(Being the Origin of the Slut-Boy Stage Costume)

A Kaikan Phrase Sekkushiaru Roman

by Sailor Mac  

      Atsuro sat in his hotel room, quietly strumming his guitar. There wasn't much room to do anything else. These businessman's hotels were little more than closets. . .a bed, a dresser, a nighttable, a microscopic bathroom.

      Someday, he thought, when we're rich and famous, we're going to look back at our first tour and laugh.

      They were several stops into their road trip. It had been Yuka's idea, a way to get them back on the musical map after their involvement in a brawl during a show had gotten them thrown out of the Tokyo live houses.

      At first, the tour had been one of those things which makes people say, "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. . ." Gigs had been hard to come by, and they'd had to be creative and drastic a couple of times. Like the 24-hour street live. Atsuro would never forget how he felt after that one. Parts of his hands and arms were numb, others were screaming with pain. His feet ached, his legs ached, and every part of him was heavy with exhaustion.

      But he'd also felt great. . .a sense of pride and satisfaction unlike any he'd had in a long time. And it had been that gig that had started to draw attention to them. Not enough, though. . .in most towns, they still had to compete fiercely with other bands for bookings.

      At least this time, Yuka had found them a gig easily. At the third live house she'd gone to, they'd had a band pull out of the evening's lineup with short notice. Lucifer had been all too glad to fill the spot.

      After the odd gigs they'd done up to that point. . .the 24-hour street live, a show in a warehouse, a "battle of the bands" with another group to see who would get an opening act slot. . .it was nice to do something *normal.*

      We've had some weird times on this trip, he thought. . .but it's been a great experience. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

      And that wasn't just because of the music.

      He put the instrument down and stood up, pressing his ear to the door. No sounds in the hallway. Yuki and Yuka were probably asleep. . .Santa was out in the van. . .and Sakuya was off gods-only-knew-where. The coast was clear.

      Atsuro stepped out into the hall and knocked, quietly, on the door next to his. It opened a crack, just wide enough for its occupant to peek out, then swung back just enough to let him in.

      Once Atsuro got a look at the cool, elegant man with the long, wavy blond tresses, his heart sped up, as it always did when he greeted his bandmate.

      Towa slid his arms up and around his neck, a slow smile spreading across his face. "I thought for a second you weren't going to come tonight," he said.

      Atsuro lowered his head, his lips softly brushing against his lover's in a tender kiss. When he pulled back, he whispered, "Now, you know me better than that."

      "Mmm, I do," Towa replied, starting to kiss along his lover's neck. "I've gotten to know you *very* well on this trip."

      Atsuro tipped his head back, giving Towa better access, letting out a sigh as he felt the sweep of his tongue over his pulse line. "I. . .I can see that. . ."

      Towa eased away from him and took his hand, guiding him so they were lying on the bed, side-by-side. He gently brushed a few locks of red hair away from Atsuro's soft brown eyes. "The girls at the show were all going nuts for you tonight, you know."

      Atsuro smiled at him, running a finger along his chest. "That's funny. . .I thought they were all looking at *you.* You're the glamorous one."

      "Glamorous? I just am what I am. I'd rather have people *listen* to me than look."

      Atsuro moved a bit closer, so he could snuggle against Towa. "But you're a model."

      "Only to pay the bills. There aren't many jobs that pay enough to cover my expenses, but are flexible enough to allow for plenty of rehearsal time. The modeling stops as soon as I can make a living as a musician."

      Atsuro tangled his fingers in his lover's hair. "Well, it's not a moneymaking option for me. I'm just not glamorous."

      Towa smiled at him. "Sure, you are. You just need to bring it out. That's one of the things you learn fast when you're a model. . .how to make the most of what you have." He sat up and reached beside the bed, picking up a large shopping bag. "Want me to show you?"

      Atsuro looked puzzled. "Sure. . ."

      Towa started to rummage through the bag. "When you and Yuki were at that music store this afternoon, I was at the thrift shop next door. I put most of my looks together at those places. I picked up a few odds and ends for myself. . .and a few things I thought would look good on you."

      Atsuro blinked in surprise. "On me?"

      "Sure. Not things you'd wear out in public of course, but. . ."

      He began to take items out of the bag and lay them out on the bed. A pair of black satin shorts. . .a purple satin jacket with feathers around the collar and cuffs, obviously the castoff of some grown-up ex-rocker's wardrobe. . .

      Atsuro stared at them with wide eyes. "You. . .want me to. . .wear *those*?"

      Towa smiled. "Just to see what they look like. Kind of the adult version of playing dress-up."

      "I never played dress-up. Well, not willingly, anyway. My sister *forced* me to a couple of times." He fingered the clothes. . .they were definitely more flamboyant than anything he'd ever worn. Could they possibly look good on *him*? He doubted it. His look had always been straight-ahead rock and roll. This. . .was definitely *not.*

      "Of course," said Towa, "while we're playing dress-up. . .there's things we can do to complete the look."

      Atsuro looked up. "Like what?"

      "Come in the bathroom."

      Now he felt really confused. He followed his lover into the tiny room, which had a commode, a sink, a shower and a naked light bulb, with little room in between.

      "Sit," Towa said. Atsuro obeyed, and heard his lover go back into the bedroom. There was the zip of a bag being opened, the sound of clothing being moved around. . .

      He returned with a small black leather case in his hands, which he sat on the sink.

      "Now," he said, "close your eyes, and tilt your head back."

      Atsuro frowned. "You're not going to cut my hair or anything like that, are you?"

      "Nothing like that." Towa dropped a kiss on his forehead. "Just trust me, love."

      Atsuro still felt a bit antsy. . .but he did what he was asked. This *was* Towa, after all. He wasn't going to do anything that would permanently alter his looks. After all, wasn't it Towa who had kept after him to dye his hair back to its original color?

      That is. . .before he decided that the red hair was sexy.

      He began to feel something stroking over one eyelid, then the other.  . .strange, it was kind of soft and kind of hard. . .like spongy stuff on some kind of hard core. . .

      And then, he realized what it was, and he suddenly jerked his head up. "Makeup? You're putting MAKEUP on me?"

      Towa delicately brushed at his shirt. . .Atsuro's sudden movement had made some of the eyeshadow go flying. "If you really don't want me to. . .I'll stop. I just thought it might be fun. . .and that you'd look hot. Remember. . .this is just between you and me. Nobody else has to see it."

      Makeup, Atsuro thought. Towa has the kind of grace and dignity to pull that kind of thing off, to make it look natural. I. . .don't. On me, it would just look. . .girlish. Still. . .Towa said nobody but him and me had to see it. . .and if I don't like it, I can always just wash it right off, right?

      Besides. . .Towa said it would look hot on me. And I *really* like the idea of looking hot for him.

      He leaned back again. "Okay. . .do my makeup. But. . .nothing *embarrassing.*"        Towa smiled, softly. "Don't worry, love. I won't do anything to you that won't make you look beautiful."

      Atsuro tried to relax.  . .he felt the soft-hard thing stroking his eyelids again. . .then something brushing on them. . .then the stroking again.  . .followed by something that felt like a crayon sliding along the very edge of his eyelids. . .and something tugging at his lashes. . .He'd watched his sister putting on makeup, but it was hard for him to identify the specific sensations. Brush here, stroke there, a sensation like a tissue wiping against him, then a brush again.

      "Open your mouth," Towa said, and Atsuro felt something like a big stick of extra-soft wax sliding over his lips. I can't believe, he thought, that I'm wearing *lipstick.* Gods, if the guys at school knew about this. . .

      Towa stepped back, and said, "Okay. . .open your eyes." He scrutinized his lover's face, like a painter staring at a newly-finished masterpiece. "Ahhh. . ..nice. Okay, put the outfit on now.  . .then come out and let me see."

      He left the room, leaving Atsuro alone with the clothes. The boy noticed that Towa had added a pair of his own boots to the pile. I hope I can wear them, he thought. His feet are smaller than mine.

      Careful not to look in the little mirror above the sink Ñ he didn't want to see himself until his look was complete Ñ he stripped to the skin, then began to dress. The shorts, he noted, had garters attached to the front and back of each leg. These were definitely meant for a woman to wear, he thought. They were tight, leaving little to the imagination in front or back. "Good thing nobody but Towa is going to see them," he mumbled.

      He put on the boots, which were a bit snug on his feet Ñ he certainly wouldn't wear them for mountain climbing Ñ but would do for the purpose now. He was able to attach the little clamplike things on the ends of the garters to the tops of them. Finally, he pulled on the jacket, fastened it, took a deep breath, and opened the door.

      Towa took one look at him, and drew in a sharp breath. He was. . .stunning. More beautiful than Towa thought he was going to look. An angel dressed as a whore, innocence colliding head-on with sensuality. . .the effect was intoxicating.

      "Oh, Atsuro," he whispered. "I can't believe it. . ."

      Atsuro suddenly felt self-conscious. He pulled his arms tight across his body, to shield himself, lowering his eyes to the floor.

      "You have to see it," Towa said, crossing the room and wrapping his arm around him. "Come. . ."

      Atsuro felt himself propelled across the room toward the full-length mirror on the closet door. Do I want to see it? he thought.

      "Now look," Towa said. Atsuro lifted his eyes, slowly. . .and gasped. The creature he saw before him was barely recognizable. Around his eyes were a sparkly purple eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara. . .blush accentuated his cheeks, and his mouth was painted a siren's crimson. The makeup brought out the best features of him, accentuating his eyes, his cheekbones. . .

      And then, there was the outfit. It hugged his body, the feathers at his neck drawing even more attention to his face, the tight shorts trying to force attention to points lower instead.

      He had no idea he could look so glamorous, so wild and sexy. . .He reached out with one hand, his palm pressing against the glass, as if he could touch the boy in the mirror and confirm that he was real.

      "This. . .is me?" he said in a hushed voice.

      Towa wrapped his arms around his waist. "It *is* you, my darling. It's what you didn't know was there."

      Atsuro leaned his head back, against Towa's. "Thank you," he said. "I. . .I feel so beautiful right now."

      "You *are* beautiful." Towa kissed Atsuro's temple, softly, and moved his lips to his cheek. Atsuro continued to look into the mirror, spellbound by the image before him, the glamorous blond boy kissing the glamorous redheaded boy. He felt a slow warmth start to spread through his belly.  . .the thought of making love looking like this was *very* arousing.

      Towa heard Atsuro's breath quicken, felt the boy start to push his hips backward. He knew what was on his lover's mind, and he was glad of it. . .because it had been on his own mind since he saw the complete look. He moved his mouth to Atsuro's neck and began to lay a line of kisses along the pulse line as his hands moved slowly up and down his torso, caressing his chest through the fabric of the jacket. One hand slipped into the neckline, feeling his hot, soft bare skin, the tight, lithe muscles underneath. ..

      Atsuro leaned back, moaning, and a small shiver passed through him as his lover's fingers slowly brushed over a nipple. "Towa. . .ohh, Towa. . ." he gasped.

      Towa took away his mouth, his hands, just long enough for Atsuro to whirl around in his arms, and then they were holding each other, their mouths pressing together urgently, sliding against each other, caressing, their tongues coming out to flick and stroke and dance.  Their bodies writhed, Towa bringing a leg up to wrap around Atsuro's hip so their manhoods were brushing through the fabric they wore.

      When their mouths broke, they kissed everywhere they could.  . .cheeks, foreheads, noses, chins.  .

      "Yes," Atsuro gasped. "Ohh, yes. . ."

      "It's about to get even better, love," Towa said. He eased away from Atsuro. . .then took hold of his lover's hands, guiding him to lean forward, until he was bending over with his palms flat on the bed.

      Atsuro felt his heart pound as Towa slowly ran his hands up and down his back, down to his legs.  . .and then up to his bottom, cupping it and starting to massage, firmly.

      "Ahhh," Atsuro gasped, starting to move his hips as Towa leaned over, his lips pressing against his ear, his neck. Liquid heat was coursing through his veins, warm tingles radiating from where Towa was touching him, kissing him, and spreading over his whole body.

      "You feel so good," Towa whispered. "Gods, you're so incredibly beautiful. . ." One hand left Atsuro's bottom and moved up, slipping inside his jacket, finding a nipple, swirling his fingers over it rapidly, then taking it in his thumb and forefinger. Atsuro let out a loud groan as he felt the gentle pressure, only adding to the heat building and building within him.

      "Please, Towa," he gasped. "Touch me. . .ohhh, I need to feel your hands on me so bad. . ."

      The boy's husky voice made Towa shiver with desire, as he began to slide the shorts down. . .just far enough to bare his bottom, his manhood. . .

      He shivered again as he saw the shapely curve of his lover's ass. "Look at this," he whispered, and dropped down to his knees, softly pressing his lips against the right cheek, kissing it reverently. . .starting to work his way upward over the curve. . .

      His hand roamed down to the boy's inner thigh, starting to massage it in small, tight circles as his teeth gently nipped at the firm, rounded flesh. Atsuro whimpered, willing Towa to move that hand. . .oh, just a few inches upward, dammit! He knew he was fully erect now, and he was aching to feel Towa's hand, his lips, his *anything* on his hardness.

      Towa moved his mouth to the other cheek, kissing, nipping, his hot breath seeming to scorch Atsuro. Atsuro wriggled, mutely begging his lover to stop teasing and give him *more*, oh, he needed it so, so badly. . .When Towa's hand lightly brushed the sac beneath his manhood, if just for a second, he let out a cry that was close to a sob.

      "Atsuro. . ." Towa took away his hands and moved back up, so he was kissing the boy's neck. "What do you need. . .tell me. . ."

      "Please. . .please, put your hands on me. . .put yourself inside me. . .do anything!"

      "Oh, I will, love." And then, he pulled away altogether, and Atsuro heard the sound of clothes rapidly being dropped to the floor, the scrape of a drawer being opened and closed. . .

      "Hurry," Atsuro moaned. "Please. . ."

      Towa leaned over him, his arms wrapping around his lover's torso, holding him close. Atsuro could feel bare skin against his own clothing, and the contrast only served to make him even hotter.

      "Be patient," Towa whispered.  "I won't leave you hanging, I promise."

      "I'm having a very hard time doing that," Atsuro replied, thrusting his hips backward, feeling Towa's erection pressing against his own bottom. He wriggled around until it was sliding between his cheeks. . .which just brought loud groans from both of them.

      Towa sank to his knees again, opening the tube of lubricant he'd taken from the drawer. He coated a finger, then brought it to Atsuro's opening, starting to gently massage it, sliding the finger in by degrees. His other hand slid to the front of the boy's body, finding his erection. He rubbed the flat of his palm up and down the shaft. . .slowly, slowly. . .then swirled it over the head, his fingers coming up to tease the opening at its tip, then sliding back downward, slipping this way and that.

      Atsuro was overwhelmed with sensation. . .the intense pleasure from the front, a bit of pain in back. . .which soon gave way to even *more* pleasure. The finger inside him moved in circles. . .as the fingers on his manhood brushed, caressed, tickled. . .

      "Towa," he groaned.  "Ohhh. . .sooo good. . ."

      The fingers disappeared for a moment, and Atsuro let out a cry of frustration. . .but it was only so Towa could prepare a second finger. They pushed into him, and he nearly whimpered, feeling pain again, more intense than the first time. . .but it subsided rapidly as he grasped Atsuro's manhood, gently but firmly, and began a fast, rhythmic stroking.

      Atsuro flung his head back, panting, rational thought totally gone, there was nothing but warmth and heat and movement and pleasure. . .his hips thrust forward, then backward, not able to get enough of either the fingers inside him or the fingers stroking him, wishing Towa would never, ever have to stop. . .

      When Towa took his hands away again, Atsuro shuddered with anticipation, because he knew what was coming. Sure enough, there were three fingers sliding inside him, and he bit his lip to keep from crying out with the pain. But that faded away very quickly, and he moaned with the pleasure.

      "Ohh. . .I'm ready. . .please, please take me."

      Towa thrust his fingers in and out a few times. . .he wanted to be absolutely sure the boy was fully opened up. The last thing he wanted was to hurt Atsuro and ruin what had been, so far, a very special experience for them both.

      "All right, darling. . .just a moment more. . ." Towa got the tube and a condom he'd taken from the drawer and quickly prepared himself, his fingers trembling with desire.

      He leaned over Atsuro again, his manhood pressing against the younger boy's passage. Atsuro turned his head so they could kiss, their lips caressing each other softly, their tongues darting out to tease each other. . .

      Towa thrust forward, and Atsuro gasped as he felt a burning pain. . .but he held on, because he knew what was coming. And when his lover started to slide forward, and the pain was replaced by a warm pleasure, he let out a loud groan.

      Towa sucked in his breath at the feel of his tightness, his heat. . .He had to resist a desire to begin thrusting hard and fast, he knew he had to take it slow and easy. . .it would be better for both of them that way.

      But Atsuro set the pace, rapidly beginning to push his hips backward, wanting more, more, needing Towa faster, deeper, harder, anything, oh anything to push him toward the brink. . .

      Towa began to match him thrust for thrust, each push forward bringing another wave of dizzying heat and pleasure that made the fire within him burn hotter and hotter. . .He found himself tossing his head back, his golden mane flung into the air like shafts of sunlight, moaning over and over, feeling himself getting nearer and nearer to the edge. . His hand reached for Atsuro's hardness again, rapidly stroking it. . .oh, he wanted to give his lover the same pleasure he was feeling, to make him moan and shudder and scream. . .

      Atsuro felt the fingers, and that did it. He stiffened, feeling as if the entire world had frozen, like he'd entered suspended animation. . .and then, wave after wave of luscious sensation crashed over him, and his hips jerked as he cried Towa's name out. . .

      Towa pushed forward again and again, feeling Atsuro grip him in the throes of his climax, wanting like hell to join him there. . .and then, the sweet explosion came, and he let out a long, low, throaty cry, one spasm of heat after another wracking him, until he felt totally drained. . .but happy.

      Atsuro collapsed to the bed, then sank onto the floor like a rag doll, feeling boneless, like his whole body was filled with air. Towa collapsed beside him, and they wrapped their arms around each other, kissing, whispering their love to each other.

      Atsuro leaned his head on Towa's chest, purring contentedly. This was. . .heaven. Pure heaven.

      Somewhere, at the fringes of his afterglow-fuzzed mind, he became aware of something. . .wrong.

      Alarms going off in the hall. . .people running. . .people shouting. . .

      A knock came at the door, and a voice shouted, "Hey! Everyone out NOW! There's a BOMB in the hotel. . ."

      "Oh, gods," Towa said. "This is *all* we need. . ." Towa leapt to his feet, Atsuro after him. Quickly, they replaced all shed clothing, and rushed out. . .completely forgetting how Atsuro was still dressed.

      In the hallway was a policeman, waving everyone toward the stairway. "Quickly, quickly!" he said. "No time to waste!" Atsuro didn't even notice the strange look the policeman gave him as he passed.

      "We have to find the others," Atsuro said as they descended the stairs. "Make sure they got out all right. . ."

      They headed for the band's van. . .and sure enough, the others were all clustered around it. Santa was leaning against the door, looking a bit grumpy at having been woke up by the others. Yuki and Yuka were both scanning the crowd of people coming out, and even Sakuya was there, leaning against the back of the van and looking totally unruffled at the chaos.

      "I see them!" Yuka said. "There they. . ." Suddenly, she stopped short, and her face registered shock. "Oh, GODS!"

      "What's the matter?" said Santa. He looked in the direction she was gaping in. . .and his eyes almost popped out of his head. "Holy SHIT. . ."

      Atsuro saw the eyes of the others as they approached. It was like the looks he'd gotten when he'd first showed up at band practice with his hair dyed bright red. . .but this was even *more* extreme.

      It was then that he remembered what he was wearing. . .and he wanted to die.

      Thinking quickly, he decided to play it as cool as possible. "Hi, everyone," he said. "How's it going?"

      The others just gaped at him. Atsuro felt his heart pounding, beads of sweat forming under his sexy jacket. . .which didn't feel sexy anymore. It just felt ridiculous.

      Say something, he thought. Say something. . .anything. . .gods, just end this moment. . .

      And he blurted out the first thing that came into his head. "How do you like my new stage costume?"

      The others all looked at each other. "You're going to wear that thing on STAGE?" said Santa. Yuki looked like he was fighting back laughter. Atsuro looked over at Towa. . .but his face was an unreadable mask of unruffled calm.

      "Sure," Atsuro said, trying to sound as confident as possible. "It's very *glam*, don't you think?"

      "Um, Atsuro," Yuki said, "I don't think you have to try to prove your independence anymore. . ."

      "I'm not trying to *prove* anything," Atsuro said. "Can't I experiment with a new look?"

      "Well. . .it's certainly. . .experimental," Yuka said, her eyes saying "I can't *believe* this is my brother."

      "Hey, it takes a real *man* to pull off an outfit like that!" Santa said, clapping Atsuro on the back. Atsuro tottered on the ill-fitting boots and barely missed falling face-first on the ground.

      "Um, thanks," Atsuro said. "I think."

      Sakuya, who had been silent until now, walked over to Atsuro slowly, looking him up and down. Finally, he said, "Well, if you *really* want to wear that. . .it doesn't affect me any."

      "Um, well. . .I'm *wearing* it, aren't I?"

      Yuka looked at Towa, arms crossed. "You've been quiet about all this," she said to him. "What do *you* think of the outfit, Towa?"

      Towa brushed back a lock of his hair and said, quietly, "Atsuro already knows what I think of it."

      Atsuro shuddered a bit as he remembered being bent over that bed, feeling Towa  caress him, stroke him, kiss him. . .He wrapped his arms around his body so if anyone else saw the shudder, they'd interpret it as a reaction to cold.

      The manager of the hotel approached their group. . .and looked at Atsuro like he came from another planet. Atsuro wanted to crawl in a hole. Instead, he forced himself to hold his head up proudly.

      "The bomb scare was a false alarm," he said. "You can all return to your rooms. We're sorry for the inconvenience."

      Not as sorry as I am, Atsuro thought.

      As they made their way back upstairs, Towa whispered to him, "You're not *really* going to wear that on stage, are you?"

      "I have to. . .just once. . .now that I told them all." He looked down. "I couldn't tell them the *real* reason I was wearing it, could I?"

      Towa knew that as affectionate as Atsuro was when they were alone, he was still afraid to show any sign they were more than friends in public. Nobody but his sister knew. . .at least officially. He'll probably come around eventually, and want to come out of the closet to the other band members, he thought. . .but for now, it could make for some more awkward moments. Like the one that just happened.

      "Just do me one favor when you do," Towa said. "Wear briefs under those shorts. Leave *something* to the fangirls' imaginations."

      "Oh, don't worry. . .I will. I don't want to show everyone what belongs to you."

      When they reached their floor, Atsuro knew he'd have to go back to his room alone, since the others were still awake. "Well," he told Towa, "good night."

      "See you in the morning," Towa said. He longed to grab the younger boy in his arms, and give him a long, lingering goodnight kiss. . .but this wasn't the time, or place.

      Atsuro shut his door behind him, letting out a long breath. Across the room, the mirror on the closet door threw back a reflection of himself in his makeup, feathered jacket, shorts, boots. . .Again, he was struck by the "this is *me?*" feeling.

      It *is* me, he thought. It's a me I didn't know was there. But now, I've really screwed myself. . .I have to show this me to an audience. And I don't know if I'm ready to do that.

* * *

      Yuki and Yuka left the office of the live house manager and started walking down the street, toward the coffee shop where they'd agreed to rendezvous with the others. "How on earth did we manage to luck out like that?" he said. "Second town we've been in that we've been able to get a gig easily!"

      "See, we *are* getting a reputation!" she said. "This guy had actually heard about our 24-hour street live!"

      Yuki nodded. "It's nice to be known for something other than a brawl in the middle of a show."

      "And he gave us a great slot, too!" she said. "Right before the headliners!"

      "Lots of people to see Atsuro's new look."

      Yuka frowned. She knew very well why Atsuro had really worn that outfit, and she knew how embarrassed he must have been when he'd been forced to bring a private thing between lovers out into the public.

      "I don't think he's actually going to go through with it," she said.

      "Know something? I don't, either. It's just, well. ..not *him.*  Or at least not the public him."

      They reached the coffee shop, and went in. None of the others had arrived yet, although Yuka had contacted them all by cell phone and told them they could stop their own efforts to secure a gig. The two slid into a booth.

      "Well," she said, "Atsuro has given us a lot of surprises over the last few months. Quitting his college exams, leaving home, dying his hair, and. . ." She stopped short, looking down, wondering how much Yuki knew. After all, he *had* been living with Towa.

      As if he could read her thoughts, Yuki said, softly, "I know, Yuka. Atsuro has done a lot of soul-searching lately. And he's found out a lot of things about himself. I think we all have."

      She looked up at him. "Has he confided in you at all? About his. . .private life?"

      Yuki shook his head. "He hasn't. . .but he doesn't have to."

      "So. . .you know?"

      Yuki leaned back in the booth. "Let's just say I've gone out of my way to give him and Towa plenty of private time in the apartment."

      Yuka was going to reply. . .but she saw Towa and Atsuro enter the coffee shop, look around, and spot her. She waved. "Over here, guys!"

      The two walked over to the table and sat down. "Great job, nee-chan!" Atsuro said. "We were having *no* luck whatsoever!"

      "One manager even told us that a band from out-of-town had a better chance of being stuck by lightning than getting a gig here," Towa said, fanning himself. "Gods. . .it's another hot day. . ."

      Atsuro frowned. He knew his lover had a hard time handling heat. "Are you okay?" he said. He automatically put a hand on Towa's shoulder Ñ then yanked it back a second later, aware there were other people at the table. Yuki and Yuka exchanged looks.

      "I'm fine, thanks," Towa said. "I just need a cold drink."

      Yuka stood up halfway and waved, trying to attract the attention of the waitress as Santa came in, finding their table immediately.

      "I got the call from Yuka," he said. "Second from the top on the bill! COOL! Beats the hell out of playing in a warehouse!"

      "You can say that again," Towa said, fanning himself.

      "Man, Yuka, you should be a lawyer," Santa said. "You can sweet-talk people into anything."

      She winked at him. "What can I say. . .it's a gift."

      As the waitress arrived and took their orders, Atsuro realized he was psyched for tonight's gig. Yuka had said it was a nice, big live house. It was a summer Saturday, so it would probably be packed to the gills. All those people, cheering. . . 

      . . .looking at him in his little slut-boy outfit. . .

      Suddenly, he realized that this was the gig where he had to go through with wearing the costume Towa had bought for him. He sunk down a bit in his seat. He'd thought at first that he'd been able to handle it, just once, but now.  . .it didn't seem like such a good idea anymore.

      I'll tell them I changed my mind, he thought. I'll tell them I decided not to debut the outfit until we'd gotten an even bigger following.  . .or until it was a bit cooler, that jacket could be hot under those lights. . .or. . .

      "Hey, there's bound to be lots of girls in the audience tonight!" Santa was saying, smacking Atsuro on the shoulder. "They're gonna freak out over your glam-boy outfit!"

      "Well," said Atsuro, "I never said for *sure* I was going to. . ."

      "Aw, come on," Santa said. "You couldn't ask for a better night to unveil your new look! Hey, something like that could attract attention, right?"

      Atsuro looked down. "I'm not really. . .looking to attract girls' attention tonight."

      "I'm talking about *talent scouts*! Lots of bands got discovered in this town, you know. There could be people from record labels in the audience!"

      Yuka wanted to kick Santa under the table. He's goading Atsuro into doing something he really doesn't want to, she thought. But. . .he's probably the only person at this table who doesn't know the *real* reason Atsuro wore that outfit.

      Atsuro heard what he was saying, and thought. . .yes, it does make sense, doesn't it? There *may* be talent scouts in the audience. Besides. . .Yuki and Santa and Sakuya are expecting me to wear it. They're probably *hoping* I'll attract the attention of talent scouts. Or at least girls.

      "Oh, don't worry," Atsuro said, struggling to sound as calm as possible. "I'm wearing it."

      "Atsuro," Yuka said, "are you *sure*? You don't *have* to."

      "I *want* to, nee-chan," he said. "You know that."

      The drinks arrived, and he picked up his latte, trying to look happy and confident. But inside, he was dreading the show now.

      Just once, he thought. For this one show. Just to attract the attention of the right people. . .and then, never again.

* * *

      The backstage area of the live house was pretty much like any other they had been in. It was tiny and drafty, with bare wood floors, big cracks in the walls, and battered chairs scattered here and there.

      Towa sat on one of those chairs, turning the tuning pegs on his bass. His eyes scanned the room. Santa was chatting up a female guitarist from one of the other bands on the bill. . .Yuki was restringing his own instrument. . .Sakuya was studying the sheet music of a new song they wanted to add to their repertoire. . .

      And Atsuro was nowhere in sight. He hadn't been since they arrived there.

      Towa sighed inwardly. He'd told his lover that nobody would think any less of him if he didn't wear that outfit on stage. But Atsuro had still insisted. "I gave my word I was going to do it, and I'm doing it."

      Towa knew why Atsuro was really going through with it. He was terrified of having the other band members figure out the real reason he'd been dressed that way. He doesn't realize, he thought, that everyone else has figured out what's between us, and if they *did* know. . .they'd think it was our own business.

      He put the bass down and headed for the backstage men's room. He swung the door open, making a face at the cracked, grimy tile, the rusty faucets, the stains of indeterminate origin here and there.

      Sure enough, under the door of one of the two stalls was a pair of boots. . .the ones Atsuro had bought earlier that day, since Towa's too-small boots would have been too uncomfortable to wear throughout the show.

      "Atsuro," Towa said, "come out of there."

      The door swung open, and Atsuro came out, slowly. He was dressed and made up exactly as he'd been the night before. He looked beautiful and sexy. He also looked terrified.

      "I put your regular stage clothes in my case," Towa said. "I'll bring them in, and you can get changed now."

      "I'm still doing it like this, Towa."

      "You're going to go in front of an audience in clothes you won't even let them see backstage? Atsuro. . .what's the *real* reason you're doing this?"

      Atsuro walked over to the mirror and looked at himself. Did he *really* want everyone to see this outfit. . .this look that was supposed to be for Towa's eyes only?

      He looked away from his reflection, down into the dingy sink, and said, quietly, "They can't know."

      "Why?" Towa said. "Do you think that knowing about our relationship would change how they feel about you?"

      Atsuro put his fingers under the leaky faucet and watched droplets of water fall onto them like tears. "It's not them knowing we care about each other I mind, it's, well. . ."

      "That the costume makes it obvious we're sleeping together?"

      Towa had hit the nail on the head. Atsuro winced, but said nothing.

      "Atsuro. . .really. . .what's the worst that could happen? Santa makes a few jokes. . .maybe Sakuya makes a snide remark or two. . .but then, the band goes on like normal. Believe me, I know firsthand. . .a relationship within a band doesn't affect the band at all. At least. . .when things are going well."

      Atsuro turned around. "You were involved with someone from your old band?"

      Towa nodded. "The singer. We were together even before the band was formed. And the other members had no problem with it at all."

      Atsuro had wondered about Towa's previous romantic history. He'd known his lover hadn't been a virgin the first time they made love. "You broke up when you left the band?"

      "Before, actually. With good reason. He hit me. More than once."

      Atsuro was stunned. Who would do something like that to a person as gentle and beautiful as Towa? If I had the bastard in front of me, he thought, I'd pound his face in. "Towa. . .you didn't tell me. . ."

      Towa brushed a long lock of hair back. "I knew enough to get out before it really got bad. So I ended the relationship.  I left the band shortly after that, but that had nothing to do with it. . .it was because they didn't take their music as seriously as their looks. And when I told him I was leaving. . .he hit me for the last time in front of everyone."

      "Towa. . ." Atsuro rushed to his lover and held him close. "He must have been such a bastard. . .he didn't deserve you. Not by a long shot."

      Towa gently stroked Atsuro's hair. He's on the verge of tears, he thought, genuinely touched by the depth of the younger boy's feelings. "It's all right, dear. It's over now, it's in the past."

      "I won't let anyone hurt you ever again," Atsuro said. "In *any* way."

      And as they stood there, embracing, the door swung open. . .and a gruff voice shouted, "Hey! You two from Lucifer?"

      The couple broke apart, quickly. "Yes," Towa said. "Why?"

      "You're due on stage *now.* Band before you canceled out, they had an accident on the way here. If you're not out there in 60 seconds. . .you lose your slot."

      Atsuro panicked. There was no time to change now! He was going to *have* to go out there in this. . .this. . .this slut-boy outfit!

      Towa squeezed his hand. "Come on. . .looks like we *have* to go out there now."

      They exited the bathroom, and Atsuro was aware of eyes on him everywhere. . .mostly female. Oh, gods, he thought, just give me the strength to get through this. . .

      He somehow found his way to the stage and grabbed his guitar. He could hear Santa saying, "Holy shit. . .he *did* wear it!"

      Atsuro turned toward the drum set, forcing himself to smile and say in a breezy tone of voice, "Did you think I was kidding about that?"

      The club owner was introducing them. . . "And now, we have a band direct from Tokyo, please give a big welcome to. . .LUCIFER!"

      The stage lights went up. . .and the collective female gasp was almost audible. Atsuro could see the first couple of rows, see the hungry look on the eyes of the girls there. . .

      Gods, he thought, they're all looking at me. . .I mean, people always look at me on stage, but. . .they're *staring* at me! In a way that's like. . .they're undressing me with their eyes. .

      A wave of discomfort spread over him. He inched across the stage so he was behind Yuki. Finally, he thought. . .I'm safe. . .

      Which came to an end when Yuki ran across the stage toward the end of the song. He was left vulnerable again. . .and he was hearing a couple of wolf whistles. . .He tried to get behind Sakuya, but the singer was all over the place, there was no way he was going to provide adequate protection. And Towa, as Atsuro knew all too well, was smaller than him.

      Atsuro ducked behind the stack of amps, feeling safe at last. . .until he realized the song they were playing was one in which he took the main guitar solo in the middle. He was going to *have* to be in the spotlight for that. . .

      And Sakuya didn't help matters by yelling "Atsuro on the guitar!" when the bridge of the song came.

      Just concentrate on the music, Atsuro thought. Concentrate on playing. . .

      He stepped out of his hiding place, felt the brightest spotlight hit him, and heard the girls scream. Out-and-out scream! Somehow, he managed to concentrate on playing the right notes, getting through the solo without a hitch. . .When it was over, they screamed twice as loudly.

      Atsuro felt a curious mixture of feelings wash over him. Embarrassment. . .shame. . .but also. . .a strange exhilaration. Which baffled the hell out of him.

      He stepped back to his normal spot on the stage and continued to play. . .but made no effort to hide behind anyone or anything. Suddenly, having them all look at him like this. . .didn't seem so bad anymore. Why? he thought. Is it because I put the most private part of my life, the part of me I only show to Towa, on full display. . .and people loved it? That was a rather disturbing idea. . .almost, he thought, like I'm being some kind of exhibitionist.

      As the show moved on, he noticed the girls screaming every time the spotlight went on him, every time he played a solo. They're screaming because of the way I look, he thought. I never, ever wanted people to appreciate me just for my looks. I should feel ashamed, but I don't. . .not anymore.

      Finally, the set came to an end, and they made their way back into the dressing room. A couple of members of the headlining band were watching them from the wings.

      "Cool show," said one of them, a tall, skinny boy with a crewcut and nose ring, putting out his hand toward Atsuro for a high-five.

      "Thanks," he said, slapping it.

      "And man, what an outfit! You've got balls wearing that thing. But the chicks went nuts for it!"

      "Um. . .well. . ."

      "I gotta get me a look like that," said his long-haired, leather-clad companion. "Man, you even took the attention away from that singer of yours, and that's an accomplishment!"

      Atsuro's stomach sank. Sakuya was *not* going to be happy about that. "Well. . .that wasn't *really* what I intended to do, but. . ."

      "Hey, with competition like him, you need every edge you can get, right?" the first boy said. "Oops, that's our cue. . .later!"

      Atsuro slowly made his way back into the dressing room, the exhilaration he'd felt during the show utterly gone. He saw Sakuya glaring at him. He always glares at everyone, right? he thought. It doesn't really mean anything, does it?

      Santa rushed over to him and thumped him on the back. "Hey, there's the man! The outfit blew them away!"

      "I have to admit. . .it worked better than I thought it would," Yuki said, walking over to him as well. "It was a gutsy thing to do, but. . .it paid off."

      Hey, Atsuro thought. . .they like it! Maybe it's a good thing to do after all! Hey, maybe I've discovered the thing that gets the band some attention. . .

      Atsuro looked around for Towa, but his lover was over by the cooler, calmly drinking a glass of water and saying nothing. Yuka was counting through the envelope of yen for the band she'd been given by the house manager, and was similarly silent.

      "Man, you have to do that all the time now!" Santa said.

      Atsuro looked over his bandmates again. . .realized that the two people who were the most important to him were showing no enthusiasm for what he'd done that night. . .thought of what the guys from the other band had said to him. . .

      What am I doing? he thought. Acting like an exhibitionist. . .this isn't me! Stealing attention from Sakuya, this isn't me, either! I should have taken Towa up on his offer, I should have changed into my usual stage clothes. This is. . .dishonest.

      And then, it hit him. I'm being constantly dishonest with myself and the band by denying my relationship with Towa, aren't I? he thought. That's why I got myself into this whole costume thing in the first place. None of this would have happened if I'd been willing to come clean.

      Before he knew it, he heard himself saying, "Guys. . .there's something I've been meaning to tell you. . ."

      Yuki and Santa exchanged looks. Yuka looked up from her counting. Towa slowly started to move toward him. Even Sakuya straightened up, looking interested.

      Oh, gods! Atsuro thought. Now what? How do I say this? Do I just blurt it right out. . . "Towa and I are lovers?" Should I be coy, dance around the truth a little. . .

      Towa came up to him, putting a hand on his shoulder. "This isn't the time or place to do this. That coffeehouse down the road, the one we were in earlier. . .maybe we should see if it's still open?"

      Atsuro nodded enthusiastically and grabbed his street clothes, heading for the men's room.

      Yuka let out a long breath. He's going to do it, she thought. He's going to come out to the others. Finally. She wanted to go pound on the men's room door, ask him if she could  come in, if he wanted to talk. ..

      No, she thought. I can't let him depend so much on me. I'll let him alone, and he can talk when he's ready.

      A sense of relief swept over her at the idea that he was finally ready to stop living a lie, as least as far as his bandmates were concerned. It's a sign he's coming to accept himself, she thought.

      And, as a picture flashed through her head of how he'd looked on stage. . .like some kind of cheap street-corner tart, not like her brother at *all*. . .she thought, And not a minute too soon.

* * *

      The group had been settled into the booth for some time. Atsuro fiddled with the little hinged flap on the top of the sugar dispenser. He could feel the eyes of his bandmates on him, the expectation in the air. . .

      He couldn't say it. It was as if the words were lodged in his throat and wouldn't come out.

      He looked up at the others. Santa was leaning over, chin on his hand, eyes studying Atsuro intensely. . .Yuki was sitting back, hands folded. . .Sakuya leaned way back in his seat, arms crossed. . .when was the last time he came anywhere with us? Atsuro thought. Probably never.

      "So," Santa said, "what's the big announcement?"

      Under the table, Towa grasped his hand and squeezed it. Yuka leaned over so her brother could see her around Towa, and gave him a big, encouraging smile.

      Atsuro took a deep breath. "I. . .I don't know how to say this, but. . ."

      He noticed that Yuki was starting to look quite worried, leaning over the table. Santa sat straight up. A wave of panic started to rise. . .but Atsuro fought it down. I can't put this off any longer, he thought. I have to do it.

      Looking straight across at his bandmates, he said, "Towa and I are involved in a relationship. We're in love. And, well . . .I guess that means I'm gay."

      There was a pause, only a few seconds, but to Atsuro it felt like hours.

      Then, Santa let out a long breath, sinking back into the seat. "That was IT? Geez! Why don't you tell us something we *don't* know!"

      "We thought it was something *serious*. . .like you were leaving the band or something," Yuki said.

      Sakuya stood up. "Well, if that's all it is. . .I'll see you guys later." And he left the coffeehouse.

      Atsuro sat there, stunned by the reaction. "You. . .you *knew*?"

      "Well, I *do* live with Towa, you know," Yuki said. "Haven't you always wondered why the apartment was always empty when you wanted privacy?"

      Atsuro's head swiveled around toward Towa. "You *told* him?"

      "I didn't have to," Towa replied. "He figured it out himself."

      "All someone has to do is see the two of you together," Yuki said. "And it becomes *very* obvious."

      "Yeah," Santa said. "Nobody had to tell me, either. I'd've figured it out even if I *didn't* have Yuki crashing on my couch every weekend."

      "When we get back to Tokyo, I'm going to look into getting my own place," Yuki said.

      Atsuro looked from one to the other. "You. . .don't have a problem with it?"

      "Nah," said Santa. "Doesn't change anything, does it? You're still our friends."

      Atsuro wanted to jump up and hug them both. Instead, he said, "I'm so glad. . .so, so glad. . ." and sank down in his seat with relief.

      The moment he'd been dreading. . .had been a piece of cake. Atsuro felt like a five hundred pound boulder had been lifted from his shoulders.

      "Oh, and I have another announcement," he told the others. "I'm not going to wear that costume on stage again. It may have gone over well, but it's just. . . *not me.*"

      "Sure, whatever you want," Yuki said. "Might be for the best if you didn't, anyway."

      "Yeah," Santa said. "They might be expecting *all* of us to dress like that!"

      "You might look cute in short-shorts and garters," Yuka said.

      "Cute!" Santa said. "I'd look like a friggin' refugee from 'Rocky Horror'!"

      "Lots of people like 'Rocky Horror,'" you know,"  Yuki said.

      "Well, they wouldn't like it on *me*!"

      Towa squeezed Atsuro's hand, and they smiled at each other.

      "You know," Towa whispered, leaning his head close to his lover's, "that outfit *is* you. At least.  .a very private side of you."

      "I know," Atsuro replied. And it was a side he wasn't planning on showing to anyone else ever again. It was just between lovers. . .

      * * *

      They got back to the hotel, and started for their rooms. Atsuro automatically headed for the room that had been rented for him, ready to begin the drill they'd followed every night of the tour. . .stay in the room until everyone was asleep, then knock on Towa's door. . .stay the night with him, then leave around dawn so he'd be in his own room when Yuka came to wake them up. . .

      But, no. There was no reason to do that anymore, was there? No reason to sneak around and hide. . .

      He turned around and walked back toward where Towa was unlocking his door. His lover gave him one of his soft, quiet smiles.

      "I was very proud of you tonight," he said, getting the door open.

      "I'm so glad I told them," Atsuro said, walking into the room and setting his guitar into the corner.

      "I'm glad, too." Towa put his own instrument next to Atsuro's. "You showed real courage. Both in telling them, and. . ."

      "And. . .what?"

      "And going ahead with wearing that outfit on stage. I can't believe you did that!"

      Atsuro tossed his head back. "Let's say it was a matter of personal pride. I didn't want to seem like I'd chickened out."

      Towa laughed. "You can be very headstrong sometimes, my darling." He reached up, his fingers lightly grazing the younger boy's shoulders. "But in a lot of ways. . .it's a good thing. It means you're someone who will always get what they want."

      Atsuro's hands came up and covered Towa's. He was feeling so good about life right now, like he'd put so much negativity behind him.  . .

      He was becoming very much aware of his lover's nearness, his body heat, the slightly floral scent of his skin. . .

      "I know what I want right now," he said.

      Towa moved closer, inching his lips toward Atsuro's. "Mmmm. . .I'll bet you do. . ."

      They wrapped their arms around each other, mouths coming together hard, Atsuro's tongue slowly sneaking into Towa's mouth, exploring the velvety softness as his hand moved along the front of his lover's shirt, undoing the buttons one by one. . .Towa's arms tightened around him, and he started to writhe as slow heat started to spread through him, making him feel like he was melting from the inside.

      When their lips broke apart, Atsuro kissed rapidly down his jawline, then swept his tongue up and down his neck as Towa let out a gasp. . .and then let out another as Atsuro pushed his shirt to the floor and began to rub his thumbs over his nipples in rapid, maddening little circles.

      "Atsuro," Towa whispered. "Mmmm. . .you're aggressive tonight."

      Atsuro raised his head. "Do you mind?"

      "Mind? Gods, no. . ." Towa gasped yet again as Atsuro made short work of the rest of his clothes, dropping down to his knees to pull away the skirt and boxers and toss them across the room, then get rid of the boots and socks. . .

      He was about to stand back up and kiss Towa's lips again. . .when he got a wicked idea.

      Staying close to the floor, Atsuro rapidly stripped himself naked. Then, he knelt so he could bend toward Towa's feet. Reverently, he began to lay kisses over his right instep, hearing his lover groan, the sound thrilling him. . .the idea he could give Towa pleasure with such a small thing filled him with a sense of desire, love. . .and, yes, power. . .

      Atsuro moved to the other foot and repeated the process, kissing his ankles, moving his way slowly up the calf. . .His fingers slid upward, very slowly, over his knees, to his thighs, and there he began to massage, caress, knead. . .he moved upward, stopping just short of where he knew he could bring the most pleasure, tracing the shape of the thighs with his fingertips, feeling the muscles tense. . .

      Towa leaned his head back, moaning, his hands coming down to tangle and caress Atsuro's hair. Gods, the boy had an imagination! When he felt his tongue sliding up his inner thigh. . .then a couple of rapid little nips. . .and then a brief, feathery flicker of his tongue on the sac beneath his manhood. . .Towa felt like he was going to explode with pleasure.

      Atsuro continued to move up. . .but bypassed his manhood entirely, laying kisses instead on his stomach just above his erection. Towa made a small noise of frustration. . .which grew louder when Atsuro lowered his head so he could blow his hot breath across his lover's hardness, but made no effort to touch him with lips or tongue.

      "Atsuro. . .gods! You're tormenting me. . ."

      "Mmm. . .that was the idea." Atsuro kissed up Towa's stomach, chest. . .When he reached the left nipple, he kissed it very slowly, drawing it into his mouth and sucking on it a bit. When Towa let out a groan, he moved his mouth to the other one and repeated the action, reaching over to the first and caressing it with his fingers as his lips brushed, kissed, sucked, feeling the bud harden as he fluttered his tongue lightly over it. Finally, he started a steady, firm sucking, an electric thrill passing through him as Towa groaned loudly, tangling his fingers in his hair. He lifted his head only to move it to the other nipple and lick it with rapid flicks of his tongue, then start to suck it.

      Towa leaned back, golden hair streaming toward the floor, eyes shut tightly, breath coming in rapid gasps. "At-suro. . .oohhhh. .. please. . .ohhh, I want you to take me. . ."

      This came as no surprise to Atsuro. It was apparent from the start of their lovemaking who was going to be seme tonight. It would be his first time. He was a bit nervous, but. . .mostly thrilled.

      He eased away from Towa and got out the condom and lubricant, as he'd seen his lover do before. "It's. . .one finger, two fingers, three fingers, then. . .me, right?"

      Towa laughed a bit. . .his lover's innocence was so charming. . . "Yes, love. And don't forget. . .you have to put the condom on, and lubricant on top of it, and some more lubricant at my opening. . ."

      "Okay. . .um, how do you want to do it?"

      "Why don't I get on all fours while you get me ready. . .and then, I'll lie on my back and wrap my legs around you? That way, we can kiss while we make love."

      "Works for me!" Atsuro said, thinking. . .we're discussing sex with the same casualness we'd discuss making dinner, or the arrangement of a new song. . .I guess that says something about how close we are, how comfortable with each other. . .

      Towa got on his hands and knees on the bed, and Atsuro's eyes swept over his beautiful body, the slender legs, gracefully formed back and shoulders, gently rounded bottom. . .A wave of fresh desire swept over him, and suddenly, he was very eager to get the preparation done with so he could find out what it was like to be inside this man.

      He lubricated a finger and leaned over, kissing Towa's shoulders and neck, licking here and there, nibbling a little, savoring the scent, the taste of his beloved's skin. Gently, he began to rub the opening of his passage, coaxing it to let him in. . .Bit by bit, he was able to slip it inside. . .The sensation was hot and tight and soft, a bit different than what he'd expected. . .but he liked it. Very much.

      Towa let out a small cry when he felt the pain upon initial entry. . .he'd forgotten about that part, it had been so long for him. . .But when Atsuro's finger began to move in and out, the pain faded, and rapidly gave way to pleasure. Towa leaned back against it, moaning.

      "You like it?" Atsuro said.

      "Yes. . .very much. . .now take it out, wipe it off. . .do a second finger. . ."

      As he penetrated his lover again, Atsuro thought that he liked this. . .a *lot*. It was an entirely different experience than being the one receiving. This is kind of like being a virgin all over again, he thought. Straight men have only one first time, but gay men have two. . .uke and seme.

      "Ohhh," Towa groaned, clutching at the sheets below him. "Sooo good. . .a third finger, please. . .ohh, I can't wait until I'm ready, darling. . ."

      Atsuro couldn't wait, either. . .but he knew the importance of not rushing. He lubed the three fingers, pushed them in, gently. . .felt Towa's initial resistance give way. . .As he moved them in and out, he found his hips were thrusting, as if he were inside his beloved already.

      "Okay," Towa said. "Do the condom, and the lubricant. . ."

      Atsuro obeyed, fumbling with the condom a bit at first, then managing to get it on. His fingers shook with desire as he applied the lubricant to himself and to Towa, who had rolled on his back, legs upraised and spread.

      Towa guided Atsuro into the correct position atop him, then wrapped his legs about his lover's back. Atsuro leaned forward, and they kissed, tenderly, tongues teasing and ticking each other.

      "Do it, honey," Towa whispered.

      Atsuro pushed forward, bit by bit. . .and gasped. Oh, this was incredible! He could feel Towa gripping him tightly, creating an incredible wave of sensation, different than anything caused by his lover's hand or mouth. He took a deep breath, fighting to calm himself. . .he couldn't lose it, he had to hang on, had to give Towa pleasure. . .

      He began to thrust, very slowly, looking down at Towa's expression. There had been pain there at first. . .but now, his lips were pursed and his eyes closed, a sure sign he was experiencing pleasure.

      "How is this?" Atsuro whispered.

      Towa opened his eyes and looked up at him. "Wonderful. . .please, don't stop, love."

      Towa felt Atsuro's stroke quicken, and he gasped. Oh, the boy felt so good inside him. . .they fit together perfectly! He wanted to pump his hips rapidly, drive him deeper and deeper into him. . .but he knew if he did, it might set him off too quickly. Not that it would bother Towa. . .just holding his love was enough. . .but he knew Atsuro would feel guilty afterward.

      He took the boy's hand and led it to his manhood, encouraging him to stroke, to give him more pleasure. Atsuro got the message and began to move his hand rapidly, while picking up the pace of his thrusts, leaning over to kiss Towa as the sensation built and built within him, liquid heat flooding every part of his body as Towa gripped him, released him, gripped him again. . .

      Both lovers groaned, writhing, hearts pounding, skin flushed, red hair mingling with blonde, breath with breath as they thrust faster and faster, Atsuro biting his lip, struggling to hold on, to fight back the summit of pleasure until he made his lover peak. . .The liquid fire was building and building within him, and he felt Towa's arms tightening around him, their lips coming together again and again, and then the sensation became so intense all he could do was throw hid head back and let out a long, low moan, almost there, almost, yes, yes. . .

      Towa raised his hips over and over. . .the sensation was so intense it was becoming almost unbearable, a beautiful torture. . .but one he never wanted to end. He buried his face in his lover's shoulder, whimpering. .

       Then, the delicious explosion came, and every inch of him felt like it was being consumed by sweet, sweet flames. His body arched and shuddered as wave after wave of ecstasy passed through him.

      When Atsuro felt his lover's climax, he let himself go at last, and was wracked by one spasm of heat after another, thinking that the waves of sensation would never stop washing over him. Finally, he collapsed atop Towa, spent, panting.

      They clung to each other, kissing softly. "How was it?" Atsuro said.

      "Mmm, what a question," Towa purred, kissing Atsuro's neck. "Beautiful. . .fabulous. . .gods, why didn't we do that sooner?"

      Atsuro laughed. "I was just asking myself the same question."

      "You know. .  .you still have one bit of unfinished business to attend to, darling."

      "What. . .oh, the condom!" Blushing, Atsuro quickly attended to disposing of the thing, then went into the bathroom for a washrag, which he used to clean both of them off.

      Finally, they snuggled into each other's arms. "I love you so much, Towa," Atsuro said. "I don't know what I'd ever do without you."

      Towa stroked his hair. "I love you, too."

      Atsuro snuggled against his lover. No having to get up at the crack of dawn to sneak back to his own room. . .no having to sit in the back of the van with Yuka, when what he really wanted to do was sit next to Towa and fall asleep with his head on his shoulder. . .in the next town, they could even share a hotel room. . .

      He knew this was just one "coming out," and the others were not going to be as easy as this one. He still had to tell his parents, who had accepted the fact he wasn't going to college only after much strife and grief. He had to tell anyone who might be working closely with the band in the future. . .managers, agents. . .and not all of them would be open-minded.

      And then, there was the fact that if and when Lucifer became famous, he and Towa would have to conceal their relationship from the public. Even if they wanted to sell themselves as a genuine, music-focused *group,* and not as a cutie-pie boy band. . .there still could be damage to their career if they were found out.

      But for now. . .he'd felt like he'd scored a major victory, cleared a huge, huge hurdle. And that was enough.

      Wrapped securely in the arms of his beloved, Atsuro drifted off to sleep.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The outfit that inspired this story is the one that appears in the Atsuro side story of volume 17 of the manga. Pages 125-127, to be precise. It seemed to me to be the sluttiest of his slut-boy outfits, even though it doesn't reveal all that much skin. Maybe it's the garters. Or the makeup job. (And, yes, I did change the long coat to a shorter jacket. . .for purposes of the lemon scene, of course. ~_^)

Tons of thanks to Steve Savage, Cheyne and Sonya-chan, my pre-readers for this story, and to everyone who commented on my first Kaikan story. I was bowled over by the response!

Kaikan Phrase is owned by Mayu Shinjo and Shogakukan. These characters ain't mine, I'm just borrowing them for a little while.