inarticulate: Kazama from Gakkowa as a tentacled alien. (glory to sunbaralia!)
Lepidopteran ([personal profile] inarticulate) wrote in [community profile] tentacles2013-05-22 03:32 pm

[Gakkou de atta Kowai Hanashi] Believe In Who We'll Be [3/?] [wip]

Title: Believe In Who We'll Be
Chapter: 3/?
Fandom: Gakkou de atta Kowai Hanashi
Pairing: Sakagami Shuuichi/Kazama Nozomu
Word Count: 3861
Notes: This is a WIP, with all the warnings that implies. For content notes, the AO3 link has tags. Also, [personal profile] karayan is my hero. ♥

Summary: The story of a boy's arranged marriage to an alien. Shuuichi doesn't like the idea, but he's not going to go up against his parents or the newly-formed treaty protecting the Earth from their new Sunbaralian overlords. Kazama is just happy to have an ally in the school ze's infiltrating.

Alt link: At AO3


After a restless night spent lying awake and trying not to puke up the contents of his stomach, Shuuichi was having a bad day. He went through classes bleary-eyed and exhausted, and when lunch came around, he put his head on the desk instead of taking out his lunch.

"Sakagami-kun," said an all-too-familiar voice, and Shuuichi lurched upright. Kazama smirked down at him. "Eat lunch with me, Sakagami-kun."

"Uh," Shuuichi said intelligently. He looked around the room and made a quick decision. "Okay. It has to be somewhere private, though." He grabbed his schoolbag and stood, only swaying slightly.

"The roof's unoccupied." Kazama trotted up to the stairs, and Shuuichi followed him with one last glance around. He couldn't tell if anyone had noticed them, if anyone found them suspicious, but he didn't think so. Either way, the roof looked empty enough, and he sighed his relief as he sat down with his lunch. Kazama did the same, gazing intently at Shuuichi in that nonhuman way of zirs.

Shuuichi shifted uncomfortably under that gaze and tucked into his lunch just to have a reason for the awkward silence. Kazama didn't, and after a moment, ze spoke up. "Say my name."

Shuuichi choked on a tiny grain of rice and started coughing violently enough that he had to set his lunch down so that it didn't spill all over the roof. "What?!"

"I've been told that humans have trouble pronouncing our names. I want to hear for myself." Shuuichi stared at zir for a long moment, struck by that unchanging expression. His parents were plenty expressive with their human faces on; he didn't know why Kazama wasn't.

You really don't want to hear this, he wanted to say, but he cleared his throat and made the attempt. "Your name is… Viivisasedosufikujowa." Shuuichi only stumbled once. He swallowed and looked down at his meal. Kazama didnt' say anything, just stared at him for far too long. Shuuichi wanted to be anywhere but here. "Um… I'm sorry I got it wrong."

"It's your vocal range," Kazama said, and ze sounded pleased. "You're unable to pronounce the sounds correctly. We'll have to use nicknames. Humans do that as a sign of affection."

"You want me to give you a nickname?" Shuuichi asked, picking carefully at each word.

"You can call me Nozomu," ze said. "I picked it myself."

Kazama Nozomu. Shuuichi cringed internally. "That… isn't a good idea," he offered. "It's, uh, very intimate to call a person by their personal name. Or… insulting!" He grasped onto that. "You're an upperclassman, and I'm just a first year."

"But we're married," Kazama said, zir voice blank.

Shuuichi winced. "Yes, but… two men can't get married, and you're…" He hesitated. "You're not a man… right?"

"Of course not." Kazama sounded proud, not offended, and Shuuichi let out a breath. "Sunbaralians don't need such arbitrary distinctions."

Shuuichi bit back the protests that came to mind at that-- it's not arbitrary, my mother is Sunbaralian and likes those arbitrary distinctions, if you think humans are so terrible at this why did you marry me?-- and picked up his lunch instead. "I could call you Kazama-san? Nobody would get suspicious about that." And he was already thinking of Kazama by that name in his head, so it would be much easier not to slip up.

"Call me Nozomu," Kazama said more firmly. "I'm not insulted."

"Your cover," Shuuichi blurted desperately. "I mean… You could get found out just because I called you that name, and… not everybody is all right with Sunbaralian-- with us being part of Sunbaralia." He stumbled over his words and didn't add that he wanted to keep his own secret for a while longer. It wasn't anyone's business that Kazama was an alien, that Shuuichi was married to zir.

Kazama alarmed Shuuichi further by making a thoughtful hmming sound, the most human Shuuichi had heard zir sound. "I don't think that would give me away," ze said. "Humans are very easily led." There was a rustling sound, and when Shuuichi looked up he saw that Kazama had inched closer. "If you're worried about it, you may do what you feel is necessary to maintain my cover." Zir smile twitched. "You're a very thoughtful spouse."

"Right," Shuuichi managed. He stuffed more food into his mouth so that he would have a reason not to say anything else. He was being rude, he was being too rude, but did it count to anything but his nagging conscience if Kazama wouldn't know anyway?

The rest of the meal passed in silence, until Shuuichi swallowed his last bite and set down his empty box with dread. When he looked up, Kazama's face was inches from his own, and he fell back to his elbows with a yelp. "W-what?"

Kazama followed him, leaning over and moving zir legs to bracket Shuuichi's, zir eyes fixed on Shuuichi's mouth. "This is how human spouses show affection," ze declared. "You'll be more comfortable with it."

"No, I-- mmph!" Kazama's mouth cut off Shuuichi's protests, slanting hot over his. It should have felt strange and alien, and it did, but Kazama's lips were warm and zir tongue was wet, and there wasn't a tentacle in sight. Shuuichi had dreamed of kissing someone-- a girlfriend, a human-- for years, and this was as close as he was going to get. And Kazama had him trapped against the roof with zir own body, and he couldn't push Kazama away because his arms were busy holding him upright. Kazama curved a hand around the back of Shuuichi's head, holding him into the kiss, and Shuuichi didn't even struggle.

It's just because it's my first kiss, he told himself. Anyone would get excited by their first kiss, anyone would like it even if it was with someone who looked like a boy. A little helplessly, he tilted his face into the kiss and parted his lips to let Kazama's tongue in. It couldn't do any harm, except that something seized in his throat at the sensation, and he jerked his head backwards.

Kazama let him go easily, settling back. Shuuichi had to pant to catch his breath. Kazama's eyes darkened as they roved over Shuuichi's face. "Oh," ze said, sounding surprised. "That was nice."

"Um," Shuuichi said. He licked his lips; they felt swollen, and he opened his mouth to try to change the subject to something safer when Kazama surged forward and kissed him again. One of them made a sound into the kiss, a low moan, and Shuuichi shifted his weight awkwardly to bring his hand up into Kazama's hair. He needed to pull them apart, to tell Kazama this sort of kiss was too intimate, that they hadn't known each other long enough--

Before he could gather himself enough to break the kiss again, he heard a gasp and the sound of a door slamming. That broke the kiss easily; Kazama pulled away and looked intently over zir shoulder. "Humans," ze said dismissively, and turned back to Shuuichi.

But Shuuichi sat up and stopped Kazama with a hand on zir chest. "No, wait, what?"

"Humans," Kazama repeated, which wasn't an explanation at all. "I didn't remove my mask, so it's fine."

"Kazama-san," Shuuichi said, "boys don't kiss."

"We both have mouths," Kazama said. "Is this as irrational as not allowing two men to marry?"

"Men can't have children," Shuuichi said, and then, "and that's not the point! They saw us!"

"It's not as though they're going to forget." Kazama bobbed zir head towards Shuuichi. "And we can't produce children, either. Nonetheless, our marriage serves a vital role to the Sunbaralian Empire."

Shuuichi wasn't having this conversation. "I need to go," he mumbled. He grabbed his things and fled the rooftop. He didn't see anyone on the way down; whoever had seen them was already long gone.




Nobody said anything to Shuuichi after classes, and no matter how hard he listened, he couldn't hear his name or Kazama's, but as he slid his books into his bag, he felt like everyone's eyes were on him. He felt peeled open, exposed, and that spurred him to walk too fast to Newspaper Club. Hino looked at him but didn't say anything as everyone else wandered in and sat down. Kurata sat next to him, as she had taken to doing, and Shuuichi felt relief seep into his bones.

That relief got him through the meeting and Hino's helpful advice about writing a better article that Shuuichi felt sure was directed straight at him. Afterwards, instead of leaving, he lingered, held hostage by the thought that Kazama could be waiting for him in the halls.

Kurata didn't leave, either. She kept glancing sidelong at him, her hands twisting together. She didn't speak until everyone else had left; at that point, she cleared her throat and stared at her hands. "Um… they're talking about you," she offered quietly.

Shuuichi winced. He really didn't want to know, but some demon dragged the words from his throat anyway. "What are they saying?"

"That… you were on the roof kissing a boy." The silence stretched out, and Kurata added, "Kazama-san."

Shuuichi twitched and looked around the room reflexively. "I… Is everyone saying that?" he asked the room at large, unable to meet her eyes.

Kurata hesitated. "I just… thought you should know?" Which probably meant yes. Shuuichi put his burning face in his hands. "I mean, I'm sure everyone knows it's not true, but it's kind of a strange rumor to be going around, and…"

She trailed off. Shuuichi felt the tension in the room scrape up his arms, and he shivered. She was being nice about it, at least; he could easily lie, agree that it was just a terrible rumor. What would be one more lie, at this point? There was nothing he could possibly gain from telling the truth. And by not telling it, maybe he could keep the respect of one person in the school.

He took a deep breath. "It's true," he said in a rush. The words sounded strange to his own ears, like he hadn't meant to say them, even though he had.

Beside him, Kurata made a small sound, and Shuuichi glanced to his side to see her with her fingers over her mouth, eyes wide. "Really?" she whispered. There was something in her voice; she didn't sound scared or disgusted, she sounded… "Oh, thank goodness!"

What?

Kurata's smile flashed bright and relieved. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to push or anything, but I really wanted to know." Shuuichi's entire world did a lazy barrel roll. "It's just… really inspiring, and brave." She clapped the palms of her hands together, fingers held back. "I knew I liked you, Sakagami-san."

"I don't understand." Shuuichi shook his head to try to clear it. Slowly, very slowly, an explanation surfaced at the back of his mind. "Wait, do you--"

Kurata ducked her head and looked up at him again with a sheepish grin. "Yeah," she said. "I haven't actually kissed a girl yet or anything, but…"

Shuuichi's mind screeched to a halt. That hadn't been what he was going to ask. He'd thought that she was one of those girls who liked stories about boys-- but this? "Kurata-san?" he asked, frantic. He couldn't find anything else to say.

"I wasn't expecting you to say anything, really," she said, "but you're really brave. I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't."

Shuuichi floundered for a moment longer. He expected mockery, revulsion, and avoidance from his fellow students; hearing Kurata say something like that so easily, even if it was because she thought he'd said something like it first, didn't make sense. And on the heels of that, the realization that he had just lied to her, in a way, because she'd only told him because she thought Kazama was a boy. Not that Kazama was a girl, but--

"I wasn't expecting any of this," he said finally. He couldn't tell her the truth anyway; he'd just have to live with her assumption and the unexpected revelation that at least one person liked him better for what she thought he'd said.

"Well," Kurata said with a decisive nod. "It's really nobody's business who you go around kissing. So I'll stick by you, Sakagami-san. You can count on me."

A knot in Shuuichi's stomach loosened. "Thanks," he breathed. He'd never had a friend who was a girl before-- hadn't had many friends, period, who were any more than casual acquaintances who wandered off when their attention got caught by sports or girls or, in one case, a motorcycle gang. The strangeness of the situation struck him again. A month ago, he might have been sitting here thinking about how cute she was, about how the bob of her hair drew attention to her eyes and her easy smile. Maybe he would have gotten up the courage to ask her out; maybe she would have made her excuses and run off and he would never have known that it was because she wanted to kiss girls instead. He felt like he was floating.

Kurata cleared her throat and ducked her head down. "I should thank you again for letting me take the article on Sunbaralia," she mumbled. "I feel like I learned a lot."

Shuuichi blinked and tried to ground himself in normal topics, newspaper, writing. "I'm looking forward to reading it."

Kurata laughed and shook her head. "I'm sorry, I made things awkward," she said ruefully.

"It's okay." Shuuichi's reply came out automatically, so he repeated it with more feeling. "I'll-- see you tomorrow."

"Tomorrow!" She gave him a little wave, and he walked out with his heart lighter. Kazama was nowhere to be seen.




Kurata sidled over to him the next morning as soon as he walked through the school gate. "Good morning, Sakagami-san," she said, and Shuuichi resisted the urge to look around at everyone else. He still felt on-edge, trying not to listen to the words anyone else was saying or the silences, but he managed to smile and nod at her.

"Good morning, Kurata-san."

"You're Sakagami-kun, right?" said a voice behind him.

Shuuichi tensed. He really didn't want to start his day off by drawing anyone's attention, much less a stranger. But when he turned around, he saw a large boy with an earnest expression. He didn't look like a bully; he looked like the kind of kid who got bullied. "Hello," Shuuichi replied, still wary.

"I'm Hosoda Tomoharu."

That didn't tell Shuuichi anything, but he realized that he'd never answered the question. "Sorry, I'm Sakagami Shuuichi."

"And I'm Kurata Emi," Emi said from behind him, sounding determined and just a little bit protective. Shuuichi really hoped he didn't look so pathetic that he needed protection from a girl he hadn't been friends with until yesterday. He also hoped that they didn't attract Kazama's attention; he looked around discreetly, but he couldn't see Kazama anywhere. If he was lucky, ze was already inside.

"You're both first years?"

"Yes…" Shuuichi exchanged glances with Kurata, but she looked as confused as he felt.

Hosoda smiled and tugged on his shirt. "I'll talk to you later," he said, as though they'd just had an actual conversation. He started off towards the school building, and Shuuichi blinked after him before turning to see Kurata looking as confused as he felt.

When she caught him looking, though, she blinked and put her hands behind her back. "Let's go in together, Sakagami-san."

"Right," Shuuichii said uncomfortably, glancing around. His eyes caught on an older boy, standing near the door with a girl who looked to be chattering away at him. The boy met Shuuichi's gaze in defiance of every social rule, his mouth set in a harsh line. Shuuichi looked away, his face heating uncomfortably. Instead, he watched his feet, only occasionally glancing up as he and Kurata made their way inside. By the time he gathered the courage to look again, the boy had vanished, and nobody met his gaze.




Hosoda did actually find him after school; he stood awkwardly in the door to Shuuichi's classroom with a smile that looked almost shy. The hair on the back of Shuuichi's neck prickled as the thought struck him-- was Hosoda flirting with him? Was this what it was like to be flirted with by a boy?

No, Shuuichi decided, that couldn't be it, despite the way Hosoda's eyes lit up as Shuuichi approached. Even if the entire school thought he was gay now, they thought-- knew-- he was involved with Kazama. Besides, no guy flirting with another guy in the middle of a crowd of people would be so obvious; that would be ridiculous.

"Hey, Sakagami-kun," Hosoda said.

"Hello," Shuuichi replied, uncomfortably aware of how awkward the entire situation was. He and Hosoda didn't even know each other, not really, and Hosoda was acting like they'd been friends for ages. Why did Hosoda even want to be friends with him? None of this made sense.

"Oh! Sakagami-san, Hosoda-san, here you are," Kurata said, skidding to a halt. She looked around. "Oh… We should probably find someplace quieter if we wanted to talk, though." She hesitated. "Do we want to talk…?"

"Yeah!" Hosoda said enthusiastically. "I'd like that."

Shuuichi trailed after Hosoda as he followed Kurata down the hall and into the science room. Once there, she turned and dropped her bag on the ground before sitting down and looking expectantly at them. "So, Hosoda-san…"

Hosoda held up his hands like a shield. "I'm not here to bother Sakagami-kun about the rumors," he said. "But it's always good to have friends, isn't it?"

Something about the hope in his voice made Shuuichi think Hosoda hadn't had many. He opened his mouth to say something, anything-- maybe to say something polite, accepting Hosoda's implicit offer-- but he was interrupted before he could say anything.

"Rumors? There are rumors about Sakagami-kun, now?"

Ze wasn't calling him Shuuichi, at least. Shuuichi breathed out a sigh of relief and turned to see Kazama standing there, customary smirk in place. Kurata had her fingertips pressed to her mouth as she looked at zir, and Hosoda… Hosoda didn't look put off or scared, just nervous.

"I thought I wasn't supposed to talk about them…"

"The rumors about you and Sakagami-san, Kazama-san," Kurata blurted out, her eyes darting from Shuuichi to Kazama. "That you were, um…"

"Oh, that we were kissing on the roof." Kazama stepped into the room and closed the door behind zir. "We can talk about that if you'd like."

"Um, can we not?" Shuuichi put in weakly. He really didn't feel like talking about it, especially not in front of other people. "That sort of thing is supposed to be private."

Hosoda's eyes widened. "Wait, then it's really-- You really--"

"Of course," Kazama said. Ze sat down beside Shuuichi, closer than ze should have considering all the open chairs in the room. "We're--" and for a horrible moment Shuuichi stopped breathing, hoping against hope that Kazama wouldn't say they were married-- "dating." After a long silence in which Shuuichi didn't dare to look at anyone, Kazama added, "We weren't going to tell anyone."

"I think it's brave," Kurata said. She didn't say anything else; Shuuichi glanced over at her and saw her staring at where her hands were clasped in her lap.

"I think it's brave, too," Hosoda said, unexpectedly. Shuuichi twitched and blinked over at him; he looked and sounded earnest enough. "That sort of thing… You could get in a lot of trouble for it, right? But you're not denying it, even though you barely know me."

"I wouldn't deny Sakagami-kun," Kazama said. Ze sounded miffed by the idea, as though hiding zir relationship with Shuuichi was inconceivable, while ze sat there in a human suit, lying about the truth of it.

Shuuichi closed his eyes. "Can we talk about something else?" he begged. As soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted them; what else would they talk about, four people with nothing in common in an empty classroom? This wasn't a club, with some fixed purpose.

But to his surprise, Kurata nodded and pulled a notebook out of her backpack. "If it's all right with Hosoda-san, I looked up some things… Um, last night." She opened it to the first page and slid it over to Shuuichi. "It's sites for… gay men in Japan. In case you didn't know about them."

Shuuichi blinked down at the page. "There are places like this?"

"There are places like this for everyone," Kurata said, her voice dreamy. Then she blinked and glanced over at Hosoda for a moment before smiling back at Shuuichi. She tapped an address on the page, then glanced down at her lap, then smiled again.

Shuuichi just looked at her for a long moment, attempting to decipher what she was trying to tell him. He looked down at the page; it had an address, like the rest, and then the word bisexual printed neatly next to it. He stared at it, then looked up at Kurata, who dropped her gaze again. Okay, so he was going to have to go online and actually look at this website when he got home. Message received.

To his surprise, Kazama took the notebook from him as soon as he stopped reading, zir eyes scanning over the page. Shuuichi waited for Kazama to make some careless comment that would mark zir as visibly nonhuman, but ze just traced the words with a finger and then looked up at Kurata. "You did all this for Sakagami-kun?"

"Um," Kurata said. She glanced over at Shuuichi, but Shuuichi shrugged; they were both trapped by Hosoda's presence, even if she had wanted to tell Kazama. "It didn't seem like anyone else in the school was going to be nice about it… Except now we know Hosoda-san, of course."

Kazama closed the notebook and held it out to Shuuichi. "Let me borrow it when you're done."

"Or I could write it out for you, too," Kurata offered. "Or you could… If you want to pull a piece of paper out of the notebook, I don't mind."

"Oh, that's a good idea." Kazama sounded surprised, like the thought had never occurred to zir. Maybe it hadn't. Ze ripped out a piece of paper and started copying the addresses while uncomfortable silence built in the room.

In that silence, Hosoda surprised Shuuichi once more. "May I have a copy, too?" he asked Kurata. "Since Sakagami-kun is my friend now." He said the word friend with a kind of awe, and Shuuichi realized with a startled jolt that it sounded new. As though Hosoda had never said it before. Maybe he hadn't; Shuuichi wondered what Hosoda's social life was like. It couldn't be good if he thought approaching Shuuichi would be any sort of improvement.

"Of course!" Kurata sounded surprised, but even though it went quiet after that, the only sound the scratching of pen on paper, it felt a lot more comfortable than it had before. Slowly, Shuuichi let himself relax.

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