Sister Angela was a very caring soul. She was devoted to the Lord and loved life and lived it carefree. She also loved her students dearly. She would even eat meals with them, much to the chagrin of the other sisters who felt that the students were not to be fraternized with. This didn’t bother Sister Angela in the least. She felt it was her sacred duty to take seriously the commission from the Lord to do her utmost with his precious flocks. It’s no wonder she was a favorite of every student. She lived a very long life, full of love, tenderness, and compassion, and will be sorely missed by a great many. May she rest in peace.
—Eulogy of Sister Angela, Mother Superior, St. Catherine’s Boarding School.
Kato awoke to the noise of someone entering the room. He heard Tachibana’s voice saying, “Thanks a bunch.” Then the door closed behind. Later he would learn that when two boys return to their proper rooms, it’s called a “swapback.”
He looked down at the clock and it was 5:53. Time to get up anyways, Kato thought. He hopped down and grabbed some hygiene items as Tachibana was putting some stuff away. They both exchanged a quick greeting and Kato left to the bathroom. After returning, he put on his suit, again. He wondered how laundry was handled around here and if he was expected to wear the same pants for a week. He shelved those concerns for another time when he could ask Tachibana about it and went to the chow hall.
Kato sat in the same place for breakfast. This was quite all right with him. It seemed nobody else had a claim on this seat so he felt a measure of relief having his own spot where he wouldn’t be in anybody else’s way. He wouldn’t admit it to himself, but he also felt a measure of safety being closer to his seme.
Kato, lost in his musings, glanced to see Murata sitting down. Kato was happy to also have Murata sitting with him at the table too. So far, they were the only ones at the table this morning. He wasn’t sure if the other two boys that sat here yesterday would be back, but it was nice to at least sit with one friend he felt comfortable with.
Kato, rather more cheerfully that he intended, greeted Murata with a “Good Morning!” Murata was looking down at his food and said a quiet, “Good morning”, then sat down. Kato felt something was instantly wrong. Kato leaned over to see that Murata’s other eye was swollen. Kato instantly seethed with anger. He was so angry he could see red at the peripheries of his eyes.
“What the fuck?” he said rather loudly. Murata cowered a little at hearing these harsh words. Kato reached out and clasped his hand around Murata’s arm and said, reassuringly, “Not you. It’s okay, I’m not mad at you.”
Kato growled. “I’m gonna stab that motherfucking Handa.”
Murata spoke up, “No, don’t. He’s so much taller than you. He’d hurt you too.”
Kato, while touched, was still fuming. “I won’t sit by while that fucker hurts my friends. This shit is gonna stop.”
Murata didn’t look up. He sat there staring at his food. Kato took a breath to calm down. “Murata-san, I’m sorry.”
Murata quietly replied, “There’s nothing you can do. I need a seme. But nobody wants me.” Tears started to roll down Murata’s cheeks.
“That’s not true! Murata, you are a very funny guy. You are better at ping pong than me. You are also—” his brain scrambled for a word, “attractive.” Kato was at a loss as to what word to use here. He’s never said anything so embarrassing to any other boy before. “If I wasn’t someone else’s uke already, I would be your seme.”
Murata chuckled and quipped, “Wanna remind me how hitting on me is going to help solve my problem?”
Kato turned a very beet red and lightly slapped Murata’s arm. He just had no response to that. Murata had a quicker wit and Kato knew it.
They both chuckled and Murata wiped his eyes. With a serious demeanor, Kato replied, “I will help you to find a seme.”
Murata looked up for the first time and met Kato’s eyes. He nodded. “If only you could have been my seme,” he quietly complained. Then he sighed and looked back to his food. Kato wasn’t sure what to think of that, but an awkward silence developed.
Movement caught the corner of his eye as he saw Takahashi and his friends taking their familiar seats. He looked over to check on Takahashi, but he didn’t see any signs of any injuries. Their eyes met and Takahashi gave a small smile. Kato vividly recalled last night’s dreams and blushed. Takahashi probably didn’t notice as he looked away to talk to his friends. Kato didn’t really understand why, but he was a little disappointed with just that very limited interaction with Takahashi. He also felt a little jealous of Takahashi’s friends.
Kato looked back at Murata, “We’ll figure out something quickly. Hang in there.” Murata nodded.