Chapter 13

Chapter Thirteen
“We’re going to Saeki’s for dinner,” Fuji said, running a hand through Ryoma’s hair. The two of them were sitting against the headboard of his bed, the freshman nestled comfortably in Fuji’s lap.

Ryoma tilted his head to look at him, his face inscrutable. He stared at Fuji for a solid minute before he spoke. “Why?” he asked, voice soft.

Fuji frowned. He’d thought he’d laid Ryoma’s fears to rest about Saeki. “Because he’s my friend,” he said. “And I’d like him to be yours.”

The obstinate set of Ryoma’s arms told him how likely the freshman found that. “Che,” he said.

“And,” Fuji said, tone low, “he invited us during the practice match you had with Kentarou. Since I accepted the invitation, we’re not turning him down. I refuse to be rude to a friend.”

Ryoma scowled. “You don’t seem to have that problem when it comes to me,” he said.


Ryoma’s weight shifted as he turned to face Fuji, settling on his knees in front of the tensai. “Don’t play dumb with me, Syuusuke. You’ve been hiding things from me since we got together.”

Fuji couldn’t meet his eyes. “I didn’t want to worry you,” he said.

Ryoma poked him in the ribs, forcing Fuji’s eyes to snap open. “I’m more than capable of handling your past,” he said, punctuating each word with a sharp jab to the tensai’s ribs.

Fuji scowled and captured the offending finger. “I’m not worried about whether or not you can handle it,” he said, then hesitated. I’m worried I’m going to chase you away. He didn’t want to say that to Ryoma. Didn’t want Ryoma to know about the monster that lurked inside him, just waiting for the right moment to come bursting out.

“Then what are you worried about?” Ryoma asked, brown eyes searching his.

Fuji shrugged, unable to put his thoughts into words. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. And he was. He burned to tell Ryoma the truth about his past; longed to trust someone so much he didn’t flinch about revealing the darkest parts of himself. But the truth was he didn’t have that kind of strength. Not when his own family had rejected the monster inside him. Not after his father had agreed to have him tortured.

Ryoma returned to his original spot between Fuji’s legs and slumped against his lover’s chest. “Maybe someday you’ll trust me enough to tell me,” he said, mirroring Fuji’s thoughts. “But, Syu, I’m not going to wait forever. It hurts too much.”

Fuji swallowed against the tears that threatened to fall. He wasn’t going to cry in front of Ryoma. He wasn’t. “I know,” he said, burying his head in Ryoma’s hair. “And I’m trying, I really am.”

Ryoma snaked a hand up and pulled Fuji down into a hug. “I know,” he said. “But I really wish you could learn a little faster.”

Fuji smiled. “Me, too,” he said, meaning it. He wanted to share his past with Ryoma–wanted it so badly he could taste it. But he didn’t know where to start or how to start. So he did the only thing he could and focused on right now. It was all he had. “We’re going to Saeki’s for dinner.”

Ryoma snorted. “Fine,” he said. “But don’t expect me to be nice.”

Fuji’s eyes took on a dangerous glint. “Oh, but Ryu-chan, you will be nice. I guarantee it.”

“Che,” Ryoma said. “I don’t see how–

Fuji reached down and ran his fingers along Ryoma’s ribs, startling a yelp out of the freshman. He pressed down more firmly, tickling Ryoma until he was shaking with laughter. Watching his lover flop around on the bed made him smile; it made their recent conversation seem like a distant echo. “You were saying?” he asked.

Ryoma panted, trying to find his breath. “I said,” he started, “you can’t make me be nice.”

Fuji grinned. “Oh, but you see, there’s something I’ve been dying to try out all week.”

Ryoma tensed beneath him. “Wh-”

“It’s in the box on the shelf in my closet. Why don’t you bring it to me?” Fuji’s eyes shone with mischief. “I have a feeling you’ll do whatever I want once you see what it is.”

Ryoma swallowed hard, eyes searching Fuji’s to judge how bratty he could be and get away with it. This, it seemed, wasn’t something to press Fuji on, so Ryoma got off the bed and went to the closet. He returned with the box in his hands and held it out to Fuji.

“You didn’t peek?” Fuji teased.

Ryoma raised an eyebrow. “With you watching my every move?” he drawled.

Fuji laughed. He took the box from Ryoma and opened it to reveal a collar with a remote control. Ryoma’s sharp intake of breath delighted him. “So you know what this is, then,” he said.

“Shock collar,” Ryoma said, eyes wide as he took in the contents of the box.

“Mmm,” Fuji agreed. “Kneel down.”

Ryoma’s eyes never left the collar as he did as he was told, his arms trembling at his side as Fuji snapped the collar in place.

Fuji noted the trembling and smiled. It wasn’t often he managed to take Ryoma by surprise, but he had promised some form of electric play the other day. “So,” he said. “What was it you were saying about being nice at Saeki’s?” he asked.

Ryoma swallowed, his fingers going up to trace the collar. “I’ll behave,” he whispered.

Fuji gave him a smug smile. “I need to test the settings of the collar,” he said. “I need to figure out which level will work to correct any bad behavior.”

“Okay,” Ryoma said, but couldn’t help adding, “I thought you said the other day that we would play with electricity.”

Fuji kept his eyes locked on his lover’s until Ryoma flushed and dropped his gaze to the floor. “If you behave tonight, I’ll show you how this-” he slipped a finger under the shock collar and tugged until Ryoma was standing in front of him-“can be used for pleasure.”

Ryoma nodded, uncharacteristically silent.

Fuji smiled. If he’d known the threat of a shock collar would work so beautifully on his lover, he might have used one for behavior modification before now. But then he remembered how hard it had been to obtain and shook his head.

No, this was something best used for situations where Ryoma was likely to misbehave, rather than everyday correction. After all, it would send the wrong message if he used it all the time–that he didn’t trust his lover. And that was as far from the truth as it was possible to get.

“Okay,” Fuji said. “I want you to recite the national anthem while I try out these settings.”

Ryoma stared at him. “The national anthem?” he asked. “Seriously?”

Fuji raised an eyebrow. “Do I look like I’m joking?”

Ryoma shook his head. “No, Syuusuke,” he said.

“Say it once so I know you know the words.”

“Kimigayo wa chiyo ni yachiyo ni sazareishi no iwao to narite koke no musu made.”

Fuji nodded his approval, then took the remote control out of the box. He’d fitted the batteries the day before, so he knew the collar was working. He flicked the volume setting to one and the delivery setting to ‘shock.’ “Again,” he said.

“Kimigayo wa chiyo ni ya–” Ryoma’s rhythm faltered as the shock startled him, but he quickly regained his equilibrium. “Yachiyo ni sazareishi no iwao to narite koke no musu made.”

Fuji frowned. He wanted a setting that made Ryoma stumble over his words and forget what he was saying. If he could keep his place during the national anthem–something nearly everyone had trouble remembering–then the shock wasn’t strong enough. He turned the volume to two.

“Kimigayo wa chiyo ni yachiyo ni saz–” Ryoma’s hands clenched. The shock had been more intense than the last one, but not so bad he couldn’t keep his place. “sazareishi no iwao to narite koke no musu made.”

Hmm. So two wasn’t strong enough either. Fuji considered using three, then decided against it. If one and two weren’t strong enough, it was a safe bet three wouldn’t be strong enough either. So, instead, he turned the volume up to four. “Again,” he said.

Ryoma scowled at him. “Kimigayo wa chiyo ni yachiyo ni sazareishi no iwao to na–” Ryoma shook as his body rode out the afterwaves of the shock. That had hurt! Where was he again? Oh. Right. “Iwao to narite koke no musu made.”

Fuji tilted his head as he considered the freshman in front of him. Four had obviously hurt; he’d seen that from the way Ryoma shook as the jolt was delivered. But it hadn’t been painful enough to deter him from finishing the anthem. The freshman’s pure stubbornness exasperated him even as it sent a thrill racing through him. Ryoma was the only one who would be paying the price for his stubbornness.

He considered the remote in his hand. This shock collar had been special made for use on humans and had been incredibly hard to find, as well as expensive. There were ten different voltage levels and, so far, Ryoma had resisted the first four. Well then, if Ryoma was going to be this stubborn, he’d increase the volume by two each time until he found a level the freshman couldn’t fight against. Nodding to himself, he flicked the volume up to six. “Again,” he said.

“Can’t I recite something else?” Ryoma asked, petulant, with his arms folded across his chest. “The national anthem is so monotonous.”

Fuji narrowed his eyes. “Again,” he repeated.

Ryoma sighed. “Kimigayo wa chiyo ni yachi-” he broke off and let out a small yelp at the pain of the shock he received, shaking as he attempted to finish the recitation. “sazareishi no iwao to narite koke no musu made.”

Hmm. So six made him leave out a couple words. That still wasn’t good enough for Fuji. He was intrigued. He hoped eight was strong enough, but at the same time, he hoped it wasn’t. “Again,” he said, turning the volume to eight.

Ryoma’s voice shook as he obeyed. “Kimigayo wa chiyo ni yachiyo ni sazarei–” Ryoma yelped and fell to his knees in front of Syuusuke. “Please, no more.” Tears were forming in the corner of his eyes.

Fuji’s face was impassive as he considered the freshman before him. “Finish the recitation,” he said.

Ryoma bowed his head, his hands clenched tightly as he spoke, his entire body trembling. “no musu made.”

Fuji smiled and gathered the freshman in his arms. “You did well, Ryu-chan,” he said, planting a kiss on his lover’s forehead. “I’m proud of you.”

Ryoma snuggled into Fuji’s arms and rested his head on the tensai’s shoulder. “What setting did that?” he asked.

“Eight. Out of ten possible volumes,” Fuji said.

Ryoma’s eyes widened. “I thought you were increasing it by one every time!”

Fuji shrugged. “I was at first. Seems you’re a more hardcore masochist than either one of us realized.”

“Che,” Ryoma said, using the crook of Fuji’s elbow to hide his eyes.

Fuji smiled. “At least I know you’ll be on your best behavior tonight,” he said.

Ryoma snorted. “You don’t need this-” he tugged at the collar. “To guarantee that.”

“I know,” Fuji said. And he did. Ryoma wasn’t often willfully disobedient. “The collar is insurance.”

The freshman rolled his eyes.

“Plus,” Fuji added, leaning in to whisper in his lover’s ear. “It’s fun.”

Translation of Japanese National Anthem: 
May the reign of the Emperor
continue for a thousand, nay, eight thousand generations
and for the eternity that it takes
for small pebbles to grow into a great rock
and become covered with moss.

AN: As far as I’m aware, there is no shock collar made for use on human beings. The one in this chapter is 100% fictional. While some people do use dog shock collars for BDSM play, those aren’t safe for use on humans anywhere above the waist and should only be used by people who understand the effect electricity has on the human body.

Chapter 12     Chapter Index     Chapter 14

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