All Characters with names belong to Clamp. Those with none, you can have them.

Autumn Leaves

BY TUrin

Chapter 1 of 5

Summers in Japan aren't different from the rest of the world. The sun bears down unbearably hot, and nights aren't better. Without air conditioners, one had to make do with paper fans, and you flip your wrist like crazy until you cool down. When you cool down at last, you're so worked up that you've driven the sand man away.

"You can't sleep, To-ya?" Whispered the shy creature nestled on his chest.

"It's the damned heat, koi…" he answered. Touya snickered as his beautiful angel instinctively started to move away. He caught him in an embrace and gave him a light kiss on the forehead. He could feel the blush on Yuki's cheeks as his lover calmed down. Of course the growing heat between them added to the hot weather, but this time, Touya didn't mind.

"I can't sleep, too…" Yukito muttered.

"Why, my cute Snow Bun! I'm too hot for you?"

"To-ya!" Yuki exclaimed and buried his face on his chest.

"Hey, Yuki, I'm only joking…" he crooned when Yukito didn't show any sign of moving.

But the 'cute' Snow Bunny was only biding his time. Yukito turned the score by mercilessly tickling Touya on the ribs. Since Touya had no shirt, it was a very good move. Before long, little Yuki had the stronger boy beneath him. "So, too hot for me?"

"No! No! Gomen! Gomen!" Touya pleaded in-between his laughter.

"Good! Now, you know who's in charge here!"

Touya laughed at Yuki's macho play. It was hard to imagine Yuki as someone tough. He looked so delicate and innocent! He pulled down Yuki by the collar for a deep and sweet kiss. Yuki acquiesced, slowly resting his weight on Touya's chest, enjoying the way his lover slid his tongue on his lower lip, tracing the softness of its curve.

"Hmmm… that's good," Yuki said after the kiss. "I like sleeping in your house…"

"Sleep's the farthest thing in our 'sleep-overs' koi…"

Yukito wrapped his hands around Touya's waist, "I want some more, To-ya," he whispered, his soft lips caressing Touya's neck.

"How I wish, koi. But Otosan might… you know, hear us…"

Yukito sighed and rested on Touya's arm as Touya resumed his fanning. He was still hot from their play a while ago. And Touya's shirtless body was not helping any. He needed a diversion.

"Can I play some music, To-ya?" he asked.

"Reception's not good in my room. But there are some CDs in the drawer," Touya began to stand up but Yukito stopped him.

"No, I'm gonna get them," he offered and went to the direction where Touya pointed. There were several CDs, mostly classical piano and violin pieces. A particular case stirred his interest. It was buried beneath the pile and bore no fancy cover. He picked it up together with the CD with the mellow 'Swan Lake' and 'Romeo and Juliet'.

"To-ya, what's in this?" he asked as he put the unmarked CD in the player. There was static at first. Then, as if from far away, a lone piano began to play.

"W-Where'd you get that?"

Yuki could hear the surprise, no, the shock in Touya's voice and immediately stopped the CD.

"I-I'm sorry, I thought…"

Touya walked towards him, and with faint moonlight, stared at the blank casing on his hand. The close scrutiny made Yuki feel like he just did something dreadful. But Touya immediately banished his apprehension.

"No, koi… it's all right…" he soothed his shaking bunny, giving him a gentle kiss on the top of the head. To stress his point, he turned on the player.

The piano resumed its mellow song. The notes were slow, coming as if, from a dream. Then a faint violin began to play, its deep alto resonating throughout the room, sending their hearts pounding.

Yukito could feel the underlying note of sadness in the song. They were playing a duet, but seemed to be chasing each other. The best imagery he could imagine were two lovers searching for each other; coming so near, then failing. The notes searched for each other, but all they grasped was the echo of the other instrument. There were moments of pure silence, but even so, the piece was seamlessly woven and performed, that the initial impetus of the song carried on to the very end. All in all, the effect was… haunting.

"Touya…" he finally managed to breathed after a few seconds. "What's that song?"

There was a far away look in his lover's eyes as he answered coolly. "It's called, 'Of A Hanging Embrace…'"

"Nani?" Yukito searched his memory, but even with all his knowledge in the Classics, he had never heard of it. But it was so beautiful, how come he never heard it before? Why was there no recording of it anywhere else?

Touya smiled, Yukito could see it clearly with the moonlight streaming through the window. "You know, it's weird that you play it tonight of all nights."

"To-ya?"

"Do you know that tonight's Okasan's birthday?"

Yuki's amber eyes widened and his slender hands covered his lips as he mouthed a silent 'oh'. "Gomen, I didn't know…"

"I made it for her, as a gift."

"You, To-ya?" Yukito was surprised at his lover's sudden revelation. He knew Touya could play, but he didn't know he was that good!

"Is there any other 'me' around here?"

"I- I didn't mean…"

Touya simply cut Yukito off with a swift kiss. Sometimes, Yuki had so little self-esteem that he could take a teasing like that seriously. Yuki's eyes were still closed when Touya led him to bed where he made the snow bunny rest on his chest again.

It was some time before Yuki gathered enough courage to speak.

"To-ya?"

"Hai?"

"Doishte?" His voice was softer now, afraid that Touya might become angry with him. "Why did you stop playing?"

"I just don't feel like it anymore," Touya answered with his extreme talent for gab – which was next to zero.

"To-ya, you just don't stop playing when you're that good…" Yukito muttered before he realized what he was saying. "Oh!" He was about to rush in another spell of forgiveness when Touya stopped him.

"You say 'sorry' too much!" he teased and smiled sweetly at Yuki.

"I'm sorry… it's just that… I…"

"Nani?"

"I don't know much about you To-ya," he softly whispered. His eyes wandering to the moon outside.

Yuki… didn't know him?

But they spent so much time together! Yet…

I don't know much about you To-ya…

"W-why do you say that Yuki?"

Yukito was clearly trembling now.

"B-because… you never tell me anything To-ya…"

"But you never ask!"

"I- I was afraid you'd get mad…"

Touya looked incredulously at his lover. But as he mulled it over, there was some truth in it… he really didn't tell Yuki much. Yuki did much of the talking. Telling of his grandparents' adventures all over the world, how he got his scar on the elbow, almost everything about his past. And all he contributed was a 'hunh' and a nod.

"To-ya, you're not mad, are you?"

Touya shook his head and stroked Yuki's arms to warm him. He didn't mean to scare him… but sadly, he seemed to have that effect on Yuki. He often shrink back when he so much as raise his voice. Yuki was afraid that he might tread over some invisible line in their relationship, and drive him away forever… and even with his heightened senses, he was too dense to even realize it!

He kissed Yuki's lips and waited until Yuki's heart slowed its beating. Then, with that familiar weight resting peacefully on his chest, he looked into memories he had buried for so long.

"I was only seven years old then…"

To Be Continued