The Best Laid...
4: Goodnight Kisses
by Sameshima Shuzumi
2089 wc ~ PG-13 ~ Various
Sap, angst, and shades of Shakespeare. This is my baby; I'll be surprised if you can guess the ending after this part. Leave out your assumptions, and enjoy.

Disclaimer: The Troopers and the tiger don't belong to me, and there's a lemon in this lemonade... I promise!

Seiji slipped into the house quietly, avoiding the ruckus Shin was making in the kitchen. Whatís he doing up? Hmm. Iíll check in a bit. He went up to his room.

Sighing, the blond closed and locked the door behind him. What an interesting night. And itís not over yet. He sat on Toumaís bed, feeling the cool sheets beneath him. Then, on a whim, he kicked off his shoes and stretched out. Toumaís essence engulfed his senses. Seiji smiled indulgently. Tonight the archer had thrown it all on the line, and several times Seiji had almost let him have his way. The blue haired boy was just a bundle of coiled energy. Seiji had seen him lounge around and sleep all day, loose and languid and utterly adorable. And he had seen that hidden power whip out, in combat, in anger, and tonight, in lust.

It warmed him to think of what that body could do. Admit it, you almost lost it completely.

Lifting his hips off the bed, Seiji slipped out of the stifling leather pants. He closed his eyes, sliding them off slowly as though someone was watching.

ĎWho do you want to watch?í he asked himself. Touma? He kicked off the pants, lazily running his hands along his thighs. Upwards, to his collarbone. Slowly he unbuttoned his shirt. Shin? He ran a finger along the waistband of his briefs. They were wet. Carefully he slid them off over his surging erection. Ryo?

He heard the water race through the pipes. Shin was still down in the kitchen. Seiji opened his eyes. He had an idea. He wouldnít take too long... then heíd go see what Suiko was up for.

"Chikuso." Touma heard the muttered curse.

"What is it?"

The taxi driver looked in his rear view mirror. "Sorry, kid, theyíre doing night construction. It may be a half an hour."

Touma gritted his teeth. "Isnít there a detour?"

"A few kilometers back. But itís not really a shortcut, either."

Touma sank back in his seat, and covered his face. Seiji... he grimaced as his whole body reacted to the mere thought of the swordsman. Just a few minutes ago, they had been dancing so sensuously, bodies in unison, the look in his eyes--- Damn it, Touma, stop before you jerk off in this taxi...

Shin whistled off-key as steam billowed from the sink. Heíd decided to wait up for Shuu, desperate to hear from someone whose love life was working. So far heíd washed about two-thirds of the containers. One perk of his armor was that he never got prune-hands from washing dishes.

Suddenly a pair of hands ran down his arms and plunged into the warm water. He gulped as the weight of the body pressed against his back.

"What are you doing up, Shin?" Seijiís hands tangled with his beneath the water. Shin shivered as he inhaled the scent of sweat and smoke. The swordsmanís erection rubbed against him through the thin cotton slacks and oversized work shirt.

"Why are you slaving over the sink?" Soft kisses peppered his neck and shoulders. Shin gasped, squeezing Seijiís hands. Itís happening... he wants you...! But Shin had barely time to process it. Seiji whirled him around. Hands dripping in warm water cupped his face, and Seijiís hungry mouth descended on his. Already drowsy, Shinís mind was in a tailspin now. The blond pressed against his body, jamming his back against the sink. Seijiís tongue plundered his mouth. Too-warm hands roved along his neck and arms and back.

Shin sank beneath Seiji, his arms lying flat on the counterís edge for support. Seiji had stilled his lower body, to Shinís relief, but he was still effectively trapped by the swordsmanís weight. He couldnít think. He wanted to settle into Seijiís rhythm, except Seijiís kisses stole his breath and his hands were everywhere, feeling his hair, his skin. Now they stopped on his chest, teasing his nipples until Shin whimpered with the sensation.

Heart thundering, Shin strained upwards, trying to right himself. His eyes flew open when Seiji kept him down. Sensing his distress, Seiji withdrew and met his eyes for the first time.

"Do you want me?"

Seiji smirked at the glazed look in Shinís eyes. Shinís chest was heaving, his hair mussed and damp. He swallowed, and nodded.

Perfect. Seiji lowered himself over those lovely lips. This time he went slower, giving Shin a chance to return his rough kisses. His hands slid down to twine and trap Shinís fingers. Again Seiji tasted the sweet mouth; he was sure Shin had no idea what kinds of noises he was making. As Seiji molded his body over Shinís, he could feel Suikoís heart fluttering wildly.

Suddenly Seijiís alert ears heard footsteps. He pulled away and turned--Ryo stood at the threshold, his eyes widening. All three froze.

Though Shin missed it, Ryo caught the flash of anxiety on Date Seijiís face. Shin pulled himself upright, trembling like a leaf next to the swordsman.

Ryoís embarrassment bloomed into rage. Further perturbed, Seiji stepped away from Shin, and then quickly walked out the storm door. He didnít look back.

"Ryo?" Shinís soft, hesitant voice cut through the red haze in Ryoís vision. He turned his back on Shin, fists clenching and unclenching by his side.

Shin touched his still tingling lips. He hadnít missed the protective look in the bright blue eyes. Is he after Seiji too? Iíve been so busy with Touma, I might not have noticed. Cautiously Shin approached. Ryo took a few calming breaths, swallowed, then met Shinís eyes through a cloud of damp ebony bangs. Shin returned his tentative smile, understanding. Protective, yes, but not of Seiji.

"I can take care of myself, Ryo."

Blushing at the fond tone, Ryo mumbled something at the floor. He was suddenly aware of how flushed and close Shin was. The smile softened on the passion-swollen lips.

To Ryoís surprise, Shin planted a quick peck on his burning cheek. "But thanks anyway."

"Ah, uh..." Ryo swallowed hard. "I--Iím sorry, I shouldnít have..."

Suiko raised his eyebrows, weighing what he thought he heard in the boyish voice. He barely touched Ryoís cheek, silencing him. "Ryo. Itís all right. Itís all right to be curious."

For a few breathless moments, Shin stood perfectly still, waiting as the meaning sunk in. Ryo blinked at him, then leaned in closer, hesitant.

"Tongue or no tongue?"


"Iíve found it helps to ask first."

Ryo shook his head, ducking again. Shin nudged his chin back up. And kissed him.

For a moment Ryo stiffened, but then the overwhelming sweetness of it sent tingles down his spine. As his eyes shut he had to lean in, grasping Shinís shoulders to pull him closer. Shinís lips were warm, moistened from Seijiís kisses. Tasting Shin as though he were a girl, Ryo wondered if he could taste part of Seijiís essence as well.

Shin drew back, a pleased look on his face. He smiled expectantly. "Well? What do you think?"

Ryo released his shoulders, unconsciously studying his shoes again. He gave serious thought to the question. "The same, but different. Rougher. I mean, you donít have to kiss like a girl. But you donít have to kiss like a guy either. You can just kiss like... you." Ryo shrugged.

Shin mussed his hair. "You werenít so bad yourself. I think youíre right, except for that last part. Anyone can do that-- project the way they are or the way they feel. I donít know how you are with kissing girls, but you have... honest kisses."

Ryo grinned. His awkwardness was fading. "Really?"

"Really." Shin returned to the sink and ran the water again. "Now go take a shower, Ryo. You stink."

Ryo huffed. "Yes, Mother." He ducked out the door in time to miss the airborne dishrag.

Touma burst in. Heíd spent a long forty-five minutes trying not to jump out of the taxi and armor up in public. At least his erection had faded... though not his hormones.

Seiji, where are you?!

The kitchen was dark and empty, though Touma noted the stack of plastic containers with satisfaction. He headed upstairs. Someone was in the shower. He banged on the door.

"What?!" It was Ryo. He sounded pissed.

"Sorry. You seen Seiji?"

"Uh... I dunno. Check your room."

Ryoís voice had sounded odd, but Touma dashed to his room.

He swung the door open. The jasmine incense hit him full force. The room was lit with several of Seijiís stained glass lanterns. A pile of clothes lay on his bed. "What the hell?"

Touma climbed onto the bed. He couldnít believe it... not just that these were Seijiís sweat-drenched clothes, but that they had been left in such a disarray. He picked up the shirt.

Seijiís scent rose from the fabric, more potent than usual. Oh gods. Itís dry, but it smells musky. Like he came all over this. His imagination went wild, picturing Seiji stripping, touching himself...

Suddenly it made sense. The room was set up as though for a night of sex.

"Damn you, Seiji," Touma whispered, feeling suddenly warm. "Youíre not gonna show up, are you?" He shrugged off his shirt, slipping out of the pants, tearing off the skimpy underthings Seiji had picked out. His eyes were watery, but he didnít care. Shame and lust warred within him, and he knew which was going to win. "Damn it. Damn it." Kneeling on the bed, he slid his hands between his thighs. "Seiji," he choked, banging his head on the wall. "Seiji, I want you so bad. Why are you doing this to me?"

Shin gritted his teeth and clamped a pillow over his head. It was no use; he still heard the repeated thumps on the wall, the groans, the muffled words. He stared at the ceiling, trying to block out the sounds, and the mental pictures that went with them.

"Hey, Shin." Shuu stood at the doorway. "Itís okay, bro. Seijiís on the roof again. I saw him on my way in."

Shin smiled at his friend gratefully. So he still had a chance after all. "You wanna go someplace quieter? Though it is kind of late."

"Yeah, I figured Iíd change shirts first." Shuu dropped his jacket on the bed. There was another groan from the next room, and Shuu snickered.

"Thatís not funny," Shin said mildly.


Shin winced. Heíd just as soon not explain all the discarded food to Shuu. "Uh, how about the dock?"

"Hey! You havenít been raiding my stash, have you?"

"What stash?" What luck, Shuu keeps food everywhere. "You only think about food?"

Shuu pulled his shirt on. "And Mareko."

Shin opened the door. "Oooh, I sense some juicy details."

Kongo chuckled, putting an arm around his friend. "Whatcha going to cook me in exchange?"

Shin poked him in the ribs, feeling a little more cheered already.

As a cool breeze caressed his face, Seiji reached into the house below to see what was going on. He had discovered a few months ago that it was possible to use the mind links to eavesdrop. Their individual barriers had unraveled as time went by. It was only a matter of focusing on the connections without letting anyone else know.

There was Touma, finishing off and dropping to sleep in frustration. Seiji smirked. He probably shouldnít have teased him so, but it was too easy to send Touma flying off the handle.

Shin and Shuu talking out by the lake. Shin was recovering nicely, it seemed. Suiko wasnít even going to think about any of the nightís events, not till morning. Shuu was picking up on his silence, but also chose to put off mentioning it. But wait, what was this...

Seiji homed in on Ryo. Heíd heard the pipes whining as Ryo took one of his steaming showers. There he was, getting broiled alive... Seijiís jaw dropped.

/I canít believe I kissed Shin./

Seiji didnít know whether to be angry or jealous. Or at whom. He kept listening.

/It wasnít that bad. But I donít know if itís good, either. I wonder if heís done that before? Must have. Probably with Shuu./ A flash of a girl with glittered eyelids and pouting lips. /Itís so weird to think of them that way. Damn it, I donít know!/

Seiji opened his eyes and sat back. He didnít know what to do either.

But he was certain heíd think of something.

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