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The Kotatsu Issue

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Chota always loved En's product ideas, and he was flattered that En frequently came to him for concept evaluation. However, this one time, he just couldn't approve.

 

A mushroom kotatsu sounded appealing, in theory, but there was one clear flaw that really overrode all the positives. "En, have you ever used a kotatsu?" Chota asked quietly, trying to sound neutral while he scanned the preliminary outlines.

 

En didn't look up from his planner. "I can't say that I have had the opportunity, no."

 

Chota sighed, it was one thing to suggest modifications to a product, it was quite another to suggest that a product should not even begin to exist when En had determined that it should. But he had to say something. "There's alot more to a kotatsu than just warmth, En."

 

"Oh? Enlighten me."

 

Much as Chota wanted to do just that, the tone of En's voice told him that En was already on the verge of outright annoyance. He didn't want to push too far. "I'm not saying that it doesn't look good... But, there's an element of - intimacy - it's missing."

 

En looked up, fixing Chota with a stare that was equal parts confused and irritated.

 

Before En could really cross the line into frustrated territory, Chota held his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "I'm not very good at explaining, but please give me a chance!" Suddenly, a brilliant concept dawned on Chota, "It's supposed to be getting colder next week! Why don't you come up and try out my kotatsu then?" When En quirked his brow suspiciously, Chota quickly added, "Just for research! I promise you'll see what I mean when you try it yourself!"

 

It was En's turn to sigh, he flipped a few screens in his planner. "Fine. The production isn't set to start until next month anyway. I have some time on Monday at eleven."

 

If Chota had anything planned for that time he would cancel it. "That sounds perfect!"

 

//

 

Monday dawned cloudy and chilly, the best kotatsu weather.

 

Chota had spent the entire weekend arranging his rooms to set up the ideal environment for En to fully experience kotatsu function. He'd even woken up early that morning in order to bake one of En's favorite mushroom tarts, and now he was picking out the perfect mugs for their tea. All this effort, and he still hadn't been able to distract himself from thinking about what he hoped to accomplish.

 

Hoping was wishing, and wishing usually ended in disappointment.

 

Chota had been consumed with it anyway. Even his dreams were about playing footsie with En under the kotatsu. 

 

It wasn't completely unrealistic to hope. They had kissed. En had even been the one to initiate, but he'd also been the one to shut down Chota's advances when he'd tried to push things further.

 

It had been nearly a year since that first time, yet only a few stolen moments, and one really solid make-out session, sparsely dotted the months since. 

 

They hadn't done anything since Chota had overstepped En's unspoken boundaries, and Chota was beginning to fear that those golden past moments were all he would have to hold on to.

 

At 10:59 there was a knock at Chota's door. En was punctual, as always.

 

"En!" Chota exclaimed, undeniably thrilled to see him. He was by En's side immediately, explaining that he ought to take off his suit jacket. Chota hung this on a coat hanger by his door, while he encouraged En to exchange his dress shoes for slippers or stocking feet.

 

"Hm, is this really all necessary?" En asked, sounding honestly curious, and shivering, now his coat was off, to Chota's delight.

 

"Of course! Kotatsu are meant to keep you warm, but the main goal is to feel completely comfortable, so none of this stiff stuff." Chota walked back towards the kitchen in an effort to not crowd En. "What kind of tea would you like?"

 

"I don't know that I have time for all that." En replied, still considering whether he should wear the house slippers or just stick with socks.

 

"Ohh!!! But you've got to get a genuine kotatsu experience, and having a warm drink is a big part of that!" Chota whined, poking his head back into the foyer, and trying not to sound alarmed. Just how little time did they have?!

 

"Fine. You've got bergamot, right?" En chose socks, and stepped toward the center of the room.

 

"I do!!" 

 

While Chota busied himself with steeping their tea, he watched En out of the corner of his eye. The older man had crouched down to evaluate the low table, and was just lifting the hem of the blanket to peek underneath when Chota strolled out of the kitchen with their mugs.

 

"Looks comfy, right?" He smiled warmly while setting down their tea. "Oh! are you hungry?"

 

En stood up straight again, eyeing Chota for some reason. "Not at the moment. Just tea for now."

 

"Okay, I made a tart. Let me know if you want some." Chota fluffed his cushion before settling down and tucking cross-legged under the table.

 

En watched, then proceeded to do the same before looking across at Chota, eyes asking the silent question 'what now?'.

 

Chota grinned. He was fully prepared. Beside him was a basket of magazines, newest issues of 'Mushroom Digest' (the only mushroom-related publication En didn't own), 'Design Weekly', and even the daily news report. Chota was incredibly proud of himself for planning so carefully to have all these, and a few extras, delivered fresh off the printer directly to his door that morning. 

 

Plopping the magazines onto the table, Chota pushed them toward En, "Just relax. If you need to, get some work done, no pressure." 

 

En's eyes widened slightly, and Chota couldn't help the happy shivers coursing down his spine. In an effort to appear calm, Chota grabbed one of the tangerines from the bowl at the center of the table and started peeling it methodically.

 

En silently considered the stack of magazines, then pulled out his phone. Chota deflated a little, but quickly accepted that En was with him and going along with his wishes, and that was really such a treat on it's own. Taking his mask off, Chota set it on the table before popping a tangerine slice in his mouth and opening his current magic study book.

 

Several minutes ticked by. The silence was comfortable, and the kotatsu was warm. Chota had left a radio on in his bedroom, and the quiet rises of string instrumentals were drifting into their space from time to time. The only thing off was...

 

Chota didn't need to look, even peripherally. He knew what the weight of En's eyes felt like. Why was En watching him like that?

 

A few more minutes passed. En was working hard to conceal his interest in Chota, dividing his attention well between the phone and brief glances across the table. 

 

Cute.

 

No! What was he thinking?! Chota felt his cheeks heating up as he internally reprimanded himself.

 

Desperate for a distraction, Chota reached for his tea, and glanced in En's direction at exactly the same time En picked up 'Mushroom Digest'. Their eyes locked.

 

En looked away quickly, feigning a cough, and Chota allowed himself a closer examination of En's features while he was turned away. Was En blushing?! No, no... He was definitely just warm from the kotatsu... He was still wearing his mask after all... Chota shook himself and took the opportunity to ask, "Are you comfortable, En?"

 

En nodded. "It is rather warm." He commented, beginning to unbutton his sleeves.

 

Chota's heart skipped a beat. While En bared his forearms, Chota was on the verge of losing his self-control.

 

"I see why you recommended removing the jacket." En grunted, rearranging himself under the blanket and, in the process, sweeping his feet dangerously close to Chota's knees.

 

Convincing himself to remain sane took a few moments, but Chota was able to squeak an affirmative noise while he pulled his legs in closer to his own body. As En settled back in, opening the magazine, and taking the first sip of his tea, Chota surreptitiously lifted the blanket to confirm their positions. As suspected, En's legs were spread out to either side of Chota's hips, and Chota swallowed thickly, trying to determine if he should acknowledge this or not.

 

He could let it be, for now. 

 

A puddle of heat was trickling downward from Chota's belly, and it had nothing to do with the tea. If he shifted even an inch to the right or left he'd come into contact with En. It was all he could do to stop himself from acting on pure instinct.

 

Taking calming breaths through his nose, Chota ate three more slices of his tangerine, and flipped the largely unread page in his spells book.

 

Much as he wanted to settle down, his mind was racing, and Chota gave up on really reading, intent now on deciding what he should do about their situation. Perhaps he should take a risk. En had agreed to his suggestion with surprisingly little resistance; maybe En, similarly, was hoping for something more to come out of this meeting than he'd articulated. It was also true that Chota had promised to demonstrate the intimate qualities of the kotatsu; specifically, those that could not be achieved by the center-post mushroom design. 

 

Just as Chota was resolving this internal debate, En's left foot pushed into Chota's outer thigh, digging in momentarily, before En looked up and met Chota's surprised gaze. "Oh! Sorry, Chota, is that you?"

 

The pressure of En's foot disappeared, and Chota watched, dumbfounded, while En shifted under the blanket again. There was no question about it. En was hiding a smile under his mask. Chota had watched him often enough to know his features, and the definition of his brows was unmistakable. 

 

"That's okay, it's easy to bump into each other under here." Chota answered benignly. The game was on.

 

En's right foot still rested near Chota's hip, a fact that Chota was about to fully take advantage of. 

 

After an appropriate few minutes of down-time, Chota also moved to rearrange himself; stretching his legs out toward En's crotch just enough to encroach on his territory, though not enough to be unwelcome. Chota brushed En's calf on his way inward. Murmuring apologies, Chota wiggled his bottom on the cushion, excitement and nerves thrumming in his skin.

 

"It's fine." En mumbled, seeming equally careless, but Chota could tell. En was very much on edge.

 

Chota sipped from his tea and thought about being careful not to drink too much, when En surprised him with a question.

 

"Those tangerines. Where did you get those? I haven't seen any in the mansion lately."

 

Happy to have an excuse to meet En's gaze, Chota looked up and elaborated. "Oh! I ordered them from the contact our fruit supplier gave me! They aren't quite in season here, but south of us they are. It was a little expensive, but it's a sweeter fruit because of all the sun they get there! They actually just arrived yesterday!" Before he could think it over, Chota reached across the table, holding out a slice, and blurted, "Do you wanna try one!?"

 

En was definitely a little taken aback, and Chota wavered, almost withdrawing his hand, but it really was too late, wasn't it? The few seconds that passed with his arm outstretched felt like ages, but then, En reached up and took Chota's wrist. Chota leaned into the table, eyes wide in stunned silence, allowing En to pull him forward.

 

Looking Chota dead in the eye, En unhooked his mask and ate the tangerine slice out from between Chota's fingers, only releasing his wrist when he had licked a last dribble of juice off Chota's thumb. 

 

All that heat in Chota's middle instantaneously surged south.

 

Slowly withdrawing his arm, Chota couldn't help the tremble in his voice when he asked, "It's pretty good, right?"

 

En was still looking at him while he chewed thoughtfully, then, swallowing, replied "Could be better."

 

The heat became an inferno.

 

Chota's body moved on its own, legs stretching out fully until his toes met the muscle of En's inner thigh. "I think I can improve it if you wanna try." He pressed forward, massaging En's leg openly.

 

En's brow sat high while he stared Chota down, and Chota could just feel En leaning into his foot as he answered. "Impress me."

 

Chota didn't have to think twice. He took another slice and held it out toward En while subtly shifting his foot to push En's legs open wider. 

 

En leaned forward again, this time, opening his mouth for Chota to place the citrus wedge on his tongue. When he had, En pushed the slice into his cheek and captured two of Chota's outstretched fingers, sucking them brazenly.

 

Chota groaned out loud. It was too much.

 

En pulled back, jaw working on the fruit, eyes still trained right on Chota's face. Chota, meanwhile, shifted his other foot over towards En's crotch, nearly frantic with the tension. He had to know if this was affecting En the same way.

 

Carefully maneuvering one foot to hold En's leg open, Chota cautiously slid the other forward along the line of En's opposite thigh until he met a significant bump. Chota's eyes flew wide. He watched En while gently pressing in against that bulge with the insole of his foot. 

 

En hissed through his teeth, finally looking away.

 

Chota's enthusiasm soared. "En...?" He breathed, just desperate to say his name.

 

"Yes?" En asked, sounding altogether too dignified for their situation.

 

Chota nudged his foot forward a little more, feeling the weight of En under his sole, working to provide friction that would have En unable to speak, dignified or otherwise. "There's one more... Do you want it?" Chota nodded toward the last tangerine slice, still tucked into the peel, innocent as the forbidden fruit.

 

En opened his mouth to answer, and Chota took the opportunity to press inward a little firmer. En gasped. Undignified. "Come over here and give it to me properly." He growled.

 

Chota acted immediately, pushing the tangerine across the table to be in En's reach. He could feel En's gaze on him while he unfolded his long body and deliberately rounded the table. Just walking had become a nearly insurmountable challenge due to his throbbing arousal, and En's eyes, following his movements, were laying waste to his senses.

 

Crouching down beside En gave Chota some relief, and he almost forgot entirely about his own predicament as he breathed in the deep, allspice-rich scent of En. "How do you want it?" Chota murmured.

 

En's eyes trained on Chota's lips. "Your mouth." En leaned back on his hands, awaiting Chota's obedience.

 

Heart pounding, Chota complied. Placing the slice between his teeth, he moved into En's space. 

 

En's lips were on his in the next moment, the tangerine splitting in half between their sets of teeth, tongues colliding as they claimed parts of the fruit. Pulling back slightly, Chota chewed his half, and watched En do the same. They finished at the same time, and Chota moved in again, licking En's chin to consume the juice that had leaked out, before lapping back up into En's mouth. They kissed.

 

After a few minutes, Chota trailed his hand down En's chest, palm feeling En's breath and the undulation of his belly under his dress shirt, before dropping lower. Anxious En might stop him, Chota broke away from En's mouth to seek confirmation. "Please let me?" He breathed, their faces were proximal, but he could still see the look in En's eyes.

 

En nodded.

 

Chota reached down again, resting his hand against En, feeling him through his pants with awe and trepidation. "En... You..." He was so hard, but En looked - dare he think it - Vulnerable? Chota kissed him again. 

 

En's hips rose into Chota's hand, and Chota fell in love all over again. Wrapping an arm fully around En's middle, Chota pulled him back enough to expose most of his lower half, and he bit En's lip gently while proceeding to undo the clasp on En's pants.

 

En exhaled through his nose as Chota pulled him out. "En, oh.... En..." Chota moaned, his head spinning.

 

"Chota... I said... I want your mouth."

 

Chota's breath hitched, and he whispered "Y-you really mean it?" His lust-addled gaze trained on the object of his desire.

 

En's hips rotated upward into Chota's palm again "Yes." En hissed, his tone barely concealing desperation.

 

Chota was already halfway to En's lap by the time he was affirmed. His mouth watered for En, and En was ready for him, surging eagerly into Chota just as his lips were around him. 

 

"Fuck, Chota!" En cried, no longer making an effort to hide his neediness. His hands scrabbled at Chota's back, and Chota took him deep in his throat.

 

En was spilling rivers of precum into Chota's mouth; the taste of it was driving Chota insane. His own erection felt like a blazing star against the seam of his pants, and Chota couldn't help squatting low to rub himself on the rug for just the slightest relief.

 

En was making all manner of extraordinary sounds while clutching at the carpet and pressing the back of Chota's head down. Chota repeatedly thanked every devil for his mild gag reflex, especially since all he wanted to do was focus on immortalizing this moment. 

 

All too quickly, En's noises became more erratic, and Chota could sense the end approaching. Sucking a little quicker, with a little more force and less depth, Chota brought En to the brink and fell with him; the strangled warning En cried was all the inertia necessary to send them both tumbling headlong into bliss.

 

When En was fully spent, Chota lifted his head and swallowed, feeling euphoric, and just a bit sticky. Grinning, he sat up and looked over to En, who looked thoroughly sated, though somewhat dazed. "I better go get cleaned up. Let me get you something too." Chota stood and headed to the bathroom, giving En some space.

 

He was a mess. After efficiently changing pants, and cleaning his own spend off his legs, Chota headed back to the main room with a damp towel. 

 

To Chota's surprise, En was curled on his cushion, halfway under the kotatsu, deep breaths indicating that he was already fast asleep. 

 

Chota inspected En's sleeping form. His pants were still undone, and Chota silently complemented himself on the thorough job of ensuring En was clean earlier. 

 

Folding the damp cloth, Chota set it on the table before tucking in cautiously behind En under the kotatsu. As he laid down beside En, the older man shifted, pressing back against Chota, perhaps inadvertently. Chota closed his eyes, breathing in the smell of En's hair, and basking in pure happiness.