Superman Soul

Rated: E – NSFW

Length: 6,100

Superman Soul

He couldn’t get rid of the taste.

“We’ve got about thirty wounded,” Higuchi said. Chuuya couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a full night of rest, but judging by the shaking in her fingers as she sent over three orders by the second, she was in an even worse shape than him. “Hirotsu-san is handling them now, but we don’t have enough cars—”

“Tachihara,” Chuuya cut in.

Tachihara had been dozing somewhere to his left, as exhausted as the rest of them, but his head sprung up at the sound of his name. “Yeah?”

“Run to the docks and get us a truck.” Gin hit the shoulder she was mending when he moved it, but didn’t make any comment. Chuuya withstood the distant pain in order to take his wallet out of his ruined pants and shoved all the bills he could find into Tachihara’s slack hand. “If that’s not enough you’re allowed to wave a gun at them.”

“Sure, Chuuya-san.”

There was a moment of silence after he left, taking off in a jog and soon disappearing behind the busy crowd. Higuchi fidgeted wordlessly. Gin went back to stitching the largest of the wounds in his back. His torso had been dealt with already, and though he sat shirtless on the steps of a building and in the cold of the night, Chuuya felt no shivers at all.

The field around them was lain to waste. Not just by bodies and blood, though there were a lot of those; but what had once been grass and pebbled paths now dipped and rose where the earth had shattered, either from explosions or the weight of Chuuya’s steps. It was as though a giant had walked through the border of the city, unhindered by stone and metal.

And the air tasted of blood, of burned fat, leaving something like grease at the back of Chuuya’s throat that no water could rid him of. He had already drank his fill.

He hissed when Gin tugged on the thread to pull his skin close.

“Stop moving,” she muttered angrily.

“Fuck you,” he replied. “Higuchi?”

Higuchi seemed lost. Her gaze faraway. Chuuya snapped his fingers in her face. “I’m—sorry, what did you say?” she stuttered.

“Estimations. You were giving me the numbers.”

“Right.” She thumbed the screen of her smartphone unseeingly. “Well, if… if Tachihara manages to get a truck here, we should be good to transport everyone. All the seriously injured should already be either at headquarters or at Boss’s former clinic, the rest don’t have anything life-threatening.”

Chuuya looked at her.

“Just tell me the number of dead already,” he spat, and failed to feel bad at the guilt that streaked her expression. “Then go take a nap.”

She licked her dry lips and replied, “Eleven.”

Eleven was two more than Chuuya had expected. He had seen nine fall in the thick of the shootout, when he had failed to react fast enough for the bullets.

“Fuck,” he gritted out, hunching over his knees.

“It wasn’t your fault,” Gin said evenly.

“Keep your comments to yourself.”

He wasn’t usually this dry with her, but now wasn’t a time he could muster rationality. Gin’s lips were pinched when she stepped around him, and her, “I’m done,” was more clipped than usual.

Chuuya stood up, accepting the stained shirt Higuchi handed him. Putting it on tugged painfully at his wounds, but he tried not to show it. “I’m going home,” he told her. “Call me if—”

“We’re good here, Chuuya-san,” Higuchi interrupted him. “Boss said he’d talk to you tomorrow, whenever you’re available. And Ozaki-sama will handle the funerals.”

Chuuya stood still for a moment before nodding his thanks.

No taxi would come pick him up at this hour and this far from the city center. All of the port mafia’s cars were being used to transport the wounded. Chuuya resigned himself to walking until he reached more populated streets. At least his injuries were reasonably manageable and located on his upper body, save for a few bruises. He knew his bottom lip was split to the left, maybe enough to leave a scar once it was healed, but he couldn’t be bothered to care. He licked it absently as he walked the dirt track leading to the sea, following the same path Tachihara had taken in a hurry.

The smell grew less overwhelming the farther he went from the site of the battle. He still felt the taste of blood in his mouth, and took another sip of water from the mostly-empty bottled Gin had given him once victory had been assured. For a meaning of victory.

Chuuya’s feet soon found concrete instead of rocks, streetlight stronger than the moon, but he didn’t stop. A quick look into the glass of a closed flower shop told him that no taxi would take him while still drenched in blood and grime, and so he walked, empty street after empty street, crossing paths with forlorn men and women coming home from night shifts and the occasional homeless. He usually felt some kinship for those; something about working at night carried an inherent feeling of living on the frayed edge of society, within a timezone known only to oneself, hours away from the rest of the world.

Tonight he felt alone.

Maybe the silence in his head was the reason he didn’t notice anything wrong upon stepping into his apartment. His ears still carried the echo of gunshots, muffling all that was not sign of danger around him, maintaining the quiet.

And loath as he was to admit it, Chuuya did not consider this danger.

So he did not see the shoes behind his door, or felt the aftersmell of food wafting through the clear air. The open window of his living-room allowed in the night, and his TV was turned on, and sitting on his couch with a glass of amber rum in hand was Dazai.

“Hey,” Dazai said. His head seemed to turn around in slow motion; Chuuya saw each strand of his hair sway until his eyes were revealed in the darkness. “You look like crap.”

Chuuya couldn’t move. He stood wordless on the threshold, unfelt air cooling down his body, unfelt aches running through his bones.

He couldn’t move, and then he could.

He shoved his door close with his foot and locked it with more strength than necessary. The handle gave a crack under his hand, feeling looser than a second ago. Chuuya threw his keys onto his kitchen table and grabbed the open bottle of red wine sitting there.

“I’m not in the mood,” he said, though he sat in the armchair next to the couch, glad to feel leather instead of stone for the first time in hours.

“In the mood for what?”

For this. For Dazai. For the foolish mistake they had made and kept making for months.

“Fuck you,” Chuuya muttered, before drinking out of the bottle.

Dazai didn’t take the offered bait for a joke. Chuuya told himself not to worry about it and let his head rest upon the chair, closing his eyes and making himself feel something other than numb, other than foreign.

“You’re going to stain that chair,” Dazai commented.

“Blood’s dry enough,” Chuuya replied in the same breath. He could see nothing but faint patterns through his eyelids, and followed the shape of them until they grew too dim or too blurry. It felt like watching an open flame from too close; soon heat and fatigue clung damply to his lashes. “Did you lockpick your way in?” he asked then, not knowing what else to do.

“Only through the window, don’t worry. I didn’t even damage the lock.”

Chuuya drank again. It was better than insulting Dazai, which wouldn’t amount to anything, or to ask him how exactly one broke into a sixth-floor window, which would amount to even less.

“I’m too tired to deal with this right now,” he told the bottle.

“I don’t plan on being a bother. Well, no more than usual.” The couch creaked gently under Dazai’s shifting weight, the floor almost silent at the touch of his bare feet. Chuuya didn’t move one way or the other as he approached, and Dazai touched only the fabric of his ruined shirt, not any of his skin. “Is all that yours?”

Chuuya’s lip had bled liberally at the time it was split. It must have trickled down his chin and neck and been absorbed by his collar. “Most of it isn’t,” he replied. “And I’m taken care of, before you ask.”

“I wasn’t gonna ask.”

Right. Chuuya swallowed back the sudden influx of water in his mouth, attributing it to the sharp taste of the wine rather than anything else. He opened his eyes and met Dazai’s slowly; Dazai smiled, easy and reflexive and not at all sincere.

He tried to bring the bottle to his lips once more when Dazai let go of his collar, but Dazai’s fingers covered the mouth of it before it could reach them. His skin was cool against the still-burning cut. Gin hadn’t done anything to it because stopping Chuuya’s bleeding was more important, and Chuuya had not noticed the burn of alcohol before.

“You’re really going to stain your chair,” Dazai said softly, pressing down on the bottle. Chuuya allowed his arm to lower after a strained second. “You should get out of those clothes.”

There was a second of silence; then Chuuya snorted in laughter.

“Right,” he said. “You want me out of my clothes.”

“Only out of worry for your furniture,” Dazai lied.

“You can just ask me if you want me to fuck you.”

That was also a lie. Whatever this thing Chuuya had started between them was, it wasn’t one built on verbal honesty.

Chuuya had slept with Dazai only twice. Both had been on Dazai’s initiative, though Chuuya so far had been the one to put physicality into motion between them, and neither time had been discussed in such open terms. They had just happened.

Dazai didn’t reply to his comment. He took the bottle from Chuuya’s loose hold and set it on the floor beside the chair. His fingers felt warmer now, brushing against Chuuya’s throat as he slowly unbuttoned his shirt. The care was unneeded; no amount of soaking in cold water would get this much blood out.

Chuuya wouldn’t wear this shirt again.

He followed, tensely, Dazai’s wordless cues. A touch under the arm to tell him to raise it. A palm over his shoulder to make him lean forward. Chuuya set his eyes onto the open skin of Dazai’s own collar, letting him tug his shirt free of Chuuya’s weight without doing anything to help. Dazai didn’t seem to mind. Nor did he seem to mind that Chuuya’s every breath must be tickling him.

“You’re not dressed like a mummy today,” Chuuya murmured into the crook of Dazai’s neck.

“I got rid of the bandages while waiting for you,” Dazai replied. His hand pushed Chuuya back against the chair, whose warm leather now stuck to Chuuya’s bare skin. “Didn’t feel like putting them back on, since I was going to stay.”

“You’re so fucking presumptuous. I could still throw you out.”

“Do you want to?”

There was nothing to read but curiosity on Dazai’s face. Chuuya took a moment to try and decipher him anyway. Seven years of failing to do just that hadn’t been enough to teach him this lesson yet.

Dazai didn’t wait for him to answer anyway. He reached out again, this time palm-down, and touched the back of his hand to the side of Chuuya’s face. His fingers traced what Chuuya knew to be the shape of a bright-red bruise, the length of a stinging cut, one whose line vanished over the dip between mouth and chin to reappear on his lip. His thumb rested there.

“That looks ugly,” he said, pressing lightly on it.

Hurt spread like fire at the contact, and with it a renewed sense of physical presence, of self-ownership.

Chuuya grabbed the back of Dazai’s nape and pulled him down to crush their mouths together.

Kissing made it hurt more than before. Dazai must have wetted his lips on his way to full contact, and his saliva felt on Chuuya’s torn skin the way that the wine had, a vivid burn barely sweetened by the warmth of Dazai’s breath, the light-headedness of his proximity. Dazai took full advantage of it; he tasted the cut with his tongue, pulled it between his lips to suck on. So busy was he worrying it with his own that Chuuya never thought to deepen the kiss at all—he allowed the pain, allowed the play, gave it back by dragging his short nails against Dazai’s nape and scalp. He tugged a fistful of soft hair with one hand, expecting and reveling in the hot breath Dazai gave back.

Eventually, Dazai pulled away. “You taste like blood,” he declared.

“Of course I taste like blood,” Chuuya replied once he had caught his breath. “I just came back from a damn battlefield.”

“I wasn’t told that you’d gotten this hurt.”

Chuuya’s grip tightened in Dazai’s hair. Dazai didn’t flinch under the pain, only watched him impassively, no matter how betrayed he was by the flush high on his cheeks.

“One day,” Chuuya growled lowly, “I’ll figure out who the hell is selling you your intel, and I’ll make them crawl at my feet until I feel like letting them live.”

Dazai smiled lopsidedly. “Good luck with that,” he said.

Feeling tired of looking at him, Chuuya pulled Dazai down again. Dazai’s mouth at his throat was a much gentler contact than his kiss, and Dazai trailed it slowly, softly, taking the time to map out Chuuya’s skin, to suck upon the strain of tendon and bone. Chuuya let his head fall back onto the resistance of the armchair again. He scrambled into thin air with his hand over the armrest until his fingers touched the neck of the wine bottle, and he dragged it to his lips to wash the taste of Dazai’s mouth away.

“Why were you even keeping watch,” he said, looking at his lit TV without seeing it. Dazai’s fingers had found a way in-between skin and leather, and were now stroking over the long cut sewn shut by Gin earlier, right above Chuuya’s shoulder blade. “It’s not like the agency was involved in any of this mess.”

Dazai palmed over Chuuya’s shoulder and arm, fingers pressed where Chuuya’s sore muscles swelled under his skin. “I like keeping myself informed,” he replied. His words were kisses, soft bursts of air and warm lips against Chuuya’s collarbone and the hollow of his throat. “Besides, I know the kind of stupid decisions you can make in a rush. I thought I might be needed.”

Chuuya didn’t answer.

The first and second time they had slept together, Chuuya hadn’t thought much of Dazai’s diligence with touching Chuuya everywhere he was allowed to. Dazai being intent on finding exactly what made Chuuya feel good was nothing surprising; it had felt similar to all the ways they had competed as children—racing each other, playing video games, gloating to their superiors. Making each other come first was just one more challenge.

Now there wasn’t anything to distract him from the press of Dazai’s hands. They roamed over his upper body as if to leave fingerprints wherever space there was; they touched bruises and sewn-up cuts and older, paler scars, and Chuuya did not have skin of his own to touch in return and distract himself with. It seemed to be what Dazai wanted.

So he let his fingers stroke through Dazai’s hair and shivered when Dazai’s tongue lapped where his hands had been. He hurried in a breath when Dazai sucked on a nipple; grit his teeth against expected pain when the gash that a grazing bullet had torn into his side was touched and explored.

Every second made him feel a little more like himself.

“Stop thinking,” he said out loud.

Dazai chuckled, his nose pressed into the trail of fine hair linking Chuuya’s bellybutton to the edge of his slacks. “I should be the one telling you that,” he replied, and started working the garment open.

“I can smell your brain frying from up here.”

“You animal.”

It seemed to have done the trick, however. Dazai’s touch turned more appreciative than tentative, whatever worry he had been harboring apparently soothed for now. He pulled Chuuya’s zipper open and then tugged on sweat-soaked fabric until Chuuya lifted his hips to ease the way. He made no comment as his underwear was discarded as well and left to pool around his ankles.

Dazai took him in hand, the dry stroke of his palm enough to flush Chuuya’s cock the rest of the way to hardness. Leaning back his head to meet Chuuya’s eyes again, he asked, “How does it feel to look down on me instead of the other way around?”

“Pretty fucking good,” Chuuya replied.

Dazai’s smile was short-lived, for Chuuya dragged him forward until he had no choice but to open his mouth.

Fuck,” he exhaled, looking up at his ceiling, blood rushing to his loins and leaving him dizzy.

Dazai hummed in answer, drawing back to suck on the tip of his cock, lips folded over his teeth and cheeks drawn in. His hand jerked gently around the base, a circular motion that his mouth followed in tandem, and the heat and wetness of his mouth seemed to pull every single thought out of Chuuya’s mind.

“You’re so good at this,” he moaned, patting Dazai’s hair. “So fucking good.”

Dazai’s face reddened further at his words. Air rushed out of his nose in a quick burst, and Chuuya didn’t need more of a prompt than Dazai’s free hand reaching around to touch his to make his hold more controlling. He pulled Dazai forward by the nape, pushing himself further in-between his soft lips, until Dazai had to move his hand away and could touch his nose to the hair above Chuuya’s cock, and Chuuya felt his throat work around the very tip of him.

He said Dazai’s name lowly, again and again, allowing Dazai breathing space before thrusting gently forward again. His ankle pressed between Dazai’s thighs, right where he was just as hard as him.

“That’s it,” he said as Dazai rocked into the contact, sweat gleaming at his forehead, looking up obediently when Chuuya brushed his hair back. “That’s it, Dazai, that’s beautiful.”

If only Chuuya could fool himself into believing that this was what it was all about—Dazai’s red mouth swallowing his cock down, his fever-bright eyes and eagerness to please. But even lost to the stroke of Dazai’s tongue, even savoring the sight and feeling of Dazai sucking him off so pleasantly, his breath was caught by other things.

The pleasure and want so bare onto Dazai’s features; the caress of his hands on Chuuya’s thighs as if to appease him; the memory of being held down and put to sleep after a world of pain and otherness, surrounded by Dazai’s familiarity, by the beat of his own trusting heart.

Chuuya gasped when Dazai drew back. His lips lingered a moment longer around the head of Chuuya’s cock as if savoring the taste and touch of him, his breathing hurried and his mouth slick with fluid.

Dazai drew in a deep breath and said, “You should go take a shower.”

“Are you fucking with me?” Chuuya panted, fist tightening in the other’s hair.

“Always, Chuuya. I’m serious, though. It’ll make you feel better.”

Their eyes met. Dazai must be developing a crick in his neck from looking up at him this way, but he showed none of it. His knees shuffled backward on the floor, displacing his crotch from where it had rubbed onto Chuuya’s leg, and he gave a last squeeze of his hand around Chuuya’s cock.

“I’m keeping this for later,” he declared. “Don’t jerk off.”

It’ll be your fault if I do, Chuuya wanted to reply. But Dazai was rising to his feet again and pulling Chuuya up with him, making him stumble onto the clothes at his feet, and then there was Dazai’s mouth on his to contend with, the thick taste of skin and come on his tongue to lick away.

“Have you ever heard of finishing a job?” he muttered anyway, as soon as Dazai pulled away from him.

“Have you heard of delayed gratification?” Dazai retorted.

“That’s not edging. That’s cruelty.”

“Well,” Dazai said, grinning now. “I was a criminal.”

Chuuya clicked his tongue at him rather than allowing him the pleasure of laughing. He pushed Dazai away with one hand and stepped out of his pants, not bothering to pick them up from the floor. At least Dazai couldn’t quite hide how heavily he was breathing as he turned away and exposed his backside to him.

Chuuya ended up not touching himself after all. It wasn’t out of caring for Dazai’s wishes, but more because the thought of masturbating was so unappealing after feeling Dazai’s mouth and hands on him.

And wasn’t that irritating.

The water running down his legs and falling to the white tiles of his shower stall was stained brown with dirt and caked blood. His entire skin must have tasted of it—blood, grime, sweat long dried to salt—yet Dazai had not said a word of it as he all but licked every inch of his chest. That thought ran hotter than any previous, heavy on his mind and hard between his legs. The desire to run out of the shower and find release upon Dazai’s body warred with that of making Dazai wait and regret his teasing. Chuuya could not relax for a long while. By the time he was clean and the air in the bathroom was thick with flower-scented vapor, tension still tugged at his shoulders.

He stepped out gingerly. Now that he couldn’t count on the out-of-bodiness that followed bloodbaths, his wounds ached more fiercely. He had heard noise from within the bathroom while he was showering, but if Dazai had come in then he was already gone, and Chuuya was left alone to dry himself and rummage for painkillers in his medicine cabinet.

He avoided looking in the mirror. The bruises on his arms already looked too much like Corruption-sickness. There was no desire in him to stare at his own face.

He was of half a mind that Dazai could have left his home entirely, just to mess with him, or maybe because the experience earlier had been too overwhelming for him. But Dazai was waiting for him in the bedroom, his own pants and waistcoat folded over the chair of Chuuya’s desk. He sat on Chuuya’s bed in nothing but his boxers and shirt, his eyes roaming over Chuuya’s naked body.

“Come here,” he said, patting the mattress beside him. “Lie down on your front.”

Chuuya stopped in his tracks, heart beating too-fast on his ribs.

Dazai took a second to notice. He frowned at him, something like confusion creasing the lines of his forehead.

“Dazai,” Chuuya said hesitantly. “I don’t want to…”

He couldn’t find a way to finish his sentence that didn’t make him sound selfish, afraid, ungrateful. His throat tightened with nervousness.

They hadn’t discussed this before. They hadn’t discussed anything, really, but Dazai had seemed fine with how things were going, hadn’t asked for more than Chuuya was more than willing to offer. Chuuya had always known on some level that Dazai craved control as much as he hated it, and though it had crossed his mind that he might one day request to change things around, he hadn’t thought to truly consider what it would mean for him.

Blood rushed up his neck unstoppably. “I,” he tried, “I’ve never really—”

“Oh,” Dazai cut in. “No, that’s not what I meant.”

He looked like he was holding back a grin. Chuuya’s hands clenched fleetingly by his sides.

“Don’t worry,” Dazai said, stepping off of the bed. He put a hand on Chuuya’s shoulder, nudging him forward. “We’ll do things as usual, I just want to try something.”

“Try what?”

Dazai pushed him down onto the bed with a small smile. “You’ll see.”

Chuuya looked at him until he couldn’t anymore. Dazai had climbed onto the bed again, one palm between Chuuya’s shoulders and the other holding his own weight. Chuuya tensed when his backside was straddled, the softened line of Dazai’s cock all-too present through his clothes.

He could feel Dazai move behind him. He must have opened something, because the smell of lavender hit Chuuya’s nostrils almost strongly enough to make him sneeze. It faded after a second, leaving only a pleasant afterburn in the air, and then Dazai’s thumbs dug into the rigid line of his shoulders and slid deeply along his spine.

They were slick with an oil of some kind. It warmed upon contact with his skin, leaving burning trails on every muscle Dazai massaged out of tension. A sound escaped from Chuuya’s throat, helpless and vulnerable, when Dazai crushed the heel of his palms just under his shoulder blades.

Dazai chuckled from above him. “Feel good?” he asked.

“You could’ve just said you were gonna do that,” Chuuya mumbled into his pillow, eyes closing to the successive ache and release of each knot Dazai found. “Bastard.”

“I wasn’t sure you’d be honest and accept it.”

His voice was lined with more than just mocking. Chuuya refused to try and find out what it was, and thankfully he had more than enough reason to stay distracted.

He couldn’t even find himself bothered that his arousal was leaving along with the soreness. Dazai’s hands worked their magic all over his back, pushing down with his weight to the point of breathless pain and then letting it all flow out. Chuuya’s head filled itself with nothing, the buzz of a different kind of pleasure replacing the faint tinnitus always left by gunshots. Dazai was careful to avoid bruises and stitches, though he stroked them with his fingers every time he passed them by. Chuuya moaned when he carefully untangled the stress coiled at the center of his spine. He unclenched his hold on the pillow when those wide hands pressed pain out of his lower back.

He couldn’t tell how long the massage lasted, only that he was drowsy with it by the time Dazai straightened up above him. A shuffling sound of fabric reached him distantly; Dazai leaned over his back closely, sitting lower on this thighs, one hand flat on the mattress and the other in Chuuya’s hair. The skin of his chest was bare.

Chuuya almost didn’t feel the other’s mouth land under his ear, so lost was he to the slow motions of Dazai’s fingers against his scalp. Dazai kissed down his neck and shoulder much as he had in the living-room earlier, tugging gently at Chuuya’s hair all the while, breathing hotly on his skin.

There wasn’t much Chuuya could do to reciprocate. He lay against the mattress and breathed from deep in his belly, warmth tingling anew between his legs, once more aware of Dazai’s crotch pressed right under his backside. His body was too thoroughly relaxed for him to tense when Dazai rocked against him, but his breathing stuttered audibly.

It gave Dazai pause. “Have you really never done it before?” he murmured, his hand leaving Chuuya’s hair to settle at his flank.

Chuuya hesitated. “No,” he replied.

“Hmm.”

He didn’t know why he felt the need to explain himself, why words pushed past his lips with nothing to hold them back. “I just haven’t… there wasn’t anyone. Anyone I trusted enough for that, I guess. It just never happened.”

“Would you trust me?” Dazai asked.

Once more, Chuuya let silence linger.

Dazai didn’t seem to mind overly much. His caresses continued leisurely, his mouth still sucking various parts of Chuuya’s skin between his teeth, leaving little red marks in every dip of his back.

“It’s not just that,” Chuuya admitted. “Sometimes I feel like there’s already enough of me in me.”

He felt Dazai’s fingers reach his nape, soft as feathers. Laser removal hadn’t been enough to completely erase the crude numbers tattooed there.

There were no more words on the topic. Chuuya startled when Dazai suddenly lifted himself off of him; he pushed himself up and sideways on one elbow to look at him, and found him ridding himself of his underwear, exposing all of his body to the dim light.

He allowed himself to be kissed again, happy to let his stinging lip move with Dazai’s open mouth. This time there was no hesitation at all to let Dazai kneel over him and press their hips together; Chuuya licked into him, bit the grin out of his face until Dazai’s breath was a gasp. He palmed greedily at Dazai’s side, at his hip and the back of his thigh, tugging at his flesh and pressing their bodies together.

“You know,” he grunted against his mouth, delighting in the slow grind of their crotches, the slick slide of his cock against Dazai’s bony hip, “physical activity isn’t really advised after a massage.”

“What physical activity?” Dazai replied easily. “I’ll be doing all the work.”

“I seriously doubt that.”

“I’m being so accommodating, Chuuya, you have no reason to complain.”

Chuuya slapped Dazai’s ass in lieu of an answer.

Dazai somehow got his hands on a condom in the midst of his laughter, sucking on Chuuya’s neck and opening it deftly, the multitasking demon. Chuuya let him put it on him, lips curled at the corner and hand holding Dazai’s in check. He jerked them both around his cock until he was fully hard once more, blood burning brightly through his veins and clean sweat beading at the crease of his folded knees.

A quick stroke into the cleft of Dazai’s ass found it wet and relaxed, answering the question of what exactly he had been doing in Chuuya’s bathroom while Chuuya showered. Chuuya looked at him inquisitively; Dazai stared back and smirked.

And then Dazai was lowering himself onto Chuuya’s cock, air fluttering out of his lungs and hips rocking slowly downward, and Chuuya stopped thinking entirely.

“Fuck yes,” he breathed, crushed by the warmth in his face and loins, by the tight fit of Dazai’s body around him and the feel of his overwarm skin. “Yeah, just like that, come on.”

“Chuuya,” Dazai let out, half-moan and half-whisper.

Chuuya grabbed his hips in both hands once all of his weight was on him, digging his fingers between bones, a massage of another kind as he guided Dazai back and forth. So far Dazai had always been the one under him, kneeling over a couch or flat on his back in the small futon of his dorm, Chuuya thrusting between his legs and biting at his skin. This pressure was different, almost to the edge of painful, as each time Dazai pushed his body down sent electricity up the length of Chuuya’s spine.

Despite his complaints earlier and Dazai’s promise to handle the rhythm himself, Chuuya rocked up into his body, panting, heat crawling under his skin and setting his head ablaze. He palmed Dazai’s skinny sides, rubbing over the maze of scarring he so often hid from view and delighting in the sight of him flushed down to his hard, weeping cock, a path of hot pink skin linking two bright red points. His red mouth, his red member.

“You’re so gorgeous like this,” Chuuya said, his hand wrapping around hard flesh and stroking up and down in the suspended seconds where their bodies conjoined. “So fucking beautiful.”

Dazai enjoying being fucked had been expected; the pleasure he seemed to get out of being complimented had not. Chuuya felt him tense up above him, heard him release air from within his lungs almost as a whine, his torso stretching up to the ceiling like the tense arc of a bow, like a cathedral’s beams of stone, supporting the roof of the world.

He pressed a palm into the center of Dazai’s chest, felt his heartbeat against his fingers as loudly as he heard his own. “Dazai,” he said.

“Chuuya,” Dazai replied haltingly, thoughtlessly, echolalia moving his tongue for him.

Chuuya smiled.

He brought Dazai down against him, heedless of the fact that their difference in height made Dazai’s neck fall in line with his mouth. With the added glide of their skins the heat seemed so much sweeter, and Dazai moaned when Chuuya grabbed his ass in hand to thrust more harshly into him.

It was sex and it wasn’t. Chuuya had not felt sex of this kind before, no matter how glad the recipient, how skilled the experience. Dazai’s skin left on his tongue a tang of something more strikingly human than any body he had tasted, antiseptic barely masking sweat, and warmth, and living blood. He picked up the pace abandoned by his partner with no resentment at all, content to let Dazai hang onto him as he took their pleasure.

Eventually Dazai shook himself out of his stupor. He raised himself somewhat and answered the roll of Chuuya’s hips with his own. His hazy eyes met Chuuya’s through the fall of his black hair, shiny with pleasure and a bit of nostalgia.

Dazai’s eyes had glistened the same once, as they took down the man Chuuya owed his life to.

“Chuuya,” Dazai breathed out, one of his hands touching Chuuya’s face once more, lingering on the blooming bruise at his temple, on the cut at his lip. “It’s your body. No one else’s.”

Sex had never made Chuuya’s heart beat so.

Dazai’s orgasm came shuddering, violent, twitching in Chuuya’s hand and around his cock. He heaved in the aftermath as if he had won a race, run from Marathon to Athens carrying news of the war. Chuuya pushed him off and to the side, where he crashed onto the mattress with all the strength left in him. He climbed over Dazai’s body and stole the air from his lips, jerking himself with one hand over the fluttering skin of his chest. He came a second later, struck blind with the force of it, shaking over Dazai’s prone form and breathing limply on his mouth.

Time stretched slickly over them in the seconds they didn’t move. Chuuya could feel the benefits of Dazai’s work on his back already giving way to new soreness, but he found himself regretting none of it. Not even when he finally slipped sideways and felt Dazai’s hand follow.

It found his nape almost naturally.

Dazai stroked it with lazy fingers, not tracing any discernible pattern, looking up at the dark ceiling. His breathing had quieted.

“What are we doing?” Chuuya asked him a while later.

Dazai’s petting stopped. He turned his head sideways over the mussed pillow, some of his hair sticking to his damp forehead. “I don’t know,” he replied.

It was one thing to fall into bed with Dazai in the wake of the disaster Shibusawa had brought months ago. Chuuya had jumped to his death with only the faith of Dazai’s intervention to support him; of course he had felt weak with vulnerability upon coming back to himself and landing in his arms. He could forgive himself this once.

There was no excuse for the second time, and perhaps even less for what this very night had brought out of the both of them.

“Stop thinking,” Dazai said, throwing Chuuya’s own words back at him.

Chuuya huffed out an annoyed sigh and buried his face in the sheets.

There was no sign at all of the floating distance he had felt earlier, from the moment he had hesitated to use Corruption to wipe out his enemies and decided not to, to the moment Dazai’s lips had found his and burned him back to reality. Death no longer stayed at the back of his throat like the aftertaste of liquor; his chest no longer carried the weight of eleven lifeless bodies.

It didn’t mean that his failure stopped aching. But that wound felt aged, felt scabbed, felt on the path to scarring.

“Next time,” he said, turning his back to Dazai, “you can be the one fucking me.”

Dazai’s hand traveled down the bruise-molten skin of his side and settled, warm and open, at his hip.

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