Author's Note: Dear readers, this story has undergone a rewrite! The original first two chapters have been deleted. The story now starts with what was once chapter three (which has now become chapter one). Not only that, but all of the chapters have been slightly revised. Nothing major has changed except the writing is a little better now. (I hope.) Thank you for all of your comments and support throughout the years. It's meant the world to me.

It was a warm, quiet day in EnmaCho's Shokan division. It was the type of day where one could practically hear the sound of diligent bugs thrusting themselves full-forced into the light fixtures. There were no cases to go on or mysterious circumstances to investigate, and even some of the most zealous workers had allowed themselves to relax. Of course, even if there weren't any early deaths, reports still needed to be written and documents still had to be filed. In exchange for being allowed to travel between the world of the living and the world of the dead, they had to do paper work.

That was the fate of a guardian of death.

That's how Tsuzuki thought of it anyway, but as he sat in his office, he decided that he had much better plans for the day. He was just in the process of plotting his escape to the nearest bakery when he heard Tatsumi's voice over the intercom.

"Tsuzuki-san, please report to the boardroom immediately," the secretary said sternly.

Tsuzuki pushed himself away from his cluttered desk with a sigh. "Another case . . ."

He walked to the boardroom and slipped in reluctantly. Watari, Hisoka, and Konoe were already seated around a large table in the middle of the room, while Tatsumi was standing at the head of the table. The secretary's head was tilted slightly as though he were annoyed, making his short brown hair brush over the rim of his glasses. He pushed them up, making their lenses reflect the light and effectively hiding his dark blue eyes.

Chief Konoe had his hands folded over the table as he stared at Tsuzuki expectantly. "Did you forget that we had a board meeting this morning?" he asked, drumming his fingers on the table for emphasis. His face was stern, but there was a gentleness in his soft brown eyes.

"Uhh, sorry . . ." Tsuzuki said, quietly sitting down as Tatsumi picked up a folder and started explaining the case.

"Over the past three days–"

"Owww, not so loud, Tatsumi. My head is killing me . . ." Watari complained, slumping over the table with his wavy blonde hair slipping from its ponytail and swirling around his face. The scientist held his head in his hands. "Too much alcohol last night . . . Tsuzuki, I don't even know how you're conscious right now. You drank more than I did."

Tatsumi shot Watari a look of distaste and continued. "Six people have been murdered in Nagasaki. Two per night, usually in large, open areas such as parks. Only men have been killed with wounds to either the heart or stomach."

Gruesome images of the victims appeared on the large, overhead screen behind the secretary. Something was oddly familiar about the case, but Tsuzuki couldn't seem to place it.

"The police haven't found any evidence, and the souls haven't returned, which leads me to believe that a demon is involved. Watari-san, I need you to try and find out what kind of demon it may be."

"Right," Watari mumbled into the table with his long hair completely hiding his face.

"So all we have to do is find out what's killing people, stop it, and return their souls?" Hisoka asked.

"Yes. Here is the file. You are also responsible for preventing any further deaths from occurring."

Hisoka nodded and flipped through the file as he headed out of the room, not even bothering to wait for his partner.

"Oh, Tsuzuki-san," Konoe said, stopping Tsuzuki before he could leave. "Don't forget to bring me back some cake."

"All right . . ." he sulked.

Moments after their meeting, Tsuzuki and Hisoka appeared in Nagasaki. It was nearing the end of spring, and the sakura blossoms were falling with each light breeze. The velvet petals died around them in fragile beauty, dancing like falling snow. A few pieces of the pink silk landed in Tsuzuki's auburn hair as they walked silently.

"Tsuzuki?" Hisoka asked as they walked down the street.


"How are we going to find this thing anyway?"

"Well, we could just check some open areas. All of the murders happened at night though, so we should probably wait until then."

"Randomly wandering around at night is ridiculous. We would never find anything that way."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Tsuzuki concluded. "What do you want to do then?"

"I could always extend my empathy to scan a few places at once."

Tsuzuki gave the boy a careful look. "Hisoka, are you sure you want to do that?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. The chief has been teaching me how to strengthen and control my powers."

"Ah, well if the chief has been teaching you, then it should be okay," Tsuzuki said playfully.


"So, that means we have all day then, right?"

Hisoka could almost see the puppy ears and tail sprouting. "Yes . . ." he said slowly, "why . . . ?"

Tsuzuki bounced up and down with his hands clasped together, rambling something about a new candy shop that they just happened to be in front of.

Hisoka crossed his arms and looked off to the side with a sigh. "Fine. Idiot. We can go."

"Waaa! Really, Hisoka?! You're so nice!" Tsuzuki's amethyst eyes sparkled happily as he dashed into the store, dragging the boy behind him.

The two shinigami spent most of the day going from candy shop to candy shop. After Tsuzuki had collected enough candy to satisfy even him, the two shinigami found themselves sitting on a park bench as the older man instantly started to devour all five pounds of his sweets.

"Are you sure you don't want any?" Tsuzuki asked with his mouth full as he started polishing off the last bag.

"Ugh, that looks disgusting."

"What do you mean?" Tsuzuki asked, holding up a blue-jellyfish colored squishy glob and squeezing it between his fingers. He looked to his partner, hoping to get a reaction out of him, when he noticed the dark circles under the boy's eyes.

"Are you okay, Hisoka? You look a little tired."

"I didn't sleep well last night . . ." Hisoka's voice trailed off. "I know I was only imagining it, but last night, for a second . . . just a second . . . I thought I could feel Muraki."

Alarmed, Tsuzuki instantly stood up, looking around as though he would find the other man lurking behind a tree.

"He wasn't there," Hisoka added hastily. "That's why I didn't call you last night to let you know. Just, for a second, I thought he was," Hisoka said, staring blankly off into the distance.

Tsuzuki sat back down on the bench and followed Hisoka's gaze. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, I'm sure. It's just that I had a hard time falling asleep after that, but when I did . . . it wasn't me that Muraki was after . . . in my dream."

"I'm sorry, Hisoka . . ."

"Idiot, it's not your fault. It's Muraki's. You should know that," his voice was light, lacking its usual conviction. ". . . Tsuzuki?"


Hisoka looked away, kicking at the gravel beneath his feet. "I know it's none of my–I mean, I know I shouldn't ask, but . . . did Muraki . . . hurt you . . . the same way he hurt me?"

Tsuzuki peered down at the boy for a moment before answering honestly, "No."

Hisoka let out a sigh that he didn't realize he was holding. Tsuzuki smiled at him reassuringly and ruffled his hair. "Come on, it's finally starting to get dark out. Let's find that demon."

"Did Watari-san get any information for us?" Hisoka asked.

"Yeah, he said it's probably a type of demon that uses people's souls to live off of. It's still weak because it hasn't gotten many people yet, so we shouldn't have any problems with it."

"Okay, you should probably stand back, so I don't sense you too much. Just follow behind me."

The two shinigami silently hovered above Nagasaki. As they scanned the dark city, tiny lights glimmered like captured fireflies faintly lighting their way. Once Hisoka let his shields down and expanded his empathy, it didn't take him long before he found the demon.

Cold waves of hunger came crashing over his body as he instantly clenched his head in his hands. He nearly fell when he slammed his barriers back up, shielding himself from the demon's emotions.

"Come on, it's this way," Hisoka said, breathing heavily and landing in one of the nearby parks.

Tsuzuki was close behind him when he saw what they were after. The demon resembled a large lion with giant, feathered wings resting heavily on its back. Brilliant green eyes beamed out from beneath its tousled mane, searching for prey. It prowled along the edge of the park–its solid muscles supporting its weight and rippling beneath its sleek, black coat.

"I'll distract it on the other side. It'll probably want to come after me. I think it might try to run if you attack it head-on," Hisoka said.

"All right, just take this with you," Tsuzuki said, handing him a barrier fuda. Hisoka disappeared, reappearing on the other side of the park just close enough for the demon to see him. The ground rumbled slightly as the demon's huge, black paws pounded on the soft earth in his direction.

Tsuzuki closed his eyes and pressed his hands together, uttering a sacred prayer. Orange and red fire filled the sky as Suzaku appeared in front of him protectively. The phoenix twisted in the air, stretching her large wings as her flaring-red eyes darted toward her target.

The demon charged at Hisoka, cracking the fuda barrier upon impact. As it shattered, Suzaku attacked, engulfing the demon in raging flames. The powerful force from the blast knocked Hisoka to the ground, unconscious.

Running forward, Tsuzuki reached Hisoka and cradled the thin boy in his arms. "Hisoka! Hisoka!"

Tsuzuki looked up in time to see Suzaku's fatal attack and the demon fall before him. The demon forced its emerald eyes open, looking directly at Tsuzuki.

Piercing the air like thunder, the demon spoke in a low growl, "You cannot escape your past no matter how hard you may try. Your very existence is tied to his. Remember, he does not care how many must die. You will find him waiting under the blooming sakura." The demon's heavy lids closed as its body went limp and disappeared.

"Hisoka?" Tsuzuki asked worriedly, brushing the light brown strands of hair out of the young boy's eyes.

Hisoka slowly stirred and blushed slightly when he realized that Tsuzuki was holding him.

"You were knocked out when the demon charged at you. Are you okay?"

"Oh . . . oww. Yeah, I'm fine," he cringed, pushing Tsuzuki away and rubbing the back of his head. "You destroyed it, right?"

"Yeah, it's gone. Are you sure you're okay? You should let Watari take a look at you. Come on, let's head back to the Meifu."

After the two shinigami returned to their office, they finished their report and turned it in. Meaning, Hisoka finished the report while Tsuzuki sat staring idly out the window.

"Ugh, it's late. I'm going home," Hisoka said, dropping his pen to his desk with a sigh.

"Me too. Night, Hisoka!" Tsuzuki replied with a smile.

Tsuzuki disappeared moments later–only he did not go home. He hovered over Nagasaki before landing on top of a nearby building.

"Where are the sakura trees still in full bloom?" he wondered out loud. "Meifu . . . then Hisoka must have really sensed him last night . . . That bastard has been watching us this whole time!" his voice rose to a shout as his hands clenched into fists at his sides. Tsuzuki took a deep, shaky breath as he tried to calm himself. "He can't be there right now though. Hisoka would have known it if he was. Then where? Here?"

Since most of the sakura trees had already lost their petals, Tsuzuki decided that all he needed to do was fly around until he found one still in bloom.

About fifteen minutes later, Tsuzuki came across a small field of sakura trees. Their blossoms were bursting in full bloom with deep pink petals that faded into a shimmering, lily-white. Underneath one of the largest trees, Tsuzuki noticed an alluring pond. He landed near the edge of the silver water and looked over the surface. The smooth, liquid mercury mirrored the night sky, reflecting each faint star. Tender petals floated peacefully on the still water. A single petal shivered under a breath of wind as it drifted down, shattering the glass illusion.

The warm night air smelled sweet, teasing strands of hair into Tsuzuki's face. "This must be it," he said, wearily looking up at the house next to the pond. He wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea of seeing Muraki again, but he knew that more people were going to die unless he did, and he preferred to get it over with.

Tsuzuki went to the door and knocked on it firmly. It opened moments later, revealing a tall man dressed in white with silver hair. A sinister smile crept across his face in delight.

"My, my, Tsuzuki-san. I wasn't expecting you so soon. Where are my manners? Come in."

Muraki stepped back, leading the shinigami into the small, dimly-lit house. As he entered, Tsuzuki found himself in a lavishly furnished living room. Ivory white candles filled the room with their flickering flames casting long, dark shadows over the walls. Attached to the living room was the bedroom, Tsuzuki could see, because there was no wall separating the two. Dulled red, orange, and brown colored blankets covered the large, four-poster bed lying against the back wall. Tsuzuki focused his attention on a porcelain doll delicately placed on an antique chair next to the bed. Candlelight illuminated its milky-white face, which contrasted sharply with the magenta hue of its dress. A similar doll, clad in a royal-blue dress, was perched on a nearby bookshelf. Its back rested against a collection of old, leather-bound books with gold lettering down their spines.

Tsuzuki could feel Muraki's eyes on him as he studied the room, and he unconsciously stepped back against the closed door.

"I'm almost done making dinner, Tsuzuki-san. Make yourself comfortable. It won't be long."

Muraki went into the kitchen while Tsuzuki removed his shoes and sat down on the large, ornate rug in the middle of the room. He kept his eyes on the floor and sat perfectly still, except for his trembling hands, which he desperately tried to control.

Moments later, Muraki returned with two plates of sizzling pork, peppers, and pineapple over rice. There was already an open bottle of sake and two glasses on the floor, which Muraki poured for both of them. The two men sat in silence as they ate slowly. Tsuzuki didn't put up a fight, and he actually ate the food, which to his annoyance, was rather good.

When they were done, Muraki stood, taking the plates with him, and returned to the kitchen. He came back with two bowls of ice cream topped with mandarin oranges and hot fudge. Tsuzuki took the bowl that was offered to him and continued to eat silently, staring intently at the ice cream in front of him. He could feel Muraki's heated gaze, and he preferred looking at the bowl.

When Tsuzuki finished, he looked up at Muraki for the first time since he arrived.

"Why did you kill those people like that?" his voice was barely above a whisper. "Why use a demon and not just do it yourself?"

"Because then you would have realized that it was me and sent half the JuOhCho to kill me. This way, I have you all to myself."

Before Tsuzuki could question him further, Muraki continued, "The first few murders I did of course. Afterwards, I had the demon do them for me. As for the wounds themselves, I'm sure you recognized them. Sometimes to the stomach, where you stabbed me, and others to the heart. I'm sure even you can figure that one out, Tsuzuki-san."

"Why do you want me here?" Tsuzuki asked in a small voice.

"At first . . . it was to bring back Saki . . ." Muraki's voice trembled as he closed his eyes. "But you killed him that night . . ."

"No! I . . . I didn't kill anyone . . ." Tsuzuki whimpered, "I don't understand . . ."

"I'm not surprised that your little shinigami friends didn't explain it to you. After I realized you had become a shinigami, I carefully planned ways to meet you. First in the church, then–"

"You, you planned for us to meet in the church?" Tsuzuki asked, confused.


Tsuzuki was quiet for a moment. "Then why . . . why were you crying?"

Muraki's face darkened. "It was all so beautiful . . . the perfect body to bring Saki back . . ." The doctor had apparently chosen to ignore Tsuzuki's question. His hands clenched into fists, and he suddenly stood up as he roared, "But you . . . you killed Saki!"

"No! . . . No . . . I . . . I didn't mean to . . ." Tsuzuki whispered into his trembling hands.

"All. Because. Of. You," Muraki breathed as he moved closer to Tsuzuki. "You're all that's left now . . . Tsuzuki-san . . ." Muraki was close enough for Tsuzuki to feel his hot breath on his neck. "I am this way . . . because of you . . . Saki is dead . . . because of you," he murmured into Tsuzuki's ear.

Muraki guided Tsuzuki over to the bed and pushed on his shoulders, forcing him to lie down. Brushing the smaller man's hair out of his amethyst eyes, Muraki joined him.

"We deserve each other, Tsuzuki-san . . . We both kill to survive. You are no better than I am," he whispered, smelling the soft strands of silk between his fingertips. "You have no right to judge me."

"Stop . . ." Tsuzuki whimpered.

Muraki loosened Tsuzuki's restricting tie, and the fabric easily gave away and slipped off to the side. As the larger man hovered over him, Tsuzuki panicked and rolled onto his side, hoping to get off of the bed before the other man could stop him. Muraki, however, seemed to be expecting this and reached out, grabbing Tsuzuki's wrist. With a sudden jerk, he pulled Tsuzuki back to him closer than before.

Tsuzuki froze as he felt Muraki's body next to his own. Closing his eyes, he could hear Muraki's steady heartbeat against his ear, and it was somehow comforting. Muraki was still only a man . . .

Muraki spoke, cutting off his thoughts. "Now, now, Tsuzuki-san. I can't have you running off, now can I? Make no mistake. I will kill as many people as I have to until I can have you. How many are you willing to sacrifice, Tsuzuki-san? What will you tell them when they ask you why they had to die?" Muraki laughed, "Will you tell them the truth?"

Tsuzuki swallowed.

Muraki reached for the discarded tie and raised Tsuzuki's arms above his head, fastening the fabric around his wrists and the barred headboard. The larger man's hands found the hollow of Tsuzuki's neck, and he caressed the smooth, inviting skin.

"Tsuzuki-san, why have the gods turned their backs on you? You're something far more evil than any demon could ever be . . ."

Muraki's hands moved over the round buttons on Tsuzuki's shirt. Each one came undone without any resistance, and Tsuzuki's skin screamed at the touch of the burning-hot hands sliding beneath the fabric.

". . . I . . . I'm human . . . " Tsuzuki could barely whisper.


"Hisoka says so . . ."

This seemed to amuse Muraki because he smirked, gliding the rest of Tsuzuki's shirt off of his shoulders. He slowly leaned down, tenderly touching his lips against Tsuzuki's. First gentle, then harder, filled with hunger and desire for the smaller body beneath his own. Savoring each taste of the cool, sweet lips, Muraki coaxed Tsuzuki's mouth open further, deepening their kiss. He only broke their embrace to push Tsuzuki's shirt up around his wrists.

Eager hands drifted down Tsuzuki's chest and lingered around his waist, tracing his hips. Tsuzuki's body tensed, shivering at each faint touch that made his skin crawl. He turned his head away with silent tears streaming down his face as Muraki unbuttoned his pants and pulled them off.

Instead of pursuing Tsuzuki's body further, Muraki got off of the bed and walked away. Tsuzuki sighed in relief and watched the other man as he disappeared into the kitchen.

One of the windows was open, and Tsuzuki could hear the slight rustling of the sakura trees outside. The candles had already gone out, and the long, sheer drapes brushed over the floor as they caught the wind. Moonlight cascaded through the window, casting a pink and silver glow over the room. The longer Tsuzuki waited, the more he started to tremble. He hadn't realized how cold the room was without his clothes or Muraki's hands setting his skin on fire.

Muraki came back holding a dagger in his hands. The handle was made out of a dark wood engraved with ancient designs that glinted gold in the pale light. As he lay down on the bed again, he pressed the dagger into Tsuzuki's chest. Deep black blood pooled around the tip of the knife, seeping out of the new wound. Shutting his eyes, Tsuzuki winced as he tried to block out the stinging pain of the cold steel. Muraki watched in fascination as Tsuzuki's look of twisted pain faded from his face and was replaced by a slight grimace.

"Hmm? Not enough?" Muraki mused.

Not waiting for a response, he buried the knife deeper into Tsuzuki's flesh. Tsuzuki was forced to clench his teeth in pain determined not to let the other man hear him scream.

Cradling Tsuzuki's head in his hands, Muraki whispered, "Don't be afraid, Tsuzuki-san. You're safe here. I won't do anything you don't want me to."

"You . . . you won't . . . ?"


"I . . . I want my clothes back . . . and I want to be untied."

"Shhh, Tsuzuki-san, I know what you want. I can see it in your eyes when the knife licks your skin. You're more of a masochist than I am a sadist," Muraki chuckled softly.

"No! It–it hurts," Tsuzuki whimpered.

Muraki picked up the knife again and sliced it into one of Tsuzuki's wrists, dragging it down his arm. He then did the same to the other wrist and admired his work as blood spilled over Tsuzuki's arms and down his shoulders, staining the white pillows.

"I believe you enjoyed that, Tsuzuki-san," Muraki purred as he smeared the thick, hot blood over Tsuzuki's body, marveling at the beautiful sight before his eyes. Blood mingled with tears as silver light spilled into the room, setting Tsuzuki's black blood into a flame of crimson.

Yet Muraki still wasn't satisfied.

"Let go, Tsuzuki-san."

Tsuzuki clenched his teeth even tighter as Muraki slid the blade over one of his nipples.

"No," he said, trying to keep his voice from shaking.

"Very well," Muraki mused. "I like a challenge."

The doctor continued to drag the knife down his chest, down his stomach, down . . . Tsuzuki's eyes flung open, and he fearfully looked at the other man.

"Stop!" he gasped.

Smirking, Muraki persisted, making a slight turn down Tsuzuki's inner thigh.

"Don't worry, Tsuzuki-san. I won't cut anything off. After all, we'll need it for later."

Muraki spread the fresh blood over the smaller man's inner thigh and licked it off effectively. His tongue was warm and wet against the open wounds, which slightly eased the stinging. Tsuzuki shivered as he felt the dull pain of Muraki's teeth biting into him. Even though Muraki had taken all of his clothes, he wasn't quite sure if he was shivering from the cold or the paralyzing fear.

"Cold, Tsuzuki-san?"

Tsuzuki could only nod slightly.

"We'll just have to change that, now won't we? It's all right. I'll be gentle," Muraki murmured soothingly. He let go of his painful grip on the smaller man's thighs and started stroking him carefully.

Tsuzuki's body froze at the touch.

"Mu– . . . Muraki! . . . St– . . . Stop! You said that you'd stop if I didn't want–"

"Tsuzuki-san, your body is telling me otherwise," Muraki sneered.

Tsuzuki was horrified to find that his body had betrayed him.

Tightening his grip, Muraki jerked his hand upward pleased to hear Tsuzuki's harsh gasp. Tears trickled down his cheeks in glistening silver streams as he wept silently. He only let out a pleading cry when Muraki lowered his head to his hands, taking him into his mouth.

"All right, Tsuzuki-san. I'll stop."

Tsuzuki looked at him in surprise. "You will?" he managed.


Muraki got off of the bed and walked over to the chair in the room. He stripped silently, revealing white bandages stained with blood wrapped around his waist. Tsuzuki took this opportunity to struggle, trying to get his hands to slip through the tight bonds. He turned over onto his stomach so that he could see better and tried to pick at the knot with his fingertips. Muraki watched in amusement as he placed his carefully folded clothes on the chair and returned to the bed.

"We'll do something else then," he purred into Tsuzuki's ear.

"Wha . . . what?"

"You'll see."

Muraki rested his back against the headboard and forced Tsuzuki between his bent legs. Closer to the larger man than he liked, Tsuzuki struggled, but he was at an awkward angle with his arms still tied. Muraki grabbed his jaw and squeezed, forcing his mouth open and guiding his head down, letting the shinigami taste all of him.

Tsuzuki choked, and Muraki loosened his hold on him. He could feel the hard pulsing in his mouth as Muraki let him come up only to be pushed back down again. The act made him sick, and Tsuzuki fought back the rising fear in his chest. He tried to break free, but Muraki's firm grip was only increasing.

Oh God, make it stop . . .

A deep growl rose from Muraki's throat, and Tsuzuki began to sob.

"There," Muraki whispered.

Tsuzuki looked up in confusion as the larger man released him.

Muraki turned Tsuzuki over so that he was lying on his back again. Reaching over to the night stand, Muraki pulled a bottle out of the drawer and generously covered his hands with liquid before putting it back.

"We deserve each other, Tsuzuki-san . . ." he whispered softly, pressing one of his fingers up against Tsuzuki's opening before sliding it in. A second finger joined the first, probing deep inside and spreading the cold lubricant. Tsuzuki inhaled sharply and fought to distance himself from Muraki's long fingers.

Slowly, Muraki draped himself over Tsuzuki, pinning him to the bed and immersing him in the mingling scent of sakura blossoms and raspberries.

He positioned himself before gradually pushing into the smaller man. Tsuzuki's entire body went rigid as he let out a cry of pain. He could feel all of Muraki's weight pressing into him, and the pressure was almost too much to bear. A twisted grin crept across Muraki's face as he made the shinigami whimper and tremble.

. . . Oh God . . . oh God . . . !

"St–stop! . . . Mu–Muraki!" was all that Tsuzuki could manage. As Muraki thrust upward, Tsuzuki's back arched and his head dug into the pillow. He could feel Muraki's quivering muscles against his thighs as he rocked forward.

. . . It hurts . . . please . . . please make it stop . . .

Tsuzuki's hands clenched at the bars that tied them as he gasped for breath with his mouth opening and closing wordlessly.

. . . Why? . . . Why does it feel like this . . . ?

"Mu. . . Muraki . . ." he moaned, squeezing his eyes shut as the larger man fiercely plunged harder and deeper into him, making his body start to shake. Tsuzuki's panic increased as he felt as though he wouldn't be able to take the pressure much longer. He could feel Muraki throbbing inside of him; the stretched feeling made his whole body seem to shudder with pleasure, and he hated it.

. . . It shouldn't feel like this . . .

Muraki tangled his hands in Tsuzuki's silky hair and watched in anticipation as the shinigami's face twisted in pain and pleasure. He drove into him with raging force and desire when he suddenly stopped, removing himself from Tsuzuki.

Tsuzuki opened his eyes, not even realizing that they had closed, and looked questioningly at Muraki. The larger man simply smiled back. Then Tsuzuki realized why; the unbearable pain that he experienced now was burning into him. He felt vulnerable and empty with his legs spread and Muraki sitting in between them, looking down at him. He shuddered, trying to gain control of his body again, but the emptiness was too much to bear. He let out a low moan as he tried to close his legs and push closer to Muraki.

. . . It . . . it shouldn't . . .

"Oh? You wanted us to finish?" Muraki mused, making sure that Tsuzuki could not reach him.

Unsure of how to make the pleasurable pain go away, Tsuzuki only squirmed uncomfortably.

"Say please," Muraki said, smiling at Tsuzuki's obvious discomfort.

Fear and hatred flared across Tsuzuki's amethyst eyes as he met Muraki's gaze.

This only made Muraki laugh and whisper dangerously, "Beg for me, Tsuzuki-san. Beg for me."

Tsuzuki clenched his teeth as Muraki spread his legs and teased him, sliding his long, slender fingers in and out skillfully.

"Beg," Muraki growled, pushing his fingers inward suddenly.

A sharp cry escaped Tsuzuki's lips. The pain was too much.

"P . . . please . . . Muraki . . . please . . ."

Muraki lay back down on top of Tsuzuki and thrust inward violently, sending the smaller man deeper into the bed and gasping for breath.

"If you promise to be good, I'll untie you," he murmured, nipping at Tsuzuki's ear.

Tsuzuki could only nod his head in agreement. The feeling came back to his hands as he massaged them, but it wasn't long before he was forced to clench Muraki's back. His hands moved over the soft, pale skin glistening with sweat. He could feel every strong muscle in Muraki's back heaving in animalistic rhythm.

"Tsuzuki-san, you are mine," Muraki said in a raw, lustful voice as he rocked against the smaller man.

Tsuzuki's cries grew louder, and he dug his fingers into Muraki's back, drawing blood. He could feel the larger man pulsing inside of him until he finally couldn't hold back any longer. He screamed out, throwing his head back and pulling Muraki in even deeper. Muraki bit down on Tsuzuki's neck, muffling his own cries as he released himself into the shinigami, quivering in convulsions with the smaller man beneath him.

As Muraki collapsed on top of Tsuzuki, clouds drifted over the moon, drowning the room in darkness. All that could be heard was the shallow gasping of air from the two men. Tsuzuki felt oddly physically closer to Muraki. The larger man was still on top of him, resting his head next to his own and kissing his temple. He cupped Tsuzuki's head in his hands and wiped away the blood stained tears.

"Tsuzuki-san . . . my love . . ." was all that he said.

Tsuzuki woke as he was lifted off of the bed in Muraki's arms. He was vaguely aware of being carried when he sank back into unconsciousness.

"Tsuzuki-san, you seem to have made a mess all over yourself . . ."

Muraki took him into the bathroom and turned on the shower. The bathroom was not large, but the shower was big enough for two people. Steam filled the small room and fogged the mirror as Muraki placed Tsuzuki on the shower floor. He carefully removed his bandages before stepping into the shower next to the smaller man. The water hissed and steamed, running over their bodies as Muraki gently started to wash the blood off of Tsuzuki's neck and chest.

"My beautiful Tsuzuki-san . . . covered in so much blood . . ."

The unconscious shinigami stared ahead blankly, letting Muraki caress him and wash away the crimson tears. His amethyst eyes were wide and dull like stained glass. Their violet fire had gone out, and all that was left was a look of despair.

"Tsuzuki-san, you need to stand up now. We need to wash the blood from your hair," Muraki murmured, gingerly placing his fingers underneath Tsuzuki's chin and turning his head so that the smaller man was facing him.

Tsuzuki looked at Muraki, suddenly realizing that the other man was there. Muraki helped Tsuzuki stand, supporting his weight as Tsuzuki leaned on him and drifted back into unconsciousness. With one arm around his waist, Muraki used his free hand to brush the dark strands of hair out of Tsuzuki's eyes and to wash out the dried blood.

"You wouldn't want your little shinigami friends finding out what you've done, now would you?" Muraki asked.

Tsuzuki's head rested against Muraki's shoulder unable to answer. Tsuzuki was shivering even though the glistening drops of water seared his raw skin. The water spit and crackled as it hit the shower walls, swirling with thin streams of blood as it twisted down the drain.

While still supporting him, Muraki turned off the scalding water and wrapped Tsuzuki in a towel. Tsuzuki let out a small whimper as Muraki lifted him and carried him back into the bedroom.

"Sleep now, my love," Muraki whispered, covering Tsuzuki with a blanket. He placed a protective arm around the smaller man, and Tsuzuki unconsciously curled up to the warm body next to his.

The next morning, Tsuzuki's whole body ached. He vaguely wondered why he was so sore and rolled over, trying to make himself more comfortable. The previous day came flooding back to him as he realized that Muraki was sleeping next to him. Tsuzuki instinctively flinched away, scrambling to get off of the bed and to fight down his panic. His pounding heart caught in his throat as he desperately searched for his clothes. Once he found them, he took one last glance at Muraki to make sure that he was still asleep. The other man was resting peacefully with silver strands of hair over his eyes. Each strand gleamed brilliant-white in the morning sun. The sheets on the bed had slipped down during the night, revealing a wound on Muraki's side. Tsuzuki gasped inwardly and disappeared from the room.

Tsuzuki reappeared in his apartment in the Meifu. He curled up into a ball on the floor with a blanket wrapped around him and let out a strangled sob.