Everyone had their ridiculous fears. Usagi couldn’t stand thunderstorms. Mamoru, a man studying to become a doctor, shuddered at the sight needles. And once, Reika, high on pain medication after getting her wisdom teeth removed, had confessed a deep fear of clowns.
Not that he could blame her. Bastards were creepy.
But Motoki knew that his fear outshone all others in terms of ridiculousness. Thunder was loud, needles were sharp, and clowns were creepy. Funny in their own ways, there was logic to it, and some sense of understanding to be gained. Not so with Motoki.
For Motoki was afraid of lesbians. He was the textbook definition of homophobia, not the one propagated by Western media. He was really and truly, honest-to-God nervous around girls who liked other girls.
It didn’t make any sense to him. If he was going to be homophobic, wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to be afraid of gay men? Shouldn’t he have felt his masculinity was threatened? Shouldn’t he be cringing at the sight of male tongue entwining with male tongue and stubble rubbing against skin?
Perhaps since he’d never been all that masculine to begin with he couldn’t feel vulnerable as such. His friends had always jokingly said that he was a bit girly – sensitive when they were feeling generous. It wasn’t something he could help, and it wasn’t something that had bothered him since junior high.
And so he was left with the scary lesbians.
What most men considered a turn-on, Motoki had nightmares about. It hadn’t exactly helped the situation with his friends, and Mamoru mocked him at every available opportunity. He had not been pleased when, after entirely too many vodka shots, the other man had let this information slip to Minako, who then proceeded to make out with every female she could get her hands on.
Although she’d probably just used it as an excuse.
This thought never failed to bring on a convulsion.
For years, Motoki had been completely in the dark about his fear. He’d wracked his brain for some traumatic childhood experience, but he came up empty. It seemed there was simply nothing that could explain his monumental weirdness when it came to girl-kissing.
Finally, at his wedding, things became clear. From across the room, he saw a tall blond man dancing elegantly with a smaller girl, entire form a shock of aqua in a room decorated with red and gold. He’d watched with interest, an irritating itch emerging at the back of his mind.
With every turn and twist and crescendo, the itch had become more pronounced. He knew that he’d met them before. They were friends of Usagi’s who had offered to play at the wedding for cheap, and now they were taking a break. They’d been rather cold – pleasant enough, but cold.
And yet he couldn’t help but think that he was forgetting something else. It was like he was missing some great joke.
Reika took his arm, leaning her head on his shoulder. “Aren’t they lovely?”
“Yes,” Motoki agreed, unsure as to whether he should elaborate any more. He didn’t want to get in trouble for admiring another woman on his wedding night, after all.
She’d patted his chest, saying, “I’m so happy you got over that phobia of yours.”
Motoki blinked and turned to her, “What?”
“Haruka and Michiru,” Reika answered, as if this would make everything make sense. She rolled her eyes when he failed to comprehend. “They’re lesbians.”
Motoki broke out in a cold sweat. His eyes bulged. His mouth went dry. And his heart, now beating fast enough to rival a hummingbird in cardiac arrest, nearly popped out through his open mouth.
Reika sighed, holding a gloved hand to her forehead. “Oh, for heaven’s sake.”
Motoki turned back to Haruka and Michiru, remembering them now. Their stares. Their level voices. The feeling that he’d gotten that any one of them would produce a switchblade and drive it into his ribcage at any moment.
And the blond, actually a blonde.
“Everything makes so much sense now.”
Reika snorted. “Yeah, right.”