It should have been just a normal day. Normal for one Niwa Daisuke, anyway. He had been woken up by Towa-chan, clawed by Wiz for moving much too quickly in the morning for the familiar's liking, been demanded by Emiko to be home no later than 5:47 and 26 seconds or something horrible would happen, and had barely skidded into class and into his seat before the bell rang. It was a peculiar routine, but it had worked for as long as he could remember.
Nothing extraordinary happened throughout the day, either. Saehara nearly strangled him in his excitement about finally getting a new state-of-the-art camera he'd been drooling over for a month, but something like that was a near every-day occurrence. The voting for the cast of the play had been held and, of course, Daisuke was chosen to play Cinderella – much to his despair and the girls' delight.
Satoshi was picked to play the prince, who was really The Phantom Thief Dark. Ever since last year's play, it seemed everyone was obsessed with having Dark as a role, even if he hadn't been seen or heard from for a while now. So, all-in-all it was a rather normal day. He should have learned by now that his birthday would very rarely pass normally.
By five o'clock, Daisuke had finished his chores and was taking the art supplies he had borrowed earlier back to the art room, along with a large box the teacher had asked him to pick up from the storage room. Stepping into the dim light, he flicked the switch next to the door and walked in, setting the box aside and straightening things as he passed them. The few pastels and pencils were put in their places and he turned to admire the art pieces around the room before retrieving the box. Now where had the teacher asked him to put it?
The clicking of the lock on the door should have warned him, and, if he thought about it, it should have scared him that he'd become accustomed to that sound. A glance over his shoulder let him know his assumptions were right, and he offered Satoshi a sunny smile, pausing in his tracks and shifting his hold on the box. "Hiwatari-kun, you're here late."
"Of course," the other boy replied simply, measured, purposeful steps moving him across the room where he stopped behind Daisuke. "I wanted to wait to catch you alone."
"Oh?" he asked, shivering as warm breath washed against a decidedly sensitive part of his neck. Daisuke found it peculiar sometimes how Satoshi seemed to have no qualms about invading his personal space when he would have never allowed the same to be done to him. "Why's that?" He blinked as Satoshi held up a carefully wrapped package, staring at it with a mild look of confusion and surprise.
"Take it, Niwa," Satoshi commanded when it was obvious Daisuke was only going to stare, a hint of annoyance and amusement in his voice. Some things would apparently never change, he thought.
"Oh!" Daisuke hastily set the box on the counter before turning to accept the gift. He stared at it again, idly turning it between his fingers as he studied it curiously. He found a small tear in the wrapping beneath a piece of tape, which told him Satoshi had wrapped it himself. For some reason, that knowledge had him grinning like an idiot.
"Well, are you going to open it or not?" The sudden grinning had Satoshi's eyebrow arching in mild curiousity, but he didn't dare ask. He didn't claim to know how the thief's mind worked, and in this case he firmly believed in the saying that ignorance was bliss.
"Yes," came the cheerful reply. It took the younger boy all of a minute to unfasten the tape, taking care not to tear the paper as much as he could. Inside was a thick, black cloth wrapped around what felt like multiple slim sticks. Tilting his curiously, he set the paper on the counter and pulled one of the strings of the same material to untie them, letting what he realised was a case unroll in his hands. Six ebony paintbrush handles were settled next to each other, each with a black wing on the end and in their own slot.
The look of utter shock and astonishment on Daisuke's face was one the police commander would remember for years to come. He watched silently as slender fingers ran over the handles almost reverently, didn't miss the faint trembling of them even if he would never truly understand the deep river of emotions that caused it.
It took Daisuke three swallows before he managed to open his mouth to ask, "Where did you get these?" and even then his voice was hardly more than a whisper.
"They're a family heirloom." When questioning eyes focused on him, Satoshi decided to explain. "I have a matching set made from ivory at home. They're generations old; one of the earlier Hikari pieces, actually."
"So why are you giving them to me?" Even as he asked that, he carefully rolled and retied the casing before holding it against his chest, knowing he knew the answer despite logic saying otherwise.
"Our families have a long history together," Satoshi answered casually, glancing around the room. "Family feuds, hatred, resentment, lust... love." His eyes slid back to Daisuke with that word, not missing the faint colouring to the other boy's cheeks. "One of my ancestors loved one of yours," he continued calmly. "They were both artists, among other things, so the Hikari made two sets of brushes. Before he could give the black set to your ancestor though, his father had the Niwa killed; he'd never approved of such a relationship.
"The Hikari hid the two sets in the family vault so his father couldn't get hold of them; he'd married into the family so he had no access to it. They remained there for decades before they were rediscovered. The white set became tools that were passed down traditionally; the black remained in the vault until a few weeks ago."
Daisuke's fingers tightened around the brushes, holding them out in front of him and wondering if, had they been given to his ancestor and passed down to him, they would mean as much to him as they did now. "Thank you," he said, and meant it from the very core of his being. "I promise I'll take care of them."
"Of course." And then he felt obliged to add, "Happy Birthday."
The smile on the thief's face could have lit up the room, radiating similar to a ninety-watt bulb. "Thanks," he said again, looking at the case and running his fingers over the coarse material. Strange, he thought, that the only solid reminder he now had of Dark reminded him of Satoshi, as well; not to mention it was probably made before Dark ever came into existence and had been intended as a gift from Satoshi's ancestor to one of his own.
The implications of that little fact finally settled on him. Daisuke was certainly dense and completely clueless, but sometimes, things just clicked inside his head – even if it did take a few minutes. Looking up, he found the other boy hadn't moved and was still looking at him, his face impassive and his eyes hidden behind his glasses. It was such a shame that Satoshi continued wearing them when he didn't need them. Daisuke rather enjoyed seeing him without them; his face looked more mature and his eyes had a decidedly more vulnerable edge to them when they weren't covered.
"There was another thing I wanted to give you."
Satoshi's voice was quiet with an undertone Daisuke hadn't heard in a long time, but it still sent a shiver up his spine and caused him to take an involuntary step back. Three more steps and his back was pressing into the wall, looking up at the other boy with wide eyes as he approached.
There was nothing hurried about his pace; he knew Daisuke wouldn't run, after all. At least, he wouldn't run until he was given a reason. So five steps later he was looking down at the thief, raising a hand to remove his glasses and slip them into his shirt pocket. He rested his arm on the wall above Daisuke's head, pressing the palm of his other hand against it near the slim waist. "That story I just told you..." he whispered.
A pink tongue darted out to wet his lips nervously, shifting his weight to his other foot as Satoshi's face moved closer to his. They were so close he could feel the other boy's breath on his face, mingling with his own and sending another shiver through him. "What about it?" he asked softly, knowing his face had to be almost the colour of his hair.
"I made it up," the artist answered with a faint smirk. And then his lips were pressing firmly against Daisuke's, taking advantage of lips parted on a gasp to slip his tongue inside. His hand lifted off the wall and rested on the other male's hip, and he had to resist the urge to pull Daisuke's shirt up and slide his hand against the skin beneath.
Daisuke closed his eyes tightly, a whimper escaping him that ended with the hitching of his breath. He felt Satoshi shift closer, insistently deepening the kiss with a slight tilt of his head. The passion behind the kiss was enough to send him reeling and his free hand shot out to clutch at the other boy's sleeve for support, the other tightening on the black case against his chest. Who would have thought that the normally so cold artist could have such a fire burning deep inside him? Though he knew, had Satoshi not had Krad to deal with, he wouldn't have been forced to suppress his feelings as he had.
An involuntary shudder went through him at the memory of Satoshi's other half, wondering if the fact that Krad was gone had anything to do with the artist's loss of restraint now. He felt a tongue rake across his teeth and felt his knees weaken, tightening his fingers in the cloth of Satoshi's sleeve. He shivered at the tickling sensation as the tongue moved against the roof of his mouth, stiffening reflexively as it brushed against his own. Even after being with Riku so long, they'd hardly gone much further than this.
Feeling a seed of panic bloom in his chest, he pushed at Satoshi's arm with as much strength as he could muster, which admittedly wasn't all that much. His eyes flew open, gasping for breath when the other boy got the hint and at least broke the kiss if not moved away. "Hi-Hiwatari-kun, what..?" he stuttered, staring at him with wide eyes.
Satoshi silently regarded the thief with half-lidded eyes, not bothering to move out of his personal space and instead moving closer. "Yes, Niwa?" he asked calmly, tilting his head forward and snaking his tongue out to trace against Daisuke's earlobe.
"Ohhh..." Daisuke breathed, shivering as heat curled through his body. His eyes fluttered momentarily and his fingers twitched in pleasure. "This is wrong..." he moaned, not able to keep from thinking how upset Riku would be if she found out.
"Yes," he gasped, squirming and biting his lip as Satoshi un-tucked his shirt and slipped his hand underneath. He felt like he was overheating and the warmth of the other boy's fingers on his skin only made him hotter. Was it just him or was everything going hazy?
"Are you sure?" The artist's voice was soft and accompanied by a dip of his hand, finding the heat of the faint bulge forming between Daisuke's legs and pressing firmly against it.
Daisuke cried out in surprise, slipping down the wall a bit as his hips jerked in response to the pressure. The paintbrushes fell to the floor with a quiet thud, the hand that had been holding them moving to cling to Satoshi's other arm. He had been sure up until then, and while he didn't want to upset Riku, his body was asking him how something that felt so good could be wrong. "Why?" he whimpered. This couldn't really be happening, could it?
"You know why," Satoshi replied. Of course, he knew Daisuke couldn't understand completely, but he wasn't clueless enough to miss the gist of it. He continued pressing his hand against the growing bulge, slipping his other arm around the thief's waist to keep him steady and pull him closer. His mouth moved slowly down the slim neck, finding the rapid pulse beneath the skin and grazing his teeth against it.
He wanted the thief to drown in the pleasure he was causing, since it was impossible to have Daisuke as his. Even if Riku were out of the picture, Daisuke was too much of a free spirit, too generous with his time and his heart to ever belong completely to one person. And locking him up was out of the question, since that would strip him of the wings Satoshi admired most about him.
"Hiwa...Hiwatari-kun..." Daisuke gasped, his chest giving an odd little lurch even as he shivered from the pleasure. Why did this always happen to him? And why was it only Satoshi that he couldn't fight against? His eyes widened and he tensed when he felt his pants being unfastened, blushing fiercely as he whimpered and tried to move away. But move to where? The door was locked and in his current state he didn't think he'd be able to figure out the code. And then Satoshi was touching him and his brain fizzled out and all he could do was mewl and gasp and writhe in pleasure.
Satoshi wrapped his hand around Daisuke and began stroking slowly, using his fingers to draw out every sob and moan and shudder from the thief he could. He knew from the start Daisuke wouldn't last long, suspecting the boy didn't even consider thinking about sex, so he made sure it lasted as long as possible. He found himself staring at the thief's darkened, half-closed, entirely unfocused eyes; the flush staining his cheeks; and the way his faintly swollen lips parted on irregular breaths. He was holding a treasure in his arms that would never be his, he thought, as he leaned forward to capture Daisuke's lips, his hand giving a final squeeze and stroke of his fingers.
Daisuke came with a loud cry, his entire body trembling and twitching as he clutched at Satoshi's shirt. He collapsed limply against the wall and buried his face against the artist's chest, his breath hitching on soft sobs as he rapidly gasped for air. He felt dizzy and drunk, as if he'd just tasted some forbidden fruit, only the consequences were relatively pleasant instead of painful. Except for the sharp agony twisting in his chest, he quickly corrected.
Peripherally, he noted he was being lowered to the floor, but he didn't loosen his hold on the other boy in the least. He was dazed and felt strangely detached from the world at the moment, sounds resonating with a dim, grey quality that only added to the surrealism of it all. His body jerked and he cracked his eyes open to look down, finding elegant hands cleaning him up and straightening his clothes. He swallowed hard. "Hiwatari-kun..." His voice cracked hoarsely and he winced at the sound of it, his senses slowly focusing as the adrenaline faded.
Satoshi stilled and looked down at the bowed head, giving in to his urge to run his fingers through the spiky softness of it. "See you tomorrow, Niwa," he murmured, standing gracefully and turning. It would be best to leave quickly, before he gave into his urge to possess Daisuke completely. It wouldn't be until later that he finally noticed the dampness of tears on his shirt.
The click of the door shutting sounded much louder than it should have and Daisuke flinched, pulling his knees to his chest as he rubbed absently at his chest. He clenched his teeth against a sob, burying his face against his arm as shudders wracked his body. Why, why, why? his mind demanded. Was it just him, his blood, his body, his DNA that was so unreliable that it sent him into confusion whenever someone even hinted that they liked him?
His chest ached with a dull yet sharp pain, throbbing behind his ribcage and threatening to rip it in half. The mere thought of Riku had the pain twisting like an angry creature, and only the knowledge that he loved her, that he knew he loved her, calmed it back to manageable levels. He loved Riku, but what about Satoshi? He was a friend – more than a friend? He didn't know anymore. Their relationship had always been unique, bordering on something between civility and wary friendship.
He'd always known about Satoshi's feelings for him, knew he was the other boy's trigger just like Risa and then Riku had been for him. But it had been a tangential knowledge, something that had hovered at the back of his mind, but that he'd never completely acknowledged. He regretted that now, since it meant he hadn't been fair. He'd brushed off Satoshi's feelings and taken him for granted, assuming that, just because their Fate's had been entwined so intimately, the artist would always be there.
Dark would be laughing at him now, telling him he was being a girl for crying over something so trivial. Then he would reply that it wasn't trivial and Dark should mind his own business. But it would have been his partner's business, too, right? Because anything that affected one had an effect on the other.
A soft laugh bubbled out of his throat, followed quickly by a hiccup. The bells outside chimed elegantly and he realised it was 5:30. He only had fifteen minutes to get home. The threat of his angry mother should he be late was enough to push him into motion and he stood shakily, picking up his gift and the paper that had wrapped it and slipping them into his bag. He reached the door on slightly steadier legs and paused, glancing around the room with his hand over the light switch.
Funny that Satoshi seemed to have a habit of accosting him in the art room after school on his birthday. That thought caused his lips to twitch into a faint smile and he flicked the light off, locking the door behind him and wiping at his eyes as he headed down the quiet hallway on silent feet.