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part i





Senpai’s ankle swelled up a decent amount, there wasn’t quite a sprain, Ryuji could tell, just the overwork. Kamoshida-sensei had them do an extra ten laps this evening, and Ikeda-senpai pushed himself too hard.


The younger boy rubs the sides of the elder’s ankle, rolling it with his palms and stretching his foot.


Everyday ended up like this for the last couple weeks. The third year’s full attention was on him because he offered it. Ryuji would anything to help his team out with their morale issues, anything to make an upperclassman like him. If he could even make a friend on the team, it’d mean the world to him.


“Sakamoto,” Ikeda sighs in relief, as it seems Ryuji had found a good spot, “Thanks for your help. It means a lot to me.”


“No problem, senpai.”


Ikeda ruffled the younger boy’s hair and smiled, “I’ll have to treat you to some ramen one of these days.”


“I’ll hold you to it!”






When the other guys on the team found out he were receiving special treatment from the team’s captain, it didn’t go well with them. Even Kamoshida had noticed, and already starting put more pressure onto him because of it.


He ached more each passing day from extra laps and putting away hurdles, and teammates would stare and do nothing.


“What are you even doing for him, man? Are you his towel boy or something?”


“Are you bribing him with stuff?”


Ryuji swallowed, “You know my mom and I don’t have that kinda money.” His vision was getting white from all of this interrogation. He couldn’t breathe too well right now.


“So what?”


“Massages. I help him stretch out his ankles and quads and calves when I can,” Ryuji grumbled. “What’s the big deal with me helping a senpai out, anyway?”


“We’re your friends, Ryuji. You already deal with Kamoshida more because of your record times.”


“Kissing up to Ikeda-senpai is a little low, even for you.”


“Who the hell do you think you’re callin’ low?” the blond called. “I respect him and he’s my friend, that’s why I do it.”


“You sure?”


“Just be careful. Don’t think the vice captain and other senpais will like that shit.”


Ryuji didn’t want to believe that. Why would Ikeda-senpai let them get away with that? Shame. they were right in the end.






Receive and receive, never give, that’s all his teammates ever did. Massages just didn’t cut it for some of the people on this team.


“Faster, Sakamoto,” the second year grumbled, while grossly moaning as Ryuji moved his head faster, taking him deeper, “Yeees, like that.”


The older boy practically gagged him as he rutted deeper, but Ryuji had to take it. Keep the team together, help each other out, keep the team together, and help each other out.


“Yo, Ishida, hurry up! Your turn was supposed to be over five minutes ago!” Another senpai whined.


“H-here, I’ll just facefuck him real fast, gimme a sec.”


Ryuji swallowed when Ishida came at the back of his throat, tears prickling his eyes as he tried not to cough it all over them. The older boy backed off, giving him a chance to wipe his nose and mouth as Tetsuya pulled down his running shorts.


He licked the underside of the boy’s cock, shutting his eyes, ignoring the ache in his jaw and the rawness of his knees. He needs to be of use for this team, to make up for his fuck ups.






He never said no for the sake of the track team. The only person he wouldn’t let touch him was Kamoshida himself. Dirty bastard, god knows he tried. He was a fifteen-year-old boy for god’s sake.


The team disbanded after one particularly bad incident. Kamoshida grabbed his ass in front of the team and said bullshit about his parents; of course, he couldn’t back down after that.


At least he wouldn’t have to deal with horny dudes using him again, or the look on Ikeda-senpai’s face whenever he caught him and another runner in the middle of some fuck in the equipment room.


Sometimes, Ryuji thinks back on that embarrassed, disappointed look that senpai would always make. A twisted, wrong feeling always made his stomach flip when he saw that red-faced look from Ikeda. Making you jealous even though you didn’t come around, huh? He wishes that he got to tell senpai he liked him before he graduated that year.


Ryuji wasn’t cut out for real friendship, at least now he knew he didn’t deserve it.


The school year ended decent, at least. Smooth as it could have gone after Kamoshida’s bullshit. The student body practically hated his guts and spread tons of rumors about the track team, but that was okay. No one believed him about Kamoshida though. None of his team backed him up either, even though they saw day after day with their own eyes. What wasn’t okay is that he ruined his leg, his chance for a scholarship and everyone else’s chance as well.


So much for being useful.






It took time for his injury to recover, especially with nearly no downtime at all. He couldn’t miss school because truancy would set him back a year. His mom didn’t own a car (they couldn’t even afford basic cable for goodness’ sake), so he would still have to limp to school and take the train.


Even on crutches, he rarely got to sit down in transit. The bleached hair always threw off passengers too, so of course no one gave up their seat for him. Who would give up their seat for an “entitled delinquent” anyway? Says a lot of people and their interests.


By the time he got to school, he decided he was in the mood to ditch. Mom worked well over full time, so she wouldn’t even be home if he turned back around. His first class today wasn’t worth it with how sour his mood was.


Takamaki Ann found him lying on a bench in the courtyard. His crutches leaned up against a vending machine, his leg in a cast, all wrapped up.


One of the last people he cared to see. “What do you want?”


“I just came to see if you were okay,” Ann mumbled, no smile nor frown on her face. She was apathetic seeing him in this position. He always thought if there were someone who could relate to his issues, it’d be her. Ann loves to prove him wrong though.


He remembers middle school, texting everyday. Him, Ann, and Shiho would eat after class and walk to the station together. They never really thought they’d grow apart back then.


“Okay, so you got to see this vulgar display of a guy, you can go now.” He spat, watching her scowl.


As Takamaki walked away, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw that bastard Kamoshida. Could today get worse? He was a teacher, and he stood much too close to her, she seemed uncomfortable, but why did Ryuji care? He doesn’t have to deal with shit like that anymore. No one had given him the time of day to listen to his damn problems.


That was when he realized that there was no need to keep anything together anymore. His family, his team, people who could’ve been his friends.


None of it was worth it in the end.






He had never seen this guy around school before. Clean looking, neat uniform, with pale skin and he was lanky as hell. Pretty, with dark curls mussed all over his head, big glasses rested on a small nose. Ryuji remembers the first day he met Akira vividly, probably because it only happened less than half a year ago, but still. Despite their first meeting being a shitshow, it was still a much better memory than the one he used to think about the most (the track team, the feeling of betrayal, the shunning from his classmates he regularly felt).


Akira was a breath of fresh air in this suffocating city.


Ryuji laid down comfortably in his friend’s bed, manga half read set down next to him. Akira sat on that chair he would use to work out on sometimes.


“You alright, man? You want me to scoot over?”


“I’m okay, just a little sore from Mementos,” Akira replied with that small smile he always gave him.


“You want me to give you a massage?”


“Do you even know how to give massages?”


“Unfortunately, yes,” Ryuji tried to grin, but looked away. “Anyway, I’m pretty good at them if you ever want one.”


Akira paused for a second. “You know what? Why not.”


“Lay face down for me,” the blond said, watching the other’s brows quirk, “Wait, like, not like that, you perv. I ain’t doing anything weird to you.”


“Says who?” Akira sneered, “You’re giving me a massage.”


“Whatev, guess you don’t want one.”


“Hey, I was kidding! Seriously, I need one.” Taking off his glasses, Akira laid on his stomach.


“Fine, fine, if you’re gonna beg.”


Ryuji pressed his thumbs into Akira’s shoulders, rubbing where his neck started, then he traveled down, from shoulderblades to lower back. Akira really did have a bunch of knots for someone so chill. He rubbed his lower palms from and away from Akira’s spine.


“You’re really good at this, Ryuji…” the other boy murmured.


“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”


He skipped over Akira’s ass, figured they were close but not that close yet, to his quads and hamstrings. He rubbed right above the back of his knees, then with Akira’s left leg first, Ryuji brought his calf back up to touch his glutes, then the other one.


He rotated Akira’s ankles back and forth and gave them a gentle rub for good measure.


“Done! That’s all I got,” he grinned at the back of Akira’s messy bedhead. “How ya feelin’?”


Slowly, he flipped over, and Ryuji saw a visible tenting in his pants. He also noticed that Akira seemed to just notice too.


“Shit, I’m sorry, Ryuji, I don’t know why I’m…”


“Yo, no prob, it’s like one hundred percent normal, I’ve seen this happen like tons,” Just not on the boy he liked, Ryuji looked away, “I can like go, so you can take care of it or something.”


“You’ve seen tons of boners then?” Akira covered himself with his pillow. “Guess I’m not that special.”


“No way, like you’re pretty special! Really special to me, dude!” he professes, still not looking Akira in the eyes.


“I was kidding, you don’t have to say that, Ryuji. Is something wrong? Besides me having a physical reaction right now.”


Ryuji could tell that Akira missed his point. He can be so oblivious at the wrong time, “No—I just feel like I’m making this weird and shit, I should go.”


Akira snatched his wrist before he could even stand from the chair, “You don’t have to leave but like I want you to know that I’m not uncomfortable, but I think you are. Is something wrong, Ryuji?”


“Really? Well, what’s wrong is that the guy I have a crush on can’t tell I’m into him, and gave him a fucking boner.”




“And he looks like he likes the massage, but not me.”


“I think you have this all backwards,” Akira starts, “I got hard because of the person who gave me a boner, but the massage definitely got me started…”


“Wait, so you like me, too?”


“I do, why wouldn’t I?”


“I don’t know, I’ve been through a lot of shit,” Ryuji grits his teeth, “When I’m with you, I feel like I can forget that shit though. Cuz you’re like perfect, and deserve someone who isn’t so fucked up.”


“Again with that, Ryuji? I’m not special, or perfect, or any of that. I’m fucked up too, that’s why we started the Phantom Thieves.”


“I want to be with you, for real. But I’ve been with people who I didn’t even want to be with, I’m used goods. Do you really want used shit?”


“Ryuji, don’t say that. You are not used goods.”


“But I am.”


“You’re not, and I do want to be with you. I like you a lot.” Akira pulled him into a tight hug around the waist.




Ryuji leaned down, tickled by Akira’s curls. Felt good to kiss someone who he cared about so much. Different.


Akira kissed back softly, and said, “So I’m guessing we’re a thing now?”


“Yeah,” Ryuji smiled. “I’m not ready for like, tons of physical stuff yet. You’re worth waiting for me, but sorry if I’m blueballing ya.”


“You know that’s the least of my problems, Ryuji.”


“True, we do gotta figure out the plan for this palace by Wednesday.”