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Log (September 2016)

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1. "You're the only one I trust to do this." Haikise. for pueppiesblog

Ryouta’s not exactly sure why Shougo had asked him to come along to the tattoo parlor; he knows how much Ryouta can’t stand needles and that’s one of the few things that Shougo considers off-limits to tease him about most of the time—and even if it wasn’t, he wouldn’t take Ryouta to a place like this for hours just to torture him. Wouldn’t it be a better idea to take his brother or one of his other friends?

But Shougo had asked him (well, okay, told him) and Ryouta’s not going to argue because it’s clearly important to Shougo (and he’d even half-apologized for the needles thing, not that it really makes anything better), and so here they are two blocks away, Ryouta’s hands fisted in the pockets of his coat.

“You okay?” says Shougo.

Of course he’s not okay; even thinking about all those needles stabbing Shougo’s skin (and who cares about the place’s repute? That stuff’s never safe; it’s such a huge risk for infection) and all that pain, even vicariously, especially vicariously, is not appealing) and even thinking about it he’s already slightly nauseous.

“Okay,” says Shougo, and he turns around.

“Huh?”

“If you’re really that freaked out about it then let’s not.”

“But what about your tattoo?”

Shougo shrugs; his cheeks are flushed and it’s not from the autumn breeze. “Well…you’re the only one I trust to do this.”

Wait, what?

“I mean,” says Shougo, pulling at the end of one of his braids, “I know this stuff freaks you out, but because it does you’re going to see something wrong if it’s there and pay attention to that shit and, like. You’d make sure I didn’t overlook any safety things and that they weren’t fucking up the design and. You know.”

“Shougo-kun…”

“But yeah, I still shouldn’t have asked you.”

He looks so cute all sheepish like this, and Ryouta almost wants to accept the real apology he’s probably not going to give.

“Besides, if you faint I want both my arms free to catch you.”

Ryouta rolls his eyes (Shougo’s never going to let that one go) and Shougo starts walking again, in the direction they’d come from. Ryouta catches up to him a second later and grabs his hand. Normally Shougo would ask him to buy them both lunch or something, but right now he’s just blushing harder. Maybe (not today, but someday) watching those needles will be worth it.


2. “This is without a doubt the stupidest plan you’ve ever had. Of course I’m in.” Aomido. for iwa-kages

“Okay,” says Aomine, and he claps his hands, looking from Midorima to Kuroko and back to Midorima.

“Yes, Aomine-kun?”

“I have a plan.”

He glances in a way that’s so obviously fake-sneaky toward the other team that Midorima’s sure if he looked at Kuroko one of them might actually laugh.

“And?” says Midorima.

“Midorima-kun, can Takao-kun read lips?”

“I’m sure if he can, that won’t make Aomine’s…plan any less likely to succeed.”

“Aw, Babe, you flatter me,” says Aomine, and Midorima weighs the merits of gagging Aomine with his scarf right about now (knowing him, he’d ask if this was a sex thing and they’d still be very far away from having any actual strategy for this pickup game).

Kuroko is raising an eyebrow, and clearly he’d caught Midorima’s meaning (and he’s known Aomine longer than Midorima has and is also quite familiar with his so-called brilliant pans).

“Anyway, Midorima takes the tipoff, then you pass it to Tetsu who alley-oops it to me and I’m already down at the other end to stuff it in!”

He grins at both of them and holds out his arms as if looking for applause. Midorima wants to say that it’s ridiculous and that it might be more efficient if he passed it to Kuroko who passed it to Aomine outside the three-point line (because really, the chances that Kagami, Sakurai, or Takao would follow him instead of the ball and catch up to him are pretty low) except Takao knows it’s him and that’s what he’s going to argue for, and this plan relies on Midorima winning the tipoff against Kagami in the first place (or at least stealing it from him right away somehow) and it’s incredibly flawed, but so simple…Midorima sighs.

“This is without a doubt the stupidest plan you’ve ever had. I’m in.”

“I knew I could count on you,” Aomine says, slinging his arm around Midorima’s shoulder and placing a sloppy kiss on his cheek, and he is so embarrassing (and this was absolutely not a factor in Midorima’s decision to go along with this).


3. “You fainted…straight into my arms. You know, if you wanted my attention you didn’t have to go to such extremes.” Takakuro. for anon.

The words around him fade into a buzz; there’s only the sway of his knees as he reaches out into thin air, but his arm isn’t really responding and his eyes flutter shut and Kuroko falls.

When he opens his eyes the world is still spinning; voices murmuring around him are slowly coming into focus and he’s aware that he’s not resting on solid ground, but on a bar—no, someone’s arm. Takao’s arm.

“Kuroko? You okay?”

Kuroko blinks at him.

“You fainted…straight into my arms. You know, if you wanted my attention you didn’t have to go to such extremes.”

“Oi, don’t be an ass, Takao,” someone says and Kuroko tries to see who it is.

“Easy, easy,” says Takao. “Can you stand?”

Kuroko’s mouth is dry and his forehead is leaking sweat against his hair and his heart is beating wildly, but it might have something to do with the way Takao is holding him, the way he’d said that line so casually. So he refrains from saying anything, maybe because he wants Takao to hold onto him just a little more.

“Kuroko? Kuroko Tetsuya? Hello?”

And yeah, the way his breath is caught in his throat and the heat on his face probably have nothing to do with dehydration or low blood sugar, but they’re making him feel like he might pass out again.


4.“Have you lost your damn mind!?”/“Wait a minute. Are you jealous?”. Midokise. for sammicass

“I’ll get us some more drinks,” says Asano. “Want anything, Midorima?”

Midorima shakes his head, more curt even than his usual, and he’s practically glaring at Asano as she walks off, chatting up a few other models on the way. Midorima doesn’t like parties that much; Kise’s well aware, but this is even worse than usual, as if he’s trying to be a stick in the mud. And he doesn’t seem to like Asano very much, even though she’s been perfectly nice to him (and Kise’s talked about her before and he truthfully doesn’t have anything bad to say; she’s pleasant to work with and they can talk shit about the photographers together).

“I don’t like her,” Midorima says.

“Why not? She hasn’t been rude to you or anything, Midorimacchi…do you know her?”

Midorima shrugs. “I just…don’t, okay? I don’t know; she might have ulterior motives and if I were you I’d be careful.”

Ulterior motives? “Have you lost your damn mind?”

“Excuse me? I’m your boyfriend; I’m worried about you.”

“And Asano’s just—wait a minute. Are you jealous?”

Midorima’s frown tells Kise everything, even before he starts to snap out a retort. Honestly. And he should have seen that as the issue a mile away, but of course he hadn’t because there’s nothing to be jealous of. He and Asano aren’t like that and as long as he’s with Midorima (and hopefully that’s a very long time) they never will be.

“Midorimacchi, I promise you there’s nothing going on. We’re just work acquaintances, okay?”

Midorima’s already stuttering and adjusting his glasses.

“I’m sorry, that was—foolish of me to assume, out of something so silly—”

And then Kise kisses him, quick and easy and from far away he might have been leaning in to whisper into Midorima’s ear, but the dumbstruck look on Midorima’s face is so beautiful Kise wants to do it again.


5. “I’ve seen the way you look at me when you think I don’t notice.”. Klance. for anon.

Okay, so maybe he has a little crush on Keith. A little, itty-bitty, tiny, tinier-than-Earth-looks-from-here crush on Keith, but nothing more than that. But that’s fine; it’s normal; it’s not because Keith is cool or anything (and it’s not because of the mullet); it’s one of those weird and unexplainable things from staying so close to each other for so long. That’s it. But Lance can live with that, and he can sate that stupid thing inside of him that makes his heartbeat fluctuate by sneaking glances at Keith every now and then (but only every now and then). And that’s that; someday he’ll sweep a pretty girl off her feet and forget he ever thought about Keith that way and they’ll go back to simply being rivals.

At least, that’s the plan, but then they’re training and everyone else has to beg off after the seventh level on the gladiator because Pidge is hungry and Shiro thinks he’s worked out enough and Hunk is tired and then all of a sudden it’s just him and Keith and the gladiator, and soon enough they’ve kicked its robot ass again. And it’s just him and Keith, and Keith is wearing that super-tight shirt that shows off everything especially when he’s sweaty, and he’s about to raise a bottle of water to his lips (and Lance isn’t going to think too much about that) and then he stops.

“By the way, Lance, is there something you want to tell me?”

Lance blinks. “Um? Tell you?”

There’s no way he knows; it’s not like Lance has been whispering his name into his pillow (as if) or wondering about what it would feel like to kiss him in the middle of their conversations, nope, no way. And he’s been so subtle about looking—

“I’ve seen the way you look at me when you think I don’t notice.”

“Are you kidding?”

“No, you’re about as subtle as a Galra ship firing on all cylinders.”

“Oh, yeah? Well you’re—you’re—”

And Lance isn’t sure what makes him do it, but he plants his lips firmly against Keith’s and oh, yeah, this feels good. Keith tastes good, fresh and spicy like cinnamon, and his lips and tongue are warm and wet and way better than Lance has ever imagined.

And then they break apart, both panting, and Lance is pretty sure his face has settled into a grin (and Keith is sort of smiling, too).

“I’m pretty sure I just won that argument.”

“I wasn’t aware we were arguing,” says Keith, and so Lance kisses him again.

Just to shut him up.


 

6. “No one needs to know.” Aomine + Kagami. for pueppiesblog

“So, Kagami, where else do you keep your gravure and stuff?”

Kagami would say he’s glaring at Aomine right now, but he’s pretty sure the reflexive disgust is overriding all of that (but the effect should be the same).

“I don’t keep it in the living room any longer since a certain someone thought it was okay to snoop around in someone else’s house.”

“What? It’s the natural curiosity of a man,” says Aomine.

“Did you come over to look at that stuff here or to hang out with me?” says Kagami.

“Both,” says Aomine, but then he grins. “Kidding, no, I’m here to hang out. You should see the look on your face.”

Maybe they should have stayed at the park and played basketball, or gone out to eat or something other than this.

“You want to watch TV?” Kagami says, before Aomine can say anything else on the subject.

“Sure,” says Aomine.

There’s a soccer game on; Aomine’s more familiar with the players (his parents are fans of the league) and the game’s pretty interesting, weird bounces and a couple of really nice defensive moves. But soccer has to take commercial breaks, and the conversation peters out when it does.

“Are you sure you can’t tell me where you keep them? It’ll be our little secret,” says Aomine.

Kagami considers hitting him with the remote, but violence never solved anything. “No one needs to know. Especially not you.”


7. "Have I entered an alternate universe or did you really just crack a smile for me?” Miyataka. for uneplumesombre.

Losing to Rakuzan had been bad enough. Crying with everyone else, having their dream shot out from under them by an unstoppable force, giving each other hope only to find out Rakuzan had just been playing with them over and over again, had sucked. And Takao could barely even look Miyaji in the eye, because he’s got two more years and Miyaji doesn’t; he and the other underclassmen have gone so far and might go farther next year but this is it for Miyaji; this is the end of the road; this is as far as it goes.

It does go a little bit farther, though; there’s one more bend and that’s what makes it worse, knowing that this is it and the greatest glory they’ll get is third place against a team whose best player is too hurt to play another game and who’d lost with more dignity on a cheap shot than Shutoku had in the semifinals. And it’s over before they know it; it’s done and gone and they’re watching the first-place match from the bleachers and Seirin topples Rakuzan by pulling stupid tricks that Shutoku could do better and it’s too hard to watch.

And somehow he ends up on the bus alone in the darkness of the winter afternoon with Miyaji (his brother had gone off with his friends or something and Takao is half-grateful and half-terrified). What can he say? They’ve both cried a lot more than Takao thought either of them capable of; maybe Takao’s not done. The weird sappy part of him says he wants to stay playing basketball with Miyaji forever, and who says they can’t? But he can’t say it’ll be the same; he knows it won’t. And that’s the thing about good stuff, good teams; they never really last. And soon Miyaji will be graduating and going off to college, and maybe he won’t want to be with Takao anymore; maybe—but no, Takao’s not going to think of it that way (but it’s so hard not to when he already feels like the bus might disappear under him and let him fall crashing to the ground).

“Hey,” Miyaji says.

It’s their stop. When they get off the bus groans as it staggers away like some old drunk, and there they are alone in the dark. It’s cold, feels colder than it should be because Takao can’t even see his breath but he’s huddled with his hands in his jacket.

“Takao. Look,” says Miyaji, and Takao does look, up into his face. “It’s going to be okay.”

And then he moves his face into an approximation of—what, exactly? A grimace? And then it hits Takao that this is probably his idea of a comforting smile, and the whole thing seems so ridiculous and silly that he starts to laugh.

“Have I entered an alternate universe or did you really just crack a smile for me?”

“Shut up,” Miyaji mutters. “I’ll run you over.”

But his fingers are fiddling with Takao’s hair, pushing it away from his forehead, and he’s smiling a real smile now, and maybe things aren’t okay right now but Miyaji’s right. They will be.


8. “Do you…well…I mean…I could give you a massage?” Kagahimu. for clo.

Tatsuya never says when he’s tired and sore but it’s always obvious. He steps a little more gingerly, moves more slowly in general, bites his lip to keep from wincing when he has to bend over to get something (and he will just to prove he can even when Taiga tries to get there first) and whenever Taiga brings it up they argue about it. And it might be Tatsuya’s inherent stubbornness, that unwillingness to admit that he can’t or shouldn’t do something, or it might be the jet lag when he’s sore because his company’s too cheap to buy him good seats on the plane back from those stupid business trips (and Taiga always offers to pay for the upgrade to first class and Tatsuya always says no).

But today it’s a little worse than usual; today Tatsuya’s flopped back on the couch in a certain position that looks relaxed if you don’t know him, and like he might be sleeping, but he definitely isn’t. His visible eye is closed; his breathing is even; he looks almost peaceful. But his body’s too stiff and when he’s really sleeping he moves and mumbles wordless little things (and he’d even done that last night when he’d come back dead tired and flopped down in bed next to Taiga still wearing a three-piece suit).

“Tatsuya?”

“Mm?”

He cracks his eye open, scanning Taiga up and down, and Taiga forgets what he was going to say, what he was going to do. He can’t ask how he can help; that’s too easy for Tatsuya to dodge but there has to be something he can do to make it a little better.

“Do you…well…I mean…I could give you a massage?”

“A massage?”

His tone’s not too guarded or too ready to shut Taiga down, so he takes it as encouragement, reaching over to squeeze Tatsuya’s shoulder. Tatsuya’s eye widens and he gasps, leaning back into the gesture, and Taiga smiles.

“Just humor me?”

Tatsuya hums; Taiga squeezes his shoulder again and this time he makes an audible noise with his intake of breath, and this time Taiga feels the knot under his skin. He doesn’t have to ask for Tatsuya to turn around and scoot backward and get into position, but he doesn’t know where to start, where exactly Tatsuya’s back is seizing up—but then, he might as well start anywhere.

And there’s that knot in Tatsuya’s shoulder that he’d just felt. Taiga squeezes again, nudging with the fingers on his right hand and kneading with those on his left. Tatsuya sighs and tenses his shoulders.

“Relax…” Taiga murmurs.

He kneads Tatsuya’s skin, pushes at the knot until it begins to loosen, digs his knuckles in and listens for the sound of Tatsuya getting just a little bit more loose and comfortable. This is going to be a long process, but it’s already worth it.


9. “I think I’m in love with you and I'm terrified.” Midokise. for tsukki-chin.

“I think I’m in love with you,” Midorima whispers.

Kise half-expects him to follow it up with an admission of the fear that is gripping his voice and his eyes, some kind of “and I’m terrified” or a “but I can’t handle it”, but none comes. It’s not that Midorima thinks he can lie to Kise (he can’t stretch the truth when it comes to the most mundane kind of thing) or even that he’s in some sort of denial, because that fear in his voice isn’t a surprised kind, a kind that had languished in his head until he’d forced himself to spit out the words.

Because it’s terrifying. For someone like Midorima who takes so much pride in being prepared, who is as certain as possible about everything he does down to the last detail, it’s terrifying—this mess of emotions, this jumble of feeling knotted as their fingers are when they’re sitting on the couch, exploding in their arguments, jolting when they fumble with each other’s clothes, the uncertainty of every move, the twisting directions an inability to see two meters in front of them (wherever they’re headed on this course). And for Kise it’s exhilarating; it’s the thing that keeps him guessing (he will never get tired of Midorima, never predict him completely) and despite that it’s pretty scary for him, too (because when you’re used to everything boring you, everything wearing out, this unknown is what you’ve wanted but still somehow a little bit uncomfortable even as you settle). But the ball’s in his court now; Midorima’s placed it there, with trepidation but staring him in the eye, and Kise’s no coward (and he will prove over again that he is no less than what Midorima deserves).

“I love you, too,” he whispers back.


10. Tickle Fight. Hance. for nashiiyo.

He’s lying on the bed, running his hands up under Hunk’s shirt while Hunk nuzzles and kisses at his neck, when it happens. Lance slides his hands back down Hunk’s stomach, scrapes his fingertips over the smooth skin and Hunk jerks back, half-laughing. Right—he always forgets about how sensitive Hunk is right there. Always, until they’re feeling each other up and he moves his hands the wrong way, and it’s not his fault Hunk’s so ticklish or that the laugh he gives in response always sounds so real and good.

“Lance,” Hunk says, trying to steady himself on the bed, and saying it like that only makes the idea of getting him right there again even more enticing.

So Lance goes for it, reaching his hands up again and poking Hunk’s stomach through his shirt, right above his navel, feeling the flesh give and the ripple of Hunk’s body in response.

“You know what,” Hunk says, and drops down to the bed on top of Lance.

He doesn’t finish the threat; Lance is trying to wiggle out but the implication is there already and then Hunk squeezes his sides and Lance feels his body spasm, his knees turn as he laughs, trying to kick Hunk off of him (and oh, God, what if Hunk goes for those next). Hunk reaches up again, but Lance twists away and this time Hunk manages to grab his ass (and Lance is very thankfully not ticklish there). For a second Lance thinks he might be turning it back into a make-out session, but then his hands are moving up with a very clear motive and Lance twists again, finally wriggling out from under Hunk’s body.

Hunk’s in prime position for Lance to make a dive and slide his fingers in between Hunk’s neck and shoulder, but Hunk’s gotten way better at dodging and Lance almost doesn’t make it. Even so, Hunk’s only at his mercy for half a second before he strikes back. Lance dodges his lunge completely, and when Hunk’s sprawled out on the bed next to him he makes his move. He goes straight for the backs of Hunk’s knees, his most ticklish spot.

Except Hunk’s been playing him this whole time; he’s not out of breath and he hasn’t sunk deep into the bed; he sits up straight and catches Lance right under his armpits and Lance’s last coherent thought is a curse before everything is Hunk’s fingers. They prod at sensitive skin, ghost over the edges, squeeze through the fabric of his shirt, and Lance can feel his body squirm, involuntary and uncontrollable, as Hunk lifts him onto his lap, still with that grip. His breath is starting to come in short gulps; he’s fairly certain he’s not making much noise if anything, even as his stomach folds like an accordion with laughter. And then Hunk lets go. His arms fall away, and Lance is left still squirming with pent-up discomfort.

He’s gasping for air; his body’s still halfway trying to laugh but that’s really not helping. When Hunk flops back against the bed Lance rolls off, and the feeling of needing to wriggle like a half-exposed earthworm is beginning to ebb. Hunk’s breathing hard too, but he’s way closer to normal and he could probably reach over and start tickling Lance again in a few seconds if he really wanted to.

“You win,” Lance gasps out.

“Oh?” says Hunk. “What was that?”

Lance tries to glare at him, but it’s kind of undermined by his open mouth and heaving chest (and Hunk doesn’t even try to look intimidated or taken aback). Still, Hunk rolls over and reaches out an arm; Lance almost tries to roll away but he’s pretty sure Hunk’s not going to start tickling again. And he doesn’t, draping his arm loosely around Lance’s waist and tugging him a little bit closer, waiting for Lance’s breathing to even out. He’s not even waiting for an answer, as it turns out. He kisses Lance on the forehead, then moves back down to his nose, then to his mouth, lingering just a little bit (but not too long to steal away all of Lance’s breath again).

“You want to pick up where we left off?”

“Yeah,” says Lance. “Yeah.”

They both grin into the next kiss.


11. Inured. Kise. for uneplumesombre

It’s been five years since the injury and Kise’s long since become inured to its effects. It’s not that it still hurts; it’s not that it’s still unhealed; it’s just the little things like how when he rolls that ankle it resonates, stabs, stays stiff in the morning for a week afterwards. Or it’s how he tends to favor his other leg and sometimes has to consciously tell himself to walk evenly, to build up both. It’s how no matter how he’s doing, if he’s just sunk five threes and hasn’t broken a sweat and then rises up to block the next shot, he’s never going to feel invincible. No matter how well he does, someone might be there to cut him down.

But at this point he knows all of this; at this point it’s not something to panic about, something to fear. It’s a fact—but Kise’s always been good at defying those.


12. Puissance. Nijihimu. for justlikeswitchblades

Shuu’s got enough raw power, enough strength, enough puissance, to seem like a fucking force of nature when he’s angry. Tatsuya hasn’t seen that very often, but once in a while he’ll catch a glimpse and there’s something about it, something about the messy and uncontained emotion, spilling over onto everything but never lessening in intensity, that makes him fall for Shuu all over again and a little more each time. It’s in his expression, whether he’s glowering at a target or the adrenaline is making him smile, makes him glow like a neon sign or the lights of an airplane cutting through the smoggy sky at night. It’s his words, the rawness in each bite of air. It’s how he can strike a man down with a well-placed kick, how he can move to shield Tatsuya even though he knows Tatsuya can fend for himself (and that makes something swell in Tatsuya’s stomach that he doesn’t want to think about). It’s the warmth in his hand when Tatsuya takes it, the way the power still clings to him like an aura as he drapes his arm around Tatsuya’s shoulders.


13. Gaucherie. Aomido. for clo

Maybe Midorima shouldn’t have asked his sister for dating advice. Her advice is probably good, and it might be better for him to be like this than to have no idea where to go, but as it is now he has too many things to remember (it’s like cramming for a test he’d only learned of two days prior, when he doesn’t have enough time to color-code his notes) and he’s all too aware of his own gaucherie every time he makes a misstep.

Ask him about himself; ask him about school; don’t ask him about school because he doesn’t pay attention; ask him about basketball; don’t talk about basketball because that’s all you two ever talk about. Lean in toward him; don’t knock over your water glass because you’re suddenly clumsy and this chair is too small for your frame; don’t make a sound when he laughs (he’s probably not laughing at you—okay, he’s definitely laughing at you) and don’t dwell except you’re already—

“Midorima,” says Aomine.

He’s paused, holding his chopsticks in midair and they’re still full of vegetables. Midorima dabs at his wet sleeve again.

“Chill.”

Midorima’s mouth is moving toward an involuntary pout, and Aomine sets down his chopsticks.

“I like you, okay?”

The tips of Aomine’s ears are pink, and he looks away from Midorima’s face and scratches his head, and Midorima’s heartbeat slows. His fist unfurls.

“Okay,” he says.

Aomine looks back at him. Their knees bump under the table, and all remaining thoughts fly out of Midorima’s mind.  


14. Quixotic. Hara. for harakazuyas

Hara wouldn’t really consider himself an idealist. Sure, he wastes his pocket money on bubble gum and doesn’t worry too much about the future, but all in all he’s a pretty practical guy. He does most of his homework (and okay, he copies some of Seto’s but Seto lets him) and thinks about the future and knows he’s going to have to get a job doing something (presumably not very much, or as little as he can get away with) and not everything’s going to be carefree and idyllic.

But on the flip side, all that’s pushed off to the future, not something to worry about right now. And he shouldn’t be worrying when he’s got basketball games to play and friends whose asses he can kick at Mario Kart (and who kick ass with him on the basketball court), but maybe that’s the real point. Maybe he’s not a clean-living, upstanding, ordinary high school student who’d star in a shitty shounen manga that goes on for 400 chapters, but he’d be stupid not to realize his life is pretty damn close to that.

So maybe he’s just a little quixotic. It’s not like it hurts him to be that way (and maybe he should say that to Hanamiya; that might be fun).


15. Hortatory. Sheith. for zekkenflash

“Keith, what are you doing?”

“I’m going in,” he says, and the transmission probably reaches Shiro and the others after that’s become apparent but Keith’s not even thinking about that anymore.

He’s just trusting his instincts, the instincts that told him to pivot toward the belly of the Galra cruiser, to slide between the two cannons and let them take each other out, to fire on the vents and the tiny vulnerabilities, the little flaws that no one has ever come close enough to exploit (or even make exploiting them a relevant concern). He is the controls; he is the lion; he is about to blast this cruiser to smithereens by himself.

He’s just not aware that it’s blasting back with a damaged gun in time. Keith yanks himself back, pulls out but not far enough; the fire is exploding around him and the blast knocks him straight up, out of his seat, and he clocks his head against the ceiling. His ears are ringing like infinite alarm clocks and his sight is bent and spinning and he’s crashed back down, already pulling farther out and firing again; this time he’s right on target. Except his shot hasn’t even hit yet when the ship begins to combust, rend itself from the other side, and through the ringing in his ears he can make out the shouts of his teammates, a boast from Lance and an insult directed toward the Galra from Hunk and something wordless from Pidge and an affirmation from Shiro and he lets himself grin as the redundant blast hits the bottom of the cruiser and puts it out of its misery.

*

The others rush off to get cleaned up; Keith is still tending to his lion when he hears Shiro’s footsteps. Keith gives Red another once-over, decides things are good enough for now, and turns around, face almost instantly pressed to Shiro’s chest. Shiro wraps his arms around Keith’s waist, nuzzles his neck, doesn’t say a word. Relief is coming off him in waves like radiation from a pulsar, and Keith squeezes him back, lets himself be encompassed by everything that is Shiro, just for a second before he speaks.

“I’m sorry. I went out of formation; I disobeyed.”

“It was the right thing to do,” Shiro says. “You should trust your instincts. I just…”

He sighs, flexing his fingers against Keith’s waist.

“You just?” Keith prompts, when he doesn’t finish the thought.

“I just want you to be safe. And I know these things don’t go hand-in-hand, and I know you’re piloting a ship on the frontlines of a galactic war anyway, but…I worry.”

“I know. I could have screwed up the mission—”

“You didn’t. You gave us the perfect opportunity to concentrate on the back and blow it up…but I thought. Maybe.”

He doesn’t finish, doesn’t return to the things he’d thought before, and that might be for the better with the steely reflection of the overhead light on his eyes, the set of his jaw the way it is when he’s asleep (and sometimes he keeps it that way all night and wakes up rubbing it and he thinks Keith doesn’t notice).

“Hey,” says Keith. “I’m here, okay?”

And it’s not much; he wants to cringe the moment he says it but somehow it’s the right thing to say anyway, because Shiro’s face relaxes (and, Keith decides, now isn’t the time to bring up how much he worries about Shiro, too). Shiro pulls him in, even closer, flush against his body. For right now they’re both here.


16. Blandishment. Kagahimu. for clo

Taiga’s no good at flattery, no good at getting people to do things with the right words, not the way Tatsuya is. Maybe that’s an unfair comparison, but even from a void he can’t really do much. He doesn’t know the right words and phrases to make eyes soften and a firm no turn into a maybe or a tentative yes from an appeal to someone’s ego. He can’t do this, especially not with Tatsuya. Tatsuya would see right through him and maybe get insulted, but even so he has to try.

“Tatsuya,” he murmurs.

He can see every eyelash move when Tatsuya opens his eye. “Yes?”

He’s still sleepy but already half-awake when Taiga rolls over, half-on-top of him, head against Tatsuya’s chest. The slow rumble of Tatsuya’s laugh is pleasant against his ear.

“Good morning.”

“Good morning to you, too,” Tatsuya says, fingers winding their way into Taiga’s hair (which he needs to cut, but maybe he’ll put it off a little longer so they can have just a little more of this).

He can’t let this gesture pacify him; he has to take the opening he has. He breathes out, fingers tracing their way up Tatsuya’s torso, and begins to murmur things, little blandishments and quiet praises. Tatsuya’s awake enough to know exactly what’s going on, but he lets Taiga go on anyway.

And then Taiga lets the words fall away, presses a few kisses to Tatsuya’s jaw.

“Stay home with me? Take the day off?”

Tatsuya’s fingers stop in Taiga’s hair, and then they start again.

“I don’t know…”

“Please,” says Taiga (he doesn’t look Tatsuya in the eye because he’ll lose if he does).

“Okay,” Tatsuya says, voice quiet and fingers still.

Then Taiga does lift his head and look at Tatsuya’s face, and when he smiles Tatsuya returns it.

“Back to sleep?” says Taiga.

“Back to sleep,” says Tatsuya.


17. Refulgent. Akahimu. for anon.

Seijuurou glows in the sunset, late-day light catching his hair and shining through the strands, illuminating the undertones in his skin when he turns, making Tatsuya’s breath almost catch in his throat and then disappear into the air. And Seijuurou can’t see the effect; he doesn’t even know it’s happening and he’s squinting into Tatsuya’s gaze like he’s trying to read it. Tatsuya’s not sure if he’s broadcasting every thought right now, but what does it matter.

He drops a hand onto Seijuurou’s shoulder, brushing his thumb against the hair that curls about the nape of Seijuurou’s neck. Seiuurou waits.

Tatsuya could call him greedy, but he wants this kiss just as much.