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There were no good public baths in Toyohara.

This was a problem for Sgt Tsukishima Hajime. Having gone without anything resembling a day off in over 12 years, he needed the downtime that a good soak provided. He knew what the men in the 7th Division said about it, had heard every joke at his expense -- lazy old man, one day he’ll pass out and drown himself in there -- and didn’t care. With all he put up with, it was the least recompense he could ask for.

Especially since arriving in Karafuto. Managing a baby lieutenant was trying enough; he hadn’t signed up to look after a bimbo, two Ainu children, a dog, and a madman with a perforated skull on top of all that.

Toyohara did have a halfway decent inn, for whatever it was worth. 2nd Lt. Koito had not shut up about it once since Tsukishima made the executive decision to spend the previous night in an Ainu village rather than press on to what he called “real, proper, Japanese civilization.” The moment they reached the town limits the following morning, Koito demanded that Tsukishima immediately check them into the best rooms available. Emphasis on rooms, plural.

“Tsukishima,” the lieutenant complained for about the tenth time in as many minutes. “The water’s getting cold.”

“I’m afraid talking won’t help it boil any faster, sir.”

“When I succumb to hypothermia, you’ll have to answer to Lieutenant Tsurumi.”

The stoves provided in the rooms of this inn were, quite simply, inadequate, but short of building their own fire out of the floorboards there was little he could do about it. He had already verified that the situation in his own room -- the one he was crammed into with Tanigaki and the rest -- was no different.

Water sloshed around Koito’s shins as he folded his knees up against his chest with an exaggerated pout. In fairness to him, it couldn’t be all that pleasant, sitting around in a steel tub of lukewarm water. But Tsukishima hadn’t been the one to suggest he disrobe and hop in when it was only half-full.

A wisp of steam sputtered from the spout on the kettle. That was probably close enough. Tsukishima used a mitten to lift it off the stove and carry it over to Koito’s ad hoc bath, unceremoniously pouring the contents into the foot of the tub furthest from the baby lieutenant’s soft delicate skin.

He got a shriek for his trouble anyway.

“Hot! Too hot! Are you trying to boil me alive?!” Koito wailed, sticking his legs out indecently to avoid the rush of warmer water spreading through the tub. “Tsukishimaaaa!”

“My apologies, sir,” Tsukishima answered by rote, already heading back toward the stove. “Please try to bear with it.”

A few more kettles of melted snow later and Koito finally stopped complaining about the temperature. He took to asking the sergeant to wash his back instead. Tsukishima, thinking wistfully of the steam-choked baths in Otaru which were as good as on the other side of the world at that moment, sighed and picked up a cloth.

At least he’s getting some of his old color back, Tsukishima thought, kneeling behind the tub as he ran tepid water over the lieutenant’s back. Between the wolverine attack and that business with the stenka, the young man’s looks had suffered considerably. Now, under Tsukishima’s fingers, Koito’s skin was taking on that familiar bronze glow again, the small muscles on his back bunching and unwinding as rivulets of water slid over them. The pink lacerations between his shoulder blades, which were all that remained from the wolverine’s claws, darkened to a tender purple in response to the temperature and caused Koito to flinch when Tsukishima brushed the cloth past them.

“Gentler! Tsukishima, you’re too rough.”

“It’s healing very well, sir,” Tsukishima said, choosing at the moment not to mention that a little roughness was just what Admiral Koito had sent his son off to experience. “Enonoka says the bear fat remedy should prevent scarring.”

2nd Lt. Koito was not assured. “Starting tomorrow, there’ll be no more of these side trips over tattooed skins,” he insisted. “I won’t have that meathead losing his mind again when we’re supposed to be catching up to Ogata.”

“That’s at my discretion, sir.” Tsukishima wrung the cloth above the nape of Koito’s neck, a shallow stream of water coursing more easily over the still-healing skin. “Remember that Ogata is not our primary target.”

“I know that!” Koito made a noise like a drowned cat as Tsukishima poured a cupful of lukewarm bath water over his head, sweeping his fine hair over his face. He sputtered, then continued: “I merely suggest that when we find that son of a bitch--”

“Please stay still, sir.” Tsukishima worked a comb through Koito’s hair, clearing out the dirt and grit and massaging a few fingers over his scalp. He watched a faint shudder work its way up the lieutenant’s back as his hair took on its proper familiar sheen again.

“Nnh…” Koito bowed his head, a freckling of gooseflesh breaking out across the back of his shoulders. “Tsukishima…”

Whether that was a groan of complaint or something else, Tsukishima wasn’t entirely certain. It sure worked down his spine and through his pelvis in a particular way.

He used a dry cloth to towel off the excess water in Koito’s hair, and then wrapped an imported fluffy terrycloth around his shoulders, one of the items from the young lieutenant’s effects that he’d insisted on bringing along when Tsukishima demanded most of his luggage remain at port. On cue, Koito stood, cooling water sloshing at the sides of the tub as his body unfolded in graceful movements, like a preying mantis or stick insect. Tsukishima patted the towel down around the raw pink scars of his back and over both arms, then his hips.

He stopped at Koito’s buttocks, fingers glancing off supple flesh and lean muscle beneath. He ran the towel over the small mole below Koito’s left cheek close to the inner part of the thigh, which Koito himself probably didn’t realize he had.

Damp warmth like steam clouded over Tsukishima’s cheeks and for a moment he felt lightheaded, reflexively breathing in the faint earthy scent of the lieutenant’s body. Unconsciously, his hands moved. They cupped the soft swell of Koito’s ass and squeezed ever so tenderly.

Koito’s body jerked on reflex. “Sergeant--!”

That snapped him out of it for a moment. Tsukishima blinked, lifted his hands with the towel away from the lieutenant’s skin.

“I’m sorry, sir. Fingers must have slipped.”

“A likely story.” But the muscles along Koito’s back were already unwinding, his demeanor mellowing as he seemed to find a bit of humor in the situation. His next remark was downright teasing, as he spared a glance over his shoulder. “I suppose I can hardly blame you. A man of your advanced age--”

“I’d advise against finishing that sentence, lieutenant.”

“Well, what do you expect me to say?” Koito demanded, crossing his arms over his chest as the cold air of the room began to creep back in. “You can’t actually expect me to ask for it, do you?”

Now there was a thought. Beneath his frozen expression, the heat in Tsukishima’s cheeks was building. It wasn’t just embarrassment or the steam fogging his thoughts; Koito was watching him with genuine expectation now, waiting for him to make good on what he had set in motion.

The sergeant cleared his throat. “If you step out of the tub, I’ll get your legs, sir,” he said.

Koito gave his best effort not to appear disappointed, which wasn’t very good. He turned away sharply, the pout already audible in his voice.

“I can do the rest myself, thank you,” he declared, taking a pointed step away to climb out of the tub as far from his subordinate as possible.

Of all the childish-- Tsukishima held back a sigh, pushed his irritation down where the rest of it lay bottled up. He felt a dull pain radiating through his jaw and made a conscious effort to unclench it. What was he doing, looking to someone like the young lieutenant for relief anyway? All it was likely to do was exacerbate his headache.

Koito padded his bare feet over the floorboards, dripping and leaving a trail of wet prints behind him as he ventured over toward the chair containing his clothes. Tsukishima grimaced; feeling resigned, he reached out and caught Koito by the elbow when he reached for his undergarments.

“You’ll catch cold, sir,” he said, gently but firmly twisting the lieutenant’s arm behind his back. “I have to insist you let me finish.”

A small noise of delight escaped Koito’s throat before he managed to cover it up with faux-outrage. He twisted around, eyes shining, faint tremors of electricity traveling up and down the fine muscles of his back.

“You wouldn’t,” he said, apparently trying to sound scandalized. He might as well have written ‘yes’ in burning letters over his head.

This time, Tsukishima didn’t even try to hold back the sigh. If Tsurumi or Lord Koito had any idea the sorts of things he was getting the young lieutenant into--

“Against the wall, sir,” he ordered, reaching his other hand up to wrap around the nape of Koito’s neck. The towel, tucked hastily into the crook of an arm, drifted over the cusp of Koito’s ass and elicited a ticklish wiggle as he fought to comply, staggering barefooted to the closest wall with Tsukishima close enough behind that they were nearly pressed together.

Once there, Tsukishima removed his hands, giving Koito a brief moment to stretch out his bent shoulder before the sergeant was gathering both wrists behind his back -- this time with the aid of Koito’s belt.

“It’s tight,” Koito mumbled, side of his face pressed against the wood as Tsukishima tugged at the leather restraints until he was satisfied.

“Too tight?” Tsukishima stepped back to assess his work, feeling his fingers around where the leather dug into Koito’s wrists. Now that he had the lieutenant’s tacit permission to get a bit rough, he wasn’t sure he’d respond altogether prudently if the answer was yes, but he didn’t plan to get wild yet.

Koito pulled experimentally at the knots. “No,” he admitted, sounding a little sheepish.

He shuddered when Tsukishima put his hand against the small of his back again, urging him to lean more of his weight onto the wall. A strained pant escaped between Koito’s teeth as Tsukishima kicked his legs apart, forcing him to shift balance precariously onto the balls of his feet and remain that way while Tsukishima knelt down behind him, towel at the ready.

Walking around the room had actually nearly done the job of drying Koito’s legs, but they were damp enough that the terrycloth caught slightly when Tsukishima patted his calves, going lightly over the skin as he worked up toward Koito’s inner thighs. He swiped the towel over a sensitive patch and Koito wobbled -- it was one of the lieutenant’s more endearing annoying traits that he could be so nimble on his feet, and yet a trainwreck the instant something flustered him.

Thinking that, another idea occurred to Tsukishima and he knelt closer. Setting the towel aside, he placed his hands around Koito’s cheeks and began firmly spreading them apart.


Koito bit off the rest of the name, exclamation cut short as Tsukishima’s tongue slid across his hole and a faint tremor radiated down through his legs. The trembling grew more intense on successive passes, his muscles tensing until he seemed to vibrate like a struck tuning fork, knees threatening to give way beneath him. When Tsukishima slipped the tip of his tongue into the clenching passage, Koito managed only a sharp, distressed gasp.

This was the sort of thing that could only be done after a thorough bath. Even then, Tsukishima might have expected an objection, something about how ‘that place is dirty’ as though he had much of a nose to smell it with in the first place. None of his partners ever believed him when he said he enjoyed it, the sour taste, the heat, the clenching inner muscles squeezing around his tongue hard enough to make his cock jump. But Koito made no noise of protest. He just moaned. And stammered. And melted, his knees finally hinging beneath his weight as he threatened to sink right to the floor.

Tsukishima, propping up the young lieutenant’s weight with two hands on his ass, decided that was probably sufficient. With one last sucking wet kiss, he drew his mouth away and took a breath.

“Get on the bed, sir.”

“Ah… but…”

It would be so easy to just indulge him, really. To keep eating him out until he came, to pamper him, to attend to his every need. Truthfully, Tsukishima took a strange sort of pleasure from babying the lieutenant -- most of the time, at least. But he was reaching his own limit just then, if the hard-on burning against his thigh was any indication. Koito might not be so amenable to helping Tsukishima’s stress relief once he already had his own desires sated.

“On your back,” Tsukishima continued, standing and hooking a hand through Koito’s restraints. “I’d like to see your head hanging off the edge, sir.”

In the end, for the sake of expediency, Tsukushima ended up having to do it himself. Koito was either too overcome to process his instructions or just couldn’t figure out the geometry in his head. Either way, he didn’t raise much objection to getting manhandled.

The bed was barely more than an elevated bench pushed against the wall of the room, a bale of soft buckwheat which reached up to about hip height, covered in canvas. It was a bit narrow for seeing Koito splayed across it like this, his rich bronze skin ruddy with blush, fledgling erection bobbing with every labored, halting breath. With his arms still tied behind his back and his legs bent against the wall, his chest was shoved up at an unnatural angle. Head hanging off the edge of the bed as he struggled to breathe regularly, his cheeks had gone dark and his eyes glazed over, as though his mind was already lost somewhere in the ether.

That was no good; Tsukishima preferred Koito to be very present and aware for this next part. He hooked a thumb between the young lieutenant’s teeth and cupped his chin, lifting his head until his jaws eased apart and his mouth hung open. Koito’s tongue lolled out over his teeth, twitching like a distressed creature as it dragged across his upper lip, pulsing, livid pink, hot breath gusting over the front of Tsukishima’s trousers.

The sergeant pushed these away in short order. He pulled aside the cotton fabric of his fundoshi and with his spare hand produced his cock -- stout and unremarkable in all aspects but its girth, which finally caused Koito’s eyes to bug wide open.

That was better.

“Nnh!” he managed, eager or distressed, or possibly fighting between those two reactions.

Tsukishima gave his shaft a few steady pulls. “Now is the time to speak up if you don’t wish to continue, sir.”

Koito made a stifled groan and shook his head, eyes narrowing. It was a blessing and a curse, that stubborn streak of his.

“Fine. Then relax your throat.”

The air of the room had cooled the outer portion of Koito’s mouth and his exposed tongue, but as Tsukishima sheathed himself deeper the wet heat enfolded him until his cock felt completely encased, wrapped in hot, constricting flesh. Teeth grazed his shaft, glanced off a raised vein, sending brief embers of pain up through Tsukishima’s body as he drew back and made his first experimental stroke.

He shuddered as the sensation worked through him, felt himself needing to bite off the cresting wave of pleasure before it got away from him. Clenching, velvet inner walls squeezed and stroked at his cock head, the rough-textured part of Koito’s tongue dragging back his foreskin and exposing the whole glans to the tight confines of his mouth.

Below him, Koito made a faint gurgling noise. It was clear he didn’t have the faintest idea what to do in this position, everything cringing and twitching on reflex to a foreign object shoving itself into his throat. After a few strokes, however, he seemed to grasp the basics of what he was meant to do: he screwed his eyes shut, stretched his lips around Tsukishima’s shaft and made as tight a seal as he could manage, and started to suck.

It was a bit like fireworks going off behind Tsukishima’s eyelids. His hips faltered, a low groan escaping between his teeth as he released the young lieutenant’s chin and rested a hand over the swell of his throat instead, massaging and coaxing as his cock prodded incrementally deeper into that squeezing, overwhelming tightness. Cool threads of drool escaped from the corners of Koito’s mouth and trickled into the dark nest of Tsukishima’s pubic hair. His balls tightened, drawing up as his strokes found a more frenetic rhythm, hand wrapped possessively over the younger man’s throat as the head of his cock rolled over every tight ridge, rippling and distending, a faint bulge visible every time he thrust inside all the way to the base.

I hope, Tsukishima thought dimly, as the pleasure wave from before caught up to him and crashed through his nervous system, sending him over the edge, he doesn’t forget to breathe.

He managed to withdraw at the last moment, cockhead popping free from Koito’s mouth with a wet gasp as a thick string of come ribboned over his lips and chin and throat. Tsukishima felt his knees hinge and braced himself on the edge of the bed before he lost balance completely. Beside him, Koito coughed and sputtered.

The sound was pitiful enough that after a moment Tsukishima twisted around and cupped the back of the young lieutenant’s head, resituating him onto the bed. He produced a handkerchief from a breast pocket and used it to wipe the streaks of semen and other fluids from around Koito’s mouth and nose, dabbed the little tears from oxygen deprivation from the corners of his eyes.


The sound came through hoarse and tiny. It stirred something protective in the sergeant and he rearranged Koito more comfortably on the bed, propping him up on a pillow so that the weight was off his restrained arms. He stretched Koito’s legs -- they’d been bent for so long -- and massaged some feeling back into the thighs and calf muscles, down to his ankles. Koito sniffled with something that might have been gratitude.

“You did very well, sir,” Tsukishima said, not lifting his gaze yet. “Would you like me to bring you some water?”

When he heard no reply, he glanced up. He didn’t make it as far as Koito’s face; his eyes snagged on the sight of the thing nestled between the young lieutenant’s thighs, dusky and half-erect, a single pearl of precome beading at the slit like a drop of dew on a flower on the verge of bloom.

Without thinking too much about what he was doing, Tsukishima reached out.

Koito’s hips jerked the moment Tsukishima’s coarse fingers brushed along the skin of his cock. His reaction escalated when the sergeant wrapped his hand around the shaft, an involuntary grunt rising up from his bruised throat when Tsukishima gave it a slow, tentative stroke.

“Not there,” Koito managed, hoarsely.

It took a moment for Tsukishima to parse what Koito was requesting. He cast about the room for a moment for something suitable -- and found his gaze falling on a small glass jar left near the chair with Koito’s other effects.

“I thought I told you to leave this behind, sir,” Tsukishima said, leaving the bed for a moment to retrieve the jar and uncap the lid. He gave it a cautious sniff: lavender oil, that imported stuff that Koito was fond of using in his hair to achieve a little extra gloss. It conferred a nice scent, mild, not like the overpowering cologne the second lieutenant sometimes used around Tsurumi in a bid for attention. It spread over Tsukishima’s fingers easily enough. “I suppose it’ll have to do.”

Koito’s insides were feverishly hot, delicate inner walls flinching and gripping at Tsukishima’s oiled fingers as he eased them carefully inside. The temperature was actually worrying; he paused at the second knuckle to press the back of his spare hand against Koito’s forehead for a moment, until the lieutenant tossed his head aside in protest. Tsukishima relented, but even then he proceeded slowly, working his fingers inside in small increments as Koito huffed and squirmed against his hand.

The hole was slick and taking two fingers easily by the time 2nd Lt. Koito had had enough.

“Are you going to fuck me or not?” he demanded, his cheeks flushed.

Tsukishima’s eyebrows lifted. That hadn’t been on the agenda at all. If it had, maybe he’d have put off abusing Koito’s throat. As things were -- and considering his teenage days were long behind him -- he very much doubted he could rally to meet the lieutenant's expectations.

Best to modify them, then. Tsukishima’s voice remained completely steady as he pressed a thumb to the patch of skin between Koito’s asshole and his testicles, finding and rocking the small egg-shaped lump with the two fingers buried inside.

“I hadn’t planned on it, sir,” Tsukishima said, as Koito’s hips jumped.

He did begin to stroke a little harder, cradling and prodding at the small weight against his fingers. Koito’s objections broke off into stuttering noises; his lower body twisted, toes curling, one long bronze leg bending back into the air and spasming with every firm press against his prostate.

“Sergeant,” Koito was pleading inside of three minutes, brow damp with sweat again, bucking and struggling against the belt still restraining his arms behind his back.

“You can come any time, sir.”

“But I want--”

Koito’s breath caught in his throat, the rest of his request dying on his lips as Tsukishima’s fingers crooked and squeezed at the small tender sac. The young lieutenant’s entire body seemed to seize, back arching, jaw clicking shut as his climax caught up with him. Semen poured from the head of his cock and ran down its length in a languid stream, soaked his pubic hair, trickled into his crack and over Tsukishima’s fingers. It oozed out of him like a dam bursting in slow motion, viscous and thick, dotting Koito’s thighs and stomach and the sheets beneath them.

After a few seconds, Koito’s muscles relaxed and Tsukishima was able to draw his fingers out, carefully. He wiped them on a faintly trembling thigh before going to unknot the belt behind the lieutenant’s back.

“Apologies, sir,” Tsukishima said while massaging the life back into Koito’s wrists. There were angry red marks where the belt leather had dug in too tightly, nothing that would scar, but dark enough that Tsukishima was glad this wasn’t the season for exposed skin. “You were saying?”

Koito harrumphed, allowing his head to drop back against the hard pillow.

“You never listen to me,” he complained. “What happens if I can’t eat tomorrow?”

Tsukishima smiled at his charge’s hands. No doubt Koito’s throat would ache for a while, as would a few other body parts, but the hoarseness in his voice was already subsiding more than he perhaps realized. Sugimoto may’ve earned a name for himself with his freakish healing abilities, but all of the young men in their party bounced back from injury in a way Tsukishima was beginning to envy.

“I’ll make you some tea, sir.”

Koito didn’t appear particularly placated. But after a moment he said, “With honey.”

“Of course.”

“And mint.”

“Unfortunately I’m sure it’s out of season, sir. If it even grows here.”

“No good backwater…” Koito trailed off, grumbling.

Under other circumstances, Tsukishima might have challenged him on a remark like that. But it was hard to forgive a town that didn’t even have a proper bathhouse. And speaking of that --

Tsukishima scanned Koito’s body, sprawled and boneless before him on the bed. Covered in sweat, hair snarled, his lower half streaked in a drying, sticky mess that was absolutely going to start to itch in a few minutes.

“For now,” Tsukishima said, rising from the bed, “I’ll go refill the tub for you, sir.”