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Kaiser's Fall

Chapter Text

If a pro-league duelist like you wants to cling to dueling, no matter what, this is the only role left, isn't it?”

 

Those were the words Marufuji Ryo's newfound promoter had spoken to him, less than an hour ago. Ryo could still feel the memory of the shock amplifiers on his skin, sending surging electricity through his body. He could still feel the eyes of the masked spectators on his back too, appraising him, gauging his reactions to the pain and reveling in them.

Fresher than that, he could feel the heady rush of victory, a taste he had gone without for too long. It felt good to win. Too good, much better than he had remembered. He wanted to keep drinking in that feeling, even if he had to wear a collar and compete in these unofficial unregulated arenas…

And to cement his place in this underground world, he had to follow the lead of his promoter. Because of that, he had followed that cloaked man, Saruyama, into a dark-windowed car.

“We're going to the afterparty,” Saruyama purred, smiling ahead into the darkness as their silent driver navigated the city streets. “Everyone will want to congratulate you on your first win. You've got to mingle with them if you want to stay afloat here, you understand? You're nothing without sponsors.”

Ryo nodded.

Saruyama put a gloved hand on Ryo's knee, and rubbed it with what seemed like affection. “They already love you. I was talking to several people during your match who would love to get to know you better. Even before your first match, some of them were your fans, you know?”

“Really?” Ryo's heart lifted a little bit, hearing that some of his followers had somehow wound up in the underground circuit. It had seemed like everyone had abandoned him when his losing streak started.

“Absolutely. There are people who really keep an eye on the rising stars of the dueling world, Kaiser. Some of them have been sponsoring fresh talent since the days of Yugi and Kaiba, even. There's never a shortage of promising youngsters in Duel Monsters.” Saruyama's hand slid up Ryo's leg a few inches. “Luckily you've got me to teach you how to schmooze with them.”

Ryo tried to move away from Saruyama's touch, under the guise of looking out the tinted window, but Saruyama dug his fingers into his thigh, talonlike.

“First things first—I've got something I want you to put on.”

Ryo stepped out of the car with shaky legs, drawing his coat around him against the cold night air. They had driven for a while, and they were somewhere outside the city now—the house he stared up at was a mansion, white, Western-style, and far from its neighbors. Other cars were parked on the street outside and along the long, looping driveway; they were all shiny, new, and expensive.

Saruyama smirked at him and extended a hand to him as if he were escorting a socialite to a ball. Ryo ignored it, focusing on keeping his long coat tightly wrapped around his body.

They stepped up the immaculate front stairs and into the bright light of the mansion, and Saruyama led him down the gilded hallway, passing people in fancy dress milling about with drinks in their hands. Ryo thought he recognized some of them from the duel arena, just from the shapes of their bodies and the cut of their clothes. They certainly seemed to recognize him, smirking at him from behind their masks. It was the same kind of smirk Saruyama always had, an anticipatory, nasty one. They were talking amongst themselves, mostly in a low, constant chatter, but sometimes a laugh rung out from somewhere in the house.

Ryo was still overwhelmed and preoccupied as Saruyama introduced him to some of them as they passed, before wheeling Ryo into a dim smoky room that was even more dense with people. As soon as he made his appearance, people began to applaud lightly, and another masked man stood up and shook his hand. He had a red waistcoat and he was wearing gloves, but his mask and everything else about him were both completely bland. Still, Ryo could tell the other people here seemed to respect him.

“Your debut was magnificent, Kaiser. A truly splendid duel...what a spectacle.”

“Thank you,” Ryo muttered.

“In fact, I'd like to see you continue to rise in the dueling world—that's part of why I invited you here, so please enjoy yourself. Would you care for a drink?”

“I'm eighteen.”

The people around him chuckled.

“Don't worry, you have my permission,” the host said. “Go ahead. Saruyama tells me you've had a stressful time of it since you left Duel Academy. You should feel free to relax.”

The host guided him to a chair, one that looked like it had been pulled away from a dining room table, and someone else put a glass of amber liquid in his hand. Ryo reflexively put it to his lips, but recoiled from the unexpected taste of alcohol. A woman laughed close to his ear.

Saruyama slid through the crowd to bend down and speak to him. “This man paid for the gift I had you put on in the car. Why don't you show it to him?”

“What?” Ryo tightened his grip on his Academy jacket, even as Saruyama touched his leg again.

“If you show him you appreciated his attention, you might not have to worry about where next month's rent for that downtown apartment of yours is coming from,” Saruyama said, in a lower, more threatening tone. “So go on. Don't be embarrassed, we're all adults here.”

Saruyama pulled back, but Ryo still felt the close presence of a dim room full of partygoers watching him, some intently, some casually. It seemed as if his hands started to open his jacket on their own, before he had consciously decided to do it, and by the time the last dregs of his self-respect started to panic and beg him to go back, he had already shrugged it off his shoulders.

Ryo sat before a room of strangers in a black bodysuit, long-sleeved and high-necked but skintight and strategically cut so that he was still virtually naked in front of these people. His face burned and he tried to keep his hands folded in his lap so he wouldn't be tempted to try to cover his bare chest.

The people around him murmured their appreciation as a unit, like they had when he'd dueled in a cage for them earlier, and just like he had then, Ryo felt grimy and disgusting, like they had made him unclean just by looking at him like that. He was a piece of fresh meat thrown into a shark tank. The spectators swarmed around him. The host, who had sat back down, smiled from his armchair.

“Your pants too,” Saruyama instructed him.

Ryo gritted his teeth and took off first his long boots and socks, then slid his pants off, exposing more of the awful bodysuit—it was too obvious he wasn't wearing any underwear beneath it. He was just grateful he was sitting down—the front looked like short shorts, but the back was cut like a thong. He stared down at his bare feet and the thick carpet beneath them. How was he supposed to talk about dueling like this? Even in the underground, with its sadism and extra showmanship, this was about the game at its heart, wasn't it?

“You should put the boots back on,” the host said, in a voice that was too friendly for the atmosphere. “Good, good.” Ryo could feel the man watching as he put his socks and shoes back on. “There we go, that might help you feel a little more at ease, right?”

Ryo didn't want to admit that with his tall boots on, he actually did feel a little less naked.

“Don't forget your drink.” Another person handed him the glass he had put on the floor a minute ago. Ryo took it but didn't intend to drink from it again.

The host leaned forward. “So. Kaiser Ryo. Or, you're competing as Hell Kaiser Ryo now, aren't you?”

“Yeah.” This was actually the first time Ryo had heard that name—maybe Saruyama had coined it during the match, but he had been distracted then.

“I just wanted to let you know that I never held it against you when you started losing a while back, you know? The real world is much different from Duel Academy. I bet it was a bit of a shock to swim in a much bigger pond, so to speak.”

“It was Edo Phoenix.” Ryo's throat was dry. “He's just on a different level than what I had been used to. The competition at the Academy, sometimes...” He trailed off, not wanting to start making excuses for what he was still struggling to understand. “I'm thinking about rebuilding my deck in the near future.”

“Ah, yes, Edo Phoenix.” The host grinned. “He's really something, isn't he...” Other people in the circle murmured agreements. A woman close to the host said something Ryo couldn't make out, and the guests around her laughed. “Shh, shh, come on, that's uncalled for,” the host admonished her, still laughing with her. “So Kaiser, tell me about Duel Academy. What's it like living on Kaiba Seto's private island? Do they treat you alright there? You're not three to a bed, scavenging for food, dueling for basic amenities out there?”

The people laughed again.

“As if Kaiba would let his little proteges live like that. He may be insane but he's got more than enough money to cover for it,” a man said.

“Is it true the school's finally admitting girls now?” a woman asked.

“I think there's always been girls,” Ryo said, dragging words out of a dry throat. “There's just not as many, there's only one dorm...”

“I don't know why there aren't more, it's not as if they have anything to worry about there,” someone else said. “I bet the boys hardly look at them with all the duels around.”

“With all the other boys around, you mean.”

“With that old queen they've got running entrance exams.”

“Oh stop it, you're absolutely nasty,” the first person said, as peals of laughter fell over Ryo's head. “Well, Kaiser, I bet you had lots of little girlfriends, didn't you? Duel Academy wasn't completely faggy?”

“It--” It wasn't like that at all, Ryo wanted to say. He didn't want these people to talk about Duel Academy. With one boot he kicked his discarded uniform jacket under his chair, as if hiding it from view. I'm the one who decided to throw everything away here. None of them have anything to do with it. He didn't want to make Sho and Fubuki and Asuka and Judai dirty along with him.

And he didn't want to talk about whether he had had girlfriends or not, not ever. He sidestepped the question the same way he always had.

“I wouldn't know. The only thing I was ever in love with at school was dueling.”

“I bet plenty of people were in love with you, though.”

Ryo stared into his full glass before taking a begrudging sip. “Maybe.”

The bitter taste lingered in his mouth as the conversation moved on and Ryo tried to stay afloat in it, throwing himself into discussions of competitive Duel Monsters and the industry, the only thing in this party he felt comfortable with. That was his world, even if this was a nasty corner of it and the salacious gossip and lewd insinuations that sometimes slipped in made his skin crawl.

These are perverts.

He kept trying to keep the conversation focused onto game balance, the current meta, the strategies that were in favor among the rising crop of duelists this season, even though he could tell that the people he was talking with could tell he was trying to do it—and they thought it was funny.

They just happen to follow Duel Monsters. The thing they're really into is—

He didn't want to finish the thought. Even though he had decided to throw away his self-respect for the sake of sheer victory, there was something else holding him back from this world, that kept him from throwing himself into it. And it made him so angry just to acknowledge it.

He was afraid.

Ryo had never been a coward, or even cautious. He knew his limits and played inside them, but he excelled inside them, and he had never felt limited. He had never felt lost, or unsure, or afraid before, even when he had graduated. He had just been moving from one duel arena at the school to the larger world of the pros. But he had no experience here. He was standing on the edge of a precipice, knowing he had to jump, but being afraid to look down and see what was below.

“How are you liking the outfit I picked out for you, Kaiser?” the host said, interrupting whatever side conversations had been going on just a minute ago.

“I--” Ryo put his drink back down on the carpet. “It's fine.”

“It's very sexy, Kaiser,” a woman said.

Ryo nodded, folding his hands in his lap again. “Th-thank you.”

“Why don't you stand up and walk around in it a little for us,” the host said, gesturing with his drink, “so we can get the full effect.”

Ryo clenched his fists. Saruyama, still somewhere behind him, gently urged him.

“Go on. Give him what he paid for.”

Slowly, Ryo stood up, all too able to see how hungrily people were watching him. Just stare straight ahead. Don't cover yourself up. Stand up straight, he told himself.

“Oh, hel-lo,” the woman who had just spoken said, and Ryo clenched his fists again, tighter, trying to keep himself from sitting back down. She's looking at me from behind. He was so angry his eyes were misting up. Just yesterday he would have said she had no right to look at him like that—but he had thrown that away. He was fair game for anyone now. That was his punishment for losing, and the price for becoming a champion again.

“Come here, Kaiser.” The host waved him over with a gloved hand. Ryo stood in front of him. “Closer...come on, I've got another present for you.” The host grasped his hand and pulled him down. “Come here...come sit on Daddy's lap.”

Ryo fought the urge to spring up, or vomit. The man was pinning him down with one arm, forcing him to sit on what was clearly his clothed erection. The room swam in front of his eyes and he took a shuddering breath. Don't lose it. Don't.

“Good boy, Kaiser.” The host rubbed himself against Ryo's almost completely bare ass a few times, before taking a deep breath of the air near his neck. Ryo could smell his alcoholic breath. “You're so handsome...do you want to know what I've got for you?”

“Y...yeah,” Ryo muttered. He could see everyone's faces. He was facing the entire room. Everyone was looking at him, while this man buried his face in his hair and ran his hands possessively up and down his sides. It was like a nightmare, like one of those nightmares where he'd show up to class without pants on, but so much worse, because even though he could hardly believe he was in this situation, he knew he was awake.

“Turn around,” the host said in a quiet voice. “Face to face. Come on.”

Ryo was almost relieved to turn around, straddling the host's lap and mercifully having to deal with only one hungry gaze instead of tens of them.

“Such cute nipples,” the host said, and before Ryo could react he took one into his mouth, licking around it and then biting it—hard. Ryo gasped in pain and the host quickly pulled back to drink in the expression on his face. He dug into his pants pocket, and pulled out a crisply folded wad of bills. “Here's my thanks for letting me see faces as cute as that one all night.”

The host slid the bills under the tight strip of fabric that bisected Ryo's nearly-bare chest. Dazed, trying to check how much money he had just been given, Ryo stumbled backwards, almost all the way to his chair.

And one of his feet hit something.

He looked down to see he had knocked over the drink he had left on the floor, and dark liquid was spreading across the plush carpet. “Shit...” Immediately he dove to pick it up, opting to get on his hands and knees rather than bend over, but even that less risky gesture broke the spell. Almost immediately, he felt a cold hand on his ass.

“Here's a present from me too, Kaiser.” A woman with long nails slipped some more bills into the thong-style back of the bodysuit.

“And one from me.” Another, sweaty hand tried to shove some down Ryo's front.

“Come here, I've got a tip for you too.” Someone yanked at Ryo's long hair and tried to pull him over to the fistful of bills they were offering him.

“Over here, Kaiser.”

“Here you go, Kaiser.”

“Take mine too, Kaiser.”

In less than one minute, Ryo was completely overwhelmed by waves of partygoers, grabbing and groping, forcing him to take money or slipping their hands into his clothes to give it to him, never relenting long enough to let him get off his hands and knees. Their hands and fingers were everywhere, crawling over him like huge busy insects, touching his face and his chest and his hips and his ass and his legs and even between his legs, he was aware of becoming limp in their collective grasp, malleable to the will of the crowd, and he resigned himself to it even as his vision went red with impotent rage. It was like he was watching himself from afar as two men grabbed him and turned him over and laid him on his back—

“Ladies, gentlemen, please!”

For the first time, Ryo was relieved to hear Saruyama's voice.

“As Hell Kaiser's manager, I have to ask you to be a little more courteous, and much more orderly.” Saruyama's glasses glinted in the dim light of the room. “I'd like to retire him from the menu for tonight, and ask for your patience, as this is his first day on the underground circuit?” His words were loaded with scolding, so much that the well-dressed animals in masks drew back, and Ryo could sit up and retreat to his chair. “Hell Kaiser Ryo. Put your coat back on, and come with me.” Saruyama stepped over to the bills laying crumpled on the floor and helped Ryo pick them up, then bundled Ryo out of the room, wrapping him in his uniform coat. Ryo realized dully that his pants were still discarded on the floor, but couldn't raise his voice to mention it.

Saruyama escorted him further into the depths of the house, up to its second floor, and they passed fewer and fewer people. The people they did walk past seemed to know what had happened; Ryo avoided their gaze.

“Are you alright?” Saruyama asked, as he knocked perfunctorily on a door and steered Ryo into the dark room beyond.

“I'm...fine.” Ryo fought with his jacket, trying to put his arms through the sleeves.

“In the future, you're going to have to speak up before things get to that point.” Saruyama flipped the lightswitch, revealing that they were in a bathroom—a very elegant bathroom, but still a bathroom. “Although naturally, I'll handle things like clearing prices and discussing your rate. In exchange for my cut, of course.” He briskly separated a section of the bills they had collected, slipping it deftly into the pocket of his coat and handing the rest to Ryo.

“My...rate?”

“For private appearances, of course. Intimate gatherings. One-on-one meetings.” Saruyama leered at him from behind his glasses. “I'm talking about sex, Kaiser.”

“I'm—I'm not a prostitute,” Ryo stuttered, more because he felt like he had to than because he actually felt so.

“Yes you are. What do you think that was? You think people pay this much money to watch you play a card game? That's just an advertisement. You go out there and fry yourself half to death out there in the cage so that people can get off on it. Duel Monsters is practically foreplay.”

“I only care about the game,” Ryo said.

“I know. That's why I'll handle the logistics, and you can play cards to your heart's content while I make sure you're fucking enough people to pay your bills, alright?”

“Fine.”

“Stop glaring at me. Let's talk business, now that we've got some privacy here.”

Ryo sat on the lid of the toilet, while Saruyama leaned against the sink.

“Are you a virgin?”

“I...”

“Wait, wait, let's back up a little.” Saruyama reconsidered. “Let's be more specific than that. What have you done? I need to know how much experience I'm working with here.”

Ryo just stared at him.

“I'm not asking you to tell me who it was with, I just need the names of acts. Descriptions of things? You know?”

“I...I've kissed someone before. And we touched each other with clothes on.”

Saruyama grinned. “Is that it?”

Ryo nodded woodenly. In the eyes of Saruyama, he supposed that probably really was nothing. But it felt like so much to me.

“Good. You're practically shrink-wrapped. You probably noticed, but the freaks here love that kind of shit. They all still wish they could have fucked the life out of Kaiba back when he was your age...So play that up.”

“Okay.”

“As far as we're concerned, every time someone fucks your ass, it's your first time. Lie to their faces. You'll get more money that way.”

“Okay.”

“Same for giving head. Everyone wants to think they're the first person to shove a cock down Kaiser's throat, so give them that. Choke on it a little.”

He nodded again.

Saruyama grasped him by the hair and tilted his face up, forcing him to look him in the eyes. “Are you still in there? I hope you're not chickening out.”

“I'm not,” Ryo snapped, jerking out of Saruyama's grasp.

“Alright, I was just checking.” Saruyama laughed, putting his hands up in a sort of gesture of surrender. “Anyway. Look, just because we're selling you as a virgin doesn't mean you're going to be. I'm thinking it's best to get that out of the way and take care of it now. Rip the bandaid off, so to speak.”

“...Okay.”

Saruyama unzipped his pants. “Turn around.”

Ryo was frozen in shock for a second, but he scrambled to face away just in time to avoid seeing Saruyama take his cock out of his pants.

“Here. Like this.” Ryo felt Saruyama's hands—ungloved now—guiding him to brace himself against the toilet. “I'll even be considerate...here's a towel for you to bite on. Not that I'd complain if you screamed, personally.”

Ryo stared at the soft white towel that had been grabbed from a cupboard and tossed on top of the toilet for him.

“Open your mouth.” Saruyama took a position behind him and pried Ryo's mouth open with his fingers. “Get them nice and wet for me. You're not going to like it if you do a bad job.”

Ryo gagged as the man's fingers invaded as far as they could reach, until it almost felt like they scraped the back of his throat. He tried to pull back but Saruyama used his other hand to push him into place.

“Play nice, alright? Remember I'm doing you a favor here.” He prodded around the inside of Ryo's mouth. “Here, lick them a little. Suck on them.”

Ryo obeyed, embarrassingly aware that drool was starting to run down his chin every time he opened his mouth even slightly.

“Good...yeah, just like that. Good boy.” Saruyama was speaking in an undertone, almost to himself, and Ryo could tell he was masturbating. “Alright. Alright. Okay, prettyboy. Spread your legs a little wider.”

As Ryo spread his legs further apart, Saruyama's fingers left his mouth, trailing sticky drool behind them. Ryo gripped the towel laid over the toilet seat as he felt Saruyama's hands—one warm and wet, the other uncomfortably cold—pull the back of his bodysuit to the side and spread him open.

If I'm not winning, this is what I deserve.

He buried his face in the towel but still let out something between a cry and a sob as Saruyama invaded him, pressing his wet fingers inside that place that felt absolutely disgusting and foreign and wrong. He clenched down on those fingers unconsciously, but Saruyama only laughed a little, not like he thought it was funny, but like he was enjoying himself, like this was the part of his job he looked forward to the most. Maybe it was.

“Ease up a little,” Saruyama said, close to his ear, with sadistic delight. “Or I won't be able to get in.”

Ryo bit into the towel, smelling the detergent that had been used to wash it with each panicked breath. I don't want him to get in. I don't want to know what it feels like. I don't want to feel it. I don't want to.

“Come on.” Ryo felt Saruyama trying to force it, trying to spread him open with two fingers while guiding the head of his cock in what small opening was between them. “Dammit, maybe I should have given you something. This is so tight that—”

Ryo's yell of pain was muffled by the towel as something seemed to split and Saruyama's cock slid in.

Saruyama groaned with pleasure. “There we go. Take it all. Ass up, Kaiser. Take it all the way to the base.”

It hadn't even all been in. Saruyama shifted Ryo's hips up and Ryo felt more repulsive meat push its way inside him, until he could feel Saruyama's balls flush against his bare skin. Somehow, that was what made Ryo dry heave, again, and then again as his retching seemed to encourage Saruyama to fuck him harder. Ryo felt warm liquid dripping down his thigh and didn't know what it was, and his vision was obscured by towel fluff as Saruyama forced his head down, even as he used his other hand to guide his ass up further, so that he was almost on his toes.

It wouldn't have been like this, would it?

Ryo's world was nothing but pain and the sounds of grunting, cursing, and the porcelain toilet tank slamming against the wall with every thrust as Saruyama used it to brace the arm that wasn't holding Ryo in place.

Fubuki and I couldn't have done this.

I couldn't have felt him like this.

Ryo squeezed his eyes shut, until he had convinced himself he wasn't there, and he couldn't hear or feel anymore.

He remembered watching the sun set until it slipped beneath the sill of Fubuki's window.

“Are you going to stay there all night?”

Ryo rolled over to see Fubuki entering the room, a towel wrapped around his waist and another one wrapped around his hair.

“Yeah, I am.” It was Saturday night. They didn't have classes tomorrow. It was fine.

“Finally!!” Fubuki took a running jump and leaped into bed, right on top of Ryo, still wearing his bath towel. “I finally melted the ice around your heart, huh~ Come to my arms, oh love of my life~”

“I'm already in your arms, geez, go put some pants on--” As Fubuki tried to shower him with kisses, Ryo tried to fend him off, twisting away to hide his smile. “You're stupid.”

“One of us has to be stupid, Kaiser.” Fubuki took advantage of an opening and gently kissed Ryo's neck. “If you're not going to lighten up...”

Ryo let his arms drop as Fubuki kissed the same spot again, sucking on it, adding another hickey to the countless ones he had left before. Thank god their uniforms had high collars. Ryo took in a shuddering breath as Fubuki's hand grazed over the crotch of his pants before unzipping them, to let Ryo grind into Fubuki's waiting hand.

“Do you want to take your underwear off?” Fubuki murmured, already pulling at Ryo's waistband.

Ryo shook his head. “This is fine.”

Fubuki's towel had fallen open and if Ryo were to look, he knew he'd see that Fubuki was just as hard as he was. But instead he closed his eyes, and tangled a hand in Fubuki's damp hair, and pulled him down to kiss him.

The sheets of Fubuki's bed were still warm from the setting sun, even as the room became darker and darker, as Ryo let Fubuki unbutton his uniform jacket and pull his shirt up and slide his hands up under his shirt. He felt Fubuki grinding against his leg, and then, after another moment of frantic fumbling in the dark, against his own erection. Tentatively he tugged his waistband down, just a little bit, because it was less embarrassing in the dark, and he felt skin against his skin.

He didn't last very long after that.

“Fuck--! Sorry.” His face was burning.

“It's okay, it's okay.” Fubuki kissed him on the nose. “I'm just gonna—hold on lemme turn the light on so I can see if it got on the sheets.”

“We should have laid the towel down...”

“Don't worry about it, tomorrow's laundry day anyway...”

Fubuki turned the light on, but Ryo's vision was still completely dark.

“Ryo...”

Ryo could hear the smile in Fubuki's voice. He couldn't see it, because he had covered his face with the pillow.

He couldn't help it. He started smiling too.

“You...” Fubuki clearly didn't have anything to call him, just hugged him again and rubbed his face in Ryo's chest until he tossed the pillow away and hugged back, rolling over on top of Fubuki and then some, so that they both fell off the bed.

“Ow!”

Fubuki laughed and kissed Ryo one more time before Ryo pulled the sheets off the bed and covered him completely with them.

“If you don't mention this ever again, I'll let you come sleep in my room.” Ryo affectionately prodded the pile of sheets that was Fubuki. “But you have to put clothes on.”

“Like I'd let you escape the sight of my cute pajamas.”

Ryo sighed, and laid on the floor, and Fubuki crawled out of the nest of sheets and laid next to him.

No matter what room they slept in, it was better when they slept together.

Ryo realized, when Saruyama tore himself out of him and came in thick hot spurts on the back of his uniform jacket, that he had blacked out.

He didn't know how long it had been for. But he was on the bathroom floor now, and the towel he had been biting into was tangled up on the floor with him. And Saruyama was done.

He slumped over onto his side as Saruyama loomed over him, tucking his cock back into his pants.

“I'm going to go find your pants downstairs. Take a shower if you need to. It's got to be three or four am by now, so as your manager, I'm going to insist you get plenty of sleep when you get home.” Ryo watched Saruyama's shiny shoes head towards the bathroom door. “Be right back.”

It hurt. Ryo couldn't stand up. He felt as if, even if he wanted to stand up, his body was frozen around him like a hard outer shell, pinning his consciousness in place. And his ass hurt, like it had been ripped open. Maybe it had been. He didn't know, he couldn't see. It felt too warm and wet back there. He must be bleeding. How much? He didn't want to reach behind himself and check.

After a moment he realized his eyes were stinging. He had forgotten to blink. But he wasn't even looking at anything. Abruptly after thinking that, the bathroom came into focus, the white tiles of the floor, the polished wood of the cabinets under the sink, and far, far away, the edging at the bottom of the wall, right by the door—

Saruyama's feet came back in. Ryo's vision went dark again, because Saruyama had tossed his pants over his face.

“Put them on and I'll take you to your apartment. Think you can give directions?”

Ryo found he couldn't make a noise. He was standing up now. He stared at his pants in his hands, like he had never seen them before.

Put them on. By telling himself how to, he managed to wobble over to the toilet seat and sit on it while he slipped his pants on, though for a second he hit the roadblock of forgetting he had his boots on. How did I forget something like that? The shame flooded through him of being absolutely, catastrophically stupid, but he forced himself to dam it back up. That's not how I think.

Right?

He wasn't that kind of person. He had that idea about himself, but he wasn't sure what kind of person he was.

He was downstairs, and he was in the back of a car, and he was in his apartment. He had his duel disk in one hand and his deck in the other, and he didn't know where his jacket had gone.

Shakily, he put his duel disk and his deck carefully down on a table, and stepped out of his pants. It took him as long to figure out how to take the skimpy bodysuit off as it had taken him to figure out how to put it on, but when he managed to pull it off, he threw it to the floor with as much strength as he could muster.

He rubbed his hands around his neck, where a red ring was starting to form already.

As long as I win, it's okay.

He carried that conviction with him to bed.

Chapter Text

It was surprising how quickly Ryo adjusted to living at night. The underground tournaments were fast-paced, and the matches never took place before sunset. He found himself playing at least once every night, mingling with the spectators in between his matches, and sleeping when he could, during the day. He slept fitfully and never dreamed, but he never had trouble staying in bed. Being awake and alone was too hard. It was better to wake up just in time to review his deck and step out the door, and then let himself get swept away in the hectic claustrophobia of back-alley clubs, trying to win as quickly and as brutally as possible and cling to that rush of victory while fending off his new fans.

He knew he couldn't avoid them forever. He would just rather be unconscious than to have to think about it.

“Do you remember Mr. Crane?” Saruyama asked him suddenly one night, on the way to his match.

“...I can't be bothered to remember every piece of trash I defeat.”

Saruyama laughed shortly. “I must not have mentioned his 'name,' then. Remember that party we went to after your first match?”

Ryo's fingers dug into the sleeves of his black leather coat. “...Yes.”

“He was the host. Your very generous sponsor.”

“What about him?”

“He wants to meet with you after your match tonight. One-on-one. I've arranged for you to duel just once tonight, in the first round, to give you more time together.”

A feeling like cold electricity shot up Ryo's spine, leaving him nauseous. “Alright.”

Ryo destroyed his opponent. He was working on a new deck, one that relied on effect damage to win in just a few turns. He wasn't satisfied with it, though. He had been thinking about other options and had one in mind, but needed to wait til he had enough time and money to pursue it on his own.

Afterwards, as his victim was being rushed to an emergency clinic, Saruyama led him out the back door to a waiting taxi. The driver took off before Ryo could ask where the man known as Mr. Crane was or where he was supposed to go.

Ryo could tell that the driver had been instructed to take a circuitous route from the arena to their destination, but after a few unnecessary turns he gave up on trying to track where he was or where he had started from. All the neon-lit downtown streets were starting to look the same to him anyway—and after the third adult bookstore they passed, he could tell they were just doing loops through the red light district. He wasn't surprised when the taxi driver shooed him out in front of a love hotel.

With stiff fingers, Ryo opened the door and stepped in, feeling as if he was going somewhere he wasn't allowed to be. This was the kind of place his classmates would have dared each other to run up to on their school trip.

The lobby was small and dark, warm and lit with pink neon. He looked around blankly before noticing a frosted glass window by the door with a shadow moving behind it.

“I'm...looking for Mr. Crane,” he said helplessly, hoping the person behind the window couldn't see him.

Wordlessly, a hand with long pink nails slid a key card over the counter through a slit at the bottom of the window. Ryo took it and headed to the elevator, passing a vending machine filled with unfamiliar objects and little bottles of things like “personal lubricant” and “warming massage gel.”

The room on the card was 4B. Ryo rode the elevator to the fourth floor and was surprised to see that the hallway had only two rooms on it, and no windows. It felt like a concrete dungeon, like he was underground even though he knew he had gone up.

He knocked on 4B and stood back and off to the side, as if he was planning to escape when the door was opened. In what felt like the eternity before the door opened a crack, he wondered what would happen if he did.

The face that peered out from the door was wearing a mask, the same as at the party.

“Mr. Crane?” Ryo asked in a dry voice, even though he already knew. These guys must really value anonymity, with what they do.

“Kaiser.” The mouth under the domino mask smiled. “Come in.”

Ryo stepped into a room that was small, lit with pink neon strips like the lobby had been. For a second he thought there was a window, but then saw it depicted a glowing sunset over a silhouette of a city skyline and realized it was just a lit wall decoration. The walls were grey concrete, but under his feet there was a pink rug and right in front of him, dominating the room, was a huge bed, lurid pink like everything else. Everything else in the room—a flatscreen television, chairs, a minifridge and bar—seemed like an afterthought, shoved off to the side in what was practically an alcove. On the other side of the room was more frosted glass, and Ryo could see a bathroom beyond it.

“Do you want anything to eat or drink? The room service menu seems pretty extensive here.” Mr. Crane sat in one of the chairs and laced his fingers together, watching Ryo from behind the eyeholes of the mask.

“No.” He didn't think he could keep anything down even if he was hungry. Ryo's insides felt coiled like a spring, like his whole body was ready to flood his muscles with all the energy they needed to run away at the closest chance.

“Why don't you take your coat off, and sit down. We can take as much time as we need to get to know each other.”

Ryo sank into the chair opposite Mr. Crane and pulled off his leather coat, remembering the last time he had gotten undressed for this man—the burning shame of all those eyes on him, the cold air on his bare skin and the tight fabric that didn't cover enough, the hands that had pulled him down and the undisguised lust he had felt pressed against him—

“Don't be nervous, Kaiser. Saruyama told me. You've never done this before.”

“Y-yeah.”

Crane leaned forward in his chair, smiling in a way that was probably meant to seem kind and paternal. “Don't worry. I'll be so gentle with you, Kaiser...I'll make you love it.”

Ryo's skin crawled. Last time we met, you literally bit me.

“Here, come here.”

There was nothing Ryo wanted less, but as if reeled in by an invisible line, he got up and walked to the man across from him. Crane put out his hand, and Ryo took what was in it—a tiny ziplock bag containing two round pills.

“Those will help you relax. Here, have some water.” Crane leaned over to the minifridge, and put a bottle of water in Ryo's other hand.

“Wh-what are they?” Ryo stared at the pills in his hand, feeling that there had to be something dangerous about unlabeled, unnamed medication.

“They're for helping you relax and feel good. You don't have to take them now if you don't want to.”

“I...” Ryo hesitated for a second, then uncapped the water bottle and washed down both pills before he could regret it. They had an oddly sweet aftertaste. Maybe it'll make this easier.

“There we go.” Crane smiled again. “Come sit on my lap like last time, Kaiser. It's okay, there's no one else here this time—just you and me. Come on.”

Reluctantly, Ryo straddled Crane's lap, feeling silly, awkward, and petrified in equal measure—he was the same height as this man, might even be taller. Even with no one watching, he felt like he must look ridiculous.

“What a pretty boy you are,” Crane cooed, stroking Ryo's cheek as Ryo tried to keep his expression as neutral as possible. “I can't believe no one else had gotten to you first...Here.” He guided Ryo's hands to the collar of his red button-down shirt. “We can go as slow as you want. You undress me, and I'll undress you, alright?”

Ryo nodded.

“Just undo that first button for me. Good boy. See, now you can keep going whenever you're ready, okay?” Crane rubbed Ryo's hip, and pressed his slightly open mouth against Ryo's lips. Ryo dumbly accepted it, not reciprocating but not pulling away. Now two people have kissed me, he thought, distantly as if someone else had put the idea there. Crane's tongue tried to slide into his mouth, but he jerked his head away.

“It's okay.” Crane's hand slid around Ryo's waist and gently squeezed his ass. Ryo grimaced. “You're so cute, Kaiser. It's okay. I'll take good care of you. Why don't you undo another button.” He ran his hand up and down Ryo's back as Ryo fumbled with the next button on his shirt. “There we go. Here, will you let me see your cute legs?”

Before Ryo could say anything, Crane had unzipped his jeans and was sliding them down to expose his thighs and his black briefs.

“Just right,” Crane sighed. “Look at those thighs. You're like a Greek statue.”

Ryo had no idea what to say to that. He had never considered his legs to be an attractive feature, had never really thought about them. He did wish he wasn't in his briefs in front of this man.

“I thought we could go slow,” he said in a voice that was too small to belong to the man called Kaiser. It sounded like Sho. It didn't sound like him. Immediately he wished he hadn't opened his mouth.

“We are going slow.” Crane ran his hand gently up and down Ryo's inner thigh, as if making a misplaced comforting gesture. “Just relax, Kaiser. Here.” He guided Ryo to put his hands on his shirt again, and Ryo helplessly undid a button, feeling as if he was watching himself from outside his body—it was like his nerves had been misplaced. The coiled feeling in his insides was gone, and even when he tried to call on it, it just wasn't there.

Crane's hand brushed up between his legs and Ryo's hair stood on end. He froze as the touch grew bolder, as Crane stroked his soft cock through his briefs, gently coaxing it, guiding it to harden without Ryo's permission.

“There we go. That feels good, doesn't it?” Crane murmured.

“I…” Ryo couldn't bring himself to pull away as the man's sure touch sent shivers through him. The worst part was, it did feel good. Even if only a little. It was just enough, and soon his cock was straining against his briefs, as if trying to push into Crane's hand.

“Come on, show me how hard you are, baby. Show me your cute little cock.”

Ryo shook his head.

“Don't be embarrassed. I know you want it. Here.” Ryo felt himself being walked backwards with his pants around his ankles, until Crane pushed him down onto the bed. He saw the grey ceiling, and, propping himself up on his elbows, he saw his briefs tenting and Crane past it, between his legs, sliding his boots off and pulling his pants to the floor. He reached down to cover the embarrassment, the reaction that had happened without his permission, but Crane grasped his hand and pinned it to the sheets. “Let me see it.”

Screwing his eyes shut, Ryo lay back as he felt Crane peel his underwear back, freeing his cock, and grasp it again. Then he jolted as he felt lips brush the head of his cock.

“Don't do that,” he said hoarsely.

“You don't want to be kissed down there?”

“No.” He knew his face must be so red it could singlehandedly demolish his reputation as Hell Kaiser, but hopefully it was lost in the glow of the neon lights.

“You're so shy.” Crane crawled up the bed until he was crouching over Ryo like a smiling beast. “I can help you with that, Kaiser. I'll make you a sweet little slut for me so you won't even be able to see me without getting hard...I'll make it so that you beg for my cock after every match...” He slid Ryo's shirt over his head, planting kisses all up his chest to his neck as he did so, and Ryo felt that sickening fear return, enough to make him shudder.

I want to go home. The inside of his mouth was salty and his vision clouded as he blinked away the mist of tears that had sprung up all of a sudden, he was hard because of this man's hand but he didn't mean it, he hated that treacherous reaction, he didn't want to be a slut and especially not for this man, this disgusting predator that had been watching him since he was in high school…

“Do you want more pills, Kaiser?” Crane said, close to his ear, and Ryo accepted them so fast he barely registered they were in his hand by the time he had finished saying yes. He choked them down without water, drinking in deep breaths of air instead because Crane was off him, even though he was getting undressed, Ryo realized with a stab of fear they were both undressed, and he could see Crane's cock even though he didn't want to, and it was hard because this man wanted to have sex with him, he was paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to have sex with him, and it was going to happen right now.

Crane sat on the bed, facing Ryo, looking perfectly at ease and smiling under the mask that was the only thing he wore.

“Let's prepare each other.”

He took Ryo's hand and squirted something from a small bottle into it. “Now rub that all over my cock.”

Ryo closed his eyes and gingerly took Crane's cock in his hand, hating how it pulsed at his touch. It was thicker at the end than at the base, and from the look at it he had gotten a moment ago, he knew it was much redder than his own. It was the first erect cock he had really looked at besides his. He hadn't ever looked at Fubuki's, out of—that stupid thing he had thrown away—respect. I was so stupid. He felt a million years older than he had been a year ago.

I wish I could see him again.

Crane's cold slimy fingers pushed their way inside Ryo, where it was still tender and sore from when Saruyama had bent him over the toilet and broken him in, but Ryo resolved not to make a sound.

“Good boy. See how easy this is? I've got three fingers in you right now, did you know that?”

Ryo tried to think about whether he had known that. When Crane hooked his fingers up inside and hit something inside him he definitely did. A noise came out of him, before he could stop it.

“Those little pills are magic, aren't they?” Crane stroked that spot again and Ryo felt his mouth open a little. “Look how easy it is for you to enjoy yourself, hm? It's like you've been doing this your whole life.”

When he took his fingers out Ryo actually missed them for a second. Crane was leaning back, reaching to get something that was under the bed. He pulled it up. It was a suitcase. Ryo recognized it immediately but it took him a moment to realize exactly what it was, the context was different, even though he saw suitcases exactly like this one every night.

Crane opened it and took the shock collar out reverently.

“This is my absolute favorite toy, Kaiser.”

He fastened it around Ryo's neck, then did the same with the bracers for his arms and legs, while Ryo watched, still confused, still hard. Then, he took out one last part Ryo hadn't seen before, a small remote control. He took it in one hand, and slid the other up inside of Ryo again.

Just as he stroked that spot again, he pressed the switch.

Electricity surged through Ryo's body, the same sensation as losing life points in a cage-match duel, and at the same time he felt that sweet surge of sheer pleasure.

Crane grinned, drinking in the look on Ryo's face. “Perfect.”

He lined up the head of his cock with Ryo's entrance. Ryo let him guide him down, dazed and pliable.

“Now...you're going to fuck yourself onto me, alright? Now that I showed you what to aim for. And you're going to make yourself feel so good, right, Kaiser?”

“Yeah.” Ryo felt like his head was floating. Maybe the effect of two doses of that drug both hitting him at once, maybe the aftermath of being shocked.

Crane put his thumb on the switch again. “And I'll provide the fireworks.”

--

Being shocked made it easier.

The pain was coming from everywhere this time and that made it easier to understand. It wasn't like what he had been afraid of. He wasn't thinking of Saruyama. He was thinking of the match he'd won earlier tonight. His body was numb and buzzing but every time he drove Crane's cock up inside him he could think about how the cold metal of the collar was so quickly becoming synonymous with the thrill of battle, the only good time he could have anymore. Because once he was locked in that cage and collared that was a sign that he was safe for a while, he wasn't allowed to leave until someone won and with the caliber of the players he was up against half the time he knew it was going to be him. Once the door shut after him, even if he was still being appraised and bid on like a beast on display, at least he was a duelist. At least the cage matches had awakened him to the real fun of an unbalanced match. Now when he felt the pain of battle damage it was because his prey was fighting for its life. It made him feel like, every time Crane rewarded him for pleasuring himself by pressing that switch again, it was because Crane was his opponent, eking out incremental damage in a duel he was ultimately going to lose. He'd get him eventually. Inevitably he would win.

“Good boy, Kaiser. Harder,” Crane urged him. Ryo heard his voice shake a little, for the first time that night. It was because of him. He was everything this man had hoped. He felt savagely proud somehow but he mostly wanted to rip this man's condescending daddykink facade right off of him, and he wanted to keep using this cock. He could hear his own voice, as if it was leaking, whines and moans that sounded fake but he wasn't making them on purpose, he was just dizzy and fuzzy and being filled by this cock was the only thing that was keeping him from floating away—he had never felt like this before, like he had a fever but weirder. Crane was jerking him off while he rode him and he was still using his other hand to push the switch and keep the electricity coming, wasn't it hard to do both those things at once while you were getting fucked? This pervert actually was good at sex? Ryo felt his face smile at that thought, and then he felt himself start to drool. Gross.

“Okay. Okay. Let's switch things up, Kaiser.” Ryo felt himself upended, Crane had taken his cock out of him and pushed him onto his back and now he was pinning him to the bed and forcing his cock back into him, guiding Ryo to rest his legs up on his shoulders and Ryo felt like he wasn't that flexible but Crane was making it happen, he was using him now like Saruyama had used him, like a warm hole, but the shock collar was still going. Maybe it was on a timer? Crane was still jerking him off too, and it was too much with this new powerless position he was in, he came in the space between him and Crane and it got on both of them. The shocks were relentless. Crane was kissing and licking his sweaty skin now, everywhere, and when he finally came he pulled out and did it on Ryo's face, and his eyes were open and it almost got in them. It didn't. The pain from the collar was over but somehow it hurt more now that it had stopped. Ryo felt paralyzed, and very sleepy.

Crane was panting over him, and then he was collapsed on top of him. His body was heavy and sticky and smelled like sweat. Ryo stared at the ceiling until his eyes closed on their own.

He had a dream about two men giving him a shower, and kissing him in the shower. He dreamed one of the men gave the other one a lot of money. He woke up in the bed of his apartment, and outside, the sun was shining.

It wasn't time for his match yet. He went back to sleep.

 

Chapter Text

Ryo wasn't sure whether the knocking that had woken him up was real or just a dream he was having, until Crane finally rolled off of him and went to open the door. Ryo saw him walking away, still naked, weirdly pink in the soft glow of the neon lights.

He was in a love hotel. He wasn't asleep enough to forget that. But he was asleep enough to roll over and bury his face in the pillows so he could keep sleeping.

“Technically he's still mine for another half an hour.” It took Ryo a second to tell that it was Crane speaking. His voice sounded so different when he was talking to someone else. He spoke faster and not as deep.

“I knew you were going to say that.” Saruyama. “And I also knew you were going to fall the fuck asleep after you were done, so I came to get him anyway.”

In the few seconds or minutes or however long after that when they were both silent, Ryo fell a little further into sleep, vaguely thankful the outside noise had stopped, but then they started again and he felt a twinge of annoyance.

Crane sighed wistfully. “Just look at his perfect ass, though.”

“I know. Did you get your money's worth out of it?”

“Honestly? I could go one more time.”

“You asshole…I'm right here. And you know I've got to get him cleaned up before I take him home.”

“We could do both.” Ryo felt Crane's hand travel up his leg to his ass, and tried to shake him off but found he couldn't move. “Help me take him to the shower. I'd turn a blind eye if you decided to sample your own merchandise...”

“Like I'd care if you were looking.” Saruyama yanked Ryo up by the shoulders, forcing him into a sitting position. Ryo couldn't keep his eyes open or his head up. “Help me get these shock amplifiers off, you sick fuck.” There was a laugh in his voice.

The two men worked together to uncollar Ryo, and somehow Ryo felt the same satisfaction of a match well fought that he would have if he was being uncollared at the end of a duel. He felt himself being lifted off the bed and standing on the floor, though he could only manage that because he was being propped up.

“What're you smiling about, Kaiser?” Crane asked, though not in the voice he had used when they were alone together.

“He's probably dead asleep. How much did you give him?”

“I think he took four.”

“That'll do it.”

Ryo heard a glass shower door clicking open, and he was propped against the wall inside the shower stall. He saw, or dreamed, that it was a blue stall with pink accents, immaculately clean and with a step inside for sitting on, but that he was on the floor anyway. Water hit him, cold at first, so that he whined in protest, but then it got gradually warmer.

“Well he's not dead asleep anymore,” Crane said.

Ryo didn't have the energy to move out from under the shower's downpour, but even if he did, he probably would have stayed put. It felt good. He felt like he was melting, and like the dried cum and saliva on his body was melting off too.

Then the water stopped. Someone was standing in front of the stream.

“Here, come on and stand up, Kaiser. You can lean on me.”

Ryo felt Crane grasp him and pull him to his feet, then into a sort of clumsy embrace when he collapsed against the other man's chest. There was that voice again, the velvety faux-comforting voice. Ryo's feet slid on the wet tiles but he couldn't keep his balance.

“It's okay, baby. We'll keep you from falling down, so you just hold on to me, alright?” His voice switched again. “Monkey, prop him up from behind. I think I fucked him so hard his legs don't work.”

“Don't flatter yourself.” Saruyama came up close behind Ryo, so close that Ryo could tell he was naked. “Did you cum inside?”

“No, but let's get in there just for fun.” A bottle of soap traded hands in front of Ryo's fuzzy vision. He felt soapy hands traveling all up and down his body, enough hands that it was hard to keep track of them. He kept falling asleep for just one second and then being jolted awake in surprise that he was being touched, even though logically he knew that two different men were holding him and cleaning him off. Two soapy fingers slid inside him and he wasn't sure who they belonged to, but he felt himself unconsciously accept them.

“Seems like he likes it.”

“He does,” Crane said proudly. “He's a natural. It's like he was born to be a little slut...weren't you, Kaiser?”

Ryo felt like Crane was looking him right in the eyes, but he couldn't focus well enough to tell. Saruyama's fingers in his ass were rough but sweet, dangerously close to hitting that spot Crane had taught him how to abuse earlier in the night. He thoughtlessly, clumsily brought himself down on those fingers, just a little.

Saruyama laughed. “Are you seeing this?”

“He loves it. I just showed him how to do it and he practically popped his own cherry. It was like a dream come true.”

“Well...it's always the straight-laced ones, isn't it?” Saruyama stroked him again, and then again, as if Ryo was something he was absentmindedly playing with while talking. “The harder you repress it, the more it comes out.”

“Right? That's why I love this Duel Monsters thing.” Crane affectionately rubbed Ryo's face. “Isn't that right, Kaiser? You were too busy obsessing over a card game to have any little girlfriends or boyfriends, weren't you? You were keeping yourself all perfect and pure for me...”

Ryo really wished he could gather the coordination to speak just long enough to tell Crane that the man currently violating him had already gotten to him first. But he feared Saruyama just enough to know that was a bad idea. Besides, he liked the fuzzy, happy feeling he got from Saruyama's fingers.

“Speaking of which, have you found any leads on Edo Phoenix?” Crane said.

Saruyama groaned. “I don't really want to deal with your cradle-robbing pet project now.”

“I'm not asking for a full report, I'm just wondering...” One of Crane's hands was playing with Ryo's semi-hard cock as he talked. “I just want him. Really, really bad. If you can get him to me, Monkey, I would pay you so well you'd never have to work again.”

“Look, I'm looking into it, but you wouldn't believe the kinds of roadblocks I'm hitting.”

“I know, I know, but every day that goes by is another chance for someone else to get to him...”

Ryo felt his muscles tightening up, before he realized he was tensing up out of anger. Edo Phoenix is a kid. Stop it. He wished he could say it, but his tongue wouldn't move.

Neither of the men seemed to notice. Saruyama was still fingering his ass, while Crane got him fully hard again, even while Ryo's anger fizzled up and seemed to be completely folded over into that warm and floaty feeling that helped him relax.

“Look, I know you said half an hour and we're gonna be pushing that, but I can help hold him up if you want to fuck him.” Crane's hands rested on Ryo's hips. “I just want to watch his face while he's all cute like this.”

“...You know what? Fine.” Saruyama pulled his fingers out, not so quickly that it hurt, but quickly enough that Ryo grimaced at the weird feeling. “Just because with the gigs I'm booking for him, he's not going to be cute for long.”

“Don't tell me that, I don't want to have to think about it.” Crane slipped his hands around Ryo's thighs and, with Saruyama's help, hoisted him up so his legs were around Crane's waist. As sleepy as he was, being held up equally by both men, Ryo felt like he was floating in midair. He pitched forward so that his head was on Crane's shoulder. More of the shower water was hitting him now. He screwed his eyes shut so water wouldn't get in.

Both the men maneuvered him, as if he was a doll rather than a living thing, into the most comfortable position for Saruyama to enter him. It didn't feel as bad this time as it had the first time. In fact, this wasn't too different from the fingers he'd been enjoying a second ago. When Saruyama started to move, that felt a little scary, but he still couldn't access the panic he'd felt the first time this man had fucked him. He was too sleepy.

Crane shifted Ryo in his arms to kiss him, and Ryo had to accept it. He couldn't move his lips but the other man didn't seem to care. Crane's tongue entered his mouth and it felt surreal. Like there was an animal licking his mouth, but it was a person. It made his skin crawl but he wasn't sure if it was in a good way or a bad way. Their teeth kept clacking together and he was worried he'd cut the inside of his mouth and wouldn't notice. One of the men had a hand around his cock, stroking it in time with the thrusts.

“You don't have to hold yourself back, Kaiser,” Crane was saying. “You can cum too, if you want.”

“I wasn't...” he murmured, or thought he did anyway. Neither of them seemed to have heard him. Had he been holding himself back? He couldn't remember. This had only been going on for a minute or two, right?

“We'll be here all morning if you start worrying about that,” Saruyama complained. “I've got a schedule, you know?”

“I just want to see his face.”

“If you wanna see his face then give me a second to finish and you can stick your dick in it.”

Crane fell silent. Ryo felt himself being shifted between the two of them again, the hand on his cock leaving to grip the back of his thigh. Crane seemed to have lost interest in Ryo's pleasure, if he had had any interest in the first place.

Saruyama pulled out and it was only when they lowered Ryo to the ground and turned his back to the stream of shower water that it occurred to him that maybe it was because he had finished on his back, like he had last time. On his uniform jacket. My jacket's not clean, he thought. Where was it? He hadn't worn it in weeks.

He felt someone yanking his head up by the hair. He grunted in protest but no one heard him.

“All right...let's go, Kaiser. Open that cute mouth.” Crane must have been speaking to him only out of habit, because he didn't wait for Ryo to make any move before prying his mouth open with his fingers. “Here...”

Ryo was distantly, then horribly aware that the head of Crane's cock was in his mouth. But he couldn't get himself to feel more than vaguely disgusted about it. He didn't want it there, but he couldn't spit it out. He couldn't even keep his mouth closed on his own.

He felt whoever was holding him by the hair jerk him around a little bit, as if trying to see if he would react. He couldn't.

“...I can't get into it.”

“Are you kidding me?”

“Look at him, it's like he doesn't even care.” Crane yanked Ryo's head back for emphasis and his semi-hard cock dropped out of Ryo's mouth. “What am I supposed to do with that? Don't tell me he's given head before.”

“I swear he's never given head. He's just too drugged up to give a shit.” Saruyama's voice felt further away. When Crane let go of Ryo and his gaze dropped back to the floor, he could see it was because Saruyama had stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed.

“Well, can you bring him back when his mind's cleared up?”

“He's already booked for then.”

“You don't even know when 'then''s going to be...” Crane turned off the water and left the shower as well, leaving Ryo crumpled on the tiles alone.

“I've got a guy who wants to be his first on that end. You're just a longtime customer so I let you try him out as a favor.”

Ryo heard the sound of their voices fade away further as they left the bathroom. After a few minutes, Saruyama came back and bundled him in a towel. He was walked to the bed and practically thrown onto it, next to his discarded clothes that had been gathered in a loose pile.

“There you go. Make sure some of this money actually makes it back to him, alright?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“When's the next time I can get him?”

“Next Saturday, maybe.” Saruyama lifted one of Ryo's legs up by the ankle and then dropped it. “He's not going to dress himself, huh?”

“I'll help. Come here, baby...”

He felt someone trying to help him put his underwear on, but with his head back on the pillow he slipped easily back into shallow dreams about money, and clients, and him. A lot of people really liked him. He heard Saruyama say that. It didn't feel like much consolation, but he was glad the room was warm.

When he woke up in his own bed, he stumbled around his room looking for the voices he'd heard.

They weren't real, he told himself.

He remembered the feeling of the shock collar on his neck. His muscles were sore in a way he wasn't used to.

Just think about it tomorrow, he begged himself. Don't worry about it now.

He didn't want to think about it for a very long time.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

In the days that followed his meeting with Crane, Ryo tried not to think about it too much. There was no point in denying what he had done. But instead, he'd rather think about his game and how to improve it. He'd racked up quite a few wins in the underground circuit, even though some of the venues he'd dueled in were so ramshackle they didn't keep records and he had no official streak to point to. But he did have a reputation, and private sponsors. Duel Monsters fans were starting to remember his name again.

If everyone at Duel Academy hears about me making a comeback, will they know about how?

Do I care?

Ryo was spending a lot of his earnings trying to track down specific rare cards. He had been inflexible with his deck for a while, but right now he had room to experiment. It was liberating, honestly—especially since whenever Cyber End Dragon came up in his deck, a tightness in his chest would always throw him off. He almost wanted to get rid of the card. But besides that, messing with new combos and trying slightly different decks from night to night, it was fun. Ryo was having real fun playing this game again. Especially since he was winning. He was good at this game. And he was going to keep being good at it. He was a winner.

He couldn't let Saruyama catch on, but he wasn't going to stay here forever. He'd make the jump back to official tournaments, and he'd win there too. It was just a matter of when.

Hopefully soon.

He had another private meeting coming up.

“I've got a real treat for you, Kaiser.” Saruyama had taken to standing outside Ryo's shower stall while he cleaned up after a night in the ring. That would be bad enough, but he also kept talking the whole time, so Ryo didn't even have the option to pretend he wasn't there.

“I don't really want to hear about it.”

“Yes, you do. You know who DD is, right?”

Ryo turned the shower off and silently stood there, letting Saruyama's question linger. Was he stupid? Was that some kind of joke? Did he really know, or care, so little about this game that he thought Ryo wouldn't know the duelist who'd been top-ranked in the world for ten years?

“...What about him?”

“He's your client for tomorrow night. Isn't that cool?”

Ryo stumbled on his way out of the shower.

He had trouble sleeping that night. After tonight comes tomorrow, and after tomorrow…

Back at Duel Academy, he hadn't been the type to fan over a particular duelist. Some of his classmates had favorite pros, but Ryo thought that was a dangerous path that, at the worst, would end with copying someone else's deck and style instead of defining your own. Not that he hadn't watched the televised pro league matches whenever they were on. The teachers would repurpose one of the big auditorium classrooms to project a match on the screen and students from all three dorms would crowd in elbow-to-elbow to watch, hours after classes had ended for the day. He and Fubuki and some other Obelisk Blues would stay behind afterward and dissect every turn while the teachers listened in and nodded proudly. Back then, his path had been clear. He had never doubted that he would be one of those pros on tv. Idolizing a pro was pointless if you were going to stand among them.

If he had first met DD under those circumstances, he would have had no reason to be nervous. But like this…

Ryo couldn't get himself to eat anything all day. If he’d had any matches in the evening, it would have put him off his game. Instead, he was just a little dizzy while he waited for Saruyama's car.

He tried not to talk to Saruyama in general, but as soon as he was sitting beside him in the car, a nagging thought slipped out.

“I didn't know DD was...like that.”

“Like what?”

“Like…you.”

Saruyama laughed. “Oh, he's one of the worst of us. He duels underground himself, to let off steam. You know, he sought me out the night you lost to Edo Phoenix.”

“...He knew you were going to meet me?”

“He tipped me off.”

Ryo felt sick.

“You could have recovered from that, but you didn't, and so I was waiting for you at the bottom of the barrel,” Saruyama said. “I told you some of your fans had been watching you since you were at Duel Academy. That old bastard DD was just waiting for you to fail.”

“But...that's...” He couldn't gather the words to express what he was thinking. Did people know that the world champion was so rotten? Had losing really made him so vulnerable, so quickly, that his fate had been decided for him on that same night? If he had escaped faster, then maybe he could have gone his whole life without knowing that the pro leagues of this game were infected with the same sickness as the underground tournaments.

“Aw, look on the bright side, Kaiser. I bet it'll be really exciting to get to know one of your boyhood idols so...intimately.” Saruyama grinned that nasty sadistic grin. “And, for a really special perk...you get to see the VIP dressing room at the Kaiba Dome!”

The horror must have shown on Ryo's face, because Saruyama immediately produced a hooded jacket from under the seat. “I understand it's not as cool as the leather coat you've got now, but it should help you keep a low profile when you're going through the main entrance. It would be terrible if any of the staff were to recognize you, wouldn't it?”

“...I've got to go through the main entrance?” Ryo croaked.

“Then again, I doubt they would. Fresh-faced kids like you get chewed up and spat out by the big leagues every day.” The car slowed to a halt at the curb, the same curb that Ryo had been dropped off on back when he had belonged here. DD had been watching him then. “Oh wait, I've got one more thing. A request from your client.” Saruyama dug through another bag on the floor of the car. “You can put this on in the bathroom before you meet him. He didn't say anything about wanting to watch you change.”

He dropped a lacy handful of black fabric into Ryo's hand and Ryo shoved it into the jacket's pocket like it burned him.

“I know you know where the dressing rooms are, so I'll leave you to it. And remember—you're a virgin.”

Saruyama ejected Ryo out onto the street and drove away. Ryo pulled the hood up and walked through the main entrance, refusing to lift his eyes and look around.

He knew where the public restrooms were, though by his last match here—the one he'd lost—he hadn't been using it anymore. He'd earned a paparazzi following. Now he made a beeline for the stall on the end, dreading the thing he was about to to put on.

When he took a look at it, he dreaded it even more.

This is for girls.

It was underwear, made of some thin shiny black fabric that already felt sweaty in his hands, like it would only get more uncomfortable the longer you had it on. It had lace on it. And it was too small.

I'm going to look so stupid.

It would only torture him more to think about it. Ryo put the underwear on as quickly as he could, trying not to let himself dwell on it. This is part of the penalty for losing, he told himself. That's just how it is. And it's always been that way.

Now that he was wearing it, maybe it wasn't for girls after all. It fit him better in the front than he had been expecting—unless I've got it on backwards, he thought. No. He wasn’t going to think about it.

He threw his old underwear in the trash on his way out the door. If he was going to wear this, he didn't want to have to deal with the additional shame of carrying underwear in his pocket, especially if he happened to get caught on his way to the VIP dressing room.

No one bothered him. The door wasn't even locked. The instant after trying the handle, when he felt it budge, he realized he should have knocked—but it was too late. A voice called from inside. “Come in.”

Ryo opened the door just enough to slide in, and quickly closed it behind him.

DD—the world Duel Monsters champion, the man who had stood at the top for almost as long as Ryo had been playing the game—sat hunched over a deck that was spread across the whole length of a low table. He had a wide stance, and even sitting down he was huge. Ryo wasn't sure whether it was just his physical size or whether he was exuding the kind of mental pressure that a true duelist gave off, even at rest. Light glinted off his glasses, making his face impossible to read. Ryo couldn't bring himself to speak, but took another few steps forward.

In a single movement, DD gathered up the cards he had spread over the table and flipped the deck face-down, then rose to his full height.

“Did I tell you to keep walking?”

“What?”

“When I told you to come in, did I tell you to keep walking?” DD's voice was calm. He had his hands in his pockets.

“I...”

“I didn't. Trying to get a look at my deck, weren't you?” DD walked around the table so he could look straight down at Ryo. Ryo certainly wasn't short, but DD was at least a head taller than him.

“No.” Not that he wouldn't have liked to see it, but he hadn't actually been thinking about that.

“Yeah right. No use pretending, alright? I know you want what you can't have.” DD pulled Ryo's hood back. “Mister 'Emperor' of Academy Island.”

Ryo met DD's gaze coolly, trying not to think about the uncomfortable underwear he had on.

“How's life been treating you after your little nosedive into mediocrity, huh? I bet you haven't gotten much mail from your alma mater since you embarrassed them on primetime tv.” DD grinned. There it was again, that same look—that same predatory smile Saruyama had had the night he'd forced Ryo into this world. “That slimy promoter tells me you haven't quite hit rock bottom yet. Is that right?”

“...Yeah.” No.

DD patted Ryo on the shoulder. “Don't worry, half-baked weaklings like you get sifted out of the mix every year. Some of them get boring jobs and give up on their dreams. Some of them went to fucking card game school and can't even do that. But you...” The weight of his hand on Ryo's shoulder became heavier, until Ryo's knees buckled. He was trying to force him to kneel. “...You're becoming a big star underground, aren't you? I bet you're really popular.”

Under the inexorable force of DD's presence, Ryo sank to his knees.

DD grabbed a handful of Ryo's hair and ground his face into his crotch, into rough jean material and the cold metal of his zipper. Ryo tried to flinch away, but it felt like DD was everywhere.

“Did you ever think you'd end up like this when you were spending all your time hanging out with your little friends, letting your washed-up teachers tell you you were gonna be pros?” DD was getting hard through his jeans, Ryo could feel it. “They never told you how hard it is to make it in the real world. Let me tell you a secret. Real adults, with real ambitions, can try for years and never break through...so what's with all these no-life kids trying to barge in with a school-issued Duel Disk and crowd up the rankings?” He pulled his zipper down, still not releasing his grip on Ryo's head. Ryo tried not to look but he had to, he knew what was going to happen and he had to assess the threat. DD's cock was straining against the fabric of his boxer briefs. Ryo really didn't want to try to put it in his mouth.

DD grabbed himself and started stroking the head of his cock through his briefs, coaxing precum to stain the fabric. “Here, get a taste of it.” The tip of it brushed Ryo's lips and he tasted salt. “Like it? It's the closest you're going to get to tasting victory.” He laughed at his own joke as Ryo tried to squirm away again, seething with rage.

It's not like I'm playing against famous opponents or in big arenas but I'm winning plenty of duels. If he plays underground too, he should know—he tried to tell himself DD was just taunting him, but anger came more easily.

“Come on, stop gritting your teeth. I'm letting you keep the training wheels on. Put your mouth on it.”

As Ryo hesitated, just for a second, DD yanked his hair again. Like an animal being trained, he flinched away from the pain and opened his mouth.

Instinctively his tongue sought out the shape of the thing he was tasting. He couldn't find the head of it. It was too big for his mouth to grasp.

He's not even fully hard.

“Here, put your teeth here.” DD pulled on the elastic waistband of his briefs and Ryo understood he had to bite it. “And pull it down. Your hands don't get to touch me.”

Ryo hadn't even noticed he'd been bracing himself, trying to push off DD's thighs to get away. His hands clenched into useless fists in the pockets of his jacket. He bit down on the fabric, more violently than necessary, and as he pulled down DD's exposed cock sprang free, onto his face. He practically bit holes in DD's underwear out of misplaced fury.

“Now take the head in your mouth. And if I feel teeth, at all, I know some people who'd love to just tear holes in a little bitch like you. Not everyone's as gentle as me.”

Considering DD was pulling his hair hard enough to bring tears to Ryo's eyes, he obviously didn't care about being gentle. Ryo gingerly put his lips around the tip of his cock, carefully bringing the whole head into his mouth. The salty taste of precum hit him again and he tried not to spit it out. It didn't actually taste bad on its own, but the knowledge that he was tasting a cock made him feel sick.

“Don't just sit there with your mouth open, suck on it. Use your tongue a little. Come on, you've got a cock, right? Use your imagination.”

He couldn't. Ryo tried to, but couldn't bring himself to interact with the cockhead that seemed to be filling his whole mouth. He felt disgusting. Suddenly he had an image of himself from an outside perspective, looking tiny on his knees with his face in another man's crotch and his arms hanging uselessly at his sides. He looked pathetic. He hated that image, hated himself and hated DD more than he knew how to deal with. He tried to spit DD's cock out but he didn't have room to, it was too big and wouldn't go anywhere. He was starting to feel like he couldn't breathe.

Do something, he begged himself. Do something, anything, loser…

He's going to think I'm completely stupid.

Why am I worried about embarrassing myself in front of him now?

Why can't I get myself to move?

“...God. I don't have all day.” DD forced a finger into Ryo's mouth, wrenching his jaws open enough that he could force more and more of his cock in, pulling Ryo up his length until his nose was in the man's pubic hair. This wasn't right. There was no way all that could fit in his mouth. So where did it go?

Down his throat.

Realizing made Ryo start to gag. He genuinely couldn't move now, not because he was frozen with fear but because he was held in place. DD had two handfuls of his hair now and wasn't letting go, he heard himself making some muffled begging noise but DD didn't care. DD started fucking his throat.

“I tried the easy way.” DD wasn't thrusting but was forcing Ryo back and forth along the length of his cock, though he never took it out enough for Ryo to get in a breath—or vomit. “But nope. You wanted the hard way—but actually...I like the hard way better.” His voice became labored quickly. He was relentless.

I'm going to throw up, Ryo realized. I'm going to throw up I'm going to throw up on the world Duel Monsters champion and I couldn't even suck his dick first. The thought of throwing up made him gag, again and again, and he struggled to get away, trying to scramble away backwards on his knees, to shove DD away from him. Bile was rising in his throat. For just a second, he got free enough from DD that he could force it down again, but he was rewarded with an angry exclamation that didn't sound like any word in particular and another hard yank on his hair that made his vision flash bright with pain. He gasped, sucking down air and trying to calm himself, please don't throw up just pull it together—just let me go for a second! He took another breath and it was a long shuddering sob. He'd gagged so much his eyes had misted over, and now this was what it had turned into. He was crying. Him, Kaiser Ryo, crying on his knees in front of DD.

“...Look...I've got a match in five minutes, kid,” DD said, in a pointedly even voice, like he was lecturing a child.

Ryo felt his head shake from side to side. No. No more. Let's do anything else. He couldn't actually get any words out, too afraid of opening his mouth. The tears wouldn't stop and all he could do was cover his face to try to hide them.

“You're lucky you're cute,” DD growled, and wrenched Ryo's mouth open again. Ryo gagged as DD forced his cock down his throat again, but DD was immovable. “Put your hands on me again and I'll make you wish you didn't have any.” He pried Ryo's hands away from where they clung to him.

Ryo tried to distract himself by digging his nails into his palms, worrying at some little scrap of fabric or something that was in his jacket pocket and tearing it to shreds. He thought he felt something in there, like a little rock or something, and then realized it was a pill. Like those pills Crane had given him. Too fucking late for that now, I wish he had told me—he automatically went to grind his teeth but right now he couldn't bring his jaws together even if he wanted to. DD's cock was too stupidly huge for that.

DD finished, not down Ryo's throat, but in his mouth. Ryo coughed in surprise and tried to spit it out, but DD covered his mouth with a massive hand and tilted his head back.

“No, swallow it. You should be honored.” He laughed, then yanked Ryo a few steps forward, Ryo stumbling on his knees. There was a full-length mirror in front of his eyes now. DD let go of his hair, as if dropping him.

Ryo saw his own face for a second—red, stained with tears, with his hair disheveled and cum dripping out of the corner of his mouth—and collapsed to the ground.

“I'm going to go win real quick, and then I'll be back for a victory fuck. Get yourself cleaned up before then. And hey, the match'll be playing in here too, so you can remind yourself what success looks like.”

Ryo heard DD move into an adjoining bathroom. He heard water running for a while, then it shut off and DD's heavy footsteps moved across the room, toward the door.

The lock clicked shut after him. Ryo was alone.

He mechanically crawled, then walked to the bathroom, avoiding looking at the full-length mirror or the mirror above the sink. He wiped his face off, wishing he could wipe the redness off too. He wanted to erase the evidence that he'd been crying. He wanted to erase the memory of it from DD's mind.

He felt his fist curl into a ball and slam into the sink counter, rattling the porcelain countertop and the soap dispenser resting on it. The pain from it ran up his arm. Getting hurt reinforced the anger he was feeling—the stupid, useless anger. He brought his fist down, once, twice, three times. It wasn't enough. He wished he had the shock amplifiers on right now.

The sound of a commentator announcing the start of a match guided him back into the main room. A monitor resting on top of a table was playing a live feed and Ryo watched DD take the field, smiling confidently and giving a practiced wave to the cameras now and then, the same way he had been greeting them for ten years.

Back when he had been in school, when he had seen DD on tv then, had DD prepped for a match the same way? While he had been holding hands with Fubuki under the table, so none of their classmates would notice, had DD been defiling an unlucky dropout in his dressing room?

The duelists shook hands and then stepped back to take their places on the field. But by the time the holograms flashed to life and the first monster cards were played, Ryo couldn't watch any more. He couldn't blot out the sounds of the match, so he buried his face in the couch cushions and found some solace in repeatedly, viciously hitting himself in the thigh while he took the lone pill he had found in his pocket and hoped it would take full effect by the time DD was done. He wanted to be able to feel the way he had the last time he'd taken them. He wished DD could use the shock amplifiers on him, so he could show him how well he could take it, how many times he'd felt that pain, and how far he'd been ruined already.

By the time the end of the match was declared, Ryo felt like maybe he could make the best of a bad situation. When DD entered the room, Ryo met his eyes as if to show him he had recovered, though he was still kneeling in a ball by the couch.

DD grinned at him but walked to a cabinet in the corner of the room and started pouring himself a drink.

“This is how I like to celebrate another title defense. This right here? This bottle's as old as you.” He gestured towards Ryo with the shotglass and then downed it. “Alright, take your pants off and bend over the table. I'll be right there.”

Ryo tried to pull his shirt down to cover the lacy underwear he was wearing, while DD went into the bathroom and emerged with lube.

“Sorry, I don't do condoms.”

No one else has used a condom either. Ryo suddenly worried he might have a disease. He hoped DD got it from him.

“Shirt and jacket off.”

Ryo pulled them off and propped himself up on his elbows over the low table, wearing nothing but borrowed lingerie and the bruise that was already forming where he'd punched himself. DD squeezed lube onto his big fingers and Ryo felt himself clench up in anticipation. With the help of that one pill he had taken, he almost wanted to feel those fingers inside of him.

“Hmm...you almost look like a girl from here. My present to you was a good choice, right?” DD pulled the lingerie down just enough to start running his slick finger around the rim of Ryo's hole. “You can keep it. I bet you love wearing girly underwear, don't you, you little fag?”

Ryo tried to ignore him, and when those lubed-up fingers started to push in and out of him, around and past that tight ring of muscle that was already loosening up with the help of the miracle pill he'd taken, he didn't care what DD called him. This fingering was for DD's benefit and not his, but he still started to get hard within the confines of the lacy whatever he was wearing.

“It's actually surprisingly soundproof in here, so don't be afraid if you need to make some noise. I know I might be a lot to take.” Ryo could hear the smirk in his voice, though he thankfully couldn't see DD's face. “But I bet you'll be begging for it once you get used to it.”

Ryo refused to beg. But his cock throbbed with anticipation when he felt DD line up at his entrance.

Do I like doing this?

As DD slid in, agonizingly slowly, he asked himself that question a hundred times. He didn't know.

It hurt. He felt like he was going to tear in half. But he was so hard he didn't know what to do with himself. His hands clutched the edge of the table.

DD fucked him much more slowly this time, not like the cruel way he'd fucked his throat. It must be that he didn't have anywhere to be now; he could take his time savoring the spoils of his victory. Ryo's cock was pinned under him, and every time DD thrust into him, it rubbed against the wood of the table. Ryo wanted more than that. As if on its own, one of his hands started creeping down to touch himself, but DD caught it.

“Hey. This isn't about your dick. It's about me.”

Ryo whined without meaning to. Or maybe he had meant to. It was the kind of noise Crane would have responded to. DD just laughed.

“What, I'm not enough for you? That's a first.” DD pinned Ryo's hand to the table and adjusted his angle, so that Ryo's legs kicked when DD's cock hit that spot again. “There we go. Unlike you, I'm not into guys, so I don't really do this on the regular. You like that, don't you, you little fag?”

He did like it. He liked it very much. Ryo nodded, not trusting himself to not make an embarrassing noise again. He had thought Saruyama and Crane had been big. Now he was starting to think they were average.

He'd cried when Saruyama had taken him, thought it was the worst thing he'd ever felt in his life. But the way he was now—

I do like this.

He was glad DD couldn't see his face, because he knew he must look ridiculous. Embarrassing. Slutty. But he loved being on the verge of being broken, like he was almost in danger but he could take it, he was enjoying it so he was winning—he had the crazy thought that maybe if he could do it over again he would suck DD's cock right this time, if he could have known how good it would feel in his ass.

DD pulled his hair and he moaned. So much for not being embarrassing.

“Tell me how much you like it, you little loser bitch.”

I'm not a loser. “I like it…” he mumbled.

“You like what? Come on, say it.”

“I like—I like having sex...”

Ryo could practically hear the eyeroll in DD's voice. “With who, dipshit?”

“W-with you...”

“'With you, sir'.”

“I like having sex with you, sir,” Ryo muttered, as low as he could. It was the fakest and stupidest sentence he'd ever said in his life.

But it was worth it. DD pulled his hair again, sending electric shocks of pain up and down his spine. “Yeah, you love this huge cock, don't you?”

“Yeah—yes, sir.”

“How it feels in your ass?”

“Yes sir.”

“You're a slut for huge cock, aren't you?”

“Y—yeah.”

DD let go of his hair in disgust. “Has anyone ever told you that your voice is really monotone?”

He probably wasn't supposed to say 'yes, sir' to that.

DD lost interest in trying to teach him to talk dirty, and focused on finishing, pounding Ryo into the table harder, so that Ryo started to think maybe just the stimulation from that would be enough after all. The heat of DD's body close against his back, the way he held Ryo down against the table, the heavy breathing and the deep sounds of exertion that came from low in his chest—even now he was giving off that massive presence. Ryo almost felt as if, to DD, he wasn't even there. He was a toy. He was a hole.

If he'd been able to touch himself, that thought would have been the one that finished him. Instead he was at the mercy of DD's pleasure, only able to count on that huge thick cock and how DD rammed it into him faster and faster as he reached his climax. Ryo was weak-kneed with stimulation but still unsatisfied when DD came, with a long relieved growl that Ryo could feel vibrating through the both of them.

He pulled out, wearily, and Ryo felt the cum trickling out from deep inside him. It made his skin crawl. He'd thought it was bad when people had cum on his back or face.

“You're welcome,” DD said, resting back on the couch as if he had completed a difficult but worthwhile errand.

Ryo pulled his underwear back up stiffly and moved to recover his shirt and jacket.

“Alright, get outta here. That slimeball manager of yours is probably skulking around outside somewhere.” DD nudged Ryo with his foot. “Who knows, I might see you in an underground duel someday, if you don't die first. Those things have a pretty high mortality rate, y'know? They can mess you up, with those shock collars. But hey...it's fun til then, right?”

“Yeah,” Ryo said hoarsely, stepping into his pants. He was still hard, and he was already mentally negotiating his way out the door of the Kaiba Dome with that problem to deal with. Never mind that there was cum leaking out of his ass.

For a second, he seriously considered whether he was supposed to say goodbye to the man who'd just effectively dismissed him from his mind, but then he just slipped out the door.

So that was DD.

The thought came to him as the kind of dry comment he might have made to Fubuki when they were in school. For some reason it made him smile, gave him enough energy to speed-walk to the same public restroom where he'd reluctantly put on the underwear that was now stained with the cum of the world Duel Monsters champion. Why, out of all the emotions that he could be feeling, did that almost make him want to laugh?

Was he losing it?

Ryo took the end stall like he had before and finished himself before he forgot what DD had felt like inside him. He tried fingering himself, but it wasn't good enough, and the mixed-up cum and lube inside him was disgusting when he thought about what it was. Just the vivid memory was enough.

Afterward, waiting on the curb for Saruyama to show up, like a kid waiting to be picked up from school, shame started to creep back up on him.

He'd masturbated in a public bathroom?

He'd came in a public bathroom?

To that?

To him?

He'd never masturbated to anyone in particular before. Except Fubuki. Had he ever liked anyone before Fubuki? Had he ever liked anyone after?

He had never stopped wanting Fubuki to be his first. Even now, even after everything.

But now it was much, much too late.

Ryo knew it shouldn't matter—he and Fubuki hadn't been the same since after the Seven Stars thing happened. He had been graduating, and Fubuki had been recovering, and it had been so weird to try to talk like nothing had happened. He had never been the best at talking, and Fubuki had always been the one to pull him out of his shell, but now, when they'd both had things to deal with?

They couldn't talk about things like sex. They could only dance around the topic, and awkwardly fumble with each other in the dark.

Ryo wished he had talked about it.

Saruyama threw the car door open, jolting him from his self-loathing.

“Did you forget what the car looked like?”

“Um...sorry. No.” His voice really was monotone.

“Was he that good? He says he's huge, but with a name like DD, you'd kind of have to say that. Please tell me it's five inches. I'd laugh.”

“I don't know, I wasn't measuring it.”

“Whatever, get in.”

Ryo took his seat and folded his hands in his lap with as much reserved dignity as he could muster.

They drove home in silence. Ryo pretended to fall asleep to get out of having to talk any more.

When he got back to his apartment, he took a shower, trying to clean himself out, thinking about how familiar this all felt.

Already everything was starting to blend together. He'd had sex in a shower before, right?

He and Fubuki had taken a shower together before. Nothing had happened, Fubuki had just washed his hair for him and somehow that had made Ryo hard and he'd tried to leave but instead Fubuki had gotten out and sat outside the bathroom patiently while he rinsed the suds out of his hair and cursed himself.

That hadn't been it. It had been much more recent than that, and two men had run their hands all over him while he was powerless to say anything.

Was there anything else he had forgotten about?

Ryo didn't know. He didn't want to learn anything else about himself, didn't want to change like this, didn't want to become whatever he was turning into. He wished he had never lost that match. But it was too late for that now. He never wanted to lose again.

Chapter Text

Ryo hadn't ever felt comfortable wearing collars—collared shirts, anyway. For professional meetings with potential sponsors, his go-to had been a turtleneck with a suit jacket. As much as he'd respected the game of Duel Monsters, a full suit had always seemed like a bit much to him.

He hadn't expected to be dressing up at all for his underground career. But this hotel was actually really nice.

He still hadn't moved out of his small apartment near the city center. It had been leased to someone on a celebrity's budget, but no one needed to know it was being paid off by a prostitute. Since it was in the neighborhood of this hotel, no one needed to know he had walked several blocks to get there either. Saruyama had offered to drive him, but Ryo had refused. No need to rely on Saruyama for something he could take care of himself. The less control that man had over him the better—even if no matter how much Ryo tried to get out from under him, Saruyama still held his leash in the most important way. Ryo could play nice with potential clients in between matches, but Saruyama still had the final say about whether he went home with someone.

So Ryo was kind of glad about this one working out. Kind of.

The aftermath of the DD thing had been weird. When he'd come off the feverish buzz of that pill, he had kept replaying what had happened, over and over again. Hearing his own voice as if through an outsider's ears, saying things that, even if they'd been coerced out of him, had been stilted, fake, and humiliating. Remembering what he had done, and cringing just at the memory of it. He'd tried to touch himself. Why couldn't he have just laid there? DD had seen how much he wanted it, DD had heard the noises he'd made. Honestly, even if it hadn't been DD—even if he had been with any man in the world—it would have been a humiliating display.

Maybe it would be better if he tried being with a woman. Maybe he wouldn't embarrass himself so much.

Maybe he wouldn't be able to get into it then.

There was a woman who kept coming to see him duel—he'd been talking to her. It had only taken him a few nights to realize that she was interested in him, and after his meeting with DD, he'd started accepting when she'd offered him a drink, or sat across his lap. Now he was walking across the threshhold of this hotel to meet her. He'd actually been to this one before, over the summer, when he had been meeting his new agent. The lobby had a glass ceiling and a water feature complete with palm trees growing from the center. He was glad to walk by it again. It brought back a fraction of the calm of Academy Island, almost like he was outside on a summer night.

But he had to pass it, to go into the dimly lit hotel lounge. He was meeting her at the bar.

Her name was Susie, or at least that's what she said it was; she didn't seem as concerned with keeping her mask on as some of the other regulars, and he'd seen her take it off to wipe sweat from her face in the warm basement arena. He'd probably be able to recognize her, if not by her face than by her hair. She had bright red hair.

Ryo wove his way through the well-dressed bar patrons, feeling incongruous, like people could tell by looking at him that he wasn't old enough to drink yet. Through the crowd he caught a glimpse of Susie, but she was talking to another woman. He hung back, but the stranger wasn't leaving. Susie saw him through the crowd and her eyes lit up, and she waved him over.

Reluctantly he came over to her, and she smiled.

“Hey, Hell Kaiser! Or is just Kaiser fine? Or do I call you Ryo?” She took a sip of her cocktail.

“Um. Kaiser is what people usually call me.”

The other woman snorted. “Really? That's not going to work. You're Ryo until we get upstairs.”

Ryo blinked at the other woman, trying to tell if he recognized her. He wasn't sure; she was the same age as Susie or a little older, dark-haired, with heavy eyelids and an unpleasantly smiling mouth. Her makeup and clothing were dark and she leaned against the bar with an elegant confidence. Ryo shuddered. She's like a vampire.

“This is my friend Reina. I invited her along because I wanted to share. It would be lonely with just the two of us, right, Kaiser?” Susie chirped.

Ryo wasn't sure about that. “Uh...sure.”

“Do you want to get anything? My treat!”

Eating was the last thing on his mind. If this was about plying him with alcohol, he wasn't sure he should oblige her there, either.

Maybe it would make it easier.

But he didn't want it to be easier. That had been the problem the last few times.

“No.” Let's just go upstairs.

“He's like this in the fights too. All business—until things get heated. Isn't it great?” Susie said to Reina, as Ryo stood between them.

“Hmm. I don't know.” Reina looked him up and down.

Ryo wasn't sure if he should sit down, so he stood and waited for the women to finish their drinks. Neither of them acknowledged him besides Susie smiling at him once. Finally Reina put her glass down and pushed away from the bar.

Ryo followed the two of them out of the bar, through the glowing lobby, and to the chrome-and-glass elevator which, on one side, was nothing but a huge window to the city. The two women clung onto him as the elevator rose, and he had to remind himself that no one could really see him. He was too small and far away. No one, in the lobby or on the streets below, knew that Susie was already pawing at him, trying to grope him through his slacks.

He wondered what those other people were doing. It was a Friday night. A lot of them were done with work for the week, and were seeking out entertainment. Maybe Susie was one of those people. He had no idea what she did, and it wasn't his place to ask. He flinched away from her hand as her long nails came too close to pinching him.

The elevator doors opened.

He trailed wordlessly after Susie, who followed Reina. In every direction, identical doors lined identical hallways, so that just a few steps past the elevator he was lost. He couldn't tell which rooms were occupied and which weren't. There were no more windows. He had a thought that maybe everyone in this hotel was having sex, or going to be having sex tonight, or, maybe, that no one was, and he was surrounded only by people hoping to sleep. He didn't know which was worse. He didn't like to think about it, didn't want to wonder about the sex lives of strangers. Anyone and everyone might be sick.

“We're in here, Ryo,” Reina said, and he was jolted back to awareness. He had almost taken a step past their room. “A bit of an airhead, huh? That's cute.” Her tone didn't suggest that she thought so.

This room looked almost identical to the one he had stayed in before, when he had flown to the mainland to meet his agent. He recognized the red and gold décor, the patterns on the bedspread, wallpaper, and rug, even one of the same prints framed on the wall. The room was just mirrored, since it was on the other side of the hotel. He was thankful for that. He didn't like the idea of even being tricked into the thought it was the same room.

“Drapes closed? Or open?” Susie said, already walking briskly to the window.

“Closed,” he said.

“Are you sure? I kind of like them open.”

Reina interrupted. “It's all your decision, honey. That's the point. You call the shots.”

“Alright then! We'll leave them open.” Susie came back, and started opening a suitcase on the bed. “I can't wait to try this stuff on. I got my husband to put a whole lot on my card and I just went to town buying all this...he thinks it's for us.” She giggled like a girl half her age. “Well, maybe it can be, after I try it out here.”

She started stepping out of her dress, and Ryo averted his eyes, though not before seeing her in her bra.

“Hmm.” Reina tapped her finger to her chin. “Ryo, honey? Why don't you follow me.”

She led him into the adjoining bathroom, then stood in the doorway, as if blocking it. He caught a glimpse of Susie, still half-naked, peeking from over her friend's shoulder.

“Here's what we're going to do. We're going to change out there. You're going to get ready in here. Take all of this off.” She pulled at his shirt. “When you come out, you're going to be our pet. And pets don't need clothes, do they?”

He shook his head.

“The next time I ask you a question, you're going to say “'Yes, Lady Reina.' Okay?”

“Yes, Lady Reina.”

So it would be this kind of sex again. Reina shut the door, and Ryo was alone in the bathroom.

He sat on the edge of the bathtub as he pulled off his jacket and folded it by the sink. It was warm in here, like the love hotel had been. He yanked his shirt over his head.

Was there something about him that made people want to do this to him?

He was starting to think there was. He took his shoes off and then slid his pants down his legs. For a second he stared at his thighs. Crane had liked them. Maybe it had always been like this, people looking at him, and wanting parts of him, and him not ever noticing, just going through his life wrapped up in the tiny world of Duel Monsters and not ever thinking about anything else, not even knowing there was anything else to think about. Why had anyone ever respected him? Why did his classmates and teachers ever lead him on like that, letting him think he was worth so much, that he was going to be someone out in the world?

Couldn't they have warned him instead?

He took off his socks, then his underwear. Outside, he heard the two women talking, but couldn't make anything out.

Mostly he wished he hadn't been so dense. He could have noticed earlier. Just when the Seven Stars had challenged Duel Academy, when Fubuki had first come back, there had been that woman, Carmula. She had wanted him. But he'd been invincible back then, and even his defeats never meant anything when he was on Academy Island, it had all been a long game with one dark turn. Even now it didn't feel real, when he thought back on it.

But if things had turned out differently?

If Judai hadn't made up for his loss?

He didn't know. Maybe he would have ended up in the same place he was in now—a slave to some voracious repugnant woman. Either way, the long dream of school life was over, and he was alone, directionless, preyed on in the world outside.

Reina opened the door and he wished he could ask for another minute. He wanted to be thinking about something else.

Instead, he sank to his knees and crawled out, at Reina's direction. The soft carpet felt much better on his hands and knees than the cold tile.

It was almost a comforting feeling, to be able to feel it on his bare skin.

Susie had changed completely, into the kind of outrageous and impractical clothes he usually only saw on Duel Monsters cards, or sometimes on a competitor in an underground cage match. Tall, shiny boots added inches to her height and hugged her legs almost all the way up her thighs. Her figure was exaggerated and accentuated by a leather bodice. The thong she was wearing beneath it almost felt too everyday in comparison.

Her long nails were nervously tapping at a leather collar and leash she clutched in both hands, and something else Ryo couldn't name—maybe it was another collar? She had two?

Reina was wearing a dress, but a different dress, one too bold and daring to wear downstairs. A long slit that ran almost to her waist made it easy for him to notice that she was also wearing long, tall, dangerous boots. The points of her heels dug into the carpet, close to his vulnerable hands. She looked down at him with cold eyes and he tried not to think about what he had called her before. Not so soon after remembering Carmula. Vampire.

“Here, Kaiser. I want you to put this on.” Susie knelt down in front of him, and fastened the collar around his neck. He shuddered involuntarily. He'd been trained for the sensation, was anticipating an adrenaline rush. “There. Now you're going to be my good little dog.”

A good little dog. He was used to fighting in the pit, after all.

“And here's some more toys for you. This one is so that you don't bite.” Susie took the other thing, the one he'd thought had been a second collar. “Open your mouth.”

It wasn't a collar. It was a rubber tube, secured with rings to a metal strap that fastened around the back of his head. A bit, he thought, remembering the word only as his teeth sunk into it.

He couldn't close his mouth, and already as Susie backed away to admire him, clutching the end of the leash, he was starting to drool.

“Okay, good. Now we're going to put on these.” Susie retrieved something else from the suitcase, leather mitts that looked like little boxing gloves. “So you can have cute little paws instead of hands.”

Ryo let his hands be restrained inside the mitts. He couldn't see Reina from where she was standing behind him, and he wasn't sure if she posed a threat. Maybe she was just going to watch.

He hated that the collar had excited him and that he was gnawing at the bit. The mitts mostly just made him angry. But that anger just raised his heartbeat further.

“Good boy...good boy.” Susie petted his hair, and she was starting to get a strange look in her eye, a distant, dreamy look like she was already in some imagined world where he was as servile as she was trying to pretend he was. “Now we've just got one more thing to go, I think.”

Susie's hands were on his head, keeping his gaze locked in place, but he saw Reina go to the suitcase.

“Because doggies have cute little tails, don't they?”

Ryo refused to look at Susie's face as Reina knelt behind him. She had a tail plug.

He didn't want Susie to see his face while Reina applied lube to the plug and to him, and started to slowly work it in. But with the mitts on, he couldn't pull her hands away from his head, and with the bit in, he couldn't even keep himself from whimpering. The plug was big. It was too obvious to everyone watching that he liked it, and he had taken big things before. He closed his eyes, feeling himself accept it, shuddering a little with pleasure. His hands were curled into tighter fists inside the mitts.

Susie stood up, and took a few steps back, covering her mouth. “Reina, he looks so cute...”

“He looks pathetic. You like having things shoved up your ass, dog? We can see how turned on you are, you know.” She crossed her arms, looking down at him.

He was turned on. He wasn't completely hard, but when he was naked on all fours like this, any amount of arousal was humiliating enough. He looked down, at the leather mitts, because making eye contact with Reina while he was in this position was unthinkable.

“I'm gonna turn you on more, Kaiser.” Susie smiled. “But you're going to have to beg for it.”

She showed him a small remote. Adrenaline surged through him when he saw it.

It's a shock amplifier?

“Every time I see you get hurt in those fights, I feel so bad for you,” she cooed. “It's made me think…what if this was happening instead? You deserve to feel good sometimes, right, Kaiser? You deserve a mistress that gives you treats sometimes. But you have to ask nicely.”

She sank down into an armchair by the window, holding his leash in one hand and the remote in the other, just watching his face while he watched hers.

“How does a dog ask for things?”

They whine.

Quietly at first, but rising in pitch, he whined, like a dog would. His face burned with shame.

Susie pressed the remote, and the plug vibrated inside him. He hadn't been expecting it, had been expecting an electric shock, and for a second the sensation made him weak. It felt different from being fucked, but not in a bad way. Susie switched it off too soon.

His face must have betrayed his disappointment. Susie leaned forward in her chair.

“Whine for me some more.”

A ragged, pleading whimper escaped his throat. She pushed the switch again.

Again she stopped too soon. He begged some more.

She rewarded him again. Every time it was too short, barely a few seconds before she turned it off. All she wanted was to see him squirm. He could tell she wasn't a duelist, and she didn't understand that this was different than the duels she'd found him in. This was just pointless humiliation without even the pretense of a game, without even letting him salvage his dignity by letting him hurt someone. Even DD and Crane and Saruyama had fucked him. She was just watching.

And he was aroused, pointlessly, uselessly, obviously.

He kept whining, whether the vibrator was off or not, his throat raw and ragged. Finally she pulled him forward with the leash. She hadn't turned the vibrator off, and he dragged himself across the rug to her feet.

She knelt in front of him again, and kissed his forehead, where his hair was starting to stick to his skin from sweat. She undid the bit.

“Show me how grateful you are,” she said in a low voice. “Kiss me.”

His mouth was still open, and he kissed her without closing it, and her tongue met his. He was on fire. If she would just turn off the plug he could concentrate—but he didn't want to concentrate on this, he didn't want to be kissing her. He wanted to be kissing Fubuki. He missed Fubuki. He would have been okay dressed like this, and doing this, if it was with him.

She sank to the ground, and pulled him down on top of her, and pushed him away from her mouth so that when he left her some saliva came with it. “All over,” she said breathlessly. “Kiss your mistress.”

She pushed his head down between her breasts and he was at a loss. She smelled like new leather. He trailed his tongue up her chest and wasn't sure what else to do, she was wearing that bodice and he wasn't sure if he should take it off or even how to do that, the plug in his ass was driving him crazy. A long-nailed hand grasped his hair and pulled him further down her body again, he could tell it was Reina, roughly positioning his head between Anna's parted legs. He was so close he could smell her. He hadn't ever wanted to be this close to a woman, but Reina was stroking his cock, roughly, without any affection or care.

“Roll over,” she said. “Susie, can I see the remote?”

“Oh! It's over there,” Susie said, like she was remembering it for the first time.

Reina sighed and reached for the remote, where it was resting, abandoned, on the arm of the chair. “We have to make sure you don't finish too fast, dog.”

She switched the vibrator off. For the first time Ryo had a chance to realize that she had slipped something onto his cock. Next to him, too close, Susie was touching herself through her thong.

“You are absolutely not allowed to cum until you've made your mistress cum at least once. So I think this toy needs to take a break.”

In the absence of the vibration, he felt like his ears were ringing.

“Have you ever pleasured a woman before?”

No,” he muttered. He didn't even know how he would start. He had never even thought about it.

“Susie. Let's switch. I need to train him.”

Susie wobbled to her feet, and Reina knelt over him, her knees planted on either side of him, looking straight down at his face. Now she held the leash.

“When I tell him he's doing something right,” she said to Susie without breaking eye contact with him, “then you should reward him.”

Ryo felt Susie's hands on his spread legs. “Okay~”

“And he's not going to be able to cum without permission. Got that, dog?”

He nodded.

Reina moved her skirt to the side, and suspended herself right over his face, holding herself up with expertly trained thighs. Ryo screwed his eyes shut, not wanting to see—he could practically taste the moisture between her legs.

His body was still. His arousal was trapped by the ring Reina had slipped onto him, but there was nothing being offered to him now. He gagged as Reina guided him to lick her, not like he had gagged with DD, because there was nothing to choke on now besides the taste and the smell and the knowledge that he was licking someone's genitals.

I am a dog.

I'm not even a human being.

That left him as cold as if the life had drained out of him.

Reina instructed him how to use his tongue, to explore her in ways he'd never thought about because he'd never considered there was this much between a woman's legs. He had never thought of anything besides an abstract hole. But Reina was telling him what to do now as if she had done it a thousand times. She wasn't a sickly-sweet predator like Crane had been, or as callous as DD, or even as gleefully sadistic as Saruyama. They had all wanted to use him, to ruin him. But she saw past him without looking at him. To her, he wasn't a former pro or a Duel Academy graduate or a duelist at all, just the same kind of faceless submissive man she had fucked and thrown away so many times before.

You don't know that about her, he told himself. You barely know her. He was imprinting onto her all the fears and assumptions he could conjure up. His mind wouldn't stop working. But his body, outside of the tongue that she was goading him to use and the cock that Susie was starting to toy with, was gone.

“You're doing a mediocre job,” Reina told him. “At least you're not actively turning me off.”

His eyes were still closed, but he could feel her staring down at him.

“Susie, you can stop drooling on him and actually reward him a little now, if you want to.”

“Got it!” she sing-songed. And Ryo's legs shook a little as she took him in all at once.

It was so warm. And wet. He instantly tried to grind up into her mouth more, as she held his hips down on the rug. She was an expert at sucking cock, he knew she must be, because he'd tried once and he could never imagine deepthroating someone without any warning like that.

He moaned into Reina and realized he had completely forgotten she was there.

“Well, I'm glad one of us is having a good time,” she deadpanned. “You don't get excited by the chance to eat out a beautiful woman?”

She used his hair to pull him closer, and he licked her clit to try to appease her. She sank down onto him and he felt like he couldn't breathe, she was holding herself up by minute, expert control but he still felt like he was suffocating between her legs. Susie was still sucking him off, nearly pulling her mouth away from him now and then but never fully relenting, just giving him a terrifying second of thinking she was finished and his body would have to go cold again before plunging back down onto him again. His heart was pounding again. He might not have been human to these women but now he was at least feeling alive again, like he was being pushed to the last few of his life points.

His mind was fuzzing out from the pleasure and the panic but he at least had enough presence of mind to hate himself in this moment. He wasn't “into it”, not like he had been with DD. But the way his body reacted to punishment and subjugation was disgusting.

Can I come back from this? Will I ever be normal again? He asked himself but had no answer, so he kept asking over and over.

The cockring was keeping him from finishing, even though he tried to, his body went through the motions and he couldn't follow through with them. He felt as much as heard Susie giggling about it, his cock still in her mouth. And he in turn couldn't manage to finish Reina, his awkward coached attempts getting slower as his tongue cramped up. He couldn't believe his tongue was cramping. Maybe she just had succeeded in making him feel so small that he no longer believed he could do it. She looked into his eyes and he met them as if he was trying to appeal his condition—that it just wasn't working.

And she wordlessly started to take off one of his mitts.

“Don't stop sucking his cock,” she told Susie, finally.

She stood up and, picking up the remote again, stepped on his freed hand.

He let out a cry and so did Susie, watching.

Methodically, she ground his hand into the carpet under the toe of her boot, turning the vibrator on again as she did so. Ryo writhed and he felt himself straining to cum again, though Susie had completely abandoned him and was just watching, entranced.

He needed that fucking hand.

What was a duelist without working hands?

Why was he getting off on the feeling of his hand being crushed?

The pain from it seemed to run up his arm and straight to his brain. The vibrator stretching him and pushing him to the brink was the perfect complement. When Reina stopped, he almost asked for more.

“You like that?” she asked flatly.

He knew she could tell he did.

She reached down and started working the cockring off, expertly not-quite touching him with her long nails. It was excruciating and seemed to take forever, but finally she'd loosened it enough that, when she stepped on his hand again, the fresh wave of pain finally let him release what he'd been holding back. He came, over himself and the carpet below him, and Susie was still holding his legs apart and he felt her starting to clean him off with her tongue. Her tongue was too wet and hot and eager and he was too sensitive when she went to lick him and he whimpered again and tried to roll over, to protect himself. Reina turned off the vibrator and stepped on his other hand, the one that was still wrapped in a mitt, so he had to stay splayed apart and vulnerable. She smiled down at him, self-indulgently.

“Susie?”

“Yeah?”

“Let's take a fifteen-minute break and come back. He might need the time. I just really wanted to see if he'd cum from that.”

“Oh...okay! Sure.” Susie wiped her hands on the carpet absently and stood up, some strands of her long red hair sticking to her wet lips.

“Let's see...” Reina stepped over to the bed and pulled a set of handcuffs and another thing, like a metal bar, from the suitcase. She cuffed one of his hands—the useless one—and fastened the other end to a chair leg. Then she used the bar to spread his legs apart: it had cuffs at either end too.

“Stay,” Reina said, like she was talking to a dog.

Susie giggled. “Good boy.”

Ryo stared up at them, too drained to acknowledge that he had heard them. They went into the bathroom, together, and he tried to close his eyes, as if maybe somehow he could sleep. He was so tired. They had him til morning. The plug was still in him and he had almost stopped thinking about it. How was he going to walk home?

His injured hand was throbbing with pain, he couldn't see it where it was chained over his head but he wondered if it was bruising yet. When he tried to move his fingers, or make a fist, it hurt worse. And he had to duel tomorrow. All these everyday concerns were coming back to him now, and he couldn't do anything but think about them, pinned to the floor by restraints and exhaustion.

He couldn't believe he'd had sex with a woman. Two women. Before he'd fallen into this world, he hadn't ever thought it would happen. Maybe to Fubuki, but not to him. He had never asked, even in their years of friendship, if Fubuki had been interested in women, as much as he talked to them and about them. It wasn't really a question he could just ask.

Maybe now that he had graduated, Fubuki was dating girls.

That thought made him kind of sick. He didn't want to have been just a phase.

Well, it's too late to go back and ask him now, isn't it? A voice in his head asked him, in a nasty, Saruyama-ish kind of way. The idea of reaching out to Fubuki now—after he'd graduated and disappeared into the adult world, leaving things completely unfinished between them—made him sick too.

I can't talk to him now.

Ryo hated that he had been thinking about him more lately. It was like he was only capable of remembering the people he cared about when he was suffering. Like he only let himself love people when something was going wrong.

That was how it had been the night he and Fubuki had started dating.

--

It had been the night of the Titan incident. Asuka's duel had jostled something loose in Fubuki, like a cloud was gone from his eyes. But t he school nurse still wanted him to stay another night in the infirmary, just in case.

Ryo lingered behind after everyone else had said their goodnights; Asuka had hesitated in the doorway for a second, but then she'd disappeared. From all the time they'd spent together, trying to fill the vacuum Fubuki had left, Ryo could read her. She was letting him have this. But he still felt guilty, like he was stealing her brother's time—

Fubuki smiled softly at him. Finally. Finally, he could smile again. He was really back. And Asuka had left the two of them together, even though she was the one that had waited by Fubuki's unresponsive side—

“I didn't come see you before,” he muttered.

“I was so out of it I didn't even know.” Fubuki rolled over onto his side, turning to face him. “But you're here now.”

Ryo shook his head. “No. Asuka and I both wanted to see you so much, but when you turned up, she stuck right by your side and I...”

Fubuki was silent, listening in the dim room. The air conditioner hummed, dutifully keeping the school from the sticky tropical heat.

“It was like you were still gone.”

Fubuki reached out of the sheets and put a hand on Ryo's knee and patted it like a kindly grandmother. It was a kind of tired halfway point to the silly gestures Fubuki had always made. “...You weren't obligated to keep being with me when I wasn't acting like the same person. I'm...” He rubbed a hand over his face, knotting it up wearily. “I'm honored that you waited for me.”

“Of course I waited for you. What else was I supposed to do?”

Fubuki smiled up at him again. “Well, you know...you're the proud Kaiser of the school...you're everyone's idol...you could have moved on to anyone.”

“You know I'm not like that.” Fubuki knew that embarrassingly well. When they had been freshmen, Fubuki had pulled him out of his shell and more or less forced him to interact with people; he and Sho were more similar than anyone suspected. Ryo was only saved from the comparison by his difficulty expressing himself. Fubuki had done for him what Judai had just recently done for his brother. “Besides, I don't...I don't really want to be with anyone besides you.”

“You and Asuka got pretty close, though?” Fubuki propped his head up on his hand. “I'm so glad~ I always said you two would get along, right~? I just wish I could have been there to watch your bond grow~”

“Yeah, but, I mean...you know...that's not what I meant.” Asuka was surprisingly level-headed and thoughtful for a freshman, but with a fiery spark that made her just unpredictable enough and a natural grace that balanced her temper—she was so unlike Fubuki and yet somehow so familiar. She and he had fallen into the rhythm of being friends as easily as if they had done it for years. Still, though, she could never be like Fubuki, not in the ways Ryo needed.

Fubuki was still just looking at him, and a flare of fear surged up in Ryo. Maybe he didn't understand. Ryo was suddenly very terrified of that, like if he didn't tell Fubuki what he meant right now it would be like losing him again, forever.

“I never tried dating anyone after you disappeared.” Ryo felt his face burning up, like it was overheating from the strain of expressing himself. “I know we...weren't, but I couldn't try dating anyone else, I just couldn't. I liked you too much.”

Ryo buried his face in his hands, until Fubuki wordlessly pried one of his hands away to hold it. Ryo gripped onto that hand like he was trying to keep Fubuki from falling into darkness again and Fubuki stroked the back of his hand with his thumb, a gesture so warm and so comforting that Ryo felt like he was going to melt into an embarrassing vulnerable puddle of all the emotions he had been worrying over the entire time Fubuki had been gone. He and Fubuki had never really been dating. They had been friends, and then they had been friends whose sleepovers had been filled with long, silent hugs, and then they had been friends who had held hands in private and found quiet corners to exchange kisses between classes. But they'd never given a name to it, and never talked about being established or exclusive. And then Fubuki had been gone.

It hadn't begun so it never ended either. Not like Ryo could ever be as fond of anyone as he had been of Fubuki. No one could even get that close to him. He was just that bad at making friends.

Ryo wrapped his other hand around Fubuki's, trapping it. Fubuki relaxed, letting Ryo hold him however he wanted. Finally, he gently guided Ryo to come closer.

There were tears in his eyes. Fubuki's eyes had always shone easily with any kind of emotion, and it was the utter lack of any that had scared Ryo when they had first reclaimed him from Darkness.

“Ryo, you...” Fubuki sat up in bed, and wrapped his arms around Ryo's neck—and then his legs around Ryo's waist, which made Ryo start to blush again. But that was just the way Fubuki was, the way he'd always been. “You're so...It's like I never left.”

“I'm...sorry.”

“No, it's a good thing...I'm so glad...I was afraid you'd have changed while I was gone.”

Ryo hugged Fubuki back, and it was as natural as it had been last year. “I don't think changing is something I do.”

He'd meant to admit a flaw, but it made Fubuki laugh. “That's okay. Because I'm the same as I was too.”

Ryo was fiercely glad. That Fubuki was back, that he was better, that maybe now—

“And I still like you a lot, so maybe I might need, like...a boyfriend to help me get back on my feet now that I'm back...Hey, don't you start crying too!”

Ryo couldn't help it. He clenched the back of Fubuki's shirt and rested his head on Fubuki's shoulder and tried to muffle the first tears he'd cried since Fubuki had gone.

Ryo wished he was there again. He wished Fubuki would hold him again, like that. But even by that point it had been too late for them.

He understood now why Fubuki hadn't wanted to talk about being possessed, and why, in the time they'd had together after the Seven Stars, all they had done was playact dating and slowly grow further and further apart.

Even if he did come back now, he would make everyone else dirtier just by being around them. There was no way he could tell anyone else about what had happened to him. Even if he wanted to reach out to Fubuki now, what would he say? That he wanted some of their freshman year's wordless, nameless comfort? That he'd become a pervert too disgusting for normal sex and he wanted to pretend he hadn't?

That now he was ready to talk about it?

He clenched his fist and felt the shooting pain from it, from his protesting bruising muscles.

The women were coming back, from re-applying their makeup or whatever they had been doing in the bathroom. He was still so tired, but he wanted to be hurt more. He wanted to become a worse and worse person, to stop thinking about this, to remind himself that he was a bad person, and he wasn't in school anymore. He couldn't go back to Fubuki anymore. And he had never really deserved to be with him in the first place.

He was prepared to beg for it. He was just tired of thinking.

He was tired of existing.

He didn't want to be a person anymore. For the rest of the night, he wanted to be a dog.

Chapter Text

Every night seemed to bring a new reminder that Ryo needed to get out from under Saruyama's thumb.

Right now, there was nothing Ryo wanted more than to escape off the dueling field and away from his public's watching eyes. But Saruyama was barring his way, casually, purposefully, stance just wide enough that Ryo couldn't step around him and escape the steel cage.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?”

“Away,” Ryo growled, and tried to lunge past him. He really didn't want to deal with this right now, he wanted to remove himself from everyone's view and get a moment to check himself over before he started the usual post-duel routine of being pawed at and fawned over, and he really didn't want Saruyama to be able to get a closer look at him. Saruyama stopped him with a hand on his chest that slid down the front of his tight shirt and rested on his belt buckle, fingers trying to pry past it.

“Are you embarrassed? Really? That's cute.”

Ryo couldn't push past Saruyama now without drawing attention to himself, and he already knew everyone was watching.

“I could tell you really enjoyed tonight's match. Honestly, I'm impressed. I don't think anyone has ever fallen so far as quickly as you.” Saruyama hooked his fingers in the front of Ryo's pants more deliberately. “Trying to get rid of the evidence, huh? Why bother? I'm sure everyone could tell. You're not as subtle as you think you are.”

“Just let me go,” Ryo said through gritted teeth.

“No.” Saruyama couldn't get past the tight, high-waisted and firmly buckled pants without effort—Ryo knew that, and this ensemble had partially been put together to protect him from wandering hands. Still, Saruyama held complete power over him, and nothing could protect him from that. “Show me.”

Ryo clenched one fist—the other was still tender and bruised from where Reina had tortured it. Then slowly, he started to follow the order.

Saruyama grinned, as if helpless to fight his glee at seeing Ryo submit to him. “Aw, come on. You wanted me to tell you to show off, didn't you? Don't pretend like you didn't love cumming in front of all these people.”

Refusing to look at himself, or at Saruyama, or at the tables of wealthy patrons watching him, Ryo stared at a spot on the wall behind Saruyama as he reluctantly exposed himself and the mess he'd made of his black briefs. He could feel the eyes on him, could feel them appraising him the way they always did, he could practically feel them fantasizing. Some of them had had him already—Crane and Susie were regulars, and he could see them both here. So many more were hungry, curious, had slipped him money so that he would kiss them or grope them under the table between matches, but had never had a chance to get him alone, or were too apprehensive to, with the way he mauled his opponents.

Saruyama grabbed him by the hair and pressed him up against the bars of the cage so he was forced to confront all their eyes, pinning one arm behind his back and putting his weight on him so he couldn't get free.

“You're a genuine, utter slut, you know that, Hell Kaiser?” Saruyama hissed in his ear, with palpable twisted affection. “You didn't even touch yourself. You didn't need anything to reach climax but a shock collar and an audience. It was so incredible, I practically came myself, just watching. You had a vocal...obvious...masochistic orgasm...while playing a card game. The underground really created a monster with you.”

Ryo met the fevered gazes that were watching him, and felt something in himself start to stir just from that. The excitement from dueling was still coiling inside him and he still wanted to fight, to put on a show, to feel the sharp buzz of pain. Saruyama was so close up against him, he could grind on him if he wanted to, might start doing it any second. Pinned up against the bars for anyone to see or touch, used from behind by the tyrannical manager that had taken his virginity and sold him to the highest bidder, while everyone knew how broken and filthy he was, so everyone could tell how much he loved it—Ryo wanted it to happen. He gripped the bars of the cage with his free hand so he wouldn't touch himself to the thought, trying to maintain the illusion of helplessness, silently begging Saruyama to make it come true.

Someone in the crowd laughed. “He looks like he wants to kill you, Monkey.”

Another friend agreed. “He's pissed. You'd better watch your back.”

“That kid's a demon...you horny lunatic!”

They were all laughing. Ryo strained against the bars, wanting someone to give his cock the attention it wanted, but everyone was keeping a cautious distance, even as they watched.

“Seriously? There's no need to be afraid of him. If you don't have a duel disk on, he's a kitten.” Saruyama reached around and stroked Ryo's cock, and Ryo moaned in thanks. “Vicious, but in a cute way, right…?” Ryo rubbed himself against the inside of Saruyama's loosely curled hand. “Well, what do you think? Do you need more taming, Ryo?”

Ryo didn't expect the thrill of shame he got from Saruyama using his real name. He let out a little sound, almost lost in the large room.

“You do, don't you? You want to know what fun new things I've got in mind.” Saruyama whispered in his ear, teasing a 'yes' out of him with his gloved fingers brushing the head of his cock. “Well, listen. 'Poor, naive fallen Duel Academy scion' Kaiser was a good look for you, but I think it's gotten old. I think people have gotten used to that image. It's time to say goodbye to that.”

With everyone watching Saruyama touch him like this, after everyone had seen how the shock collar affected him, there wasn't much of a choice. Like with every other decision Saruyama made for him, he could agree with it, but he couldn't ever say no.

“Our good friend Mr. Crane is having a party soon. You remember his parties, right?” Saruyama said, as much to everyone else in the room as to Ryo.

Of course he remembered. He remembered the sharp smell of alcohol, the feel of strange hands on his skin and the soft towel he had bitten down on, the dim warmness of the room where he had shown his body to strangers, and how Crane had pulled him down and forced him onto his lap and molested him in front of everyone—

Saruyama laughed. “Oh. Oh, yes, you remember. I can tell.”

A few other people laughed too.

“So you probably want to go to another party, then, don't you?”

Ryo was mute, since it was impossible for him to find any smart way to respond when Saruyama was talking to him as if he was soothing a dangerous beast.

“And we can show everyone that it's fun to play with a monster like you, if you're properly trained—Pay me in advance.” Saruyama yelled the last part past Ryo's ear and into the audience. The spell was broken and everyone's gaze seemed to slide off Ryo as he hastily buttoned his pants and fled, as suddenly freed as everyone else. “All-access for the whole evening. That's no condoms, no time limits, every hole you can think of, ladies and gentlemen.”

Ryo just focused on making it to the showers. He'd think about the party when it happened.

It was only a few days later. After his match that night, he packed his deck and his duel disk away and was immediately shuffled off into another dark-windowed car. He couldn't even remember the last time he'd been in a car without tinted windows. As a pro, he'd been a minor celebrity, and now he was—what? A product? A human trafficking victim? He wondered for a second about that one: was it possible he was a missing person? But it only took him that one second to remember that he was an adult and he was free to disappear whenever he wanted. No one was looking for him. No one had even tried to contact him, after he had ignored every email and every phone call for a few weeks.

He was relieved about that.

Because this time, he wanted to go to this party. He wanted someone to fuck him. He hoped someone would take him to a dark room and make him forget who he was, just for a little while. Maybe, if he stopped thinking about the people he had left behind, he would disappear from their minds too. It would be better for him to melt away into the darkness, as if he had been wiped from everyone's memories. He wanted to become a creature with no past and no future, a wraith that only existed in the heat of battle, the highest point of pleasure, the worst possible pain. Those moments were all he wanted. The rest of life was just trash.

He arrived at Crane's house before anyone else and Saruyama herded him in through a back entrance.

“You're getting your own room. Exciting, right?” Saruyama said. Ryo just followed, wary. He only remembered the last time he had been here in a series of sense impressions. Under different lighting, without the halls crowded with people, he didn't even recognize the inside of the building. Finally as Saruyama led him up the grand staircase to the second floor he got a flash of recollection, a memory of shivering in his coat with Saruyama's arm around him, keeping him wrapped up. And they had been going up this staircase. He remembered the scrollwork on the banister. What a weird thing to remember.

Now, as they reached the second floor landing, he remembered the bathroom too—as they passed it, though the door was closed and he couldn't look inside, he still felt like he could see himself in there, being raped for the first time. He felt numb about it, as if all the anguish, the pain, the fear he had felt then had been erased, so he couldn't access them anymore. In fact, thinking about it now, he was only irritated by the memory of himself crying out. I shouldn't have shown him that much vulnerability.

Saruyama didn't give any indication that he remembered or thought twice about it as they passed. And they kept walking.

At the end of the hallway they turned, and Ryo was met with the sight of more doors. Saruyama opened one.

“Just out of the way enough, and still so convenient. Am I right?”

This room was a guest bedroom, furnished with the impersonal minimum—but still giving off the impression of warmth and high quality. A window opened onto green grounds, and Ryo caught a glimpse of a well-maintained lawn before Saruyama closed the shades.

“I hope you like it, because you're going to be in here for a while.”

Saruyama slid open the closet door, and pulled out a black metal frame with padded cuffs attached. Ryo understood immediately.

“I'll come by at least once to let you go to the bathroom. Although, there's always that one guy that wants to watch a cute boy get desperate and pee on the rug…”

“You've got to be kidding me,” Ryo muttered.

“Listen. If a client wants you to do something while you're trussed up on this, then well…you don't have much of a choice, do you?” Saruyama grinned at him. “Trust me, this is for your benefit. If we don't lock you up, someone might try to take you home.”

Ryo rolled his eyes.

“That's not a joke. You've barely seen the tip of the iceberg of this world. Would you believe me if I told you I've turned some offers down? Because I was concerned for your safety?”

He wasn't sure if he believed it. He did believe that Saruyama would say anything to put himself in a better light.

“What now?” he said. “Take everything off, or...”

“Take the belt and coat off. It'll be exciting for the first few people if they have to do a little work to get to you...like dogs with a treat.” Saruyama laughed. “I might come by to dress you again later. Everyone will be drunker then and it'll be hilarious to see them try again.”

Ryo took his belt and heavy leather trenchcoat off, and Saruyama stashed them in the closet.

“Basically, expect it to go like this. The real sex maniacs will come in first. They'll be stone cold sober. Then other people will come in for a taste after they've gotten a little bolder and heard you're here. Then by about three hours in you'll have some piss-drunk old man who thinks you're a girl or doesn't care anymore. And he won't be able to get it up, and eventually you'll just hang here waiting for me to come rescue you from your boredom. You're basically an appliance. Well, that's a little unglamorous. You're a party favor, how about that? Or you're the entertainment. You're used to that, right?”

As he talked, Saruyama helped Ryo into the stocks. His hands were cuffed level with his head, and he was forced into a kneeling position that was made more vulnerable with the addition of a spreader bar fixed between his ankles. At least it was padded. Ryo felt as if the picture he made was strangely incomplete like this, with all his clothes on.

“Just to make things easier on everyone, I'm going to prepare you in advance.” Saruyama undid Ryo's pants and pulled them down a little.

“Nice of you to care now,” Ryo grumbled.

“What was that?”

Ryo didn't bother to repeat it, just stayed still as Saruyama applied lube to his fingers and then to Ryo's entrance. He had a memory of pressing himself down onto this man's fingers, though he wasn't sure where it had come from. Was it a fantasy? They had both been naked. He didn't remember when that could have been.

“Did we ever...”

“What? Honestly, you don't speak very clearly, do you?”

Ryo bit his lip and shook his head slightly. “Never mind.”

“It's okay to admit you like it, you know.” Saruyama worked his fingers in deeper. “You put yourself through enough pain already without being in denial too.”

“I'm not in denial.” Ryo was unconsciously angling himself so that Saruyama could get further in, but he wasn't responding to Ryo's wordless begging. I know exactly how fucked up I am. How fucked up you all made me.

Unless that's what you're talking about.

“You really, really want it, don't you?”

Maybe I've always wanted it. Maybe they could tell. Even before I could.

“Well...you're just going to have to hold on for a little bit. But just think of how excited you'll make the guests, when they find you're already riled up like this.” Saruyama put his glove back on, and did Ryo's pants back up. Just like the time when DD had dismissed him and he'd had to walk through crowds of people all defiled, it felt disgusting to have lube in his clothed ass.

Hopefully someone would take his pants off soon.

“Do you want anything to make it easier? I seem to recall there were some pills you really liked...”

“No.” He didn't need anything like that. Especially not from Saruyama.

Saruyama laughed. “You really are a mess.”

And he walked out, and shut the door behind him.

Ryo stared into space, waiting and trying to listen for approaching footsteps, for what seemed like hours. He couldn't tell what time it was at all—the window was behind him, and covered with a shade besides. He could only stay there, in a position that wasn't quite uncomfortable but wasn't natural either, until someone decided to open the door and free him from his boredom.

And then someone did.

The light from the hallway flooded in, much brighter than the single dim lamp that was in here. The figures silhouetted in the doorway regarded him for a few seconds, lingering on the threshhold before deciding to cross it.

“It really is Kaiser. I'll be damned.” The speaker had a mask on, but his dyed-blonde hair and casual voice made Ryo imagine he must he the layabout son of some wealthy executive.

“Yeah, I told you! I don't really pay attention to dueling, but he is kinda cute, isn't he?” The second man seemed like the same. His expensive suit was disheveled to give an impression of intentional nonchalance.

“He's much cuter-looking like this.” The first man—in a white suit and a blue mask—grabbed Ryo's face and tilted it upward. “It was worth it to come all the way here.”

“Well...what end do you want?” The second man stood off to the side, his hands in his pockets. His suit was patterned in a bold modern design and his mask was gold.

“I'll take his face. I've wanted to fuck it since I saw him lose to Edo Phoenix live.” The blue-masked man positioned himself right in front of Ryo's face and started to unzip his pants, and Ryo braced himself. He hadn't sucked cock since the disastrous attempt with DD, and while he was ready to try again, he wasn't sure if his gag reflex would be on board with that.

“Isn't that the little kid?”

“Yeah. I was wondering if he'd finally get knocked off his streak, but it was pretty wild—people said Kaiser would be the one to beat him, but Phoenix wiped the floor with his ass. I was like, 'hell yeah, that's my boy!'” The man pulled his cock out of his boxers and stroked it a few times. “Then, before I knew it, the Duel Monsters message boards started saying Kaiser'd been sighted tearing it up on the underground circuit, and I was like 'hey, doesn't that creep Monkey do some promoting on the underground circuit', but then I didn't really think about it again until—“

“Man, on the way over here you made it sound like you've been pining for this guy for months, but you really only just remembered him, didn't you?”

“Look, I'm really busy, okay? I get sidetracked.”

Ryo tried to strain forward to get a taste of the man's cock. This time, he wanted to accept it on his own terms, if he could. The blue-masked man was infuriatingly distracted, like even though he was talking about Ryo, he didn't think of him as actually being there. Ryo wasn't sure if he was supposed to speak in this situation, but he also wasn't sure what he would even say. Somehow he felt like a freshman in Obelisk Blue again, surrounded by kids who had grown up much wealthier than he had.

The gold-masked man started to unbutton Ryo's pants and then tugged them down. Then, Ryo felt both his hands leave him.

“Did you forget something?” the blue-masked man said.

“Nah, I'm just getting a condom.”

“Monkey said you don't have to wear a condom.”

“That's exactly why I'm putting one on. If everyone who's fucked him did it bareback he must have so many diseases, man...”

“...Oh yeah.” The blue-masked man pulled back a little, and Ryo strained against his restraints more to get to him. “Oh? Do you want it, Kaiser?”

“Yeah.” Ryo's voice came out as a croak. “...Winning underground isn't the only thing I'm good at.”

He hoped, in the dim lighting, it wasn't obvious how his face burned after he said that. Especially since the two men started to hoot and laugh at it.

“Seriously?” The blue-masked man started to touch himself, still too far away to taste, but close enough that Ryo could practically smell the precum as it started to bead up at the pink tip of his cock.

Behind him, the gold-masked man pulled Ryo's ass open with his fingers, just enough to slide in—but he didn't just yet. “Man, you should see this. It's so tight and he wants it so bad, he's shaking.”

Ryo was shaking. With embarrassment, with adrenaline, with uncontrollable want. He couldn't believe he had said that. And he wanted to prove it hadn't been an empty boast.

I'm not a loser.

I'm good at Duel Monsters. I'm good at this too. I'm a champion. I'm the best. Let me prove it.

“Damn...” The blue-masked man stroked himself harder, while Ryo watched, transfixed. “Is this what they teach you at Duel Academy?”

“Y...yeah...” Ryo could feel the other man's cockhead lining up with his pulsing hole, but slowly, way too slowly. “We used to play games in the dorms all the time...and the losers had to do whatever the winners wanted...”

“Yeah?”

“And sometimes...I lost on purpose...”

“No shit…”

Ryo could hear the intoxicated grin in the blue-masked man's voice, but he was only looking at his cock, his delicious cock that was too close and too far away and too eagerly responding to what he was saying. For a second he let himself imagine that the fantasy he was spinning had been real, he imagined himself throwing a game, and taking his position, and letting Fubuki and all the other boys do whatever they wanted to him, he imagined losing his virginity while tied up like this to someone he didn't know and couldn't even see in the dark and everyone telling him how tight he was and how eager he was and how glad they were that he never lost a match anywhere else, only here, only at night, only with them...

“Holy shit, he's drooling.”

“Don't torture him, you dumbass, let him suck your cock.”

“Like you're one to talk...” The blue-masked man stepped just slightly forward, and Ryo took his cock into his mouth. It was hot and the precum was salty and it wasn't nearly as stupidly huge as DD's had been, he could wrap his lips around it and take it much further into his mouth than he had even imagined himself doing, but somehow it was so easy. The man moaned and stroked Ryo's hair and Ryo pulled back almost all the way, like Susie had done, and swirled his tongue across the head of it, and the blue-masked man let out another curse and ran his fingers through Ryo's hair some more. Behind him, the gold-masked man finally plunged into him, and Ryo's mouth fell open and he lost the cock he'd been sucking but the blue-masked man helped him find it, and he was filled at both ends. It felt so exhilarating, so oddly comforting, while he was locked in this memory of being with his friends in a way he had never really been, in the kind of world he could have lived in if he had just learned his true nature a little earlier, if he had known how good it felt to be used. But he wanted more. He wished he could suck two cocks at once, or get fucked in the ass by two people at once, or—

Looking past the blue-masked man for the first time, Ryo realized they had an audience.

The door to the room had been left open when these two men had come in, and now there were more people standing outside, watching from the hallway. Some held drinks in their hands. One or two held their cocks. Ryo felt a thrill when he realized it. Come in here. Get closer. Touch me.

He whined around the blue-masked man's cock, trying to draw people's attention. The gold-masked man behind him was fucking him harder, and that made him whine more, especially since it was such selfish fucking, not for Ryo's sake at all, and he wanted more attention than that. He wanted to beg for it.

“I'll go next.” One of the men who had been watching briskly cut through the onlookers into the room and waited for the gold-masked man to finish, unzipping his pants and urgently rubbing himself as he did so. The gold-masked man finished surprisingly quietly and then pulled out, stepping aside to let the next man go. He was bigger, and Ryo let out a high-pitched whine when he felt how much further inside him this man could penetrate. He fucked as if he was desperate to get all the pleasure he could from Ryo, because there were so many other rooms, with so many other things going on in them. Ryo didn't want to think about them. He wanted this room, his room, to be everyone's destination. When the man finished, he yanked Ryo's shirt up his back first, so he could mark his bare skin. Ryo felt his cum rapidly cooling as his shirt crept back down, but another set of hands tugged it up again, just so they could look at his body, while other people gathered around, touching him, watching him.

The blue-masked man was at his limit, Ryo could tell, even though he had done his best to make it last as long as possible, to impress him, to really blow his mind so he'd remember him this time and he wouldn't be just an afterthought while he was browsing the message boards to talk about Edo Phoenix. He'd make him remember him.

“Cum in my mouth,” he said in a ragged breathless voice while behind him another man spit on him, trying to remoisten the lube that had been applied there. “I w...I wanna taste your cum. I'll swallow all of it.”

“Okay. Yeah,” the blue-masked man said, in a daze, and as if he'd been waiting for this, he came, and Ryo swallowed it and licked the head clean. Partially to show the man he'd done it, and partially because someone else had thrust into him, he opened his mouth, and the blue-masked man laughed in disbelief, backing away until he hit the bed and collapsed onto it.

When he had gone, more people crowded around. Ryo accepted the challenge of each and every one of them. Time passed as a blur. He was sucking one cock, then another, then both at once. Some people had condoms, some people didn't. Someone pulled his hair and he moaned, on purpose, because he wanted them to know they could do it more. Women watched from the sides, giggling, and at one point someone slapped his ass. Someone fucked him while fondling his cock so hard it almost hurt. The carpet was stained with dried cum and fresh cum and condoms and he wondered why they hadn't laid down a cloth to protect it. He heard the blue-masked man telling people he'd learned to fuck at Duel Academy, that this was the same Kaiser who'd lost to Edo Phoenix, and that he was a total slut. At one point, there was a camera in his face, and he was getting fucked so hard all he could do was look into it, hoping his eyes weren't too glazed over, his face wasn't too stupid. The blue-masked man asked him to smile but he was already smiling. He was practically about to cry. Whoever was fucking him now was so rough and so relentless it was everything he could have wanted it was exactly how he liked it was perfect and painful and when he heard himself saying so at first he didn't realize it was out loud. I can't take it, you're so good, I want it, I want it so bad, fuck me harder, fuck me in half, make it hurt—the words were spilling out of him so naturally he couldn't figure out how he had gathered the courage to say them. And whoever it was that was fucking him was responding to his pleas, and Ryo wasn't just saying so, he really couldn't take it. Before he could hold himself back he let himself cum and his cum mixed with all the rest that had collected under him.

It was as if no one noticed. The endless crowd kept pressing in on him, even though he was quickly becoming painfully sensitive in the aftermath of his climax. If he hadn't been propped up and suspended he would have collapsed. But the way he was now, he could just hang there and they could keep coming, shoving themselves into his panting mouth, fucking his ass that was already slick with cum. If he could, he'd already be hard again. His body was too sore and sensitive, he had bruises on his hips and thighs and anywhere else where people had grabbed him without care, every new cock was a sensory overload, and he loved it. It hurt so much. He'd never felt this particular kind of pain before, and he loved it just as much as every other pain.

But the crowd was starting to thin out now. The crush of bodies in the small room was a little less. Ryo didn't want to be neglected, didn't want to cool down, didn't want the rush of sensation to end. When a new shadow darkened the doorway, he lifted his eyes to look, because there was no one using his mouth anymore, and his view was completely unobstructed. He wanted the newcomer to get a good look at him, wanted them to be entranced.

It was Crane.

Ryo wasn't sure why he was surprised to see him here. It was his house, after all. But when he saw him, in the same red waistcoat he'd worn the night they'd met, the same simple mask he'd stared into in that love hotel, he felt his heart rate pick up.

“Kaiser.” Crane only said his name as a greeting, taking a sip of the cocktail in his hand. “It's been a while.”

“Y...yeah.” Ryo watched him as he took one step into the room, setting his drink on top of a dresser.

“Who could have imagined you'd become like this? And so quickly, too.” Ryo felt a warm thrill when he heard that voice, the deep, soothing voice Crane turned on just for him. “You're such a little whore. You've gotten addicted to it, haven't you?”

“...Yes sir.” Ryo couldn't look up far enough to meet his eyes as he approached, but that was fine. Instead he sought out the outline of his cock in his pants. Ryo remembered that cock, the first one he had really made himself look at. I want to know what it tastes like.

“I can tell. You look like a bitch in heat.”

“Yeah...” Somehow he liked the idea. He smiled a little, stupidly, vacantly, still looking at Crane's zipper, willing him to pull it down and let him get reacquainted. It had been so long. He'd had a good time.

Instead, Crane squatted to look into his face, and Ryo saw black eyes behind the mask. “I'm so disappointed.”

“Huh?”

“I wish I could have been the one to break you in.”

But you did. Crane had broken his mind open that night in the love hotel. Even before that, he'd disgraced him so much at the party he would have never recovered from the shame even if it had never gone any further than that. How was that not breaking him in?

“Instead Monkey let everyone get a crack at you. It's disgusting.” Crane was tilting his face up to catch his heat-hazed eyes, but looking through him. “Whose cum is this?” He wiped the corner of Ryo's mouth. “You don't even know, do you? You don't even care.” He shook his head. “Is this how you thank me for treating you so good? You loved what I showed you, didn't you?”

“Y...yesh,” Ryo said, around the finger that Crane was swabbing around the inside of his mouth, trying to get rid of the cum he'd picked up.

“I just wanted you to be my good little boy...but you had to get like this, didn't you? Now you're free for everyone.”

“I can still...I still wanna be...” Ryo chased the saliva-wetted fingers as they left his mouth.

“I'm not interested in used-up gigolos. Sorry.” Crane stood up, and wiped his fingers on the leg of his pants, grimacing. “The idea of trying to fuck some gaping stretched-out cum-filled asshole that just anyone can get into makes me want to vomit.” He took a few steps back, and retrieved his drink, then took a pensive sip. “Didn't I hear you had a brother back at school?”

Ryo felt as if something had been ripped from him. Crane laughed when he saw his face. “Don't worry, don't worry. There's someone else I've already got my eye on. And I know he won't let me down. If I can get him, he'll be perfect...” He turned around. “See you, Kaiser. Good luck out there.”

And he left.

Just like Saruyama had said he would, he showed up later in the night to unfasten Ryo from the post and walk him down the hall to that familiar bathroom. And then, just as Ryo had been expecting, he stood there and watched as Ryo sat on the toilet and used wad after wad of toilet paper to try to clean himself out.

“...Do you think it's going to get stretched out?” Ryo asked, in a very small voice.

“What?” Saruyama said. Then he laughed. “Your asshole, you mean? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Do I look like a doctor?”

Ryo wished he hadn't bothered to ask. And it was weird sitting on this same toilet again. He didn't like the bright lights, the silence, the stillness in here either. He didn't like things having halted. He sat up and flushed the toilet, then took his underwear off and tossed it in the trash.

“Hey now, hold on! I can sell that,” Saruyama said.

“Then get it yourself.”

“I will, thanks.” Saruyama took it out. “Listen, anything like this is an opportunity. I'm an entrepreneur, you know. And right now, I'm on the sales floor.”

Ryo just looked at him.

“Look...I'm a man of many hats. Well, just this stylish one, actually—but any business I can get into, I will. Fight promoting, pretty boys, girls, drugs...selling your memorabilia,” he said with a smile. “Anyway, if you don't need to pee then let's get you tied back up. I left a new girl downstairs with some clients, and if I'm unlucky they've all already done something very rude to her.”

Ryo only felt dull surprise. He wondered if Saruyama had been juggling him with other victims all along, or if he'd found this girl recently, maybe picked her up because he was getting less viable.

I need to go visit the Cyber Art Dojo. A loss at this point would be catastrophic. He was almost out. With any luck this would be his last...whatever these had been. Private appearance. Intimate gathering.

As Saruyama led him back down the hallway and tied him back up, he reflected that he knew he would miss it. Having to wear the collar, tasting the familiar pain, watching his opponent crumble. Being watched. Being touched. Being wanted.

He'd have to arrange his own matches from now on, rig his own punishments.

The rest of the night was disappointing. The blue-masked man had fallen asleep on the bed a while ago, but eventually he got up and walked out without a word or a glance. Another group, of older men, came in, but they mostly stood around him and talked loudly over his head about his long hair and his tight pants and his eyeliner. Eventually one of them put his cock in Ryo's mouth, but when he saw how eagerly Ryo took to it, he yanked himself away, laughing. It made Ryo feel dirty, which only made him more frustrated. He stewed there grinding his teeth until his manager finally came to rescue him.

“If eyes could kill,” Saruyama said. “Really, nothing's going to make you less scowl-y, is it?”

“Fuck me,” Ryo said.

“Hm?”

“I want to get fucked again, so fuck me.”

Saruyama undid one of his wrist restraints, then the other. He stood back and took a look at Ryo, who was kneeling with his hands on the floor now, his legs still fastened to the spreader bar. “Tempting, but no.”

“Why?” Ryo demanded.

“Because it's morning and I'm tired. Aren't you?” He moved behind Ryo to free his legs, but Ryo still knelt there.

He was tired. And because he was tired he was even more frustrated than he would have been. Don't act like you have common decency now. Stop with the annoying act and fuck me, please, I know you want to. You used to want to. “Is there something wrong with me?”

“Jeez, are you on your period or something?” He laughed at his own tasteless joke. “Look, if you really want to know—yes, there's 'something wrong' with you. There's been something wrong with you all along. You're fucked up, aren't you?” He pushed his glasses up his nose a little and Ryo thought he saw the sheen of sweat there. “Normal people don't just snap like that. You put Inukai in the hospital on your very first night. We thought you'd killed him.”

That doesn't have anything to do with this. It doesn't matter. Ryo realized he hadn't given a second thought to the man he'd played in his first cage match. In the rush of adrenaline, and the party that had come after, he hadn't wondered whether he'd lived or died.

“That doesn't have anything to do with me fucking you or not, though. Right now, I'm just tired.”

Ryo was still on the floor. He rose to his feet slowly. Meekly.

“But if you really want...well, follow me to the car, Ryo.”

Ryo never got a glimpse of the girl Saruyama had mentioned, and she definitely wasn't in the car that pulled up to drive both of them. He still wondered about her, though—for all of the five seconds before Saruyama pulled the divider down between the driver and them, and slyly smiled, and coaxed Ryo to come closer.

In the pitch blackness just before the night gave way to the morning, broken up only by traffic lights, Ryo melted in his manager's hands. He didn't like this man. He loathed him. Even now, seeing his smile made his skin crawl.

But the way he whispered to him, fine, fine...come on, you little slut...sit on my cock…

The way he petted Ryo's hair as Ryo sucked his cock first, got it so wet that he could slide onto it easily, and then let Ryo sit in his lap, and kissed him even though his mouth had been used so many times…

Ryo was grateful to him. He was grateful to be touched again. He was grateful to be able to fuck himself onto this man, any man, and be accepted for what he was: needy, lonely, sick. Fucked up in a way too deep to ever be patched over again, not now that he'd been broken open once, now that he'd been trained for it. This was what he was now, a bottomless hole constantly craving the most brutal victory, the greatest high. It wasn't anyone else's fault. It wasn't Crane's or Saruyama's or Edo Phoenix's. So there wasn't any point in hating any of them. He might as well be grateful.

He thought, in this moment, he might be happy.

And then, the car ride ended, and he was in front of his apartment, and he had to extricate himself, and he left Saruyama without saying anything.

The elevator to his floor was cold. His apartment was silent. He took off all his clothes and wrapped himself in his sheets and couldn't decide whether to masturbate or bite his skin til he bled. He ended up doing neither.

His days underground were numbered.

Another match tomorrow.

He couldn't wait for his heart to start beating again.