It was dark out when Seiji gently shook Touma awake.
Touma got up slowly, so he wouldnít get a head rush. He looked out the window at the cloudy sky. The light seemed grey.
"Hope it doesnít storm."
He felt the twinge of Seijiís bond with Korin. "It wonít."
"Iím needed back home for the next week. Then Iím flying to the States," Seiji said coolly.
"Oh, thatís right."
"I..." Seijiís voice faltered. "I wonít see you in a while."
Touma shivered. Gingerly he pulled Seiji in a loose embrace. "Maybe we just need a little time." Apart.
Seiji didnít answer. He gave Touma a kiss, and made for the door. Then Touma noticed the plastic bag he was carrying. Green silk just peeked out.
"What are you doing with that?"
Seiji stopped short. "This? Probably give it to charity. Itís a nice shirt but Iím obviously allergic to it--"
"No! I mean," Toumaís words turned to mush as Seiji stared at him in surprise. "It reminds me... just donít. Let me have it."
"All right." Seiji laid it on the bed, and backed away like it was toxic waste. "Always borrowing my clothes," he said lightly.
Touma stiffened before he realized Seiji was ribbing him about it. "...yeah. So, um. Youíre going to be back for Ryoís birthday?"
Seiji pursed his lips. "Of course I am."
Recognizing the defensiveness in his tone, Touma looked down at his hands. The bag lay between them, equidistant, like an impermeable border. One last searching look, and Seiji was gone.
Touma fell back on the bed. He shook the bag until the silk shirt tumbled out. I hope he didnít suspect anything.
"What the hell am I talking about?" he said aloud. "Seiji just walked out of your life for a month and all you can do is worry about your own hide."
He fingered the smooth material. A trace of Seiji still lingered, but he imagined there was also a bitter tang beneath it. "And all I can think about is Kujuurou."
He should have taken a taxi to the restaurant, but he decided to walk.
Touma hadnít walked in the dark alone since that first night with Kujuurou. From then on, his nocturnal journeys were always with the former Yami MaSho. If it was a warm night, they would ride the night breezes until the bike ran out of gas. Touma never had to call when the urge took him. Kujuurou always just materialized.
"Would I share this with Seiji?" Touma asked himself. He didnít speak very loudly... this wasnít the best part of town, even with Tenkuís senses extended around him.
"I wouldnít, would I. It would never occur to me to ask, either. Who knows, maybe he does like the night, and doesnít know it. But then... if Kujuurou..."
Touma shut his eyes, letting Tenku take over the business of navigation. He could see how it might happen. That was the worst part, worse even than the cold feeling of betrayal growing in the pit of his stomach. Kujuurou was always on top. And not just that. He took without asking, biting, bruising, immobilizing his partner. Touma had never been so completely submissive with anyone else. Pain wasnít an issue; when they did get into it, Touma initiated. Sometimes, when the lovemaking was at its most intense, Tenku would react to something of Yami... the old Yami, corrupted by Arago. And Seiji seemed to be reacting to the very scent of Kujuurou... and perhaps the aura of Yami.
Those were the facts.
A stray dog rattled about in some alley trashcans. Touma opened his eyes.
He stared at the animal. It looked up at him with gold glowing eyes -- some kind of German shepherd mix. Touma channeled Tenku until every shadow coalesced into solidity. His blue irises darkened, absorbing the little reflected light in the alley. Another handy trick of Kujuurouís. The dog took a sniff, cocked his head, then turned around to crawl into a trashcan.
Tenku withdrew. Touma sighed. The dog had picked up some of Kujuurouís scent, no doubt. Heíd showered twice in the twenty-four hours since heíd seen him. The bitter smell, the faded bruises would always linger.
What else remained...?
A chill wind blew, raising goosebumps on his skin.
"Just one takeout order, sir?"
He looked up to see Ryo holding up a pair of leftover bags. "Dude, youíre late. Weíre all done."
"We?" Touma heard himself say, just as he felt a familiar presence in his mind.
"Ran into your friend," Ryo chuckled. "Didnít know you had a side thing going, boy."
Blue-green eyes glittered at him from the shadows. Touma nodded at Kujuurou, ignoring the small skip in his heartbeat. "Sumimasen. I took the long way here. Everything all right?"
"Better than all right." Ryo grinned. "You want to join us?"
Touma shrugged. Naturally good old Sanada Ryo could be left alone with a former enemy and wind up taking him home. "I have work. Wonít be home till late."
Ryo actually looked disappointed. "ĎKay. At least let us drop you off."
"I need to go back to my dadís place to pick up the car."
"No problem!" Ryo grabbed him in a quick one-handed hug. At the same time, /Hey, are you okay with this?/
Touma tried to send a little playful annoyance. /I donít own him, Ryo. Anyway, with your libido lately, only íRou-san could possibly keep up with you./
/Or Seiji,/ joked Ryo.
Touma was silent. If Kujuurou had picked up on the communication, he made no sign.
There was a brief moment of awkwardness at the parking lot. Ryo slapped the seat of his Fireblade expectantly. Touma glanced at Kujuurou, who had his back to him, mounting the bike. Broad shoulders flexed as he donned his black helmet. The motion was smooth and well-practiced, Touma noticed. How many times had he worn a different helmet?
"Iíll ride with Kujuurou," he said.
The dark haired man stripped off his leather jacket, and offered it and an extra helmet to Touma. He was wearing a tight grey t-shirt underneath. Touma knew better than to argue, or ask if Kujuurou would be cold.
Two engines gunned, and they took off. Touma clung to his loverís solid body, breathing in his scent, feeling the night wind on his skin. He didnít know how to ask it. Or even if he wanted to.
They stopped at a traffic light, and Kujuurou reached back and rubbed his knee. Touma squeezed back. He looked up at the moonless sky. I... I donít want to lose this either.
Itís not morning yet. The boy in question whirled around. At first he only noticed the womanís lab coat and credentials -- a med student, with clearance in pediatrics. Then came the blond hair and the light grey eyes...
"Date-san! What are you doing here?"
Seijiís older sister laughed. "Save the honorific for Ojii-sama. Just Yayoi, please. Can you sit and have some coffee? You look beat."
"Sure, thanks." They ducked into the lounge behind the nursesí station.
Yayoi and Seiji were of a height, but her features were more aquiline than his. She also wore her thick hair back and made eye contact more than a typical Japanese girl did; if not for her coloring, sheíd barely resemble her conservative younger brother. "Iím running an errand for one of my mentors. That, and he said there was this cute guy here who wanted my number." She sighed, shaking her head.
"What, Iím not cute enough?" Touma said without thinking. Shit, flirting with his sister? I must miss him.
Yayoi seemed more amused than offended. "Cute enough for my brother."
Touma started. He didnít think Seiji had told anyone... Change the subject. "I didnít think you guys would be interested in us lab rats."
"I was here to check on results of an experimental treatment. Itís for my professorís grandniece." Yayoi stirred her coffee, frowning.
"She had meningitis, and it was caught too late. She almost died, but now no one knows if sheíll wake up."
Yayoi grimaced. "Tantalizingly so. Sometimes her condition goes critical, other times sheís almost responsive--- muscle twitches, and once a nurse swore her eyes were tracking. The treatment weíre trying is a long shot. The tests show nothing so far." She inclined her head. "You know, Iím surprised you donít know about her. Seiji saved her life."
Touma blinked. "You mean... that girl whose mother is Seijiís friend? The car accident that put him in the hospital for a while?"
"Yes, thatís her."
"I didnít even know she was at this hospital!"
Yayoi took in his stunned expression. "Thatís odd that Seiji---" Her beeper went off. "Ah. Iíve got to go, Touma-kun. Hereís her room number if you want to see her."
"Um, Yayoi-san..." Touma felt like an idiot. "Seijiís still at home, right?"
She paused at the door, raising her eyebrows. "Yes, but he and Ojii-sama canít be contacted for a while. Theyíre training somewhere on our forested property."
Touma watched her stride towards the elevators. Seiji had not mentioned that. Seiji hadnít been mentioning many things, now that he thought of it. He wondered if Yayoi would give her brother an earful about it... probably would. In that case he wasnít looking forward to the next time he spoke with Seiji; heíd already upset him enough.
It was the little girl who troubled Touma the most. Seiji obviously hadnít told any of them about it, because by now Shin, insufferable gossip as he was, would have said something. Or maybe heíd told Shin and sworn him to secrecy. Touma couldnít imagine why he would.
Later that night he slipped the girlís room. When he entered she moved her head--- it scared the devil out of him but it was probably just a muscle twitch. She was just as heíd expected her to be, from Yayoiís description. Too tranquil. Yet her cheeks still held a faint blush and her dark hair shined healthily.
Touma got no closer than the doorway. Seiji was such a private person, he could see why heíd want to keep this to himself. Every day it was heartbreaking to see people theyíd worked so hard to save, wasting their lives. How much more this tragedy? Yet the understanding didnít fill the hollow feeling in his chest.
Seiji... how can you keep this much pain inside?
Kujuurou was waiting for him at 3 a.m. when he got off work. "How the hell do you know where we all are, anyway?" Touma unlocked his car. "And if you knew, why didnít you beat our asses back then?"
"Who says we didnít."
Touma shook his head. He was touched that Kujuurou would show up at this hour. Then he bit his lip -- Seiji had done all that and more, ever since theyíd met. When was the last time heíd felt truly grateful for Seijiís help? Kujuurou was hardly a committed lover, and here he was... "Why are you here?"
"Talk." Kujuurou pressed against his back, nuzzling his neck. "Or donít talk."
Touma groaned softly. "How was Ryo?"
"Eager." A lick on his earlobe. "Willing." Hands gripped his hips. "And too damned horny."
Touma laughed out loud. "Look whoís talking." He opened the back door and tumbled them inside. "What do you want to know?"
Kujuurou backed him against the far window, pulling the door closed with his feet. Touma tried to cover a shiver of fear before it turned into delicious passion. Is this why? He turns me on because Iím afraid of him? Kujuurou stripped off his lab coat, in the process pinning his hands. Seiji and I played like this... but I can read Seiji. Touma returned a demanding kiss, moaning softly at the nails digging into his arms, and the sharp teeth grazing his tongue. If I could read Kujuurou, would the thrill die out?
He found himself going for the larger manís zipper, unerringly reaching down and finding the prize. Kujuurou growled and bit hard on his shoulder, making Touma cry out.
I donít think it would... gods above, I canít get enough of this...
Touma kept stroking until he needed both hands to do it properly. Kujuurouís grip on his arms became downright crushing.
"Open your eyes."
He obeyed, staring into a shimmering darkness as his eyes adjusted. Kujuurou was leaning into his face, breathing very fast, but still watching him, waiting for an answer.
"I was wondering... about the MaSho..."
"What about us?"
Toumaís rhythm slowed, and Kujuurou thrust into his hands insistently. Blue green eyes stared into his own. Suddenly a different kind of fear course through him -- Kujuurou let no one else into his life, so openly, even trusting.
"Are you all in the Ningenkai?"
Kujuurouís nostrils flared as he spotted the lie. But he answered. "Naaza chose to stay. The Youjakai was the only place where he really fit in. That, and he is very protective of Kayura. Rajura is a little too much at home here. Last I heard, he was in business in South America."
Touma raised his eyebrows. Then he gasped --
/Tell me!/ Came the wave of sending, Kujuurou wrapped in a darkness which could only be Yami yoroi.
Automatically he lifted his hips as Kujuurou stripped off his slacks and underwear. When Touma didnít answer, he was pressed to the window with a possessive kiss. He sucked on the questing tongue as he was maneuvered into a kneeling position. Instinctively he knew Kujuurou was smearing his fingers with lube.
"Inside," Touma breathed.
Cool, slick fingers rubbed against his entrance. Kujuurou gnawed on his throat, and Touma threw his head back, submissively baring more skin. He spread his legs wider, hooking a foot on the gear shift. His erection rubbed against Kujuurouís engorged member. One finger forced its way in... then a second...
" íRou-san, please..."
Kujuurou laughed low, as he slipped in deeper to brush the spot. Toumaís skin prickled, and he moaned as his whole body seemed to hum with pleasure.
"Hauuhhnnn..." Touma panted and moaned as Kujuurou established a slow, maddening rhythm. Then... just as he reached the edge of his control...
The former MaSho withdrew.
/Tell me./ The mental voice was amazingly gentle. But Toumaís ire was up, and he grasped Kujuurouís hips as he bent down.
The move surprised Kujuurou. Toumaís head was spinning from the taste of his lover, filling his mouth. A warm hand stroked his back. He suddenly realized what the hell they were doing, in his backseat in the middle of a darkened parking lot, half-naked, giving head. Touma relaxed his throat and plunged forward till the tip nudged the back of his throat. It felt so good, so obscene...
Kujuurou grabbed his waist and hauled him up. "Youíre not going to tell me." He parted Toumaís legs, wrapping them around his body. Touma moaned his answer into Kujuurouís mouth, tasting more. He could feel Kujuurouís slick member nudging beneath him.
He caught his breath as he seated himself. Kujuurou grunted, maintaining a very thin control, slipping under Toumaís shirt and massaging his muscles. Touma buried his hands in Kujuurouís wild hair, grimacing.
"Move," ordered Kujuurou.
Instead, Touma flexed his internal muscles, relishing the pain. His partner was ready to cum. It was too much, feeling his body spread to accommodate the slick, pulsing heat, but something about it... deprivation... Snarling, Kujuurou clawed his back, "íKuso, move!"
Touma was startled by Kujuurouís powerful thrust upwards. A bolt of pleasure shot through him. At last he began to move, large hands bruising his hips, the fullness pressing deep within to hit that pleasure point again and again.
"No no no oh --!" Touma shook, vision exploding into stars, hot cum spilling onto Kujuurouís chest. Vaguely he felt his lover spasm and empty himself deep inside. Touma shuddered helplessly.
Suddenly he was pushed down on his back, still joined. Faint from the afterglow, he stared up at Kujuurou. Yami MaSho loomed over him, dark eyes blazing, pinning his arms to the seat. Touma whimpered, not even thinking to struggle. His heart was beating like a frightened rabbitís.
Kujuurou pulled out as quickly as he could. Touma tried not to flinch as he drew close to his face. Breathing fast, the musk of sex and sweat filled his senses, mixing with Kujuurouís own bitter tang. He knew his night vision wasnít as good as Kujuurouís... if Kujuurou was still there, behind Yamiís shadows. Unbidden came the thought of Seiji going through the same experience. He blinked as water filled his eyes.
The larger man shook him once, roughly. "Take your pleasure when you can, damn you!"
It took a moment for Touma to understand. "Gomen," he whispered.
Kujuurou blinked, his breath catching. "Shimatta." Finally he got up. Touma expelled the breath he didnít know he was holding. They wiped up and dressed in silence.
/Tell me when youíre ready,/ came the whisper in his mind.
Touma nodded, not looking at Kujuurou. His heart was still pounding. "Come home?" He added, without thinking, "Seijiís not there."
A callused hand touched his cheek. Touma didnít look up as Kujuurou left the car, and walked over to his Shadow. The bike started up and pulled away.
What am I doing?
At last the morning chill had him shivering, so he started the car and headed back to his fatherís apartment, where his lover waited.
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