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Artistic Integrity

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Illumi has been giving people tattoos for years. It’s always been a straightforward job for him; he never suffered from the nerves or nausea some of his fellow apprentices complained about while they were in training, never had the least problem with the blood or the adrenaline or the tears that some people fall into while they’re under the needle. As far as Illumi is concerned, he has one job, and that is to provide his customers with the inked-in permanency they ask for. Any pain they have to suffer through in pursuit of that end is something they volunteered for, and he’s too focused on his work to bother with comforting them.

He’s had a wide variety of customers over the years. College students, adults, first-timers and people who have covered so much of their body in ink that it’s difficult to find a clear space in which to work. Illumi has tattooed simple phrases, or outlined images, or done the intense, subtle shading that requires multiple visits to complete. Some people get tattoos of their favorite quote, or a reference to a piece of media, or abstract designs, or images that border on outright pornography, and Illumi provides them all without batting an eye.

Even with all his years of experience, Illumi has never tattooed anyone like the man sprawling on the table before him.

He gave his name as Hisoka, when he first came through the door of the shop a few months ago. He smiles bright, and laughs easy, and hands over idea after idea to Illumi to print upon his body. His tastes are eclectic, ranging from a lengthy passage of text scribbled out of legibility against his shoulder to a bright blue teardrop he asked to have done over his cheek. There’s no pattern to what he asks for, no sense of continuous style to the disparate images Illumi has inked into his skin; the only thing Illumi can count on is that Hisoka will be back every few weeks, with a new drawing and a brighter smile and another swath of pale skin to soak up the shades of ink that Illumi wields.

Today’s is a first, for Illumi. He’s tattooed over nipples and low on people’s hips, has printed out patterns across backs and over the soft curve of buttocks; but Hisoka came in with a cartoon drawing of a child blowing bubblegum, and when asked where he wanted it he had grinned and angled a leg wide so he could trail his fingers up the inside of his thigh and into the crease of his groin. His smile seemed almost a taunt, as if he was excited to see how Illumi would react.

Illumi hadn’t so much as blinked, of course. He just nodded and gestured towards the back room, where a long curtain blocks the table behind it from view of the rest of the store. “You’ll need to come in to the back for this one.”

“Ohh,” Hisoka had purred. “Yes sir.” Illumi let that particular response go unacknowledged, but his silence had no influence at all on the razor-edge of the grin Hisoka had dragging at the corner of his mouth, or the deliberate sway of his hips as he stepped forward to take the suggestion of Illumi’s upraised hand gesturing him into the back of the shop. Illumi had followed at a more sedate pace, considering the drawing Hisoka handed over to him as they both proceed to the back room, his attention as much on the art he is about to ink as on the body into which it will be pressed.

Hisoka doesn’t wait for Illumi’s instruction. He’s stripping his shirt off as Illumi comes around the corner, shaking his hair free from the collar as he tosses it over the back of the chair set against the wall. Technically speaking he could keep his shirt on, if he wanted, but Illumi doesn’t bother to start that losing fight. He just follows, stepping around Hisoka as he pulls up the stool from which he will work and lays the drawing down onto the copier for the transfer paper. Behind him there’s a rustle of fabric as Hisoka strips his pants down his legs and over his feet, but Illumi doesn’t turn for that either until he has the copied image in hand and can turn around to consider the customer whose body will shortly become his canvas.

Hisoka is standing in the middle of the room, completely naked as he tosses his pants to fall atop the heap of his discarded shirt. Illumi can see his own handiwork in the ink spiraling across Hisoka’s spine and reaching up to layer over his chest; there’s a winding vine curling up Hisoka’s calf and a starburst of fireworks spanning the lower part of his abdomen. Illumi’s gaze slides over his past work, marking out the familiar shapes and colors with idle attention as he draws down to Hisoka’s hips, and Hisoka purrs a laugh and angles his knee wide to bare the pale inside of his thigh as he reaches to draw his fingers up across it. “How do you want me?”

He is lilting over the words, turning them sweet and syrupy with innuendo that is significantly aided by the weight of his cock still hanging under its own weight but swelling with a flush of anticipation even as he trails his fingers up and into the crease of his groin. There is no question about the offer he is making, even if Illumi hadn’t heard this exact tone from Hisoka in all his previous visits, and Illumi answers with the same professional distance he gave during those previous engagements as well.

“Sit down on the table,” he says, lifting a hand to gesture to the bed layered with crinkling paper. “Near the edge. Lie back and spread your knees.”

“Mm,” Hisoka purrs. “Yes, sir.” He moves to obey immediately, setting himself at the farthest edge of the bed, and when he lies back he makes a show of the descent as he sprawls over the full width of the table. He angles one arm up over his head so he can let his wrist hang slack over the top edge of the support; the other he drops over his stomach, spreading his fingers wide as if he is feeling out the texture of the previous tattoos Illumi has printed into his skin.

Illumi turns back to his work. He has the transfer paper ready to go; after pulling on a pair of gloves he pushes himself around to where Hisoka has both knees spread open wide to display the inside line of his thighs for Illumi’s consideration. His cock is getting harder, rising from where it had been dangling between his thighs, but Illumi still reaches to press his palm against Hisoka’s balls and the heat of his cock to urge them away from the space against the inside of the other’s leg.

“Right here?” he asks, pressing his fingertips to the space Hisoka had indicated.

Hisoka shudders through his whole body, exhaling hard enough that Illumi can hear the quiver of motion in his throat. “Mm,” he groans. “Right there.”

Illumi ignores the suggestion on Hisoka’s tone. “Okay,” he says instead, and presses the transfer paper up against the inside of Hisoka’s thigh so he can wet the pattern to cling to the other’s skin. It’s somewhat challenging to manage one-handed, while his other is occupied in holding Hisoka’s hardening cock out of the way, but Illumi is practiced enough that he manages without incident, even as Hisoka shudders under his touch. The transfer prints smoothly, leaving a clear outline on Hisoka’s skin, and Illumi slides the paper away and pulls back from where he was leaning in. “Do you want to see it?”

Hisoka laughs, a deep, throaty sound in the depths of his chest. “Yes, please.”

Illumi reaches behind him for the hand mirror hanging off the edge of his work table and holds it up for Hisoka to take. Hisoka holds it up over his hips, tilting the glass to angle the reflection down between his legs as Illumi draws back to give him a better angle to consider the transfer. Hisoka bites his lip and flutters his lashes as he gets a clear look at the outline on his skin.

Yes,” he says. “That’s perfect. Give it to me right there.”

“Alright,” Illumi says, and reaches to take the mirror back from Hisoka’s hold. Hisoka relinquishes it at once and lets his hand fall back over his belly; Illumi pushes away so he can prepare the ink and tattoo gun for this design. It’s easy work, familiar enough that he hardly has to think of it at all, but he still keeps his eyes on what he’s doing instead of glancing back to Hisoka spread out over the table. It’s only once he has everything ready to go that he turns back around to bring his cart of supplies and himself back into position between Hisoka’s open knees.

Hisoka is fully hard, by now.  His legs are spread wide open as Illumi comes closer to brace between them; his cock is dark with heat and curving steeply towards the flat of his stomach, where his fingers are still tracing idle patterns around his skin without making any attempt to touch himself. He’s not looking down at Illumi either; his head is braced back at the topmost edge of the table, canted so sharply against the support that if Illumi were to glance up he would have a better angle on the strain of tension in Hisoka’s throat than on the expression on his face.

He doesn’t look up. As far as Illumi is concerned he has a job to do, a task for which Hisoka is paying him, and whatever show Hisoka is making of himself in the midst of that is an irrelevance so long as Illumi can do his job. Hisoka’s knees are wide and his cock is stiff, but under the circumstances Illumi finds those aspects both to his advantage, as fewer details he needs to worry about as he gets his work done. So he doesn’t complain, and doesn’t ask Hisoka to shift positions; he just leans forward, and lifts one gloved hand to catch Hisoka’s balls and push them aside from his thigh so he can hold them steady as he brings the tattoo gun up to begin the inking process.

Hisoka moans at the first prick of the needle digging into his skin. Illumi can see the muscle running against the inside of the other’s groin flex in instinctive response to the pain, but other than than involuntary reaction Hisoka doesn’t move except to groan in the back of his throat as Illumi begins to outline the design of the tattoo laid over his skin. Illumi glances at his hand holding the other’s genitals back, his attention drawn in spite of himself by the jerk of the cock steadied against his fingertips, but with Hisoka remaining relatively still he sees no reason to voice protest. He slides his hand up higher, tightening his fingers to a better grip at the other’s balls, and turns his attention back to his work without pausing for the sounds that are beginning to pour up Hisoka’s throat to echo off the walls around them.

Illumi doesn’t stop, and neither does Hisoka. Hisoka draws breath every time Illumi lifts the tattoo gun away from his skin, rattling over the gasping inhales as his body quivers with the lingering sensation Illumi’s work brought with it, and as soon as Illumi lowers the needle to bite back into Hisoka’s skin all that hard-won air is spent in another shuddering moan that arches in Hisoka’s back and curls into his fingers where the brightly painted nails are braced against his stomach. Illumi goes on working without acknowledging Hisoka’s increasing volume or arousal as he urges color beneath skin already swollen from his first pass of inking, and against the weight of his palm Hisoka’s balls shift, drawing up tighter towards the base of the cock offering a sluggish drip of precome to spatter over the other’s belly. Illumi continues his work, steady and focused in spite of the rising tide of Hisoka’s appreciation, and on the table Hisoka quakes and moans with as much force as if it is Illumi’s cock penetrating his body and not the ink-dark needle of his tattoo gun.

Hisoka doesn’t ask Illumi to slow down, doesn’t show any indication of discomfort in the situation or his reaction or his experience. He just sprawls over Illumi’s tattoo table, fingernails digging in to score lines of red across his stomach and his far hand reaching up to clutch at the top edge of the table to brace himself as his body flushes hot with sensation. As Illumi comes up the shape of the tattoo to add the last color to the pink bubblegum Hisoka drops his hand from his abdomen and reaches down to seize his grip against the inside line of his opposite thigh. Illumi sees the flash of color against the other’s fingernails, which have been painted into an array of virulent neon, and then Hisoka’s grip tightens and his fingers dig in hard against the muscle at the inside of the leg opposite the side on which Illumi is working. Illumi listens to the rasp of Hisoka’s breathing, sees the thrumming tension quivering through the other’s body before him, and then he tightens his palm to pin Hisoka’s balls and the base of his cock away from his work as he comes in for the last of it. Illumi’s hands steady on the tattoo gun, the hum of the needle lowers to penetrate Hisoka’s thigh, and on the table Hisoka moans all the way in the back of his throat as his cock spurts come over the strain of his chest and stomach. Illumi can feel Hisoka’s cock twitching beneath his palm, throbbing with the waves of pleasure Hisoka is spending over himself, and he keeps his gaze down, and his hand steady, and continues to finish the last lines of the tattoo as Hisoka spends himself into orgasm.

He’s still half-hard when Illumi draws the tattoo gun back, satisfied with the success of his efforts. Hisoka’s balls are drawn up tight against his shaft, well clear of the space where Illumi was working, and even the flaccid weight of his cock is still heavy enough to lie in the puddle of come at his abdomen instead of falling to interrupt Illumi’s efforts. Illumi draws his hands back and slides away from the table so he can collect antiseptic and a bandage to press into place over the swollen ache of the newly inked design, and Hisoka doesn’t shift to bring his knees together. He stays slack over the table, hands hanging heavy and breathing whining on heat, only reacting with a shuddering groan when Illumi rubs antiseptic over the new tattoo.

“I’m about to wrap it up,” Illumi says as he draws his hand away. “Do you want to take a look?”

“Mm,” Hisoka hums, his throat tightening on the sound to lilt it into the shape of a song where he’s lying over the table. “No. I trust you.”

Illumi shrugs. “Alright,” he says, and presses the sticky edges of the bandage into place over the freshly inked skin. Hisoka shifts his thighs a little further apart as Illumi touches him, and slides his hand up along the inside length of his thigh to trail his fingers up over his softening cock as he groans, but Illumi just sticks the bandage down and rocks back from Hisoka’s slack form so he can look up over the length of the table. “You’re finished.”

Hisoka heaves a sigh. “I am,” he says, and lets his hand fall from where he’s idly fondling himself. He grips at the edge of the bed to pull himself to sit upright in one fluid motion. His hair is tangled into a halo of color around his face, his skin is flushed with the lingering heat of arousal; as he looks down at Illumi from the edge of the table he bares his teeth into a smile and cants his head to the side for emphasis. “And what do I owe you?”

“You know the rates,” Illumi tells him, without rising to the bait Hisoka is layering into the singsong of his tone. “This was a small design, it took less than an hour.”

“But I appreciate your work so much,” Hisoka purrs. He brings his knees together and lifts a hand to touch against the come smeared over his abdomen before trailing sticky fingers up across his chest to leave wet fingerprints over the mismatched designs patterned across his chest. He flicks at his nipple with a thumb, arching his back and biting his lip over a shuddering moan at the sensation. “Isn’t there anything I can offer to show my admiration for your artistry?”

Illumi doesn’t blink. “I’m always happy to accept tips.”

Hisoka bares a smile and lowers his lashes. “I’m sure you are,” he says. He drops his hand to the edge of the table and slides forward and off it with no apparent concern about the ache of his new tattoo as his knees hit the floor and he folds in over them to draw closer to Illumi still on his stool. “And I’m always happy to receive anything you want to give me.”

Hisoka slides forward over the floor, slithering nearer until he’s kneeling in front of Illumi and reaching up to lace his fingers in around the waistband of the other’s pants. Illumi doesn’t push him off but he doesn’t offer the surrender of looking aside either. “You’ll still need to pay. In cash.”

Hisoka purrs a laugh from the darkest reaches of his chest. “Oh, I will,” he says. “Your work is worth ten times what you charge me for it.”

Illumi ducks his head. “Alright,” he says, and reaches to brace his hands at the back edge of his stool so he can lean back against their support. “Do what you want, then.”

Hisoka laughs. “You make it sound like such a burden,” he says. His littlest fingers slide under Illumi’s clothes to trail across the texture of the other’s skin. “I’m going to have to persuade you into greater appreciation.”

Illumi shrugs. “You’re welcome to try.” Hisoka laughs at that too, as if Illumi means it as a joke instead of simple sincerity, and then he ducks his head down and draws his hands across to the front of Illumi’s pants. Illumi stays as he is, leaning back into the support of his wrists braced behind him and idly watching as Hisoka unfastens the buttons on his fly with dextrous elegance. Hisoka makes quick work of Illumi’s clothes, laying open the other’s pants and pushing the fabric aside with no indication of hesitation or embarrassment, and in a very few breaths Illumi finds his clothing open over his hips and Hisoka’s sultry gaze fixed on the soft weight of his cock between his thighs.

Hisoka’s lower lip pouts to dismay as put-upon as the flutter of his lashes as he looks up at Illumi. “Not even a little bit excited by getting me off?” His fingers slide down into the weight of Illumi’s opened pants to tug gently over the other’s length. “You must have ice in your veins in place of blood.”

“I’m not much of an exhibitionist,” Illumi tells him.

“Mm,” Hisoka hums, and cracks into a grin up at Illumi. “I’m looking forward to finding out what you are, instead.”

Illumi shrugs. “Be my guest.” Hisoka laughs at that, the amusement crinkling the corners of his eyes and flashing at his teeth, and then he parts his lips and lowers his head so he can suck Illumi’s still-soft cock back into the heat of his mouth.

Illumi doesn’t look away. There’s not much to see, with the way Hisoka is bending over his lap, just the scarlet tangle of the other’s hair and the curve at the back of his neck, but there’s nothing better to look at in the present moment, and the feel of pressure sucking over his cock is interesting enough to hold his idle attention. Hisoka doesn’t seem to be at all fazed by Illumi’s lack of immediate interest; he just takes the whole of Illumi’s soft cock past his lips, working over it with the suction of his mouth and the persuasive slide of his tongue while his fingers dip lower to cradle Illumi’s balls in the cup of his palm. Illumi can feel the heat of Hisoka’s mouth against him, can feel the friction of the other’s grip squeezing against him reach up to the base of his spine, and as Hisoka hums vibration against his lips Illumi’s cock pulses with a surge of heat. It thickens with the sensation, gaining weight and form against the friction of Hisoka’s lips, and Hisoka groans in his chest and urges in closer, until his nose is pressing to Illumi’s hips and his lips are locked tight against the base of the other’s cock. When he swallows Illumi feels the sensation ripple over his length, pulling against him as if to urge his body to greater arousal, and Illumi’s fingers tighten at the back edge of the stool as his cock rises to fill the open heat of Hisoka’s mouth around him.

Hisoka doesn’t pull away. Even as Illumi goes harder, as his cock swells to demand more of the space of Hisoka’s mouth and to threaten the back of the other’s throat, Hisoka only gains force for his movement, as his fingers slide friction over Illumi’s balls and his lips slick wet heat over the base of Illumi’s cock. There’s a rhythm to his movement, a balance between the play of his fingers and the tight suction of his throat as he swallows, and Illumi’s body is flushing hotter in instinctive response, his skin heating and breath catching as Hisoka sucks over the length of his fully-hard cock. Hisoka doesn’t draw back, doesn’t take a moment to gasp for breath or to give Illumi a chance to collect himself; he continues on, urging for more even as Illumi’s heart beats faster with the arousal Hisoka has already coaxed out of him.

Illumi’s shoulders are curving in, his spine shaping itself over the bobbing motion of Hisoka’s head over him; it’s only his white-knuckled grip at the back edge of the stool that is keeping him steady, and even then the stool itself is beginning to shift, rocking back and forth in answer to the rhythm of Hisoka’s movement as Illumi’s legs tremble and his feet lose their stability at the ground. His toes are curling in his shoes, his ankles flexing to strain for traction, and Hisoka is still pulling heat from him, his fingers coaxing at Illumi’s balls and his lips and tongue and throat all working to draw Illumi’s cock as deep into his mouth as it can go. Illumi stares down at the top of Hisoka’s head, listening to the sound of his breathing gasping in his chest, feeling his shoulders shake with the force needed to keep him upright in his chair, and then Hisoka’s grip on him tightens, and Illumi jolts with the sensation that surges through him. It rushes up his spine, clenching in his chest and dropping his jaw open on shock, and when his cock pulses into Hisoka’s mouth Illumi hears himself moan, a sound like pain stretched over the strain of pleasure.

Hisoka swallows, of course. Even in the first white-out of pleasure Illumi can feel the motion in the other’s throat as Hisoka draws Illumi’s orgasm into shuddering length by the slide of his tongue and the flex of his throat. Illumi’s fingers tighten against the chair, his mouth falls open on his breathing, and Hisoka works over him, coaxing Illumi’s orgasm free until Illumi is drained and quivering with the aftershocks. Illumi’s ears are ringing by the time Hisoka finally frees him from the suction of his mouth; by the time Illumi has blinked his vision back into focus Hisoka has rocked back to smirk up at him from behind the dark weight of his lashes over his eyes. He waits until Illumi is watching his face before he moves to lick his lips with deliberate, savoring care. Illumi blinks at him, watching without saying anything, until Hisoka breaks into a crackling laugh and draws back over his heels.

“There,” Hisoka says. “Wasn’t that fun?” He doesn’t wait for an answer before rising to his feet in a long flex of muscle under bare skin; he doesn’t flinch at what must be an ache across his new tattoo and doesn’t try to cover himself as he turns to walk away towards where he cast his clothes when he came in. Illumi loosens his grip at the edge of the stool so he can pull his pants back into place over himself, but his gaze follows the angle of Hisoka’s hips and the curve of the other’s ass as he steps back into his pants with the same fluid grace with which he stripped himself. “I’ve already got some ideas for the next piece. When’s your next availability?”

Illumi doesn’t look away as Hisoka tips his head to smile back at him. “I have an open appointment next week.”

Hisoka pouts. “Next week?” he asks, and tugs his pants up over his hips. “You really can’t make any time before that for me?”

“Not without a cancellation.”

Hisoka tosses his head and heaves a sigh. “Fine,” he says. “It’s not like I don’t like you playing hard-to-get.” He tugs his shirt on over his head before turning back around to where Illumi is still sitting on his stool. “Book me for the next available slot.”

Illumi nods. “And if I have a cancellation?”

“Let me know, of course,” Hisoka purrs, and leans in to touch his fingers against a long lock of Illumi’s hair. “I’m always up for you.” His tone makes the innuendo blatantly obvious, but he doesn’t wait for a reply from Illumi before he’s ducking in over the other. Illumi watches Hisoka lean in closer towards him, lashes dipping on expectation, before he speaks.

“You still owe me for your appointment.”

Illumi can feel Hisoka’s laugh at his mouth. “Of course,” he says. There’s a rustle of fabric, a shift of motion, and when Illumi lifts his hand it’s to take the bills Hisoka is offering to him. Illumi takes the money, and slides it into his pocket, and when Hisoka lifts his chin to urge for a kiss Illumi lets his lips go soft so Hisoka can work his tongue in to taste at Illumi’s mouth. Illumi stays quiet, even as Hisoka groans heat over his tongue, but when Hisoka’s hands brace his head up for the kiss Illumi shuts his eyes, and lets the heat of Hisoka’s presence bleed color into him.