Title: Lessons in Games
Pairing: Seguchi Tohma/Fujisaki Suguru
Summary: One word—manipulation. When Tohma offered him the place in Bad Luck, he’d wanted Suguru to clutch onto it as his last and only hope. He wanted his cousin desperately and fervently dedicated to the band.
Beta Reader: Nzomniac
Word Count: 1874
Warnings: This story includes depiction of sex between a sixteen-year-old boy and an adult man twice his age. It is non-graphic, but it is not warm and fuzzy. It is dub-con, bordering on non-con, and it is also incest between cousins and overall unkind and unethical behavior.
Author’s Note: This story is the first in a series of stories I am calling “Poisonous Nurture” which deal with Seguchi Tohma’s original and unhealthy interpretation of love and devotion. “Poisonous Nurture” is being written for the lj community ficalbum using songs from the Hole album “Live Through This” as prompts. The prompt for this piece is “Credit in the Straight World”. This story makes brief mention of a long standing entanglement with Ryuichi and to Tohma’s childhood and relationship with his mother. If you want to know more about these things, you’ll have to keep reading the series. Click here to view the "Poisonous Nurture" progress chart.
Go for credit in the straight world
Look a dealer in the eye
Go for credit in the real world, won't you try?
I got some credit in the straight world
I lost a leg, I lost an eye
Go for credit in the real world you will die.
Credit in the Straight World
Lessons in Games
It wasn’t necessary to be so hard on the boy, but Tohma couldn’t help himself.
There was something about his cousin that brought out the worst in him. Suguru looked about twelve with those huge, beseeching eyes. How talented he was, how mannered and how serious made Tohma feel like he was staring into the face of his sixteen-year-old self.
That should have made him be kind. Instead, it made him far crueler than he needed to be.
Tohma had set Suguru to work on an album months before. He had no intention of ever releasing it. He simply wanted to see what Suguru was capable of before deciding what to do with him.
When Tohma had brought his fourteen-year-old cousin into the NG fold two years before, he’d had a vague notion he would find a way to attach Suguru to Ryuichi. After all, the singer had willingly consumed one young Tohma, why not a second?
Tohma tried to be over Ryuichi, but it still bothered him daily that he had no attachment to the man, that Ryuichi lived a life beyond him. Suguru would have been something … Tohma’s spy and proxy in Ryuichi’s world.
Then Eiri’s unfortunate dalliance with Shindou Shuuichi, the vocalist of Bad Luck, had come up, and Tohma had known exactly what he would do with his little cousin.
When Suguru gave Tohma the demos for his album, Tohma listened to them the same day, listened to them incessantly for nearly three weeks before he finally called for his younger cousin.
When Suguru came to his office, Tohma made him wait. He lingered over several unnecessary phone calls while the boy fidgeted like a student in the principal’s office. Then, finally, he drew out the disc Suguru had given him.
“I shouldn’t have expected so much,” Tohma said.
Suguru’s face fell. He looked as if he’d been slapped. Tohma couldn’t help but smile.
“I’m very disappointed,” Tohma continued cheerfully. “I thought you were much more mature as a musician, but I’m afraid I overestimated you.”
“You… you don’t like it?” Suguru stammered in disbelief. “You… You don’t think it’s good?”
“It’s a collection of mediocre songs. Good for an amateur but useless to me. NG can’t release this. It would be embarrassing to us, even more embarrassing to you.”
“You’re going to shelve it?” Suguru wailed. He was trying and failing to maintain a professional cool. “I… I’ve been working on this for six months. Everyone I’ve played it for … they said it was good … the engineers…”
Tohma raised a finger in caution.
“Be an adult about this, Suguru,” he said perkily. “If you’re going to be in this business, you have to be able to accept that sometimes things don’t work out the way you’d like.”
Suguru’s cheeks were flushed red; he was so frustrated he was plainly fighting back tears. And he had every right to be upset. He’d poured his heart into the collection of songs Tohma was blithely tossing out. They’d been good, too--far better than Tohma would ever admit to the boy.
Still, the songs weren’t commercially viable, and Suguru lacked the charisma and sexual magnetism to appeal to a wide audience. On his own, he’d never garner more than a cult following. It was fine for a company to have a few of those on the roster, but Tohma had other plans for his little cousin.
“Please, Seguchi-san,” Suguru pleaded, “I can fix the album. Give me another chance and I’ll…”
“No,” Tohma said sternly. “I’m afraid it can’t be salvaged.”
“What happens now?” Suguru asked in a small, dead voice. Tohma knew he could not have hurt the boy more if he’d punched him in the stomach. He could remember feeling like Suguru sounded, frigid and vacant inside, emptied by fear.
Poor little boy.
“It might be best to send you home,” Tohma said.
The mention of being sent home had the desired effect. Suguru turned absolutely white, pure desperation on his face. Tohma giggled. The boy’s emotions were so transparent; he couldn’t hide anything.
“Please, Seguchi-san, don’t do that,” Suguru begged, his voice trembling. Tohma knew what that word, home, meant to his cousin. Home was failure, the end of dreams; home was an endless succession of dismal days on the way to a dismal death. Home was a half-life. He knew because he had spent the better part of six years in the stifling Fujisaki household. He would no more send his talented protégé back there than he would go himself.
Still, Suguru had no way of knowing that. When Tohma had offered him a place in Bad Luck, he’d wanted Suguru to clutch onto it as his last and only hope. He’d wanted his cousin desperately and fervently dedicated to the band. Not just because Suguru would be Tohma’s eyes on Shindou Shuuichi, but because that was what the band needed to work--a member who was willing to do anything to keep the band together, functioning and focused on their music.
Tohma’s decision to put Suguru in the band was in his own interest, but it wouldn’t hurt Bad Luck. It wouldn’t hurt Suguru either, in the long run. Too much acclaim, too young wouldn’t be good for the boy. Let him labor in the shadows for a few years; let him be secondary. It would teach him patience.
Tohma got up from his desk, walked around to the miserable little figure of his cousin huddled on the edge of the vast sofa. Tohma sat beside him and put him hands on Suguru’s shoulders, the feathers on his wrists caressing the boy’s face like lavender cilia.
“Look at you, Suguru-kun,” Tohma said brightly. “You’re nearly crying over a minor set-back. You can’t burst into tears in your shachou’s office. What if I weren’t your cousin? You’re clearly not ready for this business, emotionally or musically.”
“Please, Seguchi-san,” Suguru pleaded. “Don’t send me back to my parents. I’ll do better, I promise you. I don’t need to write songs or play my own music. I’ll do session work; I’ll do anything you want…”
Suguru went on and Tohma waited, waited until his cousin was practically hyperventilating, all but in hysterics.
“I may have something you can do,” he said at last. “NG recently signed a group called Bad Luck, two boys not much older than you--a singer and a guitar player. The vocalist originally played keyboards, but he’s not very good and it hampers him onstage. Ukai Noriko has been working with them temporarily, but she’s going to have other obligations in the near future…”
“I’ve heard of Bad Luck,” Suguru gasped eagerly. “I’ve heard their music. I can do this; I can work with them.” And for a moment, his trembling voice grew steady. “I can make them better,” he said.
He knew. He knew how good he was.
Automatically, Tohma smiled as if he were humoring a preposterous remark.
“You mustn’t disappoint me again, Suguru-kun,” Tohma said. That put the boy back in his place.
“I won’t, Seguchi-san. If you let me have this, I won’t let you down…”
Again, Tohma let the boy go on, watching him wind himself up tighter and tighter. Then he said, “All right. I’m willing to give it a try.”
Suguru threw his arms around Tohma’s neck.
“Thank you, Seguchi-san,” he said, and all the composure he had been struggling to maintain fell away. Clutching his cousin, he sobbed uncontrollably.
Tohma found it almost painful to see Suguru when he was like this. He was being used, but he was grateful. He really was grateful.
He was such a mirror of Tohma at the same age—desperate to please, ridiculously sincere, ridiculously and intently serious. Tohma had been like that before he met Ryuichi. A childhood spent staying one step ahead of his mother, knowing it was a matter of life and death that he be what she needed him to be, had left him earnest, somber, and desperate. From Ryuichi, he had learned how to play: to play roles and to play with people; to keep things light when they ought to be heavy, light enough to toss aside; to use cuteness as a tool to baffle, confuse and conceal the truth.
Seguchi Tohma was no longer the boy he had been.
Once upon a time, the image of that boy had aroused in him compassion, a desire to protect, to nurture, and to love. It had been like that with Eiri. Perhaps in what had happened to him, Tohma had seen just how worthless compassion could be, how futile love and protection were in the end. He did not feel compassion for his cousin. He only wanted to further what he had started.
“What am I going to do with you, Suguru-kun?” Tohma cooed. “You have so much promise, but you’re such a child, such a little boy. It’s so easy to see how much things matter to you. You don’t know how to hide your emotions. You might be hurt very badly if I wasn’t here to look after you.”
“Thank you, cousin,” Suguru muttered into Tohma’s neck where his face was buried. “Thank you so much.”
“You’re lucky to have me,” Tohma said.
It would never be this easy again. Suguru had an idea of just how good he was. After he joined Bad Luck, he’d find others to confirm this. Someone would notice him, even if he was the skinny little keyboardist never closer than the outside edge of the spotlight. Suguru would become as difficult, as ungrateful as all the rest.
Suguru’s cheek, wet with tears, was pressed to Tohma’s. It was only a matter of inches for their mouths to meet. Tohma applied a strategic kiss. It was like turning a key in a lock. His cousin opened for him.
It wasn’t necessary, really, to be as rough as he was. Beyond a gasping whimper of surprise when Tohma pinned him down on the sofa, Suguru offered little resistance. The boy was certainly a virgin. He’d probably never been kissed before. Compassion would have dictated gentleness. Loving care would have dictated never having kissed him in the first place, never having pushed him down or turned him over onto his stomach.
What were compassion and loving care worth? He’d lost Uesugi Eiri by loving, respecting, by giving room to grow. Suguru would never matter to him like Eiri had, but at least with this boy, he would be the first--the one who mattered most of all.
There was no need to hurt the boy, to make him bleed and weep and cry out through clenched teeth with every thrust. There was no need, but Tohma couldn’t help himself.
When Tohma had finished, Suguru lay unmoving, his face pressed against the sofa. Tohma took out a handkerchief and dabbed at the boy’s wet, dazed eyes.
“More tears?” he asked with a pout. “And after you’ve been given such a wonderful opportunity. What a difficult boy you are, little cousin.”
“I’m sorry,” Suguru said. “I didn’t think it would hurt so much… I’m happy Seguchi-san. I am. I’m very happy.”
Tohma smiled dazzlingly.
“Oh good,” he said. “Then so am I.”