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The Coin Toss

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Keishin’s friend smelled really good.

Was it weird to stand in a gay bar and wonder what cologne a dude was using?

Probably not. Everybody liked good smells.

Didn’t necessarily mean anything.

Yuusuke was interrupted from his thoughts when the barista set a beer and an iced coffee on the bar in front of him. The glasses were cool and grounding to the touch. Yuusuke took them and sat down next to his new friend.

Ota Tetsunosuke.

“Thanks for the coffee,” Tetsunosuke said with a smile.

That scent teased at Yuusuke again. He still couldn’t place it, but it was even better mixed with the sharp smells of coffee and beer.

“I like your name,” Yuusuke blurted out. “Tetsunosuke. Like the Shinsengumi. I don’t meet a lot of people with that name any more.”

Tetsunosuke tilted his head, emphasizing the handsome angle of his jaw. Yuusuke wondered if he could make his own face look like that, if he tried. “My parents are kinda old fashioned, yeah. I can’t really say I live up to it. Iron guardian, or whatever.”

“Dunno about that.” Yuusuke glanced at Tetsunosuke’s piercings. There were metal studs in his earlobes, a ring through the cartilage of one ear and a bar through the other. There was a stud through his right nostril too, sitting perfectly proportional to the shape of his nose. Yuusuke couldn’t stop his smile. “You’ve got a lot of hardware there, so maybe you live up to the iron part at least, Tetsu-san.

Tetsunosuke raised an eyebrow at him. Yuusuke’s stomach dropped. Maybe making up nicknames for strangers wasn’t the best plan. He needed a better filter between his brain and his mouth.

“You’re a bit cheeky, Yuusuke-san.” Tetsunosuke grinned, sharp like a fox. “I like it.”

Yuusuke laughed and grinned back, mirroring Tetsu’s posture before he realized it.

Tetsunosuke smelled like all the good parts of leather, mixed with a chip set that was running a little hotter than it should be.

Tetsu set his coffee on the counter and smiled at Yuusuke. “I gotta say, I feel pretty lucky to get invited to something like this right after I move. It’s good to get to know so many queer and queer-friendly people right off the bat. Which are you, by the way? Queer, or just friendly?”

Yuusuke hesitated, the need to overshare swelling up in his mind. The dam broke with a single thought: why not?

“I dunno. Both? I mean, I always just kinda thought everybody looked at a hot guy and was like… ‘Yeah, I want that!’” Yuusuke pumped his fist for emphasis. “But uh, now I’m realizing that there’s a difference between wanting to be like that and wanting to be on top of that. And uh, I can’t tell if it’s one or the other or both for me. Does that make any sense?”

Tetsu’s laugh was gentle honey. “I think I’m following you. You’re questioning.”

“It sounds so simple when you put it like that.” Yuusuke turned his head. It was embarrassing. He felt like a child, not even knowing basic facts about himself like whether or not he was into dudes.

“Nothing simple about it. Questioning can be uncomfortable. I did a lot of stupid things before I figured myself out. Since you can just say it so easily though, I think you’ll be better off.”

“Stupid things?” Yuusuke leaned towards him. “Like what? On a scale of prank calls to skydiving without a parachute, what are we talking about here?”

Tetsunosuke gave him half a smile. “I rode my motorbike too fast, drank too much… slept too little. I survived it, but I don’t recommend any of that stuff. Let yourself be whatever you are. You’ve got good people around you, I can tell.” He gestured around the room.

Yuusuke wondered what Tetsunosuke looked like in a motorcycle jacket. Then he looked around the room, at Keishin and Shimada mingling in different corners of the bar. “The people make me wonder though. Statistically speaking, one to five percent of the population experiences same-sex attraction. The chances of me just happening to be queer in addition to my two best friends is less than point zero zero zero two percent.”

Tetsunosuke laughed, bright and honest. Yuusuke wanted to think of a hundred funny things he could say just so he could keep hearing that sound. “You’re a numbers guy, huh?”

Yuusuke shrugged. “I like simplifying things. Even complex processors are ultimately a series of ones and zeroes. Numbers make sense.”

“I see.” Tetsunosuke shifted to lean against the bar, which made his shirt stretch across his chest. He must work out a lot. “The problem is that you’re assuming they’re independent variables. But people have a knack for finding each other, even when we don’t know exactly what it is that draws us to someone. Let’s say every queer person gravitates to have, say, at least two out of five of their close friends be LGBT in some way. That brings your likelihood of being queer to about forty percent. How do you feel about those odds?”

“Better,” Yuusuke said without thinking.

--

Yuusuke scored his phone number.

Tetsunosuke had given it to him at the end of the night. Not only that, but he’d put himself in Yuusuke’s phone as Tetsu-san. Which was probably a pretty good sign that Yuusuke hadn’t fucked up too badly.

Not bad for his first time flirting with a guy.

…at least, it had been his first time intentionally flirting with a guy. Yuusuke cringed a little when he thought of his college self, the way he’d tease his guy friends and bat his eyelashes at his study buddies. At the time, he’d thought it was all just joking around. His friends had seemed to think so too, especially to see that type of flirtation from a towering volleyball athlete. From him, it was just guys palling around.

Now he wondered.

Tetsu was pretty cool. Yuusuke played around with his name in his mind. Te-tsu-no-suke. Tetsu-san. Tetsunosuke. Tetsu-tetsu-tetsu.  Tetsu managed to skirt the edge of the classic businessman presentation while still being able to rock a face full of piercings in the evening. He was funny, and good with numbers. He rode a motorbike, though Yuusuke hadn’t gotten to see it. Yet.

He also just seemed really… real. Upfront about what was what, but still kind about it.

And he was hot. Objectively speaking. Anyone would notice. He looked a bit like one of the guitarists from Bo Ningen without the wig… and maybe about three times buffer.

Yuusuke leaned back in his desk chair and tapped his fingers to the beat of the song Henkan as it blasted through his headphones.

Was it fair to ask someone you weren’t 100% sure you were attracted to on a date? He didn’t want to lead anybody on.

When he’d googled ‘how to tell if you’re gay/bi’ he’d found people ranting about that sort of thing. People who'd had their hearts broken when a bicurious person asked them out then decided they were straight after all. He’d read advice about making sure you knew before trying anything with anybody, which seemed like it would just keep him in a loop of never knowing or trying.

Nah, it didn’t make sense. He’d gone on plenty of dates with women just to see if they clicked. People started and ended relationships all the time. As long as you weren’t a dick about it, it was fine. How was this any different?

Yuusuke typed out a message on his phone:

Hey Tetsu-san… wanna go to the record store I told you about? I’m free Sunday. We can grab some coffee afterwards and maybe you can finish trying to convince me that Godzilla was part robot ( ω<)

--

Tetsunosuke corrected him that Godzilla wasn’t a robot, but a bio-hybrid. That was the only way any kaiju could support its massive body size.

He clearly needed to see the movies.

Yuusuke flipped through the records on the new releases shelf. The place he’d taken Tetsunosuke was Earwax, a record store that specialized in alternative and independent artists. They didn’t have the album Yuusuke was looking for. It was Salmon Cherry Pop by a little-known female-run band from Hokkaido. He found the paper sign with their name but no albums. They must have sold out.

He headed over to where Tetsunosuke was browsing the shelves. He still smelled amazing. Tetsu was not a small man, but Yuusuke still towered over him. It made peeking over his shoulder easier.

Tetsunosuke was reading the back of a small package containing a limited-edition USB drive in the shape of a wolf. He didn’t turn around. “See anything you like, Yuusuke-san?”

“They didn’t have what I was looking for…” Yuusuke stared at the USB drive. “Is that the Guitar Wolf Ultimate Collection?!”

Tetsu nodded. “It’s got their best-of album and a copy of Wild Zero. I know it’s a bit cheesy, but I like this kind of thing.

“Me too! They got me through high school. I’ve got an original vinyl of Wolf Rock...” Yuusuke resisted the urge to brag about winning a Guitar Wolf karaoke/screaming contest in high school. Maybe save that one for the second date.

“Did you know that their original drummer left the band to become a fortune teller?” Tetsu turned around. Face-to-face, Yuusuke realized how close they were standing. Tetsu’s eyes were a deep, dark brown. The fluorescent lights of the record store reflected in them, dazzling sparks he didn’t want to look away from. “There’s something funny about that, this guy chasing after the idea of knowing the future, when the band he left wound up doing so well.”

“I get the temptation,” Yuusuke said. “Of wanting to feel sure of something, I mean. You gonna go for it?”

Tetsunosuke answered by holding the little package aloft before he strode over to the cash register.

As Yuusuke watched his back, a wave of nerves swelled up in him.

What the fuck was he doing?

Coffee.

That’s what he was doing. They were going to get coffee next.

He pulled out his phone to check the train schedule. He’d picked out a little café in the same neighborhood where Keishin had thrown his birthday party. It seemed like a good bet for a date.

Wait.

Wait.

Was this a date?

Yuusuke had never thought about it before, but with women it had always just been assumed that asking a girl for a solo outing and some coffee was a date, unless clearly stated otherwise.

What was the etiquette for queer folks? He hadn’t specified in his texts that this was supposed to be a date. It seemed like they were flirting, but given his track record of flirting unintentionally what if he didn’t even know what flirting was.

What diffentiated flirting from friendly banter? Was it the assumption of possible attraction? Was oversharing your bi crisis with a guy in a gay bar enough to establish that assumption?

Keishin would know. He’d found a boyfriend in Karasuno, of all places. He had to be a master of subtle flirtation. Yuusuke sent him a message:

Hey Keishin, how can you tell when a guy is flirting with you? Like, in a ‘this is a date’ way? More importantly, how do I flirt back? In a date way?? Help!! ( ꒪)

He put his phone away as Tetsunosuke returned from the cash register.

Tetsu tucked his purchase into the inside pocket of his leather jacket and offered him a smile. “You ready?”

Yuusuke nodded. “I’m glad you found something you wanted,” he said as they went out the door.

“It’s a cool place. I’m glad they had something that doesn’t need a giant piece of machinery to enjoy.” Tetsu grinned, teasing. “Vinyl might never die, but I don’t have the space for a player.”

“Record players aren’t that big,” Yuusuke looked at him skeptically.

Tetsu raised an eyebrow. “A friend of mine down south is a DJ. His rig is ridiculous.

Yuusuke laughed. “That’s like looking at a semi-truck and thinking ‘gosh, I could never drive a car’! If you’ve got room at your place for a briefcase, you definitely have room for a record player. That’s not even getting into some smaller options. There’s one available that’s the size of a friggin’ matchbox. Instead of spinning the record, it crawls around on top it! If you want good features though, you want something more like the Audio Technica AT727. Now that’s a sexy piece of machinery. All the features of a bigger player, beautiful sound quality, and it’s got this old school aesthetic to it that’s just awesome. There’s also the Gramovox floating record player, that looks like magic because it holds the record vertically while it plays, which makes it look like it’s floating!”

Tetsu was smiling. “I bet you’re a good salesguy. Your eyes just light up when you talk about that stuff,” he said.

“Ah, sorry… I got carried away.” Yuusuke rubbed the back of his neck. It was probably too much information.

“Nah, you’re fine. Honestly, it’s encouraging to hear that there’s so much evolution and variety to something as old as record players.”

“Oh man, that’s everything with tech stuff though! It’s always changing and evolving, even toasters have design fads and improvements in technology. I love that about my job, getting to see all those changes.”

“Electronics really are everywhere, huh? I think of myself as a luddite, but when you put it like that I wonder if I’ve had a day in my life when I didn’t touch some kind of electronic device.” Tetsu said. “I like mechanical things. Simple forces done by parts I can see. Once you get down to a circuit board, it starts to feel more like some kinda arcane art.”

Yuusuke snort laughed. Probably not the most charming move on a date, but there it was.

They chatted on the way to the train station, and on the train ride to the café Yuusuke had picked out. Tetsu liked fixing things. Tetsu thought a lot about how different parts could work together, like people collaborating. Tetsu’s favorite color was a deep green, because it reminded him of forests where plants and animals relied on each other and were connected, just like people, just like different parts of a machine. Or just like a circuit board, Yuusuke pointed out.

The conversation was easy and fun and made Yuusuke forget about his nerves. Forget about them until he noticed the faint stubble on Tetsunosuke’s jawline, or the way his eyes were so soft when he made room on the train for an old man to sit down, or the sharp staccato of his laugh. During those moments tension poured through Yuusuke’s whole body, then slowly faded as they resumed the conversation.

The city streets were busy as they walked from the station to the café. People were everywhere, and their conversation came in starts and stops between the din of cars and passersby. It was then that Yuusuke’s nerves hit him again, that quiet fear that maybe he had misunderstood everything, again, just like his exes always told him. That he’d failed to make his intentions clear. That maybe he had made his intentions clear but misunderstood his own feelings.

Okay. No. This wasn’t going to help.

There was only one thing to do.

He had tunnel vision, that strange sort of focus that normally only came to him on the volleyball court.

He reached out and took Tetsunosuke’s hand.

Tetsu’s eyes widened. He looked up at Yuusuke, then glanced at the crowd around them, then back to him. His eyes held a question.

“It’s fine here, isn’t it?” Yuusuke said, softer than he meant to. So soft he worried Tetsu wouldn’t hear him.

Tetsu glanced away, a shy smile tugging at his lips. “If you say so, Yuusuke-san.” He squeezed Yuusuke’s hand.

A swarm of butterflies bubbled up in Yuusuke’s stomach.

It was a date.

They arrived at the café Yuusuke had picked out. There was a tiny rainbow flag in the window. It seemed pretty unassuming otherwise, full of cute European designs and filigree and soft music. Yuusuke recognized the make and model of the speakers hidden here and there: 2008 Orbit pendants.

The menu was complicated, but Yuusuke had figured out that a sweet latte and some kind of baked good was almost always a safe bet at places like this. Tetsu ordered a plain coffee and a cup of chocolate mousse.

As they settled in at their table Tetsu asked, “So, what position are you?”

Yuusuke froze, his mouth half open. “Uh….”

Tetsu hesitated. “Ah, sorry, I thought I had heard that you played volleyball with Ukai-k—”

Oh! I’m a middle blocker!” Yuusuke said. “I’m on a local neighborhood team with Keishin.”

Tetsu scooped a bite of mousse with his little spoon. “Have you always been a middle blocker? What do you like about it?”

“Well, my height makes it a good fit for me so I stuck with that position even in high school. Spikes and things are fun, but it’s really satisfying to be able to read your enemies strategy and shut them down. What about you? Wait, let me guess…” He looked at Tetsunosuke’s sturdy build. “Judo, right?”

“Chess club, actually.” Tetsu’s eyes closed as he took another bite of mousse. It looked good. Like the mousse was good.

“What, seriously? But you’re so built, dude! Do you play with really heavy game pieces or something?” Yuusuke teased.

Tetsu shrugged. “Nah, I just started hitting the gym a lot after I stopped drinking a few years ago. It gave me something to do, and I found out I was pretty good at powerlifting.”

“I bet! You look like you could bench press me.” Yuusuke grinned at the thought.

Tetsu laughed, and Yuusuke could swear he saw a bit of pink on his cheeks. “You might be disappointed if that’s what you’re angling for.”

“You won’t know until you try,” Yuusuke said. His thoughts caught up with his words a millisecond after they left his mouth. Why did he say that? Was he expecting Tetsunosuke to shove the table aside and deadlift him right there? Not that that wouldn’t be pretty awesome, but…

Tetsu just hummed and took another bite of his mousse.

Yuusuke took a bite of the pastry he’d randomly pointed to at the counter. “This croissant’s pretty good. How’s your mousse?”

“I like it. Would you like to try some?”

“Sure! Here, you can have some of mine!” Yuusuke tore his croissant in half. It was probably too much, but he couldn’t help but want to give Tetsunosuke as much as possible. Just… all the things.

Tetsu graciously took the torn pastry and nudged the cup of mousse towards him. There was only one spoon.

An indirect kiss.

Yuusuke squared his shoulders. Challenge: accepted.

Yuusuke took a modest scoop of the chocolate mousse. He watched Tetsu’s face as he took a bite. There was some spark in his eyes of desire or curiosity, or maybe that was just Yuusuke projecting.

The mousse was delicious. “That is really good. It kinda tastes like all the good parts of coffee.”

“I think there is a little coffee in there, yeah.” Tetsunosuke nodded. “It’s a nice addition.”

Yuusuke smiled. “It reminds me of you, Tetsu-san.”

Tetsunosuke’s eyebrows shot up. “How’s that?”

“Kinda sweet, kinda surprising… and I get the feeling it’s gonna make my heart race.” Yuusuke set the spoon back in the cup and slid it back across the table. His heart was pounding in his ears, in part because there was a little voice inside of him that was screaming that he was fucking something up, like did he really think that occasionally looking at a guy’s butt in the locker room gave him the right to talk like this?

Tetsu’s blush was splotchy, starting with his ears and speckling across his face. He laughed, short and self-conscious, and covered his face with a hand. “Geeze, you’re so open about everything.”

“Is that bad?” Yuusuke frowned as the voice inside of him screamed that it was. “I just call it like I see it.”

“No, it’s not bad.” He pushed a stray hair behind his ear, still self-conscious but revealing his face again. “It’s good. You’re good.” He cleared his throat. “So, I know you’re into kaiju films and horror, how do you feel about scifi? Stuff like The Clone Returns Home?” He took a bite of the croissant.

“I haven’t seen that one yet, but I want to. Cashern is a favorite of mine though.”

“Good choice! Maybe we can catch a movie sometime.”

“I’d like that,” Yuusuke said. His heart started racing again.

“Great.” Tetsu smiled and stood up. “Excuse me for a minute, I’ll be right back.” He raised an eyebrow. “Don’t run off on me.”

"Heh, same to you.” Yuusuke watched him walk away, his heart still pounding. He kept his cool as Tetsu rounded the corner to the men’s room, then he buried his face in his hands, overwhelmed at the newness of everything.

Keishin still hadn’t texted him back.

He decided to try Shimada instead.

Hey Shimada, do straight guys look at each other’s butts? How do I know if I’m actually bi? What if I’m faking it? How do queer people know who makes the first move?? I’m on a date help do you have any advice??? (((◎;)))

Shimada responded almost immediately:

No.

Yuusuke pouted at his phone.

A 40% chance, Tetsu had said to him that night.

A coin toss, basically. If you rounded up.

Yuusuke pulled a one-yen coin from his pocket. He examined it, admiring the way it shone in the light.

If it’s heads, he told himself, then I’m on the right track.

He flipped the coin to the air. He watched it spinning above the table, a glimmering disc of possibilities.

Then he snatched it out of the air, set it on his arm, and checked to see which side was up.

It was tails.

He frowned.

Maybe he should try again. Best two out of three.

Tetsunosuke returned before he got the chance.

Their conversation rolled on through the afternoon. Yuusuke sipped slowly at his coffee, trying to make the date last so he could hear more about Tetsu’s home, and the restaurants he liked best before he moved, and the way he liked to feel the ocean air on his skin when he rode his bike.

“Speaking of, that’s a motorcycle jacket, right?” Yuusuke nodded to the leather jacket Tetsu was wearing. “Does that mean you rode your bike here?”

“Just from my place to the nearest station. The trains don’t run near my apartment. It seemed a bit silly to wear it for such a short ride, but it was cold out. Does it bother you?”

“Not in a bad way,” Yuusuke said. Again, he could use just a little filter between his brain and his mouth. “You look good in it, though you look good out of it too…” He let the sentence hang in the air, uncertain how to finish it. What was he even trying to say? What were words, even?

Tetsu smirked. “Is that your way of saying you wanna take it off me?”

Every nerve in Yuusuke’s body was suddenly alive. “Flip a coin,” he said, breathless.

“I see.” Tetsu regarded him carefully. “You look pretty good yourself, you know.”

Yuusuke could feel his cheeks burning. Tetsu was giving him a look now, and Yuusuke didn’t want him to stop.

Tetsu took the last swig of his coffee. “So, numbers guy… how are you feeling about your odds? Since the last time we talked about it.”

“I don’t know,” Yuusuke said immediately, his mind going from zero to a hundred. “This is fun, and you’re fun to be around. And hot. But, that’s just objective fact. Wouldn’t anyone feel the same? The more I read and think about it, the more I think that either this is totally a feeling straight guys experience OR there’s a heck of a lot more clueless bisexuals out there than anybody thinks.”

Tetsunosuke shrugged. “I want to lean more towards the second one, but there’s lots of types of attraction.”

“Yeah, I guess that’s the thing. What is sexual attraction, anyway? Am I gonna have to be naked with a guy before I figure it out? I don’t know.”

Tetsunosuke bit his lip, then locked eyes with Yuusuke. “Would you like to find out?”

A jolt of electricity ran down Yuusuke’s spine. His mouth felt dry, and he was sure his eyes were too wide, like a muppet’s. A decidedly not-sexy muppet. “Yeah!” he blurted out.

--

After some quick googling they found a queer-friendly love hotel nearby. Yuusuke felt as if he was walking through a dream as they paid at the front desk and made their way to their room. He could feel his pulse in his throat as Tetsunosuke opened the door and stepped inside. Yuusuke followed him into the little room, simply decorated and with warm lights. The door closed behind them with a decisive click.

Yuusuke hesitated just inside the door, transfixed as Tetsunosuke shrugged off his leather jacket and hung it over a chair. His tee shirt was clinging a little to his back, like it was made of an extra soft fabric.

He was beautiful.

And Yuusuke was probably going to ruin it by turning out to be straight after all.

Tetsu looked back, his brow wrinkling in concern. “Hey, are you alright?” He walked back to Yuusuke and set his hands on his arms. “You’re shaking. We don’t have to do anything, you know. We can stop here for today.” He let go of Yuusuke and took a small step back.

“I’m just a little… I’m scared of kissing you and not feeling anything,” Yuusuke admitted in a rush of words. “If that happened, I wouldn’t get to go on dates like this again, and it’d be such a waste! You’re pretty great, and… I haven’t even gotten to see your motorbike yet.”

“You… want to see my motorbike?” Tetsu raised his eyebrows.

“No… yes… not right now, but….”

Tetsu leaned against the wall, creating more space between them. “Look, I’m not gonna hate you if you change your mind. I walked into this knowing the score. You’ve been upfront about not being sure from like, the first ten minutes I knew you. If you got your answer just walking in the door here, then that’s fine. If you want to try more and decide to stop, that’s fine too.” He grinned. “I might even let you see my motorbike, as a friend.”

Is it gay that I wouldn’t have minded sucking a dick just to see a hot guy on a motorbike? Yuusuke snickered at himself for having the thought, then swallowed the lump in his throat. “Alright,” he said. “Show me your motorbike next week, on my day off. No sexual favors required.”  Then he set a hand on the wall and leaned down and kissed Tetsunosuke, a single slow brush of the lips. “But I might offer them anyway.”

Tetsunosuke was smiling against his mouth when Yuusuke went in for the second kiss.

There was that moment, the spinning disc of the coin with all those doubts and questions sharp as ice around his heart. As he kissed Tetsunosuke all those things melted away, a snowflake landing on a hot spring.

Whatever he called himself, he just wanted the sweet coffee taste of now.

Tetsunosuke set his hands on Yuusuke’s shoulder blades and pulled him closer.

This was good.

Yuusuke traced his fingers up Tetsu’s sides, and across his chest, and to his shoulders. He had great lats. And a great chest. And arms. Muscular arms were very, very good.

The scent of Tetsunosuke’s cologne was all over him now, and Yuusuke wanted more. The angle they were in was starting to show its limitations, so Yuusuke pulled away from the wall. He pulled Tetsu with him, so there wouldn’t be any questions that he’d changed his mind or anything.

Tetsunosuke groaned as they stumbled backwards onto the bed. The perfect sound, Yuusuke thought as Tetsu climbed on top him and could maybe definitely feel way Yuusuke’s dick was protesting against the confines of his jeans.

Tetsu traced kisses down his jawline and to his neck, alternating between dragging teeth and gentle open-mouthed kisses. Awareness spread through Yuusuke’s whole body, to where Tetsu was pressed against him, and the firmness of the mattress beneath them, and the slight discomfort of his phone in his front pocket, digging into his hip.

“Hold on,” Yuusuke breathed. They shifted awkwardly as he struggled to get his phone out of his pocket. He finally fished it out and tossed it on the bed behind him. Then, just because, he took off his shirt. It had a bit of an acrid smell, where he’d left stress sweat stains in the underarms.

Damn you look good,” Tetsu breathed as he ran his hands over Yuusuke’s bare chest.

Yuusuke’s face felt hot. It was different, being with Tetsu compared to his exes. That shouldn’t be surprising, or maybe… it was a bad sign? It was hot, but different, somehow. He felt seen in a different way. He laughed nervously.  “I kinda stink though.” He looked up at Tetsu, at his broad chest and the v-neck dip of his shirt collar. He could see what looked like a nipple piercing under his shirt, on the left side. “You wanna take a shower with me?”

“Sure.” Tetsu slid off of him and stood up off the bed. He pulled off his shirt, and Yuusuke made an inner victory cry when he saw there was indeed a ring through Tetsu’s left nipple. Tetsu saw him staring, smirked, and strode to the bathroom, unfastening his belt as he went.

Yuusuke scrambled up off the bed to follow him and fumbled to undo his jeans. He slid his jeans, underwear, and one and a half socks off in a single hurried movement. His dick was partway hard, perking lazily outwards. It was a state one of his ex-girlfriends had affectionately referred to as half-chub.

He kicked his remaining sock the rest of the way off and rounded the corner into the bathroom. Tetsu had already turned the water on, and had his thumbs hooked in the waistband of what looked like very nice silk briefs.

“Nice pants,” Yuusuke blurted out.

“Nice dick,” Tetsunosuke shot back. His gaze dipped down then back up again. Before Yuusuke could respond, he slipped his underwear off.

Yuusuke had never gotten the opportunity to openly gawk at another guy’s dick before (beyond the occasional search for dick pics on the internet, of course). He had taken quick glances in locker rooms and shared baths, sure, but any longer examination would have just been rude.

Now, he let his eyes slide down the thin line of hair that lead to Tetsu’s dick. It was a nice shape, though whether the spark he felt in his gut was arousal or envy he couldn’t be sure. It was perked slightly at an angle, and his foreskin rested back just far enough to reveal the smooth head and…

Tetsu-san.Yuusuke stared at the barbell that was peeking out from the tip of Tetsunosuke’s dick. He wished he could whistle. Instead he made a humming noise that he had wanted to come out as a low growl but instead was a high-pitched squeak. “Didn’t that hurt?”

“I mean, all piercings hurt a little, but it wasn’t the worst.” Tetsunosuke set a hand on his hip. “I’d do it again, given the choice.”

“Huh.” Yuusuke was still staring at it. Dicks were more badass than he’d given them credit for.

Tetsu shifted and crossed his arms over his belly, holding his own elbows. “Let me know if you’re feeling uncomfortable—”

“No! I just… wow!” Yuusuke met his eyes again and grinned. “I was just thinking how lucky I am to get to see this.”

Tetsu rolled his eyes. “Flatterer. Come on.”

“It’s not flattery if it’s true,” Yuusuke said pointedly as he followed Tetsunosuke into the shower.

The shower wasn’t exactly small, it was just that they were both big dudes. At first Tetsu seemed intent on bathing himself, so Yuusuke followed suit, starting with his pits. But then they kept brushing against each other in the shower, slick and slippery and hot and other words that Yuusuke’s brain liked to come up with when it wanted to be doing something more than scrubbing the sweat from his armpits.

“You can get my back, if you want.” Tetsu said. He had that splotchy blush again now that they were in the heat of the shower.

Yuusuke set his hands on Tetsu’s shoulder blades. “Only if you get my ass,” he said.

Tetsu snorted out a laugh, the pink on his ears deepening to a red.

Yuusuke’s mind processed his own words a few seconds after they left his mouth. To be fair, it was hard to think when the muscles on Tetsu’s back were so… good.

Tetsunosuke turned around, which did not help Yuusuke’s thinking problem.

Okay, focus. There were the logistics of the situation to consider. Yuusuke knew his way around butts okay—including his own. Still, there were a lot of variables here! What did Tetsu like? How was he supposed to know?

“So… what position are you?” Yuusuke asked, still distracted by the way the rivulets of water traced Tetsu’s collarbones.

“I’m versatile,” Tetsunosuke ran his fingers up Yuusuke’s chest, leaving a line of soap suds. “What did you have in mind?”

“I hadn’t… let myself think this far ahead.” Droplets of water were falling down Tetsu’s chest, where his tan skin was flushed from the heat. “I mean I’ve been pegged before and that was pretty awesome! But, I dunno. What did… what did you have in mind?”

“Let’s not worry about topping or bottoming right now.” Tetsu ran his hands over Yuusuke’s shoulders and down his arms, leaving a trail of electric tingles behind.

Yuusuke was really hard now, and his dick was pressing against Tetsu’s hip. Tetsu glanced down at it with a sly smile like it was cute or something and that made Yuusuke feel even harder.

Tetsu hummed and traced a finger down the side of Yuusuke’s shaft. He traced back up with a few more fingers, then gripped him loosely and gave a few lazy strokes.

Yuusuke leaned back against the shower wall, unsure of what to do. This was great, and when he titled his head he could see Tetsu’s dick was hard and the thought that it was because of him was great too. Still, it seemed like things could get even more awesome. But how?

“Wait. Here.” Yuusuke shifted downwards slightly, so their hips were level with each other. It was a little effort but not terrible: a miniature version of the wall sits that Keishin’s grandad used to make them do every high school volleyball practice. He pulled Tetsunosuke towards him and pressed their dicks together. “I want you to have fun too.”

Tetsunosuke grinned and gave a slow thrust against him. The barbell in his dick felt great on the underside of Yuusuke’s shaft as he thrust again. Tetsu’s expression was full of desire and hint of affection or amusement or maybe both, and that was even better than the barbell.

Just as they got a nice rhythm going, Tetsunosuke’s footing slipped. For split second his face was comically shocked, and he made an undignified squawking noise as he fell. Yuusuke caught him, then lost his own footing. They thumped against the shower floor in a tangle of limbs.

“Shit,” Tetsu hissed.

Yuusuke sputtered and moved his face away from the shower spray. “You okay?”

Tetsu sighed. “Yeah, I’m alright. You?”

Yuusuke assessed the damage. He maybe had a bruise on his right butt cheek, but otherwise he was fine. “I’m good… Wanna move to the bed?”

“Yes, please.”

They rinsed and toweled off. Then Tetsunosuke plopped down on the bed and sighed. “Sorry about that. Not really my smoothest move.”

Yuusuke sat down next to him. “No worries. I feel like I’ve been flailing this whole time. Now we’re even.”

Tetsu laughed. “Are you kidding me? You’ve got game.”

Yuusuke grinned, beaming at the flattery. “You’re into the goofy awkward type, huh? Then have I got news for you!”

Tetsu raised an eyebrow at him. “What’s that?”

Yuusuke hadn’t actually prepared something to say. It was supposed to be rhetorical. But his brain was always ready to blurt out the first thing it came up with. “I wanna suck your dick!”

Tetsu laughed again, that staccato sharpness Yuusuke wanted to hear again and again. It petered off into a warm chuckle. “Well, then. How can I deny such a subtly crafted offer?” He leaned back and titled his legs open. “Do you want me to take the piercing out?”

“No? I think it’s hot.” Yuusuke knelt down and ran his thumb up Tetsu’s shaft. It swelled under his touch, and he grinned.

“Mmm, let me know if you change your mind.”

Sucking dick presented new challenges.

Challenge #1: Dicks were, to put it bluntly, more than a mouthful. Yuusuke had thought about sucking dick before (of course, doesn’t everyone wonder?) and like every dumb teenager (he assumed) he’d shoved a popsicle down his throat on more than one occasion, trying to see if he could deep throat without gagging. It had usually ended in a sputtering mess of regret.

Tetsu’s dick was mostly soft to start, which made getting most of it in his mouth manageable. But things got more challenging as time passed. It was simultaneously really hot and vaguely worrying to feel Tetsu swell inside his mouth, almost unmanageable.

Challenge #2: He had no idea what he was doing. He understood the basics: do stuff to the head, stroke the shaft, maybe play with the balls. But specifics were hard to come up with. Of course he’d been on the receiving end of this before, but the problem with going off of his past experiences was that every time it had gotten really good his brain had gone from thinking ‘ah yes, now she’s licking my balls’ to ‘FUCK. DAMN. I CAN’T. YEAH.’ so… he was a bit lost.

Challenge #3: Everybody’s bits are different. The few things Yuusuke did know he liked (a tongue flicking just around the tip of his dick) didn’t draw out a big reaction from Tetsu. Other things that did little for Yuusuke (hard suction, for example) elicited moans and even a bit of thrusting from Tetsunosuke.

The piercing was its own variable. Yuusuke played with it with his tongue, which seemed to get a pretty good response. Then he focused on the feeling of it dragging across his tongue, starting along the edge, then going deeper towards his throat, and—

Yuusuke started to gag and pulled away instinctively, sputtering.

“Easy with your teeth…!” Tetsu breathed.

Yuusuke popped him out of his mouth. “Sorry. Got too excited.”

Tetsu ran a hand through Yuusuke’s hair. “That’s alright. Having fun down there?”

Yuusuke nodded. “Are you?” he asked as he went back to working Tetsu’s dick.

“Yeah I— fuck, yes,” Tetsu groaned, and Yuusuke hummed victoriously. Not bad, for his first time.

Yuusuke thought of the coin, spinning in the air. Given recent events, he supposed things had turned up “heads” after all.

Yuusuke laughed at the thought, sending vibrations around Tetsu’s dick which earned another happy moan.

This was fun.

The fabric of the bedsheets was rough against Yuusuke’s dick. He felt really hot, and he wanted to rub himself off, but he didn’t want to break the rhythm he had going. Maybe he could do it after Tetsu finished.

Then again… maybe it didn’t have to end here.

When Tetsunosuke’s balls were starting to feel tight and his breathing was ragged, Yuusuke pulled off of his dick. Tetsu’s face was flushed and his hair was starting to dry pointed every which way and there was this little wrinkle on his brow as he looked down at Yuusuke.

Yuusuke knew he would remember this exact image for a long time.

Tetsunosuke tilted his head, his smile reaching his lidded eyes. “You’re giving me a look. What do you want, Yuusuke-san?”

It was a second before Yuusuke remembered how to make words again. “How… do you feel about topping dudes who’re a head taller than you?”

“You’re not that much taller than me.” Tetsu prodded him in the ribs with his foot, hitting a ticklish spot that made Yuusuke jump.

Yuusuke laughed and sat back up on the bed. “Is that a yes?”

Tetsu’s eyes widened as he realized Yuusuke was serious. “You sure? That’s a lot for your first time.”

Yuusuke huffed. “It’s not like I’m a butt virgin or anything. I wanna know what getting fucked by you is like, Te-tsu-san.”

Tetsunosuke grabbed the sides of Yuusuke’s head and ruffled his hair. “Are you ever not cheeky?”

“Never,” Yuusuke snickered.

Tetsu kissed him.

Yuusuke took a second to remember to breathe after Tetsu pulled away. “So, uh…” he faltered. He had run out of lines. “Is that a yes?”

Tetsunosuke cupped his face. There was something soft in his expression, a vulnerability Yuusuke hadn’t expected. Then he nodded. “Let’s start slow.” He got up off of the bed and strode over to where he’d hung his leather jacket. “I brought some lube I like. I kinda figured if this happened it’d be the other way around, but this is just as good.” He reached into one of the inside pockets and pulled out a small bottle and a few condoms.

Yuusuke felt a jolt of new excitement, the kind that rode the edge between thrill and fear.

Just then Yuusuke’s phone lit up, buzzing and chirping from where he’d left it on the bed. He jumped and grabbed it to see a flood of text messages from Keishin:

[1/7] Sorry I didn’t reply earlier I was away from my phone! With flirting vs friendly talking, you can look at a few factors. If the conversation steers to
[2/7] deeper topics sooner than usual, or if sex or innuendos come up, that’s a good sign. Look at body language for open postures or if he’s leaning towards you.
[3/7] Casual touching, like on the arm, is good. Often people will mirror each other when they’re flirting. Eye contact can be a good clue, too! You know how
[4/7] a setter will often look at who they’re tossing to, even before they lay hands on the ball? If it seems safe you can try sharing your feelings directly.
[5/7] If you know he’s queer, you can also just ask if it’s a date or not. Whatever you try, let me know how it goes. Shimada and I are here for you.
[6/7] Just use the same sensitivity that you put into your read blocks: notice subtle signals, don’t waste time second guessing, and take a chance. If you’re safe
[7/7] and you want to make things clear without words, holding hands or a quick peck on the cheek can also be good, if you’re brave enough!

Yuusuke turned off his phone and tossed it on the nightstand.

Damnit, Keishin! Why are you sending me this three hours too late? Forget blocking, I’m about to work on my receives!

“Everything alright?” Tetsu sat down on the bed next to him.

“Yeah, it wasn’t anything that matters right now.” Yuusuke bit his lip. “Do you want me to prep myself?”

Tetsu shook his head. “Just lie back and let me take care of you, alright? I wanna do this my way.”

Tetsu’s way was soft.

When Yuusuke had let himself imagine having sex with a guy, he’d always pictured it as passionate and exciting and even a little rough. After all, he liked women who could handle themselves (and him). The thought of being pressed down and ridden (or fucked, or whatever) by a hot guy had its appeal—if nothing else, porn was pretty determined to sell that particular fantasy.

But Tetsu led with gentle kisses trailing down his neck and chest. His fingers were slow and teasing, and he took his sweet time before he even got to Yuusuke’s butthole. Then it was all gentle circles and tentative presses. By the time Tetsu finally slipped a lubed finger inside of him it felt so natural as to be nearly uneventful.

“Talk to me,” Tetsu said as he curved his finger to hit Yuusuke’s prostate with expert precision.

Yuusuke was bleary and words were hard to put together. “I… more.”

The pressure shifted and increased.

“How’s that?”

“That’s nice.” Yuusuke breathed.

“You’re nice,” Tetsunosuke said. “You’re gorgeous.”

“I thought I was cheeky.

“You are. And?” Tetsu slipped another finger in him.

Yuusuke gasped. It felt good. “Takes... takes one to know one. You wanna do it now?”

Tetsu chuckled. “You’re so blunt. You feel really good, too.” He slipped his fingers out. “Get on your hands and knees.”

Yuusuke hesitated. “Actually, can we do it like this? I wanna face you.”

Tetsu paused. “We can, but you’ll probably be more comfortable the other way…”

“I know. Not a butt virgin, remember? But, I wanna watch your expression when you fuck me.” Yuusuke spread his legs a little wider, in what he hoped was an enticing way.

“Well now I’m gonna be thinking about what kind of face I’m making the whole time.” Tetsu said with a sly smile. He took the condom out of its wrapper.

“Don’t worry about it! Even if your sex face is like this—” Yuusuke squinted one eye closed and stuck out his tongue. “—That’s alright. I can just close my eyes.”

“Is that what your sex face looks like?” Tetsunosuke deadpanned.

Yuusuke grinned. “Nah, mine’s much uglier than that.”

“Well gee, I’ve never been more turned on in my life.”

They both burst into laughter.

Tetsunosuke slid the condom on, and pressed Yuusuke’s legs up and to an angle they could work with. It was a little bit like being folded in half, but Yuusuke could see his face and that feeling of being held down by a big muscled dude with multiple piercings was really working for him.

Tetsu slid himself in slowly, centimeter by centimeter. Yuusuke couldn’t tell if he could feel his dick piercing or not. What he could tell is that this was a lot. Tetsu’s hands on his thighs, and the girth of him, and the way his face fell slack as he began to thrust.

…It was a lot of awesome.

Yuusuke wondered how he had doubted whether he really wanted this or not.

“Still having fun down there?” Tetsunosuke asked.

Yuusuke opened his mouth to say something funny, but all that came out was a moan. “…yeah. Yeah, yes.”

Tetsu eyes fluttered shut, and his expression kept edging between a sort of restrained focus and hazy pleasure. Yuusuke started stroking himself off because… well, obviously.

Tetsunosuke was, objectively, really hot.

And Tetsunosuke was also, objectively, very thoughtful. And sweet. And funny. Yuusuke felt seen and wanted in ways he hadn’t known he needed. He’d worried about this for so long. He’d carried so much doubt and Tetsu had reached past that and made a little space for them of safety and laughter and a really good dicking.

“I really like you, Tetsunosuke.” Yuusuke bit his lip to keep himself quiet, as if he hadn’t already put himself all the way out there.

Tetsu opened his eyes and smiled in a gooey, sexy way. “I like you too,” he said. Then he leaned back, shifting the angle of his thrusts, and Yuusuke lost all coherent thought.

Yuusuke hadn’t jacked off in like a week. This was because, whenever he tried, he wound up thinking about boobs or one of his exes or a female model in one of his porn magazines. Sure, he thought about guys too, but not nearly as much. Whether it was because his mind preferred to bring up things that he actually had experience with, or because he needed to get better at finding good gay porn, or because he was actually straight after all had been way too much to ponder leading up to his date with Tetsunosuke. So he just hadn’t.

And maybe that was why when he finally came, he shot in an impressive burst of cum right into his own eye.

Fuuuuuuck was all he could think.

Fuck, fuck… you…” Tetsu’s thrusts were getting faster and more uneven.

Yuusuke wiped his eyes as fast as he could. Stinging be damned, he did not want to miss this.

Tetsunosuke’s face was slack, his eyes closed and his mouth open, with a cute wrinkle between his eyebrows. He shuddered and pushed himself as deep into Yuusuke as he could manage.

They stayed like that for a long, perfect moment. Then Tetsu’s eyes opened and his gaze met Yuusuke’s.

Yuusuke grinned lazily. “Yeah, I’m glad I asked for it like this.”

Tetsu smiled. “You’re a mess.”

“A hot mess?” Yuusuke asked.

“An attractive mess.” Tetsu pulled out of him and Yuusuke shivered at the sudden absence. Tetsu reached to the nightstand and grabbed a few tissues. “Here.”

Yuusuke wiped his face as best he could while Tetsu slipped the condom off and set it in the trash. When Yuusuke felt he was as clean he could hope for, he looked at Tetsu and patted the bed next to him.

“You’re a cuddler, huh?” Tetsu laid back down. He wrapped an arm around Yuusuke, nuzzled into his shoulder, and sighed. “You’re gonna have me wrapped around your finger in no time.”

Yuusuke smiled. “Does… that mean we can do this again?”

Tetsu grinned and poked Yuusuke’s chest. “I suppose. Even though you weren’t joking about that sex face of yours.”

“Hey, you try keeping a straight face with cum in your eye!”

“Maybe next time I will.” Tetsunosuke gave him that sly smile of his again, all sharp smolder and tease. “Not really my kink, but there’s no reason we can’t both try new things.”

Yuusuke laughed. Then he settled into the warm comfort of Tetsu’s embrace, tracing idle circles on his shoulder.

So. He was into this. It seemed so natural, so obvious in hindsight.

Bisexual.

He liked the word.

Could he just call himself that now? Was that just a thing he could start doing?

Tetsunosuke’s hair was tickling his neck.

Yuusuke smiled.

He always could have called himself bisexual, he realized. He hadn’t needed to prove anything. But he’d wanted it.

“Hey Yuusuke-san,” Tetsunosuke said. “You still want to see my motorbike?”

“Yeah, obviously.”

“Good. Can I see your record player?”

Yuusuke perked up. “Yeah! …Which one?”

Tetsunosuke hummed happily. “You can show me as many as you like.”

Yuusuke stomach filled with that butterfly feeling again, all bubbly with relief and excitement at the thought of another date.