Sharing Space
by Jain

Written for 14 Valentines: Reproductive Rights.


"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Isumi asked, dropping his bags on the hotel bed. "You know what Waya and Shindou can get like when they're together."

Touya stared at him flatly. "I don't care. If you want to room with Shindou after spending hours sitting next to him on that plane, go right ahead, but you get to explain to Waya why he has to share a room with me."

"You might have a point," Isumi said, hiding his wince. The less said about their plane trip, the better. And it was...novel, sharing a hotel room with someone who was actually unpacking his clothes so that he could hang his suits in the closet and place his socks and underwear in the top drawer of the dresser. It made sense for Touya to do it--they would be staying at the hotel for close to a week--but Isumi was used to sharing hotel rooms with Waya or, on rarer occasion, Shindou, neither of whom thought anything of going out in public in wrinkled suits.

He followed Touya's example, and then the two of them laid claim to opposite sides of the bathroom sink. Touya shoved his suitcase under the bed to clear more floor space, which was fastidious even by Isumi's standards, but he did the same. Touya favored him with a small smile when he straightened up.

"So, did you want to go next door and see how Waya and Shindou are doing?" Isumi asked with a notable lack of enthusiasm.

Touya shook his head wearily. "I want to forget that I know either of them, at least until dinnertime."

"Fair enough," Isumi said. "How about a game of go, instead?"

Instantly, Touya dropped his layers of exhaustion as though they were nothing. "All right." He'd set a travel goban on the bedside table while he'd been unpacking earlier. Now he placed it on the bed he'd claimed and sat cross-legged in front of it.

Isumi sat on the other side and watched Touya perform nigiri. "Odd," he said.

Touya lifted his hand to reveal five stones, and Isumi took black.

It was a quiet, even-paced game, disturbed only by the occasional thumps and shouts from Waya and Shindou's room. The small frown lines between Touya's eyes slowly disappeared as the game progressed--even with the commotion from next door--and by the time Isumi resigned, he found that the tension he'd been carrying in his own shoulders had disappeared.

"Hey, where were you all day?" Shindou demanded when they finally went down to join him and Waya in the dining hall.

"We played a game of go," Touya said calmly.

"Oh? So did we."

Isumi raised his eyebrows at Touya, who looked back at him with a similarly bemused expression, because what kind of game involved throwing your opponent into the walls, or whatever it was that Shindou and Waya had been doing in there?

"I wanted to come get you," Shindou continued, "but Waya said that you probably wanted to rest from the flight."

"We did. Thank you," Touya said, as polite and unruffled as though he hadn't spent half of the flight in question sitting on his hands so that he wouldn't inadvertently strangle Shindou.

Isumi telegraphed his own appreciation to Waya, and Waya smirked back at him.

"So, do you want to watch a movie in our room tonight?" Waya asked.

"No horror movies," Isumi said, at the exact same time that Touya said:

"Nothing with pointless explosions or men hanging out of helicopters."

Shindou opened his mouth--no doubt to protest one or the other of those terms--but Waya said, "Fine," before he could object.


Other things that Isumi enjoyed about rooming with Touya: he went to bed at a reasonable hour; he didn't snore or talk in his sleep; he actually woke up when his alarm went off; and he didn't leave the bathroom floor submerged under two inches of water after his morning shower.


Isumi's first game went long, and by the time he returned to his hotel room, Shindou and Touya were already in there, shouting at each other over the goban.

Touya at least looked cheerfully homicidal this time, however, so Isumi didn't pay any attention to their disagreement. He did sit down to watch the game, though. It was well worth watching--even at the price of his eardrums, when Touya made a move that had Shindou howling in outrage.

Several hands later, Shindou sat up suddenly and looked hard at the contested spot.

"Was it a good move, after all?" Touya asked smugly.

Shindou glowered and said, "Okay, fine. Now shut up."


Their third day in Korea, it was Shindou who had an overly long match, and Isumi, Touya, and Waya went for a walk in a nearby park while he was finishing. It was a nice day, warm enough that even Touya eventually took off his jacket. Waya teased him about being cold-blooded, until Isumi elbowed him in the ribs, and then Waya switched to complaining about Isumi's sadistic tendencies, and advised Touya to pocket one of the dinner knives as protection in case Isumi tried to murder him in his sleep.


"Isumi-san?"

Isumi frowned slightly at the sudden formality--they'd all begun to address each other more casually sometime in the past year or so, after Shindou had begun a determined campaign to make the four of them friends--and even more at the hesitant note in Touya's voice. "Yes?" he said.

"I was wondering...please excuse my rudeness...but, how does one find a boyfriend?" They were sitting together on Isumi's bed, having just finished watching a Korean drama; Isumi was able to follow maybe one word in ten, but Touya seemed to have done better. Touya's eyes were fixed firmly on the foot of comforter that lay between them.

Isumi blinked. "Um..."

Touya turned red. "I didn't mean to imply that you were...," he said hastily, though it was pretty obvious that he had.

"No, no," Isumi said. "Don't worry about that. I am. Gay." It was only the third or fourth time he'd used the word to describe himself, but Touya deserved to hear it. So that he could stop worrying about having offended him, if nothing else. "I just...I'm not quite sure how to answer your question. Most men meet someone at a club, or maybe at school, but neither of those is really an option for you."

Touya shook his head. "So how do you find boyfriends?"

Isumi shrugged helplessly. "I don't really know. All of the men I've dated approached me first. I never bothered to go looking for them."

Touya stared at him intently, and Isumi cautioned himself not to read into his questions. Just because Touya was gay didn't mean that he was interested in him, after all. But then Touya leaned closer and said, "Please forgive me," and kissed him hesitantly on the mouth, so Isumi supposed that he must be at least a little interested.

He raised one hand to Touya's cheek and stroked the soft skin, but kept the kiss shallow and gentle. Without a clearer indication of Touya's intent, he didn't want to presume too far.

Isumi's altruistic intentions didn't seem to do much good, though, at least as far as Touya was concerned. Touya gasped into the kiss as though it were a steamy make-out session, rather than a soft press of barely parted lips, and he brought his hands up to clutch Isumi's shoulders. Isumi shivered a little in response; enthusiasm like that was more than a bit inspiring.

Touya hitched himself a little closer on the bed, until he was practically in Isumi's lap. Which was as close to an invitation as Isumi needed, though he kept an eye out for any hesitance or discomfort as he pressed Touya down onto the bed. Touya just smiled into the kiss and pulled Isumi closer. He made a quiet, pleased sound in the back of his throat when Isumi slipped his tongue into his mouth.

His erection pressed against Isumi's stomach, but Isumi didn't let his hands drift any lower than Touya's waist. It was more than enough for now to kiss his soft, wet mouth and to stroke his face and smooth hair, to stare into Touya's shining eyes as Touya ran eager hands along the planes of Isumi's back. To whisper how beautiful he looked into Touya's ear, and to watch his face heat up with embarrassment and pleasure before he pulled Isumi down for another kiss.


Shindou was in the middle of his fourth or fifth retelling of his game with Ko Yongha, kneeling on his airplane seat to look over its back at Touya and Isumi, when suddenly his eyes narrowed and he said, "Hey! Are you guys holding hands?"

"No," Touya said calmly. It was true, too; his and Isumi's hands were lying close enough to each other that their backs touched, but that was all.

"Oh," Shindou said suspiciously.

A hand reached up from the seat beside him and smacked him in the head. "Shindou, sit down, you're making a scene," Waya said.

"I am not!" Shindou said, despite the fact that over half the cabin was staring at him by now, but he turned around anyway and sat in his seat properly.

Touya took a novel out of his carry-on bag and started to read, while Isumi smiled to himself and looked out the window. A minute later, Touya laced his and Isumi's fingers together, and the two of them sat that way for the rest of the blessedly quiet flight home.


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