Touma didn’t open his eyes right away. He knew from the lancing pain in his temples and the disgusting taste in his mouth that last night had been a doozy. Gods above, he hoped he hadn’t done anything stupid.
/...this counts, Touma-chan.../‘No,’ Touma thought. ‘No, I did not fuck Shin last night. Tell me that didn’t happen.’
But he knew it had happened, just as certainly as he knew there were two arms wrapped around his chest.
‘I am not gonna freeze. I am not gonna run screaming. I’m just gonna figure out what the hell happened, in what order, to whom, and then I’m gonna figure out what the fuck I’m supposed to do about it.‘ That would be the logical way to go. That made sense. Except he was pretty damned sure that last night had made tons of sense at the time.
The arms around him were warm.
A rising horror paralyzed his brain as he realized, without opening his eyes, that these arms did not belong to Shin.
/Touma, I know you’re awake. Please don’t go yet./ There was a desperate edge to the sending, which only made Touma tense up more. /We need to talk,/ the mind-voice added.
Through the pain of his headache, he could feel the soft blond hair against his neck, the cool breath on his shoulder. The muscles of the swordsman’s chest pressed against his back.
He wet his lips, trying to talk. The mind-links were closer, but he felt he needed to hear words more substantial than waking dreams. "Why am I in your bed?"
"Shin made a mess in yours."
Ick. "Seiji, you know what I mean." Touma shifted, settling deeper into Seiji’s embrace. Even though they were both nude, he felt a little more comfortable knowing it was his best friend holding him. Roommates tended to calm each other’s nightmares, and it wasn’t unusual for them to fall asleep in one another’s arms.
There was a soft chuckle behind him. "Well, I would have slept on the couch if you hadn’t been so insistent about giving me a blowjob."
Any semblance of comfort fled Touma’s system. He made a strangled sound. "You’re kidding, right?"
He felt Seiji press closer, not quite daring to plant a kiss in the blue hair. "No." The voice was serious now.
It was sometime before Touma found his voice again. He couldn’t bring himself to move away from the safe enclosure of Seiji’s arms, but he didn’t know what to think about it either. The details of last night began to fall into place... Shin’s lips on his... the feel of his body... the sounds he’d never expected to hear from that delicate throat... Shin engulfing him, giving it all to him...
Other equally surreal images popped into his head, and he didn’t even try to make sense of them. But for the life of him... "Seiji, I don’t remember doing that," he admitted, mortified.
A tiny shrug. "I didn’t think you would."
"I’m sorry, gods, you know I didn’t mean to---"
"That’s just it, Touma." Seiji’s voice was so soft, Touma knew he was holding something back. He opened his eyes in the bright room. It was way past Seiji’s usual wake-up time. Turning slowly, a little fearful of what he might find there, Touma looked into Seiji’s eyes.
The violet irises were bleary, which Touma chalked up to a hangover worse than his own. There was something else too... an emotional drain which only afflicted Seiji after long, hard battles, or particularly bad nightmares. Or, in this case, waking up early and thinking about things too much.
"What are you talking about?"
Seiji sighed. "I’ll understand if you think we should forget about all this and move on, especially after the kind of night everyone had."
"Yeah, from what I gather, it was pretty freaky." A hundred nervous jokes died on Touma’s lips when Seiji gazed sadly into his eyes.
"Touma, you said... certain things to me last night, and... I know for a fact that you meant them." Silence fell as Touma absorbed this. Seiji must have touched his spirit. A person’s spirit couldn’t lie.
Oh shit. "Seiji... it’s all a blank..." Gods, I’m still your friend, right?
"Shh." Seiji stopped Touma’s lips with a slender finger. "I just wanted you to know, even if we put last night behind us, it did have meaning."
Touma was moved beyond words. He’d just experienced what had to be the most humiliating night of his life, his mind and his whole fucking universe had been turned upside down, and he didn’t think he could look at himself in the mirror anymore, but by the gods, he still had a best friend who wasn’t afraid to swallow his pride and tell him he cared.
Seiji gasped in surprise as Touma wrapped him in a hard hug. "Thanks for tellin’ me, Seiji." His voice came out breathy, almost shy. Touma pulled back, smoothing back the blond hair so he could see Seiji’s stunned face better.
Seiji bit the inside of his lip. Touma looked so much like he had last night, completely trusting and open. Then the dark blue eyes turned thoughtful.
"Did I kiss ya, last night?"
"Many times." Seiji almost sounded wistful.
"I don’t remember." Touma began to stroke Seiji’s hair. Seiji let him. "Do you think I could... nah," Touma said, tasting his own mouth. "Blech. Too gross."
"Doesn’t matter to me."
Touma raised his eyebrows. /That good, huh?/
Seiji smirked. /You’d better believe it./ Touma chuckled incredulously.
Touma’s eyes fluttered shut, and Seiji felt a dart of nervousness at the sight of his innocently parted lips. This wasn’t like last night’s passionate attack; they were both stone cold sober and only Touma’s flimsy bravado was holding the moment together.
‘But he’ll never know, otherwise. I owe it to him.‘ So their lips touched gently, Seiji guiding the kiss deeper, making it safe yet sensual. His tongue slipped in only when he was sure Touma was ready. And he stopped short when he felt the beginnings of a moan building in Touma’s throat.
They drew back reluctantly, Touma’s hand still tangled in Seiji’s hair. They could hear their hearts thudding. Touma still wasn’t sure if he should be revolted or aroused, but Seiji looked so serious that he flashed him a wide grin.
"Shit, last night was fucked up, wasn’t it?"
"You can say that again."
Touma rolled over to look at the ceiling. "Aw, damn it, Seiji, I’ve gotta talk to Shin."
Softly, "Yeah, you’d better."
"I’ve no idea what to say to him! I remember tellin’ him we were drunk outta our minds, there was no way we should’ve done what we did. But at the same time... he gave himself to me, Seiji. I don’t know what that means and I don’t know how I feel about it."
"Well, you’d better talk to him anyway. We’ve all got to face each other sooner or later." Seiji’s mouth curved into a smile. "Besides, it’s not as though we don’t all have blackmail material on everyone else."
That triggered another memory from last night. Touma’s jaw dropped. "That really was Ryo and Shuu, wasn’t it?"
"Very much so," snickered Seiji.
"Shit." Touma chewed his lip. "Breakfast is gonna be interesting this morning."
The violet eyes glittered. "If you think that’s bad... I gathered that Shuu wasn’t quite that drunk."
Touma’s eyes widened. "You’re shittin’ me."
Seiji, for once, ignored the steady stream of expletives. "Just watch who’s the quietest at the dining table."
"Well, it ain’t gonna be me," Touma said.
‘Mmm. Pancakes.’ There was an answering rumble in his stomach. Shuu kicked off the covers, ready to bound down the stairs for one of Shin’s great breakfasts.
Then he realized it was a little too breezy in his bedroom.
"Holy shit!" He grabbed at his blanket, but he’d kicked it over the other side of the bed. Groping around, he yanked another sheet to cover his nakedness. Except it was from Shin’s bed. And Shin was still wrapped in it. Suiko tumbled onto the floor with an undignified thump.
"Ow." Shin blinked, trying to focus through the throbbing pain in his head. He looked up at Shuu who was hastily wrapping his dolphin sheets around his waist. He himself was straitjacketed in them, the sheets knotted around his torso, arms and neck.
Before Shuu could apologize, Shin burst out, "Hey Shuu, where’re your undies?"
Shuu just looked at him. "Where are yours?"
Though he was still half-asleep, Shin gracefully flipped into a crouch and felt around on his bed. "Not here." Shin took in Shuu’s slack-jawed stare, and in a fit of modesty covered up his thighs.
"Lemme go get you some," Shuu said hastily, getting up. And dragging the sheet with him. Which would have been a fine idea had the sheet not been covering Shin.
"Hey! Watch it!"
"Leggo, Shin, or neither of us is getting any underwear."
"You let go! I can get my own clothes."
Shin tugged on the sheet. Shuu almost lost his hold on it, but he pinned it between his knees and yanked back.
"Just give it to me so I can get to the bureaus!"
"If you’d just hand me your other blanket, I’d let you have it!"
The tug-of-war escalated until finally the door swung open.
Shuu turned. His mouth hung open. Unbeknownst to him, so did the sheet behind him. Shin sat up and peered over the bed. Touma and Seiji were leaning on the door jamb, wearing only towels around their waists. They seemed cheery enough, despite obvious hangovers the size of Fuji-sama. Touma, his dark hair glistening with moisture, kept darting glances at Shin but otherwise maintained his usual smirk. Seiji’s hair was still dry, though it looked uncharacteristically mussed.
Seiji crossed his arms. "Why are you two fighting over that? You see each other naked all the time."
Touma elbowed Seiji.
Shin and Shuu looked at each other. It was true. You couldn’t live in the same room and not be in the buff from time to time. Shuu opened his mouth and closed it. Shin just looked confused.
Seiji shrugged. "Whatever. Did you leave any hot water this time, Touma?"
Touma took a playful swing at Seiji, which the swordsman gamely avoided. "Hey, don’t look at me. Ryo got to the shower before I did."
At the mention of Ryo, all of last night’s events came flooding back into Shuu’s mind. ‘Oh gods. Of course Ryo’s cooking, if Shin’s up here. How am I supposed to face him?’ He tried to block out the sordid details - how Ryo tasted, how he felt in his hand, how his mouth... an inquisitive parting glance from Seiji made him put a stop to that train of thought.
Touma watched Seiji go before turning back to them. "Shin, can I talk to ya later?"
"Great." Touma ran a hand through his hair. "Nice ass, Shuu," he said, closing the door behind him.
Blushing, Shuu grabbed the other end of the blanket and covered up. As he fumbled with it, Shin just got up and went to the underwear drawer.
"Man, I’m aching all over. Everything seems to hurt. Here, catch." Shuu tried to catch the boxers, but he almost lost his hold on the sheet.
Shin sniffed. "Seiji’s right. What is with you? We were being silly. It’s nothing to be ashamed of." He tiptoed to dig deeper into the high drawer.
Shuu swallowed at the sight of Shin’s tensed legs and ass. He tried to shake the vision of those same sleek muscles straining in rhythm... "How can you be so casual about it?" Shuu demanded.
"About what?" His back still turned to Shuu, deftly Shin slipped into a shirt and jeans. ‘He was pretty flexible last night too.’
"Don’t you remember?"
Shin sounded alarmed. "I was dead drunk most of the night. Why, did you guys get me to do something?"
Shuu gaped. He forgot to hold on to the sheet. Quickly he put on his boxers. "Uh, no, Shin. Most of us were pretty gone."
‘I sure as hell wish I had been.’ With a moan, Shuu fell backwards onto the bed. ‘If only I hadn’t put away the rest of the beer after helping Seiji in the bathroom. Then I wouldn’t have walked out and seen... and done... No, won’t go there.’
Dejectedly he reviewed the rest of the night. ‘Touma had to go and finish off the rest of the beer while I was helping Shin throw up. I go after Touma, and I lose Shin! I have no idea what happened then. It’s a good thing Seiji came to and helped me out. Damn it. I should have been able to stop it, I was the sober one!’ The glint in the visible lavender eye brought another stomach-churning thought to the fore. ‘I hope Seiji stayed passed out when Ryo and I---’
"Shuu?" Shin was buttoning the collar of his shirt. "Aren’t you coming down to breakfast?"
A meal Ryo would be cooking. ‘I can’t. I can’t look at those blue eyes again... soft ebony hair... strong hands, and gods above, that tongue--- Aw, shit. Shouldn’t think about him.’
"Not yet. I’m not hungry." Shuu’s stomach gave him the lie by grumbling loudly.
"You?! Not hungry? Now I’ve heard everything. Pancakes are your favorite!"
"I’ve got a helluva hangover and I’m not hungry," Shuu lied.
"You know that’s bull. C’mon!" Shin yanked Shuu’s knee, intending to drag him off the bed. Shuu squirmed reflexively, which made Shin shift his grip a little higher. "Geez, Shuu, you big baby, why won’t you come to breakfast?" Another tug on his thigh. Shuu tried to kick, but Shin’s hand’s slid another inch higher. "Did the guys make you do something last night?"
A nervous sweat had broken out over Shuu’s face. They’d wrestled before, but not when Shuu had a clear image of Shin clawing the upholstery, face twisted in pain/pleasure. Desperately he wriggled away so Shin wouldn’t feel the rising heat in his boxers. Shin’s green eyes glittered at him mischievously. His lips were still pink and swollen from last night...
"Shin! Damn it!" Shuu managed to sit up and push Shin away. "Just leave me alone. I’ll come down to eat something when I feel better."
"Fine." Shin seemed a little miffed, but the look in his eyes told Shuu that he was going to get the third degree later.
The erection nudged at Shuu’s leg. A movement to conceal it might be noticed, and Shin didn’t seem to be tracking a lot of things, so Shuu bit his lip and kept still. "Shin...? You really don’t remember any of last night?"
Shin frowned. "A lot of really weird things. They don’t make a lot of sense. I remember... being in Seiji’s room. I think Seiji was there, and..." Shin trailed off. His brows met as he tried to wade through the throbbing to get at the hazy memories.
‘Poor guy.’ Shuu decided not to push it. "Well, I think it was a weird night for everybody."
Shin shrugged, rescuing a fuzzy slipper from under the bed. "Yeah, and it’s your fault, you know. If you’d shared your stash, there wouldn’t have been that much beer left over. You’re sure you’re not coming?"
"Yeah. I’ll be all right." At last Shin left.
‘Damn it. I hope Seiji gets out of the shower soon.’ Shuu rubbed his face, if only to keep his hands away from his aroused sex. ‘Though I don’t think I’ll mind if all the hot water’s gone.’
The bacon hit the pan with an angry sizzle. Ryo resisted the temptation to turn the little strips into crunchy carbon. It was White Blaze’s fault he was up so early, battling a queasy stomach and a mind-numbing headache. He was too messed up to go for a run and all the other things he’d wanted to do were too destructive for the guys to sleep through. So he’d decided to make himself some breakfast. And as it got later, he’d thought to make breakfast for everyone.
‘I’m turning into Shin,’ he thought. ‘Except Shin probably doesn’t want to torch the house right now.’
As the pancakes piled up, a million thoughts swirled through his head. Where Shin had ended up sleeping, or, rather, with whom. Where they all had ended up sleeping--- Ryo still couldn’t remember how he’d gotten into his own bed. What the hell he was going to say when Shuu came down to breakfast. Or, for that matter, Seiji.
Seiji. Gods. ‘What was I thinking? It was pretty weird with Shuu, but at least it was consensual.’
He’d run out of batter ten minutes ago. Now he was working through the package of bacon.
‘How could I have been so stupid? I should have stopped everything when I got the chance. Now it’s gonna be tough just looking each other in the eye. How are we supposed to fight together? Or live together? Damn, I wish Nasuti were here, she’d straighten this out in no time. But she won’t be back till tomorrow.’
"Good morning, Ryo," said a soft voice behind him.
Ryo started, jostling the pan and splashing hot bacon grease over his hand. It was just hot enough for Rekka to register as a ticklish sensation, but he ignored it. Gulping, he turned around.
Shin couldn’t walk straight. He discovered this when he closed the door, but Shuu looked too wiped out to be bothered.
‘Just hold on to the wall.’ He blinked. ‘Which wall?’ With an effort he tried to get Suiko to clear his system. It reduced the number of walls to one, at least. Funny, he’d been pretty coherent in the room. Well, maybe not that coherent. He couldn’t remember what Shuu had just said to him.
"Oh yes, he asked me about last night. Some party." He took baby steps past the top of the stairs, remembered that he’d missed it, and then kept going.
‘I’m going to the bathroom,’ Shin realized. ‘There should be painkillers there.’
Before he could knock, the door swung open. Seiji, his hair wet and clingy, stepped back in surprise. Two lavender eyes seemed to pierce Shin for a moment. Shin stared back. He’d suddenly gotten this flash of memory, one of two violet eyes hovering over him in the dark...
"Are you all right, Shin?"
In response, Shin’s knees buckled.
Seiji quickly caught Shin’s shoulders, but in an odd parody of Shuu, his towel slipped off. Shin was too weak to catch the bright shade of crimson staining Seiji’s pale skin. He wasn’t too weak to check out the swordsman’s equipment.
Seiji looked around frantically. Nobody had seen them. Quickly he laid Shin on the floor, wrapped the towel tighter, and then knelt by Shin, whose eyes were darting about.
"Shin? Speak to me."
"My head hurts, Seiji." Shin seemed on the verge of tears, but he was holding them in. "My arms hurt. My tummy really hurts. My legs... Seiji, if you can believe it, even my rear hurts." Shin vented a laugh.
Seiji raised his eyebrows. Well, wasn’t this interesting. "I think you need to eat something, Shin. Ah... I can’t help you downstairs right now, but I’ll give you some of Korin’s ki, all right? Tell Ryo I said you should eat ahead of us."
Shin nodded. He was oddly fixated on Seiji’s face as the green light flowed through him. "Domo arigato, Sei-kun."
Seiji nodded. He helped Shin to his feet. Once he was sure Shin was steady enough to manage the stairs, he retreated to the bathroom. ‘I have to warn Touma before he goes down to breakfast. But this is just too awkward.’ He locked the bathroom door, looking down at himself. ‘I hope he didn’t see--’
‘Seiji got hard,’ Shin’s mental voice murmured. ‘Wonder what that means. What had happened last night? After the tickling match... something happened. And Seiji carried me to his room; those were his little bonsai’d plants.’ He was a little better after the infusion of Korin’s energy, but not by much. He was actually getting a little warm, so he loosened the collar on his shirt, baring his collarbone. ‘Everybody’s acting strange. I’ll have to squeeze the story out of Shuu later. Touma wants to talk to me about something. Seiji seems a little freaked out.’
Shin eyed the stack of pancakes on the table. ‘Hm, maybe Ryo will clue me in.’
"Good morning, Ryo." Shin was surprised when his friend just about jumped through the ceiling. He winced at the bacon grease spilling over Ryo’s hand, but he figured Rekka would be able to take it.
Ryo turned around very slowly. His bright blue eyes had that familiar guilt-ridden look. "Uh, hi, Shin."
"Am I supposed to eat all those pancakes, now?" he said pleasantly.
"Uh, well, you know, just kinda got carried away." Ryo forced a little laugh.
Shin frowned. "Seiji said I should eat something."
"Well, yeah, go ahead, I, uh... where’s the syrup? Let me get---"
"Ryo, don’t leave those on the pan, they’ll burn."
"Oh, uh, yeah." Ryo distractedly scooped the bacon strips out of the burning oil, and then quickly got out the syrup and butter.
Ryo was trying to take deep breaths. ‘My god, oh my god, that’s the biggest hickey I’ve ever seen!’ Now he couldn’t shake the image of Touma sucking on Shin’s neck. And vice versa. He busied himself with the orange juice as his face started burning up. ‘I don’t think Shin even knows he has it.’
Then another thought occurred to him. ‘What about Seiji? Didn’t he see it, when he sent Shin down here? I bet that jerk just wants to play us all for fools, since he didn’t... do... anything...’ Ryo’s lip trembled. On top of it all was the blurred recollection of touching that ivory skin. The fascination of seeing Seiji unguarded, entirely relaxed. Undoing buttons, running his hands up and down the muscles of Seiji’s arms and chest and legs. Between his legs...
‘Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, I have got to talk to Seiji! He was out cold and I took advantage of him.’ But some other part of his mind whispered, ‘But he was watching you before that. You let him watch you. You wanted him to watch.’
"Ryo, is something wrong?" Ryo stared at Shin like he’d grown a third head. "Everybody is so uptight. Please talk to me, Ryo. I don’t know why last night bothers everyone so much."
There was, as always, utter sincerity in Shin’s eyes. It was almost as though... ‘Have Shin and Touma been fooling around before this? They were messing around with each other a lot all night. Then... Shin really needs my support.’
Ryo cleared his throat. "I think... what you did last night just took everybody by surprise. That’s all. We’re all a little freaked out from the things we were doing, too."
Shin chewed thoughtfully. "Well, it’s only natural the first time you go too far. It was a lot of beer."
"You sayin’ you’re freaked out by last night, Shin?" It was Touma. His arms were crossed over his black t-shirt. The dark blue eyes radiated hostility, but Shin didn’t seem to notice.
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