The Morning Ritual

by Laura Bryannan

He couldn't help himself. He should have left the room before the snoring stopped, but he didn't. Was it morbid fascination? Was it simple lust? No, no…he told himself his interest was purely scientific. Would he do it again this morning? Yes he would, it seemed. Jin kept his breathing steady and his head lowered so that he could watch without being seen.

Mugen stretched and yawned loudly. His hand reached down and gave himself a good scratch, then lazily loosened his pants to slip inside. The morning erection was present and accounted for. Jin was familiar with the phenomenon, of course, and had learned how to ignore it. He had accepted the teaching that spilling seed of his own accord weakened the body and spirit. He knew many in the dojo had not been able or willing to accept this teaching as he had, and he had beaten them all in session after session. He believed this discipline was one of the reasons he was always the superior fighter, and had accepted this truth for so many years it was second nature to him. He had never questioned it for one moment. Until now….

This one—uncouth, untrained, undisciplined—this one who gave into these urges every day, it appeared, was obviously not affected by whatever 'truth' his masters had taught him. The only one he hadn't managed to kill gave into his sexual urges at every opportunity. Jin had discovered The Morning Ritual days ago by accident, as he was usually up and about hours before Mugen awoke. That day he had been feeling unwell and slept longer than usual. It was the ragged breathing coming from across the room that had startled him awake. Since then he contrived to stick around and see if The Morning Ritual would be repeated the next day, and it was—and the next and the next.

Mugen's hand began to stroke, gently and slowly. A low purr emanated from his throat. The other hand blindly searched nearby and found the rag, the rag that Jin ashamedly knew smelled of sea and musk, and plopped it on his chest. Mugen's right hand was busier now, his breathing faster. His left hand slipped inside his pants and reached lower. Jin couldn't see this morning, but he knew from previous spying that the hand was cupping himself and stretching his scrotum.

When Mugen reached this part of The Ritual the end was usually near, but what was this? A new twist. The left hand came out and the longest finger swirled in the puddle of pre-cum pooling on his belly. Jin could feel the heat rising in his face, his own cock hard and aching. If Mugen was going to do what he thought he was going to do, it was going to take all his resolve to stay still. Yes…the hand snuck back inside the pants and the knees came up. Mugen let out low moan and so did Jin—inside his own head, he hoped. The finger had to be inside, it had to be! Did Mugen like such things? Jin's head swam with the possibilities. Mugen's aspect was so cock-of-the-walk, Jin had always taken him to be seme, but if he wasn't...oh god.

Rocking and groaning, Mugen loved himself to the finish, then went limp until his breathing came back to normal. The rag was put to use and, after a long stretch, Mugen sat up and got to his feet. He looked across the room and saw Jin, as a knowing smirk danced across his face. Passing near on his way to the privy, his foot shoved Jin's knee.

"Hey, I think I'm due some compensation here. I don't do nothing for free ya know." He had the satisfaction of seeing Jin's jaw drop as he walked out the door.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Well, there was nothing to be done but face him. Jin waited for Mugen to wake up. He had succeeded in avoiding Mugen the preceding day because he needed time to figure out what he wanted to do about this situation. His decision made, he waited.

He now knew it was only a matter of time. This one, obviously ruled by lust, would be on his knees to him eventually. It was predictable and not unfamiliar. At the dojo he had quite the circle of admirers, being who he was and being the one who no one could best. Some of those admirers had chosen interesting ways to bestow their adoration. Jin had accepted these ministrations and thought them his due. He filled their mouths and their asses with his cum, thoroughly enjoyed his release, but felt nothing toward them. They were receptacles, nothing more. They wanted to be filled with what he had—his power, his skill, his ruthlessness—but he knew all they got from him was his cum. Those who thought that giving him sexual release would be the way to control his heart came away disappointed and sometimes angry. He found their behavior amusing, but ultimately uninteresting.

The realization that Mugen would turn himself into yet another receptacle was comforting. The man was far too unpredictable and, well…intriguing. But he knew he had him figured out at this point. Experience had shown him that men full of lust behaved in expected and ultimately boring ways—that the one being serviced was the one who had all the power. If he couldn't best Mugen in battle, he could best him this way, at least. This thought brought him great satisfaction, and a smile actually leaked onto his face.

Mugen woke up but kept his eyes closed. Listening carefully, he realized he was not alone. Good, Jin was more of a man than he thought. To keep his own sanity intact, he had come to think of Jin as almost feminine. Yeah, yeah, he could fight better than anyone he ever encountered, but his demeanor didn't match those of the other great warriors Mugen had known throughout his life. To Mugen, a man who knew his shit was bold, loud, swaggering and didn't hesitate to throw his weight around. Jin's quietude, passiveness and unfailing politeness were qualities Mugen sneered at. All his experience had shown him that men who behaved this way were ultimately phonies. They behaved oh, so superior, but he was always able to rip holes in their facades with his sword or his cock. He always had them screaming in one way or another, eventually.

After catching Jin spying on him yesterday, Mugen had spent the day in delicious reverie. He had fought his way to the center of the strongest gang of kids in the prison colony, and then spent the rest of his youth enjoying the benefits thereof. They were the baddest, the best, and enjoyed life to the fullest. He let them suck him and fuck him and was happy to return the favor when someone caught his fancy. He enjoyed what both sexes brought to play, had uncountable lusts over the years and even a few loves but, in the end, it was all just a great game. Like a pile of puppies, they romped and fought and sexed themselves silly. His mates were as rude and crude as he was and he liked them that way.

Now, this Jin. At last he felt he had the older man figured out. He knew the type, the silent inhibited ones who played hard to get. He sometimes found this kind of human intriguing. It was nice not having to fend off the latest groupie and be the pursuer once in a while. He knew that this kind of person could be brought to heel with just a little application of his sexual prowess. It was great fun to coax a response out of such ones—to bring song out of the silence. He figured it would take some time to break down Jin's resistance, as he would probably use every ounce of his training to keep his body under control, but it would be worth it. Experience had shown him that the one providing the service was the one who had all the power. If he couldn't best Jin in battle, he could best him this way, at least. This thought brought him great satisfaction and a smile broke out on his face. Mugen stretched and scratched and began The Ritual once more.

"I'm here," a deep voice announced.

"Yeah, I know. Just shut up and let me finish." Having participated in scores of circle jerks over the years, Mugen was taken aback at how much those eyes boring into him messed with his head. It was one thing to jack off when he knew the guy was watching but the guy didn't know that he knew. This was different. It felt weird, and made it hard to focus on what he was doing. He knew there was no point in inviting Jin to join him or participate in his release. This type needed seducing, like a coy virgin. They never took responsibility for their own desires but needed to be overpowered. He tried to concentrate on how great it would be when he finally wrenched a scream of pleasure out of this one, and ignore how vulnerable it made him feel to know the man was there observing him.

Jin watched and waited for what he believed would come next. Those lusting after him always offered some sort of perverse invitation: "Don'cha want to lick it?" "Come on and fuck me, Jin." They leered and writhed and beckoned…. Jin inwardly sighed. There were infinite variations, but it all amounted to the same tiresome dance. Jin waited for the inevitable comments, but they did not come. Mugen continued his ritual in silence. It seemed to be taking longer than before, however, and Jin was taken aback at how lewd he felt just sitting there staring at him. He honestly couldn't remember a time when he'd felt so aroused, and he was enjoying it. He noticed other, more troubling emotions lurking about his consciousness but he beat them back into their box for the moment. It was enough to ponder his next move. If Mugen wasn't going to ask for his participation he'd have to take matters into his own hands. No problem.

Mugen was close to release. He liked how his cock got really impressive right before he came. He was proud of his weapon but knew it was intimidating to some. Not that long, really, but quite thick. Most kept their asses out of play because of that reality. He wondered if Jin was noticing. He wondered what Jin was packing himself. Deciding then and there to approach Jin that morning, he figured it was going to take many advances before this maiden gave into his desires, so he might as well get started right away. These musings sent him over the edge and he came with images of Jin screaming in his head.

"So, you do this every morning, then?"

The voice startled him out of his reverie. Mugen opened his eyes, raised himself up on an elbow, and faced the other man's gaze directly. "Yeah, don't you?"

"No, I was taught that it dissipates chi, and no man who did that ever bested me in battle so…."

Mugen snorted in derision. "They tried to lay that bullshit on us too, but I never bought it. I knew some who didn't jack off, but it didn't seem to make any difference. I was always able to kick their ass in a fight."

They both stopped to ponder this information. Each wondered if the other had some sort of key to becoming a better warrior. After a few seconds, the other's reality was soundly dismissed. It seemed impossible to Jin to end his ascetic approach to self-loving, no matter how much genuine release the activity brought. It seemed impossible to Mugen to ignore his inner urges and guidance. He lived close to his gut and trusted its messages. Nah, it would be stupid to dump his reality for Jin's. There were other ways to best this man, and it was time to begin!

"Doesn't it hurt?" Mugen asked innocently. "Aren't you aching? I hate having blue balls."

"Yes," Jin replied, "but what of it? Such things are easily overcome, and they do go away all by themselves, if you weren't aware of that fact."

"Yeah I know, but I feel sorry for you, man. Those dojo guys really fucked with your head on that one."

"Then why don't you come over here and suck me off?"

"Huh?" Jin had the satisfaction of seeing Mugen's jaw drop this time. This was not what he had expected Jin to say at all, and he felt his spent cock actually twitch in response. He had anticipated that it would take days of pursuit to get Jin anywhere near a sexual place, and here he was making a request like that! He couldn't believe his luck, as he really wasn't the kind of man who preferred the chase over the catch. If he didn't have to waste time luring Jin into sexplay, so much the better. You're mine now, bitch, he laughed to himself.

"OK, then," Mugen purred. He got up and strode over to where Jin sat. Jin hadn't been exactly sure what the response would be to his question, but seeing the hunger in Mugen's eyes assured him he wouldn't be rejected. Good boy, he thought, now I have you! Seeing himself as a spider luring a fly into his web, Jin looked into that almost-feral face and moved his hands to his sides, palms facing outward in a gesture that said, 'do what you will.' Mugen sank to his knees and efficiently untied and unwrapped until the body he had wondered about was exposed to his gaze. The sight of Jin's cock made him pant. It was thinner than his, but long. Oh god, it was the kind that would feel soooooo good in his ass. Not so thick as to cause pain, and it would go in and in and in and in…. He could feel his face getting red and violently shook his head to rid it of such distracting thoughts. Steady my man, he said to himself, keep your mind on the job. He'd wrench that scream out of Jin this morning and then they would both know who had the upper hand between them. He couldn't wait!

His mouth engulfed as much of the heated member as possible, then he pulled back and tasted salty pre-cum as his tongue played with the tip. Jin let out a heartfelt moan of pleasure at the sensation, and Mugen had yet another "huh?" experience. What? No holding back? No coy maiden routine? He raised his head and gave Jin a puzzled glance without realizing it. Jin stared back with an equally puzzled expression. What was the problem?

"Go on Mugen. Don't stop," he said quietly.

"Uh…right." And Mugen got back to work. He had expected that he would be sexing up a mannequin, but instead he found himself ministering to an obviously-loving-it alive body. It amazed him. He couldn't believe Jin didn't withhold his responses from him. He slurped and teased, Jin moaned and sighed. He gnawed on a hipbone and Jin yelped. He reached up, pinched both nipples, and Jin groaned. He twisted harder and Jin's head thrashed from side to side while he growled. He sucked and bit at a hunk of inner thigh, leaving a large bruise, and Jin grit his teeth to withstand the pain, but did not stop him. Only when he tried to slide a finger inside his ass did he hear, "No, Mugen!" OK. No big deal. Aside for that, it didn't matter what he did or where he touched, Jin offered his genuine response to him. Ah, the power! He reveled in it, he gloried in it. He didn't want it to end.

Jin was enjoying the game immensely. He let Mugen play. Mugen hadn't totally done up his pants after his ritual, and Jin could see that he was enjoying himself too as his cock was hard again. Usually he was feeling distaste toward his lover at this point—sexual activity made people look so stupid, really—but not this morning. The guy was definitely good at this, but Jin had received similarly earnest attentions from others in the past and never felt moved by them. Maybe it was because it was him. He hated to admit it but he had a lot of respect for Mugen. He didn't like the guy—he was kind of a pig, actually—but he did admire him. He tried to keep thinking, to stay on top of the sensations he was experiencing, but it didn't always work. Mugen read him too well, and kept drawing things out, slowing down or attacking some other part of his body when he felt Jin getting close to orgasm.

And the feelings…he was feeling things again, and he found it unnerving. Never much of an emotional man in the first place, Jin had shut his feelings up in a box for good after the disaster that sent him from the dojo. He'd noticed his emotions rising unbidden here and there ever since this journey with Mugen and Fuu began. To be honest, he had to admit he felt jealousy toward Mugen—his fighting skill, his ease with himself and life, his ability to have fun and take pleasure where and when it was offered him. And dear Fuu, so silly and little-girlish, and yet so brave and resourceful. Jin hadn't had much experience with women, so he found himself surprised at how tender and protective he felt toward the perky young lady. After meeting Shino, it appeared that whatever box he had his emotions stuck in was cracked for good. His heart was functioning again and he didn't much like it, especially when his heart appeared to be feeling things toward...him. No, no, no, this was not what he wanted to happen, and he realized he needed to take back control of the situation immediately or he was going to lose this battle.

It took a few attempts before he successfully yanked his consciousness out of his body and back into his head. He had noticed something about the way Mugen sucked him, and he wanted to test his conclusions about it. This wild boy had had the upper hand long enough. He let his hands rest on Mugen's head as it moved up and down, and forced him to slow his motions.

"Take it easy, my hungry wolf," he murmured, and was gratified to see that Mugen responded to his guidance. He realized he was close enough to his climax that if he didn't act quickly, it would be too late. Again he noticed the unique way Mugen attended to him, sliding him as far back into his mouth as he could each time he engulfed him.

Mugen slid his mouth over that long member yet again, not really noticing the fingers entwining in his hair. But this time, when he moved to pull back, he found he could not. He struggled, but the hands were like steel talons around his head, and they were pulling him closer. Mugen made loud sounds of protest and his hands flailed impotently. Jin expertly manipulated his head just so and then pushed himself deeper. Mugen gagged, sputtered, then finally swallowed. The cock went down his throat in one smooth motion.

Shit! How did he do that? Mugen was incredulous! How did he know I could do that? This can not be happening! Mugen didn't offer his throat to just anyone. He considered the trick his ace in the hole and didn't trot it out unless the guy was really worth it. It always needed to be his decision because it turned him to absolute mush every time. There was something about being penetrated in this way that just got to him, so it was a skill he rarely showed his lovers. At this point Jin was totally in control because Mugen found his guts had turned to jelly and his will to overpower totally gone. No one had ever done this to him—no one had ever mastered him in this way before and he was at a loss as to what to do about it. Somewhere in the distance he could hear Jin speaking endearments and encouragements, and that only made it worse. He was a useless puddle and that was that.

Jin's brain had gone white. Mugen didn't seem to be in enough distress to worry about, so he allowed himself to focus on the sensations washing over him. The pleasure he was experiencing as he thrust into Mugen's throat was overwhelming. A part of him somewhere was exulting Aha! I knew it! I knew he could do it! He could feel that warm throat convulsing and caressing his cock and there was no way to delay his orgasm any further. He let it out with an enthusiastic roar, grinding Mugen's face into his pubic bone.

"Yes, yes, yessssss," Jin intoned, finally releasing Mugen's head and leaning back against the wall. He needed to brace himself with his hands against the floor to keep steady, and hoped Mugen didn't notice the tremors in his legs that he couldn't quite manage to control. He watched Mugen dis-impale himself and sit back, his head still lowered. He gave a great sniff and wiped his face with his sleeve. Jin felt his heart cave at this simple but endearing gesture, so like a child. What sufferings had this one endured as a boy in horrific Ryukyu? And he, who had grown up with every advantage? Jin had never pondered such things about Mugen before and he felt…he felt….

In a flash, he realized—to his horror—that he was feeling all sorts of feelings he didn't know what to do with. This fucking wolfbrat had gotten his claws into him somehow. It had never happened to him before and he didn't quite know what to do about it. He realized immediately that his feelings for Shino had been protected by the reality that she had never been available to him. This was different. He shuddered and knew he was most definitely in trouble.

Neither man was ready to face the other for some minutes, for neither felt confident they had come away champion of the battle. Mugen tried to put his innards back in order and steel himself for the superior smirk he expected to see on Jin's face. It would be humiliating, but he would force himself to deal with it. He finally looked up but saw no smirk. Jin was looking off into the distance, frowning, obviously working out some kind of problem in his head. Mugen's motion caught Jin's attention and he turned to him, very surprised that the other man wasn't already crowing. He had expected to be punched, and had already determined he would accept whatever retaliation Mugen tossed his way, so he was genuinely surprised his opponent was simply staring at him. They eyed each other warily for a few seconds and then Jin inclined his head, bowing slightly.

"Thank you…Mugen," he said.

Mugen cleared his throat, concerned that his voice would crack or do something equally stupid after all his exertions. "Uh, no problem," he replied, inwardly thankful that he managed to say it without embarrassing himself. What now? he wondered. Jin slowly pulled his kimono closed and looked away again. Something about the pose struck Mugen, and he suddenly had a knowing about Jin. His warrior instincts were very sharp, and he could usually count on information about his opponents entering his brain at the right time to win—strike this way, kick just there. The information would show up and it was always right. Not being a contemplative man, he never gave any thought to this ability. It had always been a part of him, and it was one of the reasons he was so good at what he did.

The knowing came in and Mugen smiled. The way Jin stopped his ass play, the way Jin turned his face away any time Mugen's got close, the way he had never taken off his glasses—it all added up to Mugen knowing that Jin had never let anyone in. Jin threw his energy outward, but did not allow himself to receive, he did not allow himself to be opened. Well, we'll see about that!

Jin's contemplation was interrupted as he felt his glasses being deftly plucked from his face. Mugen's hands enclosed his head in their own steel grip. He saw the smile and felt his innards quail at the glint in those feral eyes. Mugen's face came closer and closer and Jin suddenly realized what the man had in mind. He struggled, but Mugen had already landed in his lap and was holding his head securely. Mugen's knowing was one hundred percent accurate, as usual. Jin hated to kiss and hated being kissed. He did not use his mouth that way ever! The idea of such intimacy with another repulsed him and the actual activity usually grossed him out. Even with Shino, he had kept his mouth to himself for the most part. He allowed her to kiss him the times she tried, but had never initiated the activity. It was just not his thing.

Mugen's imp self wanted to lay the biggest, slobbery mess of a kiss on Jin he could manage. He wanted to shove his tongue down Jin's throat and give him a taste of his own medicine. He knew, without knowing how he knew, that it would repulse Jin so completely he would emerge the winner in this battle between them. But his true self wanted something else. He had never spent any time with someone of Jin's class before now and he found himself craving the samurai's regard in spite of himself. It would be too cool to have someone from that family wrapped around his little finger. Never had me a rich boy before, he chuckled to himself, deciding he would try to seduce at this point, rather than win. After all, there was always next time for that!

Mugen liked kissing—before, during and especially after a scene like they had just engaged in. It was always a juicy way to transition back to the real world—a way to be assured that everything that had gone before was all right, no matter how intense or even brutal it might have been. He moved his face right up to Jin's, trying not to laugh out loud at the way he winced as if bracing himself for the worst blow. He pulled Jin's lower lip in between his own and gently sucked. After a moment he did the same to the upper lip, running his tongue over the clenched teeth. When it was clear that Jin was not going to open his mouth or even respond to him he said, "Come on, Jin. Let me in."

"No," came the reply.

"Yes," Mugen insisted. "You owe me, man. You owe me for spying on me. You owe me for taking me…the way you did. This is what I want, so let me in goddammit!" Jin sighed and relaxed his jaw. Mugen noticed and planted his mouth firmly on Jin's before he could change his mind. His tongue slid in, explored, and found Jin's hiding at the back of his mouth. He sucked it forward and teased with his own. This guy doesn't know how to kiss for shit, Mugen realized in amazement. He had never kissed anyone who did it so badly, so awkwardly. So it turned into a lesson in making out, but Jin had always been a quick study. The teacher became pleased with his student's progress soon enough.

When Jin realized Mugen wasn't going to stop his oral attentions any time soon, he let himself relax enough to find he was actually enjoying what was happening. It was...well…nice! He grudgingly admitted to himself that perhaps there really were good reasons people did this. After his orgasm he had found himself yearning for something more...he didn't really know what. This kissing stuff satiated the yearning, as it turned out. It felt good to hold and be held—to linger and savor each other in this way. It felt good to stay connected to Mugen a bit longer. It felt good….

"Muuuuuuugen! Jeeeeeeeeen! Where are you guys? Aren't you up yet?" The girl's voice startled them out of the pleasant dream they were sharing together, and they both groaned.

Reality looming, they suddenly felt shy at their physical proximity and moved to untangle themselves quickly.

"Draw?" Jin asked, reaching for his glasses.

"Draw," came the answer.

"Back to work, I guess," sighed Jin.

"&%$#%*#," replied Mugen. "I gotta take a piss." He got up and walked to the door, then turned and noted, "Next time, I'll kick your ass. Don't think I won't."

"Yes," said Jin, trying to keep from smiling, "do try."

end