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A Comedy of Errors

Or: Nishikido Ryo's Life as a Korean Drama. Featuring an annoying cast of practical jokers, Eito with an unhealthy interest in other people's love lives, and compulsive snugglers.

by Sylvia


It's all Pi's fault... Pi and his stupid pranks. Because instead of Ryo's bag and Ryo's bed, Room 8 holds a horde of loud and drunken KinKi Kids and Arashi members, none of whom are in any state to question, although the loudest and most drunken one does try to get Ryo in a headlock and/or offer him some sake.

Room 7 – oh yuck. How did that idiot manage to smuggle a girl in here – and just how stupid is he, anyway? The old man doesn't like it when you don't take his multi-group events seriously enough, plus Johnny's new group-transcending unity shtick means none of the doors lock. Who wants to fuck under circumstances like that?

There's nobody at the reception, and no sign of anyone stirring when Ryo rings the bell. And okay, it's really late, and it's a small family-run hotel, and this village doesn't exactly have a teeming night life, but still –

Ryo's so damned tired. If he closed his eyes he'd fall asleep right there. It's been a long day and he's dead on his feet and he just wants to find his bed, is that really so much to ask?

If Ryo ever finds Pi he's going to kill him. Slowly. Right after he gets a couple of hours of sleep.   

Of course he doesn't find Pi, or anyone he could crash with. Instead, he finds a bunch of Hey Say Whatever people and some unfairly locked rooms that no doubt hold event managers or other such privileged persons. Ryo considers sleeping on the floor, but Pi would laugh himself sick, and with the way Ryo's luck is going Johnny would probably stumble over him and break his hip.

Room 15 is dark, the rightful inhabitants clearly already asleep. Ryo sneaks in a bit further and finds it's a single – but the bed is king-sized, and the shape rolled into the blankets isn't taking up even a third of the available sleeping space. Maybe it's Jin, that would be cool –

The bed's occupant rolls over and squints at him vaguely. It's Taguchi.

Hell, whatever. That works too.


Ryo closes the door quietly and kicks off his shoes, feels his way along the wall to the bed. "Nothing. Go back to sleep."

"Oh, Ryo-chan. Hey..."

The bed is soft and welcoming, and even sitting down on it to pull off his jeans and shirt is amazingly wonderful. Sliding under the blanket and snuggling into the pillow is sheer heaven. Ryo's never ever going to take a place to sleep for granted again.

"Whad're you..." Taguchi sounds slurred and more than half asleep, and trails off with the question still incomplete.

Ryo tries for a reassuring murmur. "Don't worry, you still have plenty of room."

For a moment that seems to do the trick… except that just when Ryo's beginning to surrender to the delicious heaviness of sleep, a drowsy mumble tugs him back up to awareness. "Not s'posed to be here...?"

"It's alright – just sleep."

"'Kay," Taguchi mumbles, and then bedclothes rustle and the mattress shifts and Taguchi wraps himself around Ryo like an octopus.

Escaping would take more energy than Ryo has, and, whatever. The regular breathing in his ear is soothing, and in another minute, Ryo has dropped off.




He wakes up warm and comfortable and with his bladder shouting at him, and after a moment of drowsily putting off moving, he pulls away, slides out from under the arm tossed over his middle and stumbles to the bathroom. Then he stumbles back and slips back under the covers and the arm and rolls over into greater warmth, snuggling up and pushing his face against cotton and warm skin.       




Taguchi looks kind of ridiculous in the morning, what with his hair standing on end like that and pillow creases on one cheek, and that completely befuddled look on his face.

"Uh," Taguchi says, rather uncertainly. "Good morning?"

Ryo quickly snatches his hand from the man's chest and retreats to the bathroom, where he helps himself to the still-wrapped hotel-provided toothbrush and toothpaste. He also helps himself to Taguchi's shampoo and shower gel, because he likes the smell better than that of the hotel's brands.

"So," he says when he comes back out in yesterday's boxers, and gets stuck when Taguchi looks at him with a kind of half-friendly, half-apprehensive smile.

For a long moment, neither of them says anything, and then they both start talking in the same instant.

"Please don't take this the wrong way but I don't actually remember anything about last night –"

"It's not my fault, Yamapi told me the wrong room number and there was nowhere else to sleep –"

They both fall silent again, but before another uncomfortable silence can develop, a broad relieved grin breaks over Taguchi's face. "Oh, wow, and I thought –" And he dissolves into helpless giggles, falling back on the bed with the blanket clutched to his chest.

Okay, Ryo is not going to think about what Taguchi thought. Instead, he finds his clothes where he dropped them on the floor and shakes them out. The jeans are okay – but the t-shirt...

"Right, good we cleared that up and all. Can I borrow a shirt?"

He can. Taguchi has a whole stack of t-shirts in all colors, and another stack of flannel shirts and sweaters and another one of pants, and that's not counting the jackets and the three bags of sneakers and whatever the fuck is in the other half of the huge-ass suitcase.

"You do know we're only here for one weekend, not half a year, right?"

Taguchi smiles at him and tosses him a plain black t-shirt. "I like a choice. And it's good for you I'm a clothes horse, or you'd be going bareback today!"

Ouch. But he does have a point.




Pi chirps out a cheerful "good morning!" as soon as Ryo walks into the breakfast room. Ryo throws him a look – he's all wide-eyed innocence and "what, who, me?" – and then goes to sit with Yoko and Hina and Subaru and Yasu.

That day Kanjani8 (including Ryo) trounces NEWS soundly at the obstacle course. It doesn't have anything to do with Ryo that Pi slips and falls in the mud during the last bit, although Ryo does laugh pretty loudly.

That evening, Ryo heads for the reception well before dinner and asks the girl at the counter which room he's staying in. If she thinks this is an odd question for him to be asking at this point, she's too polite to let on.

Of course, as it turns out Room 22 holds fucking Ueda.

In retrospect, Ryo realizes why the girl smiled like that, as though she were sharing a secret joke with someone. Pi's always had a way with girls.




Ryo isn't playing Pi's stupid game; he goes straight to Taguchi's room. Since Taguchi isn't there, he goes ahead and borrows the hotel yukata laid out on the bed to head down to the laundry room. The jeans aren't so good anymore after the obstacle course and the rest of the day's games, and anyway Ryo isn't about to borrow underwear from anyone.

"Welcome back, Ryo-chan," says Taguchi when Ryo comes in with an armful of freshly washed and dried clothes. "Still have no place to sleep? Bet you're hoping I'm not hostel!"

Ryo snorts at the joke – it's the kind of bad that makes it good – and then tries a winsome smile, although he suspects it comes off sheepish more than anything. It's good enough; Taguchi laughs at him. "Fine, you've convinced me. Who'd turn away a stray with such big begging eyes!"

The stray part isn't totally inaccurate, Ryo guesses… but Ryo does not have big begging eyes. He lets it go, though.

Dinner is a "competing for food" quiz thing. Ryo hates those when he's hungry, but fortunately he gets a couple of right answers pretty quickly, and the food is really good, all the better to make the losers suffer.

Afterwards a bunch of them go out drinking in the only bar in town; Taguchi comes along too, and giggles a lot with Aiba and Ohkura and the loudest and most annoying of the Hey Say Whatever people. There's karaoke, and Taguchi and Maru sing a duet full of shouts of "Paaaaan!" and other nonsense words, and back at the hotel Taguchi shows Ryo how to make it through the Halloween Level in the new Kingdom Hearts game, and Ryo finds out he has a secret stash of spicy arare and beer that he's happy to share.

It's a good day.

Ryo sleeps well that night, too; Taguchi doesn't snore, and Ryo graciously ignores the cuddling. The man's letting Ryo share his bed, after all. It'd be rude to complain.




Pi is dying to know where Ryo spent his nights. Ryo smiles mysteriously and says nothing.




On Tuesday, Taguchi drops by Kanjani8's rehearsal and hangs around purposefully until Ryo goes over to check what's up.

"You be the one holding the bag," Taguchi says, and hands him a small bag.

The others come over to see what's going on. Taguchi doesn't stick around, says he just wanted to drop by to say he had a great time with them that weekend, and that they should meet up more often.

There's a packet of peanut arare and an envelope in the gift bag. The envelope holds Ryo's gold cross necklace.

Cool! Ryo'd thought he lost it during the obstacle course or one of the other games that weekend. He hadn't expected to ever see it again.

"Where'd Taguchi find your necklace?" Yoko asks, while Ryo puts it on.

"I guess it must have come off in bed," says Ryo. And no wonder, with all the cuddling Taguchi does.

When he looks up, every single member of Kanjani8 is staring at him with the exact same expression of blank astonishment on their faces.  






"You sure come out with a bang, Ryo," Hina says, and tries a grin, though he still looks mostly shell-shocked. Ryo knows exactly how he feels. "No half-measures!"

That wasn't a pun, the bang thing. Ryo knows it. He knows it because the alternative is much too horrible to contemplate. "There was no bang! There was nothing – it wasn't like that. It was just, we only slept together – just slept! The room numbers – Pi said eight, but eight was a bunch of drunk guys and I was tired and Taguchi let me stay with him – and that was all, and I didn't, we didn't – and the cuddling, that was all him!"

Oh god, Ryo is so bad at this kind of thing. Right now he really wants to pull a sack over his head and die.

Nobody interrupts him, but Ryo can tell that he isn't even making a dent in the absurd assumption that leapt to the guys' collective dirty minds.

"Junno's nice," Ohkura says into Ryo's mortified silence. He sounds thoughtful.

Ryo really, really wants to say something, but – where does he even start?

Subaru stares in concentrated contemplation; Ryo can feel his laser gaze burning on his face even through the shield of Ryo's hands. "Nice, huh? Well, he is very flexible."

Ryo gets out a strangled noise, but nothing more. He's blushing, he can feel the heat of his cheeks against his palms, and it doesn't even matter because either way he has no hope in hell of looking in any way cool about this.

"Good figure," Subaru goes on. "Long legs. Probably very enthusiastic. Energetic, too. Good to go all night! What do you guys think?"

Yoko's having hysterics on the couch and seems unable to speak – which is some kind of miracle in itself – but when Ryo dares a peek he's giving thumbs-up signals with both hands. Maru hmms and nods in cautious agreement.

"Guys, stop it –"

But now they're off. Nobody's listening to Ryo anymore, although they're all still watching him, and the look in their eyes is searching and weighing and evaluating, and – oh god. Just, seriously. This can't be happening.

"He's cheerful," Yasu says, mostly to Subaru. "Plus he's kind of cute. Although I didn't think he was Ryo-chan's type?"

"And he's pretty in a dress!" shouts Yoko from the sidelines, having unfortunately recovered the power of speech. "Like a ballerina!"

"You should have told us earlier, you idiot," Hina admonishes Ryo, and thwaps him on the head, not gently.

"But there was nothing to tell – there is nothing –"

"He wants to get to know us better!" Maru wriggles in sudden excitement. "Oooh, he must really like you, Ryo-chan! Score!"

"It's clear we have to ask him about his intentions," Yoko announces.

"No!" The word explodes from Ryo with the force of sheer horror. The Eito ignore him.

"He's a good guy," Ohkura repeats firmly.

They stop ignoring Ryo when he starts shouting, but even that doesn't help. When Ryo storms out, Yoko and Subaru are in the middle of discussing how exactly to go about questioning Taguchi.




Taguchi bounds up with a wide smile, radiating so much energy and cheer that Ryo finds his black mood lifting slightly. At least he can be fairly certain Taguchi won't take this the wrong way. Chances are he'll see it as a great joke, rather than cause for taking offense.

"Hey, Taguchi," says Ryo. "You have a minute? There's something I –"

"I don't have a minute – I only have half an hour," Taguchi says, and dials the smile up another notch.

Ryo blinks, thrown off. "What? Is that supposed to be a joke?"

"No, but it ends with a lunch line!" Taguchi laughs at his own pun, or maybe at Ryo's expression, or both. "I'm due back at the studio in half an hour, so I can't chat because I'm going for ramen. Want to come along?"

Not much choice, unless Ryo wants to blurt out the whole embarrassing tale right there in the corridor, where any number of people might overhear. So he does, and is careful to wait for a moment when Taguchi has a mouthful of noodles before broaching the subject.

"The Kanjani8 guys think we had sex in Okinawa," Ryo says.

The splash is less dramatic than anticipated, but still serves to lighten Ryo's mood further, especially since – unlike Taguchi – he escaped the soup spatter by means of a strategically placed napkin.

It's always a good feeling to know you're not the only one tangled up in some ridiculous mess.

"Huh," says Taguchi. His grin is sudden and bright; he slurps in another mouthful of ramen with enthusiasm, managing to keep grinning through it. "You guys really are cool."

That... is not quite the reaction Ryo expected. 

"Well, what are we going to do about it?" Ryo demands.

Taguchi hmms pensively and finishes his ramen. Ryo passes the time by eating Taguchi's side order of shrimp tempura; feeding Ryo is the least the guy can do, considering it was his uncontrolled cuddling that got them into this trainwreck of a situation in the first place.

Once he's polished off his lunch, Taguchi glances at his watch and shakes his head. The quick smile he shoots at Ryo scrunches up the corners of his eyes. "Give me your number – I'll call you, alright?"




"We've been thinking," says Yoko. "You need to follow up properly. You got your foot in the door – so to speak. Now don't let up, or you'll lose your advantage! Faint heart never won fair youth!"

"An amusement park," says Maru. "Start with the fast rides and then go on the ferris wheel."

"The movies," says Yasu. "But not a horror movie or an action film or anything like that. A love story, or a romantic comedy."

"Hmm," says Ohkura, thoughtfully.

"Honestly, I don't know how any of you ever get laid," says Hina. "What you do is, you invite him for dinner at your place and cook something yourself. And don't forget dessert. Something with chocolate. And whipped cream."

"I hate you all," says Ryo. "This is not funny. You are a bunch of assholes."

"Let's go see the baby pandas at the zoo," says Taguchi not much later, when he calls Ryo.

Ryo feels like screaming. "I don't want to see the baby pandas," he manages. Even though that's not completely true – it's just that he has other concerns right now. "And I don't want to go to the movies or the amusement park or cook romantic dinners for you, either! God!"

"Okay," Taguchi agrees, all perky cheer. "I'll be finished with practice in an hour. Want to meet up?"




Over dinner at a yakiniku restaurant, Ryo discovers that Taguchi doesn't get it.

"You think they'll go spreading rumors?"

"Of course not, are you crazy?" They'll giggle and pester him for details and give advice that makes him want to scrub out his brain, they'll send him links to helpful internet sites and admonish him to be safe and they'll have a ball with the entire thing until Ryo wants to murder the whole sorry lot of them – but they won't do anything that could harm Ryo. That's one thing he's sure of, at least.

"Are they giving you a hard time?" This question's almost tentative, and it's the first time Taguchi actually looks worried.

"Not like that. I mean. They don't care about that part of it. The guy thing. You know." Oh great, Ryo's blushing again, isn't he?

Taguchi perks up again, seeming honestly relieved. "I'm really glad! But – well, what's the big deal then?"

"It's – it's. You know!" Except that he evidently doesn't, or they wouldn't be having this stupid conversation. Has the entire world gone crazy when Ryo wasn't looking? This should be self-evident! "They keep winking and asking if I've heard from you and when I'll be seeing you again and giving me goddamned dating advice and they're worse than a bunch of old matchmaking grandmothers, except that grandmothers wouldn't have such dirty minds and wouldn't talk about safe sex and wouldn't leer –"

"Is that all? That's easy enough to solve." Taguchi shrugs. "We can just break up."

That – just. What?  

Taguchi laughs at him, the very picture of light-hearted ease, not at all what you'd expect from someone who's just come out with something totally insane. "That's what they'd do in a Korean drama."

"A Korean drama?" Ryo gets out.

"Not like this hasn't been like one anyway, right? I mean, with the room number thing and all the misunderstandings and –"

"My life is not a Korean drama! And how can we break up when we're not even dating? That makes no sense at all!"

Now Taguchi actually rolls his eyes at Ryo. "Yes it does. You know, we pretend to date, just for the Eito, and then we pretend to break up. You mope around dejectedly for a little while, and that's that! They won't want to remind you of your heartbreak and will never mention the entire thing again."

It's an insane idea, but...

But. This entire thing is insane. By now Ryo's pretty much given up the hope of convincing the Eito he hasn't had sex with Taguchi; it's just too tempting a thought for their dirty imaginations to let go of. If they can at least be made to shut up about it…

Sure, there'll be the dating phase to get through before Ryo and Taguchi can get to the breaking up, but it's not like the Eito can get any worse than they already are. Right?




So they go see the baby pandas, for added realism, because Ryo sucks at lying and the Eito know him way too well. Ryo starts out determined not to enjoy himself, but the little pandas are fuzzy and adorably clumsy, and romp and tussle until they're exhausted, and then doze in the shade all tangled up in each other. And Taguchi's not the worst guy to watch pandas with; he buys Ryo takoyaki and listens to Ryo explain the many ways in which it – like any takoyaki found in Tokyo – is infinitely inferior, because no one outside of Osaka has a clue about how to make it properly.

"You can make it for me the right way, sometime," Taguchi suggests, and leans close to steal one of Ryo's balls of takoyaki. Ryo tries to stab the thieving hand with his toothpick, but Taguchi's too fast, leading to a bout of toothpick-fencing which Taguchi manages to break off by stealing yet another bit of takoyaki.

After Ryo flings some mayonnaise at his head and Taguchi does an impression of a seal, complete with balancing his billiard ball keychain on his nose, Taguchi drives him home and comes up to the apartment with him, and Ryo forgets to breathe when he leans down even closer than he would to steal food. "I had a good time, Ryo-chan," he says, and Ryo can feel his breath warm on his lips, and then Ryo leans forward the last centimeter or so and kisses him.

It's for added realism. How can Ryo talk about dating someone he's never even kissed?

Junno's lips are soft against his, and for a moment, all Ryo can think – with a flash of nonsensical panic – is that Ryo's own lips are probably rough and dry and why the hell didn't he think of using chapstick back in the car, but then he hadn't actually planned on there being any kissing, it had been kind of a spontaneous thing –

Junno pushes him gently against the door and moves in closer, and Ryo opens his mouth to an insistent tongue, and – damn. The guy can kiss.

Ryo loses track of things a bit, but – that's – and Junno tastes like ice cream and green tea, and his hair is soft and a familiar sweet and breathless ache is starting up in Ryo's stomach and his heart is beating too fast –

"You," Junno says, and he sounds breathless too, and the sound of it sends a sudden slice of heat through Ryo, makes him want – "Oh. Uhm, I'd better – wow. See you!"

"Hey, wait," Ryo gets out, but by that time Junno's already high-tailed it down the stairs.




"Baby pandas," Yoko says. "That's good. That's very good."

"And later on?" Subaru, of course, but Hina smacks him and he backs off.

Ryo's not the type to kiss and tell... and this is just pretend dating anyway. Plus, other than that one kiss there wouldn't have been anything to tell even if Ryo had been the kissing-and-telling type, because the only other thing that happened that night was that Ryo almost fell out of bed twice before he got up and got the big cushion from the sofa to stop himself from inching across the mattress in his sleep.

So he's a secret cuddler. So what. Nobody's business, is it?




They go to Tokyo DisneySea. Junno insists on riding the Tower of Terror four times in a row, shouting almost loudly enough to rupture Ryo's eardrums every time, and is absurdly and genuinely thrilled when Ryo wins him a small lime-green dolphin that squeaks when you squeeze it. They go up on the ferris wheel last, and Ryo steels himself against embarrassment and takes Junno's hand because that's what you do with a date on a ferris wheel, and Junno smiles and squeaks the dolphin at him, and somehow that's so nonsensical and ridiculous that Ryo can't help but smile back.

In front of Junno's apartment, Junno bounces and gives a little wave and squeaks with the squeaky dolphin and says, "That was so much fun, and nobody's ever won me a dolphin before! Thank you, and uhmph."

He probably means to say something more meaningful than "uhmph", but he can't, what with Ryo's tongue in his mouth and all. 

Ryo's been wondering if that one kiss was some kind of fluke, one of those things that happen once and then never again – that you think back on later and wonder what the hell you'd been drinking.

Turns out the answer is "no".

Junno whimpers when Ryo nibbles on his neck and grabs Ryo's hips and shoves him against the wall, and there's a brief tangle of legs and arms, and Junno grins at Ryo, and Ryo snorts a little because it is funny, and then Junno makes an almost dolphin-like squeaking sound when Ryo tries to cop a proper feel just as the elevator stops on Junno's floor and starts to open, threatening to give one of Junno's neighbors prime tabloid fodder.  

"You want to come inside?" says Junno, at exactly the same moment Ryo blurts out "I should get going."

Oh well. Next time.




That wasn't a pun just now, was it? Ryo texts from the subway. If it was, I have to break up with you immediately, because it was too horrible for words.

I have no idea what you're talking about, Junno texts back, virtuous solemnity fairly jumping off the screen of Ryo's phone. What porpoise would punning have served just then?

Two salarymen across from Ryo look at him oddly when he bursts out laughing. He grins at them, and they look away.




Next time, they watch a horrible Korean movie about some girl who has a wasting disease but studies music in spite of it, and manages to fall in love with a guy with a really great voice just before she dies. Ryo does not cry dammit, it's just a draft or something. Junno, on the other hand, sobs like his heart is breaking, and is all red-eyed and puffy coming out of the movie theater.

Junno invites him inside right away, this time. And Junno smiles at him, and Ryo smiles back, and Junno's eyes do the scrunchy thing and he isn't puffy anymore now, just –

And then Ryo realizes suddenly and without warning that Junno's a pretty amazing guy, all fun and weird and sweet and wonderful, and that he's got lovely eyes and a mouth that – and his hair is falling into his face a little and – Ryo really wants Junno to like him, and Ryo really wants to get to know him better, and Ryo really wants –

His heart skips a beat, two, his blood starts rushing in his ears with deafening force and his stomach drops to the vicinity of his ankles. His mouth dries out in terror and Junno's looking at him, oh god, oh god –  

"I think you need to watch a lot more Korean dramas," Junno says, just when Ryo's about to start hyperventilating.

"Eh?" he manages, and promptly wants to die at the stupidity of that response. What is Junno supposed to think he is, some kind of idiot, or –

Junno grins. "Come on, I know just the thing."

Turns out Junno has a huge DVD collection of Korean series, and has stocked up on beer and bottled green tea and extra-spicy arare. They watch an episode of a comedy about a girl who pays a guy to pretend to date her. Then they watch an episode of a historical drama about a thief trying to date a princess. And then they watch a couple of episodes of something with a lot of confused gods and evil magicians and kick-ass women who all want to date or kill each other, sometimes both at the same time.

Ryo's forgotten about his awkwardness by the time he finishes his first beer, and starts commenting on the plot before he starts his second. Junno likes the thief a lot better than Ryo does and pokes him in the side when he calls the princess stuck-up, so Ryo holds Junno down and musses up his hair, and then Junno escapes and discovers Ryo's ticklish spot just underneath his armpit.

The truce lasts until Junno falls asleep on Ryo.   

He doesn't wake up completely even when Ryo prods him to his feet and steers him into the bedroom, into his bed. Ryo's tired too, and he figures it'd just be silly to sleep on the sofa at this point.

"You don't mind me sleeping in your bed, do you?" he asks Junno.

Junno mumbles something that sounds like "dolphin prince", which Ryo decides to take as an invitation. And rightly so, because Junno immediately turns and twines around Ryo when he slides under the blanket. His nose ends up against Ryo's throat, his hair tickling Ryo's cheek. Ryo shifts until he finds a comfortable position – one leg thrown over Junno's, an arm around Junno's waist – and drops off immediately.

He hasn't slept that well in days.




"So, Ryo," Ohkura says slowly. He's wearing his intent face – all focussed and determined and shit.

Ryo's known this was coming at some point; might as well get it over with. "Yeah, spit it out."

"About Junno. He laughs a lot and he lets people get away with things, and some people think that means he doesn't take anything to heart. But that's not true. That he won't let you see it if he gets hurt… that means you need to be more careful, not less. Do you get that?"

Wow, that's the closest thing to a gimlet stare Ryo's ever gotten from Ohkura. It's not a bad effort at all.

"Yeah, I get it," Ryo says tightly. "You think I'm some kind of bastard who will kick his heart to the curb and never even notice. I get it, believe me."

Ohkura just holds the stare for another moment, and doesn't apologize.




Ryo makes takoyaki Osaka style, and steamed chocolate cake for dessert. With whipped cream, of course. Junno brings gifts – an Italian cookbook and small bottles of olive oil and some kind of fancy vinegar. Neither of them can read the label properly (Junno claims it's in Italian, which is stylish and all, but not very practical), but the stuff tastes great.

He's thought about how to do this. He isn't going to be caught on the wrong foot and look like an idiot. No, Ryo has a plan. He's going to be smooth and confident and irresistible, and Junno will be swept straight off his feet.

"Let's move to the couch with the cake," Ryo suggests, and gives Junno his best persuasive smile, as per plan. "I'm going to open a bottle of red wine to go with it, what do you think?"

"Sweet," Junno agrees.

He looks at Ryo for half a beat, and then he jumps from his chair and grabs the bottle from Ryo's hand. Ryo automatically grabs it back, and they tug it back and forth for a hectic, stunned couple of seconds before it slips from Ryo's grasp.

"Hey!" Ryo sputters. "What –"

Junno puts the wine down and advances on Ryo. Ryo has never seen the expression on his face before. It's intent and focussed and – god, he's tall, and his shoulders are really broad, and – Ryo doesn't mean to back away, it's just –

"I changed my mind – I'm not hungry for cake," Junno says. It should be a cheesy line or even a horrible pun, but somehow it's neither, and Ryo can only think that's down to the heat in Junno's eyes, because, because –

"No, wait! I have a plan. You're messing up my plan!"

"Shut up, you idiot," Junno murmurs against his mouth.

So Ryo does.

For a moment, the brush of Junno's lips against Ryo's is no more than a tantalizing hint of warmth and softness. It's not even a kiss, not yet, not really, but it makes Ryo's entire body tighten, wake to a low hum of awareness. Junno's so close… and then he shifts and moves closer still, and Ryo puts light hands on his waist and leans in.

Maybe it should feel strange, but it doesn't, and Ryo wouldn't care even if it did. Not with Junno's mouth opening to Ryo's; not with the quiet little sound Junno makes in the back of his throat when Ryo traps his lower lip with his teeth, bites down gently, just a little. Not with Junno's tongue meeting his, still careful; as careful as the way Ryo slides his fingers into Junno's hair.

It feels right.

It's only their third kiss. Why the hell haven't they done this more often? Why hasn't Ryo been kissing Junno for weeks, months… years? But – now, finally, they're really doing this. Finally...

A bit closer still and Junno's body is warm and solid against Ryo's, pressed to him from chest to thigh. Ryo's breath catches in his throat; heat shivers through his veins.

He strokes down Junno's back, smoothing the thin t-shirt over muscle and bone. Ryo's knee slides between Junno's easily, naturally; when Ryo shifts and pushes against him, Junno moans into the kiss and pushes back, and an unmistakable bulge presses against Ryo's stomach.

Ryo's heart skips a beat. A wave of electric excitement burns through him, makes him shudder, makes him want, crave…

Junno's ass is small and tight and fits perfectly into Ryo's hands. Junno gasps into Ryo's mouth when Ryo tightens his grip, pulls him in hard, but then Junno draws back, away, and – hey, no, what the hell, what –

It's a moment before Ryo can process the sight of Junno sinking to his knees. Absurdly graceful, flushed, eyes wide and dark; gorgeous, he's so – and Ryo has never seen the wicked little sparkle that accompanies this smile before. He reaches out to touch the curve of that smile, traces it with his fingertips. Junno takes it as permission to go ahead; he strokes up Ryo's legs to his waistband, and – hell yes, Ryo wants this. He isn't stupid, of course he wants this, this and everything else, everything…

Ryo's jeans and carefully-chosen briefs come down together. He doesn't have time to wonder what he looks like or what he should do or say, because in the next instant wet heat closes over him and he's rushed by sensation, rolled under.

He was already hard, but now... now, he feels light-headed and dizzy with it, overwhelmed. His hands find Junno's shoulders and he holds on too tightly, can't make himself loosen his grip; can't look away from Junno's mouth stretched around his cock.

Junno wraps his hand around the base and pulls back, and, oh sweet god. This… suction and pressure and a flutter of tongue, sheer melting bliss that shivers through Ryo irresistibly. Yes, oh, just like that, just like –

Something Junno does with his tongue jolts a hard, sudden spike of ecstasy through Ryo; sensation bursts bright and sharp and clear, stealing the air from his lungs. It's so – god it's so good, he can't breathe but he doesn't care, and then Junno seals his lips tight just below the head of Ryo's cock and leans forward, takes him in right down to where his fingers circle Ryo, squeezes and twists, and – oh –

It's possible Ryo's shaking, and it's possible that the wall's holding him up more than his own legs. It's more than possible that he's the one making those needy, desperate sounds.

Junno finds a rhythm, unhurried, so good – wonderful. Ryo's bones are melting; he can't move, can't think, can't do anything but gasp for breath and feel.

And then Junno pulls back completely, leaving Ryo cold and desperate. He licks his lips as he looks up. They're red and wet and – no no no, just – "Junno, no, don't stop –"

Ryo tries to sway forward but Junno's hands are on his hips, holding him still. Junno licks lightly over the head of Ryo's erection, circles the tip of his tongue around it, and that's – that's just cruel –

He begins to gasp out a protest but forgets what he was going to say when Junno licks him again, when he ducks down further and puts his mouth to the underside of Ryo's cock, right underneath the crown, and sucks.

Ryo hits his head against the wall. Sparks go off in his vision, and he has no idea whether they're down to the impact or Junno's mouth.

"Ryo! Are you okay? Ohmygod I'm sorry, I'm such a –"

Junno's right in front of him, somehow, so Ryo grabs him and hauls him in, takes his mouth, tastes himself on Junno's tongue; pushes hard against him, grinds against his thigh, his hip. The fabric of Junno's jeans is rough and abrasive on Ryo's skin, but he can't stop. He needs this, needs more, needs to be closer, needs –

He doesn't remember how they get to the bedroom. He's not sure where their clothes go, either, except that they both try to drag off Junno's t-shirt at the same time and almost strangle him in the process.

Junno squeaks when Ryo shoves him down on the bed, gasps when Ryo licks and nibbles down his neck; mumbles fragments of encouragement when Ryo runs greedy hands over his chest and stomach. Ryo wants to touch and kiss and stroke him everywhere, all over, wants to know everything about the way he tastes and sounds and feels. What makes him moan, what makes him tremble and catch his breath... what makes him scream and come apart. And he will know, he will –

Soft hair, velvet skin and now Junno's stretched out full-length beneath Ryo, Junno's erection lying against his. Ryo shifts and – oh hell yes. Heat and hardness slide along his cock in a long slow thrill of pure wild pleasure, and he can't resist another thrust of the hips, another, just one more...

Their noses bump when Ryo pulls back at last. Junno gives a little huff of protest and shifts,  winds around Ryo with one leg around his waist. It changes the angle, and, oh – yes, that's – but. But Ryo's plan – "Wait, wait – I – there's, I want – let me –"

He wants to touch him, wants –

Hot, silken hardness; liquid wets the tip, slick beneath Ryo's thumb. Junno makes no sound when Ryo wraps a hand around him, but his breath stutters and his hips come up off the bed. His cock jerks in Ryo's grip. His head falls back, revealing a long line of throat; his mouth softens, opens in silent pleasure. His arms are stretched slightly to the side, and he spreads his legs, lifts his knees a little…

He's gorgeous. Gorgeous, and Ryo wants him – has to have him – now. Now, right now –

Junno groans when Ryo traces careful fingers over his balls, shudders when he cradles them in his free hand. Ryo squeezes, just a little, and Junno shifts, hips restless, and when Ryo does it again Junno reaches for him and fingertips wander aimlessly across Ryo's cheek, brush over his lips, twine into the hair at the nape of his neck. It's weird and it's wildly arousing and god, Ryo's waited so, so long; he isn't waiting any longer.

Ryo slides his touch down further, rubs gently over the opening to Junno's body. Junno's grip tightens in Ryo's hair; Junno moans and tilts up his hips, pushes into Ryo. It's hard to breathe. Ryo's so turned on he's trembling, urgency singing in his blood, but he concentrates, takes another unsteady breath, circles his fingertips over the small furl of muscle. Rubs more insistently.

When he slides one finger inside just a little, runs it along the rim, Junno whimpers and trembles and gasps something harsh and unsteady. The only thing Ryo can make out is his name.

He looks up to Junno staring at him wide-eyed and flushed, looking almost as desperate as Ryo feels. "I – Junno." His voice is shaky, and it's ridiculously obvious anyway, but... "I really want to be inside you."

"I really want you to be," Junno says back. He sounds no more put together than Ryo.

Ryo stashed the lube under the pillow. He leans up, and Junno runs his hands up Ryo's sides, brushes tantalizing kisses over his chest, his collarbone, his shoulder. It's distracting, and for a long moment Ryo can't find the damn tube at all; then his fingers close around it just as Junno leans up and sets careful teeth around Ryo's nipple, rasps his tongue along sensitive flesh. Hot wet velvet and sharp hardness fracturing into jagged, burning pleasure, and how does Junno know, how –

Ryo has no idea where the lube went. Both of his hands are tangled in Junno's hair, holding him close, angling him for Ryo's kiss. And then there's smooth skin and Junno's pulse beating fast and hard beneath Ryo's lips and tongue, Junno writhing beneath him and moaning into his ear, Junno's hands on him and... Junno pushing him away.

It's a long moment before Ryo's numbed brain catches up with what Junno's doing, why his leg is propped up like that, why his hand is down between his legs. Junno must have taken the tube from him –

Ryo scrambles back on his heels. Junno has two fingers pushed inside himself, pushes them deeper as Ryo watches, twists them, stretching himself – opening himself. For Ryo.

His body tightens with an almost violent surge of lust. He can't wait any longer, not one second – he has to have Junno now, now – 

Junno shivers at the touch of Ryo's hands on his thighs, pulls his knees up towards his chest, spreads himself. Lube glistens on his exposed opening, and Ryo fits himself against it and pushes inside.

Bright molten pleasure flares, locks him in bliss. Tight heat and unbearable need, and Ryo can't go slow, thrusts in all the way until he's balls-deep in glorious sensation, in Junno. Helpless ecstasy trembles in his gut; his hands find silky skin, rigid abs that tremble at his touch.

Junno moans before Ryo even touches his cock; when he wraps his fingers around him, he bucks his hips, and they both shudder as the jolt pulls at them. They've dragged this out too long; Ryo's close already, drowning in urgency. He moves because he can't not, pulls out a mere fraction before thrusting back in, pulses his hips against Junno. Junno's watching Ryo with fever-bright eyes, and Ryo makes himself draw back further this time to get more of the bone-melting friction and pressure and – that's – oh. His hips stutter into the quickest thrusts he can manage, hard and fast and faster still. He's lost, burning up, and it's sheer bliss and it's pure desperation because he needs more, more –

Junno moans, twists, cries out. His body closes around Ryo and he arches up from the sheets, every muscle outlined in sweat-sheened glory. His cock jerks in Ryo's grip; hot liquid slicks Ryo's hand and Ryo can't look away, can only stare as Junno takes in a gulping, shuddering breath before melting back onto the bed in a bonelessly graceful spill of limbs.

"You," Ryo says. He hardly recognizes his own voice.

And then it's right there. It hits him like a wall, everything coming together in a flash, seizing him with crushing force and tearing him apart in a flood of white-hot ecstasy that stops his breath, breaks him apart, bows back his spine and tears a shout from his throat.




"Wow," says Junno, and grins, sweaty and dazed and bright-eyed and gorgeous. "That, that was – Ryo. That was so great! Again?"

"You have got to be kidding me," Ryo mumbles. He gathers all of his energy and flops out a hand, catches Junno by the nape of the neck to pull him in. "Shut up and go to sleep."

"But when we wake up we..." Junno starts hopefully, and drops off like a stone before he's stopped speaking.

Ryo drags the covers around them and draws Junno into the curve of his arm. He waits for him to cuddle up before settling in comfortably with one leg pushed between Junno's, his face against Junno's neck.




Ryo watches a couple more episodes of the Korean drama about the girl who's paying the guy to pretend to date her. It's clear those two are going to end up together for real, when the dust settles.

They'll make a pretty good couple, Ryo thinks.




"So, this breaking up thing," Ryo starts.

Junno's smile slips. Ryo only sees it because he's watching for it, because he knows to watch – but he does know, and he is watching, and that's what matters.

"Oh," Junno says. He pauses for half a beat too long before he nods; his smile looks almost real, almost effortless and bright. "Yes, of course."

"We should forget about it," Ryo goes on gruffly. "The guys – it's not really a problem anymore. They've settled down, and besides, I've gotten used to the teasing."

Which isn't actually true, but… well. There's more important things. Like the look in Junno's eyes now; the new smile that eclipses that other one. The fact that this smile is real… warm and sweet and happy, and all for Ryo.    

The way this new smile feels against Ryo's mouth when he pulls Junno down into a kiss.

"You won't be able to escape the Eito much longer, you know," Ryo adds after quite a while. "They're already hounding me to set up a meeting so they can ask you all kinds of horribly embarrassing things."

Ryo doesn't think it sounds like a particularly tempting prospect, himself, but Junno lights up like a stage boasting twice the usual number of floodlights.    

Maybe Ryo should warn someone that he's about to get Junno and the Eito together and set them loose on the world. Or maybe he should feel guilty, considering the landslide of bad jokes and general mayhem that's sure to follow.

Although… it's not actually his fault at all, is it. If anyone should take the blame, it's the prankster who started all this in the first place.




Ryo gets Pi a new bag, because Pi is crazy about bags. He has the woman in the store wrap it up nice and finds a card that says: "Thank you! You don't know what it meant to me."

He hands the present to Pi with a big flourish, and doesn't tell him what it's for.

It's Junno's idea. Junno can be a lot more cunning than you'd think; it drives Pi crazy.

Revenge is sweet.



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