Bronze ~ Zetsuai since
1989, by Minami Ozaki
Summary by Sumeragi, May 2001
Manga Number Eight
Shibuya comes to visit the duo, and surprise, surprise Izumi is training. His knee is doing better (aka he can walk fine) but it still needs to be in a brace. Kouji gives Izumi the time is up and herds him into the shower. Shibuya remarks on Koujis care over Izumi. Kouji replies that he wants only to be with Izumi and not be a bother.
Kouji drives Izumi to school. It is Izumis graduation day. As Izumi leaves the car, Kouji tells him to save a button for him, getting a rise out of Izumi. After the ceremony, as Kouji predicted, the ladies tore Izumi to shreds. But, he did manage to save a button for Kouji. Izumi throws it at him as he leaves to a get together with the soccer team.
In the locker room, Izumi has fresh clothes and is enjoying a drink with the guys. They ask him about the J league (Japanese Soccer League) and such. Izumi notices the silent Kunihide and asks him about his girlfriend, wondering if it would help her if Kouji came to visit. Shocked by his kindness, Kunihide asks why he does this after what he did. Izumi tells him that he understands his feelings and that their fight between men has been forgotten. He also reminds Kunihide that he isnt the captain anymore (since Kunihide has been calling him Izumi-captain the whole time), but Kunihide is. Kunihide gets on his knees, telling Izumi he is sorry and that he will help Eri, certainly. Izumi replies, is that so? Im glad Izumi leaves to join Kouji in the car and to go home to do more training.
At the recording studio, Shibuya and the band members talk about Izumi and his new fame in the soccer scene. Kouji is being dark and moody. Shibuya pushes the right buttons to make Kouji furious. The former gets thrown across the room and the latter storms out.
Later, Kouji and Izumi are watching a soccer game. Izumi is totally absorbed into the game. Meanwhile, Kouji is focused on his own inner battle of wanting Izumi to himself and supporting Izumis passion for soccer. He wonders if Izumi will cause them to separate or himself.
After the game, Kouji manages to get Izumi away from a horde of girls. In the car, Kouji convinces Izumi to let him take him somewhere before training. They end up in a sakura forest where the blossoms fall like snow. Holding a petal, Izumi mentions it has the shape of a heart. Taking off his jacket, Izumi tells Kouji that he wishes to be buried under a sakura tree looking over a soccer field. Saying he wished he could hurry and play soccer, Izumi runs off. Kouji panics and goes to grab him, making Izumi fall on top of him. Crying, he tells Izumi that he was worried Izumi would slip on the petals.
Back at his room (in some kind of resort for the soccer players), Izumi lies on his bed. He thinks about the rest of the scene in the sakura forest where Kouji hugged him so hard it hurt. Izumi was easily picked up by Kouji and set back to the ground. Thinking to himself, Izumi wonders how many times will he have to see Koujis mournful eyes. A team member comes in (Im going to call him the goalie since I dont know his name but thats what he does) to tell Izumi to take a shower how since the boiler is broken and hot water will be gone soon. As Izumi takes off his shirt, sakura petals fall to the ground. He continues to think about Kouji and realizes that they didnt kiss. After a moment of disappointment, Izumi wonders what the hell he was just thinking.
In the showers, Izumi looks at the other guys, thinking that he certainly finds women to be a lot nicer than men (Izumi: Of course! Im not a homo). And yet Kouji is different somehow. In the bath, he thinks about being in Koujis warm arms, his name Takuto being called, and some guys disrupt the thoughts by getting into the bath with Izumi. He gets out of the water, telling to himself that he has to stop thinking about Kouji.
The Kreuz band rehearsal/recording is cut short when Kouji decides he doesnt feel like singing. Going to his apartment, the phone rings. He picks it up with his usual coolness, who is it? Izumi comes over the line, immediately causing Kouji to worry that something bad had happened. Izumi reassures him with a typical stupid and asks Kouji if they could go out for his break the next day.
Kouji shows up to the resort type place to pick Izumi up in flashy type SUV. Izumi normally rips on Kouji for his cars, but this time he has decided he likes the car, getting a happy expression out of Kouji, which is instantly smashed by his foot. Driving along, they reach the sea. Izumi wants to go swimming, but Kouji refuses saying that while Izumi may be allowed to swim with his condition, the water is filthy. Hell take him to a hotel pool instead. On the beach, Izumi wants to go running. Kouji holds him back and decides to carry Izumi on his shoulders to the hotel.
At the pool, Izumi strips for a swim. Kouji cant swim with his arm thus tells Izumi hell watch on the poolside. Kouji eyes Izumi in his Speedo. Izumi swims a bit, stops to look at Kouji, crawls out of the pool and kneels on Kouji. Dont watch with your mouth open pervert. Just before Kouji touches him, Izumi jumps back into the pool. Ripping off his arm, Kouji follows the boy and the two share a kiss underwater. Both coming up for air, Kouji tells Izumi that he wants to do it, Takuto. A hotel clerk shows up, making sure everything is okay. Kouji tells him that theyll need robes and a room for the night.
In their room, Izumi stands looking out the window. Kouji comes up from behind, offering Izumi a glass of champagne. Izumi refuses and says that maybe he should go back. Kouji pours the champagne on Izumis face saying that he wont go back tonight. He roughly turns Izumi around, telling him to think only of him. Forget everything else, even soccer. All of him belongs to Izumi, and never forget that. Hugging the kneeling Kouji, Izumi thinks, My Kouji
Kouji has gotten Izumi into bed and starts pleasuring him. Izumi thinks about the warmth of Kouji, etc, etc. He stops Kouji, telling him it is unfair he is the only one. He holds Koujis stump of an arm and licks it. Hugging the arm, he asks Kouji if it hurts. Kouji replies that since Izumi is there, it doesnt hurt. Izumi asks would it hurt if he wasnt there. As a response, Kouji tells him that hell never let go. If Izumi dies, I die. I will go wherever Izumi is. Izumi is my necessity, my only necessity. A world without Izumi? It doesnt exist. To this and further words of love, Izumi calls Kouji a liar.
The next morning, Izumi awakes in Koujis arm. Kouji kisses the boy and says morning. Almost surprised to see him, Izumi says his name and hugs him tightly. As Kouji asks if he had a bad dread, Izumi thinks to himself how he likes the feel if Kouji caressing his hair. Izumi asks Kouji why he is up so early. Kouji smiles and tells him that he wouldve died if he had awakened and Izumi wasnt there. Further more, he hasnt slept in the past two days so that he could savor every minute with Izumi. Izumi calls him foolish while thinking to himself about how he likes Koujis hand, smell, and the eyes always looking at him. Tears form in Izumis eyes as he begins to fear these emotions. Noticing the tears, Kouji worries that Izumi is hurt. Izumi pushes him away, telling him to stop being so kind.
At practice, the coach tells Izumi that they are going to start training him harder for soccer, thus giving Izumi a real boost that hell be able to play soccer soon. Telling the news to Kouji, Izumi smiles happily. Kouji is hurt by the smile.
At practice, Serika and her friend show up to say hi to Izumi. Kouji manages to lead the girls away from the Izumi fans. Yuugo shows up as well. The five people talk in the parking lot. Yuugo has joined the basketball team (despite being short) mainly because he could never match Izumi in soccer. Izumi asks them if they should go out for lunch. Kouji decides to let the siblings enjoy themselves. Serikas friend says that she should pass as well, and Kouji offers for the two of them to get tea. Izumi actually clomps onto Kouji telling him that all five of them will go together. As Izumi changes clothes, Yuugo glares at Kouji. He asks Kouji if he is homosexual. Serika bursts in, yelling at her brother for such a horrible question. The scene continues with Kouji trying to explain that he isnt homosexual, its just Izumi he loves. To Yuugo, this still means he is homosexual. Kouji gives the scenario to Yuugo that what if the person you loved turned out to be a guy. Would you stop loving him? Yuugo replies the affirmative. Kouji explains that then it wasnt true love. Izumi shows up in time to save Kouji and a car arrives (with Shibuya driving!) for them to go to lunch. Before they leave, Yuugo tells Kouji that he wont let him do anything strange to Izumi. Kouji replies, Too late
Kouji watches Izumi at soccer practice, knowing the words I want to play soccer are running through his head.
At the recording for his band, Kouji is distracted, but manages to do a song. Out of no where, he hugs Gunji. He lets go saying that hugging men makes him feel sick. Shibuya tries to revive the shocked Gunji. Outside, Shibuya finds Kouji. Kouji asks him if its strange that he should only like Izumi and no other woman or man. Shibuya suggests that Kouji should get a woman. Kouji sadly smiles and thinks it could be a good idea.
Kouji showers after a night with a lady.
At soccer practice, the coaches decide to let Izumi play in a mini-game. Izumi is thrilled. Game A player passes Izumi the ball, his eyes shine up, and Izumi scores by himself. The other players look stunned at what just happened. The coaches are also stunned and then call for a better defense. Izumi apologizes, wondering if he went before they were ready. The goalie gets furious at the statement. He and the other defenders get ready for the next play. Izumi accepts the challenge. He runs with the ball again later, flying over defense. One defender, however, manages to knock Izumi down before the goal. Izumi looks up to the goalie and asks if soccer is the best. The goalie replies, of course. And Izumi runs for the ball again thinking how wonderful it is to be playing soccer again. Coming back down the field, he makes for the goal, but the goalie blocks the shot. As Izumi chases the balls, he tells the goalie itll go in next time. Kouji watches on, seeing Izumi laughing, smiling, and truly enjoying the feel of soccer. While Izumi runs down the field, Kouji swears he can see his pure white wings.
Continue to Manga Number 9