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Sweet Developments

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The first five times Rayet brings Juki cakes, he doesn't think much of it. Rayet is still discovering caks, after all, is still learning to enjoy them as with so many other things he's only just learning to like. And part of enjoying things is in sharing them with other people who like them too; offering them to Ritsuna won't get him much one way or another, since she's not terribly into sweets. But Rayet surely knows that if he takes a slice home, he'll see Juki be as into them as he is.

But when it continues, Juki starts to think it's a little strange. Not that he's not still grateful—cake is always one of life's great pleasures (or, well, the thing he has in the place of a life). But Rayet is spending a good deal of his small earnings on cake, and not just for himself.

So the sixth box that Rayet presses into his hand, Juki hmms and haws over, and immediately feels perfectly terrible as Rayet's face falls.

"Getting tired of cake?" Rayet asks cautiously.

"Not hardly," Juki says, shifting his cane into the crook of his arm as he cradles the box like he were protecting a baby. "No, that's impossible, my sweet boy, I can't imagine that happening. A million years on from now, I'll just be a mass of scars but I'll protect my mouth and stomach so I can keep eating cake."

Rayet makes a brief face as he most likely imagines that, then visibly brushes the thought aside with a hand-wave. "Then what's wrong?"

"Nothing, sweetheart," Juki says. "If you want to give me cake, I'll always happily eat it. I'm not someone to look a gift horse in the mouth! But I happen to know you're still quite new as an acrobat, and familiar as I am with Ritsuna's wage, you can't be making too much? Don't feel you have to get me a cake every time you get one for yourself."

Rayet goes red, then frowns at him. "It's fine. I want to."

Well, Rayet has done few enough things in his life just because he wants to. Juki smiles again, feeling the stitches in his lips stretch wide around it. "Then I won't question further," he says, and stretches even more. Most of his stitches are firm twine, but he uses elasticated twine for his mouth. Since the main purpose is to keep his jaw in the right place, it wouldn't do to make it impossible to eat. "Thanks for the food~"

He shoves the cake in with a noise of pleasure; there's nothing like it in the world. He has few enough earthly pleasures still easily available to him, but this he'll indulge in fully. He can hear himself making distinct noises of pleasure.

It's pure coincidence that this time he opens his eyes from his haze of delight as he sticks the tip of his tongue between his stitches to get some frosting, and pure coincidence he catches Rayet staring at him with longing, cheeks red.

Oh, Juki thinks, suddenly self-conscious of how he looks, how viscerally he enjoys his sweets, how much pleasure he shows. ...Oh.

***

Which leaves him having to decide what to do about it. Sexuality is a mess, and he's thought so since before he died. He's known where his tastes lay for quite a bit longer than he's been dead, but rarely took the opportunity to act on it then, and now... it's been quite impossible. He's never been one to keep himself from interpersonal attachments, of course. If he didn't keep friends as he made them, he doesn't think there'd be much point continuing on like this. It means he has to part with them when the time comes, but that's life, too.

But sex, romance, life partners... On the romance side, it's one thing to want to be with someone, and another to enter any sort of arrangement that could tie them down. Certainly, he'd be open to them seeing anyone else, but even approaching that whole conversation is such a headache that it's just easier to avoid everything. On the sexual side, his body isn't exactly the most robust, and any lover he took would have to greatly restrain their freedom of action in order to not end up with... mood-destroying problems. Juki cuts off his own train of thought with a shudder.

And the problem he's left with is that he doesn't exactly have anyone he can talk to about the situation. Normally he could talk to Ritsuna about anything, but this would just be rude. She's completely open about being into him whether or not he were wired to return his feelings; going Oh, Ritsuna, I think Rayet might want to sleep with me, whatever should I do about that? would be antagonizing a good friend for no reason.

But he doesn't have anyone else.

He'll just avoid thinking about it, he decides finally. He'll play dumb, and Rayet isn't going to probably do more than consider the possibility.

***

Juki finds out he's wrong when Rayet enters his room in the middle of the night. He doesn't feel any fear as he wakes from a dreamless sleep to see black eyes looking into his from the bedside; it's just Rayet, after all, and this incredibly well-trained assassin could certainly take him to pieces long before he could protest. Rayet would never hurt him, though.

"Goodness," Juki says. "It's quite late, isn't it. Are you well?"

"I'm well," Rayet mutters.

"And... can I help you with something?"

Rayet spreads his fingers on Juki's bedspread. "You talked before about an old friend of yours," he says, still under his breath, as if he's afraid of being overheard. "A friend you died alongside. Was he really just a friend?"

"That's a really rude question," Juki says, pulling his blanket up to his chest in mock offense. "Ehhh, why are you asking that?"

"You said you gave your life for him, you said that I'd be disgusted with you—"

"Wah, Rayet is bullying me in my own room!"

Rayet huffs loudly. "I'm not disgusted," he says. "I'm—I like you."

It hangs in the air, that awkward, half-formed confession.

"Rayet," Juki says, and reaches out to push Rayet's overly-long bangs back. "You're a sweet boy, and I adore you, but necrophilia wouldn't suit you well."

Rayet goes white, then red again, then grabs Juki's hand and pulls; he feels his stitches tremble and almost gives way, is forced to lean over with the gesture or have his hand come right off. It leaves him sprawled half over Rayet, who has braced him so he doesn't fall out of bed. "I don't care what you want to call it."

"Rayet..."

"I like you; isn't that good enough?"

"If you like boys, you should find a cute boy you can roll around and indulge yourself with," Juki says. "If you like girls or anyone else, I mean, use your judgment, sweetheart. I can't advise you on that. But you've got a promising future, and plenty of excited fans, you know, and a boy your age will want a better outlet than some old man about to fall apart on him—"

With a hiss, Rayet shifts them so Juki is back on the bed, Rayet on top of him. "You can't tell me what I want," he says. He's not being threatening, even with their position; Juki can tell that much. There isn't any dangerous aura coming off him at all. He's just making it so Juki can't escape, hands and knees on either side of him. "And you're not an outlet. I like you."

"I'm annoying, impossible, and will be the worst sex you can imagine," Juki says, finally blunt. "Honestly, Rayet, We're friends, right? That's enough."

"You haven't said that you're not interested in me."

Juki lets out a plaintive whine. "Because I am, darling, it's just a bad idea."

Rayet stares at him, wide-eyed. "I...I've had lots of bad ideas," he says. "I've acted on them, too."

Juki can't argue that one, and gives up trying. Rayet's here, after all, with a dead demon under his belt, not back killing people for said demon. Juki relaxes under him, looking up. "Sorry then," he says, right before Rayet kisses him.

It's a strange sensation, the stitches rubbing between their mouths, Rayet's tongue pressing between his lips. He wants to protest again, but not for his sake, for Rayet's. And that's unfair, he thinks, even as he feels that unavoidable sense of guilt for not being good enough. Rayet can make his own choices, and he does want this.

He does, though, spend a moment being grateful that the dark ones' magic that keeps him in semblance of life also prevents him from rotting, soft as his flesh is. At worst, he probably tastes like toothpaste.

One way or another, Rayet doesn't pull back, stroking his hair, kissing him, catching at stitches with lips and tongue, exploring his mouth with that sort of single-minded determination that Juki's grown used to seeing from him. It leaves Juki gasping for breath when Rayet finally pulls back, and he's dazed enough to not pull away when Rayet pushes his bangs back.

Rayet's eyes widen, and Juki braces himself for the reaction to the missing eye, the stitches keeping that socket closed, but Rayet doesn't say anything; leans up and kisses that, lightly. It's tender, and loving, and something clenches in Juki's chest. He's wanted this, wanted this feeling, wanted to believe he could have this.

"Rayet, there's a lot in me like this," he warns.

"I don't care," Rayet says.

They strip, and Juki feels uncertain still, especially when he has to take his shirt off and reveal the mass of stitches covering the hole through his torso from when he'd protected Rayet. Rayet still doesn't hesitate, just spreads a hand over it, over how Ritsuna stitched him up so his clothes would at least hang right.

"Not the most elegant solution," Juki begins.

"You're fine," Rayet says. "I can't believe you did this."

And there are tears in his eyes, and Juki can't believe that, doesn't want to, pulls him down to kiss again.

When they get their pants off, Rayet closes a hand around Juki's cock with just a moment's hesitation. "Is this okay?" he half whispers, as Juki, who hasn't felt another person's touch there in forever, jerks into it.

"It's—fine. Good. Yes, lovely," Juki manages, strained. "Just be gentle."

"I can be gentle," Rayet says, and strokes him.

Juki tries to reach over, to reciprocate, but the angle's bad and it puts pressure on his aching limbs, so he just covers his blushing face instead, sucking air as Rayet touches him, strokes him, his rough callused palm drawing on him.

It doesn't take long. Orgasm hits him in a flash, and he shudders, makes a plaintive noise as he feels himself spill. Finally, he dares peek through his fingers, stares at Rayet staring down at his own hand with red cheeks and shocked eyes.

Juki fights the urge to apologize.

"It was good?" Rayet asks, finally, his voice tentative, and Juki reminds himself that he probably comes across as much more experienced than Rayet, somehow.

"You're amazing. Lovely. Move over so I can touch you, sweetheart," Juki breathes, his voice shaky.

Rayet does; doesn't seem to know what to do with his hand, and Juki laughs softly, offers him the corner of the blanket, grins up at him as Rayet goes redder and wipes his hand off. "I'll do the laundry tomorrow," Juki says. "I'll save Ritsuna from that."

"No, I will," Rayet says, fingers kneading the blanket a little as Juki kisses down his chest to his stomach. "Don't go hobbling around in four inch heels with a cane and a basket of laundry."

"You do know me well," Juki says, and sticks his tongue past his stitches to press it to the head of Rayet's cock.

Rayet makes a strained noise. "Is this okay—?"

"I'm confident in my mouth's strength," Juki says. It's true enough. He's put enough food in there to know what won't tear.

"But is it okay?"

And the meaning of the question dawns properly this time. Juki flicks his eye up to look at Rayet along the length of his body, that lean form, all muscle trained to kill, not the body of someone inclined towards pleasure. "I want to," Juki says.

Rayet doesn't protest any further, so Juki licks again, tentative, curls bony fingers around the base and stretches his lips, fitting Rayet's dick in between the stitches.

It's not the most elegant angle; with a stitch through the center of his mouth, he has to come in slightly from the side, head tilted, and his neck will ache later, but he's not sure he cares. He bobs his head slowly, seeing how much he can take, feeling the stitches dragging along the sides of Rayet's cock and hoping that it feels good rather than just strange.

The sound Rayet makes reassures him.

Juki enters an easy rhythm, dragging Rayet in and out of his mouth, saliva dripping from the holes in his lips, swallowing around him on each downstroke, stitches pulling on each upstroke, and he doesn't think he can do this terribly long, doesn't think he could keep going before it became too painful on swollen joints, but it doesn't matter.

Rayet doesn't last long either.

He can't swallow, not ready or prepared or practiced, and doesn't try more than a mouthful, letting Rayet spill over his lips, come dripping from the stitches. He spits into the same corner of blanket they've already dirtied. Then, licking sticky strands from his stitches, he leans back to watch Rayet.

Rayet's eyes go huge at that, and then he squeezes them shut as if he can't handle it. "Oh. Oh wow," he mutters. "Juki, holy shit."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Juki rasps softly, a little pleased with himself.

Rayet goes redder again, and he pushes Juki down into the bed. "Fine. Okay. Good. Go to sleep," he says. Then, "Thanks."

He gets up abruptly, grabbing his clothes, and Juki is left a little uncertain as Rayet withdraws, vanishing into shadows. He feels like he'll stay awake thinking about it, but ultimately he can't; exertion alone tires him, and exertion plus pleasure...

Juki sleeps.

***

And in the morning, Rayet, blushing, brings him a cake for breakfast, and Juki thinks that probably things will be okay after all.