Confusion is another relatively short prequel to Turning His Life Around that features Kenji (YAY!  Kenji is my favorite! -Mr. Grace) and Ian primarily and helps establish more of their prior relationship after Kenji left to join the military.

Find the previous chapters below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4


He glanced up and the hazel eyes were focused on him. “Something wrong?” Kenji asked.

Ian shook his head. “No. Had the thought that I’m not looking forward to when you go back,” he said, hoping that Kenji didn’t see through it. It wasn’t really a lie, anyway.

He knew why he was afraid of the things he thought he felt coming from Kenji. If he returned the feelings—admitted that he felt that way—he’d have to deal with those fears. Half of it was that he wasn’t sure how he’d handle it when Kenji was sent back out. And the other half was because he didn’t know if he could deal with it at all if something were to happen to Kenji and he didn’t come home again, ever. Ian had been through that already once, and it was still just a little too recent. Not that he ever wanted to go through it again. He mentally shook it away.

“How are you with that?” Kenji asked, unerringly hitting the heart of things. He brushed a bit of Ian’s hair back and wrapped his arms around Ian again.

Ian closed his eyes and rested his head on Kenji’s chest to just enjoy the arms for a moment, then sighed. Kenji let go and he bent to scoop up his clothes before they turned toward the bedroom.  “Normally, I’m doing pretty well.” Ian finally replied. He paused when they stepped into the other room and motioned toward his chest of drawers. Hayate’s picture was still up there. “I still think about him, but most of the time, it’s not nearly as bad as it was before you left.”

Kenji dropped his uniform on top of his duffle and tugged on Ian, wrapping his arms around him once again. “I’ll be leaving in three weeks, not before. If you want – and you’re Mom’s okay with it, I can stay here most of that time.”

“You’d do that?” Ian asked, glancing up.

Kenji nodded. “If that’s what you want, I’ll be happy to. Can’t think of a better place to spend leave than with you and Kane.”

Ian grinned. “Then yes, I do. I know Kane would want it, too.”

Kenji’s smile matched Ian. “Good. And remember, my job doesn’t involve being one of the first to go to the front even if something were to come up. I’m a geek; I work with the equipment and machines.”

“I know,” Ian said, staring at the toned chest under his hands. He traced the muscles with his fingertips, pausing to brush his lips across them, buying himself a moment. He swallowed and looked up into his friend’s face. “I couldn’t take losing you, too.”

Kenji sighed and dropped a kiss on Ian’s forehead. “I wish I hadn’t had to go,” Kenji said into Ian’s hair, his arms tightening. “I miss you two so much, but I didn’t have many options.”

Ian nodded. “I know.” He looked up at his friend. “Just… God, don’t be a hero, okay?”

Kenji smiled. “There are very few heroic computer people.”

Ian laughed. “Right.” He shook his head then dropped another kiss on Kenji’s lips, which Kenji took advantage of and deepened the kiss. Ian let himself get thoroughly lost in it, letting himself simply enjoy the feel of the lips, of Kenji in his arms and close. When they finally pulled back a long time later, Ian sighed. “Come on, Kane’s going to get pissed if I hog your time.”

Kenji laughed. “Don’t want that.”

They dressed quickly and headed out to the living room. The pizza boxes were piled on the coffee table with paper plates and paper towels. Kane had the TV on and Ian recognized the Borg running around on the Enterprise. “About time you two came out. You leave anything for me?” Kane asked Ian and Kenji laughed.

“Geez, you two.” Kenji shook his head and sat next to Kane on the couch, leaning in and giving his friend a long slow kiss. “That better?” he asked and Kane grinned. Ian took the spot on the other side of Kenji and laughed.

“For now,” Kane said with a chuckle and the three of them dove into the pizza boxes.