Chris was usually quiet when he came through the door, but this evening his movements were especially cautious, as though he was making an effort to sneak in.
Intrigued by the unusual behavior, Kaito got up to meet him. Chris locked the door and turned around to find Kaito leaning against the wall, arms crossed as though he was a mother ready to reprimand her child for staying out too late.
“Ah, you’re still awake.”
Kaito rolled his eyes. “It’s only midnight. And why are you home so late? The rest of us left work an hour and a half ago.” His eyes widened in mock surprise. “Don’t tell me you’re having an affair!”
Chris snorted as he moved past Kaito into their bedroom. “Yeah, I’m leaving you for one of the many other men in my life. Your dad I guess? He’s the only other one I see regularly who isn’t family.”
“Don’t be stupid.” Kaito sat back down at his desk in the corner, still facing where Chris had disappeared into the bathroom. He was still vaguely curious as to what made Christopher act so guilty.
Chris poked his head out a minute later, hair now braided and a toothbrush in hand.
“I was talking to your father though, that’s why I stayed late.”
“Mmm.” Kaito immediately lost interest at the mention of Faker, and turned back around to try to find his place in the problem he was solving again. There was one issue he hadn’t been able to figure out at the lab, but he wasn’t ready to let it go quite yet.
The solution was still coming out wrong. Kaito sighed heavily and leaned back in his chair in exasperation only to find Chris looming over him, lips pursed. Kaito looked away.
“I’m going to bed soon, you can turn the lights off, I’ll just move into the next room.”
“Kaito, I…” Kaito looked up to find Chris looking away pointedly. “I might have told your father about our relationship.”
“Our…” Admittedly Kaito was most confused as to what Chris meant by ‘relationship.’ They worked in the lab together with their fathers, and Chris had moved in to the small apartment Kaito lived in with Haruto just down the street from their lab. Faker knew both these things. Unless…
“So you told my dad you’re having sex with me? Why the hell would you feel the need to do that?” Kaito didn’t share a lot of information with his father. As far as he knew Faker wouldn’t have even known he was interested in men.
Chris sighed and sat on the bed as Kaito eyed him carefully.
“It’s just…remember how Tron ended up taking your soul temporarily during the WDC?”
Kaito nodded. The fact that Chris always referred to his father as ‘Tron’ when remembering something bad he had done was not lost on him. And while more traumatic things had happened to overshadow that debacle in his day to day life, Kaito still shuddered remembering the sensation of having his soul ripped from his body, and couldn’t help but feel the residual guilt of his numbers hunting days bubbling back up.
“Well, while he had your soul, I guess he ended up looking at some of your memories.”
“My memories?” Kaito turned around to face Chris completely. “What…do you mean by that?” Kaito had taken his fair share of souls, but had never had that sort of power. Though he supposed if Tron had taken Droite’s memories, it would be possible…
“He said he only looked at memories involving us, for the most part. He was mostly interested in finding out what we had been doing while he was away.” Chris suddenly looked very tired. Kaito, however, started to feel sick. All his thoughts and feelings about Chris, from the warm smile and sad eyes he had the first time they met, the intense energy of their duels, all the secrets Kaito had ever confided in him…his head was spinning. Those were all incredibly personal. He was beginning to wish he had never gotten his soul back.
“Kaito?” Kaito felt Chris’s hand on his back in an attempt at delicate reassurance. “It’s…he didn’t see that much I don’t think!”
“Seeing anyone’s memories is too much Chris!” A lock of hair traced over Kaito’s arms as Chris turned his head away.
“I know.” Kaito didn’t suspect Chris did, but he didn’t argue. Chris continued, “I’m just telling you this, because he’s been holding it over my head for a while, and I can’t deal with it anymore. My father I mean.”
“What…?” Kaito couldn’t even target the question he wanted to ask. What was Tron holding over Chris’s head? What did any of this have to do with Chris? What did any of this have to do with Faker? He was starting to feel exhausted himself.
“It started with dessert one night. He wanted another slice of cake, but I told him no, because if he has too much sugar before bed, he’ll never get to sleep,” Chris motioned as though this was all obvious parenting 101 and Kaito would have done the same. Kaito wasn’t sure he would care to micromanage his father’s eating habits, even if he was suddenly reverted to a 6-year-old’s body, but he was still somewhat dizzy and wasn’t going to argue with Chris.
“And he always tries the ‘I’m your father’ thing,” Chris rolled his eyes, “but when that didn’t work, he threatened to tell Faker the next day at work that I took your virginity.”
Kaito felt his face heat up, and he buried his head in his hands.
“So you told my dad I was gay rather than let your 50-year-old dad eat a piece of cake?!” he sqeaked.
“No! I mean, I let him have the cake that night, but he kept using that to get me to do his chores, or let him go out by himself, and then Thomas started to sense weakness, and you know how he is.” Chris said all this as though the strange power dynamics in his family were a typical and understandable phenomenon any household could relate to. Kaito finally got up from his desk, and flopped down on his side of the bed, face still buried in the pillow.
“I’m sorry, I would have asked you first, but I had a chance to talk to Faker alone since he was the last to leave, and Thomas has been thinking of enrolling in school just to stalk Ryouga you know. I needed things taken care of to be able to use my full authority to put a stop to that.”
Kaito rolled over. “Why is everyone in your family so creepy?”
Chris gave him a small, relieved smile. “I’m sorry Kaito, I really should have talked to you first. I didn’t realize you hadn’t told your father anything.”
“My family is very different from yours, Chris.”
“That’s…not a bad thing.”
Chris was rubbing Kaito’s back reassuringly. It was…unusual from Chris, but really nice. Kaito wondered idly if there were any other secrets he could let Chris tell his father that would earn him more affection.
The next day at the lab was certainly going to be uncomfortable. Kaito wasn't sure he could face Byron without feeling a bit sick. And he definitely didn’t feel like finishing that problem anymore, at least tonight.
“You know Chris, you may have avoided your father’s blackmailing, but you’re going to owe me for awhile.”
Chris winced, and abruptly stopped rubbing Kaito’s back. He sighed and switched off the lights.