There was a well-earned reputation locally about the quality of the athletics program at St. Catherine’s. Many thought that there was an unfair advantage since the school seemed to have unlimited funds for its sports programs. When St. Catherine’s would compete locally against other schools, private or public, they were the team to beat. They won many championships. This allowed students to win many sports scholarships to prestigious universities, and in many cases, lucrative contracts with sports agencies which netted St. Catherine’s a tidy sum.
—Opinion piece from a local newspaper.
Kato stepped out the door and saw Takahashi waiting for him, carrying a couple bags. “What’s all this?” he asked.
Takahashi replied, “Well, towels and swimsuits, food, drinks, blanket, other various stuff.”
“Damn. You’d think we were going on a picnic,” Kato sneered.
“Precisely.” Takahashi shoved one of the bags into Kato’s hands and said, “Let’s go.” He started walking away.
Kato stood there, perplexed, looking at Takahashi. Is this the wolf or not? Kato wondered. I can’t seem to tell from one minute to the next who Takahashi is.
Takahashi stopped after he got about 20 feet (6 m) away. He turned around and asked, “You coming, or not?”
Kato snapped to and replied, “I’m coming,” as he sped up to catch up.
As they walked to the Sports Complex, Takahashi broke the silence. “Sorry about breakfast. I’m a grump in the mornings.”
Kato replied, “It’s okay. Me too.”
“I didn’t mean to be so demanding either. But this is the first actual opportunity for us to hang out for any length of time. I want to get to know my uke better.”
Kato noticed that he was referred to as “my uke.” It irritated him a little, but since Takahashi was attempting to apologize, he let it go.
“Takahashi-san. Um, are we really having a picnic?”
“Yes. At lunch, we could march back to the chow hall, then march back out here, but why? You saw how much food I have. Let’s just eat out here. It’s a nice day. We can find a grassy spot and eat.”
Kato looked up. It was mid-October, there were no clouds, so it would be a warm and sunny day. He looked back at Takahashi. He was carrying the bulkier, heavier bags whereas Kato’s was rather light. He guessed it had the blanket and clothing. He still didn’t understand why Takahashi was going through all this trouble. Sure, it made sense to not have to walk back and forth for lunch. But why involve me? Why didn’t Takahashi just bring his own lunch. Why a picnic? Kato just didn’t understand how one minute he would get bit, and the next, he would be treated so kindly.
“Whatcha thinking about?”
Kato knew this ploy. He remembered what happened the last time he tried to lie. So, he told a half-truth. “Ah, how nice the weather is. It really does make sense not to go back for lunch when we can have it out here.”
They walked the rest of the way in silence. Kato didn’t know what to say and it looked like Takahashi was simply content not to talk.
When they got into the pool building, Kato realized that Takahashi was right. There was absolutely no one here. “Should we be swimming without a life-guard on duty?”
Takahashi smiled, “I’m well-trained actually. If you are drowning, I will save you and perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” He then gave an evil smirk with a wink.
Kato blushed and slapped Takahashi on the arm, “No thanks. I’d rather drown.”
Takahashi laughed. For whatever reason, Kato really liked to hear that laugh. It was very rich. Takahashi always seemed to walk around, not scowling per se, but he never seemed happy. But Kato realized that when Takahashi smiled genuinely, he gave off a light that could brighten a room. He made an oath with himself to get Takahashi to laugh and smile more.
“Come, Kato-san. Let’s put our stuff in the locker room and change and get in the pool.”
“Okay,” Kato said as he followed.
Takahashi put his bags in a locker and opened the bag Kato was holding. He rummaged around and pulled out two large bath towels and two pairs of swim trunks. He gave one of each to Kato and turned his side towards Kato and started undressing.
Kato blushed and quickly turned his side to Takahashi and did the same. He wasn’t sure why, but it was a tad uncomfortable undressing next to his seme. It reminded him of the first day he had to take his boxers off in the showers. Then a very strange urge that he didn’t understand came to him. He surreptitiously peeked over at Takahashi, who was standing there completely naked.
Time seemed to freeze momentarily as he examined Takahashi’s body. There no real body hair to speak of. He had some at his armpits and groin, but hairless otherwise. He did have a small happy trail going from his belly button down. He was also very toned, from working out probably. He was also circumcised.
He looked up and met Takahashi’s eyes. CAUGHT! OMG! Kato’s mind about exploded. He felt a full-on blush start from the top of his head and work its way down his face and lightly dusting the tops of his shoulders. He noticed that Takahashi had a deep blush also. Takahashi looked down and quickly put on his swim trucks. Kato turned to the side a bit and put his swim trunks on also. He was beside himself, completely ashamed, and was wondering exactly how he was going to face Takahashi now.
After what seemed like an eternity, Kato heard Takahashi say, “Come on, Kato-san. Let’s go swimming.”
The pool was cold to start but they warmed up quickly after several laps. Kato was proficient at swimming, but Takahashi was very skilled. They jumped off the diving board, splashed each other, grabbed a ball to toss around. Kato loved the water. He thought that this was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and he now understood why Takahashi did it. After a couple hours, they went back to the locker room to shower off.
When they got dressed, the second time, by sheer force of will, he absolutely forbade himself to look anywhere but straight forward. He didn’t sneak any peeks. Strangely, though, he didn’t feel so bashful this time. He still had a little bit of a blush, getting naked next to another boy. But, something in his mind told him, Takahashi was looking too. Knowing that he wasn’t the only one made him feel a tiny bit better about it.