The rain came down hard, pounding against the pavement in a torrent of thundering drops. Takaba Akihito ran and tried not to let the rain push him into the pavement as well. It was hard. Each drop struck like a hammer blow to his back, the pressure slowly tilting him forward to the black asphalt.

"No." With a shaky breath he snapped his eyes open wide, forced himself to keep moving even though he could barely see where he was going. A wall of rain poured around him, so heavy he could barely see the road in front of him, but he could hear them behind him. Loud voices echoed off the walls of the alleyway he'd stumbled down, men calling out to each other as they searched for him.

He heard something else too, just before the light hit him, so bright it made his eyes swim. Or maybe something else was doing that because he felt his head grow heavy and then suddenly there were two yellow lines in the pavement when there should have been one. The rain pushed him hard from behind, singing in glee as he hit the pavement with a loud splash. As the rain swallowed him up he heard the loud squeal of tires coming closer and then he heard no more.

When Akihito woke again it was to dim lights and a white ceiling. His mind felt sluggish, hazy and he thought for a moment that maybe some of the rain had crawled into his brain to pound on his thoughts. Something moved by his head and he felt a cool hand touch his brow gently, softer even than his mother's touch.

A strange length of sound from his right caught his wavering attention. "Fi...wake..." Turning his head just slightly, Akihito was able to vaguely make out an elongated face and slicked back black hair. The images kept moving and blurring so it was hard to tell who exactly the man was. He spoke again, the sound blurred by the rain falling inside his head so that he couldn't make out a word. But he felt himself relax anyways, the tone comforting and familiar even if he had no clue what the man had said. Rolling his face to the side he let his cheek rest against the cool palm as the rain pushed him down again.

A small whimper preceded him into waking the next time. He kept his eyes closed, focused on breathing through the pain that filled his body before he even thought about facing the world around him. There was a rustle of movement from across the room but he ignored it as the pain in his shoulder made his head spin. His world tilted slightly as a weight settled next to him, shifting the material of the mattress beneath him. Rubbing his thumb slightly against the soft fabric beneath his hand he confirmed his suspicion that he was on a bed, a very comfortable and high-class bed from the feel of it.

An arm moved under his shoulders and he cried out in pain as he was lifted. The world swam, darkness forming at the corners to swallow him up but he fought it. Even so he couldn't help the small tears that welled at the corners of his eyes, and he gave one short sob of pain as the motion suddenly stopped. He rested against something soft and warm, his eyes still closed, now tighter than ever as he sought to get a grip on the shuddering pain that was holding him. Two fingers pressed against his lips and he absently parted them, accepting the pill that was slipped into his mouth. The fingers retreated, replaced seconds later by a chilled surface. Opening his mouth he let the cool water wash in and take the pill with it as he swallowed.

Hazily he opened his eyes, staring at the black and white fabric beside his face while he waited for his vision to stop moving on its own. Carefully, he tilted his head back ever so slightly until he could see the face of the man holding him. Recognition lit through him and he tensed, causing another burst of pain from his injured shoulder, where a bullet had ripped through his skin while he'd been running through dark, wet streets. As soon as he cried out, Asami's voice was whispering soothing words in his ear. With uncharacteristic gentleness, one of Asami's hands sifted through his hair until he calmed down and relaxed back into Asami's hold.

Akihito yelled at his mind to push away, to move any distance but all he could manage was to clutch weakly at Asami's shirt with the hand of his uninjured arm. "What..." He coughed, his voice rasping painfully on the words, and the glass of water was pressed once more to his lips. He drank slowly, confused at the strange show of gentleness. Maybe, he thought, he was still asleep and this was some weird fever dream. There was no way the bastard Asami would ever be this nice to him without an ulterior motive.

"What," he tried again, "did you give me?" He was a little worried at how easily he'd swallowed the pill without even knowing where he was or, for that matter, what the pill was.

A chuckle met his words, jostling him slightly as Asami's chest moved and he couldn't hide the flinch that caused. He did manage to bite back the whimper that threatened, saving at least some of his dignity. The movement stopped suddenly and there was a short pause before Asami spoke. "Relax. It's just a pain killer. You couldn't tell that on your own?"

He looked up at the man and realized that it was true. The pain in his body was dwindling. It was still there, but the lesser injuries had faded away and the fire that was his right shoulder was only a dull buzz instead of the pounding roar of moments ago. While he was thinking, Asami fiddled with something out of Akihito's line of sight. When he turned back, Akihito blinked as a tray was set on his lap. A small bowl of soup was set out, mostly just broth, and half a filled bun as well. Asami shifted at his, giving him more room to move his left arm. He knew it wouldn't work but he tried to grab the spoon with his left hand. Somehow he managed to get the spoon in the bowl but it shook unsteadily as he tried to lift a bit of soup out of the bowl, splashing the liquid out of the spoon before he could even get it clear of the bowl. He dropped the spoon, his left hand falling to the sheets in front of him and he clenched it into a fist as Akihito tried to fight back the useless tears that were forming in his eyes.

"Shh." And again there was that comforting whisper, a light caress, and then Asami shifted back to his earlier position. A long, elegant hand picked up the spoon, ladled a portion of soup out and brought it to rest before Akihito's lips. He opened his mouth and let Asami feed him. He tried to force down the feeling of helplessness that was slowly overwhelming him but he couldn't stop it. Asami did that to him. No matter what the situation, where they were or what they were doing, Asami made him feel like a helpless doll. Now here he was, too weak to move, stuck in Asami's bed and dependent upon him for everything. He even needed the man to feed him because he was too weak to do it himself.

Somewhere between slow, measured bites of soup his head had fallen to rest on Asami's shoulder. Moisture dotted his cheeks but he ignored it. Ever so slowly his eyes drifted closed and his breath evened out as he fell asleep on Asami's shoulder.

A faint discomfort pulled him from the bounds of sleep and he opened his eyes, this time to a darkened room. His bladder painfully reminded him that it was full and he looked around, spotting an open doorway to his right. He vaguely remembered from the last time he was here that that was the bathroom. Muscles protested as he tried to sit up and he had the faint, very faint idea of waking up Asami who was sleeping quietly in the bed next to him, turned away so that only the broad expanse of his back was showing. But in this one thing he adamantly refused to let Asami help him.

Ever so slowly he drew back the covers with his left hand, carefully shifting his weight at a snails pace until he moved his legs a little off the bed. Biting his lip hard to keep from screaming in pain, he grabbed the side of the bed with his left hand and pulled himself up to a sitting position. He stayed there, hunched over, for a long time, waiting to be able to breathe normally again. Slowly he opened his eyes, looked at the shadowed floor and made himself calm down. His legs weren't injured so this should be the easy part, right?

He cradled his right arm with his left, trying not to jostle it too much as he stood shakily on unsteady feet. Sheer determination propelled him across the floor without stumbling, and he made it to the door. He had to drop his arm to shut the door and oh gods, did it hurt when he did that. The movement jarred his arm, sending pain screaming through his shoulder. He closed the door quickly, harder than he intended but hopefully Asami was too heavy a sleeper to notice. He locked the door, just in case and groped along the left wall until he felt the light switch.

Right, just one more thing in front of him. Asami had one of the western style toilets, raised up off the floor, which made things easier in a painful sort of way. Leaning his head against the cold tile walls he let his arm rest of the porcelain back while he fumbled at getting his pants down. Asami had changed him while he'd been unconscious because he wasn't wearing the street clothes he'd had on the night it was raining. He almost cursed Asami for that, a fly would have made things so much easier on him but he realized that his clothes had probably been muddy, bloody, and sopping wet. He pulled down the sweatpants only as much as was needed. As he did, he noticed how surprisingly well the pants fit him. They couldn't have been Asami's, there's no way the older man could have fit into them, and they seemed in pretty good condition which means they were probably fairly new. Did Asami buy them just for him?

He was just finished when a knock on the door startled him and he lost his grip on his pants. "Akihito?"

Fuck, now was not the time for Asami to be barging in. "I'm fine, go away." Considering his history with the main he couldn't help but be nervous in his current state of undress with only a thin door separating the two of them. Thankfully it was a locked door but Akihito had no illusions that Asami couldn't work around that.

"You shouldn't be out of bed." Ah yes, there was Asami's trademark anger.

"I'm fine," he shouted back, flushing the toilet to prove his point. Now for the hard part. Sliding his head down the wall he stretched to reach the fabric pooled around his ankles, ignoring how incredibly stupid he had to look doing so. The material remained just out of reach and the pain in his arm increased so he bit his lip and stretched just a bit more... and then promptly lost his balance, tilting to his right. He hit the tiled floor hard on his shoulder and screamed, loud enough to wake everyone in the building. It certainly had Asami in a stir because he was shouting and pounding on the door.

Slowly, calmly, he forced himself to breath around the pain, brought his legs up until he could grab his pants and wiggle them up his legs. Tears rolled openly down his face as each tiny movement wrenched a sob of pain from his lips but he had to do this. The pounding had stopped while he wasn't paying attention, which couldn't mean anything good. He rolled onto his back and lifted his hips to pull his pants the rest of the way up. With one determined heave he was sitting and from there he managed to stand somehow and get the water turned on so that he could wash his hand.

There was a scratching at the door and then all of a sudden Asami was there, grabbing him by the arms. He screamed again and Asami released him so fast it seemed like the man had been burnt. Before Asami could say anything else, Akihito was falling into his chest, face pressed against bare skin as he sobbed quietly. Without saying a word, Asami picked him up and carried him back to the bed, placing him gently on the covers before shutting off the lights and returning to his previous position on the bed.

Akihito stayed with Asami for two days before he finally asked the question.

"Why are you being nice to me?"

Asami just smiled that cocky, self-possessed smirk of his and didn't say a word.

Another thought came to him, as he remembered back to that rainy night. "Where's my camera?"

That brought an even wider grin to the bastard's face. "Confiscated."

He glared his fury. That was his camera! How dare that man....

"They were rivals of mine, by the way." Blinking he stared at Asami as smooth words poured from the man's captivating lips. "You've helped me out quite a bit with those photos. There was enough evidence there to shut them down, get them out of my hair for good."

So that was why he was being nice. Akihito felt sick suddenly, twisted disappointment pooling in his stomach, but he had to ask. "Is that the only reason you're being nice to me? Is that all I'm worth?"

"That's not quite it." Asami was suddenly very close, looming by the edge of the bed. "Do you really want to know what you're worth?" His tie was dropped on the floor and Asami started unbuttoning his shirt with hungry eyes focused on Akihito. A familiar leer spread across the man's face and he suddenly felt a sense of panic as the bed dipped low under Asami's wait.

"No." He cried out before he could think, his mind suddenly flaring on uncontrolled panic. "Please. Don't." He pushed himself away, not really seeing Asami any more as he hunched against the backboard. Pain flared bright in his shoulder but it was dimmed by his swirling emotions. "Please don't hurt me anymore," he begged. Closing his eyes he curled in on himself against the wooden backboard. He couldn't take it anymore. He'd been in so much pain, so helpless, he couldn't do it like that. It'd break him like that if they did it now.

A hand settled on him and he flinched, whimpering softly but it didn't try to pull him away. It just stayed, softly petting his hair until he turned away from the wall to look at Asami in confusion. The man's face was blank, empty of emotion.

"Come here."

Mindlessly, Akihito obeyed, letting Asami's hands carefully lift him and settle him until he was lying on the bed once more. An extra pillow was tucked under his arm before Asami leaned down and ever so softly kissed him. The kiss took his breath away, much like all the kisses they'd shared but this was different. There was no rushed quality to this one, no force. That was probably the only thing that kept him from protesting as Asami slowly drew Akihito's pants down before disrobing himself. He reached over, took something Akihito couldn't see out of a drawer before kissing him again, distractingly.

He wasn't nearly distracted enough to miss it when a cold, wet finger pressed against him and he tensed, knowing exactly what was coming from Asami's normal method: two fingers shoved in briefly and then the whole thing, making him cry out in pain.

"Relax." The word was breathed into his hair as a single digit pressed against him, slowly entering. It hurt, but it was not the sudden, vibrant pain he was used to. Instead this pain just hummed in the background, constant but ignorable and he found himself relaxing slightly as a second finger wasn't added immediately.

"You don't want it to hurt."

Looking up into Asami's face, he nodded once. "I hate the pain," he admitted slowly, not sure if Asami would get the reference to his words from well over a month ago when he'd almost slipped and said it when Asami had visited him at his apartment.

A knowing, cocky grin spread across Asami's face and instead of trying to smack the look off his face, he just turned his face and blushed. Asami turned his face back and he couldn't help but notice how good the man looked with a smile stretching across his face. "Well, it certainly is easier this way. You already have two fingers inside you and you haven't complained once."

"Huh?" Focusing back on his surroundings, Akihito realized that Asami had indeed snuck a second finger inside while he wasn't paying attention and the two were moving back and forth in a slow scissoring pattern. A third finger slipped in then, stretching him and he couldn't help but moan at the soft feel. This was what he wanted, secretly without ever really admitting it to himself, this kind of gentle touch. Asami's fingers moved deep inside of him and he let himself melt into the sheets. That was, until they pushed farther in and he suddenly saw stars in his vision. A hand at the base of his neck kept him from pushing up though his shoulder did twinge slightly as he shifted.


"Yes." Closing his eyes, he whispered the word and it didn't feel as ominous as he thought it would. Instead it felt more like a weight was lifted from his chest, making him float a bit on the bed.

"Ready for more?"

Eyes popped open and he stared at Asami as the fingers pulled out. He was asking. Asami, big evil corporate exec was asking him, Akihito, lowly photographer for permission. Slowly, he nodded, afraid to say anything and break the fairy-spell that seemed to have taken over the man.

Asami held him carefully as he pushed in, somehow managing to not add any pressure to his injured shoulder even though his hips were lifted off the bed. Two more pillows were pulled away from their spots at the headboard and placed under his back to hold him up as Asami stayed still inside him, letting Akihito adjust to the feeling. It was strange. Asami was big but not painful, at least not too much. It was more of a stretching-pain that the ripping-tearing-pain he was used to. He relaxed into the covers and breathed easily, which seemed to be the sign Asami was looking for because he took the opportunity then to move, drawing out ever so slowly.

His breath caught as Asami pushed out and then he released it in a long, low moan as Asami came back in, just as slowly, just as gently. The movement was weird, too strange and he felt like Asami was going to switch back to demon mode any moment and start slamming him into the mattress, regardless of the pain it caused. But the longer he waited, the more he forgot about the idea as gentle kisses down his shoulder and neck distracted him and he got used to the slow and even pace.

Low moans were pulled from him with every movement and he felt full, incredibly full in a way he'd only ever tasted briefly before. But here it was all drawn out, stretched over time so that he could feel every minute movement. His good hand was buried in Asami's hair, holding him close as he slowly started to plead, begging to be allowed release. With an easy chuckle, Asami took hold of him, stroking his hardness at the same easy pace.

Asami's arm across his collarbone kept him from moving as he came, a series of ever rising moans falling from his lips in loud crescendo before he fell, silent, to lay limp against the bed. A few more gentle pushes and then Asami was biting Akihito's shoulder as warm liquid pumped inside of him. He was too buzzed to mind the pain, he just held on, his arm around Asami as they both floated back to reality, and he found he like it, this way, not that he'd admit that just yet. He had a feeling Asami knew anyways.

It was strange that he felt disappointed to be leaving Asami's apartment almost two weeks after he'd first been shot. But he had a life he had to return to and he had no excuse to stay here anymore now that his arm was healed enough that he could take care of himself somewhat. He'd at least had a chance to call his mother, let her know he was alright and she was expecting him. He found his shoes by the entrance way, and a few clothes his size had appeared conspicuously two days ago on a chair near the bed. It was time for him to go.

"Running away?"

He looked back over his shoulder at the man leaning casually against the doorframe. They hadn't discussed it but it was vaguely agreed upon that he would be leaving soon.

"I have no reason to stay." The truth of the words didn't keep them from causing a dull, empty ache in his stomach. He wondered what kind of reason he would need to stay. Would he ever get it?

"I'm just going to catch you again, you realize."

Akihito turned to look over his shoulder as he opened the door. He smiled, the first real smile he'd ever really gave to Asami. "I look forward to it."

With a backwards wave he jogged out of the building.