Chapter 1: Part One
He bumped into him by chance at a gay bar. It wasn’t the sort of place he would have expected Ritsu to go. By the uncomfortable look on his face, he thought it might be his first time there. It was Friday and the music was too loud to really talk. So Momiji took him outside by his wrist and led him to a nearby alleyway he’d been to a couple of times before.
“I never expected to see you at a bar,” Momiji said. He grinned. He was full of alcohol and love for the world. He hadn’t seen Ritsu in a long time. Years, maybe. They didn’t go back for New Years much anymore. The gravitational pull that had existed was cut loose. Freedom tasted a lot like tequila.
Ritsu looked much the same as he ever had. He was wearing a furisode. That was how Momiji had spotted him in the busy bar. He’d never seen kimono in a gay bar before.
“I wanted to try pushing myself,” Ritsu said. A blush coloured his cheeks.
“That’s good. It’s really good. I’m so happy to see you,” Momiji said, “It’s normally just the same people all the time. They’re good people, but it’s exciting when someone new comes. And then it was you!” He laughed.
“You come here a lot?” Ritsu asked.
Momiji nodded. There was a weighted silence for the time it took Momiji to realize what was unsaid.
“Oh, I’m bisexual,” he said, “What about you?”
Ritsu blinked in shock at the candor of it. Momiji was reminded that everyone started cautious. The words and the labels holding this enormous power. He remembered a man he’d met at a bar early on proclaim he was gay like he was talking about the weather. Momiji remembered the shock and excitement that had ricocheted through his body at the possibility.
“You don’t have to say,” Momiji tempered himself, “Probably just coming here was enough without being quizzed, right? It’s great that you came though. It’s scary the first time, huh?”
“Y-yes,” Ritsu said. And then, “I think … I think I’m gay?”. He ended it like it was a question and Momiji might have the answer. An answering grin was all he could offer him.
“Cool!” he said. It was cold, and they were missing the fun. “Did you want to go back inside?”
Ritsu glanced to the door of the bar, and a steely resolve must have taken over him because he agreed.
A couple of hours later, Momiji was content that he’d had a good night. He’d drunk just enough that he felt full of joy and warmth, but not so much that getting back to his apartment was going to be a challenge. Most of his friends had gone already, peeling off with each other or other people or by themselves.
Stepping out into the cool night air, Momiji was immediately confronted with Ritsu lingering outside.
“Hey, I thought you’d have gone home by now,” Momiji said. The older man’s cheeks were flushed. With alcohol or the winter night air or just the thrill of it all, Momiji didn’t know. “Did you have a good night?”
“Yes. It was something very different to anything I’ve ever experienced,” he said, and he broke out in a smile. He looked down at his feet, remembering his restraint. “I hope you don’t mind that I waited for you, but I wanted to thank you.”
“Thank me? For what?” Momiji laughed. The stars above them were beautiful, and Tokyo was still abuzz with people out having fun. They were falling in love or breaking up, crying their hearts out with grief or joy. All around them, people were living. And here they were, Momiji and Ritsu, Sohmas destined to be penned in their whole lives. They were born captive but their prison had fallen to the ground because of unconquerable love. Momiji could feel his heart singing with the wonder of it. He wondered if Ritsu felt it too.
“You gave me courage to keep on trying tonight,” Ritsu was saying, “I was going to leave. People were staring. I think I was the only man there who dressed like me. I felt out of place. But you gave me courage to try again. And it was better the second time.”
“That’s really great,” Momiji said, running his hand through his blonde hair. “Trans and gender-nonconforming people don’t come to this place all that much. But there are other places where it’s more diverse. They’re more like basement type places. I’ll take you next time.”
Ritsu was watching him, taking in what he said but maybe stumbling on some of the words. It was a learning curve with a lot of ideas and phrases and learning about all different people. It was wonderful though. Momiji felt a warmth at the idea of Ritsu finding people like himself. It was good to not feel so alone.
“Hey, do you want to come for a nightcap back at my place?” Momiji asked. It was a whim. He didn’t have a set plan, but he never really did when he invited people back to his apartment.
Ritsu agreed. Like instinct or a childhood habit he had never grown out of, he took up Ritsu’s hand as they walked to the train station.
Chapter 2: Part Two
Momiji always felt it was something sacred to see someone completely undone during sex. He thought it might be the most beautiful thing.
They had sat a little close on the sofa. Momiji budged even closer to see Ritsu typing in addresses of bars and hangouts into his phone. At one point, he took the phone from him and and typed in his own number. “It’s a shame we don’t see each other anymore,” he’d said.
They talked for a long time. Momiji told Ritsu about his life. He told him about university and coming out. He talked about the boys he’d loved, and the girls too. He admitted how he had loved Tohru. How loving her had been enough on its own. He told Ritsu about his parents, how his mother knew him again now. He even spoke of the bitterness he didn’t like to admit in himself. The part of himself that couldn’t quite forgive her for her weakness.
Ritsu in turn talked about his family. He couldn’t come out to his parents. It wasn’t a possibility for him. They wouldn’t understand it and there were already too many things about him that they didn’t understand. He talked about feeling selfish but wanting to take just this secret thing for himself. He didn’t know what he would do when his parents wanted him to marry. He seemed hopeless when he said that. His words ended in a full stop. Momiji wanted to erase that, put an ellipsis instead, but what power did he have to do that? Ritsu also talked about being a boy and liking boys. He laughed when he talked of his occasional moments of joy, when boys would call him pretty and it would make his heart hope for months on end.
In the end, Ritsu had given the cue and Momiji had taken it. They had finished talking. Ritsu looked at him with an expression that was familiar, but not from him. Momiji cupped his jaw, drawing him closer, and kissed him softly on the corner of his mouth. The effect was immediate, like something coiled had been released. Ritsu turned to him fully and kissed him. His hands were nervous, inexperienced. He tried to figure out where on Momiji’s body to hold him. Momiji took his wrists and placed them on his hips. He looped his arms around Ritsu’s neck, pulling him down to bear over him.
“Are you okay with this?” he made sure between kisses. “Tell me to stop any time if you need to stop.”
Ritsu nodded, closing the gap between them once more. He pressed more and more of himself onto Momiji, pinning him down to the sofa while Momiji luxuriated in the pleasure of the weight of it. Momiji moved his kisses down Ritsu’s jawline, down his neck, pressing in there and nipping ever so gently as the skin. The moan Ritsu made in return sent a jolt of electricity through Momiji’s whole body.
In the end, it was a little clumsy but there was a warmth to it that was wonderful. Ritsu’s leant back into the sofa cushions, his thighs either side of Momiji’s head as Momiji slowly licked up and down his cock. There was no rush to it as Momiji took his tip into his mouth, circling the head with his tongue. Ritsu made a noise up in his throat, his hand finding Momiji’s bare neck. He adjusted his hold and tangled his fingers in his hair. Momiji looked up at him, taking in the beauty of him. He loved it. He loved the privilege of someone relying on him for their pleasure. He loved to be wanted, to be able to have this effect on someone.
Momiji dropped his gaze and took more of his shaft into his mouth. He let his fingertips graze Ritsu’s inner thighs as he worked his length. He moved one hand to cup Ritsu’s balls. He dropped the other between his own legs where he was kneeling on the floor. He dipped his hand under the waistband of his underwear. He felt his own cock and began to stroke it gently.
Ritsu made sounds like he was getting close. Momiji took his cock from his mouth and climbed on top of him on the sofa, pushing him back into the cushions. He shimmied out of his underwear, laughing at the awkwardness of the angle he was trying to do it from. He caught Ritsu’s eye and the older man laughed too. He looked beautiful when he laughed. His face was flushed with alcohol and arousal. His long hair lay loose beneath him. Momiji straddled him. He leant over him and kissed him, rocking his hips achingly slowly as he did so in order that their cocks lightly brushed against one another. A fizzle of pleasure went through him and Momiji had to resist the urge to grind against him harder and faster.
Ritsu fumbled between their naked bodies to find Momiji’s cock. Momiji took his hand and helped guide him to it. He stroked it. “Faster,” Momiji whispered close to his ear, closing his eyes at the sensation. He found Ritsu’s cock with his own hand and began moving his hand in synch with the older man.
Soon, he could feel warmth coil in his belly as his orgasm built. Ritsu was moaning with each breath.
“I’m going to come,” Momiji gasped, and that was enough to tip Ritsu over the edge. He came in between them, and Momiji came almost immediately after, the waves of pleasure overtaking him. He kissed Ritsu hard, moaning his orgasm against his lips.
After that, Momiji showed Ritsu where he could have a shower and get cleaned up. He made his bed for him to stay the night. Ritsu was a little shy then. He wore the long t-shirt Momiji lent him to sleep in. He fell asleep quickly, perhaps a little befuddled about what to say. Momiji watched him for a little while before turning off the light and going to sleep himself.
Even if it was just a one-time thing, it was good, he thought. To be able to be a part of the world and be with people like this. To be vulnerable and open with a person. That was the most beautiful thing, he thought.