"She does not!"
"I'm serious! She does!"
"You're being paranoid, Tai." Koushiro Izumi fixed his boyfriend - of only two weeks, though they'd been 'friends hoping for more' for a lot longer than that - with a flat look of disbelief. "Your theory is absolutely ridiculous."
"I swear it, Iz…" Taichi Yagami met said stare with his own, even more stubborn one. "Your mom has radar or something. She always walks in at the worst possible moment. It's like some kind of mom-sensor thing - except no one else's mom has it but yours."
"Tai, my mom doesn't even know I'm gay yet, much less that you and I are dating."
Tai shook his head. "I don’t care what you say, Izzy - she knows. And I swear she's taking some kind of perverse pleasure out of this. We haven't had an uninterrupted make-out session yet."
Izzy couldn't help but smile. Tai had a very peculiar way of making himself irresistible simply by behaving completely irrationally. It was something he'd never been able to make sense of. "Why don't we go over to your place, then?" he suggested, getting up from his seat on the bed to lean one shoulder against the wall Tai had his back to.
Tai gave him a look of interest, uncrossing his arms. "Are you kidding? I share a room with my sister. She's even worse than your mom - and she has that damn camera, too." Despite his words, he shifted the slightest bit closer.
"I admit, Kari does seem to have a poor sense of timing," Izzy admitted, thoughtfully. "I can recall more than one instance when she interrupted just as you were about to beat Matt's high score on your video game machine."
"Don’t remind me. And I wasn't being paranoid about that one!" Tai turned so he was facing Izzy, offering a wry look. "I overheard her talking on the phone - TK put her up to it so Matt would remain undefeated."
Izzy blinked. "I thought TK wanted Matt to be defeated."
"He does." Tai nodded. "But he wants to beat him himself. And that means no one else can - especially not me."
That made Izzy grin. "And you think my mom is bad…"
"Their whole family's messed up," Tai said, shrugging. "It's gotta be something in the genes." He leaned forward a little, bringing their faces closer together. "Your mom just left a minute ago," he said, in a considerably altered tone. "Think we could risk it?"
Izzy felt his heart pound. Having Tai so near after spending almost two years wishing for it… The fact of it continued to send his hormones into overdrive. "I'll lock the door," he murmured for an agreement, and hurried to click the bolt into place.
Tai slid still-hesitant-but-getting-more-confident arms around his waist. "Where'd we leave off last time?" he mused, bending down to capture Izzy's lips with his own.
The contact sent sparks like fireworks shooting through the redhead's veins. "I think it'll be possible to find our place," he replied softly, barely breaking the kiss to do so. Tai's mouth was already insistent against his, his hands eagerly pressing onto Izzy's back.
The younger teenager looped his arms around Tai's neck, returning the kiss and letting his older boyfriend start to drag him back toward his bed. He definitely wanted to be comfortable - the longer they could do this, the better.
There was a sharp knock on the door, and the two of them broke apart guiltily, panicking for that brief moment before they remembered that the door was locked.
The boy being addressed had to gulp in a few steadying breaths before he could answer. "What is it, Mom?"
"I didn't want to disturb you, but supper's ready," his mother's voice answered, from the other side of the door. "If Tai wants to stay and eat with us, he should call his parents."
"Uh… I'll do that, Mrs. Izumi," Tai answered, fixing Izzy with a stare that clearly said 'I told you so'. "Thanks for inviting me."
"That was purely coincidence," Izzy scoffed, before his boyfriend had a chance to say anything. "You heard what she said - she has dinner all prepared."
"Right. And she timed it that way so we'd think we were safe." Tai unlocked the door, shaking his head. "I'm telling you, she's doing it on purpose. She probably thinks it's hilarious that you haven't figured that out yet."
Izzy sighed, following him out into the hallway. "My mom is not out to get us, Tai."
She just, he decided, watching the back of his boyfriend's jeans, had extremely poor timing.
"So your mom isn't placing recording devices on your phone yet, is she?"
"Tai!" Izzy frowned disapprovingly, even though his boyfriend couldn't see it over the phone line. "My mom isn't spying on me. And she's not trying to disrupt our relationship, either. I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop alluding to the possibility."
"Sorry, Izzy." Tai didn't sound very sorry. "You may be a genius, but you're way too trusting. Parents can't be trusted - they're always doing things 'for our own good'."
"My mother doesn't know we're dating, Tai."
"Are you absolutely positive about that?" He could almost see one of the older boy's eyebrows raising. "Parents can be tricky, Iz. They're always trying to stay one step ahead of you."
Izzy leaned back against his pillow, switching the cell phone to his other ear. "My parents wouldn't do that."
"Are you kidding? Your mom's worse than all the rest of our parents put together!" Tai hastily went on before he could get in trouble for that one. "Don’t get me wrong - she's a great person. But I swear she thinks you're still five years old or something. There are times when I'm positive she'd like to put you in a crib and give you rattles to play with."
He couldn't help but smile at that. It's true… Mom is a little protective of me sometimes. "I never had a crib, you know. Even when I was a baby."
"Yeah, because you never do anything." He could almost hear the grin that went with those words. "My mom said she used to keep me on one of those baby leashes. In the house."
"I believe it." Izzy smiled.
"So…" Tai's voice went low - a definite indicator of interesting things to come. "Since your mom hasn't bugged the phone line yet… Have you ever thought about calling one of those phone sex lines?"
"Tai!" He could feel his cheeks growing red.
"I'm serious." Tai's voice lowered even more. He actually managed to sound serious, too. "Welcome to 'Pick your Pleasure' - my name's Tai, and I'll be your stimulator for today."
His boyfriend talked right over him. "We have a variety of ways to get you off, but since you're a first-timer, why don't we start with the basics. So… what are you wearing?"
Izzy bit his lip against a smile. Despite his reservations, he couldn't resist… "A t-shirt and shorts."
"Mm-hm… and underneath that?"
"Er…boxer shorts?" The hand holding the phone was starting to get sweaty. He switched ears again.
"Ohh yeah… that's what I like to hear, sexy." Tai managed to lower his voice to a purr. "Want to know what I'm wearing?"
Izzy licked his lips. "I believe it's only fair."
"Well, I - "
The rest of what Tai was saying was lost as the door to Izzy's room swung open, revealing his beaming mother with a basket full of clean laundry. The redhead sat up sharply, pulling the phone from his ear on instinct. "Mom!"
"I just finished doing the wash," she announced cheerfully, setting the basket down. "I didn't forget to grab anything you wanted cleaned, did I?"
"Uh… I… don't think so." Izzy willed his face to stay normal and not turn a guilty red shade. He raised the phone quickly. "Tai… uh… can I…call you back?"
"Your mom's doing it again, isn't she?"
"It's not like that!" He couldn't say anything much with his mother still present… "I just have to put my laundry away - I'll talk to you later, okay?"
"Sure, Iz." The grinning tone was back in Tai's voice. "I'm just going to put my pants back on before my sister walks in on me or something. See you!"
The guilty red shade wound up winning out after all.
"Great movie." Tai slung his arm around Izzy's shoulders casually, not bothering to take note of people who gave them odd looks as they walked down the street. "If you don't count that part between the previews and the ending credits."
Izzy shook his head. "I don't know how I let you talk me into that one."
"Yeah, no kidding," the older boy agreed. "Next time try a little harder to talk me out of it. I think your edge is starting to dull."
"My edge?" Izzy repeated, raising an eyebrow. "As I recall, you were the one who insisted on seeing this movie in the first place. 'Come on, Izzy, it looks good. Give it a chance. You'll never see anything you like if you don't try.' Ring any bells?"
"Don’t remind me." Tai grinned all the same. "That was a great make-out movie… too bad there were so many people in the theater."
The younger boy rolled his eyes, but smiled to lessen the effect. "Is that all you ever think about?"
"Not all," Tai admitted, shrugging. "But it's one of the favorites. Can you honestly look me in the eye and say that the movie we just saw would not have been ten times better if we'd spent the whole two hours ignoring it."
"I honestly can," Izzy replied, and grinned. "But that's only because, as far as we've been able to determine mathematically, zero multiplied by ten - or any number - will still equal zero."
"Well, thanks for the math lesson. My life is somehow richer than it was thirty seconds ago." Tai grimaced. "Which is good, because I think it dropped to bankrupt some time during that movie."
"Perhaps next time we should sit at the back," the redhead mused. "In a corner."
Tai grinned, hugging him a little tighter. "Now you're talking!"
"Of course, now that we've decided to take those precautions, I suspect the next movie we see will turn out to be a good one."
"Yeah, that's usually the way it works, isn't it?"
They spent the rest of the walk back to Izzy's apartment in companionable silence. It was a nice, clear night, and the moon was bright enough so that there weren't too many dark shadows along the way. It was one of those nights that encouraged romance - which Izzy felt was appropriate for a stroll with his boyfriend after they'd been out on a date. Tai had a warm sort of presence that he'd always felt especially comfortable in, and the warm weight of that casually draped arm added something to the moment.
All in all… it was nice.
"You don't have to go in right away, do you?" Tai lowered his voice as they neared Izzy's apartment door. He checked his watch. "We've been obedient children - it's still twenty minutes before your curfew."
"Good behavior is believed to be its own reward," Izzy remarked, offering a half smile.
"Yeah, but I'll accept a bonus if you're offering."
That seemed like an excellent idea. Izzy stopped when they reached his front door, turning to face Tai. "I think I'll have to take you up on that."
The older boy grinned at him, leaning in slowly to capture his boyfriend's lips in a considerably more confident kiss than they'd been sharing closer to the beginning of their relationship. Izzy found the process of learning what to do with his tongue when the kiss was deepened to be a study he could immerse himself in with great enthusiasm.
Tai's arms were loosely slung around his neck as he pressed Izzy back. The redhead snaked his own around the taller boy's waist as he hit the wall behind him with a soft 'thud', pulling Tai closer as they continued to kiss hungrily.
"Izzy? Is that you already?"
Tai broke the kiss, sighing in frustration. He leaned his forehead against Izzy's, not moving away immediately. "Are you sure your mom likes me?"
"Sure she does." He couldn't quite manage to sound convincing, as at the moment, he wasn't entirely sure his mother liked him. "She just… must have heard us. We'll have to be quieter next time."
"Great." Tai pulled back grudgingly, as the lock on the door clicked free. "If we even get a chance next time."
Izzy opened his mouth to place another argument against Tai's ridiculous theory that his mother was out to get them, but the door swung open before he got the chance. "It is you." The woman in question beamed at the two of them. "Won't you come inside for a little while, Tai?"
"I'd like to, Mrs. Izumi," Tai said politely, shooting a wry glance at Izzy when she turned to check the clock. "But I should be getting home - school tomorrow, you know. See you later, Iz." The last came with a friendly punch in the shoulder - the sort of thing Tai had done when they'd just been friends - and then the older boy was off down the hall.
"Bye…" Izzy sighed, then turned with a huge fake smile toward his mother.
She might not be out to get him… but she certainly knew how to make herself inconvenient.
"Are you sure about this?"
"Won't we get in a whole lot of trouble if one of the teachers walks in?" Tai seemed somewhat surprised by Izzy's idea - which was a little strange, considering how much trouble he could get himself into all on his own.
"Teachers don’t come into the computer labs during lunch hour, Tai," Izzy pointed out. He eyed the darkened room with satisfaction; the only light was coming from the computer screens that hadn't been shut off by their most recent users. "I should know. I know every single person who ever comes in here at lunch time, and none of them will be in here today."
Tai suddenly grinned, shaking his head. "How many favors did you have to call in to get them to leave us alone?"
"Not many." Izzy shrugged. To tell the truth, he was impatient to get on with it. He'd been waiting two years to date Tai, and if stealing some time in a deserted computer lab was what it took to have an uninterrupted make-out session… then that was what they would do. "They're all reasonable people, after all. I've helped most of them out of tough spots before; this is the least they can do for me."
"Didn't they want to know why you wanted the computer lab to yourself today?"
"Of course they did."
Tai raised an eyebrow. "So what'd you tell them?"
Izzy smiled at him. "I told them I'd be using the computer lab to make out with my boyfriend without interruption."
Tai's second eyebrow shot up to join the first. "You actually told them that?"
"They've all met my mom, Tai," Izzy pointed out, with a wry smile. "Believe me, they understand."
"Anyone who's met your mom would understand." Despite his words, the older boy grinned, moving closer so he could slide his arms around Izzy's waist. "Are we done talking yet?"
That was better. Izzy hooked his arms around Tai's neck, leaning up. "I'd say we've covered everything."
"Mm… in that case…" Tai chose not to finish his sentence, closing the distance between them. It didn't take long for the kiss to turn from an innocent brush of the lips to a hungry, heated, hormone-induced exchange. It was getting frustrating, having to wait for these sort of things… Izzy would've preferred it if they could just get on with this - and, clearly, so would Tai.
The older boy pushed him back - just a bit roughly - so that Izzy's back pressed against the table that held the computers. Tai's hands pulled him closer, sliding over his upper back and sides enthusiastically. Izzy had to set one hand down onto the edge of the table to steady them both, keeping the other at the back of Tai's neck. Everywhere they touched felt like it was burning hot.
He honestly wouldn't mind at that point if they went at it like rabbits right there in the lab.
"Hey Izzy! Tai!" The lights suddenly flickered into life.
Tai jumped back, and Izzy bit back a curse as he knocked his hip against the table sharply. He looked over at the dark-skinned boy in the doorway resentfully. "What is it, Davis?"
"Dude, sorry about disturbing you." Davis rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, giving them an apologetic look. "Your mom's looking for you - I thought you'd wanna know before she got up here."
"My mom?" Izzy repeated, incredulous. "What is she doing here?"
Tai gave him a wry look. "You didn't happen to mention this idea somewhere she could hear it, did you?"
"Of course not." Izzy frowned, and focussed on Davis instead of arguing with his boyfriend. "Did she tell you why she decided to visit me at school?"
"Yeah… she had a bag with her." Davis nodded. "I think she said you forgot your lunch."
Izzy and Tai glanced at each other.
"Didn't you say you were buying lunch today?"
"Yeah…" By this point, Izzy was seriously starting to wonder if Tai's theory might have some truth to it after all. "Maybe she didn't hear me properly when I told her."
"Right." Tai raised an eyebrow at it. "Or maybe she did, and figured it was a good opportunity to spoil any lunch time make out plans you might have."
At that point, Izzy wasn't even sure he wanted to bother arguing.
"Ever thought about moving out?"
Izzy glanced down at the young man sprawled out on his bed beside him with one raised eyebrow. "I hope you're not actually being serious."
"Well… in a way." Tai sat up, propping himself upright with his hands. "I mean, you do eventually plan to move out, right?"
"Of course I do." Izzy twisted a little to face him. "Not while I'm still in high school, though."
Tai snickered. "Hey, that'd be one way to get away from your mom…"
"I can put up with my mom's interference just fine," Izzy answered him, shaking his head. "I think I might have a harder time with rent, utilities, and shopping."
"And doing your own laundry," Tai added.
Izzy flushed a little. He'd been hoping his boyfriend had forgotten about that…
"We never did get to finish our phone call," the older boy noted, with a loud sigh.
"If you want to finish it that bad, perhaps you should go home and give me a call, then." He couldn't resist that one.
Tai made a face at him. "Thanks a lot. It's nice to know you enjoy my company."
"I wasn't the one who brought up the phone call in the first place," Izzy reminded him.
"I wouldn't bring it up in such regretful tones if your mom hadn't interrupted what could've been really great phone sex," Tai complained - only half mockingly.
Izzy shrugged, willing the red on his cheeks to die down. "It probably wasn't the smartest idea to try something like that with my parents in the house, anyway."
"Yeah, but someone's always home at your house! If we waited until it was empty, we'd never get to do anything." Tai changed his position to lean toward Izzy and steal a kiss. "Besides, the danger of getting caught is part of the fun."
"You're kidding." The words came out flat, but he allowed Tai to lean over him even more, edging him backwards until he was lying on his back with his head resting on the pillow and his boyfriend hovering just a few inches from his face. "You'd honestly find it exciting if my parents walked in on us?"
"No, not if they actually did." Tai grinned. "It's the forbidden thing. We're doing something we're not supposed to, but it's just so good that you can't help yourself. Don't you find that exciting?"
Izzy licked his lips quickly, staring up at Tai's face. His heart was starting to speed up; only half controlled by his mind, his hands snaked around the older boy's waist. "Well…"
"Admit it." Tai leaned down even more, until his mouth brushed over Izzy's as he spoke. "You agree with me."
There wasn't much room for thinking… Izzy shut his eyes, feeling his world rise up and send his body floating. It was a wonderful feeling, being so close to Tai… "Did I lock my door?" he managed to whisper, clinging to some sort of sensible thought.
In other circumstances, Izzy might have protested that they should care. After all, if the door weren't locked, what was to stop someone from walking into the room? However, with Tai just capturing his lips in a hungry, passionate kiss… he couldn't quite summon the will to make an issue of it.
Things rapidly spiraled into some heavy necking after that.
"Mmm…" Izzy sighed a little as their mouths parted for just a brief instant, making a little half-moaning noise as they drew back together under some magnetic-seeming force. He shifted on the bed, trying to somehow get closer to Tai. It didn't seem like any position could be close enough…
"Izzy? I've made some - oh my."
The sound of the door opening and Izzy's mother's voice had already jerked the two of them apart, but not fast enough - or thoroughly enough.
The woman in question stood in the doorway with one hand still on the knob, blinking rapidly. When she had entered the room, she had clearly not expected to find her son underneath his best friend in such a compromising position.
Izzy felt like his face had gone eight shades of red. "Uhhh… mom… I…"
"Oh… Oh dear." One hand flew to her mouth. "I'm sorry - I didn't - I'll just go!" As if just realizing that she was still standing there in his bedroom doorway gawking at them, she stumbled back, pulling the door shut behind her hastily. "I'm so sorry!"
Izzy turned his gaze back toward Tai, who was staring down at him sheepishly.
Before he could respond to that, the door swung open again. "But just so you know, lunch is ready!" his mother added quickly, and shut it again behind her.
Tai buried his face in the pillow beside Izzy's head. "Oi."
Izzy grimaced. "My thoughts exactly."
Tai left by supper time. Izzy had been more in favor of having him spend the night - for moral support - but as it was Sunday night and they both had school, that possibility was not open to them. The brown-haired boy did offer considerable sympathy before he left to walk back home, though.
I'll need it.
Izzy lay on his back, facing the ceiling, with his pillow pulled tightly over his face. He was almost hoping to suffocate and not have to face his mother.
Come on… how bad can it honestly be?
He already knew the answer to that…
Bad. Very, very bad.
A knock on the door interrupted those less-than-positive thoughts. "Izzy? Can I please come in?"
Izzy winced, and pulled the pillow down from his face. It was time to face the music… "Sure, mom." Not surprisingly, that came out less than enthusiastic-sounding.
The door opened, and his mother stepped into the room tentatively. She offered a small smile and held out a shopping bag. "About what I saw earlier…"
"Er… yeah. About that." He sat up, scratching at the back of his neck nervously. "It - uhh… I mean, it wasn't what it looked like. Well… maybe it was, but it wasn't as bad as you're most likely thinking it might be… I mean…"
"Oh… I understand." She sat down beside him, and held the shopping bag toward him. "I'm okay with anything you choose to do with your life, Izzy. And since this is what you've chosen" - she beamed at him - "I thought I'd offer my support. Here."
Still feeling somewhat apprehensive, he took the bag and opened it to look inside.
And nearly fainted.
"Condoms?" Izzy yanked the box out to be sure he was seeing what his eyes were trying to tell him he was seeing. The other two items in the bag caught his attention even through that shock - and gifted him with more. "K-Y? And a book called 'Exploring The Other Side of'" - he could barely cough it out - "'Sexuality'?" His gaze whipped up. "Mom! You actually went out and bought this!?"
She looked thoroughly pleased with herself. "The young ladies working at that convenience store you like so much were so helpful," she gushed. "I only had to tell them my little boy had his first boyfriend and might need some help with the intimacy, and they knew exactly what to look for."
Izzy had a terrible sinking feeling in his stomach. The convenience store at the corner near TK's apartment building?"
"That's the one." She nodded happily. "Such a nice place, don't you think?"
Suspicion confirmed. "Mom!" Horror had fully taken hold of him at that news. "That's Miyako's parents' store! They know me there!"
"Oh…" She blinked, and looked thoughtful for a moment. "I thought that pretty girl with the glasses looked familiar… It's been a while since she and your other little friends came over here." His mother smiled brightly. "She did say hello, though."
Izzy was having trouble breathing. "You said all that in front of Miyako!?" He was never going to live this down… It was a ten minute drive to the store, and a ten minute drive back… By now, anyone who didn't know was probably just being handed a note with the information.
"Izzy?" His mother looked worried. "Did I do something wrong?"
"Yes… yes, I think you did." He buried the fingers of his left hand in his hair, pulling hard and wishing this was just a terrible nightmare. "This is going to be so embarrassing… even Tai will be making fun of me, and he's the 'first boyfriend'."
"I'm sorry!" Her entire face seemed to crumble. "I was only trying to help! I wanted you to know that I support all of your decisions… that's all."
Izzy pulled his hand down, abruptly feeling guilty instead of upset. She looks so unhappy… and she wasn't trying to embarrass me…
"It's okay, Mom… I don't blame you."
"But it's my fault." She stared down at her hands. "I always just seem to make things worse for you, whenever I try to help. I suppose I'm not as good at this as I was when you were younger…"
"Don't say that… Look…" Izzy searched for the words, and finally managed to come up with something that might help. "It's not that I don't appreciate your effects, Mom," he assured the distraught-looking woman, awkwardly patting her shoulder. "I'm relieved that you're taking this so well - and, I mean, it's really nice of you to try and help me out… But I'm old enough to take care of some of these things for myself now. Tai and I know what we're doing. The best thing you can do is trust me to know what's best for myself."
She sighed, then offered a shaky smile. "I know… It's just… It's hard for me sometimes. I worry about you."
He smiled back. "I'd be disappointed if you didn't."
"Well… I'll try to be less of a meddler." She stood, taking her 'peace offering' with her. "I'm more than willing to trust you, Izzy. You've proved that you're worthy of it." With one final smile, she turned toward the door.
Izzy hesitated for one second, then… "Wait. Mom?"
His mother stopped just before leaving the room. "Yes?"
"Um…" He smiled a little, sheepishly. "I didn't say…"
"You didn't say what, Izzy?"
He tried to paste a serious, responsible look onto his face.
"Well… I didn't say… I wouldn't accept what you got me…"