by Kadorienne (moggy-at-belladonna-dot-org)
She was frightened.
I saw you strip down for that hot tub. I'd be frightened too!
"You really should take more of an interest in your own culture."
Not this again. Johnny looked at his lover. Every Nazi's wet dream was kneeling in front of a foot-high table, setting out his authentic Japanese tea set for a tea ceremony. Apparently just pouring the damn tea into the damn cups wasn't enough, you had to have a ceremony about it.
Blond hair and blue eyes shouldn't go that well with a kimono. (Johnny had always thought that kimonos were women's clothes, but Chris said not.) Chris had had to sew it himself, though, because they just didn't make Japanese clothes for a man his size. Not a lot of six-and-a-half-foot-tall Japanese.
The fabric was exactly the same sky-blue as his eyes.
"I do. I'm fascinated by American culture," Johnny informed him. "Surfing, for example. Fine American tradition. Also, pizza."
"Just try it. You might be surprised."
Johnny groaned. "Okay, but if I do, we go to the video arcade tomorrow. Or do something else American. I'm not the only one who needs to be educated in the ways of his own people."
Chris grimaced, but it was probably bushido or something for him to make sacrifices to guide Johnny back to the Japanese way, so he reluctantly agreed. Johnny knelt on the other side of the low table with a sigh. "This is going to be boring. Except for martial arts, Japanese stuff is always boring."
Another man would have seen that as a chance to flirt, since Johnny himself technically qualified as "Japanese stuff". Not Chris. Chris saw a chance for a history lesson as he started the careful choreography of making tea.
"Did you know that many samurai considered homosexuality an integral part of their way of life? They called it 'the beautiful way'."
"The East has never had the same taboo on homosexuality as the West," Chris explained. "Hagakure details how such relationships ought to be conducted. It wasn't unusual for a samurai and his shogun to be lovers; it eliminated conflicting loyalties."
He was going to say more, but he noticed Johnny's livid face. He put down the whisk, ruining the ceremony, and asked in bewilderment, "What's wrong?"
"What's wrong? All this time I thought...." He couldn't finish the sentence. There was nothing he could say that wouldn't sound mushy.
Those dreamy blue eyes were now filled with panic. "Thought what?"
"I thought you and Minako broke up because you would rather be with me!"
"I would! We hardly had anything in common!"
"Except that you both do all that Japanese stuff."
"That's not enough! We were never really a couple anyway. She was only ever interested in me because I saved her life."
"And your huge dick had nothing to do with it."
"Well, maybe that too," Chris admitted. "But she lost interest before long. And that was months ago! Why does she suddenly matter now?"
"Because! You're only with me because you think it's part of the samurai way to do other guys! It has nothing to do with me!"
"That's not true!"
"I always said you took all this ninja crap too far, now I know you do!"
"Ninjas are a completely different-"
"If you start lecturing me about ninjas, I'm going to tear down this balsa wood house!" Johnny yelled, jumping to his feet and stomping to the door.
"Where are you going?"
"To a video arcade. You can play samurai homos with some other guy. Maybe find another roundeye who wishes he was Japanese."
Johnny was almost to his car before Chris caught up with him. "If I was playing 'samurai homos' with you, we wouldn't have done it yet."
Johnny stopped, his hand on the door handle, not looking at his lover. "What?"
"You always refuse to sit still long enough to let me tell you about samurai courtship rituals."
"Let me guess. They made each other tea and arranged flowers together."
"No. Generally when a samurai fell in love with another, he didn't say anything about it. Instead he would spend months pining, hardly eating or sleeping, not leaving his bed, until he was at death's door. Then his friends would go tell the object of his affections that someone was dying for love of him, the other man would run to the first one's bedside, and this would cause a miraculous recovery."
Johnny stared incredulously. "What if the other man didn't like him? Then what? Did he just finish dying?"
Chris shrugged. "If that ever happened, they never wrote it down."
Johnny's eyes narrowed. "Sounds like an inefficient way to pick someone up."
"Well. Maybe sometimes the American way is best," Chris admitted.
Johnny snorted. "Did that hurt?"
"Only a little." His eyes flicked over his boyfriend. "So, are you staying?"
Obviously he was, but he wasn't ready to admit it.
"We can do the tea ceremony some other time," Chris offered. "Do something American instead."
Johnny grinned suddenly and turned away from his car. "Yeah. I can introduce you to American courtship rituals," he said on the way back to the house.
Johnny waited till they were inside before responding. "When an American guy gets interested in another guy, instead of lying down and waiting to die, he does this." Putting one hand on the back of Chris's neck, he pulled his head down for a kiss. With his other hand, he made his intentions clear in direct American fashion.
Apparently he wasn't frightened anymore.
Thank you very much to Kirax2 for beta!
The information of the peculiar courtship customs of gay samurai comes from the book Comrade Loves of the Samurai, which every slash fan needs to read.