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Only Several Miles From the Sun

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It's mid-morning when Makoto arrives at Haru's house and knocks on the door politely. He doesn't expect an answer, even though Haru had asked him to come over, and figures he'll find Haru in the bath after he lets himself in, like always.

His hand has just closed around the handle when he feels it start to slide against him. He relinquishes his grip as the door opens, sure some of the surprise lingers on his brow when he smiles. "Haru, good morning!"

Haru's tilted nod is both acknowledgment and return greeting. "Come in," he says as he heads towards the living room, leaving Makoto to close the door behind himself. After taking off his shoes and leaving his bag with them, Makoto follows a little uncertainly. When Haru had asked him to bring his swimsuit, he had assumed they were going swimming, even thought Haru might have in mind to take him to the ocean today. Makoto would be fine with that; he's tried telling Haru so but each time he catches something in Haru's eyes, just before Haru turns to the side, that he can't quite read but thinks might be disbelief.

By the time he gets to the living room and sees Haru standing there, Makoto is sure, in that wordless and indefinable way he's often sure of things with Haru, that this is going to be about what happened that night during summer training camp. As he enters the living room, he readies a smile to assure Haru once more that he's fine, that everything is—when, without a word, Haru raises his hand so quickly that Makoto can only think Haru means to slap him. He can't truly say he doesn't deserve it so he makes no move to avoid or block the blow, although he does close his eyes.

But instead of Haru's open hand impacting and sliding across his face, Makoto feels fingertips under his chin, a thumb hooking over the jut as Haru tilts his face down. He opens his eyes:

And is caught in Haru's gaze.

Haru has never looked at him like this. No one has ever looked at him like this, not only looking at him but inside him, into his soul, the gaze so deep inside he feels it in the marrow of his bones. The gaze fills him; opens him up; fills him more. The world stops spinning around him, or maybe the gaze has synchronized him with the world in a way he has never felt before, or maybe the gaze is the world.

A thrill rushes through Makoto as his brain catches up with what his body already knows, recognizing this for what it is: something he has longed for from Haru and thought, after Haru turned him down, that he'd never get. Makoto would have been fine going on as they have been for years—"friends with benefits" is the term he's heard for it although it's always felt like more than that to him, even if they aren't officially boyfriends. Until now, he's been closer to Haru than he's been to anyone in the world; so close that Haru is the only one he's ever told about the desire he keeps tucked down deep in his heart. Haru is more important to him than that desire, of course, so when he told Makoto he wasn't interested, Makoto put it away. But now Haru has unlocked it, setting it free inside him.

Even as Makoto sinks and goes under in Haru's gaze, he's floating. It's something like the surrender to water and yet unlike it, unlike anything; it is only like itself, only like this...

On his knees now, Makoto gazes back at Haru.

"Good boy," Haru murmurs.

The thrill swells in Makoto, then smooths and soothes even as it continues to flow through him.

"Did you bring your swimsuit?"

Makoto nods again.

"Go get it."

Makoto gets to his feet, eager to obey, reluctant to break the gaze. But when he turns, he finds that the gaze is still there in him and he's still wrapped in it. Haru didn't say to fetch anything else so Makoto takes out only the legskin and leaves his bag where it is.

When he gets back, he finds Haru no longer standing but seated on the sofa. Swimsuit in hand, Makoto starts to bend his knees but stops at Haru's, "No." When their eyes meet, he says, "I want you to change into it. Here. And don't turn around."

A full-body flush colors Makoto. It's not like Haru has never seen him naked, not like Makoto has never undressed for him before—but this is different. He starts to do it, though, not questioning whether he wants to or not, not questioning anything, secure and floating in Haru's gaze.

He reaches for the hem of his shirt but Haru has him stop and undo his trousers first: "Don't take them off; just take yourself out." Makoto does it, only then realizing that he's already more than half hard. He looks down to arrange himself carefully, the metal teeth of his fly cool where they dig lightly into his cock. He returns his gaze to Haru but their eyes don't meet because Haru is focused on his cock. Makoto feels a rush of blood to his face, another rush going to his cock as if seeking Haru's attention.

After a while—a minute, five minutes, half a lifetime—Haru looks up. "Now your shirt. Only to the wrists." Makoto pulls his shirt off, wrapping his wrists in the armholes as he does so. He wants to lower his arms, place his bound hands in the small of his back, but it's not physically possible without removing one of them from the shirt, so he keeps them stretched overhead, the muscles of his torso pulling taut under Haru's gaze.

"All right," Haru says some time later. He lifts his hand, his fingers fluttering downward without closing in a fist.

Makoto's own fingers flutter in response, freeing his hands from the shirt and letting it fall away, going to the waistband of his trousers and sliding them down, stepping out of them and repeating it with his boxers. He glances up into Haru's face but there's no new command so Makoto doesn't stop there; he steps into his legskin, slides it up, settling the waistband just above his hips. He stretches it with one hand, reaching inside with the other to arrange his cock as comfortably as possible before letting the pressure of the suit encase it once more.

"Here." Haru's voice draws Makoto's gaze: he's holding out a pair of molded-rubber work kneepads. Wordlessly Makoto goes to take them from him and, unable to control the hot shiver that slides along his spine, bends to strap them on. He doesn't need to be told what the next command will be but he waits for it, gratefully sinking to the floor when Haru says, "Kneel."

Even though Makoto is looking at him, Haru leans forward and reaches out to curl his forefinger under Makoto's chin. "You will stay on your knees unless I give you explicit permission or instruction. You will not speak unless under those same conditions. Do you understand?"

Something wells up in Makoto's throat; he thinks it may be his heart. He nods, blinking softly in Haru's gaze without breaking it.

Haru withdraws his curled finger only to rest his hand lightly on Makoto's head. "Good boy," he says again and Makoto aches with thrill all over.

That hand slips from Makoto, falling to Haru's side as he sits back on the sofa. He looks off but Makoto doesn't try to look at whatever Haru is looking at; he looks only at Haru. He feels connected to Haru, not just in his heart but in his body, and when Haru sighs, Makoto does too.

"I haven't been eating or sleeping well lately," Haru says, returning his gaze to Makoto. The impassivity of his expression hasn't changed but there's a sharpened edge to his undertone and Makoto knows why it's there, knows he's meant to feel it, but doesn't know what to do about it. Resting on his knees, his hands curl in on themselves to stop him reaching out. "I'm hungry now, though," Haru says neutrally. Before Makoto can fully entertain the hope that the hunger is for him, Haru says, "There's a dish I prepared earlier in the kitchen. I would like you to bring it in here."

Makoto uncurls his fists as he tips himself forward onto all fours and crawls towards the kitchen. He doesn't see anything out on the counter or table when he gets there so he kneels up in front of the refrigerator and opens the door. There at eye level he finds a dish and set of chopsticks, covered in plastic wrap.

The return is slower going since one of his hands is occupied with the carefully balanced dish but Haru doesn't express any disappointment in Makoto, instead instructing him to set the plate on the floor and to return to the kitchen for two bottles of water.

The bottles proves more challenging. He tries holding them both at the neck between different fingers of the same hand but his gait on three legs is not smooth and they keep bumping against each other until he loses his grip on one no matter how hard he tightens his fingers. He tries rolling them but it's difficult to control the direction of the roll. He hesitates when he comes up with a third solution but when he can't come up with a fourth, gives in and takes one of the bottles in his mouth by the neck, the cap pressing against the back of his teeth, as he carries the other in one hand.

He's very uncertain what Haru will say about this but when Makoto crawls into the living room, Haru doesn't say anything. Makoto goes to him, setting the first bottle down beside the plate on the floor, lowering his head to deposit the other bottle beside it. He stays with his head bowed for a moment. Haru's feet are bare and Makoto has an urge that feels more like instinct than desire, to press his lips to them. He does not have permission, though, so he swallows the urge and sits back on his heels.

When Haru bends to pick up the plate and one of the bottles of water himself, Makoto feels an unhappy flush that he may have missed a signal. Haru doesn't chastise him, though, and the unhappiness dissolves in Haru's lingering gaze. He sets the plate in his lap and removes the plastic wrap covering it. He holds the plate as he takes a bite, then puts it back down as he chews and swallows. "This won't do." He looks off again and Makoto can't do anything about the tendril that disentangles itself from the pleasant coil low in his belly, cooling as it wends its way up; nor can he do anything about the way the rest of the warm coil tightens. "I need a table."

Haru looks at him then and the lone, wending tendril heats up with the gaze, sending hot shivers through him. Tipping onto all fours again, Makoto maneuvers himself in front of Haru, careful not touch Haru's feet or legs, stretching his arms in front of him and bracing on the heels of his hands as he does his best to level the plane of his back.

The flat bottom of the plate touches down just below his shoulder blades and Makoto shivers, sighs; steadies himself as he slips into the contentment rolling gently through him. As Haru resumes eating, Makoto focuses himself on being the best tray table possible. Haru only adjusts him once, when he wants to put his water bottle in easy reach on the table, eventually setting it in the small of Makoto's back, lifting it up now and then only to return it.

Makoto meditates on being a table.

When Haru sets the empty plate on the floor, Makoto switches out of table mode, not entirely, just enough to be ready for whatever is next.

"Sit up," Haru says.

Makoto pushes back, settling on his feet beneath him as he straightens up, his hands loosely curled on his knees.

"You must be stiff. You should stretch."

His hands cross at the wrists as he reaches overhead, not realizing how tight his body had gotten until he feels it unkinking.

"Here." Haru breaks the seal of the second bottle as he unscrews the cap, then holds it out. "You can have some now."

Accepting the bottle, Makoto takes a few long sips as a demonstration of his gratitude, letting his eyelashes flutter nearly but not quite closed as the cool, pure liquid slides down his throat. He starts to lower the bottle as he finishes swallowing—and Haru, with a single fingertip, nudges it back up.

Even when he sits back, Makoto still feels that finger, holding the bottle tipped up, pouring water into him. He swallows as much as he can, as quickly as he can, but he can't quite keep up with the flow and some spills from the corners of his mouth, runs in rivulets down his face, his throat, pooling briefly in the hollow before traipsing wetly down over his chest. Through half-lidded eyes he watches Haru's gaze following the spill, feels the adoration as the gaze mingles and twines with the water flowing over his skin. Some of the adoration seeps into Makoto's skin; deeper, into his bloodstream; and he keeps drinking, keeps spilling for Haru.

When the bottle has been drained, Haru gives Makoto the bottle he's been drinking from himself, still more than half-full. "Not right now," he says when Makoto starts to raise it to his lips. "But I don't want my footstool getting dehydrated."

Understanding immediately, Makoto resumes his position on all fours in front of Haru. The bare feet he had wished earlier to kiss come to rest on him one after the other, more pressure on the heel than the toes so that Makoto imagines Haru's knees bent as he sits, his feet comfortably braced.

There's a glow in his peripheral vision as the flat screen comes on across the room. Makoto doesn't turn to look at it, keeping himself streamlined for Haru's feet. Moments later, he recognizes the music to Endless Ocean. Haru has always seemed so calm when he's gaming but now Makoto can feel the hard curl and dig of toes against him as Haru gets into it, and a quiet thrill pulses through him at the secret shared.

Now and then Haru will pause the game and leave the room. He doesn't tell Makoto where he's going, doesn't say anything, so Makoto waits for him, unmoving, each time. Sometimes Haru returns to the sofa as wordlessly as he left, plants his feet on Makoto's back, and resumes playing. Other times when he comes back, he suggests that Makoto have some water and stands in the doorway watching him drink, watching the rivulets that Makoto doesn't need to be told to let spill across his skin.

With or without words, as soon as Haru's feet touch his back, Makoto is fulfilled.

Haru has stepped out again and the sun has started to slip in under the lowered blinds when Makoto realizes he feels full with something more than Haru's gaze. Since he does not have permission to speak, he wonders if there is a wordless way to ask for permission to use the bathroom. But when Haru returns and leans in the doorway, gazing at him, Makoto only holds himself still as he gazes back; and when Haru indicates the water bottle, Makoto tips it up to his lips and drinks.

As Haru's toes dig into Makoto's back, transmitting his pleasure in the video game adventure, Makoto has to divide his focus between being the quintessential footstool and not squirming against the growing pressure in his bladder, trying to tighten his muscles against it without disrupting Haru's attention on Endless Ocean.

There's no pause in the game, nothing to warn Makoto that Haru is getting up, but he feels one of Haru's feet leave him—and then that foot slips under him, along his belly, avoiding his cock. Toes nudge against Makoto's bladder and he can't stop himself from shivering, although he does bite down on the whine that rises from the back of his throat before it escapes.

"What's going on here?" Haru nudges again. A second pressure, just as heavy and wet, presses against the back of Makoto's eyes and he closes them against it just long enough to get control there, at least.

"Let me see." Haru lowers his foot, letting his other slide from Makoto's back. He sits back, folding up crosslegged. "Show me."

The words slip into Makoto on his next breath and he didn't know there was an emptiness left in him until he feels those words fill him even more full. He kneels up, adjusts his position so he's facing Haru, hands in the small of his back. Haru is focused on his lap and Makoto feels his cock, in thrall to that gaze, twitch. The vibrations shiver deeper, adding to the pressure in his bladder. His lips part but he only breathes, inhaling Haru's gaze, exhaling shivers.

Haru unfolds one of his legs and extends it to rest his foot on Makoto's knee. He turns at the ankle, sliding down to press his heel against the inner side of Makoto's knee, and Makoto obeys, skating his knees over the floor until his legs are stretched open.

"Arch," Haru says and Makoto unclasps his hands, lets them fall from the small of his back to find the floor, bracing himself as he pushes his body into the shape Haru wants. When his head starts to fall back, continuing the curved line, Haru says, "No, look at me."

Their gazes connect once more.

Makoto's breath is almost too heavy for him, spilling thickly from his mouth. He's heavy everywhere. Heavy and impossibly full and getting, impossibly, even fuller. Yet even as the pressure builds inexorably, Makoto is cocooned in the gaze, floating in it no matter how heavy he's getting.

He knows it's happening the moment before it actually does but he can't do anything to stop it, can't look away from Haru even as it spills, wet and warm, out of him, down along his leg, the swimsuit absorbing some of it but unable to stop the flow or the unmistakable musky tang of shame.

"Come here."

Makoto crawls to him and kneels up. Resting two fingertips lightly under Makoto's chin, Haru tilts his face up. Makoto blinks against the thick wetness obscuring his vision but it won't clear and he can't stop it from spilling down his face.

"Shh." The pad of Haru's thumb whispers over Makoto's face, hushing the tears. He draws a breath, leans closer, so close, kisses the spill, kisses Makoto's eyelids, and everything inside Makoto, everything that is broken and everything that is not, is swept away.

Haru tips Makoto's face to him again. He's not smiling but something is there in the corner of his mouth, something that makes Makoto feel beautiful. He sinks deeper into the gaze, lets it fill the air around him and close over his head; he breathes easier now.

When Makoto's chest rises and falls with an especially deep breath, Haru begins to stroke his hair, allowing him to rest his head against Haru's thigh. Each stroke drifts down into him, settling in his lungs, infusing his breath. He sighs again, more deeply, daring to cheek Haru's thigh.

Haru lets him stay like that a moment longer before saying, "Up now. All the way up." Makoto gets to his feet, aware of the unpleasant cooling damp and awkward sticking of his legskin as he moves. He will withstand any discomfort for as long as Haru requires but Haru says, "Go clean yourself up and put that in the wash, then come back in your kneepads and clean this up."

Makoto knows where the guest towels are kept, of course—but when he steps into the bathroom, he finds he doesn't need to get a washcloth for himself because the one he usually uses when he stays over, dark green with an embroidered cascade of white cherry blossoms along one edge, is sitting on the edge of the sink, as if waiting for him. An intensely warm flutter drifts through him. He caresses the cascade with two fingertips before undoing the kneepads and stripping out of the soiled legskin. He doesn't know if his cock had softened at any point but it is not soft now. He doesn't linger as he washes himself up.

After starting the laundry, he looks at the kneepads. Although he knows Haru is not displeased with him, he didn't tell Makoto to put on the clothes he'd arrived in or anything else—only "come back in your kneepads." His bare knee fits perfectly into the pocket of the pad, warmed to his own body temperature. He slides the strap of the second one around the back of his knee, then finds the cleaning supplies he needs and returns to the living room.

Haru must have heard his footsteps because he's already looking when Makoto reaches the door frame. At the simple gesture he gives, Makoto sinks to his knees once more. He crawls over and begins to clean the floor.

He's not aware of Haru watching him as he works but Makoto puts as much into the task if he were. As soon as he sits back, satisfied with the job he's done, he feels Haru's attention shift to him.

"Come here."

Makoto goes to him, and this time Haru raises both hands and cups his face.

"Do you understand what happened before? Why it was necessary?"

Makoto's answer comes in the heated coloring of his face, the flickering drop of his eyes.

Haru's fingers coax Makoto to look up into his eyes. "I need you to understand that you're mine. Don't think that you own your body or anything of yourself right now—everything of you belongs to me. You're mine."

Haru's words thrill through Makoto in a deep and overwhelming rush, and if he weren't so keenly aware of the aching thrum of his still-hard cock, he would have thought he'd just come harder than he's ever come in his life.

"Say it."

Makoto opens his mouth but nothing comes out, not even breath; he inhales deep. Haru is gazing at him and Makoto opens up inside as he gazes back, trying to remember how to breathe: inhale, exhale, inhale.

"Yours~" he breathes.

Haru leans forward and, still cupping his face, kisses Makoto's brow.

It's so easy to breathe and Makoto does, even though he can't do anything else; he doesn't want to do anything else; all he wants is this moment, and to breathe oh so easily in it.

When Haru leans back, he moves one of his hands to trace the open bow of Makoto's mouth, fingertip lingering along his lower lip, as if touching his breath as he exhales. Makoto wouldn't mind if Haru touched it more, if his fingers dipped inside for it: it's Haru's breath, after all—every breath of Makoto's is Haru's.

But Haru only sits all the way back and picks up the Wii controller. Makoto slips himself into position, a peaceful sigh going through him as Haru's feet come to rest on his back. Instead of digging his toes in this time, though, Haru soothes one foot along Makoto's spine and Makoto revels in the touch. There is something pleased in each bare caress; Haru is pleased, and pleasure ripples through Makoto.

This time Haru plays straight through without getting up. His feet don't leave Makoto until he turns off the flat screen and shifts himself to the edge of the sofa. His fingers stroke through Makoto's hair, tightening around the ends to pull back gently. Makoto goes with the tug, arching, then sitting back on his heels.

Haru looks at him awhile, the gaze filling Makoto's lungs, filling his cock more, and he can't distinguish between all the longing and all the gratification filling him; unfurling him inside to fill him even more.

When Haru leans forward, reaches down, and draws his fingertip oh so lightly the length of Makoto's cock, something other than breath comes out of Makoto; he's too late to bite down on it but he digs his teeth into his lower lip anyhow.

As if he has not heard the whimper, or perhaps as if it is inconsequential, Haru runs the pad of his thumb over Makoto's sac; Makoto is grateful to his teeth as they dig a little harder into his lip, his soft choked moan coming up against the back of them.

"Clean," Haru murmurs. His hand curls under Makoto's chin, coaxing him to turn fully to the gaze. "Do you think it's right that you're so much cleaner than I am?"

It's an impossible question; Makoto doesn't know if it even is a question.

"I wish to bathe now," Haru says, standing up and stretching.

It's the first time that Haru has made an announcement when leaving the room. Still, he has to turn after two steps and look back at Makoto before Makoto understands he's meant to go with him. Flushing with chagrin at his failing, Makoto starts after him on all fours as Haru resumes walking.

Having failed to properly read that signal, Makoto tries to anticipate Haru's intentions for and needs from him. He thinks maybe Haru will ask Makoto to wash him, but then maybe he's only thinking that because it's what he wants himself; he shakes his head, shaking out all selfish thoughts.

When they get to the bathroom, though, and Haru has him get to his feet, Makoto is certain that must be what Haru wants. He doesn't realize he's smiling until Haru reaches up to trace the curve of his lips. His touch makes Makoto ache, makes his lashes flutter as if to close his eyes, to keep all the gorgeous ache from spilling out, but Haru is looking into his eyes as he touches Makoto's mouth, and Makoto keeps himself open everywhere for Haru.

There is the slightest tilt to Haru's head as he drops his hand to his side, appraisal in his gaze now. "I didn't tell you this before because I didn't think I had to. And maybe I don't, but just to be clear: you are not to come, until and unless I tell you." He waits for the words to shiver through Makoto. "Will you be able to control yourself or do you need this?"

He turns his hand palm up between them, unfolding his fingers to reveal the nitrile rubber cock ring they've used on occasion. One look at Haru's face tells Makoto the answer he wants—and he knows Makoto can do it because that's one of the things Makoto has confessed to him and no one else, how he'll sometimes edge himself when he's getting off alone, pushing himself close and then backing off, for hours. He didn't tell Haru that he pretends at those times that he's doing it for Haru, but it looks like he didn't have to.

Makoto makes a point of looking at the cock ring again to acknowledge it, and then lowering his eyes, head turning to the side in rejection of it. He wishes he could look up to see if Haru is pleased—and then hears the smile in the word as Haru says, "Good."

There's no smile when Haru says, "I'm ready to be undressed now," but when Makoto looks at him there is the gaze, and Makoto inhales it deeply as he moves to Haru and begins to unclothe him. He's undressed Haru before; they've undressed each other. But this is different and feels new, and Makoto is careful as he goes, neither lingering nor rushing.

He is even more careful when he begins to wash Haru. The care takes on a reverence as he rubs the soaped-up washcloth over the finely sculpted musculature of Haru's body, starting with his chest, down over his abs and lower—his sac, his soft cock, his quads and calves, down to the feet Makoto had wished to kiss and now is washing. He moves around to stand behind Haru, soaping his deltoids, biceps, triceps, brachialis and brachioradialis; after doing both arms, he brushes the washcloth down the slight curve of Haru's nape to his trapezius, down over his lats, following his spine ever lower. He pauses when he reaches Haru's cleft. He's never bathed anyone, other than himself, so intimately.

But then he remembers that he is not himself, he is an extension of Haru now—so it's like Haru is washing himself using Makoto's hands. He is careful as he runs the washcloth along the cleft, goes inside, the washcloth propelled by oh so careful fingers.

Haru says nothing, makes no sound except the breathing Makoto can hear when he holds his own breath.

When the soaping up is complete, Makoto rinses Haru with the hand-held showerhead, the artificial light in here nearly as beautiful as sunlight as it glimmers in the water sluicing over Haru's skin.

As Haru steps into the bathtub, he finally allows himself a sound, or maybe he can't help the sigh that escapes him as he sinks into the heated water. While he soaks himself, Makoto kneels beside the tub, curled fingers brushing the edge of the kneepads, head lowered.

There's a wet rustle some time later as Haru shifts and stands. Still kneeling, Makoto extends his arm upward and Haru takes his hand as he steps out. Some of the spray as he shakes his head splashes, warm and wet, on Makoto. "Towel," he says, the fingers of his upturned palm flicking upwards, and Makoto rises to dry him.

"I think I can sleep now," Haru says.

Back on hands and knees, Makoto follows him to the bedroom. Once they reach it, Haru tells him to stand and remove the kneepads. "You won't need them anymore tonight," he says, and for a moment Makoto wonders if he's being dismissed—but then Haru takes one of the pillows from his bed, tosses it to the floor, and points.

As Makoto kneels on the pillow, Haru climbs into bed. "Don't fall asleep yet," he says, and then it's quiet except his breathing.

Makoto would like to settle his gaze on Haru but instead looks out at the night sky. As he gazes up at the stars he can't help feeling that they shine in a strange and wonderful ocean, and that he is floating among them.

He doesn't know how much time is passing but the night sky is not yet showing signs of yielding to sunrise.

Kneeling in Haru's bedroom, he floats and floats in the starry ocean.


It's the first time Haru has spoken his name since he arrived; even when Haru met him at the door, he didn't say Makoto's name. It seeps into him, not exactly as the gaze did but not entirely differently; it shifts him inside himself, shifts the world around him.

"Come up here."

Makoto moves up to the bed, lies down facing Haru. As Haru begins stroking his hair, Makoto feels himself surfacing as if after a deep sea dive, easing ever upwards.

"Is this what you wanted?"

Although he knows he's allowed words now, Makoto doesn't have them yet. He nods, cheeking Haru's palm.

"We can do this as much as you want from now on," Haru says. Makoto feels his own answering smile flutter through him. "There's just one thing I want in return."

There's a tremor along the edge of the deep breath he draws in and Makoto starts to reach for him, then stops as Haru goes on, "I want you to acknowledge that you're mine. If you won't look out for yourself for your own sake, then do it for mine. You no longer get to throw your life away, even if it's to save someone else—even if that someone else is me. Especially not then, because I don't know what I'd do without you. I can't—" He breaks off before continuing, "It's not imaginable."

Makoto wants to apologize again for making him worry that night at summer training camp, but Haru is speaking again: "Maybe it's unfair to put that on you. But you're stronger than me and, even if I wasn't here, I know you'd be able to go on and find all sorts of good in the world again. You've always had that ability. But I..."

When Makoto opened his eyes on the beach on Sukishima and saw Haru's face, he knew without Haru saying anything how he felt. But he didn't know everything; he didn't really know, not until this moment.

"So you can't leave me until I say," Haru says now.

Despite the flat inflection, Makoto knows it's not a command but a request. The words slip inside him, warming him as they melt into him. Suffused namelessly, still wordless himself, he kisses Haru's palm in acceptance of the terms.

And then Haru's hand slides away and Haru's mouth is there and they're kissing, breathing into one another, licking each other's breaths.

They kiss for longer than Makoto suspects he would know even if he could track time anymore.

When they part, Makoto finds himself cupping Haru's neck, soft whorls of hair at the nape coaxing his fingertips into caresses. "Haru." He meant to say more than that but somehow Haru's name is different in his mouth, as if it's been reshaped by the kiss. Makoto curls the tip of his tongue, brushing it along the roof of his mouth. "Haru," he says again, anew, "is it really all right? You don't mind doing this sort of thing...?"

In the light fallen from the starry ocean, Haru shakes his head. "I...liked today."

Makoto tries to calm his smile but it only widens. "You did?"

Haru nods. "I didn't know it was going to make me feel so close to you."

"Haru~" There's so much he wants to say but, even though words have come back to him, Makoto doesn't have any for this moment, other than Haru's name. He touches his mouth to Haru's, slips his tongue in when Haru opens for him.

Even though Haru has promised they can do this again, Makoto doesn't feel ready to leave this feeling yet; he wishes this night could go on, if not forever, at least for much longer.

As if he knows what Makoto is thinking, Haru says, "I have something more for you."

"Do you?" Makoto feels his brows go up as if connected to the corners of his mouth.

Making an affirmative sound, Haru climbs over him, out of bed. "I have to turn on the light."

"All right." Makoto shields his eyes as Haru flips the switch, then closes his eyes against the brightness. He rolls onto his stomach, arms supporting the pillow beneath his head. He hears Haru's footsteps returning but the light stays on and Makoto turns his head as he opens his eyes, wondering what the "something more" could be.

There's a small tube in Haru's hand but the label doesn't look their usual lube, and then Makoto recognizes it as a popular muscle and joint relief cream. He presses his face into the pillow to hide his blushing smile.

Haru nudges him towards the center of the bed and then, when he is satisfactorily positioned, climbs up and straddles Makoto's hips without resting his own weight on them. He starts at Makoto's shoulders and as the massage goes on, Makoto sighs deeply from the touch and the icy hot penetration, traces of a contented moan tangled in the sigh.

"All right," Haru says when he's worked all the way down Makoto's back, "now turn over so I can tend to your knees." He swings his leg over, kneeling out of the way so Makoto can roll.

"Oh," Makoto says. "Um. That's okay. My knees feel fine." He bends them, feet lifting up, to demonstrate.

Unconvinced, Haru nudges his side. "Turn over so I can take care of you."

The second part of the sentence utterly disarms Makoto. He closes his eyes and, blushing helplessly, rolls onto his back as requested.

"Oh," Haru says when he sees how hard Makoto's cock is.

Makoto is afraid Haru is going to ask why he was trying to hide it and he doesn't have an answer—but instead Haru's fingers hover over it without touching. "You haven't come at all today." It's not a question. "I don't know how you managed it. I had to leave the room a few times to jack off in the bathroom."

That had not occurred to Makoto at all as a possible reason for Haru's absences. His surprise must show because when their eyes meet, Haru says, "Oh, maybe I shouldn't have said that. Is it better for you think I'm not getting as turned on as you are during that?"

"No." Makoto smiles through the flaring blush. "Anyhow," he adds as both the blush and the smile quiet, "I doubt I'll be capable of that kind of thought, if today was anything to go by." Haru doesn't say anything and Makoto sees the imperceptible furrow of his brow. "No, that's a good thing," he assures Haru. "Today was—" There's no word for what today was. "Beyond everything I've read about and dared to imagine and dared even more to hope for one day."

Haru still doesn't say anything but the dusting of color along his cheekbones as he turns his head makes Makoto smile.

"Well," Haru says as he looks back, "I'll suck you off now, if you want."

Makoto does want—oh god yes, how he wants Haru's sweet mouth. But he sees the exhaustion in Haru's eyes, the dark circles under them, and he knows Haru wasn't making it up when he told Makoto at the beginning that he hasn't been sleeping well. So Makoto gives him a soft grin and says, "That's all right. Let's sleep now."

Haru lies down and Makoto is thinking he should get up and turn out the light, when Haru says, "Then maybe you'll masturbate for me?"

Makoto didn't realize the gaze was still inside him, resting curled up low in his belly, until it rouses at the suggestion. "Yes," he says and Haru rewards him with a rare and sleepy smile. Makoto gets up for the lube Haru keeps under the bed and then, seeing the pillow Haru had tossed down earlier, starts to kneel on it.

"No, come up here with me, where I can see you better."

The curled gaze thumps in Makoto's belly and he climbs back up. Kneeling down, he squeezes out a fat dollop of lube, coats his fingers thickly, shivers and sighs as he finally touches himself with a first long, slow caress. He closes his eyes as he begins to stroke off, pleasure and ache indistinguishable as they spark through him.

As he finds his rhythm, he opens his eyes to watch Haru watching him—and almost startles out of the rhythm when their gazes connect. "Don't you want to look at my cock?" Makoto can't smile reassuringly through all the hot pleasurable ache, can't smile at all, and he's afraid Haru might not know what he really means, so he adds: "It's okay. Please look."

"I'm looking right where I want to," Haru says, and Makoto's eyes fall shut with a soft choked moan before he flutters open again. "Are you getting close?" Haru asks. Breath coming too heavy for words, Makoto nods. "Do you want to come on me, then?"

The thick breath Makoto swallows bypasses his lungs and slips down into his belly, heating up as it flutters and flips around. He swallows another breath, feels that one slide into lungs; one more, and he's able to say, "But, you're clean..."

"That's all right," Haru says, fingers splaying as he rests his hand on his well-defined and just-washed abs. "It'll be my second bath."

"Fuck," Makoto whispers. "Oh fuck, oh fuck~" His shoulders hunch, the hand on his cock moving faster as all the tendrils of pleasurable ache tauten and swell, his other hand coming up to press against his mouth. He's close, he's so close, so fucking close—

"Is this going to be one of those times?" Haru asks. It's another one of those things Makoto has only ever told Haru, how sometimes he can't come because he's edged himself for too long or if he does manage it there's no euphoria in the release. He makes a choked, helpless sound. "Tell me what you need," Haru says, sitting up. "Tell me what you need to make it good."

"Would you—" Makoto swallows, words and breath tangling in his throat, making him swallow harder. He wants so badly to look at Haru's face but he can't stop his eyes from sliding away as he pushes the words out: "Do you think you could say that again?"

At first Makoto doesn't think Haru knows what he means but he doesn't think he can spell it out, not even for a blissful orgasm.

And then Haru says, low and clear, "You're mine, Makoto."

All the ache turns to pure pleasure, bright and intense, as Makoto rushes through himself, spills out of himself, splashing down on Haru. As he looks at the spent thick spurts, Makoto wonders if it was really all right to come like that, even though Haru had said to... And then Haru's chest rises and falls with an especially deep sigh as he reaches down and indolently massages Makoto's come into his skin.

"Oh." Makoto brushes the back of his hand across his damp lashes, then dares to bend down and kiss Haru's hand.

"Come here," Haru says then, holding out his arms, and Makoto lies with him, beyond content. He parts his lips when Haru's touch his mouth but Haru doesn't enter him except with an easy breath, and Makoto breathes back just as easy.

They breathe together awhile, even after they part.

"Did you understand what I was saying before?" Haru asks softly. Makoto nods, prepared to promise he won't ever do anything to make Haru worry like that night, but before he can speak, Haru says, "So then—you'll be my boyfriend?"

Oh. Oh~ Makoto is caught and swept up by Haru's words; he keeps going higher and higher, borne up among the stars, as he says yes.