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On to Chapter 3.

Author: Amy the Evitable
Rating: NC-17
Last updated: 31 October 2003

If you get too close to some things, you can never walk away.

Aya/Yohji. After the battle with Estet, Yohji finds himself haunted. But by what? Or by whom? Or is it all in his head? Follows the anime series, with the caveat that in this story, Aya-chan never woke up.

The OVAs, manga, and Gluhen are all gleefully ignored. The lyrics at the start of each Yohji point-of-view section are all copyright Chappell Music/U2, and are used without permission.

Event Horizon
Chapter 2: Sex and Other Sleights of Hand

The knock was only for form's sake. Aya wouldn't have had time to respond to it even if he'd wanted to. It was Kudoh, of course. Hidaka had finally been convinced to leave Aya to his duties earlier this afternoon, and Omi had manners.

Kudoh hovered in the open door. There was no need prompt him. Whatever the man wanted would be made clear soon enough. Likely Kudoh intended to use the gauze and ointment he carried or to nag Aya into resting. Either way, Aya might as well continue with the weights until the inevitable interruption.

The burn in his muscles intensified further. Aya couldn't stop-- these barbells he'd found in the closet had so little weight to them that an extended session was required to rebuild any muscle mass. Hidaka was a fool. Aya knew from past experience just how much his body was capable of and he didn't intend to settle for anything less than that.

Aya couldn't afford to settle for anything less than that. He couldn't assume Estet was unable or unwilling to try again to summon the demon. He was all that stood between his baby sister and a fate worse than death. Aya needed to be in top form with his katana-- as of yesterday.

The presence or absence of Kudoh was irrelevant to Aya's workout. Especially irrelevant as for once the man wasn't tossing words around like autumn leaves flying in the wind.

The presence of those damn sunglasses was a different matter. Kudoh could be around Aya or not as he chose, sunglasses notwithstanding. If Kudoh wanted to be with Aya then he would have to do so without green glass to screen him. If Yohji wished to communicate, then he needed to communicate fully. No half-measures or attempts at hiding allowed.

The sunglasses also made it extremely difficult for Aya to tell if he was being watched or if Kudoh was merely lost in thought. Kudoh was hard enough to anticipate even when Aya could read the cues from his gaze. The man leapt about too randomly, in both his thinking and his fighting.

To be fair, that unpredictability was all that allowed Aya to sleep at night of late. He could banish the fear that Aya-chan was gone, taken from him again, with the conviction that Balinese was capable of hiding her. His creative cunning was sufficient to deceive Estet, at least for a time. It was inevitable, however, that Estet's greater resources would overcome Kudoh's planning. Aya had to be prepared for that day.

Damn it. Aya had caught himself watching Kudoh again. Aya noted the perpetually slouched body lacked the focused intensity Kudoh usually had when looking at Aya. Probably lost in thought then, guard down. Careless. Still, Yohji was always worth seeing like that, when a thousand shifting masks of amusement weren't concealing the pensive look that the tilted set of those green eyes gave his face.

Yohji shut the door behind him. He wanted to be with Aya, then. So... "Sunglasses off."

The clicks of Yohji folding the glasses up and placing them on the table were too loud. Too loud because they weren't preceded by inane babbling. No comments emerged on Aya's strange jealousy of inanimate objects and how it related to some sexual fetish. No commentary emerged on Yohji's urge to give the same order concerning Aya's orange sweater. Not even a mocking "Yes, sir!"

Yohji's continued silence set the skin of Aya's back prickling in unease. Something about the man was off. Usually Yohji's mere presence would fill up a room with his uniquely mobile energy, rubber balls of laughter bouncing through the air. It was distracting as all hell. Everyone noticed when Yohji was around, even when the man wasn't posing and preening. Now that energy was subdued.

For how long had it been subdued? Aya wondered.

Aya's biceps chose that moment to threaten a cramp. He could give his attention to Kudoh's behavioral aberrations or he could put it to forcing the muscle to relax and continue performing. He glared at the arm, holding back the incipient spasm. He went so far as to slow the motion of his curl but did not abandon it. For his sister, who had no one else, he would continue. He must continue, no matter how lazy his muscles had become during his recuperation. Ceaseless movement was key, contracting and extending his arm in a slow, controlled fashion.

Yohji's sudden intake of breath almost broke Aya's concentration again.  Nearly tangible warmth brushed Aya's skin as Yohji shifted his focus to Aya. If Yohji's energy still wasn't filling the room, it was certainly spreading to surround Aya in a tingling advance.

Peripheral vision showed Yohji slowly approaching the futon, steps bringing him in an arc rather than a line. Aya felt two conditioned reflexes kick in at the expression of wicked anticipation on Yohji's face. The first was to prepare for defensive action. Evaluation of Kudoh's approach was automatic: Laden with medical supplies, Kudoh's hands were full, but he was moving to the side of the futon where Aya's injured leg rested. However, Kudoh's body was not held in a defensive posture. Three possible maneuvers for a takedown leapt to mind, but all of them required use of the injured leg. That would be unwise at this juncture, and was likely unnecessary.

The second conditioned reflex was arousal.

Aya would yield to neither reflex.

The slow, controlled grace Kudoh displayed as he knelt was almost hidden behind his usual camouflage of disheveled sprawl. It was one of Kudoh's most irritating behaviors. The man was capable of moving with the precise, fluid lines of a geisha or ballet dancer. That he chose to sully such elegance with undisciplined posture was like deliberately smearing charcoal upon pure porcelain.

The last amber sunlight squeezing through the window fell across Yohji's profile. Brilliant threads of pure gold blazed in that light amidst the tumbled brown hair. The shadows pooling in the hollows of Yohji's throat and collarbone begged to be licked off of that amber skin.

Damn. He'd let the rhythm falter. Aya forced his attention back to his workout, tuning out the distraction that knelt on the floor next to his futon.

Cool hands brushed Aya's sweat-dampened thigh. Kudoh was pushing up the edge of the cut-off sweatpants Aya wore, exposing the bandage. The man still hadn't said anything. Kudoh's touch was deft, and for once those fingers didn't wander.

"What are you doing?" Aya's voice emerged more sharply than he'd expected.

"Hey now, don't mind me. It's time to clean your cuts and change the bandages. I'm on it. You just keep doing your workout and I'll take care of... things." Green eyes looked up flicker-quick, then fell into shadow again as the face lowered. "I'm not in your way, am I?" The tone was too mild to be trusted.

"Hn." Technically speaking, Kudoh was not in his way.

The soft cotton of the sweatpants slid back down Aya's leg. Kudoh blew the hair out of his eyes, the breath cool across Aya's bare stomach. Kudoh changed tactics, rolling the material up instead of pushing it out of his way. Long fingers brushed lightly against Aya's thigh each time Yohji resettled his grip. With each rolling motion, fingernails trailed briefly along the skin. Each touch became harder to ignore.

Aya bit back a growl. He was in no mood to tolerate attempts at distraction. He had work to do. However, Kudoh was behaving himself. The bandage did need to be changed. There had been neither unnecessarily long touches nor anything that could be described as a caress. If Aya found the process distracting, it was his own lack of discipline.

Yohji set a damp washcloth atop the first piece of surgical tape. After a moment of dampening, the papery tape came off easily, without tearing any of the sparse hair from Aya's leg. It was less painful to soak the tape off, but it was also an inefficient use of time. Aya had observed this several days ago. Yohji had replied that avoiding unnecessary skin irritation and inflammation might make the healing go more quickly. He'd then gone on to joke that if he'd only known Aya liked pain, he'd have happily obliged Aya at any time.

Aya had told Kudoh exactly how the man could oblige him at that moment. It had been satisfying. Childish, but satisfying.

Removing the bandage was a painless process. Cleaning the leg would not be.

Kudoh looked up, waited without speaking until Aya made eye contact. "This'll hurt a little." Kudoh tilted his head to the side in a mockery of a considering gaze. "But I'm sure you won't let that distract you, will you, Aya?"

"Hn." Aya turned his head a little, staring at the wall.

The cleaning solution stung in the cut. It was not a pleasurable sensation, but it trapped Aya's attention in the skin surrounding the area. As Kudoh moved out in circles from the wound, now cleaning uninjured flesh, the number of nerve endings in Aya's thigh seemed to multiply with every passing moment. The antiseptic brought a chill to Aya's skin. It tingled.

Aya gritted his teeth and continued his curls. He had a duty.

The stitches were only a little tender as Kudoh's fingertips smoothed a line of antibiotic ointment atop them. The new bandage was taped down. The lingering pain made for a striking contrast as Kudoh moved to the adjoining skin, now massaging in little circles. Aya's body was irresistibly reacting to the stimulation. 

Aya chose to ignore it.

"I'm just going to check for any tenderness, Aya, to make sure nothing's getting infected again. Let me know if anything hurts." Kudoh's voice was a little breathy, the pitch a little lower than normal. Just touching Aya's body did that to Yohji, left him unmistakably aroused. It was flattering to Aya, admittedly.

Alternating light, long caresses with gentle massage, Kudoh worked way his up Aya's thigh. Tight muscles eased under the touch, causing an almost narcotic relaxation to spread through Aya's body. Sensitized skin tingled beneath Kudoh's damnably talented hands. An ache for that touch spread up Aya's body and lodged in his cock.

Aya realized that his last exhalation had sounded suspiciously like a moan. If Kudoh had said anything about that noise, asked if anything hurt or even silently smirked, Aya would have kicked him out. Perhaps literally.

Instead, Yohji quietly continued his sensual advance, working up Aya's inner thigh. Yohji took advantage of the give in the material of the sweatpants, his hands slipping beneath the rolled edge. Aya's balls tingled in anticipation of that touch; his cock burned for it.
 
Yohji shifted as he knelt. Aya caught sight of the bulge in the other man's pants. Yohji enjoyed this. Enjoyed Aya. It was satisfying to know he elicited such an obvious reaction from the other man without any attempt at seduction. Aya knew the reaction was genuine. Yohji's words, his face, and even his eyes lied well. Yohji's body, however, could not lie. Aya had taken pains to learn to read that body and to learn the energy that flowed through the man. Yohji wanted him; Aya knew that much was true.

Yohji's fingers were like feathers as they brushed against Aya's balls. Unprotected by underwear, the sensitive skin was easily reached. As Yohji's hand cupped him then swirled around and up to stroke his cock, Aya gasped. Yohji's eyes darkened at the sound and his fingers shook just a little in their even course.

Taking advantage of the sweat that dampened Aya's skin, Yohji's fingers flowed slick over Aya's already-wet tip, spiraling along those most sensitive nerves. Every thin ridge of scar Yohji's wire had left on those fingers left trails traversing Aya's cock. Yohji seemed ashamed of those scars, but the variation in texture added to Aya's stimulation. It was almost too intense. Aya's entire body twitched again and again in response.

Perhaps Aya had worked enough for now. The burn in his arms had become more of a sharp pain. The lost muscle mass could not, honestly, be regained in one day. He knew his will could overpower his body. Focused spirit could overcome the weakness of the flesh. Aya had proved that often enough in the past --did he need to prove it again today? Perhaps at this moment, he did not need to pay the price in days of crippling pain. Better, perhaps, to save his effort for a true emergency.

Aya silenced the inner voice that berated him for yielding to temptation. There would be plenty of time for that later. Then all inner dialogue was drowned out. Yohji was back to using his fingernails, running them down and around the shaft. The other hand slipped below Aya's balls and massaged the skin beneath them. It was a more diffuse touch on the prostate than penetration offered, but it was enough. More than enough. Aya's breath rasped loud and rapid in the air.

The hand on Aya's cock withdrew. With the speed Yohji almost never displayed outside of combat, he tugged the sweatpants down, leaving Aya's cock exposed.

Not for long. Yohji's head lowered, and Aya's cock slid past the dampened lips, deep into Yohji's mouth. Taking nearly the entire length into his mouth, and holding it there, Yohji began a rhythmic suction. There was nothing subtle or teasing about this assault. This was not Yohji's usual slow, taunting approach. This was overwhelming stimulation, almost forceful in intensity. The sudden change sent a wave of heat across Aya's skin. Aya's eyes rolled up, the lids falling closed.

The thumps of the handweights falling to the floor only really registered to Aya in the nervous little jump Yohji made at the noise. Even when startled, Yohji was carefully protective of Aya's body-- despite the jump and the subsequent nervous swallow, no teeth grazed Aya's cock.

Aya twined his hands into Yohji's hair, stroking the back of his neck and gently twisting the locks around and around. Yohji loved having his hair brushed and played with. It relaxed the man more effectively than his cigarettes. The appreciative purr Yohji offered vibrated through Aya's cock and up his spine, escaping in a convulsive shuddering arch of Aya's back. 

Slowly, Yohji's mouth slid back up Aya's cock, releasing it entirely for a moment. Bracing his weight on one elbow, Yohji took hold of the base of Aya's cock and began to tease the head with quick, hard flicks of the tongue.

In the moments between those flicks, when Aya's mind wasn't whited out by the pleasure, he noticed how awkward Yohji's position was. The man was still kneeling on the floor next to the futon, his body held over Aya's legs. One elbow rested on the far side of Aya's legs, allowing Yohji to keep his weight off of Aya's wound. He was being careful.

"You're... Ah!" Aya broke off panting. "Uncomfortable?" One-word sentences seemed best.

"'M fine."

So much for talking. It wasn't an efficient way of dealing with Kudoh most of the time anyway. Aya grasped Yohji's shoulders, was about to pull the man up onto the futon next to him, when Yohji suddenly deep-throated him.

"God! Yohji..." The name dragged out during the endless moment of warm wet perfection. Yohji continued to slide Aya deeply in and out of his mouth, mimicking the measured but forceful thrusts Aya preferred to use when he was taking Yohji.

When thought was possible again, Aya realized two things. The first was that his hands had convulsed on Yohji's shoulders hard enough to leave bruises. The second was that Yohji's tendons were like steel cables. The man was wound unbelievably tight.

The in-and-out of Yohji's movements was driving Aya relentlessly toward orgasm. Aya had no leverage to thrust, not without using his legs. It was beyond him not to try, however.

Yohji worked with Aya's thrusts. He let Aya do the moving in and out of his mouth while he focused on games of finesse. Yohji would pick a spot, ghost over it with the smooth caress of teeth, then work at the spot with the rough and yielding surface of his tongue. The feeling was too intense to allow Aya to come. Just as the spot verged on becoming oversensitive and pleasure shifted to pain, Yohji would pick a new location to baptize with the fire of his mouth.

Gasping raggedly and with the desire to climax morphing into an actual need, Aya sped up the pace of his thrusts.

Yohji was very good at seduction. He was also very, very good at lying. But Aya had been expecting what came next since that nervous jump. He'd been almost certain it would come after he felt the tension in Yohji's shoulders. If it had been otherwise, Aya might have been sufficiently distracted that he might have missed it.

For just a moment, Yohji's joints locked as his body froze. The motion of Yohji's mouth almost immediately resumed, leaving the freeze a scarcely noticeable stutter. It was subtle, but with forewarning, anyone trained as Aya had been could not miss that brief spasm.

There were other signs of distress as well. The hand not on Aya's cock retreated to Yohji's side. It clenched into a fist, white-knuckled, the nails driven into the palm. In the past, Yohji had clenched that fist hard enough to draw blood. There was a tension to the lips around Aya's cock. They no longer melted to flow against every contour. Now they were less yielding, somehow tight. Yohji's breathing, while still fast, had shifted to gasps taken high in the chest. Aya knew it for fear breathing.

The dead giveaway, though, was the disappearance of the warm energy that had danced from Yohji's skin to Aya's. Call it ki. Call it aura. It didn't matter. Whatever the name, it was gone. The departure meant the friendly, almost mischievous seduction had now turned to a mere exercise of a finely-tuned skill.

Yohji had displayed this reaction before. It was rare, but would occur sometimes when Yohji chose to go down on Aya. Aya was certain that Yohji started out enjoying the process. Sometimes something happened to Yohji midway through, though. Something unpleasant. Aya had tried to pin down a trigger for these episodes. He could identify no action on his part or Yohji's that precipitated the reaction, but had noted that the more nervous tension Yohji carried, the more likely the man was to suffer a panic attack. Aya knew no better phrase for it.

Yohji would pretend that nothing untoward had happened. He lied well. He would keep his face hidden from Aya. Yohji would position himself so that Aya could neither see nor feel his cock, which would no longer strain eagerly erect. He would redouble his efforts at distraction. Yohji would bundle his unwelcome reaction out of sight and continue to please his lover as best he could. Those efforts were not inconsiderable.

Aya had never spoken to Yohji about these incidents. The first time, he had been unsure of what exactly had happened until Yohji brought him to a climax then found an excuse to leave the bedroom before Aya could return the favor.

After that first time, Aya had observed his partner carefully. Left to his own devices, Yohji would continue giving Aya head after an episode, knotting himself up further with every moment he continued. It unsettled Aya deeply. Yet Yohji seemed to prefer to continue.

It was not what Aya preferred. Usually he would take hold of Yohji, pull him up into a kiss, or flip them into another position, or simply hold Yohji still for a few moments, claiming that the man was overeager. There were advantages to Aya's established dominance in bed. Yohji might resist for a moment, but he would ultimately yield and his tangled emotions would slowly begin to unknot.

In time, Yohji's erection would return. Yohji honestly found pleasing his partner quite stimulating. If Aya was both insistent and persistent, he could even bring Yohji to climax after an episode like this. However, those orgasms seemed less about pleasure than about bringing an end to stimulation Yohji both wanted and profoundly did not want. Those climaxes were a release from conflict, not from desire.

The one thing Aya could not do was talk to Yohji about the problem.

It was an unspoken rule of Weiss. If someone preferred to hide his pain, the others would pretend to see nothing. It was a necessary coping mechanism among four deeply wounded strangers who had to work as one to protect their own lives. Nothing was given more respectful privacy than personal pain.

Only with Omi was that rule relaxed; his demeanor inspired a paternalistic reaction that would overrule his dignity in favor of his emotional needs. Even with Omi, though, Aya found it all but impossible to find words to address the pain. Aya wasn't like his teammates. Ken's bluntness made Aya's sensibilities flinch. He couldn't use such an approach. Yohji used humor to cloak his caring like the sugar coating on a pill. Aya had no such facility with words and laughter. He had his actions. That was all.

Yohji had taken Aya back into his mouth, sucking and lapping. This was not what Aya wanted.

"Get up here."

Yohji stilled. After a second, he released Aya's cock, but did not lift his head from Aya's groin.

Stubborn idiot.

"I want to see your face. Get up here." Aya shifted, got his arms beneath Yohji's and found leverage to work to his advantage. He lifted and had slid Yohji halfway on the futon beside him before his chest protested the effort. Aya started coughing.

Yohji twisted away, slid off the futon, and turned back with the bottle of cough suppressant. Aya hated the stuff; it made him slow and sleepy. He glared at the bottle.

The muscles around Yohji's eyes twitched. He unclenched his fist as if the motion hurt. He kept the palm down, hiding whatever damage he had inflicted on his hand from Aya's eyes. "I'll come up there if you take this." Yohji didn't quite make the statement a bribe. Nor did he quite make that expression into an actual smile.

Aya reached for the bottle and took an unmeasured swig of the vile, sweet syrup. No matter what anyone said about him, Aya was not always dead set against compromise. Compromise could be considered if brute force was not an option.

Graceful as a cat, Yohji crawled over Aya's legs and settled against his unwounded side. The pose Yohji struck was sprawling and sensual, not quite on his side and not quite on his back. Both hands were left free as Yohji rested his torso against Aya's. Aya did note Yohji's bent knee that blocked his line of sight to Yohji's groin. It would also make it difficult for Aya's hands to reach Yohji's cock.

Stubborn idiot, indeed.

Yohji wrapped Aya's eartail around his forefinger and began to kiss a line from Aya's cheekbone down to his jaw. The forefinger brushed against Aya's ear, using the silky softness of Aya's own hair to tease the skin.

Yohji's energy was still pulled deep within his own body, warring against itself. Aya slid one arm around Yohji's shoulder. He turned the other man's torso to hold it flush against his own. Aya stretched his other hand across his body, reaching for Yohji's nipples. Yohji flinched away. It looked like a reflex action.

What the hell was Yohji scared of? Even after an episode, Yohji was never this jumpy. Aya's fingers twitched, opening and closing on empty air.

"Don't you..." Yohji paused a moment. He dipped his head to lap up the moisture that trickled from the tip of Aya's cock. "...hurt yourself. Don't set your recovery back."

Aya raised an eyebrow. Just how was returning Yohji's caresses supposed to set his recovery back? Yohji would have to come up with a better story than that.

"Humor me. Just sit back." Yohji placed a hand against Aya's chest, pushing him back so that he leaned against the wall. "Let me." Yohji brought that hand to his mouth, wet the fingers, and then pinched one of Aya's nipples lightly, twisting it, running a slick, scar-ridged thumb back and forth over the crinkled pink mound.

It was the essence of Yohji to pair such unwelcome instructions with such a maddening touch.

"Just let me. I want to," Yohji repeated softly.

That soft tone brought back flashes of the last time Yohji had touched him intimately. Aya had been so tired. He'd hurt. All of the pain and exhaustion had settled on him like a leaden shroud the moment he saw his sister with Yohji standing guard over her. After that sight, there were only scattered memories. A car. Cold. Yohji arguing with someone. Thirst. Jarring pain keeping Aya awake as he was carried.

Then there was only Yohji's hands, Yohji's voice raw and worn to a whisper, Yohji's body against him the whole night, the only night they had ever spent together. Aya had wanted to sleep, to let go and fall into darkness. But Yohji wouldn't allow that. He touched and talked, tethering Aya to awareness. After a time, the places Yohji touched began to remember something besides pain. After a time, the touch seemed to wipe some of the heavy weariness from Aya's skin.

It was possible that Yohji was all that had kept him alive that night.

Aya didn't want to accept Yohji's request. It was not in his nature to be ministered to. He found it nearly impossible to lie back and accept someone else's control. To trust anyone else with intimacies of his pleasure. To let go and accept what was offered. He enjoyed the battle for dominance. He found nothing more erotic than the yielding of his partner after a struggle, no matter how symbolic the struggle was.

No, this wasn't Aya's preference. In addition, Yohji's behavior this evening was setting off alarms in Aya's head. To enjoy receiving what Yohji did not enjoy giving was not acceptable to Aya.

But Yohji wasn't lying when he said he wanted to do this for Aya. Even if Yohji didn't enjoy it, he wanted to do it. And Yohji had kept him alive that night. So that he could heal now. So that he could take up his duties again.

"Let me, Aya."

Aya nodded. He would try. He didn't have many options. Yohji had made it clear that he didn't want to talk. Aya didn't have the right to force him. Aya could accept Yohji's ministrations, or he could send the man out of the room. Kicking Yohji out would be the least kind of the options.

Perhaps Yohji just wanted to feel... needed. Aya could accommodate that for a little while.

"Hai."

At Aya's acceptance, Yohji sighed, some of the tension pouring from his shoulders. The hair-wrapped finger resumed silken strokes, brushing the sensitive skin behind and under Aya's ear. Yohji re-wet the fingertips of his other hand with slow and deliberate licks. Aya's other nipple was treated to slick brushes and flicks, followed by pinches that twisted and tugged.

Aya bent his arm around Yohji's body so that he could massage the rock-hard tendons in the other man's neck. He could feel Yohji make the decision to ease into the touch. Aya worked his fingers up and down the tendons that bracketed Yohji's spine. The mix of pain and pleasure in the moans Yohji gave was as arousing as the man's caresses. Perhaps more so. Feeling Yohji deliberately relax his shoulders beneath Aya's hands evoked memories of Yohji relaxing something else beneath Aya's probing fingers. And beneath Aya's probing cock.

"I'll fuck you again, Yohji. Very soon. You know that, don't you?" Aya kept his voice low and even. Well-spoken words could be more erotic than touch --a truth Aya had learned from Yohji.

It was Yohji's turn to whisper, "Hai," in a voice gone ragged. He shuddered. Yohji's bent knee straightened, revealing the erection that again strained against his jeans.

Much better. Yohji was enjoying this again. Now, if only Yohji would... Yes.

Leaving Aya's nipples, Yohji's hand moved to the center of Aya's chest, and slid down. Yohji's nails dragged against the skin hard enough to leave pink trails behind them. That hand took hold of Aya's cock in a practiced grip.

As Yohji began to pump his cock, Aya pulled him in for a kiss. Yohji's lips parted before they even touched Aya's, and their tongues twined and explored as mouth rubbed against mouth.

Aya had already been brought so close to orgasm that he could not last long under Yohji's hands. He made the kiss deeper. He watched Yohji's face. He noted the slight frown of concentration that the older man always displayed when he was focused upon pleasuring his partner.

Aya pulled back from the kiss. "Open your eyes." Yohji obeyed, and Aya felt a small surge of triumph at the glassy gaze. The green of Yohji's eyes were a thin rim around the lust-enlarged pupils. Yes. Yohji wanted this.

Yohji's hands sped up, the thumb rubbing over Aya's tip as fingers and palm slid their grip up and down. Aya ruthlessly quelled the impulse to thrust. Yohji moved faster. His grip became a little tighter. Aya's hips began to rock back and forth helplessly; it was all Aya could do not to forget his wound and use his legs to make the thrusts he needed so badly. Aya renewed the kiss, thrusting with his tongue as he wanted to do elsewhere.

Aya's orgasm caught him by surprise, a sudden explosion of the tension gathered in his groin. Yohji's hand stilled, but kept a grip on Aya's cock as white fluid arced up like a fountain. The climax went on and on, and Aya muted himself against Yohji's mouth. As he pulled back, Aya's lips felt bruised from the intensity of that kiss.

Yohji smiled at Aya through his panting breaths. It was the man's true smile. Still breathing hard, he bent down to lick the splashes off of Aya's chest. Aya ran his fingers through Yohji's thick and tangled hair over and over as Yohji licked him clean.

Once sufficiently clean, Aya used Yohji's hair to tug his face back up for another kiss. He pulled Yohji's body against him, almost on top of him. Yohji was hard against Aya. His hands trembled and his back was rigid as with arousal as his cock. Yohji's body was too tight, set into lines of resistance despite the undeniable arousal.

This was not usual for Yohji --for them. Aya was too deep in post-orgasmic haze to read the man's ki. He tried looking into Yohji's eyes. The lids were closed, and Yohji's mouth was set in the carefully blank expression the tall man used to hide something. Yohji was shutting Aya out.

What the hell was Kudoh hiding? What could he have to hide right now? Familiar anger surged up Aya's spine. What was Yohji trying to get him to do? The man had already succeeded in getting Aya to abandon his workout. What more did he want? For Aya to take a goddamn nap?

Aya felt his body tense and his hands begin to flex again. He got control of his irritation. Damn it. He did not want to do this. He would not take out his frustration at how easily he'd been distracted on Yohji. He would not take out the frustrations of days spent in bed, helpless and dependent. He would not speak the words that wanted to spill out.

That didn't mean he didn't have a reply for Yohji. There were ways to flush Yohji out of hiding. Turnabout was fair play.

Aya's experienced fingers assailed the button fly of Yohji's jeans, defeating the fastenings easily. Dropping his head down to the side he took hold of the sensitive skin on the side of Yohji's neck with his teeth. Aya held Yohji hard enough to leave a mark, to hurt a little, but not hard enough to draw blood. Something about being held that way made the brunet go limp, left him submissive and almost helpless to Aya's attentions. Aya would be damned if he let Yohji walk away the only victor of this seductive duel.

Back arching, Yohji began to melt under Aya's touch. Aya smiled fiercely around his mouthful of Yohji's neck.

Then the other man stopped. Stopped sagging, stopped relaxing, and even momentarily stopped breathing. A chill ran up Aya's back. He released Yohji's neck, needing to look at Yohji's face. Yohji teeth were sunk into his bottom lip, as though he were holding himself silent. His eyes were closed, and the lines between his brows and at the corners of his mouth were runes of fear and pain.

Yohji began breathing again, deep breaths like he used to steady himself after a kill. "This... might not be the best idea." Another breath, and Yohji let his hand fall, running the palm down Aya's chest as he pulled away. He sat up straight, body no longer touching Aya's.

"Yohji." Aya's tone was flat. Yohji wanted this. Aya could read that Yohji's body wanted this fiercely, almost needed this release. What the hell was making Yohji say no? The briefly diverted irritation returned full force to Aya.

Yohji stared intently at Aya with eyes full of sorrow and something that looked too much like guilt. He lifted a trembling hand to cradle Aya's cheek. The touch was too gentle. Yohji leaned forward, lips pursed. Was he planning to kiss Aya's forehead?

An emotion Aya didn't want to name slammed into his gut. Yohji's actions felt wrong. He let the clench in his stomach slide into anger. As Yohji's lips brushed his forehead, Aya jerked his head back, and he slapped Yohji's hand away from his cheek.

Yohji stood up. "Aya..." He shook his head. "None of us'll be happy if you hurt yourself. You've pushed your body far enough today, Aya. We all need you back in fighting form." A lopsided smile as jeans were re-buttoned. "Besides, Ken's gonna run out of patience any minute now. Don't want him to barge in on us to make sure you've been properly treated, do we?"

Yohji walked toward the door. Aya clenched his fist against the urge to grab the man, to pull him down and force him to stay. To accept Aya's touch. To lose that tension in a rush of pleasure. Damn it. Damn him.

"Running away?" It was a violation of the rule. Aya made the question soft enough that Yohji could pretend he hadn't heard. Something was off-kilter about Yohji tonight. It grated somewhere inside of Aya's guts to let Yohji just walk away without saying anything. But if there was nothing to say, silence was more kind. Still...

At the soft word, Yohji's stomach rippled as his abdominal muscles clenched. His slouched shoulders twitched, just barely. But Aya saw. Hand on the knob, Yohji paused with his back to Aya. "It's for the best, right now. Sorry." He left, shutting the door soundlessly behind him.

Aya's stomach turned, leaving a sour taste in his mouth. It was better that Yohji had left. Letting him walk away was the best thing for Aya to have done. Aya could provoke a confrontation, but that was all. He could strip bare the wounds Yohji was trying to hide, rip the defenses off of them, but he had no healing to offer. Those defenses were like bandages on open wounds. One didn't remove a bandage, no matter how inadequate, unless one had something to replace it with. Aya had nothing with which to replace Yohji's denial.

Aya had other obligations. He could not afford to make any promises to be there for Yohji, no matter how tacit or implied. To offer an emotional shelter when at any moment he might have to abandon Yohji in order to care for his sister was simply cruel. Aya had walked away from Weiss once. He would do it again, if need be. That fact didn't allow for building emotional bonds.

Even if Aya could allow himself those bonds, comforting wasn't a skill he much possessed. Whatever scraps of that skill Aya did possess were entirely the property of Aya-chan, anyway. He was all that Aya-chan had left, inadequate as he was. To take any resource he had to offer her and give it to someone else was just another betrayal of the girl the world had thoroughly betrayed already. It was one thing to sleep with Kudoh. That took nothing from Aya that belonged to Aya-chan. But whatever emotional resources Aya possessed were already claimed.

Yohji had to find his own way to cope.

It rang somehow hollow.

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