There had been some discussion among the Board of Education at St. Catherine’s of changing the class structure to comply with other modern schools, having the students attend different classrooms to study different subjects and the teachers remain. Some felt this would be more efficient and allow a greater variety of course material and electives to be offered. However, like most things at St. Catherine’s, change was slow, if it happened at all.
—One vs. Many. A Study in Class Structure and Curriculum by Hoffman, Caldeaux, Wainsworth, et al.
When Kato got to the chow hall, he observed a line of tables, laden with food, trailing down the hallway. There was a short line. He asked the boy in front what was going on and he was told Saturday breakfast is always an all-you-can-eat buffet. Kato liked the sound of that, even though he didn’t know what “buffet” meant until the boy explained it. He also explained that the headmaster doesn’t attend breakfast on Saturdays so there’s no formalities or prayer, so take a seat and eat.
Kato carefully piled high on his tray about all that it would hold and happily entered the doors of the chow hall. For once, there weren’t a lot of students yet. He still wanted to go sit in his usual spot, so he looked over at his table and saw Takahashi sitting alone in Kato’s usual seat, with somewhat of a glare. Kato noticed that nobody was at Takahashi’s usual table either but there was a tray piled high where Takahashi usually sits. The glare was making him self-conscious. He nervously approached the table.
“What are you doing today?” Takahashi inquired, with a note of assertiveness.
“Um, I thought I would play ping pong with—”
“No,” Takahashi interrupted.
“No. You need to spend some time with your seme today.”
Kato’s rebellious streak was starting to get riled up. “But—”
“I said no.”
“No?” Kato repeated, with a little irritation in his voice.
Kato was in such a happy mood this morning until this bullshit. He thought about talking back to Takahashi, but something told him that the wolf was very much showing his teeth right now. He wondered if the bag of goodies and a new T-shirt was all just a dream that he had last night. Or maybe it was just a ploy, a bribe to get Kato to drop his guard. The thought of Takahashi being back to his usual games was a little unsettling.
“No.” Takahashi repeated. “Just let Murata-san go spend time with his seme.”
First, Kato was a bit surprised that Takahashi already knew about Murata’s seme. Secondly, he guessed, by the tone, Takahashi’s wasn’t interested in anything Murata was doing today, so long as it wasn’t with Kato.
Kato put his tray down but did not sit. He wasn’t sure an uke should be sitting with a seme.
“Can you swim?”
“Yes,” Kato replied.
“Good. Let’s go to the Sports Complex. I like to swim on Saturday mornings because nobody else does. It will be like having the pool all to ourselves.”
“But—” Kato started.
“But what? Can’t you just listen to your seme for once and trust him?”
“I don’t have swimwear.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that.”
Kato blushed profusely at the dirty thought that slammed into his head of them swimming in the nude. He quickly looked down at his food.
“I’ll give you an extra pair of my swim trunks.” Takahashi innocently replied.
Swim trunks. Kato breathed. What the fuck was I thinking just now?
“Let’s meet up after chow and walk over,” Takahashi suggested.
“Fine,” Kato reluctantly agreed, with a little attitude.
Takahashi got up and sat at his table and Kato sat down in his seat and started eating.
A few minutes later, Murata put his tray down and sat, looking a little glum.
“What’s wrong, Murata-kun?”
Kato looked at him closely, no fresh wounds, so he concluded that Murata was physically well.
“Come on, out with it.”
Murata looked up at Kato and with some sadness said, “My seme expects me to have sex with him.”
This news did sadden Kato. He felt he was almost in exactly the same position. “Already? You just met! What did you say to him?”
“I told him I would have to think about it.”
“‘Think about it?’ What did he say?” Kato was curious now. Maybe he could glean something from this that he could apply to refusing Takahashi.
“Well, he said it’s not like he is ordering me to have sex with him. It didn’t have to be right now. But at some future point, he would like to. ‘Take your time,’ he said. He was kind about it, but I think he was a little let down.” Murata paused for a moment, then regrettably spoke, “I don’t think any amount of time will make me want to have sex with him.”
“Could you have sex with another boy?” Murata flatly asked.
“Um, no.” Kato replied.
“Well, maybe tell him you want to get to know him better before that step. Start out as friends. Who knows, maybe then if it feels right—” Kato couldn’t believe the words he was saying. Was he actually advocating this behavior?
Murata stared directly at him with a look of disbelief. “Aren’t you the one who keeps say, ‘No. No. I won’t have sex with Takahashi-san’?”
Kato sighed. “I don’t have any answers. I was just trying to be supportive.”
“Yeah, well, it sounds hypocritical, so stop it,” Murata replied in a somewhat irritated mood.
Kato and Murata started eating in awkward silence but after a couple minutes Kato could no longer resist asking, “So, you gonna stop seeing him?”
“No. I need a seme. He’s the only one who’s bothered.”
“He seems like a nice guy,” Kato observed.
“Yeah, at least he didn’t hit me when I turned him down.”
Another minute of awkward silence passed while they ate. Kato just had no idea what to say at this point.
“Maybe you are right.” Murata quietly spoke.
“Maybe if I got to know him it might make it easier. I’ve never had sex, and the first time someone tried, I was frightened, and he hurt me.”
Kato put his hand on Murata’s shoulder and gently squeezed. “If and when that time comes, you can still say no if it doesn’t feel right.”
“I suppose so.”
They ate in silence for a few more minutes, both contemplating their respective seme troubles.
Murata spoke first. “We gonna play some ping pong today?”
Kato stopped eating for a moment. “Um, I want to but my seme has almost demanded I spend time with him today.”
“Yeah, maybe today would be a good chance for you to also spend some time with your seme. Get to know him more.”
“It’s fine. Not like the tables will fly away. We can play tomorrow.”
“Well, maybe we can play today anyways. I don’t really plan on spending the entire day with him. Otherwise, we’d probably kill each other before the day was over.”