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It's The Sunrise, And I See Your Jade Eyes

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Eiji stepped out of the shower. "Your turn." He wiped his hair with a towel. 

At the end of the day, they were back in Eiji's room. 

Ash got up to scrub the evidence of the day off his skin. The day had really been so hectic and a nice shower would've been absolutely comforting. Ash let the hot water cascade down his body, muscles releasing tension.

He adjusted the temperature of the shower to something hotter. He let a sigh escape his lips, thoughts wandering free. Ash was left to contemplate the rest of what happened the entire day.

 

Ash wasn't so sure how he ended up here as well. He was almost sure Eiji didn't want to cut his hair. There he was anyway, seated on the chair with someone snipping at his hair. Ash mourned the black strands that fell on the tiled floor. 

The house was in chaos. It was not the chaos Ash was used to. It was domestic chaos, one Ash had never experienced. It's the type of fuss Ash saw when he was back in Cape Cod and it was the rare moment where they had guests coming in their house.

They all decided they didn't want to be part of that at all. So maybe that explained why they were here.

"Why do you get to keep your luxurious hair?" Eiji stared at Yut-Lung through the mirror. “You mean you get to keep that but I get this?”

"To be fair, your grandmother looked like she wanted to chop it off." Yut-Lung was on the other side, having his nails done, Kimiko was having her hair done as well and Ash...was sitting with a cup of coffee on hand. He was used to cutting his own hair after all. He hadn't trust anyone with a razor near his neck for a long while, well...there were two people but they're gone now.

Not that they were any good. Shorter never really did cut his hair properly.

Eiji winced at every lock that fell from his head. He looked so uncomfortable, face scrunched in a furrow. Ash did not like that expression in him. 

Kimiko shot something in Japanese to Eiji in which he stuck his tongue at her. Kimiko rolled her eyes at him in return. 

Yut-Lung only sighed. 

Eiji's hair was shorter than Ash had ever seen it. It was still fluffy and thick, but it was cleaner, tamer and shorter, somehow he looked even younger due to it. 

"I wouldn't believe you're twenty-two if I saw you passing in the street." Ash snorted at Eiji's reflection. The reflection pouted. 

And then there was Yut-Lung, whom Ash still couldn't trust. Who Eiji really seemed to be close with. Yut-Lung who Eiji seemed to trust. Ash couldn't reconcile the image of Yut-Lung's cruel smile with the smile he saw awhile ago that was so full of fondness, soft enough to forget that there was sharpness underneath it. 

"You've grown two pounds since we last saw each other. You need a new suit." Yut-Lung inspected his nails. They were red and glittering gold. 

"I have enough suits." The barber was just finishing Eiji's haircut. Eiji got up and plopped next to Ash who wordlessly handed him his cup of coffee. 

"Thanks, I think I'm about to pass out." He gulped down nearly half of the contents in the cup.

"Great! I took the liberty of throwing them out. They were ancient."

Eiji choked on his coffee. "You what?!" 

Yut-Lung rolled his eyes. "I mean I gave it to charity. Relax isn't that what you want? God knows how surprised the servants were when I told them to. You should've seen their faces."

Eiji visibly relaxed.

"Also I'm making the party into a masquerade." 

Relaxed Eiji was gone and immediately groaned. 

"Don't worry onii-san, it is only to cover your ugly face." Kimiko piped up from the other side of the room. Her hair looked way better than Eiji's. The world was mournfully unfair. Yut-Lung snickered.\

"And yet even a mask still can't hide yours." Eiji shot back and gave Ash a smug wink. Ash couldn't help the chuckle that escaped his lip. Yut-Lung also slipped a small amused smile. Kimiko fumed.

"Regardless, we still have a lot to do."  Yut-Lung handed a black credit card to one of the attendants before getting up from his seat and striding towards the mirror. "Oh shut it, you're used to this."

"Doesn't mean I like doing it." Eiji grumbled petulantly. He eyed Yut-Lung's nails before looking at his own and sighing with dejection.

"Onii-san may look like he works hard, but is actually lazy deep down." Kimiko snickered. 

Eiji spluttered indignantly.

"She's right. You are lazy deep down." Yut-Lung nodded his head. 

"I'm pretty sure waking up at the ass crack of dawn isn't lazy." Ash pointed out.

Yut-Lung shot him a look of annoyance.

"No, he's right," there was a regretful tone when this was said. "You haven't seen me shower and brush my teeth at the same time because I didn't want to move. It was a dark era." Eiji waved his hand in dismissal. "I was in middle school. We don't ever talk about it."

"Anyway," Yut-Lung interrupted before Ash could comment on it. "You're not going to do much since it's your event--"

Eiji snorted. "That's a lie, and we all know it."

 "--but I do think you'll like the next bit."

Eiji looked skeptical, and Ash was just as doubtful too. He frowned at Yut-Lung just in case he was planning anything suspicious.

 

Ash didn't know what to make of it.

This Yut-Lung was nothing like the Yut-Lung who wouldn't blink an eye at killing men and women alike. This facet of Yut-Lung was so unfamiliar that it just kept Ash on his toes. Who knew what was going on inside his head? It was so dubious.

For Eiji's sake, a part of Ash hoped that Yut-Lung was sincere in his actions. A part of Ash wanted to rid of him forever. A part of Ash didn't know what to do. 

And the Eiji he saw today was almost entirely different. It was a good different. A bit. Somewhat. Maybe He closed his eyes, hoping to find counsel from the unraveling of the knot that was his thoughts, hoping to find answers in the rearrangement of the abyss.

 

"This is great," Eiji was chewing a piece of macaron. "This is really great." 

Yut-Lung looked absolutely smug, a big 'I told you so' was written all over his face.

"It is too sweet." Kimiko frowned. "Why are we having a lot of dessert?"

"It's great." Eiji insisted. "We're taking it." He went to the next tray of desserts. "Why don't you sample the quiche over there? And when you're done, do the canapes after." 

Kimiko muttered under his breath as she stomped over to the appetizer table.

"Here, let's try the truffles." Eiji went back to the task at hand and picked the sweet confectionery, tasting it. He immediately made a happy noise. 

Yut-Lung looked pleased as he followed Eiji around the selection. "Lynx, you can go chose the wine. You can do as much can't you?"

"And leave you two alone?" 

"I can do it." Eiji murmured with his mouth still full of chocolate, he lifted a mouth to cover it, remembering his manners. 

"Darling don't talk with your mouth full, here." Yut-Lung pressed an eclair on Eiji's mouth. "He can take care of himself. Now tell me if it's good."

Ash narrowed his eyes.

Eiji chewed, then wiped his mouth with a napkin. "I love the filling. Try some." He lifted a piece for Yut-Lung, in which he leaned down to take a bite. Ash made a disgruntled noise.

"Jealous, Lynx?" Yut-Lung smirked.

"I'm not." He was, but he'll be damned if he'll admit that to the snake.

"He doesn't have to be jealous. He simply doesn't have much opinions on food so it's pretty pointless anyway." Eiji chuckled while he drank a cup of tea to cleanse his palette. It's the only time he willingly drank tea. "You should've seen him when we eat out, he look so bored."

"Hear that Lynx? Eiji said you have no taste."

"I didn't say that."

"He is right. He has no taste if he chose you." Kimiko piped up from the other side of the room.

"You're on a roasting roll here. Where the hell does all that come from?" Eiji bemoaned as he snatched yet another confectionery. Yut-Lung acted like this was normal. Eiji must've been blessed with a really good metabolism if he hadn't gotten fat despite all that sugar. Then again, all that sugar is going get him in a rush. 

"Did you spend the entire time I'm away talking to yourself in the mirror and practiced throwing insults at me?"

"No I'm pretty sure she got it from you." Yut-lung shrugged. "You can be a real bitch when you want to be." 

Kimiko nodded. "Terrible influence. Stop corrupting the youth." 

"Guys..." Eiji groaned. He dragged a hand over his face before glancing at Ash sheepishly.

"Do you want me to shut them up?" Ash looked especially at Yut-Lung.

The sheepishness was suddenly gone. 

"God no." It was replaced by wide eyes. Eiji said with this affronted expression on his face. Ash was just so confused.

"Oh look, another youth in the clutches of Nii-san. How sad."

"That one's pretty hopeless already. It needs no sympathy."

And the banter went on. Maybe it was more appropriate to call it a squabble at this point. Ash didn't really know how to take in the scene before him and decided to just do as he was told and sample the wine. 

 

Okay maybe not all of it was great. 

Especially the part where Eiji didn't pay him any attention. Or the part where they hardly managed to talk. Or when they weren't even able to spend time together. Alone.

Ash groaned and pressed his head on the cool tiled wall, a contrast from the heat on his back.

The rest of the day hadn't really gone so well either.

(In the back of his mind, a voice whispered treacherously, telling him that Ash just wasn't used to sharing Eiji. The voice suspiciously sounded like Shorter. Or maybe it was the old man.

Not Eiji. The other annoying old man.)

Then there was the issue this morning. Ash flushed just thinking about it. They haven't talked, nor addressed it. And Eiji didn't look like he wanted a conversation. He looked like he was mostly trying to avoid the conversation.

Or day was hectic and it really wasn't the place for a heartfelt talk.

Did it even need a heartfelt talk? Maybe he was simply overreacting. Ash let out a noise from the back of his throat in frustration. Leading a gang in New York was way easier than all these confusing feelings. He could feel a headache starting to bloom.

He rubbed a tired hand on his face, pushing his hair away from his eyes. 

But Eiji didn't look like he minded. He looked understanding on that moment.

Then again, Eiji would always understand even at his own expense. Ash wanted him to start verbalizing his wants. He wanted him to tell him his feelings. He wanted to be confided. He wanted to be the man Eiji trusted.

Maybe that was why he didn't like seeing Yut-Lung next to Eiji. He didn't want Yut-Lung act so smug with being so familiar with him. It was so unfair that he knew Eiji way before Ash did.

Ash let out another groan. He hated being jealous. It was such a disgusting emotion. It’s always like he was on the verge of lashing out. Like containing an explosive deep within his chest. As if his blood was made of gasoline and his breath was fire, his bones matchsticks, as if his skin was gunpowder wrapped in oil slick paper. As if his heart was a ticking clock without any wires to cut.

Did Eiji ever feel this? When Ash was with other people? Would he feel this too? There were a lot of people who gave him their numbers while they travelled together, a lot openly flirted with him in those trips. Did Eiji feel like exploding in those times too?

Would Eiji’s burn with jealousy as well? What would he do? Would he pull Ash away from them? Would he stake his claim over him? Kiss him senseless in public? Hold him? Touch him? Mark him? Would he look like on the verge of losing control much like how Ash was feeling right now?

Every thought was even more rousing than the last one, Ash couldn’t think anymore. He shut his eyes and bit his lip.

His hand traveled to his neck, then to his chest, touch light and feather-like.

Ash let out a shaky breath. 

From his chest down to his gut, then slowly down to his abdomen. His other free hand scrabbled for purchase from the cool slick tiles, forehead pressed harder. His shoulders trembled at his every movement. The water from hot to scalding, pounding on his back as if some form of punishment.

Tentative, shy, hesitant. His hand played with the hairs on his navel that trailed down. Ash groaned. 

His mind swam with thoughts of Eiji. His smile, his laugh, his lips, his stare. The way he teases and the way he flushes. He thought of his moans, all pleasured noises, his groans and his blown wide eyes.

Ash tried.

He tried to find pleasure, tried to find enjoyment, some oxytocin, serotonin or some blasted chemicals from his brain to stimulate some kind of enjoyment as his fingers trailed lower.

He found nothing.

Tears might've fallen from his eyes, it might've been from the shower. The water had long gone cold and Ash's body was already freezing. It might've been the cause for the shudder that ran through his spine, maybe it was something else.

With a heavy sigh, Ash gave up and turned off the shower, simply trudging out of the bathroom. Something deep in him felt downcast. He didn't know why. He shouldn't. He didn't need to. He knew he didn’t need to.

But he wanted to.

He wanted to.

He really wanted to.

And yet he couldn't.

He turned off the lights of the bathroom and was greeted with the dimness of the bedroom.

Eiji was already asleep when Ash finished showering. A mercy. He did spend a good amount of time in there. So it'd make sense. And the day had been so busy. He would be tired, other than the fact the he just couldn't stay up late for the life of him. How characteristically Eiji of him.

Ash took the towel off his hair just as it dried enough to no longer be dripping and set it aside on the bedside table. The lamp the only light source in the room. 

He sat on the edge of the bed. Eiji always slept on the right side and he's curled up enough to invite Ash to the bed. He folds into himself, as he always did, afraid to take up space. Maybe now it was more of welcoming Ash to sleep next to him. As they always did.

Ash felt his lips stretch into a faint smile, negative feelings fading away. Eiji still mumbled when he slept. Ash always wondered what he dreamed of. He hoped all of them were lovely. 

He really shouldn't, but he pressed a feather light kiss on his forehead before he slipped into the bed under the covers beside Eiji. Then, as if on instinct, as if sensing he was in proximity, Eiji moved closer to Ash's body, arms wrapping around his waist, legs tangled with Ash's own. His head tucked to his chest, dark hair tickling Ash's nose.

"You'll be the death of me," Ash laughed to Eiji's newly cut hair. They were significantly shorter. "You don't even know." Ash pulled just slightly away to gaze on Eiji's face, at what expression he might be wearing. 

He really shouldn't, but he did anyway. He shouldn't, but he touched his cheek even though he was almost certain he would be committing some crime against the universe to do so.

They were warm, almost flushed and Eiji's face furrowed a bit at the contact, not enough to wake up, but just enough to be disturbed. Like droplets on the lake, making ripples, disturbing the tranquil. Eiji let out a soft groan.

Ash's fingers caressed his face, tracing the lines of his skin then to his lips. Ash pressed his thumb on those pink flesh, parting them just slightly. A faint pressure, Ash simply want to commit this to his fingerprints, to his flesh, soaking in his essence from his pores to his muscles in a hungry way he couldn’t put into words. 

And then, Eiji shifted and dark lashes flutters open to reveal dark eyes muddled with slumber, just barely awake. Dark eyes like coals, like onyx, like black diamonds. There aren't really black diamonds, not naturally. But if there were any real black diamonds made by nature, they're sitting here behind Eiji's eyelids. A hidden treasure, one Ash was free to gaze upon.

"Ah."

Ash retracted his hand from Eiji's face, embarrassed at being caught red handed with this perverse invasion of privacy. But Eiji caught his hand before he could pull it away. Warm hand grasping his.

"Ash." His voice was husky and rough, deeper than it usually was. His accent bled through, making his name on his lips into two syllables. 

"Sorry."

Eiji gave him a sleepy smile. “In my dreams you do not usually apologize.”  He sighed as he pressed Ash’s hands to his cheek. “This is new.”

Ash laughed, stomach fluttering at this new information. “You dream about me?”

Eiji hummed. “Often. Almost every night.” Ash’s face heated up at the confirmation. “I suppose I could never rid of you,” He said. “Not that I ever want to rid of you. This is a strange dream.”

It clicked in Ash’s mind that Eiji might’ve been simply half asleep, not yet in the road of waking but almost there. He exist between dream and reality right now, if there really was a world that allowed it.

“What do we usually do in your dreams?” Ash decided he’ll indulge and humor himself with a bit of an investigation plus interrogation.

“Not talk.” Eiji said immediately. “Other things.”

“Other things?”

“Mhm,” He blinked, eyebrows furrowed. He looked like he was in the cusp of proper consciousness, eyes started to gain clarity, “M’m sorry.” He added instead of adding more.

“For what?” Ash wondered if apologizing was just something Japanese people do, or if it was a trait exclusive only to Eiji.

“For falling asleep.” Eiji mumbled. “I wanted to…talk to you about this morning.” He shook his head, as if it’ll help him wake more. “We need to talk. I spent the whole day avoiding it. I ended up ignoring you.”

Ah so that’s what it was.

“I’m sorry for all that. And for the whole…” Eiji gestured awkwardly. “I should’ve had better control…and well.” He was silent and refused to say anything more.

"It's okay. It's only natural. These things happened and you are still a man after all." Ash didn’t know what to say actually. Bringing it up was awkward and remembering the sensations of his body against his, of Eiji’s face of pleasure, of all the sounds he let loose in those brief seconds of touches. Ash couldn’t take it. 

"Yes but you must've been uncomfortable with the whole ordeal." Eiji was less muddled with sleep. Concern laced his voice.

"I was...” Ash admitted. Eiji winced, but Ash immediately interjected. “But you might've wanted to..." To what? Could Eiji possibly want to share that kind of intimacy with him? Was he being so conceited to assume that Eiji would want to give him something as precious as that? Ash never did get to choose. He wasn’t letting Eiji give up something so important because of obligation. He didn't look comfortable as well when it happened. He drew away the moment Ash touched him that time. 

Eiji breathed, a slight stuttering sigh. He seemed to understand the question that hung in the air.

"I...I do.” The soft admittance was faint to the room and yet so loud to Ash’s ears. And it was amazing, how those words ignited so much excitement in Ash’s veins, how relieved and grateful he’s feeling, a sensation of flying and then falling once again.

Eiji pursed his lips. “But not when you don't. And you don't ever need to if you don't want to." He quickly added. There was self-doubt in his eyes as he looked away from Ash’s face.

They're dancing around each other. It was necessary, but god it was ridiculous. 

"I want to as well." Ash exclaimed, just a bit frustrated that Eiji was so damn altruistic that he’s never think about his own wants. 

"You do?" Eiji looked up at him, with big hopeful eyes.

"Yes." Ash nodded timidly, uncharacteristically bashful of him. "With you." He added. "Because it's you."

Eiji's face was surprised, mouth formed into the shape of an o, eyes wide and sparkling. Ash wondered why Eiji found this fact surprising. Ash had never been enamored with anyone else. It had always ever only been him.

Eiji nodded feverently, dazed and just slightly delirious. "It's alright. Just knowing you want it is enough. I'll wait forever. Even if you never do, it's okay as well. It always is--"

"Eiji." Ash interrupted before Eiji could ramble on and spiral out of control. "I need you to shut up right now." Eiji snapped his mouth shut the moment the words left Ash's lips, all attention directed to what Ash had to say.

"If you want this and if you trust me, tell me now. If you don't like anything, say it as well. I need your words." Ash leveled him with a serious look. He needed Eiji to understand its importance. "We could...try something slow for now."

Understanding flashed through Eiji's face and he gave a noise of affirmation. "I trust you."

Ash smiled. This was all he needed. "Okay, tell me if you want to stop. Because I will the moment you do." And he would. Without doubt. He parted a too short strand of hair away from Eiji’s face since they weren’t long enough to be tucked behind his ear.

Eiji grasped his hand tighter, eyes never leaving jade ones. "Only if you do as well." And he asked this as a promise.

"Okay." Ash breathed. Breathing was suddenly so hard to do. He needed to keep the painful constriction of his chest and quash it down, box it into neat containers, put it away like one does to Christmas decorations. It wouldn’t help to get them all out now. "Okay."

A hesitant hand trembled as it found its way to Eiji's chest, fingers trailing down towards the hem of Eiji's pants where clothes part to show that sliver of smooth skin by his groin, just below the navel. There were dark hairs that trailed lower. Ash played with them for a bit, occupying himself with fingering them.

Eiji buried his face on Ash's chest again, breathing more erratic than ever. The ever slight twitches on Eijji’s body, the goosebumps, the trembling, he relished them as well. Ash drew lower, palming the heated flesh that began to grow harder at every touch, at every teasing caress. Eiji bucked his hips and squeaked at the suddenness of the movement.

"Alright?" Ash inquired before proceeding.

Eiji barely made a respond and simply have a sound from the back of his throat. Ash took this as a yes.

Ash continued to play with Eiji just a bit more. A wet patch started to appear on the cotton of his pajama pants and the Japanese looked like he was trying his best not to grind on his hand, the trembling on his legs said so.

"You can move. I can feel you want to." Ash whispered to his ears. With it Eiji started to buck his hips repeatedly, moaning softly with every thrust. Ash dipped his fingers under the waistband of Eiji's pants, feeling the length of his member. He wrapped his hand around its girth, its thickness. It was bigger than average, not too ridiculous. Ash thought absentmindedly.

He started teasing the head, circling his thumb on the sensitive skin of the tip. Ash knew what he was doing and he was determined to make this pleasurable for Eiji's first time. He wanted to give him what Ash was deprived of, wanted him to feel what he did not feel himself, what was stolen from him.

Eiji hissed. Ash stopped his ministrations. "Don't like it?" Alarm filled Ash when Eiji started gripping his shirt tightly.

"It’s not—that’s—," Eiji's muffled voice vibrated in his chest. "Stop being such a tease." He ended with a whine, giving up.

There was relief. Ash chuckled just as Eiji moaned. Ash started to move his expert hand. His done this a hundred times by now, he could do this even without putting his mind to it. But Eiji wasn’t a job and Ash would never treat him as such. So for the first time Ash took up the profession of sex and pleasure making, he wanted to savor this moment, wanted to enjoy this as well, wanted to ride the waves of desire.

The tips of Eiji's ear and his neck were already red, Ash observed with a hint of amusement. He used his free hand to run his hand through Eiji's dark hair while his other started stroking his throbbing length.

He started the pace slow, languid then eventually speeding up as the seconds passed. Eiji bucked his hips with erratically, breathing more labored, body tightened and Ash knew he was getting close. He thought that he wanted to mess with him a little.

"Ash!" Eiji pulled away from his chest to glare at him. Ash pulled away and stopped the motions of his hand just as Eiji was about find his release. Ash can't help the laughter that bubbled from his chest at the look of Eiji's disgruntled face. Eiji smacked his shoulder, albeit weakly. "You are so mean."

Ash’s laughter soften into a chuckle. "Okay. Okay. I won't do it anymore." He flicked the older man’s forehead. Eiji pouted but otherwise gave a grunt, hands shot up to his face.

"No, I want to see you." Ash stopped him. He tore Eiji's hands from covering his face which he reluctantly followed. "There much better." Ash took the moment to drink in Eiji's face. His face was red and absolutely wrecked, lips parted, panting heavily. Ash mused that this wasn’t even the extent of his talents and yet Eiji already looked this debauched. A part of him wanted to see Eiji in deeper throes of passion. It was beautiful.

"Relax." Ash joked, but his heart was pounding in his chest like a jackhammer. "You look like you're about to explode." And he started his ministrations once more.

Eiji's hands occupied themselves by clutching at Ash's shoulder instead of gripping him until his knuckles were white. He shut his eyes in ecstasy, moaning and whimpering and grunting. He was getting desperate for more friction, timidness and second guessing forgotten and abandoned, lost in this feeling.

"Ash! I swear!" His eyes shot wide opened to the American’s laughter when Ash yet again denied him of release.

"You absolute tease! Why did you—" The rest of his words died in his throat in a choke as Ash squeezed his member, and Eiji whimpered at the suddenness of it.

"What was that?" Ash teased, pace faster and harder, but Eiji wasn't able to respond, instead writhing on the bed. And now Eiji's eyes rolled to the back of his eyelids, lips pressed in a thin line, expression crumpled.

“Are you close?” Ash inquired.

“I’m—“ Eiji's back arched and spilled himself all over Ash's hand, toes curling and uncurling, head thrown back, chest heaving, panting to catch his breath, unraveled, undone, open, bare, vulnerable. 

Ash stared at the milky white liquid on his hand with detached interest. The thick substance was warm. The heady musk of after sex permeated in the room, the scent strong to Ash’s nose and though it brought back dark memories, they were mostly replaced with this.

"How was it?" Ash asked after silence spanning between them. "Good?" He grinned at the Japanese who barely caught his breath, dark eyes glared at him, more annoyance than real anger.

"Shut up." Eiji buried his face on the pillow, left over chemicals of pleasure still coursing through his body. A long pause. “Yes. It was good. Really good. The best.” He was babbling without looking up from the pillow.

“You haven’t even seen the rest if what I can do.” Ash laughed. “Next time, you’ll feel so good you’ll forget your own name.”

“Next time?” Now Eiji looked up.

Ah. Right. Slip of the tongue. Force of habit. But he genuinely did enjoy his time, rather he didn’t feel aversion to the idea of it. “Maybe.” Ash concluded. “We’ll see.”

And Eiji left it at that. He glanced at Ash instead and after a moment’s hesitation. "Sh-should I do…?”

"Not today." Ash replied tersely. He wasn’t ready for that.

"Oh." There might’ve been disappointment, there definitely was understanding. Eiji always understood, and Ash was always grateful.

Ash couldn’t stop feeling that tinge of guilt. "Maybe someday. When I'm ready."

Eiji shook his head. "It is okay. I'm happy I got to at least share this with you."

They stayed like that for some time, lost in thought and in the feeling of the now, of the present, too tired to do anything, too comfortable to break the atmosphere of calm, of content. Ash was getting sleepy.

"I should clean us up." He said after a yawn.

"No. I'll do it." Eiji started to get up, body shaking, legs still slightly trembling.

"Surely you must be tired." 

"I am,” Eiji shrugged. “But I want to do this. Please let me do this at the very least." He pleaded. “And I need to change anyway. My pants are kind of sticky.” His face wrinkled at the last statement.

Ash laughed, finally relenting. "Okay."

So Eiji did just that. He stripped down to change into a new pair of boxers. He came back with a cool damp cloth to wipe the mess on Ash’s hand, pressing a kiss on his forehead before returning it back to the bathroom.

Ash felt himself choke up with emotions. He didn’t even know why, only that he was overwhelmed, only that he was feeling so weak, so bare. And why did he suddenly feel like crying? He wasn’t sad, he wasn’t angry, damn it, he was so fucking happy right now, and yet tears threatened to spill over.

Eiji returned and slipped back into bed clad only in boxers. His presence was so warm, his bare skin soft against Ash’s own.

"Tell me what you're thinking?" Eiji murmured.

"I'm thinking..." Ash began. "That I've never had this fun while doing this. I'm thinking that. I never thought that I wouldn't feel disgusted. I'm thinking,” Ash whispered softly his confession. “That I'm lucky to be with you."

“I’m lucky as well Ash.” Eiji admitted. “We’re both lucky.” He closed his eyes, exhaustion finally catching up with him. “I’m afraid I’ll wake up and find out it’s a dream.”

“Do we usually do this in your dreams?” Ash teased.

“Mhm.” Eiji didn’t say anything other than that. Which could’ve been a yes, or could’ve simply been a grunt of acknowledgement at the question he was too sleepy to give a proper response to.

Ash decided to just save that question for another day, tucking sleepy Eiji in his arms, and drifted slowly into sleep.

He dreamed of something warm that night, something familiar, something bright and beautiful and peaceful, something he couldn’t remember in the morning if he tried.