Shuu pulled off the blindfold, practically yelling into Shinís ear. "Happy birthday, Shin!"
Shin blinked in the dim light of the basement. He barely heard the others behind him Ė "What is it?" "...called his sister at Hagi and she..." "...you armored up just to get it down there, didnít you..." Ė because before him was the most beautiful sight heíd seen in a long while.
"Hey, Shin." That was Shuu. Uncomprehending, Shin turned to face him. "Whaddaya think, huh?"
"Think?" Shin shook the shock from his face and knocked the air out of his friend with a hug. "Shuu, itís wonderful! Thank you so much!" To punctuate his gratitude, Shin planted a kiss on Shuuís lips just this side of lingering.
"Okay, break it up, find your own playmate," Touma growled, yanking Shin away. Shin threw his arms around Touma, jumping up and down.
"Itís a pottery wheel, Touma-chan, I donít believe it, but there it is!"
Inwardly Touma crumbled. His gift of white chocolate and a nice quiet night together was going to pale in comparison to this. But the little koi looked so happy...
"Your sister helped me pick out the clays," Shuu mumbled.
"Wow, I havenít thrown in years," Shin circled the huge wheel, which to Touma looked like a round, mechanized table. Shin looked up at the others. "But we donít have a kiln!"
Ryo grinned. On cue. "I can take care of that."
"Itís not as easy as it looks, Ryo. The temperature has to be just right, and it takes too long for just you. But we can build one, and you can use Rekka to power it."
"Sure. We can do that," Touma found himself saying. "What do you say, Shuu?"
"Yeah. No problem."
"Shin," said Seiji from the top of the stairs, "do you suppose you could teach us?" Touma turned around and glared at him. Naturally Seiji would think of it first. He gritted his teeth as the violet eyes pretended innocence.
"Of course!" Shin said, already sorting the clay. "Thereís enough for everyone."
Touma was afraid of that.
And naturally Seiji was the first one to take lessons.
"Youíve been down here all day."
The soft voice startled Shin. He let the wheel slow to a halt. "What time is it?"
"Eleven. Past your bedtime."
Shin ignored the snide crack. "It just gets so absorbing. Once you learn the techniques, you never want to leave the wheel."
Shin stifled a yawn. Seiji held his breath... Shin was wearing a loose, ragged t-shirt, and was covered head to toe with drying clay. His green eyes blinked sleepily as he stretched like a cat. Seiji took a clean rag from one of the water buckets, and set about cleaning Shinís clay-streaked face.
"Seijió" Shinís eyes glittered at him. "Iím not a child."
"Of course not." Seiji dabbed at his nose. "Youíre not the only one awake, though. Touma is upstairs, feverishly trying to design a kiln."
"Poor Touma-chan," sighed Shin. The rag began to dab at his neck.
"Do you want to show me how to do that?" Seijiís breath was close and cool on his wet skin.
"It takes practice, Seiji."
"Iím a patient man."
Shin looked up at Seiji, in the process leaning against his chest. "All right. Just one pot."
He seated Seiji at the wheel, and showed him how to set it spinning. Then he demonstrated how to pull a lump of clay up and down, to get it ready.
"You know, at some point youíre going to have to get your hands dirty, Seiji-kun." Shin leaned against him, and placed Seijiís hands on the wet clay.
It was the most erotic feeling Seiji had ever known. The clay in motion made all the nerves in his hands tingle with pleasure. Not to mention to warm weight of Shin enveloping him.
"This is so relaxing," Seiji said. "Itís like itís dancing beneath my fingers. As though it would go wherever I will it."
Shin lifted a hand and streaked some clay on Seijiís cheek. "It does," he whispered, "go where you will it." Shin chuckled at the drying mark on Seijiís pale skin. And the surprise in those darkening violet eyes.
Seiji began to slow the wheel down, but Shin shook his head. "No. Concentrate. Thereís a pot in here, and it wants to get out."
So Seiji willed himself to focus on the clay, pulling the sides of the pot up and down, trying to keep his arms steady whenever Shin released his grasp. At last Shin let him stop the wheel. The lump of clay had transformed itself into a little round pot.
"Thatís pretty good for a first time, Seiji. You probably canít tell, but thatís an extremely well-balanced pot." Shin was still leaning against him. Seiji had been aware of both their erections for some time, but now he understood how absorbing the clay could be. Tentatively he kissed Shinís neck, tasting gritty clay.
"Is that the best you can do?" Seiji found himself at a loss for words. "Or are you afraid of getting mud in your hair?"
Shin leaned down and caught Seijiís lips. He smelled of earth and salt. Their arms tangled in front of Seiji as Shin sucked at the base of his neck. Seiji managed to turn the seat around so they were face to face.
True to his word, Shin ran a clay-smothered hand through the golden hair. Normally Seiji would have thrown a fit, but instead he found himself thinking how cool and wet it felt. He let Shin take off his shirt, rubbing wet clay across his chest, the muscles tensing as the slippery fingers moved over him.
"Now. Do you think we can finish before this dries?" Shin stole another kiss, enjoying Seijiís continued speechlessness. Before Seiji knew it, their clothes were off, and he had his back on the hard floor with Shin pulling at his mouth.
Then Shin sat up, straddling Seiji, their sexes brushing each other. "Damn. I need to wash my hands."
"Couldnít youó" Seijiís voice was hoarse with desire.
"No, this stuff makes terrible lube." Shin found the wash rag and hastily wiped his hands off. "When it dries, all the grit sticks in the wrong places." He cocked a knowing eye at Seiji, and nearly laughed at his expression.
/Of course Iíve tried it. Every potterís tried it./ Shin fumbled with his discarded shorts and found a tube of lube.
Seiji found his voice. "You always carry that? Touma working you too hard?"
"No." Seiji gasped as Shinís work-smoothened finger invaded his heat. "But you expect me to stay down here, all aloneó" a low moan now, as Shin stretched him "óplaying with clayó" his finger moved in and out "óand not be prepared for you guys?"
Shin eased himself in. Seiji kissed him deeply, then tried to say something just as Shin began thrusting.
/What is it, Seiji?/
/Oooh. Shin, theóunnnh... the clayís drying.../
Shin giggled, breaking his rhythm. He reached for the slip bucket and slathered clay all over Seiji. The swordsman was biting his lip now to keep from screaming, his mind reeling with the sensation of Shin inside him and sliding all around him. Shinís hands were spreading the clay everywhere, it was as though he wanted to shape the heat rising from their lovemaking.
At last it ended, the world spinning around Shin as he released his essence into Seiji. Shin withdrew, and leaned in for an exhausted kiss, leaving a huge clay handprint on Seijiís cheek.
Seiji looked down on himself. And groaned. He was covered in clay, and his stomach was covered with his own release.
Shin laughed. "Well, thatís one way to get Date Seiji dirty." He stood up, helping Seiji to his feet. "Iíll hose you down."
"Havenít you already?"
"Tsk, tsk. Now you sound like Touma." He turned the tap on. "Between this and Suiko we should get clean enough to sneak to the shower."
Seiji stood by the basement drain, shivering as the cold water rushed over him. "S-Shin?"
Seiji felt a twinge at the familiar endearment. He sighed as Suiko warmed the water a bit. Touma was a lucky guy. "You donít really expect everyone to... take lessons, do you?"
"Well, just think of it this way. Iím making the most of my birthday gift, ne?"
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