Yohji struggled his way back into the world, roused from sleep by something he couldn't identify. He blinked blearily up at the dark ceiling before his eyes strayed towards the pillow beside his. He was not surprised to find it empty, but a hand on the indentation left by another's head was warm. He offered a silent sigh to the room, rolling onto his side in preparation to slide off the bed in search of his wayward lover. A smudge of red at the edge of his vision stopped him before he was able to throw the sheets back and he paused, gazing towards the window.

    It had been closed when they'd gone to bed last night; Yohji had closed it himself. Now the night breeze swept through to cool the room, the curtains dancing along with it in play. Standing before the window with moonlight spilling freely on him was Aya.

    Yohji allowed himself several moments to take in the sight, taking in the way it seemed to make the younger man's pale skin glow. The redhead had fully reclothed himself. Yohji felt a faint smile touch his lips at the sight and let tolerance color his eyes as he took in Aya's form. Aya had even gone so far as to button each and every one of the buttons lining the front of his black pajama shirt, throwing away Yohji's earlier work at undoing them.

    This was a familiar scene.

The way you're bathed in light
Reminds me of that night
God laid me down into your rose garden of
And I was swept away
With nothin' left to say
Some helpless fool
Yeah I was lost in a swoon of peace
You're all I need to find
So when the time is right
Come to me sweetly, come to me
Come to me

    Aya didn't glance at him as he slid from the bed, but Yohji knew the other man could hear him. He padded across the room towards the younger assassin, coming up behind him. He said nothing at first, merely turned his gaze outwards to follow Aya's eyes. There were few stars in the sky. The pollution from the city kept them from glowing in their rightful place across the dark blanket that had covered this part of the world. Yohji could hear faint sounds of voices floating in on the breeze, a sign that there were still people crawling about at this hour. A few weeks ago, Yohji would have been out among them.

    Now he had no need to go out. He had something far more intriguing than the city had ever been able to offer within reach. A smile curled his mouth and he reached up, sliding his hands along Aya's sleeves in an upward search towards the man's shoulders. He felt the way Aya tensed under his touch and tilted his head forward, brushing his cheek against the side of Aya's face.

    "There's nothing fascinating out there for you," he told Aya, finally choosing to break the silence. This was the difference between this night and the previous ones; this was where it would break away and pick itself a new path. He knew not whether it would lead to bush or valley. All he knew was that something had to be done with Aya or the man might continue to peel himself away. He had been struggling about an approach since the night he had first drawn a reluctant Aya to his sheets, and he knew his silence afterwards and the way they made no indication of what took place in this small room during daylight would only place a wall between them.

    Aya turned his head towards Yohji's slightly, and Yohji supposed he was surprised. Yohji had said nothing any of the other nights, and Aya had been equally silent. That was Yohji's mistake. He had not known what to say, so he had said nothing.

    "Trust me," Yohji continued, letting one hand lift from its perch so he could run his fingers through Aya's hair. He would never cease to be amazed at the fine silkiness. He let out a contented sigh at the feel of it between his fingers and lowered his arm to wrap it around Aya's waist. "I've been out there. There's nothing there but falsehoods and ephemeral pleasures."

    Aya's fingers closed on Yohji's arm as he allowed the older man to draw him back into the shadows of the room. The moonlight faded from Aya's skin, leaving his face shaded. Yohji traced one soft cheek with a finger before closing his second arm around Aya's waist, continuing his trip backwards.

    He had almost decided he would not get a reply when Aya spoke up. "Does the outside differ from the inside that much?"

    Yohji finally felt the brush of silk sheets against the back of his bare leg. He lowered himself, bringing Aya with him. The man put up some resistance once they were seated, detaching himself from the circle of Yohji's arms. He slid away, putting half a bed between them, before tilting his head to peer in Yohji's direction. Yohji, for his part, pushed himself further onto the mattress. He pulled his legs up and crawled towards Aya, guarded amethyst eyes locked with soothing emerald ones.

    "Out there are cravings," Yohji told him, coming to rest beside him. "Out there you can lose your mind for moments, for hours. You are swept away in the need for something, for someone. It is irrational and whimsical. It is learning there is gold under a dragon's belly and running forth to grab some. It is hearing the moon is made of cheese and weaving a ladder to grab some."

    He lifted a hand, wondering if Aya would move away. It was always when Yohji retrieved Aya from his spot by the window that the man would begin backing away from him and what had occured mere hours ago. It was then that Aya struggled, then instead of when Yohji first swept the man away to this place: this place where he could press him down, where he could kiss him and taste him, where he could touch him and feel a fire stronger and hotter than he felt with anyone else.

    Aya lifted a hand, pushing the back of it against Yohji's questing palm. Yohji smiled and turned his hand instead, linking his fingers through Aya's. He could see a catch in Aya's chest as the man's eyes dropped to the intwined fingers and his smile softened. On the battlefield, amidst the blood and adrenaline, Aya was the one with more skill. He was the one who could see through where others' emotions would hold them back. He could see the target and could break through barriers to get to it.

    It was here that Aya would falter, here when he was forced to confront emotions he tried so hard to school himself to be invulnerable to. Aya was not the icy bastard he attempted to make himself be. The facade had fooled most of the fangirls that horded the shop, and he knew at times it could fool even Ken and Omi. Yohji had long since been able to see through it, to see the small gaps where Aya gave himself away.

    "In here there is a single but fierce addiction." Aya looked up at the words again to search his face. "It starts the same as a craving. In here I lose my mind and self to something. I am swept away in the need for something, for someone. At times it is irrational, yes, but never whimsical. This is something that engraves itself in me until it is something I cannot exist without. It is drowning and fighting the tide to find the surface even as I feel peace in the darkness. It is falling and grabbing for anything to stop me even as I feel a pure rush from the sensation of flight."

    Aya tugged his hand free and turned away. "Years of courting women made you into a poet instead of an assassin."

    Yohji laughed at the words, brushing his bangs out of his face. "Am I as good as the ones in your anthologies?" he asked.

    "You're worse," was Aya's curt reply, moving to push himself off the bed.

    "Why?" Yohji asked, easily snagging the man and dragging him back. Aya twisted in Yohji's grip as Yohji let them both fall backwards. The man rolled away as soon as he hit the mattress and Yohji followed, grabbing Aya's shoulders as the man tried to sit up. He pressed down to pin the man back against the sheets, sliding to lie on top of the younger man. His smile was gone now. "Because those were merely words printed on paper, directed towards nameless faces? Because when I talk you know I'm directing it solely at you?"

    Aya responded with action instead of words, grunting as he pushed upwards. Yohji grabbed hold of Aya's shirt, bringing the man on the roll so it was now Aya on top of him. With the dim light offered from the window, Yohji could almost make out Aya's expression- and the way the man's lips had thinned. "I am not one of them," Aya told him, voice flat but still managing to carry a strident edge. "I am not one of those girls you controlled so easily, not one of those brainless ones who fell prey to your silver tongue."

    "You're right," Yohji agreed simply, and that made Aya pause, almost as if he had expecting different words.

    Yohji lifted his hand once more, tracing fingertips over a face he had memorized long ago, eyes following the path they left on that skin that was too smooth and too pale to be more than a dream. When his thumb grazed over Aya's lips he allowed his gaze to linger there for several moments before lifting his eyes to Aya's once more.

    "You are my addiction."

Love will lead us, all right
Love will lead us, she will lead us
Can you hear the dolphin's cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It's in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us, she will lead us

    Aya opened his mouth to say something and Yohji leaned up, closing the short space between them. His lips caught Aya's, taking advantage of the opening to gain entrance. Aya made as if to draw back and Yohji lightly closed his teeth on the man's lower lip. After a pause, he felt the man relax slightly. He reached up, sliding his arms around Aya's neck to draw him closer. He felt the brush of cloth against his bare body as Aya allowed himself to be lowered and felt a spark of satisfaction as he caught Aya's mouth once more.

    He kissed the redhead slowly but thoroughly, coaxing the man forward as he did each time. Aya's bangs fell against his face, silky and cool. They continued to share heated kisses until the rest of the tension in Aya's lean frame had evaporated. When Yohji felt the last of it slide away he drew back to offer a faint smile and rolled to lay Aya on the bed beside him. He propped himself over the redhead once more. Long fingers set about undoing the countless buttons on Aya's shirt as Aya's hands finally lifted, his own fingers running through Yohji's hair before cupping the man's skull.

    There was something subtly different about this, about the way Aya tasted and felt, Yohji observed as he finally managed to brush the edges of the shirt aside. Briefly he wondered if his spoken words had changed anything. He couldn't help but hope so. Aya drew his hands back and began to wriggle free of the shirt. Yohji did not wait for him to finish but set about with feather light touches of both lips and fingers, nails sliding along the lines of muscle and ribs. First lips and then tongue skimmed over a nipple and Aya's breath hitched as the redhead faltered in his struggle to get free of his shirt. Yohji's hands slid up to press against Aya's shoulders, pushing down and keeping the man's arms pinned in the folds of his sleeves. He lowered his mouth again, lips closing easily over the nub that was already hard. He sucked at it, drinking in the soft gasp Aya could not catch to stop. The man twisted beneath him, in response to both the confinement and the sensation.

    Yohji calmly switched to the other nipple, his ministrations enough this time to wring a verbal- if slightly strained- protest: "Yohji..."

    Yohji tilted his head back to meet Aya's eyes. He wanted the light on. He wanted to be able to see Aya's face clearly. He knew what light would cost him. The secrecy of dim rooms and shadows was on his side, was what had helped him gain Aya to him that first night.

    "If you are my addiction, does that make me your craving?" Yohji wondered aloud before leaning forward to kiss Aya once more. The man twisted beneath him again as tongues brushed and Yohji deepened the kiss. He could not get enough of Aya. He could never get enough of Aya. Each time left him burning and aching for more. The kiss ended as Yohji slid his mouth along Aya's cheekbone, pressing a whisper soft kiss to both of Aya's eyelids. The man gazed up at him, chest rising and falling unevenly as he struggled to gain back the breath Yohji's kiss had robbed him of.

    "I bring you here and you give in," Yohji murmured against Aya's cheek. "But there is always something later in you that speaks of regret. I don't want that. I don't want this struggle with you night after night."

    "You want me to run willingly into your arms?" Aya asked, lifting a brow as he mildly mocked his teammate.

    "I don't want to be your craving." Yohji answered simply before helping Aya to pull free of the shirt. Hands slid along skin, seeking and finding, tracing paths and adding fuel to fire. He scooted backwards down the bed, lips skimming over hot skin in a trail down Aya's chest. Aya's fingers danced along his shoulders and curled in the locks of his hair. Yohji pressed a kiss to Aya's navel and made his way back up, following Aya's tug and crushing his mouth to the other man's.

    Aya made a muffled- but not unhappy- sound at the sudden switch in intensity, but it went unheard in the roar in Yohji's ears. He was drowning in Aya's taste, reeling from the feel of this beautiful man laid out beneath him. This was where he wanted to be. This was what he wanted. He had brought Aya here knowing the consequences it might bring. He had brought him because he had thought he would go mad if he had to go one more day without being able to touch the untouchable man.

    And Aya...

    Why had Aya come, and why did Aya allow Yohji to bring him here? It had been almost two weeks. Every night they rose and went to bed at the same time. Every night Aya looked to Yohji and Yohji would smile and beckon him forward. Every night Aya would follow his invitation and enter.

    It was too much, and it wasn't enough. It was what he wanted, and it was almost wrong. A desperate person could confuse the moon and the sun, as both floated in the sky and glowed. That was what Yohji had allowed himself to do in his need for Aya. He had taken hold of the moon at night rather than risk burning while catching the sun.

    Yohji drew away from Aya, slowly lifting his hands to slide Aya's free. With purple eyes watching him, Yohji slid out from on top of the man to lie beside him. He pressed a palm to Aya's cheek, searching the man's eyes. "I do not," he repeated, "want to be your craving. That isn't enough."

   Aya said nothing as he registered what Yohji was saying.

    "I don't want you to decide right now," Yohji continued, quieter, "but it has to be this way."

    Aya looked away, struggling with his thoughts. After a long moment he glanced at Yohji, then slid towards the edge of the bed. Yohji watched as the redhead crossed the room. Aya paused in the doorway but did not look back before vanishing into the hallway.

    Yohji offered a quiet sigh to the inside of the room, heart thudding painfully inside of him as he wondered what the result of tonight would be. Either way, what mattered was Aya's happiness. Whichever Aya chose, Yohji would rest easier knowing that he had gotten these words out of the way to make himself clear to Aya. And on lonely nights, Yohji could always think back to these twelve nights of bliss.

    Aya had left his shirt behind, and Yohji crumpled it and stuck it under his head to make an Aya-scented pillow.

    Sleep was long in coming that night.

Oh yeah, we meet again
It's like we never left
Time in between was just a dream
Did we leave this place?
This crazy fog surrounds me
You wrap your legs around me
All I can do to try and breathe
Let me breathe so that I
So we can go together!

    Yohji caught the edge of the door guard with the end of his hook and tugged it down within reach. As he grabbed hold he glanced over his shoulder, taking in the rest of the shop. Ken had had the afternoon off and had been gone since lunch. Omi was sweeping and humming to himself. Aya was at the counter, counting and rearranging the coin rolls. Yohji peeled his gaze away with some difficulty, tugging the shield into place. He locked it to its clip on the ground and stretched, turning back to his teammates. He was careful to keep his eyes from Aya this time.

    "Well, you're doing such a wonderful job of cleaning up that I feel comfortable leaving it in your capable hands," Yohji told Omi, smiling widely. Smiling was easy when he'd had years to practice and perfect it. He passed the boy, reaching out to clap him on the shoulder.

    "Yohji-kun," Omi protested.

    "I must tend to my own needs," Yohji told him, pressing a hand to his stomach. "It would be horrible if my stomach were to cave in and make me gaunt looking. A man must eat to maintain a perfect appearance."

    "You must go hungry a lot, Yohji-kun," Omi sent after him, sticking a tongue out at Yohji's back.

    Yohji's response was a laugh as he stood before the fridge. He opened it, peering in. There were a couple plates of leftover from the take-out they'd had last night. He opened each box, searching for his, and moved to the microwave to warm it up. He gazed at it, watching as it was slowly heated, thoughts miles away. He had been in pain all day, eager for night to come even as he was afraid of it. When the sun set, Aya would have decided which way to go.

    He wanted to kick himself, wanted to tell himself how stupid he'd been to bare himself to the redhead like that. Aya was a loner by nature, dealing with others when it was needed and offering his heart only to his sister. His body was Kritiker's doll to play with, to point in the direction of targets. Recently, his body was Yohji's. But Yohji wanted more than that smooth skin; he wanted more than the dark taste that was Aya, wanted more than the sounds Aya made in their love-making. He wanted those eyes to look at him without shields; he wanted his name on the redhead's lips. He wanted the heart that burned with such a heated fire inside of Aya.

    The microwave beeped, pulling him from his thoughts. He pulled his dish out and headed to the table, picking at it. Omi entered a few moments later, setting the broom in its spot beside the fridge. He went unerringly for his own box and moved to the table, not bothering to heat his food up.

    Aya passed the doorway and Omi looked up, catching the redhead's movements from the corner of his eye. "Are you going to eat, Aya-kun?" Omi called after him.

    "Iie," came the answer. Aya stepped into the doorway, free of his apron now. "I am going to bed."

    "Ahh...Oyasumi, Aya-kun."

    Yohji struggled to look up from his meal, to look at Aya. He found that he could not. He could barely manage to get out his own farewell. "Oyasumi," he said at last, and saw Aya disappear from the doorway out of the corner of his eye.

    Aya was going to bed.

    The decision was made.

    What else should he have expected? He should have known what Aya was going to do. He had probably taken the redhead by surprise last night. After all, he was Kudou Yohji. He was the playboy, the one who went through girls like water through a sift. He had a reputation. When he had taken Aya for the first time, the younger man had most likely assumed that he would be the same thing- a physical relationship for a brief time. If that was what he had led Aya to believe, his words would have been a rude awakening.

    He could feel the warmth that was Aya beside him in bed fading from arms used to holding the man's slender form.

    He had lost Aya.

    He tried telling himself that what Aya wanted was important, nothing else, but it couldn't stop the pain. He had lost his appetite suddenly. Looking at his meal made his stomach churn unpleasantly inside of him. He rose on unsteady feet and carried his plate to the garbage can. Omi looked up in surprise.


    "I'm going to turn in early," Yohji told him without bothering to look back. "I'm not feeling well."

    "Perhaps sleep will help," the boy sent after him hopefully. Yohji didn't respond as he climbed the stairs to his room.

    His bed didn't look welcome. It looked empty and big, too much for one person. Yohji felt his lips curve into a self-mocking expression as he closed the door behind him. He moved towards the window instead, veering past the empty mattress that mocked him. What else should he have expected? He lost those he cared for. He'd found that out long ago. It was better for him to not dwell on one person; it was better to know a face and not a name.

    But Aya...No, Aya was different.

    And Aya was gone.

    He closed his eyes against the pain, tracing his fingertips along the glass. He had tried. He had tried, he had offered everything. He shouldn't have expected anything in return, but it still hurt. He tilted his head forward, touching his forehead to the glass. It was cold against his skin and he could see his breath fogging up the window around him. He'd wanted so much for Aya to feel some of what Yohji felt for him. Even just a fraction...

    He hadn't intended to fall in love with Aya.

    And just like before, that love was unable to be returned.

    He was alone again. But he was used to that. He would find a way to recover. He had to find a way...somehow.

Love will lead us, alright
Love will lead us, she will lead us
Can you hear the dolphin's cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It's in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us, she will lead us

    "I thought you said there was nothing fascinating out there."

    Yohji turned so fast he stumbled, eyes raking the darkness of his room for the owner of that voice. Aya was standing against the wall his door was on, tucked into the shadows of the corner. His mouth went dry as he stared at the younger man. Even if he was able to speak, there was nothing he could think of to say. Aya stepped out of the corner, arms crossed over his chest as he approached Yohji. Yohji watched him come, frozen to the spot. Aya stopped just a breath's distance away, and Yohji could feel himself vibrating from the man's presence.

    Amethyst eyes appeared indigo in the faint light offered from the outside as Aya gazed at him, searching his face.

    Yohji could finally manage a single word: "Aya...?"

    Aya gave a faint shake of his head, silencing Yohji. He was so close. Yohji's heart was tripping over itself and his fingers were twitching with the urgent need to reach out and touch the redhead. Aya studied him in silence for a long moment before leaning forward, lifting himself on his feet to catch Yohji's mouth in a kiss.

    Fire exploded through Yohji's veins, so fierce and so painful he felt his world spinning around him. The lock that had been holding him still vanished and his hands cupped Aya's face. Aya's hands slid around his waist, grazing his hips as he pressed his fingers into the small of Yohji's back. Yohji was losing himself in the taste of Aya as tongues slowly slid past each other. Aya had never tasted as good as this, and the way they melted together was dizzying.

    He did not remember crossing the room to the bed; he just suddenly noticed that he was lowering Aya down onto the mattress. Fingers interlaced, they continued to exchange slow kisses as Yohji settled himself on top of his lover. His chest was burning. It was hard to breathe, even when he pulled away to try and fill his lungs. He buried his face in Aya's throat, lips skimming across the skin. He could feel Aya's rapid pulse against his lips and he lingered there.

    He was starting to lift his head when his eyes landed on the lamp. He gazed at it for a long moment before looking back at Aya.

    "The light?" Yohji asked. "I want to see you."

    Aya considered it for a moment, then looked in that direction. Yohji took that to be agreement and reached out, tugging on the chain so the bulb lit up. He looked back at his lover, gazing at him as if he'd never seen him before. The pale yellow light spilled across Aya's face, highlighting his features. Silence hung in the room for endless seconds before Yohji slowly leaned forward. He kissed Aya again, slowly but thoroughly, both pairs of eyes open and locked together. Yohji slid his hands down Aya's arms and sides, pushing his way under Aya's nightshirt. Aya made a soft sound of approval as Yohji's long fingers trailed over his smooth flesh, eyes sliding to half mast. Yohji explored Aya's skin as if he'd never touched it before, taking his time and relearning paths he'd memorized long ago. Aya reached up, fingers moving into Yohji's hair before sliding to the back of his neck. Finely manicured nails skimmed against his shoulders as Aya pushed at the neck of Yohji's shirt.

    Yohji drew back enough to begin unbuttoning Aya's shirt, letting Aya pull at his. Aya was done first and Yohji shifted, releasing his hold on Aya briefly so the shirt could be slipped off and tossed aside. The redhead's hands dropped so he could run his fingernails over Yohji's chest, and Yohji settled for running one hand along the patch of skin that could be seen through what had been unbuttoned already. Aya's eyes were open again, watching his fingers as they caressed his lover. Slowly his gaze raised to meet Yohji's once more. Yohji felt his lips curling into a soft smile as he leaned down, kissing Aya's forehead. He took hold of Aya's wrists, moving the unresisting hands aside so he could get to Aya's clothes.

    His fingers were steady on the redhead's buttons even though he was trembling inside, overwhelmed by everything that was going on. Aya had come. He had offered everything he had to Aya, and Aya had accepted.

    Aya twisted to help him remove the article of clothing. Yohji tossed it carelessly aside. One day he would get Aya some pajamas that didn't have buttons...or he'd convince Aya to sleep naked. Either one worked.

    Yohji set to work on Aya's flesh, mouth and fingers leaving trails of fire behind. He heard Aya's quiet gasp and the other man's hands were on him again, nails raking soft lines on Yohji's back. Yohji moved to kiss him and Aya's fingers slid to Yohji's chest, finding Yohji's nipples and working on them. Yohji moaned softly into Aya's mouth, sliding a searching hand downward. He opened his eyes, wanting to see the look on Aya's face for the first time as his hand found the younger man's waistband. He slid his hand between the hard plains of Aya's abdomen and the material, fingers brushing under Aya's boxers.

    He found what he was looking for and was well rewarded by the choked sound Aya made, by the way his body arched into the touch, by the way amethyst eyes snapped open to lock with his. They were flushed with desire and lust, and Yohji almost lost his control right then. Aya's shields were down. The icy gleam that dared anyone to cross him was gone. Right now, this was Aya, bared to the world. Bared to _him_.

    He tugged at Aya's pants with both hands, sliding them down and tugging them off. He shoved them carelessly off the side of the bed and turned back to his lover.

    Love twisted with desire, passion twisted with lust.

Life is like a shooting star
It don't matter who you are
If you only run for cover, it's just a waste
Of time
We are lost 'til we are found
This phoenix rises up from the ground
And all these wars are over

    It was over.

    Or had it just begun?

    Yohji slid from on top of his lover, rolling onto his side to gaze at the redhead. His thoughts slowly began to put themselves back in order. He reached out, and now his hand was trembling. He brushed his fingers along Aya's cheek, a tender gesture. Aya turned on his side, violet eyes taking Yohji in silently.

    Then he shifted, scooting forward until he was pressed against Yohji's chest. He tucked his head under Yohji's chin, draping an arm over Yohji's waist and tucking the other between them. They had never enjoyed such a position before. The nights they did touch after sex, Yohji had put his chest to Aya's back, using his arms to keep the redhead in place. A slow smile spread on Yohji's face and he draped an arm over Aya's shoulder, bending it to slide his fingers into Aya's hair.

    Love had come through, as he had hoped it would.

    He could feel Aya's heartbeat against his chest. It was going at the same pace as Yohji's.

    Yes...It had just begun.

Love will lead us, alright
Love will lead us, she will lead us
Can you hear the dolphin's cry?
See the road rise up to meet us
It's in the air we breathe tonight
Love will lead us, she will lead us


Back to Mami's Fics