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Cover up your lies with another promise

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It starts with a photo.

Ataru opens up his locker, goes to get his shoes, and there's something crumpled in one of the shoes. He thinks of love letters, or of notes challenging him out back. Sometimes it's both. Ataru leads a very interesting life.

But no, it's a crumpled, ripped photo, something ripped out of a yearbook. A kid in a uniform, unsmiling at the camera. The name's almost scratched out but you can make out a faint--


“Father,” he murmurs. “You really were very young.”

He tucks it into his shirt pocket, whistling.

It looks like someone new has joined their game.

“What's that?” Nakamura asks. He's got the locker right next to Ataru and he's a curious fucker. “Someone else confess to you?” He elbows him, laughing.

Ataru shrugs. “Not interested,” he says.

“That's right,” Kokaji chimes in. “He's got a secret girlfriend.”

“Secret girlfriend?” Nakamura looks intrigued. “You gonna let us in on who it is one day?”

There's always that dark voice in the bag of his head that wants to tell everyone he's fucking his father, but he never pulls the trigger, lets it out. “Maybe,” he says, and knows he's lying.

He ditches the rest of class, says he's sick—it's not like the teacher's going to say anything to him, considering it's the last few months and she'd probably be thrilled to see him gone. She's never looked at him the same after his father showed up; true, it's not like she saw them fuck in her classroom, but she had to have smelled it on them, breathed in the musky filth and knew just how gone they were.

Or not. She's pretty and good at her job, but she's normal and his father is very good at hiding the truth. Especially when he has Ataru to help.

So she's probably not the one that left the photo. Could have been Takahashi, but Ataru hasn't seen him in months. Maybe he dropped out. Maybe he transferred. Who the fuck cares?

The infirmary's empty when Ataru wanders in. Beds are empty, which is a first, and the nurse is nowhere to be found. Just as well, since it gives him time, to plop down on a bed, close his eyes, and wait until he can go home.

He thinks of his dad, young, pretty, pre-fucked up bullshit. Hideaki Koganei would have been a shy kid, probably, avoiding girls but knowing that they were attracted to them. He would have been terrified by how much people wanted him.

What if he had known him back then? Would he have come into the bathroom, saved him like he did Four Eyes and gotten him to safety? Maybe he would have gone home and jerked off about what he saw, but gone in the next day and given him a warm smile, told him they didn't have to tell anybody what happened.

Then Koganei-kun would have laid his head on his shoulder, trembling, and he would have patted his hair, let him fall asleep and he would have just watched him. Watched out for him.

But of course, none of that shit could have happened, because he wouldn't have existed without the shit that went down. If they hadn't done what they did—if his mother--


It's all just stupid dreams.

He wakes up, light lower in the sky. Must be afternoon. The sheets aren't wet, so thankfully his fantasies were kept to his head and not his cock.

“You slept the entire afternoon, Koganei-kun.”

It takes a moment for Ataru to realize he's the one being addressed, still waking from fantasies of a life he never could have lived.

The nurse peers at him over the rims of his glasses. Hosokowa's pretty cool, all being said. If he likes you, he'll let you crash and give you a note so you don't get into trouble. He's only been there a few months, but he's way better than the previous battleaxe, who'd wait for you to get an arm chopped off before she let you in.

“Sorry,” he says, not meaning it, and the nurse smiles.

“I'm sure.” He wanders away, leaves Ataru yawning behind the curtain and calls out, “See you tomorrow.”

Ataru yawns, stretches, and a piece of paper slides to the floor.

He picks it up, unfolds the note.

“Tell your father he needs to give you a break some time.”

Ataru laughs, crumples it up, and shoves it next to the photo.

“Hey, Hosokawa-san,” he says, slouching over to the man, who's bent over papers at his desk. “Was anyone else here?”

Hosokawa frowns. “Just you. Oh, and a couple of your friends stopped by.”

Probably Nakamura and Kokaji. So that's interesting.

Looks like one of them's growing some balls.

“I hate you,” his father says. He's got his cock buried deep in Ataru, fucking him so hard that Ataru's teeth chatter. “Why do you have to exist?”

That's sweet, Ataru thinks. “Don't know,” he answers, tries to tighten his ass so that his father's cock can't escape, can't ever leave him. “You're the one that made sure of it.”

“I didn't--”

“You did, father.” There's something hot and wet dripping on his back, but his father hasn't pulled out so it has to be-- “Are you crying?” he asks. “Oh, you don't need to. You know I won't leave you.”

“I wish you would.”

“Yeah,” Ataru says. “But wishing isn't going to make anything happen.”

His father sniffles, then yanks Ataru's head back by the hair and shoves his face into the pillow. Ataru idly thinks about suffocation, about passing out, about letting his father fuck him to almost death, then panic and cry until Ataru wakes up, retching but smiling because his father cries so prettily.

Instead, he moves his face to the side a little, breathes in the smell of sex that lives in their bedroom and licks his lips, tasting blood.

“It's all right, father,” he says. “I understand.”

His father comes in him, vicious and seeming to last forever. Really, his father is lucky he had a son and not a daughter with the amount of times his father's came inside him. Though it's a pity he can't tie him even closer with a child of their own.

He'll have to settle for this.

Ataru doesn't even bother going the next morning. He'll have Ijima send in some sort of bullshit excuse about him being sick – it's one of the reasons why he gets paid that kind of money, along with putting up with Dad's freak-outs and making sure their household doesn't turn into a den of lust and sloth.

Or something like that. Ataru picks his pants up off the floor, grabs his wrinkled shirt and checks the pockets. Dad practically tackled him as soon as he got home so there was no time to change.

The note's still in the pocket along with the photo and Ataru breathes a sigh of relief. Fuck, he didn't need that kind of drama right now. Shuu Kanai has an all day shoot and he's got to look fresh and cool for it so Hideaki Koganei can't be having a meltdown about possible blackmail and public exposure.

So there's a note, there's a photo, and there's an asshole running around that knows about them and if his father finds out, he'll lock himself in his room again and Ataru's ass needs to take a break.

The thing is, he can't really see either Nakamura or Kokaji figuring out his secret out. Oh, Nakamura's definitely nosy enough to snoop around and he's caught Kokaji fucking fanboying over his dad, so it's not impossible.

Maybe he should have gone in. He could have wandered around the halls, questioning people, sneaking around and rummaging through desks. He could have spied on his friends, set a trap, done some real detective work.

But that's a lot of work for something that's pretty damn obvious even to someone like him. There's a name at the back of his head and the only mystery is why the fucker would do it.

Well, he has a feeling he'll find out soon enough.

Ataru laughs, flops back down on the bed and kicks the sheets away from him.

Shuu Kanai is a coward.

It's one of the most well-hidden secrets and his father is a very good actor. His fear never shows when he's on screen – he can play a killer or a lover and you never see his lingering terror that leaves him rushing home after filming, clawing at his son's neck and pushing him down.

Once his father just buried his head in Ataru's neck, laid there, breathing him in. He didn't leave bruises, he didn't bite at his skin, he just fell asleep, his hand resting on top of Ataru's.

It was the first time since his father started fucking him that he was actually terrified.

Sex is easy – it's letting his father plunge into him, try to find some sort of home in his son's body. It's punishing Ataru for existing, but it's punishing his father for causing him to exist.

It's love, too, the only way his father knows how to show it – through blood and pain and realizing that once you can't live without someone, you're utterly fucked.

Really, Ataru's father is lucky to have him.

And someday, he'll admit it.

Ataru rubs his eyes, yawns. It's dark out now. Dad's still gone, so Ijima must be doing exceptionally well at corralling him today.

He wonders what woke him at first and then he hears it again.

A knock at the front door. Showtime.

He stretches, gets up and kicks the bedroom door shut behind him.

His pants are low, his shirt is riding high, and there's an inch of his pale stomach showing so he'll see if someone else wanting to fuck him this the reason that it's the season of blackmail.

That would be the simplest reason.

He opens the door.

“You missed school today.”

Ataru grins. “Since when do school nurses do house calls?” he says. “Did you miss me?”

Hosokawa cocks his head, gives Ataru a look. It's not one like the ones he's shown him in the past, the kind, gentle one that says “we're all friends here.”

“Koganei-kun,” Hosokawa says. “You really do look like your father, you know.”

The man in front of him is not his friend.

Ataru shivers, darkly pleased.

“Come on in,” and Ataru opens the door wide, lets the man in.

This will be so much more interesting than Takahashi.

Hosokowa makes himself comfortable on the couch, legs stretching out. In his long navy jacket and rolled jeans, he's far more attractive. Ataru can see now why the girls are always giggling as they pass the infirmary. Not that he's attracted to him.

He's got a type after all.

“So Hosokowa,” he says, deliberately dropping any politeness, “How do you know my father?

“Right down to business.” Hosokawa looks amused. “You're far more aggressive than he was.”

Ataru narrows his eyes. “You don't know him then.”

“I do. I knew Koganei-kun when he was in high school, a handsome young student that everyone just envied and wanted. But he didn't want anything to do with them. I knew he was shy, but other people, they thought he was arrogant or cold. How dare he think that he was better than them? Did he think he was too good for anyone? They'd show him.” Hosokowa's smile is cold now. “I told him he needed to look out for himself more. Stop brushing people off. Obviously, he didn't pay attention.”

Ataru really wants to punch him in the face, but it's clear that Hosokowa is expecting it, so he just says, “Tch,” and relaxes into being an arrogant, obnoxious teenager instead. “Well, if you were friends, you couldn't have been very good ones because you didn't stay in touch. He's never mentioned you.”

“Nice,” Hosokawa says. “That's very good, Ataru. No wonder he loves you so much—clever and collected and even though you're not as pretty as him, you're still a good-looking kid. Your mother wasn't, you know. You're lucky you don't look like her.”

“My mother,” Ataru says. “Let me guess, she's your new wife? Girlfriend? You had a thing for her in school but she only had eyes for my father and after she gave me up, you comforted her and told her everything would be okay.”

“Hardly.” Hosokawa shrugs. “I wanted to kill my sister actually. He was my best friend and when she fucked him, she fucked over our friendship. He could never look at me after that—kept seeing her. You know the night she came home after you were born, I went into her room and wrapped my hands around her neck. I almost choked her to death.”

Ataru wants to laugh. He guesses he comes from his obsession on both sides after all. How fun. “Surprised you didn't.”

Hosokawa stands up suddenly, so quickly, that Ataru has no time to react before the man's right in front of him, crowding him into the wall. “Well, I couldn't completely hate her. She did give birth to you-- the connection to our family that means whatever happens, I'll still be linked to your father. No matter how much he hates it, he'll never get rid of you. He'll never leave you.”

He kisses Ataru on the forehead, a soft, almost paternal kiss. Then there's a sharp burst of pain, small and focused, and Ataru yelps in surprise. “I'm so proud of you, nephew. Tell him I said hi and I'll see him around.”

Hosokoawa backs away, still smiling, and waves goodbye. He walks out the door.

Ataru's still blinking.

He reaches up, touches his forehead.

It comes back red with blood.

“Did he bite me?” That really is kind of funny.

He licks his finger clean.

“Hosokawa says hello by the way,” Ataru tells his father that night as his father fucks him again. He's tired from a long day of work, so it's gentler, even if his father is still angry, cursing him, hating and loving in equal measure. “I think he wants to see you again.”

“Hosokawa?” His father says, stilling for a moment. Ataru cranes his head back, trying to get a glimpse of his father's expression. It's only for a second, but he sees shock, anger, terror. It's so beautiful, even in small doses, and he drinks it in. “He's not--”

“Don't worry,” Ataru says. He reaches behind him, takes his father's limp hand. Thankfully, his cock isn't the same. “He just misses you, I think. But we don't need him, do we, father? The two of us are just fine.”

“Yes,” Father says, and it comes out like he's choking on razor blades, words ripping through his throat. “We are."

Ataru comes.