There was no need to impress Niou, and if there ever was, luxury was not the way to do it. Anyone could acquire money, after all. The point was to be more than just anyone, and the question: how spontaneous could Yagyuu Hiroshi be?
"Come on," he said, whisper low and excited as he pulled his dearest friend out into the night. He did not know where he was going. He loosened his tie and untucked his shirt; he rolled up his sleeves and followed the wind. He listened to Niou, who hadn't said a single word and didn't need to. They weren't headed home.
The night air wasn't particularly refreshing – hell, it was still suburban Tokyo: the day any city atmosphere was refreshing would be the day environmentalist-types all retired – but Niou considered the air sweeping past his face good enough as they ran. They probably looked like a couple of casino high-rolling wannabes or fugitive conmen, all dressed to impress and slightly dishevelled – he couldn't help laughing, trailing, and didn't bother trying to guess where they'd end up.
Feet hitting the ground step after step in synch, it was a short shot of forever before a tang of salt broke the air.
Yagyuu paused while the ground was still level beneath his feet. Another step and they would reach sand -- he could feel the beach stretched before them, feel it and hear it before he could see it. The city was behind them, brilliant as day, and the horizon was dark. There were no stars in the red-tinted sky; the only lights visible there were the moon and the airplanes.
It didn't matter. Hiroshi felt like he could keep going til he hit water, because it stopped mattering as soon as they left the restaurant. It was like he'd shed a part of himself and left it there, as though some starched facade of Yagyuu that felt too much like his father would stay behind forever, no longer his.
He slid his shoes off and carried them in the hand that wasn't occupied with Niou's. Beach sand undulated under his feet, like waves of earth in tides of left and right, left and right, the pair of them walking together, side by side and as one.
And Hiroshi thought, maybe, standing on the beach with Masaharu, maybe this was closer to what love was. Maybe this was the closest he'd ever gotten; maybe it was the closest he'd ever get. Masaharu knew him. "Well," he asked, a little breathless, "well, what do you think?"
Niou kicked off his shoes in the sand, standing by Yagyuu, sliding an arm around the other's back, under his loose shirt, slipping wordlessly, bodily against him. What did he think? He thought it was amusing how he and Yagyuu were still similarly built, even after six adolescent years. He thought pine-forest-and-sea-salt was the sharpest scent he'd ever smelled. He thought Yagyuu'd taste nice with the lingering hint of spice, or maybe with dessert <3 He thought Yagyuu looked more relaxed than he'd seen him in hours, and weeks.
"I don't, particularly..." he purred, nibbling on the other's earlobe.
That would be for the best, surely. Yagyuu closed his eyes at the contact, felt himself relaxing into the touch instead of pushing it away. It was as though Niou was the ocean itself; god and Yagyuu both knew that he was as changeable and destructive if he wanted to be. But there was no danger in diving in, not when he knew these waters as well as he did. It was really just a different dimension to explore.
So Yagyuu turned, embracing Niou with arms on his shoulders to match Niou's at his waist, and bowed his head. Niou's face filled his field of vision, his breath warm on Yagyuu's skin.
He did nothing so trite as declare that he wouldn't think, either (though the idea crossed his mind); he simply sealed his lips over Niou's, kissing him with a passion that he never thought he could possess. It was decisive, certain, as though he could brand Niou as his own with only his lips and tongue; all other kisses seemed lukewarm in comparison.
Niou shivered, despite the feeling he'd melt in Yagyuu's arms, this time – a moan escaped his mouth into the lips against his, and his fingers dug into Yagyuu's back, almost unawares -- he pressed and pulled closer, wanting more. In truth, while Niou was the more reckless of them, Yagyuu was the far more passionate – had always been, under the surface. Niou was forced to break first, and did so panting, dark eyes lustful – utterly breathless for the first time in a while.
A thousand phrases came to Yagyuu's mind after they separated -- a thousand phrases and a million words that he could have said to fill the silence. But the air around them was already thick as honey, humid and tangible and tasting of salt from both the sea and skin. He touched Masaharu's face, traced his thumb along the edge of his lower lip, ready for the warm tongue that licked his fingers.
Niou was no longer unexpected. The years of separation had melted away; it was as if time had folded in on itself to bring them back to the point that they could be each other again as easily as they could each be themselves. And so he kept kissing him, heedless of propriety.
With Sayoko, physical affection was obligatory. They were dating, and that was what couples did. There was a mechanical nature to their kisses, a solid progression of hands across skin from point a to point b and point c was a natural erogenous zone, so naturally it would stand to reason that this touch would have that effect. It made her happy, it felt nice, that was that.
Touching Masaharu -- whether with lips or with hands or with bodies pressed close -- was another story altogether. There was less logic to Hiroshi's kisses, less logic and more blind instinct -- for the first time, he felt hungry, as though he could absorb Masaharu through his skin and drink up every cell. He heard his own breath, his own heartbeat syncopated against Masaharu's, felt his own face flush. And words, nervously murmured close to his ear: "Do you want to stay here?"
Niou chuckled at that, heady. He knew what the other was thinking – stay at the beach to keep it clean, or go someplace else and maybe get dirty~ <3 (Irony was such a beautiful thing.) He wanted to stay, but that was only the impatient, lazy bastard part speaking (– horny bastard, his inner self corrected). But more than that, he wanted to play <3 And that required giving from both sides, if anyone was going to get anywhere. Mind made up, he purred by Yagyuu's ear in return: "Let's go." – and seeing as his tone didn't really leave a question over 'what' – his tongue darted out briefly. "Mm~ where've you got in mind? <3"
Yagyuu felt his heart racing, more aware of it now than at any other point in that evening, and the difference now was that he embraced it; he used the adrenaline flooding his system to push himself forward. He was terrified, sure, but the terror was largely unfounded, even if it did come from the prospect of the wild unknown.
"The apartment?" he suggested. It was a lame choice, and not as close as he'd like (what if he lost this feeling of forward momentum?), but he didn't know anyplace nearer that would afford them the total privacy that their apartment would. (Yes, theirs, Yagyuu realised, even without Niou's name on the lease it was more than just his.)
He didn't bother waiting for an answer -- just scrambled back up the sandy hill to the pavement, pulled his shoes on despite the sand inside them, and took Niou with him for the walk back. Hiroshi walked through streets as if on autopilot, with Niou's hand in his the only thing tethering him to the earth. He fumbled for the keys when he unlocked the door and almost dropped them, they felt so slippery in his hands. It was nerves, still, dammit, nerves he couldn't make go away until he was inside the apartment and Niou's mouth was on his again.
The taste of Yagyuu's lips blissfully overrode the feel of tension (anticipation) and smell of desire. Niou responded in desperate kind, allowing himself to want – and hope – openly, this time around, even if just vaguely. He wanted Yagyuu, right now – he'd always had him psychologically, this they both knew, and that had been enough for so long – right now showed a physical desire as much as any other.
He kicked off his shoes and gave in to it, making the first and faster moves this time, hands slipping down Yagyuu's shirt before the other's mind would have a chance to back out (before the second-guessing kicked back).
Niou's hands were hot and heavy on Yagyuu's skin, eager to touch, mindless of fabric. Yagyuu pulled his mouth away for just a moment, a single, nervous moment, to pause and mutter, "No, here --" and untie his own tie, unbutton his own shirt as carefully as he could with his fingers trembling as they were. Under ordinary circumstances he might fold his stripped shirt or at least set it somewhere appropriate, but this was not the time for propriety, and he let it flutter to the floor.
He dropped a few chaste kisses to Niou's lips, as if to apologise for the loss in momentum.
Niou licked playfully at Yagyuu's mouth in reply, pleased and amused as Yagyuu all but confirmed they were both in now <3 Despite slowing, whatever pace was fine. He stepped in close again, more carefully this time, and slid his hands down the other's forearms. Lacing their fingers together almost delicately, he mouthed against Yagyuu's lips, Come on... and stepped away again. Come with <3 A slight head tilt in the direction of the bathroom – suggestive – a luring smile on his face.
Yagyuu raised an eyebrow, but ultimately trusted Niou. He always had. He was beginning to think he always would. And so, despite inherent doubt creeping through his stomach (or was that apprehension? was it fear?), he followed as directed.
And Niou turned on the shower.
It couldn't be any different from the showers in the locker rooms, Yagyuu thought, and yet -- yet it was so completely different. Locker room showers were impersonal, practical things, made for sweaty athletes, not for -- not for lovers. Hiroshi didn't speak as he stripped off his socks; certainly his heart beat louder than any words he could say.
There was sand between his toes.
Apprehension, definitely -- mixed with desire so thick he could taste it coating the inside of his mouth (maybe that was just the taste of Niou lingering stronger than dinner). The steam filled up the small space, heated and humidified the bathroom to nigh-tropical levels. It infused Yagyuu's nose and breath, fogged his glasses, and only served to make the entire situation feel that much more unreal.
Niou spoke softly, fingertips tracing down Yagyuu's nape and up the sides of his neck, jaw, cheeks... "Here~ I'll take these." He removed the half-fogged glasses, setting them gently beside the sink as the shower's steady drum swallowed most negligible noises. Sliding his hands down his – Yagyuu's – shirt, Niou slipped buttons from holes and peeled the thin fabric from his shoulders with calm sensuality, undressing with a deliberate avoidance of Yagyuu's eyes.
Even knowing what was going to happen (in theory), Niou presented the options of come hither or try hide.
Yagyuu watched. He couldn't not. Niou's blurry form was entrancing, like a slow dance through the haze in his mind. Niou's hands moved over the skin that Yagyuu wanted to touch, to taste, skin that he never thought he'd want to claim as his own.
And yet he already had, when he wore the guise himself. But this -- this would be from the outside inwards, a physical touch to complete the psychological hold they had on one another.
Hiroshi felt a bit like he was floating outside his own body as he stood and removed the rest of his clothing, then pulled aside the shower curtain and stepped under the hot water. Inside the confined space they'd fuse again, he was sure of it; no longer feeling so much like separate entities.
Niou chuckled. It was the Gentleman's way to be embarrassed where the Trickster had no shame. He slid from his pants and boxers, leaving the clothes on the floor, and looped his ratty into a loose knot at the base of his neck, thinking... thoughts that made the heat rise in a way that wasn't just the water temperature, setting his pulse racing again. Still, he managed an edge of nonchalance – "How's the water, Hiroshi? <3" – even if he had no intention of waiting for an answer, and stepped into the shower's haze.
Yagyuu couldn't say anything; instead, his reply was only to immediately cling to Niou, clutching his shoulders and feeling the heat of skin-on-skin contact, chests flush. He kissed him easily, hard and open-mouthed, finding his tongue and tasting him completely.
He didn't want to let go. The water pelted over them both. Yagyuu trailed his hands over slick skin and taut muscles, touching that which he'd only seen, that which he'd deprived himself of for too long -- it was a release, allowing himself to move forward and forget about all that came before and all that would follow.
Niou chuckled, purring in the back of his throat, brushing his tongue roughly against Yagyuu's, hands twisting in Yagyuu's hair and smoothing down his back -- he couldn't help the quiet laughter. He did it a lot, he knew -- found cynical amusement in the world, in good and anger and distress -- but now, it was relief. Clear as day, even if he wasn't sure what over.
He found himself liking Yagyuu's silence... for the both of them, in politeness and lies, words came secondary. Touch – the physical – was the greater affirmation, once definitions and boundaries had been dealt with. He indulged in it with the sharp smell of pine forest in rain, tracing the kanji of their names down Yagyuu's back, right and left.
There was solace in Niou's touch, just the same as there was fire -- passion as sharp as his eyes ever were, heat in the gasps between their kisses. Yagyuu abandoned pretense, abandoned forethought, trusting his instincts to move his body. Touches and kisses both slid over Niou's wet skin, and it was liberating -- an adjective Yagyuu never thought he'd use for such an act.
When he did finally look at him, he pressed a palm to the side of his face, as if to keep the distance between them for just a moment while Yagyuu memorized Niou's eyes: golden and shining, outlined in smudged makeup, and smiling so sincerely he could scarcely believe it was Niou. Yagyuu's smile spread to his mouth, and he kissed him again, distracting Niou's lips while his hands drifted over his hips.
He wanted to touch Niou -- to lose him in a moment of pure bliss -- to seal what was between them and apologise for not acting sooner. When he curled his fingers around his shaft, the movement was slow, even reverent.
Niou allowed his eyes to slip shut on a soft moan against Yagyuu's mouth – it was fine. He'd watched the other almost every day since four years ago, and didn't need to look any more. Could just feel this warmth and slide...
He leaned his head on Yagyuu's shoulder, breath only half quiet. Yagyuu's hand felt slick and steady and surer than Niou would have given credit for, and Niou's hips began to move in appreciation, just a little. He didn't try to still the flow of sensation: bodies still close, his own fingers drew forward from the small of Yagyuu's back in gentle reciprocation. He felt out responses, listening and memorising them all.
Niou's touch was softer than expected -- Yagyuu hadn't thought that gentleness could have such a dizzying effect on him. Instead of bracing himself against the shower wall, he leaned into Niou's caresses and pulled him closer to his shoulder with a hand threading in his hair. The contact was full, potent, all-over; there was no need to concentrate just on his most sensitive areas, but Yagyuu never let go.
He'd never let go. Even knowing that this might pass, that their relationship might change, it was now that mattered, and now that flooded all of Hiroshi's senses. He let his eyes close to heighten his awareness of tactile sensations, heard his breath and Niou's mingling as the pleasure built between them.
Niou pressed his mouth to Yagyuu's neck, feeling that strong pulse beneath his lips and tongue as he sucked and marked, tasting the water on skin and drinking in every moment. He thought melting might be a pleasant way to die, then had to smile again despite the honesty of that feeling. There was no barrier this time, so different from usual – no holding back, or reminders to self that this whole deal was strictly casual: not when he knew it was everything but. It was bliss.
That knowledge felt like heady contentment, and Niou expressed it in the way his hands moved, and the press of his lips, rocking of hips. He murmured a line of incoherence neither of them expected Yagyuu to understand – cut off by a shiver from scalp to spine – but gasped Yagyuu's name as sensations became razor-edged and he felt his mind losing grip, repeating again: "Hiroshi..."
Yagyuu heard his name whispered, and that was enough to bring him back to the reality of the moment for just a second, enough to turn his head to capture Niou's lips in a fierce kiss. He pressed him against the tiled wall, certain to make sure that every one of his moves would claim Niou as his own.
Through the thick fog in his mind, Yagyuu considered taking it farther -- thought of what it might feel like to penetrate him, bury himself deep inside Masaharu -- but that could wait; they'd have plenty of time to explore all the possibilities later. Now, Masaharu's touch was enough to push him to the edge, enough to let the world outside their bodies and the shower dissolve to nothing; now was all he needed to create a single moment of absolute perfection, of light and pleasure exploding under skilled fingers. Hiroshi could hear himself moan with release, insides uncoiling before resting into a comfortable peace.
He felt his knees go weaker, and he rested his head on Masaharu's shoulder, still stroking him.
Yagyuu's deep voice so wanton made Niou's desire spiral to near desperation, fuelling his impatience for climax. His hand shifted slightly, guiding Yagyuu's to the pressure and pace he usually liked – a little faster, a little harsher. So close... His head fell back against the cool tiles, gasping under indulgence in the centred waves of pleasure as he came between their fingers.
And then it was over. Yagyuu could feel his own strength returning, easier to support Niou now that he was spent. He held him for a few moments, content to just have him close as the shower spray fell over them both, washing away the sweat and fluids between them.
There was something different about someone else's touch -- especially Niou's, firm and warm and quick -- that made the experience all the more sublime. He was sure it was nothing new for Niou, but Yagyuu was grateful for it, and he vowed that he would never let any sexual contact become passé. As long as Niou meant something to him, each touch and breath would mean something, no matter how small or fleeting.
Yagyuu dropped a kiss on Niou's temple. "Thank you," he murmured.
"...don't start me again," Niou chuckled quietly -- what would have been tiredly, if he didn't feel so amusingly refreshed. Against the wall (though still slouched by default), he straightened and slipped a hand behind Yagyuu's neck, pulling him in to kiss his mouth, firm but chaste. A sealed deal <3 ...just him and him and them, and the water and warmth between them. A chuckle in contentment: "You're welcome."
But then he pushed off against the tiled wall, reaching out to turn off the spray. "C'mon." The half-cheek was back in his smile, and he drew a few lines down the front of Yagyuu's chest. "Let's take this to the bedroom <3" Despite the words, Niou kept his tone and intention largely innocent. No rush, after all. There was time.
Yagyuu thought that was an excellent idea, and found himself surprisingly able to follow Niou out of the shower, naked, and into the cooler air of the bathroom. Drying was a quick and unusually modest affair, with one towel tied almost immediately around Yagyuu's waist and another slung over Niou's head so that Yagyuu could towel his hair. He faced him, mirroring his smile, massaging his scalp through the terrycloth, and when Yagyuu was sure Niou's hair was only damp instead of dripping, he took him back to the bedroom.
It seemed silly to bother with pyjamas, so Yagyuu didn't, and slid under the covers feeling rather daring. It was nice to feel Niou beside him, clean and warm and nude; Yagyuu couldn't think of the last time he'd felt so content.