Published: 29 October 2004.
To coincide with Athrun's and ElsewhereCW's birthday.

Disclaimer: Gundam SEED characters belongs to Sunrise, Bandai and Sotsu Agency. However the plot of this quirky tale is mine.

Warning: This fic contains SLASH, that is male/male relationship. It is within the guidelines of an R rating, and those guidelines do include non-graphic sex. If you cannot deal with this, DO NOT READ THIS FIC. Don't flame me just because you cannot deal with the idea of Kira and Athrun getting involved in a physical relationship. Unconventional character interpretation and it takes place after the known canon timeline. They are twenty here, so they are both adults.

Author's note: Set between Chapters Three and Four of Between Friends, Oct 29 C.E.75. This story is dedicated to ElsewhereCW who has been supportive throughout my writing this AsuKiraverse. Happy Birthday, Elsewhere. Hmm, does anyone even bother reading these side stories I wonder? :D :D

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it's the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.

◊ Between Friends ◊
Side Story Tequila Game

It was a quarter to midnight and Athrun Zala sat alone in the bedroom, browsing through the latest edition of 'Mechatronics Today' which had arrived with the evening post. Tori sat on his shoulder, chirping in its familiar robotic tone. An article on emotion chips caught his eyes and he pored over the details with genuine interest. Perhaps he should install one in Tori; it would be interesting to see how the mechanical bird would react to having emotions after all these years. Somehow, he doubted Kira would allow him to disassemble the bird even under the pretext of installing an upgrade.

To say that Kira was fond of the bird was an understatement in itself. Much to Athrun's consternation, the older boy seemed more comfortable sleeping with the dratted bird than with him. Lately, Athrun's desire to switch positions with Tori had grown stronger, and it began to unsettle him somewhat.

Sighing softly, Athrun lowered the magazine, and dimmed the light on the nightstand separating their beds. His eyes were drawn towards the empty bed beside his. He ran a hand through his hair, twirling a finger idly around his overlong fringe, wondering if Kira would be game to share his bed once in a while. It wasn't because Athrun wanted to do anything sexual – he crinkled his eyes at the thought – but, having had the experience of sharing body warmth with the other boy made him yearn for more.

Nevertheless, although they had always been demonstrative towards each other since childhood, Athrun knew he shouldn't push his luck. Their innocent cuddling on the sofa a week ago had almost degenerated into an all out make out session, and God knows what would had happened if he hadn't accidentally connected the vidphone. The shock of seeing Cagalli's enraged face had killed their ardour, and they sat clutching at each other for a long while, utterly rattled, before finally creeping into bed in the early hours of the morning.

If Athrun was entirely honest with himself, he had to admit that the feel of his best friend's grown up body rubbing against his had triggered a slew of weird and wonderful sensations which was an entirely new experience for him. He had to fight his desire to pin the other boy down and do sinfully wicked things to him. Or better still, to let Kira take charge and do sinfully wicked things to him …

The bedroom door swung open with a soft creak. Glancing up, Athrun heart did a flip. The object of his obsession stood leaning against the doorframe, head tilted to one side, a small enigmatic smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

"Ah, good, you are still awake," Kira said. "Would you care to join me?"

"Hmm?" Athrun arched an eyebrow curiously. "What is it?"

Kira produced a bottle from behind his back. "Found this in the kitchen. I thought we might as well enjoy it than let it gather dust."

Athrun frowned. "I don't remember buying that."

"Of course not, silly," Kira laughed. "Your friend accidentally left it behind ages ago when he made that hasty retreat from his enraged partner, remember? I doubt very much we're going to see him anytime soon, so why let it go to waste?"

Athrun laughed. "Brilliant idea. What is it, anyway?"

"Tequila." Kira held the bottle out to him.

Athrun swung his feet off his bed, padded towards him and took the bottle from his hand. He noticed that it the bottle had been uncapped and the liquid level was lower by a good measure. "Have you tried it?"

"Mm-mm," Kira nodded enthusiastically. "Oh yes. It'll knock your socks off. Look, I've got some salt and lemon too."

"Well prepared, aren't we?" Athrun snickered and tweaked Kira's bangs playfully.

Looking sideways at Athrun, Kira smiled, his eyes twinkling mischievously. "Of course. We can do the 'lick, suck and swallow'. How about it?" he purred warmly.

"Sure. Whatever you want." Athrun smiled indulgently, turned around and sauntered to his bed, the bottle in his hand. He leaned against his pillow, tucked one hand behind his head and cocked an eyebrow towards Kira. He wondered if Kira was a bit tipsy. It would be interesting to see how Kira would behave when smashed.

Kira remained where he was, leaning against the doorframe, the light from the hallway reflecting softly off his hair, throwing his profile in shadows. He dipped his chin and looked at Athrun from under his fringe, his expression inscrutable. For some moments they studied each other in silence.

Feeling curious, Athrun asked: "What are we celebrating, by the way?"

Drawing in his breath, Kira pushed himself off the doorframe and crossed the room in an unhurried pace. Athrun could really be forgetful, Kira thought to himself. It was going to be October 29 in a couple of minutes, but he figured Athrun wasn't too keen on celebrating his twentieth birthday. In fact, Athrun hadn't been keen on celebrating anything, especially after his parents' deaths.

Keeping his eyes fixed on Athrun, he placed two small glasses, a dish of lemon wedges and the salt shaker on the nightstand.

"What about fourteen years of friendship?" Kira ran a hand through his shock of dark brown hair. "I'd even discount that day you tried to kill me …" he trailed off, looking wistful.

Athrun studied him quietly. "Has it really been that long?"

"Hmmm, yeah," Kira murmured in the positive.

Athrun uncapped the bottle and filled the glasses almost to the brim. He handed one to Kira, and brought his own glass close to his nose. He sniffed at the liquid, wrinkled his nose, and drained it in a single gulp.

Kira's eyebrows shot up, utterly stunned. Never in his entire life had he seen anyone down a triple shot in one go.

"Arrgh!" Athrun sputtered, his eyes watering as the liquor burned his throat. His hand flew to his throat reflexively. "It burns," he croaked.

Kira's shoulders shook, unable to contain his laughter. Athrun gave him a dirty look.

"You dolt! That's not how you do it." Kira shoved his shoulder lightly. He couldn't believe Athrun had downed a triple shot without a thought. Whatever the blazes was Athrun thinking? Surely he couldn't be that naïve! Kira laughed helplessly.

Athrun folded his arms, looking petulant. "Well, show me then, if you're so clever."

"Fine. I will." Kira grabbed the pillow off his bed and chucked it at Athrun's head. Athrun caught it deftly. "Shift," Kira ordered, flopping down beside him. Keeping his eyes fixed on Athrun, Kira said: "Now, watch and learn. This is how you do the 'Lick, Suck and Swallow'." He sprinkled some salt on the back of his hand.

Athrun watched in rapt fascination as Kira's tongue darted out, licking at the salt. Without breaking his tempo, he sucked on a lemon wedge and quickly downed part of his drink.

"Easy, right?" Kira winked at him. "First you lick the salt, then you suck on a lemon wedge, and then you swallow your drink." He refilled Athrun's glass and handed it over, his eyes dancing with mischief. "Your turn."

"Just lick, suck and swallow, eh? I can handle that," Athrun said slowly.

Kira sat back on his heels and favoured him with a cheeky smile. "Mmm, that's right! Lick, suck and swallow."

Lick, suck and swallow.

Somehow the words sounded risqué coming from Kira's mouth, as if full of wicked promises. Athrun kept mum as he glanced sideways at his friend from underneath his fringe. Kira fidgeted for a while, his fingers pulling at the hem of Athrun's sleeve absently. Athrun couldn't help but notice Kira was biting his bottom lip – something he was wont to do when nervous or excited – in a manner that he found very attractive. Stilling his hands, Athrun restrained himself from an insane urge to make a grab at Kira, press him onto the mattress and draw the older boy's lip into his own mouth. Instead, he drew his knees close to his chest and laid his chin in his hand as his eyes veiled themselves.

"C'mon now, it's your turn," Kira said. He passed the salt shaker to Athrun, not noticing Athrun's strange expression.

Without warning, Athrun's hand shot out and grabbed at his wrist, startling Kira, who couldn't help but exclaim, "Hey …"

Kira got no further. He gaped as Athrun coolly sprinkled salt on the back of his hand, licked at it, sucked on a lemon wedge and downed his second triple shot in one go.

Athrun closed his eyes as the liquid trailed a fiery path from his mouth down to his stomach. Automatically he took a deep breath and was treated to an instant fiery sensation in the back of his throat. He stared at the empty glass, his hand still latched onto Kira's slender wrist. "Wow, that was … intense," Athrun said, struggling to keep his voice level.

"Woah, Athrun!" Kira stammered, momentarily stunned. His skin tingled where Athrun's tongue had touched it moments before. Six shots in under five minutes – that must be a new record. Moreover, what was the deal with sprinkling salt on his hand? Kira wondered if Athrun was really that dense, or did he do that on purpose?

Kira pulled at his wrist half-heartedly until Athrun got the hint and loosened his grip. Kira rubbed his wrist absently, his gaze falling on the dark haired boy who had sagged against the pillows, his eyes shut, a small secret smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

"Oh hey! Are you okay?" Kira asked, sounding worried.

Athrun mumbled something incoherent under his breath and held his glass out towards Kira. Kira filled it half way. No point in getting the boy smashed too soon; who would play with him then?

When Athrun remained still, Kira got to his knees, shuffled closer and shook Athrun's shoulder lightly.

"C'mon Athruuun, you can't be drunk!" Kira whined, not caring if he sounded pathetic.

Athrun's green eyes fluttered open. "Am not," he said. He lifted the glass and realised it swam slightly before him. He'd never been able to hold his drink well, and wondered how much tequila it took to make him intoxicated.

Kira sighed with relief and sagged beside him. "You had me worried for a while."

"I didn't know you care."

Kira cuffed Athrun's head lightly. "Of course I do, silly."

"Oww, that hurts," Athrun groaned in mock distress and leaned his head against Kira's shoulder.

"Stop being such a baby," Kira chided. His head felt light, and it felt good to be close to Athrun, to feel his warmth pressing against his arm. "Now drink up."

Leaning against each other, they sat in silence, downing their tequila as they enjoyed the comfortable warmth and closeness of being together. Time passed in delightful slowness; the only measure was the gradual emptying of the bottle.

"Fourteen years …" Athrun said, his voice filled with wonder. "And you hardly changed, you know that?"

"Hmm, is that good or bad?"

Athrun appeared to consider the question for a while. "You still like to cry, you wuss," he chuckled softly.

"Am not a wuss," Kira punched his arm playfully. "What's wrong with crying? Just because I'm more in touch with my feelings doesn't mean I'm a wuss. As if you're so macho yourself," he added, sounding mildly affronted.

Athrun snorted with laughter, and ruffled Kira's hair teasingly. "Really?" he paused, and when Kira remained silent, continued: "Your fashion sense is still strange. You love to wear those weird clothes, don't you? Do you have a thing about buckles and straps, Kira?" he said, referring to Kira's collection of dubious looking shirts and jackets.

"Well, yes. I do actually," Kira admitted, much to Athrun's amusement.

"I see … What's the deal with that velvet choker, Kira? Is it supposed to make you look cool or sexy or what?"

Laughing lightly, Kira elbowed him in the sides. "Sexy," Kira said, pouting prettily.

"Sexy?" Athrun raised an eyebrow, looking surprised.

"No you silly. It's cool. My stuff are so much cooler than yours. Admit it," Kira said, pinching Athrun's nose playfully.

Athrun sniggered, amusement evident in his exotic green eyes as he sagged bonelessly against the pillows and reached for Kira's hand. He interlaced their fingers together, his thumb rubbing softly on the webbing between the other boy's thumb and forefinger.

Glancing sideways, Kira watched as the dim light from the nightstand reflected off the hauntingly handsome features of his childhood friend sitting by his side. Athrun had his eyes closed, his breathing deep and regular. Kira wondered if Athrun had fallen asleep.

Safe in the knowledge that Athrun appeared blissfully unaware, Kira allowed his gaze to travel. His eyes lingered over Athrun's soft and almost feminine jaw line to the angular cheekbones; his eyes caressing the bridge of his nose, lingering over the eyelids and the midnight black of his lashes as they brushed against his cheeks. In the half light, Athrun looked almost effeminate with his hair growing past his shoulders.

His gaze travelled slowly downwards towards Athrun's delicate collarbones, his lightly muscled arms and chest, before being drawn further down towards the slender curve of his ankles. Kira resisted the sudden urge to run his knuckles on the soles of Athrun's feet, to see if the boy was ticklish there.

"You're staring."

The low voice jerked him out of his entranced state, and he blushed furiously. Athrun blinked at him slowly, his green eyes glimmering with a strange light. Kira's heart hammered in his chest; how long had Athrun noticed his undoubtedly spaced out expression? He raised his eyes hesitantly, finally locking with the amused twinkle of his best friend's.

"You look cute embarrassed," Athrun chuckled, his voice warm and low like liquid smoke.

The colour on Kira's cheeks deepened and his insides chilled as Athrun's arm came around his shoulder, this time holding the bottle. Kira took it.

"Very funny," Kira said, his voice slurring slightly. He filled his glass and set the bottle on the nightstand. His hand brushed against Athrun's thigh as he resumed his position. The room swam lightly and he sagged gratefully against the other boy.

"Hey Kira," Athrun said quietly. "Shall we play a game?"


"Let's make this celebration more interesting, shall we?"

"What do you have in mind?"

"What about a shot to mark each year we have been friends?"

Kira giggled, feeling tipsy. "That's fourteen, Athrun! We'll pass out before we're halfway there."

"Good point," Athrun slurred. "Okay, seven for you and seven for me then."

Kira wondered dimly how much alcohol a Coordinator could tolerate before actually passing out. "How shall we play?"

Athrun snaked his arm around Kira's shoulder and he whispered conspiratorially, his breath tickling the hairs near Kira's ear. "Shall I demonstrate?"

"Uhh," Kira hesitated. An alarm bell rang faintly at the back of his mind. Was Athrun coming on to him? Athrun seemed drunk, and he wasn't at all sober too. He struggled with his conscience for a moment and decided to take a gamble. "Okay. But if you try anything funny that I don't like, I'll beat the crap out of you."

"Spoilsport," Athrun murmured under his breath.

"I heard that," Kira poked a finger in his chest. "I mean it Athrun."

"Come on, Kira. It's my birthday. You should indulge me." Athrun tightened his grip on Kira's shoulder and squeezed.

Kira's head snapped up. "I … I thought --," he trailed off, surprised.

Athrun smiled. "What? That I've forgotten?" He paused, staring silently at the ceiling for a couple of minutes before continuing wistfully: "Just because I don't wish to celebrate it with the others does not mean I've forgotten."

Stumped for an appropriate answer, Kira settled for a sigh. Presently, he took a deep breath and said: "All right, I'll indulge you." A sudden thought struck him and he quickly added, "Up to a point, that is."

"Okay, okay. I hear you. We'll stop when either one of us say so."


Athrun reached for the salt shaker. Glancing up, he favoured Kira with one of his casual smiles. "Give me your arm."

"What for?" Kira asked, puzzled.

Athrun made an impatient noise, reached across and tugged at Kira's left arm gently. Carefully lifting the arm, Athrun brushed his fingers against Kira's skin, moving slowly from his wrist to his elbow. Keeping his expression neutral, he straightened Kira's arm and nonchalantly sprinkled salt on the crook of his elbow.

"Athrun, do you think …" Kira started to say, only to be cut off when Athrun turned around and placed a finger against his lips. He's not going to do what I think he's going to do … or is he? Kira wondered, his pulse quickening.

"Don't think," Athrun said, his vivid green eyes lingering over Kira's face.

A moment later, thinking was the last thing on Kira's mind as he felt the gentle questing touch of Athrun's lips against his skin, and the warm trail of his tongue licking at the salt. Kira forced himself to remain calm as he watched the younger boy suck on the lemon wedge and down his shot.

Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, Athrun sagged against the pillow, and smirked gently at his slightly stunned friend. "Your turn," he said simply, and handed the salt shaker over. Kira took it wordlessly.

After several moments, Kira sighed, unsure what else to say. "What am I supposed to do now? Salt you?"

"Mm, that's the general idea," Athrun nodded and chuckled lightly.

Kira shook his head in disbelief, but he couldn't hide the smile curling his lips. "I don't know why I let you get away with this."

"Don't think … just do," Athrun reminded him very quietly.

Pushing himself onto his knees, Kira moved closer towards Athrun and came to a dead stop inches from his face. He tugged at the other boy's hand and sprinkled salt on the palm of Athrun's hand. Taking in a deep breath, he dipped his head and ran his tongue lightly over Athrun's skin, lingering slightly longer than necessary. He kept his eyes fixed on Athrun as he swallowed his shot. Sucking in his breath, he pulled back and sat on his heels. Time seemed to slow down to the space of a heartbeat as long lashed green eyes locked with his own.

"Hmm, two down," Athrun murmured, finally looking away. He looked at the palm of his hand in fascination. The memory of the sensation of Kira's tongue, wet and hot, lingered on his skin, causing his pulse to quicken. Breathing deeply, he reached towards the nightstand for the three-quarters empty bottle of tequila. He filled their glasses with the warm amber liquid.

Turning towards Kira, Athrun slurred: "My turn." Kira's face swam crazily before him. He felt dizzy, his eyes unfocused and his hand shook as he reached out for the other boy. Kira watched in morbid fascination but he didn't resist when Athrun tugged at his t-shirt neckline, exposing his collarbone.

What now? Kira wondered, his fingers tightening around his glass as Athrun's fingers brushed against the curve of his neck. His eyes slid shut, his senses heightened as Athrun sprinkled salt on the delicate hollow of his collarbone. A shiver ran up his spine; he was intensely aware of how warm Athrun's breath felt against his skin. He let out an involuntary purr as Athrun grasped him gently and pressed a soft kiss onto his skin.

Athrun tightened his hold on Kira's arm, pulling him close. Slowly and almost seductively, he licked a path from Kira's collarbone, up to his throat, then his jaw, and then his cheek and finally his earlobe.

"Mmm, nice," Athrun's voice rumbled warmly against his neck, teeth nibbling playfully on his skin.

Kira shuddered, as brief explosions of pleasure racked his body. His glass slipped from his fingers, drenching Athrun's t-shirt. His hands flew up to grip lightly at the back of Athrun's head.

"Athrun …" Kira said, the word escaping on an exhaled breath. He trembled and tried to suppress a sigh as Athrun touched the nape of his neck, rubbing lightly. When he felt Athrun pulling back, he opened his eyes cautiously and smiled.

Athrun raised his hand and tilted Kira's face a little, allowing his eyes to roam over the older boy's face. Kira looked at him with a mixture of equal parts wonder and bashfulness. Rational thoughts abandoned them; they didn't care how bizarre the situation had become or how drunk they both were. All Athrun was aware of was how desirable Kira looked just then, his features fuzzy and seductive in the half-light. Athrun's pulse quickened as his breath became heavier.

"You liked that?" Athrun asked, knowing the answer, yet needing to hear it from Kira himself. He tilted his head to one side and waited; his cheeks flushed and his green eyes shimmering with a strange glow.

Kira's violet eyes darkened slightly as he held Athrun's gaze. The room swam and everything appeared weirdly out of focus. He bit his bottom lip, and inhaled deeply. He reached out and cupped Athrun's cheek in his palm, his thumb tracing lazy circles on the other boy's skin.

"Yes," Kira breathed, his free hand moving to touch Athrun's knee lightly, then slowly moving up the length of his thigh before trailing down back to his knee.

A muscle in Athrun's cheek twitched, and a lopsided smile tugged at his lips. "Hmm," he murmured. Apparently, he wasn't the only one losing his inhibitions …

Emboldened, Kira repeated the action, but this time his hand continued to move up the other boy's torso, tugging at the t-shirt gently. "Take it off," he said quietly. "It's wet."

Keeping his eyes fixed on Kira, Athrun did as he was told. Dropping the garment onto the floor, he leaned against the pillow, dipped his head and watched his best friend from under his bangs. Kira was staring absently into space, his mind seemingly preoccupied, a small enigmatic smile curling the corners of his mouth.

"Hey … are you okay?" Athrun tugged at Kira's right hand and laced their fingers together. Kira turned his head to look at him. When Athrun's hand skated up his side, he instinctively moved closer and laid his head on Athrun's shoulder. He held out his glass and Athrun filled it, his hand unsteady. He ended up sloshing a good measure onto Kira's t-shirt.

"Damn," Kira pouted, sounding mildly annoyed. "You did that on purpose."

"Sorry," said Athrun, amused. A naughty idea formed in his alcohol infused mind. "Why don't you take your t-shirt off then, before you get a chest cold?"

Kira couldn't believe his ears. "Athrun," he said reproachfully. He shoved Athrun carelessly on the arm.

"What's that for?" Athrun rubbed his arm.

"For getting my t-shirt wet." Kira shoved Athrun lightly on the shoulder. "For licking me." He shoved Athrun again. And again. Then once more.

Athrun grabbed his wrist. Kira tried to tug his hand free but Athrun held it fast. He gave a frustrated huff and blushed furiously.

"You're really, really cute when you blush," Athrun said as he rolled onto his side, a half-smile forming on his lips. Tugging firmly, he pulled Kira down to lie face to face beside him. "Now, shut up and drink. Oh, don't forget the salt." He rose on an elbow, propped his head on his hand and winked. "I'm all yours to do as you will," he purred, licking his lips slowly.

Somewhat scandalised by Athrun's come-hither stance, Kira gaped. "Athrun … you're terrible!"

Athrun snorted softly in amusement. "Hey, you did agree to play."

Kira pulled back, assessing, undecided. He narrowed his eyes into slits and studied the dark haired boy intently. Feeling suddenly bold, Kira decided if Athrun wanted to play, he would play along -- his way, his rules. Tugging his hand free, he balanced his glass on Athrun's hip, yanked his t-shirt off, balled it up and tossed it across the room. He retrieved his glass and favoured Athrun with a saucy smile.

"All right, let's play then."

Athrun said nothing. He gazed at Kira, wondering what the other boy would do. His thoughts were rudely interrupted when Kira pressed a hand against his shoulder and pushed him firmly but not forcefully onto his back. Without missing a beat, Kira quickly straddled his legs, and curved one hand gently around his throat. Keeping his eyes locked on Athrun's, he squeezed gently.

"Hey! Hey!!" Athrun started to protest, but he trailed off when Kira quickly sprinkled salt on his sternum, deftly licked it off and tossed back his drink in one quick motion. Kira shivered as the liquor burned a fiery path down his throat.

A few seconds passed. Kira pulled back and loosened his grip on Athrun's throat, fingers splayed as his hand moved up the slope of Athrun's neck, his jaw, moving to grip his chin lightly before finally brushing against the other boy's lower lip.

"Nice," Kira muttered, as he pressed his thumb into Athrun's mouth. Athrun's eyes widened in surprise at the sudden invasion, but his instinct took over and he sucked eagerly on the digit.

Kira's eyes fluttered, as a low sigh escaped him. His free hand rose to his own neck, touching the sweat flecked skin there. Then suddenly, without warning, he gave a small cry and crumpled on the bed beside Athrun, his head spinning. The glass slipped from his fingers, and fell with a thud onto the floor.

"I … I … don't think I should drink anymore," said Kira, as he slowly rolled onto his back, one arm over his eyes as he willed the nausea that threatened to overpower him away. He knew Athrun was watching, but he didn't care. Athrun could stare all he wanted, as long as he didn't make any abrupt motion.

After a few moments, he felt warm hands on his waist, sliding up his sides. He opened his eyes, startled, and saw Athrun's face nuzzling his chest, lips close to his skin, yet not touching. Kira became very still. He stared up at the ceiling, wondering what was going to happen next.

Nevertheless, he jerked involuntarily when cool lips pressed against his neck, nipping at his skin with small sharp bites. He gasped; his hands flew to Athrun's shoulders, gripping them hard. His heart thundered in his chest.

"Athrun," he breathed heavily. "What are you doing?"

Athrun pulled back momentarily to drink in his expression. The sight of Kira's half-parted lips and semi-lidded eyes brought a surge of intense heat in his groin. He was acutely aware of his growing arousal, even as his hands roamed on their own accord over the other boy's abdomen, lower and lower, pressing gently in the depression of Kira's navel and moving lower still. He hesitated momentarily, and then he slowly slid his hand under the waistband of Kira's pyjama shorts.

"Athrun …" Kira protested weakly. For a moment, panic gripped him and he wanted to bolt from the bed. But then, pleasure quickly took over, overriding his initial fears and any protest that he had. Kira shuddered and dropped his head back onto the pillows, his eyes fluttering shut as he tightened his grip on Athrun and pulled him closer.

"Do you want to stop?" Athrun whispered seductively, his breath warm and moist against Kira's heated skin. He pressed against Kira, and the heat and friction caused his eyes to go hazy momentarily.

Kira shook his head. "No, don't stop," he murmured, surrendering himself completely to Athrun's increasingly urgent touch. He tilted his head to one side, to give Athrun better access to his neck. Athrun jumped at the tacit permission, and marked him once more; he smiled in satisfaction as a crimson mark blossomed on Kira's skin.

"Athrun, please …" Kira arched his back, his fingers digging convulsively into Athrun's arms, his breathing raspy. His bare thigh rubbed against Athrun's arousal, causing the other boy to shudder convulsively.

"Give," Athrun said breathlessly, looking into his friend's eyes. Grinding his body against Kira's, he placed lingering kisses at the corners of Kira's mouth, causing the other boy to shudder. He buried his face in Kira's neck and marked him once more.

Kira lost all coherent thoughts as powerful sensations hit him, sending bolts of pleasure ripping through his body. He arched his back again just as Athrun ground down, and the friction drew out a sharp hiss from Athrun. Kira screamed as a knot tightened deep in his belly. Sweat dampened his forehead, his breathing harsh, matching that of his best friend's as the knot tightened further. His mind went blank, his eyes slid shut and he shouted incoherently as his body gave in to the inevitable. He tightened his arms around Athrun and felt a shudder tearing through the other boy's lean frame.

Athrun's movements became frantic as he got lost in the moment. He called out Kira's name over and over, his voice shamelessly loud, as he made the crossover from tension to relief. With a final gasp, he sagged against Kira and became still.

For long minutes neither moved.

Eventually, Kira's hands slid off Athrun's back, falling limply to his sides as he sighed contentedly. And then slowly Kira opened his eyes. Athrun blinked at him. They faced each other and simply stared, straight faced.

Finally, Kira reached out and ran a finger down Athrun's cheek, his eyes softening. He leaned forwards and placed a tender kiss on the corner of his mouth.

"Happy birthday, Athrun," he murmured softly. "I'm so glad we're best friends."

Athrun curved his arms around Kira and smiled in return.

"Me too," he whispered.

In the background, Tori chirped softly from its vantage point atop the wardrobe.


P.A. © 2004
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