Chapter Seventeen

Club Earth

Ryan had his arm around Riki. Ryoga gritted his teeth slightly. He was a little bit flustered after seeing Ryan and Riki together. He was so busy concentrating all his repressed anger towards Riki that he ignored the quiet tingling sensations of Tyler touching his bare leg. The two couples decided to go on a double-date breakfast but the tension was already thick in the air. Most of the conversation comprised of Tyler and Ryan chatting nervously while their boyfriends winced at each other with daggers in their eyes.

Fortunately and ironically, Devin came to the rescue. “Hey Devin,” Ryan, who for the first time ever felt relief that Lancaster was around, said. “How is it going?”

“Hor-rible,” Devin groaned. “DJ Jason cancelled at the very last minute! Something about a mother’s funeral or bullshit like that. I am just so upset!”

“That sounds so terrible,” Tyler said. “What are you going to do?”

“We fortunately have a back-up,” Devin said putting his bag down. “DJ Strong is willing to do the 8-10 mix but he has another pre-engagement”

“I have never been to a gay club,” Ryoga said quietly.

“You have never been to a gay club?!” Devin exclaimed. “You don’t know what you are missing! Loud deafening music, beautiful unreachable men and enough drama to write Shakespeare!” Devin grinned. “I guess we have to pop Ryoga’s club cherry.”

“I’m not sure about this,” Ryoga said nervously. He was standing in the middle of Tyler’s bedroom completely topless. “Don’t be so modest,” Tyler snapped. “You are going to be really gorgeous!” Tyler pulled out a bright orange tank top and placed it on Ryoga’s toned body. The hues of orange accented Hibiki’s smooth muscles.“This will definitely go great with your jeans,” Tyler grinned. His smooth-rough hands started rubbing Ryoga’s pectorals.

“I don’t care whether or not guys will notice you,” Tyler said. “Remember you’re my guy.” My guy. Ryoga liked the sound of that. He had never been a “my guy” before. Tyler drew him in, locking his rough lips. Ryoga could feel the stubble of Tyler’s chin. Ryoga tossed Tyler to the bed. Only moments later, the orange tank top went flying off.

That night, the spotlight lit up on the two floor-bar at the center of Market Street. Sticky neon lights flashed the letters “CLUB EARTH” in bright blue. Ryoga, clad in his extremely tight orange shirt, held Tyler’s hands tightly. Tyler, who had no fashion taste at all for himself, wore a screaming metallic T-shirt and white painter pants. Fortunately, it was night time so the metallic material didn’t blind Ryoga.

Devin was already at the front of the line discussing with/getting the phone number of the bouncer whose bulging biceps looked more like oranges than skin. He had also worn too much spray-on tan.

“Look who decided to show up!” Devin snapped.

“Awww, shaddup!” Barry wore a striped flannel shirt which showed small tuffs of his brown curly chest hair. The guy holding his hand was extremely tall.

“This is Stephen, my boyfriend,” Barry said proudly. Ryoga looked up in shock. Stephen stretched out his hand which enveloped Ryoga’s. “Nice to meet you,” Stephen’s deep voice called.

“Holla!” Martin had just arrived and he was wearing a screaming pink polo shirt. “Are you ready to get some?”

“Oh hell yea!” Devin grinned as he embraced Martin. Devin nudged at the bouncer and whispered: “I’m getting him later,”

“Sorry we’re late,” another sexy voice said. Ryoga’s head turned. Of course, Ryoga had seen Ryan in different kinds of clothing but he had never seen Ryan in clubbing clothing. Ryan was wearing an extremely clingy red T-shirt and blue jeans that wrapped nicely around his sinewy body. Ryan is a hunk. Ryoga thought quietly. And clinging to him was that twink Riki, wearing a white Care-Bear hat, white T-shirt and baggy white jeans. He also wore many rainbow bracelets around his arms.

“Hi everyone” Ryan smiled. “Doesn’t Riki look great?”

“Oh yes,” Tyler feined a grin. “He looks like a walking rainbow.”

“Thank you sweetie,” Riki grinned. “I was a major raver boy back in Seattle. It’s good to know that the clothing still fits me.”

“That’s cuz you’re skinny as a stick,” Ryoga muttered to himself.

“C’mon,” Tyler muttered gruffly.

Walking into Club Earth was like waltzing into a surreal universe. The stars were men. Men of all different colors and wearing/or not wearing a range of outfits. As Ryoga walked in, he recognized Blue Danube again. Another thing that Ryoga noticed is that Tyler could not dance if his life depended on it. Even though he had never been to a dance club, Ryoga knew that Tyler’s wishy-washy moves were definitely not a form of socially acceptable dancing. The worst part was when Tyler rolled his eyes as he waved his hands in the air.

Ryoga closed his eyes and pretended that he was in his own world. The beats of the music took him back to Japan. Electronica spread across the ocean. He was in one of Tokyo’s gay bars. And Ranma was there. His pigtail swinging left and right. His dark smoldering eyes looking at Ryoga. One of the topless male dancers swung a rainbow flag calling the words “Freedom! Freedom!” in Japanese. Ryoga felt Ranma’s smile. But as Ranma smiled, the dream sequence faded away. And Ryoga was staring at a sweaty Tyler trying to do “The Swim” and looked like he was drowning.

Ryan and Riki were having a better time. Unlike Tyler, Ryan knew how to dance. Ryan tended to stand still but his hips did all the moving for him. Riki was a bit more flamboyant, his hands flying around Ryan’s chest. Ryan also knew hot to smoothly seduce Riki while dancing; placing a hand on his cheek, kissing his hand. “Whatever,” Tyler muttered. He grabbed Ryoga’s face and locked him in a long, lingering kiss while massaging Ryoga’s crotch at the same time.

“I even know not to do that in public,” Ryoga pulled away from Tyler. “I’m so sorry,” Tyler said quietly. “I can’t help getting all over you.”

“Well, just keep your hands above the hips okay?” Ryoga swayed. Tyler obeyed and looked up gleaming. Ryoga started to smile too and drew Tyler closer to him, feeling the warmth. They kissed again and just stood there in the middle of the dance floor locking lips. All of a sudden, the music seemed to fade out slowly. Tyler drew Ryoga closer as DJ Encore’s “You’ve Got a Way” started to play. “This is my favorite song,” he whispered. He drew Ryoga closer and swayed slowly to the song. From a distance, Ryoga saw Ryan and Riki hopping and kicking their legs. Riki’s fingers looked like they were glowing. The brilliant colors almost hypnotized Ryoga.

“I have to go to the bathroom” Ryoga grinned quietly. “Okay,” Tyler smiled and pointed him towards the shiny silver doors which happened to be the men’s bathroom. Ryoga got confused for a second as he saw a drag queen walk out of the men’s room. He shrugged and pushed himself right in. Meanwhile, Tyler sat down at the bar and watched Ryan and Riki from a distance. Devin was moving his smooth body to the beat of a Texan man with a Southern drawl and a glittery cowboy hat. They were exchanging phone numbers on ftheir cell phones. High tech hookups. Barry and his boyfriend were also demonstrating their inability to dance not so far from Devin.

But Tyler couldn’t stop watching Ryan. For years, he had pent up quiet jealousy toward Ryan. Every single hip sway Ryan made with another guy seemed like a slap to Tyler’s face. Tyler also noticed that Ryan’s hands drew slowly but steadily down Riki’s backside, almost finding themselves in a comfortable position in Riki’s back pants’ pockets. Ryan grinned stupidly at Tyler. Tyler had enough, put his beer down and dashed out of the room. A confused Ryan looked puzzled, told his date that he had to run off ad chase after the disgruntled Stonebrook.

The dark room glowed bright neon. Hundreds of sweaty bodies grabbed each other, not regarding the names or even seeing the faces of the other person. But all of them really wanted one thing- sex. Tyler pulled out another cigarette and started puffing quietly. Ryan ran up to Tyler.
“What’s your problem?!” Ryan shouted. “This happens every single time!”

“It’s not obvious isn’t it?” Tyler growled. “You’re always dancing with someone else and every single time, I would have to drive you back home when you didn’t get a hook up or a ride back with some other person.”

“Why can’t you just be happy for me?” Ryan asked.

“Because I’ve always liked you,” Tyler told Ryan. “I’ve always wanted you to feel the same way I do.”

Tyler drew Ryan in and they held each other. Tyler breathed heavily feeling the scent of Ryan’s cologne waif onto his body. He noticed the lights flickering faster and faster. What he did not notice was that Ryoga had left the bathroom and was now standing at the right corner staring at them. Devin’ s mouth was open extremely wide.

“Omigod,” Devin said. Ryoga starred shocked at Tyler’s actions. He then quickly dashed out of the club. With Tyler calling his name in the faint distance, Ryoga hailed a taxi cab and headed home.

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