Where Do We Go From Here?

            Morning came through Ryoga’s apartment in the form of a single sunbeam through Ryoga’s bold yellow window curtain. The sunlight touched Ryoga’s face, filling him with warmth and serenity. Kerry’s warm and naked body pressed against him also provided Ryoga with sensual warmth as well. The previous night of passion with the luminous Kerry Kwok was amazing. Now the muscular and sensual Kwok curled his hot Korean body next to Ryoga’s warm Japanese body, his soft breath blew tingles on Ryoga’s neck as he slept.


            With the sunlight entering, Kerry started to get up of bed, slightly pulling Ryoga’s new linen sheets till they revealed Ryoga’s muscular body and the upper half of his well-defined torso. Ryoga turned over and watched as Kerry’s naked body fumbled for his clothing and got an eyeful of Kerry’s tanned bubble butt.


            “Don’t leave,” Ryoga grinned stupidly.


            “I’m going to be late for work,” Kerry muttered as he struggled to throw his tight black boxer briefs on. The black fabric hugged his body as Kerry turned around and gave Ryoga a humongous eyeful of his tall muscular body, clad only in briefs. Ryoga closed his eyes and remembered how he ripped those briefs off with his fanged teeth off Kerry’s sweaty body as Kwok moaned in ecstasy the night before.


            “I’ll go make some coffee if you want,” Ryoga tried to garner the strength to get out of the bed. “No,” Kerry stammered suddenly as he finished the Harvard cross knot of his metallic blue tie. “You stay there and look like the sexy person you are. You’re on your day off and you deserve it.” He gave Ryoga a soft peck on the lips. Ryoga could smell Kerry’s strong cologne envelope him.


“I’ll call you later,” Ryoga called out as Kerry walked out the door. He thought he heard Kerry mutter “Sure” and he assumed that was what he muttered. Pleased with himself, Ryoga curled back to sleep as the sunlight rolled in.




            After a refreshing nap with hopes of seeing naked Kerry again, Ryoga woke up to Ryan’s text message inviting him to lunch at Fuzios, a fusion Italian-Asian restaurant directly on Market Street. Ryoga hopped out of bed and threw on his best looking white dress shirt and jeans. Fuzios was a quaint little restaurant squeezed in the middle of the large Castro street stores. Its tan walls and trendy little neon lights made it a wonderful place for gays to gather and gossip. There was even one set of tables placed conveniently next to the windows for perfect guy cruising opportunities.


            The group was already there when Ryoga arrived at Fuzios. Martin was looking saucy in a pinstriped shirt and khakis as he munched a portabello mushroom sandwich. Ryoga’s ex-something Tyler was wearing a warm blue sweatshirt and gray pants and was diving into a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Devin wore his trademark “69” tanktop and was eating pad thai. Barry had simply thrown on some flannel shirt thing and jeans and ate ravioli. And Ryan, dressed professionally in a dry-cleaned red dress shirt and black Dockers pants, forked his way through a bowl of pasta salad. Ryoga sat down and picked at some of the communal fried calamari that the group had ordered.


            “Sounds like you had a good night,” Ryan grinned. “I left several messages on your cell phone but it seemed to me that you were pretty busy.”


            “Yeah,” Ryoga said modestly as he popped a piece of fried calamari into his mouth and grinned at Ryan and was about to elaborate about how he met the studly and charming Kerry Kwok. “Wait, before you tell your Prince Charming story,” Martin said disgustedly, “I have to say something first. There’s word that some Asian slut ‘made the team’ with Kerry Kwok last night.” Ryoga choked on the calamari.


            “Last night?” Tyler asked intrigued. “I thought that he got all the Asian guys in this city within a ten mile radius. Well, except for Martin and Ryan.”


            “Whatever,” Ryan replied airily. “It was a while back when Kerry Kwok advanced on me too.” He paused at the realization of his age. “You didn’t hear that,  Ryoga.”


            “What is your obsession with Kerry Kwok?” Devin replied to Martin. “He would probably fuck you too if you asked him politely enough.”


            “It’s just that he is not a decent example of a human being,” Martin snapped back. “And if you didn’t know already, Kerry Kwok is the last man on Earth that I would ever be with.” Ryan nodded in agreement. “My one issue with him is that he is fucking both psychologically and physically the minds of our potential dating pool.”


            “You’re just jealous of him,” Ryan smiled. Martin looked even more pissed


            “Damnit,” Barry said finally. He was furious. His fork slammed on his plate and it made a hard clinking noise. “I’m so fucking sick of this bullshit!”


            “You’re sick of hearing about the wonderful adventures of Mr. Kerry Kwok too?” Tyler muttered.


            “Can we not talk about sex for more than a minute?” Barry elaborated angrily. “It’s like the only thing we have on our mind! What about politics or entertainment or what was in the newspaper, ya know, something more plausible than whose ass is getting plugged by Kerry Kwok today?!”


            “Fine,” Ryan said, picking at his pasta salad.


            “Fine,” Martin said, studying the painting behind Barry.


            “Fine,” Devin said, checking his watch. 


            “Fine,” Tyler said, checking out the nearby Vietnamese waiter’s muscular derriere.


            Ryoga was still dumbfounded in silence.


Barry folded his arms.


            “I have a question for you guys,” Martin finally said. “Second date- oral or anal?” Ryan and Devin sighed in relief. Barry almost spat out his chicken dumpling soup. “Jesus Christ!” he growled angrily. “I give up!”


            “This is about Luke isn’t it?”  Devin grinned and taunted Martin in a sing-song ditty. “Martin’s gonna get some ass! Unless you’ve already gotten it.”


            “I’m a gentleman and I don’t hop into the sack the first night like certain people I have heard of,” Martin muttered and leered at Devin. “Trust me, Devin, I have names.” Devin looked down shamefully.


            “Well this is how I do it,” Ryan said as-a-matter-of-factly. “When I go on my first date with a guy, I follow the ‘don’t touch rule’- as in hands off whatever is ‘below the equator.’ Even legs. I keep it simply first base. And sometimes second base.” Martin nodded in agreement. Ryan continued. “For the second date, oral and third date, anal.” Ryan folded his arms happily. “Repeat until he’s your boyfriend.”


            “If your rules are so wonderful,” Tyler smirked. “Then why are you still single?” Ryan glared at Tyler and then went back to munching on his salad.


Ryoga looked around aimlessly. He noticed a professionally dressed Kerry Kwok walk into the restaurant. Kerry said a few brief words to the waiter and the waiter pulled out a take-out bag. Kerry fumbled with the money from his wallet and handed it to the waiter. Ryoga got up quickly.


“Where are you going?” Ryan asked. “You haven’t ordered yet.” Ryoga fumbled for an excuse but he couldn’t find one so he just quickly left.


“He is so seeing someone,” Devin snickered. Ryan tried to feign a smile.





            Outside Fuzios, Kerry was using his cell phone. Ryoga could only capture the last few bits of his conversation as he hurriedly rushed out of the restaurant and into the bustling sidewalk. “Café, tonight?” Kerry said. “Yeah, I’ll be there around ten or eleven.”


            “Hi,” Ryoga finaly said very forwardly.


Kerry put his phone down. “Do I know you?” Kerry looked a little bit confused.


            “I’m Ryoga,” Hibiki replied. “From last night.”


            “Oh,” Kerry realized and smiled charismatically. “I just know so many people that it’s hard to keep track nowadays. How are you doing?”


            Ryoga smiled back. “I’m good, thanks.”


            “Okay,” Kerry said and returned to his cell phone. Ryoga stammered: “What are you doing tonight?”


            “I have plans tonight,” Kerry said airily.


Ryoga fished for another line: “What about next week?”


“I’d have to check my schedule,” Kerry replied coolly. “How about I call you if I want to do this again.” Ryoga smiled cutely. “Okay, I’ll see you later.” He winked at Ryoga and walked away, giving Ryoga full view of his muscular back, toned buttocks and muscular legs, even clad in his business suit.




            After the luncheon with his friends, Ryan returned to work at the newsroom and finished another metro story before its deadline. He received a phone call from the airport on his cell phone that he would need to come in on Saturday because another translator called in sick. Great, Ryan muttered. Weary from work, he took the MUNI back to Castro Street Station and returned home to see that Riki’s suitcase was now completely packed, as compared to the empty suitcase that he had to deal with last night.


            “I had a great time,” Riki tried to say positively.


            “I’m sure you did,” Ryan tried to smile and tried to deny the fact that Riki had completely mooched off him. “It would be good to have the house to myself for a while.” Ryan quietly walked into his room and tried to ignore Riki. He sat down on his bed and stared at the window and looked outwards to the people walking down his street.


            Riki walked in. “What’s wrong?” Riki asked and sat on Ryan’s bed. “I don’t know,” said Ryan, even though he knew perfectly what was going on. “I’m just wondering why you couldn’t move down here. An interview is an interview you know?”


            “A job is a job too,” Riki said. “I would love to live in this city and live here with you. But my school is offering my old position and I got lucky that they did that.” Ryan nodded.  “Ryan, you have everything that you have ever wanted in life,” Riki said. “You’re established here and I’m not. I’m also at a point in my life that I’m so busy figuring out who I am that I can’t even have a relationship.”


            “You’re right,” Ryan said and it hit him. Riki was right. Ryan now had that established career that he longed for and that house with a white picket fence. Well, it was actually a house with a largely raised stairwell with no picket fence but it was still the same thing. Riki wasn’t the right thing for him at that moment. But did he want “the right thing” as well? Ryan knew that he could take some time to have some fun for himself. Riki was fun. He was a lot of fun.


            Ryan got up. “Now what do you want me to do?” he suddenly said. “Do you want me to watch you walk out of my life forever? You were the best thing to happen to me in a while.” Ryan quietly thought about what he said because he knew that the last part wasn’t true. It was Ryoga….


            “You don’t have to do much,” Riki felt overwhelmed by the emotion. “Just walk me to the door and say goodbye,” Riki said with tears welling up in his eyes, “That’s all I ask of you.” Ryan held Riki’s hand. He closed his eyes and touched Riki’s hand to his cheek. Riki felt all his sadness well up in him and he kissed Ryan with as much passion as he could and like he was going to his own execution the next day.




            While Riki and Ryan were about to have farewell sex, Luke’s room looked like he was in the mood as well. After another date full of witty conversation and much flirtation, Martin twirled his glass of champagne as he sat on Luke’s white couch. He was finally in Luke’s apartment and Luke was very prepared for Martin’s arrival. Warm white candles backed against the red walls of Luke’s living room.


            “I like your place,” Martin choked. He could hear Luke in the kitchen rambling for supplies and wondered what on Earth the hot Chinese guy was doing.


            Luke walked into the living room. He was wearing a gray tanktop and his black khakis and was carrying a tray with a single plate on it. On the tray was the most heavenly chocolate mousse that Martin had ever seen in pure green china, with two silver forks lying lightly on a white linen sheet. Martin was overwhelmed by Luke’s casual romanticness.


            Martin closed his eyes as his mouth felt the warm, lustful sensations of pure chocolate.  “I knew you liked chocolate because I saw you oogling that chocolate torte in Just Desserts during our last date,” Luke said shyly.


And that’s when Martin pounced on him




            Ryoga had no idea where the other guys went. Ryan had said something about going to the airport. Martin had a date. He could care less what Tyler was doing. Barry was busy with his partner and Devin was sleeping and getting ready for another night of clubbing. However he knew exactly what he wanted to do. He wanted to go see Kerry again and ask Kerry to dance with him. If he could get Kerry on the dance floor, he could succeed in seducing him the same way that he did with Tyler.


            Ryoga walked into The Café on Market Street at approximately 10-ish that evening. He wore his tightest shirt possible, which was a metallic black shirt that he bought from Ingenious completely pushed out his pectorals and hugged his biceps. Even at ten, the club was already crowded with men. Ryoga scoped out the scene of attractive young guys his age and very old men who were also scoping out the young men. Ryoga walked towards the bartender who was an attractive Latino guy with short hair, tattoos on his bicep and a goatee. “Where’s Kerry Kwok?” Ryoga asked. The bartender rolled his eyes and motioned to the stairwell on the other side of the club.


            The stairwell led to a billiard room where several guys were playing on various billiard tables. Ryoga walked down excitedly when he saw Kerry in the corridor. But that excitement turned to frustrated curiosity- Kerry was already there and it looked like there was another guy with him. 


            The guy that Kerry was with was pretty cute. He was a Chinese guy with a warm smile and a soft but steady face. It almost looked like he had a unibrow but his bushy eyebrows just enhanced his sensual slanted eyes and his perked up nose and his coy smile. His bold black hair was spiked up with water. He wore a T-shirt and gray jogging pants. Around his necklace was a jaded Chinese medallion. He didn’t even dress up to meet Kerry. Kerry, on the other hand, was studly in his gray dress coat and pinstriped shirt and pinstriped pants. He was bent over finishing another ball off.


            “So what’s a guy like you doing at a place like this,” Kerry started his dance of seduction as the green ball entered the hole, “when you have a girlfriend?”


            “She’s not really my girlfriend,” the guy said. He had a Taiwanese accent that also sounded very colloquial and fob-ish. “She’s just for convenience when mom and dad come around. Besides, haven’t you ever liked girls before?” The guy nervously laughed.


            “Never,” Kerry said and bent over at the pool table. He hit a purple ball into the right corner pocket.


            “It’s just been a while, you know?” the Asian guy started to stammer. “She’s just putting so much pressure on me. And lately, I’m feeling like I need something different in my life.”


            “Would you like to try something different?” Kerry stroked the pool stick between his legs. The Asian guy’s eyes got wider at the sight of Kerry’s smooth fingers gliding on the thin stick. Kerry then smiled his very seductive smile and turned around to finish the game off. The game was pretty much finished, as the guy looked a little bit nervous and turned on at the same time.


            “I’ll tell you what,” Kerry soothingly told the guy. “If I get the 8-ball into the left corner pocket, you have to give me your number.” Ryoga took a closer look at the pool table. The 8-ball was nowhere near the left corner pocket. In fact, it was right in the middle of the pool table.


            “That’s impossible,” the guy snorted and he came closer to Kerry. They were so close to each other that their lips almost touched and it seemed that the guy was hesitating. After all, he did have a girlfriend.


            “Nothing’s impossible,” Kerry whispered and then bent over to hit the ball. Instead of targeting a specific hole, Kerry hit the cue ball directly toward the eight-ball. The ball bounced to the edge and then bounced from one side to another before falling into the left corner pocket. Ryoga’s eyes opened wide.


            The Asian guy coyly took out a slip of paper and wrote his number. “You got lucky,” the guy smiled at Kerry. “Actually,” Kerry replied. “You just did.” The guy walked away and took one last glance at Kerry. “Call me,” the guy smiled and walked away. Ryoga made his move. “So this is what you call busy?” he snapped at a not-so-surprised Kerry.


            “I swear I should take personal calls in not so public areas,” Kerry rolled his eyes. “What the fuck are you doing here?”


            “Wondering what the fuck you are doing with some other guy,” Ryoga said angrily. “I thought you said that you couldn’t stop thinking about me.”


            “That was that moment,” Kerry replied. “But we both had a good time and now it’s over. It’s time for both you and me to move on with our lives.” Ryoga tried to push for a different response: “What about the compliments? And spending the night? Did that matter?”


“My place is so clean because I don’t spend time in it at night,” Kerry replied. “And the compliments were to get into your pants if you want me to be so honest and blatant.” Ryoga was suddenly very much turned off.


“So I meant nothing to you basically?” Ryoga said. He tried to hold back the hurt within his heart.


            “If you wish to put it blatantly, yes,” Kerry replied coolly. “Last night was fun but I don’t do relationships.” The way Kerry mouthed those five words put millstones through Ryoga’s mind.  Kerry continued gruffly, “I’m still young and attractive and I’m going to use it to my fullest advantage to get what I want.” Kerry continued. “I love men,” he said. “I love having sex with men. I don’t have time right now to settle down with one single guy. If you didn’t hear it from Martin already, my reputation surpasses me.” Ryoga wanted his jaw to drop at everything that Kerry had just said to him but he couldn’t gain the strength to.


            “Are you done?” Ryoga asked finally. Kerry nodded and Ryoga quietly walked away, feeling more victimized and lost than ever. He shuffled his way past the groups of men and the techno music as he walked out of The Café and into the cold streets.




“Attention Flight 103 to Seattle is now boarding,”


Ryan had spent the endless hours holding Riki’s hands in silence. Riki had fallen asleep and his soft blonde hair touched Ryan’s lower left jaw. “Hey kiddo,” Ryan said gruffly to Riki. “Wake up. Your flight is here.” Riki looked up at Ryan quietly and then got up.


            Spoken words could not say how they felt about each other at that moment. Ryan gave Riki a powerful hug. He could feel the warmth of Riki’s body enclose him. He took one last look at Riki, the tall Eurasian man with blonde hair, soft blue eyes, a black track jacket and blue jeans. Riki waved one last time to Ryan. Ryan smiled and waved back. Then Riki walked into the door and the flight attendant closed it.


            Even an hour after Riki’s plane had taken off, Ryan was still sitting down at the terminal gate looking up into the cloudy vapor that was San Francisco’s night sky. It was going to be very difficult to walk into the office the next day.





            Ryoga wandered the streets and felt that familiar feeling of being lost again. The streets had suddenly turned unfriendly. So many guys in trenchcoats during a cold San Francisco night. Ryoga walked away from faded voices of gossip-queens and fading music in the background. He huddled up in his blue jean jacket and to draw some more warmth into his body. The sounds of honking cars and barking dogs surrounded Ryoga like a blanket of chaos.


            He decided that his jacket wasn’t going to be enough for the cold night and his chances of finding some other man to hold tonight were getting very low. He needed a drink, a good nonalcoholic drink like hot chocolate. He finally reached his destination, Café Flore. He would get a cup of hot chocolate and then start the tiring walk back home alone.


            As Ryoga walked into the café, he noticed that Martin was sitting at one of the wooden benches in Café Flore reading the SF Weekly by himself. Ryoga shuddered for a little while and then pretended that Martin wasn’t there. He wasn’t exactly in the mood to socialize. He quickly tried to get in line behind the other customers with his head down.


            “Don’t pretend to ignore me, bitch,” Martin snapped in his Illocano accent. Ryoga turned around and tried to smile like he was surprised but it was just so hard at that moment. “Sit your ass down.” Ryoga sat down.


Martin quickly ordered a tasty chocolate torte and a tall glass of milk for Ryoga and watched as Ryoga dived hungrily into it and quickly swig the milk down. “Wow,” Martin said. “Too much club dancing can indeed work up an appetite.”


“Where’s Ryan?” Ryoga asked.


            “Ah, your lover boy,” Martin said quietly as he sipped his coffee. “I never really liked Riki Ashetori anyways. Saw him too many times at the San Francisco bars flirting with other guys. I’m glad that asshole is back in Washington like he deserves.” He looked at Ryoga. “So what’s your shit?”


            Ryoga stuffed a humongous piece of chocolate torte into his mouth and chewed it quickly before slugging it down his throat. “Remember that Asian slut you were talking about?” Ryoga leaned towards Martin and whispered: “That was me. And I took much offense to what you had said.”


            Martin covered his mouth. “Omigod,” he said. “I didn’t mean what I said, especially if I knew it was you. It’s just that the guys that Kerry ends up with tend to be more of the bi-curious or desperate.” Ryoga continued to eat chocolate frustratingly. “I’m guessing he dumped you like he does to most guys like you,” Martin said.


            “What do you mean most guys like me,” Ryoga asked. He felt like he was suddenly thrown into a category box in the queer San Francisco social scheme. And he was feeling pretty claustrophobic at that point.


            “The hot and naïve guys,” Martin held with his glass of water very tightly. Ryoga didn’t know whether to be shocked or proud. “Five years ago, I wasn’t very different from you,” Martin continued. “When I came back from the East Coast to live and work in San Francisco, Kerry was the first guy to welcome me and his welcome was pretty amazing. But Kerry was a lot younger and I thought that he was the one you know?”


            “But he wasn’t,” Martin continued. “The next day, I see him with the Japanese pizza delivery boy from Blondies. I want to believe that he betrayed me but he really didn’t. We weren’t in a relationship or anything. But he made me feel like we were.” Martin looked directly into Ryoga’s eyes. “And that’s his power. He can make you feel like you are the only guy in the world and you deserve his affection. And he thrives on that power and that attention.”


            “So I have no chance with him?” Ryoga asked. He felt manipulated and used.


“No,” Martin replied straight-forwardly. “No one has until he finally makes up his mind.” Ryoga looked down quietly and Martin took his hand. "Of all the guys in the world, Ryoga,” Martin looked up at Ryoga and held Ryoga’s tanned hand. “You are the last person who would deserve to experience a situation like this.” Ryoga looked down at the table, trying to hold the tears back from his eyes. Martin stood up and gave Ryoga a warm hug because that is the only thing he could do at that moment.



“Making the team” is actually something from The L-Word. In the second episode, main character Alice Pieschezski (Leisha Hailey) says that “his girlfriend is ‘making the team with Marina.’ which refers Jenny Schecter (Mia Kirschner) hooking up with the luminous and lustrous café owner Marina Ferrer (Karina Lombard.) Note that the Kerry Kwok character will definitely have connections to references of Marina or Brian Kinney in Queer As Folk.


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