Sister Mary had been raised in a convent and, by middle age, she had rose through the ranks with such speed that she figured she was destined by Providence to replace Mother Superior. Unfortunately, Sister Mary had quite the temper and a healthy resentment of her superiors. She was instead asked to leave and find some other way to serve God. Through a connection, she begrudgingly accepted a teaching position at a boarding school, far from the limelight she thought she deserved. She was understandably bitter about it, and her students felt it.
—Excerpt from a personnel file at St. Catherine’s Boarding School.
Kato sniffled and asked, “Uke?” He still didn’t know what that meant and could only remember Takahashi’s echoing words, Newbie, I’ve now chosen you to be my uke.
Tachibana looked at him thoughtfully and replied, “Yeah, they don’t teach that in Sunday school. Not that you were here Sunday anyhow. And, of course, orientation doesn’t speak of it either.” Tachibana sighed and look down at the floor while explaining, “It’s an unwritten rule among the student body here at St. Catherine’s that a seme is the master and an uke is the slave. An uke must serve his master. He’s the special property of his master. It’s the law of the land. There’s no questioning this. Accept it as fact.”
Kato was still at a loss of understanding. He could understand the words “master” and “slave,” but “special property?” He just looked at Tachibana blankly, and sniffled again.
Tachibana rubbed the back of his neck and chuckled to himself. “Sorry,” he apologized. “It’s no laughing matter but you seem kinda dense.” Kato didn’t appreciate the slight but didn’t bother to bite the hand that was feeding him right now. Tachibana continued, “You are either a seme, a master, or an uke, a slave. There’s no middle ground. Typically, it’s the bigger guys who are the semes and the smaller guys, like yourself that are the ukes. That’s it.”
Kato started to understand but felt a dread creeping in. “What’s an uke supposed to do?”
With an annoyed sigh, Tachibana replied, “Serve his seme, his master. Listen, when you are chosen as someone else’s uke, you do what he says, when he says, and don’t ask questions. Again, you are his special property, his possession. This may sound harsh, and I suppose it is, but your seme will also defend and protect you.”
“From what?” Kato asked.
“From other semes,” Tachibana explained with an impatient tone. “Look, I don’t have any more time to discuss this with you, my class it about to start. I need to go.” He looked with pity on Kato once more and said, “I heard Takahashi chose you.”
Kato slowly nodded.
“Well, good luck with that,” was all that Tachibana said as he got up and picked up his bag.
“Are you an uke?” Kato meekly asked to Tachibana’s back just as the door was opened and the boy was about to exit the room.
“No. But I already have an uke. It’s one seme to one uke. And, Takahashi-san claimed you for himself. Know your role.” He then left the room, closing the door behind.
Kato looked at the door, mulling over what had been explained to him. That feeling of dread grew. Uke? Special property? He still had no real idea what to expect about a role that he was forced to play. But he was pretty sure it wouldn’t be long before he ran into his seme again.