inarticulate: Kazama from Gakkowa as a tentacled alien. (glory to sunbaralia!)
Lepidopteran ([personal profile] inarticulate) wrote in [community profile] tentacles2013-06-05 02:26 pm

[Gakkou de atta Kowai Hanashi] Believe In Who We'll Be [4/?] [wip]

Title: Believe In Who We'll Be
Chapter: 4/?
Fandom: Gakkou de atta Kowai Hanashi
Pairing: Sakagami Shuuichi/Kazama Nozomu
Word Count: 15280 total so far
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

"When are we going home?" Kazama asked the next day, leaning on Shuuichi's desk.

Shuuichi risked a look around the room and everyone studiously avoided his gaze. The room was quiet. They were definitely the center of attention. He sighed and lowered his voice to a nearly inaudible murmur in the hopes of retaining some privacy. "What do you mean by 'home'?"

Kazama blinked at him. "Your home, of course," ze said. "We've already been to--" Shuuichi tensed-- "my home, and it's impractical to keep going back there when you live here."

Shuuichi could feel his face burning. Why start this conversation here? He stuffed his books into his bag and pushed off from his seat like it was a diving board, not slowing until he was well down the hall. When he turned, Kazama was right behind him, smile still firmly fixed in place. He thought, for a desperate moment, about lying, about telling Kazama his parents didn't know about his marriage.

But that was ridiculous. He'd asked about them before the wedding. Kazama was weirdly flighty, but ze was surprisingly on the ball with some things. Ze hadn't gotten caught out as a Sunbaralian, after all; maybe Shuuichi shouldn't be so surprised. "I'm going home now," he said, keeping his voice low even though they were moving now.

"All right," Kazama said agreeably. Ze didn't stop following him. Shuuichi supposed he should resign himself to an unplanned visitor. If he was very lucky, his mom would get angry and send Kazama away. Somehow, he didn't think he was going to be lucky; she would probably be delighted.

Congratulations, Mom, he thought bleakly. You finally get to meet your Sunbaralian child-in-law.

"I read those documents that Kurata gathered for you," Kazama said as they left the school gates. "They were fascinating, but predictable. Humans are proof that differentiating your bodies in arbitrary ways just makes reproduction more difficult."

Shuuichi hadn't even thought about the notebook stuffed at the bottom of his bag, and the reminder sent a jolt of guilt through him. "If everyone could have kids with anyone--" he started, then closed his mouth with a snap. What would he say? That humans would have overrun the Earth and expanded out into the galaxy to find new worlds to conquer? Of course that was what Sunbaralia had done. "It… it would be weird," he finished instead.

"So instead you make strange laws about how only certain bodies can fall in love." Kazama's voice was too loud for public transport; luckily, Shuuichi lived close enough that walking wouldn't be impossible, but it still wasn't his preference. "In Sunbaralia, there's no need to dictate who can fall in love, because children can be made by anyone."

Shuuichi really didn't want to know if that "anyone" included humans, so he didn't ask. It occurred to him that he didn't even know how Sunbaralians had children-- did they lay eggs? Did they give birth? The thought of any of it sent a queasy feeling through his stomach, more intense now that it applied to him directly, so he forced his thoughts away from the topic and tried to change it instead. "What sort of sites are they?"

"Informational." Kazama paused, then added, "A few of them appear to have courtship components."

Shuuichi didn't want to think about Kazama armed with information about human courtship gained from dating sites. He cleared his throat and kept walking. "And… the bisexual site?" He felt a little guilty, asking about something that Kurata hadn't wanted to talk about, but she thought Kazama was gay, too. It couldn't be that much of a betrayal; it wasn't as though Shuuichi had told zir why he was curious about that one.

"What about it?" Kazama sounded confused.

Shuuichi gritted his teeth and admitted, "I don't know what the word means."

"Oh, the answer is obvious if you know the human languages it originates from," Kazama said dismissively. "It's obviously a human who's realized that the regular human system is pointless and stupid."

"Um, the regular human system…?"

"Of limiting potential mates to one subset of the population." Kazama glanced over. "Someone who's open to romance with the male subset and the female subset."

It took Shuuichi a moment to translate that, and when he did, he stopped for a moment. "Wait, that means-- Kurata likes boys after all?" he blurted.

"Is that surprising?" Kazama sounded confused now. "Human females are supposed to be attracted to human males."

"But she-- but--" Shuuichi struggled to put his thoughts in order. "I thought she was a-- a lesbian," he said weakly. The word sat odd on his tongue anyway, so he tried the new one. "Bisexual. She's bisexual. But… why would it be a big deal if she's attracted to boys, as well? She can still…" Grow up, get married, have kids. Fit in. Shuuichi glanced over at Kazama and didn't voice any of that; Kazama had made it impossible for Shuuichi to ever fit in, himself.

He thought about how Kazama's mouth had felt against his for a second, just long enough to have the traitorous thought that Kazama was in a male human suit, you weren't exactly disgusted before he cut it off firmly. He wasn't gay, he liked girls, and-- Kurata does, too-- but he'd never wanted to date boys before. Appreciating attractiveness and wanting to act on it were very different.

Oblivious to Shuuichi's inner turmoil, Kazama asked, "Are lesbians incapable of carrying children?"

That was one way to stop a sexuality crisis. "What? Um, no, they just… don't want to have sex with men, right?"

"And humans have no problems seeking sexual partners outside of relationships." Kazama stated this with an unholy kind of satisfaction. What kinds of material had ze been reading? "If children can be borne outside of a love match, there's no reason to have such arbitrary rules about it."

"You just don't understand human society," Shuuichi sighed. "It's… it's just not done, okay? Love isn't the most important thing, anyway."

"Of course it is," Kazama said, and zir human mask's brows pulled together. It was the first time Shuuichi had seen any expression that wasn't some variant of a smirk on zir face, and it threw him for a moment. "You mean humans have matches without love…?"

What do you think this is? Shuuichi didn't say it, but he did offer a more tentative, "Well, you and I didn't even know each other before we were married."

"But we know each other now."

Shuuichi's stomach dropped. He didn't want to think about the implications of that sentence and, fortunately, he didn't have to. "Right, um, here we are," he said, and he fumbled with his keys for a long moment. "I'm home!" The curtains were drawn, so he hesitated for a moment-- Kazama wouldn't mind, but he didn't want to spring anything on his mother, either. "Um, I brought a friend."

"Friend," Kazama repeated. Ze sounded happy enough.

Shuuichi pulled the door closed and locked it before shucking his shoes and sliding into his slippers. "Uh," he said, then hesitated. He couldn't quite bring himself to tell Kazama to take off zir mask, though he'd seen it before, had been touched by Kazama's tentacles before. It felt different, somehow, in the cramped, human space of the apartment, where the only tentacles he saw regularly were his mother's.

He didn't get a chance to make the offer anyway, because his mother came into view with her human head securely fastened. It looked odd in this space, unnatural and out of place now that he was used to her actual head. Shuuichi looked away. "Welcome home, Shuuichi! Oh, who's your friend?"

Kazama hesitated, and Shuuichi closed his eyes. He had to do this for his mother, at least. "Um. Mom, this… is my spouse?" He couldn't keep the note of hesitation from his voice, but he barged ahead anyway. "Kazama, this is my mom."

"Oh," his mother breathed, and then she was peeling away her human mask like it was so much trash. "It's wonderful to meet you! Please, call me mother, too."

Kazama stood stock still for a moment, and Shuuichi held his breath. He didn't look at zir. He could hear the sound of a mask being peeled away, though, and a flurry of Sunbaralian speech coming from behind him. He waited for a moment, glanced back at Kazama, then slunk away in the direction of his room.

His mother had replied to Kazama, just as incomprehensibly, but she interrupted herself to say, "Shuuichi, really! We have a guest."

"I was just going to put my bag down?" Shuuichi tried. He felt the weight of both of them looking at him, making it impossible to breathe normally. His mother made a burbling noise that he'd never heard from her before. "I'll-- I'll take Kazama-san's bag as well." He dropped his gaze and held out his hand. He let out a breath he'd been holding when he felt Kazama set the handle of zir bag in it. Shuuichi looked up and smiled at zir, the expression feeling awkward, more like a rictus than a smile. Then he scurried off towards his room to grab a moment of quiet.

Shuuichi could hear more Sunbaralian chatter following in his wake. He set the bags down on his bed and leaned back against the wall, staring up at the ceiling and listening. Not even his parents spoke Sunbaralian to each other-- in fact, he realized, aside from the odd reference or attitude, his parents acted startlingly human. Kazama, on the other hand, seemed happy enough to discard zir humanity the moment they were alone. And now this. Shuuichi felt dizzy, out of place. He was the alien here, to them, the only human in the apartment. None of the etiquette he'd learned his entire life-- that his parents had taught him-- applied here. He had no idea what to expect.

And, more than that, his mother suddenly felt like a stranger again, in a way she hadn't been since he was fourteen. Even with her human mask off more often than not, she'd remained the same person. He hadn't felt like he understood her, but now the thought of her humming an old commercial jingle while her tentacles rippled in time felt comforting and familiar.

He could still hear sharp hissing noises behind him, and he didn't want them to get suspicious and come looking for him, so he took a deep breath and stepped out of the room again. It felt like stepping into a pit of sharks… or into that strange pool of liquid again. Anything could happen, and nobody would warn him beforehand.

"Ah," his mother said, turning her head to the side to eye Shuuichi. "But we should speak in Japanese, shouldn't we? Poor Shuuichi doesn't understand Sunbaralian." Kazama made a clicking noise, and his mother's tentacles withdrew a few centimeters before sliding back out. "Oh, no, it's not that. Human throats just can't make the right noises, the poor things. It didn't seem fair to teach them when they couldn't speak back."

"I don't understand," Kazama said. "Any human offspring would be at an advantage if they understood the language of glorious Sunbaralia."

"Well, we only unmasked when the empire was revealed," his mother said. "Now, both of you, sit down so that you don't get in my way. I wasn't expecting to make dinner for four."

Kazama's tentacles froze, only quivering at the tips. "Human food?"

"Why, yes, of course. Really, it's not as though we can go back to Sunbaralia to resupply all that frequently-- still, some of the food here is quite delicious. You really haven't tried any?"

Shuuichi sank into his chair and endeavored to be so quiet that they wouldn't force him to join the conversation.

"Of course I've tried it. Hasn't everybody?" Kazama's tentacles started moving again. "But it's very bitter and dry. Even the mask converter had difficulty with it."

"Well, I do hope you'll enjoy this eel, but if not, please do feel free to return to Sunbaralia. Nobody in this house will bother you for eating openly." Shuuichi's mother turned and fixed an eye on Shuuichi again. What did she think he was going to do, contradict her? "Perhaps next time Shuuichi will tell me that you're coming ahead of time, so that we can prepare a proper feast."

"I," Shuuichi said, about to protest, because he hadn't even invited Kazama; Kazama had invited zirself. But he couldn't get the words out. "I will, mom."

"Do you have a house, v^vSACEDSFIKJW?"

"A house?" Kazama's head rippled slightly, and Shuuichi felt his stomach flip. "No. Such a thing is unnecessary for my cover."

"Well, it's necessary now that you have a human to take care of," Shuuichi's mother said firmly, and before either of them could react, the door opened.

"I'm home!" Kazuko called, waving from the genkan. "Oh, hey, a guest."

"This is my sister, Kazuko," Shuuichi blurted. His face felt too hot and too tight.

"Hello," Kazama said. "I am v^vSACEDSFIKJW, Sakagami-kun's spouse." Ze reached out and took Shuuichi's hand. Shuuichi stopped breathing for a moment. And then all hope of changing the course of the conversation died as ze continued, "We were just discussing my ability to properly provide for your brother."

"Oh, I can help with that," Kazuko offered, because the situation hadn't been terrible enough before. She sat down next to Kazama with an easy grin. Of course she wasn't shocked by zir appearance, or the fact that ze wore a male body. She'd always been the type who just took ridiculous things in stride. "For starters, you probably can't live here; it's pretty small for young lovers."

"That won't be a problem," Shuuichi's mother said. "The Sunbaralian government is, of course, more than willing to supply human living spaces to any Sunbaralian. You could probably get a very nice house for him, if you liked."

"But," Shuuichi interjected desperately before the entire conversation could spiral even further out of control, "that… that would be too luxurious for two high school students."

"It wouldn't do to compromise your cover," his mother agreed. "But perhaps at some point in the future. Every mother just wants to see her children well provided-for."

"Mother," Kazama said, as though ze were saying something new and strange. "You are very human."

"Oh, thank you, but I'm afraid I'm not very human at all." She put her hand in front of her face the way a human would have covered their mouth. Shuuichi glanced over at Kazuko, who sat with her chin propped on one hand, watching the two Sunbaralians with undisguised interest.

"So, does ze have a nickname?" she murmured in an aside to Shuuichi. "Or can you actually pronounce Sunbaralian?"

Of course he couldn't. No human could. Shuuichi winced. "Ze goes by Kazama Nozomu in school," he murmured, hoping his voice was low enough that he wouldn't draw attention to their conversation. "You really don't need to do anything strange."

"I'm not going to do anything strange." She turned her attention to Kazama with a large smile. "Hey, so, Kazama-san, right? That's Shuuichi's school uniform, isn't it?"

Oh, no. "Kazuko--" Shuuichi attempted, but she cut him off with a raised hand without even looking in his direction.

"It's my school uniform," Kazama said. "Sakagami-kun is wearing his."

"So you attend school together… as two boys." She sounded delighted, and Shuuichi buried his face in his hands, giving up on any shred of dignity he'd hoped to retain. "Wow, that's intense. Did you know each other beforehand? Was little bro keeping a secret this whole time?"

"No, I merely recognized the school." Kazama's nictitating membranes slid across zir eyes and stayed there.

"Has he been any trouble?"

"No, no trouble at all." Kazama sounded puzzled. "He is a very pleasant spouse, if somewhat confusing. Most humans are. I've needed to consult the human database much more frequently since our marriage, and it is incomplete in some areas."

Shuuichi twitched and hoped that nobody would ask what those lacking areas were, because he really didn't want to know what Kazama had been looking up. He felt Kazuko's foot nudge his under the table, but he ignored it.

"So, does this mean you'll be around more often? It's not every day my baby brother gets married."

"Of course it isn't. It was only one day." Kazama's tentacles twitched. "Your human standards are confusing. Would I be expected to visit more or less if Sakagami-kun and I shared a human residence?"

"Well," Shuuichi's mother interjected, "I've been paying attention since your betrothal, and a family down the road just moved out of their house. You would be very close by, and you would be welcome to join us for dinner any time. After all, neither of you would be able to cook human food properly at first, and, oh, Shuuichi, I would of course be willing to teach you on weekends." She sounded blissful; Shuuichi tried not to grimace. "A parent and her child should have more chances like this. Kazuko, you should learn, too, of course."

Kazama's tentacles wriggled faster for a moment. "Would I be welcome as well, Mother?" ze asked. Ze sounded hesitant in a way Shuuichi had never heard before.

His mother clapped her hands together. "Of course! You're my child by marriage, after all, in human traditions."

"Human lineage is very complicated," Kazama said, like ze was agreeing with something Shuuichi's mother hadn't actually said.

"Family is important," his mother said with a nod. Shuuichi sank lower in his chair and tried to pretend he was anywhere but here.

Dinner, to Shuuichi's relief, saw a move away from his marriage and his life as the conversational topic of choice. His dad didn't show up for dinner, but his mother and Kazama talked about Sunbaralian history; even though they spoke in Japanese, there were so many unfamiliar words and places throw into the conversation-- the spacefire of Takhrulk, the destruction of Untamaru, the absorption of Jajanau-- that Shuuichi gave up trying to follow it and focused on eating.

But when dinner was finished and the dishes cleared away, Shuuichi's mother leaned close to him and wrapped a few of her tentacles around his head. Shuuichi struggled not to flinch as he looked over at Kazama. "Oh, I'm so happy for you, Shuuichi," she said. "I hope that all humans can follow in your path as a Sunbaralian semi-citizen." If she'd been human, Shuuichi would have thought she sounded close to tears.

"Mom," he said in a low voice, not quite willing to protest but feeling constricted by the contact.

"Oh, dear, I'm sorry." She pulled away. "I'm sure you want to spend time with your spouse. Well, don't let us get in the way. Go on! Show your spouse your room."

Shuuichi was pretty sure that human mothers didn't encourage their children to be alone in a room with their alien spouses, but he wasn't about to disobey. He stood and glanced over at Kazama, who stood as well, silent and unreadable.

Once they were in Shuuichi's room, he debated whether or not to close the door before deciding that he didn't want to risk being spied on. It wasn't as though Kazama had zir human mask with zir; ze'd left it in the genkan with zir shoes. So Shuuichi closed the door before turning around to see Kazama carefully examining the room. "This is your current place of residence," ze said.

"It's my bedroom," Shuuichi agreed warily. "Look, you shouldn't stay too long, we've both got homework to do…"

"I won't bother you," Kazama said, which was a blatant lie. Ze wandered over to the bed and sat down on it, smoothing zir hands over the sheets. "I already completed my homework. Human mathematical concepts are basic. This furniture is very soft."

Shuuichi hesitated. "You don't even know about beds?"

"Of course I know about them," Kazama said. "I've never needed to see one." Ze tilted zir head. "Futons seem more practical. It would be very convenient to transport a sleeping pod more efficiently."

Shuuichi settled at his desk and grabbed for his bag. He managed to get his homework out and stare at it for a few moments before Kazama said, "You don't seem to be working. Do you need help?"

Shuuichi groaned and put his head in his hands. "I really can't do this," he said quietly to nobody in particular.

He could hear Kazama's footsteps behind him, but he still startled when zir tentacles wrapped around his head in an odd mimicry of what his mother had done before. He tensed; Kazama wasn't his mother. Zir tentacles slid warm and dry over Shuuichi's skin, shifting restlessly in a way his mother's didn't. Zir hands settled on Shuuichi's shoulders. "No problem," ze said. "I'll help you. Human homework is nothing to a Sunbaralian."

Shuuichi didn't think he'd meant the homework, but he wasn't about to correct Kazama. He sat there, focusing all his energy on keeping absolutely still. He managed for a long moment, then realized he had to breathe and let out a shaky exhale. "Kazama?" he asked. He needed to ask what Kazama was doing, tell zir that he needed his space, that-- that-- he hadn't thought beyond that, and, in the end, he didn't, because as soon as he opened his mouth to say it, one of the twitches of Kazama's tentacles brought it sliding over Shuuichi's lip and ever so slightly into his mouth.

Shuuichi yelped and tried to jerk backwards, but he only succeeded in smashing his head into Kazama's shoulder. The tentacles stayed on his face. His heart pounded. "Kazama!"

"Yes? I'm right here."

He twisted his head and found himself staring directly into one of Kazama's eyes. The nictitating membrane had retreated; Kazama was there, vulnerable. Exposed. Shuuichi could reach up and punch zir right there, where ze was vulnerable. Against all his better instincts, Shuuichi felt his breathing slow to something less panicked, though still unsteady. He stared at the slight pulsing of Kazama's auroelectral sensor. Zir ear. He felt strange, warmed all the way through, as though Kazama's tentacles were transferring some sort of heat through the sustained contact.

Shuuichi coughed and tried to pull away again, away from Kazama this time, and the tentacles let him go, giving one last caress before they left. "That-- we shouldn't--"

"Mother did." Kazama was still standing too close. Shuuichi looked away.

"No, it's just-- You might be poisonous." He licked his lips and realized that Kazama hadn't actually tasted bad. Ze hadn't had much a taste at all, just the feeling of someone else's dry flesh against his mouth. Against the tip of his tongue.

"Our biochemistry is perfectly compatible with human sexual activities," Kazama said. "Though you shouldn't lick me for twenty-four hours if I consume a rr*gfr." Zir tentacles rippled on the Sunbaralian word, and Shuuichi closed his eyes with a shudder.

Lick Kazama. Human sexual activities. None of that should have sounded appealing, but-- It had to be normal, right? He was a perfectly normal teenage boy, despite his Sunbaralian parents and his Sunbaralian spouse, and he just wanted--

He heard himself make a low noise in his throat, like a whine, like they'd been kissing again, and he found himself leaning forward ever so slightly. Kazama must have misinterpreted that, because one of zir tentacles pressed against Shuuichi's lips and in, over his tongue, and Shuuichi hadn't ever wanted so badly in his life. Not when he'd first discovered porn, not when Kazama had kissed him on the rooftop. He could feel himself shaking with it, could feel every touch of Kazama's tentacles moving back over his face and into his hair. Kazama's tentacle stroked his tongue, pressed it flat, and Shuuichi nearly came in his pants.

He yanked himself back with all the willpower he could muster, staring at Kazama. "I--" He tried to gather his thoughts. "I'll see you tomorrow!"

"But we're seeing each other now." And of course Kazama sounded entirely unaffected, just puzzled, not distraught, not upset. Shuuichi wondered bleakly if everything ze'd done to Shuuichi was unintentional.

But he couldn't deal with this now. Still shaking, he dragged up the courage to take Kazama by the shoulder and haul zir up. "I need to do my homework," he said firmly. "I'll see you tomorrow, in school."

Kazama's nictitating membranes lowered again. "I'll see you tomorrow," ze said, then reached for zir bag and pulled the crest out of zir pocket.

Shuuichi held his breath, but only Kazama vanished this time. He was left alone in his room, desperate and shaking and feeling like Kazama had just turned him inside out. He curled his hands into fists and didn't touch himself. He stared at the wall and tried not to think about anything at all.