“Hiiirrroootooo! Please!” Naru begged, but Hiroto wasn't having any.
“No, Naru! You know how hard it is for me to spend time with them already since I work nights and they have normal day jobs. Saturdays are the one time we can really get together and have some fun.”
“I know, I know! But I owe Kiyoka a big favor after she sent two of her people to help at Risqué last month. You can take Friday night off next week – I'll cover it for you myself. I just can't find anyone else for this Saturday and I have a meeting I can't miss. Please? It's a little neighborhood bar and it'll be easy.”
Master came over and clapped Hiroto on the shoulder. “Just give in now, son. You know he's going to pull out the tears next. And he'll guilt-trip you forever if you say no.”
“Grr! You don't play fair, Naru!”
“Of course I don't. Tell those...friends of yours to stop in the bar and hang out with you. At least you'll get to see them. And you can be outrageous – Kiyoka is a real character and won't mind a bit. It'll be fun – you'll see!”
“Where is it and what time do I have to be there? And Ichimaru and Isogai get to drink for free next time they come in!”
“Deal! It's called White Fang and I have the address around here somewhere...um, I'll text it to you. And I'll send you Kiyoka's number – you can get the details from her. I've never been there, but apparently, it's a café during the day, run by a couple of ex-hosts. Eye candy for you, hmm?”
“I don't need eye candy!”
“No one needs it, but it doesn't hurt, either!”
Hiroto rolled his eyes. “You're hopeless!”
Late Thursday morning when Hiroto woke up, he sent text messages to both his lovers about having to miss their usual Saturday night date. Then he flopped back on his bed and stared at the ceiling. I want to see them, he thought. What if they don't even miss me...?
Bzzzt! Bzzzt! Messages on his phone.
“It can't be helped if you have to work, Honey. Of course, we'll come to see you there! I know Friday is a long shift for you, but you're welcome to come over after – no matter how late it is. I'll call you later.” Isogai really was too good for him.
Next message. “Noooo! Naru is such a meanie! Can I punch him? He'd better give you a bonus! Don't worry, Isogai and I will keep you company - and keep you from flirting, you shameless man!” Ichimaru's reply made Hiroto smile. He's such a silly.
Cheered up, Hiroto heaved himself out of bed and began his day.
“What's wrong?” Morinaga asked Ichimaru who had just answered a text. It was one of his rare days in the S Pharmaceuticals offices and they were having lunch together.
“Oh, Hiroto has to work an extra shift Saturday night at some other bar. We had plans with Isogai. I guess we're going to go hang out with him there, but it's not the same, you know?”
Morinaga studied him. “You've been spending a lot of time with those two, haven't you?” he asked casually. “How is Hiroto doing? I haven't been to see him in a while.”
Ichimaru perked up. “He's great! His hair is bright green this month, haha! I told him he looks like there's bamboo growing from his head and he punched me.”
“What do you guys do anyway? I can never get Senpai to go out anywhere.”
“Nothing special. Karaoke – did you know Isogai has a great voice? Won't sing anything but American rock songs though. We go to the arcade sometimes or watch a movie. One time we played poker...” Ichimaru's voice trailed off and his face turned red.
Oh ho! thought Morinaga. Now that's an interesting expression! But the mention of karaoke left a sour taste in Morinaga's mouth, thinking back to how Isogai once tricked Tatsumi into singing and held that over his head. I know he was trying to protect his friend from Senpai, but still!
“Is Hiroto as good in bed as he brags?”
“Oh, he's ama-gglgh!” Ichimaru realized what he'd just admitted to. Morinaga couldn't help but laugh. Ichimaru was just too easy to mess with.
“And Isogai doesn't mind being the third wheel with you two? What does he do, ditch you when a pretty girl appears? I suppose having wingmen helps with the ladies.”
Ichimaru avoided Morinaga's eyes. “No, it's guys only when we hang out. We do guy stuff, so it's not like we're on a date.”
“Yeah, but I know Hiroto is touchy-feely. Doesn't that leave Isogai out?”
“He doesn't mind. Anyway! What does Tatsumi-sensei like to do for fun?” Ichimaru tried to change the topic.
Oh no, you don't. “Senpai doesn't believe in fun. Working in the lab is his idea of fun. But tell me about Isogai. He and I got off on the wrong foot, so I don't know him very well.”
“Isogai? He's smart, he's funny, he's a prankster but it's always good-natured. He's a black belt in judo, though he doesn't really practice it anymore. He really knows himself. I wish I had his confidence.”
What is going on here? You describe him like... “So, how is he as a lover, then? I wonder if judo would add to his technique.”
Ichimaru turned pale. “W-what?”
Shit! I was mostly joking, but look at Ichimaru's face! “Really? That's what is going on? I'm impressed, Ichimaru. I've never done a threesome. Despite my misunderstanding with Isogai, I didn't really think he swung that way. I guess Hiroto could seduce anyone if he tried, though.”
“I...what...you don't think...!”
“Ichimaru! It's okay. Breathe! You look ready to pass out! Remember that I know all three of you, and I've been gay for a long time. I'm going to pick up on things few people would. I don't care, as long as you guys are happy and they're treating you right.” Hiroto, what have you dragged this young guy into? Morinaga was going to give him a piece of his mind, later.
Ichimaru recovered a bit. “Naru figured it out, too. It scared me, that we seemed so obvious! We're...it's good. We're good together, but I know most people would freak out if they knew. I don't want to be the one that messes it up by doing something stupid, like giving us away.”
Morinaga had the sudden urge to give Ichimaru a big hug. “Don't worry about it. Worrying will make your reactions worse. You are fine. What you're doing isn't hurting anyone and it's nobody's business – not even mine. I'm sorry for teasing you, but I didn't think it was true until your face gave it away. I'm glad for you, truly. I know you've been looking for a long time.”
“Talking to you that day at the company party was the best thing I could have done, Morinaga. You're a really good friend, you know?” Ichimaru smiled at him shyly.
Oh, Hiroto! I see why you wanted him, and if you hurt him, I'll kill you or Isogai or both of you. “Friends are good to have, aren't they? Now. Tell me all the juicy details! Who's idea was it? How did it happen? Why did thinking about poker turn your face all red? Yeah, just like that!”