Study Aids
by Jain

Written for 14 Valentines: Women in the Arts.


Shinji was muttering under his breath at his physics homework. Every few minutes, Akira caught another couple of words: "gravitational acceleration" or "square of the velocity" or "motherfucking air friction." It wasn't exactly helping his concentration, and he knew from experience that it was pointless to ask Shinji to shut up.

"I'm going to the library," Akira said, saving his document and closing his laptop.

Shinji frowned at him. "We're meeting Watanabe and Shimizu for dinner in an hour. If you go to the library, you'll get distracted and forget to join us."

"No, I won't."

"You always do," Shinji said.

"Not always," Akira protested, though he had to admit that it had happened more than once. Studying had its own rhythm, and sometimes he got a little lost in it. "And I have to finish this paper tonight, and I can't concentrate in here."

Shinji blushed a little. "I can be quiet."

"Yeah, if I gagged you."

"You can gag me."

Akira blinked at him. "What?"

Shinji shrugged. "If you think it would help. I wouldn't mind."

"You...wouldn't mind," Akira said faintly. He half-expected Shinji to say it was just a joke--despite the fact that Shinji's sense of humor was pretty much non-existent--but Shinji only shook his head. Feeling oddly detached from his own body, Akira went over to his dresser, dug around in the back of one drawer, and took out a soft strip of leather.

Shinji didn't even bat an eye at the evidence that his roommate had a less than vanilla sex life, just sat patiently still as Akira slid the gag between his lips and tied the ends into a neat knot at the back of his head. He touched the gag with his fingertips, and then nodded his thanks.

Akira sat back at his desk, the only sound in the room now that of the skritch of pencil on paper. He opened his laptop again and stared at the screen. Somehow, it wasn't any easier to concentrate in the sudden quiet than it had been with Shinji muttering in the background. He glanced at Shinji out of the corner of his eye, and then looked quickly away. Shinji's hair was falling into his face, his head bowed over his book, but Akira could still see the gag, the dark leather a stark contrast to Shinji's pale skin. It was surreal watching Shinji do homework while he looked like that.

Akira wondered if Shinji had ever wanted to tie him to his chair in an attempt to still his constant fidgeting, and the odd twinges of arousal that he'd been feeling ever since he'd gagged Shinji were suddenly less twinges than they were a very obvious and embarrassing erection.

Fortunately, Shinji was preoccupied with his homework and unlikely to see anything in any case, thanks to Akira's desk. Akira shifted in his seat and glanced at Shinji again. And then made himself tear his eyes away when glancing turned into staring, and this really wasn't helping his problem. Not to mention that he still had an essay to write.

Akira pinched his thigh hard enough that his eyes watered and started typing. This was probably the worst essay of his life--he'd be lucky if his political science professor didn't make him rewrite it--but that didn't matter. All that mattered was the steady clack-clack-clack of his fingers on the keyboard and that he not look at Shinji.

There was a flicker of movement at the edge of his vision, and suddenly Shinji was standing next to him. Akira choked back a yelp. "What?" he asked irritably, forgetting for a moment that Shinji couldn't answer him.

Shinji pointed at the clock at the bottom of his laptop screen; it was time for them to get ready. And then he knelt beside Akira's chair and bowed his head, and Akira's heart started beating a painful rhythm in his chest.

He knew what Shinji wanted in real life--as opposed to within the confines of Akira's heated imagination--but that didn't change how he looked. Akira's hands trembled slightly as he reached for the knot he'd tied less than an hour before. He got it undone with less difficulty than he might have feared, and he crumpled the leather gag, warm with the heat of Shinji's skin, in one fist. It was a bit damp, which should have been gross, but wasn't.

Shinji stood up. "That was interesting," he said. "Did you finish your essay?"

Akira looked at the screen. "Almost. I just have to write the conclusion." He was almost scared to look at Shinji, but he forced himself to do it, and was relieved to discover that Shinji was no different than he ever was. At least until he smiled, and Akira's heart clenched in his chest.

"We should do this again, the next time you need to concentrate. Since it worked so well tonight."

If it had worked any better, Akira would have come in his pants. He cleared his throat. "It didn't...you know...bother you?"

"No." Shinji's face turned thoughtful. "I think it made it easier for me to study. Everything was a lot clearer in my head."

His words were perfectly innocent, yet Akira had had a former girlfriend describe bondage almost exactly like that, and, oh fuck, now he'd gone way beyond having a visceral reaction to Shinji and was actively imagining Shinji having sex.

"We should get ready for dinner," Shinji said, oblivious to the fact that his roommate was in the middle of a mental crisis right in front of him.

"You can have the first shower," Akira said. "I just want to finish up this paragraph."

"Okay." Shinji gathered up the clothes that he'd laid out at the foot of his bed earlier and went into the bathroom. Akira let his head fall forward onto the desk with a loud thunk. The resultant pain didn't have the slightest effect on his embarrassingly persistent erection. Akira sighed and opened his dresser drawer to search for his loosest pair of pants.


Akira's gaze kept drifting over to Shinji throughout dinner. He could almost imagine that he could see the hint of redness at the corners of Shinji's mouth where the gag had rubbed his skin a bit raw...which was really not what he ought to be thinking about just then. Akira had to take frequent sips of ice water in an attempt to hide his stupid blush. He knew that he was being too quiet, and that Shimizu and Watanabe had noticed, but it was too pervasive a mood for him to simply shrug it off.

For his part, Shinji acted perfectly normal. Which meant that he mortally embarrassed Akira only once, when he was muttering about the waitress--who, according to Shinji, was too slow, incapable of getting a simple order right, and much too loud. "Kamio should gag her next time, instead of me," he mumbled, and Akira's heart jolted painfully in his chest.

Watanabe and Shimizu swiveled their heads to look at Akira with identical expressions of shock and amusement. "It wasn't like that," Akira protested.

"Oh, of course not," Shimizu said skeptically.

"No, really. We were doing homework."

Watanabe and Shimizu nodded in sudden comprehension--they'd each been present at attempted study groups in Akira and Shinji's room--and Akira let himself relax back into his seat. Shinji just kept slurping his noodles as though nothing extraordinary had occurred. His face was a little flushed, but there was an even chance that that was due to the steam rising from his bowl.


Akira hadn't ended up having enough time for a shower before dinner, so he took one when they got home, instead. He came out, still toweling his hair dry, to find Shinji using Akira's computer.

"Tachibana-buchou emailed me," Shinji said. It had been nearly six years since Tachibana had been their captain, and Shinji still hadn't changed his term of address for him. Akira had stopped trying to correct him; he made the same mistake himself on occasion.

"Tachibana An got into Keio University," Shinji continued, looking at him with his usual serene expression.

"That's not a surprise. She's definitely smart enough."

Shinji tilted his head to look at him more closely. "It doesn't upset you that she didn't apply here?"

"No," Akira said, puzzled. "It's not like we really hang out much anymore."

"But I thought that you liked her."

Akira hid his sudden smile. Trust Shinji to be five years behind on his gossip. "In middle school, maybe. Not for a long time, Shinji."

"Oh." There was a long silence. "Is there somebody else that you like?"

"No," Akira said, only half-lying. Okay, three-quarters lying. Maybe five-sixths.

Shinji nodded slowly. "It's easier to concentrate on your studies that way."

"As you know from experience," Akira teased, and was shocked when Shinji shook his head and said:

"No."

"'No' meaning you have a crush on someone?"

Shinji nodded.

"Who?" Akira demanded, trying to tell himself that he was simply curious, not jealous.

Astonishingly, Shinji flushed a delicate pink and dropped his gaze. "I don't want to say."

"Not Tachibana?" Akira said, deliberately leaving it uncertain whether he meant An or Kippei. Either was equally likely; as far as he knew, Shinji had never dated anyone. Akira had always thought that he was asexual.

"No," Shinji said softly, and then, more decisively, "It's stupid. I don't want to talk about it."

"Okay."

Akira's mind spun dizzily. He usually kept half an ear out to whatever Shinji was muttering--it was the easiest way to find out what was on his mind, since Shinji was surprisingly reticent in ordinary conversation--and he hadn't heard him breathe a word about any special girl or boy. Which meant either that Shinji's crush was a recent phenomenon, or that it really mattered to him.

He looked at Shinji more carefully and frowned to himself. Shinji looked a little embarrassed, still, but underneath that he looked...upset? Akira reached out a careful hand and rested it on Shinji's shoulder. "Just, if you ever want to talk about it, I'm here, okay?" he said.

Shinji nodded and shrugged. It was a dismissive gesture, but there was something in his expression that made Akira say, "It's not me, is it?" his voice making it clear that it was only a joke, in case he was wrong.

Shinji went very still, his shoulder suddenly tense under Akira's hand. Akira waited for him to answer, and the seconds ticked steadily by, until finally he said, "Wait, it is me?"

"I'm sorry, Kamio," Shinji said, bowing his head.

Akira watched him in shock, and then suddenly everything clicked and he cupped Shinji's chin in his hand, lifted his head back up. "Hey, it's okay. I promise." And because Shinji didn't look as though he believed him, Akira added, "Truly, Shinji," and tipped Shinji's head up a little more so that he could kiss him.

Shinji's mouth was pressed into a tight line, and trying to nudge it open with his own lips and tongue didn't work. Akira wasn't surprised. In addition to his near certain inexperience, Shinji had never been good at reading people. He pulled back slightly and murmured, "Open your mouth," brushing his fingers against the corner of Shinji's lips.

Shinji looked at him intently--as intently as he'd been staring at Akira throughout their brief first kiss--and then nodded. He parted his lips, and Akira pressed closer for a real kiss, slipping his tongue into Shinji's mouth to stroke against his. After a moment, Shinji began to respond. Even better than the inexpert press of his mouth, though, was the way Shinji lifted his hands to clutch the shoulders of Akira's shirt with tight fists.

Akira wanted to hold him, too, but just leaning down to kiss Shinji was hurting his back. He pulled away from the kiss and said, "Get up, Shinji."

Shinji stood, though his forehead drew together in a frown. Rather than explain, Akira caught his hand in his and pulled him towards his bed, and the expression on Shinji's face brightened.

"This is what you want, right?" Akira asked, just to be sure.

"Yes, Kamio."

"You could call me by my given name, you know," Akira said, and then shook his head when he saw the contemplative look on Shinji's face. They could work on that one later. "Never mind."

"Okay," Shinji said. "Akira," and Akira laughed out loud.

He toed his slippers and socks off before lying down, and Shinji followed his example. Shinji pulled him forward into another kiss, his bold hands a contrast to the almost shy expression on his face.

Akira placed his own hands at Shinji's waist. Shinji murmured something into his mouth, and Akira stilled, but it didn't sound like an objection, and a moment later Shinji moved close enough that Akira could feel Shinji's hard-on against his hip. He slipped his hands under Shinji's shirt and rubbed the smooth, warm skin of his lower back.

Shinji arched into the touch like a cat, and Akira continued the caress until the desire to press up against Shinji skin-to-skin overwhelmed the pleasure of touching him like this. He gentled the kiss and pulled away just enough to say, "I want to have sex with you. Is that okay, or do you want to wait?" Shinji opened his mouth, and he added hurriedly, "Later's fine with me. Or never's okay, too."

He'd usually didn't bother to be that explicit about getting permission to continue, but, ironic though the idea was, he really didn't trust Shinji to speak up if Akira was pushing him into something he wasn't ready for. Shinji's face was pink again, but he muttered, "Now's good."

Akira let out a slow breath. "Okay," he said, and pulled off his own shirt. Shinji's eyes widened, and then he reached out to touch Akira's bare skin. Akira kissed him again. Shinji was shaking a little, but Akira was ready to bet that it was less nerves and more a desire to not come in his pants. Accordingly, he didn't linger over the rest of their clothes, but got them stripped, trying his best to be both gentle and efficient.

When Shinji was finally naked, Akira ran greedy hands across his chest, down his sides to cup his hips. Shinji shifted around a little, and Akira said, "Hold still, Shinji."

He dipped his head down to Shinji's erection, lapping up the wetness at the tip before he fitted his mouth around it and began to suck, his ears filled with the low murmur of Shinji's voice: "Never thought it would feel like this, oh God, don't want it to stop, I wonder if I could talk Kamio into doing this every day, oh, maybe twice a day--"

Shinji fell silent abruptly, and Akira raised his head. Shinji's face was flushed, and he avoided Akira's eyes. "Shinji? Is everything okay?"

Shinji blushed an even brighter red. "Am I...you can gag me again, if I'm bothering you."

Akira's cock twitched at the very thought, but he rubbed Shinji's hip soothingly and shook his head. "Not this time." Shinji looked as though he might protest, so Akira said, "I like hearing you, Shinji. Just not when I'm, you know, trying to do my homework. Okay?"

Shinji nodded, and Akira grinned at him, then licked up the length of Shinji's erection. Shinji mumbled something under his breath, and Akira kissed the petal-soft skin. "Yeah, just like that." He curled his hand around the base of Shinji's cock and sucked him while Shinji muttered his approval in a breathy, desperate voice, and between that and the taste and feel of Shinji on his tongue, Akira was pretty much humping the bed by the time Shinji grabbed his hair with one hand, gasped out a curse, and came in Akira's mouth.

Akira slid up the bed to lie next to him. Shinji breathed quietly for a few long minutes, while Akira did his best to not squirm impatiently. Finally, Shinji turned his head to look at him. "Can I do that to you?"

"Yes!"

Shinji blinked a little at Akira's enthusiastic response. Akira had half a mind to apologize, when Shinji crawled to the foot of the bed and got to work. Akira hadn't ever thought about it--well, okay, he hadn't thought about it much--but he wouldn't have imagined that Shinji would keep talking while he was sucking cock. As it turned out, he was wrong about that, but it felt so good that he was more than happy to be wrong.

He tried to keep at least somewhat still, with minimal success, and he forgot to warn Shinji when he was about to come. Shinji didn't mind, though, if the wondering expression on his face was anything to go by. Akira licked up the smears of semen on his cheeks and kissed him. "Sleep here tonight," he said. Shinji's bed was less than a foot away, and even that felt like far too great a distance right then.

"Okay, Akira," Shinji said, curling up against his side.

They had both begun to drowse off when Akira said, "Hey, Shinji."

"Hmm?"

"Twice a day sounds like a good number to start with, for this." He felt Shinji smile against his shoulder, and then Shinji went limp and heavy with sleep, and Akira drifted off to the familiar accompaniment of Shinji's nighttime mumbling.


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