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Leaps and Bounds

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Shigeo snuggles back into the pillows piled against the headboard. This is good. This is cozy and casual. Sort of. It’s also a little giggle-worthy, but hey, he isn’t uncomfortable, so that is really all that matters.

Playing videogames while naked is a significant step up from taking off clothes during movie commercials. It’s different though, much less stressful somehow. A videogame keeps Shigeo engrossed, his mind too busy to wonder if Teru is looking at him or to overthink the situation in general. There is no pressure. Nothing is going to happen, they aren’t going to do anything. They can just curl up under the blankets and laugh about the game controllers getting old and glitchy.

The sheets are tucked up under Shigeo’s arms. A shield. He feels safe. Covered. Teru can lean over and bump their shoulders together or poke an elbow into his side and there is no thrill of terror at the contact.

Biting his lip, Shigeo sneaks a quick glance at Teru. His hair is nearly luminous in the mid-morning sun. A sweet-smelling breeze wafts in from the open window and sends it fluttering. His boyfriend is focusing intently on the screen, his brows furrowed and eyes shining. Teru’s tongue pokes out of his mouth just a smidge, and it makes Shigeo want to kiss him. That might be too big of a step, but the urge gives him the confidence to slip over and breach the few inches between them. His side presses to Teru’s and the sensation of skin on skin makes his pulse quicken. Nervous, but not scared.

This is okay. It’s a revelation that comes with a wave of relief.

His boyfriend grins. Shigeo catches the slight movement of the smile out of the corner of his eye. He can’t turn to fully look, and neither can Teru. One moment of distraction too long and they will get barbequed by this mini-boss.

The contact is soft. Pleasant. Teru is warm and Shigeo can feel his ribs move when he laughs at the maneuver he pulls off to not get blown off the screen. Emboldened by the lack of reaction, or perhaps just feeling a little courageous all on his own, Shigeo leans just a bit further to rest his cheek on Teru’s shoulder.

Teru hums a happy sound in response. A minute later they succeeded in their conquest of the volcano level and a loading screen appears for just enough time for the blond esper to turn and drop a kiss to Shigeo’s hair. He can hear the chuckle rumbling in Teru’s chest and a giggle bubbles up in his own.

This feels like love.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Teru murmurs not for the first time.

Shigeo nods, his nose brushing his boyfriend’s collarbone. He’s hiding his face. Pushing it into the pillow so that Teru can’t see how red his cheeks have flushed. It’s probably more than just his face that’s red at this point.

Gentle hands settle on his bare back, then slowly slide around his shoulders. Cautious. Predictable. Once Teru has him in a hug they don’t move.

“Because your heart is beating really fast.”

Shigeo knows this. Can feel it more acutely than Teru. The fact that Teru can feel it too doesn’t help him in calming down. They’re pressed together, head to toe, absolutely nothing between them. Nothing is going to happen, he’s not ready for that. This is a lot as it is. A lot of warmth. A lot of new sensations. The blankets are still tucked up around them despite the lingering summer heat. It’s September. It should be cooler, and it’s frustrating that Shigeo still wants, needs, to be so covered. They’re going to start sweating soon; they should have thought to put on a fan.

“I’m okay,” he huffs, pressing a long breath from his lungs.

Teru follows his lead, and Shigeo rises and falls with him. He’s on top so that he can move away in an instant if he deems it necessary. He hasn’t yet. And the longer he rests here, lets himself start to relax, the less necessary it feels like it will be.

Teru talks and talks and talks about everything and nothing.

Shigeo isn’t entirely sure how long it is later that he feels comfortable enough to shuffle awkwardly backwards. Just a few inches. Just enough so that he can lace his fingers together on Teru’s chest and nestle his chin on them. His boyfriend’s face lights up, eyes crinkling at the corners.

“Hello!” he greets, and Shigeo whispers back his own ‘Hi’.

Blue eyes gaze into deep red and Shigeo makes himself hold the connection. He feels incredibly exposed, but Teru is looking at him with so much love and joy that he can’t get himself to ruin it. One of the fingers on his back traces a squiggle into the skin of his shoulder blade and it takes Shigeo an embarrassingly long time to recognize that it was a heart.

“I know…” Teru’s eyes flick from Shigeo’s own to his hair, down his nose, and then his gaze lingers on his lips and Shigeo tries his hardest not to squirm. “I know you said that sometimes it’s overwhelming to get complimented when you’re not dressed. I just. You have to know you are the most handsome person on the planet. You’re stunning.”

In an odd change of pace, Shigeo doesn’t feel like hiding. Instead the emotion that rises in him twists into a strange kind of defensiveness. And the best defense is a good offense.

“I’m not,” he argues before he can process what’s coming out of his mouth. “Because the most handsome person on earth is you.”

There is a brief moment where they stare at each other, the words hanging in the air. The silence is broken when Shigeo feels a twitch of light pressure against his stomach.

They both go scarlet and Teru squeaks out an apology.

Things go better when Shigeo isn’t completely exposed. It isn’t the easiest or most comfortable way to do things, and it certainly isn’t the most cost efficient, the increase in their water bill due to laundry is embarrassing, but it’s working for now. Teru waves away Shigeo’s fretting. Insists that when Shigeo is confident enough to take off more clothes, he’ll be more than open to doing more. Until then he is perfectly happy with the level of intimacy they have.

Shigeo doesn’t feel like Teru is lying, but he isn’t sure how it can be true. Even he wants more. More what, he isn’t entirely sure, but having boxers and a t-shirt on isn’t the goal he’s heading towards. He knows that much.

He wants more, and yet every time they’re pressed close, kisses and roaming hands and pushing against each other for more, Shigeo feels a now familiar stab of fear. It burns through him as he’s getting close. He wishes he could shove it away but can’t. Shigeo bundles it up tight and crushes it to himself instead.

It comes with a tension Teru can feel, and his boyfriend does his best to wrap him up in more ways than one. Arms curl around him, protective, and he weaves a net of comfort with his words.

“It’s alright. You’re safe. I have you. I love you, Shige. I love you so much-“

Shigeo lets go enough to finish, but only just.

He knows things can feel better than this. What he is feeling comes with a tangled mix of relief (that they’ve even gotten this far), guilt (that he’s dragging Teru along at a snail’s pace), and frustration (that he can’t let himself relax even after nearly two years of intimacy).

Things don’t feel bad, but this certainly can’t be what all the rage is about. It’s got to be able to feel better, and Shigeo would love it if he could relax enough to get there.

Some days Shigeo feels like he is walking around with a neon sign over his head that announces to the world that he is twenty-one years old and still can’t quite do things with his boyfriend regardless of their nearly seven years together. Not that they did anything more than holding hands and cheek kisses for the first while. They were young.

Teru insists no such sign exists, and that no one is ever going to know if Shigeo doesn’t choose to tell them. That makes sense, because Shigeo certainly isn’t telling anyone and Teru would never.

No one knows, and Shigeo doesn’t need to feel so self-conscious. He’s very aware.

It is proving incredibly difficult to internalize.

“Why do you freeze right before?” Teru asks quietly one night after a clean up shower.

Shigeo slows the towel scrubbing through his hair. The hot water has loosened up all his muscles. Leaves him feeling fuzzy around the edges. His brain sifts through the words in the question with less self-consciousness than usual.

Why does he? For the most part he has been fixated on the fact that he does, and has tried to stop, but he has yet to actually consider the why. Orgasms feel nice. There isn’t anything to be afraid of. The nudity and closeness and overall huge amount of sensation… that’s the part that he’s been struggling with.

He thought.

Shigeo assumed the freezing thing was just part of all that, but what if it wasn’t? What if it was something else entirely? Because otherwise he’s comfortable. When Teru gets to that point he moves more, so why does he lock up instead?

Thoughts trickle through his mind, slotting themselves into place like never before. Puzzle pieces chinking together into a picture that isn’t quite clear yet.

Is there something he doesn’t like about it? About the movement? No… It’s not… It’s not the movement itself. It’s the feeling that comes with it. The way his body wants to move without his brain telling it to. He doesn’t want his body to move without his express permission so he clamps down on it before he can- But why, what is it that he doesn’t like about letting himself be loose? Be out of-

Out of control.

Shigeo stops breathing. The image of Teru kneeling before him, battered and bleeding invades his vision. Of buildings crumbling and pavement peeling back in the wake of an unstoppable force. Of his hands moving to Teru’s throat. Towards Ritsu’s face. Towards Musashi and the others. Of him hurting and not being able to stop himself.

“Shigeo, hey, what’s wrong?”

Teru is in front of him now, a hand grasping his wrist firmly, his face radiating nothing but honest concern.

Shigeo is shaking.

“I didn’t realize it was different,” he breathes, and that doesn’t answer Teru’s question in the least. “I- It’s not… I can’t.” Shigeo’s voice cracks with the sudden understanding. After all these years there is still a part of him that is scared of himself. “I can’t hurt you again.”

His boyfriend clearly does not know what he means by that, and it takes days for Shigeo to get the courage to make Teru understand. When Teru does, it’s with a profound sadness. He’s also at a bit of a loss.

They don’t really know how to work on that. That’s a mountain they don’t even know where to start with.

Knowing the why seems to help all on its own though. What also helps is Teru holding Shigeo’s hand as tightly as he can and letting Shigeo squeeze back with a ferocious pressure. At least if the fear and tension is directed elsewhere, Shigeo has the freedom to relax the rest of himself.

Things feel quite a bit better after that.

What feels even better is when he’s twenty-two and finally gets so fed up that he shucks the boxers and says good riddance. That comes with a new wave of sensations so overwhelming that they have to slow things down temporarily.

It’s okay though, because this feels so much better that slowing down doesn’t make much of a difference in the end. They can move so much less and still feel so much more.

But the shirt won’t go.

Shigeo agonizes over it. Trying to take it off while they’re doing things feels impossible. His fingers grip the hem and refuse to pull upwards. It can ride up all it wants on its own, but the moment he attempts to consciously remove the stubborn piece of clothing his heart begins to race, and not in a good way.

Irritated, he asks Teru to do it for him, but that only ends up with Shigeo hugging himself and apologizing, the fabric bundled up by his shoulders. Teru is alarmed and sorry and refuses to try again.

No idea what else to do, Shigeo takes a leaf out of his boyfriend’s book and talks. And talks and talks and talks. If he can talk himself through this, if he can work it all out in his head, then maybe he can get over it. Maybe if he works at the words long enough, he’ll have some kind of epiphany.

Unfortunately, that is not what happens.

What does happen is that he forgets that Teru, though seemingly blessed with endless patience when it comes to all things Shigeo, is still human.

He talks about the shirt until Teru snaps.

“It’s not really that big a deal, you know,” the blond esper says a bit flippantly

Deep down, Shigeo knows that Teru is trying to relieve his worries. Trying to lighten the heavy mood that’s been pressing in on them for weeks. Shigeo can’t focus on that when Teru keeps talking.

“Lots of people do weirder things than keep a shirt on during sex. And it’s not like you’re doing it because it’s kinky or some shit. It’s like your security blanket.”

Technically nothing Teru just said was wrong, and maybe that is what is so infuriating.

“A security blanket,” Shigeo repeats.

Teru grimaces like his own words suddenly taste sour. He puts his bowl of cereal down on the coffee table and opens his mouth, but Shigeo cuts him off.

“I’m not a child,“ he says shortly. “We’re going to be graduating soon. I’ve been working at this for years. I’m frustrated with myself, okay?” He stands over Teru, glowering down at him. “And I know this is probably annoying for you too, and I’m sorry. I wish none of this was happening, but it is and I’m doing my best, alright?”


“I’m not a baby. It’s not a security – I mean, it is, and I hate that. You’re right and I hate it. Just- Just don’t call it that. Don’t.” Shigeo also hates the angry tears that well up in his eyes at the admission.

Teru stares up at him and Shigeo almost wishes he didn’t see the regret painted all over his boyfriend’s face. The blond esper swallows.

“I’m sorry. That came out really rudely.”

Shigeo can’t bring himself to say anything.

“You’re too nice, Shigeo. If someone said that to me, I’d probably punch them. You can punch me if you want,” Teru offers, and Shigeo can tell it’s genuine.

All the fight drains out of him and the esper drops onto the couch beside Teru. He crosses his arms and glares at the floor, suddenly exhausted.

“I’m not going to punch you.” Shigeo can’t imagine a scenario where that would even happen.

He does, however, sneak a hand out to snag the throw pillow sitting innocently by his arm. In one smooth movement he wallops Teru over the head with it.

Teru bursts out laughing and slumps dramatically onto the floor, face first.

“I deserved that.”

Shigeo slides down into Teru’s spot across the cushions and stares at the ceiling. He’s still hurt, and frustrated, and irritated, but he’s also grateful and pressing his lips together to hold in the smile that wants to break free. There is so much emotion inside him and it isn’t spilling out. It isn’t wreaking havoc.

What would his fourteen-year-old self think of him now?

The shirt stays.

It isn’t that big a deal, Teru was right when he said that, and Shigeo finds he can ignore it for now. The shirt isn’t hurting anyone, and he can put that piece of progress on the backburner for the time being. Maybe it will sort itself out later.

The mood in the bedroom shifts back towards something more lighthearted.

In the meantime, Shigeo is making progress with something new.

Teru’s hands have always stayed north. For the longest time Shigeo would jolt backwards or freeze when he felt hands too close to his hips or his lower back. So Teru strictly kept them in Shigeo’s comfort zone. Tracing his cheeks, his ears, drawing shapes onto his shoulders. A hand tangled in his hair. Arms hugging him close. Shigeo followed suit, uneasy to attempt much else.

Today something shifts inside him and when Teru’s hands stray south, Shigeo realizes he doesn’t want them to stop. A knot in his chest forms at the anticipated disappointment. He needs to tell Teru, but oh man, that kind of thing is so difficult. Words, these kinds of words especially, always clog his throat and die out before he can speak them aloud.

“T-Teru,” he says into his boyfriend’s hair. “That’s um… That’s okay.”

Teru hums, a curious sound. He dusts kisses over Shigeo’s lips and down his neck. His hands have stopped moving. “What is?”

“Hands. Ah, down- down there. I think it’s okay.” Shigeo hugs himself tight to Teru, as if he could merge with him and escape the embarrassment of all this.

The warm hand by his hip slides a fraction of an inch lower and pauses, thumb pressing gently to his hipbone.

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” Shigeo is pretty sure, but he’s been pretty sure about things before and then been wrong.

Teru knows the drill.

“Alright, let me know if anything changes.” He kisses Shigeo tenderly and Shigeo melts into it.

With the way Teru keeps kissing him, it’s actually hard to track anything else. All he feels is warmth and love and Teru’s breath between kisses. Shigeo’s pulse is fluttering and so far everything feels good. Really good. His stomach is jumping every time they move, Teru’s legs tangling with his own.

It’s getting very, very warm under the covers. It’s too warm.

Shigeo snags the top blanket and holds it in place, kicking at the sheets. They crumple, his toes pushing them down and off of them.

Teru giggles and pulls back, eyes shining with humor.

“What are you doing?”

“It’s- It’s hot,” Shigeo admits, flustered in more ways than one.

Teru rolls them, ending up on top. He hovers over Shigeo and boops their noses together.

“It sure is.” He smiles and wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.

Shigeo flushes further, but Teru captures him in a messy, enthusiastic kiss before he can stutter anything out. Deepens it. Shigeo’s hand seeks out the back of Teru’s neck, holding him there. This is good. He’s swimming in sensation, but not drowning. This is okay.

He’s nervous, but he has long since determined the important difference between nervous and frightened.

Pulse thrumming under his skin, he takes notice when Teru’s hand trails inward from his hip. It grazes his lower belly, leaving a trail of tingling in its wake. He can feel Teru pressing into his leg, and his hand is getting lower and closer, and screw warm, the room is roasting. His boyfriend’s lips are moving nonstop against his own and Shigeo might be breathing too fast.

Ah-“ He breaks the kiss when Teru’s hand wraps around him, and he pushes his forehead into the crook of his boyfriend’s neck. He’s not quite hyperventilating, but this is a flood of sensation. It feels completely different than when Shigeo has to work things out on his own. It’s so much more.


“Pause. Give me a sec,” he rasps, and bless him, Teru doesn’t so much as twitch. Shigeo pauses just long enough to get his bearings. Evaluates that this is an acceptable level of nerves. He isn’t scared. “I’m okay.”

Teru’s hand moves between them and Shigeo fists his own in the blanket over Teru’s back. Part of Shigeo is straight up elated, but most of him is lost amidst a haze of shock. This is incredible progress. He starts to tremble when Teru shifts closer. Can tell that Teru is restraining himself from moving. Shigeo doesn’t know yet if he would be okay with that, but Teru has been catering to him for ages. That’s not fair. He doesn’t want that to continue.

So when Teru lets out the smallest hint of a whimper, Shigeo throws caution to the wind and slips a hand down the other esper’s back. Much, much lower than he ever has before. Teru’s whimper isn’t so small this time. His boyfriend’s hand tightens minutely around him and Shigeo gasps. Lifts his hips a little to answer back.

“You’re okay,” he mumbles into Teru’s neck, and it is so strange to be the one saying that. But this isn’t quite a check in. It’s permission. “It’s okay.”

Teru shifts, letting more of his weight fall against him. They’ve gotten very sweaty, and yet it doesn’t bother him this time. They can change the sheets.

The two of them rock together. Teru’s hand moves over him and sends shivers up his spine. It’s so much, but it feels so honest to goodness amazing that Shigeo can’t imagine stopping. He doesn’t want this to stop, he loves Teru so much. So goddamn much.

It does become overwhelming when Teru pulls back, cupping Shigeo’s cheek with his free hand and kissing him. That’s too much input so Shigeo dodges away, humming a sound he hopes Teru will understand as ‘not right now’. He apologizes with a quick kiss on Teru’s cheek and hugs his boyfriend tighter, not wanting to stop. He doesn’t stop them from continuing.

“Sorry,” Teru pants, and adds his own peck to Shigeo’s shoulder. Shigeo barely registers that the shirt is still in the way.

“S’kay,” is all he can get out. He’s short of breath himself.

Shigeo can feel his orgasm building. Can feel himself coiling tight. He hiccups, jerking his hips to match Teru’s movements, and his boyfriend responds by speeding up his hand. Shigeo doesn’t want to freeze this time, that would be a colossal waste, but he can’t reach either of Teru’s hands, and oh god, he doesn’t want to stop.

So what if he just didn’t?

It’s not fear, but there is a shakiness in his chest that isn’t just from exertion. He crushes Teru as close as he can, burying his face so tightly in Teru’s shoulder that he sees stars.


His boyfriend heeds his unspoken request and squeezes the back of his neck. Presses his whole body down onto him so that Shigeo can’t help but feel grounded. His hand can barely move between them like this, but it doesn’t matter because Shigeo is already there, gasping and scrabbling his fingers into Teru’s hair. He comes unrestrained in a way he never has before.

They slow their movements as he winds down, but Shigeo can’t seem to catch his breath. His lungs just won’t hold the air, pushing out the moment he tries to draw it in. His mind is whirling at a hundred miles an hour, but it’s nothing but nonsensical static.

“Are you alright?” Teru lets him go and things are sticky and uncomfortable, but Shigeo can’t breathe, so being embarrassed isn’t his top priority. “Shigeo, hey, you’re scaring me a little.”

“M’okay,” he huffs, eyes wide and staring at the wall. “Just a lot. A lot a lot.”

Teru tugs him onto his side and rubs his back in soothing circles, Shigeo’s nose dusting against his collarbone.

“Good a lot, or bad a lot?” he asks, pressing a kiss to the crown of Shigeo’s head.

Shigeo blinks. He doesn’t really need to think about it, but the words take their sweet time in coming out of his mouth. “Good a lot. Not too much. Just um, wow.”

“I’m glad.” A shaky chuckle ruffles his damp bangs. Teru is still hard against his leg and Shigeo feels a touch bad about that, but he is reeling and isn’t sure he is going to be with it for a few minutes.

So much for baby steps.

Chapter Text

For a long while things become easy. The winter passes, Shigeo and Teru graduate, and they each turn twenty-three. Being a fully fledged adult with a degree feels so much different than being twenty-two and working your ass off on a thesis, even if the difference is actually only a few weeks time.

They graduate, and Shigeo is flying high. They graduate, and Shigeo grabs Teru in a heated kiss the moment they get back from a celebratory dinner with the Kageyama family. It doesn’t go any further than some playful touching, but Shigeo feels comfortable and confident enough to initiate, and that is more important than where it leads. Teru is overjoyed. He peppers his boyfriend with congratulations kisses. On his nose, his neck, his fingertips, his jaw. They make Shigeo’s toes curl, send his eyelashes fluttering when Teru’s lips graze his cheekbones.

He is laughing, Teru is laughing, and there isn’t a single hint of nervous in any of the dozens of emotions thrumming through his heart.

It’s not anything bad when things change over the summer, but things certainly do become a bit more… complicated.

June arrives and with it comes a blistering heat wave. One that their little AC unit can’t keep up with, though it does its absolute best. It’s too hot to go outside. Too hot to cook. Too hot to… anything really. It’s too hot to do anything but exist. The cats are melting, and Shigeo and Teru aren’t doing much better.

It’s too hot to be wearing much clothes at all when they’re home.

Even at night.

The shirt becomes an issue again. It’s so disgustingly sweltering that both of them have taken to sleeping naked, which often leads to some middle of the night antics. It’s easy to drift towards each other on nights they can’t sleep, and they’re already changing the sheets frequently, so who cares?

The problem is that Shigeo still feels most at ease when he still has a t-shirt on, but the concept of putting a shirt on in order to have sex seems ludicrous. He isn’t entirely against it, but it’s so hot, and they’re going to be doing activity that makes them even hotter. Teru jokes that they’re going to have to start taking cool showers right after so that Shigeo doesn’t end up with heat stroke.

They try it once, and the chilled water wakes them up so much neither of them are able to get back to sleep for hours. They try to avoid it being necessary after that. Teru just got hired as a fashion design teacher at one of the local high schools and he needs his wits about him more than ever.

In a fit of false confidence fueled by frustration, Shigeo doesn’t pull the shirt on one night. He holds it crumpled in one hand, pressed to his chest. It’s awkward and makes it that much harder to touch Teru back, but he feels almost okay and it isn’t the end of the world.

The heat wave passes, the AC starts making a difference in the bedroom air temperature again, and despite this, things heat up.

Teru sucks an open-mouthed kiss to the crook of Shigeo’s neck. Shigeo runs his hands over Teru’s back. Everything is warm and soft and smooth. They’re tangled together in the best way. Nothing is rushed, they have all day open, and Shigeo feels light and free and so, so in love with this wonderful, handsome, patient man.

“I love you,” he giggles, because Teru deserves to know. Deserves to be told all day, every day.

Teru’s response is to pull Shigeo closer and nuzzle an eskimo kiss to his boyfriend’s cheek. It’s sweet and innocent and makes Shigeo’s insides flutter with affection. But then Teru slides his hand down over his chest, over his belly, and lower still, until Shigeo holds tight around Teru’s shoulders and shudders.

Teru doesn’t ask aloud, but Shigeo nods when he pauses for a moment. His heart pounds every time they do this. He hopes it never stops. He dots Teru’s flushed skin with kisses, raking his fingers through his boyfriend’s hair. Thoughts of trailing his own hand down and reciprocating flicker through his mind, mixed with feelings of hesitation. Bashfulness. Has he done that for Teru? Yes. It’s a recent development. Has he done that while being touched himself? Not quite.

He doesn’t get to make the decision. Teru’s other hand migrates south from where it was cupping the back of his neck, sliding down over Shigeo’s spine and leaving a path of goosebumps behind it. Teru spends some time rubbing circles into the small of his back. It’s both relaxing and exciting at the same time and Shigeo makes a little contented sound in his throat.

His boyfriend seems to take that as encouragement.

Teru’s hand moves lower, gripping Shigeo’s hip with a light pressure that turns firmer when Shigeo pushes into it and lets out a barely audible whine. He’s not usually vocal while they’re intimate with the exception of checking in, or saying I love you, but any sounds he does make tend to rile Teru up. Almost predictably, his boyfriend speeds up the hand that’s been stroking Shigeo.

With a shift that send Shigeo's heart lurching, Teru slides his hand over and gently squeezes his ass. Being touched both in front and behind at the same time is a tidal wave of sensation and Shigeo's mind blurs with disbelief. Both that this is happening at all, and even more surprising, that he likes it. A lot. He presses as close to Teru as he can and his hips rock forward into his boyfriend's hand, into his leg. At the same time, he presses back into Teru's grip, feeling surrounded by him on all sides, enveloped in his heat and his touch and his love. Teru curls around him, whispering words of comfort or encouragement, he doesn't know. He's too distracted to listen properly.

It's not clear whether Teru does it on purpose, or whether his hand simply shifts because of Shigeo's increasingly frantic movement.

Either way, Teru’s finger presses to Shigeo’s entrance and the ensuing burst of heat in Shigeo’s lower belly catches him off guard. A gasp wrenches itself out of his chest and his eyes squeeze closed. Everything in him pulls tight for one tenuous moment, and then he comes hard with almost no warning.

It’s by far the best orgasm he’s had.

Both Teru’s hands are on his waist when Shigeo blinks back to reality. His boyfriend lies beside him, cuddled close, their foreheads almost touching. Shigeo is pretty sure he is flushed such a deep red he must be purple. His face feels like it’s on fire. There are emotions swirling under his skin, embarrassment mostly, but it gets pushed aside by something else. Something more urgent.

Shigeo hadn't realized that what just happened was something he would want, but now that it’s happened, he wants it to happen again. He wants to know what it would be like if Teru hadn’t stopped where he did. If he’d touched him there on purpose, and what would happen if he’d gone further. It’s a little frightening, that concept.

An entire world of more unfolds before him.

Teru dips his head to catch Shigeo’s gaze, bright blue searching deep red. Validation flares in Shigeo's chest when he sees that his boyfriend is as startled as he is.

“Wow. That was uh, something, huh?” the blond esper says, his voice hushed.

“Yes.” Shigeo doesn’t elaborate. He needs some time to come to terms with what just happened. With the thoughts that are now digging into his brain and growing roots. With the strong surge of wanting that crashed over him.

Shigeo doesn’t want to discuss it quite yet.

Instead he pushes up on one elbow and prods at Teru’s shoulder until he lies back against the mattress. He grabs the box of tissues for both of them and kneels beside him. Leans in and presses a long, soft kiss to Teru forehead.

Shigeo can never express how grateful he is to be with someone who treasures and respects him so deeply. Love floods through him. His boyfriend is stunning beneath him, all ruffled sunshine hair and pink cheeks. Shigeo brushes another soft kiss to Teru’s lips, wraps his hand around him, and does his best to show through touch what he can't quite put into words.

They do talk about it, two days later over breakfast. It’s easier to explain things when Shigeo has had time to process. When he is fully awake and alert and calm, and can bend his silverware on purpose when he gets nervous, instead of something else by accident.

Teru starts their first real talk of tops and bottoms. Of how to work up to that. It’s a little awkward and leaves Shigeo more than a little flustered when he has to admit to wanting what he does. Teru does his best to keep the conversation light. Humor has always been a good way to lower the tension. To keep Shigeo from thinking too much or getting nervous about hypotheticals.

Teru gets up from the table and puts his plate in the dishwasher. On his way back he grabs a piece of fruit from the big bowl on the table. Offers it to his boyfriend.

“Do you want a banana?” His tone is too innocent and there is mischief glittering in his eyes.

“Do you?” Shigeo shoots back, knowing exactly what the joke is here.

Teru’s eyes widen and he inexplicably turns red. His eyes flick to the fruit in his hand, to Shigeo and back, and drops into the chair he’d vacated.

“Uh, yeah, actually. Really bad.”

Shigeo stills.


A morning breeze wafts in, warm and fragrant and warning of rain.

“I haven’t said anything because I didn’t want to overwhelm you. It’s okay that we’ve been doing other stuff. I just- I think when you’re comfortable, I… I would like to try bottoming.” Teru chews his lip and turns the banana over and over until he makes a face and drops it to the tabletop. “It’s a hundred percent fine if you don’t want to top, though. Ever even. There’s things I can do- There’s ways to work around that.”

Shigeo mulls that over. It’s not like he’s never considered it, never thought about it. It had actually been more what he had been thinking would be their endgame, that is, until a few days ago. Teru bottoming had seemed to be the safer choice. He had always thought that having Teru inside him would be too much sensation. Leave him too vulnerable. He had never expected to be in a position where he wanted it.

And he does, but it's nice to know another option is still on the table.

Shigeo’s lips pull into a smile when he catches the look on his boyfriend’s face. Teru is so obviously trying to appear nonchalant as he waits for Shigeo to say something but he's starting to sweat and the fingers tapping on the edge of the table are trembling.

This is Teru’s first time doing all of this too, Shigeo realizes abruptly. He knows, of course, but the way Teru acts most of the time, calm and self-assured and supportive… It has been a long time since Shigeo thought that Teru might be as nervous as he is.

It is supremely comforting.

“I think that would be alright,” he says, tucking his hands into his lap. “Not immediately. We can work up to that, like you said. But- It… It’s alright if we both want to, ah, bottom, right? We can take turns? Once we’re both comfortable?”

Teru blinks blankly at him and Shigeo twists his hands together, embarrassment crashing over him once more.

“Of course!” his boyfriend blurts out. He looks nothing short of delighted. “We can do whatever we want! Some people have preferences but if you want to do both and I want to do both- Labels are for losers, anyway.”

Shigeo takes in his boyfriend’s painted nails. His hot pink heart patterned shirt and his bedazzled shorts. Shigeo is not sure if Teru knows what a label is.

Someone once told Shigeo that if he was embarrassed to buy condoms, he was too young to be buying them. He can’t remember who it was that said that, but he would like to find that person and tell them to stuff it.

His fingers grip Teru’s like his life depends on it. It didn’t seem fair to send Teru out to the store by himself, but Shigeo is beginning to regret being so generous. No one can even see the little box his boyfriend has tucked into their basket with some other items they needed in general, and yet Shigeo’s palms are clammy and his mouth is dry.

They didn’t need lube, Teru had mentioned this morning in a way that definitely fell short of being as offhand as it was supposed to be. He already had a bottle. Shigeo had squinted at him until he cracked.

“You’re not always home, you know! Stuff just feels better with it!” Teru had blustered, and it was becoming Shigeo’s new favorite thing to get his boyfriend frazzled like this.

Teru isn’t frazzled now, and thank god, because they are next up to the register and Shigeo’s mouth is filled with cotton. It isn’t that he is embarrassed that they are buying condoms. People do that every day. The woman at the register probably isn’t even going to give them a second glance.

It’s just…

It’s just with as much as he has struggled with this part of his life, with intimacy, this feels the same as walking up to a stranger and announcing that he and his boyfriend are going to go have sex. He could never. That’s private. Shigeo doesn’t talk to other people about this. Sex is him and Teru and vulnerability and patience and love.

Teru bumps his hip as they step forward. Knocks him out of his thoughts. Shigeo blinks at him, wide eyed, and receives a tiny kiss on the tip of his nose. His pulse speeds up and he hitches the smallest, wobbliest smile onto his face in appreciation. Teru tucks Shigeo closer into his side. Brings Shigeo into their own little world, just the two of them. He knows exactly how sensitive this is for Shigeo. For them both.

Shigeo has never been as comfortable with PDA as Teru, but he needs this reminder. He lifts to his tiptoes and gifts Teru with a thank you kiss on his forehead, onlookers be damned.

As it turns out, having something pressed to his entrance feels wholly different from having something inside. It’s strange and sensitive and isn’t as exciting as Shigeo had expected based on his earlier reaction. He just feels a little odd, and kind of full, and he can’t stop fidgeting. Maybe there’s an angle that will feel better? Is he not doing something right?

Teru withholds a laugh when he finally voices his concerns. He shakes his head and kisses Shigeo’s belly.

“It’ll start to feel better when it’s not so new. The less you worry about it, the sooner things will change. If you really don’t like it, though, we don’t ever have to do it again. But it took me a while to get used to it too, promise.”

Shigeo stares at him, flushing at the implication of those words and the visual that comes with it.

Teru catches his gaze and his eyes blow wide. He looks like he wants to shrivel up and die from embarrassment, and there is something close to glee in Shigeo’s heart.

“Oh god,” Teru chokes, and flops face first into the mattress.

Laughter spills unchecked from Shigeo and he rolls over to push playfully at Teru’s ribs.

“What do you get up to when I’m not home?” He is very proud of himself for being the one doing the teasing here. He’s maybe a bit smug, but it’s very satisfying to finally not be the one that’s flustered.

Teru replies, but it’s lost in the mess of blankets.


His boyfriend pops up to his elbows, face beet red and eyes fierce. Shigeo has a fraction of a second to understand that he is about to regret his question.

“I said, three. Thanks for asking.” Teru stares him down, owning his admission in a way Shigeo could never hope to.

“Oh.” His voice comes out meek. He’s sure that his cheeks are as red as Teru’s.

Shigeo isn’t entirely sure what to do with that information.

It does start to feel better after some time, and it’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of other sensations when Teru is touching and kissing him as well. It starts to be a desired addition, instead of just something to work on and ease into. They’ll stay steady at one finger until Shigeo says he is ready for more. That hasn’t happened yet, but Shigeo thinks it might come sooner rather than later.

Before that though, he scrounges up every shred of embarrassment and hesitance he has, crumples it into a dense ball, and shoots it into the stratosphere.

He fingers Teru.

Shigeo feels confident for about one whole minute until Teru opens his mouth and all the embarrassment comes rocketing back to earth and hits him full force.

Apparently Teru is awfully chatty.

It’s everything from telling Shigeo just how much he loves him, to telling him how great everything feels, to just strings of expletives that make Shigeo’s eyes widen. He can’t tell if he wants to laugh because he’s relieved that what he is doing makes his boyfriend so happy, or because what Teru just said was straight up filthy and he’s a little mortified. Maybe it’s a mix of both.

“So how…” Teru’s a bit breathless. “How do you want to do this?”

Teru’s asking him? Oh god, how is he supposed to know? Shouldn’t they do things the way Teru would be most comfortable?

His panic must show on his face because his boyfriend chuckles and leans in to kiss him softly. Shigeo makes a tiny, hysterical sound into Teru’s mouth. He can’t believe they’re going to do this. Can’t believe they’re at this point. Can’t believe that his heart is hammering but it’s eighty percent excitement and only twenty percent nerves.

Maybe twenty-two, they should have talked about positions before they were at this point.

They’re both flushed and sweaty, Teru’s hair sticking up off his forehead and a hickey blossoming on Shigeo’s shoulder, half hidden by the edge of his shirt. The doors are all locked. This is their plan for whole afternoon. Teru is prepped and there’s a condom wrapper in the trash by the bed.

“Anything you say is fine with me. I don’t think you’re going to suddenly suggest anything wild.” Teru winks and trails a finger down Shigeo’s leg. It stops at his knee and he removes it, pressing a kiss to the spot. Then he looks back to Shigeo expectantly.

“Um,” Shigeo mumbles, eyes flicking around as he thinks. Is there a way that would feel best? He hasn’t really fantasized about this. Not… not really. For the longest time he was so focused on things just feeling not bad. He doesn’t know which way would make him feel the least self-conscious. Everything they do is trial and error, but he very much does not want this to be an error.

He flops back on the bed, covering his face with his hands. Pressure to talk right now is not what he needs, but he knows Teru won’t make the decision here. Being on top of Teru has always been safe. It comes with an escape route. He can roll away in an instant, no talking necessary. But it also makes him feel exposed unless they’re buried under a mountain of blankets, and it’s much too hot for that today. The windows are open a crack, and Shigeo doesn’t want to have one of them get up to turn on the AC instead.

Shigeo considers for a fleeting moment just staying upright to stop from overheating, but that is quickly thrown out. Shirt on or not, the level of vulnerable he would feel is not worth any amount of cool air.

Teru shifts to his knees beside him, his warm weight leaning into his hip and Shigeo’s mind flickers to the few times they’ve reversed. When Shigeo was pushed into the mattress, surrounded by love and feeling grounded. Comforted. Held.

He lifts his hands just enough to peek up at Teru.

“Can you- Ah, can you sit on me?” The words come out clearer than he expects them to. He’s not even blushing, he’s so relieved to actually have an answer he thinks would work out.

If Teru is surprised at all, he hides it well, covering it with a smile so wide it makes him squint.

“Yeah, I can do that,” he whispers, and tugs one of Shigeo’s hands up to kiss his palm.

The kisses make a journey from his hand to his stomach where his shirt has ridden up, to his collarbone, and to his jaw. One lands gently on the shell of his ear, and Teru crawls closer, cupping a hand to Shigeo’s cheek and his lips finally find his boyfriend’s.

Shigeo hums, lowering his knees in a wordless invitation. The blond esper takes it, carefully straddling him and settling on his hips. He’s heavy in a good way. It’s oddly reassuring. It’s just the two of them and no one else. Just Shigeo and Teru.


Teru shifts, and both of them suck in a sudden breath when they brush against each other. Shigeo blinks rapidly and Teru pulls back to look at him, blue eyes wide and just a tiny hint nervous. Mostly he looks thrilled.


Shigeo nods. His chest is heaving and they haven’t even done anything yet.

Teru waits still, and Shigeo summons real words.

“Yeah. I’m okay.”

Teru reaches over and uncaps the lube, warming it in his hand a moment before brushing it down Shigeo’s length. He lets out a breathy chuckle when Shigeo throws his arms up over his face. He’s not exactly hiding, but Teru looking down at him from where he is and touching him, knowing what they’re about to do… It’s a bit much.

Shigeo scrunches his eyes closed and bites his lip. It feels so, so good. Teru adds a bit of pressure and Shigeo does everything he can to hold still.

“I love you,” Teru says.

Shigeo can only give him a thumbs up in return, and they both shake when Teru laughs for real.

“Still good?” his boyfriend asks, moving his hand slowly upwards.

Shigeo drops his arms to his stomach, forearms lying on Teru’s thighs. He feels a little floaty.

“Yes. But you should um, probably not do that much more,” he warns, wary of the heat that has coiled so quickly in his lower belly.


Teru lets him go, moving forward to his hands and knees to press one more kiss to his lips. It’s a deep one, and Shigeo gasps into his mouth when one of Teru’s hands finds his length again. And then Teru is sinking backwards.

Shigeo’s breath flutters high in his chest. Teru is so warm, all encompassing. It’s an entirely new sensation. Nearly overwhelming in how good it feels. One of his hands fists tightly in his t-shirt and the other one blindly grasps towards his boyfriend. He’s not sure if Teru is even looking, Shigeo doesn’t remember closing his eyes, but closed they are.

Teru must be, because hot fingers grab on and lace through his.

They pause, halfway there. Teru’s breathing is ragged, and that makes Shigeo peek his eyes open, a sliver of worry making itself known.

“Okay?” He sounds winded himself.

“I’m okay. Just- whew. It’s a lot different than fingers.” Teru curves his spine to rest his forehead on Shigeo’s chest. “I mean it’s better, but I really get what you mean when you say some things are a lot.”

Shigeo is suddenly infinitely grateful Teru is going first for this.

“I’m good. I’m going to move again, alright?” Teru taps his thumb on Shigeo’s hand, and Shigeo taps back.


His affirmation turns into a whine as Teru sinks lower. It’s almost too good. He’s not sure how long this is going to last. Teru clenches around him and he inhales sharply. His boyfriend is half folded over, holding himself up with one hand, and a litany of curses falling from his lips.

“Holy shit. Fuck. That’s- Man, shit. Holy crap, okay. Fuck fuck fuck-“


“I’m great,” his boyfriend chokes out, and tilts his head up enough that Shigeo can see he’s smiling. “Best day ever.”

He pulls himself up and settles back down a bit lower. Slowly starts up a pattern of rocking that has Shigeo eagerly chasing. The feeling is intense. It drowns out any lingering worries or thoughts from his mind and replaces them with a yearning. For this. For Teru.

His boyfriend mutters under his breath the whole time, and Shigeo catches bits of it here and there. It’s mostly Teru declaring Shigeo to be nothing short of perfect. He definitely says he loves him more than anybody has ever loved anyone, and with that, he shifts low enough to sit flush against Shigeo’s hips.

Shigeo’s heart is racing, and every time he meets Teru just right, his breath catches. They hold onto each other’s hands with white knuckles, pushing closer. Pushing for more. Teru squeezes around him and it sends Shigeo shivering. It’s so incredibly hot, but Shigeo can’t loosen the iron grip his fingers have on his shirt. It’s not going anywhere today.

Teru picks up the pace and Shigeo almost can’t catch up. They’re out of synch but neither seems to mind, every movement sending their blood thrumming.

One heavy push downwards and Shigeo reaches the point of no return. His eyes fly wide, an unpleasantly familiar fear snagging hold of his lungs. This is so much more than anything he’s done, and what’s on the other side is a massive unknown. The edge of a precipice and he’s about to fall-

“Teru- TeruTeruTeru-“ He’s already crushing his boyfriend’s hand, but it’s not enough.

“I’ve got you, Shige,” Teru leans in and presses his forehead to his collarbone. “It’s okay. I love you.”

Shigeo finally lets go of his shirt, scrabbling to wrap his boyfriend in a one armed hug. He buries his face in Teru’s hair and the fear eases away just in time. How could he be scared when Teru is all around him like this?

Shigeo comes with a shaky gasp, his toes curling in the sheets. Teru might be dusting kisses to his shoulder as he trembles, it’s a tad hazy.

His heart is so full when he blinks back to the present and his eyes are damp.

“I love you too,” he whispers. He’s tired, drowsy in a way that’s new. There is no room for embarrassment in him. There is no room for that when he is full of warmth and love and quiet.

With nothing to hold him back, he untangles his fingers from Teru’s and reaches down between them instead. His hand wraps around Teru and his boyfriend tenses, his breath hot on Shigeo’s throat. Shigeo slides his hand down, and when he starts to move it, Teru keens. He presses his lips to Teru’s hair and leaves them there.

“Holy shit, Shige…” his boyfriend says around a shuddering inhale.

It’s barely a moment before he’s moving faster and Teru is bucking into his hand. His orgasm ripples through him and it sounds like it knocks the air right out of his lungs. Shigeo doesn't slow his movements until his boyfriend relaxes and slumps into him.

Teru catches his breath, still holding Shigeo’s hand tight. For a minute the room is quiet. A car splashes through a puddle on the street below. A bird warbles to a friend. Shigeo can see every individual strand of Teru’s hair glinting in the sunlight. He could count them, but he doesn’t want to, exhaustion pulling at his eyelids.

Shifting from Teru stops him from dozing. His boyfriend shuffles away from him and the sensation is new and strange, but then he’s back, snuggling close. He props his chin in his hand and blinks lazily at Shigeo with blue eyes overflowing with fondness.

“Hi,” Teru whispers.


“Are you okay?”

“Mhm.” Shigeo nods. He kind of wants to take a nap, but he knows that they should really make their way towards the shower instead.

Teru heaves a sigh, grinning.

“Did you know that I’m so proud of you?”

Shigeo didn’t. He probably could have guessed, but it’s something else entirely to be told directly. It makes him feel so warm it lifts his lips into a lopsided smile.

“Us,” Shigeo corrects.

Teru makes a tiny sound in question.

“I’m proud of us. It’s a team effort, you know.”

With a helpless noise, Teru drops his face to Shigeo’s chest. Dusts a kiss over his heart. Words float into the air, butterflies in the breeze.

“Best team ever."

Chapter Text

The summer wanes. The nights cool. The mornings fill with a mist that burns off in the early autumn sun, and things are going so well that Shigeo has the courage to ask for two fingers.

He thinks he is ready, feels like he is ready. One finger is starting to become frustrating. It’s no longer enough. He’s a little more excited than he expected he would be to try something new, but Teru appears to enjoy himself so much when he bottoms that Shigeo might be getting… impatient isn’t the right word, but he’s eager to make progress.

Getting used to two fingers, as it turns out, is much, much different than getting used to one.

It comes with a stretching sensation that isn’t unfamiliar, but it is unsettling to be feeling it there of all places. Shigeo is used to the burn of muscles during a workout. He’s accustomed to a little bit of a burn in his calves during runs, in his arms while he strains to do another pull-up, an almost pleasant pull along his spine when he cools off and stretches.

It’s not pain, but it is not the sensation he was hoping for.

He can’t stop himself from clenching up. It’s pure reflex, and when there is something there to tighten around it’s strange and foreign and borderline alarming. It was easy to lose the feeling of one finger inside when he was aroused, while Teru was touching and kissing him. He can’t lose two fingers. They’re a constant sensation that won’t be ignored.

Shigeo gets overwhelmed more often now than he has in a year. Maybe two. The Pauses are back with a vengeance and an occasional Stop makes its way past his lips. He spends a lot of time calming down. A lot of time with Teru either hugging him close or Teru pushed a distance away from him while he hugs himself, holding his breath, because the feeling of even air entering or leaving his body is too much.

Teru cries the first time that happens. He tries to hide it, but Shigeo hears the hitched, stifled little sob he fails to hold in. Shigeo uncurls one arm and reaches out. Presses his palm to Teru’s ribs. He doesn’t want Teru to think this is his fault. He knows Teru is frightened of accidentally hurting him. He wants to assure him that isn’t the case.

“I’m going to be okay,” he makes his mouth form the words. This is important. Teru needs to know this. “I don’t feel okay right now, but I’ll be okay later.”

He is. The sensory overloads never last, and Shigeo bounces back within the hour most of the time.

Teru slows things down anyway. Shigeo fights him tooth and nail, but Teru will not let him rush this. He insists if Shigeo has any discomfort whatsoever, they need to stop or put things on hold until he feels ready to try again.

“I’m not babying you, I promise, Shige,” Teru sighs. He runs his hands over his face and his shoulders slump. “It’s okay if we take our time with this. I know… I know we’ve made so much progress this year and you want to keep the momentum up, but this is a little more delicate. It’s not just that you’re getting overwhelmed, you’re getting scared again.”

Shigeo frowns. He thought he had been keeping that to himself better.

“If you try to push yourself with this, you could get hurt and I- I get that slowing down when you’re doing so well is irritating. I do. But slowing down doesn’t mean we’re not making progress. We have other things we can fall back on for now and we’ll save this for when you’re feeling really comfortable, okay?”

It’s annoying to not be able to get past this roadblock with willpower alone. His mind says one thing and his body screams another, and in the end he has to concede.

His body wins.

They slow down.

In the meantime, Shigeo takes all his frustration, all his energy and eagerness for more, and puts it somewhere he can push forward with.


That’s something he can muscle through and not get hurt. The mortification from years ago has been gradually fading and leaves behind only nervous giggles. Shigeo can handle being minorly flustered.

He can ignore how red his cheeks flare and kiss Teru anyway. He can gently push Teru’s phone aside and settle himself in his boyfriend’s lap on the couch. He can snuggle up behind Teru when he slides into bed at night and purposefully not be wearing much of anything. He can sneak his hands up under Teru’s shirt when they’re kissing, and maybe even down in the opposite direction too.

He can and he does, and it gets easier and easier. The nervous laughter turns genuine and swells with joy and pride every time Teru is pleasantly surprised. Every time he is the one to tug Teru to the bedroom or shoot him a wink or slip in a suggestive joke or comment.

Shigeo starts saying things he never would have dared before, and there is a feeling of incredible freedom that fills him at being able to say exactly what he wants and getting nothing but positive feedback.

It’s likely that freedom, that care-free feeling that fills his entire being, that makes all the difference when they come back around to trying again.

Two fingers comes full circle the way one did. Okay, then better, and great, and then abruptly not enough. The transition to three is much smoother than either of them expect, but no one is complaining.

The transition to Teru, however, takes a turn neither of them saw coming.

Progress slows to a crawl, but it isn’t because of Shigeo. While there are moments when he gets overwhelmed, when he gets nervous or vulnerability creeps up his spine and they have to call it quits or shift to other activities…

It’s Teru this time.

Shigeo admits that when he tops everything feels amazing. Every sensation adds to the heat pooling in his stomach and the pounding in his heart. Teru feels so wonderful that it doesn’t take all that long to send him over the edge. He would be embarrassed, but his boyfriend isn’t usually far behind and the more often they try it the longer they both last.

Teru must be feeling things ten times as intensely as he does, Shigeo thinks, because when Teru tops he either comes before they’ve even worked all the way in, or ends up having to pull out and change activities if he wants to last. The face he makes when he tries his hardest not to come right away one time startles a sudden laugh from Shigeo and all his muscles tighten with it. Teru is forced out of him and they both stare in shock. They didn’t even know that could happen, but it did, and it sends them into hysterics.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that,” Shigeo apologizes through hiccupping giggles.

Teru shakes his head, cheeks flushed and blue eyes wide.

“How is sex even real?” he turns his gaze out the window, wonder in his voice. When he snaps back to Shigeo his face is full of indignation. “How can you hold out when I can’t? What sense does that make? I’ve been doing-“ Teru waves his hands about and it makes Shigeo think of Reigen momentarily. “-what I’ve been doing longer than we’ve been doing stuff together. I should be the one who can last.”

Shigeo thinks about it, though Teru’s questions are likely rhetorical.

“That’s probably why.” He sits up and pats Teru’s leg in a way he hopes is consoling and not condescending. “You’ve been working on yourself for a while. I’m not as loose as you, I guess. Maybe that feels better.”

His boyfriend blinks, and then grimaces.

“I’m my own worst enemy. Fantastic. Should I quit it and only do things with you instead? Level the playing field?”

“Isn’t that the opposite of what we are going for? That wouldn’t help you last any longer topping,” Shigeo says, and it’s a miracle he can get through these kinds of talks now without being so flustered. “If anything, you should probably jerk off more.”

The look Teru gives him nearly sends him into another round of laughter, and he makes himself hold eye contact. Shigeo isn’t going to be embarrassed by honesty anymore. He refuses.

He refuses and he is proud.

Teru can see it too, and his eyes turn soft. He tugs Shigeo closer, pressing smiling lips to his, and Shigeo can feel Teru’s whole heart behind it. Something swells within him and he kisses back with just as much feeling. If it spills out of him, if it makes his hair flutter and papers lift off Teru’s desk, that’s okay.

Shigeo has never hurt anyone by loving too much.

It’s a few weeks later when Teru holds out long enough for them to actually, actually, test out Shigeo bottoming.

There is a lot of Pausing for deep breaths on both sides, lungs shaky and hands trembling just as badly. Teru keeps his movements slow and Shigeo appreciates it. His mind is a blur of half formed thoughts, anxiety and vulnerability bubbling up and simmering back down without conscious effort.

His shirt is still there, and inexplicably, his socks too. It’s probably just a one time thing due to nerves, and they both ignore the extra articles of clothing.

Shigeo hides his face in the crook of Teru’s neck and gasps at the ocean of sensation he is trying to stay afloat in. It’s still not quite fear, but it is threatening to make his chest lock up.

Teru shifts further in and they both tense.

“Pause.” Shigeo squeezes his eyes shut. Tells his body to relax. He clenches up instead and Teru makes a strangled little sound near his ear, but he doesn’t move.

They lay there for a minute, and Shigeo needs to make a decision. He doesn’t want to voice it aloud.

He does.

They finish up doing something else.

They can always try again another time.

They do.




It gets better.

“I think I’m going to go back to bed.”

Shigeo blinks at his omelet before raising his head to look across the table at Teru. His boyfriend stares back at him, shadows under his eyes. Shigeo imagines he looks similarly weary.

“It’s almost eleven, Teru,” he mumbles, poking at his food.

“Yeah, and we’re just eating breakfast. Who cares? I’m toast,” Teru groans. His cheek is propped up in his hand. “It’s Sunday. I give up on doing anything today.”

Shigeo hums, closing his eyes. The past week has been nothing short of exhausting. Shigeo can’t even remember if they ate dinner last night. They definitely dropped into bed at an absurdly early hour and he doesn’t recall anything after that. This morning came too early, and how they managed to peel themselves from the mattress and make anything resembling food, he isn’t sure.

Going back to bed sounds heavenly, actually. They can grocery shop and do laundry in the afternoon.

“I’m coming too.” Shigeo pushes his plate away and gets to his feet, gravity tugging at him more than usual. It’s a serious effort to shuffle back to the bedroom.

Teru is right behind him, yawning and flopping face down on the bed the moment he is close enough.

The sheets still hold a hint of their body heat from before and Shigeo welcomes the warmth wholeheartedly. He squirms himself into a comfy position, arms up over his head, and lets out a long breath. Thunder rumbles in the distance, probably one of the last storms of the year. The sky is dark and the windows are open but it only makes Shigeo feel more at home.

Teru moves. Presses his toes to Shigeo’s leg and dusts a kiss to his arm. Shigeo barely feels it. He’s already sinking. Drifting. His mind wanders, and he’s never sure if he’s fully asleep or only half dreaming. He hears muffled rumbling and bits of songs from passing cars, the sounds of the blankets rustling, and of the wind picking up. He feels Teru’s leg against his, and hot breath on his shoulder, and he sinks deeper. The sounds fade but the sensations stay. He dreams of Teru. Of his sunshine hair and his smile and his love. Of curling together and being safe and held. Of snuggling close and contentedness in his heart.

Something cold tickles his face and he surfaces from the haze just enough to register that it’s pouring, the rain coming down sideways and splattering against the windowsill. With a tired huff, he curls his fingers into a fist and the window slides closed. The sound of the rain dulls. Shigeo succumbs to sleep once more.

His mind blurs with roaming hands. With kisses and bodies moving and so much warmth. With the feeling of Teru on top of him and a mouth against his and fingers and more. He dreams of skin on skin, and there are moments when he is close to waking and wonders if he’s imagining Teru so close to him or if they’ve actually tangled together in their sleep. His thoughts drift away from him before he can tell.

Shigeo knows when he wakes for real, eyelids fluttering against the dim light from the window. Rain is still falling beyond the glass. A yawn splits his face, and he has no idea how long they slept, but he feels infinitely better for it.

A hint of disappointment snags in his chest, and it only takes a moment to realize that he is missing the warmth of his dream, as muddled as it was. Shigeo is no stranger to suggestive dreams, but this one leaves him wanting. He is half hard already.

He kind of wants to wake Teru up.

He is also so incredibly comfortable that he doesn’t want to move at all. His eyes slip closed and he thinks that maybe he can wait until Teru is up.

It doesn’t end up being long. Only a minute or two later his boyfriend suddenly shifts and stretches, all manner of sleepy noises escaping him.

Shigeo pushes himself back just enough so that he ends up flush with Teru’s side. The blond esper chuckles a little and then he is rolling over and wrapping himself around Shigeo in the best way.

“Good morning.” Teru nuzzles into the back of Shigeo’s neck. The arm around Shigeo’s middle hugs him close.

Shigeo lets out a breathy laugh of his own. It is most definitely afternoon.


Teru’s hand is warm through the fabric of his shirt, and Shigeo finds himself wishing it would move somewhere else. A little lower. The thought makes his belly swoop in anticipation.



It’s not embarrassment that stops the words from coming out of his mouth. Shigeo just doesn’t feel much like talking, like breaking the quiet of the moment any more than he absolutely needs to. Instead he turns onto his back, pressing close to Teru’s chest. His hands snag in his boyfriend’s shirt and he tugs him down to kiss him.

Teru makes a tiny sound of surprise into his mouth but responds enthusiastically. His hand traces Shigeo’s shape, up from his side, gentle fingers by his neck, and finally rests his thumb by Shigeo’s jaw. It sends Shigeo’s heart stuttering. He smiles into the kiss and winds one of his hands through Teru’s sleep mussed hair.

His boyfriend pulls away after a minute, a dreamy grin on his face and it sends sparks of delight through Shigeo to know that he is the one who put it there.

“Well, hey there,” Teru murmurs. “What’s all this?”

Shigeo turns his head to press light kisses to Teru’s wrist.

“I dreamed of you,” he admits freely, adoring the way his boyfriend’s eyes crinkle at the corners with the force of his smile.

“Oh yeah?”

“Mhm.” Shigeo adds a playful wink to boot. He’s never been particularly good at winking, and he knows half his face scrunches up when he tries.

He also knows Teru loves it anyway.

Teru dips to boop their noses together and Shigeo captures his lips in a kiss after. Deepens it.

Usually when they’re doing anything like this, each sensation is crisp and clear, every movement of a hand, of hips, demands Shigeo’s attention. They clamor over each other, and Shigeo drowns in the cacophony and overwhelming awareness of it all.

Today Shigeo marvels at how muted everything is. It’s so easy to lose himself in the feeling of love he’s overcome with. To feel Teru’s hands caressing him, but not be distracted by them. To be able to kiss his boyfriend and press close to him without having to note every shift of his clothing. This muffled world of warmth and softness feels like a dream, but he is a hundred percent sure he is awake. No dream could ever get Teru right like this. Could ever capture the feeling of his heart fluttering when Teru combs his hair back off his forehead and dusts kisses to his temple.

The only emotion he feels when Teru starts to press into his leg is excitement.

Pajama pants are kicked off, and Teru’s shirt follows. Shigeo’s hands roam low to his boyfriend’s hips. Teru lays heavy against him, skin on skin where Shigeo’s own shirt has shifted. The heat around them is welcome, for once not oppressive. The summer really has gone for good.

The longer they continue, the less muffled everything feels. Perhaps it’s just the last dredges of sleep fading away, but Shigeo notices when touches start to be more intense. More insistent in his mind. Shigeo’s pulse quickens in response, but nothing more happens.

No fear creeps in. The clamor doesn’t rise to unpleasant levels.

Intense finally does not correspond with too much.

“What do you want to do?” Teru asks when their boxers join the small pile of clothes on the floor.

Shigeo is more relaxed than he has been in… well, maybe ever. At least in regards to sex. He drags a hand down Teru’s side and lets it drift inward, smiling when blue eyes flutter closed. His hand pauses before he gets there, and his boyfriend waits a moment. When Shigeo doesn’t continue Teru looks up, fake indignation all over his face and in his voice.

“Hey. Don’t be a tease.” The effect is completely ruined by the beaming grin that takes over a second later.

Teru is ecstatic that Shigeo is feeling so daring, and they both know it.

“I was thinking… You could top?” Shigeo says slowly. There is an idea churning in his head, something he thinks he shouldn’t ignore.

Teru nods.

“You sure?”

“Yes, I feel really good. Everything feels nicer than usual.”

It does. Like Teru has managed to embed nothing but love and safety into every aspect of his touch. Shigeo absently wonders if that’s an esper trick. They’ve never shared emotions quite like that. Not while being intimate. Maybe they should have.

“Alright.” Teru drops a kiss to the crown of his head and rolls away to get what they need.

Words tumble around in Shigeo’s mind, taking precedence over the sounds of plastic ripping and a cap clicking open. The esper chews on them a moment more, speaking up when Teru snuggles back beside him.

“Could we… Could we try doing it on our sides? Like you behind me?”

Teru blinks at him, considering.

“Like spooning?” he clarifies.

Shigeo nods. “I like that you can hold me that way.” It feels safe too, and Shigeo doesn’t have to be self-conscious about Teru looking at him if they’re both facing the same direction.

“We can try anything you want,” Teru says softly, pillowing his head on his arm.

Before Shigeo loses his nerve, he moves to press his back to Teru’s chest. It’s as warm and comfortable as it was right after they woke up, but with Teru hot and hard the way he is, it also sends a thrill through his veins.

His boyfriend reaches around him and settles a hand over his heart. Kisses the juncture of his neck and shoulder tenderly.

“I love you.”

Shigeo breathes out, long and slow, and mumbles his reply.

Then Teru’s hand is trailing down over his stomach and between his legs and Shigeo smothers a groan. Teru runs his hand over his length, stroking until Shigeo feels shivery and tells him he’s ready. His heart is racing as one of Teru’s slick fingers finds his entrance, and Shigeo nods, whispers for Teru to go ahead.

One finger has never felt like all that much, and it feels like especially less right now. It’s not exactly satisfying, not after what Teru was just doing, but when Teru pushes close behind him and presses open mouthed kisses to his neck as well, Shigeo finds he can be patient.

It doesn’t last long anyway, Teru adding a second finger when he feels how relaxed his boyfriend is.

That feels significantly different. Significantly better, in fact, than ever before. Shigeo pushes his hips back into Teru’s hand, eyes shut tight. Teru moves his hand a little less gently, and Shigeo chokes on a silent laugh because it’s not enough and he has no idea what’s going on with his body.

It’s not enough, but it’s still good enough to make him start to sweat. Good enough to make his breath hitch when he feels Teru line up another finger. The addition of a third is taken slowly, a little more cautiously, but it’s almost no time later that Shigeo has his face pressed into his arm. He’s swallowing back all the tiny noises that are trying to escape, not out of embarrassment, but maybe just from plain old shock.

Sex has never been this easy before. This good. Teru isn’t even doing anything different from usual. Is this just because of the change in position? From the dream? Does it even matter?

All Shigeo wants is for Teru to take him, and the thought is bewildering.

He shudders when Teru pulls his hand away. It doesn’t go far though, settling hot on his hip.

“Everything okay?” his boyfriend asks, propping himself up on his elbow and gazing down at him with warm eyes.

“Yes,” Shigeo gasps. “I’m good.”

Teru takes that exactly the way Shigeo hopes he would. He settles back down behind him, snaking his arm under Shigeo’s ribs and wrapping him up. Hugging tight. The hand that was holding his hip slips over his ass and then Shigeo can feel something larger pressed to his entrance.

He hums his consent, the soft sound changing to something closer to a moan as Teru presses in. Shigeo had, in the very distant recesses of his mind, been thinking that it was possible for all this ease and relief to fade away at some point. That things might go back to normal before long. He had been mentally bracing himself for a potential disappointment, but those worries shatter now. Teru isn’t even halfway in and Shigeo is already breathing hard and heavy.

“Okay?” His boyfriend’s voice is shaky.


Shigeo is way better than okay.

Teru’s hand is back on his hip, guiding him closer as he buries himself inside Shigeo’s warmth. They each take a moment to collect themselves, and Shigeo takes comfort in the feeling of Teru’s heart pounding against his back. He wants Teru to feel every bit as good as he does right now.

His boyfriend’s forehead drops to the crook of his shoulder, and they begin to move. Slowly at first, but neither of them keeps that pace for long.

Teru pushes deeper, presses Shigeo forward on the bed with his movements. Shigeo’s fingers twist into the sheets and he pushes himself back, muscles trembling. Sweat plasters his bangs to his face. It’s hot, this rocking.

It’s hot in more ways than one.

Shigeo lets go of the sheets just long enough to jerk his t-shirt up over his head and slam dunk it over the side of the bed. Blessedly cool air washes over him, and with it, the new sensation of his back against his boyfriend’s chest.

Teru hums and peppers Shigeo’s newly uncovered shoulders with increasingly sloppy kisses.

Shigeo grins into the pillow.

They’ve never gone this long. Teru starts up a litany of curses under his breath that Shigeo secretly agrees with.

Holy shit indeed.

Heat licks at his insides every time Teru hilts within him. Shigeo can feel himself building up, but it’s like hiking a mountain he can’t see the top of. He doesn’t know how far this is going to go on.

Teru’s hand moves inward from his hip and Shigeo has exactly one second to understand where it is heading. He sucks in a sudden gasp at the sensation of Teru’s fingers around his dick and every one of his muscles tenses.

In a moment of terrible misunderstanding, Teru freezes.

Shigeo cuts him off before Teru can even ask if he is okay, a completely unfamiliar panic clawing at him.

“Fuck, don’t stop-“

Teru renews his movements, squeezing Shigeo tight with the arm around his ribs. Some kind of garbled apology reaches Shigeo’s ears, but he barely hears it. His heart is beating so loudly he can hardly hear Teru’s panting as it is. They’ve never been able to move this much before.

He’s so loved. Shigeo can feel it in every touch, and there is nothing in his mind but the feeling of his boyfriend all around him. It’s just him and Teru, and his heart is filled to the brim with trust and safety and love.

Shigeo arches his back, and the slight change in angle is what sends Teru over the edge. His hips jolt forward, pressing Shigeo into the mattress as he leans into the movements. He pushes deep as he rides out his orgasm, and an incredible heat flashes through Shigeo before he comes as well, only one word on repeat in his mind.

Teru!” he gasps.

Oh fuck,” Teru wheezes behind him, his breath hot on the skin of Shigeo’s shoulder.

They shudder together, a mess of sweaty limbs and overflowing hearts.

When the high fades, Shigeo becomes aware that the funny noise in between his gasps is laughter. He doesn’t understand why he is laughing, but it feels good, he feels so good, that it doesn’t matter.

“What the hell was that?” his boyfriend mutters.

Shigeo holds in a giggle long enough to sass him.

“That was sex, Teru.”

The arms around him squeeze and Teru stammers out a tangle of not-words until his tongue seems to sort itself out.

“I know- Listen, you. Listen. I just mean that was amazing. Fuck, I think I saw the future.”

Shigeo pulls away from him so that he can roll over and face his boyfriend properly.


“No!” Teru exclaims, dropping his face into his hands in exasperation.

Shigeo loves it. Loves the lightness of the giggling that keeps coming from his chest. Loves the flush high on Teru’s cheeks and the way his hair is disheveled on one side, pushed up off his forehead. Loves that he is pretty sure he looks the same.

He loves Teru so, so much, and decides to stop being a pain.

“It was really different,” he admits, and Teru peeks back up at him through his fingers. “I think… I think that’s what it’s supposed to feel like. We were both really relaxed. It all just felt good for me. I wasn’t nervous at all.”

The words come out quietly, Shigeo looking into Teru’s blue eyes when his boyfriend drops his hands to the sheets. He shifts one to rub his thumb over Shigeo’s knuckles.

“That’s good. That’s so good, Shige. God, I love you so much.”

Shigeo knows that not every time is going to be as good as this one. That there will still be hard days. But knowing that this is possible, knowing that it can be this good, this easy, puts his worries to rest.

He tucks himself in under Teru’s chin, forehead to his collarbone. Sighs at the feeling of a warm hand between his shoulder blades. There is a beat of silence, Teru’s fingers suddenly searching over his bare back.

“Where did your shirt go?"