At precisely 8:00 PM, Inui pulled the brim of his baseball cap down over his forehead and marshaled the salient points from his evening shift of data-collection. He had made some particularly interesting observations that day and he estimated that it would take no fewer than four and perhaps as many as six phone calls to Tezuka to convey all the particulars.
Tezuka answered after half of a ring, catching Inui off-guard. Generally, Tezuka answered after precisely two rings, although Inui had known him to be delayed on occasion. Once, he had not picked up until the fourth ring was nearly concluded. Inui wished he knew the circumstances of these variations in Tezuka's near-mechanical precision, but he contented himself with noting the dates and times under Tezuka Kunimitsu, Personal Data, Miscellaneous.
"Tezuka," he began, speaking rapidly, "Fudomine's Kamio challenged Momoshiro to a match on one of the street courts. Unfortunately it devolved into a wrestling match after three games, but Momoshiro attempted some interesting techniques for throwing Kamio off of his rhythm."
Inui paused, himself thrown off of his rhythm. Tezuka had not hung up on him yet. He quickly checked his phone to make sure it was not malfunctioning, but the display appeared normal. He pressed the phone to his ear again and thought he detected breathing on the other end of the line, although it was possible that he was simply imagining it, familiar as he was with the regular pattern of Tezuka's inhalations and exhalations. He forged on, although he found himself including various trivial observations and completely forgot several of the key points he had intended to pass on to Tezuka.
"Kaidoh has improved his control of his snake shot by thirteen percent under controlled conditions. Kikumaru has replaced all of his book covers with ones depicting the Chocolates, a musical group consisting of young females. Echizen recovered the handle of his racket using two different kinds of grip tape, although I am uncertain if he had any particular reason for this innovation. Fuji informed me that his little brother has undertaken a completely different training regime that sounds potentially intriguing, but unfortunately I was prevented from entering the grounds of St. Rudolph by a group of overzealous female soccer players."
Inui paused again. He wondered if Tezuka were still on the line. "What do you think, Tezuka?" he inquired, although he was not precisely certain what he was asking -- Tezuka's opinion about female soccer players?
"Inui," Tezuka said finally. "I need your help with something. Could you come to my house this evening?"
Inui's heart began to thud in an irregular and undisciplined manner. "Of course," he said at once. "I am presently approximately point seven kilometers from your house, so I estimate my arrival in less than ten minutes."
He took the familiar sound of a click and a dial tone to mean that Tezuka was content with this state of affairs, although he wished every step of the point seven kilometers that he had asked Tezuka the reason for his unprecedented request. None of his data concerning Tezuka suggested anything relevant, not that Inui was in any state to carefully weigh his data. He felt unusually flushed, all out of proportion to his level of physical exertion, and when he rang Tezuka's doorbell, he found that his hands were dripping with perspiration, which was completely illogical.
Tezuka's mother greeted him at the door, a small woman as neat and collected as Tezuka was. "Kunimitsu-kun is in his bedroom," she added as Inui removed his tennis shoes, fumbling with the laces as though they were a string of tangled Christmas lights.
Tezuka was sitting cross-legged on his bed when Inui entered. He had an odd expression on his face that Inui didn't quite know how to interpret.
"Inui," he said, jumping up to greet him. "Thank you for coming." His voice was oddly subdued.
"Of course," Inui said. "What do you need help with?" He always thought of Tezuka as having a complete mastery of everything; or at least, everything that he actually chose to do.
"My computer," Tezuka said, waving a hand at the desktop across the room, which was switched off and lifeless. It was rational enough. After all, Inui was very knowledgeable about computers. He took a seat at the desk, a position nearly as familiar and comfortable to him as standing on the tennis court, and powered the computer up.
"What problems are you experiencing with your computer?" he inquired, watching it run through a perfectly routine boot-up sequence.
"It's just ... not working," Tezuka mumbled evasively. Inui glanced sharply at him. Tezuka's posture was uncharacteristically slumped, and Inui thought that his face was seven percent redder than usual.
The computer presented him with an icon of a tennis ball next to Tezuka's name and prompted him for a password. Tezuka leaned past him to type it, and Inui found himself inhaling the clean scent of Tezuka's lavender shirt. It was strangely pleasant. He made a mental note to discover what brand of fabric softener Tezuka's mother used, then cursed himself for not observing Tezuka's fingers on the keyboard more closely. That was the kind of data he dreamed of gathering, sometimes literally, waking up all sticky in the morning.
Tezuka's computer desktop was as neat and unremarkable as his bedroom, with no wallpaper and no extraneous icons. Inui turned in his seat to attempt to meet Tezuka's eyes.
"Your computer seems to be perfectly functional," Inui remarked, puzzled. "I'm not sure what you want me to do."
Tezuka was now undeniably blushing and staring fixedly at a point on the floor, neither of which were behaviors that Inui had observed previously. "Just look at it," he muttered.
Inui returned to his original position in front of the monitor and found that Tezuka's desktop was plastered with popup windows, most of which depicted explicit homosexual sex acts.
"Your system seems to have been infected with some malware," Inui said, struggling to keep his voice even. His fingers tapped the keyboard furiously as he examined Tezuka's cookies and registry. "It can come disguised as a piece of perfectly innocent software."
"Perfectly innocent," Tezuka repeated, "of course. That must be it."
Inui quickly located and eliminated the program responsible for the cascading pornographic popups. In their absence, it was much easier for him to explore Tezuka's internet browsing habits, and from there to discover Tezuka's sizeable cache of homosexual pornography, all of which was neatly labeled and organized into subfolders, stashed away deep in a hierarchy of innocently-labeled folders. It was nothing compared to the lengths to which Inui went to conceal the homosexual pornography he kept on his computer involving multiple layers of encryption and misdirection, but it was sufficient to deter casual inspection.
"Very likely you visited some website that installed this malware on your computer automatically," Inui went on. He recognized a number of Tezuka's pornographic materials from his own browsing. He wanted to inspect the rest of them at that very moment, but he contented himself with uploading them all to his computer where he could collate, graph and chart every aspect of Tezuka's pornographic preferences, which were becoming increasingly evident.
"Oh," Tezuka said. "I didn't know that was possible."
"You need to employ a firewall and keep your anti-virus software up to date," Inui said. He pushed back his chair and rose. "Don't be careless," he added.
Tezuka was looking at anything in the room besides Inui's face. "I'll do that," he said.
Inui was dizzy with arousal. It wasn't the predictable, carefully-controlled pleasure that came with looking at his favorite porn and stroking himself to orgasm, or the secret, voyeuristic thrill of gathering some interesting data and adding it to one of his notebooks. He had determined that the most appropriate course of action would be to say goodbye to Tezuka, leave the house as quickly as humanly possible, and find the nearest public restroom or other vaguely private spot for masturbatory purposes, and yet his body seemed unwilling to cooperate. Instead, he took another step towards Tezuka, who licked his lips nervously and backed away.
"Thank you for fixing my computer," Tezuka said formally.
"It was nothing," Inui said, and shoved Tezuka backwards onto his bed. Owing to an apparent miscalculation, Tezuka's head slammed into the wall and Inui landed awkwardly on top of him and it felt so, so good.
"Wait," Tezuka gasped as Inui fumbled for Tezuka's zipper.
"Probability that you are enjoying this, one hundred percent," Inui noted, shoving Tezuka's waistband down around his thighs. The tip of Tezuka's cock bobbed up against Inui's stomach and Tezuka moaned and tried to wriggle away from him.
"My family is nearby, they're going to hear us," he protested.
"Then I recommend that you try to make as little noise as possible," Inui said. He held Tezuka's shoulder firmly in place with one hand as he worked on perfecting his technique with the other. Soon he found an angle and speed of stimulation that drew a highly satisfactory involuntary sound from Tezuka.
"Oh, no, I can't, stop," Tezuka mumbled incoherently. Inui ceased his activities for a moment, and Tezuka thrust hungrily against him, confirming Inui's hypothesis that Tezuka did not really want him to stop.
"Shall I help you reduce your audible output?" Inui murmured, and Tezuka nodded, frantically. Inui leaned forward to kiss him and his own erection rubbed against Tezuka's through the dual layers of his pants.
Inui had attempted to practice kissing before, but had concluded that all the variables could not be accounted for without a human partner. Certainly, he could never have emulated how Tezuka's feathery hair felt among his fingers as he cradled his head with one hand, or how Tezuka's deceptively-slender body writhed and rippled against his own, or how his own glasses kept sliding down his sweaty nose and he flung them across the room, not caring if they were smashed and he had to stumble home legally blind. However, the unpredictable, subtle lip movements that he had worried about proved to be surprisingly unproblematic. At least, based on Tezuka's enthusiastic response, he assumed that he must be doing it correctly.
Tezuka felt awkwardly at Inui's crotch, trying to find the fastening mechanism, and Inui diverted his free hand to help him and couldn't remember when his trousers had become so complicated. The button wouldn't unbutton and the zipper wouldn't unzip and Inui was getting so, so close, just feeling Tezuka's hand down there, doing unspeakable things to him. He couldn't think and he couldn't breathe and then the equation fell into place and he didn't know whether it was his semen or Tezuka's, staining Tezuka's clean lavender shirt, and he decided that they must have climaxed together because surely he would not have neglected such an important piece of data; surely he would never have been that careless.
They lay in a tangled, sweaty, sticky, satisfied heap for a time, Inui didn't know how long; he could only time it by the sound of Tezuka's thudding heart (or perhaps it was his own, or perhaps they were beating together), and his data told him nothing about Tezuka's post-coital heart rate. Tezuka was the first to stir, and Inui rolled over obligingly to let him rise, draping himself contentedly over Tezuka's bed.
"Oh, shit," Tezuka muttered, and Inui was certain that he had never heard his calm, collected captain swear, regardless of the circumstances. "Oh, fuck." Tezuka started to remove his soiled shirt and then pulled it back down over his torso, awkwardly. Inui got to his own feet and began to feel gingerly about the floor for his glasses, which, if he recalled correctly, were most likely located somewhere in the northeastern corner of the room.
It was Tezuka, who knew what it was to be temporarily blinded, who handed them to him. Inui reached awkwardly for the dark frames, trying not to brush Tezuka's palm with his fingers. Once he could see again, he expected to feel more in control of the situation, but instead he felt less so, trying to avoid Tezuka's glance, afraid of what he might find there. Inui always tried to be a responsible scientist, recording data regardless of his personal feelings or prejudices, but he found that the situation was slightly different after having a sexual encounter with the object of his incoherent desire ever since freshman year. He wasn't sure if Tezuka hated him and never wanted to see him again and he didn't think he wanted to know.
"If you have any further trouble with your computer," Inui said finally, "you can ask me for assistance. I promise that I won't cause problems for you." He gathered up his things and had his hand on the doorknob when Tezuka touched his elbow.
"Thank you," he said, still staring fixedly at the ground. "I think my computer will be having quite a bit of trouble in the future, with these unscrupulous sites that install software automatically without my permission."
"Of course," Inui said, neglecting to mention that with the various technical precautions he had implemented, this was unlikely at best. "Just let me know, any time."
"Of course," Tezuka repeated. "Any time."