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Rites of Introduction

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I shivered a little as the train passed through another tunnel before Tsubasa pulled me closer with her arm. I warmed at the temporary comfort, leaning my head against her shoulder.

“Are you still up to it, Chris?” Tsubasa’s warm voice reverberated against the rest of the empty train car.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m good.” I wish I believed that as much as I sounded like.

“You’re not bound to stop there. I’m sure there are many other places we can see there.” Maria tried to make a smile, but it wasn’t exactly working. “I hear there’s a really nice onsen there.”

I let out a little sigh and put my hand on top of Maria’s. “I need to do this. It’s been too long since I’ve seen them.” Too long since I’ve really thought about them.

I first met Tsubasa and Maria two years ago. I was 18, right out of a shitty foster home, and living on the streets. I didn’t do well in school, so college was out of the question. I tried to get a job, but they were either going to kill me in a few years or make me want to kill myself from the people I’d be working for. I don’t want to remember how many times I got leered or groped at. Eventually, I found myself on the streets, my only choices begging or selling my body. I chose neither.

I took a few more steps to reach the platform. It wasn’t that busy, so I jumped the gate and got into the station. I hadn’t slept at all and was dead on my feet, but still found some spark of energy to walk forward right to the edge, past that yellow line of safety. A train would come by any moment and it would be all over.

As I started to step down into the train tracks, I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Are you sure you should be down there?” I looked up to see a beautiful woman with long flowing pink hair going down her back. Her face looked strong, but her smile was kind. Next to was a woman with blue hair, with a similar length.

“I-I’m fine here, don’t mind me.” I continued to move down, but the grip on my shoulder tightened.

“I think it would be better if you were back up here.” With barely any effort, the woman lifted me back onto the platform and held me tight in her arms. Before I could move away, the blue-haired gripped firmly onto me as well. “No matter bad you think it is up here, it’s not worth going over there.”

I was too weak to struggle and too weak to listen to their words. I just cried in their arms as a train rolled by, making us deaf to anything around us.

After that, they took me back to their apartment and introduced themselves as Maria and Tsubasa. They didn’t ask any questions at first, but still gave me all the comfort I never had; even when I woke up screaming bloody murder at 2 am from a bad dream, they let me stay in their bed, cuddling safely next to them. For once in my life, there were people who cared about me, who wanted to make sure I was safe and happy. It was scary at first, but as weeks went by, I realized that this is the way my life should have been.

Those weren’t the only feelings I had, though. Any sense of attraction or arousal I had was snuffed out during my years in foster care; I felt so gross and disgusted with myself and others that I couldn’t even consider being close enough to someone for sex. As I recovered with Maria and Tsubasa, I found myself increasingly attracted to parts of their bodies: their large, supple breasts; their muscles flexing as they worked out; their long and strong legs. Every part of their bodies made me ooze with desire, a desire that I was still uncomfortable with, not only for the bad experiences I was reminded of, but because I still wasn’t sure if I deserved this happiness. Eventually, my feelings grew to be too much, and they had to come out.

We were all relaxing on the couch, watching some sappy romance on TV. Tsubasa and Maria were cuddling, while I was off to the side, clutching a pillow; I wasn’t fully comfortable with contact yet. I looked over at them, how comfortable they were together, how much they loved together.

“H-Hey…” My voice was quiet, but it was still enough to get their attention.

“What’s up, Chris?” Tsubasa’s voice was firm yet still relaxed.

“Well, um… I was wondering… Do you think it’s possible for three people to be together? You know, like a couple?” I looked away, hesitant about the rejection I felt was coming. I felt a warm hand gently lay itself on my shoulder. I looked back to see Maria’s shining face looking straight at me, filling me up with a kind of love I hadn’t felt in a long time.

“Would you like to be with us? We wouldn’t mind.”

“Y-You sure?” Tears started to pool in my eyes.

“Chris.” Tsubasa was suddenly on my other side, holding me tightly. “We love you very much and we would give up anything in the world to keep you in our lives.” She kissed me on the top of my head. “As long as you’re with us, this is your home.”

The tears I’d been holding in for so long in my life came pouring out as I was surrounded by love from both sides, safe and protected.

The train finally reached our stop and we got off slowly, partially because our legs were somewhat asleep and partially because none of us were fully comfortable with our destination. I don’t think any reasonable person would.

The paths were winding and lined with trees that blocked out most of the sun. It felt right to be this way. It gave me time to get ready. Of course, with all things you dread, it came sooner than you’d like, as the bronze gates appeared before me. I stopped in front of them, trying to control my trembling.

Maria looked down at me with a worried face. “Are you sure about this?”

“I-I need to do this, I… I just…” I can’t be afraid, not in front of them. I can’t…

I felt two hands on my shoulders; their grip was firm but comforting, not scary. Maria and Tsubasa were by my side like always. Maria with her warm smile and Tsubasa with that strong gaze in her eyes. They gave me everything I need, everything that I was grateful for, everything that I needed to walk forward.

The cemetery was quiet, as cemeteries usually were. It took me a while to figure where exactly we needed to go, but once we reached it, I felt an indescribable emotion flow through me, like the whole of the Earth was crashing on me in one giant wave. I barely held myself up while looking down.

The names on their gravestone were as present as ever. MASANORI YUKINE AND SONNET M. YUKINE REST HERE. Names for people that I barely recall, yet meant so much to me. What would they think of me now, where I’ve ended up?

I kneeled onto the ground and placed the flowers next to their burial plot. “Hey, Mom. Hey, Dad. It’s been a while. The last time I was here was when I was… oh, I was probably 15. I remember skipping school and catching the train to come here. I caught some hell for that, but I didn’t mind, as long as I could see you two.

“There-There’s some people I want you to meet.” I motioned Tsubasa and Maria to kneel next to me. “This is Maria and this is Tsubasa. They’re my girlfriends. Actually, they’re not just that, they’re- they’re…” What could I say to encapsulate everything that they’ve done for me? Without them, I wouldn’t be walking, talking, living to the fullest extent that I could. Tears fell from my eyes even as I tried to wipe them away.

“It’s very nice to meet both of you.” Maria’s soft voice helped as much to calm me down as the hand moving slowly up and down my back. “We wish we could’ve met you in person, so that you could see how far your daughter has come along. She’s a bright, wonderful woman and we love every day that we’ve spent together.”

“There’s been troubles, but we’ve always gotten through them. I promise we’ll make sure your daughter is as safe and happy as any human being can be. I promise you.” I heard Tsubasa say things like that hundreds of times before, but here, at this time and place, I could’ve sworn a light emanated from here.

As we walked away from the cemetery towards the world, I looked back to where my parents lay, then walked forward and gave my partners a kiss on the cheek. They looked at me, confused by this sudden sign of affection, but I just smiled and tangled my arms around theirs. They smiled and walked away with me, past the softly moving trees.