertible out past the drive, he certainly hasn't been doing poorly for himself. And then there was that smile, those eyes, that voice, all the things that had driven Gakuto crazy in high school, all those things that had pushed him to ecstasy so many times in the past. It's just like one of the countless stupid romance movies Gakuto had sat through for Yuushi, fate bringing true lovers together once again after years apart.
It's a sweet enticing moment, to be sure, but the fantasy passes quickly, because it could certainly be nothing more. He thinks of the ring on his left hand, of the vows he had made (which mattered to him, even if they didn't in the eyes of the country), of the countless times he had repeated words, phrases to Hiyoshi such that they had finally become the truth. He thinks of the list of possible anniversary gifts he has kept stashed in his desk since he had begun it last week, of the ingredients he has for dinner waiting in the refrigerator, of the child due in three months that's only a few signatures away from being theirs. He thinks of everything his life is now, and everything it used to be, and the memories are just so incongruous that there is no question.
He watches the convertible drive away from the window, taking with it any last shreds of his old dreams that he had been clinging to, but he holds onto his composure, even as he has to lean against the glass for support. After all, there's dinner waiting to be made, but after that, there will still be an hour before Hiyoshi comes home from work, and, Gakuto thinks, it's been a long time since he's called Ryou and had a good cry.