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Outrageous Fortune

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Mukahi stomps around the changing room, looking for a lost sock. Oshitari happens to know that Jiroh has appropriated a pile of laundry for a pillow, but he's too amused by the way Mukahi's hair swings around his flushed cheeks to tell him so. They've only been playing doubles for a week and Oshitari has never met someone so highly strung. Putting them together is like trying to drown a cat in a bowl of cream.

The situation strings out for long enough to tear even Shishido away from his mirror, where he is preening at his locks with an expression that would have put a peacock to shame. "What the hell's up with the midget?" he asks, gesturing at Mukahi with his hairbrush.

Oshitari leans back against a locker, his arms crossed against his chest. Mukahi defies gravity to leap over Kabaji, who is tying his laces with the same concentration most people devote to aeronautical physics. Oshitari has to admire the manufacturers of Mukahi's hairspray; every strand of his hair slides back into place in a millisecond as he springs upright once more.

"He needs kissing, badly, that's what's wrong with him," drawls Oshitari. "He should be kissed and often, by someone who knows how."

Shishido drops his hairbrush in surprise. Mukahi rocks on to his tiptoes, but even then he only comes up to Oshitari's armpit.

"Are you offering?" he snarls.

This time it's Oshitari who's surprised, but he hides it well. He adjusts his glasses on his nose and says, "Hardly."

Mukahi snorts, spots his sock under Jiroh's head and vaults over a couple of benches to get to it. Shishido still hasn't picked up his hairbrush, which is a sign of deep mental perturbation.

"Were you serious, Oshitari-kun?" he asks, his voice deep and slow with concern. Unfortunately, it sounds like he's just aping Oshitari's accent -- badly.

"It is not my fault that you're too plebeian to watch great classics of post-war Western cinema," replies Oshitari. He takes pity on Shishido. He'll get wrinkles before the age of sixteen if he frowns every time he doesn't understand something. "The line is from Gone with the Wind, Shishido-kun."

"Oh." It's clear that Shishido feels as unenlightened as before, but Oshitari's attention has been diverted back to Mukahi. He's talking with the newly roused Jiroh and doing the splits at the same time. Oshitari can see every light fixture reflected on his scarlet cap of hair.

Maybe doubles isn't going to be so bad after all.


The next day Oshitari finds Mukahi behind the clubhouse, pressed up against a wall by a boy Oshitari vaguely recognises from his Japanese literature class. Oshitari pauses for a moment to appreciate the gymnastic contortions of Mukahi's body as both his arms and legs wind around the other boy, before he politely clears his throat.

The literature boy looks shell-shocked, as well he might. Only someone as impish as Mukahi would dare to kiss in public, much less suckle a love-bite into his partner's neck a split second after he's been discovered.

"Bye now," Mukahi tells the boy and pushes him off in the opposite direction to Oshitari. "I thought tennis club was over, Oshitari-kun. Why are you still hanging around here?"

"I had a tutorial," replies Oshitari. "I'm not even going to ask the same question of you, as the answer is blatantly obvious."

"I'm just doing what you told me to, Oshitari-kun." Mukahi grins like a monkey. "Kissed often, and by someone who knows how, wasn't it?"

"And he knows how?" Oshitari raises one eyebrow. It takes a lot of effort and, despite hours of practice in front of his mirror, he can't sustain it for more than a few seconds. A few seconds is usually sufficient, however.

Mukahi's head dips forward. Sunlight glances off his hair, bouncing to Oshitari's glasses and momentarily blinding him. "Not really. But that just means I have to keep searching."

"I should report you to Kantoku," remarks Oshitari. "Dating and associated activities are strictly forbidden, as I'm sure you know. Not to mention that you were up to no good with another boy. Very naughty, Mukahi-kun."

A bolt of fear shoots through Mukahi's eyes. It is gone in an instant, replaced by an expression of cunning. "Why, Oshitari-kun. I'm sure you'd be able to come up with a more suitable punishment -- don't you?"

Oshitari stares down at his diminutive doubles partner, rather surprised. He'd expected Mukahi's volatile nature to explode on direct confrontation, and had anticipated much happy teasing before forcing Mukahi to treat him to ramen and ice cream. For a few days, maybe, because Oshitari admittedly would have enjoyed having something over on Mukahi.

He never would have contemplated turning Mukahi in, though.

There is something about Mukahi's face that warns him that revealing this would not be a wise move. To back down now would affront Mukahi's dignity.

Oshitari pushes his glasses up his nose and takes Mukahi's wrist with his other hand. As he takes a step down the path, Mukahi resists. Not much, but enough.

Oshitari tugs a little harder. Mukahi resists a little harder. Neither of them moves much in either direction.

Irritated now, Oshitari says, "Walk, or I'm going to carry you."

He sees a flash from under Mukahi's fringe. It might have been mischief, or it might have been approval. Either way, he finally submits to being led.


Oshitari's mother opens the door to them. As ever, she is heavily perfumed, perfectly coiffed, and very drunk. She manages to fix her gaze on Oshitari's face for a few seconds -- long enough for him to announce Mukahi, and inform her that they are going to study together.

"How lovely," she murmurs, drifting forward to kiss Mukahi on both cheeks and leaving war stripes of scarlet. It clashes with his hair. Her behaviour isn't even remotely appropriate, and Oshitari has to restrain himself from bodily shoving her into the kitchen and locking the door behind her.

"Where's Nanako-chan?" Oshitari asks loudly.

"Oh, she went over to play at her friend's house." Oshitari can smell sake on his mother's breath. Nanako is twenty-two. She doesn't play anything except the piano. "Would you like a vodka martini, Mukahi-kun? I was just about to make myself one."

"He doesn't." Oshitari's voice is all the firmer for the mouth Mukahi opens, obviously to agree. "I'll see you at dinner, Okaasan."

"All right, Shi-chan." She smiles beatifically and nearly overturns the phone table. The front of her kimono is stained where she's spilled countless drinks on it. For a moment, Oshitari hates her.


Mukahi's tentative voice jolts him out of his reverie. He's never heard Mukahi sound tentative before.

"Come on," says Oshitari. He tries to breathe normally. "My room is this way."


Mukahi sits on Oshitari's bed with his knees demurely pressed together, like a girl. He stares at the trophies more than anything, although Oshitari has tried to keep the shelf discreet. Large art prints dominate the room -- too large for the wall space, really. Oshitari couldn't bring himself to leave them behind.

The edges of Mukahi's mouth are soft and Oshitari knows he's going to say or ask something Oshitari doesn't want to hear. That, more than anything, spurs him to bring the conversation back around to where it started.

"You know it's bad manners to kiss in public, where anyone can see you," he starts. 'It's bad manners' was his grandmother's favourite phrase. She liked to emphasise her words with a whack from a wooden spoon she kept permanently on her person. Oshitari looks down to where Mukahi is nodding along to his words, with far more enthusiasm than is sincere. An idea forms in his mind.

Oshitari sits down beside Mukahi. Even with the bed as an equaliser, he towers over him. Mukahi stops nodding and swallows. Oshitari can hear the soft squeak of saliva.

"Lie down," he says softly. When Mukahi goes to obey him, he adds, "No. Over my lap."


Oshitari hoists up one eyebrow again, feeling his skin wrinkle with effort. "Are you disobeying me, Mukahi-kun?"

Mukahi thinks for a minute, then shakes his head. Hair flies out in an arc, only to tumble back into a place a moment later.

"I asked you a question."

"N-no, Oshitari-kun." Mukahi takes a deep breath and slithers across Oshitari's legs. He can feel the rough weave of the Regulars jersey scraping his knees.

"Stop," Oshitari tells him, when Mukahi has moved far enough. "I am going to punish you for your rule-breaking now, and that will be the end of it."

"Yes, Oshitari-kun," whispers Mukahi. For some reason, Oshitari is pretty sure that Mukahi isn't faking his quick breathing.

Oshitari places one hand lightly on the swell of Mukahi's arse. Mukahi makes a noise and buries his head in Oshitari's pillow. He's stiffened in preparation for the blow he knows is coming, but every so often he forgets and all his muscles tremble at the restraint.

Oshitari's grandmother used to spank him five times for luck, as well as punishment. Oshitari decides it's a good number. Besides, his teenage hormones (which sadly lag far behind his mature brain development) won't stand for having a lap full of wriggling boy for too long.

The first smack comes as a surprise to both of them. Despite the pillow gagging him, Mukahi yelps. Oshitari tries not to wince as the impact reverberates through his arm. He wonders if Muhaki has rocks stuffed down the back of his pants.

He doesn't lessen the force, though. For one thing, that would be to concede defeat. For another ... well, he can't quite define it, but he thinks Mukahi would prefer it if he didn't. So while his flat palm tingles from slapping against Mukahi's hard rear, Oshitari doesn't hold back.

Three. Mukahi is whimpering now. His pain threshold is low, which is why his landings are always perfect -- he hates scrapes and bruises.

Four. Oshitari's hand is numb now. He thinks Mukahi flinches away from his hand for a second, but he holds himself still by the time it falls.

Five. This time Mukahi arches up. It would be hardly noticeable if Oshitari weren't so completely focused on his task, calculating how high he had to lift his hand to bring it down again with maximum strength. But he definitely does.

When it becomes clear that no more slaps are forthcoming, Mukahi swivels his head. "Is that all?"

"Yes. You may leave." Oshitari is too polite to add 'now,' although he thinks it. He usually has a shower after school, to take care of the various effects being surrounded with people all day has on his weak body. Mukahi has interrupted that schedule and any minute now, something embarrassing is going to happen.

"All right." Mukahi heaves a great sigh, as if he's the one who's been inconvenienced. "Hey, I was wondering if you could help me out with my English homework tomorrow, Yuushi-kun. I'm having trouble."

"Of course." Oshitari stands up to show him to the door. He doesn't realise until well after Mukahi has left that Mukahi called him by his given name.

After that, Mukahi never calls him Oshitari again.


Oshitari prides himself on being able to read people. The next time he catches Mukahi kissing another boy in public, he chalks it up to coincidence. As Mukahi was planning to come over to work on their book reports that night, it only requires a minute adjustment to fit spanking Mukahi for his transgressions into the evening's plans.

Due to his intensive tennis training, Oshitari's arm was even stronger. There are tears in Mukahi's eyes by the time Oshitari counts to five in his head, but he doesn't murmur a word of complaint. This stands in strange contrast to the five minute shouting match they share when Mukahi accuses Oshitari of stealing his highlighter pen.

By the third time, Oshitari has caught on. Not to the reason why Mukahi likes to be caught, but the fact that he does want to be. Oshitari doesn't understand it, but it's no trouble to him. Perhaps it is a little strange. It certainly isn't his place to spank Mukahi, no matter how much he deserves it. Yet, for all that, Oshitari continues to do it.

There is a pattern to their relationship. They work together in doubles and at homework. Mukahi sulks when Oshitari criticises his stamina or refuses to let him copy his assignments, but his moods are as ephemeral as the weather and about as enduring.

And, every few weeks, Oshitari catches Mukahi up to no good and punishes him for it.

Oshitari doesn't know if Mukahi started having these assignations with this end result in mind. He's fairly sure, though, that the result is why Mukahi keeps having them.

The changes creep in as slowly as grass growing. The numbers begin to go up -- at first because of the way Mukahi had his hands up his shirt, or was licking his neck, or pinched his leg. Later, because -- with a choked "Please, Yuushi" -- Mukahi asks him to.

One day Oshitari finds himself exploring the contours of Mukahi's behind with his fingers. The cloth of his tennis shorts is thin and does nothing to keep in the heat radiating from Mukahi's skin. The material is rucked up from Oshitari's slaps, revealing a creamy curve just a fingerbreadth from where Oshitari's hand is landing. Mukahi gasps when Oshitari's fingers dig in, and he does that little arching up thing he did the very first day. From then on, a little squeeze between spanks becomes part of the routine.

He calls Mukahi Gakuto and can't remember when he started.

Oshitari tells himself it doesn't matter. And it doesn't, until the day he sees Mukahi on his knees before a boy and wonders what the hell he thinks he was doing. Mukahi obviously wants this. Oshitari knows society doesn't approve, but he'd always thought he himself was too intelligent to be roped into petty discrimination. Yet there he is, propagating the bigotry.

He turns and strides away. He doesn't realise Mukahi has followed until the patter of feet -- hidden under his turmoil of thoughts -- stop with Oshitari at his front door.

"Yuushi," breathes Mukahi. "I was very -- bad, today?"

"Yes." Oshitari goes inside. He doesn't stop Mukahi from coming after him, although he thinks he probably should have done.

Mukahi's colour is high, his eyes shining. Oshitari feels sick to think that he's trained Mukahi into this level of blind subservience. It was only a joke, an unusual alternative to an ice-cream bribe. How had it turned into this?

Oshitari had to end it here.

Mukahi is lying across his lap, his arms wrapped around a pillow that he's already sunk his teeth into -- why does he need that? thinks Oshitari in bewilderment. Do I hurt him that badly? His fingers find the waistband of Mukahi's shorts and drag them down, skimming the hard round swell of his cheeks. Mukahi stifles a gasp and buries his face deeper into the pillow.

He was very bad today.

Oshitari leans over to his desk and hesitates. Mukahi is barely breathing. His shorts are around his knees, his legs loose. His shining hair is tumbled around his head. His grey briefs cling to skin that is lightly hazed with sweat.

When Oshitari brings the ruler down he almost screams right along with Mukahi.


Oshitari thinks it is very annoying that Atobe Keigo managed to become captain of the Hyotei high school team in his junior year. Surely there is some rule against history repeating itself.

The first thing Atobe does is reinstate practically the same team as he took to Nationals in middle school. Oh, he uses all the legitimate channels, but within a month Oshitari is on the courts with Mukahi once more.

He doesn't mind. He and Mukahi aren't really friends any more, but they aren't not friends either. Mukahi's stamina has increased dramatically and Oshitari is working on a second counter. They will meld even better than before.

He thinks he can ignore the undercurrents as well, but he is wrong.

Atobe's locker is beside Oshitari's. This is unfortunate, as Oshitari has no taste for toxic levels of lavender. He resolves to make the best of it, and hangs a pine air freshener inside his locker. He gets used to Atobe's snide remarks about whoever is currently occupying his attention. Some of them horrify him, some of them amuse him, but Oshitari makes sure never to be anything other than neutral in his response.

"Mukahi's certainly grown up," observes Atobe one afternoon.

"Mmm?" Oshitari would have to be blind not to notice the way Mukahi dresses -- when his clothes aren't clingy or gauzy, they are buttoned and zipped in a way that shows off far too much of Mukahi's lissom body.

"I wonder who he's trying to impress?" muses Atobe. "I can't imagine who he hasn't had, at this stage."

Oshitari is already very tired of this conversation. "You, maybe?"

"Hardly." Atobe's smile deepens. "You know he isn't a natural redhead?"

Oshitari doesn't even remember throwing the punch. He does remember the week's suspension he gets for it, though.


Oshitari is lying on his bed, eating garlic ice cream and watching The Princess Diaries, when Mukahi arrives. Oshitari puts down his spoon, but he doesn't hit the pause button. Mia's makeover is his favourite part of the film and he'll be damned if he'll pause it for anyone.

Mukahi gets the hint after a few seconds and curls up on the floor by Oshitari's feet. Oshitari lets the film play on until Michael sees Mia's haircut and then kicks the remote with his foot.

A silence louder than noise fills the room. Mukahi sighs -- it echoes like a gunshot -- and rests his head on the mattress. Hairs skim Oshitari's toes.

"Yuushi," says Mukahi quietly, "what's wrong with your mother?"

Of all the things Mukahi could have said, this is the very last Oshitari expected. "She's an alcoholic, that's what's wrong with her." His voice is harsher than he intended. Bitterness corrodes his words. "She likes tippling more than pretty much everything else, that's what's wrong with her. She --"

Fingers curl around his bare ankle, rubbing the hollow beneath the bone. "And what does your father think about that?"

Oshitari shrugs. "He doesn't know. He dumped all of us once his stupid, supposedly infertile wife became pregnant with a son. The heir to family name. We get a lovely cheque every other month, though."

Mukahi gapes. Oshitari answers the unspoken question. "Yes, she's a mistress. Or she was. I was even going to be officially adopted when I left school. I guess that's not going to happen now."

"That's cruel, giving it all to your brother --"

"He's not my brother!" Mukahi flinches. "I'm sorry, Gakuto. I ... no one's ever asked me that before."

"And no one's ever fought for my honour before, either," says Mukahi, his mouth twitching. "I guess we're square."

"About that." Oshitari slides off the bed to sit beside Mukahi. "I didn't mean to hit Atobe --"

"I think 'beat to a bloody pulp' would be more accurate," interrupts Mukahi. "Everyone thought you were going to be chucked off the team, but Atobe himself said that was out of the question. I guess he doesn't want to lose the Hyotei tensai."

"As I was saying," says Oshitari, taking off his glasses, "I didn't mean to hit him. But he deserved it, and I'd do it again if he said anything else about you."

"Thank you." Mukahi puts a hand on Oshitari's shoulder. "Does this mean we're friends now?"

"I like to think we always were."

Mukahi's eyes darken. "Yes. Except this time I won't ask too much of you."

"You mean you'll stop begging to copy my homework?" retorts Oshitari. "Never!"

"Not that," laughs Mukahi, but he doesn't elucidate further. With a groan, he consents to watching the rest of the film with Oshitari. He finishes off the ice cream and insists on putting on the sequel, despite Oshitari's assurance that it was appalling. Eventually he falls asleep against Oshitari's shoulder, silky hair stroking his throat and making breathing a little difficult.

Oshitari thinks back to the last year of middle school. To all the times he waited for hours after Mukahi left to touch himself, so he could pretend it wasn't because of him. To the way his hand would still tingle from spanking him when he slid it between his legs.

He feels like he's missing a vital link, but he can't for the life of him think what.


Atobe's bruises fade. His fan club stops throwing rotten fruit at Oshitari in the hallways. Mukahi starts staying the night at Oshitari's house. Oshitari's mother gets a boyfriend.

"I should be happy for her." Oshitari feels bemused as he ushers his smiling mother out the door with the small and cheerful, but very ugly used-car salesman. "I really should be happy that she's not drinking so much, but --"

"But it still feels weird," Mukahi finishes for him. The hand he uses to pat Oshitari on the back lingers, turning the gesture into more of a stroke, but Oshitari is used to it by now. "Any change takes getting used to, Yuushi."

"I suppose." Oshitari goes into the kitchen to get snacks for their movie night, not enjoying the intense gaze Mukahi likes to turn on him every so often.

As usual, Mukahi gripes about the subbed English films that Oshitari has chosen. As usual, five minutes in he is completely enthralled and shushes Oshitari when he eats too loudly.

Oshitari will make a romantic out of him yet.

They share Oshitari's bed. It's a double, a leftover from the more opulent days when his mother was a kept woman and his father catered to their every whim. It makes the room even smaller, but Oshitari's mother cannot afford to replace it. At least it's useful when he has overnight guests.

Oshitari sleeps on his side facing the door. Mukahi's back is pressed against his, the soles of his feet bumping Oshitari's calves.

"Hey, Yuushi?" whispers Mukahi into the black. "Do you remember what we used to do, back in middle school?"

"Play tennis?" Oshitari fakes a yawn, but his every sense is on red alert.

The sheets sigh as Mukahi rolls underneath them. A cool draught lets Oshitari know that Mukahi has sat up. Five warm spots on his upper arm tell him that Mukahi has put his hand there.

"You used to punish me for what I did with other boys." Mukahi's voice is thick and rushed. "I liked it, Yuushi. I liked it so much."

His fingers tighten on Oshitari's arm. Oshitari's breath halts in his lungs, waiting for what Mukahi will say next. "The ... last time ... I was so hard from it I could barely walk. I had to jack off in your garden. Your garden, Yuushi."

"I hurt you." Oshitari tries to drag his arm away, but Mukahi holds on.

"No. I mean, you did, but it was in a good way. Yuushi. There's pain and there's pain. It wasn't like falling on the courts or doing a hundred laps. It was ... different."

Oshitari sits up, figuring it's the only way to loosen Mukahi's grip, and flicks on his lava lamp. "I'm sorry, Gakuto."

The greenish light combined with Mukahi's vibrant hair makes him look like an alien. There's no mistaking the surprise on his face. "You're sorry for making me feel good? Or ..." His face changes. "You're sorry for stopping. Because that made me mad."

"No, I --" Oshitari wishes he had some glasses to fiddle with, but they're on his desk. Too far away. "It was weird."

"You're telling me. Any normal person would just've kissed me." Mukahi shifts so that his weight is on the hand he had braced on the bed beside Oshitari's hip. His hair flops into his eyes and he doesn't shake it back. "I don't know, Yuushi. Sometimes I think you want to, and then I think you don't, and ... just tell me. Please?"

"Want to do what?" manages Oshitari. When Mukahi looks up his face is red.

"Kiss me!" he hisses. He makes for such a comical picture that Oshitari can't help but laugh. Mukahi's eyes widen in indignation. He moves to get out of the bed. Oshitari grabs him around the waist to stop him, still chuckling, and overestimates himself. He finds himself lying on top of a Muhaki who he's flung back against the mattress. Suddenly there is nothing whatsoever to laugh about.

"Sorry," he whispers, "I didn't mean to --"

With an aggravated noise Mukahi arches off the bed. His hands cup Oshitari's face and drag it down, and his legs cross behind Oshitari's back. He loses his balance and falls; the resultant thump shakes the bed frame, but Mukahi doesn't complain. His heels rub into the swell of Oshitari's arse and he moans contentedly against Oshitari's mouth. Oshitari opens his mouth to protest, to apologise again -- anything -- but Mukahi fills it with his tongue instead.

From everything he knows about Mukahi, Oshitari would have expected him to be a rough, impatient kisser. He's anything but. Once he's got Oshitari well and truly trapped in his embrace, he proceeds to kiss Oshitari's breath away with the sweetest, hottest tenderness he's ever experienced. Mukahi does everything slowly. His hands trail down Oshitari's neck, raising goose bumps in their wake. He uncurls his legs and lets his thighs slide along Oshitari's sides, first one, and then the other. As for his tongue -- it blossoms in Oshitari's mouth, coiling and stroking and teasing until Oshitari's eyes roll back in his head from sheer unadulterated pleasure.

When at last Mukahi gently pulls back, he hides his face in Oshitari's shoulder. Oshitari is as hard as hell and can't remember how to move so he isn't crushing Mukahi any more. At least he isn't the only one affected, if the growing dampness against his thigh is anything to go by.

It's Mukahi's wandering hand that snaps him out of his daze. When he feels fingers dancing along his waistband, threatening to dart under, he summons the last vestiges of will power and stumbles to his feet.

"Yuushi?" Mukahi's voice trembles as much as his fuller lower lip, which he's stuck out for effect. It is not Mukahi's pout that fills Oshitari with guilt, though; it is the taut cloth between his legs. He's only gone and taken advantage of Mukahi's obedience yet again.

Oshitari presses his hands to his eyes. He can't bear to look; he thinks he'll come just from the sight of all that milky, naked flesh.

Then Mukahi's face is rubbing against the front of his boxers, like a cat seeking affection. Oshitari's noise of protest is lost in the moan he releases when Mukahi's fingers hook into the waistband of his boxers and peel the cloth away from his aching erection.

"Gakuto ... don't ..."

When Mukahi looks up, his smile is feral. "Am I being a bad boy?" His tongue darts out, just touching the shining head. Oshitari chokes and cants his hips forwards. He doesn't mean to. Mukahi practically purrs. "Will you have to punish me for this?"

Mukahi nuzzles his hip and ducks his head to drag his tongue along the underside of Oshitari's cock. Oshitari knots his fingers in Mukahi's hair. He can't hold on, he's going to come, all over Mukahi's face, in his mouth ...

With a superhuman effort, Oshitari pulls Mukahi to his feet. Mukahi cries out, but he closes his mouth abruptly when Oshitari half-sits, half-falls on the bed, dragging Mukahi along with him.

Oshitari fists the sheets, trying to face down the waves of sensation thundering through his body as Mukahi squirms into position. Mukahi knows exactly what he's doing to Oshitari and he does it harder, bearing down and sliding along until the delicious skin-on-skin friction almost hurts, it's so good.

Finally, his pert bottom is right in Oshitari's lap. There's no mistaking it now -- Mukahi is literally presenting his arse to him, spreading his legs and dipping his back to deepen the curves and hollows. His shoulder blades stand out like wings. Shadows pool in the tiny dimples hiding in the dip where thighs meet cheek.

And every tiny movement, every wriggle, slides Mukahi's wet erection along his thigh. His own is rubbing against Mukahi's hip, which is warm, soft, and better than anything Oshitari's ever felt down there.

There should be a whole new name for what he does to Mukahi then. Spanking doesn't even begin to cover it. That's what you do to children who've been bad. It says nothing of ravishing Mukahi's bottom with his palm, or the helpless little gasps when Oshitari's trembling fingers jolt against bare skin, or the utter, unbelievable, mind-blowing intensity of thrusting his cock up while his hand slaps down.

Mukahi is strangely shy when they finally unstick themselves. They are both trembling from the aftershock. Oshitari gathers Mukahi into the corner of the bed where he can lean against the wall and Mukahi can lean against him. He'd like a wet face cloth right about now, but he makes do with a sheet. Mukahi trembles as Oshitari cleans him off.

"Hey." Something breaks through the blissful sluggishness in Oshitari's brain. He moves his hand down to the nest of curls between Mukahi's legs. As he burrows one finger into them, Mukahi bites his lip and looks away. "These are ... red."

"What colour are they supposed to be? Purple?"

Mukahi's teeth are chattering. Oshitari stretches an arm out and reaches the blanket at the end of the bed. Mukahi is obviously cold, while Oshitari has Mukahi to warm him up. He settles the blanket tent-like around Mukahi's shoulders and tucks it in around his knees.

"Well?" Mukahi relaxes a bit and sinks against Oshitari's chest. He has to thread his arms around Mukahi's chest to stop him falling, but he doesn't think Mukahi minds.

"Atobe said you weren't a natural redhead," admits Oshitari. He feels Mukahi stiffen against him and prepares himself for flight. It takes a minute to realise that Mukahi is laughing.

"You believed that gossip junkie? He'd say anything if he thought it'd rile you. He's like me that way."

"It did rile me," says Oshitari. "I punched him for it."

"My knight in shining armour." Mukahi snuggles against his chest. One eye pops open. "Did you really think I was the ... Whore of Babylon?"

Oshitari drops a kiss into that gleaming hair, now a little sweaty from Mukahi's exertions. "You were a bad boy at one time, I seem to recall."

"Nah." Mukahi sounds embarrassed, not angry. "I have a confession to make."

"Oh yes?"

"I was waiting for you." Mukahi squeezes his eyes shut, as if to block out some unpleasant sight. "I never let anyone touch me except you."

"Really?" Oshitari can't stop delight from bubbling into his voice. "That's ... that's beautiful, Gakuto."

"Yeah, yeah," mutters Mukahi. There was a pause. "Hey, d'you think we could ... you know ... get cleaned up or something?"

"Hang on." Oshitari tilts up Mukahi's chin and kisses him, long and slow. Mukahi looks more than a little dazed when Oshitari breaks the kiss, and Oshitari just has to do it again.

Cleaning up can wait. There's time for a happy ending, first.