Author/Artist: Amethyst Hunter
Fandom: Get Backers
Theme: #30 – “kiss”
Rating: R (m/m adult content, swearing)
Warnings/Spoilers: Takes place during the scene of their big fight near the end of the anime.
Notes: A slight AU twist as Ban does something that’s a little unexpected.
- I'm in the process of uploading my fics, including this series, to my A03 account here. In the meantime, this and others are all archived on fanfiction.net (not yet updated), and my journals here and on Dreamwidth (same name). Many thanks for your kind comments. :)
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em. I just plays nice with 'em.
Summary: How Ban and Akabane got together in the first place.
Midou-kun is searching out those places that make him twitch, make him moan. Teeth chew the skin above his hipbone and Akabane shudders; hot breath teases the inside of his upper thigh and he bucks upward, hoping that his lover will take the hint already. Midou-kun, however, is apparently something of a sadist, and continues to ravish his bound captive in glorious arrogance.
Blue eyes look up briefly from where he’s busy delving his tongue into Akabane’s navel. “Enjoying yourself so far?” Midou-kun murmurs.
“Good. ‘Cause I’m gonna push you just a little more, now.”
Midou-kun helps him sit up, and, after some rearranging of the pillows, turns Akabane over so that he’s on his knees and partially lying on top of them, his upper body weight supported by cushioning. Akabane rests his forehead on one of the pillows and closes his eyes momentarily, a new memory having suddenly surfaced to tease him with its flickers of a vision from a time he knows only too well, yet can barely remember...
What is your truth, Kuroudo? Shall we seek this little death together, then?
In the little death, sometimes there was larger life...
Warm hands gently touch the backs of his thighs and coax them further apart. Akabane squirms against the pillows, feeling his face flush with heat from the compromising position he’s in. Experimentally, he tugs at his bonds and finds them just as unyielding as before. He shudders.
“Easy.” Those hands, powerful hands, gentle hands, rest upon his shoulders and rub his back. They stroke him from chest to abdomen to flank and thigh, and back again. “We’ll take it nice and slow. I want you to enjoy this better than you do fighting.”
How is that even possible, Akabane wants to ask, but before he can speak the words he feels Midou-kun’s warmth pressing lightly along the length of his form. The other man’s presence is oddly comforting, even as it reminds him at the same time that he’s completely at his mercy. But he can’t sense any malicious intent, couldn’t grasp any inkling of it even when they fought in Mugenjou and struggled in the alley, and Akabane’s hunter’s instincts are spot-on.
Midou-kun is seducing him, and he can’t help falling for this serpentine dream.
Fingers caress the bone of his jaw, trace the sides of his throat, as thumbs lightly pad along the back of his neck in a slow massage. Midou-kun’s voice breathes husky promise against his ear, and Akabane feels another wonderful twinge of arousal as those lips touch the fleshy part of the lobe and nibble it for a moment. “Does this feel nice?”
A wordless purr better suited to a kitten than a Jackal assures him that it does. The hands move from his neck to his shoulders. Akabane waits for them to take the path of his scars, certain that Midou-kun will find them irresistible curiosities to study. But though those lean fingers pass over the ridges of knotted tissue and delve along the smoother trails amidst them, they do not pause to linger. They simply touch, take in all of Akabane’s skin, accepting of both marked and unmarked and content to draw enjoyment from the mere act of physical contact.
An unexpected well of something within brings a smattering of dampness to Akabane’s eyes, and he quickly blinks it away, suddenly angry with himself for allowing it to surface. Emotions, feelings, these are dangerous if left unchecked. Hasn’t he worked so hard to rid himself of such weakness?
You fight so that you’ll never hurt again. Yet pain is a reality, a constant that has been the closest companion he has ever known, and Akabane has learned to accept and even derive a kind of delight from it.
But at what price?
Midou-kun seems to sense his inner dilemma, for the hands rubbing circles into his muscles briefly still. Then warmth envelops Akabane completely as the other man embraces him, wraps his arms around Akabane’s chest and fits his torso, legs, against pale skin.
They kneel like this, listening to each other’s breaths, feeling each other’s heartbeat, immersing themselves in the strange world of the other for just one minute. Liquid heat stings Akabane’s eyes once more and he closes them this time, not trusting his control to keep the tears at bay. It's as if he is for the first time learning what it means to be...valued, and care in turn, for something other than battle prowess or the blank void of the grave. He doesn't know what to do with these overwhelming feelings; his first instinct is to attack them, but they resist his attempts at binding them and easily defeat his denial. Being human is a daunting prospect indeed and Akabane wonders with sincere fright if he has taken on the one truly impossible challenge of his life. What does not kill, does it make stronger...?
Midou-kun notices the turmoil he's struggling to reconcile. His lover’s mouth spreads warm moisture along his cheek in a trail of exhalation. “Are you scared, Akabane?”
The question is posed without mockery or cruelty in its nuances, but even if it had contained those Akabane wonders if he would have answered it truthfully anyway. “Terrified,” the whispered reply slips from his lips before he can think to silence the thumping of his own heartbeat from giving him away.
“Good.” A pause, and then, “It means you're starting to be alive again. That's what you want...isn't it?”
“I – I suppose...” Trapped in confusion, needing to do something, Akabane starts to struggle a little before Midou-kun holds him closer and strokes his skin some more to settle him.
“First cut's always the hardest, huh? Fear is just the first step, Jackal. You and me, one at a time. Together, and we'll eventually see what we want the more we wake to the dream of being.”
He kisses Akabane's face, licking away the few tears that have begun to slide unbidden from bright lavender eyes trapped in the mist of this spell, the imagination of what it must be like to be alive in a way never before thought possible. “You were alive once, I know you were,” Midou-kun murmurs. “You can come back out of the darkness and be human again. I know you can. Because I've done it, and if I can do it, so can you, Kuroudo Akabane...”
“What...what if...I don't want to?” What does being human mean, anyway? “What if...I've forgotten...it's been so long... I don't know how...” More tears drip as Akabane's voice cracks on that last word.
“It's not as hard as you'd think.” Midou-kun's hand covers Akabane's chest, over his heart, and presses his palm there, feeling the throb of life, of will. “If will is what keeps the world going, then I'm passing on what I've learned to you. That's how the cycle works. It's not enough for you anymore, is it, Jackal? To just kill or be killed. You've already seen the worst there. Now you want to know if it's possible to see the best of what you could be. You need to know whether you've got a place of your own in this world that's worth fighting for...don't you?”
Akabane is crying in earnest now, rivers streaking his face even though he makes no sound. He can only nod in response to the question. To have importance to someone beyond just that of a trained professional, or a hired means to an end...to know his existence counts for something worthwhile...that all of his pain and powerlessness has not been in vain. Enjoyment is all well and good, but even pleasure can dissolve into apathy after enough time...and apathy is perhaps the coldest bloodcurdling cut of all, for it is but the first step into the shadow of true death. When that line is crossed...!
“Please,” he sobs quietly, not knowing whether he is heard, not even knowing what it is that he's asking, begging for. “Please...M-Midou...Ban-kun...” Help me...I cannot face my destiny alone, I am too weak, afraid...unlike you...
Midou-kun bends closer and wraps his arms tighter around him, whispers into Akabane's ear. “It's okay. I'm here in the crossroads with you. I want you to be alive too. Because that's the way you make me feel when it's just you and me and we don't have anything to be afraid of, not even each other. We don't have to hold back any more. We already know what death is. It's time you and I learned what it's like to enjoy life. What do you say to that, Akabane?”
Akabane makes a soft keening in his throat, a profound ache in some secret part of him, deeply touched by this raw admission from one his true equal. “Always for you...only for you...”
In spite of this revelation of willing vulnerability, he still flinches when Midou-kun's hands move suddenly, his body instinctively reacting to the misinterpretation of inherent violence, and for once he's grateful for the restraints placed upon him, else his lover would at best be sporting a nasty bruise.
Midou-kun seems to realize his mistake, and he offers silent apology by way of more slow caresses, which Akabane permits to tame the Jackal within. The flood of tears stems itself in short order, and he discovers that when he lets it, the warmth of a foreign humanity he once derided as part of the Get Backers' mercy is quick to offer solace, an unusual balm that he has only begun to learn the mysterious pleasures of. Akabane feels a strange new wonder at this.
“It will take you a while to get used to it,” Midou-kun says, and he brings a hand up to stroke Akabane’s face and shoulders, lavishing attention on tender areas that make the latter warm to him with purred delight. When it is done with the right person, touching and being touched can become a uniquely fulfilling spiritual experience. “This is new for me too, don’t forget. We'll both be learning what we never had before.”
Purple eyes reopen in surprise and Akabane twists his head around to gaze curiously at him. “You’ve never had intimate relations with anyone? Ever?”
The other man’s posture goes rigid. Midou-kun growls, an edge of what might be accurately named embarrassment coloring his tone. “I meant that I’m not used to letting anybody inside my armor either! I had to learn it from Ginji. I hate getting hurt just as much as you do, Jackal.”
“Oh.” Akabane hesitates, then adds softly, “I'm sorry. I did not mean to slight you so. Only you're right, it has been a long time for me since...an engagement like this.”
Midou-kun is mollified by the repentance. “It's okay.” Something sparks in his eyes, and he grins suddenly. “Saving yourself just for me, were you?”
Akabane offers a small, coy smile. “My tastes are simple. I prefer the best, and you do like to speak of your one-hundred-percent success rate...”
Blue crinkles and fangs flash with full pride as Midou-kun basks in the adulation. “Gotta hand it to you, Jackal. You definitely know how to mark a guy even without your sharpies.”
He leans closer and nuzzles Akabane, who happily nuzzles him back, as the two of them share a quiet chuckle and enjoy their moment of unorthodox closeness. Then Midou-kun grows serious again.
“I have only two rules when you’re with me. No killing, and be honest. The rest we’ll just make up as we go.” And with that, Midou-kun is on the move again, lips and fingers painting a portrait of sincere appreciation across Akabane’s skin.
He is content to relax more against the pillows, with nothing to do now but submit, and enjoy…until he feels those hands venturing to southern territory. Akabane automatically tenses and the manacles clink roughly, a rude reminder that instinctual responses will do him no good. He bites his lip, preparing himself for whatever is to come –
- warm lips ghost over his lower back, tracing the indentation of his tailbone, and slide lower, lower, as fingers and palms cup and squeeze each cheek, and Akabane’s eyes widen as he realizes what it is Midou-kun is going to do –
- a finger, slick and warm, wanders into the furrow and strokes teasingly along the path, not attempting to breach the flesh, just lazily caressing it. The sensations engendered by this action are exquisitely pleasant, and he shivers with a peculiar delight when Midou-kun’s fingertip lightly drags along a smooth strip of skin and nudges the firmness beneath.
He really wishes Midou-kun would not tease him so. It’s becoming a very vexing habit...!
The fingertip draws casual figure-eight patterns along his flesh, dipping lower to circle the robust globes several times before traveling back into the valley of his body. He wriggles, the fire-sparks of pleasure engendered by the touches kindling into heightened arousal, and his hips impulsively thrust against the pillows, his erection seeking its share of attention.
Midou-kun is amused – though he does not laugh, Akabane can feel the ghost of it tickling his back, while hands rest full on his hips, slowly but firmly pulling him off the pillows. He is curious when the hands, and then the arms, wrap around him and guide him backwards; he finds himself looking up at Midou-kun as he's tilted onto his back this time, more pillows placed under his head and shoulders for support. He's ready to loose a strangled growl at being denied release, but it turns to a moan when Midou-kun's mouth descends squarely onto his.
The kiss doesn't last long, much to Akabane's disappointment, but then the other man's lips are traveling, nipping playfully, at the rest of his face. Midou-kun delights and surprises him with a sudden mock-bite, clasping his teeth over Akabane's throat, on the Adam's apple, an imitation of going for the jugular. Suddenly Akabane understands the joke, and the strangeness of laughter bubbles up from his own mouth, a kind of wild joy, the relief of finally being understood rather than misunderstood.
Midou-kun grins at him as he lets up, and he lowers his neck within striking range, and Akabane gleefully takes up the offered challenge: He rises and nips hard at the other's neck, harder than he'd intended, perhaps, but nowhere near to drawing actual blood. Midou-kun grunts and hisses, but he lets Akabane keep the hold, and when it is broken by mutual accord he retaliates in like fashion, this time with Akabane's blessing as the latter throws his head back, throat bared willingly. His groan is long and loud as Midou-kun hisses appreciation, digging his teeth roughly into a sensitive spot along the cords of his neck and sucking hard on the skin. Snakebitten, indeed.
How can something so simple feel so incredible? For the first time ever Akabane realizes that luxuriating in his own helplessness isn't such a bad thing after all. Not when it is done here, with Midou-kun, a man with whom he has come to a fragile trust. He wonders if this is what the other man felt when he walked into Mugenjou to die and instead walked back out with the Light of all life.
Midou-kun senses his musings. He stops his exploration of Akabane's neck and rises to look at him. “Close,” he says, his voice low. “What you and I have...it's complicated, too. Not worse. Not better. It's the same, and yet different, and just as captivating.” He kisses Akabane's lips. “You don't need to compete on that field. I've told you – you're both important to me. Otherwise I might have to get antsy about all the time you spend with Himiko, huh?”
Akabane blinks owlishly at him. “Midou-kun! I like Himiko-san very much, yes, but we just work together, we haven't - “
“There you are.” Midou-kun smiles and puts a finger to his lips, making any further words evaporate. “That's how it is with me and Ginji. Some best friends make the best lovers...and some make the best friends. The power of the bond is still there, it's just in another form.”
Akabane makes a mew of warmth, delighted further still by this admission. Then a worrisome thought occurs to him. It's uncomfortable to dwell on, but it would be improper if he didn't at least broach the topic. “And Ginji-kun? What does he have to say of this...our...arrangement?”
Midou-kun shrugs. “Well, after he got over the initial spaztastercise fit, he was fine. You know he wants to protect me as much as I look out for him. You, too.”
“Ginji-kun wants to...protect...me?”
Puzzled, Akabane lets the pleasant feelings of arousal slip momentarily while he tries to sort this one out. “Why?”
“Why do you think?” Midou-kun looks annoyed. “You know how he is. Has to see the best in everybody. If he could see something in me that was worth keeping around, he obviously thinks there's more to you than your quills. And since I take my cues from him...”
Before Akabane can reply to that he feels hands slithering around him, over him, and he gives a sharp intake of breath. Midou-kun's fingers are tickling the underside of his sex, thumb rubbing over the sensitive tip, while the other hand wraps firmly around the base of his erection to keep him from climaxing too soon. The pleasure, mixed with the restraint, is downright maddening. His moans now are loud enough to startle even him, and he starts to bite his lip to keep from uttering these unfamiliar noises, but Midou-kun shakes his head.
“No more hiding, Jackal. I want you – all of you. The good and the bad. Everything that makes you who you are is what makes you whole, and human. That's how we serpents devour our prey – whole, right down to the last drop of blood.”
Something else, this time slick with lubricant, rubs against that portal of his body where previously those fingers had only dared tread. Now they press forward, gently but firmly demanding entry. Midou-kun’s eyes are as electric as Ginji-kun’s charges. “Belonging can be pleasure too,” he rasps. “This is one match where we can both win. Ready?”
He doesn't wait for Akabane to reply. He slides his fingers forward. Akabane concentrates on breathing to distract the Other aspect of himself from this invasion, and perhaps this minor detachment might be somewhat displeasing to Midou-kun, but it is the only way he knows to allow himself this surrender. He doesn't have to wait long, fortunately, before detachment gives way to something much better:
Wonderful, glorious, sweet aching enjoyment.
Midou-kun's fingers are slow, careful, and relentless. They press onward until they nudge their target, and Akabane suddenly sees stars. It's then that he's aware the loud gasp he hears is his own, and he doesn't have time to throttle the air back before those fingers wiggle against that same spot again and the colors behind his tightly-clenched eyelids intensify to a multicolored hue.
He opens his eyes wide, turns his head to one side and sees on a nearby pillow the tube of lubricant that Midou-kun pulled from seemingly nowhere. He focuses on it as a means of further distraction, trying to quell the seesawing emotions battling behind his submission, and he feels fingers grasping and holding his jaw firmly as a hand turns his face back. Blue eyes are waiting, calm, unyielding.
“Look at me.”
The fingers inside him move again. Akabane can't stop the little cry that escapes his lips. It's such an alien sound, soft, high-pitched like a pup's whimper, and it's carved from pure ecstasy. What Midou-kun is doing to him...he wants this, but he doesn't know how to ask for it... He doesn't know how to grant that permission without rousing a certain instinct, and yet...something equally as incomprehensible, elemental, is calling to him, something that he so desperately needs that he hasn't realized how much he needs it, until now...
Midou-kun is almost directly on top of him now, his body pressing against Akabane's, the fingers of one hand exploring, the other hand reaching up, fingers caressing his forehead, combing through loose strands of hair. When he speaks it is in a low whisper. “You get tired too, don't you? Tired of having to fight all the time...”
Somehow Akabane understands that it is not the ennui of repetitive battle itself that Midou-kun is referring to. It's the endless cycle of destruction with no apparent end, the frustrating retreat, regroup, recharge, always surviving to fight the same internal wars day after day. Never making any headway for whatever dreams he might attempt to kindle, always searching out battlefield after battlefield, in the slowly but surely dwindling hope that he will eventually find something of true substance that might at last be able to break that vicious merry-go-round and grant him the freedom which he so desperately desires above all else...even bloodletting.
Living with oneself is perhaps the hardest arrangement there may be. Maybe, it is true...Midou-kun is what he needs...!
The other man can read the answer in the glittering jewels of his eyes. Midou-kun's face shifts almost imperceptibly, becomes solemn and warm. He lies fully atop Akabane and brings both hands up now to hold him as he kisses him again.
“Want me to help you let go, Akabane?”
He's grown addicted to those kisses. Akabane feels like he's been shot full of narcotic, veins heavy with pressure that's tantalizing, something that's sensitized every inch of his skin and being to an otherworldly awareness. He lifts his head and steals another nip at his lover's bottom lip before lying back to look at him, the words sticking painfully in his throat, so he simply nods.
Midou-kun doesn't say anything, or show any reaction. Only those fathomless blue eyes, as inscrutable as the heavens themselves flicker in acknowledgment. He reaches out with a hand again and Akabane hears a snap, and then soft waves of thick black are tumbling onto the pillow.
Before he can think to express surprise at this sudden unbinding of his hair Akabane sees Midou-kun moving away from him, turning his head and coughing as if caught at a loss for something. The thought of being deprived, however briefly, of his lover's heat and presence sends a sliver of anxiety into his heart, but it quickly melts as he is then pulled and lifted closer. Akabane finds himself sitting on Midou-kun's lap, looking down at the other man as he's held in a snug embrace. He can feel his lover's erection throbbing underneath him, and his own experiences an answering tug of demand that pools full, heavy in his groin as it rubs against Midou-kun's abdomen.
Midou-kun slides his arms around Akabane, hands rubbing along his own forearms, cupping and squeezing his scarred hands. “No Jagan this time,” he says, his voice husky. “Promise.”
There's a hushed click and suddenly, Akabane feels the enchanted weights shackling him fall away to the bed in a muffled clatter.
“There. Now you're free to do as you please...aren't you?”
Akabane is too bewildered and overwhelmed by this sudden freedom to consider falling back into old instinct. He sits still for a few moments, raising his hands before him and gazing at them as though they contained the answers to all his questions. “Why?” is all he can think to say at length as he looks to Midou-kun.
“Why not?” Blue hints at mischief. “We both like to live dangerously – here's our chance. Wild things are meant to live unfettered. Some of us just can't thrive in a cage.” Midou-kun doesn't smile and the tension hangs on a wire's balance between them. But the invitation beckons, and Akabane pauses to confront his options with a shocking understanding as Midou-kun's words echo in his ear.
When I come to you...it is not because you compelled me, and not because I feel any sense of obligation from honor or duty...
I come to you because...I choose to.
I am free to do as I please. It pleases me to grant to you, my dream-master, my bewitching serpentine King, what I would offer no other...
...myself, whole as I am, broken as I am, everything I have to give and everything I would take.
I do so in the trust that you will be the one to wield me true at last, my blade promised for your blood, death finally bowing to life, as it ought.
Throughout this silent deliberation Midou-kun has said nothing as he awaits the Jackal's decision. Slowly, hesitantly, Akabane feels the chains of a different kind of imprisonment crumbling and breaking away as a strange lightness fills and spreads within his chest. It makes him nearly dizzy with its implications. This is what he wants. This is what he has been seeking all the empty days of his existence. It's not enough anymore, to just survive through useless time until the next horizon's war.
He wants to live, to fly free as creation intended...and to do so with Midou Ban, his equal above all.
Akabane makes a noise that's part sob and part hiccuping relief as he winds his arms tightly about the other man. He buries his face in Midou-kun's hair, inhales the scent and heat there as deep as he can, as if to ingest a tangible bit of the same incredible life force that emanates within, something he can transform into a part of himself as well. And Midou-kun, to his excitement, shares in their embrace, squeezing Akabane so hard that it's a wonder they don't meld into a single form. There are no more weapons now – not words, not blades, not fangs. There is just this one minute, a glimpse of eternity in a heavenly speck, and oh what a marvelous minute it is.
They trade a series of lusty kisses, unabashed in their mutual passion, and then Akabane raises his head and gazes directly into Midou-kun's eyes.
“Make love to me. Make me live again, with you.”
A singular taste isn't enough to quench their desires. They are hunters and hunters need a feast, as befitting their pride and power. And feast they do, as lips and teeth and tongues and hands and skin and sex come together in frantic, torrid release more than once.
Akabane gets the revenge promised to him by Midou-kun: smiling devilish glee, his head dips towards Midou-kun's lower body, and it isn't long before the retriever learns why Akabane believes wholeheartedly in good manners; specifically, the edict that dictates one must not speak (though humming is permissible) when one's mouth is full. Midou-kun doesn't know who to thank for instilling such magnificent deportment, so he praises both the gods and Jackal in alternating and equally vigorous groans.
Later, Midou-kun takes control and turns Akabane over, guiding him onto his back first to show him what else a snake's tongue is capable of when applied to nether regions. A few minutes of this is all it takes for the Jackal to gladly yelp for mercy, and although none is granted, for once Akabane doesn't mind in the least. He’s exhausted, he thinks, and surely Midou-kun is nearing his own limits, with the sweat pouring down his chest and streaking his face, brown hair falling flatter than its usual spikes because of the perspiration and the acrobatics of before. Akabane's own skin is dappled with shiny beads, hair a dark cloud hopelessly tangled and sticky against his neck and face. His muscles are limp like rope stretched well past its tethers, and his entire body is flooded with that delicious ache of heat that only comes from labor well met; if he still had his scalpels, doubtless they would have all turned to a steaming puddle of molten material by now. They can’t possibly do this again after they've spent themselves so lavishly twice earlier...
Midou-kun lies against him, nipping and sucking at his skin, and hands return with a vengeance, playfully stroking between his legs while a finger from the other slithers into hidden valleys and coils around its sweet spot and oh yes, Akabane is ready to do it again, and he moans as Midou-kun withdraws that wicked finger and thrusts home, and he eagerly impales himself on that honeyed poison dagger. Midou-kun tilts his hips higher and moves harder, faster, his hand matching the pace, and Akabane's hands fist in and claw the sheets as nonsensical syllables stream past his lips. He has no idea what he’s saying and he doesn’t care, perhaps it’s appreciation for what he’s receiving or maybe it’s a request for more of the same oh please yes yes more more more don’t stop but either way it fuels Midou-kun’s own lust and he chants similar bursts, interspersed with a few healthy obscenities that Akabane finds himself repeating, and they ride over and over, through the erotic surge in ways neither of them had imagined themselves capable of.
Never has any pleasure been this intense in such a long time.
They come together this time, a fierce growl and a faint gasp of choked breath mingling in the otherwise silent room. A rest, time to recover, and then by mutual accord they’re reaching for each other again and sapphire blankets violet, just like it did in Akabane's dreams. So exquisite, this unique competition to test each other’s capabilities in the most unexpected of areas – he doesn’t know where his desire ends and the other’s begins, he doesn’t even know himself anymore, he belongs to Midou-kun and never ever has surrender or weakness felt so incredibly, wonderfully right before.
The scream when it comes is piercing in its intensity. It isn’t the volume that shatters all the illusions, it’s the sheer emotion contained within that crashes over them both in battering waves, thick and heavy from years of pent-up repression. Its notes resound from heaven to hell and back to heaven again with a prayer and a curse and a plea and defiance and sorrow and joy and hate and love and everything Akabane has ever experienced all pouring out in one great torrential rush of explosive climax.
And when it is finally over, as the last echoes fade into reverent silence, Midou-kun is there to catch him, hold him...protect him...just as he promised he would.
...this is what it means...
...this is feeling – being - ?
Midou-kun lifts him up and turns him towards the mirror opposite their bed. His lips graze a pale shoulder – the one unscathed - as he growls, “I'm done for. Did I give you what you wanted to see yet?”
Akabane looks in the mirror and is stunned by what he sees:
a stranger with bright, violet eyes glittering through a wild curtain of damp raven hair, slightly parted lips moist and swollen from Midou-kun’s kisses, a lopsided silly upturn stretching the ends of his mouth. There's a fine sheen of sweat misting his pale skin which is still flushed with passion’s rosy exertion. He’s panting softly, sharp breaths, still coasting down from that postcoitial high. He looks thoroughly disheveled, wanton, and...
Really, honestly, happy. The kind of happiness no one would ever mistake for dark mayhem.
No, not just happy; enraptured, joyful, as if he's finally found salvation from the endless night's journey to his rightful home, which is no grave-site at all, but a wonderfully warm and spellbinding, welcoming haven that calls him into his real power, that which is truly -
He can’t remember when he last saw this man – if ever.
Midou-kun’s lips ghost over his face, his cheekbones. They nibble sweetly at his own lips before pulling away and Akabane looks up to find himself melting in a pool of deep blue. He could drink forever from that pool; how its light warms and fulfills him.
“Next time you think you can’t feel anything or be alive unless you’re fighting hip-deep in blood...I want you to remember this, remember us,” Midou-kun says, his voice a hypnotic rasp. “I remember what you said to me in Mugenjou. Well, I’ve always wanted to see you abandon yourself to your instincts, and you didn't disappoint. You keep all that power stored away in there alongside those knives? It’s a shame you seem in such a hurry to end it...you should let it loose more often. More fun that way, huh?”
“I cannot help it,” Akabane whispers, unsure if his lover will realize where he’s coming from. A common bond isn’t the same as acceptance. Until meeting the Get Backers he’d never thought he could find someone who would understand the hungering compulsion that drives him, the siren song that’s become a permanent part of his blood. He can no more deny this than Midou-kun can the snake’s charm that runs in his own veins.
Midou-kun kisses him again, a brief whisk of lips on lips. “I know.”
He leans back into the pillows, pulling Akabane along with him so he’s lying partway on his chest. A hand comes up and begins to stroke his back, along his spine. It’s an invitation to lethargy, and Akabane takes it, lowering his head onto Midou-kun’s shoulder and letting his eyelids droop half-closed as he curls up beside him. Strange, that the safest place of all would be with his most dangerous rival of all. That skittish fluttering in his chest stirs again, and this time Akabane draws strength from his lover to quell it. He is no longer alone. He doesn't have to fight this battle unnoticed. He doesn't want to, now.
He has Midou Ban-kun. And Midou-kun has him.
The thought of being each other's mutual protector pleases Akabane immensely, though he does not immediately understand why. Nevertheless, the idea fills him with a rich satisfaction and he presses himself closer, enjoying the way the other man's arm tightens around him so that their pulses can thrum together, now a murmur of whispered affections rather than the thunder of passion or battle.
“I have an idea, Jackal. I think you’ll find it...interesting.”
Akabane kneads fingers into the other's skin, a contented expression of affection in the light scratches. “Tell me.”
“Way I see it,” Midou-kun says, sounding a little sleepy himself now that their enjoyment has been spent, “we have two choices. We can try to make what we have work out somehow, maybe have a little fun that doesn’t involve a bunch of bloody Js. Or we can spend the rest of forever chasing each other around, having the same old fights we’ve been having with neither of us really getting anything out of it, till one or both of us gets killed. Even a pro can slip up when he least expects it. That doesn’t sound very fun in my book.” He yawns.
“Yes. Still, we would know our limitations,” Akabane points out, tilting his head to one side. Midou-kun’s face is a fascinating study in thoughtfulness. “We neither of us have ever seen such, no? Does that not intrigue you, even just a little?”
“Perhaps.” Midou-kun slides his free hand behind his head, rubbing the tangle of dark brown hair at his nape. “But what is the ultimate limitation except death? If you die, then there’s no more interesting fun to be had. Not in this life, anyway.”
Akabane frowns slightly. This is a possibility he had never thought of before. “Still...wouldn’t it excite you? To know how far you can press your own powers, to discover the truth of your capabilities?”
Midou-kun smiles then, a somewhat sly look. “Let me tell you a secret about limitations,” he says, crooking a finger in a come-here gesture. Akabane leans closer to hear him whisper it into his ear. As he does, a pair of lavender eyes widens in surprise, and he looks at Midou-kun in utter disbelief. Is that really all there is to it?
“It’s the truth, Jackal. Just like it was in Mugenjou. The mentality determines the outcome. What you really believe in is what you'll end up with. The choice is yours to decide. It always has been, never mind what the self-proclaimed gods say about it. Fuck what they say anyway. They wouldn't know what living was if I shoved it up their asses with your Bloody Sword in one hand and Snakebit the shit outta them with my other.”
He and Akabane share a muted laugh over that colorful image. Akabane is not a fan of profanity, but in certain cases he's willing to make an exception. And he has to agree with Midou-kun about Babylon's propensity for proper recognition. As to the truth of his lover's pure genius, however...Akabane finds this the most difficult to believe. It just sounds too...simple. It can't be the real power...can it?
Midou-kun has stunned him before with things he'd never expected...and as they say, the best is yet to come...!
“If you want to explore your limits, Jackal, I’ll work with you. I'll stick with you for as long as it takes. But there’re rules I don’t want broken. If you do, I won’t make it fun for you. Same goes for Ginji. He’ll help as long as you behave yourself.”
“Why?” Why should I believe you? Why should I trust you?
Because...you trusted me, when no one else would have believed.
We see what we want to see in each other, even as we recognize our loathing and despair for what we call each other's faults. And yet such weakness...you told me it could be our greatest strength. Is it then truly weakness? Could it be that what I desire most is found with you, instead of where I thought otherwise? Is it possible that you might find what you dream of only with me, and not with the prophecies others tried to cast into your fate?
For all those who would crush us...we have survived. Let us then claim our destiny only as we are free to choose...together...
Midou-kun yawns, larger this time. He sifts his fingers through Akabane’s hair. He smiles now, that devastating curl of lips that sends a now-familiar delicious shiver through his lover’s body. “It’ll be...interesting.”
In spite of his misgivings, somehow Akabane thinks he may be right. And in the days and years to come, he will learn that it is very interesting indeed.