The shrill call of an alarm started ringing, cutting through the otherwise quiet studio apartment. The irritating sound continued to scream bloody murder until, finally, movement on the bed saw a hand shoot out from under the covers and slam itself unceremoniously on top of the alarm, shutting it off. The hand quickly retreated back into the warm cocoon; the body attached to it shifting a little, settling back on its side and carefully keeping its back turned away from the sliding glass door, to protect from the sunlight bathing the room.
A low groan resounded, muffled by the sheets and a lingering sleepiness.
Ren heaved a sigh and slowly opened his eyes, then frowned. Why was the alarm going off on a Saturday, when he didn't have school on Saturdays?
Better yet, he reasoned, since when do I have an alarm to begin with…?
Blinking once, suddenly more awake, Ren stiffened on the spot and became alert, every sense working at the fastest pace. This wasn't Haru's place: didn't smell like it. In his near-panicked train of thought, he didn't notice the presence of someone else's body laying next to him, under the covers, until a quiet hum and the feather-light touch of fingers brushing his wrist made Ren focus his eyes directly in front of him.
Eyes widening as comprehension dawned on him, Ren let out a calming exhale, his body relaxing back into the mattress, far less rigid than it'd been a second before.
Right, his mind supplied now that he wasn't frantic anymore. He could smell the familiar scents: ginger body wash and pine shampoo; the minty remnants of toothpaste mixed into the puffs of exhaled air. The lingering smell of sweat, cum and bodies swaying together was still trapped under the comforter and still sharp in his nose—the scent of sex.
Ren felt his heartbeat speed up at that; in the haze of sleep, he'd forgotten about the definitely unplanned bout of teenage hormones that'd had him pull his best friend to him, had them tumble into bed in a flurry of eager hands and mouths the night before. How could he forget about something like that? He never did.
But then again, he thought, we usually plan these encounters beforehand. Maybe it was the spontaneity of it all that had made it so surprising, his brain had momentarily shut the memory out.
Ren decided quickly that he didn't mind. The memory resurfacing now was a pleasant experience, especially accompanied by the fingers now sliding along his bare navel. When a thumb stopped to brush over his hipbone, Ren brought his attention back to the other's face as Juuzen cracked his eyes open.
«Hey,» Juuzen said, clearing his throat to disperse the gravelly quality of his voice. «'Morning.» A lopsided grin stretched his lips as he watched Ren look at him.
The hand at his hip gently shifted backwards, along his side until it reached the small of his back, and from there, it moved up along his spine in a slightly curved line. Ren let out a deep breath through his nose, the path created by Juuzen's hand spreading warm tingles throughout all of his body. His back arching forward at the pleasant sensations, his chest close enough to touch the other's, Ren let Juuzen nose at his jaw, his eyelids sliding shut. Tiny pecks rained down just below his left ear and his neck, then falling on his cheekbone and temple. When he re-opened his eyes, after a kiss to his nose, Ren noticed how Juuzen had gently guided him on his back; his friend's legs now on either side of Ren's midsection and his hands on either side of his head, holding Juuzen's weight up.
«Everythin' al' right?» Juuzen asked, brows coming together in mild concern.
Ren knew he had to say something in return, both to ease the other's worries and to let him know that this was okay. He couldn't find it in himself to speak out though, so he nodded, and earned himself black eyebrows smoothing out and a smile.
Silence stretched on; not tense or even charged, just the two of them looking at each other and taking everything in—it wasn't the first time Ren had found himself in this position, nor was it the first he'd found himself in it with Juuzen. Yet this morning there was something he couldn't explain. Maybe it was because Ren hadn't planned on staying the night: he'd come over with the idea of studying and going back before dinner, but he'd kept thinking another ten minutes, another five minutes until it was simply too late to avoid Juuzen's offer to eat together, and then again, until it was too late to take the last train.
Funny, how the thought of calling Haru to pick him up hadn't even crossed his mind once. He was also sure he'd forgotten to let Haru know he had decided to sleep over. Strange, how that failed to have panic rise in the pit of his stomach.
Maybe this peculiar calm was caused by Juuzen's blond hair shadowing part of his eyes as it glowed in the sunlight; or by the pale skin of the other's collarbones that were littered with purplish-red marks; or by the upward slant of Juuzen's mouth, shining in the light every time he wet his lips. Maybe this ease of mind was a response to the way Juuzen looked at him: open like he always was yet quiet, patient, happy to let Ren work at his own pace.
He felt a sudden need to kiss his friend.
«Ren,» he couldn't help the tiny shiver running up his spine as his name slipped past the other's mouth, low and from deep in his throat. «Whadja ya want?»
Ren exhaled, not surprised in the least that Juuzen had caught his eyes roaming all over him. He said nothing, instead raising his left arm from where it'd been resting on the mattress, and slipping that same hand past Juuzen's cheek to weave into blond hair. He tugged on it, his heart picking up speed when the other acquiesced to his wordless answer; lips meeting lips with an exhaled breath and a muted hum of approval from each of them in turn.
The chaste kiss was nice and for a while neither tried to move things along, content with the minute amount of friction and the small nips added here and there; no rush.
«Juuzen...» Ren had pulled away just enough to be able to talk; he could feel each of the other's breaths on his lips.
Black eyebrows were raised in curiosity and mild surprise—Juuzen had accepted his apparent decision to stay silent, and was taken aback by Ren breaking his unspoken decision. Albeit not negatively so, if the grin he directed at Ren soon after was any proof.
«I want...» He could feel his stomach twist in knots as the word was uttered, the air in his lungs getting stuck in his throat; his brain telling him to get ready to be cut off, to be called a kid, to be told he couldn't want anything yet.
Juuzen hummed in encouragement, but upon seeing him hesitate, he spoke up. «Yeah, Ren, we can do wha'ever ya want,» he said. Open, trusting, treating him as an equal. Supporting his weight with one hand, Juuzen lifted the other from the mattress to massage the furrow between Ren's brows (he hadn't even noticed he was doing it). «Ya can do wha'ever ya want. With me, to me, anythin'.»
Ren's breathing hitched again, this time for a completely different reason.
It was still so strange… ever since he'd started this sort-of relationship with Juuzen, something akin to friends-with-benefits he supposed, he'd had the freedom to do anything he pleased. There were no strict rules on who could do what; no being left out of the loop, without knowing what was going to happen next; no wondering if his next move would cause a time bomb to go off in the form of cold dismissal and hurtful reiterations of «You're my little brother» and «You're too young» in turns, or guilty apologises embroidered with falsely reassuring words.
Here, there was no being the only one still awake in bed, into the small hours of morning, feeling dirtier and more used than he should have while laying next to the person he loved. Here, he could be himself; not a mix between a brother and a lover left at the mercy of a fickle will. Here, he was allowed to want things. Here, he could breathe easy, in a way he hadn't been able to for a while.
Ren brought his free hand up as well, settling it just over Juuzen's right ear, his fingers curling lightly while he guided the other back down to his lips. He met Juuzen with an open-mouthed kiss, this time, and his friend seemed happy to let him call the shots as he answered to Ren's tongue pushing along his with an appreciative «mmh!».
He ran his tongue along the back of Juuzen's teeth, the roof of his mouth. He felt his friend's tongue lightly tease the underside of his—a whoosh of air leaving him through his nose at the action—and he complied to the silent request, both tongues slowly gliding together.
They separated for air, exchanging nips and licks along each other's lips and jaws and necks. One of Juuzen's hands roaming along Ren's body—from collarbone to shoulder and down his left arm, fingers cradling Ren's, thumb running over his knuckles and the back of his hand; switching over to his chest, caressing down his breastbone and to the side, following the bumps of Ren's ribcage to a ticklish spot just above his hip. He jerked a little, let out a surprised noise and Juuzen chuckled, both sounds muffled in their once-again deep kiss.
Ren's own hands were wound around Juuzen's shoulders, occasionally moving up to tangle in blond hair or down towards his shoulder blades, short nails digging into the skin at a particularly strong shiver of pleasure.
Warm, he thought, smells nice.
The next time they separated, Ren lifted his head from the pillow enough to bury his nose just under Juuzen's right ear, inhaling deeply, a groan pushing past his lips at the scent: the remnants of the Juuzen's shampoo and body wash were still there, but were now overpowered by fresh sweat and the distinct smell of arousal mixing in. The pink dusting Ren's cheeks, which had slowly gathered there in the past minutes of constant, soft touching, darkened considerably in response to the scents. His breathing came in shaky puffs of air, his body going from motionless to fidgety. His cock twitching in interest, already half hard.
«Juuzen,» said Ren, a whisper tickling his friend's ear; Juuzen shuddered in his arms. «I want you.»
It was a vague request, he knew, but at this point Ren couldn't be bothered to be more specific; however the other interpreted it, it'd be fine with him: he just wanted to be closer.
Juuzen answered him with a low hum and a «That's fine for me», then he disentangled his upper body from Ren and stretched to his left, hand rummaging into the second drawer of his nightstand. Once he grabbed the bottle of lube, he settled back on his knees, the duvet sliding down and pooling on top of Ren's calves and feet.
Ren let himself look down the planes of Juuzen's completely exposed front; he bit his lip as he rested them on the other's half-erect cock, a slow exhale slipping past his nose.
«Shouldn't we use… condoms?» Ren didn't know how he was still coherent enough to ask that, but he felt he should anyway; though he was mostly okay with the after-effects of going bareback, now, they did use comdoms at times. He wasn't really worried about diseases—he had only ever had sex with two people, and he knew Juuzen didn't sleep with others.
Haru always made sure to use condoms with him.
Juuzen paused as he was about to pour lube on his hand. «Nah,» he told Ren, «I know ya're fine, so we don't need it. An' we were t'rough't with washin'.» He smirked, before adding as an afterthought: «Unless ya want to use one…? It's fine if you do!»
Ren shook his head, wordlessly telling the other he was OK with it if he was.
«Cool.» Juuzen grinned down at him.
A second later, a hand was extended toward Ren, taking ahold of his wrist. Ren was pulled up to a sitting position gently; his hand, still held loosely in Juuzen's grip, was turned palm-up. Lube was poured on his fingers, Ren instinctively thumbing at the transparent substance, brows furrowed in mild confusion. He was about to ask Juuzen if the other wanted him to prepare himself, but the words died in his throat—Juuzen had guided his lubed-up hand down between his thighs, below his cock and balls, to rest the pads of Ren's fingertips between the cleft of his ass.
All air left Ren's lungs in a low groan of Juuzen's name. He could feel the shudder running up Juuzen's spine, their chests pressed together as they were.
«Yeah, Ren,» Juuzen said, voice slightly shaky and face growing pinker. «Ya should fuck me.»
The other barely had time to finish that sentence before Ren shoved his free hand in blond hair, pulling Juuzen in for a rough kiss; all teeth and tongue, small moans and the sound of smacking lips filling the otherwise silent room.
Juuzen finally let go of his right hand, busying himself with groping at every inch of Ren's body while they kissed. Ren tentatively rubbed the pad of his index finger over Juuzen's puckered hole, spreading lube over it to try and ease the subsequent penetration. He slowly pushed the finger inside, his friend lurched forward a little at the sensation and their cocks came in contact with each other; both moaned, hips shifting forward in search for more of the same feeling, but Ren, though reluctant, released Juuzen's hair to bring his clean hand at the other's side.
«I'll c-cum before I'm even done preparing you...» whispered Ren. «And I really want to f-fuck you...»
Juuzen grinned, nodding. «T-then hurry up, or I'll be the one cummin' just from your fingers—not that I'd mind jus', not this time 'k?»
Ren's cock twitched at the thought of making the other come from his fingers buried deep inside him; he hid his burning face into Juuzen's clavicle, sucking and nipping at it while he went back to move his fingers. He worked two digits inside Juuzen as quickly as he deemed safe, the encouraging moans and calls of his name every time he brushed his friend's prostate spurring him on. By the time Ren had three fingers spreading the other's hole open, they were both panting hard and leaking pre-cum.
«I-it's fine... Ren,» Juuzen stuttered out as Ren teased more firmly his prostate. «How do ya want to do this? Want me ta— nh! —ride ya?» he asked after Ren pulled his fingers out.
Ren shook his head slowly, then, «On y-your back?» he said, uncertain. He stared off to the side, avoiding Juuzen's eyes because his face had went up in flames.
«Sure!» Came the other's answer, easy and immediate. Ren's shoulders relaxed and he shifted his gaze back to Juuzen, who smiled at him and cradled his face in his hands, kissing him affectionately.
Once they separated, they switched position; Ren kneeling between Juuzen's spread legs, the unused pillow placed under Juuzen's hips to lift his lower body up for both of their comfort.
Ren looked down at his friend's flushed and slightly sweaty body in wonder. The upper part of Juuzen's torso blossoming with purplish-red and dark red hickeys; bite marks here and there; his lips swollen from so much kissing; his shoulder blades and back, though hidden at the moment, marked with scratches Ren's nails had left behind the night before—all traces Ren had left, with his own hands and mouth.
All of them an impression of himself etched on Juuzen, time and time again. Silent acceptance and permission to mark him as Ren's own; something he could never do to Haru.
Now Juuzen was opening an even bigger and more important part of himself, giving Ren something had never dreamed of getting from anyone.
There was a lump in his throat, when Ren finally pushed inside Juuzen (the other had apparently used Ren's lapse of inner-thinking to coat his cock in lube); he couldn't explain the swirl of emotions clashing in his chest, but it didn't matter, not when Juuzen wrapped his arms around his shoulders and brought Ren's mouth just above his heart; Ren felt it beat like crazy beneath his lips and he placed a kiss there, tongue flicking out to lick at a bead of sweat while he settled himself fully inside Juuzen.
«Ren...» Juuzen moaned, a shiver coursing through his body when Ren bottomed out.
«You alright...?» Ren asked, breathing heavily and doing his best to keep still for the other to get used to the feeling of a cock inside him.
Juuzen nodded. «'M fine, ya can move or we'll both be done before even doing anythin'...» he joked after a minute, smirking up at Ren.
Ren let out a light laugh, then straightened himself up to have more leverage, hands running down Juuzen's side only to settle at his hip bones, fingers digging into the taut skin there. He took a deep inhale, brought his hips backwards and Juuzen's breathing itched against a low whine; slowly, Ren slid back in, this time he could feel the tightness and warmth clenching around his cock, a loud moan leaving his lips at the sensation. Finding a rhythm after the first couple of thrusts wasn't difficult, but every push into Juuzen—every clench of the other's walls around him, every moan in the form of Ren's name uttered by Juuzen, every spasm of the other's muscles as he pushed back to meet Ren thrust for thrust, every twitch of Juuzen's own cock and every drop of pre-cum gathering at its head and oozing along its length—threatened to have Ren cave in and cum, so he did his best to keep an unhurried pace for as long as he could.
Ren found Juuzen's prostate and the other groaned in approval. «Ren! Ah! T-there, keep hittin' it!»
Doing as asked, Ren yelped when one of Juuzen's hands flew to grope at one of his ass-cheeks, causing him to falter in his rhythm. «Faster, Ren, please,» his friend pleaded, his dark eyes bright with what Ren supposed were unshed tears of pleasure (his own probably were too) and passion.
«Yeah...» Panting, Ren pulled backwards, gripped Juuzen's hips tighter (nails no doubt leaving half-moons etched into the skin), and thrust back inside with a quick, deep push. «Nngh-aah! » He repeated the action over and over, eyebrows pinched together, eyes screwing shut, a few tears sliding down his cheeks, and chin tucked at the juncture of his collarbones. «Juu… ze—nnh! »
«Feels great, R-Ren—fu-fuck! You f-feel great, Ren—mngh! »
Streams of moans, grunts and loud breathing filled the room along with the sounds of skin slapping against skin. Messy, open-mouthed kisses, with tongues dancing against each other, took the place of passion-filled love bites and sucking on random patches of skin, and vice-versa; fingers raked over skin and tangled into blond and black hair.
«Ren, 'm 'bout to—» Juuzen warned, one hand reaching down to pump at his dripping cock, it was an angry red by now and begging to be touched.
Ren's rhythm had grown erratic, his mind buzzing with white noise and his heartbeat in his ears; he was a few steps ahead of Juuzen. «C-com—» Juuzen's walls around his cock tightened, the other's nails digging into his ass-cheek again, and he was gone. «Juuzen…!»
Ren emptied himself inside Juuzen; his friend finishing soon after with a groan of Ren's name on his lips. Slow pumps and shallow thrusts helped them milk their orgasms, as well as easing them back down from their high.
A couple of minutes later, breathing still heavy but quieting down, Ren pulled out of Juuzen and collapsed on top of him; he hummed in contentment when arms winded around his midsection, feeling sated and slightly sleepy.
«Wanna go back ta sleep?» Juuzen's voice was raspy but soothing. Ren nodded, wrapping his own arms around the chest under him and burying his nose at the hollow of Juuzen's collarbone. «Al' right.» Shifting a little, Juuzen managed to grab the duvet and pull it over them both.
It wasn't long before Juuzen fell asleep, his light snores and puffs of air the only noises in the tiny apartment.
Safely held in the other's arms, Ren fought the heaviness of his eyelids. There was something nagging at the back of his head; the same thing that he had tried ignoring for the last couple of days… though now he wondered if it hadn't been there, in a corner, since long before that. Ren tried to wrap mind around it, coming up empty handed no matter how long he mulled over it.
Eyes straying from Juuzen's sleeping face to the nightstand at his right, Ren found himself staring at his cellphone. Turned off or run out of battery, he cared not for recalling.
For the second time that day, Ren realized he hadn't contacted Haru in almost twenty-four hours: he had left the house only saying he was going out, so right now, Haru didn't know where he was or with who, or doing what. He must be worried sick by now, probably out and about to look for Ren—maybe he'd find out Juuzen's address and he'd come over; only to find his "beloved younger brother" sleeping with his blond classmate and best friend, completely naked, sticky with cum and covered in a multitude of marks all over his body.
There was no sense of dread as he thought that; no vengeful satisfaction either.
He turned his head back towards Juuzen, a small smile tugging at Ren's lips as he watched the other mumble in his sleep and try to pull him closer, as impossible as it was anyway.
It was then that the realization finally came, the insistent thought he couldn't quite unravel up until that very moment of quiet observation. It wasn't the metaphorical punch to the gut Ren had imagined, or the figurative shattering of his soul. The realization came with a slight widening of his eyes, still firmly trained on Juuzen's peaceful face; his heart didn't start beating faster, Juuzen's scent and warmth, so close, still having their soothing effect on him.
The realization came quietly.
Ren no longer loved Haru.