There's something about Hakuryuu.

It's more than the festering rot of his soul and the vengeance he'd ceremoniously carved into his bones. It's even more than search for power at any cost and the desperation to fulfill the dying wish of his brothers. Ever since they met, Judar was drawn to him by the way his eyes spoke volumes beyond his words. Time has barely changed them - one that now saw nothing and one that saw everything, penetrating his very being and always demanding more. Hakuryuu is not a man of simple measures, and Judar's perfectly content with it.

More answers. More power. More need.

Yet in these moments those eyes are for him. There's a lot to be said about how it feels to lay under his king, his back pressed against the sheets and his new lover moving just the way he likes. Judar tugs at the back of his neck to draw him closer, grinning with delight against Hakuryuu's neck when he bites down to hear the satisfied moans shaped around his name. Hakuryuu is simple to understand in bed. Sometimes, Judar thinks it's the one time Hakuryuu's mind is focused in one spot - focused on him and wanting him.

"There," he whispers, gritting his teeth and exhaling sharply when Hakuryuu moves at just the right angle. His toes curl and flex and he tosses his head back. It's the only time he can let someone be over him. Only Hakuryuu. He knows every inch of Judar's body and moves against him with purpose and want. It's almost impossible to focus on anything but how good it feels to be entangled this way. His emperor, and he in all his dark power, his magi.

"You're loud."

Judar looks over from his place on Hakuryuu's pillow. Hakuryuu is examining his wooden arm (he often does when he's distracted) and occasionally sparing a glance towards Judar. Judar can only snort at that and prop himself up on his elbows.

"I'm not going to fuck quieter for your benefit."

"Of course you won't." Hakuryuu runs his hand over his face and sighs. "Why are we doing this?"

"Did you forget that witch who -" Judar stops when Hakuryuu's hand moves across his cheek. It's not exactly gentle - more curious than anything, mapping out the shape of his jaw.

"No. This."

Oh. Judar hasn't thought that far. He untangles his hair bit by bit and keeps his eyes fixed on the window just past Hakuryuu's shoulder. This. He's asking more than just why they just shamelessly unravel each other night after night. Hakuryuu wants a reason and Judar doesn't have one.

Maybe it's that he can trust Hakuryuu in ways he never could with anyone else. Palace dancers and prostitutes meant nothing and brought little joy or pleasure to him. Mechanical at best, expected things of him as a figurehead to the Kou Empire. Hakuryuu however… he burns. He's full of power and passion. His blackened soul makes him wanton and parched with desire; a want to consume him and tear at each other like animals, drenched in their own frantic need to destroy the world around them. In all his wild anger, Hakuryuu is safe.

There was a time where they were on opposite ends of their own world, balancing carefully on a dance of obsession and defiance. His blazing eye and blood soaked gauze burned into Judar's memory in a way that was impossible to forget. Judar would peer over the edge of the window, floating with new magic and watching in wonder at the prince who was near death but holding on to something worth living for (whatever it was at the time, Judar could have only guessed). The first words from his cracked lips to Judar were for him to leave, and so Judar never did.

"I don't want you here."

"You will."

In some ways, Hakuryuu is the forbidden fruit. While Judar would escape the fussing bustle of his handmaids (usually speaking of how he should dress softer to find himself a strong noble to keep him pampered) by lounging in trees or on rooftops in thin silks, Hakuryuu trained his body beyond his limits day in and day out… yet not his mind. In time, it began to fade until his role as the dutiful prince barred him from the potential Judar saw. A raw, rough weapon that could be perfected under his touch, and forged in blood and fire.

Well. Almost.

"Why do you have to be so difficult? Didn't you like it?" Judar tucks his arms behind his head and falls back to stare at the ceiling. "I can do it again."

There's a pause, and then the feeling of carved wood dancing along Judar's inner thigh. Hakuryuu is most likely thinking about it, given the way that he's touching him with such purpose, but his head shakes and he sighs. "No. We need to plan."

"We have a plan. Give it a night. Give me a night to take your mind off it." Judar leans in and kisses his jaw slowly, but frowns when Hakuryuu pulls away with yet another obnoxious (no, really) sigh. "Stop sighing! You're being such a bore. You're being all gloomy like those masked bastards back home."

Hakuryuu stands and paces across the room to the window. He frowns as he leans against it, naked with his back to Judar. His winding scars burst in patterns of discoloured skin and knotted designs. He's a perfect balance of savage horror and royal beauty, wrapped up noble silks and false titles, not yet weighed beneath the crown he so desperately reaches for.

"Get back here and stop staring at the moon. It's not going anywhere." I might be, if you don't get your ass back in bed. Judar blows on a loose strand of his bangs and scowls. "What's your deal? You're sulking."

"I'm not sulking! I'm - there's a lot going on. Aren't you concerned?" Hakuryuu's fingers drift across the table by his side, sliding over the black game piece, the king, if Judar recalls correctly. It was some gift from Reim, nothing Judar really cared about, anyway.

"Nope. Can't wait to see the bitch skinned and screaming, personally. I get it, I get it. Two against hundreds - thousands! Storming the palace and killing your mommy dearest. So on and so forth, whatever. You have control over Belial and Zagan. You have a plan." Judar stands and crosses the small space to stand behind his king, splaying his palms across his chest and ghosting his lips across his scarred shoulder. "You have me, and I won't let you fail. I'll feed you with limitless magoi, Hakuryuu… no one can stop you." Judar can feel himself growing hungry with want. The raw power underneath his hands - every beat of Hakuryuu's heart under his palm strong and filled with depravity. No one compares.

"Something could go wrong."

"You're right. She could know the whole plan and beat you to the punch and kill you first. The sky could crack. Pink horses could fly and -"

"Judar, I'm being serious." Judar doesn't need to see Hakuryuu to know he's frowning. His voice alone sounds as irritated as he looks. He moves his hands further down Hakuryuu's chest and palms across his abdomen, delighted at the small tremor he feels in the muscle. Above all else, he still has desire racing through him in the wake of their intimacy.

"Even if I die, you can -"

Judar doesn't have much time to react. Hakuryuu turns swiftly, the pieces scattering across the checkerboard, and grabs Judar's shoulders with the slightest pinch of pain. He looks nearly wild for a moment, eyes wide and cheeks dusted with a panicked flush. "No!" The fire settles and his face relaxes, all before the innocence pushes back to the surface. "No… You can't die. Judar, listen to me."

"Hakuryuu -"

"Listen to me! You will not - cannot die. Do you understand me? As my magi - as your king I forbid it." His grip loosens, and his good hand slides around Judar's waist to draw him close, lips pressing against the side of his neck. "Don't make me mourn you. I won't allow it."

Judar's throat feels tight. Not as if he'll cry, but as if the sudden softness in the way Hakuryuu asks him to live smothers the very notion of his own existence. He's always been a tool, in the end. Judar doesn't think himself a smart man in many respects, but he's always known what he was meant for. Yet here is this… man (just a man, nothing more and nothing less) who pleads for him to survive. Hakuryuu holds him close and his lips work across his jaw slowly. "Hakuryuu…" Judar gasps when Hakuryuu's weight shifts, and Judar finds his back pressed against the messy silks of his king's bed.

"Take my mind off it, right? This won't be our last night. You'll lay with me when we've won. When we've changed our fate." Hakuryuu's wooden hand traces down Judar's side. "Be mine until sunrise."

"If that is what my king commands.'" Judar carves the shape of Hakuryu''s body with the fit of his own, the ceremonious heat of skin to skin sending a shock through his spine. There's a powerful beauty to Hakuryuu that goes unnoticed by most people. He moves like a dancer, with precise and fluid movements. He's grown over the years, become lithe and yet hardened to the world around him. His scarred face over Judar's is half in shadow, with the moonlight cutting across them and turning his skin silver. "Is this what you want?"

"I want you."

Judar doesn't need to be told twice. He's open to Hakuryuu, back arching and thighs spreading as their bodies fit together perfectly, as their corrupted fates have lead them. The black king and his magi, two halves moulded into a whole with no regrets left between them when their lips meet and the world turns to fire. Hakuryuu's false fingers trace a light path down his hip and across to his wet entrance. His fingers dance over his clit and press down to rub slow circles. Judar purrs in content and rolls his hips, moaning Hakuryuu's name.

"You're already wet. I didn't think I fucked you so thoroughly before."

Hearing such crude language from Hakuryuu of all people sends an excited thrill through Judar's body. There was a time he wouldn't even dare to call him by his name, and obligation and position held his words. Now he speaks with no need to hide the obscenities dripping off his tongue. He does things to Judar, things that he can't put words to. This touch… the way this feels (this delicious togetherness) is unmatched by anything else he's ever felt. It's not as sweet as the first fresh burst of summer fruit in his mouth, or as warm as the first sunrise of spring. This is something more than perfect, something so beautifully laced in ribbons and venom. They are the perfect contradiction and a force of damnation, and that above all else makes this dance a ceremony that worships all they've become.

"Hakuryuu…" Judar groans and twists his hands into Hakuryuu's hair. "Don't be mean." Judar hisses when he's given the response of two fingers sliding inside him, scissoring despite him being prepared from their earlier romp between the sheets. He isn't hiding his erection pressed against Judar's thigh, but despite Judar's hip movements, he won't reward him with satisfaction of being inside him. It's so frustrating how Hakuryuu does these things to him just when he wants it.

"You're right. I don't like it when you're quieter." Judar can feel the curve of Hakuryuu's smile against his neck when he whispers. The smooth wood of his hand curls inside Judar and he moans in response. His every nerve lights up as Hakuryuu beckons his fingers just right, his thumb teasing his sensitive clit and making his hips jerk. "You are my magi, and when I'm emperor, I'll make sure you're rewarded."

Judar nearly laughs at that (he would, but he's more focused on Hakuryuu's fingers stroking right there) and pulls Hakuryuu's head up for a rough kiss. "Then reward me now. I'm impatient." He isn't one to take teasing very well when he really wants it this way.

There was a time where Judar might've wrestled him down and ridden him until they were satisfied, but tonight isn't this sort of night. Hakuryuu is giving into his want, and parts his thighs a little further to press his cock against Judar's wet entrance. Ah… this is his favourite part. The moment right before they fall and begin their climb, like waiting for thunder after lightening and the rush of the blissful unmasking. The way Hakuryuu enters him, cautious despite the comfort of knowing each other, is endearing. He takes these moments slow and doesn't rush the feeling that comes with it.

Judar drags his nails down Hakuryuu's shoulders and arches his back off the bed, hissing in delight when they find their rhythm. Hakuryuu pins one hand above Judar's head and brings his lips to his neck, kissing and biting while he moves against him. It makes Judar crave more, and so he rolls his hips and pushes at Hakuryuu's shoulder. "Lay down," he rasps. "Let me ride you."

Hakuryuu nods, settling onto his back while Judar primps himself a bit. He pushes his braid back and fixes his bangs, grinning when he crawls onto Hakuryuu's hips and grips his hard cock. He strokes him slowly and licks his bottom lip, nearly sighing in relief at what he sees splayed out before him. He truly is beautiful, the perfect image of his king when he's bathed in moonlight and bare only for him. No want for darkness or hiding under sheets.. No, no, Hakuryuu is truly exposed like this.

Judar eases the head of his cock against his entrance again and lowers himself with a loud moan, contentedly gyrating his hips down when he's full. He runs a hand back through his hair and laughs in the back of his throat, getting lost in the look of lust he sees in Hakuryuu's eyes. This is absolute bliss. Sex between them is easy, but then.. something changes. Hakuryuu's hands on his thighs are gentle, and his flushed face seems to soften. Judar can only be left to wonder what things are going through his head, but the look of pleasure is undeniable, his lashes fluttering and bottom lip fitted firmly between his bottom teeth or slightly parted in paced pants. The way Hakuryuu touches his clit and grips his hips to move with him - by all gods above, Judar nearly prays for this not to end, at least not yet.

The final climb is a race where they lose themselves in the frenzy, the sound of their names meant for only themselves and the fluttering rukh that burn with a colour Judar can't describe. Making love in a velvet light that buzzes for him and him alone - the hands that hold him and guide him to his release with such surprising tenderness and the way he looks so good, Judar can't -

Hakuryuu says it, and the world turns to technicolour and bursts of electricity crackling along every nerve. It's dizzying and it blinds him while his nails carve across Hakuryuu's chest. Those words are forbidden to him and a luxury he can never be granted. Too much is left unsaid between the high of their orgasm when it crashes down around them and leaves the room filled with only their heavy breathing and the smell of sex.

"Judar -"

Judar kisses him and trails his fingers down Hakuryuu's cheeks. He doesn't want to hear it again, and Hakuryuu knows it. Not now… not when war is breathing down their neck. The time for that isn't now. There's a thousand words that pass between their kiss, and none of them need to go spoken in the darkness of the room where they've forged secrets and promises only the rukh know. What they are, and what they can be is stained in the fates in black, forever branded across their souls. If there is peace in Judar's life, he finds it here, sitting on Hakuryuu's lap and letting his mouth curve into a smile. "See? Relaxed. I am a man of many talents."

"You're insufferable," groans Hakuryuu, laying his forearm across his eyes. A small laugh escapes him, and he shakes his head. It's soft, the way his smile looks from behind his hidden eyes, and it feels right in these small moments of togetherness. "You're not sleeping in."

"I'll sleep in if I feel like it." Judar half climbs off the bed and sits down heavily on the edge. His hair's a mess and his hips are sore. "So if Zagan can make a wooden arm, could he make a wooden co-"

"Didn't anyone teach you that silence is golden?" Hakuryuu moves his arm and cocks his brow towards Judar. "I meant it. What I said."

"Silence is golden." Judar leans back and keeps his eyes forward this time. There's a hum in the air and Judar can't exactly pinpoint what he wants to say. "I won't let anyone take the throne from you once you claim it. I'll kill anyone who stands in the way."

He's met with a tired grunt. A shift in weight inches closer to Judar's back. "It isn't sunrise yet. Stay awhile." He doesn't have to ask, Judar always does. In a few hours, he'll feel the sun on his back and Hakuryuu's curious fingers across his skin, though he'll deny it as he always does. Part of this ritual is knowing it's never the right time to become more than this, and that it's only at the end that he can let those words sink through him and accept that this - well… this is more. Judar pulls back his mess of hair and decides it's too much of an effort to bother dealing with it now. He reaches across to the fallen pieces of the game board, twisting the black king between his thumb and index fingers to stand it up in the centre of the board. Is it more than loyalty? Than desire?

It is. It always will be.



Judar swings his legs back over to settle in, fitting himself neatly against Hakuryuu's exhausted body. He's nearly asleep, eyes closed and lips barely parted. Each black rukh carries with it the words that go without a voice, bringing a pleasant white noise to Judar's ears. Soothing, really, how the monotone can be so melodious all at once. It's in the small things - the mundane - that Judar counts how often they say it.

"As your magi, I will obey your wish." Maybe he's forgotten what he's asked. Maybe he's simply too tired to acknowledge what he's said. Either way, Hakuryuu's only reply is to drape his arm around Judar's waist and draw him closer. "I will always take your hand." If the world falls away, they will remain strong and bound to the path they've chosen. When the world shapes to their desire, it will be his outstretched fingers that keep his king at his side, steadfast against those who would oppose him. Their reward lies somewhere on the moment where a breath becomes a brush with death, and Judar basks in every second it draws closer.

In hindsight, this is the only way Judar knows how to say it.