Memorial services for Sister Margaret will be held Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm in the chapel for all staff and students wishing to attend.
The rest of the morning and early afternoon classes passed by uneventfully, and now Kato was eager for his 15 minutes with Takahashi, walking to the Sports Complex, and then their afternoon swim class together. When he exited the dorm, the sun was out. It was somewhat warm with a slight breeze—quite pleasant until his gaze fell up a familiarly disappointing sight.
Xan’s face lit up as he spotted Kato. “Kato-san!”
Fuck me, Kato inwardly cursed. He put on a smile and waved. It was the usual crowd: exuberant Xan with the ill-tempered Handa, indifferent Nakamura with Murata, and wolf-mode Takahashi.
As he approached, Xan spoke up. “You guys go on ahead.” He hooked his arm around Kato’s arm and said, “We’ll catch up. I want to talk with Kato-san for a minute.”
Nakamura and Murata took off immediately. Handa glared then turned and started walking. Just as Kato was sure Takahashi wasn’t going to leave, he turned and walked off. Kato felt a tiny bit abandoned. He wanted to be with Takahashi, not Xan.
Xan let go of Kato and motioned him to start walking. “Listen, I’m sorry things haven’t worked out quite like I expected.”
“Yeah,” Kato said. He wasn’t quite sure exactly how Xan thought this was all going to work out, but he could agree that it wasn’t.
“Handa-san really is a good guy.”
Kato rolled his eyes. “You’re like the only guy at this school who thinks that.”
“Yeah, I know he’s caused trouble. He goes about everything the wrong way. But you gotta understand where he’s coming from.”
“I don’t wanna understand him,” Kato said.
After a few moments of silence, Xan spoke up. “He told me about the mochi.”
Kato looked at Xan. “I simply didn’t want to eat in front of him and be rude.”
Xan shrugged and smiled, “Well, it was nice of you. He does respond to random acts of kindness.”
Kato looked ahead. Takahashi and the other boys were walking, out of earshot, about 100 feet away. Kato looked back at Xan and said, “He has some nice clothes, a fancy watch, but no food. I don’t get it.”
“Ah, well,” Xan said. “Don’t tell him I told you this—” Xan paused and proceeded to fix a serious stare at Kato.
“Ok, what?” Kato asked.
“He explained to me that he is one of St. Catherine’s kids,” Xan emphasized.
“What’s that mean?”
Xan began to elaborate. “He’s an orphan. He was raised by the nuns of St. Catherine’s Education System since he was a small boy, having no family or relatives. He didn’t tell me why he has no family though. I’m not even sure if he knows why.”
“So?” Kato didn’t know what else to say to such information.
“So? He has nothing. He doesn’t even know what a real family is. He’s had a friend here and there, but it seems none of them followed him to the high school.”
“What about his seme friends?” Kato inquired with a bit of a snide tone.
“I wouldn’t call them friends. Just a gang of idiots that took him in. I’ve been trying to get him to stop hanging around with them.”
Kato continued to walk in silence. This was news to him.
“Anyway, he said he had a music teacher in junior high that took an interest in him and became sort of a father figure to Handa-san. It was the teacher who bought him the nice things. Otherwise Handa-san probably wouldn’t have a thing to his name.”
“I see,” Kato said.
“Yeah, apparently the teacher followed Handa-san to the high school, replacing the music instructor here. He said that the teacher took a sabbatical last year, rather suddenly.”
Kato’s stomach flipped and his scalp itched. “I wouldn’t know. I only started here last month.”
Xan nodded. “At any rate, I think the teacher taking off like that, along with everything else, it all just kinda messed him up a bit. I’m trying to help him.”
“I see,” Kato said.
“And I think he did appreciate the mochi. I don’t think he hates you. You just happen to be Takahashi-san’s uke.”
“Yeah,” Kato said as he was looking ahead, watching Takahashi. Every minute or so Takahashi would look back and make eye contact with Kato.
“Well, enough of that. I just wanted a minute of your time and to let you know that I appreciate you trying to be nice. Let’s catch up to the boys.” Xan took off in a jog and Kato followed.
Kato had an evil idea. He jogged up and sprung onto Takahashi’s back and latched on.
Takahashi grunted, “What the fuck?”
“Surprise!” Kato said with glee.
Takahashi hooked his arms around Kato’s legs, giving him a piggyback ride. “You’re fucking heavy, you porker! What have you been eating?”
Kato smacked Takahashi playfully on the head. “I’m not a pig! You’re the one that keeps feeding me all those snacks.”
This caused the other boys to start laughing and teasing Kato, calling him “little piggy.” Takahashi gave him a piggyback ride for quite a distance as the boys laughed and joked around. Even grumpy Handa and reticent Nakamura were in on the joking, which surprised Kato a bit.
Kato was feeling playful, so he bit Takahashi’s neck, causing Takahashi to scrunch up his shoulders.
“Hey! That tickles!” Takahashi exclaimed. “What are you, a vampire now?”
Doing his best Count Dracula impression, Kato said, “I vant tu suck yor blud.”
Handa spoke up, “That’s not the only thing you want to suck.”
Kato and Takahashi blushed but the rest of the boys started cracking up.
“Ok, then I’m the wolf and you’re the rabbit and I want to eat you.” Kato suddenly realized that what he said could be twisted the wrong way.
Murata started laughing and Kato thought he was about to make a snide comment, so he glared. “What? You’re the one digging your own hole here,” Murata said with a grin.
“You’re getting heavy, piglet. Get down.” Takahashi stopped for a moment, and so did the other boys to wait.
“I said I’m a wolf, not a piglet!” Kato took one more opportunity and bit Takahashi’s ear.
“Ow!” Takahashi said as he let go of Kato, causing Kato to let go. Takahashi whipped around and grabbed onto Kato and started tickling his ribs. “You wanna play, is that it?”
Kato started laughing and squirming. He attacked back and before long they were in a half-wrestling tickling match.
“Boys, boys. Keep it in the room,” Handa said.
“Aw, but we’re getting a free show,” Xan protested.
“Yes, truce!” Kato said.
“Ha!” Takahashi scoffed. “Why? So, I can let my guard down and you attack?”
“That is a sound strategy,” Nakamura said.
Kato gave Takahashi a big, toothy grin. “I’ll behave.”
Takahashi shook his head and smiled. “We’ll see.”
Kato was just so happy in his heart to spend any time whatsoever with his wolf. The boys began walking again. Xan started talking a bit about some trip he had went on during the summer, but Kato wasn’t paying attention. He was lost in thought about what Xan had told him about Handa. The part about the music teacher was a bit disturbing.
He surreptitiously watched Xan and Handa interact. They seemed to get along and part of Kato liked to see Handa laugh. Xan would reach over and ruffle Handa’s hair, which made Handa smile. Such a strange sight to see, a shorter guy ruffling the hair of a much taller guy. And Handa seemed to enjoy it. At the very least, Handa seemed less threatening, and maybe more human, while he was laughing and playing with Xan.
There was still one problem that Kato couldn’t work out. Who was the seme and who was the uke? He couldn’t imagine either being a uke, so maybe this was a case of seme/seme. He just did not understand how that could even work.
“What are you thinking about?” Takahashi whispered into Kato’s ear as they were walking.
“Nothin’,” Kato replied.
“Don’t lie now,” Takahashi said.
“I’ll tell you later. I promise.” Kato said.
As he thought longer, Kato did feel a little pity for Handa after what Xan had said, not having any family. Kato didn’t either, now, but at least he did have a mother to grow up with, mostly. Even though he still didn’t like the Handa much, he still hated to hear such a sad story.
Kato had written off the whole mochi thing. It really was just a case of not wanting to eat in front of the guy. Such a casual, little thing. It was nothing to Kato. Yet, he remembered when Takahashi showed him kindness that Kato wasn’t used to, and how he felt. He wondered if maybe Handa was the same and just not used to people doing things for him.
In the end, though, he still saw Handa as an unpredictable seme, prone to violence, that shouldn’t be trusted, especially after the fist-in-the-door incident.