Kasanoda would’ve liked to blame alcohol for the incident I am about to recount to you, but in truth the only drinks he and Tetsuya had touched all night were jolt cola and energy drinks. This is probably as understandable a stimulus for idiocy as tequila or vodka would be, but nowhere near as cool. In any case, Kasanoda and Tetsuya found themselves in the oddest of moods at an even odder hour of the evening (three forty-five, a.m.) and decided to keep themselves occupied in much the same vein.
Kasanoda poked at an empty can of Pokari Sweat, and Tetsuya rolled his eyes in that way that said he was both slightly exasperated and hopelessly enamoured. “We can’t play it,” he said, “we need more players and everyone else is asleep.”
“But I want to,” Kasanoda muttered, rolling the can back and forth between his outstretched hands. “We could make it work. It’ll just be shorter.”
“It gets boring if there’s no way to win properly,” Tetsuya pointed out, and Kasanoda reluctantly agreed. Now, there are surely many ways in which one could modify the game of kick the can to accommodate two players, but luckily for the reader Kasanoda chose what has to be the most interesting.
“Strip kick the can!” the young boss exclaimed, as though the answer had been staring him in the face the whole evening. “One of us could hide and try to kick the can while the other one seeks. If the hider gets tagged then they take something off, and if the can gets kicked the seeker takes something off. Then we switch! And the loser is the naked one.”
Tetsuya stared at Kasanoda, then clapped his hands together and beamed. That was the boss he’d chosen, always solving problems and being sweet and getting naked. Or at least two of those three things.
It started off in a relatively harmless, goofy fashion. They ran around and shouted in the dark and Tetsuya sent the can flying into the koi pond, leaving a half-dozen fish scared senseless but relatively unharmed. Kasanoda lost the first couple rounds, but since he’d had more layers on to begin with it didn’t put him at much of a disadvantage. Tetsuya tried not to laugh when Kasanoda took off his shirt and let out a yelp at the cold air on his skin; Kasanoda failed miserably at suppressing his own rough guffaws when Tetsuya did the same shortly after. There seemed to be a steady correlation between how many clothes they lost and how long it was deemed necessary to roll around in the grass together, shrieking and giggling when one tagged the other, but that could perhaps be blamed on the increasing lateness of the hour.
By dawn, Kasanoda was stalking around the lawn in his boxer shorts and one lone sock. Out of the corner of his eye he caught the flutter of a scarf; Tetsuya had insisted on keeping it even after being reduced to a state of undress similar to Kasanoda’s own. The young yakuza lord was off running, and Tetsuya let out a whoop as he raced for the can. He was there, and as he drew back his leg to kick Kasanoda lunged forward and tackled him to the ground.
They lay together in the grass, panting and grinning at each other. “You win, boss,” Tetsuya gasped. “Do I have to take the rest of my clothes off?”
“No.” Kasanoda fiddled with Tetsuya’s hair, a tangled blond mess spread out on the ground. “Well, unless you want to, I suppose. It’s pretty cold though.”
“And the grass is wet. I forgot about dew. We should go inside before you catch cold, boss.”
“Probably,” Kasanoda said. And they probably would have, but it was so much easier to curl up next to each other and fall asleep in the morning sunshine, and that is exactly what they did. Of course, they woke up covered in blankets and watched by what seemed like half the gang, all of which was supremely embarrassing for the both of them. Still, Kasanoda reflected as he snuggled half-naked against his best friend, it was a pretty awesome night all around.