Disclaimer: Get Backers is copyrighted to two wonderfully insane Japanese guys, not us. Our use of their characters is for fun, not for profit.
Notes: RPed by the two authors for fun - not necessarily how we think the story goes in our normal timeline, therefore kind of AU. But it's not a bad idea... Since we were basically just having fun, forgive the bits of Japanese here and there.
Warning: Mildly explicit yaoi lemonesque content, if that makes sense. If you don't know what yaoi is... might be a good idea to find out before browsing the Get Backers fanfic section, y'know?

Looking Through You

The sun was setting beyond the skyline of the city, casting rose and gold across the gray and blue of Mugenjou. Within, Raitei sat perched high atop a pile of junk, looking down upon his world like an untouchable bird, and his eyes followed it as it slowly descended.

Below, in the center of a dirt lot, someone was watching the unmoving figure up above, and he finished off a cigarette while he waited for the platinum-haired boy to notice his presence. From what he could make out, the supposedly dreaded Thunder Emperor didn't look very intimidating at all, and that disappointed him a bit. But then, looks could be deceiving, he supposed.

Shifting slightly as the last of the sun's orb disappeared behind the buildings, Raitei then noticed that he was being watched. Narrowing his eyes, he turned to face the intruder, not yet moving from his perch. "Who are you?"

Ban grinned. That was a little more like what he was expecting. "You don't know me, huh?"

Raitei slowly and deliberately crossed his arms over his chest, letting just a little of his electricity crackle softly. "You either don't know who I am... or you're an idiot."

Ban just chuckled around the last bit of his cigarette. "If I know who you are," he stated, "and you don't know who I am, who's the idiot?"

Raitei curled his hands into fists and glared down at Ban, but still made no motion to leave his perch. "It doesn't matter to me who you are. You are insignificant with the exception that you are in my territory without my permission. Get out."

"Your territory, huh...?" Ban shook his head, as if Raitei had said something absurd. "Who appointed you in charge of this place? Or did you actually claim this dump as yours?"

Starting to grow angry, Raitei rose to his feet, and his hands dropped to his sides, still curled into fists. "This place belongs to all who live here... but I am in charge of protecting those who do. I will ask you one more time... either state your business with me or get out."

"Get out?" Ban repeated, raising an eyebrow inquisitively. "I thought you said it belonged to everyone who lived here. How do you know I wasn't meaning to move in?" He shrugged, lifting his hands in disgust for the surroundings. "Oh yeah - I'm not the idiot."

Raitei leaped down from his perch, landing gracefully at the intruder's feet. "You aren't welcome here. Leave. I don't want to hurt you."

Ban laughed outright, taking the spent cigarette from his mouth and dropping it to the ground. "Hurt me? You move like a damn ballerina. I was expecting more from the Thunder Emperor of Mugenjou."

Electricity crackling visibly, Raitei brought one fist up in front of his own face. "Are you looking for a fight, nameless bastard?"

With a grin, Ban stepped forward, grinding the cigarette butt into the dirt with the toe of his shoe. "Maybe I am."

Raitei growled softly, wanting nothing more than to land his fist right into the smug face of this stranger. "Who are you?"

Ban shrugged casually. "Doesn't matter, does it? I'm just a stranger, no one important enough for the high and mighty Thunder Emperor to concern themselves with. Right, pikayarou?"

Infuriated by this last remark, Raitei gave up trying to learn the stranger's name, and instead sent a crackling fist sailing straight at his face. Ban ducked, having expected that - really, he'd intended to get the boy moving as quickly as possible. "Nice try. Wanna give that another shot?"

Raitei paused, watching him carefully. He might be angry, but he was also no fool, and just the fact that this man had managed to duck even one punch had him intrigued. "Who are you? What do you want?"

Ban met his eyes, but didn't take advantage of that. Not just yet. "You apparently really don't know me, huh?"

Raitei found himself caught by the unusual blue color of those eyes, and he peered at Ban through narrowed slits of his own, thinking quickly. "No."

Pushing up his glasses with amusement, Ban nodded - the boy wouldn't let himself look into his eyes if he did know. "I'm the one who's been tripping your lackies' alarms for the last couple days," he informed Raitei. "Not because they keep catching me, but just so you'd be a little unsettled. The name's Midou Ban... but hey," he said with another casual shrug. "Maybe in this dump, word doesn't get around."

"Midou Ban..." Raitei glared at him, taking a step forward. "What do you want? Why are you bothering us?"

"To get to you, of course." Ban smirked. "Even if you guys don't pay attention to what goes on in this city, I do. I heard about you, Raitei... so I thought I'd come take a look for myself."

Crossing his arms over his chest, Raitei gave him the smallest of eerie smiles. "And are you pleased with what you see? My reputation doesn't come from appearance."

Ban looked him over again, taking his time. "Apparently not," he said after a moment's thought. "You look all spiky... like you could be dangerous. So far I haven't seen anything to back that up."

Raitei smirked now, lifting both hands and letting the lightning dance from one palm to the other. "You really want to get hurt?"

Ban's smile was more earnest as he stepped back with one foot to prepare himself, but he didn't answer the question directly. "I wonder if you're good enough."

Giving him no warning, Raitei flew at Ban with both fists crackling, the smile fading away to an expression of rage. Ban turned, grabbing hold of the sleeves of Raitei's jacket to insulate himself as he stepped aside, using Raitei's momentum to toss him away. Instantly he turned to face Raitei again, hands up and ready to defend himself. Raitei did not rush at Ban again, however, but instead brought one hand up, sending streaks of lightning arching across the dirt towards Ban.

Not expecting that so soon, Ban had nothing handy to cover himself before the lightning struck, giving him a severe jolt. Immediately Raitei rushed at Ban again, one hand continuing to let lightning streak out, the other balling into a fist to aim for Ban's face again, intent on wiping away the smirk now burned into his mind. Ban caught the motion even with his head lowered in pain - he'd been trained too well - and he managed to keep himself moving, dashing right under Raitei's arm and elbowing him on the way. A pile of cinder blocks wasn't far, and he ducked behind them for a moment, looking around at their surroundings in the growing dusk.

Raitei skidded in the dirt as he regained his balance, turning to look at where Ban disappeared. He laughed softly. "Are you running away from me now, Midou-san?"

Ban smiled to himself, removing the outermost shirt he was wearing and twisting it around his left hand. "Midou-sama to you."

Raitei snickered softly at this, simply waiting for Ban to reappear. "You are nothing but talk, Midou-baka."

Finished with what he was doing, Ban lunged into the open again, grabbing for a bent metal stake that he'd caught sight of - once part of the dilapidated fence that marked off the lot. "That so?" he growled. "I'm thinking you're the one who needs to shut that mouth of yours."

Raitei watched Ban, unsure of what he was trying to do, and said nothing more. Instead he lifted a hand, gathering electricity again and sent it crackling towards Ban, keeping his distance for the moment.

Gripping the stake in his wrapped left hand, Ban simply held it in front of him, touching the back end to the part of the fence still standing, letting it function as a lightning rod to channel the electricity away. "So that won't work anymore," he observed with another smirk. "Wasn't a bad trick, but you'll have to be man enough to come close if you want to get another hit in."

Raitei was quite easily goaded into attacking again, but this time his hands aimed for the stake, in an effort to yank it away from the fence and out of Ban's hands, knowing himself to be stronger than most of his opponents. Hoping to impale him, Ban just lowered the stake to angle it straight at Raitei as he rushed in, but Raitei grabbed hold of one end, glaring at Ban and yanking roughly.

Ban just grinned at him, gripping it with the other hand as well and holding fast. "Something you should know about me, pikayarou... I've got a pretty strong grip. That's not going to work either."

Lifting one hand from the stake, Raitei attempted to use the other to vault over it and get closer to Ban, electricity now simply rolling off his body in waves from his rage. "Die," he stated, eerily calm.

Ban swung the stake around with as much force as he could manage, himself forced to step back against the fence as he tried to swipe Raitei in the side. Raitei just barely dodged the blow, but lost his balance as he did, falling to his knees and once more skidding in the dirt. Dropping the stake, Ban clenched his hands together, bringing them down hard on Raitei's shoulders.

Raitei shuddered and grunted under the force of the blow, but reacted quickly, lifting his own hands to grip Ban's arms, channeling his electricity to simply boil his blood through the physical contact. Ban cried out in pain despite himself at the electricity running through him, and tried to jerk an elbow back to ground himself with the fence, to no avail - Raitei did not let up on his attack, lifting one hand to Ban's shoulder in an effort to topple him over backwards. Drawing on instinct now rather than tactics, Ban simply pulled Raitei towards him, slamming him hard against the fence. Keeping one hand tight on Ban's arm as he hit the fence, Raitei struggled with his free hand to push Ban down and yet away.

Knowing that he couldn't withstand the voltage much longer, Ban gave up trying to get away; instead, he reached up with his own free hand to grab Raitei's throat. Ignoring the burning of the electricity, he squeezed, but held back just a little despite his pain. Raitei gasped for air, letting go of Ban's arm to claw at the hand around his neck, his entire weight falling against Ban's body as he struggled for breath. Ban took the opportunity to wrap his arm around, holding Raitei upright, pressed between himself and the fence. He could sense that the smile on his face was manic, and it would have been obvious now to any onlookers that he was enjoying himself a great deal as he continued to squeeze Raitei's throat.

For his part, Raitei continued to claw with one hand, but let the other drift to Ban's chest, hovering over his heart and gathering energy even as the edges of his vision start to grow dark. He never had the chance, however - Ban could tell by the sound of Raitei's breathing that he didn't have much time left, and let him go abruptly, dropping him to the ground. It would be no fun if the fight ended so quickly, and he had no real desire to kill the boy anyway.

Raitei gasped for air, and Ban too was breathless and panting, worn from the extended shock that Raitei had inflicted on him. Stumbling backwards a step or two, he grabbed onto the fence to keep himself upright. "...Better..." he gasped.

Although Ban's grip had done a fair amount of damage, the healing factor of Raitei's body quickly brought his sense back to him. He was angry still - and yet, there was something else burning within him, for this was the first time he could recall being nearly beaten. He climbed slowly to his feet, advancing on the stranger with small and even steps as Ban lifted his lowered head to look up at him. "Still want to go, huh?" Ban breathed, managing to smirk even in his poor state.

Raitei stepped closer still, reaching out a hand toward Ban's shoulder - but surprisingly, without the waves of electricity coursing off of it in attempt to kill him. "Midou Ban..." he murmured softly, pursing his lips in obvious frustration.

As Raitei's hand approached him, Ban straightened instantly and clenched his fists, expecting a second wave of attacks to come at any moment. "So now you'll remember my name..." he taunted the boy, "if we meet again after this is finished."

Raitei took one final step until their bodies were almost flush, lifting his other hand to touch Ban's cheek with surprising gentleness. "I... won't forget your name..." he murmured, and although his expression was firm, his wide-eyed gaze gave away the confusion and curiosity inside him.

Rather thrown off guard by the strange look, Ban raised his hands immediately to throw off Raitei's, stepping back and glaring at him in fury. For once, he wasn't smirking at all. "What the hell are you doing?" he growled, almost visibly bristling.

Raitei blinked in surprise, also backing up a step, as surprised at his own actions as Ban was. "...Memorizing your face, so I can kill you if you're ever fool enough to come back." He snapped the words out quickly, but seemed to choke on the end of the sentence.

Ban smiled again, very slowly, but it was an ugly, snarling smile. "I think you'd enjoy that more than I would. You're pathetic, pikayarou - I had you right where I wanted you in no time at all." He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, turning away as he looked them over to make sure they were still in good condition. "Not much of a challenge at all."

Raitei fairly spit at his back, his fists beginning to curl again. "You're the one who wanted a fight."

With a callous laugh, Ban started to walk away, not paying him any mind. "Yeah, and I barely found one. Too bad."

Raitei growled and brought his hands together, collecting electricity until it burned bright - a ball of plasma. "I should kill you where you stand - but all I wanted was for you to leave, so if you're leaving, then I've gotten what I wanted."

Ban glanced back at him, unimpressed by the energy glowing around the boy. "Heh heh... you try to make it sound like you won." he observed. "Well, in your own little world, maybe you did. But maybe, just maybe, I'll come back and remind you."

Raitei hissed; what little self control he had was not enough to hold back listening to these insults, and he hurled the ball of plasma at Ban with one hand, the other already drawing energy for another. "Bastard!" he spat. "You think you can walk in here with your smug pretty face and...."

Turning to face him again, Ban jumped aside. He was grinning again, tensed and ready for the action he sought. "Yeah, I do," he replied.

Without waiting, Raitei hurled another ball of plasma at Ban and rushed towards him, hands extended and once again crackling with energy. Above them, the darkening sky rumbled slightly in echoing warning.

Ban dodged, mostly, though the plasma singed his clothing as it passed, and he met Raitei's rush, ducking to ram him in the gut with his shoulder. Raitei grunted at the blow and brought a fist down hard on Ban's back, curling into the cloth tightly as waves of electricity crackled around the both of them. The blow had thrown him off balance, however, and his feet went skidding out from under him. Ban didn't skip a beat, grabbing Raitei around the waist and practically tossing him over his shoulder, letting the momentum carry him to land where he may. "You're overconfident," he muttered, turning to face him again.

"And you're a braggart." Raitei sat in the dirt now, glaring up at Ban, for once stopping to think about his next action instead of merely jumping into it.

Ban nodded at the observation. "Then again, is it really bragging if you're as good as you say?" He shook his head. "Like I said, pathetic."

Slowly rising to his feet, Raitei turned away from Ban as he sensed the approaching storm. "Yes, you're a real man for picking a fight with a stranger who didn't even know your name." He lifted one hand into the air, fingers arched out gracefully, and closed his eyes.

Unconcerned by the posturing, Ban shrugged. "I knew yours... that's what mattered."

Raitei stood absolutely still, waiting, waiting patiently. "And why did you want to fight me?" he asked.

Ban eyed him with more wariness now, not really sure what he was up to. "I thought you'd be a challenge," he replied. "Something not so boring."

Very slowly, Raitei turned to face Ban, a manic grin crossing his face as his now open eyes seemed to grow almost colorless. "Baka." He snapped the word out as his hand curled, leaving one finger in the air.

As the skies rumbled again, lightning streaked down towards the two opponents. Raitei collected it like a lightning rod, then hurled it at Ban with deadly accuracy.

Ban yelled loudly in pain as the shock ran through him, causing his muscles to spasm. He sagged to the ground, twitching, and unable to keep himself upright. Raitei did not waste a moment, and leapt at Ban in hopes of pinning him, one hand reaching out for his throat, the other seeking to grab a wrist or even his hair.

Ban managed to bring a hand up, blocking more firmly than he should have been able to, given the shock he had just taken. His eyes as they met Raitei's seemed strange somehow, and he murmured something under his breath, almost sounding like a chant.

Raitei didn't find a grip on Ban's throat, thanks to the block, but his hands came to rest on Ban's shoulders as he gazed down at him intensely, the color seeping slowly back into his eyes. Unconcerned with the change in those eyes, Ban looked back up at him with his own strange ones, the manic grin returning to his face. "...That's better."

Raitei continued to stare down at Ban without moving, partly from exhaustion, and partly because he couldn't seem to bring himself to actually try and deliver a killing blow. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out, and he shook his head to clear it.

Ban chuckled under his breath - a hostile, unpleasant sound. "What's wrong, pikayarou?" he mocked. "Was that it? Was that all you could do?"

Raitei shook his head, one hand straying up to curl in Ban's hair, yanking abruptly. He drew back with his other arm, fist balled and cracking, as if about to deliver another punch right to his face, but Ban grabbed him around the knees with one arm, faster than Raitei could blink. Pulling Raitei's legs out from under him, he shoved the boy over with his other hand, and Raitei was unable to avoid it, having completely not expected the movement. In fact, due to his own growing turmoil, he didn't even offer a counterattack or a blast of electricity in response.

With another unpleasant chuckle, Ban rolled Raitei onto his stomach in a swift motion and put one knee in the center of his back, grabbing Raitei's arm to twist behind. "You just don't get it, do you?" he snarled. "Either you fight, or you don't - but don't give me this shit."

Unnoticed by Ban, Raitei whimpered very slightly in a rather uncharacteristic way, but the pain was enough to cause a resurgence of his anger and he kicked violently, once again letting the electricity roll off of him in hot and powerful waves. "Get...off of...me..." he grunted.

Not wanting another shock like the last, Ban let go of Raitei's arm, but let his weight settle on the knee on top of Raitei, keeping the bare skin of his arms at a short distance to avoid a direct jolt. "Make me."

From the position he was in , Raitei could do very little aside from continuing to release electricity in hopes of slowly getting to Ban. He struggled mightily, arms and legs flailing about, and Ban sat back slightly, making a satisfied "hmph" sound. "If your little kiddie gang could see you now, with your face in the dirt..."

Suddenly going still for a moment, Raitei ceased all his struggling, and Ban hesitated. Raitei's arms stretched out above his head, his thoughts racing, and all around them the garbage of Mugenjou seemed to shift and groan, shuddering slightly as a few light drops of rain fell from the sky. Ban jerked his head up, suddenly uneasy, but it was too late; Raitei splayed his fingers out, concentrating, and suddenly things began whipping through the air - rods, bars, screws, nails, even old pieces of electronic equipment, all metal being drawn towards the Thunder Emperor more and more quickly as seconds clicked by.

Ban threw his hands up to protect his eyes, feeling the tap of screws and nails, and then the more hard, bruising impacts of metal rods, and the sharp edges of shrapnel biting into him. Continuing to draw things towards them, Raitei made another effort to throw Ban off of him, and the strange man tumbled off, though not falling completely.

Still covering his eyes, Ban staggered to his feet beneath the barrage, and tried to put at least a few paces between himself and Raitei, who already had jumped to his feet. The objects still flew around them, and yet missed their master completely as he drew his hands up in front of him again, collecting energy to toss off another round of his plasma balls.

The rain was now falling lightly around them, turning the dusty ground slick. Ban's hair drooped into his face unpleasantly, but he felt the energy in the air, and resorted to more base instincts than he was used to using. Ignoring the metal objects pelting him from every side, he got in close to aim a punch straight at Raitei's face.

Raitei just barely dodged, but the many objects around them crashed to the ground with the distraction. He was now absolutely furious as he shifted his other hand to grab Ban's arm as he passed by, releasing the plasma right there, knowing it wouldn't harm him nearly as much as it would Ban.

Letting out a roar of pain and rage, Ban turned to strike a backhanded blow against Raitei, and Raitei took it - stumbling hard, but not willing to dodge and lose his grip on Ban. He was too weak now to begin yanking objects into the air again, but he kept the electricity coursing through the both of them.

Ban couldn't do as well as he might have, with his good arm occupied, but now he was furious enough to have gone beyond the pain. He lashed out again and again, almost blindly, due to the distraction of the pain and the electricity. Raitei tried to return the punches, but as he felt a rib crack under Ban's blows, he finally let go, backing up a step and lifting a hand into the air. Yanking lightning from the sky again in this condition might very well kill him, he knew, but he'd rather have done it to himself than allow Ban to do it.

Through the pain, Ban barely managed to recognize that the posture Raitei adopted wasn't a good sign, and tackled him to the ground, still mostly dry and hard back among the taller buildings. Raitei grunted as they hit solidly, his head snapping back hard enough to disorient him for a moment. Ban was tempted to finish him right there, but couldn't quite manage to take further action at the moment. Bleeding, burnt, and disoriented from the electrical shock, he felt his vision going fuzzy, despite the power of his guardian that he'd called upon - even with the added power, the battle was beginning to take a toll on his mortal body.

Raitei reached a hand up around Ban's head, tangling it in the brown hair so that Ban could not look away, and stared at him intensely. Raitei almost wanted to laugh at the pain and rage flowing through his body, but found that somehow, for some strange reason, he didn't really want to kill him anymore; there was a look in the man's flashing eyes - no, the boy, Midou was no older than he was - beyond the anger, beyond the physical pain. As if he'd been walking in a hard, cold rain...

Not nearly so charitable, Ban snarled, furious, and gripped Raitei's hair in return, jerking his head back to expose his throat. "That was more what I'd expected... what other tricks have you got, Raitei? I want to see them all..."

He got an answer he hadn't expected when Raitei reached his other hand up to Ban's face at the same time that he yanked Ban's head downward towards his own, despite the somewhat awkward angle Ban had him at. He gazed at Ban for a just a moment, rage and pain and desire flitting across his face, his lips parting in a desperate pant.

Ban hesitated, recognition suddenly dawning through the rage. For a split second, he looked almost stunned, but then the expression hardened to another smirk. "...You want me."

Raitei's hand dropped away from Ban's face in shock, and he choked on his next word. "No..."

Ban just smirked wider. "Yeah? Then what are you planning to do to me?" His fist tightened in Raitei's hair threateningly. "Better figure it out soon..."

Letting go of Ban's hair, Raitei placed both hands on his chest in a sudden near-panicked effort to push him away. "No...no...no!" he cried.

Ban looked down at him, smug. "That's just pathetic... what would your lackies say?"

In another sudden change of expression, Raitei stopped trying to push him away, instead slowly curling his arms around Ban's neck. "That I am the Thunder Emperor..." he choked out. "And I bow to no one."

Ban met his gaze this time with interest, though his eyes still held a challenge. "Prove it."

Raitei twined his fingers into Ban's hair again, pulling his head down as his own eyes drifted closed. He felt their noses brush, and keeping his grip tight, turned his face to crush his lips against Ban's.

Ban indulged the boy, kissing him back every bit as hard. This might not have the end result of fighting, he supposed, but the process might be just as much fun.

Raitei bit at Ban's lips, running his tongue over the bottom one before pressing it between them demandingly. He let one hand loose from Ban's hair to run down his spine, surprisingly more gentle than the kiss itself. Ban was not the slightest bit gentle, by comparison, and continued clenching his fist in Raitei's hair. He didn't mind doing so - in fact, despite the spikiness, Raitei's hair was thick and soft, and he rather liked having a fistful of it. He opened his mouth wider, teasing Raitei's tongue with his own before capturing Raitei's lower lip between his.

Raitei moaned into the kiss as if he'd been deprived of such a thing for all his life, pressing his tongue deeper into Ban's mouth as if he would have drunk of him if he could. He let go of Ban's hair with the other hand and slipped both under the black of Ban's shirt to press against the warmth of his back. Ban let his hand drift away from Raitei's hair as well, to brush across his cheek and down to grip his shoulder, holding him against the ground. He hesitated again for a moment, drawing back to grab hold of Raitei's jacket, pulling it further open to slip over his shoulders. Raitei let go to ease in slipping his jacket away, but quickly returned his hands to their previous place, tugging impatiently at Ban's shirt before turning his face up in silent demand for another kiss.

Ban paused enough to let Raitei pull his shirt off as well before sliding his hands beneath Raitei's remaining shirt. Finding and teasing Raitei's nipples with his fingertips, he braced himself against Raitei's chest as he leaned in to oblige Raitei again - this was unexpected, but not bad at all.

Raitei dragged his nails down Ban's back and grabbed his ass, arching his own hips up to press against Ban's. He kissed him again briefly, but turned his face away to lay a line of kisses over Ban's jaw and down his neck, pausing to nip at his earlobe on the way. Humming a faint sound of satisfaction, Ban took advantage of Raitei's action to shift slightly so that his body rested atop the other boy's. He remained intent on the work of his hands - after all, his hands were his strong point.

Moaning softly under Ban's touch, Raitei arched his entire body up into Ban's as he was distracted from his trail of kisses. He left one hand clutching at Ban's back, but brought the other forward, intent now on removing his pants as well, desperate to feel the bare skin of their bodies pressed together. Ban grinned unkindly, and spared a hand to help him. "Here in the dirt, Thunder Emperor?" he smirked.

Raitei paused in surprise at the sound of Ban's voice, and when he answered, his own voice was decidedly softer than it was earlier. "Do you have a better idea... Ban-sama?"

The unexpected change in tone caused Ban to freeze in disbelief for a moment - not to mention the change in address - and then he just started laughing coldly. "Thought you said you wouldn't bow to anyone, pikayarou."

Why had he said that? Raitei winced slightly and shoved Ban away roughly, closing his eyes amid the blur of pain, exhaustion and lust. "Gomen... I forgot for a moment that your name is really baka," he hissed.

Ban smacked Raitei across the face - not too hard, he thought to himself, wouldn't want to make the kid too ugly while he was doing this. Already they were both bruised and bleeding, but Ban unzipped Raitei's pants roughly anyhow, paying his own pain no mind. "Fuck you," he growled, not particularly amused by the irony. Even though it was Ban who had insulted Raitei first, he was going to win this little battle, whatever form it took.

Raitei seemed sincerely hurt by this, and he was silent for a moment, blinking at the stinging sensation on his cheek competing with all the other injuries for notice. "Yes..." he finally said, slowly and without expression. "That is what you want now too, isn't it?"

Ban just glared at him. "What the hell does it matter what I want?"

Continuing to gaze at Ban with the same decidedly blank look, Raitei looked out of place, as if he'd just woken up in the middle of someone else's life. "If you don't want it," he told Ban, "then get up and walk away."

Ban shook his head. "This might not be what I came here for - but since you've been a complete waste of time otherwise, might as well get something out of it, right?" And not that he'd have said anything about it, but the kid wasn't bad looking - and Ban wasn't going to walk away without finishing any challenge presented to him.

Raitei found himself at a loss to argue, as the heat in his body was proof enough to himself that he did want this, that he didn't actually want Ban to walk away. "...But you never did tell me what you came here for," he reminded Ban.

Ban lowered his head slightly, hiding the frustration in his eyes by examining his zipper as he took down his own pants. "I told you it doesn't matter." And it didn't - he hadn't really, truly expected to find it anyhow.

Once he'd composed himself again, he looked up at Raitei again, his eyes full of scorn. "So how do you like it, Thunder Emperor? Do you like it from behind, or do you just like being down on your knees?"

Raitei was certainly not about to admit to Ban that he'd never done this with a man before - and hardly with any women either - and taking a sharp breath, his eyes still slightly wide, he replied. "You can't be more... creative than that... Midou-baka?"

Smirking, Ban sat back on his heels. "And you are? What, do you make all your followers suck your cock in new and different ways? What are you, the whore prince of Mugenjou?"

Raitei shook his head sharply, silently, his breath catching in his throat, and for once he had no snappy comeback to Ban's taunts. He wanted desperately to recover himself, but since the desire to kill him burned out, so too had most of Raitei's anger.

Growing impatient from the boy's sudden, awkward introspective shifts, Ban snorted derisively. "If you want it, either get up against the fence or just get on your knees, whichever. The Thunder Emperor shouldn't be rolling around in the dirt like a dog." He sneered at the title as he spoke it, his eyes sharp.

Raitei pushed Ban off of him to get up, but didn't assume any position; instead he turned his back and started to walk away, zipping his pants again. "No."

No? Ban glared after him in annoyed disbelief, staying put where he was - he wasn't going to make himself look stupid by getting up now, seeing as he just got his pants down, and he certainly wasn't going to chase after the kid. He didn't want him that bad - and sure, he might be a real bastard, but he wasn't a damn rapist. "Hey, pikayarou - running away already? You were the one who started this."

Raitei stopped in mid-step, bristling at the nickname, anger starting to surge through his veins again. "Don't call me that."

Sensing the fury rising in him again, Ban laughed - maybe they weren't through yet after all. "How are you going to stop me?" he taunted, trying to rouse him more.

All of a sudden, Raitei whipped around, lightning arching out of his hands towards Ban, but it was obvious that he didn't intend to kill Ban. In fact, he didn't even have the desire to fight anymore so much as he wanted to preserve what little of his dignity is left. "You're right, I can't stop you," he admitted. "But I'm asking you to stop."

Ban hesitated, not at all expecting that sort of response, and not at all sure what to do about it. But the fact remained that he hadn't found what he was looking for yet, and as he got to his feet, casually refastening his pants, he muttered, half to himself, "Whatever... pikayarou."

His eyes narrowed again, Raitei turned and walked back towards Ban. "Shut up." His voice cracked on the words, a vague sort of panic setting in that Ban was really going to let it go and walk away.

At the obvious falter in control, Ban grinned, seeing that he was getting the situation back to where he'd prefer it. "You said yourself you can't make me."

Raitei growled and lunged at Ban, seemingly intending to strangle him. "I... hate you..."

Ready to take him on, Ban stayed where he was, and clenched his fists in preparation - but Raitei changed his mind at the last moment and his hands found Ban's shoulders instead, shaking him violently. "Bastard. Bastard. BASTARD!" he panted with every shake.

"Damn, you're pathetic." Ban punched him in the stomach with one hand, shoving him away roughly with the other. "Here I thought I'd find a challenge, and you're... you know, screw it," he stated, starting to turn his back. This was going absolutely nowhere.

Raitei reached out to grab Ban's wrist, yanking hard. "I didn't say you could leave." Raitei was stubborn, but Ban was more stubborn, and he suddenly found that he was, for once, completely willing to surrender his dignity for the moment. "I..."

Ban shook his hand free in disgust, reaching for a cigarette as he looked back. "What?"

Raitei snapped a hand out to knock the cigarettes out of Ban's hand - the movement took Ban so by surprise that he hadn't even thought to take advantage of his strong grip - but Raitei still didn't know what to say. I want this? I want you? Fuck me? Die? Go away? The thoughts were spinning through his mind, but above it all was the desperate thought that Ban was going to leave - and even though that's what he had wanted originally, it didn't make him feel better. "Do you always back down so gracefully when someone says no?" he asked finally.

Ban shrugged nonchalantly, not entirely sure if that was sarcasm or not. "If they can't give me what I'm after, then why waste time?"

His gaze unwavering, Raitei took a deep breath. "You haven't told me what you want - how do I know if I can give it to you? How do you know I can't?" The words came out in a breathless rush as he took a step forward, his eyes still glazed with stubborn determination and a trace of the earlier inspired lust.

Ban stepped back slightly, his eyes narrowing - he didn't like people in his personal space unless he'd given them permission to be there. "I tried to get it from you, and even though you looked promising for a little while, you're obviously too soft, pikayarou." For once, there didn't seem to be scorn in the nickname - it was just another way of addressing him.

Raitei hmphed slightly, but didn't advance again. "Maybe I just thought you weren't... hard... enough for me."

"If that's what you think I was after," Ban told him with a smirk, "you're mistaken." He squatted down for a second, scooping up the pack of cigarettes that were batted away earlier, so that he could get on his way. "Besides, the fact you're talking to me right now proves it."

Raitei wasn't sure he understood the taunt correctly, but pounced upon Ban as he crouched down low, trying to knock him to the dirt again. "You were the one who had to interrupt us with talk in the first place," he reminded Ban, hands searching for hair and mouth seeking for mouth - and he couldn't be sure if it was rage or lust that drove him.

Reaching a warning hand up to grip Raitei's throat, Ban scowled. "So shut up and do your thing, whatever that is. You're boring me."

In an entirely different sort of attack than Ban had expected, Raitei moved to kiss Ban and bit down hard on his lip, drawing just a bit of blood, half out of anger and half in attempt to draw him into it as heatedly and intensely as they had been before. Ban was taken by surprise, despite what had happened earlier, and he couldn't think of how to react at first. His body, aching and exhausted, was still burning with Raitei's electricity in a figurative sense, if not literal this time, and he couldn't help but grip the other boy's shoulders, pressing up against him instinctively.

Raitei pressed his tongue into Ban's mouth, demanding and unyielding, and one hand drifted down to curl in dark hair as he let his weight settle on Ban, who was very much unnerved by being held down. He pushed Raitei off of him, only to roll the two of them over so that he was on top. His teeth closed on Raitei's tongue in warning, and he reached for a wrist, pinning it back against the ground. Raitei was perfectly fine with Ban back on top - after all, that was what he wanted, to draw him in again - and he kissed him back, lifting one leg to wrap around Ban, drawing their hips together.

At that, Ban was much more satisfied, even though he still hadn't gotten what he came for, and he supposed he wouldn't. But this wasn't bad - Raitei had a pretty nice, solid body, a nice enough face... Since the sun had mostly vanished, between the sunset and the storm clouds, Ban could no longer see him in the shadows of the old half-finished buildings, but that was all right - he still felt nice.

Raitei found his thoughts drifting off, lost between the physical sensations and the complicated emotions evoked by these kisses and touches. His one free hand trailed down Ban's back, lingering at his waist, and Ban was somewhat surprised by the tenderness in Raitei's touch - it wasn't something he'd felt before, and it certainly wasn't what he came to Mugenjou expecting to find - in fact, rather the opposite.

Slightly confused, Ban remained almost uncharacteristically silent despite the roughness of his hands as they tugged at Raitei's pants again, pushing them down once more. Raitei let Ban remove his clothing this time around, and though he left one hand at Ban's waist, he brought the other up to his cheek, running a thumb over it slowly before moving his head to kiss the angle of Ban's jaw in tiny nibbles. The thought of saying something to let the kid know just who was in charge was tempting, but Ban continued to say nothing at all as he removed his pants again. By this time, he was far too interested in simply getting on with it rather than risk interrupting it with more power struggles.

Raitei sighed gently as he kissed the line of Ban's neck, and electricity began to crackle underneath his fingertips as he ran them over Ban's back. Ban twitched involuntarily, expecting a stronger jolt to hit him at any second, and his instincts took over. Grabbing Raitei's wrists, he held them against the ground. "You're a tricky one, aren't you?" he growled.

Raitei pursed his lips, shaking his head. "I can't help it."

Ban wasn't sure which way he meant - the electricity or the trickiness - but he thought he preferred the latter, and decided to ignore it as he shoved Raitei's thighs apart in preparation. He hadn't brought anything for this sort of development, and he seriously doubted that the ruler of Mugenjou walked around carrying lube on a regular basis... It was going to hurt him, Ban supposed, but he didn't really care - if he'd been worried about hurting someone, he wouldn't have come to this place anyhow. Raitei made no complaint at all, lifting his hips towards Ban in anticipation. His breathing was quick and ragged, nervous and excited all at once, and Ban took it as a sign that Raitei didn't care much either.

Ban pressed into him carefully, feeling him out. Even if he didn't care about not hurting him, it wouldn't be any fun to make things really painful, he reasoned.

Raitei gasped slightly at the sudden pain, but didn't pull away. He lifted his gaze to Ban's eyes, asking without words to be kissed, afraid that if he were to verbalize it, it would make him seem weak all over again. Even so, here at the mercy of this man, he found that he had bowed willingly to someone, and his reeling mind didn't know quite what to make of it.

Ban smirked slightly, still taking it slowly as he felt him out, just as much because his own body was tired and aching. He slipped a hand under Raitei's head, running his fingers through the thick spiky hair he could feel better than see, supporting him out of habit more than tenderness, and Raitei moaned softly, winding his arms around Ban to pull him closer. It was almost affectionate, but he couldn't keep the electricity from crackling still. "More..." he whispered softly.

Ban felt a strange tingling that was as much the unusual softness of Raitei's voice and touch as it was the electricity he gave off, and it made him pause. Although part of him wanted to hold back, just to show who was in charge, the truth was that he wanted more as well, and he couldn't resist placing a kiss on Raitei's chest as he leaned in closer, rocking their bodies together faster, little by little. Raitei was... warm, somehow, even though the chill of rain seemed to hang around him like a cloud, and the shower he'd summoned only a few moments before had dried on his skin.

Raitei sighed heavily, meeting all of Ban's movements as his eyes drifted closed. He reached a hand up to wrap behind Ban's neck, yanking his head down sharply to follow with a kiss that was distinctly the opposite of that motion, warm and with far more softness than before. Ban didn't object, and let his hand drift down over Raitei's chest. The skin was smooth, surprisingly devoid of the scars he'd have expected from someone with a reputation such as his, and he wondered vaguely if Raitei was truly that good.

But that was something that could be determined later, he thought, and reached down further, groping him roughly. Raitei gasped sharply, that action causing another wave of electricity to roll off of him. Digging his fingers into Ban's shoulders, he drew Ban's lip between his own and ran his tongue lightly over the same spot he'd bitten earlier. Ban felt the slight sting of the small wound amidst the pain from all the others, and nearly laughed at the absurdity.

An intoxicating buzz that made his hair stand on end, Raitei's electricity was almost something unthreatening now, but Ban opened his eyes with vague wariness to look down into Raitei's. There was a curiosity in him, wondering what caused this to happen, exactly, when he'd come only for the fight that he had heard the Thunder Emperor would give.

Raitei sensed Ban's gaze on him and his eyes fluttered open, having gone to almost colorless again. He reached up a hand to touch Ban's cheek, leaving his hand there for a long moment, uncaring if it made him seem weak at all. He couldn't remember anything ever making him feel like this before.

Ban could see Raitei's eyes in the strange glow of his electricity, looking up into his, and he considered using that ability of his that Raitei was seemingly unaware of, just to dig deeper, to see what lay beyond. His eyes, so cold before, seemed different somehow, almost unrecognizable, and it puzzled him.

Raitei sighed again, contentment escaping in that sound as he continued to press his body upward against Ban's, burying his hands in that long, dark hair again. "Ban..." he murmured softly.

He was obviously completely lost in the moment. Ban could hardly stand it, between the unexpected tenderness and the electricity on top of everything else, and he pushed them further, faster, stroking Ginji harder. What would he see when those eyes cracked, he wondered?

Raitei panted heavily, breathing Ban's name again and again, clutching at him desperately, and when he finally hit his release, his entire body convulsed, his eyes opening to gaze at Ban in a kind of euphoric wonder and stupor.

Ban's eyes widened in pleasure as well, meeting Raitei's - big and warm and brown instead of narrow and cool and transparent - and they dove in deep, their powers seeking out memories until they brought back the feel and sight and smell of a different sort of release on another day, years before. The sounds of battle and a girl falling before him...

Raitei twitched in sudden pain as his world melted away, jumbling completely. His hands flailed, almost child-like, as he watched old memories repeat before him, rain falling from the sky in heavy gray sheets. He screamed in confusion, in the past and the present, covering his eyes. Aware of the dream, Ban stared at the boy that the notoriously strange gang leader used to be, bristling and sparking suddenly as he pulled the girl's body into his arms. Whatever he'd expected to find as the pivotal memory of Raitei, this was far from it.

Raitei wept over the fallen girl's form and then screamed again, this time in rage - years of fear and loneliness, the inability to protect the few people close to him, boiling over, coursing through him, like fire in his blood...

This was too much. Ban would have snapped them both out of the dream, but having realized what must have happened on that day, he didn't wish for a repeat in the real world, particularly while he was lying on top of Raitei. All he could do was watch, shocked, until the younger Raitei had spent his rage.

Having done so, Raitei rose slowly and solemnly to his feet, the girl still cradled in his arms, and looked out over the devastating wreckage of his fury. In the distance, several faint voices called out. "Ginji-kun!"

Ban almost wanted to find out more, but knew he'd seen enough - more than he really wanted to, in fact. Ending the dream, he stared down at Raitei beneath him, not sure what to say or do.

Caught between the afterbliss of orgasm and the horror of his memories as he woke, Raitei stared up at Ban in confused disbelief, tears running silently out of the corners of his eyes. Nearly every trace of Raitei was gone for the moment, leaving nothing but a bewildered and devastated boy behind. Ban tried to think of something to say, and finally just murmured, "It's all right." The words surprised him, since he hadn't attempted to comfort anyone for quite some time, but the only other things he could think of to say were even more surprising to him. The boy who was not entirely Raitei stared at Ban for a moment longer as hot, wet tears fell from luminous, pained eyes, and then he impulsively reached up to wrap arms around him without a word, desperately seeking comfort.

Ban froze for a moment, completely unused to the contact - meaningless sex was one thing, hugs were something else entirely. Still, foreign as it was to him, it wasn't painful or anything, he decided as he carefully put his arms around Raitei as well. "...You were seeing a dream," he explained quietly. "When someone looks into my eyes, I can make them see things. ...But... I didn't realize... uh..." Why was he explaining this?

"But... it wasn't a dream..." Raitei whispered softly, turning his head so that his face was pressed against Ban's neck. "It was a memory, so powerful... but... why just then..."

He obviously didn't understand about Ban's powers, and Ban sighed, his hand unconsciously reaching up to run through the boy's hair soothingly. "The dream I give people, I usually get from what I see in their minds... so I did it. It was my fault." The words were as alien as the embrace to him, and they grew even more so. "I... I'm sorry."

Raitei sighed gently, relaxing at the touch. "That's impressive... but it... it's okay... I can tell you didn't mean it like that... Ban..." He paused for a moment, then whispered. "Just please don't...don't leave... not yet...Ban-sama..."

Ban had the urge to pull away almost instantly at the request - what was he doing sitting there and cuddling someone he was supposed to be fighting, anyway? Just because he'd... made the guy cry. It was just a guilt trip, that was all - the memory had reminded him, somehow, of Yamato's last moments.

Memories he'd tried to put away flooded back, and Ban closed his eyes helplessly. "...Yeah, whatever," he muttered. That was the closest he could come at the moment to sounding like himself.

Raitei continued to cling to Ban, his voice sounding distant and almost sleepy. "Have you ever lost someone important to you, Ban-sama?"

"None of your business," Ban snapped back automatically. It reminded him again that this wasn't what he came for, and he sighed slightly. "...Why the hell aren't you trying to kill me, anyway?" he asked in tired resignation. "You know I only came here to fight you."

Raitei finally drew back slightly, and the confusion and hurt on his face was evident. "I... I remember being angry... we fought... but I don't... I don't... really remember what happened very well."

Ban sat back and considered this silently, coming up with a few ideas, but not really wanting to pursue them further - he'd done enough damage to this poor kid, who somehow didn't look much like the old Raitei anymore. It made perfect psychological sense, and in a way, he almost envied the boy for being able to escape in some fashion. "Uh... so your real name's Ginji, huh?"

The boy nodded and smiled slightly. "Yeah... Amano Ginji..." He paused, thinking, and blushed slightly. "Raitei is... er... well... I don't really know how to explain. I'm... sorry..." Even at the mention of the name, he felt the cold anger of the Thunder Emperor stir restlessly in him.

More evidence that he was right in his assumption; Ban nodded. "Don't worry about it," he muttered, reaching for the pack of cigarettes he dropped, an eternity ago to his mind. "Like I said, I came here to fight."

Ginji self-consciouly reached for his discarded pieces of clothing, yawning heavily as he glanced up at the clearing, starry sky. "I'm sorry if I was a disappointment... and I guess you'll be leaving now." He paused, not wanting to meet Ban's gaze, not wanting him to leave, but unable to ask him to stay. "But it's okay... you leaving... I'm sure the others are wondering...where I am."

Ban nodded, slipping his pants on again and fumbling in the pocket for his lighter. Wordlessly, he held out the pack towards Ginji - definitely not Raitei - silently offering him a smoke.

Ginji gave him a puzzled look and shook his head, wondering why Ban would think he wanted a cigarette. Still, he appreciated the offer. "Thanks, Ban-sama, but I don't smoke. I don't mind if you do though."

"Good thing," Ban chuckled softly as he lit his own. One drag made him feel less shaken already, and he reached for his black shirt as well, slipping it on. "...Listen, are you going to be okay?"

Ginji straightened himself up, but his smile faltered as he addressed Ban. "I'll...be fine. I always am, I have to be." He paused and looked away before continuing. "A lot of people depend on me. I can't let them down."

Ban regarded him thoughtfully, not believing it at all. "Are you sure they don't depend on Raitei, rather than Amano Ginji?"

Ginji blinked in surprise and bit his lip, turning to leave. "It... it doesn't matter, as long as they are kept safe. I'll... I'll endure Raitei to protect them. I promised I would..."

Ban shook his head, having put it all together - what he'd seen inside Ginji's memory, the change in his mannerisms, what he'd said about Raitei. "Raitei isn't you, is he, Ginji?"

Ginji looked back at Ban, pausing in midstep. "I... I don't know, exactly," he began. "He's... a part of me, somehow... but either way, any way, it doesn't matter, if Raitei is what they need, then... "

"Then Amano Ginji doesn't matter to them at all." Ban exhaled a puff of smoke to accentuate his statement.

Ginji couldn't deny this, and he turned away sadly, starting to walk into the darkness. "I... I hate to believe that, but you may be right. And there's nothing I can do about it." He sighed sadly, and with every step he took, he found himself simply wanting to run back to Ban's arms. "That's probably why there's less of Ginji and more of Raitei in recent days. But no matter my name, there are people waiting for me. I must go."

The boy was slipping away again already, Ban realized as he watched him leave - and he wondered why he even cared. After all, he understood that sometimes people had to do things they didn't want to do... that was what had driven him to seek out Raitei in the first place. And that, he supposed with a sigh, was why watching this bothered him. "Hey, Ginji..."

Ginji stopped one more time and looked back at Ban, lifting a hand and generating just enough light to illuminate his own face. "...Yeah?"

"I think I know what you mean." Ban picked his way past the rubble and debris from their earlier fight to face Ginji again. "But... listen. I can't stay here, but maybe I can come back sometime and see you. Ginji, that is," he clarified, "not Raitei."

Ginji smiled slightly at this statement, but there was still a certain sadness to his expression - or Raitei's, Ban supposed - as he nodded. "I... would like that," Ginji told him. "And even if you never do, I won't forget your name, Midou Ban...."

Ban smirked. "I won't let you."

Hesitantly, Ginji held out a hand. Really, he'd have liked to wrap his arms around Ban again, but somehow he knew that it wouldn't be acceptable. "See you... sometime..."

Ban took his hand, but instead of shaking it, just squeezed it. "Yeah... I'll be around. See that you are too, Amano Ginji."

There was a smile that belonged entirely to the boy, and not to the Thunder Emperor, before Ginji turned away into the darkness.

Ban stooped to pick up the white shirt he'd dropped before, now streaked with rain and dust, and nearly couldn't get up again; with the adrenaline no longer charging him with energy, he was feeling every wound Raitei had inflicted on him, and every guilty thought Ginji's unhappiness had brought to the forefront of his mind. But Mugenjou was not a good place to spend the night, especially if you actually might spend it unconscious, and Ban pulled himself up on the fence, staggering towards the way he'd found inside the strange, self-contained city.

He'd barely made it back out into his own world when he gave up and let himself collapse against the side of a building, exhausted and injured. Not mortally, though, he noted - he'd be just fine in a few days.

So he really hadn't gotten what he'd gone to Mugenjou for, he thought with a sigh, lowering his head as he began to drift off to sleep there on the pavement. But that was all right - he'd found something else instead. And if he really did go back there again like he said he would, there was always the chance that Raitei might kill him yet.