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Learning Curve

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“Senpai?” Goshiki asked, voice unusually timid for him. Taichi hummed in response. “How do you kiss someone?”

Taichi stared at the movie they were watching, trying to find his chill. He was the calm member of his volleyball team, the one who wasn’t phased by anything, but it was really hard to maintain that right now.

“Do you want to know how you ask someone to kiss them, or…?” Taichi trailed off. Please be that, please be that. He couldn’t handle anything else.

“No. I mean, how does kissing...work?” Goshiki asked, brow furrowing as he unconsciously pursed his lips, trying to figure it out himself.

Taichi was not emotionally prepared for this. At all. It had to be illegal for someone with an innocent face like Goshiki’s to ask a question like that. Goshiki was probably asking out of simple curiosity too, knowing him. Taichi remembered the conversation where Kenjirou had had to explain what being gay meant and how his best friend had almost killed the first year in frustration.

“Well, you...you kind of slide your lips together.” Goshiki’s blank look wasn’t exactly inspiring confidence. “And you have to watch our for noses. And teeth. But it’s really not that hard, you just do what feels good when you’re doing it.”

Goshiki still looked lost, and Taichi couldn’t really blame him. It was hard to explain kiss mechanics on the spot. It wasn’t easy to just explain things to Goshiki; that wasn’t how he learned. Kenjirou had gotten so frustrated at Goshiki saying “but you like a boy...like you like a girl?” that he’d finally stomped over and kissed a very confused Semi. Semi had led Kenjirou from the locker room with the look Taichi had come to know meant Tendou would be kicked out of his and Semi’s room and he would be invited to sleep over at Goshiki and Kenjirou’s. The first year preferred to sleep in the same room as someone else.

Taichi sighed. There really was no getting around this, was there?

“Do you want me to show you?” he offered. There was still a chance that Goshiki would say no. Even if he understood what being gay meant now, there was no reason for him to want to kiss another boy, right?

“Would you?” Goshiki’s eyes lit up the same way they would when Ushijima offered to help him with his spikes. Someone needed to take a picture of that face to put in his obituary because it was going to be Taichi’s cause of death. Really, what else had he been expecting?

“Um...yeah, sure. Just…” he grabbed Goshiki’s arms to maneuver them so they were sitting facing each other, knees brushing. “Okay. Just...do what comes naturally.”

He leaned forward - holy shit he was really about to do this - and brushed his lips against Goshiki’s. They were puckered and stiff, the way little kids might kiss their grandmothers. He pulled back.

“No, you have to...don’t do anything with your mouth for a second,” he instructed. Goshiki dropped the pucker, lips going slack and turning down into a tiny pout. “Now just feel.”

He reached up a hand to hold Goshiki’s jaw steady. Satisfied, he leaned in again, barely catching Goshiki’s bottom lip with both of his, holding the kiss for a moment, and drawing back. Goshiki had that look he got where he was just about to figure something out.

“Get it now?” Taichi asked. Goshiki tilted his head - Taichi’s heart was about to explode, that had to be illegal - and bit his lip.

“Can I try again?”

Taichi was a good person. He worked hard on his volleyball team. He studied, he got good grades. He was a good senpai to the first years. He was best friends with Shirabu Kenjirou , resident salt queen. He did not deserve this.

Goshiki gave him that expectant look that he’d never been able to say no to. He’d never dropped his hand from Goshiki’s face, so he leaned in again. Goshiki grabbed that wrist - calm down, it’s okay, he’s just figuring this out - and pressed their lips back together like they’d been before. Goshiki pressed in, more confident, but knocked their noses together.

“Careful,” Taichi warned breathlessly, tilting Goshiki’s head. He hadn’t gone far, so it wasn’t hard to start kissing Goshiki again.

Goshiki was a fast learner; he always had been for physical stuff. In almost no time, he was going from clumsily mouthing at Taichi’s upper lip to letting their lips slide together, finding the rhythm. Taichi jumped when he felt the tip of Goshiki’s tongue trace across his lip and leaned back.

Goshiki’s dark brown eyes were blown wide, cheeks flushed and mouth open and panting. His lips were slick and red from kissing. Taichi needed to redact his earlier thought. This was the picture that needed to go in his obituary because this was his cause of death.

“Did I do something wrong, senpai?” he asked, shoulders dropping and mouth turning down to a pout. He looked heartbreakingly sad and Taichi was going to die tonight.

“No, you just...surprised me,” Taichi admitted.

“You said to do what felt good while I was kissing,” Goshiki said, looking a little proud of himself. “Was that good?”

“Yeah, it was.” Taichi tried to keep a level voice. “Just trust your instincts and you’ll be fine.”

“Can I try it one more time? The tongue thing,” Goshiki asked. Taichi had done nothing to deserve this, he wanted that made clear to the universe right now.

“Do you know what you want to do?” Taichi asked, stalling for time. There was no way he could ever say no to that.

“What do I do with it?” Goshiki questioned, much less hesitant than he’d been earlier.

“We kind of...rub our tongues together,” Taichi answered. He was so bad at explaining this. His head spinning. “Try to follow my lead. I’ll show you what I mean.”

He slid the hand on Goshiki’s jaw back into his hair, using his grip to pull the younger boy forward. Goshiki moved the hand grabbing Taichi’s wrist and rested it on his shoulder. He leaned forward eagerly into the kiss, picking up the same rhythm he’d gotten used to, lips sliding against each other easily now.

Taichi traced Goshiki’s lip with his tongue, trying to take it slowly. No matter his learning curve, Goshiki still needed time to figure this out. His mouth opened and his tongue brushed against Taichi’s.

Goshiki pushed his tongue further into Taichi’s mouth. His motions were curious, no clear goal evident. He was just testing the waters, seeing what he was dealing with.

Then he curled his tongue backwards to lick the top of Taichi’s mouth, sending a shiver down his spine with the tickle. Taichi gasped against Goshiki’s mouth, but didn’t pull away.

How is he learning so fast?

Taichi had been kissed before, but never like this, and certainly not by an innocent first year who had tried to pucker his lips when they started. He tried to push his tongue back, tried not to let this overwhelm him, but Goshiki was insistent, pushing against his lips harder. He swirled their tongues around each other with more skill than he had any right to have, and Taichi followed him.

When they finally pulled apart, Taichi was staring up at Goshiki for the first time. He’d lifted up onto his knees, hovering taller. His eyes were dark and intense, the same look he sometimes got on the court that was almost never focused on Taichi alone.

This kid was going to be a monster someday.

“Good?” Goshiki asked, innocent search for praise clashing with the fierce look in his eyes. Taichi nodded, barely trusting himself to speak after all that.

“Yeah. You’ll impress all the girls with that,” he laughed, although it was more of a wheeze with the lack of air in his lungs. The dark look in Goshiki’s eyes faded, and all of a sudden he was the innocent first year Taichi had been spending time with again.

“Right. Girls,” he said, not bothering to move away, instead opting to drop his head on Taichi’s shoulder and lower himself into his lap. “Can you start another movie?”

Taichi hadn’t even noticed that the movie they’d been watching had ended. They’d been kissing for longer than he’d thought. He refused to think about that too much, instead putting another movie on.

“Senpai?” Goshiki asked during the opening credits. Taichi once again hummed in response. “Why do you call Shirabu-san by his given name?”

“Because we’re really close friends.”

“Are we close friends, Kawanishi-senpai?”

“Yes.”

“Then you can call me Tsutomu. If you’d like.”

Don’t look down, don’t look down. Don’t check if... his ears are red…

“Tsutomu?”

He hummed, shifting closer and curling up in Taichi’s lap. He looked like nothing more than an overgrown cat, and Taichi couldn’t resist the urge to start petting him. His hair wasn’t particularly soft, but he made a nice contented sound when nails scraped across his scalp, so Taichi continued.

“You can call me Taichi, then. If you want,” Taichi told him, halfway hoping the first year was already asleep.

“Okay. Taichi,” Goshiki murmured sleepily, and that was not fair. It had to be illegal for one person to be this cute.

Taichi paid more attention to playing with Goshiki’s hair than the movie, and didn’t realize until the morning that Goshiki had fallen asleep on top of him, nearly forgotten in the rush to get up and ready for practice.

*BONUS*

“So he asked you to teach him how to kiss?” Shirabu asked, carefully controlled facial expression starting to crack.

“Yes,” Taichi sighed, knowing the storm that was coming.

“And he used tongue.”

“Yes.”

“And he kept kissing you even after you told him he’d gotten it.”

“Yes.”

“And he pouted when you implied he’d be kissing girls.”

“A little.”

Shirabu burst out laughing, one of those horrible gasping, snorting laughs that didn’t belong to a pretty boy like Shirabu and yet, somehow, it fit.

“It’s not funny,” Taichi snapped.

“He somehow turned you even more gay and you don’t even realize he likes you!” Shirabu cackled.

“At least he’s sort of romantic,” Taichi shot back. “You just sucked Semi’s dick in the supply closet!”

“I’m sorry, what now?” another voice broke in. Taichi turned around to see a very bemused Semi, looking between Shirabu losing his shit and Taichi trying to keep his chill.

“Take good care of your boyfriend. He’s going to say the wrong thing to the wrong person and get himself punched someday,” Taichi deadpanned, leaving his supposed best friend snorting while Semi spluttered about rude underclassmen.

“Taichi!” a cheerful voice called to him. Taichi turned to see Goshiki coming, linking their arms together as if they always did this.

“Hey, Tsutomu. How were classes?” he asked. He was remarkably proud of how steady his voice was.

“Not bad, but math is still hard,” Goshiki pouted. “Can you help me with homework again this weekend?”

Taichi nodded. Maybe his cause wasn’t as hopeless as he’d previously believed, which was probably what Shirabu was trying to tell him through the laughter. But for now, he was happy to walk arm in arm with the first year he could call by given name now.