Disclaimer: No material is owned by me

The bright yellow of the sun began to tinge with gold, shading in to an orange and finally a fiery red as it dipped below the horizon, bathing the city in a warm, inviting glow. The lush green of the grass contrasted with the bright colours of the flowers, which strained their fragile heads towards the waning sun.

Amidamaru lay back in the soft blades of grass on a small hill out of town, watching the sunset, knowing just what tomorrow would bring. It was always sad when friends fought but there was no changing the fact that he and Yoh would have to fight Bason and Ren again.

"Good evening." A low and sonorous voice vibrated the still air as a second ghost materialised by the samurai.

"Bason." He nodded in greeting without looking up. "Shouldn't you be with Ren?"

"Master Ren is training." Bason sighed, standing over Amidamaru. "He does not want me to be there. He claims that I distract him."

Silence once again presided over the knoll, and the sun sank further, stealing away all natural light. Below the two warriors, in the city, pinpoints of neon and white began to flicker into life and the nocturnal occupants awoke. Amidamaru rose with a groan.

"We have to fight again tomorrow." He stated blandly. Bason nodded in silent agreement, watching his friend. "Good luck."

"Yes, and to you too." The ancient Chinese warrior followed Amidamaru's gaze over the city. "Understand what I will have to do to you."

Amidamaru turned to Bason.

"And I you, my good friend. Fighting is always terrible, but it is so much worse when you must fight a friend." The samurai sighed and studied Bason's face. "Please forgive me for anything that happens tomorrow."

"Of course, Amidamaru." Bason smiled. "I would ask you exactly the same thing."

"And I would give you the same answer." The young swordsman answered, returning the smile. Then he sighed again, and turned his gaze back to the city. Bason watched him for a while before his eyes swept round the hill. It was a beautiful sight at twilight, and the sun had almost completely disappeared.

"You know," Amidamaru said suddenly, looking back at Bason. "I have been watching how people these days act and it seems," he paused, as though mentally wording how he would continue. "It seems that when friends have to leave, or if something bad might happen to them, then they hug. It seems to keep them friends."

"Yes, there are many strange superstitions." Bason responded. "In my time it was said that wearing no armour on the eve of a full moon would bring us luck in battle. I remember we tried it."

"And did it work?"

"It worked. For the other side." Bason answered, smiling faintly at the memory. Amidamaru laughed. "If you want, though," The Chinese warrior said, once again serious, "we can try out this theory about hugging."

"Do you mean that?" Amidamaru asked quietly. Bason nodded slowly and the samurai took a pace forward, placing one hand on the other warrior's chest plate. Though he was tall, he was nothing to Bason, who towered over him by a head at least.

Then the samurai placed both hands on the chest armour and allowed the other man to pull him close, resting his cheek against the cold spiritual metal, closing his eyes and imagining that he could hear a heartbeat. Bason bent his head over the samurai as he pulled him into a tight embrace, watching how the wind caught the long pale hair and whipped it around.

The next words from Amidamaru's mouth truly shocked him.

"I love you, Bason..." A sigh of contentment followed the simple, heartfelt statement and the expelled air from the young swordsman's mouth rushed over the metal of the armour, condensing and causing flowing patterns of vapour.

"Amidamaru..." Bason breathed. The samurai's words had caused a jolt deep within him and now there was a river of unfamiliar emotions coursing through him as though carried in his spectral bloodstream.

Amidamaru turned his head up towards Bason's and his lips were entrapped in the softest, most intimately loving kiss he had ever experienced. A quiet moan was torn from his throat as his tongue intertwined with Bason's, setting him on fire with sensations he had not felt before. He pulled away.

"Bason..." The young swordsman stared up at the warrior, infatuated. "You realise that if this continues we can never be friends again?" He asked, referring to the fact that they would either be lovers or they would end up never speaking to each other.

"I think I have looked at you as more than a friend for some time now," Bason answered with a small, secretive smile. "Amidamaru."

The samurai returned the smile as, once again, their lips met. Amidamaru moved his arms so they were around Bason's shoulders, massaging his back underneath the metal plating. Bason retaliated by placing his hand's on the other man's hips and pulling him closer, grinding them together. Another moan escaped Amidamaru's throat and his hands reached up to Bason's helmet, gently lifting it away.

Bason let Amidamaru pull away to study what he had uncovered – the other spirit had never before seen the Chinese warrior without his helmet, it was as though the two were connected.

"You are... beautiful..." Amidamaru gasped. Bason's shaggy black hair was unkempt, ruffled up by the helmet, but it gave Bason an air of rugged handsomeness. His eyes, which appeared pink-red under the helmet, were gentle and kind, staring lovingly at Amidamaru.

"I've done something for you," Bason's low voice, almost quietened to a whisper, made Amidamaru jerk unconsciously. "Now you must do something for me."

The armoured hands moved up to Amidamaru's head, slowly undoing the tie that held his pale hair back. The long, silvery locks cascaded freely down around the samurai's shoulders, stopping just past his shoulder blades. He looked so different with his hair loose, just as Bason looked different without his helmet.

"Oh..." the Chinese warrior breathed, teasing a strand between his fingers. "Amidamaru..."

The samurai smiled shyly up at Bason, as though asking silently whether he was good enough. In answer, Bason pulled Amidamaru back in to a hug, resting his chin gently on the young swordsman's head, pale hair tickling his skin.

"You look stunning with your hair down." Bason said eventually, Amidamaru snuggling in to his chest despite the cold metal armour. "Why do you always wear it up?"

"When it's loose it gets in my eyes..." Amidamaru murmured. Bason smiled at this.

"Yes, but you always have some loose, and it always seems to be in your eyes."

"Well, then, I don't know." Amidamaru replied, after some consideration. "It's the style I have always worn my hair in, right back from when I was a child."

"To me," Bason whispered, "you'll always be the most handsome, no matter what."

The Chinese warrior's mouth descended slowly, seeking Amidamaru's. They met again and Amidamaru gently nibbled Bason's lower lip.

"Do you want this as much as I do?" He asked the other warrior, who smiled gently.

"Of course, if not more."

Bason placed his hands on Amidamaru's chest, just as the samurai had done to him before, though in this case the move had a lot more affect; Amidamaru's chest was bare, exposed by his robes, and his breath caught as the cold metal of Bason's armour brushed his nipple.

"Bason, please..." He begged, unsure quite of what he was asking for, but the other warrior seemed to understand, sliding his hand underneath the samurai's robe and around to rest in the small of his back, causing Amidamaru's breathing to speed up and small, whimper-like moans to escape his throat. "Oh... Bason..."

The samurai's trembling fingers fumbled with the straps that fastened the various plates of Bason's armour. The Chinese warrior smiled gently as Amidamaru became increasingly frustrated with the sheer amount of armour he was wearing.

"Want some help?" He asked softly. Amidamaru glared up at him but froze as the exploring hand within his robes probed further down towards his groin, where he was already beginning to feel heat and electricity.

Together they managed to finally cast side all of the wrought iron plating, leaving Bason in a long white robe, and Amidamaru stared on in wonder at the Chinese warrior, who, beneath the metal, was thin and lean, with wiry muscles straining against the skin.

The exploratory hand was withdrawn from the inside of his robes as, once again, their lips met in an intense, passionate kiss, and it moved down with the other to slowly undo the soft material that made Amidamaru's belt. The samurai moaned through his kiss as the hand brushed teasingly against his crotch.

With the belt discarded on the floor with his armour, Bason moved his attentions up to the white cloak and heavy shoulder guards, which he slipped off the other man's shoulders with no great trouble, before moving swiftly on to the arm guards. Amidamaru watched silently as Bason broke away from the kiss, dropping the arm guards on the floor and kneeling to unfasten the leg guards.

And then both warriors were wearing nothing but the absolute minimum; one large piece of material was all that was concealing their heated bodies. Amidamaru stared down at Bason, who was still kneeling at his feet.

"Um..." Bason began. Amidamaru had never heard hesitation from the other spirit. It was... intriguing, in a kind of cute way, to hear the other warrior stuttering like a child. "Would you like me to... uh...?" He gestured hopelessly with one hand and settled for placing the other on Amidamaru's hip.

"Oh gods, Bason..." The samurai's eyes glittered with a pure, honest joy. "Yes... yes, of course..."

With a relieved smile, Bason gently slipped Amidamaru's ragged, black robes off, leaving the samurai naked and exposed. His own flowing white robe was pulled gracelessly over his head, and the two warriors' tongues met in another frenzied kiss. Amidamaru dragged his tongue up the side of Bason's neck to his ear, earning a low groan of pleasure from the Chinese warrior.

Bason paused again.

"Are-are you..." He stammered nervously. "Are you sure you want this...?"

In a silent response, Amidamaru moved his hips towards Bason's, allowing the tip of his hard shaft to brush lightly against the other spirit's inner thigh. Bason looked down at Amidamaru's face in astonishment, relaxing at the samurai's coy smile. After a slight moment's hesitation, Bason began to kiss the other warrior's bare chest, passing light suckles over Amidamaru's nipples and wrenching gasps and soft moans from the figure in front of him.

His fingers travelled, spider-like, over Amidamaru's length, collecting the moisture he found there. With a gaze into the samurai's eyes, as though silently asking permission, he flipped the other spirit over, sliding one lubricated finger inside him. Amidamaru gasped and his breathing, though not entirely necessary, sped into hoarse, ragged pants.

"I have not... hurt you?" Bason asked concernedly.

"No, Bason..." Amidamaru panted. There had been pain, but only so much before the pleasure. "I want you... inside me... please, Bason..."

The Chinese warrior withdrew his finger and positioned himself, pushing gently. Amidamaru's breath caught as the other entered him and the two spirits truly became one.

Bason moved one hand to grasp Amidamaru's shaft, stroking it at the same pace as his slow thrusts. The samurai bucked into his hand.

"Faster, Bason..." He whimpered. Bason complied, speeding up both his thrusts and the hand that was pumping Amidamaru's cock. With a cry, the samurai released into Bason's hand, the clenching of his walls around the other warrior sending him into his own climax.

Bason withdrew from his lover, who was lying motionless on the ground, completely spent, totally relaxed and seemingly half asleep. For the first time in his death, he felt whole, as though he was not just a shadow, as though he was alive.

Bason sat back against a tree trunk, Amidamaru's head cradled in his lap. The samurai was watching the stars, and they were reflected exquisitely in his eyes.

"Amidamaru?" The Chinese warrior asked, and the samurai in his arms stirred. "I have to know. What would you have done if I had said 'no'?"

"I would have attempted to return to just being your friend." Amidamaru shrugged. "And if you were so disgusted by what I am then I would have had no choice but to lose that friendship."

"And you were willing to take that risk?" Bason inquired quietly. Amidamaru looked up into his eyes.

"I had to choose between never telling you but knowing that our friendship would be forever, or confessing and possibly losing that bond... It was hard, but I feel... I feel..."

"You made the right choice." Bason lowered his head to gently kiss Amidamaru, who tilted his head back to allow the other easy access to his mouth.

"Yes." He said after Bason had pulled away. "Whatever happens tomorrow, we'll always be together – right?" The samurai studied Bason's face. The other warrior's clarification on this point was the only thing that mattered to him now.

"Of course." Bason sighed contentedly. "It seems that the superstition for hugging really does work, then, doesn't it?"

Amidamaru laughed.

The full moon shone over the knoll where two spirits, though condemned to fight, lay enwrapped in each other's arms. A soft breeze buffeted their robes round playfully as a single leaf detached from the tree and floated softly away.