Chapter 14

Chapter Fourteen

Saeki greeted them at the door. He stepped outside, pulling the door shut behind him. At Fuji’s questioning look, he shrugged apologetically. “My parents aren’t comfortable with having you in the house,” he said. “We’ll have to go out for dinner.”

Fuji nodded and didn’t ask why he’d been permitted access on the day they’d reconciled. He knew the answer. If Saeki’s parents hadn’t been preoccupied with their own guests, one of them would have answered the door. If that had happened, Fuji would have never been granted entry into their home.

And that was fine. That was normal. After the damage Fuji had inflicted on their son, it was common sense that they’d want Fuji to keep his distance from Saeki.

Ryoma cleared his throat. “As touching as this reunion is, it may be in our best interest to move it off Saeki-san’s doorstep.”

The before his parents see you was implied.

Fuji took his hand off the control. While Ryoma’s tone had been snarky, he’d done the right thing by adding the honorific to Saeki’s name. The polite thing. The small grin the freshman was trying to hide under his hat gave him away.

Fuji shook with silent laughter. So that’s how Ryoma was going to play this. He was going to skirt the edges of rudeness, using his verbal wit to keep from crossing the line. It was a clear challenge; one Fuji had no trouble accepting.

If Ryoma was feeling mischievous enough to challenge him so playfully, then the freshman wasn’t as upset at the prospect of dining with Saeki as he’d pretended to be. “He’s right,” Fuji said. “The last thing I want is your parents to see me.”

“Yeah,” Saeki said, and the three of them moved away from his house. “Since we’re not eating in, where do the two of you feel like going?”

“Anywhere is fine with me,” Fuji said, focusing his gaze on Ryoma. “I’m not a picky eater.”

Ryoma snorted. “Syu, the fact I dislike wasabi like a normal person, doesn’t make me a picky eater.”

“You don’t like wasabi?” Saeki asked.

“No,” Ryoma said. “Too hot.”

“Which makes it an effective punishment,” Fuji put in smoothly.

Ryoma frowned at him. “You told him.”


“You didn’t tell me you told him.” Somehow, despite how distraught the fact made him, Ryoma was managing to keep a civil tone.

But Fuji wasn’t fooled. “Does it matter?” he asked, then added, almost carelessly. “Inui knows.”

“That’s Inui,” Ryoma hissed. “He’s my friend-

“Saeki is mine,” Fuji said, opening his eyes as he turned to his lover. “Or are you saying I don’t have the right to tell my friends about us without your permission?”

Ryoma swallowed hard at Fuji’s tone, then shook his head, mute.

“Ryu-chan,” Fuji said.

Ryoma blanched.

“It’s rude not to answer a question someone’s asked you.”

“I’m sorry,” Ryoma said quickly. He had no desire to earn the use of the collar so soon. “And no, you don’t have to ask me first.”

Fuji breathed a sigh of relief as he released the button on the control. He hadn’t wanted to discipline Ryoma this early in the evening, and was grateful it hadn’t come to that.

Saeki raised an eyebrow. “I feel like I’m missing something.”

“Che.” Ryoma took a step away from them so that he was standing in front of Saeki, forcing the Rokkaku player to a halt. He pulled the collar up so that Saeki could see it.

Saeki’s eyes widened. “Is that a-

“Shock collar, yes,” Fuji said.

“I didn’t think those were safe to use on people,” Saeki said.

Fuji shrugged. “Normal ones aren’t. But I had this one custom made. As far as I know, it’s the only one of its kind.”

“Hmm.” Saeki eyed the collar, taking a step towards Ryoma. HE glanced at Fuji. “May I?” he asked.

Fuji tilted his head, considering. Ryoma probably wouldn’t like it, but he’d get over it. With the way he’d just acted, letting Saeki get a closer look at the collar might just help drive to Ryoma that he wasn’t the one in charge of their relationship. “Go ahead,” he said, before addressing Ryoma. “Hands behind you and stand up straight so he can get a proper look.”

Ryoma shot him a mutinous glare but took the position as he’d been instructed. Fuji has to fight not to laugh.

Saeki closed the distance between them and slipped a finger under the collar. He leaned in close as he shifted it around, turning it a full rotation against Ryoma’s neck. “This is a lot thinner than I expected.”

“Aa,” Fuji said. “The guy who made it for me used the thinnest and safest conductive material he could find. It wasn’t cheap.”

Ryoma was managing, somehow, to stay still as someone who wasn’t his lover was invading his personal space. “How much did it cost?” he asked.

“Saa,” Fuji said. “That’s not important.”


Saeki finished his examination and stepped away from Roma. “Could I afford it?” he asked.

Fuji raised an eyebrow. “Why? Is there someone you want to use one on?”

Saeki shrugged. “Not right now,” he said. “But I’d like to have one for the future, when there is someone.”

“Che,” Ryoma said. “You just want to see how it works.”

Saeki flushed.

Fuji bit back a laugh. “Ryoma,” he scolded, “that was rude.”

“What?” Ryoma asked, feigning innocence. “It’s the truth.”

Fuji cast an assessing look at Saeki. “Is it?” he asked, keeping his voice level. He knew his friend was a sadist, like himself, but he wasn’t sure he was comfortable with this development. If it was anyone besides Saeki, Fuji would’ve already taken them to the ground for even daring to think about his lover in pain.

But Saeki had been his best friend and they were rapidly regaining that ground. It was one friendship Fuji wasn’t prepared to lose. And Ryoma knew that; it’s why the freshman was goading him. He wanted to force the two of them into a fight. He scowled mentally as he waited for Saeki to answer the question.

Saeki shrugged. “I mean, I’m interested in how it works, of course, but I’d never ask you to demonstrate it for me. I’m not that selfish.” He left off the or that stupid, but Fuji got the message.

“Ryu-chan,” Fuji said, focusing his attention solely on his lover. “You should know better than to provoke me.”

Ryoma tugged his cap down, unrepentant. “Che.”

Fuji frowned. “Didn’t you tell me before we left that I wouldn’t have to use the collar on you to ensure proper behavior?”

“Yes,” Ryoma said, “I did.”

“And yet, here you are, acting like a spoiled brat.” Fuji fingered the control in his pocket. “You thought by telling me about Saeki’s interest in the collar that I’d hesitate to use it in front of him.”

Ryoma flushed. “It was worth a try,” he muttered.

And it was such an Echizen thing to do that Fuji couldn’t contain his laughter. He pulled the remote out of his pocket. “So, Saeki,” he said. “You want to see how it works, right?”

Saeki’s eyes flickered between the two of them. “Syuusuke,” he said, a twinge of unease in his tone, “please don’t drag me into the middle of this.”

“Sorry,” Fuji said, eyes snapping open. “You have Ryoma to thank for that.” He turned to the freshman. “Kneel down,” he said, tone hard.

Ryoma didn’t even blink as he fell to his knees. When Fuji used that tone, he knew he was in trouble.

“Sae-kun,” Fuji said, “here.” He passed the controller to Saeki. “You’re free to experiment with it. Just don’t turn it past eight.”

Fuji watched his lover tremble and squatted down in front of the freshman. He slid two fingers under Ryoma’s chin, and lifted it until his eyes were level with his lover’s. “Maybe next time you’ll think about the consequences before you try to manipulate me.”

Ryoma jerked back or he tried to-Fuji’s grip held him fast. “You’re going to let someone else hurt me,” he said as he stilled. “Why?”

Fuji leaned in close, brushing his lips against Ryoma’s ear. “Because you’re mine,” he said. He reached down to run a hand along the bulge in his lover’s pants. “And because your body betrays you. You like the idea of me letting someone else hurt you.”

Ryoma blushed crimson. “It doesn’t bother you?” he asked quietly.

Fuji tilted his head. “It should,” he said, “but for some reason, when it’s Saeki, it just feels right.” And that should have bothered him, but Fuji refused to lie to himself. The truth was that he found the idea of someone else he trusted causing his lover pain under his supervision an exciting one.

“I don’t even like him!” Ryoma found the willpower to protest something.

Fuji chuckled. “You’re so cute when you’re in denial,” he said. And then he found his mind turning to when Ryoma had first approached him. It had taken the freshman a long time to come up to him, but when he had, he’d been very straightforward. Fuji wondered how long Ryoma had been interested in him before he’d managed to find the courage.

He spared a sidelong glance at Saeki, who was frowning at the control in his hand. Occasionally, his gaze flicked to Fuji, like he wasn’t sure it was actually okay for him to flip the power on.

“Ryu-chan,” Fuji said.


“When you were upset with me the other day…it wasn’t jealousy, was it?” he asked.

Ryoma blinked at him. “Syuusuke,” he said, drawling the tensai’s name. “Are you an idiot?”

Fuji frowned. “Saa, respect, Ryoma.”

“Sorry, but really. You thought I was jealous of him?” The look Ryoma gave him was filled with incredulity.

“Aa,” Fuji said. Had he misinterpreted the situation? Granted, the conversation had taken place over the phone, but he could’ve sworn Ryoma had been jealous.

“Che. I wasn’t jealous of him,” Ryoma said, locking his eyes with Fuji’s. “I’ve never considered you capable of cheating.”

“Saa,” Fuji said, stunned. “Wait, then why were you so upset?”

“Because I thought you were keeping more secrets from me,” Ryoma said. “I’m tired of being kept in the dark all the time, Syu.”


“So I wasn’t jealous at all. You just jumped to a conclusion by yourself,” Ryoma said, unable to keep the consternation out of his voice.

Fuji smiled tightly. “Watch your tone, Ryu-chan,” he said. “I may not have the remote to this-” He tugged on the collar- “anymore, but I’m sure I can think of some way to punish you.”

Ryoma blanched. “Sorry.”

“So, you’re not jealous of Saeki,” Fuji said, turning the revelation over in his head. It opened up a world of possibilities.

Ryoma snorted. “Not at all.”

Fuji smiled, stretching as he stood. He walked over to Saeki and casually draped himself over his friends’ shoulders. “Sae-kun,” he said. “Are you just going to look it or do you plan to use it sometime today?”

Saeki didn’t shake Fuji off. Like Ryoma, he knew better than to turn a happy Fuji into an irate one. “You’re sure you’re okay with this?” he asked. He did not want to make Fuji mad.

“I’m sure,” Fuji said, serious.

“Ok,” Saeki said, dropping it. Questioning Fuji was about as bad as shaking him off. “What did you do to test it on him?”

“I had him recite the national anthem,” Fuji replied.

Saeki arched an eyebrow. “You really are a sadist,” he said.

Fuji smiled. “Aa.”

“Okay,” Saeki said, turning towards Ryoma. “You’re okay with this, too?”

Ryoma lifted his eyes from where he’d had them focused on the ground to meet Saeki’s gaze. His lips quirked into a grin. “Made made dane.”

Chapter 13     Chapter Index     Chapter 15

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