“I’ve been thinking, should we maybe find a new place to live?”

After they’d returned to the vacation house and settled in next to each other on the sofa, Shuuji suggested something that had come to mind on the way home.
“If we stay here, we’ll always have to worry about someone finding out about us, we’ll never get any peace.
So I feel like I’d prefer to move now, while we have the chance.”
If they were discovered, they’d have to flee in a hurry, they might end up just wandering the streets.
And Shuuji’s apartment had the same problem, besides of which it was a small studio.
Two people moving in there was a difficult proposition to begin with.
“I don’t have any objections.”
“Alright then, we’ll start looking tomorrow.”
It was just past nine in the evening, so if they were really in a rush, they could probably look at some listings online.
But Shuuji made no moves towards the PC.
“I was off work today too.”
It’s my fault, you must be exhausted, huh?”
Misunderstanding, the clone peered worriedly at Shuuji.
“That’s not what I meant.”
Shuuji didn’t know how to get his intentions across at times like this, and he had to search for the right words.
They’d finally exchanged their feelings for one another, he wanted to take the next step forward and become new lovers.
Until now, whenever they’d held each other, it was always Koutarou who asked for it.
Never once had the invitation come from Shuuji, and he still didn’t know how to set that kind of mood.
“Ah, um…”
“Well no, I don’t know how to say it exactly…”
Shuuji hemmed and hawed, trying to broach the subject.
The clone didn’t rush him, but instead put his hand on Shuuji’s knee to calm him.
No matter what Shuuji said, the clone would accept it.
That was the feeling he got.
“I want you to hold me, but…”
Even with his courage bucked up, his voice still trailed off into nothing, and his head stayed down.
He couldn’t even confirm if what he’d said had reached the clone’s ears or not because he was too embarrassed to lift his head.
The clone gave his answer with his actions.
His hands wrapped around Shuuji’s shoulders and pulled Shuuji to his chest.
But it felt reserved somehow.
Maybe because Shuuji had rejected the clone’s attempt to hold him around the shoulders in the beginning.
Koutarou loved touching Shuuji.
He’d said once that it wasn’t so much a desire for skinship, but rather that he wanted to feel close to Shuuji all the time.
The clone must have harbored those same feelings, and Shuuji suddenly felt bad that he’d been making him hold back all this time.
Shuuji kissed the clone on the back of the neck, to press the issue.
The soft touch, different from the feel of fingers, told the clone that these were Shuuji’s lips.
Shuuji didn’t understand exactly what happened, but the clone pushed him down onto the sofa like he’d snapped.
The bedroom was right next door, but it was like time was too precious to shift venues.
Shuuji felt the same.
Koutarou’d never once handled him roughly.
He’d always been gentle, but today he was more delicate than anything else, touching Shuuji’s body with a certain deliberateness, like he was handling something fragile.

He undid Shuuji’s buttons carefully, one by one, and it just made Shuuji impatient.
He regretted, pointlessly, why he should even be wearing something so troublesome as a shirt at a time like this, but he couldn’t very well just toss his own clothes off.
Shuuji could barely manage to lift his shoulders up to help the clone as he slid Shuuji’s shirt off him.
The clone then continued, pulling things off Shuuji’s lower half that could only get in the way now.
The clone’s grip was so cautious, but Shuuji felt impatient somehow, because the clone still wasn’t touching his skin.
Having only removed Shuuji’s clothing, the clone stopped moving, and stared hard.
They’d been going out for six years, there was no reason to be embarrassed at being seen completely naked at this point, but because he thought of the clone as a different person, a bashfulness Shuuji’d never felt before overtook him.
It was too embarrassing, and Shuuji’s voice trembled as he gripped the clone’s arm.
The fact that he was the only one naked, and the clone’s gaze on him, sent a wave of heat through his body.
“Sorry, sorry.
I’m just fascinated, I love your body, Shuuji.”
Shuuji was fair-skinned, and basically just skin and bones; he knew his body wasn’t charming or manly, but Koutarou had always complimented him, told him he was attractive.
He was glad to be to the clone’s tastes, but his embarrassment made him say something.
“Trying to say you don’t have perfect memories of this?”
“It’s the first time I’ve seen you with these eyes, I want to burn it in properly.”
The clone had always said he was the same Koutarou as before, this was the first time he’d recognized aloud that it was a different body.
“In that case, don’t just use your eyes, feel me with your whole body.”
Shuuji’s entire self stained red as he tempted the clone.
Both of them were experiencing firsts of all different kinds.
Again, Shuuji’s joy at being the clone’s first partner for a second time outweighed his shyness.
The clone swallowed hard and stretched his hand out to touch Shuuji’s naked body.
The sensation of the clone’s fingers as they crept along his chest drew a long sigh past Shuuji’s lips.
They hadn’t held each other in more than a month, so he felt everything keenly, even just being touched.
But the way the clone was playing with his nipples was unbearable.
Shuuji rocked his hips back and forth and endured the pleasure.
The clone must have noticed what Shuuji was feeling.
The sense of distance Shuuji’d felt from him until just a minute ago vanished.
His fingertips still playing with Shuuji’s chest, the clone’s head aimed lower, further down his abdomen.
His towering erection was enveloped in a warm sensation.
Internally, he was incredibly embarrassed to be in the clone’s mouth, but his body accepted it so joyfully it seemed to have been waiting for exactly that.
The apartment lights were still on too, to make matters worse, but it only heightened Shuuji’s senses.
Shuuji reached his climax so quickly he couldn’t use the excuse that it had just been a long time.
“Eno… Get…”
He was trying to get the clone to move so he wouldn’t cum right in his mouth, but the clone paid him no heed.

The instant he got there, Shuuji let out a shout of uncontainable delight.
Stunned at being attacked so suddenly and brought to ejaculation, Shuuji couldn’t manage anything but raising and lowering his shoulders with repeated ragged breaths.
Meanwhile, the clone was trying to move on to the next step.
He lifted Shuuji’s knees and spread his legs, and then put his hand in between them.
The clone knew from experience that if he didn’t loosen Shuuji up inside, they wouldn’t be able to move forward.
A wet finger touched him inside, and Shuuji’s body reflexively stiffened in surprise.
The bedroom was the only place with lube in it, so the clone must have wet his fingers with saliva.
Slowly, carefully, the clone’s fingers sunk into him.
Shuuji endured the feeling of pressure, heaving a big breath.
No matter how much Koutarou wanted Shuuji, he’d never held him when he was the only one who wanted it.
A bulge big enough to lift the clone’s pants crossed Shuuji’s line of sight, and his expression was twisted in distress.
“That… much…”
The clone didn’t miss even that tiny voice.
His hand stopped moving and he drew his face close to hear Shuuji better.
“You don’t have to be so timid… It’s okay.”
“No it’s not.
I’m not going to be able to stop myself, I’m trying to hold back.”
“Yeah, stop doing that.”
Shuuji wasn’t looking for more intensity, he just wanted to feel the clone with his entire body sooner, even one second sooner.
It wasn’t just Shuuji’s words that were heated either, his body got warm again, and urged the clone on.
The overly delicate movement of the clone’s fingers slowed down and spread wide inside him.
Adding more and more saliva, the clone eventually settled three fingers inside him.
“Enough… I’m good…”
Shuuji wanted more of the clone, even as somewhere in his heart, he was ashamed of it, but he put his lusty demands into words.
The clone didn’t have any more restraint, and couldn’t ignore the request.
In place of the clone’s withdrawn fingers, something larger was pressed into Shuuji’s rear opening.
“Uugh… Aaah…”
Ravished by the clone’s towering stiffness, Shuuji let out a lusty moan that was almost a scream.
There was some pressure too, but he was overjoyed to feel that heat again.
“Quick… Move…”
Not interested in trying to wait for his body to get used to it like usual, Shuuji wrapped his hands around the clone’s neck and pulled his body close, tightening around the clone’s erection, trying to make up for all that time the clone hadn’t been there.
The clone pulled his hips back slowly, and then pressed his erection in all at once.

“Ah– Haa… Aa…”
He repeated the motion, and Shuuji couldn’t hold back the gasps flowing out of him.
The rougher he demanded it, the more the clone felt alive.
He could feel the clone’s desire to pour even more love into him, in place of the Koutarou who’d passed on.
He’d already cum once, but he’d never experienced this intensity before, and it hounded him.
In the space between them, Shuuji’s erection was about to burst.
“Please– Together…”
“Yeah, I wanna cum together too–”
Fulfilling Shuuji’s wish, the clone wrapped his fingers around Shuuji’s taught erection, still moving his hips.
The instant he ejaculated, Shuuji let out a wordless shout, and the clone moaned in a deep tone.
The heat released from the clone’s body spread inside of Shuuji.
It had been a long time since he’d kept going and ejaculated a second time, and it was the first time Koutarou had ever been so rough.
Even after they’d finished, Shuuji just laid there absentmindedly on his back.
“Are you alright?” the clone asked, laying a blanket over him.
He must have brought it in from the bedroom while Shuuji was momentarily unconscious.
“I’m fine already.
It’s just been a while, huh,” Shuuji said, trying to explain why he still couldn’t sit up.
He wanted to, but he really didn’t have the strength to.
“Plus, I didn’t know you could be that rough, Koutarou.”
Vivid memories lingered on Shuuji’s body, and his cheeks reddened.
“It’s your first time with me.
Of course you wouldn’t know.”
“I see.
I guess that is true.”
The man who was right here, right now, wasn’t the Koutarou who’d held him so many times, it was a new Koutarou.
No wonder there was an unknown side to him.
“Besides, that was my first experience in general.
I hope you’ll teach me more.”
“Teach you, like what?”
“All the right places to touch you.”
His suggestive smile brought out Shuuji’s bashfulness.
He was so embarrassed he ducked under the blanket.
“I’ll be even better next time, Shuuji, I’ll fill you up with pleasure.”
The inviting lines overtook Shuuji’s embarrassment and brought out a joy in him.
Shuuji poked his head out from under the blankets, and the clone met his eyes with a whole-face smile.
“Yeah?” The clone, sitting on the floor, locked eyes with Shuuji, still lying on his back.

“Thank you for falling in love with me again.”
Shuuji put his heart-felt feelings of gratitude into words.
Shuuji was so happy he’d chosen him again, even after he’d become the clone.
He’d inherited the other Koutarou’s memories, but it was always possible his way of thinking would change after experiencing his own death.
Even so, the clone had inherited more than just his feelings for Shuuji.
“I’m the one who should be grateful.
You love me even as a clone.”
At last, they’d communicated their feelings to each other.
No matter how much they wanted to understand everything about each other, there were some things you couldn’t convey if you didn’t put it into words.
Now that Koutarou had been born again as the clone, they’d both realized it.

– – –

“This is a nice apartment, huh?”
That was how the clone evaluated the place the first time he saw it.
Shuuji was relieved too, they’d finally found a suitable apartment, after a month of searching.
After they’d decided to leave Koutarou’s vacation house together, Shuuji had run around searching through listings in between jobs.
They were just two guys, not even brothers, and their requirements were quite modest, but one of them was a man who shouldn’t be in this world, so the places they could move into were quite limited.
And what was more, they had to make do with just Shuuji’s income for a while, so their rent budget was quite low.
“It’s a pretty old building, is that alright?”
“Is it a problem?”
Eventually, they ended up in a big apartment building that had been built in the Showa era,1 but the clone didn’t seem worried at all.
Rather, he looked excited to imagine the new life they would start here.
“No, I’m glad you like it.
Try opening the windows.” Shuuji prompted him to go further in, and the clone approached the window, just as he’d been told.
Shuuji followed just behind him.
“Oh, you can see the ocean?” the clone said, a little surprised, and then opened the window and leaned outside.
“You’ve got to come up the hill, and there are a lot of stairs, so getting here is a pain, but it’s got a great view, huh?”
“It certainly does.
But I didn’t know you liked the ocean that much, Shuuji.”
“I don’t know if I especially like it, but I never saw the ocean with Koutarou.”
When the real estate agent had led them here and they’d first seen it, he’d suddenly realized that fact, and it had boosted his decision to stay here.
He was making more and more new memories with the clone.
He wanted to make their first new home together a totally different environment than anywhere they’d been before.
Besides, up here, there was no one who knew either of them.
They’d probably have to worry about prying eyes wherever they were.
There wasn’t even any guarantee that the clone was a complete person.
Maybe some new flaw would make itself apparent tomorrow.
But even so, Shuuji had chosen to be with him.
There was no meaning to living in a world with no Koutarou.
He’d realized that when he’d almost lost Koutarou for the second time.
So they’d never be separated again.
Shuuji vowed to the Koutarou who was gone that he would love the clone who’d been born for his sake, even if he wasn’t the same as the original.

1926-1989, often used as shorthand for “old” in japan

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